Wednesday, July 02, 2014

1 January, 1978: Ironic Prelude to a Revolution

President Carter and spouse decided to spend News Year's day with the Shah of Iran and his wife, because they liked the company as well as for reasons of international politics. The Shah has recently relaxed his hawkish views on oil prices, and was regarded as an essential prop against the soviet Union.

Carter also wanted to show his gratitude to the Shah for his progress on human rights and his switch of position on oil prices, which was seen as a major concession on the part of the monarch. Moreover, the President was regretful and embarrassed over the rioting and tear gas that had greeted the Shah’s arrival on the South Lawn of the White House, and he wanted to clear up any misunderstandings, within Iran and outside the country, and firmly underline American support. So, at a New Year’s Eve banquet, he rose to offer a memorable toast. “Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world,” he said. “This is a great tribute to you, Your Majesty, and to your leadership, and to the respect and the admiration and the love which your people give you.” On that strong and hopeful note, the President and the Shah welcomed the momentous New Year of 1978.

Yergin, Daniel (2011-04-05). The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (p. 654). Free Press. Kindle Edition.