In 1979, denying medical treatment to the dying Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi would have been fundamentally un-American as well as contrary to the revolutionary principles the country shared with the great nation of Iran, said President Paul Simon on this day.
American TuneAgonising foreign policy decisions which threatened to tear apart the finely knit fabric of American democracy were nothing new, in fact they had come along with frightening regularity every decade. But this choice was worst than most confronted by Samuel Adams' successors over the previous hundred years. Because the kleptocracy of the Shahanshah made the excesses of King George III look like very small change indeed. Only eight years before the King of Kings had spent the incredible sum of $100 million celebrating the twenty-five-hundredth anniversary of the House of Pahlavi.
At face value permitting the Shahanshah to check into the New York-Weill Cornell Medical Hospital was nothing other than a Christianly act. Other than the fact that the Pope had condemned the decision outright because he was terrified about the next move of the Ayatollah Khomeini who was even now creating a Vatican-like state in Qom at the behest of Iranian Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar. The President dismissed this Papal outburst, declaring that he would not let the American dream be driven to its knees by cynicism. "Still, tomorrow's gonna be another working day" he said, ending the press conference with his trademark republican flourish.
Listen to Paul Simon's American Tune