Under Intense Security in a Troubled Kingdom, the Shah and His Empress Plot Their Future
Be careful about the advisers you have around you," Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi had warned Anwar Sadat. "Mine built a wall between myself and my people. When I woke up to what was happening, I had lost my people. Don't let that happen to you." Soon afterward, the Shah and Empress Farah Diba were off to Morocco, with His Exiled Imperial Majesty at the controls of his personal Boeing 707. As guests of Morocco's King Hassan II, a monarch with troubles of his own, the royal couple quickly settled into renewed isolation in Marrakesh. Surrounded by bodyguards, they took refuge behind the high walls of Jenane Al-Kebir, a palatial home in a grove of olive and orange trees. Hassan himself dropped by several times a day—though Moroccan students struck in protest as soon as the Shah arrived—and the Pahlavis began welcoming an elite circle of visitors. Among them: a claque of loyal Iranian monarchists; retired Lt. Gen. Vernon Walters, a former deputy director of the CIA (who is working on a book titled The Mighty and the Meek), and the Comte de Paris, pretender to the French throne.
Though his presence was potentially embarrassing to Hassan, whose regime is dogged by unrest, the Shah apparently planned to stay on in Morocco until the political situation in Iran had clarified. Farah Diba, on whom he has become increasingly dependent, insisted the Shah would return to Tehran, but it seemed more likely he would move on to Europe. (He no longer plans to come to the U.S., where he fears he would be treated "as a refugee and not a head of state.") On one occasion, looking strangely small and ill at ease, Pahlavi admitted journalists to take a few pictures. Apparently anxious to talk, he recognized old acquaintances like Pierre Salinger and greeted them warmly. Moroccan security men soon became edgy, however, and ushered the visitors out. A few days later the Shah and the Shahbanou planned a picnic in the snowcapped Atlas Mountains nearby. Their fortunes showed no sign of improvement; the outing was postponed by rain.
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