By Georges Roux

Newly revised and containing info from contemporary excavations and came upon artifacts, Ancient Iraq covers the political, cultural, and socio-economic historical past from Mesopotamia days of prehistory to the Christian period.

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First, partly because of decisions made in the 1970s, NFAC received little information about the opposition or indeed about anyone outside the elite. Further discussion of this point can be found on pp. 127–129 below. This meant that NFAC not only lacked current information during the crisis, but also had not had important background information on the earlier trends in popular attitudes that set the stage for the revolution. Second, domestic politics were deliberately given a low priority. <2 lines redacted> Contacts with opposition elements by official Americans were limited; in view of other important US interests in Iran, such contacts were considered to be not worth risking the Shah’s ire if exposed.

Sixth, only limited information was available from other countries’ Embassies <9 lines redacted> If the Embassy exchanged views with others on the scene, the analysts were not told what was learned. <1 page redacted> 24. Four general observations about the information available to NFAC are in order. First, the analysts feel they have little influence over the information they receive. Although they participated in the FOCUS review and have some input into the determination of collection priorities, this does not have great impact on the depth or breadth of reporting that results.

Ironically, the Agency commentators criticized the report for lack of attention to the political context. Even though I doubt that American policy determined the Shah’s behavior, I was and still am puzzled by the State Department’s position. Since Bowie did not want other parts of the government to know what I was doing, I could not talk to people at State, and nothing I have read later gives me a coherent picture of what these officials were thinking when they pushed for liberalization. This behavior would have made sense if they had believed that the regime was strong and skillful enough to carry out this policy.

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