29 Years of Cantankerism

It is clear that Revolutionary forces, must now give in to Evolutionary forces


29 Years of Cantankerism
by bahmani

You'd think that Iranians who thrive on disagreeing, arguing, and disbelieving anyone trying to make the slightest point (as you will no doubt see in the comments after this piece), would have perfected some sort of logical process to distill it by now.

Given the conditions these past 29 years, which have been riper than a honeydew (kharbozeh?) melon in the late-summer Esfahan sun, you'd think that by now, some sort of conclusive voice of the opposition, would have been heard, over all the praying and braying.

But even after 29 years it's still eerily silent.

It certainly seems so, only until Reza Pahlavi or his secretary's office surfaces periodically and attempts to makes those same silly noises again. Then it all begins anew.

Whenever RP suggests the slightest action, the entire legion of "opposition groups", rise up with their safe, loud defiance to a throne-less king, regardless of how much sense he might actually be making.

I've read his book, and if we judge the man (or his staff) by his printed word (which is technically a binding contract by the way), then as I read it, he may in fact be possibly useful, in some distant future with all the obvious safeguards, as a powerless monarch of Iran. What I think RP suggests (how's that for a disclaimer!), is he would merely request that a free Iran to decide his fate. By free he of course means state-of-the-art free, not the current "free to be as moslem as you want" free. Like it or not, Kingdoms are our 2500 year-old tradition. Just look at the outpouring protest against the film 300. I mean let's face it folks, as inventions go, we are pretty much the Ibn Sina of Kingdomry. We certainly did not invent mass rule or democracy.

Is there really anything wrong with a Prince Charles-ish RP living harmlessly (did I say powerless?) in Saad-Abad again, and periodically hosting the King and Queen of Denmark on a paparazzi filled ski trip to Dizin, comparing and contrasting Iran's snow to Gstaad. And in the process negotiating a lucrative Pastry contract for the Naderi Bakery in Tehran? Plus think of all the charity work he could accomplish! Imagine him touring (yet another) Bam earthquake, or Indonesian Tsunami disaster, or bringing Iranian financial aid to starving Africa.

But back to the opposition:

Tudeh, Jebheh-Melli, Mojahedeen, Fadayeen, "The Peoples'" this, and "The Peoples'" that. Factions, splinters, and chips off of really old blocks, all pissed off at life and the living around them, all run by out of touch elders who had the slightest brush with privilege during this now long forgotten past, guilt-ridden by squandered, slipped chances at destiny, either in 1953, or 1979. And they have ALL been pissing aimlessly but never into the same fire pit, for 29 years. To absolutely no avail.

The reason? It is both unclear and obvious at the same time. To be fair, they ALL have great ideas, solutions, and suggestions. Their varied platforms are as pristine as beautiful Persian miniature paintings, but guarded jealously, only for the private viewing pleasure of A-list by invitation onlys.

So, how is it that with all these great ideas and options, not a single one has been able to even bubble to the surface? 29 years of stagnation, is becoming a murkier swamp, it's water teetering on lifelessness and sterility.

Coalition, Cohesion, and Unity:

3 words that you will not find very prominent, in the broad spectrum of Iranian opposition groups. Dissecting the way other countries' opposition groups in exile do it, when facing an unpopular government (at least unpopular with the opposition groups!), the one common denominator seems to be in forming a coalition or united opposition to the ruling government. This is the nuance missing from Iranian opposition groups. Either out of vehement disagreement with one another, or the simple obstinate pride one often gets with principled aged folks, the various groups have NEVER ONCE contemplated unity as an option. Even I was able to find this in the first chapter of "How to form a Coalition of Opposition Groups for Dummies". The concept of strength through collaborative cohesion is strangely absent yet obvious and evident.

Assignments and Thesis:

So, here's what needs to happen, in my view. RP should call (and pay for) a 3-day "Convention of Iranian Opposition Groups". I suggest a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In DC or Virginia at a reasonably priced Hotel ballroom. Each, Every, and ALL groups must be invited, complete with a printed (real, no e-mails) mailed formal invitation, and pre-stamped RSVP card. Most importantly, invitations must be extended respectfully to the government of Iran and the US. The proceedings should include an opening remarks either by RP, to re-state his goal, titled, "Me and My Option", and one or 2 more by what I call "Coherent Iranian Voices". People who can be heard, and in their oratory set a positive and productive tone for the conference.

Each group must select a topic, or problem they wish to argue solutions for. Each group will make their presentation in like 15 minutes, during which they define the current problem they feel strongly about, and then clearly suggest a reasonable, workable solution. Each presentation will be submitted in written form to the conference, which will publish the entire collection at the end of the conference and distribute copies to each attending group, as well as the public. In the adjacent convention hall, the attending groups will be given tables from which they can continue discussions, debate and arguments. Expect spilt Chaie, Shirini, and even a fistfight or two.

The benefits of this civilized (but still inherently risky) approach are obvious. When the government of Iran is at once, faced with its many very real problems, and immediately provided with applicable, reasonable solutions, there really isn't much room to argue against implementing them. If there is, they can certainly try to argue against their reasoning. But if Reason is as present in the government of Iran as they claim it is, this could be the moment of change everyone has been hoping for.

To be cynical, the government could simply ignore the conference, and refuse to attend. And this is to be expected. But this would be a mistake that I doubt their intelligence (and PR) would allow them to make. Because, the arguments for once, would have been presented in a positive way, with the unified strength of free logic, (and full media coverage). And to refuse to discuss proven flaws of your system, and worse, to refuse to accept solutions that would fix the problems, would be really dumb. And no one is that dumb.

It is clear that Revolutionary forces, must now give in to Evolutionary forces. There are so many things in this modern era, that are fundamentally (funny enough) wrong with Islamic Fundamentalism, that I doubt that the current government, even believes any of it themselves anymore. Plus, Islam obviously needs an honorable broadband internet connection to reformation anyway. There is not a single mullah (of consequence) who has not secretly wished in his heart, he could re-adjust the Ghoran a tad here, and a tad there, to accommodate modernity. Islam simply has no choice if it wants to stay relevant. The Great Islamic Inquisition phase of "Convert or Die" simply won't fly anymore. (get it?)

So see you at the convention! I'll be the one holding my breath!


more from bahmani

To: Quom, M.D.; Have you

by Formerly anonymous (not verified) on

To: Quom, M.D.;

Have you ever tried speaking through the other side of your intestinal track...that is, through your mouth!


In order to move forward, we

by kbr (not verified) on

In order to move forward, we need to know who we are dealing with. We need to accurately assess weaknesses and strengths of the enemy. In Business is called SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.

Islamic Republic's power structure is really simple. It is very similar to the "war lords" in Afghanistan. However, in Iran instead of war lords we have highly organized and sophisticated "religious lords" (e.g., Moqtads al Sadr in Iraq and his fathers social and charities through the mosque) in every village, county, province, suburb, neighborhood in a perpetual power (economic and political) and religious brinksmanship for power and turf... This has been the case for centuries. It is all about money not even Islam.

I think you're spot on. Why do we need RP? why not Mr. Bahmani himself?



by History Genius (not verified) on


I wouldn't compare MEK to Taliban. MEK is Shiite but their form of ideology is Russian and Mr. Rajavi was trained by Soviets prior to the Revolution. If U.K. Parliament has relabeled them, we are dead meat. IRAN will join Mr. Putin's new dictatorship and if they are lying about the nukes, they will complete them for us. All of their nuke information to the state department are false. IRAN is not even close until 2015. What is MEK trying to prove? They are better? Hell...No....



by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

should scape in the Evolution. You answer to my comment is, sorry to have to say it, most diversing from my questions and statements. I had stated for example that the "IRANIAN" is not available in the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of IRAN. And it will remain unavailable. as your answer you name me Iskamist!I must say that it is good that "IRANIAN" is not available in the Republic. because of so many iranian Grans MAs who do not fall back because of a Infarct after having read so many earthy words which seem to be a unnegligible part of comments in the "IRANIAN". Your getting personal is for me the sign of lacking of Arguments. However i did not want to quarrel. I thought you may be interessted in a objective discussion. Please excuse me having begann something which you do not like, do not want and are not willing to. God may help us all. In the following the repeatation of your answer. Greeting.
You write:
Faribors Maleknasri M.D from
by Anonymous59 (not verified) on Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:45 AM CST

Faribors Maleknasri M.D from Quom:
* See? how did you find out my residency? You nauthy boy.
You repaet my words:
What happend in Iran 1978/79 was the only true Revolution in the History of man. Because its Dynamics was perforemed only by Iranian Nation.
* Your words.
You must be one of the most ignorant devotees of the regime.
*my answer:
Does it change anything on the fact that your wise words are not desired in the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of IRAN?
Have you signed up for martyrdom? *No.
I hope you have... *no I have not. It does not stay on the agenda either.
The coup of 1978/79 was planned 10 years in advance by Jimmy Carter et al.
*So he sent 3 warplanes and 8 Helis to destroy his lang planed work, I see.
Read the book by william Engdhal, "A century of war"...//www.amazon.com/Century-War-Anglo-American-Politics-World/dp/074532309X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203787956&sr=1-1
* Send the Book, please.
For you Islamists......
* I have repeatedly given the Definition of this word, hier once more: Islamist is a person who abuses Islamic argumentations to achieve unislamic Results. Now have I ever used islamic argumentations? I wrote to you "IRANIANIN" is not... and promptly you name me islamist! Where is hier the "political correctness" my boy?
firey and destructive pseudo-revolutionary"
* That is what you mean, I mean the ISLAMIC REVOLUTION performed by the homourable Iranian Nation is the only true Revolution in the History of Man. Now is it reason to get personal and call me names? That can be only lack of ....
of the rhetoric alive is your bread and butter; Your very existence depends upon it. Therefore, it is not surprising that you vehmently resist progress and change...
* I have not given my opinion. How do you want to kniow that I resist Progress? Which Pregress do you mean anyway?
Until last year I thought Iranians revolted against their monarchy...how wrong I was.
* have you looked at the moon?
Iranians did not revolt to have Islam enslave them and keep them in ever sliding journey into sewere of Middle Ages's religous subjugation.
* These are all your ideas. I have not tried to bring you away of your soughts. Please keep them and get happy and lucky. May be one should try to throw away any hate-feelings out of one`s heart.
The revolution was hijacked by the most violent factions of the society, namely, those who will kill "the enemies of Islam".
* Did they that?
The other groups were not nearly brutal or violent enough as this group of murderous hoodlum.
Many years before the revolution, The Mullahs, especially Khomeini, felt their Islam was undermined by the rapid progress the world was making towards secularism and humanism and thus rendering Islam and the clergies job and their only product in their inventory, which was religion.
* So got Imam Khomeini active and achieved what the honourable Iranian nation has today? Isnt it so?
The 1979 revolution would had taken place regardless of the system of governance. The 1979 uprising was everything to do with saving Islam and the clergies lucrative and most profitable job.
* Do you mean saving Islam is only a positive side effect of the revolution?It seems to me: Islam is at least partly saved. From Indonesia to andalusia, from KAP to Quebeck from Sidny ti Rajkewik man is trying to save that what colonialists and imperialist are rubbing away form them. Do you mean they - the Clergies - snapped the job from strangers? who made the most profitable job in Iran? The Job which they could even intensifying in Profit up 1953?
Khomeini used to say, "ISLAM IS IN DANGER"
* Please DO I HASVE TO EXPECT FROM IMMAM TO CRY: HELP THE CROWN IS IN DANGER? If you mean I should, so please, i will do it. But no honourable Iranian living in Iran, having founded the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC would ever never listen to you, they would not even laugh at these Ideas. They would ignore. Those 7ty million "fanatic Mullahs" as you would call them are all ignorant islamists!
and he was right
* So he was right?
and he did something about it
* and he has succeeded.
The rest is history.
* Right.
Once more, Greeting


We all thought George Bush

by Balouchi (not verified) on

We all thought George Bush was going to do that and now we are going to rely on Democrat in Republican clothing to do the same, John McCain was a democrap before he became what he is now, I still have not figured out who or what he is.


Iran needs the original RP

by Balouchi (not verified) on

Iran needs the original RP to return, the name sake is too liberal in his views and you cannot have democracy unless you have dictatorship first and just like his grand father he should have a Mullah hung from every telephone pole followed by all the "Agha Zadehs" from everyone of those new cement power poles, let's pray for history to repeat itself soon.


Iran will be burned to the

by Balouchi (not verified) on

Iran will be burned to the ground if MEK gets their hands on it. These sellouts should just stay in Iraq and forget about ruling Iran once and for all. Hopefully, Iranians will not make the same mistake twice.


Big Brother Is Watching.

by Balouchi (not verified) on

Big Brother Is Watching. This is the only reason why Iranians cannot rise against oppression, they can't even wear what they want because they are terrified of the Moral Police and not to mention all the drug addicts that litter the streets now and one expects democracy to thrive in this environment. Khomeini's grandson himself said there needs to be a military intervention in Iran to achieve freedom. There are cameras everywhere watching every move people make,these cameras are not there to observe traffic. sticks and stones will break my bones and bullets will kill me. As for Iranians living abroad they either feel helpless or don't care anymore for the same reason, one can only take so much pain and agony before shutting their senses down. For Iranians living abroad, they are here to shut up and pay taxes.


To: Anonymous 2: the U.S.

by KRB (not verified) on

To: Anonymous 2:

the U.S. short term memory is to support terrorists; they had supported Al-Qaeda and OBL, they have supported Saddam, the Talibans, PJAK, Jundallah, the Sunni insurgents in Iraq and many others – far too many to list here!

You forgot to add the Islamic Republic. The mullahs know that they came in with an expiration date on them and that's why they are panicked.




I guess many of you have been asleep while MEK/ NCR are busy!!

by Anonymous-2 (not verified) on

Interesting how little you know of what is taking place inside Washington's political scene.

While many of you are speaking about RP ,this and that, the MEK/NCR are already far ahead of you in lobbying the U.S. Congress to obtain their backing as the preeminent force that can bring regime change in Iran.

Over 200 members of this group met with Congressional representatives in February to be precise, around Feb 14, 2008 in an attempt to get their name off of the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

This group is considered by many of your favorite champions in the U.S. political circles as being the most viable force to topple the regime. They are considered disciplined, organized, and have already aided the U.S. in destabilizing Iran.

They are considered valuable informants regardless of the fact that they are: (a) a terrorist cult, (b) use democracy and liberation as a tool to brainwash Iranians; (c) have been responsible for killing of Americans; (d) have already been responsible for assassinating many Iranians in the past and continue to do so in the present; (e) were part of Saddam's army during the Iraq-Iran war -killing Iranian soldiers and civilians; (f) aided Saddam in crushing and murder of Shiites and Kurds in Iraq; (g) have provided false and misleading information on the Iranian nuclear program - which the Americans have found useful to raise the bar of threat against Iran; and (e) have already infiltrated Iran, destabilized the ethnic areas, and have created an underground group of supporters via their false propaganda campaign of liberation and democracy.

Unfortunately, the U.S. short term memory is to support terrorists; they had supported Al-Qaeda and OBL, they have supported Saddam, the Talibans, PJAK, Jundallah, the Sunni insurgents in Iraq and many others – far too many to list here!

So if you haven't figured out U.S. strategy that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, this should give you a reason why many oppose any intervention by the U.S. in Iran!! If you like what the U.S. has brought to Iraq you will love what they have planned for Iran!!

I am amazed that you and your savior RP have not lobbied against this terrorist cult group!!

Shows RP and the monarchists are either not up to it, don't have the organizational capability, the guts, or credibility within the U.S. political system to go after this group!! It also demonstrates how out of tune many of you are! Or it may just demonstrate that RP and his supporters are willing to cooperate with a terrorist organization, just like the U.S. Gov., so long as they can topple the Iranian regime!!!

If this is the case then shame on RP and the monarchists for not going after Iran’s number one enemy the MEK, NCR and their various paramilitary groups. This is the least RP should do to demonstrate his allegiance to the Iranian people!! And if RP is willing to let MEK/NCR take the lead – another reason why many of us are against dissident opposition groups who will work with anyone even if they have their hands dirtied with the blood of Iranians!!

If you are not fully aware of the atrocities committed by the MEK/NCR (the Maryam and Massoud Rajavi Cult), their strategy, activities past and present, how they use tools to brainwash people and put up a front as being a promoter of women’s rights, human rights, democracy and freedom while doing exactly the opposite, how they expect total loyalty to the leader of the cult (Maryam and Massoud Rajavi), how they are bound to forget the self and sacrifice everything including their own lives on behalf of their leaders, then any comments about how to strategize about Iran by you folks is simply a childish game.

This group is far more notorious than the IRI; in fact compared to them IRI is a perfect democracy!! I would support the IRI any day over the MEK/NCR!


Unite behind RP

by maryam hojjat (not verified) on

I agree with Kamangir. WE Iranian need to be united and stand with RP to topple IRI. RP has repeatedly mentioned he is not interested in ruling but to free Iran from the barbaric Mullahs.


I agree. We do need to move

by Final note (not verified) on

I agree. We do need to move ahead and understand the game before we can strategize and set goals and objectives for a future shape of opposition free of dogma and old political dianasours. Our ideologies and dogmas are in need of revamping and re-examination also...

In order to move forward, we need to know who we are dealing with. We need to accurately assess weaknesses and strengths of the enemy. In Business is called SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.

Islamic Republic's power structure is really simple. It is very similar to the "war lords" in Afghanistan. However, in Iran instead of war lords we have highly organized and sophisticated "religious lords" (e.g., Moqtads al Sadr in Iraq and his fathers social and charities through the mosque) in every village, county, province, suburb, neighborhood in a perpetual power (economic and political) and religious brinksmanship for power and turf... This has been the case for centuries. It is all about money not even Islam.


No oppostion has the balls to

by Realist (not verified) on

take care of the Islamic Republic and its thuggeries. It requires a massive bombardment by the America. John McCain can do that once he gets into the office.


Look to the future, forget the past...

by bahmani on

I think these comments have been some of the most humbling and enlightened I have ever seen, thanks to all for making them so eloquently.

What is evident, is that the biggest sacrifice needed in order to realize the concept of a "Convention of United Opposition", is the one that puts aside what has gone by, takes out a fresh sheet of paper and assesses the present situation as objectively as possible, and applies the highest quality ingenuity that Iranians have at solving the problems faced by Iran today.

I am speaking of EVERY problem Iran has. Political, electoral, judicial, legislative, economic, environmental, social, and yes, even religious.

The convention, especially if held in the US, would benefit from the freedom of speech here, that is currently illegal in Iran, resulting in the most honest and frank debate of all time. Publishing the proceedings would bypass any attempts to quash it.

I would ask the experts within the many profoundly wise (but obstinately defiant) opposition, to define and solve these problems with the same bravery and courage they show in their continued (but more and more wasted) defiance.

For a better word, can we not put aside out 29 year "Ghaari" and roll up our sleeves and work together to help save (and change) Iran today, and for the future. Because, I really fear that the longer we sit around and wait for someone to make the first move, the more others like the US will decide to change it for us.

So far this has been done routinely on a 25-30 year cycle. So we are due for another "adjustment" if don't try to do something ourselves. Then neither God nor Allah will be able to help us, and then you and I will most likely die and be buried outside of our country. And if that happens, I can promise all of you, I'm coming back as one pissed off ghost for sure!


The so-called revolution was

by Anonymous00 (not verified) on

The so-called revolution was planned and organized 10 to 15 years earlier by Carter et al. Read the book by William Engdhal, "A century of war".

By the same token, I do empathize with you Islamist devotees who need to keep the firey and destructive pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric alive; it is your bread and butter and your very lives, perhaps, depends on keeping the status quo...Many of you have blood on their hands and fear for your lives...however, you should realize that the chickens are coming home to roost. Iranians are beginning to understand that if they truly want to be free of Shahan-Sheikhi, they need to get back to their roots and fight the 1000-year old slavery (mind and body) imposed upon them by the clergies.

The particular shape of the ruling classes in Iran has, for the past one thousand and one years at least, consisted of two major components. In Iran they are referred to as the ‘Shah’ and the ‘Shaykh’; the King and the Cleric.

For those less familiar with the history of Iran, it is instructive to know that the clergy were a most integral part of the ruling classes all the way until 1920s, when the founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty, Reza Shah, summarily stripped the mullahs of almost all their social institutions of power.

From that point on the clergy had to stay content with running the mosques for the most part. Even large land holdings of the organized clergy were confiscated. The Shah also used to bribe them with a monthly stipen for them to stay quiet. And as soon as he stopped 'subsidizing' them, that's when all hell broke loose!...and the rest is history.

Iranians have been enslaved by the mullahs and Sheikh much longer than any monarchy. Monarchies were mainly figureheads who had to appease/bribe the clergies to keep them docile.

America brought the Shahanshaykhi back to Iran because they have always known about the power of the clergies. It is best for pragmatic purposes for the West to have clergies rule the Iranian people and keep them ignorant and servile. Iranians need to be educated about this history of slavery. The clergies have manipulated and kept masses of Iranians in complete darkness for their own self-serving agenda. They use religion to keep the population obedient, subservient, and subjugated. If Iranians are ever to free themselves from the shackles of religious slavery, they have to understand what's been happening to them and at what cost.

Those zealous fanatic muslims, often brutal and murderous, who have taken Iranians hostage at a gun point with threats of barbaric violence are only able to remain in power because noone can outmatch their savagery and cruelty.

True Iranians need to understand if they want to stay Iranian, they need to free themselves from their servile attitude toward their Rahabar, Leader, Marja, etc.

This will take hard work to educate people on how corrupt the clergies have been and the incalculable damage they have caused to Iran and Iranian nation. A time will come when Iranians will realize that they have to choose between being Iranian or Islamist...This might take another half a century but it will happen. The longer the mullahs stay in power the sooner Iranians will be able to purge militant Islam (Khomeinism) out of their great nation. Educating Iranians about their history of slavery by the clergies is the first step toward emancipation from centuries of slavery under the yolk of powerful and cunning clergies.

Emancipation comes before democracy.


Faribors Maleknasri M.D from

by Anonymous59 (not verified) on

Faribors Maleknasri M.D from Quom:

What happend in Iran 1978/79 was the only true Revolution in the History of man. Because its Dynamics was perforemed only by Iranian Nation.

You must be one of the most ignorant devotees of the regime. Have you signed up for martyrdom? I hope you have...The coup of 1978/79 was planned 10 years in advance by Jimmy Carter et al. Read the book by william Engdhal, "A century of war"...//www.amazon.com/Century-War-Anglo-American-Politics-World/dp/074532309X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203787956&sr=1-1

For you Islamists, keeping the firey and destructive pseudo-revolutionary" rhetoric alive is your bread and butter; Your very existence depends upon it. Therefore, it is not surprising that you vehmently resist progress and change...

Until last year I thought Iranians revolted against their monarchy...how wrong I was.

Iranians did not revolt to have Islam enslave them and keep them in ever sliding journey into sewere of Middle Ages's religous subjugation.

The revolution was hijacked by the most violent factions of the society, namely, those who will kill "the enemies of Islam". The other groups were not nearly brutal or violent enough as this group of murderous hoodlum.
Many years before the revolution, The Mullahs, especially Khomeini, felt their Islam was undermined by the rapid progress the world was making towards secularism and humanism and thus rendering Islam and the clergies job and their only product in their inventory, which was religion.

The 1979 revolution would had taken place regardless of the system of governance. The 1979 uprising was everything to do with saving Islam and the clergies lucrative and most profitable job.

Khomeini used to say, "ISLAM IS IN DANGER" and he was right and he did something about it and the rest is history.

Darius Kadivar

Great suggestions Bruce

by Darius Kadivar on

I think such a convention could be very useful and should I say necessary and in that I think RP ( Reza Pahlavi) or CRP ( Crown Prince Reza) depending on how people like to call him could indeed play a constructive role in the way you have outlined it. The major problem I feel is the reluctance and general suspicion that exists for historical reasons (events of 1953, 1979 ) between secular Republicans and  Monarchists ( be them Orthodox or Constitutional). I personally think that this is gradually being superseded by a genuine will between both groups to establish some form of constructive dialogue even if not necessarily embracing the same views.  I think that the younger generation or first generation Iranians both Inside and outside Iran are more open to a fair and open discussion on ALL matters and without TABOO in regard to the past including hard issues associated to the Pahlavi reign like the  SAVAK, Absolute Reign, Mistakes, corruption etc but also the shortcomings of the Republicans often stubborn stand to see in Reza Pahlavi as a would be dictator or Constitutionalists like Dariush Homayoun as ambitious villains (when in fact both have shown many signs of flexibility and self criticism regarding their past or what they stand for politically) but refuse to accept their own share of responsibility such as the National Front’s support for Khomeiny ( which would have made Mossadeg turn in his grave). Given the "pool of general discontent and disillusionment" towards the Islamic Republic and the Revolution of '79 that failed to deliver democracy or any extra rights to those that already existed or needed to be enforced before the revolution ( I am particularly referring to the social rights acquired by Iranian woman in particular and not democracy that alas was never really exercised in Iran) I think that a convention would be an opportunity to look frankly at the state of the opposition today and how it could revive from its ashes in a more constructive way by offering an alternative based on practical suggestions and not empty promises like the recurrent assurance that the IRI will be overthrown in 6 months. Most People are tired of such empty and opportunistic speeches that nearly ALL opposition leaders and members regardless of all political affiliation have made us absorb in the past 30 years.   Now Regarding the issue of Monarchy. Let’s look at the matter frankly and without preconceived prejudice. I think that the major question is not whether the Constitutional Monarchy ( Also Secular)  is better than a Secular Republic or vice versa but whether we should definitively drop the idea of the Monarchy in a country whose identity was undeniably shaped by this institution ?

I do not have the answer to this question but The fact that even Republicans refer to Cyrus the Great and his Human Rights Charter or Zoroastrian Faith ( that revives nationalistic sentiments ) whenever they feel it is suitable to their own cause or can enhance their popularity in public opinion is striking.

Be it Khatami back in the hay days of 1997 when he spoke to Dr. Farhang Mehr  ( Former Minister of Education of the Shah’s government and Chair of the former Shiraz Pahlavi University ) or IRI reformists like Mrs. Shirine Ebadi in her Nobel Peace Prize Speech or Ahmadinejad’s surprising announcement that he wished to restore the famous Tents in Persepolis that were built for the October 1971 celebrations of the monarchy proves that 25 centuries of kingship have paradoxically left a lasting legacy in our collective Psyche as a Nation and that even  30 years of a religious theocracy have not been able to entirely wipe out what is perceived as the legacy of an institution and its representatives that is the Kings ( and even Ancient non Islamic Prophets ) that greatly shaped our National identity and contributed to enhancement of Persian civilization.

Your reference to the massive outcry to the film 300 is also proves this point in a funny but revealing way. I think at least amongst compatriots who believe in Democracy and Human Rights that the age of a "Divine Kingship" or “Divine Leadership” is something that is rejected globally including in quite functional Constitutional Monarchies today throughout Europe. It is still lingering in some monarchies in South East Asia where the King is also a religious leader. Japan, Great Britain, Belgium Spain and of course all the North European Monarchies have long relinquished to their divine rights inherited from Christianity but they all represent a  continuity of their national identity albeit reduced to a folkloric representation. The Aristocracy in these fully democratic countries has absolutely no political power or privilege since they ALL pay taxes ( including the Queen of England and quite recently even the King of Morocco whose reign seems to be drastically different from that of his own powerful father) and they are accountable to justice as any other citizen in the country. Those in favor of the Monarchy as an institution argue that the costs of maintaining such an institution ( since the Queen or King receive a salary, the parliament votes a budget for all expenses necessary to their function: State Travels, Embassy dinner’s, ceremonial events which also include decorating fellow citizens for remarkable personal achievements ) is actually less than what is often the case in most Republican States like France, Germany or even the United States. I cannot vouch for that but it is worth an investigation by specialists to do a comparative study in this regard. What is certain is that most constitutional monarchies in Europe at least try to keep a low profile despite the apparent pageantry that appears on national celebrations where the people can and do participate. Unlike in a republic where if a financial or political scandal that would involve lets say  the president ( i.e. Watergate / Nixon), or minister the reputation of the government revives after the next presidential or parliamentary election, in the case of a monarchy such scandals often have long reaching consequences on the institution itself THAT is why most royal figureheads can no more subscribe to frivolous attitudes or spending without being accountable to the Parliament and ultimately to their own people who pay taxes. It is in the mutual interests of both the Crown and the State that the moral contract be respected. A recent example of the counter reaction was interestingly expressed towards Spain’s Juan Carlos last summer. The Spaniards claim more openly to be “Juan Carlist” than monarchist because of the way Juan Carlos saved Spanish Democracy ( Reza Pahlavi who refers to him still has to live up to this requirement) during the Coup outbreak of the 1981 where a fanatic general tried to take the whole parliament hostage. Juan Carlos has become the central figure in Spain as the “garant” of the Democratic Constitution, but his family and the Aristocracy have been heavily criticized in recent years for their spending and several limited financial scandals. This backfired in a discontent during Juan Carlos’ visit to the Basque Country ( strongly Republican to this day and struggle for political independence) where for the first time since the Spanish Civil War portraits of the Royal family were burnt and personal attacks were made towards the Crown Prince Philippe and his wife Laetizia for squandering state money during their vacations in the Bahamas. This drove Juan Carlos to take some strenuous measures against his family’s general attitude in public which like a family reunion was seen in the Press as a Father’s alert to his son and family members bad behavior. This was very positively received by the majority of the Spaniards who in a recent poll turned Juan Carlos into the most popular figure in Spain. Interestingly it has had the opposite effect in France with our President Sarkozy and his Napoleonic attitude in French Politics ( Spending his election night at the Fouquet’s on the Champs Elysee instead of greeting his fans on the Place de La Concorde, Marrying a Top Model, Spending his vacation on a Millionaire’s Cruise in the Mediterranean ). The Result has been Slump in Polls hardly 8 months after his popular election varying between –30% to  - 60 % depending on the statistics of the day  while  ironically the Prime Minister is more popular than the President. Another interesting attitude of Juan Carlos was when he told Hugo Chavez to “Shut Up!” at the 17th Ibero-American Summit  because the later  insulted the former Prime Minister of Spain ( who was forced to resign after being blamed responsible for Madrid Explosions). It was a particularly rare public display by a Constitutional King who is not supposed to interfere in politics. However the aggressive attitude of Chavez who called the former Prime Minister of Spain a Fascist was seen as an insult to a democratically elected Prime Minister and naturally revived bitter memories of the Franco years … Paradoxically Juan Carlos’ response was VERY WELL perceived by the large majority of Spaniards who appreciated the Kings attitude on the international arena and the Socialist Prime Minister was also Hailed for his dignified defense of the King. One can laugh or shrug it off as an incident but it also illustrates the limitations and advantages of  symbolic representations that Constitutional rulers like Juan Carlos can assume. What we can accept from a person like Juan Carlos may not be accepted from his son the Crown Prince and Future King. Another very interesting recent example of the utility of the Royal Institution is in Belgium a country where the credibility of the monarchy has been surfing on the tides of national discontent like on a Roller Coaster for the past 100 years while remaining popular. Very Much like in the case of the Pahlavi Dynasty, Belgium’s Royal Family has been a center of controversy and a love and Hate Relationship with its people. After WWII the King Leopold was sent to Exile for having collaborated with the Germans during the War. He was not a nazi sympathizer but felt that by collaborating he would avoid Belgium more and unnecessary bloodshed. He was also vehemently criticized by his subjects for marrying during this period and thus overshadowing his former wife’s memory who died in a car accident before the War. So Baudoin his son was sworn to become King after the Liberation of Belgium by American and British Troops. Interestingly Baudoin like the Mohamed Reza Shah in 1941 was sworn King in a crucial attempt to keep the country united after the war. Belgium is strongly divided linguistically between the Danes and the French Speaking population. Baudouin was a hardly charismatic personality, terribly shy but was very aware of the fragility of his position. When he took Oath at the Parliament it was amidst cries of “VIVE LA REPUBLIQUE” and “A BAS LA MONARCHIE” . So throughout his long reign he became a central and the most popular King Ever in his country thanks to all the charity work he did and also thanks to a strong Public Relation commitment that made him appear as close to his people. That took a generation to achieve and it is interesting to see that since Baudouin could not have children that his less loved playboy brother King Albert II succeeded to him at the age of 60 and had to live up to his own late brother’s standards since his coronation. He has been able to play a very constructive role after last years terrible Crisis that made funny headlines in the international and national press claiming that Belgium will be divided into two parts and particularly for the blunder of the newly elected Prime Minister who confused the Royal National Anthem with the French Marseillaise.  As the examples above show it is I think important not to underestimate the importance of the Monarchy as an institution particularly in our country where it existed under different dynasties for more than 25 centuries. That does not mean that the Republican scenario should be set aside or dropped as a possible or necessary alternative but ultimately one cannot avoid the debate over this question merely based on the Pahlavi Dynasty’s Poor Political Record ( Essentially because of the creation of the Rastakhiz party that supplanted the pluralistic nature of the Parliamentary) yet largely positive social and economic Record in comparison to what we have had in the past 30 years.   I also think that a healthy dialogue between monarchists and Republicans would also contribute to diminishing what some may see as a "Cult" driven support for RP. I think that the age of a "divine Kingship" came to an end the day when the last Shah was overthrown but the notion of Kingship where the Crown is symbolically more important than the King and is still VERY STRONG in our collective Psyche even to this day not necessarily because of the King or Queen that could place it on his head or swear upon it ( in a ceremonial gesture to respect the constitution like the US president does with the Bible ) but again because of what it represents as a national symbol like the Flag.   

How much of this remains true today for the young generation I do not know but I don’t think that is something of immediate concern unless the political environment in Iran could lead to civilized dialogue or debate on a national level. Poll’s and Statistics will not define or determine the future of a nation however I think that if people were to vote for their preferred system of government the outcome will not necessarily depend upon logical arguments but like during all elections there will be an emotional reaction based on every individual’s personal loyalties and experiences which can at best Only be monitored thanks to the secret Ballot and a fair Campaign. Democratic political parties and leaders would be able to present their arguments and campaign for their ideal system of government as much as Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi or any other Qajar Prince ( since some put that forward as a logical argument, even if I personally think most Qajar Prince’s would support the Pahlavi’s knowing that their own chances may be very limited in comparison ) ready to stand above political parties in a “Juan Carlos” figure of national reconciliation. What needs to prevail however is CIVIL SOCIETY which needs in anycase be reinforced and encouraged in order to achieve a more pluralistic political landscape than we have ever had in our history in order to reflect ALL opinions and convictions ( as long as they are democratic and commited to respect of Human Rights).

 Such a scenario does not appear to be absurd given that Restoration has occurred throughout history with equally positive and negative consequences. However in the past 400 years it should be said that in Europe at least most Restorations have been significantly seen as an enforcement of the Parliamentary system of government where the King or Queen Reigns but does NOT Rule. Great Britain put an end to Cromwell’s Religious theocracy and established Charles II as Constitutional King. Today Queen Elisabeth II is the heir to one of Great Britain’s most tyrannical king’s Henry VIII ( who beheaded several of his wives) but whose reign is very much like Reza Shah in Iran or Peter the Great in Russia one of Progress towards  modernity and enhancement of its naval Force and national industry. Today however Cromwell’s Statue is erected in Front of West Minster’s parliament. We may not ask to have Khomeiny’s statue erected but certainly Mossadeg and Shapour Bakhtiar as well as national figures of the Constitutional Movement would certainly be seen as historical reminders of Iran’s long struggle towards Democracy, whether Iran becomes a Constitutional Secular Monarchy or a Secular Republic. The Ultimate choice should however be that of the majority of the People and the wisdom of political figureheads involved to respect and honor that choice. As for your suggestion of a convention the only problem is Security for all those involved ( be it RP or any opposition figure or members who would participate ). Look at Bennazir Bhutto what did that lead too ?  We are not looking for Martyrs but an incentive that can lead to putting an opposition force into motion. On the other hand I think RP's PR sucks ! He has an image problem which has nothing to do with his own personality or relatively low profile approach to his political role but because he is greatly isolated by an "Old Guard" mentality which is to a great degree imposed on him (against his personal will I believe)  not only by his staunch supporters but also because of the systematic "character assassination" which his father and family have been unjustly subject too for more than 30 years since the fall of the Dynasty. But I think that many opponents of Reza Pahlavi are also beginning to make an effort in the right direction as for instance the repeated interviews that RP now gives with such media’s as the BBC where his own Father was so heavily criticized. He also is much open to confront criticisms and discussion on ALL  issues even if they are difficult or harsh towards himself or his family and particularly father. Listen to 3 Part Interview with BBC: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.    

I think this is a postive and constructive step towards the direction that you Bruce have underlined in your interesting article.

My Humble Opinion, DK    


It is clear that Revolutionary forces, must now give in to Evolu

by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

May be it is. But I´m afraid the Revolutionary Forces which are regenerating and growing further day by day do not accept the evolutinary theory. The reject it. And they are by an absolut majority and they live in Place and they just love thier revolution and they are unlikely to discuss the basics of the Revolution and they do not want being the server of strangers in thier own home again and they have no access to "IRANIAN". So they will never be informed about the wise recomendation which is given to them hier. However the most wise recomendation helps us, iranians in the diaspora, to make us a nice evening and have a Chat with our friends, other iranians in the diaspora, forgetting the Stress which is eminently immanent in the life of a asylants and otherwise eigrants and profoundly emolient. apparently the revolutionary Forces know allready that a Revolution without Permanenz is no revoultion. What happend in Iran 1978/79 was the only true Revolution in the History of man. Because its Dynamics was perforemed only by Iranian Nation. It was not a coup de` etat and was not put on stage by strangers. also they tried to mislead it. Therefore one can be sure that the Revolutionary Forces in the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of IRAN will never give up, never give away. Greeting


To: Ben Madadi

by Kamangir on

Dear Ben

To say that the Pahlevi Monarchy has no merits at all, must be your personal opinion and that of a sector of Iranians but not 'all' Iranians. I personally would like to judge them by their 'karnameh' and to me they get an (A plus) specially Reza Shah. The achievments, progress, positive changes in every single aspect of the society goes beyond anything I've ever seen in any other Monarchy and I've lived in European country with Monarchy for the last two decades. The Monarchies we see nowadays aren't but symbols whereas in Pahlevi's case they had the absolute power. This is the point many Iranians do not like and I can understand it, however as absolutist kings, they did a lot for Iran, with their mistakes and shortcomings of course, but to say both, father and son were hated by Iranians is not accurate at all. They were hated by some sectors of population only. We should differenciate between riot and revolution. There was never a revolution in Iran or else you and millions of Iranians wouldn't be living across the planet 'after' the so called revoution. The opposite should have happened.

I'm not interested in a future Monarchy for Iran, as that's up to Iranians to decide, but I'm glad that for short period of time my country had a man called Reza and Mohamad Reza as kings. I'm deeply ashemad of the Iranian 'Karnameh' during the last 30 years.


Ben Madadi

About Reza Pahlavi

by Ben Madadi on

Bahmani dear (and readers), some countries have monarchies. Although the dynasty their monarch belongs to, as is something to be expected, have had some two or three (or more) mass-murderers, dictators and so on, the memory of those are so distant that the peoples of those monarchies have all forgotten about them. And of course, their realtively monarchs have long distanced themselves from their 'bad' ancestors ;)
However with Reza Pahlavi things are different. First of all the Pahlavi are quite new. They have ruled Iran for a too short period of time. Secondly, there have only been two Pahlavis and both of them have been hated by the Iranian people. Thridly, unlike other FUNCTIONAL monarchies, Iran's monarchy was overthrown because MILLIONS of Iranian poured to the streets (okay, they didn't want what they got, but they definitely didn't want what they had either). Fourthly, is it useful to say that both Reza's grandfather and his father were so incompetent they relied on foreigners to put them and keep them in power?
Does Reza want the Iranian people to decie what to do with him? Would this mean a referendum about the fate of ONE MAN? First of all, it would be too expensive to organise a referendum for such an insignificant person, and secondly, it would be too expensivve to organise a referendum for any single person, and thridly, it is NOT normal, or democratic, or humane, to ask others what to do with the FATE of one man. Democracies usually ask the electorate what to do with who rules over them for a pre-established period of time but no normal society would ask the populace to decide what to do with THE FATE of any single man. Men are free to do WHATEVER THEY want with their fate :)
I aslo want to say something about Bahmani's (an Iranian whom I like and admire a lot) remark about Iran's 2,500-year-old 'tradition' of monarchy. I have nothing against it, but who to be the monarch? That is the whole problem! Of course, we want a good-for-nothing (i.e. Britich-style) monarch. But who? Who can it be? As I explained earlier the Pahlavi are disqualified from the start. They have no merit. The Qajar? Iranians don't like them either. The Afshar? There is little trace of who is the curent TRUE (somehow to be decided) descendant of Nadir Shah. The Safavid? The same problem with the Afshar! Okay, so we've got a huge problem at hand! I had proposed to solve the problem by sacrificing myself to be the monarch :D I still stand by my offer. I still speak Turki, just like most of the above-mentioned Iranian monarchies did, so that goes with the tradition, and I can pretend to be a true Shia Muslim too ;)
So, I think Reza Pahlavi should focus on managing the wealth his father left, and live off the dividend, rather than thinking about living off the Iranian oil revenue and tax-payer, because he's got real competition. Anybody else for it?


A fundamentalist is a result of:

by realist (not verified) on

the fundamentalists are a direct result of the US and western interventions, otherwise who is fundamentalist?

Don't ever forget that we are not alone in the Middle East and some unwanted guests have been visiting us, revolting for us, coup d’état for us, Nation build for us, dirty our beautiful Persian Gulf waters with their wastes for us, pointing WMD towards our cities for us, and more and more stuff to protect us from our freedom!

I wonder why people went on streets 30 years ago and chanted against our protectors? hmmmm, makes one wonder!


Why RP?

by Diogenes (not verified) on

Why does it have to be RP? If you want a silent monarch, why not a Qajar?

Or a descendent of Mossadegh?

Just asking.


Why RP? If you think there

by Diogenes (not verified) on

Why RP? If you think there should be a "inactive" Monarch, why not a Qajar?

Just asking.


2900++ Years of Proud History!!!

by Beena (not verified) on

As most Iranians still go to bed @ nights with their sweet dreams of being falsely called "Mellat'e Bozorg" for thousand of years before & even now by the current regime, what is left there to oppose??? Perhaps all they need again is another 300 to bring them back to reality!!!


The two groups without borders

by Kamangir on

I like Abarmard's analyisis. However, I'd like to add to that the fact that many Iranians inside Iran itself have either distanced themselved from the realities of Iran or simply gotten too entangled in some unimportant details. Outside Iran, There's a 'minority' of Iranians that have a very clear picture of what has happened to Iran and what is happening to it now and inside Iran there's a large sector in similar position, these two sectors have a common understanding of what's taken place and have common goals.

Therefore, there must be two groups of Iranians first the ones who are not in touch with the reality (both inside and outside Iran) and then the second group that is well aware of everything (both inside and outside Iran) I assume this is somehow true with all other countries.  As for Reza Pahlavi, well, I don't think he's interested in the throne. He has repeatedly answered to this question by saying that all he wants is to help in bringing about change for free and fair elections in Iran. He always mentions the most valuable asset Iran has which is its youth. Why should some iranians still have this image of cruel, bloodsucking, advantage-taker king or prince?  Who has been taking advantage of Iran, sucking its blood during the last 30 years? Now, it's not the time to judge him, why would we judge him? Let's judge those who are literally distroying the cultural basis of Iran, its identity, economy, reputation(if there's any left)

Our country has the possibility of having a good future. This so called revolution was a 'lesson' that has hopefuly thaught us many valuable lessons.  




This one ,makes sense

by Kazem (not verified) on

Your idea makes sense,but someone has to start it.
Why not send it to RP's office?


RP doesn't have a chance unless...

by AAA (not verified) on

If RP wants to have even the remotest chance of earning the respect of Iranians, he first needs to distance himself from the clowns at the AEI and the rest of the Washington establishment and denounce them in no uncertain terms and condemn US action towards Iran over the last half a century. He has so far refused to do this so he is considered in my books to be one of their ilk.


There is a struggle

by Alborzi (not verified) on

Many have recognized this, but some factions realize that is not in their interest. However people who advocate confrontation are wrong and only through patient change this will happen. Set backs are to be expected, but the evolutionaries should never back foreign involvement.


I think Reza Pahlavi should

by bird flu (not verified) on

I think Reza Pahlavi should relinquish his claim to the throne and use his notriety to unite all parties and factions.

By doing that, Reza Pahlavi, will redeem his place in history and he will perhaps become much-loved champion for coalescing the oppostion in history books.

I wish that he would stop listening to his advisors and think for himself and break all the traditional trapping that he was born with.

He could also run as an independent candidate if a free-democratic election just like any other citizens and who knows he might even win.



by Avareh Los Angeles (not verified) on

Mr. Bahmani

I have to agree with you. This past 28 years, the Iranian society has not made any positive steps to change their morality, dignity, reputation, and sovereignty. Forget the opposition groups: Fedayan, Mojahedin, National Front, and Tudeh. IRAN has 2500 years of dictatorship and i think that our people need to be pushed around inorder to get ahead of life. AHMADINEJAD make a speech last year, "Anybody who tried to turn IRAN into a rotten fruit, a Renaissance revived again. We have the right to nuclear technology." REZA PAHLAVI might have better chance of going back into IRAN but he rejects to be a king and wants to set up a constitutional monarchy.