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Why Iran distrusts the U.S.

In 2013, George Washington University released newly declassified documents that confirmed the CIA was behind the 1953 overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

The covert operation was carried out to prevent the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry and to protect the British oil monopoly. The Shah of Iran emerged as the appointed head of state.

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More than 60 years later our role in overthrowing that democratically elected government still colors our relations with Iran and heightens suspicions among its leaders that the economic sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear ambitions are more about destabilizing the country in order to open it to exploitation by Western corporations than about national security concerns.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party are contributing to the fear of a nuclear-armed Iran in order to justify their own belligerent policies. Fortunately, many Israeli citizens do not agree with Mr. Netanyahu's dire predictions, and I hope they will vote to change course on Election Day in Israel later this month.

Jeff Crabtree, Baltimore

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