Browse oral history

Interview with Helms, Richard*

Reminiscences of early schooling with the Shah in Switzerland; assessment of the role of the CIA in the events of 1953; CIA’s relations with the Shah after 1953; CIA’s role in the creation of SAVAK; impressions of the Shah after their meeting in 1957; relations between President Kennedy and the Shah; on the Amini premiership; President Johnson’s policy towards Iran; CIA’s agreement with the Shah over exchange of intelligence; U.S. listening posts along the Iran-Soviet border; U.S. policy towards Iran during the Nixon administration; on Iran’s decision to purchase F-14 fighter jets; Iran-U.S. collaborations on assistance to the Kurds in the 1970s; recollections of ambassadorship to Iran; on the Iranian political elite; concern over the question of succession to the Shah in the 1970s; on the Shah’s illness; on predicting the Revolution; on the political relevance of the National Front; on the establishment of the Rastakhiz Party; extent of CIA’s information on Khomeini’s activities; debates about OPEC and the rise in the price of oil; Iran’s place in U.S. regional policy in the 1970s; Iran’s role during the Dhofar Rebellion of 1973; relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the 1970s; Iran’s role in the Sinai Disengagement Treaty of 1975; on the Shah’s psychology and personal qualities; on Iran’s arms procurements from the U.S.; on the issue of human rights.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Richard-Helms-Vol-I Richard-Helms-Vol-II Richard-Helms-Vol-III Richard-Helms-Vol-IV


87pp. + biographical note + index

About the interviewee