International Affairs pundits have come-out swinging over revelations contained in: "Our Man In Tehran", a book published this week which claims that former Ambassador, Ken Taylor was a CIA spy.
They suggest the information may compromise our diplomatic mission to Tehran, and it may expose Canada to accusations that our legation in Tehran is a nest of American spies.
In fact, relations between Tehran and Ottawa can't get any much colder than they have been since 1980 when Ken Taylor and his staff first hid, and subsequently spirited away 6 high level American diplomats with faked passports and visas. Since that time, Iran has refused to accept any nominee to replace Taylor. Our last appointee, John Mundy, was expelled from Tehran even before he could present his credentials to the country's authorities in December 2007.
The new book written by Trent University historian and author, Robert Wright, claims that Ambassador Taylor was rather more than a Canadian diplomat; but a top CIA operative once angry Iranians occupied Tehran's American Embassy in the fall of the 1979, holding fifty-two U.S. citizens hostage for 444 days. Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, Flora MacDonald, has confirmed that American President Jimmy Carter asked Prime Minister Joe Clark for assistance in the planning of a rescue mission during the hostage crisis. That mission, code named "Desert One" was launched 90 days after Taylor arranged the escape of his six U.S. diplomats, destroyed Canada's records with an axe, shuttered our Embassy and left Tehran.
"Dessert One", the rescue mission, was a total failure resulting in the deaths of 8 U.S. Servicemen and further aggravating the relationship between the Carter Administration and the Government of Iran. It cost President Carter the 1980 Presidential election, and as a parting insult the Iranians waited all of 20 minutes after his successor, Ronald Reagan, was sworn-in, in January 1981, before releasing all of their hostages.
Upon his return, Ken Taylor was named Canadian High-Consul in New York City. Although he was born in Calgary, Mr. Taylor, now aged 75, has remained in the United-States since that time. Now there is talk that Hollywood mega-star George Clooney and a co-writer, Grant Heslov, are working on a movie script based on the "Canadian Caper" as the Americans dubbed Taylor's escapade at the time. It seems a script perfect for Agent Cody Banks, alter-ego of teen star, Frankie Muniz, of last decade's TV series: "Malcolm In The Middle."