What Americans knew 20 years before the revolution


Wiki-not-so-leaky, or, the published Foreign Relations of the United States (edited by: Edward C. Keefer Washington: USGPO, 1993. page 606): It is often said that when the Iranian revolution happened, it took the U.S. by surprise. It is not that the U,S, did not have good intelligence, they had superb and insightful professional diplomats who sent telling reports to Washington. The problem was that Washington did not want to hear what they were saying on the ground and their "interest" lay in buttressing the Shah. The above report is truly prophetic, filed TWENTY YEARS before the revolution. -- Farhad Diba

02/05/2011 - 11:29

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بت شکن

Why should Mr Diba care?

by بت شکن on

   You see what is so interesting here is not this piece of inaccurate reporting but the reasons why the author of this blog should care to publish it.     The report itself is total nonsense. I am no fan of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi but to suggest that the major land owners were his supporters shows a deeply flawed understanding of Iran's political culture. MRP was a modernizer as opposed to his enemy Mr Diba's (half or step) uncle, Muhammad Musaddegh who was the product and guardian of feudalism and was born to a family of oligarchs. MRP's land reforms (as badly as it was managed) was a major strike in breaking down the feudal system to which Farhad Diba's uncle was a champion as well as a beneficiary. Also to suggest that MRP had a strong support base in the army is total bull. The so called analysts who had written this piece of drivel had obviously never heard of the Tudeh Party's Military branch in which thousands of high to low ranking officers were members.     And yet the American politicians did take action on this report and within a year or two of this report gave the green light to two high ranking officers, Generals Gharani and Bakhtiar, to stage a coup against MRP (under JFK's administration). Both of these Generals were among the pro Pahlavi officers who took part in toppling Mussadegh in 1953. And the last obvious error in this so called analysis is that it makes no mention of MRP's other major enemy - the clergy.     But back to Farhad Diba and his intentions.  Is Mr Diba saying that Americans should have been alerted to the (allegedly) potential risks of MRP's rule to American interests in the region band had helped removing him (as they are doing it in Egypt these days) before it was too late. Is he suggesting that Americans should have reinstalled his uncle back to the office and given him a second chance? Or is he suggesting that the Americans had the best interest of Iran at heart and they neglected their duties towards Iran?! In any case for someone like Farhad Diba pretending to have been anti Pahlavi  takes too much to swallow. In his interview with Fariba Amini published a few years ago on this site Farhad Diba brags about his privileged schooling in the same English school where British Imperialists such as Churchill, Iran's and his own uncle's arch enemy, were schooled. He fondly remembers being  invited to the Pahlavi palace parties and his friendship with Ardeshir Zahedi, son of General Zahedi who toppled his "beloved" uncle and in fact was the errand boy between the Americans and their Iranian agents. Diba also lost no opportunity to dine and wine with the architect of his uncle's fall, Kim Roosevelt!      //    In the meantime Mr Diba enjoyed the comfortable life the Pahlavi rule provided him and was the chief executive of the Diba and Co conglomerate that flourished under Pahlavi rule thanks to his father Abolhassan Diba (a relative if Farah Diba)  //   Sadly all the Diba empire was confiscated, not by the Pahlavis, but by the very people Mr Diba supported in 1979, the Islamic rulers of the IRI. But I am glad to note that non of these prevented Mr Diba to enjoy a life of comfort and luxury in exile.  His 70th birthday party snaps are a pictorial collection of who is who of the Ghajar dynasty in exile.  //   which brings us back to Mr Diba's motivation in publishing this report. I leave you to take a guess. 


Cheechio Midonestand?

by statira on

Ina hanoozam ke hanooze nafamidan donya daste keye, cheechio migid az 50 sal peesh midoonestand?

Immortal Guard


by Immortal Guard on

Geopolitics is like putting a puzzle together!

Except that you need your toy soldiers to move the pieces:


You surely must have played that when you were a kid.

It is also a bit like gardening!

Now I hope you are not one of those PhD dudes who didn't master the fundamentals?

In the meantime by watching BBC and CCN and observing the West I see a general atmosphere of unease and even creeping tension has descended upon it. Anyway for the time being watching BBC abd CCN is the cheapest comedy in town!



Immortal Guard Aziz

by BBNaftee on

To answer, no I did not take any "college level" courses covering special relativity, Time Dilation and Length Contraction. But I guess with a Master degree in Nuclear Engineering and a PhD in Systems Eng. (OK it was 21 years ago), I just know enough to be absolutely confused about you not making any sense at all about mixing those concepts with what we are talking about here. And while we are (or not) on the subject, what is this "social science of geopolitics" ? Man, you sure know how to confuse the enemy! May be we need talents such as yourself to counter the Brits and the Yank intelligence agencies. But, love you very much and raise my hat to you. You are clearly a very clever guy and I too sometimes mis-state what I am trying to get across.


یا قمر بنی‌ هاشم!


Really, what matters most? what the clever US, Brits or jews know about the inevitable fate of our dictators and when they expire their use and need replacing or what we, Iranians, must be suffering at the hands of these corrupt dictators which makes us pour into the streets and get beaten up,  shot, jailed, tortured and murdered about once every three decades?

I wish they could just take all this f***ing oil money to LA, London, Toronto and leave us alone to get on with our lives in rasht, sanandaj, tabriz, qom, zahedan, Tehran and the rest...

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


We Iranians need to know the TRUE HISTORY OF PAHLAVI ERA


In order to end this doom and gloom rapist islamic republic, we need to educate our people about what our Pahlavi Kings did for Iran in the 50 years they ruled, the evil forces that our Iranian Pahlavi Kings fought to build Iran, and then how these evil forces (the British and their servants: radical isalmic terrorists) used BLOOD LIBEL to persecute patriotic Iranians and overthrow our Patriotic Pahlavi Kings. We need to disseminate true facts about Iran and our Kings. The British-Israeli are notorious for spreading false facts about our King and our history. They know our history and know how to twist it to weaken us, to disempower us, to divide us, to confound our politics and to steal from us. Know thy ENEMY. 

Here is definition of Blood Libel:


Don't be fooled by these Israeli's because they despise the name "Iran" because it is associated with Arya. Our Pahlavi kings helped Israel when it was a fledgling country, in return, the Israeli's stabbed him in the back. So, Israel is no friend of Iran and has never been a friend of Iran. They are users and exploiters and work hand in hand with the British to spread Blood Libel about Our Pahlavi Kings. 

Iranians need to wake up. 


SOS-FREE-IRAN You are Awesome, keep the facts coming.

by AlexInFlorida on

Amazing we have people like this get killed


powerful speech is why they killed her not for having drugs.

This is the consequence of betraying the Shah.


The British planned to overthrow our King


Knowing and wanting are two different things. The British wanted and
planned to overthrow the our King Pahlavi  as early as 1941. So, their
anaylsts/propaganda pundits begin to issue false reports about
instability, corruption, human rights, and their minions, radical Islam begins assassinating our prime ministers, Razmara and that the Brits can prop up their man, mossadegh. ... Mossadegh was the British
pawn to overthrow and destablize Iran and our  monarchy. The Brits succeeded in
destabliizing our  Monarchy  but the overthrow was delayed for 20
years. The Iranians fought the British from 1953 to 1979 - when the
British propaganda machine to spread BLOOD LIBEL abour our King was at
full tilt. The BBC daily reports...briefings of Americans as to all the
evils of the Shah... There was a non-stop attack on Iran and our King
by the British press, ambassadors, intelligence officers, MI6.. 
Finally, they rounded the Americans to help them overthrow our Benevolent and kind King and split Iran up. 

Of course, some members of Qajar family, despite the high ranking posiitons they held in Pahlavi Monarchy, these old Qajari were working for the Brits. What do we learn from these traitors who are now living a life of luxury in London.

The above briefing was furnished to the americans by the British,
the number one enemey of Iran and our King. This report is full of
errors. The middle class supported the Shah because he created the
middle class through his economic, land, and educational policies.  These
reports are written by our enemy  to justify the overthrow.  

Did you know A British-Jew, Mr. Bernard Lewis proposed the plan to break up Iran in 1979 into smaller states.

A map of the Bernard Lewis Proposal (source: De Hoyos, L.
(1985). Derivative Assassination: Who Killed Indira Ghandi? New York:
New Benjamin Franklin House). Note how Iran is now renamed as “Persia" or “Iranistan”. This was first unveiled in 1979.




by afshinazad on

If we all start talking about all about who know what and who were planning of removing our King out of power and installing Religion fascism against soviets and how this plan was carefully and accurately designed, it shouldn't be surprise to any of us, because British and American were studying our behaviours and weakness for long time and it was easy for them to get public to come out and remove the king, but most important part is we the Iranian always been trusting strangers rather trusting our own people and this is tragedy and absences of knowledge and trust to one another. Our neighbours were majority Armenian and they were against revolution and my father asked from one of our neighbour why they don't involve in politics? Answer was you don't know what you want and what you have and you don't understand politic and you never been in other countries and he said in his personal opinion Shah is not our Iranain problem we are the problem and our problem is our own actions and what is that we do to help the country or the king and my father’s respond was Inshalah we will learn once we have the freedom. And still don't know which freedom my father was talking about. I think my father was stupid man and our neighbour was a wise man.and same wise man now no longer with us.

For the personal knowledge , what was our mistakes and how we screwed ourselves and who tried to screw us is great story but living with past also no solution for better future


Immortal Guard


by Immortal Guard on

Well I don't know whether you have ever taken a college-level course in Special Relativity and dealt with concepts such as Time Dilation and Length Extraction. The mathematics involved is simplistically easy but the concepts are very subtle and hard to grasp and to understand!You know why? Because we are not used to think in those terms even if it surrounds us!!!

Such is the issue with long-term political planning and the social science of geopolitics. We simply do not have many well-educated people who have either inherited this knowledge from their predecessors or appropriated this knowledge themselves. Even if our politicians were keen and sharp observers of the political events of the last 100 years they could have learnt a lot!

The other reason is that "power comes through the barrel of the gun" and we don't have the big guns yet! When catching up the path to collective independence is a long and arduous path with many obstacles put on it by those who are determined to exploit us for their own collective interests and none of us as individuals would want to make the necessary sacrifice even for our next generation. We utterly lack a collective common sense or as we say in Persian "Sho'ur Ejtema'ie nadaarim". We cannot trace our miseries back to our collective shortcomings. We are not good group actors and this characteristic has perpetuated itself amongst us for far too long and has become ingrained in our genes. We first need some clear-sighted, concise and concrete group therapy. Some kind of comedy followed by lecture maybe!

Most of Iranian men are also cowards and do not have the courage to act on their own and speak up. This also comes from a culture of repression where fear regins supreme. But even in the so-called Western countries we are too scared to stand up for our rights. Most of our elite either left Iran or even then were too happy to relegate the ultimate decision-making to their masters and to just follow orders. They are completely "KhodBaakhteh". As early as 1976 some people in the upper echelons of the Iranian government already knew that there was going to be a revolution and a war with Iraq! Thay had already made plans to leave Iran and had already transferred their capital to Los Angeles. This means that they did not even bother to make a case for their country. Even if you are the upper management of a big company you strive to save your company if the big banker suddenly wants to pull the plug on you.

The compliment I made to JJ was genuine. I am not a "Khayemaal".

The problem with Iranians is that we have too many powerless experts and not one powerful semi-expert. The Westerners have a few "ShahDozd". We have many "AftaabehDozd".

Another problem is that even if there is one person who has the brains and the guts to act on behalf of the Iranian community at large we all shun that one person and develop misgivings for that person. We are simply ungrateful people and do not appreciate the constructive role any one can play better than the rest of us. We have to learn from the Germans where for instance a good nurse is much better than a bad doctor.

So let's hope that we develop the capacity to look critically at ourselves and then muster the strength to admit our shortcomings first as individuals and then collectively! So far I haven't even seen one Iranian man being able to admit one obvious shortcoming of his!


This actually says nothing

by Escape on

 But to the con-spiracist,it says everything


Alex you're such a conspiracist

by Escape on

  I bet while you're in Florida everytime there's a NASA launch you believe they are actually just going up into space to spy on Iran


They didn't Know, they wanted/planned to overthrow our King


Knowing and wanting are two different things. The British wanted and planned to overthrow the Pahlavi Monarchy as early as 1941. So, their anaylsts/propaganda pundits begin to issue false reports about instability, corruption, human rights ... Mossadegh was the British pawn to overthrow and destablize the monarchy. The Brits succeeded in destabliizing the Monarchy in Iran but the overthrow was delayed for 20 years. The Iranians fought the British from 1953 to 1979 - when the British propaganda machine to spread BLOOD LIBEL abour our King was at full tilt. The BBC daily reports...briefings of Americans as to all the evils of the Shah... There was a non-stop attack on Iran and our King by the British press, ambassadors, intelligence officers, MI6..  Finally, they rounded the Americans to help them overthrow the monarchy.

The above briefing was furnished to the americans by the British, the number one enemey of Iran and our King. This report is full of errors. The middle class supported the Shah because he created the middle class through his economic and educational policies.  These reports are written by our enemy  to justify the overthrow.  


This Sums Up The Misinformation Used To Dominate The World

by AlexInFlorida on

The Basic Approach used by the propaganda experts during this period of neocolonialism is the themes of Repression and Corruption... in contrast with Freedom and Democracy.

And how very convenient it is that everyone else is repressive and corrupt from egypt to afghanistan and the west is not.

Iran under the Shah was many things, both progressive and modernizing, law abiding above all 99% of cases not perfect but close, king did not have absolute power, could be and was challeged frequently... therefore not repressive.

Corruption, compared with USA or EU Iran was a fairytale in this respect, closer to heaven than US Congress. I wonder who Lobbyists are busy paying around 100 billion us dollars a year to? Don't people realize that this determines the outcomes of elections.

The Sad fact is US policy want Islamists, non secular, in control of middle east.  When Iranians Rose up they did so with little to no support or condemnation.  This keeps islamsts in power in Iran.  On the other hand when Islamists are fueling revolution in egypt, the USA says Mobarak must step down immediatelyor lose US support.  This is a real bastard thng to do and does not help secular forces.  It is the real politics going on behind the scenes which the ordnary American has no power over and no knowledge of.

We the people, a government of the people, by the people, for the people, is in practice a big lie, the govt has its own servants and its not human rights or the people, but colonialism, power and money.  This is why IRI is still in power.

Iranians while they did not enjoy democracy in large volumes during the shahs time, absolutely enjoyed freedom and more than most of the world, where the choices that Iranians did have were compared to west more free of coercion, deceit and manipulation.  Iranians had real choices and a continuing improvement of standard of living.

Darius Kadivar

Could Mr. Diba explain how corrupt & Incompetant were Rahimi,

by Darius Kadivar on

Muhagegi, Rabii, Najji and other Brave Iranian Top Brass Officers ?

THE BLUE EYED GENERAL: General Nader Jahanbani Remembered (Audio File)

ROYAL MARTYR: Prince Shahriar Shafiq Remembered


FOR KING AND COUNTRY: Farzan Deljou's interview with General Bahram Aryana (1981)


FOR KING AND COUNTRY: Vice-Admiral Kamal Habibollahi Press Conference after Tabarzin Takeover (1981)


HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: Shah's Generals Executed and Imperial Army Disintegrated (1979)


As for the so called Young Officers who Opposed their superior's so called Corruption, You are actually totally out of line.

The Army at large was very united and loyal to the Shah.

It was the Homafar's who were to Join the Revolution and they had absolutely No Military Status or Rank within the Army.

They were technicians and were not required to have any particular obligation towards Military Hierarchy, dividing their time between University and the Military Barracks which explains why many were politically active.

I invite you to read the testimony of a then young Iranian officer Colonel Amir Bidgoli Rad of the Iranian Imperial Air Force ( Golden Crown) whom I know personally and who can testify to this assessment:

Nocturne iranien: mémoires d'exil du colonel Bidgoli Rad 

A Hero of the Iran Iraq war who was tortured on and off by the IRI despite his services to the nation.

So Before looking desperately for Excuses for YOUR OWN POOR CHOICE 30 years ago :

Khomeini feels "Nothing"

Let me Tell YOU we Don't ALL have ALZHEIMERS:


BOOK: EVEN AFTER ALL THIS TIME By Afschineh Latifi ( A Memoir )




Our Real Problem and the Reason Why We are Here today!

by BBNaftee on

Sounds like our only problem was the Shah and the Americans (their analysts) knew about it some 20 years before the 1979 "revolution"...Do you really believe that?

I humbly ask you, how could only one individual be the root cause of all the problems associated with an entire system of government?Shouldn't we be a little bit more realistic, a little fairer and assume some responsibility on a more collective basis for what has happened to our country? Isn't our national trait of intense brown nosing (Khayemaly) and making utter heroes out of perfectly ordinary individuals and then a while later blaming everything on them and burying them under tonnes of undue blame more responsible for our present predicament?Let me give you a practical example. Just read JJ’s paragraph which says “Of course they knew. As they know many things in many other countries as well. Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia... These analysts are as smart and observant as they come. But politicians are cowards. They don't listen to their own analysts. They tend to listen more to pollsters and a crazy mix influential backers. They rarely care about long-term interests of their own country, much less the fate of another. “

Well nothing out of ordinary, just a response, anyone could have come up with that…right?

Now read Immortal Guard’s response “Very insightful comment Jahanshah! I learned a lot! Thanks! … and then some psychedelic statements about making sure that our politicians go to mental military school !!!“  

Janab ImmortalGuard, Agha, please tell us on which lines of this paragraph by JJ you found all of these insightful comments that you are talking about. I am reading the same paragraph and don’t see anything special in what he has been saying here. It is just stating the obvious.

Janab JJ, how many of these hollow compliments do you get from people visiting this site every day? When was the last time you tried to stop this cheap BS and pointed out to them that this is the very type of mentality and behavior which has brought us to this disastrous end?

But I tell you this much mate…god help you if you ever lose the control or the right to the because I promise you it will not take more than a week before these same people will blame you for everything from their mortgage arrears to their kids failing school grades and not just on you but also on your family. You will be accused of everything from having received IRI money to support money from CIA and MOSSAD and that is not to mention the time when you sold porn on this site.

You want to know who will be leading the mob …. Look at the same people who were most intense at praising you today.This is our national character, this is our problem, Not the Shah (remember Javid Shah…Javid Shah), Not Khomeini (remember Rohe Mani Khomeini…Bot Shekani Khomeini). Also worth remembering that some of the greatest and the most notable Khayemals (and beneficiaries) of the Pahlavi regime were these same Ghajaree left overs such as the Amini’s, Matin Daftaries, Farmanfarmaians, Ghahremanis, Sepahbodies and Dibas of this world and now they are all trying to act as lynch mob leaders (even the insignificant red fariba who has been running this kinzer scam of hers).


There are several good points

by oktaby on

in what Sohrab says jj and generalizing is not a productive approach in historic matters because the devil is in details. 

I do not want to repeat what myself and others have pointed in many blogs and comments. But landing of Khomeini in Paris (as opposed to landing in many neutral, non-western, even Shah opposing nations including Iraq) with facilities & security at the ready along with 26 private phone lines to booth was no coincidence. Shah's mis-spoken comments regarding oil contracts in 1973 and end date of 1979, or Genral Heiser's presence in Iran without Shah's knowledge, Iran/Iraq war and its unnecessary extension beyond the first 2 years, silence of the same West in the face of propagation of terrorism and massive abuse of just about every right, human or otherwise, Algeria Accord, and creation of the finest product of imperialism in the form of IRR..... were not coincidents. Those who were here in U.S. long before 1979 well remember the sudden and massive day in and day out hysterical reporting and canonization of anti-Shah and Khomeini in all 3 news channels that were watched by all who otherwise did not know Iran or gave a damn what/where it was. They could not even point out Vietnam on the map after years of war. Never mind what BBC et al were distributing In and out of Iran.

Iran had plenty of discontent, Shah was full of flaws, made many enemies and allowed the erteja' to take root in Iran via mosques and Shariati et al...

But to suggest that America along with the 'West' did not know what was coming and did not have anything to do with it flies in the face of significant evidence, research and historic documents and not just on Iran but what has transpired in that region and shift in flow of monies, arms etc.

What happened to Iran and Iranians while this cancer was implanted and grew is just icing on the cake for all who hate her and her children.




by Sohrab_Ferdows on

I agree with you that they are not that smart. I used to work with them in Iran for at least 10 years of my life and I know that you might have been around them in Iran too. I also agree with you that we are not helpless but this is true only if we stand up, speak up and do something for ourselves. Just sitting and saying they are not that smart and we are not that helpless will not rsolve anything for us. Do you remember the "pink panther"? have you seen how stupidity of others put everything on his lap? That's how things have been working for Europeans and Americans for at least past two centuries. I am sure you have heard the story of how one can put an egg standing on its narrower end. They have been good with the egg trick and we failed to see it. We need to realize that and think of a way to avoid it from happenning again.


Americans did not conducts these studies just for the sake of "knowing". They did it  to have their policies and plans set accordingly for thier own interest. In every country, the brain of the nation is in their elite community and where they go, the whole nation follows. If the elite of a society is not well educated and not fully aware of the tricks of the trade in politics, then the whole nation will be victim of their failures. This is what happened in Iran in 1979. It is true that we are not innocent but failure to realize our problems and shortcomings and also failure to understand what has really happened will not help us in any way to prevent future events of similar nature.

Jahanshah Javid

Not so innocent

by Jahanshah Javid on

Sohrab, just because the Americans could see trouble down the road does not mean they knew the how and when and who was going to overthrow the Shah.

I think we tend to see the Americans (and the British...) as all knowing and all powerful, while we regard ourselves as innocent, helpless victims. The fact is, they aren't THAT smart or powerful, and more importantly, WE are not THAT helpless or innocent in whatever happens to OUR country.


A plan can never be a surprise

by Sohrab_Ferdows on

Dear Mr. Diba, the image that you posted is a reproduction of a small part of a document which is much larger than a couple of paragraphs. This document covers a whole range of studies about Iranian society and the main point of such studies in my view has been to determine the weak points that could be used to destabilize the country and direct it in a way that Americans could impose their unquestionable controle over the natural resources of the nation. Between the time that such study was carried and reported and the year 1979 at least 2 military coup against Iranian government was planned and reached to the stage of implementation with the help of American government. One was carried by General Gharani who later became the first head of army after Islamic Revolution and the other was carried by General Bakhtiyar who was later assassinated by SAVAK in Iraq.

Americans knew what they had planned for Iran and the uprising of Islamist elements in Iran did not happen by accident. William Sullivan in the preface of his book, "The Mision To Iran", has written about a few weeks of research that he had to conduct prior to going to Iran for his mission in 1977, in order to find out how many Americans were living in Iran, what American companies were doing business in Iran, what would happen if the relation between Iran and United States ended and what amount of American investment would be at risk. He later contacted many of those American companies and advised them to reduce their manpower and investments in Iran and do not get into any new business there without providing any information about upcoming changes in government policies. Mr. Sullivan also in his book writes about a party that was held in his residence which many of high ranking Iranian government officials attended and Mr. Sullivan openly spoke about "need for serious change" in Iran at the dinner table. This was in 1977. There are many other interesting parts in that book and many other books and documents (secret or not) to show that Islamic Revolution in Iran was no surprise for Americans and some others but it was definitely a big surprise for clueless Iranian opposition and Iranian middle class who had left themselves at the mercy of the leaders of that clueless opposition.

Immortal Guard

Make sure your politicians go to mental military school!

by Immortal Guard on

Very insightful comment Jahanshah! I learned a lot! Thanks!

What is the remedy? I don't claim to have the expertise to provide one but I can suggest one. Make your politicians go through a mental military school. Toughest program at the toughest school. Then they will become humble but at the same time acquire the logical, critical and analytical rigour required in order to do their job well!

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Of course they knew. As they know many things in many other countries as well. Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia... These analysts are as smart and observant as they come. But politicians are cowards. They don't listen to their own analysts. They tend to listen more to pollsters and a crazy mix influential backers. They rarely care about long-term interests of their own country, much less the fate of another.