We learned in April 13’s Tribune that Washington denied a visa to Iran’s selection for ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid Aboutalebi. The reason was that Hamid was one of the students who took over our embassy in Tehran in 1979.
The action taken by these students was in response to the widespread American influence in strengthening the shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a very corrupt monarch; it was primarily through him that the United States could control Iran’s oil. The shah, with the help of the American CIA, established a ruthless organization, SAVAK, in the 1950s to control those who opposed him.
The breaking point came when one of Iran’s most popular politicians became prime minister, and then attempted to eliminate American influence in Iran. The United States sent Kermit Roosevelt Jr., the chief CIA activities organizer in the region, to force Pahlavi to remove Mohammad Mosaddeq, the prime minister, from office.
This action and American involvement in other Iranian affairs had a great deal to do with the student activities in 1979.