Only if prices rise to levels where you cannot afford to burn oil inef-
ficiently will America look for alternative sources like nuclear power.
— Shah of Iran
Shah and Shahbanon (Empress) in Imperial regalia,
with children (center), Shah’s twin sister (right), older
daughter Shahnaz and Queen mother (far left)
My first face to face meeting with the Shah who returned to the throne when Mosaddegh was removed, took place in the Niavaran palace, overlooking Teheran. We met in his office, a cool corner room with tall windows, gold plated telephones and inkwells, to which I was escorted through a labyrinth of mirrored corridors. I already had written extensively about Mohammed Reza II, describing him in Newsweek magazine as an Iranian version of his autocratic French contemporary, Charles de Gaulle. Since then the Shah had launched his White Revolution, white because he proclaimed that its program of drastic reforms could be carried through without spilling a drop of blood. He had also, in American and British eyes, amply justified his restoration to the Peacock throne by whole heartedly committing Iran to the Western side of the Cold War and cushioning the shock of higher oil prices by using its petro-dollars to purchase U.S. and U.K. armaments.
The context for our meeting was the Shah’s intention to pay a state visit to the United States at the