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Rewriting the Iranian Revolution

On November 5, 1978, rioters put Tehran to the torch while the army stood by. “Not even a bloody nose,” the shah had instructed his generals from his home in the city’s northern hills, Niavaran Palace. Before the winter’s end, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, the last in 2,500 years of shahs of Iran, would leave his…

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It’s time to prepare for Iran’s political collapse

Iran Editorial

In recent congressional testimony, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sensibly stressed that the United States should “work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government.” The commentariat was aghast, and the Islamic republic registered a formal protest note. Both parties seemed surprised that the United…

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Oblivious to History, Trump’s Turning Up the Heat on Iran, But There Are Lessons in the 1953 CIA Coup

In 1979, just as the Shah of Iran was overthrown and the the reign of the ayatollahs began, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, published his first-hand account of the covert operation he had led more than a quarter century earlier to overthrow an elected government…

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Amid Syrian chaos, Iran’s game plan emerges: a path to the Mediterranean

Militias controlled by Tehran are poised to complete a land corridor that would give Iran huge power in the region Not far from Mosul, a large military force is finalising plans for an advance that has been more than three decades in the making. The troops are Shia militiamen who have fought against the Islamic…

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The Life and Times of Princess Fawzia

Princess Fawzia

ED. NOTE: I don’t always write about perfume. In fact, once upon a time, I wrote mainly about history under the name “Pandora’s Box.” A few are already posted and hidden in the archives, but I’m in the process of transferring over a few more articles — namely, a two-part series about Princess Fawzia of…

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FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1969–1976, VOLUME E–4, DOCUMENTS ON IRAN AND IRAQ, 1969–1972

Washington, May 1972 A Modern Housing Development, Still Limited to a Few Urban Areas [Page 3] DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE Intelligence Report Centers of Power in Iran May 1972 No. 2035/72 [Photo: A Mountain Village, Typical of Most of Iran] [Photo: A Modern Housing Development, Still Limited to a Few Urban Areas] CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate…

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The British And U.S. Governments Installed Khomeini Into Power In 1979

Documents seen by BBC suggest Carter administration paved way for Khomeini to return to Iran by holding the army back from launching a military coup Iranian leaders have reacted with fury to reports that newly declassified US diplomatic cables revealed extensive contacts between Ayatollah Khomeini and the Carter administration just weeks ahead of Iran’s Islamic…

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Farah Diba Pahlavi: The United States attempted to hand over the Shah to Khomeini in the Azores

The last Empress of Persia is now 70 years old and has spent the last 30 in exile. In this interview, by e-mail, she tells of her anguish at Lajes Air Base one night in March 1980. Four months later, Reza Pahlavi died in Cairo. Today she hopes that Tehran’s Islamic regime has its days…

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‘The war after Isis’: has Trump opened the door to conflict with Iran?

As US forces strike Syrian militias backed by Tehran, many fear delegation to the Pentagon and the looming defeat of the Islamic State could fuel a fiercer fire US forces have opened fire on Iranian-backed forces in Syria three times in the past month, amid mounting tensions that observers and former officials worry could easily…

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Former Empress of Iran: “We wanted to create progress”

Within the basement of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, sealed away from public view the majority of the time, there lies a collection of images bearing silent testimony to a world now long passed. The scenes show men dancing to music, women wearing fashionable clothing sitting in university lectures, stylish young couples enjoying what…

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