A Foresaken Revolution

I wished it had never happened


A Foresaken Revolution
by Fariba Amini

One day, many years ago, when I returned to Iran after a long absence, I saw an old friend. We walked and talked on Pahlavi St., what came to be known as Vali Asr St. (referring to Khomeini). I asked him what had happened to him while he was in jail. He said, “I can’t tell you, it is too painful.” I responded by saying I understood. Though, in all honesty I didn’t. I could not even fathom what he had gone through. He had been in jail for four years between the years 1981-1985.

Later, he had again been imprisoned for one more year. The first time, they couldn’t find anything about him. The second time he was charged with being a member of a leftist party. I spent some more time with him. I remember going to his house for a get-together. He told me that he was receiving anonymous and threatening calls presumably from the Ministry of intelligence. These calls were meant to intimidate him for the simple reason that he had befriended the late activist /poet of Iran, the one and only Ahmad Shamlu. He had a bust of Shamlu in his house. We departed. Many years later, he was finally able to leave Iran after he had been forbidden to do so for nearly 26 years. When he arrived in the US to see his mother who was now ill with Alzheimer, she barely remembered him.

While still in the US, he showed me the scars on his feet, the cigarette burns from the torture inflicted upon him while in prison. He had received other forms of torture but he wouldn’t go into detail. They were terrible reminders of the past which he was trying to put behind.

His father was famous, a Mossadeghi, and like many enthusiasts, the family had returned to Iran after many years of exile. This was Iran in 1979. He wanted to see the downfall of the Shah and the coming of a new dawn, of a new Republic.

In prison, he told me his interrogators had reproached him, “your father wanted to become the President!” That was one of his, the son’s, sins.

What else had he done? Sign a petition and be a member of a left leaning organization. Later on, he was purged from the university. He had gone to Iran after the Revolution to see the fruit of his labor and to serve his country as his father had done some 40 years earlier. He could not teach nor could he get any other jobs. He had married and had two kids. Yet the idea of this revolution and its outcome was still very much on his mind.

I met him again 5 years ago in Iran. He was older, had had serious illnesses but he was still fighting and was hopeful that this Revolution was one day going to fulfill some of his dreams. In the meantime, his mother had died. She was buried next to his father. She wanted it that way, to be buried in Iranian soil even if that soil had not given much to its children who gave up everything for it.

When I saw him again, he was out of breath. He was now struggling for his sons. “It was now their turn,” he said.

Iran was his hope, his dream of a Revolution he and his entire family fought for.

It is now 2010 and the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution will be coming up soon. But I wished, for his sake and mine that this Revolution had never happened. It destroyed lives, many lives.

Our fathers fought against the Shah and against dictatorship but the theocracy that followed was far worse. Our fathers, both men of the highest integrity, both members of Mossadegh’s entourage, are not alive to see what has become of their country.

22 Bahman (February 11) is approaching fast. Who knows what will happen. But I am glad my friend is not there and his kids are safe and sound. Nevertheless, I am frightened for all the thousands of Iranians who might face bullets, bayonets or tear gas in the streets of Tehran for another anniversary of a Revolution that should have been avoided for everyone’s sake.


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more from Fariba Amini

The blame game

by Mehdi on

Of course what happened to this person is sad - no doubt about it. But is it all the fault of "the regime?" I am not even sure what that means. In that same society, there were people who went to school, did not sign up for a "lefty" group and instead got some education, or started a business and raised a family, or whatever and in that way, helped themselves and their nation significantly. In contrast, this person considers himself a lost cause; he never really accomplished anything and he is full of blame. He considers himself to be a complete and utter victim! It was all done to him. He never did anything wrong and yet he was destroyed!

Come on, this is not true! Honesty is the way out!


Let us pray

by maverick on

Let us hope and pray that tomorrow 22 bahman will be the start of the downfall of a despotic rule.
Let us pray for those imprisoned and hope  their liberation is near.
Let us pray for a nation that is being taken hostage for over 30 years.
Let us pray that no man woman or child is ever dehumanized or humiliated again.
Let us pray that the Iranian Diaspora will  come to an end in a very near future.
Let us finally pray for those brave man and women on the streets of Iran, risking their lives.

God bless,

Darius Kadivar

Fariba Jaan In Two Days We will all be Neda's Voice for Freedom

by Darius Kadivar on

Thank you for your sincere piece ! 

And Hopefully we shall altogether hand in hand start a new chapter in the history of our nation.



Beh Omideh Peeroozyeh Nahayee

Bella Ciao :





Fariba jan

by ahvazi on

Thank you for the moving piece. Many have died fighting for a just, free society in Iran. So it is shocking to hear people calling these freedom fighters as "Agents of the West/Foreigners" and calling our nation's aspiration to be free as orchesterated by the west.

I salute all those who have stood up to oppression in Iran over the past hundred years. And ask those who refuse to see the futility of a religious system to run politics and its determental effect on Iranian society, to come over and support the freedom fighters of Iran.   

Sargord Pirouz

Fariba, Iran's police have

by Sargord Pirouz on

Fariba, Iran's police have not been widely equipped with rifles and bayonets. So the odds are, protesters probably won't face them.

Firearms don't seem to be widely distributed amongst the police, either. So the chance of facing lethal-type bullets is probably small.

Tear gas, pepper spray, batons, steel rods, clubs, stones and shields appear to be the order of the day.

Will this change for 22 Bahman? Will the policy of less-lethal force be discarded in favor of lethal force? I don't think so. But hey, anything is possible. We'll see this coming Thursday. 

I do expect a lot of arrests, though. 


Fariba Amini

You are right... my mistake

by Fariba Amini on

You are right... my mistake



by hooshie on


"Pahlavi St., what came to be known as Vali Asr St. (referring to Khomeini). "

 FYI - Vali Asr is not a reference to Khomeini but an alternative title of the Promised Mahdi - the twelvth Imam of the Shia Twelver sect who is expected to reappear and bring peace and justice to the world.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Fariba, I appreciate your honesty. I was a student at the time in US. I did not support the revolution. I was not a fan of the Shah but I never trusted religion. I did not trust the leftists either. One of my cousins was a hard core communist. I use to argue with him for hours about politics. We never managed to convince each other. He is gone now so I don't know how he would feel about the way things worked out. I do know other leftists who to this day support the revolution. That puzzles me. I am therefore glad that some people like you are honest enough to look at it and say: we were better off with the Shah.  But why did it have to come to this? Millions of people dead or in exile. Billions of dollars wasted. Lives ruined and treasure lost.

Maybe we have learned a lesson: I hope so. But we still hear from people like Ommani; Bazargan and Marandi who  defend this garbage. I know in my heart that IRR is over.  Lets work towards a new start for a free and Secular Iran.