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Iran : Why Le Monde is getting restless ?

Since yesterday, Le Monde publishes every three hours an article about Iran. This newspaper that used to appear very respectful towards the mullahs’ regime changed its speech. There’s no mention anymore of any running revolution in Iran, the regime would still have two months left… Such mood reminds us the year 1979 when Le Monde was one of the media to be at the forefront of the struggle against the Shah, on the side of Khomeini’s supporters. The regime maker switched presently to the opposite side. We can consider it as a warning. In order to understand the importance of such warning, we need to go back to 1979 and look into the part Le Monde played in the fall of the Shah of Iran, an ally who didn’t suit then Westerners.

Role of Le Monde into the Shah’s fall | In 1979, the 25 years oil contract that linked the British-American consortium to Iran came to its end. Thanks to this contract, the United States used to snap up 40% of Iranian oil income, UK 47%, Netherlands 7% and France 6%. In 1972, the Shah announced that this contract would not be renewed. The same year, 2 humanitarian organizations -British Amnesty and an association of Iranian Islamist opponents that was supported by Americans- launched a virulent campaign about the violation of Human Rights in Iran. Then the Shah opened Iranian jails to inspectors of the Red Cross, a non-politicized organization that was exempt from the control of Washington and London, in order to prove that such accusations were false : there were about thirty prisoners and no torture, the fact was then acknowledged by the mullahs’ regime.

It’s at that time the media campaign of the same Iranian opponents -members of Nehzat Azadi- started and it depicted the Shah as a torturer with 100,000 political prisoners : it was mainly lead by Le Monde. The French daily newspaper became the instrument of the campaign of pressure on the Shah. On the basis of this campaign it mounted itself, Washington then distanced the Shah to get closer to Khomeini who was depicted by Le Monde as the « Iranian Gandhi » ! Thus Le Monde started a second campaign of information about the Shah’s political isolation by giving this way the signal for the drop of the sovereign by his different Western “allies” and then by getting his local support down.

Le Monde played an important part in the victory of the revolutionary forces that Washington supported. When the members of the Islamist party Nehzat Azadi took the power, Le Monde justified the executions by sullying the past of the victims, the Shah’s ministers or generals. At last, it ended its campaign on the violation of Human Rights in Iran at a time when the new friends of Washington executed every day around a hundred people.

Things have changed when Khomeini who was supposed to be used for overthrowing the Shah overthrew the government that counted members of the Islamist party Nehzat Azadi in order to take the political power. Washington and Le Monde then remembered the executions in Iran but this didn’t last long because Washington finally decided to reach an agreement with the mullahs in order to achieve at least in a partial way its projects of regional troubles it had in mind when it created an Islamist Republic in Iran. Then we forgot the crimes of the mullahs in the hallways of Le Monde’s redaction. If we mention them again, it’s because Washington wants it once again.

The present context of Le Monde’s reaction | Such as we mentioned it in a previous article, Washington wants to achieve an alliance with the mullahs in order to reach Central Asia but also to take control of this region’s fundamentalist forces and turn them against China. Tehran doesn’t wish such rapprochement because it would thus need to organize elections that would be more democratic -opened to every Iranian, i.e. mostly to the Nahzat Azadi militants who are currently on the loose, those posh Islamists who could then take the power from inside and render this republic to its American creators.

In order to refuse this agreement that appeared under the form Obama’s friendly held hand without risking laying itself open to new sanctions, Tehran imagined a script based on the emergency of a popular, Muslim and revolutionary opposition, the Green Movement that is officially hostile to any negotiation or agreement with the West. So to force Obama to recognize the primacy of this strength on the Iranian State, Tehran has thought of a colour revolution such as the ones the United States organised in Eastern Europe countries.

Tehran wanted to trap Washington but it has faced then a counter-trick because Washington didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Green Movement as spokesperson of the street. As revenge, it gave great freedom to its media to tell about the suppressed protest in Iran . The process is the same than the one that was used against the Shah, which explains the presence of the specialist of this kind of things : Le Monde.

Le Monde 2010 | However there’s a difference if we make a comparison with the campaign that was lead against the Shah : in 1979, they wanted to overthrow the Shah who had great ambitions for his country and the region but nowadays, there’s no will to overthrow the mullahs but to set them on the straight and narrow again by following the United States. It results in a strange communication in which it’s no question anymore of Human Rights violation by the mullahs but it is question again of Human Rights violation by the Shah whose end was due to those violations. This is quoted endlessly as the example of the worse that could happen to the mullahs !

Details of an insipid campaign | This strange campaign started 3 days ago with the publication of an article entitled : “Iran : is the protesting movement at a turn ?”

It was question of a papers review with different intervening people such as Ali Ansari, the mullahs’ well-known lobbyist in the UK, Tehran Bureau, a site of promotion of the Green Movement and at last Steve Clemons, member of the New America Foundation, the half-mullah half-US think-tank that was created to promote an agreement with the power in Iran. Only friends. Every of them told good things about the Green Movement that Tehran wants to introduce as the elusive interlocutor of the West. Everyone tackled the Green Movement under a different approach : Ansari praised the intelligence of its leaders ; Tehran Bureau praised its fighting spirit and Clemons ended the series of testimonies by comparing Khamenei to the Shah of Iran !

None of those intervening people used the word of “turn” into their sentiments. This word solely appeared in the title and in the head of the article that was concocted by a certain Audrey Fournier who started out as a publicist. It was a matter of reproducing precise formulas because we found them again in two articles that were published yesterday in Le Monde.

The first of those both articles that were published on the first day of the campaign was written by Michel Taubmann, the new Iran expert in his capacity as writer of “the secret history of the 1979 Revolution” and is a compilation of the filthy articles Le Monde published in the 70’s against the Shah -with more lies and additional false references. Taubmann also wants to appear as a specialist of Iran because he organized last June a conference in favour of the Green Movement. However he forgot to mention that he also organized in 2006 a conference in favour of an agreement with Ahmadinejad ! Into his article of yesterday, he developed the topic of comparison between Khamenei and the Shah of Iran by using words that are identical to Steve Clemons’ ones right before he wished for a change of leadership into the Green Movement -a turn- in order to head toward a claim of a democratic Islamic Republic -something that would be respectable for the United States and that would allow the political come back of the former pawns who have fled.

The second article that uses the same formulas was published yesterday under the nib of a certain Abbas Milani. Le Monde introduces this man as the director of Iranian issues at Stanford University and as the co-director of a project on Iranian democracy at the Hoover Institution. But he is solely the leader of Iranian academic lobbyists who serve the United States. This man who wrote in the past articles to explain the pertinence of an agreement with Ahmadinejad -such as Taubmann- is from now on a fervent supporter of the Green Movement which is in conformity with Washington expectations -again such as Taubmann. Thus he repeated the same things than the both previous ones : a turn for the regime, the comparison with the Shah and the necessity of an evolution for the Green Movement. According to the method Washington opted for, this new intervening person added some milestones to the previous ones by specifying the content of this evolution : it would be a matter of “asking for small changes in the constitution without changing the name of the regime itself !”

This is staggering ! It’s the contrary of a warning ! We are really far from the violence of Le Monde’s campaign in the 70’s against the Shah. Actually there’s no campaign at all against the mullahs. Washington simply wanted to show that it was able in the same week to make Le Monde say a very violent thing and its quite conciliatory contrary. This is a basic American warning within the framework of the appeasement policy it implements to get an agreement. Nothing really serious. [1]

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The french version of this article :
- Iran : Pourquoi le Monde s’agite ?
- (31 DÉCEMBRE 2009 )

| Mots Clefs | Décideurs : OBAMA |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Apaisement |

| Mots Clefs | Auteurs & Textes : Le Monde (Marie-Claude Decamps, Corine Lesne...) |

| Mots Clefs | Histoire : Mohammad-Reza Shah (le shah) |
| Mots Clefs | Histoire : Révolution Islamique |

[1It’s a pity for Taubmann, the so-called expert, who promised the fall of the regime after two months.