Shah of Iran: Fall foreshadowed by 1971 gala event

In 1941, the Allies invaded Iran, forcing the monarch to abdicate. (Reza Pahlavi was father to Shah Mohammad Pahlavi). While Dad fled to South Africa, a young crown prince became the new Shah.

In 1971, the Shah of Iran threw a party in Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire. It was thirty years after taking the throne, but still 8 years before being toppled in the revolution that stormed a US Embassy.

A massive gala party was promoted as the 2500th year celebration of the Persian Empire. But the real motive was so that world leaders could witness the Shah coronating himself. Among a many titles that he carved into temples, coins and scriptures, he pronounced himself “King of Kings” and ruler for life.

Persepolis was far across a desert from Tehran and other modern cities. So, the army created a fortified highway caravan with rest-stops for bathroom breaks, refreshment and communication. This may seem like our highway rest stops, but there were no highways in this region. It was all created for the one party.

According to this BBC-Barbara Walters documentary, this big, splashy event led to the downfall of the Shah. It was a party to end all parties—attended by heads of state from 90 countries, including the US, Europe, Asia, India, Communist countries, including kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and dictators. The United States was represented by vice president Spiro Agnew.

It’s 1¼ hours, but I suspect that you will find at least 10 minutes interesting. This documentary touches on events of the day, including what happened after the party.

One thought on “Shah of Iran: Fall foreshadowed by 1971 gala event

  1. Cannot avoid seeing a parallel with tRump’s $5 billion wall and the cutting off of govt. services with his manufactured crisis/shutdown. His propensity to rely on the military to solve social unrest is real enough, if currently festering below the surface. However The Resistance lacks the focused ideological center that Iranians had with the cleric leaders. That will make sustained unified opposition a lot trickier for the U.S. We can only wait and see…..

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