“Every nation deserves the government it has.” Ayatollah Khomeini.
A recent trip to the United Kingdom provided me the opportunity to pay a visit to the British National Archive in Kew. Reading pages and pages and taking notes on various topics of interest made me decide to use some of the collected information and write the following piece.
One of the most under-studied and under-researched international personalities of the twentieth century has to be the late Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The Islamic revolution of 1979, its causes, roots, pros & cons as well as its outcomes have been covered in numerous books and articles. The event has been discussed and to some extent analysed in various seminars, conferences, speeches and lectures regarding its historical, sociological or political contexts throughout the world for the past twenty-five years. Despite all this, very little has been given to study, explore and to understand the very man who for thirty-seven years led his nation in peace and harmony with the international community towards a steady and at times a rapid social and economical progress which guaranteed tranquillity “in one of the most troubled regions of this world”[i]
. With the exception of a few books, the world scholars, journalists as well as its academic institutions have conveniently forgotten for various political reasons - usually driven by economical motives of their respected governments, the very person who was responsible for peace in the Middle East.
The modern world sometimes moves forward with such velocity that in order to find the remedies to a range of today’s world issues, it should pause and search the solutions in the not so distant past.
I am not a scholar, nor have any claim to be a historian or a politician. I am simply a curious Iranian to whom the world’s deafening silence seems perplexing. Looking back at the events of the past quarter of a century, I would like to make an attempt and review certain aspects of my country’s last monarch’s ambitions and his global forethoughts. Aspirations that though may have appeared - as some Europeans claimed at the time as “Folly de Grandeur”, but the passing of years have given their seal of approval to his hopes and fears.
Some may immediately ask me whether I would cover reasons for his failure too. My answer to them is; “No!” There have been so much unfinished debates and discussions worldwide on his fall that have only resulted in confusing the public. I believe it is time for the world to wake up and learn from his vision, achievements and his dreams; not only for Iran but for a world that had he survived, more than a million innocent men and women would have not perished from Kabul to New York.
My intention here is to remind the readers - Iranian or non-, of who he was and whom the world lost. I particularly would like to address the Americans who have been under attack since the advent of the Islamic Republic in Iran more than any other Western nation on this planet.
What did Mohammad Reza Pahlavi dream for Iran, the Middle East and the World? Let’s review his most feasible plans that by now could have made our country part of what would have become the G9 group.
Michael Heseltine a junior minister in the department of aerospace and industry at the time who later became Margaret Thatcher’s deputy Prime Minister (1995-1997) visited the Shah in May 1972. In his recent autobiography, “Life In The Jungle” published in 2000 he wrote; “The two big opportunities of my trip were thought to be Tehran and Singapore. It was understood that the Shah of Iran had a vision of Tehran as a staging post between West and East. He saw Concorde as an important part of the process, if Tehran was seen as a major stopover on its journey both ways. Our strategy was to fly him in the aircraft and hopefully get him to confirm his options to buy. We also needed his agreement to overflying rights. Much of Iran is open desert where the footprint of the sound barrier would have little or no impact.”
The former British Deputy PM carries on; “I was to meet the Shah in the Imperial Pavilion at Tehran airport for a brief introduction to the project, aided by various demonstrator boards, before he joined me for a flight. One of the demonstrator boards set up to be shown to the Shah consisted of a huge map of the world on which capital cities, principle airports and major flying routes were indicated in large, unmissable topography. About ten minutes before the Shah was due someone helpfully pointed out that there was no reference to Tehran on the map. The offending demonstrator board was removed from sight. Crisis averted. The Shah duly arrived. After a quick briefing we set off along the red carpet across the tarmac to the aircraft itself. During the flight it would be up to me to secure our sales and overflying objectives.
The take-off was uneventful and we sped heavenwards to the 58,000 feet at which the aircraft is most efficient. However, I had no sooner concluded the initial pleasantries than the Shah, an experienced pilot himself, asked if he could join the test pilot, Brian Trubshaw, in the cockpit. In a second he was gone. I was in despair. There was no other time during our stopover when I could conduct a sales pitch or secure agreements before we were due to leave Tehran. But the Shah did not return until we came in to land.
Down the steps we went, heading for the Imperial Pavilion. There were about 200 yards of red carpet between us and the waiting press corps. I had 200 yards in which to obtain – or not – the objective clearly set for me. I decided to go for it. ‘Your Majesty, I hope you enjoyed the flight. I would like to ask you if you would consider purchasing the aircraft?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘I would like two.’ So far, so good. ‘Your Majesty, we would be grateful for overflying rights across Iran on our journey to and from the Far East.’ ‘That would be quite acceptable,’ he said.
But the problem was that no one else had heard our conversation. My officials were some way behind me. I had been alone with the occupant of the Peacock Throne. By now we had reached the assembled press corps. The first journalists in the queue were Iranians. The level of questioning focused on such trivia as whether His Majesty had enjoyed the flight, the comfort of the plane and so on. Then a loud voice from somewhere to the rear of the crowd of journalists called out, ‘The Times, London, Your Majesty. Are you going to buy the aircraft?’ ‘Yes,’ said the Shah. ‘Two.’ Another British voice: ‘The BBC, London, Your Majesty. Will you give us overflying rights?’ ‘Yes, I will.’”
The Shah must obviously have studied and consulted the proposal with his advisors and experts in the field prior to his meeting with the British minister. Considering the immense revenue generated from overlying rights to Concorde together with our national carrier as the only airline flying Concorde aircrafts - after British Airways and Air France, and the only airline in the world to offer supersonic travels between the European business centres to those of Australia and the Far East, Iran Air Concorde would have dominated most international business flights between the West and the Orient.
Bearing in mind Heseltine’s autobiography was published many years after the collapse of our Imperial government, he writes; “In October 1972 Iran Air signed a preliminary agreement to purchase two Concordes for delivery in late 1976 or early 1977 with an option on a third. Six and a half years later the Shah was deposed and for at least two years before that he came under increasing anti-modernisation political pressure.”
Concorde never again succeeded in attracting a foreign investors in which its high costs of maintenance was a continuous issue until the crash in Paris on July25, 2000 brought its thirty year life to an end.
Our economical progress coupled with social changes proved to be too rapid for us Iranians to comprehend and appreciate. As Iran progressed industrially through the 70s like every other nation in the world the sudden change of pace brought with it various but expected deficiencies and shortages; nothing that time and hard work could have not over come. In other words, they were teething problems of any rapidly advancing nation. However, higher standard of living resulted in higher expectations among Iranians. The consequence was a society with raised expectations but no patience for their government to materialize their demands.
By this time Europeans were getting itchy on Iran’s arm spending and its armament budget – 26% of the total annual budget. Accusations were thrown and suspicions rose by the Western media. A Number of these countries were the very ones that Iran’s arms deals kept many of their citizens employed and therefore, helped their economy.
A reporter from the German magazine, Der Spiegel who interviewed the late Majesty on January 1974 questioned HIM regarding Iran’s arms spending. “Why are you spending so much money on armaments? Where is the enemy?”
The Shah replied; “Well, this is the same question as why Germany or France are spending so much money on armaments?”
Der Spiegel: Because they have some neighbours in the East whose intentions were not always quite clear.
The Shah: Are they going to attack you?
Der Spiegel: We hope not.
The Shah: So why are you spending the money? I am spending the money for exactly the same reason. I take no chances whatsoever. I have friends, I try to even have more friends, but we cannot only depend on our alliances. Sometimes we could be let down. Another thing: do you all agree that the October war with Israel was a surprise? Consider the amount of weapons and the sophisticated weapons that were used against Israel – did you or did even the Israelis expect anything like this? Everyone was surprised. So I take absolutely no chances. I must not depend on anyone but ourselves.
When Der Spiegel asked the Shah whether Iran can keep up with such growth – 20% annually, and reminded His Imperial Majesty that it took the Western countries generations to reach the present level and whether he thinks he can overlap this? The Shah responded, “Yes, our people are hard working and they have a craze for learning. We have all the incentives. We have our own traditions; we have a very old history – 3000 years. Why should we copy others?
Der Spiegel: And Western technology?
To this the Shah replied; “You have spent millions of dollars in research – after many years of hard work you have discovered things. Why shouldn’t we take it? But we take all these things and we keep what is good. And we can develop ideas also. All these isms – capitalism, socialism, communism, or anything else – are so old now that they do not correspond to the ideals of the human being. It doesn’t correspond to the breakthrough in technology, it doesn’t correspond to our times.”
By now our economy had become strong enough to reverse our trade patterns with that of Western Europe. The Times on January 26, 1974 reported; “Total Iranian exports to Britain last year were valued at about £124m while British exports and re-exports to Iran came to approximately £116m.”
We had reached a position of strength from a borrower - years earlier, to a major world lender, including to those among the elite of nations. Mr. Healy, Chancellor of the Exchequer in a speech addressing the British parliament on July 22, 1974 thanked the Imperial Iranian government for providing Britain with a line of credit of $1,200m.
“I have not had to draw on the $2,500m loan, which was negotiated at the time of the Budget. And I am now able to tell the House of another welcome source of funds for public sectors borrowers.”
He continued, “The Imperial Iranian Government has offered to provide the United Kingdom with a line of credit of $1,200m, to be drawn on in the form of three separate loans by public sector bodies within three years from now.
We have reached agreement on this offer, and I hope that arrangements for the first loan will be made in the very near future. I know that the willingness of the Iranian Government to enter into an arrangement of this kind reflects the concern of His Imperial Majesty the Shah of Iran over the difficulties facing the world economy and his constructive attitudes to the problems at present facing the international monetary system, and I believe that the House will join me in welcoming this development.”
Iran’s loan to Britain helped the British government to reduce their VAT rate from 10% at the time to 8% - with immediate effect. On the following day The Times carried the following headline; “Chancellor cuts VAT, aid ratepayers, eases dividend limits and accepts Iran loan.”
In the same year, the Shah spoke of creating a new grouping of Indian Ocean countries on the basis of economic, political and eventually naval cooperation, to “secure our shipping lanes” and keep “non-regional powers” out.
When Iran’s GNP (Gross National Product) rose by 40% towards the end of 1974 and when we bought over 25% of steel-making subsidiary of the Krupp group from its German owners - an agreement which could set the pattern for investment of Middle Eastern countries in Western Europe, the European Union was still considered at its infancy. The Shah, aware of the economical centers of power in the United States and the then European Economic Community, had come to conclude a plan of his own. A project that could help to counter balance the Western economical might with that of the fast Asian developing countries, - the Indian Ocean Economic Union or Common Market.
Michael Hornsby a journalist from the Times newspaper reported from Delhi on October 3, 1974 on the Shah’s next regional vision. “The Shah envisaged the membership of his proposed organization being restricted initially to the “northern tier” of the Indian Ocean – Iran, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore – but eventually extending to Indo China, Australia and even African countries.”
Hornsby iterates that for the Indians to embrace the Shah’s scheme enthusiastically now, would be a considerable rebuff to the Soviet Union and an indication of the political price the Indians are prepared to pay for concessionary supplies of oil and other economic aid from Iran.
In the same month, the Shah and the Empress paid an official visit to Australia. The Australian papers as well as those elsewhere printed that Iran was likely either to lend money directly to Australian Industry Development Corporation or become jointly involved with the government in Australian projects.
But among all these, did the world appreciate his vision? Does the West ever want peace in the only region that can afford paying astronomical figures for the latest weapons and military technology? If the Arab nations and their leaders – particularly those in the Persian Gulf region, had the wisdom, they would have seen the prosperity and lasting peace that such fundamental plans could bring to our region and would have supported our government wholeheartedly.
The Shah had said that his plan would help to create a positive and co-operative world partnership, which could usher in a decade of genuine development to equalise today’s disparities between rich and poor nations and harmonise their contradictions, which are the main source of animosities, conflicts and wars.
As for the Iranian generation at the time, there were those who fully supported the regime’s policies and witnessed the improvements made in all walks of life. But there were also those groups of Iranians, in particular the students who received government scholarship, including a 90% discount on their return airfare, the cost of their living expenses together with their university fees while they attended universities in capitalist countries. Some of them joined the Iranian Student Confederation – a communist/socialist group, and did not miss a chance to demonstrate every time an Iranian official or the Shah paid a visit to a foreign country. These students who were spoiled by the Imperial government’s financial support believed that it was their right to live comfortably as students abroad - a student life enviable by other students, and their political prerogative to shout death to their sovereign. It is ironic that hardly any of our left wing activists had ever lived, studied or even visited any of the communist block!
Such a trend had seemed bizarre enough that a European newspaper wrote; “Few people, even among young Iranians, appreciate the extent and scope of the changes, mainly because most of them have now come to take them for granted.”2
As the Shah’s fame and Iran’s fortune became center stage by the mid-seventies, so did European animosity towards him and our regime. Human Rights groups that have chosen to be silent in the past two and a half decades of the Islamic Republic’s genocide, either for their respective governments’ foreign policy such as “Constructive Engagements” or trade opportunities, would had not missed a chance to demonstrate their anger against the Shah or our officials in every possible way.
This is at a time when in June 1974 Iran with its US$5.4 billion had come to occupy the 13th place among the 20 richest countries of the world. Two years later Iran’s income from exports reached the US$15 billion whereas its imports were only in region of US$13 billion, with 52% intermediate goods, 30% machinery and 18% consumer goods.
The man who the Western media had portrayed as a dictator, told in an interview in 1976 to the famous Indian journalist and writer R. K. Karanjia, “If ever I felt that Persia’s monarchy had outlived its usefulness, I would be happy to resign and would even join in helping to abolish our monarchical institution.”
Margaret Laing, in her book titled, “The Shah” wrote, “The Shah believes discipline without democracy is authoritarianism, and that democracy without discipline is anarchy.”
Ironically, for at least the past thirty years the European press more than any Iranian opposition have been accusing HIM of not being democratic. He was called an autocrat at the best times and the “blood sucker of the century” at its worst! No one took the pain to understand the Shah’s reasons or his long desire for establishing democracy, a seed that was sewn in his mind from his adolescent years in Switzerland.
Time after time the Shah repeated that his concept of democracy springs from the fact that today’s common man has steadily been losing his grip over his economic activities. “So he is fully justified in demanding, together with his political rights, guarantees for his economic rights as well. To a man in dire economic want,” he said, “political freedom is utterly meaningless. The first and foremost duty, therefore, of any government is to usher in democracy – political, economic and social – for the benefit of the common man. Ever since my return from Switzerland” he continued, “I had been evolving my philosophy that every man, woman, and child in my country – or, for that matter, in any country of the world – is entitled to a decent minimum of the five necessaries of life: food, clothing, housing, medical care and education. These I consider to be the five imperative tenets of social justice. Further, I believe a man’s minimum income must be at such a level as would enable him to secure these five fundamentals for himself and his family.”
Economic and social democracies were the first two steps of his bigger plan that he managed to create and nurture successfully. By the late 70s one could not find a hungry Iranian where only two decades earlier even our capital hardly had access to clean water or any sanitations. By introducing free meals six days a week throughout the academic year to every schoolchild whether from a poor or rich background Iranian children were fed the same nutritious food for free, on daily basis!
Economic democracy had created a large middle class that is the backbone of every healthy society. Iranians where free to engage in any field of business and commerce, many who received government subsidies or long term loans with one of the lowest interest rates in the world. We were free to travel and were respected in all countries we visited. Social freedoms had allowed Iranians to flourish and hence, create one of the most vibrant and avant-garde societies of the Sixties and the Seventies.
Having enjoyed the above, our people demanded for political democracy that the Shah wished to see fully established before passing the throne to his son. However, the social and economic democracies enjoyed in Iran of pre-Islamic revolution were the results of nearly two decades of hard work. When people demanded to have political democracy, certain initiatives had already taken place by the government on that path but Iranians wanted it not tomorrow but yesterday! Asking any Iranian today would agree that to reach political democracy we did not have to uproot our entire existence and had we been wiser and less manipulated, by now we would have been a prosperous nation with a powerful industry to match those in the Western world. With a difference that we would have created indigenous democratic institutions to meet our specific needs and desires, to match our tradition, culture and history and not simply by copying them from the West.
In the meantime the European media began pounding the regime with baseless accusations against SAVAK – Iran’s answer to every other nation’s intelligence organization.
Once the Islamic Republic triumphed, most of those who were claimed to be executed or tortured by SAVAK, walked healthy out of the prison and took various offices in the newly formed Islamic regime. With full access to billions of dollars left in Iran’s coffers these individuals succeeded in knitting a network of terror which introduced the world to a new concept of Islamic fanaticism pursued by an international terrorism with wider and more horrific dimensions than ever before. Those who were once cheered as freedom fighters by the West and its human rights organizations, have today come to threaten the life of every man, woman and child in Western civilization.
Even at such critical point the European Union still flirts with a mafia-like regime only to gain further lucrative deals. Two and half decades earlier the West with its powerful propaganda machine had unleashed their venom towards our Imperial government and accused us for our lack of respect for human rights in order to protect the very individuals who are today threatening the security of all European and mostly American citizens and their way of life.
SAVAK portrayed as one of the most notorious organizations by Western media, its very own boss Mr. Hossein Fardoust who had grown up with the Shah and was sent to Switzerland with him to study, turned out to be a collaborator with the revolutionaries for many years!
Massoud Rajavi, leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organization whose group has been listed by the US Congress as a terrorist organization and a collaborator with Ayatollah Khomeini was one of the prisoners twenty six years ago who walked out of a SAVAK prison with a clear bill of health. However, after his escape from the Islamic Republic’s tyranny which himself played an active role in its creation; in an interview in Paris soon after his arrival on August 7th, 1981 said to reporters, “Khomeini is worst than Hitler and the Shah was nothing but a choir boy."
When our so called intellectuals began condemning every move the regime made, irrespective of its nature and reason it reminded me of Henry Kissinger’s comment; “Intellectuals condemn society for materialism when it is prosperous and for injustice when it is to ensure prosperity.”
Once all political factions were pushed aside by the Islamic regime, they began accusing each other and that the revolution was stolen from them! I always wondered how could those self-appointed intellectuals who admitted losing to a bunch of theologians ever succeed in running the country?
We always tend to think of historical tragedy as failing to get what we want, but if we study history we find that the worst tragedies have occurred when people got what they wanted … and it turned out to be the wrong objectives.
In the midst of havoc and chaos created by the revolutionaries, our so-called allies never came to our aid; instead a member of Carter’s administration credited the Ayatollah with sainthood. Ten months later Khomeini awarded the Americans by taking their diplomats hostage for 444 days.
Years later Henry Kissinger wrote; “The United States must show that it is capable of rewarding a friend or penalizing an opponent. It must be made clear, after too long an interval that our allies benefit from association with us and our enemies suffer. It is a simpleminded proposition perhaps, but for a great power it is the prerequisite, indeed the definition, of an effective foreign policy.”
In another reference to Iran and the consequence of the fall of the Shah he wrote; “Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are pivotal to the world’s security. Within few years of my 1973 journey to Tehran, it became an area of upheaval. From the Iranian revolution to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the Iran-Iraq war, events dramatized the vulnerability of the Persian Gulf – the lifeline of the West’s oil supply.”
The Shah in his last book, “Answer to History” which he began and completed in exile wrote, “The benefits of so many years of effort are now reduced to nothing.”
“Our assemblage of a formidable military force in the Middle East has resulted in charges of megalomania and of careless spending of Iran’s money on arms while my people are deprived of basics need. The question of the adequacy of our military force is subjective. To my knowledge, no military leader of world stature has criticized my arms policy as excessive. As for robbing the Iranian people of their living essentials in order to pay for armaments, nothing could be further from the truth. After paying for these armaments, Iran had a reserve of $12 billion in foreign currency.”
Today not only such reserve of foreign assets do not exist but according to the Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) for Economic Affairs Akbar Kimjani, “Iran's foreign debt, excluding interests due, stands at USD 23.438 billion by the end of the Iranian month of Dey (December 22, 2003 - January 20, 2004).”
Michael Ledeen in his book titled- Debacle: The American failure in Iran, says; “Accordingly, Mohammad Reza became passionately committed to the view that he must not take action that would produce large-scale bloodshed in his last days. He desired to be remembered as a benevolent monarch, not a ruthless dictator. As he told friends repeatedly in the final months of his rule, he wished to leave Iran not only with an advanced industrial base and military organization but with a modern political system as well. And he wanted to pass on to his son a country with genuine affection for the Pahlavi family. Could this be achieved if the revolution were smashed by the application of what he called " the iron fist"? The shah did not think so. Months after the debacle, he wrote:
‘I am told today that I should have applied martial law more forcefully. This would have cost my country less dear that the bloody anarchy now established there. But a sovereign cannot save his throne by spilling the blood of his fellow countrymen. A dictator can do it because he acts in the name of an ideology, which he believes he must make triumphant, no matter what the price. A sovereign is not a dictator. There is between him and his people an alliance, which he cannot break. A dictator has nothing to pass on: power belongs to him and him alone. A sovereign receives a crown. I could envisage my son mounting the throne in my own lifetime …’
Ledeen continues, “The last sentence is the operative one-the shah knew he was dying, and that the way in which the Iranian crisis was resolved would determine the destiny of his heir.”
While in exile Carter turned his back on the Shah and did not want to have anything to do with the leader who when celebrating New Year’s Eve 1978 at his home - Niavaran Palace in Tehran, he addressed the Shah by; “Our talks have been priceless, our friendship is irreplaceable, and my own gratitude is to the Shah, who in his wisdom and with his experience has been so helpful to me, a new leader.”
Steven Hayward in his book published in 2004 under the title, “The Real Jimmy Carter” writes; “Carter betrayed a man whose fall to the Ayatollah Khomeini on Carter’s watch spawned the resurgence of fundamentalist Islamist terrorism that is now the War on Terror.
Two months after the Shah’s death in Egypt, Iran’s brave armed forces who were trained as first class troops with the best armaments but without their top generals who had all been executed in the previous twenty months, were the key factors in stopping Saddam Hussein invading our country in an eight year war with Iraq.
Had the Shah of Iran remained in power, the Iran-Iraq war would not have occurred. By 1975, Iran’s superior military and economic power, supported diplomatically by her good neighbour policy that promised peace and progress for all, had drawn Saddam Hussein to a politics of mutual respect and friendly interaction. The Algiers Agreement of 1975 and Saddam’s expulsion of Khomeini from Iraq in 1978 attest to the efficiency of Iranian power and diplomacy. Had the war not occurred, a million Iranians and Iraqis would have not died in vain and several million would not have been forced from home and family.
Moreover, Iran’s national power and international prestige, and her interest in the Persian Gulf, would have made it impossible for Saddam to invade Kuwait. With the fall of the Soviet system, Iran, boasting the most advanced economy, technology and military in the region, would be the hub of peaceful and profitable diplomatic, cultural, economic and commercial relations in Central Asia and the Middle East. Iran’s power and her friendly and rational relations with the West would have made the presence of American troops and weapons in the Persian Gulf region redundant and consequently anti-American feeling would not have been excited by the likes of Khomeini or Khamanei or Osama Bin Laden. Islamist movements and organizations would not have the Islamic Republic as a model for emulation or support for expansion. A powerful, secular, and peaceful Iran – non-Arab and non-Jewish- would be a pillar on which both Israel and the Arab world could lean for balance and security as they and the world strived for peace in justice and dignity.
Henry Kissinger in Years of Upheaval in relation to the Shah and his fall wrote; “What overthrew the Shah was a coalition of legitimate grievances and an inchoate accumulation of resentment aimed at the very concept of modernity and at the Shah’s role as a moderate world leader. The Shah was despised less for what he did wrong than for what he did right. He was brought down by those who hated reform and the West; who were against absolute rule only if it was based on secular principles. The immediate victors were not enlightened dissidents of liberal democratic persuasion but the most regressive group in Iranian society: the religious ayatollahs who identified human dignity not with freedom and progress but with an ancient moral and religious code.”
Today the Shah of Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini are both gone. While Khomeini left a prosperous country in ruins and damaged Islam more than any one else since its advent, the Shah’s legacy lives on to this day in the hearts and minds of every Iranian.
Our youth today realising the catastrophic mistake that their parents made are eager more than ever before to learn about the truth. As Princess Ashraf called her book, it is “Time for Truth”.
The new generation who has escalated their pro democratic and secularist demand in recent years have so far received no international support while paying the heaviest price. They would only need to go through the pages of their family albums and see their parents during their teenage years or when they dated each other to begin questioning them about the country we had during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Many of them blaming the older generation for today’s ills are determined to put an end to this absurdity ruling our ancient land in the 21st century.
All they expect from the international community is to stick by them and to stop cutting deals with the religious apartheid that is bringing our nation to a complete annihilation.
If some of those in the older generation agreed with Ayatollah Khomeini and brought a system of government that they deserved, the new generation obviously deserves better and will demolish the system whether the European Union decides to be with us or with the terrorists.
Some of us may have lost hope, but in addressing his nation for the last time, the Shah in Answer to History wrote; “The lesson of the wickedness and immorality of international power-politics was burnt – yes, very literally burnt – into my mind and heart. The main lesson I learnt was that when you are weak you have got to be very patient. You have got to accept humiliation. You have got to take the worst kind of insults. But in your inner heart you have got to love your country, have faith in its people and believe in their destiny as well as yours. If you do so, there is always a little ray of hope left which kindles in your conscience and inspires you to make the best of the worst possible circumstances and save whatever little you can of your land and its inheritance. That is the key to human survival amidst overwhelming difficulties.”
The Times 25th Oct. 1974
Former American president Jimmy Carter in his Christmas toast to the Shah of Iran, Tehran, Niavaran Palace, December 1977
2 The Times 25th Oct. 1974