What Iran had in the Shah was much better for the America and Europe than what Iran has now in the Islāmic Republic. Because with the Shah we had an ally that would work with, that we would trade with and we could rely on for our energy needs. With the Islāmic Republic, we have a state that sponsors terrorism and is now attempting to get nuclear weapons. But as valuable as an ally as the Shah was to the West, he wasn’t that great for his own people. Which was a big reason for the Islāmic Revolution of 1979 and he and his monarchy being kicked out-of-power. Even though the Shah did some positive things to develop the Iranian economy and military, to a certain extent. He was an authoritarian dictator with a secret police that would pick people up off the street. As well as torture inmates, close down publications that seemed unfavorable to the Monarchy.
What’s going on in the Islāmic Republic today, but the difference being that the Islāmic Republic, is bad for its people, but also bad for the Middle East and West. With its sponsorship of Islāmic terrorism groups that have killed Americans as well as our soldiers. Like with the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983. the Islāmic Republic did replace the Monarchy. But they left in a lot of the authoritarian policy’s that the Monarchy had, as well as probably having some of their own. And they haven’t done much to advance Iran economically in its thirty-two years despite its vast resources in energy and its well-educated public and its middle class. Iran has all the resources that they need to be a first world country, but they’ve mismanaged them so badly. That they are still a third world country.
What the Shah should’ve done and had he done these things, I believe he could’ve saved his Monarchy, was as he continued to build up the economy, education and infrastructure and the Iranian military, then liberate his people. Let them live their own lives which would’ve put them ahead of everyone else in the Middle East. Except for Turkey and maybe Israel, but Iran and Turkey are so much bigger than Israel. But the Shah of Iran would’ve been a very popular leader in Iran had he done these things.
And then maybe with all of these progressive reforms, Iranians wouldn’t have looked to theocrats, the most conservative of Religious Conservatives, to save them and save their country from the Shah. Who in some ways on economic and foreign policy, was a fairly liberal leader, as Middle Eastern leaders go. The Shah of Iran, I believe would’ve lasted as the Leader of Iran, had he liberalized his large country and became President of Iran instead. With a federal legislature, independent judiciary and of course his people to answer to. And turned the Monarchy into more of a ceremonial institution like in Britain. But he didn’t do those things and was kicked out-of-power.
Aruyo Padafand: 60 Minutes- Mike Wallace 1976 Interview of The Shah of Iran