Zahedi Slams McCain over Anti Persian Rhetoric


Darius Kadivar
by Darius Kadivar

Ardeshir Zahedi Imperial Iran's Former Foreign Minister and Ambassador to Washington has come out of his Swiss retirement in a rare outcry against Senator John McCain, the front runner at the Republican Party’s primaries for the coming presidential elections in the United States.

Ardeshir Zahedi is the son of the controversial General Fazlollah Zahedi responsible for the overthrow of Dr. Mohamed Mossadegh's goverment and who became Prime Minister upon the return of the Shah from his short term exile. Unlike his father's politically controversial reputation Ardeshir Zahedi's diplomatic record remains one of diplomatic victories for Iran on the international arena. Strangely despite the turn of fortune and the fall of the monarchy, he continued to be consulted in diplomatic circles and greeted by various US presidents including  former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton. He also was partially criticized by staunch monarchists for his support of Iran's nuclear rights in the current crisis opposing his country's current administration and the International community.  

Read Below his Open Letter to Senator McCain in response to the latter's comments regarding Iran's "Imperialistic" ambitions. 

Also Read coverage in  Iran Press Service

Dear Sir,

Senator MacCain's recent remarks on Iran at a panel discussions (I.T. 9 - 10 February) in which he expressed concern over the Iranians ambition, "which are as old as history: a Persian domination of the region" was to me heart breaking. Such remarks could have conveyed an ambiguous message in these crucial days to the American people. His remarks are also disappointing to the majority of the Iranians as to the senator's knowledge and understanding of Iran's history, past and contemporary.

By assuming the fact that the aspirations of all nations, including those of the Iranians do not change with the going and the coming of an administration or regime, I do not recall any historian has recorded "as old as history" an ambition of the domination of the region by the Persians.

Having had the privilege of working closely from 1959 to 1979 with seven American Presidents from both parties, with all of whom I am proud to say I had most cordial friendships, I never came across a similar remark by any of them that my country at any time in its more than two and half thousand years of proud history and peaceful co- existence had an eye on the neighboring territories or indeed the ambition of dominating them. On the contrary, it was Iran that throughout the same period of her existence had been invaded by foreign adventurers, beginning by Alexander the Great in 335 B.C , the Arabs in 633-656, the Mongols in the 13 Century, the Afghans and the Russians in the 18th and 19 centuries - up to the last occupations of a neutral and defenseless Iran by the British and Russian armies during the first and second world wars.

In fact throughout post Second World War era and up to 1979 the emergence and existence of a powerful Iran was the core of the US policy under various administrations, both the Republican and Democrat, as a vital source of maintaining peace and stability of the Middle East and Western Asia. The 1979 revolution in Iran may temporarily have had certain adverse consequences on the balance of such Iranian factor of stability, but surely it has no origin in the alleged historical ambition.

Having had the bitter experience of the past invasions from east and west, north and south of the globe, the sole choice for the Iranians to deter the would be aggressors had been and is to become powerful enough to defend their land, dignity, integrity and sovereignty. This was last proved in the 1980s invasion of southern Iran by Saddam's Iraqi army; notwithstanding the generous support provided by the west and the east as well certain regional oil rich nations to the dictator of Baghdad.

Astonishingly, the distinguished Senator's remarks were made at a gathering well familiar with the Persian history; the least with the Cyrus the Great first Declaration of the Human Rights and his treatment of the Jews in Babylon, paving their return to the Promised Land.

Ironically, your paper in reporting Senator MacCain's lecture on the Persian history, noted side by side a dispatch from Tehran back precisely 100 years ago; in February 1908 in its "In Our Pages" column: "of the sitting of the (Persian) National Assembly as a very stormy one due to further entry of Russian Cossacks in the Persian territory of Azarbyjan" on a pretext that need no amplification!

Yours truly,

Ardeshir Zahedi
Villa les Roses
13 February 2008

Also Read coverage in  Iran Press Service


more from Darius Kadivar

Thank you Mehran

by anti-dictator (not verified) on

Zahedi and and his fahter are great [traitors] and have contributed significantly to [the adversaries of Iran and the reactionary forces working against] Iran. Even in old age his [hypocritical paradoxic and ironic] love for his(?) country gets him going.

Kaveh Nouraee

We're Forgetting Something

by Kaveh Nouraee on

There's a word that appears in title of this post, and is used to describe all of the speeches and written text throughout the media, including other posts on this website dealing with the U.S./Iran issue.

(Oops, I said "media". Please insert your preferred Zionist Conspiracy Theory here:______________________________ [Use a separate sheet of paper if you need additional space])

That word, by the way, is rhetoric.

Derived from the Greek, it originally meant the technique of persuasion through oral written or visual language. (In Latin, it means the art of that persuasion).

In order to successfully persuade, the persuader must capture the attention of the party they intend to persuade. This, much like the act/art/comedy of picking up girls, always involves a measure of salesmanship. Now, we all know that salesmanship and honesty do not go hand in hand.

Take, for example, the very computer that is enabling you to read this. (This is assuming that you are online at home with your own computer. Those of you reading this at work, "khejalat bekesh". You're on company time. Get back to work and read this when you get home.) You were persuaded by some teenaged or early twenty something geek at Best Buy/Fry's/Circuit City with bad acne who told you that the computer you're using right now, was a fantastic product. Now, your machine is afflicted with more viruses than you can handle, and it does what many Persian girls won't; which is to say, it goes down on you two or three times a day. Then you realize you were BS'd. You could have had that for half the price.

The definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since the classical definition described earlier. It has now come to mean resorting to using opinions, beliefs, and even evidence that has been manufactured in order to catch the attention of those the persuader/salesman is trying to persuade/sell to.

There's constant rhetoric about invasions, discussions, sanctions, dialogue, and so on. But what has happened? Just about nothing. The IRI and the U.S. do this to each other because they are both a couple of attention whores. The U.S. is the big dog and likes the sound of its own bark, while the IRI, specifically Meimoun Antarinejad is like a Yorkshire Terrier. Little, hairy, and annoying as hell. In the end, it's all noise.

You can add up all of the speeches, the sound bites, the blogs, and so on. It's all rhetoric, which means it's all about persuasion, which means it's all about selling, which means it's all B.S.


Thank you Mr. Kadivar

by Mehran (not verified) on

Zahedi and and his fahter are great men and have contributed significantly to Iran. Even in old age his love for his country gets him going.


Gol gofti !

by anti-dictator (not verified) on

Nice said Alborzi... Excellent analogy!



by Ayatoilet (not verified) on

Well said Mr. Zahedi, never give up defending Iran


To: Ananymouse.

by Nader on

You got info on his father. here is the correct date.

Ardeshir Zahedi (Persian: اردشیر زاهدی Ardeshīr Zāhedī) (born October 16, 1928).


Kind of late

by Alborzi (not verified) on

There was a time when Zahedi and Shah were the prime jendehs, but they did not get it when they became "lashi". Now he can go and become the "khanoom". Hopefully McCain will have reality check, all their economic problems is from war and another war will make them even worst aside from Iranians are not Arab.


> sare haale yaroo

by Another lost iranian in France (not verified) on

I saw him on a few occasions (he lives in my bro's are in Lausanne/Switzerland) and mashallah pire marde sare haal bood. believe me. And I'm not a fan of this guy.


Zahedi is 112 years old? that's what Wikepedia says.

by Anonymouse on

Says he was born in 1896.  He is old but I don't know if he is that old, he may be. 

But bottom line who cares what he says? I sincerely doubt he wrote this letter or even knows where to send it or what to do with it.  Someone probably gave him a letter to sign (angoosht bezan).