President Carter s Cabinet: 1979

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1 President Carter s Cabinet: 1979 SILTMUN III Chair: John Paul Simon Political Officer: John Harlow Vice Chair: Eric Benson Lyons Township High School La Grange, Illinois 1

2 Welcome Delegates, Welcome to SILTMUN III, the third annual Saint Ignatius Lyons Township Model United Nations conference. My name is John Paul Simon, and I will be the chair of your committee, the Carter Cabinet of I attend Saint Ignatius College Prep and am currently in my junior year. I have participated in Model UN all three years I have been at the school. I am very excited to watch all of you participate in the no-doubt fruitful and efficient debate that will ensue in this committee. Many of you have probably participated in Model UN prior to this committee, though if you have not, you are certainly still welcome. However, I would be greatly surprised if the majority of you had already participated in a cabinet-style committee. The Carter Cabinet is a Joint-Crisis Cabinet, operating alongside the Iranian Cabinet. As such, you all should expect a great number of crises and will need to be able to react quickly as the situation changes. It will be very exciting, I promise. Each cabinet position is a real historical figure from the Carter Administration, and they were all involved in the topics we will be discussing. As delegates, you need to find their positions on not only the topics, but also their general attitudes, especially those toward the Middle East. It will be essential that you know enough to deal with simulations in a historically accurate manner. This will require some creativity and critical thinking, but mostly a lot of research. Further, each position will have certain powers associated with it within the cabinet. It will be highly beneficial for you to be aware of your position s abilities. As this is a training conference, I will strive to ensure that debate is accessible to all the novice delegates in the room. As always, I will be available for anyone that has questions. I hope that each of you will use this committee as an opportunity to sharpen your MUN skills and develop your knowledge about global politics. But more important than either of those, I hope that each of you comes into committee looking to win, because that will give rise to the best debate possible. Most important of all, I am relying on you delegates to beat the Iranian cabinet. Welcome to the SILTMUN III. It s going to be a blast. Chair of the Carter Cabinet, John Paul Simon 14 2

3 Topic 1: The Iranian Hostage Crisis On the morning of November the 4 th, the American Embassy in Tehran was stormed, and more than 60 Americans were taken hostage. A mob numbering in the hundreds gathered around the embassy, claiming only to be conducting a symbolic protest. However, the mob proceeded to breach the gates of the embassy using bolt cutters, and moved in en masse to take hostages. The group that performed these actions has been identified as the Muslim Student Followers of Imam s Line. This group, as the name implies, is comprised of hundreds of Iranian university students. Imam is a title attributed to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and asserts that the Ayatollah has a divine right to rule over Iran because he is a descendent of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. As goes without saying, the group is highly supportive of the recent Islamic Revolution in Iran. This aforementioned revolution culminated with the Iranian people voting via referendum to become an Islamic Republic on April 1 st, It is of note that the term, Islamic Republic, was not defined on the ballot, and that the final vote tally was reportedly 98.2% in favor. With this, the ruling Pahlavi dynasty, under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown, and was replaced as head of state by Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini was also granted the title Grand Ayatollah, or Great Sign of God. Whether or not the student group operated under the direction of the Iranian government is currently unknown. Possible motives for the takeover are under investigation. It is speculated that the Islamic Revolution and the recent admission of 3

4 Shah to the United States to undergo treatment for cancer may be motivating factors. The captors have yet to issue any demands. Also of concern is that six American diplomats from the embassy are currently missing-in-action. They appear to have eluded capture. As goes without saying, their status and whereabouts are currently unknown. So far, the takeover has been met by the American public with a strong anti- Iranian outcry. As the Iranian Embassy in the United States became defunct with the Iranian Revolution, there is no worry of the American public taking diplomatic hostages of their own in retaliation. It is speculated however, that there may be a surge in violence towards Iranians and citizens of Middle-Eastern descent within the United States. Bloc Positions: Please note, these are general positions, and you still have to research your individual positions to a much greater degree of specificity than that provided here. White House: The White House finds the taking of the American hostages utterly unacceptable, but has yet to decide upon a specific plan of action. It wishes all options to be available for discussion. State Department: The State Department wishes the government to be careful in the region, which is volatile as a result of the Islamic Revolution. It wants to take no action that will irreparably damage relations between the United States and the nations of the Middle East, but holds it as vital that the sanctity of American embassies be protected. Pentagon: The Pentagon feels that the hostage crisis is a threat to US security. The crisis must be resolved at any cost, and the security of other US interests overseas must be ensured. 4

5 Questions to consider: Will the United States negotiate with the hostage takers? What courses of action will be entertained to reclaim the hostages? What issued demands will be entertained, if they will be entertained at all? How will this effect American-Iranian relations? How will the United States take action against the Iranian government if they are deemed a responsible actor in the takeover? How does this crisis affect America s global image? How will this crisis affect trade with the Middle-East? What can be done about the public response to the crisis? 5

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