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Why Does Iran Hate America?

Iran descended from the ancient Persian Empire. The Kharaghan Towers are tombs in which two princes were buried a thousand years ago.

Iran descended from the ancient Persian Empire. The Kharaghan Towers are tombs in which two princes were buried a thousand years ago.

Iranians Are A Peaceful People

Modern Iran is the extant incarnation of a three thousand year old culture. Before 1935, it was known as Persia; an ancient civilization with a rich historical pervasion. After numerous Greek, Roman, Mongol, and Ottoman invasions, the Iranians established the Safavid Empire in 1501, and have remained independent ever since. Contrary to popular Western thought, Iran has been a peaceful country for most of its existence. The last time Iran started a war was in 1856, when they attempted to capture Herat from Afghanistan. Indeed, the name Iran comes from the word ‘Aryan’ and literally means Land of the Aryans. Despite usage by the Nazis, Aryan means ‘noble’ and ‘spiritual’ and was ascribed to the Indo-Iranian world over four millennia ago.

Interference in Iranian Politics

Great Britain and Russia had been interfering in Iranian politics for centuries, but this came to a head in 1941 when they invaded Iran and deposed the Shah (the ruler). The Shah had been trying to break ties with Britain and Russia by giving valuable construction contracts to German, Italian and French engineers. When WW2 broke out, this strategy backfired, as Iran was seen as too close to the axis powers. The Shah was forced to abdicate, and the country was conquered to secure Iran’s oil infrastructure and supply lines. The Shah’s son, Pavlavi, was instated as a puppet ruler.

How Did America Become Involved?

America’s involvement in Iran began in 1953. Great Britain had controlled Iran’s oil resources since the start of the twentieth century. When a politician named Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh democratically rose to the position of prime minister, and nationalized the country’s oil industry, Britain enlisted America to restore the status quo. Operation Ajax was a CIA coup that operated from the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The CIA hired mercenaries to protest against Mossadegh, resulting in violent clashes that left almost 300 dead. The coup successfully deposed Mossadegh and installed Shah Pavlavi as absolute dictator of Iran. Mossadegh was sent to prison, while Pavlavi set about crushing all political opposition; turning Iran into a fascist police state. The secret police (SAVAK) tortured and murdered thousands of Iranians. According to an ex-CIA operative, the CIA trained the SAVAK in methods of torture.

It took 50 years for the U.S. government to acknowledge their role in a coup that deposed a democratic government and installed a ruthless dictatorship. To this day, America has never apologized for destroying the will of a nation. Rather, American politicians have used Iranian distrust of their country to escalate tensions further. The current war propaganda paints Iran as a malevolent entity seeking to destroy the free world (see video).

The Iranian Revolution

In 1979, the population rebelled against the murderous oppression that had been forced upon them by America. The Iranian Revolution liberated Iran from the Shah, instating popular leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as Supreme Leader of a theocratic Islamic republic. Shah Pavlavi fled the country and died in exile.

In late 1979, armed Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and accused the Americans of being CIA spies. Khomeini, originally unaware, eventually supported the takeover. The students asked for Shah Pavlavi to be handed over to receive the justice of the people, but the Americans refused to send him back to Iran (Pavlavi had been receiving medical treatment in America). After the Shah died in the summer of 1980, the students demanded the hostages be put on trial for espionage.

Eventually, the release of the hostages was secured in the Algiers Declaration, where the U.S. agreed to release frozen Iranian assets. However, the U.S. reneged on their agreement and refused to return Iran's wealth. Instead, they cut off relations and hoped the theft would go unpunished.

The Iran-Iraq War

After the Iranian revolution, the country was in a fractured and disorganized state. In order to exploit this situation, the ruler of neighboring Iraq, Saddam Hussein, decided to invade Iran in 1980. A bloody and desperate war ensued. Despite Hussein’s early advances that used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Iranian soldiers and civilians, Iraqi troops were pushed back by the Iranian military. Saddam Hussein was forced to agree peace with Iran in 1988.

Even though Iraq was the aggressor in the Iran-Iraq War, the Americans supported Saddam Hussein in his conflict with Iran. Donald Rumsfeld, the then special envoy to President Reagan, can be seen shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983 (see video). He visited again in 1984 on the same day Iraq launched a chemical weapons attack into Iran.

At the U.N. Security council, America blocked condemnation of Iraq’s chemical weapons attacks. No resolution that criticized Iraq’s use of chemical weapons was passed, despite the wishes of the majority to condemn this use. In 1986 the U.N. Security Council recognized that “chemical weapons on many occasions have been used by Iraqi forces against Iranian forces”, a statement that was opposed by the United States.

America’s excuse for invading Iraq in 2003 was to remove weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. Suffice to say, the hypocrisy was sickening, the public ignorance of history was shameful, and the loss of life was the biggest tragedy of the 21st century.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Iran Today

Despite America’s best efforts, the Iranian government remains an Islamic theocracy under the control of the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Khamenei was previously the elected President of Iran (1981-1989), and is supported by the Iranian people. The Supreme Leader is in charge of the military and has the final decision on all matters. The second highest authority is the elected President of Iran, currently Hassan Rouhani.

Iran and the United States have had no diplomatic ties since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. There continues to be antagonism between the two countries, with US economic sanctions killing thousands of people by depriving them of access to medicines and medical equipment: a situation that became worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the US assassinated Iran's top general, beloved by the Iranian people, as part of Donald Trump's attempts to trigger a military conflict with the nation.

The Path to Peace Between America and Iran

Since WW2, the United States has contributed directly or indirectly to the deaths of millions of Iranians. By deposing a democratic government in Iran, America subjected the population to a ruthless dictator who murdered and tortured thousands. By refusing to hand over Shah Pavlavi, America denied the Iranian people justice. By supplying Saddam Hussein with weaponry and blocking U.N. attempts to curb Saddam’s use of chemical weapons, America contributed to the deaths of millions of Iranians. The current tension between the two nations can only be understood in this historical context. The Iranians have every reason to distrust America.

So, why does Iran hate America? It’s not for the pseudo-religious reasons popularized by the government-sanctioned American media. The distrust comes from a history of America blocking the rights and freedoms of the Iranian people, and subjecting them to death and destruction. For a nation that prides itself on freedom and liberty, America has done more to destroy it elsewhere in the world than any other country. Like Americans themselves did in 1776, people can and will fight against it.

The path to peace involves acknowledgement of this history, and reconciliation, but there are many obstacles on this path, including a patriotic belief in American (or Iranian) supremacy, the war profiteers and weapons manufacturers who prefer a dangerous world, and politicians who, through either of these influences, are stuck in their ways.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Laura on January 03, 2020:

Two wrongs don't make a right and there are two sides to every coin. The Iranians have killed a lot of US soldiers. Should you not hold Brittain accountable for bringing in the US in the 50's? It's clear that the CIA did a lot of damage back in the 50's and 60's and also into the 70's and not just with Iran!. US citizens and even the current government cannot correct what the CIA did in the past. Eleanore is completely right about the oil and the Bush family. But it's not just the republicans, there were some greedy Dems and big corporations who were involved. Either way, its going to be about the money. Neither side will choose to be peaceful until our planet is being invaded by aliens from another planet and maybe then we'll figure out that we need each other. But all aside, for Iran to say they hate Americans, then they hate their families and friends, who came over to become citizens and live her. Thanks for sharing this information.

Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker from Old Bridge, New Jersey on February 16, 2018:

Americans don't hate Iranians. Republicans do. Face facts. Was it the right of the U.S. CIA to depose the Shah of Iran? Then, when the CIA installed a doppleganger, said doppleganger double crossed the US and the US government then tried desperately to replace the Shah they helped deposed.

No need for denials. It's already in the US history books.

But, back to the reason "Republicans" hate Iran...It has THE largest oil fields in the Middle East. Iran has always been an enemy of Saudi Arabia or at the very least Saudis consider Iranian oil to be huge competition for market share.

When the book, "American Dynasty" by Kevin Phillips was written, the author provided proof of just how closely linked the Bush/Walkers were with Saudis.

Much of the Big Oil investments of the Bush/Walker family is tied up in Saudi Oil. So naturally, Iranian oil on open markets had to be sanctioned in order to hand Saudi Oil a Middle Eastern oil monopoly.

But, there's more to the reason Republicans in particular hate the Iranian government. Iran, like Iraq, is as sovereign a nation as the US. It's far more difficult to do in Iran what the US did in Iraq.

First off, Republicans love to imply that Iran is a full out Theocratic, autocratic, dictatorship. Compare that to what Putin has done in Russia. You see the picture of what dictatorship really is.

Iranians do not allow their elections to be rigged. Russians are now having to deal with Putin's constant election rigging and they are growing ever more militant about it.

Iranian men and women are, by and large, hugely educated. In fact, it may surprise some that several of the sons and daughters of top Iranian officials attended Princeton University.

I know this because I worked with a young, female Iranian biochemist on staff at our parent company. She stated that in Iran, education is the "greater part of their culture and society." And why not? Before it was Iran, it was the Persian Empire.

Levi on August 27, 2017:

Thank you for this article. I have learned that when something sounds too one-sided it usually is and this article is one of the most one-sided I have read in a while. You inspired me to learn more about Iran's history while you supplied me with the answer that brought me to this article in the first place. So again I thank you for this beautiful piece of propaganda.

Mohammad Rajabi on August 25, 2017:

we don't hate people that are Americana we hate the government they killed iran and it's peace really they shot down a jet that killed 290 people inculiding 66 children and so on they killed are men it's was iran and iraq to shine and in stemper 2001 11 we killed more then 3000 people BUT u see it's the govement we crashed into the petgone so govment in but a they deserved it u killed over 6000 of our men we kill ur men so then it was never iran thought it was a amaricans that's why we say for no ties we don't want deals unless they become more better and say sorry for oil and stealing ur stuff and the plane we will say ok but still if ur amarican don't panic we're just warning never step into iran space unless u guys say sorry

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 12, 2017:

Thank you for your comment Mona.

To the other person who commented recently, I would be happy to accept a comment from you if you could avoid the swearing. I don't accept swear words on my articles as it could affect traffic. Even though I disagree with your point of view, I found it interesting.

Al on April 12, 2017:

Shah Pahlavi was never a dictator, the students that seized the embassy were communist activists. America and the UK did this because the shah said why should we keep our oil prices low and practically free for the west if they want to raise the price of everything else. You can see these interviews on YouTube, most of this article is western media lies. Iran started living in a dictatorship after the revolution. America has been fooled by the new regime because they thought they can control Iran but the were wrong, now they are having more problems with Iran than ever before. America was in good relation with Iran and the shah rule and it was giving all of its latest military assets to Iran because so that Iran could stand against Russia (hence the communist student thing) The shah paid a large sum of money for americas new jet fighter aircraft that was only offered to Iran but then the revolution happened and that Is the money Iran had demanded back after the revolution but denied. All the plans of the shah for Iran are all on YouTube. He wanted Iran to develop into a country like America but the west saw this as competition. Shah had no interest in war and violence. Shah left his holiday only to fire one of his military officers who suggested they invade Iraq and silence saddam Hussain. Shah said there will be know point, only that countless lives will be lost and the world see us as a bad nation. The famous 'god king' xerxes from 300 (no Persian king was ever referred to as a god) had a son who invaded Athens and burnt it down only to immediately regret it. He ordered his men to rebuild Athens the next day. Iran has been on a downhill fall ever since it was invaded by the arabs in the name of Islam. Some 1000 years ago. Ever since king have been trying to bring them back up but we get people like Jimmy Carter a Nobel peace prize winner, shit on all of it over some oil. Shah had a plan to remove Islam out of Iran and make it a country like the UK and the US. Please know what your talking about before you post a bunch of bullshit.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 06, 2017:

Very interesting and informative. I learned a lot from this article and am grateful to have a wider knowledge of Iran and its relationship with the USA.

Jill Noon on January 31, 2017:

I understand the blow-back with he USA but Iran is an Islamic theocracy. Theocracy is an evil form of government under all religions including Islam. Why could it not go back to secular form of government with checks and balances?

taha on December 24, 2016:

Did you forget 3 july 1988? When us army slaughtered 290 civilians in Iran Flight 655?It is clear that this crime was quite on purpose(US vise president emphasized that America will not apologize for that and soldiers who commit this war crime were awarded Combat Action Ribbons for their behavior, but this matters never opposed in the international criminal court!

alexis on November 06, 2016:

Hi very interesting view point. again as an Iranian I can assure you the majority of the Iranian population don't hate anyone as it considered a very negative/inhuman thing to keep grudges and hate in Persian culture. Also the sins of fore fathers should not be blamed on the new generations. The US is allies mostly with dictator regimes and its Machiavellian way of working with whomever serves their purpose as a pawn and then discarding them is not doing good for US foreign image. People in Washington have to decide whether they want to stand for the values the US was made for (freedom, democracy, human rights, etc) or their own pockets and big corporation interests... Great empires have risen and fallen before and as long as they don't choose the path of justice, the US will be no different. I wish for all the people of the world to realize we need to work together for the betterment of our futures

irainain girl on November 01, 2016:

we dont hate Americans.........they are respectable and respectful .....we hate Americans government and politics.....

negar on July 07, 2016:

i love my leader . Many iran people also . because he standing Opposite Bullying Government America

Ali on March 10, 2016:

Did you forget 3 july 1988? When us army slaughtered 290 civilians in Iran Flight 655?It is clear that this crime was quite on purpose(US vise president emphasized that America will not apologize for that and soldiers who commit this war crime were awarded Combat Action Ribbons for their behavior, but this matters never opposed in the international criminal court!

Dan56 on January 28, 2016:

Strange that there is no mention of the reason the Shah was so brutal and to whom. The Islamist's were the prime targets of his activities since they wanted to establish a theocracy in place of a civil government. Historically accurate piece but not very accurate as to conclusions. My Father worked in Iran prior to the fall of the Shah and the secular Persians liked the Shah the Islamic fanatics backed the Ayatollah's

Don Clemens on July 15, 2015:

A very well-written summary of the situation. It disturbs me greatly that virtually none of the U.S. Presidential candidates on the Right seem to have anything resembling a nuanced approach to what (to me, at least) is a self-imposed, self-defeating antipathy towards a whole group of people who would like to live in peace. Heated rhetoric by "hardliners" of both Iran and the U.S. have done nothing to bring peace about.

mohammad on June 02, 2015:

i im a persian and i say every thing saed about us is wrong we don't have any problem whit any one or any country and we don't want a nuclar weapon

joshua36 on April 09, 2015:

I hope and pray that peace and understanding will win out, that both sides will let the past be, and move on for the sake of future generations. It makes me upset that our government put those people under a dictatorship, and now they think they need nukes to defend themselves. But they need to let go of their nuclear ideas. The world needs less nukes, not more.

Amir on January 08, 2014:

Hi .

I'm an Iranian and live in capital where the Islamic Republic has the most opponents .

Most Iranians who care about their country and have read a few pages of Iran's history in the last 70 - 80 years either hate the US or have negative view about it .

The rest of people are the ones that don't care about the country , our bitter history and the crimes the west especially the US did to the nation and just want a comfortable life .

At the end I need to add that , Iranians are not the monsters the west controlled media has made for people , They are kind , hospitable and lovely people who have been victims of colonialism , unwanted wars and terrorism . we have no problem with American people because we know that they are ordinary people like us but we are against the US politics .

Thank you Thomas for such informative article .

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on November 25, 2013:

Interesting hub. On the long run, the US meddling in foreign affairs has caused more troubles than goods in the world. And a lot of what they call "rogue nations" now are a direct result of the US foreign politics: Iran, Cuba, North Korea, to name just a few.

rmcmillen on April 26, 2013:

We've constantly elected president after president who screwed things up.... Either for us or for the rest of the world... And done so by driving us to one extreme or the other.... If the rest of the world does not hate us I sure wouldn't blame them if they at least thought us to be a huge pack of morons..... Especially for that "8yrs. of Bush" thing

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 26, 2013:

I think most people don't hate Americans, they just hate the American government. Although you guys did elect Bush a second time, and that didn't help one bit!

rmcmillen on April 26, 2013:

As I say in my hub "Will Somebody Tell Me Why?" .... I often wonder why most of the world hates us..... than I wonder.... why wouldn't they?

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 10, 2013:

Thanks thost. I would guess because its the policy of the American government to be antagonistic towards the regime that toppled their ally (The Shah). This policy filters through the media to the people.

thost from Dublin, Ireland on April 09, 2013:

Yes an interesting Hub, thank you. However, why do the Americans hate the Iranians?

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 08, 2013:

Thanks Justsilvie. It's debatable how much post-79 Iran was due to the new regime. The US refused to repay the funds they had withheld after the hostage crisis, and had slapped a number of sanctions on Iran. They did the same to Cuba to discredit that regime. I don't approve of using trade as a weapon. Having said that, I'm not a supporter of the Iranian regime either.

Justsilvie on April 07, 2013:

Interesting Hub! I have met and worked with a number of Iranian refugees and one thing that I remember was one telling me what it was like to live through the 79 Revolution. Life was supposed to get better… It didn’t. It will be interesting in a 100 years or so to see who is shown as the bigger tyrant, the Shah or those who replaced him?

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on April 06, 2013:

Someone, I agree that many Iranians love the US. There is quite a divide between liberals and conservatives in Iran (as far as I know), and thus, opinion on the US is very divided. I guess I was trying to make the point that many Iranians do hate the US, and history reveals that they have a good reason for their hatred. Thank you for your visit and comment.

Thank you also RedWhiteandBlue for your comment. Much appreciated.

RedWhiteandBlue on April 05, 2013:

Thomas, that was certainly an informative hub.

Someone, I agree with you and the part about not every Iranian hating America is certaintly good to hear. In my book as long as you come in peace you are definitely welcome.

Someone on March 24, 2013:

I'm an Iranian

We (people) not only don't hate US, But also we love it

Only the government and about 20% of people hate America

But most of the people like me have no problem with your country. For example one of my biggest dreams is a trip to America.

I hope one day, both Iran and America work together in peace, for a better world

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on March 20, 2013:

Thanks educateurself. With a war possibly looming between the war-mongers and Iran, I agree that these truths are important to get out there. We should learn from our mistakes, not cover them up and pretend it's their fault.

Educateurself on March 19, 2013:

Dear bro an informative hub about those who don't know the real history of Iran their revolution and other matters. I appreciate your writing because you have write what is truth.

Thank your for sharing this hub.

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on March 09, 2013:

Cheers pinkhawk!

pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on March 09, 2013:

Well said... Thank you for this historical knowledge. ^_^

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on March 07, 2013:

Thanks wba. I would agree that the Iranians want the Zionist state to be disbanded. I don't believe they would use military force because there is nothing to suggest they would. They haven't started a war in almost 200 years; they haven't been mobilizing their forces for a strike, and if they did decide to launch a missile, they would be nuked by Israel immediately. This idea that we have to stop Iran before they wipe out Israel is propaganda - just like the idea that Iranians are racists. There are 25,000 Jews living in Iran, they have a place in parliament, and Khomeini declared they are to be protected. The media propaganda suggesting otherwise is trash when compared to the facts.

I wouldn't be so sure about the terrorist links either. Iranian weaponry is used by "terrorists" about as much as American and British weaponry is. If something was manufactured and sold by Iran, I doubt you could call that "support". You could say that America supported the terrorists who attacked the WTC by that argument.

There is corruption in every country.

wba108@yahoo.com from upstate, NY on March 07, 2013:

I had a roommate in school from Iran from 1976-1978. I remember a group of Iranian student in our school were evenly divided in their support of either the Shah or The Ayatollah khomeini. My roommate supported the Shah and told me that the Ayatollah and his supporters were nuts and many of them psychopaths. Granted he was only 18 at the time so his views may have been naïve.

More likely is that any leadership in Iran was very corrupt and oppressive because their society was equally corrupt and oppressive.

Their current leadership are certainly no choir boys, sworn to the destruction of Isreal and are actively supporting terrorists. They would have no problem sending millions of innocent American's to their deaths if they had the means to do so.

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on February 26, 2013:

Thanks for the comment pramodgokhale. I was aware of this information, but wasn't sure enough to put it in. I will edit the article now to put it in, thank you.

pramodgokhale from Pune( India) on February 26, 2013:


I know Iranian revolution in 1979, new government asked USA to return their funds in American banks deposited during Shah's regime .That was their legitimate right.USA denied and then diplomatic and economic relations were cut off. Iran's oil wealth was used to buy American arms and arms industry made huge profits.

Iranians have oil industry which is their livelihood and gains revenue by export.

Iran do not want her wealth to be looted again by any foreign country.

Pramod gokhale

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on November 01, 2012:

Thanks for the comments JKenny and Angie. Like you both say, it's important to get these kinds of truths out there. The battle is fought in the minds of the public, with the belligerents typically being politicians and the historical truth. The politicians will use any means they can to get their way (e.g. false intelligence reports about Iraq), while the truth (we once supported Saddam's use of chemical weapons when it suited us) gets pushed aside. Ultimately, the politicians can't get their way unless they convince the public. With politicians currently pushing for a war with Iran, the historical truth contained in this hub is all I can personally do to fight against it.

Thomas Swan (author) from New Zealand on November 01, 2012:

Thanks for the comments Richus and Safiq. Iran has a beautiful, ancient culture and deserves more respect from the world for their heritage, and the way they've managed to avoid starting any kind of war for almost two centuries. America can't seem to go two decades without starting one. Like you say, Richus, there are other reasons too, such as when America shot down an Iranian passenger jet killing over 200 people.

Angie Jardine from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on October 31, 2012:

Thanks for this clarification, Thomas …

This is a valuable and important hub and as such should really be widely read.

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on October 31, 2012:

Very interesting hub Thomas. It just goes to show that half of writing history is hiding the truth. We keep hearing reports about how dangerous Iran is, but there's actually precious little evidence of this. In my mind, the only danger in the Middle East is Israel, and of course they are supported by the US. Don't get me wrong I love America, but on occasion their foreign policy has been questionable- remember Vietnam.

safiq ali patel from United States Of America on October 30, 2012:

Interesting topic and interesting hub. I often ask myself why Iran and America don't get along. Iran has a beautiful ancient history and a riveting political history.

RichusFridum from Atlanta, Georgia on October 30, 2012:

damn good question. There are many reasons as you described but there are probably otherrs behind the scenes that the public don't know about.

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