Withdrawal of support for the Shah of Iran

Withdrawal of support for the Shah of Iran

Jimmy Carter's Nobel Legacy
Edward Daley, 03/10/03

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In 1977, Jimmy Carter withdrew U.S. support for the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The Shah's regime engaged in the torture of it's (Communist) enemies, a practice which Carter vehemently opposed. However, that regime was the strongest ally of both the U.S. and Israel in the region, and although brutal, was certainly no more so than any number of far more fanatical, anti-American and anti-Semitic governments in the Middle East.

Carter also ordered the CIA to cease funding to Iran's Mullahs, who had basically been accepting money in exchange for inhibiting anti-western sentiment in the region.

Shortly afterward, the Shah was overthrown. The new regime, under the direction of the Islamic extremist Ayatollah Khomeini, then set to work reversing every pro-western policy of the Shah's government, such as women's rights and the citizenry's access to western media.

The torture and/or execution of political prisoners continued, only the targets of the new government were no longer mostly Soviet agents, as was the case under the Shah's rule, but rather, any pro-western Iranian who could be found, along with thousands of other individuals who were not considered a part of the Ayatollah's plan for the future of Iran.

In 1979, the fanatical followers of the once exiled (to France no less) Ayatollah swarmed the U.S. embassy in that country, taking fifty-four Americans hostage for what would prove to be 444 days. Carter was ineffective in securing the release of these hostages, either by diplomatic or military means.

In 1980, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who viewed the return of Khomeini and the Islamic revolution in Iran as threatening to his own more secular agenda, and unrestrained by any American participation in Iranian affairs, began the eight year Iran-Iraq war.

That same year, the Soviets, emboldened by the fall of their primary opponent in the region, invaded Afghanistan. Carter's response was to withdraw the U.S. from the Olympic games of that year.

Secret political dealings with the Soviet Union

According to Peter Schweizer, the author of the best-selling book 'Reagan's War', Jimmy Carter sought the assistance of the Soviet Union to undermine the 1976 reelection bid of Gerald Ford, as well as Ronald Reagan's 1980 Presidential campaign. These allegations are based upon accounts provided by former Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and former First Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii Kornienko.

It is reported that former Soviet Ambassador Averell Harriman met with Kornienko in September of 1976 on behalf of (then candidate) Carter and "gave assurances that if elected president, he (Carter) would take steps toward the rapid conclusion and signing of the SALT II Treaty, and would be ready to continue negotiations on an agreement on substantial reductions in strategic weapons".

Schweizer describes how Carter, during his 1980 reelection campaign, "dispatched [pro-Soviet industrialist] Armand Hammer to the Soviet Embassy for a secret meeting with Ambassador Dobrynin to ask for Soviet help" with issues which would assist him in being reelected, such as Jewish emigration, and promised the Soviets that their help would not be forgotten.

In 1984, (former President) Carter is said to have visited Dobrynin personally, seeking assistance in improving the election prospects of his former Vice President Walter Mondale, and warning the Ambassador that if Reagan was reelected, no arms agreements would ever be reached between the U.S. and the USSR.