Only Alternative

Interview with former President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr


Only Alternative
by Fariba Amini

“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.”  - Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini

Dr. Abolhassan Bani Sadr was Iran’s first President after the 1979 Revolution. He initially was close to Khomeini, but gradually distanced himself from the Imam as the latter amassed more and more power and decreed that the Velayat-e Faqih principle was divinely ordained.  Dr. Bani Sadr was educated in France at the Sorbonne in finance and economics.  Jailed twice under the Shah, he had been active in the student movement.  In 1979, he went back to Iran and briefly served as minister of finance until he was elected as President of the Republic on January 25, 1980.  After the hostage crisis, having become a staunch critic of the policies of the Islamic Republic, he left Iran clandestinely and was impeached in absentia.  He is the co-author of a book, My Turn to Speak: Iran, the Revolution and Secret Deals with the U.S.    He has been a vocal critic of the regime ever since.  He is also the editor of the journal (now a website) called Enqelab Eslami.

You were one of the first people who left Khomeini’s side or gave up on him and formed the National Resistance Council and wanted to form a united front in fighting the Islamic Republic.  But ever since, you have not been very active in this goal.  Why not?

I did not leave Khomeini per say; I pointed out to him what I thought was unjustified.  I opposed the idea of the absolute rule of the jurist (Velayat-e Motlaqeh e Faqih).  I believed in the rule of the people. I never believed in one-man rule.  He, by contrast, showed his real self when he spoke of Velayat- e Faqih. He made promises but he did not live up to them.  Eventually, he changed his mind.  This was an important experiment in Iranian history, and it proved that a blend of religion and state is doomed to fail.  We see the results clearly today.

In my political career, my ideas and practices have run on parallel tracks.   I always wanted to have different political tendencies get together and form a united front once they agreed upon the goal of an independent and free Iran. During the Shah I did the same.  After returning to Iran, we tried to do that.  We drew up an invitation which was signed by Ayatollah Taleghani,  Ayatollah Montazeri, and myself. We asked all others to join in one united front.  That didn’t happen because of opposition from the Hezb-e Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Islamic Republic Party). When I left Iran, I tried to do the same by forming the National Resistance Council but we know what happened.  Mr. Rajavi destroyed it by going to Baghdad. The Council remained in name but basically it is just that group (Mujahedin) and everything fell through.   From then on, I have continued in my efforts.  I go to different European cities; I have participated in Iranian gatherings talking about the need to form a united front and have spoken in detail about my own view of how such a front should be formed.  Before such a front can be formed, though, the ground must be ready.  People in Iran from different tendencies inside the society must be ready as well.   In Iran, whenever a movement emerged, be it the Constitutional Movement, the struggle for oil nationalization, or the 1979 Revolution, different tendencies were always involved but it did not take very long for a government to be replaced by tyrannical rule.  After three revolutions, I hope that a democratic government which is based upon the rule of the people can evolve.

Why is it that if you believe in the separation of state and religion, your bi-weekly newspaper and website is still named Enghelab Eslami? Isn’t there a contradiction in term?

I have talked about this in different articles.  It is well documented on our website.  There was a revolution in Islam; that is really the essence of the title and content of my website.  It does not mean that the Iranian people had a revolution that turned Islamic.  Fifty years of study has convinced me that Islam has become weak when it comes to expressing itself.  Just as the government must be separated from religion or any other ideology, in order to have a prosperous democracy, religion must also be an expression of freedom.  If religion does not develop to coexist with democracy, it would be difficult to establish a democracy.  In the West, you cannot find a country based upon democratic values where religion does not also accept human rights and democracy.  The idea of Enghelab-e Islami (Islamic Revolution) is a development in Islam because in my opinion it has not been able to express itself and it therefore must change from within to express the ideals of freedom and democracy.   But this doesn’t mean that it should meddle with the structure of the government because the state is a reflection of power and religion is in the heart of the people.  They are two different entities.

As you know, islamists who embrace modern thinking have gravitated from the IRI in the last ten years, and their ideas seem closer to yours. Why is it that they have not come closer to your idea of state and the role of religion? 

There are two problems here: the first one is that the reform-minded Islamists want to work within the framework of this regime, with the existing constitution.  They think it is possible to work within the system with a few changes here and there.  I say a totally different thing. I believe that this regime cannot be reformed. It is beyond repair or reform.  If this regime were open to reform, why would someone like me be in exile?  We would all be working towards a better and more progressive society. Even the Iran-Iraq war would not have taken place. And even if it did, it could have ended in June 1981.  A ceasefire was going to take place with Iraq but those who staged the coup d’état managed to prolong the war; that was one of their goals because war equaled tyranny or the establishment of tyranny.  The regime of Velayat e Faqih can only be reformed by abolishing it.  How are you going to reform a system which forces its jurisdiction upon everyone else, people’s livelihood, their means, and their everyday existence?  The reformists acknowledge that what I say is desirable but not feasible.  They advocate the same constitution without any changes or minor ones.  Either they are not telling the truth or they don’t know what they are saying.  This constitution fosters totalitarian rule; a big chunk of the leader’s power is grounded in the culture of the Iranian people, which involves traditional religion.  The second issue is that if they distance themselves from the period of Khomeini’s rule, which they claim was a golden period, they will find credibility.  In any event, how can you call that period golden when the eight–year war killed an entire generation of young Iranians or when more than 10,000 individuals, many whose names are listed were killed (executed or otherwise).   Khomeini’s reign was marked by terror, both inside and outside Iran, theft of money, 105 billion dollars (5 billion+ a year) which disappeared from the treasury, and clandestine deals with Europeans and Americans.  October Surprise and Iran Gate are good examples.     Do you honestly think that people and especially the youth want to return to that period?  If they acknowledge that this was a dark period indeed and that they were partly responsible for it, a lot of things will change. They must ask for forgiveness. If they show courage, and express it openly, much can be resolved.  The society has the potential to forgive and it should. Self criticism is the best means to cleanse yourself from your past mistakes.   It is a kind of ethical revolution within oneself which is ultimately helpful for the sanity of oneself and the Iranian nation.  I believe that once this is done, a united front can be formed.

What are other issues in your opinion when it comes to the Green Movement?  Do you see yourself as a potential ally of Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Karroubi or Mr. Khatami, the leaders of the said movement?

There is a third problem.  It involves the notion of a united front or of one front. The Green Movement is one front.  Iran is not just one color. Iran is full of different ethnic minorities, even religions.  There are also different political tendencies; we can’t ignore them and say that they don’t exist.  We can’t say they are all one color and that color is green; this is problematic.  By the way, we have tried different colors before, green (sabz jameh), a different green, white, black, yellow and red.   None has worked.  Let’s say that in our history we haven’t had good experience with the different colors.  If freedom is our ultimate goal, we must make this movement reflect all of Iran, the rainbow that Iran is.   It embodies all colors except the color of being dependent on foreigners.  Everyone can participate in this colorful movement.

Why do you think the regime undertook such violent measures against Iran’s civil society, particularly women and students, why so many arrests, torture, long jail sentences, and so on?

What we tried to do in that first experience was to make them a minority.  When we came to Iran, the referendum was said to be fraudulent as well. But there was a majority who did say yes to Khomeini, or at least it is claimed that 98 percent said yes to an Islamic government (Jomhuri Eslami).   In June 1981, Khomeini announced that even if 35 million say NO and I say Yes, my vote is what counts!  This is the meaning of force:  one person vis-à-vis everyone else.   In terms of philosophy, force is defined this way: one person against the will of the rest.  He repeated this three times.    In a letter to Khomeini by Ayatollah Behesthi, dated Esfand 1359/February-March 1980 he stated that among the cadres and in institutions we are in the minority.  From then on we tried to keep these people in the minority.    Two times, they were given the chance to leave the minority rule, once during the Khatami administration in 1376/1997 when people went and voted--but that regime did not appreciate the vote of the majority-- and again in 1384/2005.

Again, the fraudulent elections that took place during the first term of Ahmadi Nejad brought him or the minority to power.     A year and a half ago, in 1388/2009, in the second elections, the minority took power again.   In reality, if a free election had taken place this group with the minority vote would have never won.  The   Iranian society has experimented with this ruling minority. When a minority rules, it uses violence to silence people; how could they rule without violence?  Violence and crisis define this regime. It has always been the case.  This is what the current regime has inherited from the past.  From hostage taking, from the unwanted eight- year war, from the nuclear power to sanctions, it has used violence to survive.   It is important to note one thing that in only one year that is from the beginning of 1360/1981 until the end of that year, nearly 2000 people were executed.  Imprisonment, torture are another matter.  During Khomeini’s tenure, 10000 people died.  In comparison with those years, the recent crackdown is relatively mild.   Not that this regime is not a violent regime but the struggle of the people and the atmosphere is different within the society; it has had its impact on the regime’s reaction in general.  Iranians’ struggle around the world and inside Iran is now taken a different turn and has made a huge difference.   There is also a general sensitivity to what goes on in Iran and world public opinion plus the incapability of the regime to overcome people’s everyday problems especially economic problems.  It has made the regime quite vulnerable. There is now a good opportunity for the young people of Iran to stick to their guns (literary) and continue with the struggle in the right direction.  

How do you see someone like Ahmadi Nejad, what makes him who he is today? Is he going to end his tenure without problems?

Ahmadi Nejad is the byproduct of this regime.  You cannot say that about Mr. Khamenei or Mr. Rafsanjani.  Their ideas and characters were formed while they became leaders of this regime.  Tyranny gave rise to people like them and it helped them to become who they are, to show their true self.  But Ahmadi Nejad was a youngster then who went to the University.   He is the product of this regime.   A regime that produces someone like Ahmadi Nejad is doomed for failure.  Even regimes that produce better people sometime fail to remain in power.  De Toqueville, the father of democracy, said that one should be careful because democracy is also fragile and will always be vulnerable.   Look at its record, since last June until today, this regime has only been able to ratify one law in the Majlis, yaranaeha (subsidies), and it has not been able to implement this law; they don’t know when it will be actually implemented and no one knows what the result will be.   It’s hard to tell whether he will finish his tenure.  Power will not cease by itself.  It would depend on a lot of different factors.  When it reaches the point of falling down, it might collapse.  If in this process the people‘s struggle does not force this fall, it will not happen automatically.  What have they done with the enormous revenues from oil? Have they answered any of the economic problems with 40 billion dollars?  They have used it to stay in power. But once there is a popular movement in a large scale, this regime or any tyrannical regime is bound to fall.   

Do you think that the new sanctions will work? It seems that the regime is becoming much more susceptible to the sanctions by Europe and the US. It is that case?

What the Obama administration has done in pointing fingers at eight people as human rights abusers in Iran is the type of sanction that is constructive and works well because it targets the regime itself. This kind of sanction has psychological implications.   If this type of sanction became serious, affecting the leader himself and his cronies, it would have more impact. Sanctions should also target people responsible for the recent violence.  Once they are in place, the regime and its officials will be confronted around the world thereby making it impossible for them to make deals under the table.

 On the other hand, economic sanctions can have a backlash, potentially benefitting the regime. In this case, the regime can blame the U.S. for the malaise in Iran and drag its problems into the society at large. Those who are benefitting will be pocketing the money whereas the bulk of the society is left impoverished.     By the same token, the US must also show respect for human rights outside its borders,  when it comes to Guantanamo, Iraq, the CIA kidnappings,  or the unscrupulous bombardments in Afghanistan and Pakistan which tarnish the idea of respect for human rights by the U.S. administration.   In the Islamic world, this is viewed as double standard.

What do you see as the role of Israel in all of this?   What about Ahmadi Nejad’s statement regarding Israel and what he said at the UN about the U.S?  This actually emboldens Israel to take a tougher stand against Iran, even to the point of declaring by some neo-cons in the U.S. that attacking Iran is justifiable.

It has been thirty years now that Israel has had a love/hate relationship with Iran.  There are the events like the October surprise and Iran Gate.  Recently there is talk of a second Iran gate where a former Russian arms dealer by the name of Viktor Bout (also known as the Merchant of death), a former Russian pilot in the Soviet Air Force, has been selling missiles to Iran. This was approved by Dick Cheney, the former VP.   Upon examination, many of these deals- be narcotic, arms or money laundering- seem sketchy.   They are dealing with one another in different capacities and even with some terrorist organizations.  It is alleged that Victor Bout was also instrumental in dealing with Al Qaida and the Taliban. He was selling arms to them and bringing narcotics from the other side.  In public, it seems that they hate each other but in effect they feed off each other, they are opposites that attract.   The right wing faction of the Israeli government and the fundamentalists of Iran are in bed together.  Even the right wing parties of some European governments are buddies with the Iranian regime.  It is interesting to note that in France, someone like Le Pen goes to the Islamic Republic embassy and he is treated like a dignitary.  He is quoted in some French newspapers as saying that “I never feel as much at home as when I go to the events at the Iranian embassy.”  Khamenei and Ahmadi Nejad are instrumental for someone like Netanyahu to become PM in Israel. The former PM of Israel, quoted in Haaretz, said to Mr. Netanyahu that if he didn’t have A. N. what would he do?  He is their capital.   In his recent trip to the U.S., Ahmadi Nejad was even questioning the existence of the only super power.  Thus, the forces on the right on all fronts are elevated.  And war and violence remain on the top of the agenda which is beneficial to all parties. The regime in Iran and its military/mafia apparatus needs such rhetoric in order to stay in power.

But is he doing this on purpose?

Of course he is doing it on purpose.  They want the right wing and the Republicans to take over.  They made the deals with Reagan, not Carter.  It is alleged that they spent money for Republicans to win. Even the former Minister of intelligence, Fallahian said that we know Republicans will win; of course, he was wrong.  Clinton won. They want the Republicans to win, there is no doubt.(*)

What do you think of slander and name calling in our culture? Do you not think that deceit is embedded in our society especially in the last thirty years ever since the emergence of the Islamic Republic?

I don’t believe that slandering is embedded in our society.  Some political parties in Iran advocated it in order to get ahead, especially during the Mosaddeq period.  It was really the Tudeh party which began this slandering business.   And since then, the Mullahs have continued on the same path.   But the clerical regime is not even ashamed of God or the people of God.  Mr. Khamenei and Mr. Rafsanjani do not know what truth is, they have forgotten what truth is; they lie all the time, especially if they want to attack someone.  Mr. Mousavi was this regime’s PM for eight years; all of a sudden he becomes an agent of the US. How is this possible? Everyone has become America’s agents.  The language of this power elite is deceit and more deceit. It is how they have ruled.  Tyranny’s language is always lies, but when you seek freedom, you must utilize the language of truth. The Pahlavi regime also lied but never to this extent.  People used to have shame or be more careful because of their beliefs in religion.  Now that doesn’t exist anymore either.  It is become common in our society.

In this respect, some people claim that Mr. Qotbzadeh, the former foreign minister, was an agent.  Is there any truth to this?

It is nonsense.  He stood up and fought and gave up his life in order to tell the truth. Those who make such false claims, should refer to read Mr. Hamilton Jordan’s (President Carter’s aide) book. Qotbzadeh was no agent.  He believed in the Imam and when he saw the injustices, he spoke out and because of that he was executed.  I remember during the hostage crisis I criticized him because at the beginning he supported the take -over of the American Embassy.  He changed his mind because we knew that this will only hurt Iran in the long run and will isolate it and that is exactly what happened.  Sadeq Qotbzadeh was a martyr of this Revolution and he must be regarded as such.

What is your message to Iran’s young generation?

Political ethics is more important than anything else.  There is no need to live with lies or accept lies.  Once you accept to live with ethics, you will be on the correct path.  Live with integrity and remember that justice will prevail. We may have a long road ahead of us; all I can say is that darkness will eventually lead to a bright day in the horizon.  Do not doubt that this regime is doomed to fail.  There is no alternative but democracy.   As we say in Persian, “bar koushesh biafzayeed, be jonbesh koushesh konid.”

The entire persian text will be available on a different website. This interview was translated from the original persian by Fariba Amini.

(*) Dr. Bani Sadr said in a later interview, “the reason Khomeini changed his mind when it came to the hostage take over was that it gave him leverage in both domestic and foreign policy.   By the same token, he could take charge of direct negotiations with the U.S. because it was not only the Carter administration who contacted us but also members of the Republican Party were openly contacting high government officials in Iran.  In the spring of 1980, in Germany, Reagan people contacted one of my colleagues wanting to meet with me.  They had also contacted  Khomeini’s office.  I did not accept to meet with them because I knew who Reagan represented plus they were not official government reps.  The Reagan people found the other party more amenable to discussing the matter.  Khomeini gave the go ahead for these negotiations to Mousavi Khoeeniha (now a reformist) and Ahmad Khomeini.   Mousavi Khoeeniha was the brain behind the hostage taking and there is some new evidence that he may have had orders from other places.”


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Farah Rusta

Those who DID NOT collaborate

by Farah Rusta on

Often on this website and elsewhere attempts are made to justify, water down and exonerate the treacherous and power-greedy act of those who only "claimed" to be members of Jebhe Melli and Mossadegh's allies and faithful followers who jumped at their first opportunity to accept jobs and positions in the very first government that started the Islamic tyrannical rule of the last 31 years.  These apologists of those collaborators who are usually their offspring or family friends and relatives justify the act of collaboration by suggesting that the collaborators did what they did for the good of the country or, a more laughable excuse, to push back the mullahs and take over the running of the country! Let us not forget that there were many other members of Jebhe Melli who refused to accept a position in the government of Bazargan and did not work for or collaborate with it  even for a single day.    The most prominent of these highly principled and dignified  ex-Jebhe Melli members was Dr Gholam Hossein Sadighi. During the last few months of the Shah's rule, while he was shunned and excommunicated by the would-collaborators of Jebhe Melli who later joined the government of Bazargan, he was approached by the Shah to be offered the position of the Prime Minister. He responded to the Shah's request by making his acceptance of the job subject to a number of conditions, among them the Shah's staying in the country. While the same Jebehe Melli members who later accepted positions within  Khomeini's first government of Bazargan, expelled him, and later expelled Bakhtiar, from Jebhe Melli for having dared to save the country by negotiating with the Shah for the position of Prime Minister. The same treacherous collaborators who are now described as champions of democracy and human rights, stood by and watched hundreds of high and low ranking officials being mowed down by the regime's firing squads and and said and did nothing in protest. And now we have to suffer yet another sick joke and that is in the form of this fanatic clown named Bani Sadr with the most discredited personal and family background to be hailed as a brave man!!    Please ask him to tell you where he was when his father gave refuge to General Zahedi only days before 26th Mordad1332? He is yet another crime watching collaborator who, quite expectedly, introduces himself as a Mossadegh follower? Are we surprised? Hardly!  These collaborators bought themselves and their future generation of supporters indelible shame.





Dear Fariba Amini

by Mehman on

I have full respect for you, your brother and your late father who was an ardent nationalist working for Iran's salvation, freedom and genuine independence.

A family like yours is a jewel among iranian families since your path is indeed the true road (great Mossadegh's path) for Iran's real independence and freedom.

Fariba Amini

Dear Norooz

by Fariba Amini on

My father did not have a close relationship with the Shah after the coup.  I am talking about the period between 1951-53 when he was the mayor of Tehran.


Here is the direct quote:




Fariba Amini: Did you ever meet the Shah and what was he like?

Nosratollah Amini:  Once, during an audience,
while I was mayor of Tehran, the Shah told me, “I have heard you have
done some good work for the city.” I responded by asking him if he
wished to see it firsthand. He nodded yes. So, I went to the palace to
pick up Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for an outing in the south of the
city, where many people lived in destitution. He told me to leave my
car, and to go with his, and he himself took place behind the wheel. We
talked extensively while driving. He asked me many questions. He wanted
to know what could be done to ameliorate the conditions of the people
living in that part of the city. The first thing I said to him was: can I
call you something other than “your Majesty” He said, call me whatever
pleases you. He was informal with me. In this context he also told me
that he would have liked to be closer to his people but that the attempt
on his life [in 1949] had made him reluctant to do so. At the end of
the drive, the Shah told me, “I wish everyday were like this; I enjoyed
your company tremendously today, and am indebted to you for taking me on
a drive through the poor neighborhoods, discovering things about
ordinary citizens which I had no idea about.” Before leaving the car,
the Shah insisted that we do this again. But that was the last encounter
I had with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi."



Fariba Amini

by norooz on

I agree that Mr. Banisadr spoke against some of the injustice and I don't blame him for just speaking about his good deeds and not his mistakes. 

My comment about your father and what he did with Pahlavi, was your father's cooperation with Dr Mossadegh and movement which i assumed didn't sit well with Shah and naturally today with other Royalist.

It came as a surprise to me that Shah had a close relation with Mr. Amini after the Mosaddegh era.

Fariba Amini


by Fariba Amini on


Not including FR!  I don't think she is the same as Farah Pahlavi. FP has more intelligence than this person. ( I don't call her a lady)

Whoever she is (apparantly scared to reveal her real identity), she has a personal grudge against me which is fine as long as it is not insulting. IN her case it is insulting, that is why I don't want to engage with a person who is both gutless and without integrity.

However, let me make it clear, the Shah liked my father, he even offered him the post of Ministry of Justice.  My father refused.  The Shah also offered Bakhtiar a position and many other members of the National front. They all refused to work with the government of the coup. 

In fact, Let me bring a quote from my late father to sum it all up.

The Shah asked me, when I was the mayor of Tehran to drive him to see the city (Tehran) and I took him to the impoverished areas of southern Tehran.  He spent the whole day with me and at the end when I took him back to the palace, he told me it was one of the best days of my life.


As For Mr Bani Sadr, I don't think he is 100 percent innocent but he has had the guts and the courage to speak out and not just recently but soon after the Revolution.  He saw the evil in this regime and left its fronts.  He could have stayed much like Rafsanjani, made a name for himself, made a fortune for himself and his family (like Rafsanjani and others) but he didn't.  He chose to stand by the people.  I for one, have much praise for him.   Let us give credit where credit is due.



by norooz on

Even Montazeri himself said, maybe Khomeini was being ill advised by people who surrounded him and was given false information.

I am not sure what Khomeini was told, but if they had told him MEK members are armed and are killing officials and people, trying to topple us, or US is doing this and that , that by itself would explain his decisions for approval of the executions and etc. The hostage taking is one example that he had no knowledge of and when he heard about it he wanted them to be released, but he was convinced and let it to continue.

As for the executions of the generals, it has been said before, that was a lesson learned from 1953 events to prevent similar coup. I am sure you will say, it was a wrong lesson, but here is the proof that shows otherwise.

I also remember clearly back in 1980s when people were fighting in Khoramshahr and asked for ground military support, Mr. Banisadr took his time and his reasoning was that we give land to buy time. This caused many casualties and Iraqis took many areas easily and secured them with land mines, bunkers and heavy artillery which became much more difficult for Iran to take back the lands and we lost a lot more than what we would have, if we had stopped them sooner.

I am simply looking at both sides of the coin and not just one side.


Just so we reach a conclusion here

by aynak on


Norooz you write:

"I am not saying Khomeini couldn't have been more responsible, but his advisers where even worse.  They made many decisions without his knowledge and had him sign and approve many decisions based on false information and advice. Khomeini spent most of his time in a room while Shah didn't and was in full control.  That is why Shah couldn't blame his wrong doings on others,  at least not the internal problems.  "

Have you heard of Ozr'eh Bad Tar is Gonah?  (The excuse that is worse than the sin?)   If there was even a shred of truth to what you say, then how will you explain Khomanees proactive removal of Montazeri?   The same Person who was warning him all along about the crimes being committed in prisons?   What was Khomanee's response?  How did he react differently than Khamaneeh ey today?   To be honest, I think Khamaneeh ey is actually less brutal than Khomanee.

But let's assume for a second he was "not aware" as you suggest.   Does that not automatically imply NO ONE should wield so much power, so that his ignorance would have such devastating effect on the lives of so many?

Does that not mean glorifying such ignorant person is glorifying ignorance and stupidity at best and  justifying crimes/LIEs at its worst? 


Thank you for your statements, I am sure ALL of us can come into a view that is more constructive for future of Iran, provided we realize we are wearing some type of Aynak, and to see the truth beyond that.  I know I am wearing one myself, but at least I am aware and make my best effort not to stray too much :). 




by norooz on

The idea was to get rid of Saddam, once and for all, so that he doesn't attack Iran again.  Apparently, he had much more support than Iran calculated and the war lasted longer and more casualties.    

I am not saying Khomeini couldn't have been more responsible, but his advisers where even worse.  They made many decisions without his knowledge and had him sign and approve many decisions based on false information and advice. Khomeini spent most of his time in a room while Shah didn't and was in full control.  That is why Shah couldn't blame his wrong doings on others,  at least not the internal problems.  


Insight "aynank"

by Demo on

Your comments/reponses are the clear indicatives of standing/searcjing for the truth, aynak. Such is a rarity among our fellow Iranians.Thanks for sharing those with us. As you know there is no "aynak" in the world that could bring somebody wisdom/insight. Therefore it is such a waste of time and energy to debate with someone who is filled with "Jahl" no matter what aliases of "other significants" they are holding on to.


Norooz: What is your point?

by aynak on


I read your response, regarding the point I was trying to make and that was:

War was prolonged to 

--Strengthen ruling clerics and Valeeh Fagheeh system.

--It was not necessary, because better results could have already been achieved at least 4 years prior (actually sooner).

--Death and destruction WAS not a war stopper.   Only when the existence of the whole regime was in question, Khomanee drank the poison which he should have at least 4 years prior.

Now are you trying to pull a "Shah was not bad it was the one that surronded him who were bad" on Khomanee?

Are you trying to say, he was not responsible for prolonging the war?

Are you trying to say, he was not responsible for murder of thousands of political prisoners?

Are you trying to say, the same achievment (i.e No-truce, No-resolution No-real document in 1988 to give us an inch of advantage over Iraq aggression) could not have been achieved earlier?

Are you trying to say, if criminals like Rafsanjani and Khamaneh'ee were Khomanee's closest advisors , he himself was of different cut?


All evidence point to the fact that the WAR was prolonged for no good reason.  I am sorry if you have lost family members (particularly post 1983-1984), the reality is their lives were unnecessarily  lost and was --wasted--  just like so many Vietnamese and U.S troops in that war, or so many Iraqies and U.S troops again in Iraq, all because of a DECISION by a leader.   I would call them all CRIMINALS.


I can't believe the news!

by Mehman on


That is fantastic news if true:


Is my friend Farah Rusta the same Oliahazrat Shahbanu Farah whom my mom adores? Can't believe that.... Please confirm the news, I want to tell my mom.... She is her fan... What an honor to have been conversing and joking with her majesty for so long and not knowing who she was! ( reminds me of Shah Abbas Kabir going unknown among people!)

Please say yes it is true (if it is)!



Farah Pahlavi, your wish

by norooz on

Farah Pahlavi, your wish came true. You are not the last commentator. You must love the way I always save your day.

Fariba, isn't it clear to you why Farah is against you? It is about what your father did to pahlavis and not how he served Iran and Iranians . She is also very jealous of Shirin Ebadi and her knowledge and dedication to Iran and Iranians. Apparently, Farah has problem with good people and good deed. She also made a lot of fun of Amir kabir.   Bogzareem.

Overall, Mr.  Banisadr did good in this interview. However, looking back and second guessing is always easy to do.  I agree that Banisadr is kind of rewriting the history in his favor. I think part of he being fired was his mishandling of the war.


I wouldn't count on Rafsanjan's version of the events either. He rewrite the history in his favor as well, even more so than Banisadr. I remember the day Rafsanjani spoke in the Friday prayer. I don't recall him saying Khomeini said continue the war. He himself said, Saddam has weaken and is loosing his grip. Saddam doesn't want peace, he want a ceasefire to reorganize.  Whether Rafsanjani really believed that was the best option at the time or he was making deals and profiting, I cannot say for sure. 

I think most of Khomeini's decisions were base on the reports and advices he got from his advisers and naturally he would trust the clerics more that weslamists. Specially after the suspicions of espionage and coup attempt and some other events.  The proof is that Khomeini did forbid any clerics from taking such positions and all the candidates were academics and non clerics. 

As for Saddam accepting Khomeini. It was a tactical move by Saddam, since Khomeini was against Shah. Just as Saddam let MEK stay in Iraq.

Finally, the war happened not because Saddam would dare to attack, it did with US order and promises to Saddam.

Farah Rusta

I don't need to! You did a job much better I could Prof. :))

by Farah Rusta on

Look, this blog is not about you or me. It's about Ms Amini and her family-friendly interviews. So let' not take too much of the spotlight off the lady.

I really don't understand why you guys take the matter so personally. If anyone is personalizing the issues its you guys not me - I only comment on your conflicting and contradictory statements. And you keep dodging the questions Prof. Was Rajavi , in your eyes, a terrorist when he was fighting the Shah alongside Sharif-Vaghefi and Samdeih Labbaf? Or did he become a terrorist, in your view, only after he joined forces with Saddam?  Because  if he was one, then so were the other two!

By the way, am I right to understand that , in your opinion, ALL genuine Mojaheds and Fadaees must have been killed by now because in your assertion if you were one of them you were not living today? So those who have survived the Shah and the Sheikh are fakes!! Interesting Prof, really interesting.

Which leaves me with one last question if I may? This one IS personal Prof so you may choose to dodge it as you often do :))

As a practising Muslim that you are (your words)  you supported the revolution with Khomeini as its leader, for a secular democratic government and not a religious state, right? Well, you see Prof, I have a little problem with your assertion. Khomeini's ideology may have been unknown to the non-practising, non-believing supporters of the revolution but to those, like yourself, who were coming from a supposedly well-read and educated background, it is very odd to identify Khomeini, the most well known and rabble rousing radical reactionary religious leader  of the time, with secular democracy!! Let me put it in a language you understand better Professor.:

Khomeini + Revolution ===> Radicalism + Theocracy

Perfect mass balance! So contrary to what you (and many Practicing Muslim apologists like you claim) the r-h-s of this equation could never be Moderation + Democracy as you claim to have hoped!

I think you are better off to stick to your day job Prof, i.e. teaching chemical stoichiometry  as your political mass balance simply does not hold!


Aynak Jaan


Thanks dear. I appreciate your view of me though I can't agree with it.  I am glad you are not suing me :)

Ms Amini,

Next time you meet Bani-Sadr, ask him one more question (off the record) to make it even more educational:

What is Bani-Sadr's view of his father's (Ayatollah Bani-Sadr Hamedani) hiding General Zahedi in his house prior to 28 Mordad 1332?


ps - please keep attacking me, I hate to be the last comment on any blog.

Fariba Amini

criminal vs. accomplice

by Fariba Amini on

I do agree with the idea that those who were already tested by Iranians should not run for office anymore.  I do not think that Mr. Bani Sadr has any intention to do so.  I think he is just shedding light on the events that took place.

As for the usage of the adjective criminal, I believe we must really be careful.  As far as I know neither Bazargan nor Bani Sadr fit into that category.  Khamenei does.  Bazargan and Bani Sadr left the political scene long before the IRI took real charge and long before Khomenei made his mark.  they believed in him, unfortunately; he did fool a lot of people including the millions that came to the streets for him.

But they could have held on to power and made a name or made themselves rich like Rafsanjani.  Instead they resigned or left the country as Bani Sadr did. If he had stayed, i am sure he would have been executed. 

There is a huge difference between those who committed crimes, those who perperutated crimes and those who were witnesses and spoke out.   Mehdi Bazargan spoke out against the execution of the Shah's generals without due process of law.  In my opinion, he is not a criminal.  He may not have been brave but he was a man of honor. 

The debate goes on.... What are we going to do and say when the head of Pasdaran or Basij are on trial (hopefully soon)?  Should they be indicted for crimes and be executed?  I hope not.  

We must do away with capital punishment, torture and execution of even the enemy. 


Dear Fariba Amini

by Demo on

Thanks for both the interview & for your closing comments. However what left out in both within the interview contents & in your comment is that Mr. Bani Sadr does not disqualify himself for any future position/leadership in Iran. He also misses to question the state of mind of a nation to welcome a “79 years old” man as their leader. Khomenee had never worked in his entire life & as a political dissident had not spent even a day in prison. Sadam had been the only leader in the area to provide sanctuary for him for 15 years. Furthermore Khomenee had never been respected by Iraq’s Muslims and the Iran-Iraq war had been out of his vengeance toward them. Mr Bani Sadr is still hiding the truth form the new generation in Iran & is not telling straight to their face that they should not trust any of the his era’s Mafia Power including himself & that they should rely on themselves instead for building a new Iran. All the names mentioned in Bani Sadr’s interview such as Mousavi, Rafsanjani, Rezaee, Khamenie, Rajavi, & etc. are long overdue to have been exiled/imprisoned/executed for their numerous committed crimes of the past.  

PS: Farah Rusta to this date has not repudiated the disclosure by one commentator in the past that she was indeed the widower Farah Deeba, i.e. Shah’s last wife. If true, such explains all about her comments!!!!


Criminals and the usage of the word

by aynak on


Dear Fariba,

I agree with you fully in the judicious usage of the phrase criminal.   That is why, I try not to do what is common among many of us, just use the word without as you put it --substantiation.

In my writing below, I took issue with people who have used the term without  realization of its implication or the burdon of prrof.   Please read my statement taking issue with calling Bazargan/Bani Sadr such, used only by a a fringe group, which as I stated,  do not have issue with Bani-Sadr or Bazargan per se, but belive anyone that had anything to do with revolution is automatically a criminal.   In the case of some of the posters, I have a sense it is just a program script that just spews statements automatically, whenever a list of names is posted.   For instance I can create a post that says:  Oh Bazargan designed Tehran's water system, and this script comes back and says:  Yes Bazargan is a criminal and should be punished in Western courts.

However, I used the term to describe Khomanee, with all the substance necessary.   When it comes to leadership of a country, the higher up you go the more responsible you are for the wrong doings particularly when it comes to peoples lives. 

From this prespective, Khomanee takes credit and can be called a criminal, as the proof is the prolonging of the war.   Please read Rafsanjani's memoir to see how they tried to lobby him to stop, and finally he did!   Only after so much more death and destruction was brought to people.

I was in Iran in summer of 1984, when there was a temporary seize fire.   At this point, Iran had captured all of the territories that Saddam took and in some areas we were inside Iraqi territory.  It was also clear that it will be very difficult to topple Saddam or make futher advances. 

At that time a genrous offer by Saudi's still was on the table.  Although the amount is not agreed upon, it ranges anywhere from 60-125 billions!

As a naive young man, I argued with many back in Iran that this is a great deal to jump on.   Their response was there is no gurantee that Sadam or Saduis would honor their agreement.   I countered that may very well be true, although the last agreement was signed under an Iraq with a different leadership, still even if they did not honor the truce, at least in the international community and UN will have a resolution, which in my mind was a great historical document Iran could back to.   Furthermore, I argued, there is never going to be a gurantee for anything, you have to get the best deal you can.

Of course there were many who argued the same, but Khomanee continued.  At this point, it was not Iran we were defending.   Now we were the aggressor, and the question is why?

The bulk of casulties as I stated on both sides,  came after this period.  But I don't think Khomanee had any illusion he could realistically conqure Iraq, so why did he continue?    The answer is simple.   His low regard for life of Iranians, and his  Machiavellian end justifies the means, which was in his backward mind from Paris to the last day of his destructive life, strenghtening VF system.

People only point to 67 crimes, but if you look at the scale of the post 83 casulties of the war, the 67 masacares of political prisoners dwarfs in numbers.

The worst part of my life was the period between 86-88.  This is when the war of cities started.   My family was moving from Tehran to Shomal or Eastern cities, much like rest of Tehran, Esfahan, ..... just to be safe from the random bombing.   I remember vividly.   No goal but a war of attrition.   Saddam, the other criminal, was still ready to make truce, but Khomanee still would no budge.    I remember wishing for Khomanee's death (and I should say I have never wished death on anyone), because I saw him as the only way to end this meaningless war that was being dragged on, and we feared the worst for our families every day.

Now as was the case during the ex-Shah, people blame much of these on the people who surronded Khomanee.   Where as when someone takes full charge like Khomanee did after dismissing Bani-Sadr and onward, it is all HIS responsibility, and as we all know he is the one that ultimately agreed to end the war, and it was over.

Therefore the allegation of  Criminality,  is well  substantiated.

Fariba Amini

Interview and comments

by Fariba Amini on

Thanks for those who read the interview and those who make construticve and critical comments.  We Iranians must learn to do away with words like criminal (unless you can substantiate it) or Marg bar, etc. 

As far as I know, Bani Sadr is one of the only people from that era who held a high govt post who has been open and honest about himself and the regime which he represented at one point.  No one else has come out and made self crticism ; this is true about the leaders of the Green movment and those new philosophers who were once instrumental in the cultural revolution at the Universities are are now realizing that there needs to be a total seperation of state from religion.  For that I give him a lot of credit and I appreciate his take on things.  In fact, I learned a lot from doing this interview.  

I hope we stop this slander buisness. Period.  For some it is a past time job. like FR who loves to hate me.  Or loves to make a stupid remark everytime which is really demeaning to herself beause it shows jealousy, nothing else.  If you disagree with me, why is it that everytime you say something about my family.  What did your family do for Iran?  Did you know that among others, my father was the lawyer for the late Marzieh?  and for Gholamreza Takhti, for Azar Nafisi, for Shamshiri, for a poor drug addict who had no money and my parents brought him home and helped him?   

MM do not worry about her comments, she is full of complexes, full of nothingness which comes from within. Because if you are an honest person, you appreciate other people's work and even if you are critical, you don't jumb and accuse someone (without documents) and she does that everytime.  Now MM is a mojahed!

the fact is this blame business must stop.  We are all to be blamed one way or another.  Let's move on and talk about the future and how we can in our own little way contribute to a better society. 

F,R why don't you interview someone and let us learn something.

why not interview Reza Pahlavi. Maybe he has something good to say.

I rest my case. 

 P.s. Dr. Bani Sadr said the two men he respected most in the modern times were Mosaddeq and Fatemi!    I left that out. 


Relic of the past

by mahmoudg on

He ws tested and he failed.  His is the relic of the past and the example of this failed revolution "de-volution".  He cannot be trusted. Perhaps in another life, if you believe in this mumbo jumbo, he can redeem himself.  But here and now, with what he helped unlesh on Iran, he must be brought to justice of the Western kind, when Iran re-joins the communimty of civilized Nations, ala sans IRI.



by Tavana on

With thanks for all your fine comments below, perhaps one could go beyond the disastrous Iran-Iraq war & look into the extent of Khamenie/Rafsanjani involvement in the US/UK invasion of Iraq & in the removal of Sadam from Iraq. How could anybody deny the Chalabi, Malek Noori, Barezani, & alike’s trips to Iran in the months before the invasion took place. It is also noteworthy that Ahmadinejad was the first one in the area to recognize both the puppets governments of Iraq & Afghanistan.


On fall of Khoramshahr and recapture etc

by aynak on


Dear MM,

Khoramshahr was recaptured in 1982, well after Bani-Sadr was removed in June of 1981.   I am not sure if Bani-Sadr claims that the war could have ended while he was still in charge.   Although several major offensive were initiated right after his departure.   Either way It does not really matter.

Personally, I view the Pasdaran-Artesh coordination for the success and the lack there of such coordination for the failures visa vis Iraq pushing back or advancement **While Iraq was invading**

The real issue in my view, was multiple sources of command an lack of coordination, for initial Iraqi advancment.

The reason Iran could drive Iraq back was consolidation of efforts.  Those in charge today (Like Mohsen Rezai), want to attribute this to their great stratigic war effort post Bani-Sadr, where as like I suggest the real issue was lack of coordination.

Regardless, the difference is 1 year.  1981/1982. After recapture of Khoramshahr Iran was in very strong position, and the war to defend Irans territory soon changed into the slogan:   To get to Qods we need to pass through Karbala.   The other slogan was:  "Jang Jang ta Pirouzei".

My point was, regardless, the war could haveended in great terms for Iran (cetainly much better than in 1988) and just as Iran entered Iraqi soil at latest by 1983!!  That is a whole 7-8 months post recapture of Khormshar.

But thanks to criminal Khomanee it lasted  another 5 years where the heavist human as well a fincancial toll was suffered by both people of Iran as well as Iraq.   As importantly, where as Iraq was on a defensive mode in 1982-1983, by 1988 they had the upper hand in evey aspect.    You can see all the on line resources, for instance the Jane's report:

Islamic Regime, attributes the recapture of Khoramshar to its own effort, but does not attribute the 5 years additional war which ended in stalemate and very negative condition for Iran, and like the lies propogated by Ahmadi-Nejad, they try to pretend they won the war.

At any rate, my discussion with Mammd revolved not around the minor detail of ending the war in 1981 (during Bani-Sadr) or 1982, but the fact that  it could have certainly ended much much sooner, and I hope there is no dispute here,   because that is the fact.

People who have gone to the fronts, and have lost limbs or loved ones particularly find this disturbing, to realize post 1983 all the efforts was NO longer to defend Iran, but to strengthen Rafsanjani/Khomanee etc, but that is the reality.

At any rate, the move forward discussion is more interesting than the war.



so much nonsense

by Sohrab_Ferdows on

This interview, except for some parts related to Irangate story and relations between IRI leaders and Israelies and others which includes some incomplete information and half truth, is filled with a nauseating amount of nonsense that could only come from someone like Mr. Banisadr who is well known for his justifications of many issues caused by Islamic revolutionaries (like hejab) to fool people around himself. It is sad (and real shame) to know that this person with so much of ignorance towards the history of his own nation has been in a position to side with a group of people that he now call mafia (righfully so) in order to pave the way for establishment of religious tyranny in our country. No wonder that a charlatan mullah like Khomeini could easily use people like him to put a mask of civility on his brutal and backwarded regime and when the time was up, kicked them out of the same system that they helped to sell to Iranian people as a real democracy.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Does not mean absolute agreement. We can agree that we don't want the IRI. Then disagree on lots of details. Can we agree on the constitution that David ET put together? It is a good start for "unity".

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

He does

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


have some points. RIght about the war; right about many colors; right about not being reformable.

It is ironic that he was a part of it. People should never trust Mollahs. Now he gets it but of course took him long enough and a coup.

Anyway glad to hear him say the right things. Hope to see a regime change very soon.


The discussion between Mammad & Aynak is refreshing. Thanks.

by MM on

The problem with us, and what Bani-Sadr failed to say, Bavafa beautifully stated in his description of IC reaching 10,000 members at

"Shoot, 10K registered readers and 0.001K unity"


I am sure that eventually we will realize what unites us and who the common enemy is.

I have references on the chronology of the events, especially with respect to the Iran-Iraq war and when it could have been stopped.  Your discussions have put a new twist into them.  Could there have been a cease-fire after the liberation of Khorram-Shahr accompanied by reparations (references please???)?  Thanks.


It was bad enough seeing a

by alimostofi on

It was bad enough seeing a non cleric falling for Khomeini and forgetting Iran then.

You know at that time everyone forgot Iranian culture and fell for the myth of democracy wrapped up in theocracy.

Bit by bit I argued how we are losing our culture to political and religious ideologies. But the real culprits were the merchants who forgot Iran and left Iran to help Dubai and US. They traded with China and propped up the regime.

But what really takes the biscuit is this BS from BS. He still does not mention Iranian culture. Shame shame shame.

Ali Mostofi



Dear Mammad,

by AMIR1973 on

Ayatollah Khomeini, my idol? That is even a worse stretch! When did I say that and where? Give the link. 

Would you consider yourself a supporter or at least sympathizer of the IRI's reformist faction (e.g. Mousavi, Khatami, Karroubi et al.)? Judging by your articles, that strikes me as a reasonable conclusion, i.e. that you support the IRI's reformists. If you feel so inclined, I would look forward to a response from you. Thank you.



by Mammad on

I do not normally respond to, or comment on, sheer rants, especially coming from someone like you whose positions are too clear and make it unworthy of starting a debate that would go nowhere. But, unlike your other rants, this one is personal attacks and represent either fabrication or misunderstanding, or ignorance and, thus, as they say in Iran, "baraay-e tanvir-e afkaar-e omoomi" I respond.

I do not know what you are talking about. My proudest moments spent with Rajavi? When and where did I say that? I know that I have never said even one word that could be interpreted that way by a stretch of imagination, let alone actually saying or meaning it!

Since I said the following in an article last year, I repeat it here:

When I was a student in Tehran University in the 1970s, I supported those who fought against the Shah, like many other students who were politically inclined. I supported both Fadaayan Khlagh and Mojahedin, but I was, and still am, a practicing Muslim. Before anyone jumps in and call me a Mojahed or ex-Mojahed - as it happened last year, and as you claim - let me say that I was neither - if I were, I would not be living today! Support at that time meant we held a moment of silence for their dead, read their statements "elaamiyeh" and discussed it among ourselves, became sad and angry when we would hear that they were attacked by the SAVAK, etc. Those who wanted to practically support those groups, joined them, not people like me who first and foremost were interested in science first and politics second.

But, in 1975 there was an internal communist coup within the Mojahedin that killed Majid Sharif Vaghefi and badly injured Morteza Samadiyeh Labbaf (who was arrested by the SAVAK and killed later on). The two had resisted the communist takeover led by Taghi Shahram and Bahram Aram. After that, people like me stopped their support - in the way I described - for the MKO. Never ever again I uttered a word in their favor. That was 4 years before the Revolution. I left Iran before Rajavi was released from jail.

Rajavi was always a power hungry man who always wanted to reach power at any cost. If you read Bani Sadr's article to which I gave the link, he says exactly the same, except that people like me knew this by at most several months after the Revolution, but it took Bani Sadr many years to recognize it, or was forced to recognize it.

Ayatollah Khomeini, my idol? That is even a worse stretch! When did I say that and where? Give the link. You are intentionally or unintentionally mixing two things: My support for the Iranian Revolution, with my non-existent support for Ayatollah Khomeini and what he did after the Revolution. I supported the Revolution because it was a legitimate Revolution (I do not want to argue about this since this is not the point). But what people like me supported was a Revolution that would lead to a democratic Republic, not a religious dictatorship.

I have said numerous times, even here at IC, that the reason that the clerics took control of the Revolution was the political vacuum that the Shah had created by eliminating the secular nationalists, the secular leftists, and even the secular right wing, and suppressed groups like Freedom Movement of Bazargan/Sahabi/Taleghani that were interested in constitutional reform, but were not allowed to organize.

So, please, next time when you want to make outlandish claims, try to do a better job!



Farah Jan

by aynak on


If I knew, or was convinced even 5% in my mind, what you and Comrade stand for, could push Iran forward for the future generation, believe me I would not hesitate for a moment,  just like I did when I was a 14 year old energetic member of Rastakheez.   What can I do? if my brain is not capable of comprehding the  virtues of your conviction?  What I know, is in the style of governance I endorse, regardless of what you accused me of, I may take you to the court and sue you, but I would never cause bodily harm or the like to you or people I disagree with.   That is the virtue of this "Class" of thought, may be even the only virtue, but for me that is enough.

Unfortunately (and based on your previous statements on this site), I am not convinced your system would reciprocate.   That is why, people with little brain like me, are scared sh-i-t of the systems with Fagheeh and Shah or anyone with absolute power in charge.

Wishing you the best, and I will mark this as my last exchange with you.



I read everything with a grain of salt mammad

by aynak on


Including what your wrote, (and you can apply that to my writing as well) :)

These are your points:

1-Bani-Sadr does not accept responsibility/take any blame

2-He incorrectly claims the war could have ended in  81

3-His interaction with Mojahedeen/Rajavi

On first one, I think it is a feature of all politicans.   A few weeks back I asked Souroush at one of his lectures:  What if anything you would do differently, if we could roll back the time to 1980?   You know what his answer was?   Well I am glad that time has passed!!  and I don't want to live in the past!   

Of course the ex-Shah did not reflect much on his mistakes either, and Khomanee drank the poison, but that was the scope of his taking responsibility for a war he unnecessarily prolonged for people  to bleed and his rule to strenghten.

Here, Bani-Sadr is exaggerating and the war could not have been won in our favor in 1981.  But for sure within another year and a half, when Saudi's made that enormous offer, why wasn't it accepted then?   The question is not if the war was dragged on, but for how long?    Instead of 4-5 Bani Sadr says 6.

Then you mix personal life with mis-information  with your not very strong logic here.  For your information, and I know this from a person who is related to Bani-Sadr .   Bani-Sadr was not actually in favor of the marriage!   It was his daughter who had fallen for that stupid jerk.   Here you make an allegation, and it is so hard for someone on the other side (Bani-Sadr) to dispute, because for him it would be a catch-22:

If he says what I just told you, that would be putting his daugher on the spot for a very bad decision.  Something no good father would want to do in public.

If he stays quiet, like he does, people like yourself without any actual/substantive knowledge would cliam this as using expediency for reaching a political goal.

I think he was absolutely wrong to make coalition with Rajavi, and subscribe to their position of arm-struggle.    That was his biggest mistake.   Not that I don't believe in arm-struggle, *IF* that has a fair chance of success, and as a tool, but never as the only means, and certainly not when it makes absolutely no sense, which is when Rajavi took the bait and fell for Khomanees trap.

You are absolutely correct that Bani-Sadr is not saying anything new, but I think his contribution is that he is saying it while he is being a Moslem.   THat is where he is different.   He is setting agenda not for us in the West, where frankly most of our problems are trivial for them and has been addressed for decades now,  but for Moslems.

Soroush and the reform movement is still talking about "Democracy Deeni".  Bani-Sadr is questioning that, not from a view point that is --hostile to religion--, which has no credibility within Moslem community but from a believer/practicer.    Too often we think once the problem is solved in our mind, it is solved for the rest of the world.   Religion is one of those.  That can not be further from reality.

I believe Mousavi and many on the Green movement are open minded enough (if not pragmatic enough) to make adjustment to their approach of accepting Valeeh Fagheeh system.   However this can not come only from haters of religion.   Bani-Sadr, by virtue of coming from a family with prominent religous credentials and being critical of the regime in Iran, EXACTLY from a religous viiew can contribute greatly to the promotion of true democracy in Iran.

Farah Rusta

Another sympathetic interview

by Farah Rusta on

And we couldn't expect anything but - after all FA cannot afford to upset the family's former allies. But the some of commens are much more interesting than the interview:


And I thought you are the same guy whose proudest moments in life were those spent next to some of Mojahedins founder members - the same people with whom Rajavi was fighting against the Shah. So how is that when you and your former comrades were beating your chests in suport of Khomeini, Rajavi was good and certainly not a terrorist but when the latter relocated to Iraq he became bad and changed to a terrorist?? Bani-Sadr wedded his daughter Firouzeh to Rajavi before the PMOI's move to Iraq and yet you call him a terrorist even then?! Is it because he broke ranks with your Idol, Khomeini? Sounds like double standards to me, don't you think Professor?


Don't forget to renew your membership of  FA mutually sycophantic congratulatory soceity. Its annual expiry date is soon due.

Comrade jaan: 

I love the title of your comments. Always choosing the right words for the right occasions.