Iran opposition to apologise to US for embassy siege
The Telegraph / By Damien McElroy and Ahmad Vahdat
03-Nov-2009 (11 comments)

Leaders of Iran's opposition movement are to make an unprecedented apology to the US on the 30th anniversary of the storming of the American embassy in Tehran.

In a gesture likely to provoke fury among hardliners in the Tehran regime, they will apologise on Wednesday for the hostage crisis that gripped the world for 444 days and led to a decisive break between Iran and the US, which is now routinely denounced as "the Great Satan".

Organisers of the Green Movement, the umbrella group that seeks to overturn the official result of the June presidential election, plan to use the official commemoration of the take over to make a fresh assault on the revolutionary credentials of Iran's leadership.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, an exiled film-maker who spearheads the opposition campaign overseas, said Iranians should repudiate the events of 1979, when a group of pro-regime agitators took over the US embassy and held diplomats and other occupants.


Apologize for Siege?

by jigsawnovich on

This is huge. I'm so curious how everyone will feel about this.



Better Late than Never

by Fair on

This apology should be not just to the United States, but also to the people of Iran, who paid the biggest price for this crime.

On Nov 4 1979, Iran's revolutionaries made a strategic choice- to stand up to the United States outside of the framework of international law. The action was not only outside of this framework, it was ridiculing this framework. There was no consideration given to the Iranian people's opinion, and there was no debate on this on a national level with people's representatives.

And the Indian man leading Iran put his stamp of approval on this decision, and therefore a death sentence on 1 million Iranians and an exile sentence on several other million Iranians.

Once again, he wrote the checks, and innocent Iranians paid with their blood.

This was the biggest treason against Iran by an Iranian in the 20th century. We continue to pay for it today.

The justifying of this crime by events of 25 years earlier is just absurd. Ask yourself, if Dr Mossadeq were alive, would he have authorized such a thing. And if those who do this justification care so much about Dr. Mossadeq, why do they put him down so much and not recognize him?

The ridiculous notion that this protected the fascist regime from coup is completely unfounded. Several coup attempts were in fact made during this period, coups which were much bigger than Operation Ajax, and they were put down brutally. So much so that our military was weakened to near collapse.

If the US diplomats were spies, then they should have been expelled and the embassy closed. If they were innocent, then they should have been left alone. But to take them hostage was ridiculous and criminal, and made us Iranians, the descendants of the author of the world's first declaration of human rights, of the great poets and philosophers and artist, become known worldwide otherwise as terrorists.

That is why when a gangster named Saddam Hussein invaded Iran on September 22, 1980, nobody in this world stood in sympathy and alliance with Iran, and everybody stood behind the criminal against the other criminals- the mullahs. The mullahs had isolated Iran, and Iran had lost. We were nobody in the court of world public opinion.

Our people have paid enough already. many times over.



Darius Kadivar

timothyfloyd Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

Thank you for your kind words in Return.

As far as America's Apology is concerned, I believe that they did already on two occasions:

Through a Member of former President Clinton's Administration through his Secretary of State Madelaine Albright who greeted President Khatami with Great Pomp at the UN.

The Other was President Obama himself during his inaugurational speach.

Despite these very direct and unambiguous public apologies, the Iranian Regime refused to acknowledge the United States constructive approach and maintained a Provocative Stance through it's President Ahmadinejad and the spiritual leader Ali Khamenei.

Personally I do Not Hold ANY Animosity for the United States or the American People for the events of 1953.

As a Constitutionalist who firmly believes that a King should Reign and Not Rule where as the Prime Minister should in Return Respect the Royal Institution, I believe in handsight that the events of 1953 were more complex than what they appeared  to beon the surface.

That is why I hold Both The Shah and Mossadegh mutually responsible for their respective stubborness in opposing one another at the expense of the Iranian People. TWO BIG EGOS needed to be moderated by mutual concessions but alas neither trusted the other ...

Maybe One should blame the particular period in which these events took place and that is the Cold War which was at it's height at the time and made such a cooperation impossible between two Patriotic Men who despite a common goal of seeing their country take the path of progress and prosperity were nevertheless a generation apart and with two different visions however comendable and respectful for their country.

The Shah of Iran and President Kennedy 1961



Mousaadeq Arrives in New York 1951



There are different historical views on the events of 1953. Few if not many who actually lived that period, are either too old or have passed away. One of the hypocrisies of the current regime in Iran to claim an official excuse ( which as I mentioned above was already done twice) is that Neither the Clerical Regime is qualified to recieve or demand such an excuse on behalf of the Iranian people which it suppresses and has suppressed in the past 30 years, But in Addition Ahmadinejad was hardly born at the time to claim to even understand the circumstances when they took place. As for the spiritual Leader Ali Khamenei he was a Terrorist already durng the Shah's Era and was arrested for his activities in trying to topple the regime. Nothing in his political life allows us to conclude that he was in anyway a supporter or Mossadegh's political and intellectual legacy all the more that he opposed the National Front (Mossadegh's Party) Leader and the Shah's Last PRime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar who accepted to lead the Shah's civil government despite .

Pro Bakhtiar Demonstrators 1979


Streets named after Mossadegh in IRan were renamed by the Cleric with the names of the Assassins of Shapour Bakhtiar or of various Islamic Terror Groups or their leaders.

That the Events of 1953 led the Shah to regain his throne and from then on RULE as a Authocrat rather than continue to REIGN (as he had before quite democratically for more than 12 years prior to the events of 1953 just like a European Constitutional King) is a Fact but It was Also his Legal Right to do so given that Prime Minister Mossadegh basically kicked his own King and Royal Family out on grounds that he was trying to topple his government after which he dissolved the Parliment which some argue was constitutionally illegal and only the prerogative of the King and not the Prime Minister.

But beyond the debate on who of the two : The Shah or Mossadegh were right and which one was wrong, what is certain is that the US should not make ANY EXCUSE TO THE CURRENT REGIME ! 

Were Bakhtiar Alive today he would actually be supportive of REZA PAHLAVI the Crown Prince of Iran who under the previous constitution would be regarded as Shah today !

Bakhtiar and Reza Pahlavi worked hand in hand before the former's assassination in the early 1990's. Reza Pahlavi has made his former advisor's struggle his own. He presents himself not as a King but a Citizen at the Service of the People. If the People one day upon Regime Change decide to establish a democratic system of government based on a Constitutional Monarchy he will serve the function as Constitutional King ( One who Reigns but does Not rule) just like in Spain or Great Britain. But if the People chose a Secular Republic, he has said that he is ready to serve his countrymen at any capacity.

But That is for the People to Decide. BUT as a People be it in exile or in Iran we need to get OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT !

There Can be No democratic Transition without Regime Change ( Obviously WITHOUT Foreign Military Intervention but with any Moral or material help to the democratic opposition) . We all hope it can be done bloodlessly but history does not always give us that luxury.

But to answer your question ... 


One way is BY Giving Voice to the Opposition Inside IRan who call for a SECULAR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT and Who Refuse to Cut Deals with the Regime  behind curtains and without the People's approval.

From This point of View I find that former President Khatami, or Mr. Rezai have betrayed the People's trust.

Former Iranian President Khatami: Deviations of the system must be rectified

Whether they do that to protect themselves or they are under pressure is to be clarified but it is obvious that without a clear agenda for the future the Green Movement may well be highjacked by dubious personalities within the Islamic Establishment at the Expense of the NEDA's And Other Martyres of the Post Election Protests.

I personally believe that ONLY AN IRANIAN SOLIDARNOSC as suggested by many secular Iranians and voiced by Reza Pahlavi's Call :

REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc... by DK

Can we hope to achieve what we all are struggling for and that is A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC IRAN that abides to the universal values of Human Rights and peaceful cooperation with it's neighbours and natural allies The AMERICAN PEOPLE !

Hope this clarifies some of your concerns and questions as to what may be the best path towards a mutual recognition and respect between our two nations.

Warm Regards,




Darius,,you are a fine

by timothyfloyd on

Darius,,you are a fine gentleman and a perfect historian with a large knowledge of Iran.If a person like yourself with a kindness towards America were to apologize,I would greatly accept and be humbled :)...Your posts are always interesting and usually non-confrontational.I love them.It's very refreshing to read up on some of your writings here and your website and I have alot of interest in Mossadegh,a great Iranian hero..If you ever needed an apology from an American for America's involvement in Iran's affairs,please accept mine.

Darius Kadivar

Could Do Better ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Apologize for Starting a Stupid Revolution with uncalculated consenquences that led 3 Million Iranians to chose exile and sent a Million Iranians to their Death on the Iran Iraq Front or thousands of Innocent Iranians to the Fire Squads because of their beliefs be them political ( Royalists, Leftists, MKO, Kurdish Rebels ...) or religious ( Bahai, Christians) and numerous Political assassinations abroad ( Bakhtiar, Farrokhzad, Oveissi, ...), And in Iran ( Forouhars, Gobtzadeh, Zahra Kazemi ...)

That is the Least they could have done ...

Better Late than Never !




Shah Ghollam

I read

by Shah Ghollam on

comments here pro "appologizing" but it is not difficult to read that such sentimenets mostely stem from writers hatred for IRI rather than looking at the historical event that took place under certain circumstances and time. How valid of opinion these can be?


I would accept and appreciate one

by timothyfloyd on

I watched the hostages on TV everyday for over a year.52 people tied to chair's,blindfolded and pleading for their lives.I guess these 52 people were somehow preventing Iranian's from Revuloution and Freedom...They were a BIG BIG threat....

Maryam Hojjat

Excellent Idea to apologize Americans

by Maryam Hojjat on

Mrs. Albright secretry of State during Clinton presidency apologized from Iranians for 1953 Dr. Mosadegh overthrown.  It is about time to show Iranians are kind, loving, concern citizens and they are different from criminal, barbaric mullahs regime.


Payandeh IRAn & Iranians  


What a shame, if true

by Bavafa on

The opposition group not only is not going to gain any respect by kissing the West behind, but it will lose all respect it has gained during the past few months and years in the eyes of Iranian people. They will be a true representative of Iranian people if and only if they stay independent from the West and that is the only way they will have any chance of success.

And for those who think this was a barbaric act, I beg to consider the other side's action:

- By orchestrating a coup to depose a democratically elected government

- No one knew in 1979, that this regime was going to be another dictatorship and it was all of us Iranians fault to allow it to become what it has become, but in 79 it was a revolution by the people and fully legitimate so protecting it was a duty and must.

- When US apologies for all the crimes that she has made against the Iranian people, then maybe Iran will respond back in kinds…. Till then we should not have any thing to be sorry about in regards to taking the hostages which was an insurance against yet another coup.



The right thing to do

by peace45 on

Great idea! we are not a barbaric society and by this jesture the oposition could show how different they are from the barbaric regime.


We have been civilized nation up until the Mullah's took over.  It's time to show the worl that we are the nation of Saddi, Rumi, Ferdoussi, Hafez!!!




The Honourable Choice...

by faryarm on

The Honourable Choice...

Please find and listen to Mansour Farhang's account of the Behind the scenes report on VOA persian, Sunday or Monday Nov 1, 2 2009 his meetings as Iran's Representative at the UN, the meetings with Khomeini, all which make crystal clear the political factors and motives that led to the inhuman imprisonment of innocent American employees of the US Embassy.

We can have no peace or prosperity in Iran without Justice.