A LETTER TO THE 39TH U.S. PRESIDENT, JIMMY CARTER
History is recorded so that future generations can read, watch and learn from our collective past!
As an Iranian-American who has the privilege of living in America and because of the democracy ruling this land, I am writing to get some clarity on the issues that have been on the minds of Iranians for many years.
It is my understanding that you have long been committed to promoting democracy and human rights throughout the world. Looking back at the time, it seems that you believed Ayatollah Khomeini represented a more democratic and representative government for the Iranian people. However, Iranians would like to understand more about your thought process during that period. How did you decide to replace your support and friendship for an apparition, uneducated, unknown Ayatollah who emerged overnight with the Shah of Iran who was not only respected by all leaders of the world, but was a believer in world peace, democracy, and human rights and did everything in his power to execute it.
You once considered Shah Pahlavi an ally and a friend. In your visit to Tehran in 1977 you toasted to Shah for making Iran a stable country, and for all the love and admiration that Iranians had for Shah. The U.S. and Iran enjoyed their friendly diplomatic relationship. But then two years later, you let Shah Pahlavi down! How did such friendship result in such a treachery?
Forty-three years ago, you had the greatest privilege and responsibility to be the President of the most powerful country in the world. Yet, you decided to use your position of power to support regime change in Iran for which the world has since seen its consequences. The events in 1979 in Iran were the result of a foreign policy failure under your administration.
It is my understanding that great leaders of the world, make certain decisions to benefit their country/nation even if it is going to hurt other nations. What advantages were you looking to gain from regime change in Iran?
The consequences of this policy were significant and had several disadvantages for the U.S. Some of these include:
1. Hostage Crisis: 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, which damaged the U.S. reputation and weakened the country’s global standing.
2. Loss of Ally: The U.S. lost a key strategic ally in the Middle East; The Shah of Iran. The new Islamic regime was openly hostile to the U.S.
3. Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism: Inspiration of other Islamist movements across the Muslim world, which resulted in the spread of radical Islamism and increased terrorists directed against U.S. interests.
4. Economic Sanctions: Sanctions imposed on Iran harmed U.S. businesses that were unable to trade with Iran.
5. Destabilization of the Region: The Iranian revolution led to conflicts and increased tensions in the region that continue to this day.
The Islamic Republic regime and its supporters ruthlessly committed horrendous crimes against Iranians and people everywhere throughout the world. Since taking power, they committed terrorist activities such as bombing Argentina to kill Jews which ended in killing 84 innocent civilians. Assassination of political activists who fled Iran. They continued their terrorist-related activities including support for Hizbullah, KH, Hamas, AQ, and more. This regime has left a dirty footprint all over the world including countries such as Albania, Bahrain, India, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Kenya, Thailand, France, Denmark, and the U.S. These are just the result of your decision. So where lays the benefit you hoped to achieve?
The reason one is remembered is because of the steps they take for humanity and the betterment of the world, not because they were silent and incompetent. I want you to know that despite all effort to show that HH Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was a dictator, he is the only King in the history of time who has not been forgotten but constantly remembered and saluted with the utmost respect by Iranians, especially the generation who has not even lived under his ruling. Today, while another revolution is taking place, Iranian people chose HH. Reza Pahlavi as their representative to reestablish democracy and rebuild Iran. Despite all the efforts to taint Pahlavi’s legacy, it has grown so much more. One can choose how to be remembered by the way they live their life!
President Carter, where do you stand today? How do you want to be remembered?
Life is too short to stay silent! Iranians would be grateful for any insight you could provide on this matter. I believe that understanding the context and decision-making process behind these events is critical for developing a more nuanced and informed perspective on this period in history. Today after 45 years, as a U.S. citizen the law allows me to ask you for clarity, and the same law allows you to be able to answer!