Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace

By Eldon Griffiths | Go to book overview

REZA PAH LAVI

Where do you want to go?

— Don Aggar, former U.S. Assistant
Secretary of Transportation

Before retiring from the British House of Commons, I paid a visit to the young man who as crown prince of Iran I vainly had hoped might play a part in the shift to a constitutional monarchy, before the roof fell in on the Shah.

Reza Pahlavi had recently completed his training as a fighter pilot in America. I met him as he was “contemplating his future,” as he put it in a spacious villa surrounded by date palms and jacaranda trees overlooking the surf on the faraway coast of Morocco, south of Casablanca. It was many years since I had seen his picture in the Shah’s office, as a child in Farah Diba’s arms. Now in his late twenties, Reza was slim and good looking in a well-cut Saville row pinstriped suit as he offered drinks on his patio, followed by lunch with loup de mer (small mouth bass) and over iced Pouilly Fuisse. As a host, he was, like most Persians, superb—but it was his retrospective narrative of his father’s sojourn in Morocco when he was expecting to go to America that still lingers most hauntingly in my mind.

Looking back across the years Reza Pahlavi quietly confirmed that the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan had all been asked by the U.S. to give the Shah asylum. All refused. South Africa still subject to apartheid, and Paraguay ruled by South America’s most detested dictator agreed to admit him but the Shah rejected both. The pressure then increased when his host King Hassan was advised that the 1979 Arab League summit that Morocco was scheduled to chair might be

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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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