Sixty years after triggering the fall of democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh in Tehran through a coup on August 19, 1953, the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) publicly admitted (for the first time) that it had spent nearly USD 1 million to remove the nationalist Iranian premier from power.

The CIA also admitted in 2013 that it had done so to help the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in resuming its operation in the West Asian country. After becoming PM, Mossadegh angered the British by wresting control of the oil sector. His move prompted the British government to request then US President Dwight D Eisenhower to script the fall of the nationalist leader and allow the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to “resume business” in Iran.

In the last 60 years, the US, through its short-sighted foreign policy, has damaged its long-term strategic interest all over the world. The world, as a whole, has paid a heavy price for lack of vision in the US foreign policy. In Iran, the US had a short-term interest to “earn money” and so it “invested” USD 1 million to remove Mossadegh. The move has shown that the US is opportunistic and not ready to maintain any standards when it comes to its role as a leader in the largely uni-polar world order.

Although President Barack Obama expressed serious concern over security issue at the recently-held Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, he did not explain why the US Congressional Research Service releases an authoritative report, looking at arms transfers to the developing world, every year. It’s not a secret that the arms trade is a big business for America and they can trigger a fall of a ‘nationalist’ government in any country, if it hurts their “interest”.

In its latest report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has said that American arms sellers earn more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 140 countries. Nearly three decades after the fall of Berlin Wall, which marked the end of the cold war, the defence budgets of major economies are only increasing. The polarisation due to the power tussle between the superpowers, during the cold war years, may have abated, but security concern still exists all over the world and numbers show that buying and selling of arms continue to be a flourishing business.

As per SIPRI’s report prepared on the basis of data collected in 2014, the US (USD 609.9bln), China (USD 216.4bln), Russia (USD 84.5bln), Saudi Arabia (USD 80.8bln), France (USD 62.3bln), the UK (USD 60.5bln), India (USD 50bln), Japan (USD 45.8bln), Germany (USD 46.5bln) and South Korea (USD 36.7bln) are the world’s top 10 countries, as far as the defence spending is concerned.

The Sweden-based independent international institute also shed some light on the global arms trade, revealing that four of the world’s five largest arms selling companies are American and one is British. They are: Lockheed Martin, which earned USD 37.5bln in 2014 by selling arms, Boeing (USD 28.3bln), BAE Systems (USD 25.7bln), Raytheon (USD 21.4bln) and Northrop Grumman (USD 19.7bln). Interestingly, Lockheed Martin’s military earnings are higher than the defence budget of all countries in the world, except China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, India, Japan, Germany and South Korea.

SIPRI further said that the sales of 43 American companies in the top 100 are higher than the GDP of more than 140 countries inhabited by 1.7 million people. While 43 American arms-manufacturing companies earned USD 237.2bln in 2014, 19 Russian companies earned USD 50.6bln, nine British companies USD 42.7bln, six French companies USD 22.6bln and five Italian companies earned USD 19.5bln. SIPRI’s report makes a strong argument that the American arms industry and economy depend on conflicts around the world. More the conflicts and more is the sale of arms.

In the past, the US not only backed mujahideens, but also created Osama bin Laden and supported Taliban in Afghanistan. These moves ultimately led to 9/11. Currently, they back the Islamic State (IS) against the Syrian regime, thus, allowing a new monster (Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi) to create trouble in West Asia.

So, the question arises who is posing the greatest threat to world peace? Is it Iran (that is what the US like the world to believe) or is it Uncle Sam itself?

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]