People's Consent

"All the people of Iran are the owners of Iran"


People's Consent
by Ari Siletz

Before his 15 Shaban sermon on the occasion of the birth of the Shiite Imam Mahdi, Nazy Kaviani and I were given the opportunity to ask questions from Dr. Mohsen Kadivar in an informal setting for the readers of Nazy and I split up the interview between us with Nazy drawing a personal portrait of Dr. Kadivar while I focused on his political thinking. Here is Nazy’s interview, which includes a background biography. Below is my interview with Dr. Kadivar. Though he is fluent in English, we spoke in Farsi. This interview is given in translation, however, so that it will be accessible to more readers.

Q: From your understanding of Islam, particularly Shiism, does it logically follow that the religion mandates democracy? I mean by democracy a government that gets its legitimacy from the people.

A: Of course I cannot speak for all Islamic scholars, but from my point of view the consent of the people is the first pillar of governance. For this reason if a ruler does not have the consent of the people, consent that these days we call democracy I don’t see it as legitimate. We don’t have words like democracy or mardom saalaari in religious literature; we do have words that are close to this meaning. At the very least I believe that no one has the right to rule over people without obtaining their consent. I have compiled a theoretical basis for this: determining the people’s destiny is the right of the people, just as someone’s property belongs to that person. The Prophet has confirmed that people have dominion over their own property and that no one has the right to seize it without the permission of the owner. Well, the public domain is the property of all the citizens of that country. This is a theory similar to what John Locke arrived at, and before me it has been mentioned by Dr. Mehdi Ha’eri Yazdi who is the son of the founder of the Qom Seminary (Howzeh e Elmieh Qom), Haj sheikh Abdul- Karim Ha’eri Yazdi, a teacher of Mr. Khomeini. He has mentioned that the ruler is the agent of the owners of the public domain. This means that all the people of Iran are the owners of Iran and any one who wishes to do anything with this country has to get the permission of the owners. The owners are just these people. And the head of government, who makes decisions, is the agency representing the people. The answer to your question is yes, this is correct. My article on “Islam and Democracy, Compatible or Incompatible?” in English will be published this year. Its Persian version is available on my website.

You extend Islamic guidance directed at the individual to the political sphere. Do you view political activism as your religious duty?

My religious duty has several facets. One facet is my ethical duty. I cannot accept any principle or religious imperative outside its ethical boundaries. Activism is also a rational imperative, as I will detail later this evening in my sermon. From this perspective, yes, it is my civil right, my religious right and moral duty. My rights as a citizen and my ethical and religious duties are intermingled because I exercise them all at the same time.

What guidance does Shiism offer as to when it is appropriate to take up arms against an unjust ruler?

We have two sets of conditions in this matter. The first is the conditions you pointed out, that are the conditions of armed rebellion. The other is peaceful change. We are in the second, not the first. In the current environment, taking the matter to the first situation is problematic. However in both cases we can utilize Islamic teachings from very distinguished sources including Shiite teachings and interpretations. In the conclusion to the first volume of his book titled The Principles of Islamic Governance, the late Ayatollah Montazeri puts the question that let’s say none of our approaches were effective in brining a ruler to the straight path, can we take up arms against him in rebellion?

Most Sunni scholars -- a near unanimous majority -- forbid rebellion against a ruler. They regard rebellion against a ruler as being similar to warring against God. Just like the statements that the Islamic Republic has been making. This Sunni Ash’arite school of thought effectively endorses any existing political condition—The dissenting minority Sunni school, Mo’tazeli, is, however, close to Shiism on this issue. The Sunni Ash’arites do not permit any sort of rebellion even if the ruler is completely unjust. They say that it’s up to God to fix things; you should just go pray. We don’t have this in Shiism theoretically therefore rebellion is permitted.

But our current position is peaceful reform because our nation is not ready for more than this, and we don’t have the potential for such action. Anyway, even if we were to resort to arms we would need an organization, and we don’t have such an organization. We would be repeating the situation of 32 years ago, and they say no generation has it in itself to carry out more than one revolution. In addition the end of revolution is not predictable. The slogan of this movement is non-violence and peace. Let’s just see if we can raise the child we birthed and see where it goes.

What aspects of Islam’s gender related doctrines are essential and which aspects are open to adaptation to the times and the environment?

I have written articles on this subject (the rights of women and Intellectual Islam) which can be found on my website for reference [see note 1]. These articles are about the rights of women and about human rights in general in English, and I have written them with frankness. That is, which parts of our traditional writings are compatible with human rights and which are not—or at least by which interpretation they can be made compatible? In our religious literature we have two different kinds of rulings regarding this subject. Some in my opinion are fundamental timeless rulings that are part of the eternal message of Islam. For example you may know that in Islam piety [Taghvaa] knows no gender. Knowledge, Piety and striving in the way of Allah (Jahad) have been enumerated as being part of the highest Virtue [Fazilat]. None of these are conditioned on gender and everyone is equal. There are sometimes bounded rules--not foundational ones-- where one observes discrimination. These discriminations matched the time and place of the first people that Islam addressed. These were conditions where women had no human rights, would be buried alive, were always under the supervision of the men. Now Islam comes along and assigns the right of inheritance to someone who herself used to be part of a man’s inheritance. Since typically we read the text outside the context we do not notice all this progress. I mean when a man died in pre-Islam time, his wife would be part of his inheritance to his male progeny. Now Islam comes along and says just as a man inherits so should a woman. It stipulated a difference because it was not possible at the beginning to do this on an equal basis. I have explained in my articles that such legal issues are part of the adaptable aspects of Islam and subject to review. In fact, these reviews have already begun. For example in the matter of blood money (diyya ) there are Islamic scholars who have issued fatwas to establish equality between the genders. In the matter of court testimony, likewise there are proponents of equality. In the matter of eligibility to preside as a judge in a court of law there are fatwas in favor of equality. In all these cases I am a proponent of equality. I also believe we should enact certain protective measures in favor of women so as to eliminate discrimination against them. These measures would assign special security to women during pregnancy, and protect them against domestic abuse. As another example that has arisen in the modern world, I believe in positive reverse discrimination so that we can establish justice in its true meaning. We are obviously unable to uphold a physical equivalence between the genders; we can only uphold legal equality.

To what extent does the United States meet the conditions of democracy and where does she fail those conditions?

Well if for example you compared it with the Middle East then democracy is much more advanced in the US. On the other hand a point we should not forget is the issue of social justice. Social justice is not at an advanced state in the US. The gap between the richest and the poorest is among the widest in the world. And in this way the capitalists can easily interfere with the vote of the people, specifically through advertisement. And in other ways cartels and trusts (corporations), powerful in the US, adversely affect this country’s democracy. If we could have a society that had the same democratic values but its capitalism was not so irresponsible and reckless we would certainly have a stronger democracy. Also, the US constitution is among the first constitutions in world, and there are now constitutions in the world that are more progressive. However there is a belief in democracy that goes to the core of the American civilization in the minds of the people and the leaders of this country. This is because the US is the only country that seems to have been created by the will of these very people—of course there were immigrations. Most other countries were already established before there was a conscious will on the part of the people to create their nation. Therefore democracy in the United States ranks among the highest, and its flaw lies in the undue influence of capitalism on the democratic process.

You admire Ayatollah Montazeri and at the same time you believe that the Iranian people admire Ayatollah Khomeini. Keeping in mind that Ayatollah Khomeini was a very shrewd politician, on what basis did he distance Ayatollah Montazeri from himself to accept a successor that you consider unfit?

This is one of the enigmatic aspects of the diplomacy of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Apparently a certain security and intelligence process was followed and some wrong information was given to him. Also towards the end of his life he was ill. And he reached a decision. The decision process is not so clear to us. In my letter [see note 2] I have clearly stated this—and this was written when Ayatollah Monatzeri was no longer alive, so that that it can’t be said there were motives behind it. Even at the time I said that God showed mercy to Ayatollah Montazeri that he did not become the Leader. Because this system has theoretical problems, meaning that the velyat faghih system--or an absolute velayat faghih system--is fundamentally flawed. It is not clear whether anyone who occupies that position can preserve himself, so to speak. Ayatollah Montazeri’s father, a very decent and pure farmer, prostrated in thankful prayer when his son was dismissed as successor. He said his son was unburdened. And really this was the case. Looking at it from another angle, no one has the right to appoint a successor for himself. Now they’re trying to argue that since the Prophet did it so can we. But we argue that Shiism believes—in the readings anyway—that for the Prophet it was a divine matter. But government is a people’s matter and a person—at least a normal individual—doesn’t have the right to impose obligations on those who come after him, such as appointing an heir. I consider this one of the mistakes of Ayatollah Khomeini, and if the atmosphere were right I would write about both his strengths and his flaws.

The difficulty is that we—at least our youth—see things in black and white. Ayatollah Khomeini was neither the saint as some think of him in Iran and neither a slaughterer as some regard him outside the country. In his report card there are services and there are faults and we should put these side by side so that we can see them together. Meanwhile the events that are happening right now show that the theory to which he subscribed had difficulties, and the perfection that they attribute to him also has its difficulties. Well these are two major difficulties, which leave room for much discussion. Of course he had many positive attributes for which I have not had the opportunity--in this environment--to perform due diligence. However, enshallah, certainly I will discuss these matters. It will, of course, be hard to defend a man in a situation where some people refuse to appear in interviews without hanging his picture on the wall behind them—inside the country. And some people won’t even listen to you until you insult him—outside the country. He would have to be man of significance such that Mr. Mousavi feels obliged to have the picture over his head at all times in interviews, and others cannot bear to hear you out unless first you prove you are against him. My criticism of Khomeini’s theory was published several years ago in English [see note 3].


1. For Dr. Kadivar’s views on the rights of women in modern Islam including a discussion of the hejab issue see here.

2. Here’s Dr. Kadivar’s letter accusing The Assembly of Experts of negligence of duty regarding their supervisory role over the vali faghih. Fasl e chahaarom goes directly to doubts about the decision to appoint Khamenei.

3: For an English summary of this critique of absolute velayat faghih see here.

4: This is a Farsi text by Dr. Kadivar juxtaposing absolute monarchy with absolute velayat faghih:


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more from Ari Siletz
Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

thexmaster agha

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

You have said a lot of stuff so here are my replies:

  • What you use to refer to someone matters. It is used to tell who you are talking to. VPK is me. VPP is no one. KKK is a pathetic attempt at a joke or an insult.
  • You do not know basic logic. I said Islam is violent. I did not say all violence is Islamic. There is of course non Islamic violence. Most people grasp this naturally, you need to take logic 101.
  • I did not say all Muslims are violent. Islam is violent but many Muslims do not follow Islam to the letter. Therefore they are not violent.
  • I said it is a waste of time reforming Islam. I did not say don't do it. If you want to be my guest. It is like drying water. By the time you are done : nothing remains.
  • You use a lot of verbal abuse. That is an Islamist tactic. When possible they use physical violence. When not they use verbal violence.
  • I do not believe you are agnostic. You would not be so offended by me telling the truth. 

Niloufar Parsi

ari khan

by Niloufar Parsi on

great interview. i found it highly informative.

fwiw, i support your vision here, and think this is an effective strategy.

the debate has been fascinating too. i don't quite understand some commenters' negativism about engaging with such sound iranian activists. one of the most intriguing comments was one that claimed there is no room for tolerating kadivar's position among the iranian opposition because 'the movement is not democratic enough yet'. another claimed that anyhow there is no time for 'expanding' the movement to include the likes of kadivar as 'we' are all in such a rush for results right now. and the use of the royal 'we' was quite noticeable among a few revolutionaries.

so according to some, 'we' have an opposition movement in exile 'fighting' for democracy inside iran, but the movement itself is not democratic, nor does it have any time for it. quite enlightening! 

thanks for a great interview and debate.


Ali Lakani

Take your pick: Bombs, Hakha, or ALL of Green Movement

by Ali Lakani on

Iranians outside Iran keep making the same mistake over and over again--wishing to bring change to Iran from the outside. The recipe has been tried for 32 years with ill or nill results, leaving the image of a caricature bunch of Iranians in the minds of Iranians inside. They have told us time and again not to prescribe their future for them, but to stand behind them and support them as they pursue it themselves. We can scrutinize the Green Movement and its leaders and supporters, including Mohsen Kadivar, all we want. But it won't get us anywhere. We need to stand BEHIND Iranians and follow them, not AHEAD of them--they won't follow us.

If Iranians inside Iran still think that Mousavi is their leader, we have to accept that. I'm afraid shooting down the Green Movement, the reformists, and the Mousavi/Karroubi team as the movement's leaders, delicious and easy as it seems from the comfort of keyboards outside Iran, is not the practical way to go.


the only good thing out of last year's elections

by MM on

the only good thing out of last year's elections has been a differentiation, in the eyes of the world, of 1. the oppresive IRI regime, 2. the oppresed people of Iran and 3. the Iranian Diaspora who supports the people of Iran, very similar to what Cuban-Americans have accomplished in the US (except that the Cuban-Americans are united in their approach to everything). 


Ari Jaan,

by Bavafa on

Thanks for the interview, the additional information and mostly for creating an opportunity for this discussion. I have been following the discussion with great interest.

Personally, I lost faith in the reformist during the second term of Khatami, this is despite knowing well all the limitation imposed on them and the likelihood of bloodshed that could have come as a result of outright confrontation with the hardliners.

Nevertheless, lack of any real alternative to the reformist, prevents me from dismissing them completely. I still believe the Green movement is the best and most viable path for Iran towards democracy and freedom and but I also believe the Green movement lacks a credible leader, one that is seen strong enough to stand against IRI, yet not part of IRI (past or present)



I'll add some more MM

by Anonymouse on

6. Cinema expanded (exploded) as opposed to Cinema closings due to current regime's policy of selling DVDs at the same time as a movie opens in theatres look at the link at the end of the photos for much more closings in Tehran and other cities 

7. Four sets of sanctions all during Ahmadi.  In the latest version Ahmadi is begging them to go back to the original "swap" proposal to no avail

8. Women wearing sandals

9. Upcoming gasoline shortages and less money to spend due to onesided Ahmadi's "initiatives" 

10. New laws being legislated allowing multiple wives without first wife's consent

Everything is sacred


Rafsanjai/Khatami accomplishments

by MM on

1. The scarf-line went back about an inch.

2. Had one smiling president and another w/o beard, instead of the current dooms-day president.

3. Talk of civilizations has turned into crash of civilizations, thanks to the domination of the hard-liners in Iran.

4. A supposedly fissure between the religious factions that does not manifest itself to tangible results.

5. A lot of angry voters for the "selected" president.


No fear

by Doctor X on

You won't know what reform looks like, even if it sat on your lap and said, Mama, Mama, I am hungry, feed me. Get over it already. LOL.


VPP, VPK, KKK..a simple misspelling which you seem to find

by thexmaster on

relevent, so you're off to a good start.  Already, you return to your safe haven of simplistic generalizations. Basically it's Muslims think everyone is like them, they all support torture and death.  Is this the little bubble of paranoia that you've created for yourself?  Every thing wrong and negative in the world must have it's origin in islam, right?  Don't non-muslims kill people?  Torture people? Rape and beat women?  Can't people or even governments such as the IRI be held responsible for their actions, without being blamed on others who have the same religion?  Nah, thats far too difficult for you.

If reforming will render Islam not to be Islam anymore as you claim, than how are you against reform???  You see your breaks in logic here?   Perhaps instead of using emotion to create your arguments, use sound reasoning.   Here, let me get you started: Not all muslims live by death and torture. See, its not that hard. I'm agnostic by the way, and read the quran once in a while and dabble in yoga.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Agha. Once again I agree with No Fear! What have the reformists done exactly? At least No Fear sticks openly to his wrong headed ideology. 

You and the other "reformists" are the least effective. You are unwilling to admit you messed up big. That Iran was vastly better off with Pahlavi. That by now we would be ahead of South Korea and rivaling Japan. 

You then get angry and try to hide your own sense of guilt by attacking us. I make no pretence: I oppose Islamism and political Islam. In fact I am no fan of any type of Islam. I oppose a religious government. What does your side stand for? IRI light with less calories. Half the number of lashes. Maybe allows 2% beer and maybe use "kolooklh" instead of "sang" for stoning.  Just give it up dude and save face right now.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

No Fear

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

Some of your stuff actually makes sense which is sort of frightning :-)

Now turn it around. How about the American "left wing" pleading for IRI to play nice. Meanwhile American "Right wing" is getting its bombs ready.

By your own words the American Right Wing may beat IRI into a pulp and "make it happen". Strange when the words are turned huh?

BTW: As a  "ex" pat I pay no attention to Kadivar. I also don't eat big mac. These intellectuals are useless and worthless. Whatever happens next they are not going to be leading or big voices.



by AMIR1973 on

The fact is that Iran's regime is in violation of the U.N.'s  Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Currently there are no exemptions for religious fanatical fruitcakes of any grandiose cult.

International law is on the side of the rights of the Iranian people and has to be enforced.

I agree with your above statement. When I said I agree with Ari's statement that "Reality is, human rights has always piggy backed on non-altruistic conflicts between the powerful" --what I had in mind was that the present conflict between the IRI and the West (particularly the U.S.) could potentially set the stage for future Regime Change in Iran and the removal of the IRI authoritarian regime in favor of one that respects Iranians' human rights. There are precedents for this in South Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Regards. 

No Fear

" People's Consent " , beating around the bush, aren't we?

by No Fear on

I can't understand these leftist quackers solutions, i mean, what the hell are you offering, Mr. Kadivar?

Are you telling me without people's consent the IR has no legitimacy? Is this the extend of your intellegent definition of democracy? Is this an indication of your testicular fortitude?

Let me show you who has what you lack in your pants;


Why didn't Khatami with over 20 million vote say such a thing?

Incompetent jokers like you can only quack for reform and democracy but our people have notice you are good for nothing. So keep on dreaming and sound like an intellectual for a bunch of expates who look at you as the next best thing after a super sized big mac meal. Your era is over. The religious greens which you support, are not interested in any secular ideas.

I challenge any so called " reformists" to a debate over who has been a real reformist here; A bunch of phonies like you , or the new and modern rightwings headed by Dr. Ahmadinejad.

What the leftwing wishes, the rightwing will make it happen.

You heard me...


Hooshang Targol, VPK, AMIR1973

by Marjaneh on

Seconding every post by Houshang Targol and almost all their contents.(Just the thought of the drivel  done to Locke!)

'Would add more (and would have like to have discusssed the connection to Dialektik der Aufklärung), but VPK is right. I'm not going to discuss this matter further and thereby giving the gibberish credibility. Too ridiculous. It's like Richard Dawkins having a debate with Pat Robertson (great on Robertson's CV, not on Dawkins').... We should be having a giggle.


AMIR1973, what you've quoted from Ari's post dodges the issue entirely.

The fact is that Iran's regime is in violation of the U.N.'s  Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Currently there are no exemptions for religious fanatical fruitcakes of any grandiose cult.

International law is on the side of the rights of the Iranian people and has to be enforced.



„Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera."- Pablo Neruda


Haji Dr. No

by Fred on

The Islamist nuke lobbyist for the Islamist Rapists has the Islamist temerity to talk about truth.

The sack of Islamist liar ays:

“The AIPAC Mafioso - known as Fred in this site - wants the truth.  First of all, you cannot handle the truth!  Secondly, why don't you start from your own blog in each of which there are several lies that are consistently repeated, as if "baa halvaa halvaa goftan dahaan shirin misheh!"

Prove it Haji Islamist liar!

Anahid Hojjati

To mammad, some of true leaders of Green movement are...

by Anahid Hojjati on

Mammad, you noted that Moussavi, Khatami, etc. are leaders of green movement. I can see Karroubi being a leader since he has been brave but what has Khatami done to call him a leader of Green movement?


You asked Setareh about which way she is for? for reform or for revolution? I think I know her answer but I just reply for myself. Nothing short of revolution will achieve freedom for Iranians. This movement never was a quest for human rights. It has always been a revolution but it is still in works. Last time, there was a revolution in Iran, secular people gave benefit of doubt to religious leaders and look what happened. At that time, they did not know better but now we know. We can not put our stamp of approval on people just because we think people in Iran might like them. The secular and progressive people have to highlight, elevate and bring to visibility those leaders whom we approve even if at the moment, their popularity is less than people like Kadivar.

However, there is nothing wrong about interviewing kadivar. To micromanage other people' s interview is also not the best way to go. Some of the people who criticize Ari for the questions, they will be better off interviewing progressive leaders. It was Ari's interview and he asked what he thought was the best. Now we can do Monday morning quarterbacking or we can play our own Football game.



by Doctor X on

You need a hair cut man:)))


Ari Siletz

Doctor X

by Ari Siletz on

The comments regarding a soft interview were appropriate. Later, I hope to get the opportunity to upgrade to more substantial questions. Meanwhile, for those interested I recommend checking out Dr. Kadivar's works so that we also have a higher mix of substantial criticisms. 

No Fear

Question for mammad

by No Fear on

Can you please outline some of the reformists achievements during their grip on power?

A few example would be appreciated. Thank you.


Remember: "Reformists" were in power from 1981-2005

by AMIR1973 on

Mousavi, Rafsanjani, and Khatami held the "premiership" or "presidency" of the most murderous regime in Iran's modern history for 24 consecutive years. So when you hear West-residing Islamists and IRI supporters bleating about "reforming" the IRI, bear in mind that "reformists" have been in power for most of its history. Give the "reformists" another 100 years and they may perhaps reduce the number of lashes for sex outside marriage by 5%. 


I second what Hashong Targol & Ari said

by AMIR1973 on

Hoshang Targol: Islamic Republic of Hell has as much a chance of being reformed as did Hitler's Germany. A throughly corrupt, dis-functional, undemocratic, theocratic  state, bent on destoying anything and everything that it sees as a danger to itself( which effectively means anything and everything in Iran and the world).

Ari Siletz: Reality is, human rights has always piggy backed on non-altruistic conflicts between the powerful. 


Artificial Intelligence

Mammad the Reformist way has been a complete failure

by Artificial Intelligence on

And you still come here preaching the reformist route. It won't work as long as there is black gold to feed the Sepah and its cohorts who are in charge.

There is no negotiating with these people. There is no talking sense to them as you have previously advocated. There is no reform or gradual reform and the West with its sanctions have nothing to do with it. These are all excuses and you have plenty of them. There have been attempts by your "light Islamist" faction at "reforms' and they have been a complete failure. The Conservatives Islamists have kicked your behinds and neutralized you (and humiliated you at the same time).

You guys made a mistake by supporting animals like Khomeini and at the end today's young Iranians will have to pay the ultimate price for it. There is no other way to get rid of the menace your ideology assisted in creating.

Unfortunately, the  only option left to achieve reforms by Iranians for Iranians will be violence. There is no other way Mammad. Green will soon turn into red.



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

If by

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

VPP you mean VPK then you must first get your names right. Don't bother reading my mind. Or reading the stars for the future. The problem with you Muslims is that you think everyone is like you. Unlike you I oppose the death penalty.  I also oppose torture. I know it is not comprehensible to the Islamic mind. They wonder: how could anyone oppose torture? After all that is why all leades do. Well I have news for you. Not all people live by torture and death penalty.

I would not burn down anything. But I would not waste state money on mosques. Nor would I waste state money on religious institutions. To me Islam is no different than astrology or any other kind of superstition. You are welcome to it as long as you keep it private.  But when Islamist go around beating up on women, you bet they go to jail. When they rape women for not having hijab: they end up in jail. If that is offending their religion: tough!

You do have one thing right. Islam is not reformable. There is nothing to reform. How can you reform lies and ignorance? If you reform it then it won't be Islam anymore.

Go ahead and fire off the pre-programmed screams. "Racist! Islamophobe!" and so on. Heard it all! Nothing new. For centuries they have been intimidating opposition. From the early days of Mohammad killing Arab poets to the murder of Kasravi. It is always the same response. Now the world is tired of it and is responding. Get used to it.



by Doctor X on

Prior to your Nozoole Ejlas in this blog it had not even occured to anyone to even go there into the name-calling land. This was shaping up to be virtually the first blog without the usual streak of insult. Then you came . What buisness do you have coming in here and starting Sh...?
Are you on a Blog-trashing spree today? This is your third one in a row bro. Take it easy there Pal. You keep on calling people Racists and Liar etc, and yet you brag about "evolutionary changes and reforms?

 Who are you intending to collaborate and work with to bring in these changes to iran? Do "YOU" know  for a fact that the majority of iranians and those who know what is up on the ground are willing to put up with this attitude? are you gonna go around and call them racists and liars at every step of the way, if theyjust happen to think differently?

The one Billion dollar question is how do you know what the current trend is in iran and what are the chances that any of your claims and "reliable sources" are really credible and legitimate? How do we know we can trust your sources? Your students? Your people?

Fred's point was a very legitimate one in this particular case, which was brought on by so many others that there was a major lack of tough and grilling questions, which really gave him an opportunity to do the real grandstanding there. He is the real actor here, not the commenters.



by Doctor X on



If VPP were the leader in Iran

by thexmaster on

he would burn down mosques and arrest, torture and murder as many muslims as possible.  He would be the pol pot of Iran.  I can almost visualize the seering hate and anger that comes through his posts, near the same level of hate of the worst Islamists.  His ignorance is based in absolutes.  He's absolutely sure Islam can't be reformed.  He's absolutely sure there is no good in the Quran.  Even if the Quran tells you to donate and give to the poor, there must be something sinister and evil about it. 

You and IRI goons are flip sides of the same coin.  You don't want to build bridges.  You want to divide.  You want to instigate.  I honestly have doubts of whether you want the IRI gone, because they help feed your anger and perceptions so well.  It seems like your only purpose here is to spread your anti-islamic diatribe. 


You cannot handle the truth?

by Mammad on

The AIPAC Mafioso - known as Fred in this site - wants the truth.

First of all, you cannot handle the truth!

Secondly, why don't you start from your own blog in each of which there are several lies that are consistently repeated, as if "baa halvaa halvaa goftan dahaan shirin misheh!"


Haji Islamic Mammad


If not reformist, then what?

by Mammad on

Khaanoum-e Setareh Sabeti says that she is a Green, but not a reformist. If not, then what are you? A revolutionary? There are only two choices: Either you want an evolutionary process - also known as a reformist movement - or a revolutionary process. 

Some of you act like "jen va besmellah." As soon as you read or hear "reformist," you jump. One can be a reformist, but not support part of the reformists in Iran. Iran's Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 was actually a reformist movement, despite its name, because it wanted to achieve democracy through a having constituition, not by overthrowing the system over night (which is what a revolution does). The oil nationalization of 1951-53 was also a reformist movement. The Shah's so-called White Revolution was also reformist - albeit a mostly bogus one. We have had only one bona fide revolution - the 1979 one.

Granted: Some of the reformists who had some power from 1997-2005 disappointed us - although even that "disappointment" was the foundation for the present Green/democratic movement. But, the bottom line is, it is either an evolutionary/reformist process, or a revolutionary one that will make Iran democratic. There is absolutely nothing in between. If there is, the entire social science shouild be rewritten anew.

And, unlike what you claim Khaanoum-e Sabeti, the situation in Iran is NOT hopeless. It is vibrant and full of hope. A movement shows its strength in a variety of ways, and street demonstrations are only one way. The strength of the Green Movement, led by Mousavi, Dr. Rahnavard, Karroubi, and Khatami, is seen through the reactions of the opposite side - the fundamentalists - who after claiming that they received 24 million votes, still pressure journalists, for example, to force them to write an article to say that AN was really elected, and Mousavi is a foreign agent.



What have you two created?

by Mammad on

You two - VPK and BenRoss - keep making grand statements and grandstandings. Tell us - better yet, enlighten us - what have the two of you created, contributed, to the democratic movement in IRAN that makes you so "knowledgeable" about what is going on in Iran, other than your own fantasies about a phantum opposition that is not Green, is grassroot, etc.?

All I can see from you VPK is only dismmisive talks. "I ignore this," "I do not pay attention to that," "These are this type or that type," etc.yeah, you are way above the rest of us. You are just too good. You just see things that us mortals do not. Not surprising though, you see yourself as a prphet.

As for BR, here are a sample of his recent "efaazaat":

Dr. Mosaddegh is a nagging reactionary icon.

Modernity=being anti-Muslim and anti-Islam.

President Obama has given the Iranian people an unpredented opportunity for freedom.

The last one is truly illuminating.This is the type of comment that either an Iranian neocon or a monarchist makes. 

The Iranian people do not need an opportunity for "freedom" from this President, or any other president, or any other leader in the world. Freedom is earned through struggle, not as a gift or opportunity. The last time the US did us such "favor" we ended up with 25 years of dark dictatorship of the Shah, which then brought us here to the current state of affairs.

Before jumping all over me, let me say that you can have any opinion you wish. That is not the issue or the point of this comment. Rather, it is the fact that you two make grandstandings all the time, but are completely "part," do not have the fuggiest idea about what is going on here. You are confusing your own fantasies with realities on the ground.

Instead of such grandstandings, point out who your leaders are, what organization(s) they have, and enlighten us with the degree of grassroot support that you believe they have IN IRAN, not here in case is clear cut. He believes in Reza Pahlavi as his leader. How about you, VPK? In your last exchange with me, you seemed to have the same thinking.

Your fantasies have made you confused. You are mistaking commenting here as participating in the democratic struggle and, hence, knowledgeable about what is going on in Iran. You are way way way off. I know you disagree. But, only time will tell which one of us is correct.