Morphing a Theocracy

An alternative to those disillusioned by the breadth of poor political choices available


Morphing a Theocracy
by LalehGillani

There is election fever in the air, not in Iran but on The mounting excitement transmitted through a number of consecutive articles and a barrage of favorable comments has been contagious. Iran’s reform movement has been mobilized to silence the critics and downplay the significance of daunting issues.

The showdown, however, doesn’t appear to be between the opposing candidates from the conservative camp and the Reforms Front. Here, on, the face-off is between those seeking to rehabilitate the Islamic Republic of Iran and the political activists in quest of overthrowing the regime. After all, the prevalent fear amongst the reformists isn’t losing an election by large or small margins. Quite to the contrary! What keeps the reformists awake at night is the forfeiture of the underlying premise that a theocracy can be morphed into a democracy by gradual reforms imposed through theatrical elections.

The missing ingredients as advocated by the reform movement are patience and perseverance, but an ironclad commitment to the unconditional survival of the Islamic Republic of Iran is also evident. The benefits of such approach are explained to be multifaceted, the least of which is the peaceful transition of power from one camp to another.

Accordingly, after every election cycle, the fate of our nation is placed either in the hands of the hardliners or the reformists, resulting in revolving periods of death and destruction followed by relative redress and recovery. This solution, we are reminded, is preferable to the alternative: total death and destruction without periods of relief or, God forbid, contemplating a secular democracy without the mullahs.

Since the former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in an article published on, pledged to safeguard and protect human life and dignity, his ability to uphold such a commitment based on past performances has been scrutinized. As a result, the reform movement is hampered by those disheartening bygone years as it struggles to thread its way through the current election. Amongst the controversial subjects brushed under the rug is a pair of inconvenient reminders that refuse to fade away: The leaders of the reform movement are not dissidents but rather government insiders whose career trail leads to the massacres of political prisoners in 1980’s while their financial interests are traceable to the daily looting of our national wealth.

Unable to address such issues, the reform movement has either downplayed the enormity of such crimes or simply asked the critics to comprehend the circumstances under which such crimes have occurred. Nonetheless, whether out of sheer incompetence, absolute helplessness, or blatant criminality, the reformist leaders have become a material liability for the movement.

To revitalize the public persona of its leaders, the reform movement has capitalized on Iran’s current state of affairs only to remind the nation that last time one of their own held the Office of the Presidency, the conditions were more tolerable and prosperous. Not surprisingly, after hailing Ayatollah Khatami’s era, the reformists are dumbfounded by any attempt to spoil his accomplishments or dispute his effectiveness. Although the historical conditions that necessitated the emergence of the reform movement in Iran are often overlooked, in the light of the current election, a rudimentary understanding of those years is long overdue.

In essence, there were two political and social circumstances that attributed to the rise of the reform movement in Iran: First, the mounting opposition and discontent with the regime amongst the upper and middle class Iranians became apparent to Shi'a intellectuals who feared for the future of Islam in Iran. Second, the brutality of the regime after the massacres of 1980’s and the chain killings of 1990’s left absolutely no room whatsoever for possible expressions of political dissent.

Consequently, any twinkle of opposition had to emerge from within the establishment to withstand mullahs’ wrath, to boast of any likelihood of survival, and finally to live to tell the tale. Once this phenomenon was born, political activists seized the opportunity to form NGOs and human rights organizations to combat the regime. As a result, the successful election of Mohammad Khatami to become the fifth president of Iran was not the cause but rather the effect of the reformists’ mobilization.

Another controversy plaguing the reform movement is the vetting process through which presidential candidates are permitted to enter the race. Deriving the selection criteria from Article 115 of Iran’s constitution, the Guardian Council hand-selects only candidates with “religious and political personalities” who have demonstrated their belief in “the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official religion of the country.” Simply put, with a single stroke of their pen, the members of Guardian Council eliminate all opposition candidates but retain “the faithful.” Believe it or not, even the reform movement is struggling to legitimize this mockery as an election but stops short of withdrawing from it.

Regardless of the upcoming election’s outcome on June 12, 2009, the reform movement remains to be a decisive force in reining the masses on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in shaping the regime’s chances of survival. As hardliners eye the Office of the Supreme Leader and consolidate the Faqih’s hold on the armed forces, Iran’s moderate Shi'a clergy is pushing the limits to test our nation’s resolve and thirst for fundamental, meaningful changes in economic, social, and political arenas. At the same time, the reformist leaders are assessing the tolerance of the hardliners with cautious overtures to share the levers of authority before it is too late. In other words, the reformist candidates are asking our nation to place one of them at the helms of power out of sheer desperation and utter apprehension of the alternatives.

Today, running on a reform agenda but hand in hand with the hardliners, the leaders of the reform movement, having benefited from the imprisonment and murder of political activists throughout the country, have apparently emerged as the only viable alternative to the merciless inquisitors of Tehran. Simultaneously, in league with their blood brethren, the reformist leaders have also looted the country lock, stock and barrel and pocketed the fruits of our labor while the populace is destitute and distraught.

Once again, Iranian political activists are outwitted to follow the mullahs’ lead. Once again, the nation is bamboozled into placing their fate and future in the hands of the Shi'a clergy. Once again, Iranians are told to choose between the bad and the ugly. Once again, we are gambling with our future and blindly settling for a change, any change.

Meanwhile, the temporary, lax and jubilant election environment has been seized by few political activists to form a coalition encompassing grassroots organizations that represent pro-democracy groups from all walks of life. The Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran (SDHRI) has brought together organizations dedicated to the causes of women and workers while unifying secular movements such as the United Students Front, the Association of Liberal and Nationalist University Students, and Democratic Front of Iran. Additionally, our nation’s best and brightest legal scholars, human rights advocates, and seasoned patriots have joined forces to offer an alternative to those disillusioned by the breadth of poor political choices available.

The seed for this solidarity was planted by Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh in 1944, but the sapling was axed down long before it poked through the darkness. There, in obscurity, it lay dormant, spreading its roots silently but determinedly. Sixty five years later, after the failure of all flavors of Islam in Iran and after the collapse of all communist organizations, our path has taken us full circle to that seed, to that sapling, to that dream.

It is due time to nurture this sapling with light and guard it with our blood…

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Masoud Kazemzadeh for his informative and timely article: "Prospects and Obstacles: Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran"


more from LalehGillani

If Democracy is the aim then we are not that different

by Mehrban on

Niloufar, Laleh and all

What I mean by Islamic Reformist (reference to a question below) is a person who wants change and who is at the present connected (in position or in spirit) to the structure of the Islamic Republic.  Is the end game in their reform an inclusive democracy which allows for the participation of all in the political process or their reform aims at a more tolerant Islamic Republic?  (This is a key question for me)

The reason why I ask this is that there is an incredible intellectual capital in all camps that may have democracy as their ultimate goal. There is also tremendous energy spent in discrediting one another where goals may not be that different.  

If the purpose is Democracy and the ones going that direction (be it at different paces in the present), maybe  some could give up the idea of armed uprising for a strong coalition with democracy seeking reformists.  And others may entertain non-violent alternatives in place of being lead by the current of the Islamic Republic.  It is my understanding that such a coalition has already started to take shape in Iran.

Niloufar I don't know exactly how long it took for France 200 years ago to achieve democracy, we know so much more now than they did then. What I know is that Germany after WWII took twelve years to build itself back to a world economic power.  I think given the population and the demographics of Iran and the policies of the Islamic Republic, we may be headed where we may not want to go.  And without a coalition of our democratic minded, incredibly smart and resourceful but presently divided groups at some point we would no longer be able to turn this ship around.  

مسعود از امریکا

مسعود جان (کاظم زاده)

مسعود از امریکا

من با تمام نظرات شما موافقم - امیدوارم که دوستان و هم وطنان، با این ایران کنونی ما قانع نبوده، و همانطور که فرمودید، در اخر و عاقبت، ایران بزرگ ما را به وجود اورند ... در ضمن، نکته شما در مورد قاتی کردن دین و مذهب، با حکومت و سیاست کاملا درست می باشد - من این قطعه کوتاه را چند وقت پیش در این مورد نوشته ام، که امیدورارم از ان خوشتان بیا ید:

قاتی کردن دین و مذهب، با حکومت و سیاست

ممنونم ... موفق باشید!




Mr. Kazemzadeh

by Sassan (not verified) on

You are 100% correct, we should stick to this issue at hand, namely, the pre-determined "ballot-box" face-lift of a decaying and morally bankrupt dictatorship that is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is really not a republic per se (jomhoori-e-Islami), but rather, a hokoomat-e-Islami.

This illegitimate regime, the IRI, is so over-the-top paranoid, it spends millions upon millions each year on propaganda (some of the characters on this site most likely see some of that money). They know all too well that the vast majority of Iranians despise the essence and creation of the system of Velayat-e-faghigh, which is a noose around the neck of the Iranian nation.

Why should anyone vote when the system itself has NO legitimacy. It is a system that survives on fear and oppression. How could it have any shred of legitimacy when bloggers are killed, journalists murdered, intellectuals harassed and assasinated -- how could we bring ourselves so low to vote for a system that allows such barbaric criminality?

These instances of criminal behavior on the part of the clerical regime are systematic -- they are not isolated incidents. They happen whether Khatami is president or Ahmadinejad or Rafsanjani.

In the order of the old clinton slogan ("it's the economy, stupid"), one can't help say, "it's the system, stupid! If a tree is poisenous, its fruits will also be poison. Nothing could be more true with respect to these so-called "reformist" candidates = fresh faces of poison designed to give new life to the poisonous system.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Dear Masoud az America

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear friend Masoud jaan,

I honor and respect your love of Iran. The aspect of those arguments that love Iran and protects its independence and current territorial integrity, I 100% support.

The way I see history progress is that many ethnic groups wish to have a state of their own. Hence the disintegration of many empires in the previous few hundred years. I do not see the desirability of Iran trying to re-capture Armenia or Georgia, or Uzbekistan, or Tajiskistan, or those of Iranian connections in China, among others.

However, we also observe that after many years of each ethnic groups having its own nation-state, many try to create broader confederation such as the European Union.

Therefore, what I like to see is the Step 1, we free Iran from the clutches of the ruling dictatorship. Step 2 will be a the creation of a democratic constitution for a truly secular and democratic republic. Once there exists a legitimate, modern, pluralistic system in Iran, we will get economic progress, cultural renaissance, huge scientific and literary advancements. Then, those who have a cultural affinity with us, would begin to get close to us. Initially it will be cultural, and economic. Gradually other bonds will develop. With those that it would be possible, we should create a confederation. This confederation modeled after the EU will be 100% voluntary and begins with cultural and economic exchanges.

At this juncture, there is a brutal regime in Iran that terribly discriminates against so many Iranians. Some based on their religion, some based on their other attributes. Even among Persian Shia, there is the apartheid of khodi and gheir-e khodi. This reactionary discriminatory system has caused huge amounts of tensions and resentments in Iran. Our wonderful Kurds or Balochis feel discriminated and alienated because of these discriminations.

In my humble opinion, there is an urgent task to save our country from the fundamentalist rulers who are brutalizing our people. This is our urgent task. In my view, we have many different kinds of tendencies among our population: religious, ethnic, linguistic, political, and degrees of religiosity, and no religion at all. The only way we all can live together is to establish a pluralistic democratic system whereby no one will impose his or her ways onto others. So, in the post-fundamentalist Iran, there should not be any state religion. So, someone can be Zartoshti, another Sunni, another Bahai, another Shia, etc. A Shia might be very observant, while another a different version, while others may decide to abandon their religion totally. Religion would be 100% a private matter in the post-fundamentalist Iran. The problem today is that the ruling oligarchy has turned Islam into a political ideology. This has proven to be harmful for Islam, for clerics, and for the Iranian people. This error was made by other religions in history as well. They learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, our scholars and our intellectuals did not understand the mortal danger of mixing religions and state. This is not only the fault of Khomeini but also others (Dr. Shariati, etc). Europeans learned their valuable lesson during the Inquisition and thus they gave rise to the Enlightenment. Perhaps, our people and intellectuals are going through this process. The past 30 years have been truly horrific and painful for the Iranian people.

The urgent question of the day is to save our beloved Iran from the utter destruction wrought by the ruling fundamentalist fanatic extremists. Thus, loving Iran is wonderful and necessary, but we have to acknowledge the fears and hopes of others. It is through such pluralism that we could gradually over many decades increase the cultural bonds between all those who love Iran.






to Ali1234

by Jimmy (not verified) on

Dear Sir,

There is no written proof of Mousavi's direct involvement in 1988 massacre. But please read the following regarding the setup of the special commission for the executions of summer 1988:

"In Tehran the special commission for the executions had 16 members representing the various authorities of the Islamic government - Imam Khomeini himself, the president, the chief prosecutor, the Revolutionary Tribunals, the Ministries of Justice and Intelligence, and the administration of Evin and Gohar Dasht, the two prisons in the Tehran area from which the prisoner were eliminated. The chair of the commission was Ayatollah Eshraqi."

So there were 2 members representing the Ministers of Justice and Intelligence sitting in the special commission, during the time Mousavi was Prime Minister of Iran.

Can you please explain how Mousavi could not be aware of the presence of people directly under the orders of his Cabinet in such a specific commission, while he had daily or weekly meetings with his Ministers, the President, and even the Rahbar himself?

This may not mean that he was involved or responsible in the planning or execution, but it definitely means that he knew of the facts, he was aware while they were happening and he has not yet spoken 21 years after the facts.

This is why his sincerity is under question.


Mr. Kazemzadeh, what about Karroubi?

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

i am actually a Mehdi Karroubi supporter. i think he is the best of both worlds.


Who else wants the IRI to survive?

by Anonymousu8 (not verified) on

You become a pawn in their game. But more importantly, you will legitimize their main goal which is to protect and preserve the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It's not only the reformers who want to prserve the IRI but the entire EU, US, and the Russians. The secular democrats in Iran are up against not only the hardliners, reformers, but also those countries mentioned above.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Questions for Ali1234

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on


1. Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the mass executions in 1988. Do you condemn Khomeini for the mass executions in 1988? Yes or no.



2. Female political prisoners were raped before their executions in 1981-83 and in 1988.  Do you condemn Khomeini and the nezam velayat faghih for the mass rape of female political prisoners?  Yes or no. 




Referencing the written transcripts of the meetings on what to do with the universities for the Cultural Revolution, Soroush says that Mir Hussein Mossavi promoted the use of mass violence by the people. Link to the report:




3. Do you condemn Moussavi use of violence against students and professors during the Cultural Revolution in 1980? Yes or no.



I look forward to your honest answers.




مسعود از امریکا

مسعود جان (کاظم زاده)

مسعود از امریکا

ممنونم از لطفت در مورد نظرت که در زیر گذاشتی - متوجه شدم که گرایش تو بیشتر طرف جبهه ملی، و عقاید و فلسفه مرحوم دکتر مصدق می باشد ... گفتم با این فرصتی که لاله جان فراهم کرده، یکی دو مورد راجع به فلسفه ایران بزرگ هم باهات در میان بگذارم:

اگر که وقت کردی، به این سه (٣) بلاگ یک نگاهی بیانداز:

ایـران بزرگ - ایرانشهـر سوم

ايــران بـزرگ: ایران، تاجیکستان، ازبکستان، اذربایجان، کردستان، و غیره

اتحاد ملی - بین ایــرانیان

در ضمن، بد نیست که یک نگاهی به نظرات دوستان هم بیاندازید - اگر سوالی در هر مورد داشتید، حتما با من در میان بگذارید - قربان شما ... دوباره از لاله جان می خواهم تشکر کنم که این فرصت گفته گو را با دوستان فراهم کرده - ممنونم دوباره!



Masoud Kazemzadeh

Jamshid jaan

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Jamshid,

Thank you for your kind words.  

I am soooooooooo proud of Laleh, for her intellect and her standing up to fundamentalist thugs. She is a true Shirzan Iran Zamin.  Despite efforts by pro-fundamentalist thugs to intimidate her into silence, she continues to use logic to defeat them again and again and again.   




Masoud Kazemzadeh

Questions for Dariush

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on


1. Do you condemn Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a violent dictator? Yes or no.

2. Do you support Khomeini? Yes or no.

3. Do you condemn Khamenei as a violent dictator? Yes or no.

4. Do you condemn Moussavi’s for being the 3rd highest ranked official of a regime that killed thousands upon thousands of people? Yes or no.

5. Do you condemn Moussavi for his role in the use of violence during the Cultural Revolution when they attacked students, and professors and killed soooooooo many? Yes or no?

I look forward to your HONEST answers.


Masoud Kazemzadeh

Dear Parham, Sassan, and FAIR:

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Parham, Sassan, and FAIR:

Now is not the time, and this thread is not the place to discuss the 1953 coup, Abrahamian and Kinzer. As someone who has published reviews of the works of both of them and knows them personally, I would be glad to discuss the subject matter and the contributions and shortcomings of each.


Kazemzadeh, Masoud. 2009. "Nukes, Options and Liberalism: US-Iran Confrontation," In Middle Eastern Studies. 45(1): 135-147. For a very critical analysis of an article by Kinzer.


Kazemzadeh, Masoud. 2004. "The CIA Coup in Iran." Middle East Policy. 11(4): 122-129. For a positive critique of Kinzer’s book.


Kazemzadeh, Masoud. 1996. "Review essay of Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic." Middle East Policy. 4(3): 161-165. For a critique (both positive and negative) of Abrahamian.




Right NOW, our primary enemy is the ruling fascist fundamentalist terrorist regime. Past should be guide to help us chart our future. History should not handicap us, it should not cause our collective suicide. We have a mortal enemy that is oppressing and brutalizing our people and if not gotten rid of will cause the destruction of our people, and the disintegration of our beloved Iran.

We need to concentrate ALL our time, energy, and efforts to attack the fundamentalist terrorist regime and counter its supporters in this site and elsewhere.

There are plenty of other opportunities (time and place) to have our discussions and analyses on what happened 56 years ago. Only FAIR wrote something that is relevant to our struggle when he exposed pro-regime charlatans who criticize the US for harming our democracy in 1953, but these same fundamentalist charlatan keep their mouths shut about the role of Ayatollah Kashani, Ayatollah Brujerdi, Fadaian Islam, Akhund Taghi Falsafi and even Khomeini and these same fundamentalist charlatans do NOT condemn the ruling regime for being a zillion times more oppressive in 2009 than the Shah was after the coup.

I would like to plead [khahesh] with all to postpone this discussion to after the election and in its own thread. NOW and in this place, we should concentrate all our efforts to achieve our main goal: undermining the fundamentalist supporters who want to deceive the people.








The Downside of Voting

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

ms. Gillani, i think I might be learning something finally on this website. you say:

"With your vote, you will be buying into what the reform movement is selling."

how can you telling me what i would be buying into after i vote? i don't have to buy into anything. why does voting make it so?

so, I really don't know what you mean. are you just worried about me and people like me actually having some new beliefs after voting? you really think the game plan is to make me believe in a theocracy just because i voted? why does a totalitarian regime care about what i think at all?


Dear Laleh Gillani

by jamshid on

I read your intelligent and well written analysis. I'd like to thank you for having spent the time to put this together. This is one of the best articles I have read on this subject in a long time.

Do not be disheartened by the negatives comments against you (and against your principles, i.e. secular democracy). Not all, but  most of these comments come from regime supporters. And this is not the first time that regime supporters have gotten intimidated by a well written article and ganged together to diminish its effects. It is their usual method.

It seems that you know them well. I say this because you replied to their noise with calm while keeping your composure and focus. This disarms these "hochigars" and make them so desparate to go as far as calling you a neocon or other things, which in turn exposes their real faces.

I will email this article to a dozen other activists who may not have the opportunity to read it in this site. I am sure they will email it to other activists as well.

There are a few important things I need to discuss with you and Dr. Kazemzadeh regarding SDHRI, perhaps in another time.

P.S. Dr. Kazemzadeh: You have made many good and valid points in your comments, some of them worthy of a blog of their own. I look forward to more hopeful news in the near future. Please keep us posted.



by Ali1234 (not verified) on

"Yet, there are those who admit to his responsibility but put an interesting spin to it: “So what? He has evolved!”"

That's not true. No one says that about Mir Hossein Mousavi.

And there is absolutely no evidence slightly suggesting that he was in any way involved in the mass executions. if you say that he was, the burden of proof is entirely on you.



by Dariush (not verified) on

You said,
I don’t believe that the only criterion for change is a new revolution. However, realistically speaking, mullahs won’t give up power without an armed confrontation. In the final stages of our struggle, we must be ready to face them with force.

I say,
So revolution is not the only criterion for change. We have other options in your opinion, such as armed confrontation. Interesting.
This is not a child play, armed confrontation has been tried and failed. You will be disarmed by losing both your arms. I don't see how bringing up such an idea and prediction for tomorrow, helps the nonviolent movement today.

You said,
Iranian Political activism has drastically changed in the last thirty years. From the time when a handful of guerrillas set out to overthrow the government, political activism has matured into non violent forms of resistance. NGOs, human rights organizations, women’s groups, workers organizations, bloggers, and students’ resistance are only some of the ways political activists are fighting the regime.

I say,
Yes, Iranian political activists have matured. Question is, Have you matured?
If you support such activists and they have decided to vote for the reformist nominees, despite being imperfect, don't you think they must know something you don't? After all they are there fighting and paying the price everyday. Are you suggesting that these organizations should think as you do?

You said,
We must continue this trend and stay on this course simply because the secular, pro-democracy movement is young and fragile. We can’t risk a direct confrontation with the regime at this time.

I say,
I agree, but it seems to me that the reason you get along with the nonviolent resistance for now, is simply because of the shortage of guerrilla fighters in your camp, not believing in such movements. Otherwise, you wouldn't mind a bloody civil war despite knowing who will have casualties in this confrontation.

You criticize Dr. Mosaddegh for NOT USING force against the oppositions and traitors who collaborated with west, thugs who used knives and sticks to fight the government after the revolution, then you criticize IRI for USING force against the opposition who used bomb,guns,knives and more to fight the government after the revolution. You call them thugs and called these heroes. That is contradiction.

I think one of the best aspects of Dr. Mosaddegh's legacy is that he didn't sacrifice human rights, freedom and democrocy for the sake of his government. As one misconduct may lead to another, as we saw in Shah and IRI. If we think he should have used force, then we cannot criticize IRI for doing so. As i said once before, what happened in 1979 was based on lessons learned from 1953 revolution, but it went too far because one misconduct led to another.

I think we can do better without any bloodshed. what we need are better ideas.


What is Revenge?

by LalehGillani on

Anonym7 wrote: “Ayhab, she does not have any alternative. Several of us asked her the very same question. She is fixated on revenge, that is one area that she has been very articulate in many places, e.g.: She says: "At the end, it will be up to political activists such as me to rein the anger of the masses and their thirst for revenge… The day will come that I will be standing up for the rights of people like you! "

The reformists advocate that Mir-Hossein Mousavi didn’t have any role in the massacres of political prisoners in 1980’s. Some reformists say that he couldn’t stand up to the hardliners; others claim that he didn’t know anything about the murders.

Yet, there are those who admit to his responsibility but put an interesting spin to it: “So what? He has evolved!” I repeat what I have said in other threads: You can’t evolve out of the responsibility of committing or being an accomplice to mass murders.

Protecting someone’s rights doesn’t equal to revenge. It is entirely the opposite of revenge!


The Downside of Voting

by LalehGillani on

Anonymous8 wrote: “the question was what is the DOWN SIDE of voting? can i vote and still believe in change? is this allowed?”

With your vote, you will be buying into what the reform movement is selling. You become a pawn in their game. But more importantly, you will legitimize their main goal which is to protect and preserve the Islamic Republic of Iran.

What type of change will you still believe in after you have voted for “let’s morph a theocracy into a democracy through theatrical elections?” In other words, what type of change are you allowed to dream of when the candidate you have voted for carries the Guardian Council’s seal of approval?

After voting, please ask the Velayat-e-Faqih to find out what changes you will be allowed to believe in…


The Definition of Insanity

by LalehGillani on

Desideratum.anthropomorph wrote: “I find little to gain in any conversation with you(I'm perfectly fine with the educated and with the non-educated people but not with the latter with a semblance of the former)…”

Albert Einstein has been quoted to say: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Since you already know that there is nothing to be gained by having a conversation with me, why do you repeat this action again and again, expecting a different result?


LalehGillani, about the dream to be sold

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

the question was what is the DOWN SIDE of voting?

can i vote and still believe in change? is this allowed?


Less of two evils is the normal thing in every country

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

Anonymous4464, you say there are two bad choices. OK, so what? is this something new?

why do I have to believe in anything? i just believe one candidate is better than the other. why isn't this a good enough? why so much fuss over this?

i think IRI has done a lot of things but forcing people to vote, is not one of them. people DO vote and nobody holds a gun to their necks.



by Bina for iran (not verified) on

Propaganda? You must have not 'heard' IRI and its supporters' empty lectures from 1979 to presents that you consider my short essay propaganda. That is so telling about your sense of scale in other matters - no offense intended - just facts.

I do not understand what your 93% is about. But I do not lump everyone together, only the voters who fall for the same trick, intentionally or unintentionally, still after 30 years of experience. It is not sufficient to be arrogant with lots of air in the cheeks and still go backwards in 30 years where less arrogant countries like Turkey, Brazil, S. Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, ... have moved on and practically improved their lives to have become dream destinations for iranians. I know I am harsh, but reality is bitter and life is difficult and short and I sincerely believe that those who vote for IRI and support them in any shape of form, are either misguided or sell iran short. I know this because I have seen so many examples of what revolution and IRI has done to real people up close. Maybe you have allegiance to islam more than to iran, knowingly or unknowingly, but I have managed to free myself of it to be more moral and a better "iranian".

Alternative? You should ask those who claim that iran was a democracy in 1953 and it was all shah's and west's fault that we are where we are, and now after more than half a century are content if a criminal like Mousavi or a thief like Karrubi is elected.

Democracy has no meaning whatsoever until and unless it is preceded by honesty, being informed, and taking responsibility. I have talked to many who voted for Ahmadinejad last time, and none of their reasons were convincing except to tell me that none of those necessities (honesty, being informed, and taking responsibility) existed in them. Democracy without those necessities turn into tool of deceit far worse than dictatorship as dictators soften over time (as in the case of Safavids or even Pahlavis) but a fraudulent-democratic system like IRI allows new thugs to surface with new tools of deceit and rise to the top afresh.

Don't read too much into this 93% have faith and similar statistics. These number are so subjective. More than half of iranians became moslim (by force) in 100 years after arab invasion and converted to Shiaism (yet again by force) on span of few decades. People are far more flexible and far more gullible than you think. 98% voted for islamic republic without knowing what it means and where it is going to take them. That VAST majority were vastly wrong! Why? Because revolutionary leaders were dishonest and deceitful, people were uninformed and gullible, and took no responsibility for their actions when they saw the first execution, the first newspaper closure, the first forced dress code, and so on.

Solution? If anyone of a majority takes a tiny amount of responsibility and (at least) refrain from voting before (at least some of) their demands are addressed and met by a candidate, the situation can get better. Otherwise in 4 years (no matter who is elected of those 4), I and you will continue to be self-exiled with no country, arguing the exact same issues for the next election, and the cycle repeats.

The answer is not simple: a mad man throws a rock down a deep water well; 40 strong men cannot pull the rock out of the well; and a whole village thirsts. That is the story of revolution of 1979.

As for islam, again do not read too much into this islam faith. I have seen grand sons and daughters of very religious families that are not religious at all. In many cases education has turned into a tool against religion - just compare afghanistan and iran, or pakistan and turkey. Religion is more a state of mind to satisfy a genetic and social need, and that applies to all religions. Or else we would not have so many believers in various religions and iranians would not have so meritlessly changed their religion twice when it was forced upon them.

I know that Islam cannot be wiped out of iran for a long long time, but that does not mean that we should accept it to behave against a sense of morality and logic. It must be pushed back into a private matter before it crushes us under its order of "amr beh marouf & nahy az monkar". What a person does within his or her faith is benign and therefore none of my business, but when that person tries to impose his/her faith upon a nation, he/she has to be confronted and pushed back.

Sorry for the long response, but that is the by-product of simple questions not having simple answers.



by Parham on

desideratum.anthropomorphized anonymous000


by desideratum.anthropomorph... on

I find little to gain in any conversation with you(I'm perfectly fine with the educated and with the non-educated people but not with the latter with a semblance of the former), but your last post made me wonder if you've read Mayo or Pareto on any cursory level at all when you can take half a day time to learn?  Maybe you should  at some point once you come to realize your activism needs some beef as well.


Democracy then and now

by Sassan (not verified) on

FAIR is right on the money -- the Iranian nation was undeserving of democracy back in 1953, and when it really counted, a huge bulk of the "antellectuals" did not support him! And if you're objective, you will see that the Shah had very little to do with Mossadegh's fate. The nation was hugely ignorant, the religious leaders were hugely corrupt, and the "antellectuals" were either marxists or mujaheds or some such variation.

And the western powers used our divisions and ignorace against Mossadegh in 1953 (as they did the same against the Shah in 1978).

And PARHAM, you're worthles if you actually think that Steven Kinzer is somehow more valuable than Ervand Abrahimian, with respect to Iranian studies! This is BY FAR more ridiculous than the legitimacy of the mullacracy (and that's saying a lot!).

Ervand Abrahimian is a world renown Iran expert, who has written the Shahnameh equivalent of modern Iranian history, whereas that far left liberal twit Kinzer has written such a slanted view of the 1953 coup -- I read it, mind you, and I found 7 errors of basic fact (dates, affiliations, names) by the time I reached page 11! Don't bother responding, your comment proves your baseless intellect.


we need more sheer zan like Laleh khanum.

by Wahid kachal (not verified) on

zendeh bad sheer zanan Iran. I know this dictatorship will crumble down by the lionesses of Iran.


the alternative (to Ayhab)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Ayhab, she does not have any alternative. Several of us asked her the very same question. She is fixated on revenge, that is one area that she has been very articulate in many places, e.g.:

She says:
"At the end, it will be up to political activists such as me to rein the anger of the masses and their thirst for revenge… The day will come that I will be standing up for the rights of people like you! "

(see Happy Harvesting! // )


The Rights of the Minorities

by LalehGillani on

Fair wrote: “The ghatreh has rights in a democracy and is protected… Do you believe our society is ready for this idea?”

The question that I ask is slightly different from yours. I ask whether our political activists are ready for this concept. The greatest democracies in the history of mankind owe their success to their forefathers, a handful of intellectuals who laid their differences aside and mapped a common vision for the masses.


the "ghatreh" has rights

by Fair on

in a democracy and is protected. This is the most fundamental pillar of a modern democracy.

Do you believe our society is ready for this idea?

If not, even this IRI gov't is more than good enough for us. And Mosadeq was born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I like to believe this is not the case. But because we live in a dictatorship, there are no reliable statistics, are there.




Important to know where society is headed

by Abarmard on

قطره درياست اگر با درياست
ورنه او قطره و دريا درياست