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Turnover and Turmoil in the Ahmadinejad Administration

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles

22 Dec 2010 23:0257 Comments

Ramin dismissed from press oversight post. Vice President Rahimi under new prosecution threat.

[ opinion ] The ouster of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and the long-awaited implementation of the government's subsidy reduction plan have been grabbing most of the recent media attention, but other important political developments are also taking place in Tehran.

Deputy Minister Ramin Sacked

IMG_5132.JPGOne of the most controversial figures to have served in both administrations of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been Mohammad Ali Ramin (pictured). Formerly a senior presidential advisor, Ramin most recently was deputy minister of culture and Islamic guidance in charge of the press, a post to which he was appointed in November 2009. On Monday, he was fired by Ahmadinejad. During his tenure as deputy minister, many of the remaining newspapers and other publications that published even very mild criticism of the government were shuttered and their editors and journalists summoned to court. Ramin claimed that he had to do this to create a "moderate environment" for the Iranian press.

In an interview with ISNA, the Iranian Students News Agency, Ramin confirmed that, though he has yet to be officially informed, he is to be replaced by Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh, deputy chief of staff to Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Ahmadinejad's first vice president (Iran has eight VPs). Previously deputy chief of staff to Ahmadinejad for communications, Mohammadzadeh has also worked for the Voice and Visage of the Islamic Republic, the government-controlled national network of TV and radio stations.

Ramin, whose full name is Mohammad Ali Ramin-zadeh, was born in 1943 in Dezful, in Khuzestan province in southwest Iran. He lived in Germany for 20 years and was jailed there briefly in 1982. He was reportedly affiliated with German Neo-Nazi groups and was eventually forced to leave Germany. (His son still lives there and owns a company that does business with Iran.) Unconfirmed reports suggest that he is barred from entering Germany. Another report indicates that he can enter Germany, but is not allowed to deliver a public speech. He has claimed that his "German friends" have told him that World War II was imposed on Germany by the Zionists.

During the administrations of former President Mohammad Khatami, Ramin was one of the main critics of the Reformists. While he was still living in Germany, he published a monthly called Emaamat, a vehicle for many attacks on the Reformists. He is the founder of the ultra-reactionary militant group Hasteh Haaye Fadaeeyan-e Velaayat (Core of Devotees of the Velaayat) and frequently speaks at gatherings of Ansar-e Hezbollah (Supporters of the Party of God), another ultra-reactionary collective. Ramin also founded the Society for Defense of Muslims in the West, was secretary-general of the World Foundation for Holocaust Studies (headquartered in Tehran), secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Ummah, and the head of the Islamic Path Organization in Europe, all ultra-reactionary groups of Islamic fundamentalists. He has stated many times that the alternative to democracy in the world is the system of Velaayat-e Faghih (guardianship of the Islamic jurist, represented by the Supreme Leader).

In 2006, Ramin founded Raayehe Khosh-e Khedmat -- the Sweet Scent of Service (SSS). Some of the main members of the SSS are former commanders in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ahmadinejad's main base of support. The SSS publishes two daily newspapers, Khorshid (The Sun) and Vatan-e Emrooz (The Homeland Today), both of which have low circulations. A hallmark of the SSS was its attacks on the administrations of former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Khatami. The publication claimed that neither man had done anything for the nation, and in fact had led the country to deviate from the "fundamental principles of the 1979 Revolution" -- an apparent attempt to justify the SSS's own failures. Despite its use of public resources, the SSS was defeated badly in the 2006 city council elections, receiving just 4 percent of the vote. Only three of the group's candidates for the Tehran council were elected -- and only after the vote count was reportedly altered. The SSS did just slightly better in the March 2008 elections for the eighth Majles.

It is Ramin who has advised Ahmadinejad to cast doubt on the Holocaust. He was also the primary force behind a conference on the Holocaust held in Iran in December 2006 and attended by many revisionists and denialists.

Charges against Rahimi

In an interview on Monday, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, the prosecutor general and spokesman for the judiciary, declared that Rahimi (pictured), Ahmadinejad's first vice president, "faces charges of financial corruption. And after an investigation by the judiciary of the charges and what the rest of those accused in the same case have to say, he will be summoned to court." Ejei, who was Ahmadinejad's minister of intelligence until he was fired last year, did not specify a court date.

getthumb.jpgThe charges apparently stem from the so-called Fatemi Street ring (halgheh Khiyaban Fatemi). The first time that the subject was mentioned in public was last April, when Elyas Naderan, a hard-line Majles deputy and critic of Ahmadinejad, declared,
Those who in the debate on financial corruption defend Rahimi are not aware of his role in a network whose members have been arrested. When the subject was brought up in the Majles, 200 deputies defended Rahimi, but if they had been aware of what had happened, they would not have supported him. Rahimi is the head of the Fatemi Street ring and he was the one who made the decisions behind their [financial] corruption and how [the proceeds] should be distributed. Just because someone has an executive position [in the government] does not mean that he should be excluded from prosecution. It is neither fair nor the right thing to do.

According to Naderan, all of the ring's members have been arrested except for Rahimi. Aside from Rahimi, Naderan described Jaaber Abdaali, who used to work for Iran Insurance Company (the country's largest insurance firm) and Esmail Mas'oudi, former deputy governor-general of Tehran province, as the most important members of the ring. The latter has already been given a four-year jail sentence, 74 lashes, and a fine of nearly $12.4 million for other corruption charges.

Abdaali is reportedly the person who signed the checks for $5,000 that Mohammad Abbasi, then Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, presented to certain Majles deputies in November 2008 while the parliament was debating whether to impeach former Interior Minister Ali Kordan. (Kordan was impeached. He passed away last year.) Abdaali has already been convicted of narcotics trafficking.

Before Naderan made his accusation, Sadegh Larijani, the judiciary chief, had said that a ring had been discovered that, using fake executive and judicial documents, had robbed people of millions of dollars. He had said that in just one relatively minor case, the ring had stolen $6 million. The total amount of money that has illegally reaped is not clear. According to various reports, the staff of the Iran Insurance Company was involved in the corruption. Through collusion with others, they refiled settled cases with the company and received millions of dollars. The ring also reportedly arranged for a $700 million loan from Bank Melli to a company owned by a friend of Rahimi's and received a 5 percent "commission" or kickback. Of the $35 million, $18 million went to Esfandiar Rahimi Mashaei, Ahmadinejad's chief of staff; $10 million went to Ahmadinejad's son, who is married to Mashaei's daughter; and $7 million went to Rahimi. The Jahan News website, run by hardline Majles deputy Alireza Zakani, has reported many details of the case. See also here.

When Larijani told Ahmadinejad about the prosecution of his principal vice president, Ahmadinejad reportedly responded that the judiciary should begin its anti-corruption work by investigating Larijani's own older brother Mohammad Javad (Ardeshir) Larijani, the judiciary chief's advisor and deputy for human rights issues. According to the report, Larijani has taken possession of large pieces of agricultural lands, presumably illegally, between Varamin and Garmsar, east of Tehran. A reliable, independent source has confirmed the report, though he did not know how Larijani had gained ownership of the lands.

It was then reported that Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei had ordered the case to be set aside for the time being. All the talk about the corruption ring and Rahimi's possible involvement in it thus suddenly stopped; several Majles deputies made clear that they had dropped the matter due to the order. Naderan said, "Of course, we will pursue this, but the expediency of the nezaam [the political system] is paramount." Apparently the reason for the ayatollah's order was that Ahmadinejad told him that some of the $35 million kickback was spent on his campaign for president last year. If that fact were to be officially revealed, the entire election and hence the rule of the ayatollah, who ardently supported Ahmadinejad, would be cast in doubt.

Rahimi has filed a lawsuit against Naderan. When asked in a press conference Monday about Ejei's statement concerning his vice president, Ahmadinejad did not address the accusations, but instead demanded that the judiciary quickly take up Rahimi's lawsuit against Naderan because "that would create a sense of security for people." This is while in addition to Naderan and many other important figures that want Rahimi to be put on trial, even some hardline student groups have demanded the same.

As the largest producer of spaghetti in the Middle East, Rahimi was already a very rich man even before his alleged receipt of $7 million in the kickback scheme. And he was already a notorious figure. At the time of the 1997 presidential election, he was governor-general of Kurdistan province. When Khatami visited there to campaign, Rahimi greeted him with deep insults. He was accused of trying to rig the vote in Kurdistan in favor of Khatami's main rival, Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri. In many towns, the number of votes tallied for Nouri was 50 percent greater than the total of eligible voters.

About a year after Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005, Rahimi claimed that during a trip to Syria, someone there had told him, "If God were to send another prophet after Prophet Muhammad, it would be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Like Kordan, whose doctorate degree from Oxford University turned out to be fake, Rahimi has also been accused, by none other than Naderan, of fabricating his academic record.

Why the sudden interest in prosecuting Rahimi, nine months after Khamenei ordered the case set aside? Most Iran analysts believe that the threat to prosecute Rahimi is linked to Ahmadinejad's firing of Mottaki, the reason for which is still being debated. Ahmadinejad's supporters assert that the dismissal was well planned and Mottaki knew about it, a claim he contests. Some speculate that Mottaki was dismissive of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when they both attended a reception hosted by Bahrain's crown prince. Ahmadinejad was reportedly angered, viewing Mottaki's behavior as squandering an opportunity to initiate a rapprochement with the United States. (Mottaki has denied that his behavior at the reception had any such effect.) As Dr. Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, a senior legal aide to Mir Hossein Mousavi, said of Ahmadinejad's attitude toward the West, he "has hot rhetoric in public, but tries to do horse trading behind the scenes."

Many Iran analysts, including the author, believe that the firing of Mottaki is part of Ahmadinejad's effort to take full control of foreign policy, removing it from Khamenei's hands. Abolhassan Bani Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic, seemed to agree when he told Deutsche Welle about his view of the connection between Mottaki's firing and the threat to prosecute Rahimi: "It is impossible for the two cases to be unrelated. Some within the Iranian regime believe that Ahmadinejad is becoming independent of the [Supreme] Leader. His group is trying to take over the elements that are most important in Ahmadinejad's view -- foreign policy, executive power, and the press." Note that it has been reported that Ramin was fired because he opposed Mashaei's proposal to transfer control of the press to the office of the president.

An anonymous political analyst in Tehran told Deutsche Welle, "The firing of Mr. Mottaki was very important, and the way it was done is also very important. The way it was done was intentional. It was not as if the president had momentarily lost control. There was planning for this. The goal of this decision was to warn the rest of the government to decide [on which side they stand]. The firing itself was very important. So far the diplomacy arena was controlled by the Leader. We had never had such a firing in the Foreign Ministry; this was the first time that this happened."

Rooz, the online daily, reported that according to some Majles deputies, "The reason for the firing of Mottaki while he was on a mission [in Senegal] was to show the power of Ahmadinejad, with the target being not Mottaki but Ayatollah Khamenei and the Principlists who are critics of Ahmadinejad and Mashaei." Rooz also reported that many influential Majles deputies, including Naderan, Ahmad Tavakkoli, head of the Majles Research Center of the Majles and cousin of the Larijani brothers, and Ali Motahhari, brother-in-law of Speaker Ali Larijani, had spoken about Khamenei's unhappiness at the dismissal of Mottaki.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the notorious managing editor of Kayhan, the mouthpiece of the hardliners, attributed the firing to a "ring" around Ahmadinejad. Though he named no one, he clearly meant Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. As Bani Sadr told Deutsche Welle, "What I said are not hypotheses, but facts about this regime. Who is Kayhan? The Kayhan of Hossein Shariatmadari is linked to Mr. Khamenei's office, which at one time supported Ahmadinejad. Now, to whom is Kayhan attributing [the firing]? To Mr. Mashaei. Who is Mashaei? The closest person to Ahmadinejad. In reality, because Kayhan cannot attribute the firings to Ahmadinejad directly, it attributes them to Mashaei. It has been reported that Ahmadinejad would like Mashaei to be a candidate in the next presidential election. Ahmadinejad himself has said that it would be an honor to be Mashaei's vice president." Referring to how Vladimir Putin stepped down as Russian president in favor of Dmitry Medvedev, only to become prime minister, Bani Sadr said of Ahmadinejad, "He is imagining the Russian model for Iran."

The Tehran-based political analyst interviewed by Deutsche Welle agreed, saying of Mottaki's firing, "This decision was not what the Leader wanted and this has great importance. It means that there are efforts to transfer the center of gravity of Iranian diplomacy from the Leader to the president. Another implication is that Mashaei is effectively becoming the president, meaning in practical terms that he is making all the decisions for the president. This is what Kayhan is protesting."

In another development, Mehrdad Bazrpash, a close aide to Ahmadinejad and head of the National Organization for the Youth (NOY), was also fired. No official reason has been given, but Jahan News reported that Mashaei suggested to Bazrpash that he become Ahmadinejad's special envoy for Africa. According to the report, Bazrpash refused, saying, "This would be doing work parallel to the Foreign Ministry, which I am not ready to accept. If you do not want me to be involved with the NOY, state it more explicitly." He was referring to Khamenei's order of last September that forbade Ahmadinejad from appointing special envoys, calling it "parallel work." Mashaei has claimed that Bazrpash actually resigned two years ago, though he has been NOY chair for only 18 months.

Kaleme, Mousavi's website, has reported that another minister in Ahmadinejad's cabinet will soon be fired for opposing Mashaei. While speculations are rampant, the most likely to be dropped appears to be Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi. Reports indicate that a group of agents in the Intelligence Ministry put together a strong case against Mashaei. When Ahmadinejad and Mashaei became aware of what was going on, they demanded that the agents be demoted or fired. Moslehi has resisted the order.

The coming weeks and months are going to be extremely interesting. The power struggle within the hardliners' camp is intensifying. The struggle is another great achievement for the Green Movement and the people of Iran.

Copyright © 2010 Tehran Bureau

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Come off it, Muhammad. Do you know how ridiculous you look when you pen falsely triumphant sentences like the last in this article? Nothing more than sheer emotionalism.

Yes, the president of Iran has been busy lately with decisive moves made on more than one important front. Let's see how they work out before jumping to your usual "the sky is falling" routine.

Pirouz / December 23, 2010 3:57 AM

For once, I hope my fellow Iranians will not reply to the insignificant ones, but instead discuss the topic that is indeed very interesting.

Green messenger / December 23, 2010 6:14 AM

great article dr Sahimi.

It is indeed very interesting to watch this game of chess between AN and KH.R.
thanks for the analysis and the news. It is really pissing off Pirouz, also fun to see.

ahvaz / December 23, 2010 7:53 AM

As usual,very precise and factual analysis by Dr.Sahimi.One point that I would like to add is,whenever Ali Baba and his 4000 thieves start fighting among themselves and in order to divert the attention of the people from their internal squabbling,they normally come out with a big diversion.Indications show that Rafsanjani might be sacrificed(Could this whole affair be a scenario to get rid of Rafsanjani for good?)

Anonymous / December 23, 2010 9:21 AM

I'm with Pirouz on this one, these highly partisan articles have little analytical value, although they're interesting to read.

And yeah, seriously, get off that horse. This is what you call an achievement? Being crushed and cast to the wayside? This is Ahmadinejad's clever divide and conquer politics, and was part of his plan all along. If you look at his maneuvering even before the elections he attacked some conservatives as much as he did reformists.

This is like saying "oh we lost that battle but its all part of a plan."

Farzan / December 23, 2010 10:24 AM

As always an interesting article Dr.Sahimi but where do you believe the Revolutionary guards, the Basij and the Army stand in this power struggle between the Ahmadinejad camp and the Larijani, and possibly Khamenei?

I've notice a significant rise in articles discussing the possible conflict between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. I do realise that you have talked about the role of the Revolutionary Guards in this supposed conflict in your previous articles, but they ommited any mention of the Army which is a seperate and a rival(?) entity to the revolutionary guard and seemingly completely loyal to the Supreme leader. Incidentally to me it seems that the most factions in the Revolutionary guards are still loyal to Khamenei or at least the system, while they pursue their economic interest, could you expand your opinion about that if possible as well.

Asha / December 23, 2010 12:13 PM

While much of the information provided here can be considred as infromative, yet it borders emotionalism that is attached to the Author's intimate love of "democracy" and hate to the Velayate Faqih... but again under the guise of increasing gap between President's camp and that of the Supereme leader . As such, it persits its long pattern that the author has been writing from 2009 election.. not more no less... dont take it serious...

observer / December 23, 2010 12:46 PM

Mohammad-Ali Ramin, at 2009 senior advisor to Ahmadinejad, spoke at the Student Basiji at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad at the 13 of may 2009 :

" The fifth step is the one towards an Islamic world, that we invite the world to [embrace] Islam and justice and this phase serves the purpose of removing obstacles to emergence of the Imam of the Era since we believe in emergence of the just savior and we can't remain neutral in this waiting. Therefore we must move towards it and if one does not take such a step one is not awaiting [the coming of the Imam of the Era.]..."

Ramin criticizes all previous Islamic Republic governments and attacks Ahmadinejad's rivals:

"If the gentlemen claim Ahmadinejad is directing the country into the abyss, what does Mousavi intend to do? What is his program for annihilation of Israel? The Imam's first word was that of annihilation of Israel. If he [Mousavi] does not want to do so, he must say so."

After reading it should be clear what type of lunatic Hardliner Ali Ramin represents:
Beside Holocaust denying he belongs to the same
religious cult as AN and his political agenda is a heavy devout dictatorship called Velaayat-e Faghih. His foreign-policy agenda:
Annihilation of Israel.

Sufficient reasons to put him into a madhous - quickly.

gunniy / December 23, 2010 4:18 PM

My wife and students always say that I am NOT emotional. A good friend (former student) in Iran who has been a very good source for some of the facts that I have reported always says that "you are too practical to be emotional. You are an engineer!"

Yet, Observer believes that I am. I have nothing against it. I wish I were, so that I could get a lot of people off my back! I believe in democracy not "democracy."

But, more seriously, I say such infighting is the fruit of the Green Movement because without it, we would not have had it, or at the very least not seen it so glaringly in public. It is the movement that has deepened and brought to the surface the deep divisions in the hard-line/reactionary right camp.

As for the Green Movement being crushed according to Farzan, I and other people have responded too many times. Just read the beginning of my article on this website, "Mousavi, Karroubi, and the opposition in the Diaspora," and tell me whether what the hardliners are doing are a signs of a victorious side that has "crushed" the other side.


Ahmadinejad has his supporters in the IRGC, although the high command is not uniformly behind him. It is known, for example, that at least General Jafari has had clashes with him, telling him that it was his incompetence that has brought the nation to this state. He also admitted that Mousavi has many supporters in the IRGC.

The regular armed forces is also the same and even more so. General Ataollah Salehi, chief of staff of the regular armed forces, recently said that in visits to military bases he has seen Mousavi's pictures in soldiers room and expressed concern over it.

For now, the military is watching to see where this infighting goes.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 23, 2010 8:53 PM

Dr. Sahimi please note that the more you are criticized by regime supporter the better because it means your articles are having a positive effect.

The soft underbelly of the regime is corruption, hypocrisy, incompetence, and fascistic tendencies and by revealing these truths to a larger audience very constructive steps are made towards reformation, rule of law, and democracy.

Like vampires that can not function in the light those pulling the strings behind closed doors can not function effectively once the truth is revealed.

Mohammad Alireza / December 24, 2010 1:37 AM

It is interesting while Professor Sahimi believes in democracy and his articles are absolutely the demands of Iranian nation, I never read an article from Professor Sahimi which criticize Majle deputies. The way of democracy goes through a strong Majles and it is better to criticize and condemn Majles for its malfunction.

HD / December 24, 2010 7:56 PM

Dear doc sahimi: I could not stop laughing when you said:

"My wife and students always say that I am NOT emotional. A good friend (former student) in Iran ... says that "you are too practical to be emotional. You are an engineer!""

My apologies to your wife whom I do not know, but rest assured that they are lying to you big time, or are making a huge "emotional" misjudgment. Emotion and anger (instead of rationale) is all over your articles. You followed khomeini et al out of emotion (not out of wisdom for what was best for iran, or out of knowledge of his past writings) and you hate(d) pahlavis, again, not out of reason but out of emotion. In entire iran, only a handful (opponents of the shah) could see what was coming at them in 1979 and could behave rationally instead of emotionally. The rest behaved like herds, pushing their country down the cliff.

But that is not unique to you: iranians are good at analytical science, that is why when given the opportunity by the shah's regime, they prospered in science and engineering which are void of emotion and are based on pure reason. On the other hand iranians are highly emotional and thus awful in anything related to religion, politics, history, ... . Their emotions would block their reason -- that is their tribal survival mechanism. That is why our history is full of mistakes leading to where we are. We worship so many Emam zadeh and so many Saints (masoom) without knowing much about any of them. You worship Mousavi based on your emotional ties to Islamic system that you cooked up, and easily brash aside his past crimes as well as his present ideals of his Imam and you color it as "practicality", yet you constantly bad mouth Pahlavis, whose crimes were a tiny fraction of any of IRI leaders. You cannot stand seeing Reza Pahlavi (a totally innocent man and most rational of any of our political leaders) even existing, simply because of your emotional hatred of his father. Your emotional side is in total possession of your logicand you are not even able to acknowledge that; similar emotions made likes of engineer bazargan to commit treason and likes of doctor yazdi to commit crimes against iranians. Emotional consideration of petty crimes of the former shah turned masses committing national suicide in 1979. And emotional attachments to islam (that almost all of Iranians had little knowledge of what it really was or did not believe in its inhumane side) made them turn a mass murderer into an Emam, and continue to worship him (some to this day). The Patty Hearst kind of emotion is present in all of our political leaders and supporters of the revolution, or else we would not be doing what we have done to our country. That is why very smart people (like yourself) made very big mistakes and set fire to the country that their descendants wanted to live in, only to satisfy their hatred of the Shah who once they cheered for in the streets. That is why they rushed to destroy the historical remains of the long dead Cyrus and Darius and ... Reza Shah while turning Jamkeran into a worshipping Palace; that is why we called the beautiful Persian the language of the hell and the Arabic the language of the heaven; that is why we cursed Ferdowsi, Khayyam, Molavi, Hafez as infidels and turned non-existent Mahdi into messiah. That is why we allowed our beautiful Noruz and millenium-old Chaharshanbeh souri to be cursed as stupidity and turned long dead arab invader graves into Mausoleums to hang onto for healing.

Tell me of one other nation who has so much hatred and anger towards its own past as iranians do and worship so much religious superstitions and so many foreign invaders as saints. Tell me of one other nation who has as many feet in 21st century and yet as many minds in 14th century as iranians do -- or else we would not be crowning mullas as our VF and let them head almost all of our institutions. Even you dear doctor, often take anything of iranian origin to jokery, yet you never tolerate an insult to your emotional beliefs and harshly respond to them.

Doctor, you are not emotional in non-cheatable engineering matters; otherwise, like many other iranians (certainly their so-called intellectuals), you are nothing but emotions -- your articles are almost always rationalization of your emotional apriori conclusions.

Shams / December 24, 2010 10:10 PM

Dear Muahmmaed, as someone who enjoys reading your articles and hopes you will continue to write more, I nonetheless have to say that Shams is spot on. You are deeply emotional and self-righteous. In fact, I'm surprised that you say your wife claims you're not emotional, given that some of your colleagues have stated that you've had to be taken to the hospital as a result of temper tantrums in the past!

Leila / December 25, 2010 12:11 AM

Shams and Leila:

I am happy that you two got a chuckle out of my humor. I am fine with what you said, that you think I am emotional. As I said, I wish I were. So, there is hope for me after all!! I also do not intend to debate with you what kind of a man I am; this is not the place for it, and such debates are not useful to the rest of the readers.


I do not wish to get into a debate about the Shah et al. This article is not about him and them. But, let me just say that with all due respect, I did not follow Khomeini or support him out of emotions. You should never guess what and why other people did or do when you have not even met them and know very little, if any, about their lives.

As I have said repeatedly, I supported the revolution out of cold engineering calculations: In my view (and people like me), the Shah had left no viable opposition and political system to avoid a revolution. He had suppressed and repressed them all: The National Front, the moderate constitutional Muslims like Bazargan, the secular left, ... And then he did not stop even there; he eliminated the "baleh ghorbaan Party" - Iran-e Novin - the "chashm ghorbaan Party" - Mardom - and the chauvinistic Pan Iranists, founded the quasi-fascist Rastakhiz party and declared that, "whoever does not like this, can get his passport and leave." Well, people gave HIM his passport!

As I have said many times, people like me supported the only REMAINING viable leadership for a revolution to topple the illegitimate regime of the Shah - Ayatollah Khomeini - because there was no one else and we thought that we would get a democratic republic. You are talking with the benefit of hindsight after 32 years. Hindsight is always right.

You also seem to consider yourself as one of a handful of people who knew what was going on at that time. That is great. But, you do not seem to recognize what your statement implies: Aside from that 9-10 people, I was in the company of the rest of the population, which means that if I made a mistake, it was an unremarkable mistake asit had been made by everyone. I was not exceptional!


Regardless of whether your information about me is correct or not (it is not), I believe that it is inappropriate of you to bring it out publicly, simply because such information is private. I do not mean any disrespect, but only am reminding you of a very simple principle.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 25, 2010 1:52 AM

Dear doc sahimi: thanks for your response. I also brought the shah as an example to indicate how despicable our so-called intellectuals were, not to justify shah's crimes. Let's face it, the biggest flaw of iranians is that we did/do NOT know iran and iranians and islam. All three aspects of iranian identity are full of lies and we are forced to be a nation of lie worshippers. Have you noticed that we hardly have a reliable book on iranian history or islam; and often the best/truthful books on such subjects are written by westerners who are void of any emotional attachment to the country. If I am not mistaken, Allameh Majlesi wrote some 28 volumes (?) on Islam and Shiism -- hadiths, etc. What on the earth is there to write on islam that requires 28 volumes except for lies, and lies, and more lies (Prophet once angered with Omar who had said something on his own, saying that all he -- the prophet -- has to say is in Koran); or that an earlier Islamic (sunni) scholar collected some 250,000 hadiths from the Prophet -- that turns out to account for more than 30 hadiths for every single day of Prophet's prophetic life. Can these be anything but lies, and lies, and yet more lies. Same goes for our history, from Cyrus to the late Shah. Maybe you have seen the article by Ganji who says openly that "we lied to people about the shah, because we wanted the revolution to succeed." Those lies are bearing fruits today.

Please re-read the paragraph that you just lined up as your response to see how one-sided, and thus emotional, it is. I do not deny misdeeds of the shah (the truthful ones), but frankly, any honest analysis of the past 32 years and its end-result should make us view the shah with a pragmatic eye, rather than an idealistic superhuman. Iran has been VERY lucky to have had the Pahlavis, despite their crimes, since as this Persian proverb says it all that "in a city of blind, the one-eyed person is the king." That one-eyed person was the shah.

You do not see it that way, but we did not have intellectuals; we had lots of literate persons, but not intellectuals, considering what they did to the country once they got the chance. And shah suppressed the opposition, but did not destroy it, so please do not blame him, again, out of emotion. That blame game has stopped working long time ago.

Dear doc, I am not here to give lip service to you or to iranians -- since as long as we do that we would not see the truth. The fact that you call shah's regime illegitimate is the best indication of your emotional cover-up of facts. This is not to say that I agreed with his misdeeds, or that I would not have liked to have a better governance, with or without him, but within the realities of iran, he was one of the better choices. Unfortunately, there were/are wolves in the shadows that would have surfaced (and did surface) had shah been less restrict. That is why Bakhtiar did not survive. He was faced with a nation of angry, emotional, literate but uninformed, self-serving, fanatically religious, and illogical people who were waiting for their Emam to come in and make their bus fares free. That is what they were after, to set their country on fire for a lousy free bus fare. And there was only one man who knew those Iranians quite well and played the right tune for them and they danced to it, and that person was Emam Khomeini!

Finally you said: "I supported the revolution out of cold engineering calculation". That must have been one heck of an "engineering (mis)calculation" considering the end result. Suffice it to say that I am very grateful that you have not "engineered" either my car or my apartment, or else I would not be here talking to you today!

Shams / December 25, 2010 3:26 AM


Let me be clear about one point: There is no doubt in my mind that in many respects the crimes that have been committed under the IRI are far worse than anything committed under the Shah.

But, you misunderstood my comment regarding "cold engineering calculation." What I meant was, there was no one else to turn to; right or wrong, Ayatollah Khomeini was respected by just about everyone, and practically everyone wanted to get rid of the Shah - there was huge support for the revolution. And, young (at that time) people like me wanted to help establish a democratic republic. At the same time, the Ayatollah was saying all the right things.

You blame young (at that time) and impressionable people like me. I was inexperienced. How about almost all the National Front leaders, the secular left, the intellectuals, etc., who also supported the ayatollah? The point, as I mentioned in my last post, is that there was vast support for the revolution. And, you are equipped with hindsight which is always right and beautiful.

And, as I have discussed many many times over the last many years in my articles (I have been writing such articles for 16 years), I hold Ayatollah Khomeini responsible for much of what has happened, but also blame the Shah for creating the political vacuum that allowed the possibility of a man like the ayatollah coming to power. This is what the supporters of the Shah are not capable of seeing and understanding: It was him that created that political vacuum - the abyss - that allowed the clerics to take over.

Thanks for the good discussions.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 25, 2010 4:54 AM

Dr. Sahimi,

This is beyond belief. You bypass your own responsibility and the responsibility of your peers too quickly and conveniently. Are you telling us there was no one in the opposition to turn to? How about Bakhtiar? Did he not appeal to you people? How about the late Shah himself? Did he not appeal to everyone for a compromise? How many times did he worn you people about the unholy marriage of Islamists and leftists? These people had every intention to uproot the system.

When did Khomeini ever talk about democracy? Was it not only common sense? Going along with idiocy and conveniently calling it "political vacuum" provides no justification for stupidity and blind religious obidience that was clearly taken advantage of to mobilize the masses. The French provided the haven and the necessary facilities, Brits the propaganda and the Americans the rest.

I cannot buy your explaination. It was more like greed. It was everything or nothing and you people chose everything when you were clueless. Hence destroying our future in the process.

Did you people not know what kind of beast you had chosen to follow as a leader in Khomeini? What is hindsight got to do with the following? This is madness.

“Yes, we are reactionaries, and you are enlightened intellectuals: You intellectuals do not want us to go back 1400 years. You, who want freedom, freedom for everything, the freedom of parties, you who want all the freedoms, you intellectuals: freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way for the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom.”
"A man can have sex with animals such as sheeps, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine."
“If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the earth, his moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him.”
“A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual act such as forplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed.”
“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

Today after 32 years of agony we are still confronted with the same shallow and one dimensional approach. Rather than creating a political diversity we are encouraged to chose yet another form of the failed Islamist system of governance with a mere promise of deliverance. "Beliveth in Mousavi and you shall see the light."

Happy New Year Iran.

Niloofar / December 25, 2010 7:44 PM

Dear Pedigreed Persian Princess Niloofar,


Iran's sole and exclusive new year begins on the vernal equinox, ie. 1st Farvardin. If you don't trust me on this, consult your sage mom.

Nowruz is an integral part of the "immense history and culture" you often screech about on TehranBureau. It cannot be rescheduled to late December merely to fit the assimilatory urges of a fretful, insecure valagohar souring in the Diaspora at the tail end of the globe.

Sadly, Iran is not obliged to adopt the calendar of any country you alight upon in your exilic wanderings.


معلم گفت پیوند ديرينه شاه و ملت ناگسستني است

شاگرد جواب داد آقا اجازه ما گسستيم شد

Ali from Tehran / December 25, 2010 9:52 PM

Doc sahimi, I know that I might be becoming verbose since I do not think either of us will change position based on what is said here; but I need to add a few things, in case you have not pondered their significance. You blame the Shah, but in your conjecture you assume that he was the shah of 35 million innocent people, and thus a dictator, a murderer, and a thief. That is an incorrect assumption. Shah was one of the "better" iranians. He was faced with a portion of the society who would tear the country apart and set it ablaze given the chance (as we saw that they did). We see that today, not only in IRI leadership, but also amongst the opposition. That portion of the society (mullas, leftists, separatists, ...) SHOULD be under pressure and kept under tight leash for the sake of the rest of the population -- shah failed to do that, specially at the end. So in that regard shah was guilty, specially with respect to mullas; likes of khomeini and rafsanjani and khamenei (and the newly sainted reformists like karroubi, mousavi, yazdi and maybe even bazargan as well as likes of Rajavis, ...) should not have been allowed to see light of the day, while likes of bakhtiar and sediqi did not belong to prison (although I can accuse them of being uninformed about iran and iranians to know that as soon as the tight leash is loosened, the wolves would come out and the fools would follow the foxes). Shah had no right to hand the country of ALL iranians to a handful of thus, instead he should have stood firm and then taken a different path towards a gradual implementation of democracy (although he did not survive much after the revolution).

When I said that a handful knew what was coming to them in 1979, I did not mean a handful of the public, but a handful of shah's opposition (e.g., bakhtiar et al.). I was not referring to myself there. I was too young then to be involved in anything one way or the other. Ayatollah Shariatmadari's son was saying (video on YouTube) that his father wrote to the shah, saying that he knew these revolutionary mullas (he mentions Khomeini by name if I am not mistaken), and he knows what nasty characters they were, and had they been allowed to take over the country, they would be far worse dictator than the Shah was. He suggested to the Shah that he imprisons them (he volunteered to be imprisoned along with other mullas) to quiet things down. That is what I call a wise iranian.

But I wanted to pass on a few tidbits that you may or may not focus on to better comprehend the kind of people that Shah had to deal with; to give people freedom but disallow some to rip the country apart and loot it.

1. There is a short YouTube video that is taken in Tehran following the death of Josef Stalin where iranians (probably from Tudeh Party) lay flowers in front of Soviet embassy. This is the same Tudeh party that had gathered around Mosaddeq to get rid of the Shah (and probably later get rid of Mosaddeq too).

2. Jalal Ale-Ahamd, a darling of revolutionaries, has a short autobiography. In that he says that he was part of the Tudeh Party and when Iran was occupied by Soviet forces, he marched with Tudeh Party towards Majles to demonstrate "FOR" giving Soviets the Northern Oil Fields. He says that he was passionately demonstrating FOR soviets while Soviet soldiers were overlooking and smiling at them. He says that he was puzzled that night as to why Soviet soldiers were smiling at them. The same "idiot" then turns religious and writes to khomeini to see what he can do for him.

3. Mosaddeq, another darling of the revolutionaries, tried to encourage the Shah to leave the country (in 1330?). However, it is interesting that Mosaddeqies never mention that he dispatched Saremmedoleh to Europe to talk to off-springs of Prince Hassan Mirza Qajar, to see if either is willing to become Shah of Iran once Qajar dynasty is restored. Mind you that he voted against dissolution of Qajar in the Parliament and Crowning of reza shah, and he never forgave Pahlavis for stealing the kingship from his family.

4. When Mosaddeq decided to dissolve the Parliament (to avoid the vote for his own dismissal), many in his party opposed him, calling it unconstitutional. But more importantly, another tidbit unmentioned by Mossaddeqies is that the referendum that he took was set up such that those voting "for" and "against" were to cast their votes in 2 different locations. It is said that those voting against were to vote in front of Majles with a photographer standing by to take Photos of them. If my memory serves me correctly, in the capital of multi-million population, only around 100,000 voted for Mosaddeq's plan and only 26 individuals voted against it (the intimidation worked). So much for Mosaddeq's democracy!

5. One of political friends of Mosaddeq has said that Mosaddeq always told them that political leaders in iran should pretend to be weak, sick, fragile, and emotional to attract people's sympathy and then be able to do what they want. In other words, Mosaddeq had to resort to deceit to rule in iran.

Those were the heros of iranian political system.

Finally when you (a highly educated smart person along with others like yourself) made such big mistakes and were so unaware of true nature of those people, how on earth do you expect the Shah, who was after all an average iranian, isolated from the people, misinformed by people around him, and for decades revolutionaries tried to kill him or dislodge him, to be smart enough to mange a nation full of wolves, thieves, and cloaked murderers. We should be grateful the at least he offered an ounce of progressiveness that has lasted despite 32 years of backwardness, or else mullas+leftists would have taken us back to today's afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Please take a careful look at the opposition, say Massoud Rajavi: how stupid people can be to gather around likes of him, even to this day (or likes of Kianoori). They were the kind who wanted to replace the shah, and would not allow any true nationalist (that you imply shah destroyed) to last even for a single day in position of power.

Face it doc sahimi, we have had a lot of much nastier characters than the shah amongst us; that only a strong hand, a very smart brain, and a very sincere nationalist would stop them from bringing the country where it is today and at the same time modernize the country and build democratic institutions. Shah's guilt was that he was not such a perfect person, but so were not a vast majority (if not all) of those who wanted to replace him.

Shams / December 26, 2010 12:52 AM

Doc sahimi, Doc sahimi,you (a highly educated smart person along with others like yourself who are highly educated smart people)need to finish off this good discusion with a few highly educated smart words of your own.Doc sahimi,unlike the shah who only offered an ounce of progress,a highly educated smart person like you can be the guiding light of all Iranians.Doc Sahimi, unlike the pahlavis who stole the kingship from the Qajars (please don't tell anyone Reza shah was actually in favor of a republic and it was mullas who pushed for monarchy) a highly educated person like you and not like the shah who was an average Iranian, you can capture everyone's vote.Only this time move the camera to the back of the building Doc.Doc sahimi, Doc sahimi,you can pretend to be weak, sick, fragile, and emotional to attract people's sympathy and then be able to do what they want. In other words Doc, resort to deceit to rule.I knock Shah Mosaddeq what have you an pave way for you Doc sahimi to make a grand entry to clean house for you and your idle, the not such perfect person, Mousavi.

Thanks for the good plan Doc

ShamsAdin / December 26, 2010 4:13 AM


You are right. This debate won't go anyway. But, as my last response:

Quite frankly, I have heard and read all of what you said and more. With all due respect - and I mean respect; this is just a frank honest discussion - these are a mixture of conspiracy theory and propaganda on the monarchists' part.

Yeah, the Tudeh Party, Mosaddegh - who by the way ruled by deceit (only monarchists say that) - and intellectuals conspired to get rid of the Shah. How could they do it? By fooling people. But how could they? Because the Shah (and his father) did not allow the political development of the country, so that a bunch of revolutionaries would not be able to fool the people.

You see, anyway you look at it, you find the fingerprint of the Shah's dictatorship and its effect on the society. There is just no way to avoid it.

Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani, a critic of Ayatollah Khamenei, recently said, "just as booths and ties could not affect us, neither can beard and open collar." He meant that just as the military dictatorship of Reza Shah (booths) and ties (westernized society that the Shah was trying to build) could not do it, neither can beard (the first decade of revolution) and open collar - no tie (the present). He understands Iranian society far better than any monarchist.

But, there is one thing new here that I learned. The Shah was weak, not very smart, fragile, and average. So, am I supposed to forgive his sins?

If I am to take this declaration of yours seriously, then I would say: He either knew it or he did not.

If he did know it, then he should have stepped down right away because Iran deserved better. He did not. Niloofar (see above) claims that he proposed a compromise. First of all, he did not. Second of all, even if he did, when did he do that? When people had put their feet on his neck in December of 1978, not in February 1975 when he founded the neo-fascist Rastakhiz Party and declared that if you do not like it, leave.

Or, the Shah did not know that he was weak, average, fragile, and not very smart. In that case, stronger, smarter, above average people took advantage of his fascist regime's weaknesses and overthrew him. Who can blame them?

One cannot have the cake and eat it too. Either the Shah was what you say, or he was not. Either way, he had to go and he did.


Good humor. Thank you.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 26, 2010 6:56 AM

Doc sahimi, now you see how you let your anger and frustration bloom when you have no counter argument, but for rhetoric of accusations of monarchists and conspiracy theories. Had shah shot down the plane of khomeini, would you have turned him into another saint like mosaddeq and insisting as viciously that he was another saint that shah destroyed?

I think your anger and emotion simply stops you from absorbing and taking any new information into account. That is exactly what happened to our nation 32 years ago when we stopped thinking - a nation of people blinded by anger and emotions who viewed everyone as either an Emam Hussein or a Shemr, ignoring that even those two were closely related and were involved in a family feud for power and wealth - the only constant objectives in history. You totally ignored any understanding of what I said that Iran has been void of honest political leaders, even the ones that we consider honest were in fact deceitful and manipulative. We made Mosaddeq (the best that could come along) into a saint Mosaddeq in our minds, otherwise he was a man, as flawed as anyone else around him, and certainly far more sneaky than shah of before 1953 (who had minor role in daily affairs of the country) ever was. You suggested that Shah should have stepped aside. Okay, and hand the government to whom? To Tudeh Party or a 72-year old man that was known as "weeping prime minister" and was trying to rule from his bed under his blanket, or to Ayatollah Kashani and his type to set up the Islamic Republic a bit sooner. I assume those were the intellectuals that shah had not gotten the chance to destroy yet.

All that I said was just a portion of facts that academics (as qualified in their field as you are in your field of engineering) like Dr. Mirfetros as well as others (such as Dr. Matini, Dr. Ajoudani, Dr. Abrahamian, ...) have said in their books, each and everyone of them based on credible references. What I said about Ale-Ahmad is directly based on his own writing (which is available on the web). What I said about Ayatollah Shariatmadari was based on his son's interview. Same goes for Ganji's revelation of lyings. But, you probably have the only monopoly on facts and truth, and all others are lying when the argument does not suit your 32-year-old perceived notions.

Oh well, I tried, but I guess a prisoner of emotions and decades long anger cannot be unchained and freed so easily. That is why your generation (and maybe even mine) will not be able to take the very first step for a free iran - seeking and accepting the inconvenient truth; you want to re-invent the country based on the very same attitudes that you had 32 years ago!

Doc sahimi, your mind is blocked by age-old emotions and angers, assuming that only you have all the facts and they are unchangeable. I guess here we have another "cold engineering calculation" for the despicable shah to remain as despicable and saint mosaddeq remain as much of a saint, no matter what happens to the country. In your view "shah had to go", no matter what the consequences: Gamble with the future of a nation to satisfy the obsession to satisfy the hatred and anger. Vendetta must be fulfilled no matter what; as your generation were saying "let the shah go no matter what happens." Well, shah went and "no matter what" happened; only that Ali remained and his Pool, as the famous proverb says!

Good luck to you with your eternal hatred of "monarchy" as well as worshipping of your saints like "mosaddeq". I am sure they both will continue to bear fruits for you as much as they have been for the past 32 years.

Shams / December 26, 2010 10:58 AM

شما بیایید بگویید که آقا برای سیاستمدار اخلاق مهم نیست، می‌تواند فریب بدهد، می‌تواند ارعاب بکند و می‌تواند دروغ بگوید. نه! اینها بسیار هم مهم است. ما دروغ می‌گفتیم، ما به دروغ می‌گفتیم حکومت شاه ۱۵۰ هزار زندانی سیاسی دارد و این دروغ بود، و امروز باید بابت این دروغ، یعنی خودمان و همه کسانی که این دروغ را گفته‌اند باید خودشان را نقد بکنند. ما به دروغ می‌گفتیم حکومت شاه صمد بهرنگی را کشت، ما به دروغ گفتیم حکومت شاه صادق هدایت را کشت،‌ ما به دروغ می‌گفتیم حکومت شاه دکتر شریعتی را کشت. همه‌ی این دروغها را گفته‌ایم، آگاهانه هم گفته‌ایم. اینها باید نقد بشود. کسی که با روش دروغ بخواهد پیروز بشود، بعد هم که به قدرت برسد دروغ می‌گوید،‌ برای نگهداشتن قدرت دروغهای وسیع‌تر و بزرگتر می‌گوید. این روشها باید نقد بشود. روش مهم است، روشها باید کاملا اخلاقی و کاملا انسانی باشد و ما روشهایمان اخلاقی نبوده. چیزی را که نشده، آگاهانه بیاییم دروغ بگوییم، بگوییم ما فعلا با این رژیم در حال مبارزه هستیم و می‌خواهیم خرابش کنیم،‌ با این بعدا دمکراسی نمی‌شود درست کرد، آزادی و حقوق بشر نمی‌شود درست کرد. این مبنای دیکتاتوری و پایه‌نهادن دیکتاتوری‌ست.

اکبر / December 26, 2010 6:46 PM

Contrary to what doc sahimi claims, most (if not all) mosaddeqi saints survived to show their true faces some 26 years later:

Another saint is "engineer" bazargan who fought the shah for decades so that he can rush to bring in a murderous thief like Arafat and cheer with him in a Shaban-Bimokh style and fill his pockets with iranian children's money as soon as revolution succeeded. Seeing bazargan welcoming likes of Arafat should bring any supporters of likes of him to shame if they ever know what shame is. Or maybe the traitors loved it when Arafat went back and returned the favor by supporting Saddam.

From Akbar Ganji:
ما دروغ می‌گفتیم، ما به دروغ می‌ گفتیم حکومت شاه ۱۵۰ هزار زندانی سیاسی دارد و این دروغ بود، و امروز باید بابت این دروغ، یعنی خودمان و همه کسانی که این دروغ را گفته‌اند باید خودشان را نقد بکنند. ما به دروغ می‌ گفتیم حکومت شاه صمد بهرنگی را کشت، ما به دروغ گفتیم حکومت شاه صادق هدایت را کشت،‌ ما به دروغ می‌ گفتیم حکومت شاه دکتر شریعتی را کشت. همه‌ ی این دروغها را گفته‌ایم، آگاهانه هم گفته‌ایم. اینها باید نقد بشود. کسی که با روش دروغ بخواهد پیروز بشود، بعد هم که به قدرت برسد دروغ می‌ گوید،‌ برای نگهداشتن قدرت دروغهای وسیع‌ تر و بزرگتر می‌ گوید.

I really do not know why doc sahimi is so angry! After all he achieved all his wishes in double and triple doses. He wanted shah to go, shah not only went, but he died, and his monarchy collapsed. He wanted khomeini to succeed, he not only succeeded, but he managed to bring in the justice of Ali to iran. Maybe doc sahimi is angry that in his "engineering calculations", he had accounted for 2 plus 2 equals 44, and it did not, it equaled only 4.

If doc sahimi expected Khomeini who had spent a life studying how to enter toilet and wash there would turn iran into anything but a toilet, that was neither the fault of the Shah nor the fault of Khomeini, but fault of those who followed khomeini.

If Khomeini had spent his life studying various types of sexual acts - with beauties as well as beasts - then what is so surprising that iran is now turned into a country of sexual perversion where her youngsters are sold to arab sheikhs and one-hour sigheh is advertised in front of Emam Reza's Mausoleum's door for $50. That was neither shah's nor khomeini's fault, but those who "miscalculated".

Khomeini had spent his life twisting and interpreting war crimes committed in Medina in the name of Islam in ten years of Prophet's statesmanship there. If doc sahimi expected khomeini not to establish a system mimicking the same daily Medinan wars and terrors in his (Khomeini's) ten years of life, that was neither shah's nor khomeini's fault, but the fault of the followers of khomeini who thought they had found all the answers in departure of the shah and establishment of the islamic republic.

Being a blindfolded ideologue makes one to call for revolution when evolution was needed (as in 1979) and evolution when revolution is needed (as in 2010). Makes one to pile up lies to smirch Shah more than what he really was and hide the truth to deify Mousavi (and Mosaddeq) more than what they deserve.

We are indeed a nation fearful of truth, accustomed to worshipping age-old lies, yet having no stomach to take the consequences of our continued deceit:

Shams / December 26, 2010 11:46 PM

You don't seem to give any credit to any of the Reformists which is puzzling, when they are trying to thread their way ,in the dark,out of a deathly maze with mile-high walls because you say they are the ones who led Iran into the maze in the first place not the Shah. No one claims they are saints but the history doesn't support your argument. Mossedeq had to navigate a tightrope with enemies on all sides and he failed. Moussavi has taken risks in order to further deceive people, really? Running against the regime was always going to be a thankless (possibly fatal)but necessary task. The Shah only ever relied on his foreign backers and the army. What is heroic about that? Finally ,if I am to choose between someone like Nasrin Sotoudeh or Reza Pahlavi(not that I have anything against him) as an exemplar of what Iran can be, its not going to be very difficult, Muslim or not.

pirooz / December 27, 2010 7:08 AM

Akbar Agha:

I agree with you regarding the place for "akhlaaghiyat" in politics. I also agree that there were too many lies about what the Shah had done. But, the problems with his regime were much deeper than propaganda against him based on lies.


So far we have had a good discussion. But, now you have started showing signs of distress over me not going along with what you say, and what people like Mirfetros have said about Dr. Mosaddegh and the Shah. I am not a member of the "wind Party," as we put it in Farsi. My beliefs - wrong or right - have been formed over decades. I have changed many of my beliefs over the years, but only after I was convinced that I was wrong, not because someone told me so. Changing one's opinion that way would be tantamount to taking part in popularity contest!!

I believe the one who is angry is you, not me. You have started to make things up as you go, and that is surely a sign of anger. Where did I say that the Mosaddeqi "saints" did not survive? What I said was they were eliminated POLITICALLY. In other words, there was no National Front, no Freedom Movement, no Tudeh Party, no..... as well as no free press and no freedom of expression, so that people can become aware politically. Add to it the fact in the last few years of his reign the Shah had turned to neo-fascism.

You and monarchists like you do not get one point: The most important task of any regime is to organize the society and give it order so that it can develop and advance, and do so with FAIRNESS, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL. These are impossible so long as the political system is not democratic and people do not have a voice and say in what is going on. If this is the criterion - which in my opinion it is - then the Pahlavis failed terribly, just as the IRI has failed.

And, for future debates I suggest that you keep one important point in mind: Just because someone said something somewhere on the internet does not mean that it is correct (this also includes my articles, which is why I always try to provide as many credible references as possible). So, just giving a link to something somewhere does not prove anything. It takes more than that.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 27, 2010 9:45 AM

Pirooz: are you addressing me? If so, see my answer.

You asked: "Shah only ever relied on his foreign backers and the army. What is heroic about that?"

First part of your statement may be true, although he was far more popular amongst people earlier in his life. That certainly has been unfortunate and sad for me as well. But, judging the shah only based on those two points, rather than his complete record, would be misleading. I also did not say that Shah was a hero; I said, and continue to say, he was better than anyone else that I know, including Mosaddeq. There has not been a heroic political leader in Iran, except for the perceived ones whom the people "made" them heroes, like khomeini for islamists and Mosaddeq for those who cannot think of anyone else and "need" a hero.

I came back from a biz trip to Japan. There I ran into a few iranians who had travelled to Japan to work in the back-rooms of restaurants, planning to make around $10K to take back home to get married with. They were happy that at least can make a living there. My Japanese colleague was openly telling me that Japs disliked these people working in their country, and the guys were telling me that Jap bosses would treat them very badly.

During the Shah's time, people would go to the west, often paid for by government, to get an education; and now they have to sneak into likes of Japan to content with dish-washing jobs. And those are the lucky ones. According to IRI statistics, there are 10 million living in absolute poverty in iran, and 47 million below the poverty line of $900 of income; with some 25% unemployment, and 30% inflation. None of these were true during the shah's period.

My point is that, in a country whose political leaders are likes of the gangsters of various colors that we have seen in the past 30+ years, one had to be content with a partial solution, and evaluate the Shah by his deeds where most lived there in a peaceful country and iran was at the same level then as South Korea, and far ahead of China in development. Now you see where we are and where Korea and China are. We had all sorts of freedoms except for political freedom, and we lost them all. In the video that I posted, you see lots of JM (Mosaddeq's party) people cheering like kids in a candy store with Arafat and lined up behind Khomeini, taking silence towards his atrocities. Those people did not deserve anything better than the Shah, and would rip the country apart, as they did, anytime they got a chance.

As for reformists, yes I think it is a deception to buy time. Islamic republic is the brain child of all these people and they want to maintain it at all cost; the day that islamic republic is gone, lives of all of these people -- reformist or conservative -- will be in danger. They are struggling to protect themselves, their interests, and their ideologies, not iran or iranians.

You are neither looking into reformists' past nor listening to what likes of Mousavi is saying today: he wants to bring back the heavenly days of Emam khomeini, which was a period of horrible daily terror. We have been down that road before, with Khomeini as well as Khatami. So yes, it is a populist deception. And peoples' attention on mousavi maybe out of desperation rather than sincerity. Also, don't read too much into them taking risks either. These people are very strange characters: Khamenei and Rafsanjani and others took a lot of risks and tolerated a lot of hardship in Shah's prisons, but for what, for pursuit of their own objectives, NOT for people or the country. We know that since they finally got the chance to show their hands. See here for more on reformists:

And on the double-face of iranian political figures, see at minute 13 from a cell-mate of Khamenei:

or minutes 6 to 8 of:

As for Nasrin Sotoudeh vs Reza Pahlavi: they are not compareable. Nasrin is certainly admireable in her capacity, but we do not know much else about her. I am in no way a committed follower of RP. In fact I think he has failed to come up with a bright idea and mobilize people. However, in a contest between RP, and say Mousavi or Karrubi, I will not hesitate to vote for RP, simply because I believe forgetting and forgiving the participation of these guys in IRI atrocities is injustice to tens of thousand families which were destroyed when they were in charge. I cannot forgive them for the ruin that they brought the country. But in a free contest between RP and someone else, I would vote for the one that can offer a better plan for a democratic progressive and just governance. In that regard, based on what RP says, he is miles ahead of Mousavi or Karrubi, but a future emerging leader may be more qualified than him. I vote for iran and what is best for her, I have no attachment to anyone else.

Shams / December 27, 2010 11:18 AM

Now here is when dom-e khoroos az laa ye abaa miyad biroon! Shams does not know that Iraj Mesdaghi was a member of Mojahedin, and is still a firm supporter. True, he spent years in jail, but I would look at anything that he says with a grain of salt.

But, in his attempt to prove his point, Shams the Shah worshiper quotes Mesdaghi, just as he quotes a charlatan like Mirfetros.

This is when aab sar baa mireh va ghoorbagheh abou ata mikhooned!

Vaez / December 28, 2010 5:27 AM

I knew who Iraj M. was, that is why I cross-posted him with Houshang A. (who dislike each other!) for others' views.

I let comment on Dr. Mirfetros stand; for some people non-charlatans like Mousavi/Mesbah/Khamenei/Jannati/Karrubi/Other Vaezes/... maybe more appropriate to listen to!

However, dr. Mirfetros is in agreement with others like dr. Matini, dr. Abrahamian, dr. Ajoudani, dr. Rouhani, dr. movahhed, ... AND most (like if Mosaddeq voted for Qajar to remain or how he conducted the referendum) are very easy to verify since such matters are part of Iranian government documents.

Sorry that I insulted Emamzadeh Mosaddeq or Juju Mousavi. I did not mean to stop them from producing more miracles for their worshippers.

Here are more from others about Emamzadeh Mosaddeq:

"Mosaddeq was making mistakes that would bring grave and irreversible harm to iran", Hossein Makki (Mosaddeq's close ally).

"Mosaddeq was not after a democratic system; he had assumed authorities that even Churchill did not have during WW II", Makki's book, P. 197.

"I cried and told Mosaddeq: we do as you say but referendum is not right", Dr. Sedighi, Mosaddeq's interior minister.

"Mosaddeq perfected the art of playing out his emotions: he plays deaf at the right time; he plays angry at the right time; he laughs at the right time; he faints at the right time; he gets sick at the right time; ... one day Mosaddeq told me that: 'PM of a small and desperate country should pretend to be weak and fragile, and this is the art of advancing political objectives' ", Zirak zadeh, close ally of Mosaddeq.

"Mosaddeq definitely wanted to dismiss the shah. Akbar Mirza Saremmeddoleh was sent to Europe at the beginning of Mordad 1331 to meet with children of Mohammad Hassan Mirza - Crown Prince of Qajar. Dr. Sehhat, the personal physician of Mohammad Hassan Mirza said that Mohammad Hassan Mirza's children did not accept [to return to restore Qajar dynasty]", Makki, Page 191, also Matini, Page 348.

"[I said to] Mr. dr. Mosaddeq: the road that you are taking leads to hell, but we will follow you anyway", Khalil Maleki in Maleki's memoirs.

"Mosaddeq was listening to nobody ['s advice]." K. Sanjabi. (mosaddeq's close friend and ally).

"Mosaddeq is turned into an idol and his mistakes are attributed to various parties...Mosaddeq did not even believe in Parties, and considered himself above all parties and even above Jebhe Melli", Letters of K. Maleki by H. Katouzian.

(wink wink doc sahim: maybe shah got the idea for his "fascistic" Rastakhiz Party from saint mosaddeq after all!)

"28 Mordad could be avoided. Poor leadership of Mosaddeq led to defeat... It was weakness of Mosaddeq and JM's leaders' ideology that led to defeat." Letters of Maleki.

"Mosaddeq has sent Brits home; has paralyzed the Parliament; has dismissed the Senate; has made all top politicians resign; has fired army's and civil's top echelon; exiled some of royal family; now he is focusing on the Shah; ...; Mosaddeq is subjugated by his own emotions, prejudgements, and suspicions; and like many other members of Qajar family has a hidden animosity towards the Shah. He views the shah as 'the son of that oppressive charlatan' who tries to weaken his power and harm his credibility." Henderson's report, March 10, 1953.

"Mosaddeq had concluded that something must be done to force the Shah to take a trip", Mohandess Hasibi's notes, 1 Esfand 1331.


عجب! مثل اینکه این امامزاده دیگه معجزه نداره

Shams / December 28, 2010 8:44 AM

Vaez the islamist charlatan questions Mirfetros.Now that is funny.Give me a few pointers why Mirfetros is a charlatan?Vaez put up or shut up.

ShamsAdin / December 28, 2010 10:46 AM

Let's see who has taken Mirfetros seriously: Only monarchists!

Has his work been published in a credible scholarly journal? No!

Does anyone other than monarchists refer to his work? No!

If he has written a book about it (I do not know whether he has), has it been reviewed favorably, or made a splash among the political activists, other than monarchists?

Have other people responded to his work and deconstructed what he has said? Many!

I rest my case! Of course, given that monarchists live in a parallel universe detached from ours, anything is possible in that universe!

Vaez / December 29, 2010 11:09 AM

Let's see who has taken Mirfetros seriously:Anybody with a right mind other than Islamists and leftists.
Has his work been published in a credible scholarly journal?What is a credible scholarly journal?One preapproved or dominated by Islamists and leftists?
He has written books.Open your eyes and read.
Have other people responded to his work and deconstructed what he has said?Yes and they have been immediately subject to character assassination by Islamists and leftists.
Have other people responded to his work and deconstructed what he has said?Yes by Islamists and leftists.To be expected of course.
I rest my case! Of course, given that Islamists & leftists live in a parallel universe of propaganda detached from realities, anything is possible in that universe!look at Iran.Just look.

ShamsAdin / December 29, 2010 7:27 PM

Vaez is totally confused or uninformed!

1. Mirfetros has lots of books, his books are often published multiple times, often in europe:

But the ideologues and "Idolaters" do not like him since he often breaks age-old taboos. His book on Hallaj has been re-published 15 times. His book on Islam has been re-published 12 times. His book on Mosaddeq is a rather recent book that has been published twice. His colleagues who have managed to distance themselves from mental attachment to the revolution of 1979 outside iran, are also following the same lines to various degrees.

2. Vaez (and doc sahimi) use "Monarchist" as a slur. It only is a slur amongst islamists/leftists residents of LA and London and the like; but it is more a badge of honor than a slur inside iran. Inside iran, there are only islamists (who are raping iran and iranians on a daily basis), some left-over leftists (MKO, etc), and those who bring Pahavis' names with respect (of various degrees): may he (the shah) rest in peace; what good days we had (during the shah); what a mistake we made when we revolted (che gohi khordim!); and so on. Very few old-timers still hang on their coats on Mosaddeq's corpse as they have had no access to the literature that one can find outside iran. Most view reza shah with utmost respect, without whom we would be ruled by Talebani mullas as in Afghanistan. You take away Pahalvi period/achievements and nothing remains of iran besides what we see today in Afghanistan or Pakistan or maybe worse (since Iran without Pahlavis most likely would have disintegrated).

There are good reasons for likes of doc sahimi that have maintained their core positions:

(a) Revolution is the brain child of islamists and leftists and likes of doc sahimi: they cannot say that they were wrong; if they did, either they have to endear the shah, and that is a huge sin in their views, or offer a solid workable solution, which they do not have that can bear fruits soon. That is why they anger when they are shown that likes of Bazargan, Yazdi, Sanjabi, and the rest of mosaddeqis turned out to be traitors and thieves who at their first chance stole from iranian children and passed the stolen goods to their brother thief Arafat. They embrace a stinky trash like Mousavi without regard to the awful crimes (1000 times worse than the shah's) that was committed when he was in charge. The time for likes of Mousavi to show his sainthood was when he was in charge, not today when he is not able to commit any crimes.

(b) They have been living outside iran in a comfortable setting. They have heard about what IRI is about but they have not faced it on a daily basis, so they have no sincere empathy with people of iran; they every now and then take a trip to iran and have a delicious chelo-kabob and assume that all lived that way in iran. That is why their core ideas have remained undisturbed for the past 32 years.

Doc sahimi's hatred of Pahlavis continues to have no value as long as he cannot implement a better-than-pahlavis governance in iran. So far the best days of iran were the last 15 years of the late shah, although hearing that mere fact upsets doc sahimi. It may take many more decades for iranians to enjoy the same standard of living, let alone anything better than that. His absolutism, idealism, and ideologue-ism could not bring food to any empty tables of any iranian for the past 32 years. Doc sahim continues to slur pahlavis for not offering Iranians the luxury of political freedom, while ignoring the freedoms that they gave iranians are often the ones that people long for today, get arrested for, and get killed for within iran. Doc sahimi's views are formed based on the narrow vision of political freedom (ignoring China / Korea examples -- the latter evolving into democracy only recently -- or iraq / afghanistan examples -- worthless democracies -- or turkey -- a partial democracy).

One cannot criticize an 80%-full glass of water for being empty while not showing the possibility of having a full glass within reasonable time and within the iranian environment, even today let alone 40 years ago.

Shams / December 29, 2010 10:27 PM


Pahlavis are gone buddy! Like many before them and after them. Your arguments cannot change history and the collective Iranian conscious (which I actually think is quite favorable about those days). Just relax, don't be rude to Dr. Sahimi just because he does not agree with you. Shah left because he was meant to go and so will the rest of us. We are all on the same side. For Iran all that matters is the future. A future with democracy.

Ali (UCLA) / December 30, 2010 9:51 PM

Ali (UCLA): I did not know that doc sahmi had a personal Vali Faghih in LA to guardian him! You are absolutely right though, the Shah is gone: we know that from what his absence meant for all: for some (as in LA) a better comfortable life, for others (as in Iran) a disaster!

it is time for your islamic beer in Westwood.

Shams / December 30, 2010 11:36 PM

Shams: I still think your position is not particularly coherent and to harp on the past is
a one-dimensional kind of analysis. RP himself paid homage to the protesters last year and I think he would defer to the wisdom and courage of those at the sharp end. People like Nasrin Sotoudeh, yes they are muslim like RPs own father, but they are undertaking an extremely difficult enterprise. You don't know much about her,and Shirin Ebadi, you know what you need to know about her. You should really check with RP before gratuitously passing judgement on
figures in the Green Movement.
What occurred in 2009 took everyone by surprise and it is hard to adjust to such a new phenomenon. You need a fresh set of eyes to take it in.
As to Mossadegh, I thought he underwent a fair trial once (commuted death sentence), no need to dig his corpse up and try him all over again. Anti-colonialism was a worldwide development which noone can gainsay. Nassers nationalising of Suez, triggering the invasion of Egypt by UK,France and Israel was the same, Vietnam, Latin America as well.
Now if its a strong hand you hanker after, a man on a horse ,to keep a grip on the unruly hordes or the good old days of the Cold war I would say Iran already has that. Thats the problem.

pirooz / December 31, 2010 5:47 AM


My immediate family lives a hard but a honorable life in Iran with past ties to the shah which only hinders them. Your personal insults completely miss the point. They seem fit for those who ran away after the revolution with blood money and have a comfortable life here. I paid for my school (public school btw), and every beer and bread I had,with my sweat. Your blind and blanket hatred for others, and your disregard for facts and history make you unworthy of an argument.Thanks for showing your true classy character.

Ali (UCLA) / December 31, 2010 7:28 AM

Ali (UCLA): You had nothing worth arguing to begin with, you only "rudely" jumped in with no new information. I assure you that I know of history more than you think, as I provided solid references for what I said from several books. If you expect people to respect you, you should first show that you are worthy of respect.

Pirooz: I do not know where my "incoherency" is. I do not seems to disagree with anything that you said in your brief response. Maybe you misunderstood me about my position on various issues. I have nothing but respect for likes of Nasrin S. As for RP, I do not follow him word-by-word since I do not think he has any winning ticket so far; I only defend his right to speak. I also agree with you on suddenness of event of 2009; and I think the ultimate collapse of the regime will occur in a similar manner, but not with leadership of likes of Mousavi who are more concerned about sustenance of the regime; mind you that he objected to what people were screaming such as "...Iranian republic", "no Gaza, no Lebanon, ...", etc.

I admit that I detest anything Islamist. I think they are deceitful and I do not trust them at all; what Mousavi says resembles what his Emam said before the revolution. He belongs to Evin instead of likes Nasrin S. and Nazanin K.

As for Mosaddeq, you are right; My point is only that we need to break the taboo and stop likes of doc sahimi to jump from the bandwagon of worshipping Mosaddeq onto that of Khomeini and now Mousavi. The latter two were criminals. Mosaddeq did some good (basically regarding oil nationalization) but had many faults, so did the shah. We need to worship rule of law (specially for the ruling class) instead of individuals, or else we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over agin. We should stop making idols out of likes of Mosaddeq, then Emam Khomeini, and now Khamenei or Mousavi depending on which side one is.

Shams / December 31, 2010 9:41 AM

Doc. sahimi called the rule of the late Shah as "illegitimate". That is solely idealogical and legally inaccurate. I was just looking at the archival documents of pahlavi rule and noticed the following:

1. Pahlavi's regime was the first ever dynasty where transfer of power from Qajar to Pahlavi occurred peacefully AND with the approval of the parliament.

2. Ahmad shah Qajar had flatly refused to return to iran from europe, saying that he was not crazy to leave the nice europe and live in iran; instead he had asked for his stipend to be increased.

3. Of 90 present members of the Parliament, 85 voted for Qajar to dissolve, 5 voted against it, one of them being Mosaddeq.

4. I also have Mosaddeq's speech in the parliament where he praises Reza Khan for what he had done for the country, but opposes the dissolution of Qajar.

5. What is important is that, Mosaddeq in his speech in Parliament, specifically mentions that the constitutional Monarch is entitled to "hire" AND "FIRE" the Prime minister! In other words, he acknowledges the later "legality" of his own dismissal by Mohammad Reza Shah in "counter" coup of 1953. Therefore the "illegitimacy" adjective that doc sahimi uses for the rule of either reza shah or mohammad reza shah is only a rhetoric and is void of any legal basis, even by what dr. mosaddeq himself believed well before 1953.

6. Also, later in 1953, Mosaddeq's cabinet warns him that the Shah could dismiss him if he dissolves the Parliament. Mosaddeq replies that if that happens, he would ignore the dismissal order! He does not say that shah could not (legally) dismiss him, rather that he would ignore the dismissal order.

One can easily see that the pattern of "disrespect for the law" was shared by both Mosaddeq (before 1953) and the Shah (after 1953 when he assumed more power). That disrespect for the law has been even more dramatic in islamic republic.

Shams / December 31, 2010 12:39 PM

Shams: the incoherency of your position lies in your comment "you despise Islamists" which I take to mean muslims in general because they are deceptive and everyone else isn't? Self-deception is not limited to any one group. I don't detest Monarchists but I don't think you will gain many converts, especially not the way you are going about it.
Thinking about 1953, it was a national tragedy in so many ways that are only becoming apparent now. The 'what ifs' of history. What if Mossedeq had tried to nationalise the oil in 1955 instead, after the death of Stalin. What if the Shah as an Iranian had backed his PM against his foreign guardians ,but he would have had in his mind what happened to his father with the British. Still the two combined might have seen off Kermit and his bunch.Pure speculation.

pirooz / December 31, 2010 10:57 PM


Copying a few pro Shah authors does your creditability wonders. You have nothing new to add to others here who don't always use their real name (Nillofar (who is a guy but uses a girl name), steps nose first into the scene..)

The obsessions of far Right with Dr. Sahemi can be the title of a book for psychiatric studies. (CR!).

Illegitimacy of the throne is from the notion as Illegitimacy of the veliayat vaghih. That is why your arguments are so similar to IR supporters

Is Mossadegh is the bad guy because he (the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran whilst fighting for Iran and Iranian tights) does not step down when Shah (a monarch who’s awarded the throne by blood and foreign intervention) tells him to?

Dr. Mossadegh and Dr. Fatemi will live in Iranian hearts as heroes. Shah as a coward, and Khamenei as a blood thirsty dictator. Future will name the rest. Let’s try and focus on this future instead of blaming each other for the events that we have no control over.

Dr. Sahimi’s article is an excellent piece of the current format of the government and for those of us who care about present and future, it looks that we have some positive signs that we are seeing a showdown, over accelerated after the last year’s uprising, which at its boiling point benefit the struggle for democracy in Iran.

Ali (UCLA) / December 31, 2010 11:37 PM

Ali: Now you show your lack of "historical" knowledge and "herd" mentality. Recent iranian history is full of lies which have been written to benefit certain groups. Same lies which brought us here. Doc sahimi's whole ideas are built on an unstable two-legged stool: (1) Pahlavis were bad and thus had to go "no matter" what, and (2) Islamic something is good and thus has to remain (and evolve) "not matter" what. That historical naivety and anger will bring us nowhere but where we exactly are. I do not know who far right you are talking about: some of these guys (like mirfetros and sedight) were imprisoned by the shah, yet they had so much honor that they placed their love for the country above their emotions and dislike for the pahlavis -- unlike doc sahimi -- and made the right choice, though fruitless. As much as a truthful history could be a guiding light, a false history can be equally deceiving. You only need to look at the text of dr. fatemi's speeches to see that he was no more than a thin khomeini then. Have you?

I end by "copying" a couple of quotes from close "friends" of dr. mosaddeq (although you and doc sahimi seem to be the bowl hotter than the soup, so to speak):

From Houshang kordestani (part of leadership of JM):

"شبی که بسیاری از رهبران جبهه‌ی ملی که عموماً با تصمیم صدیقی برای ملاقات با شاه و پذیرفتن نخست‌وزیری، مخالف بودند، برای شنیدن توضیحات دکتر صدیقی در خانه‌اش جمع شدند. دکتر صدیقی ضمن تأکید بر ضرورت ملاقات با شاه و پذیرفتن مقام نخست‌وزیری، از آینده‌ی سیاهی که در انتظار ایران است، چنین یاد کرد: «اگر من دارای وجاهت ملی هستم، نمی‌خواهم این وجاهت ملی را با خود به گور برَم… بدانید که با طرد و نفی مقام نخست‌وزیری از طرف ما، روزی خواهد آمد که شما در مرزهای بین‌المللی از آوردن نام ایران و ایرانی، خجل و شرمسار باشید.»

Dr. Sedighi was a true patriot who saw what was coming. Instead JM rejected dr. sedighi's plea and issued the following communique about Khomeini::

«اینک مردی می‌آید مردآسا، که قطره قطره‌ی خون درد‌کشیدگان وطن، در تنِ او جاری است و چکه‌چکه‌ی خون شهیدان، از قلب او فرو چکیده است. مردی که خاطره‌ی رنج یک ملت است و مژده‌ی رهاییِ همه‌ی ملت‌ها از رنج… ابَر‌مردِ زنده‌ی تاریخ می‌آید. مردی که همه، عزمِ راسخ است و همه، اراده‌ی پولادین… مردی چنین، دو بار نمی‌آید، در تمام طول حیات انسان، تنها همین یک‌بار است که خورشید از غرب به شرق می‌آید، خورشیدی که امانتِ شرق بود نزدِ غرب…»

People who have such an awful sense of judgement do NOT deserve anything better than the mullas, let alone the shah, either in 1953, in 1979, or now.

In your comment about the shah and mosaddeq, you do not seem to understand the importance of "rule of law" for all. It is your choice to endorse Mosaddeq's desire to behave above the law. If so, then anyone can act above the law and bring up reasons for it. That is neither a civil society nor a democracy which is built based on rule of law. If the laws are bad, they should be changed, rather than violating them encouraged. BTW, shah had no role in the government before 1953, so your allegations of shah was this and that does NOT apply to events of 1953.

Finally, a poem from the famous poet Shahryar about our Populist history that likes of you and doc sahimi have learned to base your judgements on:

«تاریخِ» ما، برای جهالت فزودن است
مأمور ِزشت کردن و زیبا نمودن است

Shams / January 1, 2011 2:19 AM


First of all, the copy and pasted quotes prove nothing and no meaning in this context. I guess you try to prove your points with quantity rather than quality and I wonder if you can read Farsi.

Your argument is that Dr. Mossadeg and Dr. Fatemi were against the law. In that case do you believe that all the kids in Iranian jails deserve to be there because they did not follow "the law"?

Also, do you think that laws can not be modified by the people's representatives to reflect their rights?

Please do answer.

Mossadegh simply did what was right for Iran with the parliament and nation behind him. Until he was betrayed by the far Right and CIA/Eisenhower. Wvehy can't you get over him? You hate him and Dr.Fatemi (God bless his soul)like "islamists" do!

Just as a reminder: In fact the golden age of Iran you brag so much about came about because Dr. Mossadegh fought and got our oil back which then spent by Mr. Shah. You should know that before the 2 years of international struggle Iran was earning less than 2% of the profits whilst after it increased to over 50%. When Iran finally became a rich and respected country after 300 years of loss and misery it was only because of Dr Mossadegh, Dr. Fatemi and the National Front.

The law of velaiate vaghigh comes from the law of shahan shah. The same exact meaning and implications.

Ali (UCLA) / January 1, 2011 5:55 AM

Ali: Why do you care if I cut and paste? I gave you references, mostly from reliable allies and friends of Mosaddeq. You should look at who the quotes come from and if they are truthful. Do you want me to write a book for you?

Yes, if the laws were followed, even the medieval laws of the islamic republic, then MOST (if not all) kids in jails would not be jailed; if any were jailed they would NOT be tortured and beaten and raped and killed; if they were, then they would have been allowed to see their lawyers and tell them what was happening; if they were NOT, according to IRI laws, they would be accused of a crime within a short period of time or released; if not, when they went to court, they would be allowed to defend themselves in front of a jury of their peers rather than a judge under orders from Intelligence services. All of these rights are part of the constitution and code of the Islamic Republic that are not followed. That is why they constantly, e.g., torture YET deny it, because it is unlawful to torture.

And if the whole islamic republic system failed to work, there would be ways to get out of this abyss peacefully even according to medieval laws of islamic republic. My answer is an Emphatic YES. Our problem has been that the ruling class, Mosaddeq, Shah, and Islamic Republic, were all assuming that they were above the law. In fact, not only there was nothing wrong with the constitution and laws of the Pahlavi regime, but it was quite progressive, except that the Shah and some people around him were not acting within the laws.

Yes, the laws of the nation can and should be changed, but according to the law and separation of Powers. An executive of the country (i.e., Mosaddeq) cannot change the laws; that is the responsibility of other representatives of the people -- the Parliament. The chaos that you are suggesting leads to the Islamic Republic where one person issues a decree or fatwa and suddenly laws of the country changes because he thinks that is good for something (for him, for country, for islam, etc). We have had that for the past 32 years.

You said: "Mossadegh simply did what was right for Iran with the parliament and nation behind him. "

That is incorrect: (1) How would the nation benefit from Mosaddeq breaking the law, creating a bad example of that, and leading to later events of 1953. That is an awful excuse since what is "right for iran" is in the eye of the beholder. Ahmadinejad is also claiming that what he is doing is right for iran. Who is to judge that? (2) the "Parliament" was NOT behind Mosaddeq, that is why he dissolved the Parliament. (3) The nation was suspected NOT to be behind him, that is why he conducted the referendum in the intimidating way that he did (truthfulness of it can be easily verified from archives of that period). I said above, only 100,000 voted in Tehran of 5 million poulation (I think the numbers are about right, but I need to double check them). That is only 2% of people. Tudeh Party and JM had more members/supporters than that!

The problem is that Mosaddeqies have not been telling us the whole story so they can benefit (personally as well as politically) from the Emamzadeh that they created.

As you see, I am equally critical of the Shah (because of his violations of the law) but that does not mean that I have to worship Mosaddeq, I believe that, had Mosaddeq succeeded and Shah dismissed, Tudeh Party Would have taken over from him and we would have fallen into Soviet orbit. Mind you that the complete name of the "coup" was operation TPAJAX, which means "cleaning Tudeh Party" (not Mosaddeq or JM). Soviet archives show that Tudeh Party had direct support from Soviets. Same goes for Dr. Fatemi; you can fall for the "populist" description of him, or just go and read the text of his speeches to see how he advocates serious violence for overthrow of Pahlavis. That is why he was executed later and other supporters of Mosaddeq were not. That is not how a clvil servant should behave.

As for your next to last paragraph, I already said that Mosaddeq did a lot of good for Oil nationalization and he should be respected for that. You expect me to paint people black or white (just like doc sahimi does). Real people are not like that. Mosaddeq also made very bad mistakes about Oil too, beyond what I can describe here. And your judgement about the Shah cannot be farther from the truth. BTW, Iran's share was not 2%, but 16% (although brits would cheat).

You have fallen for many decades of propaganda and distortion of history. Many many people wanted Shah out of the way; very very few of them for the good of the country, the rest for their own agenda. It is your choice to maintain that attitude (as doc sahimi does) or do your own reading and your own judgement with an open mind and seek the truth whatever it be.

Remember Shahryar:

تاریخِ ما، برای جهالت فزودن است
مأمور ِزشت کردن و زیبا نمودن است

Shams / January 1, 2011 10:56 PM

The law of velaiate vaghigh and "all the kids in Iranian jails" come from the fact that the likes of Doc Sahimi couldn't tell the difference between what they had and what they would have when kissing up to Khomeini.Almost 60 years after Mossadegh you people haven't come up with one single leader let alone one solution to lead Iran.It is simple,nothing comes from nothing.It would be advisable for you people to repent rather than your silly blame game and spreading lies about people.Take a look at yourselves in the mirror of history and ask yourselves a simple question,what have we done to our Iran?Could the Iranian people ever forgive us for misleading them?How can we make good so much lost, so many innocent lives?Reza Shah alone achieved so much with an empty pocket.He took a backward nation reminiscent of your Mossadegh's Qajar dynasty and put them on the road to progress.We are so sick and tired of reading your lies.

ShamsAdin / January 1, 2011 11:01 PM

ShamsAdin: agreed! In fact, now that we are talking about who comes from whom, reminds me that in fact Mosaddeq's extra-legal behavior (that Ali approves) directly led to shah's extra-legal dictatorship. People around mosaddeq wanted Pahlavis out of the way, some dreaming of return of Qajar, some (Tudeh) to turn iran into a socialist republic, and others for turning iran into a republic. The upper hand was in the hands of Tudeh from numbers point of view.

After 1953, shah realized that Mosaddeq/Tudeh would get rid of him unless he turned into a strong Shah (a dictator). There are many quotes from the shah (before 1953) stating that:

(1) I cannot behave outside the constitution.

(2) I do not care who runs the government as long as that person (a) Respects the constitution, and (b) Takes a position against the illegal Tudeh Party.

Shah repeats the above two statements many times to different people. Likes of dr. fatemi wanted to kill him and he said so in his speech. Fatemi had also angered with Mosaddeg for being too soft, yelling about Mosaddeq that: "this old man is going to get us all killed."

One major contribution of the shah was to dislodge the tudeh party. There is a YouTube video (that I cannot find now) that a leader of Tudeh (still alive) saying that they looked at Soviets like their big brother and would laugh at Nationalistic tendencies. Mind you that Tudeh members of Azarbayejan resigned and Joined "the democratic movement of azarbayejan" (Pishevari Party) to separate Azarbayejan from iran.

Shams / January 2, 2011 1:23 AM

Well I stand corrected, you have 1 convert anyway. Hooray!

pirooz / January 2, 2011 4:25 AM

First off, you are supposedly quoting Kordesnai and JM from the time of the 1979 revolution! And we were talking about Dr. Mossadegh and Dr. Fatemi from 40s and 50s.

Second, your implication that the kids in Iranian jails would have ended up just fine only if there were not raped or allowed visitation is satirical.

The kids were against "the law" of Rahbar/Shah with absolute power. No matter what they did or did not do, they would have ended up in jail for asking for their votes. That is the flawed "law" you are defending.

Ali (UCLA) / January 2, 2011 7:11 AM

Ali: You are right about VF extraordinary powers, BUT ask any lawyer and they will tell you that the added headache is that even those bad laws are NOT followed. Some as simple as I said: e.g., constitution requires a random "jury" to bring up verdict, not the judge. That by itself can make a BIG difference. Constitution does not allow torture, etc.

You are specially wrong about "where is my vote" stuff. Fraud in vote count is NOT in the IRI laws, so the kids who were asking for their votes, were indeed asking for correct implementation of the laws, nothing more.

I brought 1979 quotes because they involve the same characters who were around mosaddeq in 53.

Mosaddeq gave a speech in parliament, attacking then PM Razmara, saying that he (Mosaddeq) would kill him (Razmara) by his (Mosaddeq's) own hands. Months later Razmara was killed, and JM (Mosaddeq's party) joyed at his killing. They also joyed at the brutal killing of one of the most nationalistic and honorable iranians: the historian Ahmad Kasravi. This is the same JM whom you endear.

Imagine Foreign Minister of any western democratic Monarchy advocates killing of the King ("tekeh tekeh kardan"); what do you think happens then? I bet the FM is dismissed immediately and sent to prison. That is what dr. Fatemi said about the shah and Mosaddeq did not do anything about it.

It is your choice to live by the "line" of likes of doc sahimi who made BIG mistake of misjudging khomeini, or instead have an independent mind. I only say that the issues could be far more complicated than some people want us to believe.

A wise man (whose name I cannot remember) once said that: history is like a rear-view mirror. It helps you maneuver and avoid future accidents; but if the rear-view mirror is foggy or distorts the rear view, it can actually lead you to an accident, and someone can collect cash from your insurance. There are lots of opportunists (like mullas) who want to distort our rear view, so that they can benefit from our accidental mistakes. Exactly as Lefties and Mullas did (and Akbar Ganji attested to).

The poet Sadi has a story where someone sees the devil as a beautiful kind lady in his dream. He tells the devil: wow, people said you were ugly and mean, but you are so pretty and kind. The devil responds: that is what they say about me because they have the pen in hand not me. That is the story of mosaddeqi herd: they have had the pen but did not tell the full truth:

تو ای نیک بخت این نه شکل من است
ولیکن قلم در کفِ دشمن است

Shams / January 2, 2011 9:59 AM

So you think that once Rahbar said the vote was good. The kids were still protected under IR "laws"? That is the major flaw in your argument.

Ali (UCLA) / January 2, 2011 10:28 PM

If the laws were followed "the kids" would not have been arrested to begin with. Demonstrations ARE allowed under IRI constitution. The problem is that the Leader has extra-legal authorities, and he and others can go haywire anytime, just like Mosaddeq did and you approved..

You need to read IRI constitution to see its flaws as well as its protections for the people that are ignored.

آنان که بی‌مطالعه تقریر می‌کنند
خوابِ ندیده‌ای است که تعبیر می‌کنند

Shams / January 3, 2011 12:55 AM

And I have to quote:

"The problem is that the Leader has extra-legal authorities, and he and others can go haywire anytime, just like Mosaddeq did and you approved.. "

I think you meant to say how Shah did!

First off, Dr. Mossadegh never went haiwire. Please cite historical facts if you dare to so shamelessly try to distort the man's legacy with your dreams.

Iranians had more rights including freedom of expression in the few years of Dr.Mossadegh's tenure than all of Qajar, Pahlavi and IR combined.

How can you ignore the fact that Dr. Mossadegh was the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran and compare him to Rahbar whose authority is in no way based on people's votes. Rahbar is only same as you dear Shah with all the "extra-legal" authority.

Our struggle has been and will be about true democracy and having a vote. Shahs and Rahbar are only the Zahhaks of the story standing in the way of the people.

Ali (UCLA) / January 3, 2011 5:25 AM

OMG! What on earth have we been talking about so far then, that after all the references and quotes that I gave you, you come back and ask if "Leili was a male or a female"! No wonder you are a fan of doc sahimi.

Come on Ali, are you a UCLA student? You should be much smarter than that to ask such a question after all our back and forth discussion. Or at least should wait until you do your own reading and research on the subject.

Yes, Mosaddeq, Shah, and Vali-Faghih ALL went haywire when it suited them: that is when they behaved extra-legal, breaking the law. The only difference is that for VF that is part of the constitution, for Mosaddeq and Shah it was not.

Freedom of expression during Mosaddeq? You must be kidding me! Are you aware of the press law that he passed that limited what press could say?

Are you aware of the "extra-legal" powers that he asked for himself to issue decrees in place of laws passed by the Parliament, first for a period of 6 months, and then for another year?

Do you know about the "قانون امنیت اجتماعی" that he came up with to create a Savak-like organization to clean up army from his opponents?

These are all documented and many of Mosaddeq's colleagues in JM objected to them.

No offense, but you do not know much about Mosaddeq except for hearsay that likes of doc have been feeding you for their own agenda.

See these quotes from friends/colleagues of Mosaddeq in JM:

"Mosaddeq has not left any freedom of action for anyone; in the shadow of his police and army forces, he has imprisoned his opponents and has shut down free press", Haeri zadeh, one of founders of Jebhe Melli writes in a letter to UN chief, published in Ettelaat on 18 Mordad 1332.

"These are dailies which are not allowed to publish. This is the legal document to stop them from publishing," dr. fatemi to Mahramali Khan, the censor chief.

"This press law [by dr. Mosaddeq] has only one line missing: that anyone who publishes [what we don't like] will be immediately shot," Dr. Baghaee.

"This press law [by dr. mosaddeq] will lead to collapse of dr. mosaddeq's regime," Hamedani, editor of pro-Mosaddeq daily Kavian.

Do you know what "democratically elected" means in Mosaddeq's case? Shah "appointed" mosaddeq as PM, the Parliament approved him. Then shah dismissed him and he did not want to go. So shah sent Nasiri to force him out of office. Nobody voted for Mosaddeq directly, except for the parliament to "approve" him, the same Parliament that he later dissolved so it would not vote for his dismissal.

Here are some of other achievement of dr. Mosaddeq (all can be verified): Closing down of mixed-gender schools, closing down of liquor stores, opposing bill giving voting rights to females, unauthorized and secret printing of 312 million toman bills without any treasury backing (a financial scandal of that time),...

Shah learned all the tricks of the trade from Mosaddeq and then perfected them. Shah before 1953 was a young inexperienced king who had no role in the governance of the country. Even the army and police reported to Mosaddeq in his second term. Shah was nobody and Mosaddeq was everybody before 1953. Mosaddeq had even cut shah's personal expense fund significantly. Queen Soraya writes in her memoirs that shah was so afraid of over-night attack by Tudeh/Mosaddeq forces to the Palace to kill him that he would not go to bed without a pistol under his pillow.

Again, Mosadeeq did a lot of good for oil nationalization but he had many flaws and made lots of mistakes. He was NO Chelo-Kabob, he was only a delicious cheese sandwich! Whoever has been selling you Mosaddeq as a Chelo Kabob Soltani, has indeed been cheating you with a cheese sandwich and pocketing the price difference!

Weren't you listening to me saying that our history has been full of lies, about both Mosaddeq and the Shah for benefit of many opportunists who wanted to "be" the new Shah.

Before you get as emotionally wired up as doc sahmi, take a trip to Ketab Corp in LA and get a book on Mosaddeq from a respected author. They have a few. Be warned that books on Oil nationalization usually do not include much about governance style of Mosaddeq, but others do.

آنکس که نداند و نداند که نداند

Shams / January 3, 2011 8:40 AM

There is no point in wasting time talking to someone who has no understanding of history. Seems like you have been schooled in your mom's kitchen and make up your own history since the written history is full of "lies"! Your self righteousness fails you in every sentence, and as I pointed out, your argument is simply flawed no matter how many insults and dreams you wrap it in.

Ali (UCLA) / January 3, 2011 8:15 PM

Yeah! After so many references that I have given from people who knew mosaddeq personally, and you provided none, you conclude that I do not know history and you do!

You have the same issues that likes of doc sahimi have: you have believed convenient and pleasant lies for so long that those lies have become part of your fabric of neurons and you have to defend them no matter what. That is why you show anger, frustration, and insult when you find yourself short of logic. Just like when the logical mind of doc sahmi cannot explain the paradox of simultaneous "hating of shah" and "loving of mousavi" and can only show anger and frustration.

Max Planck, the famous Physicist said: "When a new idea is presented in physics, there are many objectors and non-believers. At the end, that idea is accepted as correct, not because non-believers changed their minds, but because they aged and passed away."

آنکس که نداند و نداند که نداند
در جهل مرکب ابد الدهر بماند

Shams / January 3, 2011 9:15 PM

Sahms thank you for your information.I personally learned a lot.I verified your information as much as I could and they are spot on.I am blessed with elder memebers in my family who are knowledgeable about the past who verified most of the information you provided.I am determined to get my hands on some books to read more about it in detail.What would you recommend?Perhaps you should have your own articles to correct these lies.I would like you to give it some serious thoughts.Thank you again.

ShamsAdin / January 3, 2011 11:41 PM

ShamsAdin: Thank you! I only seek truth and I am willing to change my mind any time on dr. mosaddeq or anyone else if new information becomes available to prove me wrong. I think it was Nietzsche (if I am not mistaken) who said "an open-minded person visits all houses of thoughts but never takes residence in any." I try to never take residence in any ideological house. I think the main reason that we are where we are, with no hope of relief in sight, is that we were lied to about anything and everything, about our past and about our future, and about our religion and about our history, and we accepted what we were told and now shy away from knowing the inconvenient facts; we are fearful of hearing the unpleasant truth.

As for books, I always start by looking at the credibility of author to see if I can trust him and if he has any agenda besides telling me facts. I usually do not read pro-shah or pro-mosaddeq books for the same reason. I find books by academics more appealing and there are lately several. Memoirs of various people from that period helps too, but the information there is scattered, and it is VERY difficult for them to criticize dr. mosaddeq due to his continued idolatrous popularity. I brought a few authors in my earlier comments above. Despite what was said above about dr. mirfetros by another commenter, I think he is an honorable man who tries to be fair to dr. mosaddeq as well as to iranian history and iranians:

Dr. Matini has a critical book. He was Head of Literature department of Mashhad University (during shah's period?), so he can be accused of being biased, but the evidence that he presents are very helpful. One can always ignore his opinions if desired:

Pro-mosaddeq authors Foad Rohani's "Zendegi Siasi Mosaddegh dar Matne Nehzate Melli Iran" as well as Mohammad Ali Movahed's "Khabe Ashofteh Naft" can be found in iranian bookstores. They are both good books.

Ardeshir Zahedi's memoirs are also valuable since he had a personal presence in all of these but can be accused of being pro-shah.

There are also many memoirs of likes of Makki and Maleki and Sanjabi and other friends and ex-friends of mosaddeq which can give bits and pieces like the ones brought above; some books are difficult to find.

As I said, the books exclusively on Oil nationalization usually do not focus on other aspects of Mosaddeq's political life and give a positive view of dr. Mosaddeq -- which they probably should with regard to Oil.

I am very sorry for the lengthy chain of comments that I made, but I detest worshipping any idols, no matter how many and for how long have they been worshipped; and one thing led to another...

توانا بود هر که دانا بود
ز دانش دل پیر برنا بود

Shams / January 4, 2011 1:58 AM