Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace

By Eldon Griffiths | Go to book overview

IRANIAN WHEELER-DEALERS

To be first in the Middle East is not enough.
We must raise Iran to the level of a world power.

— Shah of Iran, March 1974

The Shah and Ardeshir Zahedi in Swiss ski
resort; arriving as a guest of the Queen at
Buckingham Palace

The Shah reached the apogee of international acclaim in the mid-1970s. Flush with cash and ready to lend or invest it to enhance his own and his country’s reputation, he and the fashionably-gowned queen were invited to visit nearly all the world’s great capitals. Skiing in the Swiss Alps, staying as honored guests in the palaces of kings, queens and presidents, the Pahlavis were celebrities, and they loved it. Iran dazzled the commentators.

At London dinner parties with politicians and economists, guests were asked to write on the back of their place-cards the names of the nations most likely to be “on top of the world” by the end of the century. Nearly all included Iran in the top ten; some agreed with the Shah that his country was well on the way to becoming the world’s fifth or sixth largest economy!

There was never any chance of that. Yet the Shah had much to boast about. Iran’s GDP per head had risen

-72-

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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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