Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
I don't think it did happen. The Shah was a total washout with the people of Iran, running him out of town was pretty much a unanimous decision of the Iranian people. The US government's big problem was the usual one, it did not have a clue what the general will of the people was in Iran and continued to support a loser who had lost popular support, kind of what we are doing now with Maliki in Iraq. Instead of supporting some kind of secular alternative to the Shah, we backed him for too long, allowing a power vacuum to form that the Iranian religious nutcases moved into, again, like we are currently doing in Iraq. Carter did not withdraw support from the Shah, in fact the Shah started making big trouble for us in both his miserbale human rights record and in his becoming a militant member of OPEC, so he in effect screwed himself.
Erm, not exactly. It's quite complicated, but the long and short of it is that the Shah had been, let's say encouraged, to pursue certain policies by the US that created some resentment. Under Nixon, the Shah was then "encouraged" to supress dissent, which led to the human rights record that Carter didn't like, which made Carter unwilling to help him out. The biggest thing was getting a fair fee for the oil. The Shah needed a higher price for his oil to say to his people that it was worthwhile for them to be allied with the US. Carter didn't oppose the Shah, but he did effectively pull all support. This made the alliance with the US appear fruitless and the Shah was blamed for everything.
Running him out wasn't exactly a unamimous decision. The US did pull off and did also put some influences into place to promote the religious revolution. This was the idea of the largely conservative US intel community who thought that by making Islam strong in Iran they would weaken communism...though that turned out to have the opposite effect.
The way to have prevented the Iranian revolution (considered in the context of the region, the Shah's humanitarian record was not that bad) would have been to have given him more money for oil (and aid in general) and to have given him some political advisors (Iranian government at the time had no concept of PR
It wasn't really Carter's fault entirely, but there were balls in motion that he didn't stop and maybe even pushed along a little.
Really, at the root of things, the British were to blame. They were the ones who had insisted on removing his father from power, and since at the time who we call the Shah was so young he had not yet really learned how to govern.