George H.W. Bush: The Leadership Lessons

Episode 212 JIMMY CARTER (Part 22) The Iranian Hostage Crisis Show 1 The Fall of the Shah

July 20, 2023 Randal Wallace Season 10 Episode 212
George H.W. Bush: The Leadership Lessons
Episode 212 JIMMY CARTER (Part 22) The Iranian Hostage Crisis Show 1 The Fall of the Shah
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The Iranian Hostage Crisis would last 444 days and its final day would also be the last day of the administration of Jimmy Carter. It was the singular event that seemed to spell out the frustrations of a nation that had suffered one humiliation and trauma after another for nearly two decades, from assassination of a President, to the Vietnam War that divided America to the  Watergate Scandal that had removed a President from office, and now here we were at the mercy of an Islamic regime determined to take its country back to the 8th century.  It seemed that we were helplessly careening out of control to the status of a failed , third rate power.

In Iran, the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,  had come from a dynasty that had ruled the Persian nation for nearly 1000 years. He had reformed the nation economically during his 37 year reign and it had created an economy that was flourishing, increasing the national income  423 times what it had been, a better growth rate than anywhere else on the planet, including the United States.  He built the the fifth largest Army in the world and had urbanized and modernized the country like no other in the entire Middle East.  He was also a friend to the United States and had embraced much of the western world's economic practices. 

But he had also had to crackdown on political dissent and as he did so many of the religious leaders of the Shiite Muslim faith had rebelled and considered him an enemy to their cause.  Much of that was because the Shah had given women the right to vote. One cleric in particular, the Ayatollah Khomeini, was offended that he would dare put the future of Iran in the hands of women. He was further incensed when the Shah allowed Iranian Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Baha'i to take the oath of office for municipal councils using their holy books instead of the Koran. Khomeini vowed then to overthrow the Shah and institute an Islamic Republic in the place of the ruling monarchy. 

In 1979, the political unrest turned into a full blown revolution and the Shah left the country on what was called a vacation from which he never returned. Khomeini took control and the events unfolded from their that led to our hostages being captured at the overrun American Embassy.  This is that story, and the brave story of the Canadian diplomats who worked to save six Americans who had somehow missed being taken into captivity on the day the embassy was overrun.  That story is worthy of being a plot of a James Bond movie, in fact, movie making would be a big part of the exit plan. 

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Coastal Carolina University Oral History with John Jenrette by Ben Burroughs
Music Intro
The 1979 Iran Revolution How it happened - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Host Randal Wallace talks about Iran
Clip from the 2012 7th District Congressional forum at Ripley's Aquarium, question on Iran from Rep Joe Wilson to Randal Wallace , Congressional Candidate
Revolution in Iran, Episode 1: The Fall of the Shah
(Cont.) Revolution in Iran, Episode 1: The Fall of the Shah
From the Archives: Shah of Iran flees country during Iranian Revolution in 1979 - CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite
Host Randal Wallace intros the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran
Iranians storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran Flashback NBC News
Iran Hostage Crisis day 1, ABC News November 1979
Iran Hostage Crisis Day i, ABC World News Tonight with Sam Donaldson
Sam Donaldson on the Iran Hostage Crisis oral history segment from an interview with the T.V. Museum
ABC World News Tonight Day three of Crisis
Host Randal Wallace introduces the nation of Canada's contribution to saving our hostages that had happened not to be in the Embassy
Play a campaign video from the Myrtle Beach City Council race in 2017 that displayed the Myrtle Beach MEmorial to Canada for their help with the hostages
Host Randal Wallace discusses his ties to Canada and his push to recognize Ken Taylor the Canadian Ambassador
Host Randal Wallace reads the City of Myrtle Beach SC proclamation recognizing Ken Taylor for his heroic actions in 1979, at his passing
CNN interview with Former President Jimmy Carter about the movie "Argo" and the role of Ken Taylor in events
Ken Taylor on a Canadian Talk Show "The George Stroumboulo Show
Ken Taylor on CBS News Morning Show
President Carter fact checks the movie "Argo" - FORA TV
Closing music