Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears The Crown – February 5, 1979

Mehdi Bazargan (r) - welcome to the club . . .for now.

Mehdi Bazargan (r) – welcome to the club . . .for now.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – February 5, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

And things were heating up in the Middle East, this day 36 years ago. Ayatollah Khomeini appointed Scholar and pro-democracy advocate Mehdi Bazargan as head of the provisional government in Iran. It was an escalation of a power struggle between Khomeini and the government of Chapour Bakhtiar, whom the Shah had appointed at the time of his exile.

The move further escalated an already tense situation around Tehran, with factions in support of Khomeini battling factions in support of Bakhtiar who were aligned with the Shah. It was a sure sign things were not going to get better any time soon. Further reports revealed a growing number of Army officers in support of Khomeini, including those who had retired or were purged by the Shah regime. Adding just a little more gasoline on the fire.

And the situation in Iran was a point of gloomy assessment by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who gave a speech and press conference in Los Angeles. He warned of a wave of radicalism sweeping the Middle East, including Iran. He went on to say that this turn of events could negate any gains made in a treaty between Israel and Egypt. Kissinger ended by saying the situation in Iran didn’t end with the Shah’s removal, but has begun. Gloomy, pessimistic and prophetic, all at the same time. He did however, note that an agreement between Israel and Egypt would take place within the next two months.

And China’s Premier Deng Xiaoping was getting ready to leave the U.S. and head back home to Beijing. Working the crowds and the rooms, Deng managed to leave good impressions all around, with the Chinese delegation remarking they were delighted with the reception they were given, and even thought Deng’s amiable style, and Rodeo riding, went down particularly well back home. But it should be noted that the purpose of Deng Xiaping’s visit to the U.S. was to emphasize the modernization of China, not Americanize it. So everybody was amiable, but there were differences – and everybody knew it.

And there was that “other” China in the news this day. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Taiwan got underway with a guarantee of prickly moments to be had by one and all. The matter of reunification with Mainland China was brought up and it was pointed out, on no uncertain terms, that this was an issue both China’s had to deal with; peacefully.

And Washington was flooded with Farmers on this day. Coming from as far away as Oklahoma to protest crop prices, which most pointed out, were so low that America’s small farms were being threatened with extinction and that Congress needed to do something.

And that’s a small slice of what went on this February 5, 1979 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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