Gregory Brew rejects Brian Hook’s revisionism that seeks to let the U.S. off the hook for supporting the 1953 coup in Iran:
But Hook clearly hopes to conceal crucial facts. By shifting the blame for the coup he can absolve the United States of any lingering guilt over the toppling of Mossadegh. Through the weaponization of declassified documents, Hook and others in the Trump administration can use history to justify its current policy towards Iran. This kind of willful misinterpretation must be opposed if a broader understanding of the legacy of the 1953 coup is ever to be reached.
The Trump administration’s Iran policy relies on distorting and twisting reality, whether that involves rewriting Iranian history so that it makes the U.S. look better or inventing lies about the Iranian government’s current ambitions to justify more aggressive actions. Hook’s revisionism here is just one piece of a larger propaganda effort to sell the administration’s policy of regime change in all but name. It is particularly absurd that administration officials that are actively working to bring down the present Iranian government would bother to minimize the U.S. role in overthrowing a previous one, but that is what they are doing. Just as the administration insults the Iranian people by strangling them economically and then claiming to be on their side, they presume to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs while denying that the U.S. did so in one of the most famous episodes of U.S. interference on record.
Brew strongly objects to Hook’s remarks:
This interpretation flies in the face of decades of scholarship. It represents an overt attempt to mislead, confuse, and misdirect people regarding the contents of the 2017 FRUS volume, which Hook either hasn’t read or is deliberately twisting to fit current U.S. policy.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Hook has tried to mislead and misdirect people about something related to Iran. As the administration’s special representative and head of the Iran Action Group, Hook has been one of the leading officials involved in orchestrating the policy of collective punishment that they call “maximum pressure.” Among other things, Hook has pushed the administration’s lie that Iran still seeks nuclear weapons, and demanded last month that Iran “end the pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
The administration’s Iran policy is built on lies. They make things up about what the nuclear deal does and doesn’t allow. They make things up about the extent of Iran’s role in and responsibility for war in Yemen. They conveniently ignore that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program and hasn’t had anything close to one in more than a decade and a half, and then assert that Iran seeks nuclear weapons. The administration holds Iran responsible for things it hasn’t done and accuse them of doing things they aren’t doing. In distorting and misrepresenting the U.S. role in the 1953 coup, Hook is doing more of what he and the rest of the administration have done for the last two years.