Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Aryo Barzan
by Aryo Barzan

A few days ago I posted an article on this site asking if we are yet ready for or able to achieve democracy.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who participated in posting comments on my article for proving my points. Just like clock work, as I expected they resorted to insult accusation and empty slogans. All just because they did not have a constructive counter argument and perhaps more importantly did not have the courage to look within themselves.

As a matter of fact most of them did not even bother to read my article properly.

No where in the article I claimed that we did not deserve democracy and in no place I advocated that the IRI should remain in place. But no attention was being paid or was it? Instead just as I predicted they resorted to insults and accusations, without knowing who I am or what prices I have paid for fighting the IRI.

I would just like to remind these people that if they are the opposition of today when it is fashionable to appose the IRI, I was fighting the IRI from summer of 1978 when Khomeini was still in Paris and everyone was looking to the moon for his picture.

I must admit, in my time I have been accused of many things. From being a Soviet paid communist to being a paid member of MKO to being a paid agent of the West. In one point I was accused by some basijies of being a paid Mosad spy! Funnily enough in my previous article on this very same site I was accused of being a pseudo Monarchist and all by the people who did not even know the first thing about me. This time I am a paid IRI agent. Well! There is first time for everything.

My only question is that with all this paid agent work, why have I not been paid and where did cheques go. lol

But on a more serious note I would like you to tell me now; if you are not even willing to hear my criticism as an equal Iranian today, then what chance do I have when you and your like are in the power. What guarantee do we have that Evin would not be refurbished with new torture equipments and people like me would not be returned there.

The sad part in all this is that such kind of reactions comes from the educated Iranians living in US and Europe. People who have witnessed how real democracies work. When these so called “educated elite” behave like this then what chance have we got with the average uneducated Basiji on the street. Is there any wonder that he also kills people for being against his God or his Leader?

I have lost the count of occasions when me and my friends were escorted out of the events and protests organized by the so called opposition, just because we decided to show up with the Shiro-Khorshid Flag, being accused of being a Monarchist or even a member of MKO. Come on people I really need to know what is the difference between the person who deprives me from participation in a protest against IRI just because he does not like my national flag and the average Basijies in the streets of Tehran who beats up people because he does not like what they stand for. Given half a chance, wouldn’t this so call freedom fighter do the same?

But it was not all a loss as there appeared to be a few attempts of logical arguments from some of our fiends and in this article I try to provide some counter arguments.

First to VPK I have never advocated that IRI should stay also I see no security with IRI in place but more insecurity. make no mistake I am no friend of IRI and I see ne reason for it to continue its life. However our argument here is about democracy and how to achieve it. I even particularly said that getting rid of IRI might be necessary for democracy but it is not adequate

The one interesting logic that came from or friend Raul and was complemented by VPK, was the comparison between food and Democracy.

I am sorry mate but you could not have got it more wrong. There is a fundamental difference between these two, as one (food) can be provided by hand out but the other one (Democracy) needs to be worked hard for. Even in case of food there is a saying:

“Give a man a loaf of bread and you feed him for one day but give him the tools and means to produce his own bread and you have fed him for life.”

Democracy however can not be handed to or imposed upon the people who do not yet have the minimum requirements for it and the examples of one Iraq and another Afghanistan are good evidence for that.

Now please pay attention here. I am talking about MINIMUM requirements. No one is asked to be perfect or to tick all the boxes. However to have democracy you must be willing to

1- Negotiate and come to a compromise with people you are in disagreement.

2- Accept personal responsibility for your actions

3- Respect the opposition.

You see! Deserving something and being able to achieve it are two different agenda. As far as I know since the first human being walked on this planet s/he deserved a basic human right. However except a short period in the Akamenian reign, the world in general and Europe in particular was not ready and did not have the means to get it.

This was until the events of mid 20th century and the crimes committed by Nazi Germany forced them to change direction and accommodate for this right. Even today they only get as much right as they are willing to accommodate for.

As for the comments made by vildemose, I need to ask who would put those laws in place. Another dictator? Also please beware that democracy in those countries have come through hard work of the previous generations by going through the process of learning to respect the other point of view. However, noting in this world is guaranteed to last for ever. If the new generation do not cherish and guard what they have and if they behave in an undemocratic manner, they would also loos their democracy so fast that their head will spin

You see! For democracy you have to work hard and by that I do not mean just empty slogans that I have been hearing for the past thirty years, but real action which includes first and for most a change of attitude.

This means that if you are a republican then respect Reza Pahlavi and his followers instead of making false accusation. It means that if you area monarchist then respect the communists and let them have their say. This means that if you are a member of green movement then respect members of MKO and let them talk without the fear of retaliation and so on and so fort.

Till now, as far as I have experienced none of the opposition groups to the IRI (of course with the exception of Reza Pahlavi) could even bring themselves to sit around the same table, putting aside their personal vendetta and party interests and unite for the good of Iran. In spite of all pretty slogans each and every one of them is a dictator in its own right.

Well! You know what? Forget about democracy. With such autocratic attitudes I am not even sure if they would be able to get rid of the IRI..

Now be honest and tell me why you think the Basijies where able to through the students of the balcony of the hall of resident as a gift to Fatima Zahra.

Why in the picture chosen by JJ for my previous article that IRI agent is able to spray people with tear gas.

I tell you why, because the rest of us pass these events without paying any attention. Because people in our society either hide behind closed doors or they are only interested in perusing their own personal interest. That is why the Bazaar does not support the student movement. That is why the ordinary person it the street does not care about the factory worker who has not received his salary for the past 30 months. That is why the army stands aside while the Baseejis and foreign mercenaries employed by the IRI slaughter our youth in the street and that is the reason why we are not having a democracy.

Otherwise after any of these incidents we should have has millions of people in the street supported by Bazaar and the army and factory workers.

The bottom line is that: No matter how much we think that we deserve Democracy and how much hunger we feel for it unless we first understand what democracy is and then change our behaviour to be democratic, we are not going to get it! As simple as that!

Now I understand some people might not like this message, but I assure you, killing the messenger will not change the reality

This is the pure simple fact and no amount of empty slogans and hollow advocating of freedom is going to change it. I am sorry but that’s the way it works. Like it or not, we might very well change the regime but we’ll only get another dictator in its place

If the notion of revolution is all new and exciting to you, I have seen it all before.

I still remember in 1979 all the problems of country were being blamed on one Mohammad Reza Shah and his Savak. Well he was overthrown and his Savak was dismantled. Even some of the best sons of this country were murdered on the roof of Reffah School in the name of revolution. But that did not change anything soon after another secret service much more brutal than the previous one took its place and if as claimed by our friend Masud, Savaak was responsible for the murder of 3800 activists Khomeini’s killing machine killed over one hundred thousand just in summer of 1368. Even with Khomeini every body thought that he was the core reason for our problems. Well he is dead now for nearly 20 years but he is now replaced by a more brutal Khamene-ee.

While you tend to put all the blame on these individuals, I prefer to make the blame propositional to their responsibility. More importantly I see a common tread running through all these eras and that is the unwilling of a people in general and a political elite in particular to listen to and respect the opposition instead of crushing them.

If to you the IRI is the cause of all our sufferings, to me it is the symptom of a deeper problem amongst us and that is mistrust, disrespect, false accusation, and unwilling to listen to the different point of view and unwilling to compromise and unite.

It is here that we need to be honest with ourselves. If it is the regime change that we want then by all means as long as we are able to unite around that goal, we can achieve it. Democracy however is a different beast altogether and for that you need the minimum requirements I have highlighted above

While you guys think that you are fighting the dictators of today, I take it upon myself to fight the dictators of tomorrow by targeting the root cause of our problem and not the symptoms


Joe L.

you are a genius

by Joe L. on

i have been using your phrase of dictators within. i truly learned a lot from that article. i am beginning to see so many dictators in this site. it is true, it's crazy how true it is. good article, great post and fantastic insight about iranians residing in the west.
p.s. hojati a user has asked the admin to block me becuase i disagree with her. she has also mentioned that admin "has" previously blocked those who they assumed to be pro "IRI". hojati's word not mine. dictatorial, isn't it?

khaleh mosheh

You welcome

by khaleh mosheh on

don't mention it.

any how nice title my friend. 

Joe L.


by Joe L. on

You see it's totally useless talking to people who are ignorant. what you gonna do about those politically naive. ain't much can be done. Smash a beer can in your head and say YEAH, dat's bout all they can take ;)


VPOK: Excellent retort. I

by vildemose on

VPOK: Excellent retort. I enjoyed your calm tone.

Maryam Hojjat

VPOK, Thanks

by Maryam Hojjat on

you are very articulate and I admire you for responding Aryo in a very nice and honest manner.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

AB part III

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I am not sure what events you were walked out of. I do not doubt you just want to know what they were. I agree that much of outside opposition has been counterproductive. They spend too much time infighting and are get wrapped up in power struggles.

I saw Trita Parsi shouted down at an event in Los Angeles. I was ashamed. I have seen people do what you are saying. So you have a point. But my point is that it is no different than other nations. 

My friend got kicked out of the Republican Convention for wearing a shirt critical of Reagan. Reporters are beaten up by candidate "security" for asking questions in USA. But we still have a democracy. So yes we can have both: problems you say and democracy.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

AB part II

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

No where in the article I claimed that we did not deserve democracy

Are you kidding? The whole article was about us not being ready for democracy. I see why you want to backtrack. But come on the article speaks for itself.

without knowing who I am or what prices I have paid for fighting the IRI. 

Please tell us: how did you fight IR and what price did you pay? How am I supposed to know who you are unless you tell us?

I was fighting the IRI from summer of 1978 when Khomeini was still in Paris and everyone was looking to the moon for his picture. 

I was not aware that IRI existed in 1978. I was under the impression that Shah was in power. Are you telling me that you were fighting to keep the Shah in power? 

But on a more serious note I would like you to tell me now; if you are not even willing to hear my criticism as an equal Iranian today, then what chance do I have when you and your like are in the power.

I am willing to listen but just happen to disagree. Did I demand that you be quiet? No! Did I ask the admin to remove your blog? No! Did I flag your posts? No! So how do you say we were unwilling to listen. I did hear you and I disagree with you.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


If you did not write a three page monologue maybe people will be more likely to read it. Anyway, since it is so long I will respond in parts:

First of all accusation of your motives are completely on the table. Why  not? In a democracy I have a right to question motives. When you are minimizing  Iranian peoples right for freedom I want to know why.  Are you telling me just to trust you without question? Isn't that what dictators demand. No; I question everyone until they prove themselves to me. Specially when they take positions like you did.

importantly did not have the courage to look within themselves. 

Seriously to find what? I looked and I am happy with what I saw. Maybe you are not happy with what you see in us (a rejection of IR) but I am happy with mine. By the way you just accused us of not having "courage". Nice hypocrisy.


My doctor looked inside me and filmed it as well; from both ends I might add. He was happy with it too! 

Maryam Hojjat

Aryo Barzan, You had confused everyone

by Maryam Hojjat on

with your last article.  Now, You are trying to blame it on us that we can not hear or stand different views of others. 

Mash Ghasem

Your "binary" distinctions are false and incorrect

by Mash Ghasem on

Struggle against tyranny and disctatorship is a combined process. Struggle for freedom occurs simultaneously both on macro and micro levels. It is both social and personal. 

This is a process within which both the roots and symptoms of undemocratic relationships in Iran must be singled out and eliminated.

It's very peculiar to say the least that when masses in Iran are risking their lives for freedom, instead of fully supporting their life and death struggle, you reduce all of them to mini-dictators who need to go home and ponder their "internal" issues.Just what mullahs would love Iranian people to do , right now.

BTW SAVAK was destroyed only in name. Many of its members were also hired by IR.