CNN's Amanpour on Iran's Distrust of Britain

Christiane Amanpour: US and Britain Plotting Regime Change in Iran

Christiane Amanpour (CNN) CNN's award-winning Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, has reported from war zones and hot spots all over the globe and interviewed numerous world leaders.

Born in London in 1958 to a Persian father (Mohammad Amanpour, an Iranian airline executive) and a British mother, her family soon moved to Iran and lived there until the Shah was overthrown in 1979. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, she began her career in TV journalism. Amanpour is married to Bill Clinton's former State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin, and resides in New York.

CNN Larry King Live- March 2007

Amanpour offered the following commentary on CNN on March 8, 2007, during a segment covering the capture of British sailors by Iran (presented by CNN as a "new Iranian hostage crisis"):

LARRY KING: Christiane Amanpour, what are they saying about this in your neck of the woods?

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, the issue, of course, which we haven't touched on is the whole attitude of not just Iran towards the west right now but the west towards Iran as well.

The Iranians know that the U.S. administration, the Bush administration, and the Blair government want regime change in Iran. So they believe that whatever pressure, whatever situation goes on in Iran, is always designed to eventually have a regime change there. They really believe that whether it's the negotiations, or the ongoing pressure of the nuclear program or whatever it might be. They think that that is the focus of the Bush and Blair governments' agenda.

They also know that over the last several days and weeks, the Bush and Blair governments have been basically saying in public that, "Look, our pressure is working, our sanctions are working. It's rattling the Iranian government. Let's keep ratcheting up the pressure." And I think that this is part of the push-back on that.

Historically, the Iranians have almost more animosity towards Britain than they do against the United States. It goes way back to the early '90s and even beyond, but most particularly in the early '50s that coup against the prime minister then, Mossadegh, which the U.S. implemented but which was very much urged by Britain over the whole issue of oil and nationalization in Iran.

They have a long history of suspicion against Britain. And they even believe that the British have been interfering -- quote, unquote -- "along Iran's and Iraq's southern border" from their bases now in Basra.

But the notion of putting pressure on Britain to come out of Iraq, I don't think is correct, because the British have already announced that they are going to be withdrawing.

Related links:

Marjane Satrapi: It's 1953, Not 1979

Jack Straw: Britain's Past Crimes Inhibit Relations With Iran Today

Christopher Hitchens on the 1953 Coup in Iran

CNN Host Fareed Zakaria on Iranian Nationalism and the U.S.

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