Friday, February 12, 2016

Republicans Tried Delaying Release of Iranian Held US Spies Until After Presidential Election

Republicans Tried Delaying Release of Iranian Held US Spies Until After Presidential Election

by Stephen Lendman

Shades of the 1979-1980 Iran hostage crisis. Clear evidence was later revealed when it was too late to matter.

It showed Reagan/GHW Bush officials arranged a secret deal with Tehran, the so-called October Surprise, delaying the release of 52 Americans held for 444 days until after the 1980 presidential election - to give Reagan a boost over Carter. Iran got weapons for cooperating.

US media propaganda at the time was deplorable. Washington’s Tehran embassy was a notorious den of spies. Carter disgracefully called its personnel “victims of terrorism and anarchy.”

Iranian students involved were calm, orderly, well-behaved responsible youths. Portraying them otherwise to this day (including in the deplorable Hollywood propaganda film Argo) reflects longstanding US Islamophobia, notably against Iran since its 1979 revolution, ousting a US-installed despot.

In July 2014, Iranian authorities detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian on charges of spying. At the same time, three other US journalists (including Rezaian’s wife) were arrested.

In mid-January, Iran freed them as part of prisoner swap (along with a detained US student released separately) - Washington freeing seven Iranian-Americans in return, held on fabricated sanctions-related charges.

Tehran’s Foreign Ministry indicated US charges against 14 other detained Iranians were dropped.

On February 11, Fars News quoted Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani, saying “US Republicans sent a message to Tehran, demanding us not to release the American spies until” after America’s November presidential election.

“During the prisoner swap talks, we showed that we will never be affected by domestic or foreign pressures,” Shamkhani explained. 

“The decision to release the American prisoners was made on humanitarian grounds and after being approached by their families. Ultimately, the decision was made based on our national security interests as well as the fact that our own people were being held in US prisons.”

Longstanding US policy toward remains hostile. The nuclear deal changed nothing. Washington wants sovereign Iranian independence replaced by pro-Western puppet governance.

Naked aggression could be launched any time for any contrived reason to trying achieving America’s long-sought aim, its usual hegemonic strategy of choice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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