A mystery unravelled
What is it that keeps the IRI in place?
February 13, 2004
Twenty-five years of uninterrupted Iranian autocratic
theocracy confront us with a basic question: How a group of incompetent
corrupt lower ranking clerics
were able to survive the demise of their charismatic "Imam" and
keep the Iranian people under their thumbs for such a long period of time?
Indeed , the IRI accumulated miseries upon miseries all over
these years: Eight years of bloody war; more than 40.000 political
in its two first
years; political and economic mismanagement; quasi-isolation of the country
; millions unemployed; population doubled; annual double-digit inflation;
numerous citizens forced to have more than one job
in order to make ends meet; women discriminated against; extensive
level of society; gross violations of human rights; assassination of opponents
both within and without; students unrest and revolt; soaring
crime; wide drug use; helping terrorist organizations; and so
For years specialists have predicted the IRI's imminent end.
Yet it is still alive (if not totally well ) and functioning .
It is true
that Islamic law is not anymore enforced with Khomeini's strictness . But
it still is the law of the country and the thugs employed by the regime
time to time on rampage in order to enforce it . Many travelers tell that
is brewing and the regime is poised on the threshold of collapse.
Then what is it that keeps it in place? Resignation of the poverty-stricken
people? Formidable secret police? Special security groups such as Pasdaran
(guardians of the revolution) or Bassiji ( armed volunteers)? Will of
Allah? Ability of the mullahs to pit lesser satans against the
great one? Etc. Etc.
To be sure, some of these elements have played in favor of the
mullahs. But they cannot account for the long survival of their
Who is the culprit in this mystery?
I think I have found the real "saviors" of the IRI.
They are a quartet of European nations, namely: England, France,
Germany and Russia. The governments of these countries have invented
a new diplomatic
fiction dubbed "constructive dialogue" in order to isolate not
the IRI but the U.S. and to conduct profitable business with
They have encouraged fanciful analyzes of the
political situation according
which the "smiling" president
Khatami is a "reformer" opposed to the "stern" conservative
Khamenei. Their most recent "redeeming" intervention happened
on october 21 , 2003, when the British, German and French
foreign ministers flew
to Tehran and convinced Khamenei to allow IAEA to inspect Iranian
On February 11, 2004, the Iranian regime handed out hundreds
of placards of its leaders and friends to the hired demonstrators
of the 25th
anniversary of Khomeini's ascent to power. I was amazed
not to find among them the portraits of Blair, Chirac, Schroeder
O, ungrateful mullahs!
Fereydoun Hoveyda was Iran's ambassador to the United Nations
from 1971 to 1978. To learn more about the Hoveydas, visit their
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