|Oil well. Pic by Belizian via Wiki Commons.|
For denying the Iranians the right to choose their own leader, America may never be forgiven. However, what was truly unforgivable was the 26 years that followed. America and Britain installed Shah Pavlavi as their new puppet dictator in Iran. The Shah ruthlessly oppressed the population, using his SAVAK secret police to destroy any form of political opposition. Thousands of Iranians died or were tortured as a direct consequence of American actions in their country. Eventually, the Iranian revolution deposed the Shah in 1979 and installed the current theocratic regime (which America doesn't like, of course).
After one year of freedom, America found another way to subject the Iranian people to unspeakable horror. Whether he was initially encouraged by America or not, Saddam Hussein sensed an opportunity to invade Iran in 1980, triggering an eight year war. Despite starting the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam received American support and weapons. His use of chemical weapons (WMDs) against the Iranians was even condoned by America at the UN. The United States repeatedly vetoed attempts by the UN to condemn Saddam's WMD use against the Iranians. After eight years, and many dead, the two nations agreed peace.
With even a basic reading of history, it's not difficult to understand why many Iranians have a problem with America. Unfortunately, the American government relies on our ignorance of history when pushing for war with Iran, and our servile media reinforces this position by pretending animosity between the two countries started yesterday.
Of course, not all Iranians hate America, but we should be very careful when condemning those that do, as their hatred is quite justified. Though Obama has pushed for closer ties with Iran, what really should happen is an apology. Unfortunately, the noxious level of patriotism and national pride in America would make this political suicide for any politician.