Last Throes
December 8, 1978 — United Press [UPI]

The Mossadegh Project | April 8, 2015    

At a White House Correspondents Association breakfast on December 7, 1978, President Jimmy Carter was asked about the chances of Iranian tyrant Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s political survival. Carter said he was pulling for the Shah, but back in Tehran, his expression of doubt still caused panic in the royal palace.

Carter ‘hopes’ Shah survives

WASHINGTON (UPI) — President Carter said Thursday he “hopes” the Shah can survive Iran’s bloody turmoil but made clear the United States will not intervene to save him as it did 25 years ago.

At a breakfast news conference, reporters asked Carter whether he thinks the Shah will be able to retain power in the face of continuing bloodshed, strikes and demonstrations aimed at his overthrow.

“I don’t know, I hope so,” the president said.

“This is something that is in the hands of the people of Iran. We have never had any intention and don’t have any intention of trying to intercede in the internal political affairs of Iran.”

The response on the shah’s future seemed carefully hedged and unusually bleak for Carter, who had expressed unflinching sympathy and support for the Iranian ruler in previous comments.

With the complementary hands-off pledge, Carter was restating a policy point U.S. officials have found need to stress repeatedly throughout Iran’s deepening crisis: That there will be no repetition of the Cold War power play of 1953, when the CIA helped to overthrow Iran’s leftist premier, Mohammed Mossadegh, and restored the young Shah to power.

Related links:

The Shah, the President and empty Phrases — Letter to The Daily Iowan, February 16, 1977

Worth Listening ToThe Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 12, 1980

Iranians Should WorryThe Chicago Sun-Times, February 21, 1977

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

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