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tv   William Daugherty In the Shadow of the Ayatollah  CSPAN  November 2, 2019 8:01am-9:11am EDT

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on african-american history and racial inequality. for more about this we can schedule check the program guide or visit book now to mark the 40th night -- 49th anniversary. the over 400 days that he had 51 other americans were held hostage in tehran. >> wayne doherty is here to us today courtesy of joe and barb christo. they served eight years before joining the central intelligence agency. he served as a operation officer.r. at the university of california irvine. he is the author of executive secrets. in the presidency.
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the cia hostage. please give a warm hometown walking -- while going. [applause]. >> thank you all for coming. what an amazing crowd. i do need to correct one thing. i just did ain degree at the university of california armstrong. since i have a captive audience i will digress from my normal talk in address of the university of georgia
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board of regents. >> about ten or 12 years ago armstrong was a commuter college it with no residence halls. as i recall the board of regents said georgia southern is a little too large let's make armstrong a residential college and turn it into another regional school and we will take some of the pressure off of georgia southern. armstrong has beautiful residential halls. the school is growing and now here is this phenomenally incredibly stupidph decision to somehow merge these two schools that are an hour apart.t. if i may tell the board of regents this is neck and be cost-effective more effective than that we are the south. in history do not merge the
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schools. armstrong was the best job i ever had. not including the one i head at the 15. that is a good training for g the marine corps. for going to iran. i do want to talk about what i saw in iran at the age of 31 and what iran has become today.
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i am not at all presidents against islam. i have no problem with muslims i've no problem with iranians. i do have problems with the extremists who take their beliefs to extreme measures. everybody erected is pretty familiar with the split in islam but it doesn't stop there. there are 33 different sects of islam is shows it shows you how divided the religion is.
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sd the 33 different sects run from very passive this young lady has gone on to do absolutely wonderful thingsel of the world of charity and nongovernmental organizations. she has paid a price for that. she was in a very terrible car wreck she was in kenya when the riots were there. several years ago i was honored to have received an invitation to her wedding and i flew up to vancouver which took place at a beautiful mosque. i consider her one of my top
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notch students and a very close friend. i am no concern and all about the religion of islam and those who practice islam just with individuals. the iranians who took the embassy for the most part were well-meaning but very naïve i would divide the group into sort of three age brackets. those who are college graduates. my chief interrogator and individual and that i spent a hundred or so very delightful hours with. in less than comfortable circumstances. have actually gone to the university of california berkeley for a few years. i am a product of the university of california system only irvine.
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we were so close to the beach that nobody was radicalized except when surf was up. i do understand berkeley and i thought it was very appropriateer that this guy had gone to berkeley although he was radicalized in different direction. and they were responsible i think for what the leadership. there was a lot of struggles going on. nobody seemed to be going in charge., there were three operations officers i have only been in the agency for nine months.
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that feeling never pass. the whole point that we were there was a that the carter administration and indeed the western world had no idea what was going on. because the iranians did things hourly. no one really knew who was in charge or influencing them who seem to be the last person that talk to them. there was a tremendous need and let washington to find out what the new policies were to be. most of the station after fled. it was also attacked then by a group of militants. mostly thugs.
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we caught the february 14 valentine's day open house. they were in the embassy for about three hours. we were really trying to find anybody who have any access to power who could tell us what was going on and who might be willing to cooperate with the great satan. i was assigned under cover as the clinical affairs officer. because of the billions of dollars of military equipment. in the middle of the that revolution. they embargoed all of that. they wanted that. in that money was a real sticking problem.
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they actually got the money after all of these years. and then at night when i should've been sleeping or doing other things productive i was out on the streets doing spy stuff. i was making friends with the guy who worked in the prime minister's office. spine yourself can be hazardous to your health. i diplomatic immunity. the sky was going to go to jail not me. we don't know what's going on. you could really help us.
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i didn't know what to say because we had covered a lot of scenarios in my training but that wasn't one of them. i just ask if i could have another drink we changed the subject. needless to say that was a pitch that didn't work out well. like all of the others. here was the group of older guys. and then there was ap middle group was sort of in charge of our day-to-day once we were captured in turned in. we thought we were captives for a while. we did not know we were hostages until about the third week. in my case one of my guards, said that we were hostages.
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i didn't really know what it meant for me at the time. i knew what it meant to m be a hostage. you don't apply those things to yourself. and then there was a 19-year-old who was the day today guards.ou we have most of the interaction and some of them are hostile and some of them were amazed to find after being with us for weeks or months at a time that we were just americans like they were just iranians. you take them off. and get under the cone of silence and talk to somebody. and that really have an impact on their view of us.
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everybody i think is pretty much aware that the iranians came to the embassy to break the relations with the united states. they were unrelated but they put them together for a great conspiracy theory. this means the united states was planning to have another coup. that is what the state department was doing. in the north of the country there were listening posts that were way up in the mountains.
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they were using the listening post. you could discern a lot of intelligence. we could down load. they would also violate them in other ways. they have violated the treaty this way and that way. it was first of all with the soviets being right there on the soviet border. there were a lot of soviet diplomats and intelligence oen officers in irene -- iran.
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that is something else that we were very interested in. they are focused on the united states. since 1972 with the nixon administration. the shot was spending billions of dollars of iranian oil on weapons to be a leader of the world their poor health care.
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they blame the united states for a lot of their woes. in a certain sense rightly so but misguidedly in a lot of respects as well. they wanted to come to the embassy to finally break relations with the united states and force them completely out of iran. they could become their own country.ll they were certain to get his marching instructions for the day. the have of the desk at the cia i just don't think that he would call a lieutenant colonel to find out what we should be doing for the day.
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they believed it. that is the well-known reason. but they also thought that it was backtracking on the promise that he have made multiple times in paris to establish an islamic regime. they thought we could combinedug two objectives here. we can get them out of iran. and we can force them to decide whether they can have a secular governmentnt or whether they were to have an islamic regime like they promised. and those two factors led to the takeover of the embassy. were pretty sure and here was their dream.ll they will fully be independent
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it would not be under the health -- the heel of the united states. they have a lot to do with the deprivation in the late 1950s early 60s the united states sought saw back going and direction we didn't like in terms of the treatment of prisoners.ha targeted against perceived threats to the shop. they became a vicious organization. they became the principal trainers not the united states. although we took the blame for again because of 1953.
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it is incredible all the things they blamed us for. going back not only when they didn't exist. it have not even been discovered. so number one they sought independence. number two they were to prosper for this. everybody was going to not necessarily can become wealthy but what we might describe as middle-class. age -- education was gonna bloom. there was gonna be a democracy. they would sort of caveat it and say we would have freedom
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of speech but the government would be able to say we don't like that speech and then you want to be able to say those things. freedom of the press anybody can write anything they want. you might be told they can't anymore.t they have a kind of a warped acea of what democracy and freedom actually entailed. they a lot of bright ideas and dreams and i got there there was about 20 million iranians. about five and half million lived in5. abject poverty. the half-million that were wealthy were fabulously wealthy. they were pouring billions of dollars into that country. it was been siphoned off. all of the french couture ears
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were the french jewelers, it was a wealthy person's rodeo avenue. if you've have the amazing experience to go down that street. there was always going to be sweetness and light once the americans got out. today, i ran is 80 million and growing perhaps 85 million now. tehran itself is about 20 million. there has been no trickle-down not that there has been in the united states either but that's another point. they are still dirt poor over
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there. if they have the ability to go to collegege they can turn out a replica of the middle class. a lot of them were second andnd. first year college students. we found their knowledge of history that sort of thing. it was roughly about that with the well-educated eighth or ninth grader. what we would consider to be an educated college student.
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the population today probably 75 to 85% of that population was born after the revolution. they know that the promises that they made to justify the revolution had never come about again that is in united states fault. and here is a news flash you probably don't know this but the united states secretly collaborated with saddam hussein to order saddam hussein to attack iran in 1980. that will come as a great surprise to everybody. that is a sort of thing that we are still a convenient scapegoat for them. they're unable to look internally and to accept their own mistakes.
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part of this is their history. they had 3,000 years been controlled predominantly by outsiders or controlled by authoritarian leaders of one sort or another. and this has given them that combined with their version of shia islam an interesting perspective on their lives. it has given them the belief that they have no control over anything that they do.o. it's always conspiracies by outsiders and nothing is ever their fault. i know many times when we were there the captives. we were blamed for their taking of the embassy. i will get down on my knees and apologize for my
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i will apologize to you all the way to the airport. they were not that accepting however. in 2009 week you may recall there is the green revolution. he was reelected and it was really kind of the first time in a number of years since 1979d that the election for the presidency was not really a free election. iran has an interesting system these days. a response to the leadership they might have a couple of hundred folks they applied to
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run for the presidency or for a seat in the parliament. they will go through and all of those that are as him -- they oppose the regime or in some way not necessarily purely loyal of those that remain the elections are pretty much free. with the reelection it was not because two of the other contenders n to possibly win. the election was rigged. they were violently repressed. the face of the repression. was known as the siege.
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as they run across mine fields. the ultimate mind sleepers so that when they were cleared the iraniansso could run across the minefield. i guess their technology was not sufficiently advanced. that accounted for thousands and thousands of casualties. it was just awful. that revolution did not succeed but it scared the really group very deeply. this is not really understood for quite a while. it is an academic journal and that sort of thing.
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it's never received the coverage that it should have. that was one of the instrumental things that led up to the nuclear agreement that was signed last year.r. the ruling class stands to rule a lot. they're all filthy rich. the revolutionary guard. the revolutionary guard has its own army and navy. they get preference over the regular military. they are much more religiously reliable. they are so much so that their regular navy has been kicked out of the persian gulf. in all of thehe things that are
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being taken place. they are the revolutionary guards. the revolutionary guards control about 60% of the economy and iran. .. .. >> a miniature rolls royce. they handle all the smuggling thatth goes into iran which was required of, because of the sanctions that were in. they are, the leaders of the revolutionary guards are a very wealthy group. and should there be any kind of a revolution that would partly succeed or disrupt the society, these people would not only lose their wealth, but they might
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actually end up losing their lives as well as what happened in 1979 with the revolution afteren khomeini came back. so that was one impetus. and the -- that and the election itself sort of got them thinking we need to, you know, the sanctions were kind of, kind of a sideline. we need to pacify the people. because, again, about 75% of the people were disillusioned. and they know what the rest of the world has. even back in the early 1980s just in tehran alone, there were over half a million satellite dishes. illegal. the sun would go down, satellite dishes would go up all over the city. they would see bbc, they would see german tv, they would see the french channels, they would see american channels. one of their favorite shows, honesthe to god -- sorry. [laughter] one of their favorite, one of their favorite shows was baywatch. i'm serious.
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[laughter] you cannot make this stuff up. huh? [laughter] and so, so they know what they've been missing. what the western world has, what the opportunities are out there. and so the leadership, the islamic leadership came to realize that they need to do something to take the edge off the people, to give them some semblance of hope, to maybe actually make their lives a little better so that they can keep their places. now, there's a lot more to it. the iranian leadership is a nebulous concept. it's very fragmented. there are, there are little points of power all over the country, in tehran, tabriz. you have struggles between the ministry of defense expect revolutionary guard, you have
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struggles between the councils, the religious councils that advise khamenei and the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of finance, the banks need to have policies that enable them to p interact with western bank. but yet the muslims need or want them to follow islamic interpretations of banking rules. and so it's a very complex society at this point. it's very difficult to understand. i certainly don't pretend to understand it. it's, and it's hard at times to get information, accurate information out of there. it is competing circles of power centers. and you never know who's in charge. and with the revolutionary guards and what they're doing, for example, in the persian
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gulf, you don't know whether they're being directed by khamenei or when they're acting own, which they have been known to do. they'll act on their own, they'll cause a problem like whenir they captured the british sailors, and then the political side has a problem that they didn't ask for that they have to solve without losing face. thee. real danger with the revolutionary guards is they're going to get froggy one day and do something that is going to trigger a a response that they hadn't anticipated. and all of a sudden there's going to be a real problem. so it's a very difficult society to figure. let me take my last couple minutes, and then i'll take questions. the nuclear thing. i know this is very unpopular probably in this area of the or a lot of the country. i'm for it and i always was for it, and i'll tell you why.
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and i is have read every -- and i have read every word of that agreement. it's online, you can read it for yourself. it's notot easy to understand, i don't pretend to understand the science part of it. if i, if i was good at math and science, i'd be a real doctor instead of the fake kind. [laughter] and, but there's a -- and it's very complicated, the parts that are, you know, readily understandable or sort of understandable you can see that it wasn't easy to reach that agreement. it took a long time. it took a lot, a lot of man hours. sevena countries have agreed to it. six, the six powers and iran. the iranians so far have followed it. why, again, because lifting the sanctions is very important to the leadership. if it wasn't, they wouldn't have
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entered into the agreement in the first place. they didin not enter into the agreement to disown it a year after they entered into it. the, in terms of the ballistic missiles, that's a different thing. a year ago there was an agreement, a u.n. resolution that said e the iranians shall not, shall not test missiles that will be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. that agreement was changed -- when this nuclear agreement came out, it said we hope the iranians will not test missiles. so they're testing the missiles. it's not forbidden, it's just hoped that they won't do it. and, of course, they are. and they may very well be looking, anticipating someday to put a nuclear warhead on, but, you know, so far the nuclear agreement itself is holding up. it guarantees that there will be
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no nuclear weapon for ten years. without it there's no guarantee there won't be a nuclear weapon in two with years. ten years is a long time. tell me, who in 1981 would have foreseen thatd the soviet union would have completely disappeared in 991? -- 1991? who in 1981 would have thought that in 1991 we would have completely beaten saddam hussein in a war, and who ten years later we would be back fighting again, and ten years after that we would still have five years to go in a war that's till going on? still going on? who in 1939 thought that we would be fighting a major world war on two continents, on two fronts and be the world's leader ten years later in 1949? ten years is a long time in international affairs.
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who knows what's going to happen in ten years in the iran or nine years now? there could be a complete change ofar government. there could be a revolution that would, or a peaceful change of government that would change everything. who knows? the possibilities are endless, and probably what could happen in nine years would be something that nobody could foresee anyway. so it's worth ten years to keep them from building a nuclear weapon. maybe on ten years and one day they will produce a nuclear stockpile. maybe in ten years and one day they could be our close allies or something in between. so ten years is a long time. the germans, the french, our allies the brush, they -- the b, they are very happy with the agreement, and it is monitored strictly and with close scrutiny by the international atomic
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energy agency. and they iaea is on the groundn iran, and it is visiting the nuclear sites. not necessarily, perhaps, like they would want to, but more than they have been. and they are surprised by the access that that they've been getting. even the israelis under the table are very happy with the way it's going. the israeli intelligence services, the israeli foreign ministry were for the agreement in the first place. it was the politicians that, for their own political purposes, were very much against it. the last three leaders of mossad, arguably one of the best intelligence services in the world and probably have better sources into the iranian nuclear program than we do, were very much for the agreement. so for these reasons -- now, i could be wrong, you know? next week tehran could, could in
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the desert i blow up a 20 megaton weapon, and then the you can get the pitchforks and torches and march on my house. i won't be there but you could do it. [laughter] but right now i think it's worth supporting. not that i'm going to, you know, trying to convince anybody who believes otherwise, i'm just stating my opinion. but this is how i look at things. okay. let me go ahead and take any questions -- nobody's got any questions. you know, here i am, the one thing the book festival's done is it's got me into church, and it's got me wearing a tie. [laughter] how did this happen? okay. soap you had your hand up first. >> [inaudible] what is your opinion of --
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[inaudible] >> the question was what is, since i have a modest background in intelligence and the military, what is my assessment of the rescue attempt in 1980ed had colonel beckwithbe able to reach the embassy. iha was very interested in that when i came back. i was an enlisted marine for a while, and headquarters really screwed up and sent me to ocs, and ime went through flight school. actually, this is whyli i came here to savannah. everybody probably w knows, used to be a naval air station. and i was there as an enlisted guy for air traffic control school, and then i went to advanced flight training down there and hadnt a tour in vietnm on anou aircraft carrier when my airra force squadron was screwed
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out of a med cruise and sent to vietnam instead. [laughter] i didn't know they were that desperate. i was able to talk to some people after i got back, including a a three-star general who at the pentagon was just up to his eyeballs in the planning and everything for the mission. he said he works eight hours a day on s his regular day and thn eight -- regular job and then eight hours a day on the planning. a couple of things about the planning. first of all, charlie beckwith told the president that he expected about 25% of the hostages to be killed in thes are cue attempt as well as -- rescue attempt as well as probably some delta force guys, rescue guys, maybe a few wounded as well who could not be retrieved. the cia assessment was about 30% of the hostages would be killed, and there would be wounded who could not be retrieved. so the first thing is here's, here's a rescue attempt that is fgoing to get significant portn
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of the rescuees dead. as well as perhaps leave hostages behind. so i will leave it to you to mull over how wise it was to do a rescue attempt. when actually things were going very good for us. our lives had gotten better after about four months of some very, well, for some of us, you know, not real happy times. and cy vance had just come back from europe where he had finally talked europeans into instigating embargoes against iran. and the iranians had as always said -- not the iranians, the europeans had a always held off doing it, and finally they said, okay, we will institute embargoes if you promise not to do any military action against iran. so in april, the end of april,
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middle of april cy vance comes back from europe, and he says, mr. president, i've got great news, the europeans have bought into -- finally, after five months -- have bought into embargoes against iran. and i, of course, promised them we're not going to have any military action g against iran,o the world is wonderful. and president carter says, cy, i've got to tell you something, we're going to have a military operation in five days. so cy says, mr. president, here's my resignation. and they went ahead and had the military operation. now,w, this lieutenant general i used to talk with, we used to hahave lunch about once a month together. i asked him exactly that question, what were the odds. and he said if you talk to ranger commanders, charlie beckwith, the marine pilots who flew the helicopters, anybody involved with it, each of them would say we can do our job. we are fully confident that we
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canb. succeed in our job. talking to this lieutenant general who was in daily contact with every, with all five members of the joint chiefs and with general voss, major general voss who was the overall mission commander, he said nobody had any confidence that it was going toto succeed. it was so complex, so complicated that every minuscule part had to fall just right into place at each perfect time. and he said nobody, at that level, really had much confidence in it. i don't know when they communicated that to the president. i know the president was under a great deal of stress to do something. he had just lost the new york primary to teddy kennedy. he was up for re-election. so that's, that's that.
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yes, sir. >> [inaudible] >> use the microphone, please. >> microphone. >> anybody got a microphone handy? somebody got one in your pocket? thank you. >> with the length of the hostage crisis, i assume that some of thewi hostages would hae had medical events. how was the medical treatment or lack thereof? >> not well. i know, well, i had a really bad cold, i had to steal toilet paper from the head. and then they chastised me for stealing toilet paper, and i said give me some kleenexes.
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i -- they said you can't have any. i'm sure it was very difficult on the guys who were in their 60s, late 60s. richard queen did end up with multiple sclerosis. now that, i understand, is not necessarily a hard disease to diagnose once the symptoms really are manifested, but the iranians couldn't do it. they did bring in doctors, they took rich to a hospital. he was confine in the hospital for ay while. and they still couldn't diagnose his ms. and so they put him on an airplane to switzerland in the summer because they were absolutely convinced he was going to die. most of the hostages that had some type of an ailment, flu or cold or a cut or something, we had a medical corpsman, an army
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corpsman. i guess medic is what they call them in the army. and he was allowed to treat the hostages. my colleagues, if they needed a pill or something like that, then he could tell the iranians what to bring if it wasn't too expensive. if it was myself for the chief of station or a couple of the senior military officers, i guess we just would have died weren't, we weren't given any treatment. sir. and then, and then i'll get you next, ed. >> two questions. who planted the land mines that you talked about, and how formidable do you think the revolutionary guard is in world military circles? >> the land mines were planted by the iraqis during their war. they planted millions and millions. the revolutionary guard today numbers about 125,000. i don't put much stock in their air force, although they're
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flying migug fighters, but they're the ones that the iraqis, you know, flew to iran in 1991 thinking that, you know, they would have a country left over, and i guess they did after desert storm. but the iranians said thank you very much, you're not having them back. andou the soviet union has gone down, and they've helped refurbish 'em a little bit, whatever, but they're not front-line fighters by any means. they do not have any large ships, but the iranian navy doesn't haveth any large ships. there's two or three sitting on the bottom of the persian gulf now from 1987. the real problem is the quds force, their special operations. they're the ones that went into iraq, taught the iraqis how to use those shape charges and land mines that have killed so many americans. they are the ones that are working with hezbollah against the israelis.
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they're the ones that helped the thzbollah factions down in argentina that blew up the two jewish sites in buenos aires. if there's aes war with iran, it is the rev guards that will support the hezbollah cells in various areas of the world that that then will be more than likely turned loose on american targets worldwide. so the quds force is a genuine threat, but they're still not terribly competent. they keep losing commanders in syria.a. it seems like, you know, they'll have a commander named, they'll go to syria, the next thing they'll be dead. they've gone through, like, five commanders in the last year and a half. i'm not sure who's killing them besides us, but, you know, if i was an officer in the quds force and they asked me, say, would you like to be a commander, i'd
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have to go clean out my sock drawer. i don't think i'd want to do that. ed. >> [inaudible] so with these five partners, what would be the impact of us withdrawing if they don't? >> we will be isolated from that sort of thing. first of all, other countries are going to be reluctant to engage in any agreements like this that would have such a gravity attached to it. it will certainly damage our standing with our partners. maybe not so much russia, but certainly the french, the germans, the british, our very closest allies. it will cause a serious problem with them down the road in terms of future joint projects and agreements. a we, we will look kind of foolish to the rest of the world which
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may or may not be bad. but, again, there are unintended and unforeseen consequences that would derive from this. none of which i think would be good. i mean, as long as the iranians are seen to be fulfilling their end of the agreement and as long as they are certified as following the agreement by the iaea and by our partners, a withdrawal from that agreement unilaterally without just cause will only work to the detriment of the united states in the short term and probably in the long term. if we withdraw, each if the other -- even if the other five countries want to adhere to it, that would be reason enough for the iranians to withdraw. and at that point, there is no longer any, there would no longerth be any restrictions on their ability to develop a nuclear weapon x that would be
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the worst part. >> this question here. >> yes. >> yeah. wherever. yes, ma'am. >> an interesting scenario. just a couple of days before the revolution a chauffer was driving the ambassador to airport, the ambassador to france to the airport. it was very early in the morning, and the fog was very, very heavy. as he manipulated his way through the streets, he hit a rogue gentleman. the rogue gentleman turned out to be ayatollah khomeini. imagine what the world would be like if he knocked him off rather than knocking him down. [laughter] >> [inaudible] from your lips to god's ears. [laughter] i'll tell you another -- imagine this. from the time the shah left iran, south africa was begging the shah to come and go into exile in south africa. south africa has wonderful medical facilities. they promised the shah security,
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serenity, everything, and the shah didn't do it. shah never did. and the reason was after the britishon kicked the shah out of iran and exiled him to mauritius , his next stop was south africa. and there the he died. and the shah just did not want to die in the same country that his father did.t and that's why he never did go to south africa for sanctuary. and if he did, imagine what the world would be like today. one of the things that the, speakingof of what ifs, one of e things his students never saw was the rise of hezbollah. thezb iranians today have killed almost a thousand americans in acts of terrorism. they were responsible for the destruction of the embassy in beirut in 1983 with 17 dead
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americans. they were responsible for the destruction of the marine barracks in beirut in april -- i'm sorry, october of 1983. 241 dead american marines. not manyde wounded because at tt time it wasma the largest non-nuclear explosion ever in history. 241 dead marines x. there was no retaliation on the part of the americans. p since then the coe par towers, 19 dead americans. by grace of god, there was not more. ultimately, over 900 americans have been killed by iranian terrorism. you knowhave what? there has not been a single day of payment on the part of the iranians. webe have never made the iranias pay in any significant way for killing americans. are we done? >> i think we are. [laughter] >> okay, sorry. >> unfortunately. [applause]
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>> thank you, dr. daugherty. upon exitingta the venue today, our wonderful volunteers will enthusiastically accept your donations to the savannah book festival. it is because of your generosity we're able to keep the festival free on saturdays. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and you're watching booktv on c-span2, live coverage of the
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savannah book festival. you've been listening to william daugherty. his book is called "in the shadow of the ayatollah." he was a 1979 hostage in tehran during the embassy takeover, and now it'sy your turn to take yor questions to him directly. let's begin with a call from martin in chicago for william daugherty. martin, you're on the air. go ahead. >> caller: hi, dr. daugherty. you said that then iranians blame us for everything, so what are we responsible for? >> guest: well, we're not entirely blameless. we stayed out of iranian aa fairs for the most -- affairs for the most part until the nixon administration. the shah and his predecessor, during the h 20th century, kept pressing the united states for particularly military equipment
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as dictators, autocrats tend to do. tbut we, we left things basicay alone. iran was kind of a side show in what the british and the russians called the great game dealing with afghanistan and that part of the world. iran did sit across the trade routes to india, which is very important for the british 'em -- empire. after world war ii, however, when the united states, russia and great britain had agreed to leave iran having partially occupied the western part of it for lend-lease purposes, we could bring ships up through the persian gulf, put them on a railroadad in iran and send them upup into russia without havingo go through the arctic area, the
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united states and britain left according to our agreement. but in 1946, but the russians didn't. seeking to, ultimately, install a puppet regime first in northwest iran and then ultimately in the capital. expect iranians actually came to the united states and contacted a couple private law firms with connections in washington and said help us get the russians out of our country. well, the harry truman regime did that, and that opened the door then. the shah started asking more thmore for american assistance. and then, of course, we got involved in the coup in 1953 because the british asked us. and that then gave us a certain amount of responsibility. general powell's pottery shop analogy, if you break it, you
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fix it. but even then presidents through the '50s, '60s really did keep the shah at an arm's length. but nixon and kissinger, you'll recall, were really geostrategic political thinkers. and they saw the shah as becoming the dominant power in the middle east and serving as the regional policeman of that area of the world which would relieve the united states of those kinds of responsibilities, whatever they might have foreseen them to be. and that included then sending the shah enormous amounts of sophisticated military equipment which the shah could not effectively use because his troops were, did not have the educational skills. that then meant sending literally e thousands and thousands of american technicians to iran as well as
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thousands of american military forces to iran. and so all of this was at the expense of the iranian people. i hear the shah was buying this vastly expensive military equipment, and the shah was paying for all of these -- [inaudible] to maintain it and paying for the american military forces to be over there. the people greatly resented that, plus many of the technicians were not interested inpl learning about islam, learning about iranian culture or l customs. they, you know, they wanted little american cities set up outside the iranian air bases and military bases. they didn't want to interact with the iranian culture. they actually, you know, never hesitated to insult the local culture. theev women wore bikinis, the mn were disrespectful of their
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customs. they were, you b know, disrespectful of the women. and all of this generated a huge amount of resentment. a lot of this could have been, i think, reduced. not eliminated, but at least greatly reduced with a little more sensitivity on the part of theli americans that were sent over there and a little more education on the part of the americans that went. it was really this enormous buildup of resentment that khomeini fed on then to bring in the coup in 1953 and to ultimately convince the iranian people that the root of all their evils was america. >> host: julia is in cape coral, florida. hi, julia, please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: hi, doctor. i lived in tehran in '77. i was with pan am there. we were building, revamping the
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airport there. and everything you say is true about the caste system and everything like that. the shah's picture was in every store, blah, blah, blah, just like khomeini's picture was eventually. the problem i do have with what you said is i don't really go along with this agreement that we should be friends with iran because we would tick off the other five partners which, basically, it's all about oil. and what president obama did, sneakily giving them back the money, i just don't go along viwith that. i know what you said and you used analogies of ten years of this and p ten years of that, that's fine and dandy, but the bottom line is these people have no, nothing but ill will towards america. they fund all type it is of organizations including us ham aric terrorists -- islamic terrorists, and yet again we give them all this money, and you think that's okay because, you know, you say, well, maybe
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from now we might be friends with them. i don't really see that happening. >> host: all right, julia, let's get a response from dr. daugherty. >> caller: all right. hi, julia. first of all, having that agreement does not at all mean we're friends with iran. there are no agreements in terms of establishing a any kind of diplomatic relations even at the very lowest level. iranians still have a difficult time coming to the united states. americans still don't want to go to iran. it encompassed no other aspect of a relationship except the limiting of the nuclear program in iran and the lifting of some -- not all, but some -- americanth sanctions. it's by no means a friendship treaty at all. i don't think many americans want a friendship with iran at this point, and i certainly don't blame them. however, there are many, many iranians that, as i say, they don't remember the revolution of
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1979, and they are very envy yous of the west -- ini havous havous -- envious of the west including america, because they see what we have, and a lot of them love what we have. not just the material goods, but the freedoms that we have. they're a much better educated population now. they've been able to travel through europe. say, they've had american and western european tv. they know what a civilized country is supposed to be. they're tired of being impoverished, they're tires of being pariahs -- tired of being pariahs of the world. as i said, it's a very complex country, and there are, there is a large section of iran that does want to be friends with the unitedt states, many more so in percentage than americans want to be friends with iran because of what iran has done to the united states. so i think you might be reading
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a little too much into my acceptance of this one particular agreement. there's a long are way, long way to go and a lot of things to make up and get over before we could ever have anything remotely like a friendship with iran. >> host: and let's hear from jimmy in athens, georgia. good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. thank you for g taking my call. i like it when you said we cannot know what's going to happen in the next ten years. can you think of any possible circumstances which would lead shia hezbollah or perhaps the revolutionary guard to help the usa in its fight against the sunni-backed islamic state within the next 10-20 years? thank you. >> guest: no. the short answer's no. the united states in the past has been allied with some rather
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unlikely folks in various conflicts, open and covert. but i would just absolutely be dumbfounded if we ever did anything with the revolutionary guards. >> host: william daugherty -- >> guest: they are not our are --, they >> host: go ahead and finish, i apologize. >> guest: i was going to say the rev guards are not our friends. they have been responsible, as i said, for killing nearly 900 americans and wounding many, many more. and it would, it would -- i just cannot believe that an american presidentul would ever authorize any type of a coalition with the revolutionary guards, a cooperative operation with them on any front for any reason. not now. >> host: william daugherty, in our last 30 seconds, can you
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tell us where you were on november 4th, 1979, and what that day was like? >> guest: yes. i was in my office up in the 'em bass minding my -- embassy minding my own business about 7:30 in the morning, and i heard some noise outside. i took it to be just another street demonstration like we always had. navy commander don shear came into my office and looked out the window and said, uh-oh, they're in the embassy compound. i got up, looked out and, by golly, they were. they were streaming into the compound like ants after an ice cream cone that had dropped on a sidewalk on a hot day, and things went downhill from there. >> host: the book is called "in the shadow of the ayatollah." william daugherty is the author. thank you for your time, sir. >> guest: my pleasure. thank you. >> this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the 1979 iran hostage crisis. over the years booktv has
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covered several authors on this topic, many of whom were hostages as well. to watch these programs online, visit and the type iran hostage book in the search box at the top of the page. and tomorrow live at 8:30 a.m. eastern, stuart eizenstat from the carter administration and iran hostage john limbert join american history tv and c-span's "washington journal" to take viewer calls and tweets. that program will be simulcast on c-span and c-span3. >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to today's seminar book talk and conversation. my name's alexander cooley, i'm currently director of the


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