Former Iranian Foreign Minister Ardeshir Zahedi was honored at a dinner in Vevey, Switzerland, on May 18, 2013, by the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), publisher of the Defense & Foreign Affairs reports. He was presented with the rare ISSA Silver Star for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress for his lifetime of muscular diplomatic activity, which included two periods as Imperial Iranian Ambassador to the US, and one to the Court of St. James's, in London. ISSA President Gregory Copley and ISSA Executive Director Pamela von Gruber presented the medal (made by Garrard, when that company was Crown Jeweler to the British monarch), along with a certificate and life membership of the Association.
The presentation made particular note of Amb. Zahedi's recent and ongoing publication of a series of volumes of memoirs which outline substantial new information on the history of Iran and its region in the 20th Century, essentially transforming many long-held beliefs as to how the counter-coup of 1953 occurred, removing the Mossadegh Administration.
The formal remarks accompanying the Award were as follows:
FEW INDIVIDUALS HAVE the opportunity and privilege to serve their societies in positions of leadership and responsibility. Most who do so pursue careers in politics, the armed forces, or in diplomacy, and are, in return, usually paid well and provided with economic security, healthcare, prestige, and pensions. That some may make sacrifices in material terms and the risk to their lives is also repaid in the security given to them and to their families in life.
So it is not merely the attainment of high public office which transforms history, but the rare individuals who transcend whatever public office or platform they may have been given.
What true public service can and must provide - and what can usually only be provided by iconic public service or by solitary inspiration - is leadership, legitimacy of purpose, and sovereign authority. The faith and hope of any society is vested in those who are not only placed in a position of leadership, but who accept on their own shoulders and with their own life the burden and risk of a society's success.
As a result, The International Strategic Studies Association's occasional investiture of the Silver Star for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress is not to honor those who have merely been elected or appointed to high office, prestige, and recognition. Most such individuals, worthy as they may be, are already well-rewarded by the status afforded them by society. These are men and women who, like most men and women, receive a reward commensurate with their service.
But what of those whose contribution far exceeds the rewards of a career and a life financed by the taxpayer? What of those who risk all, including the safety and comfort of their prestigious positions, to achieve justice, prosperity, security, and victory for their societies and for humanity at large? These few, whether they come from the ranks of state or military society or from the public at large, walk a lonely path, and follow their consciences before they bow to convention, or the need for their own safety.
Who walks with them? Who is there with them when they step so far ahead of their societies that they are exposed and vulnerable? Who is there to burnish their name when they have gone?
It is the aim of The International Strategic Studies Association to recognize and honor those who achieve, through unique commitments of intellect, courage, and vision, what no others have been able to achieve.
And it is for this reason that the Association has chosen to honor His Excellency Ardeshir Zahedi, who not only carries a distinguished record as a Foreign Minister of Iran from 1966 to 1973, but also the lifelong courtesy title of Ambassador following his service twice as Imperial Iranian Ambassador to the United States, and once to the Court of St. …