Mahshid Amirshahi

Author, political commentator

Reads out from the Persian translation of Bakhtiar's memoires "Ma Fidelité" First published in French.

Mahshid Amirshahi from رنگین کمان on Vimeo.


more from Darius Kadivar

True patriot

by MRX1 on

Loss of Bakhtiar was a big tragedy for Iran. He was at the wrong time and a wrong place. He was a true gem in a sea of ignorance that has been destroying Iran piece by piece, slowly but surely with no end is sight. 

Hooman Bakhtiar

Unparalleled Intellect...

by Hooman Bakhtiar on

An intellect like Ms. Amirshahy's comes along once in a few generations in Iran.  Her epigrams and repartees remind me of Oscar Wilde, which is the highest compliment I can pay to a writer or wordsmith. 

To those who wish to get acquainted with her political writings and her defense of Salman Rushdie, I'd highly recommend her book, Hezaar Bisheh, a collection of her essays compiled by Dr. Ramin Kamran.  In particular,  the essay on German writer Thomas Mann, in which she draws parallels between Nazism and the Islamic Republic (and between Khomeini and Hitler), is, in my opinion, her magnum opus. 

In many ways, she is a female version of Shapour Bakhtiar.  I see many of his qualities in her:  irrepressible wit,  uncommon courage, and a prodigious intellect.


Nice links, DK

by Monda on

especially Naderpour's History Forum and ...The Enlightenment Philosophers (even though political philosophy is often a very different beast, in Action) will go on my immediate reading list. Thank you.


very interesting personality

by Fatollah on

I wish we had many people like her back then and especially now.

There are few or none, of her caliber in the opposition camps today! I mean commpare this lady with that of Shirin Ebadi, I will not even go into that ... 


rare individuals

by spatima on

both Mahshid Amirshahi and Shapour Bakhtiyar

unfortunately we dont have many of them.

daste hardotashoon dard nakone 

In hope of a Free, Independent and Secular Iran

Maryam Hojjat

DK, Thanks

by Maryam Hojjat on

for posting this great video.  Great, honest & patriotic lady.

Darius Kadivar

Kofri Jaan Thank you for the feedback

by Darius Kadivar on

خلاصه كنم، من با نفس سلطنت با توجه به بافت تاريخي مملكتم موافق بودم و هنوز هم هستم ، به شرط آنكه از اين مصايب بنيادي بري باشد

All I wanted to know.

Merci !


DK - //

by Kofri on

نكته ي ديگري هم كه در اين باره بايد بگويم اينكه تمام افراد خاندان پهلوي ـ از

صدر تا ذيل ـ رفتارشان به جاي “شاهانه“ بودن “تازه بدوران رسيده“ بود ، كه جاي تاسف دارد. حرص به ثروت رضا شاه و رفتار متكبرانه ي محمد رضا شاه به جاي اينكه اين دو را شايسته ي پادشاهي كند به ارباب دهي شبيه مي كرد كه اولي مي خواهد لقمه نان را از دهن رعيت بقاپد و دومي مي خواهد براي هر لقمه نان بر رعيت منت بگذارد! ناني كه در هر حال مال رعيت است. خلاصه كنم، من با نفس سلطنت با توجه به بافت تاريخي مملكتم موافق بودم و هنوز هم هستم ، به شرط آنكه از اين مصايب بنيادي بري باشد


Dr. Bakhtiar

by statira on

Dr. Bakhtiar was a true patriot and his thought was ahead of his time. Unfortunately, majority of people were confused and as this honorable lady mentions, Engelab zadeh.

Darius Kadivar

I liked her interview but disagree with some of her assessments

by Darius Kadivar on

I overall liked what she said except her rant against the Pahlavi's Fortune and her clear distaste of the Monarchy and it's institutions.

The problem with the Iranian Intelligenstia in general and particularly of her generation is their lack of flexibility and general stubborness.

For most of them It's ALL OR NOTHING !  

I can understand why she hates the monarchy which is her right. I don't share that assessment but that is another debate ... 

What I understand less is their lack of intellectual flexibility when it comes to political options.

She clearly is a Secular Republican aka Jomhurykhah which was NOT the case of Shapour Bakhtiar who was first and foremost a Constitutionalist :

Pro Bakhtiar Demonstrations in support of the 1906 Constitution:


I have often argued that in my humble opinion Bakhtiar was Republican by Heart and Monarchist by Reason. Very much like De Gaulle except the otherway round. The latter ( i.e: De Gaulle) was Monarchist by Heart and Republican by Reason.

What led Bakhtiar to accept the post of Prime Minister was precisely his attachment to the Constitution of the Land and the ideals that sustained it. Constitutionalists were nourished by the ideals of the Enlightment philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau as well as the British Bill of Rights all of which were developed prior to the French Revolution of 1789.

RESTORATION: Britain's 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 and the 'Bill of Rights'

The British had understood this early on with their Magna Carta but more importantly their Bill of Rights which subsequently inspired the American Bill of Rights and the French Constitution.

Constitutionalism was never about toppling the Monarchy but domesticating it by forcing the King or Queen to accept it or leaving him or her no other alternative but to accept to respect and honor the mutual contract between the people and the governing body.

HISTORY FORUM: Nader Naderpour on Iran's Constitutional Revolution and European Rennaissance (1996)

In otherwords Constitutionalism emcompasses Republican ideals so to speak within a Royal framework.

PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY: First Public Gathering of the Iranian Majlis (1906)

It is not surprising that someone like Voltaire is equally admired by both the British and the French and is amongst the most popular of the Enlightment philosophers.

Unlike Bakhtiar :

BEHOLD THE PALE HORSE: French Socialists Pay Tribute to Shapour Bakhtiar 

Clearly this lady has not read Voltaire ...

HISTORY OF IDEAS: Ian Davidson on Voltaire's "English Exile"  

Or Prefers to overlook his constitutionalist ideals ...

Dommage ...

That said I have to say that Mrs. Mahshid Amirshahi has a great quality I admire  in addition to the fact of being an intelligent woman and which is : LOYALTY ! 

I'm afraid I could not say the same of many HEZBEH BAAD ANN TELLECTUALS of her generation or of mine who come and go but will certainly end up in the dustbins of history amidst their lonely quest to intellectual oblivion ...

I am glad to see that Mrs. Mahshid Amirshahi is someone of a different and much higher caliber who does honor to the word "intellectual" ...

Overall I share much of her conclusions in regard to the political void that exists in the current opposition forces to the IRI both inside and outside Iran as well as the vaccum of courage and ideas amongst the Iranian Intelligenstia today.

Given all the Separatist and divisive talks that come up now and then when it comes to seeking options for Iran's future I am not always as optimistic as I used to be when I would hear Bakhtiar say  "Iran Harguez Nakhahad Mord" ...

But What is clear is that as far as Bakhtiar is concerned nearly 20 years after his assassination he is Anything BUT Dead !  

LESSONS IN DEMOCRACY: Shapour Bakhtiar Interview with LA TV (1987)

Bakhtiar's Last Public Speach in Support of REGIME CHANGE based on the RESTORATION of the Constitution of 1906:


That in itself gives me hope !

Other Recommended Blogs:

GOOD READ: All You Need to Know About The Enlightment Philosophers

HISTORY FORUM: The Age of Enlightment in France and Europe.

Darius Kadivar

FYI/Official website of Mahshid Amirshahi

by Darius Kadivar on

Official website of Mahshid Amirshahi:


and photos of her in her youth. Quite a beautiful lady in her young days ...


A model to strive to

by Fred on

Lady Amirshahi and her companion Ramin Kamran are what being Iranian is all about and a model to strive to.  

To date her twin books, Dar Safar and Dar Hazar are the best descriptive report of the situation in Iran and then in diaspora.