Chase caused the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979 - NOT A WAG So all fairness, I hate Chase Manhattan Bank Tied to JPMC.
The year was 1980, I was a Staff Sargent in the USAF working on the F4-E Flight Simulator at Hahn AB Germany. I purchased a Penthouse Mag and read a story that until this day was one of the most enlightening I have ever read, especially for that era. HOSTAGES FOR CHASE MANTATTEN
The Short and Sweet Version:
The story was about David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and President Carter. Basically David Rockefeller had just became head of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and had created a five year plan to pull the bank back from the edge of failing. With the exile of the Shah of Iran and the hatred of America, Rockefeller knew the Iranians would pull their assets from US Banks, which would devastate Chase.
The Shah was exiled and was forbidden by Iran from entering the US.
Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger convinced Carter to bring the Shaw into the US for treatment of his Cancer, knowing that the Iranians would be enraged and they would probably attack the US Embassy or similar event. Once the Iranians took the hostages, the US Froze all Iranian Assets in the US and Chase was saved.
Over the years, I've have told that story to hundreds of Friends and Family. Some time ago I decided to look it up to find out if the Penthouse article was true. With the passing of years, Memoirs and Books have been written by those in the know of that era, Classified Documents became unclassified and what I found was.... It was all true.
Below is a small sample of what I found backing up the story. This was far more in detail and enlightening.
It's long, probably longest post on this board and maybe SI.
But it's Intriguing and hard to stop reading mid-stream. So read it when you have the time.
And yes ladies, we do read the Articles.
_____________________________________________________________________ I can site Several Sources, for now the NY Times will do.
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Iranian Hostage Crisis
The Iranian Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981: Origins and Background A 444-Day Crisis that Demolished the Carter Presidency From Pierre Tristam, former About.com Guide
Jimmy Carter and the shah of Iran in 1977 in the last chin-chin moment of a long US-Iranian relationship. A year later, the shah, whose brutal regime had controlled Iran since World War II, was forced to flee before Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution.
Carter White House Photographs Collection
In 1977, neither President Carter nor the CIA saw the brutally repressive regime of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran and a staunch ally of the United States, as in any way endangered. Thousands of Iranians protested the shah’s visit to Washington that year. The shah, and Carter, ignored them. Within a year, Iran was engulfed in revolutionary fervor, and the shah’s regime teetering.
Zbignew Brzezinski vs. Cyrus Vance Carter’s national security adviser, Zbignew Brzezinski — a cold war hardliner whose realism was more coherent in essays than in reality — had pushed Carter to take a hawkish stance against Iran’s revolutionary Islamist students. (The same Brzezinski would soon be enthusiastically endorsing American support of militant Islamists in their fight against Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan.) As protests against the shah grew and became violent, Brzezinski wanted Carter to support a military crackdown by the shah, including the imposition of martial law and the use of force, if necessary. Carter resisted getting personally involved. His commitment to human rights overrode Brzezinski’s concerns that the shah could be toppled.
Cyrus Vance, Carter’s secretary of state, had urged the president to stop backing the shah and open a line of communication with Khomeini when the ayatollah was still in Paris. Carter, not wanting to look like the president who “lost Iran,” refused to pull back official support of the shah.
The Shah loses Power But by November 1978, the shah’s hold on power was academic. It was a matter of time before he’d be driven out. When, on Nov. 6, 1978, the Shah imposed martial law, his speech to the nation sounded like a surrender: “I commit myself to make up for past mistakes, to fight corruption and injustices and to form a national government to carry out free elections.”
Two months later—on Jan. 16, 1979—the shah fled Iran. And on Feb. 1, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini flew on an Air France jumbo jet from Paris to Tehran. Carter sent a squadron of F-16s to Saudi Arabia as a show of American force and will. But word leaked that the F-16s were unarmed. It was a humiliation for Carter that sent a message to American foes: the United States was not committed to defend its interests forcefully.
Two weeks after the Ayatollah’s de-facto reign began, Iranian revolutionary guerillas took over the American embassy in Tehran—but only for two hours. Revolutionary Guards intervened against the attackers, and Khomeini, by way of another ayatollah, apologized for the attack.
Fatal Mistake: Admitting the Shah Into the United States The ayatollah’s tune changed in October 1979 when Carter caved to David Rockefeller’s and Henry Kissinger’s insistence that the shah be allowed into the United States for medical treatment. The shah was suffering from cancer. Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank had loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to the shah while he was in power, and Kissinger’s interests shadowed Rockefeller’s. Rockefeller was looking to get his money back. Nursing the shah while forcing Carter’s hand were cynically minded business decisions.
Carter knew the risk of letting the shah into the country. His outgoing ambassador in Iran, William Sullivan, had made it clear: “If they let him in, they will bring us out in boxes,” Sullivan told State Department official Henry Precht over the phone. The concerns were relayed to Carter, who was resisting letting the shah in until Vance defected from his side and joined the chorus urging Carter to let in the shah. “What are you guys going to advise me to do if they overrun our embassy and take our people hostage?” Carter asked his aides during a foreign policy breakfast on Oct. 19, 1979. No one answered. “On that day,” Carter went on, “we will all sit here with long drawn white faces and realize we’ve been had.”
(The quote is from Hamilton Jordan’s Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency (Putnam, 1982), page 32. Jordan was Carter’s chief of staff.)
On October 22, 1979, the shah entered the United States. On Nov. 4, militants took over the American embassy in Tehran. (The shah died on July 27, 1980, in Cairo.)
How Rockefeller and Chase Bank Profited From the Crisis “The benefit of the embassy takeover was significant for Chase” and Rockefeller, writes Patrick Tyler in World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East from the cold war to the war on terror (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009). “Carter froze Iranian assets in the United States, including the hundreds of millions of dollars in Chase accounts. The freeze enabled Chase to declare Iran in default on its loans since the Iranian central bank was no longer able to move money between accounts to make interest payments. Chase then seized Iran’s cash reserves in the amount of the outstanding loans and walked away clean from the disaster.”
Carter—and the United States—would be neither so lucky nor so unscathed. And for the hostages in Iran a 444-day ordeal was just beginning.
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