During the last 25 years of his
reign, average, annual, per capita
income rose from $160 to $2,450; and, in 1977, the IMF
predicted that the GDP of oil-rich Iran would equal Spain's, by the end of the century. The
Shah played a leading role, firstly, in creating Iran's economic miracle, and, secondly,
in Middle-Eastern politics, where he was instrumental in obtaining the
Egypto-Israeli accord reached at
During those fateful years, Houchang
Nahavandi was able to observe
the drama, as it unfolded, of Iranian history, from the wings, as it were - or
from the prompt-box, for he was frequently the Shah's (alas, unheeded!)
counsellor, before the fall. In the last months of the reign, and then in exile,
Nahavandi became one of the Shah's
was able to look back, through Imperial eyes, on Iran's ascent and perilous apogee. He saw
too how, after 1977, Iran's lot was cast with the loaded dice
intrigues, when the West (and especially the
Long the friends of Iran, but disquieted by her rise to power and the Shah's independent stance, the western allies discovered, mouldering in exile, a potential puppet-revolutionary, whom France then undertook to groom as the heroic liberator, and whose sermons and official biography were written by intelligence-agents at Neauphle-le-Château and sent to Iran by diplomatic bag.
Alert, discreet and candid, Nahavandi shows us tragic events unfolding, massacres, media-infiltration and - manipulation (by the Soviets!) and agitators gulling crowds with empty coffins, all of which provokes a desire to save Iran - especially so, when we learn that the Shah ordered his army not to resist nor "shed the least drop of blood", while fanatical, revolutionary, western assets, whom the West affects to combat, did the West's dirty work.
In The Last Shah of Iran, Houchang Nahavandi throws back the scenery of this drama to reveal the human and political reality, in which he was intimately involved, and which is the key to understanding the world today. Recalling also his long conversations with the exiled and dying King, he describes the in-fighting at Court, the despairing attempts of those, who could see "the writing on the wall", and the treacherous double-game played by the western powers.
The exiled Monarch, eaten away by illness, shines a rare spotlight on the treachery of the West. Valéry said that "civilisations are mortal", and one might foresee that, when "nought else remains" round the colossal wreck of the present hegemony, but a caricature of a civilisation, sketched by its cultural dross, and the invading hordes of five continents, the Shah will still afford a noble vision of how things might be. Straight facts and a wealth of irrefutable, previously unpublished, testimony provide the first completely clear and detailed picture of what happened then and, thus, of what is happening now.
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... Payvand News - 2/13/06 ... --