Among the difficulties posed to any new American relations with Iran is the profound ignorance regarding US foreign policy in the Middle East and Iran by members of the media as well as teachers. The teaching of world history by American secondary teachers must rank among the greatest examples of ignorance conveying more ignorance. Few, if any students in high school, let alone college ever learn about the CIA and British plot in 1953 to overthrow a democratically elected Iranian government that was secular in composition. Mossadegh was overthrown because he had this strange idea oil found in Iran belonged to the people, not to America and British oil companies.
Robert Naiman, writing in the Guatamala Times, urges President Obama to issue an apology to the Iranian people for the actions of representatives of the United States in orchestrating the ouster of a democratic government. “Most Americans,” says Naiman, “would be justifiable proud of President Obama if he would apologize to Iran for the 1953 overthrow of Iranian democracy.” It would send a signal to the world that honesty in government now rules in the United States as well as respect for the dignity of all people.