Senator Robert Byrd (1917-2010), Democrat from West Virginia, served in the Senate for 51 years—longer than any other representative in its history.
In November 1955, Senator Byrd visited Iran and met with the Shah as part of his travels for the House Subcommittee on the Far East and the Pacific; and later in 1978, just shortly before the Islamic Revolution. Byrd recalls discussions with Shah Reza Pahlavi shortly before the revolution in which Pahlavi admitted to him that he had not paid enough attention to public opinion.
Byrd says the White House, too, "clearly did not understand the gravity of the situation", nor did it "understand the strength of Muslim religious fundamentalism or how hated the U.S.-backed Shah had become."
Senator Byrd also happens to have an Iranian son-in-law, Mohammad Fatemi, who is married to his daughter Mona Byrd (one of their kids is named Darius, the name of the ancient Persian king who appears in the Bible).
On June 28, 2010, Robert C. Byrd died at the age of 92. Former President Jimmy Carter called Byrd "my closest and most valuable adviser". Senator Jay Rockefeller remembered, "I looked up to him, I fought next to him, and I am deeply saddened that he is gone." Of Byrd's passing, President Barack Obama said, "America has lost a voice of principle and reason".
Excerpt on Iran from Robert Byrd's 2004 book about the Bush administration, Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency:
Senator Jay Rockefeller on US Meddling in Iran
Senator Jim Webb on US - Iran Relations
Congressman Ron Paul on Iran, the CIA and Blowback
Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Iran
Fomer Senator Gary Hart (D-CO) on Iran and the Lessons of History