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October 18, 2004

On Wings of Eagles
Yaser Kerachian  [info|posts]

wings of eagles.jpgOne day, my Dutch friend asked me whether I have read the book “On Wings of Eagles” which is the story of some Americans in Iran at the time of revolution. He probably had bought the book for a buck or so from a peddler. After he finished reading the book he brought it for me to read it. Usually in times like this, I find myself to be in an uncomfortable situation since I rarely enjoy reading such books. On the other hand it would have been rude if I had not accepted it. However, it turned out to be different. I started reading it and I finished the whole thing very quickly. The story was fascinating and exciting.

The story is about a rescue mission lead by Americans at the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979. The leader of the rescue mission was Ross Perot, founder of EDS corporations, the person who later ran as an independent candidate for US presidency in 1992 and 1996. At the time of the revolution, he was runnig EDS corporations which had a few hundred million dollar contract with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Shah’s government.

The story beautifully takes the reader to the chaotic situations of 1979. A few months before the revolution, many of -one time- Shah’s loyals got arrested for charges such as corruption in order to calm down the opposition. Among them, it was the Minister of Health and Social Welfare. In trying to prosecute him, the judge tries to find a bribery case between him and EDS. Then the judge orders the arrest of two Americans who were in charge of EDS in Iran. The story is now about how Ross Perot, along with his team tries everything to rescue the imprisoned employees. Perot himself went to Iran and entered the prison where his men were held. Despite all their plans such as penetrating a heavily guarded prison fortress, it is ironically the happening of the revolution which eventually frees the Americans in its own funny way.

The book, which became a best seller, is written by Ken Follett and first published in 1983.

Comments
Arash Jalali at October 18, 2004 06:04 PM [permalink]:

Yes, I saw the movie made based on this book about ten years ago. Burt Lancaster played the role of the commander of the team in charge of the rescue operation. Parviz Sayyad, better known as SAMAD AAGHAA, played the role of the persistant judge who chased after the Americans.

I should say I was not very impressed with the movie or its story. Most of the Farsi dialogs were also rather ridiculous. They spoke like robots!

M.S at October 18, 2004 06:50 PM [permalink]:

There is another movie based on this story which is made by an iranian director Bozorgmehr Rafi'a. The name of the movie is DAADSETAAN ( Prosecuter) and the lead actor is Faramarz Seddiqi. it is also shown on Iranian TV.

heydarbaba at October 19, 2004 01:40 AM [permalink]:

If you do a search on Internet you will see that almost every site refers to this book as a very good story based on a true story. I couldn't find any body who actually did some fact checking on this book or the movie. I remember vaguely that when the movie or the book came out there were some who were challenging some of the facts of the story but it died down pretty fast. Ross Perot, himself had made it clear that he was not going to answer any questions raised about the facts of the story. Considering the fact that Perot ran his business and his public relations with a military style discipline, and at that time Iran bashing was the hottest fashion in America, this lack of critics of the movie and the book doesn't surprise me one bit.. Perot himself has totalitarian manners and I remember when the book and the movie came out he handled the public relations aspect of it with the same "my way or the highway" approach. I thought the movie was a typical Hollywood movie, belittling other people and cultures and Sayyad was a good help in this regard. He played the role of a hyperventilating judge with the manners of a typical camel jockey, as Hollywood liked to portray middle eastern people. I am sure Perot and his men stretched the truth quite a bit in telling that story otherwise they would have welcomed any questions about its facts. What makes me a strong believer in this is Perot's delusional personality. He dropped out of presidential race in middle of his grass roots popularity and when asked why he did that he claimed that his people had gathered intelligence that showed Bob Dole, then the senate minority (or majority I cant remember now) leader and William Safire, the editor, were planning to sabotage his daughter's wedding and he couldn't let that happen to his family. It was only then that many among his supporters were scratching their heads and wondering if all along he had been for real..

Ali M. at October 23, 2004 12:53 AM [permalink]:

Hey are you any relation of the Tehran dentist Nasser Kerachian? I just wondered.