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Protesting against Dictators: Ahmadinejad and the Shah

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles

25 Sep 2009 02:5621 Comments
ISA masks_2.jpg

A history of protest in the Iranian diaspora.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his annual visit to New York this week to address the United Nations General Assembly. Iranian expatriates from all over North America, and even Europe, flocked to Manhattan to "greet" him with large demonstrations. Many in the diaspora wanted to show the world that just like their compatriots active in the opposition Green Movement in Iran, they too did not recognize Ahmadinejad as the legitimate President of Iran.

This, of course, is not the first time that a president of the Islamic Republic makes his way to New York. At the height of the Iran-Iraq war in 1987, Ali Khamenei -- Iran's president at the time -- delivered a fiery speech at the UN in which he blasted the organization as "a paper factory for issuing worthless and ineffective orders." He criticized the United States as "a lying imperial-minded Great Satan" whose military activities in the Persian Gulf had turned the region into a "dangerous powder keg."

Khamenei's UN speech came at a time when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), led by the United States, had sent its navy to the Persian Gulf. Iranian oil tankers were under attack by Iraq there and NATO wanted to safeguard oil tankers of Arab Gulf states against a possible Iranian retaliation. NATO and the U.S. re-flagged the oil tankers, giving them their protection, and granting themselves the "authority" to attack Iran's navy. The United Nations did not bat an eye.

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami also attended several annual meetings of the General Assembly. When he first spoke at the UN in September 1998, he introduced himself as "a man of the East, the origin of brilliant civilizations and the birthplace of Prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad, peace be upon them all."

Khatami is known for his gift of oratory. "I come from the noble land of Iran," he said. "A great and renowned nation, famous for its age-old civilization as well as its distinguished contribution to the founding and expansion of the Islamic civilization."

Khatami wooed his global audience by talking about a freedom-loving and law-abiding Iran. He quoted from the New Testament and the Quran, and read Persian poems. Khatami's eloquence inspired the United Nations to declare 2001 the "year of dialogue among civilizations," after his mantra.

As Khatami was speaking at the UN General Assembly, Laila Jazayeri, a 37-year-old Iranian woman, burst past the guards in the General Assembly hall, and screamed that Khatami was a murder and torturer -- allegations that were completely groundless. Meanwhile, a block away from the UN, two thousand supporters of the Islamist-socialist Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO) had gathered to protest Khatami's visit. They were joined by then Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli of New Jersey, whose election campaign had received generous donations from MKO supporters.

The current Iranian president has attended five UN General Assembly meetings since starting his first term in office in 2005. Unlike Khatami, his speeches contain outright lies ("Iranians are the freest people in the world"), absurd proposals (to outdo Khatami, he recommended the UN designate a year for 'express kindness to others'), and vitriol against Israel.

Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust has incited the wrath of Jewish groups, who turn out in large numbers every year to protest. As his government grew increasingly repressive toward its own people, US-based Iranians also began joining in the demonstrations.

This year, the anti-Ahmadinejad frenzy hit its climax. Iran's widely disputed June 12 presidential elections and its violent aftermath prompted the Iranian Diaspora to organize large-scale demonstrations against Ahmadinejad in New York and other major cities around the world.

ISA 53 coup .jpg

The rallies against Ahmadinejad are reminiscent of those held to protest the visits of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Following the CIA-MI6 coup in August 1953, which overthrew the popular government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, the Shah retained little, if any, legitimacy in the eyes of Iranian nationalists and intellectuals. As his regime grew more repressive, the voice that opposed him grew louder.

Iranian students and political activists living abroad, particularly in America and Europe, formed an important part of this opposition. In 1952, a student group called the Iranian Student Association (ISA) was founded under the joint sponsorship of Iran's embassy in the United States and an organization called American Friends of the Middle East (AFME), which was a front organization for the CIA.

Beginning in 1954, the ISA began receiving monthly stipends of $10,000 from the AFME. It was only later discovered that the payments actually came from the CIA. In any event, the payments abruptly ended in 1959.

After the 1953 coup, Ardeshir Zahedi, son of the coup leader General Fazlollah Zahedi and future son-in-law of the Shah, was put in charge of the Iranian Student Program at the Foreign Ministry from 1954 to 1959. In 1959 the younger Zahedi was appointed Iran's ambassador to the U.S. When the funds to the ISA were cut off, Zahedi offered help. The ISA held a meeting in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in September 1960 at which Zahedi was present.

In the same year, the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS) was formed to oppose the Shah. The CIS had its roots in the anti-Shah activities of the Iranian students living in France, West Germany, and Britain. The students' movement in Iran had been crushed by the Shah after the coup. In particular, after three students from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tehran -- Mehdi Shariat Razavi, Ahmad Ghandchi, and Mostafa Bozorgnia -- were killed on December 7, 1953, by the Shah's security forces during a demonstration against the visit to Iran of Richard M. Nixon, then the U.S. Vice President, the students' movement inside Iran became more or less dormant for a few years.

Thus, in April 1960, representatives of Iranian students from West Germany, France, and Britain met in Heidelberg, in West Germany, and announced the establishment of the CIS. In that year's meeting, the ISA announced its affiliation with the CIS.

In the same meeting, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh (1936-1982), who later became a key aide to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the 1979 Revolution (and later executed by him), attacked the Shah strongly in a speech. Then, in 1961, in a meeting held at a hotel in Washington D.C., Ghotbzadeh once again spoke very strongly against the Shah. When Zahedi protested the verbal attack, Ghotbzadeh slapped him in the face.

The CIS changed its name in January 1962 to the Confederation of Iranian Students National Union (CISNU) to signify that the ISA and other U.S.-based Iranian student organizations had joined forces with it, as well as the Association of Tehran University Students, which was affiliated with the National Front -- Dr. Mosaddegh's political opposition group. The Iranian government was unable to control ISA.

The Confederation began publishing Shanzdahom-e Azar (the 16th of Azar) and Namaa-ye Parsi (Persian picture). The 16th of Azar in the Persian calendar is equivalent to December 7th, the day the three Tehran University students were killed in 1953. They published regularly and on time, and were effective means of propagating the Confederation's message.

Over time several factions with different political leanings developed within CISNU, but the organization continued to play a leading role in every demonstration organized against the Shah, whenever he traveled abroad. This coupled with the fact that the CISUN was not controlled by any foreign government (which was even acknowledged by the Shah) and financed solely by contributions and dues from its members and supporters, gave the organization solid credibility.

Initially, CISUN had developed its charter based on Iran's Constitution. But the uprisings of June 5, 1963, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, failed to dislodge the Shah's government and the Ayatollah was exiled. After that failure, radical leftist armed groups -- both communist and Islamic -- emerged in Iran calling for armed struggle against the Shah and his regime. In this manner, CISUN also took up a more revolutionary cause. Because those years were marked by revolutions in China, Vietnam, Cuba, Algeria and Latin America, CISNU was pushed further along to becoming a revolutionary organization.

CISUN called for the overthrow of the Shah's regime. It began working with human rights, legal, and foreign student organizations in order to expose the Shah's regime as a repressive dictatorship.

Around this time, the number of Iranian students grew rapidly from 4000 in 1957, to 31,000 in 1965. The number spiked to 100,000 in 1978, when the Revolution began. CISUN's membership and support base grew rapidly as well -- so much so that even the Shah acknowledged that it was an effective opposition organization. It was estimated that the confederation had about 5000 members in 1971, and thousands of sympathizers and supporters.

When in February 1972, the Organization of People's Fedaayan Guerrilla began a military struggle against the Shah, the Confederation was declared illegal, and its membership an offense punishable by prison. But the Confederation continued to recruit new members and to be active against the Shah.

The confederation was most effective in organizing large demonstrations against the Shah in the U.S. and Europe. When the Shah began traveling abroad to present his case as a "progressive" ruler, he was opposed every step of the way by the Confederation. One of the first demonstrations against him took place on April 18, 1962, when the Shah received an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. That event was followed by other demonstrations against him during his visits to Austria and Italy in the winter of 1964. In June of that year, the Shah received an honorary degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was greeted by protesting Iranian students.

Knowingly or not, the Shah fed the protests against himself, not only by his dictatorship at home, but by his generosity abroad. To buy the favor of leading American statesmen and organizations, the Shah began donating large sums of money to many leading American Institutions, and forging close relations with important American politicians and media personalities, such as David Brinkley and Barbara Walters. He provided large funds to Harvard, MIT, Princeton, University of Southern California, Kent State, Georgetown, Howard, and the American University in Washington. All in all, 55 American institutions of higher education benefited from the Shah's largess.

How did such institutions reciprocate the Shah's generosity? They often gave him honorary degrees, which meant that in addition to his regular visits with U.S. presidents, he had to travel to the U.S. to receive the degrees, hence providing perfect opportunities for the Confederation to protest against his regime. There was practically no instance in which the Shah visited the U.S. without provoking demonstrations.

One of the most effective demonstrations against the Shah organized by the Confederation occurred on June 2, 1967. On that day the Shah was visiting West Berlin, and the Confederation, in collaboration with Sozialistische Deutsche Studentenbund (a German national organization of socialist students) organized a huge demonstration in which thousands took part. The demonstrations turned violent. One German student was shot to death by the police. [It was recently revealed that the policeman, Karl-Heinz Kurras, was in fact an agent of the Stasi, the East Germany intelligence agency that had penetrated West Germany's police.] Fifty people were injured, and many arrested.

The demonstrations and the ensuring violence were, according to many German political scientists and historians, a prime reason for the rise of the Maoist Baader-Meinhof (BM) group in West Germany, which was involved in many terrorist acts, and more generally behind the rise of extra-parliamentary opposition to European governments. One of the most notorious terrorist hijackings took place in the 1970s when the BM group demanded the release of Andreas Baader from a German jail in return for releasing the airliner and its passengers. West Germany refused to go along. The hijacking was a failure and Andreas Baader landed in prison where he eventually committed suicide, according to reports. Apparently then, the demonstrations organized by the Iranian Confederation against the Shah played a significant role in the rise of radicalism in Europe in the 1970s.

Demonstrations abroad against the Shah continued unabated throughout the 1970s. By then, in addition to being active in France, England, West Germany, and the United States, CISNU had established a presence in Austria, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, and even India. Due in part to the relentless activism of the Confederation, international criticism of the Shah's regime by international human rights groups, news media, political circles, and governments increased dramatically.

One of the first demonstrations against the Shah in the 1970s occurred on June 17, 1970, in Helsinki, Finland. The Shah was visiting that country and receiving an honorary degree. Once again, the Confederation, in collaboration with Finish leftist students, organized demonstrations against him. Similarly, when the Shah was awarded an honorary degree by Columbia University, there was a large demonstration against him in Manhattan, which had been organized by the Confederation.

Even when the Shah was not visiting a foreign country, the Confederation was organizing demonstrations against his government. One of the most well known occurred in June 1976, when the Confederation's members and supporters occupied Iran's consulate in Geneva, Switzerland, and obtained documents showing that the consulate was in fact the European headquarters for the SAVAK, the Shah's dreaded secret intelligence organization. The documents showed that the SAVAK was collecting information, not only on the activities of the opposition in Europe, but also on European politicians, such as members of the British parliament.

The revelations led to calls in the U.S. for investigating the activities of the SAVAK there. This was led by journalist Jack Anderson (1922-2005), whose articles in the Washington Post were instrumental in discrediting the Shah's regime. His articles eventually led to the investigations of the SAVAK's activities by a Congressional committee.

The last demonstration in the U.S. against the Shah as Iran's ruler, organized by the Confederation, occurred on November 15, 1977. The Shah and his wife, Farah, were paying an official visit to Washington to see President Jimmy Carter. At least 4000 students and others took part in the demonstration. Violent clashes broke out between the demonstrators and the police, resulting in injuries to 100 demonstrators and 20 policemen. Fifteen people were also arrested.

The demonstrators broke through police lines and got to about 100 feet of the White House. Tear gas had to be used to keep demonstrators from getting any closer. So, while the Shah and the President were going through the formal welcoming ceremony on the White House lawn, both of them, along with their wives, had to keep wiping tears from their eyes because of the tear gas.

The Confederation had succeeded. Through a relentless and continuous campaign that lasted for nearly two decades, culminating in a tearful President Carter and the Shah on the White House lawn no less. About a year later, the Shah was gone. He had been toppled in the 1979 Revolution.

end of part 1

Photos: ISA members in May 1978 (top). Students protest outside CIA headquarters with placards proclaiming the Shah a CIA man.

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Badly written essay - see paragraphs 6-8.
It reads like it was composed by a secretary at Khatami's political party. Someone well established within the Islamic Republic.

Mr. Muhammad's romanticizing/fetishizing of the Shah's overthrow is just pathetic. How can one be so happy about ushering in 30+ years (and running) of a demorazling theocracy?

With enough fervor, the masses can overthrow anything in a "revolution". It's like blaming your teachers and parents and taking over. The real question is what comes afterward. This was a DEvolution. If anything it proves that the Shah wasn't so bad afterall in running such a big crazy nation. And Khatami didn't do a thing.

Iran doesn't need more protesting, it needs advocating. Creating ideas and alternatives. And thats where I hope Frontline goes with - instead of this most inaccurate and biased piece of propaganda masquerading as "history."

Cyrus / September 25, 2009 11:41 AM

Cyrus jan, I do not agree with you. The overthrow of the shah was necessary. Just because the mullahs are evil it does not make mean the shah was not. The shah led a government which was corrupt and directorial favoring the few friends and family that he had around him.
The fact is in the 21st century we do not need to have a king, or a supreme leader. We need a democratically elected government, and parliament with freedom to choose or to be chosen by the people.
What needs to be done today is to channel this energy and drive that the people of Iran have both inside and outside of Iran into a force to finally bring in a democratic government responsive to the peoples needs.
While the Pahlavi dynasty did some good in their time, their time has past. Lets look to the future.

Ali / September 25, 2009 9:34 PM

Ali, thank you and I really mean it,thank you. I am so weary of Iranians making comparisons between this regime and Shah. Both regimes are bad and lack any true freedoom except that the current regime is much more dangerous and brutal and will do worse things than Shah as we have seen since June and since 1980's to oppress any kind of movement. Just watch the Frontline piece on this website about the dissidents in Iran. This piece was produced after the Canadian journalist was tortured to death in Iran prisons.

MM / September 26, 2009 5:55 AM

MUHAMMAD : What you have written here is neither a true history of The Iranian Student Movement or a true reflection of The Shah's rule and his battles against the forces of Black and Red pitted against him.
The worst error that you have made is not to have acknowledged his and his father's determinations against all odds to educate as many as Iranians as he could , In fact his help to various US and European universities and Research establishments was a direct result of his desire and wish for these institutions to take on as many Iranian students as possible.
As many have now acknowledge... GOD BLESS HIM ... Khoda biamorzash....

Bahramerad / September 26, 2009 10:35 PM

Regarding to the title: "Protesting against Dictators: Ahmadinejad and the Shah". It confuses me as I know the name of the dictator of Iran is Ali Khameini.

baldur / September 27, 2009 1:45 AM

Dear Bahramerad:

The article's goal was to give a history of the Iranian students' protests against the Shah outside Iran, and compare it with the protests against Ahmadinejad and other IRI leaders in the U.S. Nothing more, nothing less. I also did not touch upon the Reza Shah era.

To that extent the article is completely accurate and factual. For every incident of demonstration that I mention, there is document. If you dispute the occurence of the demonstrations, bring it up.

The goal of the article is not to review the entire rule of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran. You believe in them? Be my guest. I have nothing against, even though I do not agree with the glowing assessment of what the father/son did.

I do believe that Reza Shah did some very good work for establishing the modern bureacracy in Iran, but his rule was also one of the darkest periods in terms of political freedom.

And, his son went back to power by a CIA-MI6 coup, nothing less or more. This is history as it happened. You do not agree? Be my guest again.

Both the father and son did great disservice to Iran's political development. The velaayat-e faghih regime is "farzand-e shaayesteh-e regime-e Pahlavist."

Muhammad Sahimi / September 27, 2009 4:23 AM

Yes I agree with Baldur here that the despotic ruler of Iran is Khamenei. Ahmadinejad is only a puppet. I also agree to Ali's comment that Iran needs a democratic government in this 21st century. A system of government truly reflective of, and subservient to, the sovereign will of the Iranian people.

The political upheavals and courageous struggles against tyranny and oppression are the Iranian's consuming passion for freedom, justice and democracy.

shetty / September 27, 2009 7:24 PM

It is pointless to argue about the Shahs of the past. Pahlavi jr. (Reza) was a teenager and bears no responsibility for the crimes of his father (or grandfather). None of the royal family want a restoration of the monarchy except possibly in a symbolic function, similar to Spain. Not Queen Farah and certainly not jr.

It's time to recognize that Reza Pahlavi is the only credible spokesman for outside of Iran for the change that is needed and it's time people accept that and offer him support. Any official role he may have in a free Iran can be worked out once Iran is free.

Zara / September 28, 2009 1:34 AM

I can't believe Frontline which I admired for so long would allow such a poorly written essay on their site. Pathetic. This sounds like another Shah bashing ceremony going on. Written by a bitter man who still holds animosity towards a regime that has been gone for over thirty years. This is simply a case of bite the hands that feed you. The Shah's government payed for tuition, room & board, plus a monthly stipend to all Iranian students attending Universities abroad. These same students protested against the Shah. So what happened there was a Revolution, war with millions dead & more social/political oppression under the your "revolutionary regime."
Congratulations writing one most ridiculous essays ever written about CIS. CIS was barking then about nothing & they're still barking today. The true winners are the people in power in Iran today.

Number One Savak Agent / September 28, 2009 9:00 AM

Number one Savak Agent:

First of all, for your information, I and thousands like me never received a penny from the Shah's government while studying in the U.S. I came to the U.S. with a research assistantship from the University of Minnesota where I was studying.

Secondly, even if people like me were paid by the Shah's government, he paid it from Iran's national weath that belonged to all Iranians.

Third, the article is about the protests against the Shah, as well as about those against AN. It is factual. That the CIS was barking, which may or may not be true, is your opinion, which is respected, but the protests themselves, which are the subject of the article, are not in dispute.

Fourth, one terrible regime - the IRI - does not justify another terrible regime - the Shah's. If you wish to glorify the Shah's, no problem. You are entitled to your opinion.

Muhammad Sahimi / September 28, 2009 10:45 AM

Dear Mr. Sahimi
I have always read your articles and admired your historic and accurate knowledge. But I should say that I am a little confused about your last two articles. This one and the other one about nuclear energy. Some one like you should know better that right now is not the time to hash in the past unless there is a meaningful purpose behind it! Secondly, when you write an article in the current international environment, you have to be careful what you say in the first few lines of your article matters the most. And lastly knowing polotics, not always you can talk about the truth. Sometimes it's better to be quiet on some issues or some aspects of an issue. Right now it's not the time to argue about differences, it's time for unity! Thank you for all of your fact finding articles!

Khodam! / September 28, 2009 8:31 PM

Dear Professor Sahimi:

I have been introduced to you through Tehran Bureau and I very much appreciate the factual analyses you provide. It has been a great education for a 35 year old like me who only spent 5 years in Iran. Nevertheless, I have to add that I have read plenty of academic research by pro-monarchists, and I have lots of family and friends -- great, honorable, peaceful, honest, hard-working people -- who worked under the Pahlavi regime, who prospered under it, and who continue to believe in the need for some form of constitutional monarchy. As an anthropologically neutral observer, I must say that I would expect more fairness and neutral coverage of both sides from an obviously learned academic like you. It is a bit insulting to the lifetime works and beliefs of all of those afore-mentioned peaceful, hard-working folks for you to bash the Pahlavi regime as 99% corrupt and bad without acknowledging all of the good things that it was responsible for and all the prosperity that Iranians (including you) enjoyed during the 20th century. I don't dispute the negatives, but I think you discredit yourself by never mentioning the positives. Perhaps it is impossible for you to abandon your loyalty to the revolutionists (of which you were a part), which would you mean you are constitutionally incapable of neutral observation -- if so, then alas you have the same unfortunate problem that the die-hard monarchists do. I look forward to more articles, and as an interested observer would appreciate more objectivity.

Best regards.

NP / September 30, 2009 2:55 AM

Dear NP:

Thank you for your comments, and kind words.

I must say that this article of mine has been misunderstood. I have never implied or stated that anybody who worked under the Shah was corrupt, neither have I ever implied that anybody who made it under the Shah was also corrupt. To the contrary, the vast majority of those who worked under the Shah were honorable people, just as I believe that the same is true about the IRI. It was, and it still is, the leadership that has brought Iran to this point.

The article's goal is to provide a history of protests by Iranians in the Diaspora against Iran's rulers and heads of state. I included Khatami, Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and the Shah. These are the four heads of state that have visited Iran over the past 60 years. Nothing more or less.

At the same time, some people seem to think that because the IRI is so terrible, we must cherish the Shah. I, for one, who opposed him, will never do that. One terrible regime does not justify another terrible regime. In fact, I believe that if the Shah (and his father Reza Shah) had alowed Iran's political development to take place, we would have never ever had to deal with the IRI.

There are also points that almost everyone can agree on when it comes to the Shah, which is what I mention when it comes to him. (1) His rule after 1953 coup was illegitimate. (2) His rule in the 1960s and 1970s was totally dictatorial, and towards the end, with the establishment of the Rastakhiz Party, quasi-fascist.

I write two types of articles for TB. One is reporting on the latest developments in Iran, in which I try to put things in their proper context for the younger people, such as yourself, or those who are not familiar with Iran. In such articles, I only report, and use my knowledge to "connect the dots," so to speak.

The second type of articles that I write for TB is commentary and sort of op-ed. When it comes to op-ed type article, one does not have to be neutral. One expresses his own opinion, just as in any major newspaper or website that is what is done. Look at the New York Times, for example. Are Paul Krugmen, Tom Friedman, Nick Kristof, and others neutral? Is Bill Kristol neutral? Is Hossein Shariatmadari or Ahmad Zeidabadi neutral? Not only are they not, but also do not claim to be. I never claimed that I am neutral when it comes to my opinion about the IRI, the Shah, the reform nmovement, the Green Movement, Islam, the U.S., etc.

Hope that you find my response reasonable. Thank you again.

Muhammad Sahimi / September 30, 2009 6:08 AM

As I mentioned before - your article failed to :
1 ) Give an accurate history of the Iranian Students organisations.
There was a great many Iranian students who were not politically active in any organised way and also there were many millions who did support the Aryameher's policies vis a vie the students and his other policies.
2 ) The history of Iranian Student protests and activities is not restricted to the activities of the left, Marxist, Maoist Etc.
3 ) You have failed to mention thousand upon thousands of Iranians( and natives )abroad who would cheer and great the Shah Of Iran whenever he travelled to any foreign country.
4 ) your article is by no means "completely accurate and factual" just because you claim it to be.
Rewriting of history , by mixing some obscure facts and rapping it up with some half truths and misquotations is not a proper way of writing articles and any knowledgeable person will see right through it !
4 ) I find you and your manner condescending and I specially find you a bore...especially when you say " Both the father and son did great disservice to Iran's political development" which shows how ignorant you are or believe your readers to be !
5 ) Since 1906 , our country was invaded by foreigners three (3) times - some say four time .
During these times The Pahlavi dynasty were the bulwark against the aggressions of the various East and West countries who had invaded our country and were plundering our wealth and had design on fragmenting our country to form their own sphere of influence.
6 ) It was The Pahlavi's love of Iran and Iranians and their astute statesmanship that propelled our country to the gates of modernity and prosperity during their rein until the likes of you - The Left & National front with the collaboration of the International communist ( supported by the communist Russia ) and the Muslem Brotherhood coused the upheaval of the 1979 - which we Iranians are still paying for its disastrous consequences.
7 ) It would have been good to see an iota of regret or at least an arrival at a lesson learnt from your understanding of " Student Movement & thier protests against the Shah... but true to form you obviously are still proud of your life's contribution and share of the hell that your kind have blessed our people and country.

Bahramerad / September 30, 2009 1:57 PM

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paul yang / October 4, 2009 7:33 AM

Dr. Sahimi:
How about a brief history of demonstrating in favor of the Shah/IRI regimes? :)

(would be interesting- would it not?)

Pirouz / October 4, 2009 12:42 PM

you said:
.........This coupled with the fact that the CISUN was not controlled by any foreign government (which was even acknowledged by the Shah) and financed solely by contributions and dues from its members and supporters, gave the organization solid credibility....

I haven't had a laugh for a long time. thank you

Jenny / October 5, 2009 6:43 AM

Hello from Russia!
Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

Polprav / October 17, 2009 9:22 AM

Mr. Sahimi's comments in response to "Number One Savak Agent" perfectly explain why Iran is in the situation it is now.

Because of the ungratefulness of people like Mr. Sahimi, who felt whatever they got from the government was 'owed' to them, the progress that were made by the Shah and his father were erased by the Islamic Republic.

I know of people in the older generation who DID receive monthly stipends from the Iranian government (even though you claim you did not), and had the nerve to proudly go and protest the Shah! Some of those same people tried to go back to Iran after the revolution and could not stand it!

Today they live in various parts of America working 9-5 jobs, being a 'slave' to the same 'western capitalistic' system that they hated so much as naive and ungrateful college students back in the 60s and 70s. If they had been just a little more patient, Iran today would have been heaven on earth for them and they would have the chance to raise their children in Iran.

Back then 100,000 Iranian students were studying in America. This does not count the others in Canada, Europe and India. Even if some of them did not receive scholarships and stipends from the Iranian government, it was the Iranian government that facilitated the opportunity for them to go and study abroad. Today in Iran, instead of being able to go to the best universities in America to study, Iranian students head to places like Poland and the Phillippines.

Such a shame, we were only a few years away from all of these students returning to Iran and contributing in creating a great country, but the ungratefulness and ignorance of people like Mr. Sahimi destroyed our country.

Iranian in America / December 8, 2009 4:25 AM

Your site keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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