During my high school years I easily learned that the land of Iran is different than other countries. I learned that there are many unwritten rules that you have to obey, and never ever talk about politics around people who are not family .I learned that loose lips send you to dungeons with animals called torturers who beat the essence of humanity out of you. There was an acceptable rule for most people, and that was, that if you kept away from politics then you were free to do any thing else you wanted.
I learned quickly to keep my mouth shut, and although I was heavily involved in the underground movement against the Shah of Iran, I was never arrested. There were many of my friends who would disappear, who were badly tortured and whom would never speak of what happened to them.
His “majesty”, the Shah had an exaggerated sense of self importance. He would not tolerate any descent. He was able to destroy all of his enemies and ruled the country with an iron fist. After all, our king was a puppet for the U.S.A. He had the wealth of oil and all of the American armament that he wanted.
Unfortunately, he knew well that the Iron fist was made in the U.S.A .and that without their help he would have never become a king. He has some form of a relationship with every American president since FDR, but Nixon was his favorite. They were like identical twins, and together they made Iran the center of espionage in the Middle East. All “bad boys and girls” were killed, jailed or vanished.
Except one error for which he paid dearly. He got entangled with a stubborn clergyman called The Ayatollah Rohollah Khomeini. Khomeini did not like Shah’s friendship with Americans and his land reforms. He did not want women’s rights, and he would not keep it quiet. There was an uprising in 1963 and Khomeini was arrested. The Shah wanted him dead, but other clergymen intervened and the Shah gave in to sending Khomeini to exile, first to Turkey and then to Iraq. Ironically the main Ayatollah who saved Khomeini’s skin (Ayatollah Shariatmadari) was destroyed by him after the Iranian revolution.
Khomeini on his way to Jail and then Exile
BEGINNING OF THE END
Amir Assadollah Alam
The Shah’s problems started with the death of a couple of his confidants, who were in charge of running the country .Alam was Shah’s confidant, as well as his brain and the one who pressured him not to kill Khomeini. He died before the Iranian revolution and his absence was a great loss for the Shah.
The Story of the Iranian revolution is well known. It has produced hundreds of books and articles which make it difficult to report. Therefore I will just paraphrase the Shah’s wife’s analysis of the revolution, which ironically is one of the best analysis of went wrong. By 1973 the Shah closed down all of the political parties in Iran. Although these parties were an assembly of his servants, he closed all of them and replaced them with one party with absolute obedience to him. At that time most people saw his behavior as dictatorship, and lack of tolerance for any decent. However the information available today points to the fact that he knew that he was suffering from cancer and perhaps he wanted to pave the road for his son to become the king. The Shah’s wife is quoted as saying that:
“If we had permitted more parties to participate in the political process the people would have had a place to vent their grievances in a constitutional setting, in such case their leaders would have been the parliamentarists who wanted the Shah to be a king not a ruler. In absence of the parliament they had use the only alternative which was the
Mosques and to follow the clergyman”