Steven Travers is a former screenwriter who has authored 30 books.
A USC graduate, Steven Travers has played professional baseball, attended law school, worked in politics, served in the Army, and was a sports agent before finding his calling as a writer. He has written for the San Francisco Examiner, L.A. Times, StreetZebra and Gentry magazine.
Today from the Oval Office of the White House I address the citizenry of America, the
peoples of the world, in particular those of the Muslim Middle East, Sunni and Shiite
alike; and most notably the people of Iran. I want to start off by apologizing to the Iranian
people for the events of 1952-53, which include the CIA-sponsored overthrow of the
elected Mohammad Mossadegh, and his replacement by the Shah Mohammad Reza
To effectively judge the actions taken by the CIA and the administration of President
Dwight Eisenhower, one must consider that they did not possess the ability to see the
future when they made the decisions they did. Consider the world they lived in.
The United States had just concluded its second major war in eight years. Some three-
quarters of a million American service members had died in World War II and Korea.
Nobody had witnessed greater carnage, destruction and evil than Dwight David
Eisenhower. He was suddenly given control of a new weapon, the Central Intelligence
Agency, and decided through this weapon to effect desired political events not through
war and death, but through spy craft.
Consider that we had recently defeated Nazi Germany, murderers of 12 million people in
the Holocaust, responsible for a war that killed 60 million. In addition to that we had
defeated the Japanese empire, responsible for the death of some 15 million civilians and
military personnel. Beyond that, we had just fought a war with Communism. President Eisenhower did not know in 1953 that Communism would by this date have murdered upwards of 120 million human beings, but he did know by 1953 that Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union had murdered between 25-30 million people.
Unfortunately, for reasons I cannot fathom, in an election held in 1952 the Iranian people
chose to enter the “sphere of influence” of the Communist world, which at that time
controlled close to three-fifths of the planet. It does not take a genius to understand why President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to replace Mossadegh with the Shah, who was an ally of the United States in the Cold War until the Iranian people chose to make a change and replace him. Regardless of Ike’s inability to see into the future, I am taking this opportunity to say to the Iranian people the U.S. was wrong, and I apologize for our mistake. Today Iran has the opportunity to prove America made a mistake, or disprove my assertion and reinforce President Eisenhower’s historical reasoning.
I say this because I am also taking this opportunity to alert the Iranian citizenry that a
new era is upon us; and in this new era, you once again have the opportunity to rise up
and make a change, as you did in 1978-79. Use your intelligence, your intellect and your natural human goodness to learn from what you did wrong in 1978-79, as the American
founders did when forming a “more perfect union” during our own revolution against the
King of England. As we have when we have been wrong, as we have been more than
I wish to make it clear I am not advocating “regime change,” as such. Iranians must
decide the future of Iran. You may desire Democracy. Events of the past 20 years
indicate that liberal Democracy as practiced in the West may not be to the liking of a
Muslim government, but peace, with America, with your neighbors, and with the world,
must be the result of this new government. It could be authoritarian, a committee could
run it, it could be a theocracy, or a form of government not yet tried, but it cannot be
Socialist or Islamo-Fascist. Socialism and Communism has caused the murder of 120
million. Islamo-Fascism has resulted in Muslims killing 11 million of their fellow
Muslims just since 1947. It need not love and glorify the U.S. and our allies, but it must
tolerate us and respect our aims. You will find us agreeable and helpful. You will prosper
working with us, whereby on your current course, working against us, you will add
yourself to the list of all those who opposed not just America, but the idea of America,
over the past 200-plus years.
I do not advocate violent overthrow. Your current government will kill millions of you if
you give them a reason, but you can pressure them by sheer numbers, which I know exist.
Your government knows these numbers exist too. Peaceful Muslims who are tired of
killing now must replace the murderers in charge. I can assure you that my government
will not allow the death and removal of heads of state either friendly, or at least willing to
maintain peace with the United States, as the previous President allowed happen to Hosni
Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
I promise that the United States does not advocate colonialism or “endless wars.” We
want to leave the Middle East. If Iran will stop sponsoring terror and not threaten Iraq, we
would love to remove the great majority of our forces. We are producing our own oil at a
record pace and no longer need to maintain the Middle East as our source of energy. This
means we can begin anew with a fresh, equal approach to peace and friendship. We have
no desire to occupy Iran.
We know from experience what happens when we destroy an existing government and
then try to nation build. If we were to do that to Iran, we would have to install American
soldiers who would draw terrorist elements from ISIS, Hezbollah, and others. Turkey and
Russia would no doubt fill the vacuum. If we are an empire, we are an empire of ideas, of
alliances, not colonies and staging grounds. We have great respect for the Iranian people. The Persian Empire was once the great civilization of the world and gave us great treasures. There are many wonderful aspect of Persia that can be bestowed as gifts upon the world, but your current government has a fantasy that that Persian Empire can be restored only by force through nuclear violence or blackmail.
We cannot allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. It will not happen. If you are our friends
you will not need them. We can build security between ourselves. We can create business
alliances with you that allow your educated populace to thrive. We will not furtively
deliver bags of cash to you in the manner of a Prohibition rum runner; rather we will help
you get rich on legitimate trade, using the skill and industry of your people, making use
of your great natural resources in a way that benefits all.
We can help you with all the energy needs a great, industrial power has, but we cannot
allow your current government to have nuclear weapons to threaten or even use on your
neighbors near or far.
The fact is that I, from the office I sit in, within the next few minutes, can turn the leaders
of your government into fire and protect out interests so that any retaliation would be
futile. I hold this Damocles sword over Iran as I speak. Why do I not use it? Adolph
Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Saddam Hussein; these are just a few of many rulers
and tyrants who, if they had the power I have now, would have used this power to destroy
their enemies. If the leaders of your government, God forbid, had this power, and could
get away with it, they would use it to destroy the U.S., and other countries they deem
enemies. But I will not use this power because I believe in God, and know God does not
want this kind of power unleashed on the world. I do not wish to face the wrath of God in
I am a sinner but Jesus came to the Earth to save sinners who ask for His forgiveness,
which I do. The Bible, the Book as Muslims call it, is filled with stories of sinful, flawed
men who God uses to do His work. It is important that people understand they must be on
God’s side, not the other way around. That said, however, I believe that both God and
Satan involve themselves in the affairs of man. I believe God has favored America
throughout our history in order that a small group of agrarian colonies could rise to the
point of moral power, enough to end colonialism, slavery, Nazism, Communism, and
probably some day Islamo-Fascism. Be with God. Do not pervert His good works. The
same Creator who made me made you. There is no difference between us. We are the
same. When we die, we will meet our eternal destiny, and each will be judged the same
Make this the great moment of the Persian people; the moment when you rose up and
threw off the shackles of oppression and found your destiny. Make the 21 st Century that
time when Islam healed the world. Make it your century. Make it our century.
Thank you. May God bless America, Iran and all the world.