Podcast Episode #7 – The CIA and the Shah of Iran with Tim Tyler
The storming of the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979 was an event which shocked most Americans and ushered in a new era of terrorism. Perhaps even more surprising was how a long term, friendly relationship with Iran had turned badly so quickly, and how the two countries would become bitter enemies for the next forty years.
For decades, the CIA and US government had worked closely with Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s leader. Both countries had benefited from the partnership, for the most part. But the Shah’s rapid decline both in health and popularity foretold the end of that relationship.
In just the space of one year Iran would go from a US ally to one of its greatest foes on the world stage, and the Shah himself would experience a terrible fall from grace, eventually fleeing to Egypt as a radical new ideology swept into power.
For episode 07 of the Spycraft 101 podcast I interviewed Tim Tyler, author of The Decline and Fall of the Shah. Tim is also a Navy veteran and former member of the US intelligence community who has served all over the Middle East. Tim provided a lot of insight on US involvement in Iran from World War II through the early 1980s and beyond, including the US embassy hostage crisis and the new Iranian government’s support of terrorism. We also discussed the failed operation to rescue the hostages and what came next.
You can find Tim’s book here: The Decline and Fall of the Shah by Tim Tyler.