“Colored revolutions always occur in a nation with strategic, natural resources: gas, oil, military bases and geopolitical interests. And they also always take place in countries with socialist-leaning, anti-imperialist governments. The movements promoted by US agencies in those countries are generally anti-communist, anti-socialist, pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist.”
by BJ Murphy
On February 13, 2011, what is resembling the beginning stages of a “mass protest” in Iran two years ago after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won his second term in office, Iranians had gathered themselves on their rooftops, chanting “God is great” and “Down with the dictator.”1
It is being said that the revolutions taking place all across the Arab region of the world are what’s inspiring these calls for protest in Iran. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were most certainly formulated through the oppressed people’s of both countries. What is instead being called for in Iran is something entirely different.
According to Al Jazeera, “Monday’s protests have been called at the behest of Mir Hossein Mousavi,” a popular dissident to the upper class minority in Iran who ran as a presidential candidate back in 2009.2 He and his supporters were also the main oppositional forces that led the so-called “Green Revolution”, calling for the overthrowing of President Ahmadinejad with claims of the election being rigged.
Despite compelling evidence that President Ahmadinejad was the clear victor of the 2009 election,3 the pro-Mousavi forces persisted on with their “Green Revolution”. This, of course, made mainstream headlines around the world, including the United States. What didn’t make to mainstream headlines all-too-well was on who exactly was funding the pro-Mousavi forces.
Hossein Mousavi and the NED
According to The Muslim Observer, the day before the 2009 election in Iran, neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman had stated that “there’s talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” He continued further by stating “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars promoting ‘color’ revolutions […] Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”4
Be warned, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Kenneth Timmerman are no strangers to one another. Timmerman is also executive director to the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI), which is a US based Iranian dissident organization who advocate regime change in Iran. According to the NED’s Democracy Projects Database, in 1995 the FDI had received funds of up to $50,000 by the NED, and also another $25,000 in 1996.5
To better understand the NED, according to Bill Berkowitz (writer for progressive media outlet AlterNet), it “provides money, technical support, supplies, training programs, media know-how, public relations assistance, and state-of-the art equipment to select political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, and other media. The organization’s aim is to destabilize progressive movements, particularly those with a socialist or democratic-socialist bent.”6
One could also say the NED is one of many CIA-fronts. “A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” says Allen Weinstein, co-founder of the NED.7
According to foreign policy analyst Stephen Gowans, “The ICNC and NED are fronts for Western ruling class interests.”8
The ICNC and NED
So how are the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) and NED in comparison? According to Venezuelan-American attorney Eva Golinger, “Protests and destabilization actions are always planned around an electoral campaign and process, to raise tensions and questions of potential fraud, and to discredit the elections in the case of a loss for the opposition, which is generally the case. The same agencies are always present, funding, training and advising: USAID, NED, IRI, NDI, Freedom House, AEI and ICNC.” She continues by stating the “strategy seeks to debilitate and disorganize the pillars of State power, neutralizing security forces and creating a sensation of chaos and instability.”9
So, between the ICNC and the NED, was the “Green Revolution”, led by pro-Mousavi forces, orchestrated by the West? Well, “even if you could show the uprising was caused by Washington’s attempts to orchestrate it, or arose solely from internal factors, what difference would it make? The fact remains that Washington did try to meddle in the internal affairs of Iran, to overthrow the government for reasons related to its politics and economic policies, and that it did, is intolerable,” says Gowans.10
But what internal affairs is Gowans talking about? In 2006, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested “$75 million to promote democracy in Iran, which she said would be added to $10 million already appropriated for that purpose.” But why? “American officials […] said the election last year of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose actions and statements have alarmed the West, had strengthened the hands of those who want to promote internal change in Iran.”11
Only a few months after of that same year, the ICNC held “training sessions every three months or so on civil disobedience, hoping to foment a nonviolent revolt in Iran,” which were secretly held in Dubai, because they “wanted to find a place where we were safe, where they [Iran] can’t send paramilitaries to gun you down, and where large numbers of Iranians go.”12
Three years later and after the 2nd election won by President Ahmadinejad, in order to keep support of the “Green Revolution” alive, a United4Iran rally was organized. United4Iran, who played itself as a so-called “human rights organization,” was being funded “by the US National Endowment for Democracy, an organization established by the US government to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly (i.e., funnel money to groups and organization working, often unknowingly, toward US foreign policy goals.)”13
Is history repeating itself?
Of course, with the Mousavi-backed protest still yet to be held, we can only speculate whether or not the US is helping fund this protest as a means of fomenting another color revolution.
Though, given our knowledge of Mousavi’s past dealings with various US-backed CIA-fronts who advocate regime change in Iran, and with the Arab world now revolting against US-backed dictatorships all across the region, one cannot but rationally signal the alarms of a counterrevolution in our midst.
Red Love & Salutes!
1. “Tehran 13 Feb 2011 / تهران 24 بهمن- 4- یوسف آباد”, Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NsS_ie3wnY
2. D. Parvaz, “Iran opposition planning protests”, Al Jazeera, February 13, 2011.
3. Stephen Gowans, “Behind Washington’s Iran policy: Myths and reality”, what’s left, February 26, 2010.
4. Paul C. Roberts, “Is This the Culmination of Two Years of Destabilization?”, The Muslim Observer, April 8, 2010.
5. National Endowment for Democracy. http://tinyurl.com/5unxo7v
6. Bill Berkowitz, “NED [National Endowment for Democracy] Targets Venezuela”, Third World Traveler, May 2004.
7. Blum, William. Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Common Courage, 2000. 180. Print.
8. Stephen Gowans, “The Revolution Will Not Be Assisted By The ICNC (The Counter-Revolution Is Another Matter)”, what’s left, March 12, 2010.
9. Eva Golinger, “Colored Revolutions: A New Form of Regime Change, Made in USA”, Venezuela Analysis, February 15, 2010.
10. Stephen Gowans, “A sober view of Iran”, what’s left, July 1, 2009.
11. Steven R. Weisman, “Rice Is Seeking Millions to Prod Changes in Iran”, The New York Times, February 16, 2006.
12. Hassan M. Fattah, “U.S. keeps finger on pulse of Iran from Dubai – Africa & Middle East – International Herald Tribune”, The New York Times, October 20, 2006.
13. Stephen Gowans, “United4Iran: Financial and Corporate Interests Mobilize the Left”, what’s left, July 24, 2009.