Beckoning the Shah of Iran
May 25, 1979 — The New York Post

The Mossadegh Project | July 12, 2021                       

In this lawyerly lead editorial, The New York Post urged saving the exiled Iranian monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, citing historical precedent dating back to FDR. Rupert Murdoch bought the Manhattan tabloid-format newspaper in 1976, veering it sharply to the right.

Past friendships dictate:
U.S. must welcome Shah here

The way the United States is treating the Shah is spineless and disgraceful. From the time when he took over Iran, first in 1941, and again after the excesses of Dr. Mossadegh in 1953, he was courted and befriended by every American President from Franklin D. Roosevelt through President Carter.

He has been a loyal ally, especially after Britain gave up its protection of the Persian Gulf’s crucial oil resources in 1972, and our leaders have never hesitated to proclaim him so.

Thus President Nixon, in 1973: “We welcome you here (to Washington) as not only an old friend, as a progressive leader, but as a world statesman of the first rank.” [Richard Nixon]

Thus President Ford, in 1975: “You are one of the world’s senior statesmen.” [Gerald Ford]

Thus President Carter, at a New Year’s Eve banquet in Teheran in 1977: “Our talks have been priceless, our friendship is irreplaceable and our own gratitude is to the Shah, who in his wisdom and with his experience, has been so helpful to me, a new leader.” [Jimmy Carter]

What price gratitude? Carter has made it his forte to announce to the world the closeness of his many friendships with others. But if the treatment now being afforded the Shah is any guide, it is hardly any wonder that other leaders are reassessing the extent to which they can rely on Washington.

Around the world, in many countries which are not and may never be democracies but are yet as much sought after by the Soviet Union as by ourselves, there is a new skepticism about reliance on Washington. We would do well to attempt to dissipate the doubts.

Having proclaimed that the U.S. would be a neutral bystander in Iran’s revolution, Carter now looks askance while the Shah and his wife [Farah Pahlavi] are made the de facto prisoners of Paradise Island — a gambling joint off Nassau, in the Bahamas — where predatory politicians and hoteliers have fleeced him of $1 million in the past eight weeks.

There would be obvious security problems if the couple were invited to the U.S. It would be extremely difficult for them to live in New York or Los Angeles. But this is a vast country. Surely it would be possible for them to find safe refuge.

There will be objections that the Shah long kept himself in office through a savage secret police force, permitted corruption, torture and other excesses. All this was known while the Shah was in office. More to the point, it was well known to our Presidents, to our State Dept., and to every prominent American politician — most of whom visited the Shah over the past 10 years.

We need not rewrite history to recognize that the constancy of our word and the efficacy of our foreign policy require that we clearly invite the Shah to spend his exile in America. If any of the 75,000 Iranian students now studying at our universities object to his presence here, they have an easy remedy. They can return to risk their future with the Ayatollah Khomeini, or whoever may be about to succeed him.

Muslim Brotherhood: Anwar Sadat Rescues the Ailing Shah (1980)


Related links:

Crying For Blood | The Afro American on Iran, Dec. 8, 1979

Shah’s Death Solves Little | Herald and Review, July 29, 1980

Queens College Yields To Anti-Iran Sit-in | New York Daily News, Feb. 18, 1977

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

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