Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Return of the Shah

William O. Beeman, writing during the late Bush Administration, I think July 2008 (more Beeman here; my emphasis in red):
"The United States is planning for “regime change” in Iran, and it may have already picked the new rulers of that country.
The form of government would be a constitutional monarchy, with the head of state being Reza Pahlavi, son of the former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was deposed in the 1978-79 Islamic revolution.
The Bush administration apparently has a handpicked American “plumber” ready to go in Iran, much like Ahmed Chalabi in Iraq. This is Sohrab “Rob” Sobhani, an Iranian-American associated with the neoconservatives in Washington. With Reza Pahlavi as Shah, the 40-ish Sobhani would presumably be prime minister or president.
His promoter is American Enterprise Institute Freedom Chair Holder Michael Ledeen, who has written and lectured obsessively about regime change in Iran. Ledeen was reported by the Washington Post to be one of four advisers in regular consultation with White House strategist, Karl Rove. Ledeen and Sobhani recently established the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI) to promote this regime change.
Reza Pahlavi had been living quietly in Maryland until Sept. 11, when he began to address the Iranian community via the internet and satellite television. This prompted the Iranian community to dub him the “Internet Prince.”
Rob Sobhani, who has known Reza Pahlavi since childhood, was actually born in Kansas. His doctorate, completed in 1987, dealt with Iranian-Israeli relations from 1948-88. He became a specialist in energy policy. He has had his finger in many pies in Washington, including consultation on the construction of an oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. Well-connected politically, he ran twice for the US Senate from Maryland as a Republican. Although his heritage is Iranian, he is far from being an expert on Iranian society, politics or economics. His move to the Washington area put him in close contact with his old friend, Reza Pahlavi.
Sobhani’s interests in regime change are very clear and very consonant with American desires. They are largely commercial. Following his graduation from Georgetown, he became head of a Caspian Energy Consulting, a firm dealing with the transport and sale of Caspian oil. He has had his finger in many pies in Washington, including an active role on the construction of an oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. On March 5, 2001 in an article written with Pennsylvania State business professor, Fariborz Ghadar, he advocated a number of the policies that have since been carried out by the US, including containing the Taleban and Saddam Hussein. He also notes that supporting a secularization of Iran would lead to easier transport of Caspian oil through Iranian territory.
Of equal importance, Sobhani also sees secularization of Iran as beneficial for Israel. This is not surprising, since Israel and Iran had excellent ties before the 1978-9 Islamic Revolution. The Iranian Jewish community is the oldest continuous Jewish community in the world. The community is as prominent in diaspora as in Iran, with members in powerful positions in the Israeli government and in American life, particularly in California. Elimination of the clerical regime in Iran would eliminate support for Hizbullah. It might even lead to renewed trade between Tehran and Tel Aviv.
Ledeen, Sobhani and Morris Amitay, former director of the principal Israeli lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) joined forces at the American Enterprise Institute in a seminar entitled The Future of Iran, in which they called for regime change. AIPAC has indicated support for the restoration of Reza Pahlavi to the throne, although they wish to remain in the background, as reported by Mark Perelman on May 16 in the New York Jewish Daily Forward. Perelman quotes one AIPAC official as stating that “the Jewish groups are telling Reza that they will give him private support and help arrange meetings with US officials,” Since Sept. 11, 2001, Sobhani has appeared widely in the media, urging the US government to support an internal revolution in Iran. His appearances can be seen as growing endorsement of his possible role as a future leader in a post-coup Iran, as his image is honed by the media-savvy Bush administration."

"Sobhani and Ledeen clearly feel that the United States can produce an internal coup in Iran. Ledeen has said as much in The War Against the Terror Masters and many articles for the National Review Online, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.
Ledeen and Sobhani expect to have the coup first, then present Reza Pahlavi as the emergent ruler. Ledeen said as much in a rally in Los Angeles for Iranian monarchists, saying in effect: Let’s have the revolution first, then worry about who will rule Iran. He put a price tag on the operation saying, “I think you can buy yourself free Iran today for $20 million.” "

People of Iran, here's your new Shah. The Jews who run him should give him one of their Oscars for that crying performance (see also here). Needless to say, he knows all about 'tyrants and their thugs'. Note how he says the defeat of the protesters will lead to nuclear war (!), and "will encourage extremism from the shores of the Levant to the energy jugular of the world".
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