By: Mir M.Hosseini
Tehran was shaken by assassination of two U.S. Air Force officers working with the military-assistance mission in Iran.
In an Interview after a visit to the U.S., Mohammad Reza Shah called the assassins disgusting and blamed MKO for the terror plot while drawing a happy picture of Iran where farmers own their land and workers buy shares in factories. He pointed out oncoming popular elections, free education and food subsidies and added that Marxists could no ore sell their ideology.
In one single party Iranian political system, all other parties were outlawed and Shah played his cards well, asserting that the Communists would be the only other available alternative. During the cold war era, Communism and Marxism were the main fears of the western world pretty much exaggerated in the media. In fact, Iran's main opposition groups at that time were, the nationalists and Islamists but the dictator seemed to have forgotten the CIA backed coup of 1953.
Shah underestimated protests and said their numbers were 1,000 or 1,500 and claimed that people could express their views on any subject, but he outlined chants of Death to Shah intolerable. Shah heavily relied on his notorious secret service SAVAK which had created fear among people for years. SAVAK was infamous for torture and killings it inflicted on the opposition and even on ordinary Iranians who merely uttered any wrong words against the regime.
Mohammad Reza Shah highly viewed himself as a reformist, underlying the land reforms in what was called the White Revolution in 1963. He was certainly keen on transforming his ancient kingdom into one of the globe's most important nations.
As most dictators do, he lacked the vision of obtaining real popular support which is necessary to reach big goals and relied merely on US support and his oil money.