Skip to comments.What Really Happened to the Shah of Iran? [Carter + British]
Posted on 04/15/2009 8:39:05 PM PDT by Cyrus the Great
"In November 1978, President Carter named the Bilderberg group's George Ball, another member of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran task force under the National Security Council's Brzezinski. Ball recommended that Washington drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalistic Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. Robert Bowie from the CIA was one of the lead 'case officers' in the new CIA-led coup against the man their covert actions had placed into power 25 years earlier.
Their scheme was based on a detailed study of the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism, as presented by British Islamic expert, Dr. Bernard Lewis, then on assignment at Princeton University in the United States. Lewis's scheme, which was unveiled at the May 1979 Bilderberg meeting in Austria, endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an 'Arc of Crisis,' which would spill over into Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.
The coup against the Shah, like that against Mossadegh in 1953, was run by British and American intelligence, with the bombastic American, Brzezinski, taking public 'credit' for getting rid of the 'corrupt' Shah, while the British characteristically remained safely in the background.
During 1978, negotiations were under way between the Shah's government and British Petroleum for renewal of the 25-year old extraction agreement. By October 1978, the talks had collapsed over a British 'offer' which demanded exclusive rights to Iran's future oil output, while refusing to guarantee purchase of the oil. With their dependence on British-controlled export apparently at an end, Iran appeared on the verge of independence in its oil sales policy for the first time since 1953, with eager prospective buyers in Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere. In its lead editorial that September, Iran's Kayhan International stated:
In retrospect, the 25-year partnership with the [British Petroleum] consortium and the 50-year relationship with British Petroleum which preceded it, have not been satisfactory ones for Iran Looking to the future, NIOC [National Iranian Oil Company] should plan to handle all operations by itself.
London was blackmailing and putting enormous economic pressure on the Shah's regime by refusing to buy Iranian oil production, taking only 3 million or so barrels daily of an agreed minimum of 5 million barrels per day. This imposed dramatic revenue pressures on Iran, which provided the context in which religious discontent against the Shah could be fanned by trained agitators deployed by British and U.S. intelligence. In addition, strikes among oil workers at this critical juncture crippled Iranian oil production.
As Iran's domestic economic troubles grew, American 'security' advisers to the Shah's Savak secret police implemented a policy of ever more brutal repression, in a manner calculated to maximize popular antipathy to the Shah. At the same time, the Carter administration cynically began protesting abuses of 'human rights' under the Shah.
British Petroleum reportedly began to organize capital flight out of Iran, through its strong influence in Iran's financial and banking community. The British Broadcasting Corporation's Persian-language broadcasts, with dozens of Persian-speaking BBC 'correspondents' sent into even the smallest village, drummed up hysteria against the Shah. The BBC gave Ayatollah Khomeini a full propaganda platform inside Iran during this time. The British government-owned broadcasting organization refused to give the Shah's government an equal chance to reply. Repeated personal appeals from the Shah to the BBC yielded no result. Anglo-American intelligence was committed to toppling the Shah. The Shah fled in January, and by February 1979, Khomeini had been flown into Tehran to proclaim the establishment of his repressive theocratic state to replace the Shah's government.
Reflecting on his downfall months later, shortly before his death, the Shah noted from exile,
I did not know it then perhaps I did not want to know but it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out. Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted What was I to make of the Administration's sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an adviser on Iran? Ball was among those Americans who wanted to abandon me and ultimately my country.
With the fall of the Shah and the coming to power of the fanatical Khomeini adherents in Iran, chaos was unleashed. By May 1979, the new Khomeini regime had singled out the country's nuclear power development plans and announced cancellation of the entire program for French and German nuclear reactor construction.
Iran's oil exports to the world were suddenly cut off, some 3 million barrels per day. Curiously, Saudi Arabian production in the critical days of January 1979 was also cut by some 2 million barrels per day. To add to the pressures on world oil supply, British Petroleum declared force majeure and cancelled major contracts for oil supply. Prices on the Rotterdam spot market, heavily influenced by BP and Royal Cutch Shell as the largest oil traders, soared in early 1979 as a result. The second oil shock of the 1970s was fully under way.
Indications are that the actual planners of the Iranian Khomeini coup in London and within the senior ranks of the U.S. liberal establishment decided to keep President Carter largely ignorant of the policy and its ultimate objectives. The ensuing energy crisis in the United States was a major factor in bringing about Carter's defeat a year later.
There was never a real shortage in the world supply of petroleum. Existing Saudi and Kuwaiti production capacities could at any time have met the 5-6 million barrels per day temporary shortfall, as a U.S. congressional investigation by the General Accounting Office months later confirmed.
Unusually low reserve stocks of oil held by the Seven Sisters oil multinationals contributed to creating a devastating world oil price shock, with prices for crude oil soaring from a level of some $14 per barrel in 1978 towards the astronomical heights of $40 per barrel for some grades of crude on the spot market. Long gasoline lines across America contributed to a general sense of panic, and Carter energy secretary and former CIA director, James R. Schlesinger, did not help calm matters when he told Congress and the media in February 1979 that the Iranian oil shortfall was 'prospectively more serious' than the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
The Carter administration's Trilateral Commission foreign policy further ensured that any European effort from Germany and France to develop more cooperative trade, economic and diplomatic relations with their Soviet neighbor, under the umbrella of détente and various Soviet-west European energy agreements, was also thrown into disarray.
Carter's security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, implemented their 'Arc of Crisis' policy, spreading the instability of the Iranian revolution throughout the perimeter around the Soviet Union. Throughout the Islamic perimeter from Pakistan to Iran, U.S. initiatives created instability or worse."
-- William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, © 1992, 2004. Pluto Press Ltd. Pages 171-174.
 In 1978, the Iranian Ettelaat published an article accusing Khomeini of being a British agent. The clerics organized violent demonstrations in response, which led to the flight of the Shah months later. See U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies, Iran. The Coming of the Revolution. December 1987. The role of BBC Persian broadcasts in the ousting of the Shah is detailed in Hossein Shahidi. 'BBC Persian Service 60 years on.' The Iranian. September 24, 2001. The BBC was so much identified with Khomeini that it won the name 'Ayatollah BBC.'
 Comptroller General of the United States. 'Iranian Oil Cutoff: Reduced Petroleum Supplies and Inadequate U.S. Government Response.' Report to Congress by General Accounting Office. 1979.
ping for later.
ping for later... when i feel like reliving the good ole days
Another stupid plan by our brightest and best.
That short sighted policy is biting us in the @$$ to this day, 30 years later ! Also consider what happened in Nicaragua with the Somoza administration. One thing. I went to a Jesuit H.S. in Indianapolis in the first hald of the 1980’s. The Religion Department was not a department that supported the Word of God but instead supported the religious left (liberation theology). They promoted Marxist viewpoints such as the Sandinista. Also at the time when Solidarity in Poland was at the height before the crackdown, the religion department supported the Soviet led crackdown in how comments were made that people should obey the gov’t. One of the most liberal teacher’s from that department left the school two years after I graduated from there (1987) and became professor at Humboldt State in Arcata, CA in the Women’s Study and Political Sci departments.
Trilateral Commission? This is posted for the humor value, right?
I’ve read other stuff by this Engdahl guy and it all seems pretty much over the top. But I don’t have enough knowledge to dispute the specifics. Too many outrageous allegations as to motive. Too sure of himself that it all ties together in some grand conspiracy. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in conspiracies. It’s just that they can’t all be tied together.
At least in France the Jesuits were iron rod anti-communists during the earlier part of the 1900s. I wonder at what point did that change and if they were targeted for infiltration. Its funny that Le Monde, today a super leftist socialist news media, was the primary right-wing Catholic paper prior to WWII.
Just reading this, I have to ask, who benefits ?
George Ball was a notorious Arabist.
My reading of this is that it leaves out a key player: Saudi Arabia.
At this time, Iran was looking to become the Security Guarantor of the Gulf, a non-Arab, Shiite power asserting itself.
I don' think the Arabs, led by Saudi Arabia saw this as desireable, and both the US and the UK's foreign services were tilted toward the Arabs.
That's my take on it.
This was one of the main targets of the Shah's SAVAK.
I don't think that the American State Department and British Foreign Office this saw them as problems like the Shah did, and used this as a Human Rights issue to "beat up" the Shah, even if, as the article contends, they were using these groups to agitate against the Shah.
Iran would now be one of the leading countries of the world, and would certainly have the developing tech industry that India has, if the Shah had not been overthrown.
A tremendous amount of propaganda was directed at the Iranians, and also at Americans to facilitate the overthrow of the Shah.
President Carter is entirely within the pockets of the Saudis, in fact, he is in an even more defiling portion of their apparel which I will not name here.
These things can only be seen in hindsight.
Joe Biden has warned Israel to leave the baby-milk factory at Natanz alone.
Don't disturb the golden age of peaceful coexistence with Muslims which Hussein is about to introduce.
And let's not be critical of Jimmy Carter.
He has perfect pitch where tyrants are concerned.
There's not one whose ass he hasn't kissed.
Oh, and Zbigniew Brzezinski?
He coauthored with Robert Gates the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations paper "Iran: Time for a New Approach" calling for negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Isn't it special that Hussein kept Gates--so we can slash defense and negotiate with a proto-nuclear Holocaust Denier.
Khalid was king at the time, but very sickly (died 1982). Spent most of the time jetting back and forth between the US for heart treatment. Fahd was the true ruler as Crown Prince, Khalid did convince Carter to sell Saudi Arabia the F-15s. Khomeini, after taking power attempted to finance and organize to overthrow Khalid, which in turn the Saudi’s financed Saddam in going to war with Iran. I don’t know what the Saudi’s view of the Shah was, but maybe they opposed him for the sake of continued US patronage.
We are on the same page.
This was triangulation with Persians and Arabs vying for most favored nation in the Gulf area.
At that time, the arabists in both the British and American Foreign Affairs bureaus tilted towrd the Saudi Arabs.
Khomeini, after taking power attempted to finance and organize to overthrow Khalid, which in turn the Saudis financed Saddam in going to war with Iran.
This is where the religious rivalry came into play.
There was the subsequent attempted takeover of the Grand Mosque in 1979. At the time it was believed that it was an attempted Shiite overthrow, bi=ut according to this link, the leaderhip of the coup was Sunni Wahbbi: http://www.fsmitha.com/review/trofimov2.html
Much of what was going on is still unclear.
The Grand Mosque siege was done by the Bedouins that made the backbone of the army and helped the House of Saud gain power in the first place. The issue was Khalid was liberalizing the economy which was greatly advancing the Saudi’s forward. The Bedouins were very religiously strict to the point that in their opinion modernity and Mohammedanism were not compatible. They viewed that Khalid was liberalizing his religious views, thus the seizure of the Grand Mosque. It was this event that led to the creation of SA National Guard.
I was reading through book on Google Books, that was written about the Persian Gulf. Prior to the revolution all the countries around the Gulf were monarchies (with the exception of Iraq) and were getting along very well. The 1960s was a time that border disputes were being settled and trade agreements being made. The Saudi’s were very anti-Communists and thus the champion of US policy there (with the exception of Israel), but after the overthrow of the Shah that changed. Evidently the Saudi’s even knew that something wasn’t right and that the US had something to do with the revolution. The thought occurred that if the US could overthrow a monarch that they originally put in place, then they could do the same to the House of Saud. So Fahd starting looking for alternatives to US patronage.
This could of been the catalysts that cause the Saudi’s playing the double agent game that they have been doing for the past few decades.
How about this. leading up to ‘74, the petrodollars coming into Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia has tripled over the past three years to the tune of 6.8B, 17.5B and 22.5B. These created huge surpluses in their budgets which required somewhere to put. The Saudi’s are concerned about the fact that Iran and Iraq have larger populations and exhibit aggressive foreign policies. The concern being that the ensueing arms race is creating a imbalance of power in the Gulf. Plus the Shah is wanting to keep oil prices up. Before the Oil Embargo a barrel or oil was over $4. by the start of the embargo we see $8/barrel. The US cuts a deal with the Saudi’s to lower the price inexcahnge for huge military aid. But at the OPEC conference of ‘74 in Tehran, Iran had gotten $17/barrel in an oil auction and decides that OPEC should all raise the price to this level. Saudi’s balked, because they want to lower it. The group agrees on $11/barrel. But the Shah continues to agitate for high prices and threatens any Gulf state that cuts prices or increases production with war. The Saudi’s had planned on cutting prices and then selling the excess at auction. They refrain from selling excess at auction.
So the Shah continues to agitate for higher prices, the contract with BP is running out and thus Iran will be more independent with their oil.
1. Saudi Arabia (as the Bank of the Arab World) supports the overthrow of the Shah to restore balance of power in the Gulf.
2. US/UK overthrows Shah in hopes to getting better oil deal with new regime, but oops that back fires. New regime doesn’t want to play ball either, so now the West puts embargo on new regime.
With due respect, Engdahl has access to the type of research documents that other, more ‘Grant and Foundation-funded’ historians don’t. I.E. Bilderberg meeting minutes - in their original European language(s) - found in libraries amongst presumably private, personal archives that were offered up. His book, “A Century of War” - although unorthodox in not providing footnotes, endnotes or a bibliography, nonetheless has said docs photographed in the back.
In addition, he’s read more the Quigleys, Suttons and other historians who’ve documented said ‘conspiracies’ -— so you won’t have to.
Most of said ‘allegations’ are ‘outrageous’ because they are true.
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