Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace

By Eldon Griffiths | Go to book overview

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

What are you guys going to advise if they overrun
our embassy and take our diplomats captive?

— President Jimmy Carter’s question
to his cabinet

The Shah of Iran’s wanderings that followed his flight from Iran led Henry Kissinger to call him “The flying Dutchman.” Shunted from country to country his experiences were chronicled in detail by William Shawcross in his book, The Shah’s Last Ride. They reflected badly on both the country of my birth and the country of my adoption.

His first stop was in Egypt where he was welcomed as a still reigning monarch with bands, red carpets, and an honor guard. He spent five days at Aswan with President Anwar Sadat, who twice had visited the Pahlavis in Iran. The Shah and Sadat prayed together and cruised through the islands in the Nile, the Shah no doubt recalling the honeymoon he spent there with his first wife, Princess Fawzia, daughter of King Farouk, the last of the Egyptian monarchs. Farouk had been deposed in 1952 with the help of the same CIA agent, Kermit Roosevelt, who a year later had assisted in the removal of Mohammad Mosaddegh and the Shah’s return to the throne in Iran.

Madam Jehan Sadat, the Egyptian president’s wife already was a fast friend of Farah Diba. With the Pahlavis’ future uncertain, her pledge that they could always count on protection and a home in Egypt was a promise that Farah noted in her diary and in less then eighteen months would redeem. It was, she wrote, “a source of enormous comfort. A friend in need is a friend indeed.”1

While in Aswan, the Pahlavis received an invitation to visit Morocco as the guests of King Hassan, another potentate to whom

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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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