Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace

By Eldon Griffiths | Go to book overview

THE AMERICANS MOVE INTO IRAN

More like a dime-store novel than serious foreign policy.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower,
President of the United States

It was Churchill who first decided that Mohammed Mosaddegh must be removed by force. The military invasion that the Brits initially had planned to safeguard Abadan’s technicians effectively, was vetoed by U.S. opposition, and the reluctance of the then Labour party to support Churchill in military action. But something had to be done. Output at the giant Masjid-Suleiman field slowed to a trickle. Thousands of Iranians were thrown out of work. Shortages of fuel and of imported food and medicine led to violent demonstrations in Teheran, whose bewildered and hungry people had expected oil nationalization to lead quickly to better times. The Tudeh (Communist) party urged Iranians to turn to the Russians for help.

No less disturbing for the U.S. and U.K. was the wider diplomatic context of 1952. President Eisenhower had been elected on a strongly anti-Communist platform, yet week after week the headlines told of Soviet advances and American setbacks. The U.S. army had been hurled back from North Korea by the Chinese. The Soviet Union tested its first H-bomb. Berlin was again under pressure. Mosaddegh, capitalizing on the success he had scored with the Afro-Asians at the U.N., signed a friendship treaty with the Egyptian dictator, Nasser, who before long would follow his lead and nationalize the Suez Canal.

Once in office President Eisenhower appointed two antiCommunist brothers to his Cabinet. One was John Foster Dulles, the new Republican Secretary of State, the other Allen Dulles who was

-19-

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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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