Israel's complex relationship with Iran
by Thierry Meyssan on 03 May 2024 0 Comment

If the mullahs’ rhetoric is clearly anti-Israeli, relations between the two countries are much more complex than we believe. There are in fact two opposing groups in Iran, one intends to do business by all means with the rest of the world, while the other aims to free people from colonization. The first has not stopped doing business with Israel, while the second fights it, just as it fights against the imperialism of the United Kingdom and the United States.


The conflict between Israel and Iran is distinct from that between the Arab population of Palestine and Jewish immigrants. Contrary to popular belief, the Persians were never the enemies of the Jews. Moreover, during Antiquity, it was Cyrus the Great who allowed the Jews to escape from Babylon where they were held in slavery.


After World War II, when the United States took over the remnants of the British Empire, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower reorganized the Middle East. In order to dominate it, he designated two regional powers to represent him, Iran and Israel. The two countries were both friends and rivals.


Eisenhower sent his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles (the brother of CIA Director Alan Dulles), to Syria to organize an Iranian-Syrian alliance to contain Israeli ambitions. A mutual defense treaty was signed between Damascus and Tehran on May 24, 1953. At the time, the Syrian president, General Adil Chicakli, was pro-British and anti-French. This Treaty continues today [1].


At the same time, the United Kingdom entered into conflict with Shah Reza Pahlevi’s Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, who intended to nationalize oil exploitation. With the help of the United States, London organized a Color Revolution (“Operation Ajax” [2]). Thousands of people were paid by MI6 and the CIA to demonstrate and overthrow Mossadegh. Responding to the “call” of his people, the sovereign changed his Prime Minister in favor of the Nazi general Fazlollah Zahedi [3].


Cooperation between the autocratic Shah regime and Israel began in 1956 with the construction of the Eliat-Ashkelon pipeline. Above all, in 1957, the Mossad sent a team of “revisionist Zionists” [4], led by Yitzak Shamir, to set up the terrible political police, the SAVAK [5].


In 1956, to maintain control of the Suez Canal, which Egypt wanted to nationalize, the declining colonial powers, the United Kingdom and France, relied on the colonial state of Israel. After this operation, the France of the socialist Guy Mollet thanked Israel by secretly sharing its atomic research with it. They continued without the knowledge of the United States.


However, when they were convinced that Tel Aviv was heading towards the bomb, they made sure to also give it to Iran. In 1974, French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing brought Iran into the Eurodif consortium. It undertakes to provide it with enriched uranium and to train its scientists. Two years later, US President Gerald Ford authorized Iran to pursue its own bomb.


In 1978, the United States, taking a dim view of the military ambitions of Shah Reza Pahlevi which threatened Israeli power, decided to impose a new Prime Minister on him with a new policy. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, decided to rely on the Shiite clergy, part of whose property had just been nationalized by the Shah (the “white revolution”). According to him, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, whose sermons were circulated on audio cassettes throughout the country, had the necessary authority to become the monarch’s Prime Minister.


Despite the opposition of Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, he therefore organized his exile in the Paris region where he resided for four months before being brought by special plane, by Air France, to Tehran. The United States had persuaded the Shah that it had the situation under control and was just planning to fight his opposition. They even asked Savak to assassinate the philosopher Ali Shariati (personal friend of Frantz Fannon and Jean-Paul Sartre) in London so that his decolonial ideas would not disturb their scenario. The Shah had agreed to leave on a trip while Washington resolved the problem in his country.


However, on the day of his return, February 1, 1979, the Ayatollah was cheered by a crowd of one million people. He went from the airport to the cemetery where 800 Iranian victims of political repression had just been buried. To the astonishment of Westerners, he delivered a violently anti-imperialist speech. It was no longer a question of a revolution within the Persian Empire, but of the establishment of an Islamic Republic.


Israel immediately seizes the Iranian half of the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline. A long dispute followed which was not secretly settled until much later. Khomeini called into question the recognition of the colonial state of Israel, had his embassy premises seized and entrusted them to the Palestine Liberation Organization.


In 1985, Robert McFarlane, Security Advisor to US President Ronald Reagan, planned to deliver weapons to the Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries, the Contras, without the knowledge of Congress. To do this, he first addressed the Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres. Both men agreed that it was not possible to involve a revolutionary Arab state like Libya, but perhaps Iran. Through the deputy Hassan Rouhani (future president of Iran) they contacted the president of the Iranian Assembly, Hodjatoleslam Hachemi Rafsanjani. He agreed to buy weapons to fight against Iraqi aggression and to transfer some of them to the Contras. During this traffic, Rafsanjani, already a large landowner, became the richest man in his country [6].


In 1988, Iraq used weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, against the Iranian army and population. They caused many people to become disabled. Even today, the threshold of tolerance for air pollution is very low in Iran. Often, the state sounds the alarm and the city of Tehran must be evacuated for several days. I remember my friend, the great journalist Nader Talebzadeh, who, questioning me on television, suddenly left the set to cough up his lungs and be hospitalized.


Responding to the suffering of his people, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared weapons of mass destruction in general as contrary to his vision of Islam. Since this date, Iran has ceased its nuclear military research; biological and chemical. This ethical decision made the war last a little longer.


In 1992, Hashemi Rafsanjani, who had become a professional arms dealer and president of Iran, organized secret exchanges with the Argentina of President Carlos Menem. Now publicly collaborating with the United States, he sent troops to fight under NATO orders in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He also supplied Argentine weapons to the Bosnians. Officially, he does not question the Khomeini anti-colonialist vision of the world, but supports the Bosnian president, Alija Izetbegovic. On site, Israeli soldiers also participate in operations.


The Iranian-Argentinian arms trade was interrupted by Israel, which organized the attack against its own embassy in Buenos Aires (1992), then that against AMIA (1994) [7] and finally the assassination of the president’s son, Argentinian Carlos Menem, Carlitos (1995). [8].


In 2001, Washington abandoned its policy of balance in the Middle East. Gone are the Israel /Iran (1953-79), Israel /Iraq (1979-91) and Israel /Saudi Arabia (1991-2001) ties. The Pentagon intended to sow chaos throughout the “wider Middle East” (except Israel), that is to say from Afghanistan to Morocco [9]. Those who had chosen this new strategy had pulled out all the stops to impose it: the September 11 attacks.


In 2003, a former Revolutionary Guard, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, became president of Iran. He reverses the policies of his predecessors and returns to the ideal of Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. He will continue to clash with religious power and even the Supreme Guide. He industrializes his country, builds social housing and tries to help the Shiite populations of the Middle East also find their own independence. He calls into question the unspoken alliance with Israel.


In 2005, he explained that the State of Israel would disappear as Apartheid South Africa disappeared. The Reuters agency falsifies his words, attributing to him the announcement of the destruction of the Israeli people [10].


In 2006, he organized a conference on the Holocaust in Tehran. Its objective is not to deny the truth, but on the contrary to show that the State of Israel is not a reparation for Nazi crimes, but a British colonial project. Israel then claims that it is anti-Semitic, which it absolutely is not.


At the same time, Israel launched a global press campaign to believe that Iran had resumed its military nuclear program. It was based on the fact that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had launched a vast civilian nuclear program. In fact he intended to discover another way of producing energy, by nuclear fusion and not by fission as in atomic bombs. Iran then planned to help the Third World develop by escaping Western control of hydrocarbons. A very long battle in international institutions then began for Iran [11]. In addition to the Iranian pseudo-nuclear military program, Israel began to denounce Iranian pseudo-imperialism in Iraq.


The agreement concluded in secret, on March 2, 2008 in Baghdad, between Admiral William Fallon, commander of the United States forces for the Middle East (CentCom), and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was broken by the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. The US military intended to pacify Iraq with Iran and not against it [12]. But Dick Cheney, who was involved in the September 11 attacks, did not want to budge from the Rumsfeld /Cebrowski doctrine. This is why he launched a colored revolution during the second election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [13].


New upheaval of the cards in 2013. US President Barack Obama wants to put an end to the Rumsfeld /Cebrowski doctrine which will require decades and millions of deaths before hoping for a return on investment. He therefore plans to reconnect with the Iranian personalities who participated in the Iran-Contras affair, that is to say with Hashemi Rafsanjani’s team.


He begins secret contacts in Oman [14]. Ultimately, his interlocutors [15] promise to prevent Ahmaninedjad’s team from presenting a candidate in the next presidential election so that Hassan Rouhani can win. Simultaneously, in August, Barack Obama withdrew from Syria, where he claimed to have demarcated a red line, leaving his French partner, François Hollande, alone with his hawkish speech.


Upon his election, Hassan Rouhani again abandoned the ideal of Imam Rouhollah Khomeini and began to negotiate the sale of Iranian oil to Europeans. Bribes were paid by Austria. On the other hand, Islamic Justice arrests and condemns, one after the other, all the collaborators of former President Ahmadinejad. Its vice-president, Hamid Beghaie, was arrested for a secret reason, tried behind closed doors and sentenced to 15 years in prison [16].


President Rouhani’s cabinet then proposed creating a Shiite federation with the different Shiite communities of Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, in short, to restore the Persian Empire. At the same time, the 5+1 negotiations begin in Geneva. Within a few days, an agreement was reached. A first document was presented on November 24, 2013. The Chinese and Russian ministers, Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov, declared that the agreement was easy to draft because all parties know that Iran does not have, and does not seek to have, atomic bomb. A long year of silence followed, with the signing of the initial text only taking place on July 14, 2015.


A little later, in 2016, Hassan Rouhani concluded a discreet agreement with Israel to resolve the dispute over the Eifat-Ashkelon pipeline. In 2018, the Knesset quietly adopted a law punishing any publication about the pipeline’s owners with 15 years in prison.


The new US president, Donald Trump, realizes that he cannot display a cordial understanding with his counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. In the eyes of everyone, especially Iranians, their country is the unwavering enemy of the United States. He therefore tore up the nuclear agreement without notice, on May 8, 2018. Washington and Tehran are playing this comedy as they did with Reagan and Rafsanjani: officially, they hate each other, privately, they do business. The Iranians, who continue to tighten their belts, then discover with amazement on social networks the incredible standard of living of their leaders and their families.


The two groups that have been opposed for half a century in Iran, international businessmen and anti-imperialist fighters, then crystallized around President Hassan Rouhani and General Qassem Soleimani. The latter promotes an alternative: the “Axis of Resistance”. In the name of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, he arms and trains foreign Shiite groups, not to unite them, but to give them the means for their independence.


From Ansar Allah (Yemen) to Hezbollah (Lebanon), everyone will be responsible for themselves, will coordinate with others, but will refuse orders from Tehran. The men trained by Soleimani won victories against Daesh, against some of their governments and against the West. He himself becomes the most popular man in the Middle East. Officially, he does not do politics, but his speeches inflame the Arab and Persian populations. If he ran for office, he would surely be elected president.


The elders of the Iran-Contras affair then decide to eliminate him. On January 3, 2020, he was assassinated at Baghdad airport by a US-guided missile attack. The operation is claimed by President Donald Trump, but on site, there is agreement that it was imagined in Tel Aviv. Iranian President Ebrahim Raissi can be elected without difficulty. The Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus should not be interpreted as directed against President Ebrahim Raissi’s team, but against the Revolutionary Guards.



[1] Syria and the United States, David W. Lesch, Westview (1992).

[2] Presidents’ Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations Since World War II, John Prados, W. Morrow (1986).

[3] Zahedi was arrested by the British in 1942 because of his Nazi positions. He was interned in Mandatory Palestine. The Iranian Nazi Party was reorganized when he became prime minister. Originally, the Aryans (we say today Indo-Europeans) are the Persian people.

[4] The “revisionist Zionists” are Jewish fascists, disciples of Zeev Vladimir Jabotinski, allies of Mussolini.

[5] “SAVAK: A Feared and Pervasive Force,” Richard T. Sale, Washington Post, May 9, 1977. Debacle: The American Failure in Iran. Michael Ledeen, Vintage (1982).

[6] The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History, Peter Kornbluh & Malcolm Byrne, National Security Archive Document (1993). Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981–1987. Bob Woodward, Simon and Schuster (19887).

[7] “The falsifications around the attack against the AMIA and the “3 States track”, by José Petrosino, Translation Maria Poumier, Voltaire Network, April 19, 2024.

[8] “Los vínculos entre el attemptado a la AMIA y la mort de Carlitos Menem”, Christian Sanz, Tribuna de Periodistas, 16 de February de 2013. “Secretos del día que mataron a Carlitos Menem”, Christian Sanz, Tribuna de Periodistas , March 13, 2013.

[9] “The Rumsfeld/Cebrowski doctrine”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, May 25, 2021.

[10] “How Reuters participated in a propaganda campaign against Iran,” Voltaire Network, November 14, 2005.

[11] “Who is afraid of Iranian civilian nuclear power?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, June 30, 2010.

[12] “The resignation of Admiral Fallon relaunches hostilities in Iraq,” by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, March 13, 2008.

[13] “The CIA and the Iranian laboratory,” “ Why should I despise the choice of the Iranians?”,  The “colored revolution” fails in Iran, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, June 17, 21 and 24, 2009. “Iran: the hoax of the “stolen election”, by James Petras, Translation Marcel Charbonnier, Voltaire Network, June 19, 2009.

[14] “Will Washington entrust the Arab world to Riyadh and Tehran?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, November 17, 2014.

[15] In previous articles, I have attributed this decision to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This interpretation was contested by all my Iranian friends, however none offered me an alternative version.

[16] “Secret trial: 15 years in prison for Ahmadinejad’s vice-president”, Voltaire Network, March 28, 2018.


Courtesy Thierry Meyssan 

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