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