The Sordid History of British Manipulation of
American Democracy Series: Read it and weep!
"IRAN WAS OF increasing concern to the 6I. The Imperial Throne was under siege from an alliance against nature between Shi'ite fundamentalists and Marxists. Apart from unsubtle repression by the Iranian secret service, the SAVAK, and by the armed forces, little was being done to break the unholy alliance. SAVAK was unversed in the arts of psychological action."
Brian Crozier, Free Agent 1941-1991
Brian Crozier knew a lot about alliances against nature. After "spending several days closeted" with General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, helping the dictator draft (in Spanish) fifteen clauses for a new Constitution, he turned his attention in early 1978 to Iran and decided the Shah needed his advice. Warning the Shah that: "The CIA had virtually collapsed and its operational capacity had been reduced to zero," Crozier counseled that the British alone could not save him and offered him the services of his "shadowy organization," known as the 6I. A few months later the Shah agreed and Crozier returned with a team of advisors including the Shah's old friend Antoine Pinay of the Pinay Cercle.
Combined with Vietnam, Iran was cause for a fevered panic inside Brian Crozier's right-wing fascist circles of power. The Cold War strategy of suppressing Communism with military force had failed spectacularly in Vietnam and was now crumbling in Iran and Crozier, his prote'ge' Robert Moss and Zbigniew Brzezinski were pushing the idea (with no proof) that Moscow's meddling was behind it. In his book on the Iran fiasco, All Fall Down, former National Security Council staff member Dr. Gary Sick acknowledges Moss's undeserved influence on Washington's policy-making by citing Moss's December 2, 1978, article in the New Republic, "Who's meddling in Iran?"
"Brzezinski" reproduced the Moss article, circulated it to the president and other top policy makers, and cited it in policy meetings for weeks. Although Moss cited no real evidence and had no apparent qualifications as a specialist on Iran, his article attained the status of a major document in U.S. policy-making circles at a key moment.
Moss was of course wrong. As Gary Sick further cites, "the central organizing force of the revolution" was the religious network operating out of the mosques under the strategic control of Khomeini, and not the Soviets. But the idea that it was the Soviets and not their own policy failures that were wrong, was just what Washington's bureaucracy wanted to hear.
The Shah's Persian "empire" was at its core a backward, impoverished third-world country with enormous social problems and a crushing military budget. According to a 1974 Newsweek cover story America's vital Iranian ally had spent $4 billion of his $20-billion-dollar oil revenues on arms purchases from the United States in the first six months of 1973 alone, acquiring 289 fighter jets, 500 attack helicopters, 700 tanks, and six destroyers. $10 billion in foreign aid had gone to foreign governments to "expand his sphere of influence" while SAVAK had grown into one of the largest (and most feared) intelligence services in the world with somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000 full-time personnel and an estimated 3 million (12 percent of the population) informers.
Obsessed with the Soviet's "grand design" to conquer the Middle East, the Shah had even constructed an invasion force for neighboring Afghanistan just in case Prince Mohammed Daoud fell to Soviet subversion, but his plan proved useless given the absence of popular support for Daoud following the bloody April 1978 Marxist coup.
The CIA's best-laid plans for their "policeman in the Gulf" had proved an expensive farce that the U.S. had no strategy for rescuing and, out of desperation, the Shah came begging to Brian Crozier for help. "In November of 1978, the Shah sent the top civilian in the SAVAK hierarchy to London to see me," Crozier writes in his autobiography Free Agent. "I arranged for him to be closeted with Robert Moss for a whole week. The outcome was a Conflict Study dated November 1978, 'The Campaign to Destabilize Iran' by Robert Moss. Shortly after the study had appeared, the Iranian charge d'affaires informed me that the Shah had authorized a first annual payment of -1 million to The 6I for a psychological-action operation on the lines we had suggested to him."
Crozier found a welcome audience with the Shah as he had with numerous other fascist dictators like Chile's Augusto Pinochet and Spain's Francisco Franco and would quite soon with U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The Shah had been installed by the U.S. and Britain at the height of its post-World War II power. But confidence in America's omnipotence had ended with Vietnam and Europe's old imperialists were quickly filtering back into their old colonies with their old habits to pick up where they'd left off. The British had been running covert and overt operations in the region since the 18th century. Generations of sons, grandsons and great grandsons of operatives who'd served the British Raj remained on the scene as journalists, businessmen and informal agents. One word from Crozier or Britain's MI6 intelligence service was all they needed to reactivate.
Joining Brian Crozier and his prote'ge' Robert Moss in engaging the Shah that autumn was a senior Chinese intelligence officer and veteran supporter of Mao by the name of Qiao Shi. John K. Cooley writes, "In September of 1978, on the way home to Beijing from one of his Balkan missions, Qiao Shi stopped over in Tehran to see the Shah of Iran, who was ill with cancer. Qiao Shi proposed to the Shah a new alliance to thwart Soviet expansion, especially in neighboring Afghanistan. Agreement was reached to undertake a covert war in Afghanistan, apparently independent of CIA plans for the same country."
According to Cooley, shortly after the Maoist Qiao Shi's agreement with the Shah's SAVAK Chief, General Nasser Moghadam, "Chinese agents began to move into position in Pakistan. Liaising with Pakistan's ISI was the Iranian ambassador in Islamabad, former head of SAVAK." Instigated by Brzezinski and backed by the CIA and MI6, the so called China-Iran-Pakistan axis began to flourish with Qiao Shi and other "senior Chinese military intelligence officials," adding to Brzezinski's ongoing destabilization.
The American Ambassador Adolph Dubs needn't have worried about Hafizullah Amin's well-known affiliation to the CIA. He had far bigger problems. Not only were Afghan rebels openly training in Pakistan but by the late fall of 1978 Chinese intelligence risked a Sino/Soviet war by training Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Islamists over the Chinese border in Xinjiang province. In addition there was the CIA's Saudi-funded stockpile of misfits and malcontents roaming the countryside, manning the Safari Club's 1,500-strong army of assassins and enforcers. And last but not least were the Chinese-supported Maoist groups like Setam-i Melli, Sholah Jaweed and SAMA operating from bases on the Pakistan and Iranian borders and programmed by Beijing to bring down their Pashtun oppressor, Hafizullah Amin.