The Iranian History 1977 AD


Last US Ambassador Arrives In Tehran

Jun, 8, 1977 AD

Mohammad Reza Shah confers with US president Jimmy Carter, and the last US ambassador to Tehran William Sullivan in 1978. Just a few months after this meeting, Shah fled to Egypt in Jan, 1979 and the Pahlavi regime collapsed.William Healy Sullivan arrived in Tehran on June, 8, 1977.
Sullivan served as the U.S. ambassador to Iran from 1977 until 1979. During this time, he played an important role in communicating U.S. wishes to Mohammad Reza Shah, the second and last Pahlavi king. In the 1970s, the U.S. had unusually high military and economic links with Iran. Economically, billions of private U.S. dollars were invested in the country. Militarily, the U.S. had spent ten years redeeming its petrochemical dollars spent during the 1970s oil price boom by allowing the Shah's regime to purchase the most advanced non-nuclear weapons systems available to the U.S. military.
However, growing unrest due to injustice, economic hardships, censorship and dictatorship fueled by the growing tide of fundamentalist Islam led to increasing demonstrations against the unpopular Shah who fled the country and by April 1, 1979 Iran had officially become an Islamic state.
Throughout this revolution in Iran, Sullivan served as the chief diplomat in Iran and served as the primary messenger between the administration of US President Jimmy Carter and the Shah. Sullivan felt strongly from very early in the process that the US should abandon its support of the Shah and move to form an alliance with Khomeini. But this view was not shared nor accepted in Washington. As revolution gained momentum, Sullivan became increasingly opposed to policy coming from Washington, to the point of carrying out the directives of the president only half-heartedly. Carter later said in an interview that Sullivan was "specifically insubordinate" and that he should have fired him earlier. Sullivan was replaced in the spring of 1979 by Charge' d'Affaires Bruce Laingen who later became one of 52 hostages during the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Sullivan had seved in Laos and Philippines before Iran. Later published Mission to Iran; a memoir of his time as Ambassador.
The US embassy in Tehran was shut down in 1979 and never hosted another ambassador again. (Updated: Jan, 16, 2011)

Shah Meets Carter In Washington

Nov, 16, 1977 AD

RTL: President Jimmy Carter, Mohammad Reza Shah, Rosalynn Carter, Queen Farah Diba Washington-Nov, 15, 1977Mohammad Reza Shah met with the U.S. President Jimmy Carter at the white house. The Israel issue was at the top of Carter's agenda. Shah was asked to extend support for diplomatic efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. The two leaders also discussed alternative energy sources while emphasizing on nuclear nonproliferation matters.
Before this meeting, an incident occurred outside the White House grounds. During an attempt by police forces to disperse demonstrators, tear gas was used. Shah's first meeting with an American President was in 1943, when President Roosevelt attended the Tehran Conference; and subsequently he met with every US President : Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Lyndon Johnson.
Iran was in tight economic, military and political relations with the United States. General Motors was assembling Cadillac cars in Iran that sold for $35,000 but Shah's greatest ambition at the time was obtaining nuclear power plants. Two plants were being built by France. As a gesture of goodwill, Shah even offered to store nuclear waste in Iranian deserts which drew some criticism at the time.
Queen Farah Diba accompanied the Shah during his two day visit that started on Nov, 15. In less than a month, President Carter and his wife paid back a visit on Dec, 12 which was the last trip by a U.S. President to Tehran.
On Sep, 13, an assassination attempt against Shah's sister Ashraf Pahlavi in a southern French resort had failed, a probably strong signal of what was brewing in French kitchen for Iran. (Updated: Nov, 14, 2009)

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