James Lawson


At stake was up to 5 million barrels a day of high-grade crude oil. At risk were the lives of 1,300 employees of the major oil companies and their families working in Iran in December 1978, when revolutionaries overthrew the Shah and wanted everything that went with him – including Western oil personnel – out of the country, or dead. At the helm was the author of this personal and highly revealing memoir. A Scottish lawyer working for the French oil company, Total, in Ahwaz, he had to draw on every inner resource – and unknown telex skills – to airlift his wife, friends, colleagues and others safely out of Iran, first to Abadan and thence to Bahrain and Athens. A senior American manager had already been murdered. These were anxious times for expatriate communities on the Gulf. Evacuate! is essentially a story of frontier life in a state run by a dictatorial Shah that tragically turned back the clock and submitted to clerical rule under Khomeini. As Centurion tanks and troops filled the streets, to be replaced by armed thugs chanting death slogans to Westerners, the author laboured night and day to organise a safe way out. Especially relevant today, his story will appeal to petroleum buffs everywhere, to expatriates, and to lovers of that beautiful and misguided country – Iran.
193 printed pages
Original publication


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