Vidal on Iran

White House becoming "like the tomb of Cyrus"

Gore Vidal speaks to Afshin Rattansi about another of President Bush's attorney-generals facing a subpoena in connection with lies to justify invading Iraq, the fall of the American empire and military action against Iran.



what a load of crap!

by yeki-bood-yeki-nabood (not verified) on

Kennedy just wanted to start islamic mess in his time and nothing else. you seem to have forgotten to change alignment in your word procesor from "right aligned" which is for typing farsi! what a blooper!


Free Thinker has re-writen history

by John Carpenter III (not verified) on

Let us deal with Amini, Teymour Bakhtiar, Alam and Alikhani.

Free Thinker wrote: "Assdollah Alam's memoirs, although not entirely authentic"

In reality, what is written about Alam and AliKhani?
Alam admired the Shah greatly and his writing is therefore not impartial, but at least he expreses the Shah's perception of the national and international politics accurately. This results in the closest possible look at the way the Shah thought and how he made his decisions.

The book is edited by Alam's friend Alikhani, who was also a minister in Alam's cabinet. Judging by the few hand-written diary pages the images of which have been reproduced in the book, the editor seems to have cut out numerous sentences anywhere he had pleased with no apparent reason.

What does free thinker write about Bakhtiar and Amini?

Thanks to the double agency of Alikhani, the Shah was informed of this conspiracy, removed both Bakhtiar and Amini from power and send them packing to harmlesss positions (Bakhtiar to Switzerland as an ambassador and Amini to an early retirement).

What really happened to Teymour Baktiar?
Teymur Bakhtiar (تیمور بختیار in Persian) (1914 - August 12, 1970) was an Iranian general and the founder and head of SAVAK from 1958 to 1961, when he was dismissed by the Shah. In 1970, SAVAK agents assassinated him in Iraq.

***Harmless positions? Mr. Bakhtiar was assassinated. Let's see, he built the Shah's terror network and then was killed off so the Shah could be the "great dictator".

What happened to Amini?Ali Amini (born 1905 in Tehran, Iran; died 1992) was the Prime Minister of Iran from May 6, 1961 to July 19, 1962.

Amini's grandfather was a chancellor of the Qajar Dynasty. He completed his studies first in Darolfonoon and then in France where he graduated with a degree in Law from Grenoble University, followed by his Ph.D in Economics from Paris.

He became involved in politics through the help of Ali Akbar Davar who gave him a position in the Judiciary.

At the age of 37, he was selected as a Minister to serve in the cabinet of Ahmad Ghavam. His tendencies were pro-American to the extent that made the Shah uncomfortable. Mohammad Reza Shah in particular distrusted Amini's popularity and friendship with John F. Kennedy.

During the 1950s, the Shah came under increasing pressure from the United States to appoint Amini as Prime Minister. Amini was finally declared Prime Minister in 1961. In 1962, however, he was replaced by the Shah's close friend and a major Birjand landowner Asadollah Alam.

In the late 1970s, Amini attempted a comeback into Iranian politics at the age of 70. He served as advisor to the Shah during the final days of the Pahlavi Dynasty.

***It does not seem that Amini was put in a harmless position or even early retirement. It seems this Amini guy kept bailing the Shah out of danger.

We need to read and write about Iranian history objectively.

JFK, a paranoid anti-communist? You are mixing up JFK with another guy. And that guy was...

Joseph Raymond McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period of intense anti-communist suspicion inspired by the tensions of the Cold War.[1] He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, McCarthy's tactics and his inability to substantiate his claims led to his being discredited and censured by the United States Senate. The term "McCarthyism," coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist pursuits. Today the term is used more generally to describe demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.[2]

Let us not forget that it was a republican senator that was a paranoid anti-communist.

With regards to the JFK-Cuban missle crisis...

Many military officials and cabinet members pressed for an air assault on the missile sites, but Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine in which the U.S. Navy inspected all ships arriving in Cuba.

It seems JFK tried hard not to start a war with Cuba and the USSR.

Let us not forget, it was during the Republican Presidency (1953–1961) of Dwight D. Eisenhower that Mossadegh was illegally removed as Prime Minister of Iran, put on trial and then put in jail.

It was the same Republican party that is said to have helped delay the freedom of American hostages in order to disgrace Democratic President James Carter. It was these same Republicans that illegally sold Arms to the Islamic Republic in the Iran-Contra affair.

And what can be said about JFK's Peace Corps?

Peace Corps Act (Public Law 87-293). The Peace Corps Act declares the purpose of the Peace Corps to be:

“to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.”


comment about the JFK and his "good wishes" for Iran,

by Lucifercus (not verified) on

The goog wishes of that dead man for Iran were as good as wishes of his ancestores for Indians. also his ancesstores meant it good with indians. As immigrants came from east and begann with an unthinkable brutality and savagery to kill children and amputate the breast of young indian girls and mothers so got indians the advise: Go west there is enough land for all of you and we - the government - can protect you only there. so went indians to west and again further westwards and again and again. The only point the Iranians can authentically report about these brutes - hier jfk - is: He took the marlyn monroe and she sought, as any woman would do, he loves her and so she wanted to be the first one in the haram. Then the poeple who make the factual politics decided she must die. So they killed and the international society had to accepst: it was comit suicide. That is all what Iranians know. I think "IRANIAN"s do not need to know even more.

Darius Kadivar

Free Thinker Vidal IS Gay Indeed

by Darius Kadivar on

And  should I add a Great Writer and thinker. Even if I don't necessarily share all his tastes.

Do Read Creation it would make a great movie script and his historical research on the subject is very accurate. 

Thanks for the correction. 



The Shah and the Kennedys

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

John Carpenter III says:
"The Shah hated JFK because JFK tried to help the Iranian masses."

This is a statement worthy of derision if not omission. But this guy's remarks are in line with all the IRI allies and apologists. As far as Peace Corps and its CIA connections are concerend, I have already made my comments known in JJ's blog:

So let me turn to the Shah and JFK. JFK was a paranoid anti-communist. He turned up the heat on the Soviets and their number one ally, Castro in more ways than one. The Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban missile crisis, in which the world was at the brink of WWIII were examples of his diasterous foreign policy. But when it comes to Iran, it becomes farsical. Assdollah Alam's memoirs, although not entirely authentic, sheds some light on this assertion. JFK had already forced his own lackey, Ali Amini to the position of Prime Minister. But this was not enough. Kennedy needed a brutal disctator instead of the Shah to rule Iran and he had already set his eyes on the Shah's ruthless anti-communist head of SAVAK, General Teymour Bakhtiar. He invited Bakhtiar to the White House for secret discussions. Bakhtiar who was French educated couldn't speak English and had taken a young and upcoming SAVAK official as a translator with him to the secret discussions - his name: Aligholi Alikhani (see Alam's memoirs). JFK was on the one hand promising aid and assistance to the Shah and on the other hand he was plotting his overthrow by his favorite candidate, the savagely and brutal killer Teymour Bakhtiar. Thanks to the double agency of Alikhani, the Shah was informed of this conspiracy, removed both Bakhtiar and Amini from power and send them packing to harmlesss positions (Bakhtiar to Switzerland as an ambassador and Amini to an early retirement).

So next time you want to comment about the JFK and his "good wishes" for Iran, remember his choice of ruler as a token of his good will!!

By the way, Mr Kadivar

why do you say Gore Vidal "was" gay, as if he is dead or has turned hetrosexual. Vidal is still alive and gay :)


Very interesting

by Hajminator on


All we knew unofficially about the Bush administration, Mr. Vidal reveals with his lovely speaking. That's art.

Machiavelli has further said "the end justifies the means," though never directly stated in his 'The Prince' book. This is exactly what happenned to Iraq: the money of oil justified the silly war. I also agree with M. Vidal that Bush administration has no longer the possibility to attack Iran. They aimed to create "the big middle east" by alineating Iran but without money such project becomes much more difficult to realize, hehe.


I luuuuuuuuuvvvveeeeezzzzzzz Vidal!

by Anonymous77 (not verified) on

One of the most delicious, astute, erudite, prolific, witty and elegant American intellectuals around.(although I don't agree with him on Shrillary)

and this afshin, by George and the old trodded on Magna Carta, isn't his voice scrummy!


Mr. Vidal and the Kennedy Administration

by John Carpenter III (not verified) on

It is great to hear the connection between the Kennedy administration and Mr. Vidal. Another connection is the Kennedy administration and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

John F. Kennedy was one of the greatest US Presidents. He put pressure on Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to make reforms in Iran. It was JFK that told the Shah that Iran must uphold human rights. The Shah was a big human rights violator. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights watch condemned the Shah for violating the basic human rights of ordinary Iranian citizens.

It was that same JFK that created the Peace Corps. The same Peace Corps came to Iran and gave Iranian infants free immunization shots.

Mansour Rafizadeh, a former head of the dreaded SAVAK in his book said that when news of JFK's assassination became known to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, he opened a bottle of wine and celebrated.

The Shah hated JFK because JFK tried to help the Iranian masses.

Darius Kadivar


by Darius Kadivar on

I highly recommend Gore Vidal's novel Creation set at the Time of King Xerxes of Persia. It is a long novel but good summer reading with interesting insight on Ancient Persia from the view of the Persians and not Greek historians as well as ancient philosophies of the time that shaped the Great Western and Asian civilizations.

Vidal was also involved in the screenplay of the Epic film Ben Hur with Charlton Heston and Stephan Boyed. He was nevertheless fired by the director William Wyler for ifmplying that the relationship between the characters Ben Hur and Messala were Gay.

He later tried to make motion picture history with the infamous movie Caligula co produced by the PentHouse Men's Magazine for which he wrote the script. The film involved known and respected actors like John Guilguld, Malcolm Macdowel, Helen Mirren and Peter O'Tool in the title roles as well as Porn Stars. It created a scandal at the time but was not the critically acclaimed film it ambitioned to be.

Gore was an openly Gay writer and activist and also defended the Gay depiction of Alexander as a BiSexual in Oliver Stone's controversial film on the Macedonian conqueror.

Vidal was very close to the Kennedy administration of the 1960's and was often challenged in his political views by his old foe and later friend Norman Mailer.

Watch Documentary on Vidal and his works:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V