pictory:Soraya and Shah Visit Abadan Oil Refinery (1952)

pictory:Soraya and Shah Visit Abadan Oil Refinery (1952)
by Darius Kadivar
30-Nov-2008
 

Royal couple visits the Worlds Largest Refinery of its time in the Middle East. Soraya and Shah Visit Abadan Oil Refinery (circa 1952)

Share/Save/Bookmark

more from Darius Kadivar
 
Darius Kadivar

Your Welcome David Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

take care ;0)

D


David ET

Thank you

by David ET on

 for your answers Dariush :)


Darius Kadivar

Q cont'd

by Darius Kadivar on

He could not step out in favor of his son until his legal age of 20. As for his succession in case of vaccum of power, the role fell upon the Queen for a Law was passed in the mid seventies that in case of death or passing away she would be Regent. Again if Iran was the ideal Western Constitutional Monarchy such a situation would not have been difficult to handle. But power was concentrated in his own hands for too long and the transition was easier said than done. No one denies that he has a share of responsability in his own downfall but the sudden nature of the Revolution took many by surprise and the Radicalism of the Revolutionaries hardly left any place for dialogue or possible negotiations since Khomeiny refused any compromise to calm the situation.

As for Ego ?  Of course there is Ego when you are in Politics but its true as much as for kings as for Presidents. Mitterand in France knew he had cancer shortly after his election in 1981 and no one knew it until half through his 2nd term. The result was that no one has truly succeeded him as a Leader of the Socialist Party since which has fallen apart between ring leaders since the early 1990's.

However the Shah's shortcomings have served much less deserving monarchies in the Middle East like Jordan or Morocco who have understood the importance of making sure that succession takes place peacefully and without controversy. Had the Shah's regime not fallen these monarchies would have maintained similar so called despotic behaviours. Instead they now try to work on their PR and image and have good relations with the Press or at least more careful in handling their communication with them. It pays off since despite their imperfections King Abdullah of Jordan or the King Muhamed VI of Morroco are rarely attacked in the Western Press for being authocrats ( which they actually are in a very similar way as the Shah was). As a matter of fact they even have tried to copy the British by accepting to pay taxes like any other citizen (And yet they are not the most tender regimes when it comes to suppressing  opponents ... )

Now despite that I am sure many will argue and say lets start a revolution in Morrocco or Jordan because they have a King who rules and does not reign. The Result would be as bad as Iran if not worse with Islamists taking over. I wonder why people are less shocked by the majority of the States in the Middle East which are Dictatorial Republics like Saddam Hussein's Iraq or Assad's Syria or Lybia's Quaddafi ? Why are they seen by Left Wing Intellectuals as less corrupt than the local monarchies and more in tune with the PEOPLE like you say ? ... These Middle Eastern Republics have empoverished their people much, much more than any of their fellow monarchical regimes in the region. But if you put on a turban and a beard suddenly you become a national hero like Yasser Arafat the Terrorist who ended up with the Nobel Peace Prize ...

You were mentioning the Shah's Fortune and corruption. Do you know that Bill Clinton raised 500 Million Dollars just for his Presidential Library and guess who were his generous contributors ?

The Saudi Royal Family, the King of Morroco, the government of Kuwait and Qatar as well as a tycoon who is the son of the former authoritarian President of Ukrain. It was mentioned yesterday Paris Time in IHT Dec 1st 2008  article : Pact on disclosure clears way for Clinton at State by Peter Baker ( don't have the link but look it up)

So when the same presidents of Western Democracies start ac cusing others of corruption, I find that simply hypocritical. Clinton is not forced even to reveal the names if it weren't to see her wife join the Obama government.

But well that's the rule of the game in Politics ... the Wisest or most cynical wins.

 


David ET

Q cont'd

by David ET on

The reason this question is if he knew about the cancer , why during the revolution days he did not publicize it as a King that since he was passing away because of cancer , therefore he would have passed the Kingdom to his son or Farah while still alive.

This , joint with assigning a prime minister such as Bakhtiar could possibly have defused some of the ferver,

After all one of the main slogans were Death to Shah and if people knew. sooner or later he was going to die of cancer and if he had chosen a heir, the chance of saving Pahlavi dynasty would have possibly been much more...

his more seems like either a tactical error on his part perhaps was too much ego and huger for power,  to pass the crown to next ?n!


Darius Kadivar

Dear Nazy

by Darius Kadivar on

The Memoirs of Alam are Very Interesting but I have doubts on the authenticity of all the sources. It was published after his death and many years after the revolution with the permission of his wife and family. I have some doubts as to some of the sensational comments made in the book as if being the words of Alam himself. Particularly when it comes to the Shah's sex life but also Alam's own private life where he clearly mentions that he had mistress'. It seems a little far fetched for a minister who would like to ensure his place in history. The diary however well protected would have created trouble if discovered for Alam while still alive or worst for his family after his death. But you never know ? My guess is that 90 % of what is said is reliable but their seems to be 10 % which was rewritten to satisfy sales. One has to confront the Diary to other existing sources so as to have a more accurate idea of the claims made in it.

As for the Shah's disease, I don't think that the Shah would not have been informed. The Doctors Oath does not allow to share such news to anyone but the patient or close family if he is not in a condition to know. At the time of his first tests the Shah was fit and intellectually prepared for such a blow and would even probably be curious to know about it since he was not stupid. At worst his wife would have been informed so I guess the Shah knew from the begining that he had a terrible cancer but could be contained through treatment. He had several doctors who examined him so the confrontation of the diagnosis' had to be revealed to him by him questioning his physicians.

Also a look at the Shah's photos through out the 70's shows that his weight goes YO YO. He looks very thin at times and tanned and healthy or overweight at others. It must have been the result of the disease but also the medications like cortizone which can tan the skin and increase your weight. France's President Pompidou had died I believe from the same disease as the Shah or something similar and Cancer was one of the major fears of the 70's like AIDS today so the Shah must have been pre occupied by his own health and must have collaborated with his doctors closely. But after his exile he did not receive the proper treatment, that is certain from the diaries of Dr. Kean and reports by Dr. Debakey. There was even a real competition between the American doctors and the Swiss French each trying to impose their diagnosis and probably also hoping to be paid generously. After his departure from NY hospital and leaving American Territory to Panama, Mexico and other countries for asylum the doctors were flown in to follow him at different stops but he needed a more stable and supervised treatment which he never recieved until his last stop in Cairo where he was to die. During his stop in Panama the American government tried to capture him and exchange him with the US hostages ( according to the Empress' diaries but also reports in the French Press of the time like Le Monde)  but word came to the Empress' knowledge and she called Sadat's wife who informed the President who immediately gave them hospitality and even a State Visit Protocole upon their arrival.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1fzFNsu15U

Another Book that I would recommend if interested in this Era is William Shawcross' The Shah's Last Ride and Iranian Journalist Amir Taheri's The Unknown Life of the Shah if one hopes to find some objective account of the Shah's life even if I think that in both cases you can find some sensational comments aimed to put the books on Best Seller Shelves. Shawcross for instance makes some far fetched interpretations on the Shah's personality which I do not share but it is a very readable and much more objective investigation into the Shah's life than what was mostly published at the time. I know that Abbas Milani who wrote an excellent book on Hoveyda is to release a biography on the Shah soon which I am very curious to read.

The True Shah like all historical characters will certainly give way to alot of research and books in the years to come the same for Khomeiny. How much of the Real Personality, motivations, shortcomings or strong points of such important historical figures will surface only with time and distance from the period to allow objectivity. We know more about Kennedy for instance today to say that he was not the angelic figure he appeared to be during his presidency but on the otherhand I think that any man or  women will always have a private and mysterious side which escapes the historian and is only known by himself or herself. That is why history is so interesting for it allows us to re examin the past ( without re writing it of course) to understand an era and ultimately ourselves as a society and how we got where we are today or will be tomorrow.

But that is I'm afraid an eternal debate amongst historians ;0)


Nazy Kaviani

Dear Darius

by Nazy Kaviani on

I have a question for you. Have you read Amir Assadollah Alam's memoirs? Do you think them to be authentic? In that book, Alam says that he had been diagnosed with a similar disease earlier and was seeing a (Swiss?) physician for it who was later assigned to look after the Shah. He says in the book that in fact the Shah didn't know about the true nature of his illness and only Alam and his physician knew about it. I would love to know what you think about Alam's book and his many assertions and claims in it.

Have a nice day in Paris!


Darius Kadivar

Hi David

by Darius Kadivar on

He knew he had cancer since the early 70's I think but he found out it was uncureable by the mid 70's when he created the Rastakhiz party according to his French physician George Flandrin. But the secret was kept between him and his physician up to late 1979. Not even his wife knew about the severity of his case. The Carter administration only found out after the Hostage Crisis when they accepted to give him assylum for a few days in NY where he recieved a treatment but was forced out after Revolutionaries demonstrated outside the hospital. His death from cancer was certain but his life could have been prolonged a few more years if he had received proper and on time treatment.


David ET

Dear Dariush

by David ET on

I was wondering: Did Shah know he had cancer before leaving Iran during the revolution or he found out later?