Iran (Creation of the Modern Middle East) - 2nd edition by Heather Lehr Wagner

By Heather Lehr Wagner

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Mossadeq seemed powerful within Iran, but to foreign governments who were worried about the stability of their investments in Iran, he was viewed with alarm. As his power began to falter, Mossadeq ordered the shah’s mother and sister to leave Iran, perhaps fearing these powerful women more than the young ruler. Mossadeq next turned to the United States, seeking assistance and support in exchange for a promise to keep the Communist influence from spreading into Iran. But the United States, deeply suspicious of Mossadeq, instead determined to quietly work behind the scenes to restore power to the shah.

Witnessing the humiliation of his powerful father, the new shah resolved to ensure that Iran would not remain under foreign control. He would find assistance from a new ally—the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt. The young prince was only seven years old when his father was crowned shah of Iran, and he would later recall feelings of awe as much as love when he was in the presence of his father. The prince had been stricken with typhoid fever shortly after the coronation and had remained weak and sickly for much of his youth.

The shah made a small speech before boarding the plane, indicating that he was leaving the government in new hands—Shapour Bakhtiar, the new prime minister (and vice president of the party of the late Mossadeq), had been confirmed by the shah only minutes earlier. The shah said that he now needed a short rest outside the country. The scene at the airport marked a final, tragic moment in the downfall of the Pahlavi dynasty. , the shah’s plane rose into the sky and headed west. The selfproclaimed King of Kings would spend the final months of his life moving from place to place, desperately seeking asylum from the leaders who had, only a short time earlier, declared themselves his strongest allies.

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