ow that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in the news with its suspected nuclear weapons program, it could be good to pause and reflect for a moment on who contributed to the Islamic Republic being established in the late 1970s, probably the one event next to the influx of oil money to Saudi Arabia – and possibly the establishment of the Eurabian networks which all happened in the 70s – that was chiefly responsible for the global resurgence of Jihad. The inaction and general incompetence displayed by former US President Jimmy Carter, today an apologist for the Islamic Jihad against Israel, certainly contributed, but we mustn’t forget former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
The irony is that while the Ayatollah Khomeini could establish an Islamic state directed from the suburbs of Paris, the French 30 years later have hundreds of Islamic mini-states on French soil. Khomeini and his cronies used this window of opportunity at a critical stage of the uprising against the Shah to consolidate their power and establish their lead over the direction of which the Revolution was heading.
As Ambassador Freddy Eytan says:
President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing had invited the Shah of Iran as his first official foreign guest, in view of France’s interest in Iranian oil. In 1978, Giscard and his Interior Minister Michel Poniatowski foresaw the collapse of the Shah’s government, which would damage France’s commercial interests.
The proposal was then raised to bring the Ayatollah Khomeini to Algeria. Before, he had been chased from one place to the other. The DST, the French secret service, opposed his entry but Giscard overruled them and granted Khomeini political asylum in France. He stayed in Neauphle le Chateau near Paris. From there, he distributed cassettes to Iran inciting against democracy, peace in the Middle East, the Jews and Israelis. He also called for jihad, a violent holy war. The PLO distributed Khomeini’s cassettes to Iran. When the American embassy in Teheran was attacked in November 1979, PLO members were among the perpetrators. Yasser Arafat was the first official guest in Teheran. He received a popular welcome as a great hero for supporting the Islamic revolution.
Today, we know that Khomeini’s concepts of the Islamic Republic have led to a major expansion of militant Islam. Both Hizbollah and Al Qaeda have their origins in the revolutionary ideas developed in Khomeini’s Iran. The violent speeches in the Iranian mosques and international Islamist terror would not have developed without Khomeini’s stay in France and the publicity he received there. Without Giscard’s hospitality, Khomeini would not have been able to take power in Iran and develop an infrastructure for international propaganda and terrorism.
David Frum writes in his recent review of David Pryce-Jones’s book Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews:
Pryce-Jones demonstrates that French foreign policy has repeatedly arrived at nearly equally perverse results in the Middle East. When Saddam Hussein banished Ayatollah Khomeini from Iraq in 1978, France welcomed the turbaned zealot. In France, the ayatollah discovered limitless freedom to agitate: As he himself later said, “We could publicize our views extensively, much more than we expected.” Pryce-Jones quotes a study by Amir Taheri that the ayatollah gave 132 radio, television, and print interviews over the four months of his stay in France. He received almost 100,000 visitors, who donated over 20 million British pounds to his cause. In February 1979, the ayatollah returned to Iran in a chartered Air France jet; an Air France pilot held his elbow as he descended the steps to the tarmac.
In 1978, as protests against Shah Pahlavi swept across Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini was living in a cozy house in the Parisian suburb of Neauphle-le-Chateau, engineering an Islamic revolution that would soon shake the world. Under the watchful eye of the French government, Khomeini met regularly with journalists and actively campaigned for the shah’s overthrow. In fact, when Pahlavi finally fled his country in 1979, Khomeini was provided with a chartered Air France flight to Tehran, where he presided over one of the world’s most repressive regimes until his death in 1989.
Former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing is still around. He has not been called to account. Today he is the chief architect behind the awful EU Constitution.
· 1 decade ago