September 09, 2014 “ICH” – “Press TV” – – The British Broadcasting Corporation is up to its old dirty tricks again, spreading government disinformation in an attempt to make trouble for Iran.
In a recent report, the BBC claimed that the Iranian leadership “has approved cooperation” with the United States in an effort to combat the extremist so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.
“Ayatollah Khamenei has sanctioned General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force – an elite overseas unit of the Revolutionary Guards – to work with forces fighting IS, including the US,” according to the BBC, quoting “sources in Tehran.”
The BBC claim comes as US President Barack Obama this week expanded American air strikes against the terror network in western Iraq, which is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).
Iran has consistently condemned ISIL for its indiscriminate brutality towards Muslims and Christians in Syria and Iraq, whom the group targets as “infidels” in its twisted Saudi-backed Wahhabi ideology. Videos showing ISIL militants massacring captives in mass graves and beheading individuals have shocked and sickened the world. Iran views the terror group as a dangerous development in the region, which is stoking sectarian conflict and destabilizing countries.
However, the Iranian authorities have flatly rejected the BBC’s claims that the Islamic Republic is seeking to collaborate with Washington in order to defeat the ISIL.
Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani this week called for a “comprehensive, global plan to destroy ISIL”. However, Rafsanjani added: “This does not mean following the policies of Westerners and the Americans.” The senior Iranian politician noted that the expansion of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIL is the outcome of Washington’s pernicious covert policies, working alongside British, Saudi, Turk and Israeli military intelligence to inflame regional divisions.
Iran is well aware that American military intelligence and its CIA have been training and equipping ISIL for the past several years out of secret bases in Jordan and Turkey for the purpose of destabilizing Syria and Iraq, both of whom are close allies of Tehran. So, the notion that Iran is now collaborating with the US is outlandish.
Even Washington has rejected the BBC report. Both the US State Department and the National Security Council (NSC) said the British claim was not true. “We do not coordinate military action or share intelligence with Iran and have no plans to do so,” said NSC spokeswoman, Bernadette Meehan.
The BBC has a long and sordid history of conducting psychological warfare in Iran. The state-owned broadcaster is a tried and trusted propaganda arm of the British government and its secret services when it comes to trying to destabilize Iran (and other countries).
The news channel was instrumental in the American-British coup d’état against the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. Mosaddegh was overthrown because he had nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, later known as British Petroleum, two years earlier. The British were outraged at the loss of Iranian oil revenue that had propped up Britain’s economy for decades since before the First World War.
Britain’s MI6 then conspired with the CIA to get rid of Mosaddegh. The plot succeeded on August 19, 1953, and brought about the restoration of the absolute monarchy of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi. The pro-West Shah ruled with a reign of terror for the next 26 years until he was defeated by the Iranian revolution in 1979. The MI6 and CIA-backed Savak secret police of the Shah tortured and terrorized thousands of Iranians, while Western oil companies were allowed to resume their wholesale exploitation of Iran’s natural wealth.
British premier Winston Churchill and US President Dwight Eisenhower are believed to have given their full assent to the plot for regime change in Iran. It was the first such regime-change operation in the post-Second World War era and it formed a blueprint for subsequent covert Western operations that we see from then until the present day in Libya, Syria and Ukraine.
First, the Americans and British created and funded pseudo-gangs of guerrillas, provocateurs, assassins and saboteurs to undermine the Mosaddegh administration. This had the desired effect of fuelling widespread violence and social chaos across Iran.
Secondly, the campaign of destabilization involved massive disinformation to aggravate the mayhem. This is where the BBC played a vital, if despicable, role.
Top order of the day, from 1951 until his overthrow, was to discredit Prime Minister Mosaddegh. BBC Persian Radio ran countless reports claiming that Mosaddegh was turning the country over to Communists who would then serve the geopolitical interests of the Soviet Union.
An alternative theme accentuated by the BBC was that the Iranian leader was increasingly arrogating dictatorial powers. This was partly evidenced by security crackdowns to restore order, which had been broken in the first place as a result of British and American agents.
Washington and London knew none of the black ops against Mosaddegh had any substance. Their concern was to reverse his policy of nationalizing Iranian oil wealth for the benefit of the Iranian people, not Western capitalists.
In a classified document, dated July 21 1951, the British Foreign Office commended the BBC for its propaganda service toward carrying out the Iranian coup. And in 2010, a BBC documentary, Cinematograph, finally admitted the broadcaster’s shameful past. It noted: “The British government used BBC Persian Radio for advancing its propaganda against Mosaddegh, and anti-Mosaddegh material was repeatedly aired on the radio channel to the extent that Iranian staff at BBC Persian Radio went on strike to protest the move.”
The BBC – the British Black ops Corporation – is at it again, it would seem. By claiming that Iran is seeking to collaborate with the US militarily to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria the British authorities are no doubt aiming to undermine the Iranian leadership, sow divisions between regional allies, and to destabilize Iran from within. Something the British are past masters at.
But times have changed and people are well aware of Britain’s propensity for dirty tricks, especially when articulated with crisp, seemingly erudite, BBC accents.
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.
By Finian Cunningham