Jimmy Carter is often the one scrutinized (rightfully in a lot of cases) in hindsight over the rapid downfall of the Shah during his time in office, this however has clearly overshadowed his predecessors (short as his tenure was) inability to take a meaningful stand against Iraqi Baathists during Saddam Hussein's rise to power.
President Ford with the Shah of Iran as
Kissinger watches on.
The Iraqi Kurds have come along way in Iraq since the 1960's with the current President Talabani himself a Kurd who instead of opting for an independent autonomous Kurdish state in the north of Iraq worked tirelessly in creating a united democratic and secular state out of a country on the brink of collapse.
The Kurds had fought a war with Iraq throughout most of the 1960's and in 1970 both sides ceased fighting after they had come to a stalemate and attempted to initiate a peace agreement, which lasted a mere four years before Iraq again in 1974 began a new offensive.
This was around the time Gerald Ford became president of the United States following Richard Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal, around this time the United States evidently had a longstanding warm relationship with the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran whom it supported in his arming and financing of the Iraqi Kurds who were being driven close to the Iranian border by the Iraqi Army.
However this campaign of arming and financing the Kurds in their struggle for autonomy was short lived as in 1975 the Shah of Iran signed a separate peace agreement with Saddam in Algiers which became the 1975 Algiers Agreement that was to settle border disputes (in particular the Iraqi claim over the oil rich Khuzestan region in the south of Iran).
The Shah agreed to stop supporting the Kurdish rebellion and the United States terminated its flow of arms and finance, Kurdish leaders fled as fighters surrendered en masse, 5,000 Kurdish rebels died in vain as their rebellion was rapidly crushed.
Saddam would later violate the Algiers agreement when he launched a large scale invasion of the Khuzestan region in 1980 a year after the Iranian Revolution had overthrown the Shah and brought on the longest and one of the most brutal wars of the 20th century which would not end until 1988 and also saw the Iraqi Kurds subjected to a genocidal campaign known as the Al-Anfal campaign which saw thousands of Kurds indiscriminately gassed in the infamous Halabja gas attack.
President Ford was only in office for two years but his dealings with Iran (among other things) had terrible long lasting effects on the region.