I first saw this on the Angry Arab. CNN International is only marginally different than CNN in the States, and I’ve seen plenty of coverage of the Shah’s family here. As the last Shah’s exiled son said in DC on Monday, “The moment of truth has arrived… The people of Iran need to know who stands with them.” Indeed. Then CNN decides to explain how the man got to America.
Pahlavi has lived in exile since 1979, when his father, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, was overthrown during the Islamic Revolution. Under the shah’s regime, Iran saw nationalization of its oil and a strong movement toward modernization. Still, his secular programs and recognition of Israel cost him the support of the country’s Shiite clergy, sparking clashes with the religious right and others who resented his pro-West views.
“Secular programs” and the recognition of Israel caused the Islamic Revolution in Iran, CNN explains… of course, the world being that simple. It wasn’t rampant corruption amid wretched and rising wealth gaps. Nor the repression of dissidents. Nor the SAVAK. Not the Jansen-designed “tents” and lavish menu to celebrate 2,500 years of Persian history at a cost of $200 million for the world’s royalty. And certainly not the guile and appeal of Khomenei. History is the first thing axed in media, and the world should be an easily composed picture on CNN.
Nikki Keddie’s book for one offers better explanations.