Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace

By Eldon Griffiths | Go to book overview

BRITS AND PERSIANS

Underneath a Mullah’s beard, you’ll find a label,
“Made in England.”

— Persian saying

I paid little further attention to Iran until World War II ended and I went up to Cambridge University where scores of Iranian students were attending the medical school and the economics and geology departments. In my college was a former British army engineer who had worked on Iran’s roads and seaports and an older man named Percy (whose last name I have forgotten) much of whose life had been spent in the Khuzestan desert with the Anglo Iranian oil company. Percy’s only son had died at childbirth in the searing heat of the Persian Gulf, when he and his young wife lived in a tent during the early stages of construction of the world’s largest refinery at Abadan on the Shatt al Arab waterway.

At Cambridge I learned a lot about the Brits involvement in Iran. About the adventurers and explorers who had penetrated its trackless deserts and reopened trade routes that had not been used for a thousand years; about the East India Company’s dispatching troops and warships in 1802 to prevent the French under Napoleon moving into

British empire troops built roads over which they marched across Iran, from the Persian Gulf
to Teheran to the Caspian.

-8-

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Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Table of Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • Part One 1
  • Discovering Persia as a Schoolboy 3
  • Brits and Persians 8
  • Mosaddegh Lifts His Nightgown 13
  • The Americans Move into Iran 19
  • The Shah's Dreams and Illusions 28
  • Ambassador Extraordinaire 34
  • Falling in Love with Iran 42
  • Bee-Pee and a Topless Beach 48
  • A Red-Haired Lady and a Blue Marchioness 55
  • Party at Persepolis 60
  • Radars and Trailers 65
  • Iranian Wheeler-Dealers 72
  • American's Iranian U-Turns 78
  • An Ambassador Poisoned, a Prime Minister Sacrificed 83
  • Black Friday 91
  • Could the Monarchy Have Been Saved? 95
  • Reaping the Whirlwind 101
  • The Flying Dutchman 106
  • Escape from Panama 115
  • The Corpses of Eagle Claw 125
  • Rescue at the London Embassy 129
  • Scuds and Chemical Weapons 133
  • Ollie North's Iranian Follies 140
  • Sanctions Have Failed 147
  • Reza Pah Lavi 154
  • They Came Not Empty-Handed 158
  • Orange County Opens a Dialogue 166
  • Histrionics at the Golden Mosque 174
  • The Reformer Whose Light Went out 182
  • Is Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad Bad or Mad? 188
  • Extracts from a Persian Letter 194
  • Part Two 197
  • Iranian Nuclear Turbulence 199
  • Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty 220
  • Part Three 223
  • Time to Talk 225
  • Engaging with Iran 236
  • Proposals for Peace 242
  • End Notes 251
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