The author, a former British diplomat, was living in Tehran during the build-up to the Iranian Revolution and kept a day-to-day account of the events he witnessed, as the priest and the king - the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Shah - squared up to each other. The author's faithfully recorded responses - of hope, fear, confusion, scepticism and ultimately despair - reflect with substantial accuracy the spirit in Iran as the country swung from being a docile, Western-orientated ally to an unpredictable, brooding, revolutionary state. Harney had access to all elements of Iran's political elite, including the Shah, and was able to capture the atmsophere of Iran in revolution. This diary is, therefore, an important document: a day-to-day account kept by an outsider who was intimately familiar with Iran, a crucial contribution to our historical understanding of events.
Desmond Harney lived for more than a decade in Iran, both as a senior British diplomat and as a banker. He currently lives in London.
January-September 1978 - The gathering revolutionary storm; September 1978 - the great marches and the Jaleh Square massacre; October 1978 -Khomeini declaims in Paris, the Shah dithers in Tehran; November 1978 - Moharram marches and the foreigners' exodus; January 1979 -"the Shah has gone". Epilogue: an Islamic revolution and its aftermath.