We have done to them like we have done many other countries - flexed our muscles against the people's will for profit:
"In 1951, Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, a nationalist, received the vote required from the parliament to nationalize the British-owned oil industry, in a situation known as the Abadan Crisis. Despite British pressure, including an economic blockade which caused real hardship, the nationalization continued. Mossadegh was briefly removed from power in 1952 but was quickly re-appointed by the shah, due to an overwhelming majority in parliament supporting him, and he, in turn, forced the Shah into a brief exile in August of 1953. A military coup headed by his former minister of the Interior and retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi, with the support of the intelligence services of the British and US governments, finally forced Mossadegh from office on August 19. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason by a military tribunal, while Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister.
In return for the US support the Shah agreed, in 1954, to allow an international consortium of British (40%), American (40%), French (6%), and Dutch (14%) companies to run the Iranian oil facilities for the next 25 years, with profits shared equally. The international consortium agreed to a fifty-fifty split of profits with Iran but would not allow Iran to audit their accounts to confirm the consortium was reporting profits properly, nor would they allow Iran to have members on their board of directors. hah! some fuckin' deal!! There was a return to stability in the late 1950s and the 1960s. In 1957 martial law was ended after 16 years and Iran became closer to the West, joining the Baghdad Pact and receiving military and economic aid from the US. The Iranian government began a broad program of reforms to modernize the country, notably changing the quasi-feudal land system.
Sure, there was some modernization, but at what cost? Who did it benefit? The answers, above and hereafter, are not suprising:
"However the reforms did not greatly improve economic conditions and the liberal pro-Western policies alienated certain Islamic religious and political groups. From the mid-1960s the political situation was becoming increasingly unstable,
with organisations such as Mujaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK) emerging."
*GASP* You mean that's why the Mujeheddin formed? Because pro-West policy ignored the will of the people? OMGzzzz!! You mean America really doesn't know what's best? Oh, but yes, read on:
"However the economic improvements tended to only benefit a very small group and succeeded in disaffecting the vast majority of the population, culminating in widespread religious led protests throughout the late 1970s. There was widespread religious and political opposition to the Shah's rule and programs--especially SAVAK, the hated internal security and intelligence service. Martial law was declared in September 1978 (see Black Friday (1978)) for all major cities but the Shah recognized the erosion of his power-base and fled Iran on January 16, 1979."
The chickens coming home to roost? The people tired of getting walked on by big oil and Big Uncle Sam. Damn right. They were oppressed and they fought back. Sounds like someone else I know. I know, "HOW DARE YOU COMPARE TERRORISTS TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARIES?"
A revolutionary is a revolutionary, even if we don't agree with what they stand for. If that doesn't strike you well, perhaps you are a tyrant, or even a fascist. Just because you think something is righteous - such as, let's say, unregulated capitalism - doesn't mean it is. Especially when democratically elected leaders are replaced against the people's will.
The people's will must prevail, no matter how uncomfortable America and/or the capitalists are with it. Of course, an empire will impose its will on the masses not for a foreign people's benefit, or even for the benefit of its own subjects, but in the name of the most elite of its populace. That's my beef with capitalism and why I feel it isn't working quite as well as everyone thinks it is.