Iran is demonstrating against America in the streets and burning our flag. This should come as little surprise to anyone older than 10 years of age. Iran has hated the U.S. and referred to us as the “Great Satan” since the Shah was overthrown in 1979. The nation enjoyed 2500 years of continuous Persian monarchy that was widely accepted by the populace. Beginning in the 1950’s oil consumption by developed nations resulted in the rapid accumulation of wealth by Iran and Arab nations in the region. While the Arab cultures retained much of their customs and religious practices, the Persian culture in Iran became Westernized to a large degree. Women abandoned traditional dress for Western styles and adopted other Western activities such as modern music and dance. The explosive economic development led to inflation and erosion of the average Iranian standard of living. A combination of perceived corruption and incompetence along wiih the loss of traditional Muslim values led to unrest. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had been exiled in 1964 for his criticism of the Shah’s policies, became the leader of a revolutionary movement. The Shah attempted to suppress protests with military force leading to violence and civilian deaths. This cycle of protest and violence eventually led to the Shah abdicating in January 1979. Following a national referendum, Khomeini declared Iran an Islamic republic and reinstated conservative social values. The Revolutionary Guards and Islamic Republican Party suppressed opposition even more brutally than any that had taken place under the Shah.
The Iranian government has been staunchly anti-American since the Islamic Revolution. The 1979 seizing of the American Embassy in Tehran was only the beginning of hostilities. The Islamic Republic under religious rule has been as corrupt as any prior Iranian governments. Oil revenues are spent on terrorist activities and ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development. At the same time the general population lack such basic necessities as food and electricity. Civilian protests over domestic issues have been met with police violence and large numbers of arrests. Iranian prisons have a reputation for being among the worst in the world. Even before the Trump Administration cancelled the Iran Nuclear Accord America was considered the “Great Satan” for our Western culture and allegiance with Israel. The Islamic Republic has found a diversion for its domestic problems by attacking America. America under President Trump is not the same as it was under Barack Obama. America is back and the world had better take notice.