Protesters crash pro-Shah film screening
November 6, 1973 — Spartan Daily (Letter)

The Mossadegh Project | March 18, 2016                      


California, 1973: The screening of a Shah propaganda film was cancelled after protesters from the Iranian Students Association crashed the event, which was associated with the Iranian Consulate. The run-down was published in this letter to the San Jose State University student newspaper Spartan Daily.

‘Shah propaganda’

Last Friday night (Nov. 2), the Shah of Iran’s propaganda machine was rolling full steam in San Jose, but without much results, to his majesty’s regret. A number of local associates of the Iranian Consulate had planned the showing of propaganda films at Bethel Church on Moorpark Avenue and had taken every precaution to keep any opposing view out of their meeting.

The program was one of the many efforts of the Shah’s dictatorship to create an acceptable public image of itself in this country. This image is essential if the Shah is to continue receiving economic and military support from the U.S. government.

The Shah is particularly afraid of the kind of public opinion opposition that the Greek Junta faces in this country because such public opposition could force the U.S. government to, for example, stop the flow of U.S. arms into Iran (as was the case for Greece). Without such widespread U.S. support (e.g. over $3 billion of U.S. arms sales last year) the Shah’s government would stand little chance of surviving in face of the Iranian people’s opposition.

The Iranian Students Association was informed about the program a few hours before it started, despite the efforts of the Iranian Consulate to keep it a secret. About 50 Iranian and American students attended the film showing, distributed literature and took part in discussions with the audience.

Soon, what was to have been a propaganda move in favor of the Shah, turned into an open indictment of the Shah’s dictatorship. Because of public support for the students, the sponsors of the program decided to cancel the showing of the main propaganda film feature.

What are the realities of the U.S. supported dictatorship of the Shah in Iran? There are over 30,000 political prisoners (according to impartial reports of such organizations as Amnesty International), and despite the extremely bad conditions of living and housing, the military budget of Iran constitutes 50 per cent of the total budget of the country. Under the Nixon Doctrine, Iran is thus being turned into an armed camp to suppress all popular movements in the Persian Gulf area.

The Iranian Students Association wishes to thank the students who participated in this effort as well as the members of the public present at the program for their support.

Iranian Students Association

Shah Of Iran Spells Good News For United States (1967 column)
Shah Of Iran Spells Good News For U.S. | Holmes Alexander (Oct. 1967)


Related links:

Shah of Iran’s methods opposed — Letter to Cal Poly SLO newspaper Mustang Daily (1972)

Shah Rules Iran With U.S. Weapons | Hassan F. Zandy (1973)

Iranian dilemma | The San Bernardino County Sun, November 13, 1979

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

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