Will Iran Choose 1,953 Sites?

by | Jan 7, 2020

Trump tweets that he has selected 52 sites in Iran, including cultural sites, for bombing if the Iranian regime retaliates for Trump’s assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Why 52? That “represent[s] the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago,” Trump noted.

I wonder if that will prompt Iran to select 1,953 American targets for its own retaliation. After all, 1953 was the year that the CIA carried out a coup in Iran, overthrowing a democratically elected prime minister and reinstalling the brutal monarch (shah) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his feared Israeli-trained secret police, the SAVAK. The hostage-taking, which lasted 444 days, occurred after the 1979 revolution in Iran, which drove the hated shah from power and established the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As for the reference to targeting cultural sites, this was Trump at his pettiest. Imagine destroying the symbols of ancient Persian civilization just for spite! It brought outcries from around the world, and even the US secretary of defense said those sites would not be touched.

About Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest book is Coming to Palestine.

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