Chuck Scott: Being a Hostage Was “Sheer Hell”
Excusing the Shah’s “alleged” crimes and 1953 CIA coup

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| May 26, 2009       

Colonel Chuck Scott Retired Army Colonel Charles W. Scott, a 31 year veteran of the U.S. military, was Chief of the Defense Liason office at the American embassy in Tehran, supplying arms sales and military assistance to the Shah's U.S.-backed dictatorial regime.

On November 4, 1979, ("the most terrorizing day of my entire life") the embassy was seized by revolutionaries after the United States refused to hand over the Shah to stand trial for his crimes. Scott recounts enduring torture, solitarily confinement and lousy food during the 444 day long ordeal, much of which he calls "sheer hell".

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became President in 2005, Col. Scott adamantly claimed that he recognized him as one of his former captors in Tehran (the claims have never been substantiated).

In his 1984 hostage memoir, the former diplomat discussed the significance of the 1953 U.S.-engineered coup that overthrew Iran's democratic government to his captors. He recalls arguing with them over the atrocity, which he does not condemn.

The Evolution of Revolution TV Special (1999)

Col. Chuck Scott addressed the roots of the hostage ordeal in the 1999 ABC-TV special The Evolution of Revolution, part of The Century series hosted by Peter Jennings.

“One thing that the CIA was good at in those days was organizing opposition groups. General Schwarzkopf’s dad went in there with Kermit Roosevelt and handed out money to pro-Shah demonstrators and assisted in the ouster of Mohammad Mossadegh and the return of the Shah to the power.

From that day on, the people of Iran believed, basically as an article of faith, that the United States was behind the Shah, so therefore the Shah was a puppet of the United States and we were jointly and separately responsible for all of the Shah’s failings, shortcomings and excesses.”

Pieces of the Game (1984)

In his book Pieces of the Game: The Human Drama of Americans Held Hostage in Iran, published in March 1984, Col. Scott referenced the 1953 coup which he called “an open secret”. Yet he excuses U.S. actions and maligns Mossadegh.

It is an open secret that United States sent Kermit Roosevelt and H. Norman Schwarzkoph [sic—Schwarzkopf] of the CIA to Iran to organize pro-Shah demonstrations during the summer of 1953, after the Shah was forced into exile by pro-Mossadeq demonstrations.

Related links:

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker Says 1953 Coup Planted Seeds of 1979 Revolution

State Department Farsi Spokesman Alan Eyre Praises Mossadegh As An Iranian Hero

CIA Director Michael Hayden Avoids 1953 Coup Question

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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