re: "American Diplomats in Tehran: Don't Do Anything Stupid"
"Diplomats – especially those representing countries that are, what shall I say, activist (?) like the United States – are always exposed when their country does something against the country that they are ostensibly supposed to conduct relations with. In the best of times, American diplomats are the face of the US Government in ___ (fill in blank country). When times are tense, those same diplomats can become the most convenient American target available. When you have a few people hanging out on a limb in a country like Iran in 1979, it’s not the time to poke the hosts in the eye."
"I remember keeping ears attuned to the news out of Washington, during the years when I exposed my family to life in the Arab world. Don’t get me wrong: we enjoyed our years in North Africa and the Middle East, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. But there were times when the administration’s (of either party) attitude toward, say, establishing the American Embassy in Jerusalem vice Tel Aviv could get the “street” riled. Nice to have a little advance warning, if only to batten down the hatches."
"(I)t appears that the Administration is giving serious thought to establishing a diplomatic presence in Tehran. For practical purposes, like treating Iranian visa applications. Okay, I’m all for it. Gives us a chance to show the good citizens of Tehran that Americans do not all sprout Great Satan horns, and allows Americans to see life in Iran for themselves."
"My advice to the American Foreign Service Officers who might get sent to Tehran: stay tuned to the news and have your “bug out bag” ready (my name for a little pre packed and pre-positioned kit with essentials should shouting people start coming over the wall of the Interests Section). And watch “Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper,” the fact-based 1981 TV movie about how a few American diplomats and dependents escaped the hostage drama by averting the takeover and finding refuge with their Canadian counterparts.
Remember: when the US Government does something stupid, it’s handy to have friends locally."