Turbulent Iran: Recollections, Revelations and a Proposal for Peace

By Eldon Griffiths | Go to book overview

A RED-HAIRED LADY AND
A BLUE MARCHIONESS

Her fortune commanded the attention of at least
three merchant bankers.

— Sir Peter Tapsell, MP, London
stockbroker

One of the odd jobs I did in Parliament was to serve as Minister for sport and recreation. This brought me into contact with the International Olympic Committee during one of whose meetings I was introduced to the founders of Special Olympics, a charity set up as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy. This enables mentally disadvantaged people to compete in athletics, swimming, field sports and gymnastics under the rubric, “Let me win—but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Eunice Kennedy and her husband, Sargeant Shriver invited me to join the international board of Special Olympics and to set up a British chapter, SOUK. As chairman I was tasked with promotion which I enjoyed and fundraising which I hated.

For help I looked among others to my Anglo-Iranian pal Geoffrey Keating, now a trustee of BP’s pension fund. Characteristically he replied that he invested in only one charity, himself, but that one of his mah jong partners, an Iranian lady who had recently arrived in London, had the means as well as the kind heart needed to help. After a late night vote in Parliament, Keating drove me to a fashionable home on Chester Square where we were welcomed by a red-haired lady who turned out to be the former wife of Joe Mazandi, my correspondent in Teheran when I was foreign editor of Newsweek.

-55-

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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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