Island of Stability (speech)

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Jimmy Carter's speech in the Shah's party

Island of Stability was the phrase that Jimmy Carter used to describe the circumstances of Iran under the leadership of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Christmas period of 1977, just one year before the Islamic Revolution.

Place and date[edit]

Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, traveled to Iran in late December 1977. On New Year's Eve, in the Niavaran Complex, he made a speech during which he said, "Iran is an island of stability in one of the most troubled areas of the world."[1][2] Also, in this speech he called Mohammad Reza Pahlavi a popular king among Iranians.[3][4]


After this speech, Mohammad Reza felt encouraged to proceed to further suppression of his opponents. One week later, on Saturday, January 7, 1978, the article "Iran and Red and Black Colonization" was published in Ettela'at under a pseudonym, targeting Ayatollah Khomeini. Following the article's publication, several protests occurred in Mashhad, Qom, and Tehran. Also, Khomeini condemned Carter's speaking and declared the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to be a tyrant and a traitor.[5]

Analysis of the support[edit]

Ahmad Zeidabadi believes Carter was aware of the sporadic protests against Mohammad Reza in Iran and knew that Iranian society was unstable, so it seems he described Iran as an Island of Stability to strengthen Pahlavi and to reassure him of the U.S. government support for him.[6] Sadegh Zibakalam says the speech was based on Carter's false impression of Iran's circumstances and believes Americans were unable to see the coming Iranian Revolution.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dilip Hiro. Iran Under the Ayatollahs (Routledge Revivals). Routledge. pp. Introduction.
  2. ^ Manouchehr Ganji (2002). Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 42.
  3. ^ Desmond Harney. The Priest and the King: An Eyewitness Account of the Iranian Revolution. I.B.Tauris. p. 2.
  4. ^ Mark Thiessen. An Island of Stability: The Islamic Revolution of Iran and the Dutch Opinion. Sidestone Press. p. 43.
  5. ^ Islamic Revolution of Iran: A Sociological Study. Alhoda UK. 2001. pp. 102–104.
  6. ^ "Carter administration and Iran's revolution". BBC Persian.
  7. ^ Sadegh Zibakalam. End of mirage: An introduction of Islamic revolution. pp. 154–157.

External links[edit]