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Revolution Redux: The Shah of Shahs

02 Jul 2009 23:2028 Comments

Shah of Shahs

Revolution Redux: Looking back on Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Shah of Shahs

By MATTHEW GHAZARIAN

[TEHRAN BUREAU] It has become popular for analysts of the Middle East to make a comparison between the recent post-election unrest in Iran and the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Last month's violence has been the most widespread the country has seen since the overthrow of the Shah thirty years ago. But there is an argument to be made that recent events bear a greater resemblance to the decades of events leading up to the 1979 revolution--street rallies, state violence, cyclical unrest--and not the revolution itself.

For those less-informed readers who would like to test these comparisons themselves, Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Shah of Shahs is an ideal starting point. The book is rich with historical fact but has the powerful detail of a personal memoir. Told from the vantage point of a Polish reporter, it makes few assumptions about the reader's prior knowledge. The book starts with the Pahlavi dynasty's inception and concludes with its downfall; it tells the story of the Shah's fatal flaws and the oppressed society that overthrew him.

Kapuscinski studied history but practiced journalism. The format of his work reflects a marriage of the two. He combines a well-documented historical narrative and a candid journalistic recount of the Iranian Revolution. The wider story is constructed from a series of vignettes based on photographs, notes and audio recordings that he gathered during his stay in Iran. At first, readers may feel barraged by a series of seemingly unrelated anecdotes and descriptions. As the work progresses, though, these smaller stories begin to write the larger story.

Both critics and admirers of Kapuscinski note his abundant use of detail. His descriptions of Iranian secret service illustrate the paranoia that gripped the minds of Iranians during the 50s and 60s. The Shah constructed a culture of fear, allowing his brutal secret service, SAVAK, a free hand in silencing dissidents. SAVAK agents would linger in public places--bus stops, cafes, storefronts--and eavesdrop for subtle expressions of discontent (one man was kidnapped simply for calling the sun's heat "oppressive"). Oftentimes, SAVAK did not need a reason for abducting someone. They would do so simply to reinforce the reigning culture of fear.

"They would kidnap a man as he walked along the street, blindfold him, and lead him straight into the torture chamber without asking a single question. There they would start in with the whole macabre routine--breaking bones, pulling out fingernails, forcing hands into hot ovens, drilling into the living skull, and scores of other brutalities--in the end, when the victim had gone mad with pain and become a smashed, bloody mass, they would proceed to establish his identity. Name? Address?"

This type of attentive detail is typical throughout The Shah of Shahs, setting the book apart from the large number of historical narratives on this period. Rather than merely narrate the discontent and rallies as early as 1963, Kapuscinski offers the reader the bloody details that explain the long-term buildup of Iranian frustration that eventually boiled over in 1979.

Throughout the work, our reporter offers many of his own observations. Kapuscinski explores both the nature of Iran and the nature of societies in general. Having reported on more than twenty-five third world revolutions before Iran, Kapuscinski brings an impressive amount of experience to the table. Even the most informed readers won't take his insights too lightly. "The Shah had created a system capable only of defending itself, but incapable of satisfying the people," he explains. "This was its greatest weakness and the true cause of its ultimate defeat." After last week's violent backlash against June's presidential elections, one can't help but draw some parallels between the popular backlash in Iran of the Shah and the current situation in the Islamic Republic.

Our reporter also explores how Iranians felt about their leader during the 1970s push for modernization. An elated Shah announced a dramatic spike in oil prices set to quadruple Iranian oil revenues. He planned to modernize Iran and build what he called the "Great Civilization" with the new found riches, making Iran the world's "third power" (presumably after the US and USSR). Within one generation, he declared, he would bring Iranians a Western standard of living. Kapuscinski describes the Great Civilization's greatest misstep, its importation of skilled labor and subsequent exclusion of native Iranians. This, he contends, doomed the push to failure and drove many Iranians into deeper resentment for their leader.

"This army of foreigners, by the very strength of its technical expertise, its knowing which buttons to press, which levers to pull, which cables to connect, even if it behaves in the humblest way, begins to dominate and starts crowding Iranians into an inferiority complex... This is a proud people, extremely sensitive about its dignity." This is why, Kapuscinski explains, "the Great Civilization struck Iranians as above all the great humiliation."

Kapuscinski also pinpoints the moment at which the discontent of many Iranians flared into a revolution. He illustrates the shift with a snapshot of a police officer's abortive attempt to disperse protesters.

"The policeman shouts but the man doesn't run. He just stands there, looking at the policeman... he doesn't budge. Nobody runs though the policeman has gone on shouting: at last he stops. There is a moment of silence. We don't know whether the policeman and the man on the edge of the crowd already realize what has happened. The man has stopped being afraid--and this is precisely the beginning of the revolution... the policeman turns around and begins to walk heavily back toward his post."

Kapuscinski doesn't limit his pessimism to the regime of the Shah. He also points out that the consequences of the monarchy will echo into Iran's future. "A dictatorship that destroys the intelligentsia and culture leaves behind itself an empty, sour field on which the tree of thought won't grow quickly," he predicts. "It is not always the best people who emerge from hiding." Unlike the many Iranians who welcomed the Islamic Republic with a new found optimism for their country, Kapuscinski's broad experience in the third world allows him to make a sobering prediction, which he passes on to the reader. The Islamic Republic was no godsend, he contends. It too would take the same missteps of the monarchy and it too would devolve into a system "capable only of defending itself, but incapable of satisfying the people." As Iranians today continue to risk their lives in protests expressly forbidden by their Supreme Leader, Kapuscinski's pessimism looks less like cynicism and more like genuine foresight.

Overall, this relatively quick read--an acute historical narrative of roughly 160 pages--is both entertaining and illuminating, given the recent and continuing unrest in Iran. Is the frustrated outcry of the Green Movement simply the sound of a young republic's growing pains, or is it the sound of cracks forming in a crumbling regime? Although Kapuscinski's work does not offer a clear answer, it offers readers the necessary tools to draw their own parallels, ask their own questions, and make their own predictions.

Copyright (c) 2009 Tehran Bureau

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28 Comments

I know because of past relationships between the United States that some if not all will not like my comparison, but what the people of your nation are doing right now is very much like what happend in America in the 1700's. A very strong oppressive government, a people wanting freedom, and seemingly invinsible army, and I want to make one more comparison, I believe your will to be free is as strong as ours was and I believe even though some will die that you will attain that freedom. I pray for your countrymen daily to be strong and prevail.

Jack / July 2, 2009 11:04 PM

Ryszard Kapuscinski's "Novel", because it is not based on true historical facts nor is it a true social account of Iran in the sixties and seventies is a misleading and untrue picture of what really happened in Iran during those years and the role of the Shah and The emphasis that he puts on the role of Savak.


If what he says is true - then how come so many anti Shah clergy,leftists and communist and their sympathisers who were detained after agitating against and breaking the laws of the legitimate government of the day were (and are still alive today) to ferment the 1979's upheaval?


Either the SAVAK and the so called "Feared "security forces were no good at their job or that they were not very efficient in creating or and instilling the fear and suppression that Ryszard tries to portray in his book.


Suffice to say that in the 1977 /78 - the government of Iran was barred and sanctioned into not being allowed to purchase or import any kind of equipment or be given any training in police crowed control facilities by The Americans, Europeans and the west in general.


The Direct interference of American General Huyser in pacifying the Army and the duplicity of the head of Savak for many years prior to the 1979 - General Fardoust - in fact ensured that the government of the day was powerless to confront its critics in a measured and sensible way and overcome their criticism that although some were justified should never have been allowed to get out of hand and spill onto the streets and progress to a point of destroying and replacing the whole Constitutional Monarchy.

Bahramerad / July 3, 2009 1:44 AM

Whenever there is a problem with the current Iranian establishment, somehow and as it appears auto magically and conveniently an experienced character appears out of the blue to write about the brutality of the regime of the Shah with highly exaggerated reasons to justify the 1979 idiocy. 1979 was a revolution out of ignorance and lack of political maturity. A revolution that put its fate in the hands of a con artist with false promises rather than logic and educated planning.

"brutal secret service, SAVAK", "man was kidnapped simply for calling the sun's heat oppressive", "This army of foreigners.....This is a proud people, extremely sensitive about its dignity......the Great Civilization struck Iranians as above all the great humiliation". Aren't you people ashamed of yourselves for spreading so much lies and exaggerations? You may fool the outsiders but you are not fooling Iranians. This army of foreigners also exists in the United Arab Emirates. Can you deny their progress? Why is it that they are not humiliated? Do they not have national pride? The fact of the matter is, you people are running out of stories and the present young population of Iran which I am proudly a member of does not follow any one blindly like the generation of our fathers. We have learned to read, research, think and act. In today's Iran when the name of the Shah is mentioned most people immediately respond by saying, "God bless his sole" or "May heavenly light shine on his grave". The deep resentment for the Islamic Republic, years of murder, torture, lies, thievery and oppression have left such an ever lasting stench that is beyond cleansing. On behalf of my generation we say, GOD BLESS THE KING THE TRUE SON OF PERSIA.

Bijan / July 3, 2009 3:42 AM

I lived in Iran for 5 years prior to 1979 and I quite agree with Bijan and his views.Much of what is written here is truly exaggerated. Iran had her faults but at least she was on the path of progress and modernity.The political maturity of the Iranian society needed time.What has the Islamic revolution offered the Iranian people? A million dead, an economy ruined, millions of Iranians who literally have escaped from Iran due to immense oppression, a backward religious state? What do these kids have to look forward to? The time is ripe for a drastic change in Iran. God bless you Bijan and the the young and mature generation of Iran.

Jim George / July 3, 2009 4:06 AM

Whenever there is a problem with the current Iranian establishment, somehow and as it appears auto magically and very conveniently an experienced character appears out of the blue to write about the brutality of the regime of the Shah with highly exaggerated reasons to justify the 1979 idiocy. 1979 was a revolution out of ignorance and lack of political maturity. A revolution that put its fate in the hands of a con artist with false promises rather than logic and educated planning?

"brutal secret service, SAVAK", "man was kidnapped simply for calling the sun's heat oppressive", "This army of foreigners.....This is a proud people, extremely sensitive about its dignity......the Great Civilization struck Iranians as above all the great humiliation". Aren't you people ashamed of yourselves for spreading so much lies and exaggerations? You may fool the foreigners but you are not fooling Iranians. This army of foreigners also exists in the United Arab Emirates. Can you deny their progress? Why is it that they are not humiliated? The fact of the matter is, you people are running out of stories and the present young population of Iran which I am proudly a member of does not follow any one blindly like the generation of our fathers. We have learned to read, research, think and act. In today's Iran when the name of the Shah is mentioned most people immediately respond by saying, "God bless his sole" or "may heavenly light shine on his grave". The deep resentment for the Islamic Republic, years of murder, torture, lies, thievery and oppression have left such an ever lasting stench that is beyond cleansing. On behalf of my generation I say, GOD BLESS THE KING THE TRUE SON OF PERSIA.

Bijan / July 3, 2009 4:09 AM

This is a letter I sent to many Web logs on May 11th...when I heard the shocking story of Delara Daribi's death & the horrible "Human Rights" issue Iran ignored then & still do. Hope you see how I could never ever...even if God told me; ever trust "Dictator Ahmadinejad"!

May 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I have no sympathy for President Ahmadinejad if he is ill...dying...or soon to be dead. The same way he had no interest about the life of Delara Darabi...who was sentenced to death for a crime she did not commit. The same way he has no interest for countless other Iranians like Malek Ghorbany, her crime committing adultery, imagine if that were the case in America, that everyone who committed adultery would be stoned to death then there'd be no stones left on the face of the Earth. Adultery is a sin most normal human beings might commit on an everyday basis, it is definitely not a sin to be condemned to death for.

I am glad Barrack Obama took some part in condemning & then doing his best to get Roxana Saberi...the Iranian/American journalist freed. But as she was freed how many more young innocent men & women were stoned to death or hanged for doing such things as we in the West would do without a minutes thought. I would like to see Barrack Obama...speaking out for these other victims of a one by one genocide of sorts also...not because they're America, but because they're "Human Beings" just like the rest of us. And because under their skin they have the same colour of blood as us & the same threshold of pain inside themselves when they are being monstrously put to death by the men in robes that play God on an every day basis & kill "Human Beings" for the pleasure of it.


President Ahmadinejad told us he doesn't believe in the "Holocaust" & that he thought it was far fetched, but one thing is for sure & that is...that he can't deny the daily "Holocaust" happening in his own back-yard. No, I have no sympathy if President Ahmadinejad is ill...dying...or soon to be "Dead"!

v.gerrard / July 3, 2009 2:28 PM

I am hardly a "monarchist", but you don't need to be a genius to realize this: How can the Pahlavi Shahs be so bad if what has been tried since then (30+ years) is so much worse?


The fact that the Shahs even got Iran to the point that they did in terms of social norms (Woman's Rights, tolerance of Minorities, the Arts, open Media & Communication, Culture etc.), economic advancement (GDP rate by mid-70s), and some semblance of Secularism was a miracle in itself - especially the fact that it happened in a world scrupulously cut along Cold War lines by the superpowers.


It was a beacon of hope and had so much potential to EVOLVE into something even better.But instead of evolve, a Devolution took place. The clerical demagogues and their constituency of 'daahaatis' from the boonies took over. Ill-informed and ignorance was and still is the name of the game.


Such a shame that because of a few "fatal flaws" of the Shah, the ENTIRE way of life and native culture got dismantled wholesale, morphing into the morbid, forlorn, backward setup the Islamic Republic has now.


Until Iranians learn to not throw out the good along with the bad, they'll always be caught at loggerheads. This book by Kapuscinski doesn't help do that.

Cyrus / July 3, 2009 3:01 PM

Freedom. Liberty.


Just words without action.


Throwing rocks? At first maybe.


Hanging your countrymen for throwing rocks?


Shooting them?


YOU WILL LOSE, and never have liberty or justice or freedom as long as you are the victims. If you want to have those things you must fight and fight with weapons that give you a chance.


America when she was born was liberated by long rifles born by young men who learned to shoot to eat. Without them, America would still be British.


You don't have that. So you will have to get your weapons from where ever and have someone teach you.


If you want to win and stop being the victims.


Why do you think our United States Constitution second amendment gives every American the right to own a weapon? It is to make sure that if the government ever becomes so oppressive to Americans they can fight back.


Get your weapons, get your training, kill the oppressor.


Then you can have your Freedom.


Papa Ray

West Texas

USA

Papa Ray / July 3, 2009 10:27 PM

sure. let's talk about women's rights under the shah.


One day his gorgeous wife invited the Swedish ambassador's wife

to their palatial gardens. she waited outside and was finally

let in, but Ms Shah was not there. Instead Mr Shah was, and

the two guards locked the door and held her while the shah

raped her. when he was done he told her to get dressed and

leave, and added a message to the West: don't forget your place.


nobody reported, not even the wife; she didn't want to

compromise diplomatic ties (meaning energy negotiations).


Nobody wants the mollahs. but please don't root for a Pahlavi.

iran_revolt / July 4, 2009 5:09 AM

iran_revolt, if nobody reported it then how do you know about it? You are not very bright are you? It is shameful to read the trash talk and lies you people spread around.Don't you thugs have any respect? What kind of animals are you? you just proved to everyone who is telling the truth.

paul Johnstone / July 4, 2009 11:05 AM

Being rude or shouting louder doesn't make you more credible.


Obviously she came out with it years later, a posteriori.


There's enough documented accusations of similar encounters

with the Shah to render this plausible. Also under Savak

systemic rape was an accepted interrogation technique.

At the time Sweden had joint interests with the BP precursor

Anglo-Iranian oil. and if this isn't enough for you I have

a direct source on this.


I'm not sure what kind of camp you're tying me to in the

"you people" fingering, but I can tell you that nobody has

monopoly on Truth.

iran_revolt / July 4, 2009 1:41 PM

Ryszard Kapuscinski's work is a hatchet job.

observer / July 4, 2009 7:02 PM

It is time for all young people.. whatever age they may be .. to see ... theocracy is not about freedom. Theocracy.. religious leadership ..is all about slavery to the religion ..and thus to the clerics.. who on planet earth.. who believes God made us all to learn right from wrong FREELY ... thinks a theocracy should control our every thought.. our every prayer.. our direction as we sit on toilet.. when to wash.. why to wash.. how to wash... WHO thinks/obeys a religion which says women and children are the property of men ..waiting to be seeded like a field.. owned like a car radio.. ???? God did not create all the people to be mentally retarded . He made us to be free to learn right from wrong according to the original ten commands sent to Moses on amazing sapphire tablets ...which were then destroyed by disbelieving disobedient people.... and exchanged for ten other commands which were not the same as the originals ...but were similar.


Young people.. arise.. BE fruitful and nourish one another and BE not afraid to be FREE. Do not be afraid to THINK....to REASON... to SEE ..to KNOW. Religion is of men. God wants us to be FREE of one another but to care for one another.. we are our brothers keepers..NOT our brothers murderers.. our brothers captors.


BE FREE. BE FREE. Peace does not mean hate ..it does not mean torment ..torture.. beheadings.. honor murders.. Peace is NOT religious .... ESCAPE theocracys. BE FREE. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ENSLAVED BY RELIGION!!!!

Juliette / July 4, 2009 9:23 PM

iran_revolt : You say that " I have a direct source on this ".


I am interested to know - could you posibly let us have that information?

Bahramerad / July 5, 2009 7:26 AM

It's really absurd to say the Shah respected ethnic minorities, women or anyone else. For him, they all existed for his own gratification and wealth.


The Pahlavis were a bunch of self-servers who seized power by violence and held it by violence - the idea that the son of the Shah is the "rightful ruler of Iran" is sick fascist propaganda. Iranians want democracy, not tyranny.


The royalists have been stuck in Los Angeles since 1979 and have nothing to do with today's Iran.


Thank you for an interesting article. I will certainly be reading Kapuscinksi's book.

Nazih Musa / July 6, 2009 5:52 AM

iran_revolt,I do and I call you a lying trash. Where is the the proof?point me in that direction.If she came out with it, it is documented. Where is it? Even the stories about SAVAK were highly exaggerated.You are not talking to amatures.I hate people like you and your hearsay bologna.Put up or shut up.

paul Johnstone / July 6, 2009 7:08 AM

Nazih Musa you are just another air head too.Where is the proof of your claim? I have read the Iranian history and the rise of the Reza Shah Pahlavi to power. He is respected by the majority of people even the supporters of Republic. He is credited for pulling Iran out of the dark ages. What are you talking about? You don't have a clue, do you? As Bijan quite rightly put i,. READ, RESEARCH, THINK and then TALK.I love today's youth of Iran. They have learned valuable lessons from the last 30 years of misery in their country.They are too smart to buy into these lies any more.God bless them.

paul Johnstone / July 6, 2009 5:46 PM

hey. look at Stalin. he really saved that ingrate

peasantry from their miserable dark ages too. hurrah.

I'm not sure I see how summary executions equate the

age of enlightenment.


there's no such thing as partial rights, say women's

rights, without human rights. if there's no consistency

then it's essentially arbitrary, ie a violent regime.


of those they've already swapped one for another.

let's hope there won't be a third.

PS: people who claim to be well-read know how to spell

amateur, adhere to rules of style such as double spaces

after a period, and for pete's sake never use all-caps.

iran_revolt / July 6, 2009 8:04 PM

Son, I worked hard all my life to put bread and butter on my family table.I have always provided well for my family. I am not a college graduate and I do not claim mastery of English language. Just like every human being I have my share of faults. But, I do not like liars and I don't believe in lying to make a point. Pahlavi's contributed a lot to that country at a time when countries had to take sides and in a rough neighborhood such as theirs. Take a good look at Iranians and compare them to their neighbors.Even Turkey was lagging behind prior to 1979. We (US, UK and France)conspired against monarchy in Iran and reintroduced Khomeini back to their country. We could not have an independent Iran when our national interests dictates control of energy. We conspired in 53 and again in 79. The rest is history. Perhaps you can read between the lines now. He was a good Shah. He loved his country and his people. They are a proud race. They will recover.

paul Johnstone / July 6, 2009 9:50 PM

Paul Johnstone - Why do you insult people when you cannot deal with their arguments? The British and the US conspired in 1953 to put the shah in power against a democratic government led by Mossadeq.


The Pahlavis came to power by crushing the constitutional revolution at the beginning of the 20th century. The Pahlavi shahs locked up opponents, crushed tribes and minority ethnic groups, his secret service SAVAK tortured and killed people.


Iranians have to continue their struggle for democracy, not try to go back to the Shah's dictatorship.


The royalists are just a gift to Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. Look, they say, there are the people who supported the shah, in the US, talking about "democracy".

Nazih Musa / July 7, 2009 1:36 PM

Nazih Musa, Lets do it graciously so your feelings will not get hurt. You say,"The Pahlavis came to power by crushing the constitutional revolution at the beginning of the 20th century". Bologna. You are lying. You say, "The Pahlavi Shahs locked up opponents, crushed tribes and minority ethnic groups, his secret service SAVAK tortured and killed people." Give me examples and facts. Who, what and when? I am waiting. Examples and facts. Iranians indeed can go back to a democratic Shah. Who is to say they can not? Having a Shah has nothing to do with democracy or dictatorship. You are making a false statement. You say, "The royalists are just a gift to Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. Look, they say, there are the people who supported the Shah, in the US, talking about democracy". You make no sense. Who cares what Ahmadinejad and Khamenei think. The royalists in U.S. are entitled to their opinions. It is quite apparent your knowledge of Iran is based on hearsay.This is why I get mad at people like you who spread limited or false information.Get a life.

paul Johnstone / July 7, 2009 9:40 PM

Who cares what Khamenei and Ahmadinejad think???? Are you on drugs? The people who live in Iran, Mr Johnstone. Unlike you, they have to live with it.


As for the Pahlavis seizing and holding power through violence, read any of the historians. Talk to some Iranians (other than the royalist clique in LA). Go to Iran.


The royalists are entitled to their opinions, but they are not entitled, and won't be allowed, to bring back their squalid notion that a brutal Coassack captain and his offspring are the "rightful rulers" of Iran.

Nazih Musa / July 8, 2009 2:37 AM

Nazih Musa, who are these LA royalists that you refer to? I asked you to give me some facts and all I get from you is more nonsense. Pahlavi replaced the infamous Ghajar dynasty in Iran. At the time Iran was a mess and controlled by various factions influenced by foreign powers namely the British and Russians. What Reza Shah Pahlavi managed for Iran at that time and under those circumstances was nothing short of a miracle. Please pick up a book and read before you put your foot in your mouth again. Once again, it is quite apparent you do not have a clue and your opinions are based on hearsay and anti monarchy propaganda. I am sure the mullahs keep the propaganda machine well funded. It is quite evident to an observant person that monarchy is the biggest threat to the mullahs in Iran since it has the biggest support base. You are ill informed and quite honestly boring. As for the two murderers Khamenei and Ahmadijehad, I am confident the Iranian people will take care of them in due time and I hope our country will rise to support the people of Iran in their struggle for freedom. That is the least we can do after 1979 and the mess we got them into. Whether Iran will be a Republic or a Monarchy is a decision for Iranian people to make and in either case they can be a democratic nation. Some of the best democracies in the world are monarchies.

paul Johnstone / July 9, 2009 12:58 AM

Mr. Johnstone we want to thank you for telling the truth.Our parents tell us all the time about the great days of Shah.We do not have much life with mullahs but have lots of faith.

Reza / July 9, 2009 1:10 AM

We would like to be added to the list of royalists all the way from Germany. There are thousands of them here in my town.monarchy is intertwined with Persian history and culture. We are sure mullahs are paying a lot of money to foreigners to write books of lies about Pahlavi kings.We have seen many such books published inside Iran designed to brain wash the younger generation. However, the parents are alert and make sure their kids get to know the truth.We had so much respect in the world. Just compare that with our current standing.

Shirin / July 9, 2009 5:45 PM

Give it a rest. This is not about you royalists or non-royalists. This is about the kids bleeding on the street for their freedom, they decide Iran's future.

Please take a breath and remember people dying for freedom and forget about 1979 we are in 2009 and can all agree that the status quo is not what the Iranian people, inside Iran want.

SFO / July 9, 2009 11:03 PM

SFO, although I fully support the Iranian youths and their quest for freedom I must say you are wrong. This site is not about the kids. It is about distorting the Iranian history and its accomplishments in the past.This book is nothing but propaganda and people have every right to question it.In America we reserve the right to express our views at the time of our choosing.You have the right to express your views but do not have the right to tell others what they can or can not do as long as they are within the law. Best of luck in your country.

J. Jones / July 11, 2009 11:42 AM

Yes it has become popular to write about Iran indeed, to jump on the band wagon of bad mouthing the history of Iran and especially its deposed monarch. These days we have all kinds of learned want to be

writers and scholars who write books full of cliche and boiler plates passed on as facts. They all sound the same, they all repeat the same sentences we read in every article published. They all write as if they

are truly a source of emulation. For instance this polish writer who had the pleasure of being in twenty five third world countries. Had he followed that poor victim of the savak into the torture chamber, or has he heard it from some one who had heard it from some one. Why so much exaggeration about the negative side of the shah or his government, as if

he was all evil and nothing good was done for Iran during his reign.

Why?

Marzfah / July 24, 2009 5:50 AM