U.S. Imperialism and the Shah
February 16, 1977 — The Daily Iowan

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | March 31, 2015                     

“Why does the United States openly allow the SAVAK to spy on visitors to our country? Why have Iranian student been arrested in Houston and California for protesting against the Shah in this country? Why the continuous propping up of brutal dictatorships like the Shah all over the world?”


This letter to the University of Iowa’s student newspaper The Daily Iowan was penned by a local leader of the Revolutionary Student Brigade (RSB), a nationwide network of anti-imperialist, Marxist college students founded in the 1970’s. Among other causes, the organization was also passionate about ending the apartheid system in South Africa.

Author Robin B. Potter, a second year law student at the time, went on to become a practicing attorney in Chicago, Illinois — Robin Potter & Associates specializes in all aspects of employment law. Her son, Jackson Potter of the Chicago Teacher’s Union and The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE), is a teacher and union activist.

Wednesday, February 16, 1977

The Shah, the Pres., and empty phrases

To the Editor:

Many people in this country have looked forward to seeing a change in U.S. foreign policy. The Carter administration has promised a “new morality” in its relations with foreign governments.

But the letter of the Iranian students (DI, Jan. 25) which described the Shah’s secret police, the SAVAK, and their CIA and U.S. corporate connections lays bare the empty phrases of peace and harmony of the Carter government. Rather, it reveals an allegiance to the same corporations and imperialists who expand into foreign nations to exploit their people and resources. Carter tries to put as much distance between himself and the past as he can. No doubt he would publicly deplore U.S. “advisers” and intelligence [section appears incomplete, poorly transcribed] the popular Iranian government of Prime Minister Mossadegh, the installation of the brutal Shah, the repression, torture and imprisonment of 100,000 political prisoners — those Iranians who courageously resisted the fascist dictatorship.

But, like Watergate, this is not all behind us now, despite the line of every political administration. The crimes perpetuated against the Vietnamese people by the U.S. government continue today against the Iranian people. They are subject to the oppression of a government that could not exist one day without U.S. aid. Behind Carter’s new morality lies the same imperialist ventures and exploitations of foreign peoples. The United States continues to give diplomatic support, million in arms annually and 30,000 advisers to Iran. It permits the SAVAK to spy openly on Iranian students and dissidents living in this country. Besides installing the ruthless dictator, the United States has assisted the Shah in building a complete intelligence network for the purpose of monitoring the Persian Gulf movements of foreign powers like the Soviet Union in the area, as well as to police his opposition.

Why is this? Why does the United States openly allow the SAVAK to spy on visitors to our country? Why have Iranian student been arrested in Houston and California for protesting against the Shah in this country? Why the continuous propping up of brutal dictatorships like the Shah all over the world?

Carter and his class stand with the same multinational corporations that prior administrations stood for — the same investments, the same companies and moneybags who have their fingers in the Iranian economy and profit by the oppressive nature of its social system. The multinational corporations can only survive by expanding into international areas of investment. If for lucrative arms deals the United States must create a dictatorship and a puppet government faithful to the monopolies, so it will be. If to keep the Shah as a gendarme for U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf, open terrorism against the Iranian people must be permitted in the United States and abroad, again the government bows to the Shah. There has been no fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Iran or the Third World because the corporations and the rich rule over the American people as well as the Iranian people. We thus have a common enemy, the imperialist corporations and their puppet governments.

To end the oppression of the Iranians, or the Southern Africans or other peoples of the world who are primarily oppressed by U.S. imperialism, we must attack the source — the profit system of the rich which exists only through that raw exploitation and genocide of the people of the world. We support an end to all U.S. aid to the brutal Shah and a withdrawal of all U.S. “advisers” and intelligence apparatus and military hardware used to prey on the Iranian people. We demand the Shah’s spies, the SAVAK, no longer be allowed to operate In this country and end their armed terror against the Iranians centered abroad. Victory to the Iranian people, and to their just struggle against U.S. imperialism and the Shah.

Robin Potter
for the Revolutionary Student Brigade

Winston Churchill | 1951 Campaign Speech on Iran Oil Crisis
The untold story behind Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh's famous quote “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

Search MohammadMossadegh.com

Related links:

U.S. Cooperates in Iranian Oppression — Letter to The Daily Iowan, July 6, 1976

McKinley Sims of Buffalo, NY Questions U.S. Foreign Policy Double Standards (1951-52)

Queens College Yields To Anti-Iran Sit-In | New York Daily News, Feb. 18, 1977

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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