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June 23, 2009
What do Tehran, Panama & Washington have in common?

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed outrage at Iran’s violent crackdown on protesters in a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: White House

What do Tehran, Panama City and Washington have in common?

Failed U.S. policy and C.I.A. maneuvering played themselves out in those venues 30 years ago. When the shah of Iran was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Carter administration twisted the arm of Panamanian General Omar Torrijos and convinced him to give the shah political refuge. The shah’s chief protector while in Panamanian exile was Colonel Manuel Antonio Noriega, Torrijos’ intelligence chief — all the while a paid C.I.A. collaborator.

Noriega told me in interviews I conducted with him in the 1990s for the book “America’s Prisoner” that Torrijos accepted the U.S. request “as a goodwill gesture to the United States,” despite protests worldwide.

Several times, there were attempts by terrorists to penetrate the security cordon and reach the shah; at least one occasion involved a zealot on a suicide mission trying to sneak into Panama with false documents. With the ayatollah declaring that killing the shah would be a sure route to heaven, we were certain that there would be such an effort and our guard was always up.

The United States has fingerprints all over the history of Iran, and Panama too — a legacy of manipulation, greed, disregard of human rights and democracy and failed understanding of U.S. long term interests.

The C.I.A. installed the shah on his so-called 2,500-year-old Peacock Throne in Tehran in 1953, overthrowing the democratically-elected president, Mohammad Mosaddeq. Successive U.S. presidents, including Jimmy Carter, looked the other way while the shah’s C.I.A.-trained SAVAK intelligence agency repressed dissidents and their fight for freedom.

Barack Obama is attempting a new and pragmatic approach toward dealing with Iran after generations of mutual suspicion. He is concerned that a high profile would make the United States a convenient target for Iranian clerics. Obama’s conservative opponents at home are looking for ways to criticize him, charging Obama is not sufficiently vocal in supporting the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.

Where are they now?

General Manuel Noriega is a convicted felon and prisoner of war, held in a Florida jail since 1989 when the United States invaded his country and disbanded the U.S.-trained Panamanian National Guard.

The shah died in Cairo of cancer in 1980. His son, Reza Pahlavi, emerged from obscurity in suburban Washington on Monday. He spoke at the National Press Club, dewy-eyed as he hinted he wouldn’t mind running for president of Iran one day.

For now: “My sole objective is to help my compatriots reach freedom,” Pahlavi said. But if and when that happens, he went on, “I’d like to be able to be in my country one day, come behind such a podium, talk to my people and every other candidate…let the people decide.”

– Peter Eisner

Find our complete coverage of the Iranian elections at Voices of Iran.

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In my view MOSSADEGH was a mad man or let us say become mad when he became PM.
Everthing he done about the oIL was his job to do, he should not gone against HRM SHAHAN’SHA ARIAMEHR.
HRM was very kind to him to let him to live for rest of his natural life in peace, if it was now he would not be alive more than a day or two, under this new regime that the West bring and help to govern IRAN for nearly 31 years.
Me and my mum and many Iranian came out to support HRM in Tehran in 1953, we did not know anything about CIA at that time.
For us Pride Iranian ( PERSIAN ) King is the same as our GOD.
What MOSSADEGH done caused division in Iranian society and help greatly the 1979 disaster to happen to Iran and all Iranian.
And finally I must say that the West is now payng for it too, as the world peace gone, when HRM SHAHAN’SHA ARIAMEHR gone
Long live IRAN.
Long live the SHAH ( KING )


Dear Peter Eisner,
With all due respect you have missed very important idea of having SAVAK in Iran… SAVAK was the only possible way to protect IRAN from traitors such as the Toude Party, Communists who were looking to sell IRAN out to Russia or England each for their own benefit to come to power and destroy the Iranian Solidarity that the Great Mohamad Reza SHAH Pahlavi was defending with all his might and soul to keep together.. There was no civil disobedience that you are refering to in your article that the SAVAK was suppressing unless you call traitors who are trying to betray their OWN country for foreigners’ benefit and just allow them to do what they want and destroy the country which the Toude Party helped acheive with the help of the west in 1979 which is a whole book on it’s own if I have to talk about it here…

Also You mentioned the SHAH came power by the help of CIA after removing the FREELY ELECTED MOSSADEGH ?????? UMMM, I am an Iranian and From what I understand THE SHAH HAS WITHIN THE COUNTRY’S CONSTITUTION to remove the PRIME MINISTER if time calls for it ?!?!?!? Beside that, IRAN HAS THE WORSE ECONOMY EVER EXPERIENCED IN THAT CENTURY OR PAST FEW DECADES During the 9 Months of MOSSADEGH AS PRIME MINISTER and the SHAH made the smartest move not only to remove mossadegh from his position WHICH THE SHAH APPOINTED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE, MOSSADEGH was following orders from ENGLAND rather than HIS OWN GOVERNMENT’S PARLIAMENT !!! Please next time you want to have a typical attack on our SHAH, OUR GREAT IRANIAN HERO OF 20TH CENTURY, PLEASE DO DOME DUE DILIGENCE AND DO NOT BE A TYPICAL NEW TIMES ANTI SHAH , JIMMY CARTER LOBBYIST, THAT’S OLD GAME ;) REGARDS,




Iranians are getting raped, hung and killed by dozen because of us faild policies


RE: Successive U.S. presidents, including Jimmy Carter, looked the other way while the shah’s C.I.A.-trained SAVAK intelligence agency repressed dissidents and their fight for freedom.

In the book “The Real Jimmy Carter,” by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute: Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime executed more people in its first year in power than the Shah’s SAVAK had allegedly killed in the previous 25 years.”
On February 1, 1979, with U.S. officials joining the welcoming committee, Ayatollah Khomeini arrived in Iran amid media fanfare. Although counter-demonstrations, some numbering up to 300,000 people, erupted in Iran, the Western press barely mentioned them.
Ramsey Clark, who served as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson, held a press conference where he reported on a trip to Iran and a Paris visit with Khomeini. He urged the US government to take no action to help the Shah so that Iran could determine its own fate. Clark played a behind the scenes role influencing members of Congress to not get involved in the crisis. Perhaps UN Ambassador Andrew Young best expressed the thinking of the left at the time when he stated that, if successful, Khomeini would eventually be hailed as a saint.
Iran’s last hope: its well-trained military could still restore order. Why did the Carter administration send: “Air Force General Robert Huyser, deputy commander of U.S. forces in Europe, to pressure Iran’s generals into giving in without a fight. ?” “Huyser directly threatened the Iranian military with a break in diplomatic relations and a cutoff of arms if they moved to support their monarch.”
The Carter Administration is why the Shah fell
“Fascism Without Swastikas”
Bordewich targeted the American press for being blissfully ignorant of Khomeini’s agenda leading up to the Iranian revolution. It was not until 1981 when Bordewich was proven correct.
Children as young as 13 were hanged from cranes, six at a time, in a barbaric two-month purge of Iran’s prisons on the direct orders of Ayatollah Khomeini, reported in a book by his former deputy.
More than 30,000 political prisoners were executed in the 1988 massacre – a far larger number than previously suspected. Secret documents smuggled out of Iran reveal that, because of the large numbers of necks to be broken, prisoners were loaded onto forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half-hourly intervals.
Gruesome details are contained in the memoirs of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, The Memoirs of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, one of the founders of the Islamic regime. He was once considered Khomeini’s anointed successor, but was deposed for his outspokenness.
.Remember Carter’s human rights program, where he demanded the Shah of Iran step down and turn over power to the Ayatollah Khomeini? Carter had the U.S. Pentagon tell the Shah’s top military commanders about 150 of them to acquiesce to the Ayatollah and not fight him.

Tehran’s police officers were slaughtered. At least 1,200 Imperial Army officers, who had been instructed by General Huyser not to resist the revolution, were put to death.

“The Shah’s military listened to Carter. All of them were murdered in one of the Ayatollah’s first acts.

Peter Eisner is half wet he should do more research


Fascinating background that just shows how quickly we forget history even when it’s so relevant to important things going on around us.


Peter Eisner is an editorial consultant with Worldfocus and a 30-year veteran of international news. He has been an editor and foreign correspondent at The Washington Post, Newsday and The Associated Press. He co-authored “The Italian Letter,” which details fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. He was founder and president of Newscom, an international online news service, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

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