Because I was born in Iran (previously called Persia), I am often asked “Why is there such animosity between Iran and America?” Before answering this question, I need to discuss the story of my life, which was profoundly affected by this animosity. My personal story includes first growing up and being shaped by Iran, and then moving to America, where I embraced all that the United States of America stood for. The story of my life in Iran and America will enable the readers of my book to know how I came to love both countries and why now why I feel disheartened by both governments.
As the first-born son, the “crown prince,” I quickly displayed my determination to get what I wanted. Later, as a teen-ager, against the family’s wishes, I decided to travel alone over 12,000 miles to America to study medicine. My strong will and initiative has allowed me to overcome all obstacles and to establish a national and international reputation for making significant contributions to medical science. These contributions are reviewed in the following pages.
All of this happened while I was busy trying to advance the field of medicine in both countries. When the Shah (King) was in power in the early 1970’s, I accepted the invitation to become the Imperial Chief of Medicine. In 1979 I was ready to move my family to Iran and nearly got caught in the bloody revolution of the Iranians. A decade later after the Islamic clergies came to power, I accepted the invitation to serve as advisor to the National Academy of Science of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Regrettably, my intention to help was opposed by ultra conservative Islamic Clergies.
The relevance of the story of my growing up in Iran is to show how deep was my love for the country and its people and how unhappy I am for Iranian failure to achieve democracy.
When I left Iran, I was so optimistic that Iran might become a democratic kingdom. My desire for a kingdom was based on a thousand years of history of great Persian kings and my ancestors being deeply involved in working with the kings in governing and defending the empire.
The story of my maturation in America shows the growth of my love for America. I was proud of becoming also an American citizen and experiencing its political freedoms. My adopted new country appeared to be unique in the world by using its resources to help other countries, without exploiting them. America has helped countries like Japan and Germany, countries that were our bitter enemies in WWII. But when I learned how America in a covert operation destroyed the aspirations of my hero, Dr. Mossadegh, my idealistic view of America was shattered. Dr. Mossadegh was the only leader that truly brought democracy to Iran and freed the country from the exploitations of the British colonial mercenaries. To put the nationalistic goals of Mossadegh in perspective, I have recounted how his vision arose from several thousand years of Iran’s history. In the last section, by looking back and incorporating my unique experiences, I answer the frequently asked question, “Why for more than half a century has a once very friendly relationship between Iran and America turned hostile?