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FTR #899 Fara Mansoor on “The Deep October Surprise,” Part 4

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [6].

[7]

Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni

[8]Intro­duc­tion: This broad­cast con­cludes our review of Fara Man­soor’s hero­ic, ground-break­ing research on what we call “The Deep Octo­ber Sur­prise,” and ref­er­ences the his­tor­i­cal lessons to be drawn from the inquiry to the con­tem­po­rary polit­i­cal scene.

In numer­ous pro­grams, we have dis­cussed [9] what Peter Lev­en­da has termed “weaponized reli­gion.” [10] In par­tic­u­lar, we have exam­ined [11] what Peter termed weaponized Islam [12]. With the recent Iran­ian nuclear deal and the lift­ing of eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against Iran, the his­to­ry of U.S./Iranian rela­tions has attained greater rel­e­vance.

In that con­text, we present the fourth and con­clud­ing broad­cast in a series of pro­grams revis­it­ing Fara Man­soor’s land­mark research on what we have termed the “Deep Octo­ber Sur­prise.” Usu­al­ly, the term “Octo­ber Sur­prise” refers to an alleged deal between the Reagan/Bush cam­paign and the Khome­i­ni regime in Iran to with­hold the U.S. hostages tak­en from the Amer­i­can Embassy until after Jim­my Carter’s humil­i­a­tion and con­se­quent elec­tion defeat were assured.

” . . . . By late August [of 1977], the Shah was total­ly con­fused. U.S. Ambas­sador Sul­li­van record­ed the Shah’s plead­ings over the out­break of vio­lence: ‘He said the pat­tern was wide­spread and that it was like an out­break of a sud­den rash in the country…it gave evi­dence of sophis­ti­cat­ed plan­ning and was not the work of spon­ta­neous oppo­si­tion­ists…the Shah pre­sent­ed that it was the work of for­eign intrigue…this intrigue went beyond the capa­bil­i­ties of the Sovi­et KGB and must, there­fore, also involve British and Amer­i­can CIA. The Shah went on to ask ‘Why was the CIA sud­den­ly turn­ing against him? What had he done to deserve this sort of action from the Unit­ed States?’ . . . . ”

Fara’s research goes far­ther and deep­er, sug­gest­ing that the CIA learned of the Shah’s can­cer in 1974 (from for­mer CIA direc­tor Richard Helms), with­held the infor­ma­tion from Jim­my Carter, installed Khome­ini’s Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ists as an anti-com­mu­nist bul­wark on the Sovi­et Union’s South­ern flank and then micro-man­aged the hostage cri­sis to insure the ascen­sion of the Reagan/Bush/Casey forces. What has become known as the Iran-Con­tra Scan­dal was an out­growth of this dynam­ic.

” . . . . With thou­sands of doc­u­ments to sup­port his posi­tion, Man­soor says that the “hostage cri­sis” was a polit­i­cal “man­age­ment tool” cre­at­ed by the pro-Bush fac­tion of the CIA, and imple­ment­ed through an a pri­ori Alliance with Khomeini’s Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists.” He says the pur­pose was twofold:

‘The pri­vate Alliance was the log­i­cal result of the intri­cate Iran­ian polit­i­cal real­i­ty of the mid-70s, and a com­plex net­work of pow­er­ful U.S.-Iranian ‘busi­ness’ rela­tion­ships,’ Man­soor states. ‘I first met Khome­i­ni in 1963 dur­ing the failed coup attempt against the Shah. Since that time I have been inti­mate­ly involved with Iran­ian pol­i­tics. I knew in 1979 that the whole, phoney ‘Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion’ was ‘mis­sion implau­si­ble’.’ Man­soor was frank. ‘There is sim­ply no way that those guys with the beards and tur­bans could have pulled off such a bril­liant­ly planned oper­a­tion with­out very sophis­ti­cat­ed help.’ . . .

[13]

Richard Helms

. . . . ‘I have col­lect­ed enough data to yield a very clear pic­ture. Mr. Bush’s lieu­tenants removed the Shah, brought Khome­i­ni back to Iran, and guid­ed his rise to pow­er, stick­ing it to Pres­i­dent Carter, the Amer­i­can peo­ple (52 in par­tic­u­lar), and the Iran­ian peo­ple.’ . . .”

Extend­ing a doc­trine for­mu­lat­ed by then Sec­re­tary of State John Fos­ter Dulles in the ear­ly 1950’s, “the reli­gions of the East” were viewed by the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment as a bul­wark against the U.S.S.R. (We note that the British orig­i­nal­ly installed the first Shah of Iran in the post World War I peri­od as an anti-Sovi­et bul­wark.) When Jim­my Carter nei­ther extend­ed George H.W. Bush’s CIA tenure nor appoint­ed Theodore Shack­ley as head of the agency, but fired Shack­ley and much of the insti­tu­tion­al­ized covert action team, his polit­i­cal fate was sealed.

” . . . Mansoor’s metic­u­lous research clear­ly demon­strates how Khomeini’s pub­lished vision of an Islam­ic Gov­ern­ment (Vilay­at-Faqih) dove­tailed with the region­al and glob­al strate­gic objec­tives of a hard-core sub­set of the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment loy­al to George Bush. It shows that the Iran­ian hostage cri­sis was nei­ther a cri­sis nor chaos. In 1953, the CIA orches­trat­ed a coup in Iran, which threw out the demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ment and installed the Shah.

In order to under­stand the imper­a­tive of this Alliance, we must real­is­ti­cal­ly exam­ine the sociopo­lit­i­cal align­ment both in Iran and the U.S., and accu­rate­ly assess their respec­tive inter­ests to find the com­mon ground for this coa­les­cence. The anti-monar­chic forces in mid-70s Iran con­sist­ed of var­i­ous nation­al­ist groups includ­ing reli­gious reformists, the Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists, and the left­ists and com­mu­nists. . . . .

. . . . The Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists had no gov­ern­ment expe­ri­ence, but they had major grass­roots sup­port. Islam, in its Shi’ite for­mat, was deeply embed­ded in the lives of the vast major­i­ty of the Iran­ian peo­ple. The Fun­da­men­tal­ists were absolute­ly anti-com­mu­nist.

The philo­soph­i­cal divide with­in the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment, espe­cial­ly the CIA, became quite seri­ous in the after­math of Water­gate. To make mat­ters worse, the elec­tion of Jim­my Carter in 1976, his cam­paign promise to clean the “cow­boy” ele­ments out of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency and his “human rights” poli­cies alarmed the fac­tion of the CIA loy­al to George Bush. Bush was CIA direc­tor under Ger­ald Ford. Final­ly, the fir­ing of CIA Direc­tor George Bush by Carter, and the sub­se­quent “Hal­loween Mas­sacre” in which Carter fired over 800 CIA covert oper­a­tives in 1977, angered the “cow­boys” beyond all mea­sure. That was Carter’s Octo­ber sur­prise, 800 fir­ings on Hal­loween 1977.

Bush and his CIA coverts were well aware of the Shah’s ter­mi­nal can­cer, unknown to Pres­i­dent Carter. The team had an elab­o­rate vest­ed inter­est to pro­tect. They were deter­mined to keep Iran intact and com­mu­nist-free and put George Bush in the White House. . . .

Trac­ing the intri­cate net­work­ing of CIA and Iran­ian per­son­nel in the machi­na­tions of this gam­bit, this broad­cast high­lights a sig­na­ture event in April of 1978, months before Khome­i­ni took over and and more than a year before the hostages were tak­en from the U.S. Embassy.

” . . . . Man­soor pro­duced a con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ment called the “Coun­try Team Min­utes” of April 26, 1978, more than a year before the hostage cri­sis. The meet­ing was held in Iran. The sec­ond para­graph of the rou­tine min­utes, states, ‘The Ambas­sador com­ment­ed on our dis­tin­guished vis­i­tors, Ronald Rea­gan, George Bush and Mar­garet Thatch­er, and com­ment­ed that Teheran seems to be the site for an oppo­si­tion par­ties con­gress.’ Man­soor indi­cates the entire rela­tion­ship was prob­a­bly the most sophis­ti­cat­ed crim­i­nal act in recent his­to­ry. ‘That the peo­ple who, until recent­ly, were hold­ing pow­er in Wash­ing­ton and those who cur­rent­ly are still in con­trol in Teheran, got there by total­ly sub­vert­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic process of both coun­tries is news. That their meth­ods of sub­ver­sion relied on kid­nap­ping, extor­tion and mur­der is crim­i­nal,’ Man­soor states. . . .”

Drama­tis Per­son­ae of the “Deep Octo­ber Sur­prise”:

A. Gen­er­al Hos­sein Far­doust:

  1. Far­doust was a key play­er in this dra­ma. Like Richard Cot­tam and Gen­er­al Qarani, he had been net­work­ing with the CIA/Shah/Helms milieu for decades. He was the head of an elite intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tion with­in the Shah’s regime that super­seded the SAVAK (the Shah’s secret police) in impor­tance and influ­ence. It was from his long-time asso­ciate Far­doust that Helms learned that the Shah had can­cer. ” . . . In 1975, for­mer CIA direc­tor, and the U.S. Ambas­sador to Iran, Richard Helms learned of the Shah’s can­cer through the Shah’s clos­est con­fi­dant, Gen­er­al Hos­sein Far­doust. The Shah, Helms and Far­doust had been close per­son­al friends since their school days togeth­er in Switzer­land dur­ing the 1930s. . . .”
  2. Gen­er­al Far­doust set up an inci­dent that was cen­tral to the stag­ing of the upris­ing that installed Khome­i­ni in pow­er. ” . . . On Jan­u­ary 7, 1978, an insid­i­ous arti­cle enti­tled Iran and the Red and Black Colo­nial­ism, appeared in the Iran­ian dai­ly news­pa­per Ettela’at. It cas­ti­gat­ed the exiled Khome­i­ni, and pro­duced a mas­sive protest riot in the Holy City of Qum the next day. The cler­gy had lit­tle choice but to ral­ly to Khomeini’s defense. The Qum inci­dent shift­ed many of the cler­gy from a posi­tion of sup­port for the Shah’s monar­chy to an active oppo­si­tion. That ‘dirty trick’ per­pet­u­at­ed by Gen­er­al Far­doust was the trig­ger that sparked Islam­ic move­ment par­tic­i­pat­ing in the anti-Shah demo­c­ra­t­ic Rev­o­lu­tion. John D. Stem­pel, char­ac­ter­ized Fardoust’s impor­tance to the Alliance: ‘it is hard to over­es­ti­mate the val­ue of hav­ing a mole in the inner cir­cle of the Shah.’ . . .”
  3. After Khome­ini’s ascen­sion to pow­er, Gen­er­al Qarani (see below) con­sults with Gen­er­al Far­doust about the per­son­nel to fill Khome­ini’s gen­er­al staff of the armed forces. All the rec­om­men­da­tions are fol­lowed, except for the fill­ing of the head of SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police. Far­doust is then appoint­ed head of SAVAMA, Khome­ini’s ver­sion of SAVAK! ” . . . . On Feb­ru­ary 11, 1979, in seem­ing­ly a bizarre twist, Gen­er­al Qarani asked the Shah’s “eyes and ears” Gen­er­al Hossien Far­doust for rec­om­men­da­tions to fill the new top posts in Iran’s armed forces. Except for the rec­om­men­da­tion for the Chief of SAVAK, all the oth­ers were accept­ed. Short­ly after, Gen­er­al Far­doust became head of SAVAMA, Khomeini’s suc­ces­sor to SAVAK. . . .”

B. Dr. Ibrahim Yaz­di:

  1. Yaz­di is in close con­tact with 1953 coup par­tic­i­pant, Bush oper­a­tive and prob­a­ble CIA offi­cer Richard Cot­tam. ” . . . . In August [1978], the Bush team sent its own point man to meet the exiled Aya­tol­lah in Najaf. Pro­fes­sor Richard Cot­tam car­ried excel­lent cre­den­tials. Dur­ing the 1953 coup, he had been in charge of the CIA’s Iran Desk. He had also been in close con­tact with Dr. Ibrahim Yaz­di in the U.S. since 1975. . . .”
  2. In Sep­tem­ber of 1978, Yaz­di is vis­it­ed in the U.S. by Khome­i­ni ally Aya­tol­lah Mohammed Hus­sein Beheshti. ” . . . . In Mid-Sep­tem­ber, at the height of the rev­o­lu­tion, ‘one of the hand­ful of Khomeini’s trust­ed asso­ciates,’ Aya­tol­lah Mohammed Hus­sein Beheshti, secret­ly vis­it­ed the Unit­ed States. He also met with Yaz­di in Texas, among oth­ers. Beheshti was an advo­cate of the eye-for-an-eye school of jus­tice. . . .”
  3. Fol­low­ing an abortive takeover of the U.S. Embassy by Khome­i­ni fol­low­ers pos­ing as left­ists, Yaz­di con­nects U.S. Ambas­sador William Sul­li­van with Mashal­lah Khashani, who becomes chief of secu­ri­ty for the com­pound.  ” . . . . On Feb­ru­ary 14, soon after order was restored at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Khomeini’s aide Yaz­di sup­plied the Embassy with a group of Ira­ni­ans for com­pound secu­ri­ty. Ambas­sador Sul­li­van installed, armed, and trained this Swat squad lead by SAVAK/CIA agent Mashal­lah Kah­sani, with whom Sul­li­van devel­oped a close work­ing rela­tion­ship. . . . ”

C. Gen­er­al Val­li­ol­lah Qarani:

  1. Like Gen­er­al Hos­sein Far­doust, Qarani was net­work­ing with the CIA milieu since the 1953 coup that installed the Shah. In April of 1978, he advised Khome­i­ni that the CIA was ready to remove the Shah. ” . . . . The same month, Khomeini’s old ally from the failed 1963 coup (that result­ed in Khomeini’s arrest and major upris­ing in June 1963 and his sub­se­quent exile to Iraq) Gen­er­al Val­li­ol­lah Qarani sent his emis­sary to meet Khome­i­ni in Najaf. Qarani had been a major CIA asset in Iran since the 1953 coup. See­ing anoth­er chance to gain pow­er for him­self, he advised Khome­i­ni, accord­ing to for­mer Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Abol Has­san Bani-sad­er: ‘If you set­tle for the Shah’s depar­ture and don’t use anti-Amer­i­can rhetoric, the Amer­i­cans are ready to take him out. . . .’ ”
  2. Qarani was then appoint­ed chief of staff of the army under Khome­i­ni.  ” . . . . Khome­i­ni moved quick­ly to estab­lish his author­i­ty. On Feb­ru­ary 5 he named Meh­di Bazargan, a devot­ed Mus­lim and anti-com­mu­nist, inter­im Prime Min­is­ter. Yaz­di and Abbas Amir Entezam became Bazargan’s deputies, Dr. San­jabi For­eign Min­is­ter, and Gen­er­al Qarani was named mil­i­tary Chief of Staff. . . . ”

D. Mashal­lah Khashani:

  1. Mashal­lah Khashani was a SAVAK and CIA agent who was installed by Khome­i­ni aide Dr. Ibrahim Yaz­di as chief of secu­ri­ty for the com­pound after an abortive takeover of the Embassy in Feb­ru­ary of 1979. ” . . . . On Feb­ru­ary 14, soon after order was restored at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Khomeini’s aide Yaz­di sup­plied the Embassy with a group of Ira­ni­ans for com­pound secu­ri­ty. Ambas­sador Sul­li­van installed, armed, and trained this Swat squad lead by SAVAK/CIA agent Mashal­lah Kah­sani, with whom Sul­li­van devel­oped a close work­ing rela­tion­ship. . . . ”
  2. On Novem­ber 4th of 1979, “chief of secu­ri­ty” Khashani leads the takeover of the U.S. Embassy. This was the begin­ning of the hostage cri­sis. ” . . . . On Novem­ber 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy was tak­en again. Lead­ing the charge was none oth­er than Ambas­sador Sullivan’s trust­ed Mashal­lah Kashani, the Embassy’s once and for­mer secu­ri­ty chief. . . .”

E. Aya­tol­lah Mohammed Hos­sein Beheshti:

  1. By July of 1977, a CIA analy­sis iden­ti­fies Beheshti as one of the major play­ers in any sce­nario fol­low­ing the removal of the Shah. ” . . . . By July 1977, antic­i­pat­ing trou­ble ahead, the Bush covert team issued a pre­lim­i­nary script for the tran­si­tion of pow­er in Iran. Accord­ing to John D. Stem­pel, a CIA ana­lyst and Deputy Chief Polit­i­cal offi­cer of the U.S. Embassy in Iran: “A ten page analy­sis of the oppo­si­tion writ­ten by the embassy’s polit­i­cal sec­tion in July 1977 cor­rect­ly iden­ti­fied Bakhtiar, Bazargan, Khome­i­ni and Beheshti as major actors in the dra­ma that began unfold­ing a year lat­er. . . . ”
  2. In mid-Sep­tem­ber of 1978, Beheshti vis­its Yaz­di in the Unit­ed States. ” . . . . In Mid-Sep­tem­ber, at the height of the rev­o­lu­tion, “one of the hand­ful of Khomeini’s trust­ed asso­ciates,” Aya­tol­lah Mohammed Hus­sein Beheshti, secret­ly vis­it­ed the Unit­ed States. He also met with Yaz­di in Texas, among oth­ers. Beheshti was an advo­cate of the eye-for-an-eye school of jus­tice. . . .”

F. Richard Cot­tam: 

  1.  A pro­fes­sor, Cot­tam was in all like­li­hood the CIA oper­a­tive he was dur­ing the 1953 coup that oust­ed Mossadegh and re-installed the Shah. ” . . . In August, the Bush team sent its own point man to meet the exiled Aya­tol­lah in Najaf. Pro­fes­sor Richard Cot­tam car­ried excel­lent cre­den­tials. Dur­ing the 1953 coup, he had been in charge of the CIA’s Iran Desk. He had also been in close con­tact with Dr. Ibrahim Yaz­di in the U.S. since 1975. Curi­ous­ly, he admit­ted to Bani-sadr in 1987, that he had not been work­ing for the Carter Admin­is­tra­tion. Cottam’s vis­it must have had an impact, because Iran sud­den­ly began to expe­ri­ence a series of mys­te­ri­ous cat­a­stro­phes. . . .”
  2. Cot­tam tried to arrange a meet­ing between Carter secu­ri­ty aide Gary Sick and Khome­ini’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the U.S., Ibrahim Yaz­di. ” . . . A few days lat­er, Carter’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty aide, Gary Sick, received a call from Richard Cot­tam, request­ing a dis­crete meet­ing between him and Khomeini’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the U.S., Dr. Yaz­di. Sick refused. . . .”
  3. Cot­tam requests of Gary Sick that the Carter admin­is­tra­tion facil­i­tate the tran­sit of Khome­i­ni from Iraq. “. . . . Octo­ber 3, 1978, Yaz­di picked up Khome­i­ni in Iraq and head­ed for Kuwait. Accord­ing to Gary Sick, he received an urgent call from Richard Cot­tam, learn­ing for the first time that Khome­i­ni had been forced out of Iraq. Sick was told that Khome­i­ni and his entourage were stuck in no man’s land while attempt­ing to cross the bor­der. Cot­tam was request­ing White House inter­ven­tion to resolve the issue. Sick respond, ‘there is noth­ing we could do.’ ”
  4. In Decem­ber of 1978, Cot­tam vis­its Khome­i­ni in Paris, not­ing that Ibrahim Yaz­di func­tioned as the Aya­tol­lah’s appar­ent chief of staff. ” . . . . Decem­ber 28, Cot­tam vis­it­ed Khome­i­ni in Paris where he not­ed that U.S. cit­i­zen Dr. Yaz­di was the ‘lead­ing tac­ti­cian in Khomeini’s camp’ and appar­ent ‘chief of staff’. . . .”
  5. In Jan­u­ary of 1979, Cot­tam goes to Teheran to pre­pare for Khome­ini’s return and instal­la­tion. ” . . . . Leav­ing Paris, Cot­tam slipped into Teheran, arriv­ing the first week in Jan­u­ary 1979, to pre­pare Khomeini’s tri­umphal return to Iran. . . .”

Some key events and rela­tion­ships fig­ur­ing promi­nent­ly in the mate­r­i­al pre­sent­ed in this pro­gram (mate­r­i­al in these broad­casts is delib­er­ate­ly over­lapped with infor­ma­tion from the pre­vi­ous pro­gram):

20. A few days lat­er, Carter’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty aide, Gary Sick, received a call from Richard Cot­tam, request­ing a dis­crete meet­ing between him and Khomeini’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the U.S., Dr. Yaz­di. Sick refused.

21. Khome­i­ni for the first time, pub­licly called for the Shah’s over­throw.

22. In Mid-Sep­tem­ber, at the height of the rev­o­lu­tion, “one of the hand­ful of Khomeini’s trust­ed asso­ciates,” Aya­tol­lah Mohammed Hus­sein Beheshti, secret­ly vis­it­ed the Unit­ed States. He also met with Yaz­di in Texas, among oth­ers. Beheshti was an advo­cate of the eye-for-an-eye school of jus­tice.

23. In ear­ly Octo­ber 1978, the agent for the Bush covert team arranged to force Khome­i­ni out of Iraq.

24. Octo­ber 3, 1978, Yaz­di picked up Khome­i­ni in Iraq and head­ed for Kuwait. Accord­ing to Gary Sick, he received an urgent call from Richard Cot­tam, learn­ing for the first time that Khome­i­ni had been forced out of Iraq. Sick was told that Khome­i­ni and his entourage were stuck in no man’s land while attempt­ing to cross the bor­der. Cot­tam was request­ing White House inter­ven­tion to resolve the issue. Sick respond, “there is noth­ing we could do”.

25. Octo­ber 6, Khomeini’s entourage, hav­ing got­ten back through Bagh­dad, popped up in Paris. Accord­ing to Bani-sadr, “it was Khome­i­ni who insist­ed on going to Paris instead of Syr­ia or Alge­ria”. Who­ev­er helped Khome­i­ni out of the Kuwaiti bor­der impasse had to have been on good terms with both the French and Sad­dam Hus­sein.

26. Decem­ber 12, Yaz­di made a trip to the U.S. to pro­mote Khome­i­ni and his Islam­ic Repub­lic. Yaz­di met secret­ly with Hen­ry Precht in an unof­fi­cial capac­i­ty. Precht was the Direc­tor of the Iran Desk at the State Depart­ment and one of the Bush team’s main choke points in the Carter Admin­is­tra­tion. Lat­er Precht and Yaz­di appeared togeth­er for tele­vised dis­cus­sion of Iran. Yaz­di assured the Amer­i­can pub­lic that Khome­i­ni had not real­ly called for a “tor­rent of blood,” and that the “elec­tion would be absolute­ly free.” The Islam­ic Repub­lic “would enjoy full free­dom of speech and the press, includ­ing the right to attack Islam. [Khome­ini’s fat­wa against Salman Rushdie stands in sharp rebut­tal to that claim–D.E.]

27. Decem­ber 28, Cot­tam vis­it­ed Khome­i­ni in Paris where he not­ed that U.S. cit­i­zen Dr. Yaz­di was the “lead­ing tac­ti­cian in Khomeini’s camp” and appar­ent “chief of staff”. Khome­i­ni was not inter­est­ed in the Mul­lahs tak­ing over the gov­ern­ment. It is also not­ed that “Khomeini’s move­ment def­i­nite­ly plans to orga­nize a polit­i­cal par­ty to draw on Khomeini’s charis­ma. Cot­tam thinks such a par­ty would win all Majlis seats.”

28. Leav­ing Paris, Cot­tam slipped into Teheran, arriv­ing the first week in Jan­u­ary 1979, to pre­pare Khomeini’s tri­umphal return to Iran.

29. Jan­u­ary 4, 1979, Carter’s secret envoy, Gen­er­al Robert Huyser arrived in Iran. His mis­sion was to pre­vent the “fall of the Shah.” Accord­ing to Huyser, Alexan­der Haig, osten­si­bly a strong Shah sup­port­er-inex­plic­a­bly, “took vio­lent excep­tion to the whole idea.” Huyser recalled that “Gen­er­al Haig nev­er gave me a full expla­na­tion of his strong objec­tions.” Huyser also revealed that Ambas­sador Sul­li­van “had also expressed objec­tions.” Two pro-Shah advo­cates opposed to the pre­ven­tion of the Shah’s fall.

30. On Jan­u­ary 14, Pres­i­dent Carter final­ly “autho­rized a meet­ing between War­ren Zim­mer­man and Ibrahim Yaz­di. On the same day, Khome­i­ni, in an inter­view on CBS claimed, “a great part of the army was loy­al to him” and that “he will be in effect the strong man of Iran.”

31. On Jan­u­ary 16, in an exact repeat of the 1953 CIA coup, Bush’s covert team ush­ered the “eccen­tric and weak” Shah out of Iran.

32. On Feb­ru­ary 1, 1979, Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni staged his own ver­sion of a “tri­umphal return” in the streets of Teheran.

33. Khome­i­ni moved quick­ly to estab­lish his author­i­ty. On Feb­ru­ary 5 he named Meh­di Bazargan, a devot­ed Mus­lim and anti-com­mu­nist, inter­im Prime Min­is­ter. Yaz­di and Abbas Amir Entezam became Bazargan’s deputies, Dr. San­jabi For­eign Min­is­ter, and Gen­er­al Qarani was named mil­i­tary Chief of Staff.

34. On Feb­ru­ary 11, 1979, in seem­ing­ly a bizarre twist, Gen­er­al Qarani asked the Shah’s “eyes and ears” Gen­er­al Hossien Far­doust for rec­om­men­da­tions to fill the new top posts in Iran’s armed forces. Except for the rec­om­men­da­tion for the Chief of SAVAK, all the oth­ers were accept­ed. Short­ly after, Gen­er­al Far­doust became head of SAVAMA, Khomeini’s suc­ces­sor to SAVAK.

35. On Feb­ru­ary 14, 1979, two weeks after Khomeini’s return to Iran, the U.S. Embassy in Teheran was seized by Khome­i­ni sup­port­ers dis­guised as left­ist guer­ril­las in an attempt to neu­tral­ize the left. U.S. hostages were seized, but to the cha­grin of Khomeini’s Fun­da­men­tal­ists, the Iran­ian coali­tion gov­ern­ment restored order imme­di­ate­ly. On the same day in Kab­ul, Afghanistan, the U.S. Ambas­sador was also kid­napped by fanat­ic Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists dis­guised as left­ist guer­ril­las and killed in the gun­fight.

36. On Feb­ru­ary 14, soon after order was restored at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Khomeini’s aide Yaz­di sup­plied the Embassy with a group of Ira­ni­ans for com­pound secu­ri­ty. Ambas­sador Sul­li­van installed, armed, and trained this Swat squad lead by SAVAK/CIA agent Mashal­lah Kah­sani, with whom Sul­li­van devel­oped a close work­ing rela­tion­ship.

37. By August, pro-Bush CIA offi­cial George Cave was vis­it­ing Iran to pro­vide intel­li­gence brief­in­gs to Khomeini’s aides, espe­cial­ly Yaz­di and Entezam. These intel­li­gence exchanges con­tin­ued until Octo­ber 31, the anniver­sary of the day on which Carter fired Bush and the 800 agents. Then with all the Iran­ian offi­cials who had restored order in the first Embassy seizure elim­i­nat­ed, the stage was set for what hap­pened four days lat­er.

38. On Novem­ber 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy was tak­en again. Lead­ing the charge was none oth­er than Ambas­sador Sullivan’s trust­ed Mashal­lah Kashani, the Embassy’s once and for­mer secu­ri­ty chief.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. A 1995 arti­cle by Har­ry Mar­tin, for­mer­ly of the Napa Sen­tinel, gives an overview of Fara’s analy­sis:

“The Real Iran­ian Hostage Sto­ry from the Files of Fara Man­soor” by Har­ry V. Mar­tin; Free Amer­i­ca; 7/1/1995. [16]

Fara Man­soor is a fugi­tive. No, he hasn’t bro­ken any laws in the Unit­ed States. His crime is the truth. What he has to say and the doc­u­ments he car­ries are equiv­a­lent to a death war­rant for him. Man­soor is an Iran­ian who was part of the “estab­lish­ment” in Iran long before the 1979 hostage tak­ing. Mansoor’s records actu­al­ly dis­count the alleged “Octo­ber Sur­prise” the­o­ry that the Ronald Rea­gan-George Bush team paid the Ira­ni­ans not to release 52 Amer­i­can hostages until after the Novem­ber 1980 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

Mansoor’s metic­u­lous doc­u­ments, shared exclu­sive­ly with this mag­a­zine, shows a much more sin­is­ter plot, the plot to take the hostages in the first place. “For 15 years the truth about the nature and ori­gins of the Iran­ian hostage cri­sis has been buried in a moun­tain of mis­in­for­ma­tion,” Man­soor states. “End­less expert analy­sis has served only to deep­en the fog that still sur­rounds this issue. We have been led to believe that the ‘cri­sis’ was a spon­ta­neous act that just sprang out of the ‘chaos’ of the ‘Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion’. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth!”

“To real­ly under­stand the hostage cri­sis and ‘who done it’, one has to look not only with a micro­scope, but also a wide angle lens to have a panoram­ic view of this well script­ed ‘dra­ma’,” Man­soor states. “That ‘dra­ma’ was the result of large his­tor­i­cal pat­terns, mod­els, and motives. Once its true nature is under­stood, it will be clear how Iran/Contra hap­pened, why Raf­san­jani has been try­ing to ‘move toward the West,’ and why Rea­gan called him a ‘mod­er­ate’. And why, dur­ing the Gulf War, James Bak­er said, ‘we think Iran has con­duct­ed itself in a very, very cred­i­ble way through this cri­sis’” Man­soor empha­sizes that the “Octo­ber Sur­prise” myth has served as dan­ger­ous mis­in­for­ma­tion.

THOUSANDS OF DOCUMENTS IN SUPPORT

With thou­sands of doc­u­ments to sup­port his posi­tion, Man­soor says that the “hostage cri­sis” was a polit­i­cal “man­age­ment tool” cre­at­ed by the pro-Bush fac­tion of the CIA, and imple­ment­ed through an a pri­ori Alliance with Khomeini’s Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists.” He says the pur­pose was twofold:

  • To keep Iran intact and com­mu­nist-free by putting Khome­i­ni in full con­trol.
  • To destablize the Carter Admin­is­tra­tion and put George Bush in the White House.

“The pri­vate Alliance was the log­i­cal result of the intri­cate Iran­ian polit­i­cal real­i­ty of the mid-70s, and a com­plex net­work of pow­er­ful U.S.-Iranian ‘busi­ness’ rela­tion­ships,” Man­soor states. “I first met Khome­i­ni in 1963 dur­ing the failed coup attempt against the Shah. Since that time I have been inti­mate­ly involved with Iran­ian pol­i­tics. I knew in 1979 that the whole, phoney ‘Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion’ was ‘mis­sion implau­si­ble’.” Man­soor was frank. “There is sim­ply no way that those guys with the beards and tur­bans could have pulled off such a bril­liant­ly planned oper­a­tion with­out very sophis­ti­cat­ed help.”

Man­soor has spent 10 years research­ing the issue.

“I have col­lect­ed enough data to yield a very clear pic­ture. Mr. Bush’s lieu­tenants removed the Shah, brought Khome­i­ni back to Iran, and guid­ed his rise to pow­er, stick­ing it to Pres­i­dent Carter, the Amer­i­can peo­ple (52 in par­tic­u­lar), and the Iran­ian peo­ple.”

He stat­ed with box­es and box­es of evi­dence to sup­port his con­tentions.

“My exten­sive research has revealed the hereto­fore untold truth about this episode. This is not anoth­er ‘Octo­ber Sur­prise’ the­o­ry pur­port­ing how the hostage cri­sis result­ed in some Khome­i­ni-Repub­lic bet­ter deal. That the­o­ry puts the cart before the horse. Its absurd premise is that a major inter­na­tion­al deal was ini­ti­at­ed and con­sum­mat­ed in three weeks. Give me a break! Bill Casey didn’t have to go to Paris to play lets-make-deal. The ‘deal’ had been in oper­a­tion for at least two years. This game of blind-man’s‑bluff around Casey’s grave­stone was more dis­in­for­ma­tion, dam­age con­trol.”

REAGAN, BUSH AND THATCHER IN IRAN IN 1978

Man­soor pro­duced a con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ment called the “Coun­try Team Min­utes” of April 26, 1978, more than a year before the hostage cri­sis. The meet­ing was held in Iran. The sec­ond para­graph of the rou­tine min­utes, states, “The Ambas­sador com­ment­ed on our dis­tin­guished vis­i­tors, Ronald Rea­gan, George Bush and Mar­garet Thatch­er, and com­ment­ed that Teheran seems to be the site for an oppo­si­tion par­ties con­gress.” Man­soor indi­cates the entire rela­tion­ship was prob­a­bly the most sophis­ti­cat­ed crim­i­nal act in recent his­to­ry. “That the peo­ple who, until recent­ly, were hold­ing pow­er in Wash­ing­ton and those who cur­rent­ly are still in con­trol in Teheran, got there by total­ly sub­vert­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic process of both coun­tries is news. That their meth­ods of sub­ver­sion relied on kid­nap­ping, extor­tion and mur­der is crim­i­nal,” Man­soor states.

Man­soor became a tar­get after he did a radio show in Port­land on Novem­ber 13, 1992. It was the first time he attempt­ed to go pub­lic with his doc­u­ments and infor­ma­tion. The Iran­ian regime has placed a boun­ty on Mansoor’s head and he has received many death threats.

Is Man­soor just anoth­er con­spir­a­cy nut? Ervand Abra­hami­an of Baruch Col­lege of New York stat­ed in a let­ter to Man­soor,

“As you know I am very weary of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. But, despite my pre­con­ceived bias, I must admit I found your man­u­script to be thor­ough­ly researched, well doc­u­ment­ed, and, of course extreme­ly rel­e­vant to the present. You have done a first-class job of inter­view­ing par­tic­i­pants, col­lect­ing data from scat­tered sources, and putting them togeth­er like a high­ly com­pli­cat­ed puz­zle.”

Mansoor’s metic­u­lous research clear­ly demon­strates how Khomeini’s pub­lished vision of an Islam­ic Gov­ern­ment (Vilay­at-Faqih) dove­tailed with the region­al and glob­al strate­gic objec­tives of a hard-core sub­set of the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment loy­al to George Bush. It shows that the Iran­ian hostage cri­sis was nei­ther a cri­sis nor chaos. In 1953, the CIA orches­trat­ed a coup in Iran, which threw out the demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ment and installed the Shah.

In order to under­stand the imper­a­tive of this Alliance, we must real­is­ti­cal­ly exam­ine the sociopo­lit­i­cal align­ment both in Iran and the U.S., and accu­rate­ly assess their respec­tive inter­ests to find the com­mon ground for this coa­les­cence. The anti-monar­chic forces in mid-70s Iran con­sist­ed of var­i­ous nation­al­ist groups includ­ing reli­gious reformists, the Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists, the left­ists and com­mu­nists.

The nation­al­ist forces were var­ied. Some were from with­in the gov­ern­ment, but they were poor­ly orga­nized and with­out grass-roots sup­port. Their posi­tion was clear­ly anti-left and anti-com­mu­nist, but they were vul­ner­a­ble to being tak­en over by the well-orga­nized left.

The Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists had no gov­ern­ment expe­ri­ence, but they had major grass­roots sup­port. Islam, in its Shi’ite for­mat was deeply embed­ded in the lives of the vast major­i­ty of the Iran­ian peo­ple. The Fun­da­men­tal­ists were absolute­ly anti-com­mu­nist.

CARTER FIRES 800 CIA COVERT OPERATORS

The philo­soph­i­cal divide with­in the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment, espe­cial­ly the CIA, became quite seri­ous in the after­math of Water­gate. To make mat­ters worse, the elec­tion of Jim­my Carter in 1976, his cam­paign promise to clean the “cow­boy” ele­ments out of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency and his “human rights” poli­cies alarmed the fac­tion of the CIA loy­al to George Bush. Bush was CIA direc­tor under Ger­ald Ford. Final­ly, the fir­ing of CIA Direc­tor George Bush by Carter, and the sub­se­quent “Hal­loween Mas­sacre” in which Carter fired over 800 CIA covert oper­a­tives in 1977, angered the “cow­boys” beyond all mea­sure. That was Carter’s Octo­ber sur­prise, 800 fir­ings on Hal­loween 1977.

Bush and his CIA coverts were well aware of the Shah’s ter­mi­nal can­cer, unknown to Pres­i­dent Carter. The team had an elab­o­rate vest­ed inter­est to pro­tect. They were deter­mined to keep Iran intact and com­mu­nist-free and put George Bush in the White House.

TIMELINE: SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

Hence, the Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists were the only viable choice through which the Bush covert team could imple­ment its own pri­vate for­eign pol­i­cy. The results: the birth of the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran and the fall of Pres­i­dent Carter. Mansoor’s doc­u­ments show step-by-step events:

1. In 1974, the Shah of Iran was diag­nosed with can­cer.

2. In 1975, for­mer CIA direc­tor, and the U.S. Ambas­sador to Iran, Richard Helms learned of the Shah’s can­cer through the Shah’s clos­est con­fi­dant, Gen­er­al Hos­sein Far­doust. The Shah, Helms and Far­doust had been close per­son­al friends since their school days togeth­er in Switzer­land dur­ing the 1930s.

3. On Novem­ber 4, 1976, con­cur­rent with Jim­my Carter’s elec­tion as Pres­i­dent, CIA Direc­tor George Bush issued a secret memo to the U.S. Ambas­sador in Iran, Richard Helms, ask­ing:

“Have there been any changes in the per­son­al­i­ty pat­tern of the Shah; what are their impli­ca­tions . . . . for polit­i­cal behav­ior? Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of top mil­i­tary offi­cers that most like­ly play key roles in any trans­fer­ence of pow­er if the Shah were killed…who will be the lead­ing actors? How will the Shah’s pet projects, includ­ing the eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment pro­gram, be affect­ed by his depar­ture?”

4. By July 1977, antic­i­pat­ing trou­ble ahead, the Bush covert team issued a pre­lim­i­nary script for the tran­si­tion of pow­er in Iran. Accord­ing to John D. Stem­pel, a CIA ana­lyst and Deputy Chief Polit­i­cal offi­cer of the U.S. Embassy in Iran: “A ten page analy­sis of the oppo­si­tion writ­ten by the embassy’s polit­i­cal sec­tion in July 1977 cor­rect­ly iden­ti­fied Bakhtiar, Bazargan, Khome­i­ni and Beheshti as major actors in the dra­ma that begin unfold­ing a year lat­er.”

5. Con­trary to this analy­sis, in August 1977, the “offi­cial wing” of the CIA fed Pres­i­dent Carter a 60-page Study on Iran which con­clud­ed:

“The Shah will be an active par­tic­i­pant in Iran­ian life well into the 1980s…and there will be no rad­i­cal changes in Iran­ian polit­i­cal behav­ior in the near future.”

6. On Octo­ber 31, 1977, pres­i­dent Carter made good on his cam­paign promise to clean the “cow­boys” out of the CIA. He fired over 800 covert oper­a­tives from the Agency, many of whom were loy­al to George Bush. Carter’s pres­i­den­cy split the CIA. It pro­duced in them–many of whom were “well-trained in polit­i­cal warfare–a con­cert­ed will for revenge.” By the end of the 1970s many of these spe­cial covert oper­a­tives had allied them­selves with George Bush’s can­di­da­cy, and lat­er with Ronald Reagan’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

7. On Novem­ber 15, the Shah of Iran vis­it­ed Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Carter toast­ed his guest, “If ever there was a coun­try which has blos­somed forth under enlight­ened lead­er­ship, it would be the ancient empire of Per­sia.”

8. On Novem­ber 23, Aya­tol­lah Khomeini’s elder son, Haji Mustafa, died mys­te­ri­ous­ly in Najaf, Iraq. Accord­ing to pro­fes­sor Hamid Algar, he was “assas­si­nat­ed by the Shah’s U.S.-instituted secu­ri­ty police SAVAK…the tragedy inflamed the pub­lic in Iran.” Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni placed an adver­tise­ment in the French News­pa­per Le Monde which read: “thank­ing peo­ple for con­do­lences that had been sent for the mur­der of his son.” He also “appealed to the army to lib­er­ate Iran, and to the intel­lec­tu­als and all good Mus­lims to con­tin­ue their crit­i­cism of the Shah”.

9. Decem­ber 31, 1977, Carter vis­it­ed the Shah in Iran. He toast­ed the Shah for main­tain­ing Iran as “an island of sta­bil­i­ty in one of the more trou­bled areas of the world.” Iron­i­cal­ly, that so-called sta­bil­i­ty evap­o­rat­ed before the cham­pagne lost its fizz.

10. On Jan­u­ary 7, 1978, an insid­i­ous arti­cle enti­tled Iran and the Red and Black Colo­nial­ism, appeared in the Iran­ian dai­ly news­pa­per Ettela’at. It cas­ti­gat­ed the exiled Khome­i­ni, and pro­duced a mas­sive protest riot in the Holy City of Qum the next day. The cler­gy had lit­tle choice but to ral­ly to Khomeini’s defense. The Qum inci­dent shift­ed many of the cler­gy from a posi­tion of sup­port for the Shah’s monar­chy to an active oppo­si­tion. That “dirty trick” per­pet­u­at­ed by Gen­er­al Far­doust was the trig­ger that sparked Islam­ic move­ment par­tic­i­pat­ing in the anti-Shah demo­c­ra­t­ic Rev­o­lu­tion. John D. Stem­pel, char­ac­ter­ized Fardoust’s impor­tance to the Alliance: “it is hard to over­es­ti­mate the val­ue of hav­ing a mole in the inner cir­cle of the Shah.”

11. On Feb­ru­ary 3, a con­fi­den­tial com­mu­niqué from the U.S. Embassy clear­ly reflect­ed the vision of the Alliance:

“Though based on incom­plete evi­dence, our best assess­ment to date is that the Shia Islam­ic move­ment dom­i­nat­ed by Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni is far bet­ter orga­nized, enlight­ened and able to resist Com­mu­nism than its detrac­tors would lead us to believe. It is root­ed in the Iran­ian peo­ple more than any west­ern ide­ol­o­gy, includ­ing Com­mu­nism.”

12. April 1978, Le Monde “iden­ti­fied Khomeini’s Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment of Iran as the most sig­nif­i­cant force in the oppo­si­tion. Shi’ite Islam unites the reformist pro­gres­sive crit­ics of the Shah on the same ground. In fact, this analy­sis was con­trary to what Mohaam­mad Tavas­soli, leader of the Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment of Iran, expressed to John D. Stem­pel on August 21, 1978:

“The nation­al­ist move­ment in Iran lacks a pop­u­lar base. The choice is between Islam and Communism…close ties between the Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment of Iran and the reli­gious move­ment were nec­es­sary. Iran was becom­ing split between the Marx­ist and the reli­gious.”

13. On April 26, the con­fi­den­tial min­utes of the U. S. Embassy Coun­try team meet­ing wel­comed Bush, Rea­gan and Thatch­er.

14. On May 6, Le Monde became the first west­ern news­pa­per to inter­view Khome­i­ni in Najaf, Iraq. Khome­i­ni acknowl­edged his com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with the strate­gic imper­a­tives of the Bush covert team, “we would not col­lab­o­rate with the Marx­ists, even in the over­throw of the Shah.”

15. The same month, Khomeini’s old ally from the failed 1963 coup (that result­ed in Khomeini’s arrest and major upris­ing in June 1963 and his sub­se­quent exile to Iraq) Gen­er­al Val­li­ol­lah Qarani sent his emis­sary to meet Khome­i­ni in Najaf. Qarani had been a major CIA asset in Iran since the 1953 coup. See­ing anoth­er chance to gain pow­er for him­self, he advised Khome­i­ni, accord­ing to for­mer Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Abol Has­san Bani-sad­er:

“If you set­tle for the Shah’s depar­ture and don’t use anti-Amer­i­can rhetoric, the Amer­i­cans are ready to take him out.”

16. In August, the Bush team sent its own point man to meet the exiled Aya­tol­lah in Najaf. Pro­fes­sor Richard Cot­tam car­ried excel­lent cre­den­tials. Dur­ing the 1953 coup, he had been in charge of the CIA’s Iran Desk. He had also been in close con­tact with Dr. Ibrahim Yaz­di in the U.S. since 1975. Curi­ous­ly, he admit­ted to Bani-sadr in 1987, that he had not been work­ing for the Carter Admin­is­tra­tion. Cottam’s vis­it must have had an impact, because Iran sud­den­ly began to expe­ri­ence a series of mys­te­ri­ous cat­a­stro­phes:

  • Fun­da­men­tal­ist sup­port­ers burned down a the­ater killing the inno­cent occu­pants, blam­ing it on the SAVAK and the Shah.
  • There were riots in Isfa­han that result­ed in mar­tial law.
  • On August 27, one of Khomeini’s rivals among the Shia Islam­ic faith­ful out­side of Iran, Aya­tol­lah Mosa Sadr mys­te­ri­ous­ly disp­peared. Accord­ing to an intel­li­gence source he was killed and buried in Libya.

17. By late August, the Shah was total­ly con­fused. U.S. Ambas­sador Sul­li­van record­ed the Shah’s plead­ings over the out­break of vio­lence:

“He said the pat­tern was wide­spread and that it was like an out­break of a sud­den rash in the country…it gave evi­dence of sophis­ti­cat­ed plan­ning and was not the work of spon­ta­neous oppositionists…the Shah pre­sent­ed that it was the work of for­eign intrigue…this intrigue went beyond the capa­bil­i­ties of the Sovi­et KGB and must, there­fore, also involve British and Amer­i­can CIA. The Shah went on to ask ‘Why was the CIA sud­den­ly turn­ing against him? What had he done to deserve this sort of action from the Unit­ed States?”

18. Sep­tem­ber 8, the Shah’s army gunned down hun­dreds of demon­stra­tors in Teheran in what became known as the “Jaleh Square Mas­sacre”.

19. On Sep­tem­ber 9, Pres­i­dent Carter phoned the Shah to con­firm his sup­port for the Shah, a fact that enraged the Iran­ian pop­u­la­tion.

20. A few days lat­er, Carter’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty aide, Gary Sick, received a call from Richard Cot­tam, request­ing a dis­crete meet­ing between him and Khomeini’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the U.S., Dr. Yaz­di. Sick refused.

21. Khome­i­ni for the first time, pub­licly called for the Shah’s over­throw.

22. In Mid-Sep­tem­ber, at the height of the rev­o­lu­tion, “one of the hand­ful of Khomeini’s trust­ed asso­ciates,” Aya­tol­lah Mohammed Hus­sein Beheshti, secret­ly vis­it­ed the Unit­ed States. He also met with Yaz­di in Texas, among oth­ers. Beheshti was an advo­cate of the eye-for-an-eye school of jus­tice.

23. In ear­ly Octo­ber 1978, the agent for the Bush covert team arranged to force Khome­i­ni out of Iraq.

24. Octo­ber 3, 1978, Yaz­di picked up Khome­i­ni in Iraq and head­ed for Kuwait. Accord­ing to Gary Sick, he received an urgent call from Richard Cot­tam, learn­ing for the first time that Khome­i­ni had been forced out of Iraq. Sick was told that Khome­i­ni and his entourage were stuck in no man’s land while attempt­ing to cross the bor­der. Cot­tam was request­ing White House inter­ven­tion to resolve the issue. Sick respond, “there is noth­ing we could do”.

25. Octo­ber 6, Khomeini’s entourage, hav­ing got­ten back through Bagh­dad, popped up in Paris. Accord­ing to Bani-sadr, “it was Khome­i­ni who insist­ed on going to Paris instead of Syr­ia or Alge­ria”. Who­ev­er helped Khome­i­ni out of the Kuwaiti bor­der impasse had to have been on good terms with both the French and Sad­dam Hus­sein.

26. Decem­ber 12, Yaz­di made a trip to the U.S. to pro­mote Khome­i­ni and his Islam­ic Repub­lic. Yaz­di met secret­ly with Hen­ry Precht in an unof­fi­cial capac­i­ty. Precht was the Direc­tor of the Iran Desk at the State Depart­ment and one of the Bush team’s main choke points in the Carter Admin­is­tra­tion. Lat­er Precht and Yaz­di appeared togeth­er for tele­vised dis­cus­sion of Iran. Yaz­di assured the Amer­i­can pub­lic that Khome­i­ni had not real­ly called for a “tor­rent of blood,” and that the “elec­tion would be absolute­ly free.” The Islam­ic Repub­lic “would enjoy full free­dom of speech and the press, includ­ing the right to attack Islam. [Khome­ini’s fat­wa against Salman Rushdie stands in sharp rebut­tal to that claim–D.E.]

27. Decem­ber 28, Cot­tam vis­it­ed Khome­i­ni in Paris where he not­ed that U.S. cit­i­zen Dr. Yaz­di was the “lead­ing tac­ti­cian in Khomeini’s camp” and appar­ent “chief of staff”. Khome­i­ni was not inter­est­ed in the Mul­lahs tak­ing over the gov­ern­ment. It is also not­ed that “Khomeini’s move­ment def­i­nite­ly plans to orga­nize a polit­i­cal par­ty to draw on Khomeini’s charis­ma. Cot­tam thinks such a par­ty would win all Majlis seats.”

28. Leav­ing Paris, Cot­tam slipped into Teheran, arriv­ing the first week in Jan­u­ary 1979, to pre­pare Khomeini’s tri­umphal return to Iran.

29. Jan­u­ary 4, 1979, Carter’s secret envoy, Gen­er­al Robert Huyser arrived in Iran. His mis­sion was to pre­vent the “fall of the Shah.” Accord­ing to Huyser, Alexan­der Haig, osten­si­bly a strong Shah sup­port­er-inex­plic­a­bly, “took vio­lent excep­tion to the whole idea.” Huyser recalled that “Gen­er­al Haig nev­er gave me a full expla­na­tion of his strong objec­tions.” Huyser also revealed that Ambas­sador Sul­li­van “had also expressed objec­tions.” Two pro-Shah advo­cates opposed to the pre­ven­tion of the Shah’s fall.

30. On Jan­u­ary 14, Pres­i­dent Carter final­ly “autho­rized a meet­ing between War­ren Zim­mer­man and Ibrahim Yaz­di. On the same day, Khome­i­ni, in an inter­view on CBS claimed, “a great part of the army was loy­al to him” and that “he will be in effect the strong man of Iran.”

31. On Jan­u­ary 16, in an exact repeat of the 1953 CIA coup, Bush’s covert team ush­ered the “eccen­tric and weak” Shah out of Iran.

32. On Feb­ru­ary 1, 1979, Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni staged his own ver­sion of a “tri­umphal return” in the streets of Teheran.

33. Khome­i­ni moved quick­ly to estab­lish his author­i­ty. On Feb­ru­ary 5 he named Meh­di Bazargan, a devot­ed Mus­lim and anti-com­mu­nist, inter­im Prime Min­is­ter. Yaz­di and Abbas Amir Entezam became Bazargan’s deputies, Dr. San­jabi For­eign Min­is­ter, and Gen­er­al Qarani was named mil­i­tary Chief of Staff.

34. On Feb­ru­ary 11, 1979, in seem­ing­ly a bizarre twist, Gen­er­al Qarani asked the Shah’s “eyes and ears” Gen­er­al Hossien Far­doust for rec­om­men­da­tions to fill the new top posts in Iran’s armed forces. Except for the rec­om­men­da­tion for the Chief of SAVAK, all the oth­ers were accept­ed. Short­ly after, Gen­er­al Far­doust became head of SAVAMA, Khomeini’s suc­ces­sor to SAVAK.

35. On Feb­ru­ary 14, 1979, two weeks after Khomeini’s return to Iran, the U.S. Embassy in Teheran was seized by Khome­i­ni sup­port­ers dis­guised as left­ist guer­ril­las in an attempt to neu­tral­ize the left. U.S. hostages were seized, but to the cha­grin of Khomeini’s Fun­da­men­tal­ists, the Iran­ian coali­tion gov­ern­ment restored order imme­di­ate­ly. On the same day in Kab­ul, Afghanistan, the U.S. Ambas­sador was also kid­napped by fanat­ic Islam­ic Fun­da­men­tal­ists dis­guised as left­ist guer­ril­las and killed in the gun­fight.

36. On Feb­ru­ary 14, soon after order was restored at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Khomeini’s aide Yaz­di sup­plied the Embassy with a group of Ira­ni­ans for com­pound secu­ri­ty. Ambas­sador Sul­li­van installed, armed, and trained this Swat squad lead by SAVAK/CIA agent Mashal­lah Kah­sani, with whom Sul­li­van devel­oped a close work­ing rela­tion­ship.

37. By August, pro-Bush CIA offi­cial George Cave was vis­it­ing Iran to pro­vide intel­li­gence brief­in­gs to Khomeini’s aides, espe­cial­ly Yaz­di and Entezam. These intel­li­gence exchanges con­tin­ued until Octo­ber 31, the anniver­sary of the day on which Carter fired Bush and the 800 agents. Then with all the Iran­ian offi­cials who had restored order in the first Embassy seizure elim­i­nat­ed, the stage was set for what hap­pened four days lat­er.

38. On Novem­ber 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy was tak­en again. Lead­ing the charge was none oth­er than Ambas­sador Sullivan’s trust­ed Mashal­lah Kashani, the Embassy’s once and for­mer secu­ri­ty chief.

With the evi­dence and doc­u­men­ta­tion sup­plied by Man­soor, the alleged Octo­ber Sur­prise would not have been nec­es­sary. Pres­i­dent Carter was the tar­get, in revenge for the Hal­loween Mas­sacre, the night 800 CIA oper­a­tives and George Bush were fired by Carter. The main thrust, how­ev­er, was to pre­vent a com­mu­nist takover of Iran after the Shah’s antic­i­pat­ed death.

2. In the con­clud­ing min­utes of the excerpt pre­sent­ed from the 1/23/1993 inter­view with Fara Man­soor, Mr. Emory warned that the counter-ter­ror­ism appa­ra­tus used by George H.W. Bush to affect many of the machi­na­tions of the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal were still in place and could be used to de-sta­bi­lize the (Bill) Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion. Bush White House holdover Lin­da Tripp was the con­duit who con­veyed the Mon­i­ca Lewin­sky infor­ma­tion to Lucianne Gold­berg, who pub­li­cized it and pre­cip­i­tat­ed the scan­dal that result­ed in Clin­ton’s impeach­ment.

Lin­da Tripp had a back­ground in counter-ter­ror­ism, hav­ing a Top-Secret secu­ri­ty clear­ance while work­ing for the Delta Force, the coun­try’s elite counter-ter­ror­ism com­man­do unit.

Inci­den­tal­ly, Mon­i­ca Lewin­sky was rep­re­sent­ed by Pla­to Cacheris, who is now rep­re­sent­ing Edward Snow­den, whose actions have helped to de-sta­bi­lize the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion.

“Linda’s Trip” by Jeff Leen and Gene Wein­garten; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 3/15/1998. [14]

 . . . . There was a long string of assign­ments, in Ger­many and else­where. Lin­da got a top-secret secu­ri­ty clear­ance. At one point, accord­ing to her resume, she was doing sec­re­tar­i­al work for Delta Force, the super-secret coun­tert­er­ror­ist unit that does not, offi­cial­ly, exist. . . .

. . . . It was April 1990 when she joined the Bush White House. Ellen Strichartz, a neigh­bor who worked as a White House cor­re­spon­dence ana­lyst, had spon­sored her. Tripp start­ed as a “floater,” fill­ing in answer­ing phones or tak­ing dic­ta­tion when­ev­er there was a sec­re­tar­i­al vacan­cy.

Tripp had worked most­ly for the mil­i­tary, in aus­tere oper­a­tions that were high in dis­ci­pline and rig­or but low in pomp and stature. This changed. Her 32-month tenure in the Bush White House was a bath in pow­er and priv­i­lege and pres­tige.  . . .

3. Repub­li­can James Comey–a Mitt Rom­ney sup­port­er in 2012–is tak­ing actions that are caus­ing seri­ous prob­lems for the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion and for the Hillary Clin­ton can­di­da­cy. In par­tic­u­lar, the e‑mail scan­dal appears to have been Comey’s baby.

He has also ruf­fled feath­ers with the alto­geth­er com­pli­cat­ed Apple “ISIS­pho­ne” con­tro­ver­sy. That con­sum­mate­ly impor­tant case, Byzan­tine in its com­plex­i­ty and mul­ti-dimen­sion­al­i­ty (to coin a term) will be dealt with in a future pro­gram.

Comey was pre­vi­ous­ly the gen­er­al coun­sel for Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates [17], a hedge fund that helped cap­i­tal­ize Palan­tir, which (their dis­claimers to the con­trary notwith­stand­ing) makes the Prism soft­ware that is at the epi­cen­ter of “L’Af­faire Snow­den.” (CORRECTION: In past pro­grams and posts, we incor­rect­ly iden­ti­fied Comey as gen­er­al coun­sel for Palan­tir, not Bridge­wa­ter.)

The Bridgewater/Palantir/Comey nexus is inter­est­ing, nonethe­less. Palan­tir’s top stock­hold­er [18] is Peter Thiel, a backer of Ted Cruz [19] and the man who pro­vid­ed most of the cap­i­tal for Ron Paul’s 2012 Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Ron Paul’s Super PAC was in–of all places–Provo Utah, Rom­ney coun­try. Paul is from Texas. The alleged mav­er­ick Paul was, in fact, close to Rom­ney [20].

Recall that “Eddie the Friend­ly Spook” [21] is a big Ron Paul fan and Bruce Fein, Snow­den’s first attor­ney and the coun­sel for the Snow­den fam­i­ly, was the chief legal coun­sel for Ron Paul’s cam­paign.

The pos­si­ble impli­ca­tions of these rela­tion­ships are worth con­tem­plat­ing and will be dis­cussed at greater length in future pro­grams.

“Comey’s FBI Makes Waves” by Cory Ben­nett and Julian Hat­tem; The Hill; 3/09/2016 [15].

The aggres­sive pos­ture of the FBI under Direc­tor James Comey is becom­ing a polit­i­cal prob­lem for the White House.

The FBI’s demand that Apple help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardi­no killers has out­raged Sil­i­con Val­ley, a sig­nif­i­cant source of polit­i­cal sup­port for Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and Democ­rats.

Comey, mean­while, has stirred ten­sions by link­ing ris­ing vio­lent crime rates to the Black Lives Mat­ter movement’s focus on police vio­lence and by warn­ing about “gaps” in the screen­ing process for Syr­i­an refugees.

Then there’s the biggest issue of all: the FBI’s inves­ti­ga­tion into the pri­vate email serv­er used by Hillary Clin­ton, Obama’s for­mer sec­re­tary of State and the lead­ing con­tender to win the Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

A deci­sion by the FBI to charge Clin­ton or her top aides for mis­han­dling clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion would be a shock to the polit­i­cal sys­tem.

In these cas­es and more, Comey — a Repub­li­can who donat­ed in 2012 to Mitt Rom­ney — has proved he is “not attached to the strings of the White House,” said Ron Hosko, the for­mer head of the FBI’s crim­i­nal inves­tiga­tive divi­sion and a crit­ic of Obama’s law enforce­ment strate­gies.

Pub­licly, admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials have not betrayed any wor­ry about the Clin­ton probe. They have also down­played any dif­fer­ences of opin­ion on Apple.

But for­mer offi­cials say the FBI’s moves are clear­ly ruf­fling feath­ers with­in the admin­is­tra­tion.

With regards to the Apple stand­off, “It’s just not clear [Comey] is speak­ing for the admin­is­tra­tion,” said Richard Clarke, a for­mer White House coun­tert­er­ror­ism and cyber­se­cu­ri­ty chief. “We know there have been admin­is­tra­tion meet­ings on this for months. The pro­pos­al that Comey had made on encryp­tion was reject­ed by the admin­is­tra­tion.”

Comey has a rep­u­ta­tion for speak­ing truth to pow­er, dat­ing back to a dra­mat­ic con­fronta­tion in 2004 when he rushed to a hos­pi­tal to stop the Bush White House from renew­ing a war­rant­less wire­tap­ping pro­gram while Attor­ney Gen­er­al John Ashcroft was grave­ly ill. Comey was Ashcroft’s deputy at the time.

That show­down won Comey plau­dits from both sides of the aisle and made him an attrac­tive pick to lead the FBI. But now that he’s in charge of the agency, the pres­i­dent might be get­ting more than he bar­gained for.

“Part of his role is to not nec­es­sar­i­ly be in lock step with the White House,” said Mitch Sil­ber, a for­mer intel­li­gence offi­cial with the New York City Police Depart­ment and cur­rent senior man­ag­ing direc­tor at FTI Con­sult­ing.

“He takes very seri­ous­ly the fact that he works for the exec­u­tive branch,” added Leo Tad­deo, a for­mer agent in the FBI’s cyber divi­sion. “But he also under­stands the impor­tance of main­tain­ing his inde­pen­dence as a law enforce­ment agency that needs to give not just the appear­ance of inde­pen­dence but the real­i­ty of it.”

The split over Clinton’s email serv­er is the most polit­i­cal­ly charged issue fac­ing the FBI, with noth­ing less than the race for the White House poten­tial­ly at stake.

Oba­ma has pub­licly defend­ed Clin­ton, say­ing that while she “made a mis­take” with her email set­up, it was “not a sit­u­a­tion in which America’s nation­al secu­ri­ty was endan­gered.”

But the FBI direc­tor has bris­tled at that state­ment, say­ing the pres­i­dent would not have any knowl­edge of the inves­ti­ga­tion. Comey, mean­while, told law­mak­ers last week that he is “very close, per­son­al­ly,” to the probe.

Obama’s com­ments reflect­ed a pat­tern, sev­er­al for­mer agents said, of the pres­i­dent mak­ing improp­er com­ments about FBI inves­ti­ga­tions. In 2012, he made sim­i­lar­ly dis­mis­sive com­ments about a pend­ing inquiry into then-CIA Direc­tor David Petraeus, who lat­er plead­ed guilty to a mis­de­meanor charge for giv­ing clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion to his mis­tress and biog­ra­ph­er, Paula Broad­well.

“It serves no one in the Unit­ed States for the pres­i­dent to com­ment on ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tions,” Tad­deo said. “I just don’t see a pur­pose.”

Hosko sug­gest­ed that a show­down over poten­tial crim­i­nal charges for Clin­ton could lead to a reprise of the famous 2004 hos­pi­tal scene, when Comey threat­ened to resign.

“He has that man­tle,” Hosko said. “I think now there’s this expec­ta­tion — I hope it’s a fair one — that he’ll do it again if he has to.”

Comey’s inde­pen­dent streak has also been on dis­play in the Apple fight, when his bureau decid­ed to seek a court order demand­ing that the tech giant cre­ate new soft­ware to bypass secu­ri­ty tools on an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two ter­ror­ist attack­ers in San Bernardi­no, Calif.

Many observers ques­tioned whether the FBI was mak­ing an end-run around the White House, which had pre­vi­ous­ly dis­missed a series of pro­pos­als that would force com­pa­nies to decrypt data upon gov­ern­ment request.

“I think there’s actu­al­ly some peo­ple that don’t think with one mind­set on this issue with­in the admin­is­tra­tion,” said Sen. Tom Carp­er (D‑Del.), the Sen­ate Home­land Secu­ri­ty Committee’s top Demo­c­rat, at a Tues­day hear­ing. “It’s a tough issue.”

While the White House has repeat­ed­ly backed the FBI’s deci­sion, it has not ful­ly endorsed the poten­tial pol­i­cy ram­i­fi­ca­tions, leav­ing some to think a gap might devel­op as sim­i­lar cas­es pop up. The White House is poised to soon issue its own pol­i­cy paper on the sub­ject of data encryp­tion.

“The posi­tion tak­en by the FBI is at odds with the con­cerns expressed by indi­vid­u­als [in the White House] who were look­ing into the encryp­tion issue,” said Neema Singh Guliani, a leg­isla­tive coun­sel with the Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union (ACLU).

This week, White House home­land secu­ri­ty advis­er Lisa Mona­co tried to down­play the dif­fer­ences between the two sides. The White House and FBI are both grap­pling with the same prob­lems, she said in a dis­cus­sion at the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions.

“There is a recog­ni­tion across the admin­is­tra­tion that the virtues of strong encryp­tion are with­out a doubt,” Mona­co said on Mon­day. “There is also uni­for­mi­ty about the recog­ni­tion that strong encryp­tion pos­es real chal­lenges.”