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US planning Velvet Revolution in Iran?

Posted: 2008-11-19
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The US opened an office of Iranian affairs in the State Department - overseen by Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney - and tasked the unit with drawing up plans to overthrow the Iranian government. The US Congress has reportedly appropriated more than $120 million to fund the project.

(Press TV)

A former senior Iranian diplomat says the White House is making strenuous efforts to orchestrate a "Velvet Revolution" in Iran.

Mohammad-Javad Zarif, the former Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, claimed on Tuesday that Washington is conspiring to foment discord among Iranians in order to topple the Tehran government.

"The concept of a velvet revolution in Iran should not be considered as groundless fear," said the Iranian scholar.

Under the 1981 Algiers Accords signed between the US and Iran in the aftermath of US embassy takeover in Tehran, the White House is obliged to refrain from interfering in Iran's 'internal affairs'.

"The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs," reads Point 1 of the accords, which led to the release of American hostages.

The US had previously been charged with leading the 1953 coup against the then democratically elected Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, who nationalized the country's oil industry.

Despite its obligations under the 1981 treaty, the US opened an office of Iranian affairs in the State Department and tasked the unit with drawing up plans to overthrow the Iranian government.

The office has launched the 'Democracy Program' initiative, which has been shrouded in the cloth of secrecy since its inception and is overseen by Elizabeth Cheney -- the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney.

The US Congress has reportedly appropriated more than $120 million to fund the project.

Zarif argued on Tuesday that because of the anti-Iran White House moves, Tehran has been forced to adopt a 'reactive policy' toward Washington.

"American officials have been inviting Iranian figures to so-called scientific seminars over the past few years. However, when the Iranians attend these sessions, they realize they have gathered to discuss measures to topple the Iranian government," he was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

Regarding recent reports of a US initiative to open an interests section in Tehran, Zarif suggested the move would be in line with Washington's 'regime change' project.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in July that US Congressional leaders had secretly agreed to President George W. Bush's $400-million funding request for a major escalation in covert operations inside Iran.

According to Hersh, actions permitted under the secret directive include 'the assassination of targeted officials' as well as funding anti-Iran terrorist groups such as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and the Jundullah militants, stationed in areas bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier in April, Iran claimed to have disbanded a terrorist cell supported by Britain, Israel and the United States responsible for killing 13 civilians and injuring more than 200 Iranians in a blast in the southern city of Shiraz.
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