If Iran Were America (And We Were Iran): A Timeline

This is for anyone interested in understanding what American foreign policy has done to people in Iran.  (For simplicity’s sake, I have combined the roles of the USA and the UK, as the USA was assuming control of the former British Empire at this time.)

1953: Coup in America

Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President of the United States, a country that receives most of its income from oilfields in Pennsylvania and Texas. The oil is pumped and distributed by the Persian-American Oil Company, owned by Iran. 

Fulfilling a major campaign promise, Eisenhower reviews the oil production-sharing agreements between Iran and the USA.  As Iran is taking more than 90% of American oil revenues, Eisenhower attempts to renegotiate this arrangement on more even terms for his country.

Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran is outraged at this show of “American greed.”  Instead of negotiating, Iran sends its intelligence agents to carry out a policy of regime change.  They hire an assortment of American street gangs to do the grunt work.

Bombs destroy churches and community centers across the United States. Fliers and pamphlets appear everywhere, claiming that Eisenhower is a member of Communist Party USA.  The Communists, according to the fliers, are destroying churches for Eisenhower to help liberate Americans from the “opiate of the masses.” Local newspapers, covertly funded by Iran, echo these ideas.  American public opinion is inflamed against President Eisenhower.

The Iranians bribe unpatriotic generals like L.L. Limnitzer to lead the coup against Eisenhower.  The Iranians want an authoritarian, fiercely anti-Communist dictator who will never attempt anything resembling nationalization of the American oilfields.  After carefully weighing the options, Iran installs Senator Joseph McCarthy as their puppet king to rule the USA.

1953–1979: The McCarthy Era

King Joe McCarthy rules with an iron fist for 26 years.  Though initially reluctant to obey a foreign government, King Joe soon embraces his sweeping new powers, as well as the constant flow of Iranian aid and weapons that makes it all possible.  Iranian intelligence agents create, for McCarthy’s regime, the Department to Surveil and Vet Americans for the King (SAVAK).

Hundreds of thousands of “suspected Communists” disappear from American society, in a general purge of teachers, newspaper reporters, and numerous government officials.  It is rumored they are vanishing into a gulag of secret prisons in northern Alaska built by Brown & Root.

1978–1979: The Christianist Revolution

Under SAVAK rules, large groups of Americans can only congregate in two places: pre-arranged, pro-McCarthy rallies, and houses of worship.  As a result, revolutionary tendencies sprout and grow in churches, led by radical clerics Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Jim Bakker.  With other evangelical leaders, they form the Supreme Council for the Christian Revolution in America (SCCRA), or the “Christian Coalition.”

American Raj: America ... Eric Margolis Best Price: $9.95 (as of 06:15 UTC - Details)

Anger at King Joe McCarthy, and the Iranians who control him, reaches a fever pitch in 1979.  Millions of young Americans throw their support behind the SCCRA.  The young people may not agree with all of the radical clerics’ goals, but they cannot abide the brutal McCarthy era any longer.  They overthrow the oppressive dictatorship of King Joe.

In the course of this, American revolutionaries seize control of the Iranian embassy in Washington, from which the puppet McCarthy government was controlled.  Iranian TV manages to feature this “American hostage crisis” night after night for 444 days without mentioning that America had suffered for decades under a puppet regime installed by Iran. 

Eventually, a secret deal is reached between the Christian Coalition – now the rulers of America – and Iran, and the hostages are released.

1980–1988: The America-Mexico War

The Iranians have previously maneuvered one of their long-time Mexican intelligence assets, whom we’ll call “José Husseino,” into the position of dictator of Mexico.  Now they provide their pet dictator with arms, aid and intelligence, and launch Mexico into an invasion of the United States.

Ideally, this policy will topple the revolutionary Christianist government in Washington.  Failing that, the Iranian leadership hopes Mexico will seize the oil-rich province of Texas, denying revenue to the new Washington government, while keeping Texas oil within the Iranian “sphere of influence.”

1988: Oops

As it turns out, Americans are not about to surrender their country to the Mexican army.  They fight hard to repel the foreign invader.  Millions die on in each country, and infrastructure along both sides of the border is bombed into rubble. 

Iran provides the Mexican regime with chemical and biological weapons, which the Mexican dictator Husseino wields against American soldiers and civilians alike.  The war wounded and maimed number in the millions.  Long trenches are dug to bury the American dead. The USA must cope with a generation of chemically-burned war orphans.

Husseino also uses these chemical weapons to crush an uprising in Chihuahua, earning himself the nickname ‘Murderer of Mexico City.’  The Iranian regime shows no concern about this humanitarian catastrophe, and continues supplying weapons of mass destruction to Husseino.

The war is fought to a draw.  Husseino claims victory while his soldiers beat a hasty retreat back to Mexico.

1991: Oops again

Iranian politicians realize they have inadvertently built Mexico into one of the world’s most powerful militaries.  Mexico now threatens Iranian interests in the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America.  When Husseino shows interest in invading the small neighboring country of Guatemala, the Iranian government decides to encourage him.  The Iranian ambassador allegedly told Husseino:

We have no opinion on your American-American conflicts, such as your dispute with Guatemala. Secretary of State Mohammed Mossadegh III has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Mexico in the 1960s, that the Guatemala issue is not associated with Iran.

The Rendon Group is hired to cook up anti-Mexican propaganda.  A teenage girl relates a sobbing story of the brutality of Mexican soldiers against innocent Guatemalan babies.  The story is reported and repeated through every news outlet in Iran. (Years later, it will be revealed as propaganda.  This, however, is never widely reported to the Iranian public, nor referenced by major journalists when the next round of wartime propaganda rolls out.)

The Politically Incorr... Thomas E. Woods Jr. Best Price: $1.51 Buy New $8.71 (as of 06:15 UTC - Details)

Iran invades Guatemala and Mexico, destroying most of Husseino’s military.  They leave their formerly-favored dictator in power, however.  The Iranian State Department advises that removing Husseino will lead to turmoil and civil war in Mexico, bogging down Iranian troops for an unknown number of years.  Also, the removal of Husseino could only empower the hated Americans. Tehran decides not to go there.

Guatemala is now home to several new Iranian bases, which keep a close eye on events in Mexico, the United States, and other Iranian interests in the region.

1991–2001: The Interbellum Years

The destitute people of the United States struggle to recover from the massive loss of life and property during the America-Mexico War of the 1980s.  We watch as Iran enforces a “no-fly” zone over Mexico, and we hope our troubles with those two countries are over.  Perhaps they will finally leave us alone.

Still, Iran wields its enormous international influence to impose economic sanctions on both Mexico and the United States.  Half a million children die from malnutrition, while depleted uranium left over from the “Gulf Coast War” of 1991 sows an epidemic of cancer throughout Mexico and the southern half of the United States.

Iran covertly funnels millions of dollars to any and every dissatisfied group in America.  The KKK, the Black Panthers, the John Birch Society, and even the Vermont Secessionists experience a surge in anonymous foreign donations.

9/11/2001: 23 Jumada al-Akhar

An airplane crashes into Azadi Tower (or, interestingly, “Freedom Tower”) in Iran.  Within minutes, “counterterrorism experts” emerge from the woodwork to blame a relatively obscure terrorist group in Cuba.  No other suspects, not even obvious contenders like Russian intelligence, are ever mentioned.  A Latin American passport is found in the rubble of Azadi Square, and this apparently proves the first guessers correct.

Iranians are stunned to learn, via their news media, that the West is full of murderous killers driven by an extreme, violent religion.  Apparently, these “Christofascists” are everywhere, and they hate Muslims for their way of life, especially Iranians.  Iranians learn the West is full of groups that would kill and die for the chance to remake the Middle East in their own image.

(Hold on, I lost track of which was the real timeline and which was imaginary…OK, I’m back.)

October 2001: Iran Invades Cuba

Iran invades Cuba and topples the Castro regime, in spite of their previously close alliance.  The United States offers its help to Iran, an attempt at friendship and solidarity against a common enemy after the horrific 23 Jumada attack, but Iran rebuffs America.

1/29/2002: Axis of Evil

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (we’ll say) pronounces that the United States, Mexico and Venezuela constitute an “Axis of Evil” that threatens the world.  He cites America’s history of genocide, slavery, and segregation, its wars against the Philippines and Vietnam.

American citizens are puzzled.  Our president and Venezuela’s have been threatening each other for some time.  And didn’t we just fight a bloody, protracted eight-year war against the invading Mexicans?  How can anyone believe we are three allied nations?

Iran accuses all three countries of developing nuclear weapons.  This, too, puzzles the Americans.  Iran has tens of thousands of nukes, and is the only country that ever actually used them. (Through baroque circumstances too complex to describe here, Iran obliterated two Argentinean cities in the 1940s).

America is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows us to create nuclear power plants for peaceful energy.  America needs nuclear power –the Pennsylvania oil is long gone, and even the rich Texas fields are playing out.  We will need alternative sources of energy to survive as a civilization.

However, this sort of logic is denounced as “pro-American propaganda” in the halls of Tehran.

March 2003

After endless harassment, Mexico’s José Husseino fails to divest himself of the weapons of mass destruction he does not possess.  Iran invades and occupies Mexico.  No WMD are found, though it takes the Iranian government a year or two to gradually acknowledge this.  No matter.  Mexicans suffered horrendously under the Husseino dictatorship.  Remember how he gassed the poor Chihuahuans?  (Forget the context, or where he got the weapons, just remember that it happened.)  They should welcome Iranian occupation, even if the number of violent deaths soars!


After a quick victory over the Husseino government, Iran begins hurling threats at America and Venezuela, the other “Axis” members.  However, Iran fails to neutralize the fierce Mexican resistance, and the situation devolves into factional fighting as various interests compete for power.

Iran responds by stepping up the threats against America.

August 6, 2005: America Radicalizes

In response to the drumbeat of threats from Iran, Americans vote out the somewhat-less-hawkish Bill Clinton (serving his, er, third term) and we elect a new, “tougher” prime minister to protect us: militant religious fanatic George W. Bush.

Iranian newspapers tell the world that “W,” as his brainwashed followers call him, believes in a crazed End Times cult that expects God to destroy the world at any moment.  Iranian politicians argue that such a fanatical extremist, with a head full of Armageddon and the Second Coming, can never be trusted with even one nuclear weapon.

The new Bush regime immediately cracks down on dissent and any sign of “Easternization” among Americans.  Body piercings, tattoos, and belly shirts are immediately outlawed.  Websites, from LewRockwell.com, to the American Conservative, to the Huffington Post, plus thousands of others, vanish without explanation overnight.

A Foreign Policy of Fr... Paul, Ron Best Price: $0.25 Buy New $8.85 (as of 06:20 UTC - Details)

Congressmen Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich disappear into the Alaskan gulag.  Filmmakers Michael Moore and Alex Jones are forced to share a prison cell, to their deep mutual annoyance.  Fortunately, the prison was built by Halliburton.  All of them escape in a general riot, in which the prisoners simply kick the walls until they topple over.

The New Jersey Department of Education sends Max Raskin to re-education camp.  He stands accused of chanting “Death to the state!” rather than the legally mandated “Death to Iran!” at a football pep rally.  Naturally, there will be no hearing to determine if the accusation is true. (It is.)

October 9, 2006: Boom.

The world is stunned when Hugo Chavez of Venezuela detonates a small nuclear bomb.  Now that Venezuela is a nuclear power, Iranian leaders no longer speak of an “Axis of Evil.”  Iran dispatches ambassadors to Caracas to find a “reasonable solution” to Venezuela’s entrance into the nuclear club.

This sets off high-level discussion between Ayatollahs Robertson and Dobson. (Ayatollah Bakker has been disgraced and removed from power, while Ayatollah Falwell is away having frosted-doughnut-related surgery, and is not long for this world.)  Maybe, their thinking goes, America should develop a nuclear bomb to deter Iran, considering Iran’s long history of aggression and subterfuge against America.  They recognize the difference between Iran’s treatment of nuclear Venezuela versus non-nuclear Mexico.


Some level of trade across the USA-Mexico border continues, as it always has.  However, Mexican society has disintegrated into endless conflict, and tens of millions of war refugees pour into the United States.  The American government sends agents to monitor the situation in Mexico and search for solutions to the instability along the southern border.

Iran cites this involvement as proof that the USA is secretly behind the Mexican insurgency.  The idea that the Mexicans themselves want to resist the foreign, Iranian occupation is still not allowed on Iranian television.

Iran steps up its threats against the United States, claiming that America is “very close” to building a nuclear weapon. (Iranian intelligence disagrees, but this is not exactly emphasized by Iranian media.)  Iranian aircraft carriers and warships appear in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coast of New England.  American children stand on piers in Maine and Florida to watch the Iranian war games.

The Iranian people, meanwhile, are weary of the prolonged, apparently endless wars in Cuba and Mexico.  They have no desire for war with America, but neither do they control their government.

Ahmadinejad claims Bush is threatening to “wipe Canada off the map,” though this has long been revealed as an inaccurate translation.  (Bush’s actual words: “Where the heck is Canada?  I can’t find it on the map.”)

The world holds its breath, wondering if Iran will hit America with bombs, or even a pre-emptive nuclear strike, and ignite World War III, which will likely engulf the Americas.  The future of civilization depends on the restraint and rationality of a foreign power whose leadership, so far, has displayed no evidence of possessing either trait.

July 5, 2007