Iranian students climb up US embassy gates in Tehran (November 4, 1979)

Iranian students climb up US embassy gates in Tehran

Iran To Include Content In Textbooks ‘From US Embassy Documents’

Monday, 01/23/2023

Islamic Republic’s education minister says parts of the documents obtained during the US embassy takeover in 1979 will be included in school textbooks as of next year.

Islamic Republic’s education minister says parts of the documents obtained during the US embassy takeover in 1979 will be included in school textbooks as of next year.

Yousef Nouri said Sunday that the move was done upon a call by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the materials will be included in textbooks in all levels from the elementary school to the end of high school according to the level of understanding of the students. 

He said that Khamenei urged the measure in a meeting with a group of students on November 2, 2022. Schoolbooks in Iran carry a heavy load of the regime ideology, with history re-written to fit its narrative, similar to what Communist regimes did in the 20th century.

Islamic Republic’s Education Minister Yousef Nouri

According to Fars news agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, after the occupation of the US embassy in Tehran by revolutionary students, they “found documents there that showed American conspiracies against the Iranian nation," adding that the data extracted from the documents are compiled in 70 to 80 volumes of books.

According to an article published by The Washington Post in January 1982, hundreds of highly sensitive documents were captured and reconstructed after the embassy takeover. There were other documents that reportedly have not been deciphered or have been withheld from public consumption. “Although those published do not support the more egregious conspiracy theories of the militants, they have been used in an intensive campaign to arouse further distrust of the United States.”

An example of shredded and reassembled documents from the former American Embassy in Tehran

The published documents, most of which have been authenticated by US sources, detail the US estimates of the regime of the late shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the forces which toppled him and the struggle to preserve American influence in Iran.

An article by the New York Times on July 10, 1986, said the documents were published under the title “Documents From the Espionage Den," the name the Islamic Republic uses for the US embassy. The books are sold openly in Tehran bookshops and included photocopies of the original telexes, mailgrams and typed letters from the embassy, classified reports, commentaries from the "students," and their complete translations into Persian.

Among the papers were shredded secret documents pieced back together by the attackers that detailed attempts of the Central Intelligence Agency to recruit high-level Iranian officials, ayatollahs, foreign journalists and diplomats as well as other CIA contacts either as paid or "unwitting” agents in the months after the revolution. “The documents shed light on the CIA's apparently unsuccessful attempt to recruit the former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, in the months just before the embassy takeover, when he was a member of the ruling Revolutionary Council and head of the Central Bank," said the article. 

Some of the documents suggested that some of the members of the embassy's staff had been working with the CIA. Later, the CIA confirmed its role and that of MI6 in Operation Ajax -- the 1953 Iranian coup d'état that overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The regime is expected to embed a heavy dose of its anti-American propaganda in the textbooks claiming it is substantiated by the embassy documents.

Earlier in the month, the Islamic Republic announced its intention to change the content of textbooks in foreign language schools after criticism by Khamenei. Head of Non-Governmental Schools and Centers Ahmad Mahmoudzadeh told ILNA Sunday that “We will have a call to produce content of language books for schools, which will be implemented in line with the order of the Supreme Leader.” "Language books that have nothing to do with our culture will be discarded," he added. Changing the content of textbooks based on the government's propaganda policies has been implemented in the last few years upon the order of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. However, this is the first time that these changes will be applied to the language teaching books of private institutes.

In August, the education minister said that 200 schoolbooks of the country’s education system will be revised as ordered by the Supreme Leader.

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