IN GUADALOUPE, CARTER ANNOUNCED THAT SHAH MUST GO, VGE
PARIS 6TH OCT. (IPS) It was US president Jimmy Carter that, during a meeting in the French island of Guadaloupe, announced to his astonished partners from France, Germany and Britain that the United States had terminated its privileged relations and friendship with the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran and wanted him to leave.
The sensational revelations were made by former French president Valerie Giscard D'Estaing, one of the four leaders present at that historic meeting held in 1978. The others were Jimmy Carter, Helmut Schmidt of Germany and Mrs Margaret Thatcher of Britain who fully backed the American stand in an interview carried out in Los Angeles by Mr Parviz Shahnawas, an Iranian free lance journalist.
According to the official Islamic News Agency of Iran IRNA, the publication of the interview in the liberal daily Toos was the reason behind the closure of the popular daily and the arrest of its Editor in chief, owner, publisher and senior editor.
But for many analysts and Mr Shahnawaz himself, Mr. Giscard D'Estaing interview and the revelations he made served as a pretext to close down the paper.
In fact, what infuriated the ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic regime who had ordered the closure of the paper was an article by the late grand ayatollah Abolqasem Kho'i, the supreme leader of the Sh'ites world-wide the daily had reprinted from the Rah e Now weekly, rejecting the concept of Velayat e faqih, that is the cornerstone of the present Iranian regime.
Mr. Shahnawaz long list of interviewed personalities includes former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the widow of the assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mrs Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani Prime Minister, Mrs Hannan Ashrawi, a much respected Palestinian lawyer and political figure, Mrs Fa'ezeh Hashemi, the outspoken daughter of the former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani who, besides being an MP from Tehran, is also in charge of women's sport activities.
Former French president Valerie Giscard D'Estaing is the last personality Mr. Shahnawaz has interviewed on 16 July in Log-Angeles, urging him to explain why the United States, Britain, France and Germany, the 4 powers considered as the closest allies to the late Shah of Iran decided, in their meeting in the French Island of Goudaloupe, to abandon the man they so much praised and who had always stood at their side.
According to Mr. Shahnawaz, Mr. Giscard D'Estaing plays the intermediary between Washington and Tehran, as the former president had came from Tehran to the US on the invitation of his US counterpart, former president Gerald Ford.
In the interview, Mr Giscard D'Estaing reveals that contrary to what it is believed, it was Jimmy Carter, Shah's best friend, who, from the outset, had suggested that the Shah was "finished" and that the US had decided to abandon him.
Talking toIPS from Los-Angeles, Mr. Shahnawas, a Los Angeles-based free lance Iranian journalist, observed that nothing in his interview with the former French president was new. "May be the mollahs were angry at the fact that Mr. Giscard D'Estaing reckoned that the Shah had urged him to treat the ayatollah Khomeiny with all the respect due to his rank", Mr Shahnawaz said.
Below are, verbatim, the transcription of some of the questions Mr. Shahnawaz had asked the former French president in regard with the Iranian situation.
Shahnawaz- Mr President Giscard d'Estaing, during the 1979 Iranian revolution, when you were president of France, you facilitate the ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny to take refuge in France and allowed him to reside in France in Neaufle-Le-Chateau, by all means, did you consulted and discussed this matter with the Shah of Iran?
VGE - Well, I'm going to give you a precise answer. First of all when the ayatollah Khomeiny came in France he didn't came from Iran but from Iraq. He was a political refugee in Iraq and for reason of his own, he decided to leave Iraq and to come to Western world and he decided to take a plane to Paris, a commercial aircraft to Paris and he had a passport and a visa that was absolutely in order. So when he came in it was a new situation. We were of course informed of his holy influence and he asked for a status of political refugee, which we gave to him.
When he started his campaign against the Shah which at the beginning was a political campaign and became more violent upon the time, I asked the Shah what was his attitude vis-à-vis that position and the Shah told me and to my ambassador I had send to see him in Tehran and the Shah said I ask you not to do anything against him and if you do anything against him I will disavow you, I will not support you, because it will create additional tension in Iran and probably create irreparable damages. So, this was the position of the Shah.
Shahnawaz- Mr president, after 20 years of revolution in Iran, there is still strong speculations that you, Mr. President and other leaders of superpowers in the island of Guadaloupe decided to destabilise the Shah of Iran's regime and all of you, once his friends, ignored his expectations, turned your back and him and some of you did not give him even a refuge, he who was a good friend. Please, for last and for good, can you give us to put an end to these rumours?
VGE - Well, I suppose that history will be very clear about this and there are records of this meeting that will be released sometimes. So, we were four countries at this meeting, there were US, UK, Germany and France and the country that said the moment was coming to have a political change in Iran was the US. And we were surprise since because we were under the impression that the US was supporting the Iranian regime to which they were sending an enormous quantity of military supplies and equipment and it was the American president who told us that now it's over and we will not support anymore the Shah, and he was thinking that probably there will be a military regime after the Shah. We were absolutely surprised because what we wanted was a sort of peaceful evolution of the Iranian crisis and certainly some political changes were needed but in any way we didn't think at all that the regime should be overthrown at once.
So, on this position, the German who was Helmut Schmidt and I had the same position that was that of surprise at this attitude and there were the American and the British had the clear position that the time was over and that the Shah should leave. ENDS SHAHNAWAZ 6109823