RESTORATION: Shapour Bakhtiar advocates Restoring the Monarchy


RESTORATION: Shapour Bakhtiar advocates Restoring the Monarchy
by Darius Kadivar

The Shah's last Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar was to give an exclusive interview with NEWSWEEK’s correspondent Donna Foote in the mid 1980's in which he advocated Regime Change and the Restoration of the Monarchy in replacement of what he considered the illegitimate theocracy in Iran. Below is the exact transcript of the interview.

Interview with Shahpur Bakhtiar Newsweek July 30th,1984


“I want to Overthrow Khomeini”

(Link to Original Transcript)


Shahpur Bakhtiar,70, was prime minister of Iran during the closing days of the shah’s regime.His civilian government was forced out of Power after Only 37 days when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in 1979. Since then Bakhtiar has lived in exile in Paris, where he heads the National Movement of the Iranian Resistance (NAMIR). He spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Donna Foote in London recently about opposition to Khomeiny and the Iran-Iraq War. Excerpts:


FOOTE: As an opposition leader living in exile, what are your goals for Iran?

BAKHTIAR: My goals have been very simple from the beginning.I want to overthrow Khomeini and replace his so–called Islamic Republic with aconstitutional monarchy with freedom of speech, human rights and dignity for citizens.


Q: How do you intend to achieve that goal?


A: It will not be easy. Force will have to be applied against a system that relies on force.


Q: After the fall of the shah, how can you justify a constitutional monarchy?

A: I favor a constitutional monarchy for traditional reasons,and because of the geo-political situation in Iran. Iran consists of various ethnic groups. The monarch in Iran can serve as a symbol of unity and independence for the entire country.


Q: As you see it,what powers would a monarch have?

A: He would have a spiritual power as the guardian ofthe Constitution. He would not interfere in politics. He would not make policy.I am not for the restoration of something called a constitutional monarchy that would turn the clock back. There can be no turning the clock back. I am for a system of monarchy where the Constitution is respected to the letter.


Q: You predicted five years ago that Khomeini would fall. How has he managed to retain control in Iran?


A: By the gun. By terrorism. And by the revenue he receives from petroleum. He thrives on crisis and he frowns on stability. But he has reached a critical point. Five years agohe had a great popularity and very little power. Now he has great power but little popularity.


Q: How strong is discontent within Iran?


A: When you have a reign of terror you can’t protest in thestreets and hold rallies. But there are fights on the long queues where peoplehave to wait two hours for half a dozen eggs. We were a rich nation. Now we have rationing. Every Iranian is asking, “What has this regime done for me?” We have had 400,000 violent deaths in the past five years. Close to 1 Million people are disabled as a consequence of the Iran-Iraq war. We have 3 Million homeless and 2 million who have fled abroad. Now the regime has begun to use thousands upon thousands of school children and teenagers as cannon fodder. Nota single family has escaped untouched by Khomeini’s rule.

Q: Who are your supporters within Iran?

A: You can find them in the Army, in the bazaars, in the civil service, in the middle class and so on. They are the people who were intimidated by Khomeini. And they are the people who thought that the Islamic Republic would be something useful.

Q: Is there any possibility of forming a coalition with other opposition leaders?


A: We must distinguish between the people who have been involved in the crimes that have been committed by Khomeini. We cannot collaborate with them. But the young people who have been fanatics, or who havebeen indoctrinated, can possibly become democrats.


Q: What is your view of (former president) Abolhassan Bani Sadre, who is also now in exile?


A: He’s living in Paris but politically he is dead.


Q: What is your assessment of the war in the (Persian) Gulf?

A: It is catastrophic, horrible and endless.


Q: How do you view the Iranian position in the war?

A: Reports that Iran has half a million troops on the Iraqi border are ridiculous. There are fewer than half that many. The soldiers behind the lines are not in a good position to attack because they are not properly equipped and morale is bad.Soldiers have no wish to fight because they are no longer defending their country but are engaged in an expanding war that aims for Jerusalem via Baghdad.


Q: What happened to Iran’s expected offensive this spring?


A: There is no ammunition, no air cover, and the Army is discontented. Weather conditions are not very easy for living, let alone fighting.


Q: What role have the super powers played in the conflict?

A: Their role has been to sell arms to both sides. Thewar was not an inconvenient war as long as it was 50 miles north of the Persian Gulf. Now that may be changing.


Q: Do you foresee anend to the hostilities?

A: I hope the war can be finished as soon as possible. Atthe same time, I know Khomeini won’t allow that. He will do anything he can to continue the war because his government depends on this war. If the war ended tomorrow, he would be out of power.


Q: What would youlike the Western nations to do?


A: The West must act. All help, political and economic, must stop. That’s what I want. Without the collaboration of Western countries from the beginning, Khomeini would have left office long ago. I would like the West to see Khomeini as he is – a bloodthirsty terrorist - who has disdain for human life. It is important that the West sees that Khomeini is dangerous not onlyfor Iran but for all countries. It would be catastrophic if his so-called Islamic Republic were to be exported elsewhere.


Q: How can you be an effective opposition outside Iran?


A: Was Khomeini ineffective in Paris? I am quite readyto go back to Iran. But I must have international guarantees. No Khomeini guarantees. 





Constitutionalism VS Republicanism 





Pro Bakhtiar Demonstrations in support of the Constitution of 1906 (1979):


Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi meets Diaspora journalists and activists in 1990 in Portland Oregon:


Bakhtiar's last Public Speech in Hamburg Germany(1988):

Bakhtiar in his last public appearance two years before hisassassination advocates REGIME CHANGE based on RESTORATION of the 1906 Constitution


Other recommended watching:


ROYAL ACCOUNTABILITY: Crown Prince Reza Praises Mossadegh's Patriotism (ANDISHEH TV)


ROYAL ACCOUNTABILITY: Crown Prince Reza on Torture During His Father's Rule



Recommended Readings:


37 days: A cautionary tale that must not be forgotten by Cyrus KADIVAR



REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc... by Darius KADIVAR 



RESPONDING TO REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc in the Making ... by Darius KADIVAR  



Recommended Watching:


pictory: Bakhtiar Denounces Bazargan's Provisionary Government in exile(1979) (Video Footage)


37 DAYS : A Cautionary Tale that Should Not be Forgotten (With Videos)


Abbas Milani on Sadighi's Missed Opportunity and Bakhtiar's Premiership


PRAISE FOR REZA SHAH: Adjoudani Slams Lack of Recognition for Pahlavi Dynasty's Founder 


more from Darius Kadivar
بت شکن

Geeeee! Rahamanian!

by بت شکن on

First, lets not personalize the issue or we'll get deleted.  Second,  your agony in coming  up with a credible rebuttal is so apparent! The trouble is that none of your examples, joking or serious hold water.  Khomeini and Bazargan were prominent faces of opposition to the Shah since 1953 and later in 1963 (Bani Sadr was the chosen president by Mujahedin who were the largest organized Islamic opposition to the Shah and later to Khomeini). But, if you excuse my French, what is the connection between a fart and temples? Khomeini was not appointed to save the crisis. He was the source of the crisis. He was the  pivoting figure of a united front against the Shah, even Bijan Jazani with is totally opposite doctorine not only knew of him but had predicted his rise to power in his book (the 30-year history).

Bakhtiar, on the other hand, was supposedly appointed to influence and bring all the opposing and pro forces together. He did precisely the opposite AND he did it with full knowledge that he had no chance, because he hardly was known to and trusted by any of these groups. This is tantamount to TREASON!

G. Rahmanian

Next Time

by G. Rahmanian on

Maybe we should elect a well-known beauty queen for our president. I wonder what percentage of Iran's population knew Khomeini, Bani Sadr, Bazargan,etc. before the revolution. I bet not so many people did. Even those who had spent all their lives in politics are saying they didn't know him well and decided to blindly support him. Many traitors who want to divert people's attention from their own treachery keep finding faults with others.

بت شکن

No hero of mine

by بت شکن on

Like his guru Mosaddegh, Bakhtiar was either (1) a believer in the supernatural and miracles or (2) outright power mad who sacrificed a nation for a blind ambition which put him for a very short term in office, He knew full well that (A) he was an unknown person to the public, (B) he had no support among the opposition, particlularly the clergy, (C) he had no support among the army. He should not have accepted the post with the Shah out of the country as a pre-condition,

In a court of law it can be argued as an act of treason. 

Maryam Hojjat

Shapour Bakhtiar is my Hero too

by Maryam Hojjat on

Thanks DK for posting this historical videos from this great IRANIAN hero.

Darius Kadivar

Well Good for You ... we happen to care about Mobarak

by Darius Kadivar on

A QUEEN's LOYALTY: Barbara Walters Shares Shahbanou Farah's concerns for President Mobarak's Family


Regardless of whether the word "Loyalty" is Fashionable or Not in Your IRANICAN World ...

Stupid blonde thinks Europe is a country...


Dirty Angel

-- ------- Comrade, nagoo ya baghiyamash begoo!

by Dirty Angel on

 The poor man, a "patriotic nationalist", detested the "shah" personally...

and I'll stand in any court to repeat my statement.  With proof and verified witness statement....

His name is being consistantly violated and abused. Fortunately, sane people know this....


-- -------- Comrade, what are you doing amusing yourself with a women's celeb mag anyway?  You're going to make me watch golf next, aren't you.

"If they chew you up, they still have to spit you out "


you are right DK

by mullah-kosh on

I don't care about Mobarak. I do care when someone compares himself to Kourosh e bozorg, and claims to have inherited his line of Monarchy. When you talk shit, you better be able to back it up, specially if you are going to involved the cultural and foudnational institutions of a nation.


Shapour Who?

by comrade on

His grave naivety cost him his precious life.

Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.


Darius Kadivar

mullah-kosh Jaan how about Practicing what you preach ;0))

by Darius Kadivar on

" check out Mobarak, he is still in Egypt." ...     LOL  


But Thank you for the suggestion, While I enjoy my French Wine ... Don't hesitate to sell us Your Nightmarish Jomhurykhah IRANICAN DREAMS:


SATIRE: The Burqa Republic of Our IRANICAN Dreams ;0)

Particularly to those fellow IRANICAN's still tanning in the CALIFORNICAN SUN:

Californication: Trailer (New Showtime Original Series)



But with or without Your Permission if you don't mind I'll Stick to My Constitutionalist Dreams in the meantime ... ;0)


ROYAL FORUM: Explaining the Concept of a Constitutional Monarchy to a Staunch Republican



 "A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that faces death" -Saul Bellow


Dariush jan

by mullah-kosh on

Please answer this question: Why is it that Monarchists, and IR supporters when confronted with criticsm always compare their preferred system to some other ones in this world? In your case, it is either Spain, or some nordic country, in case of IR supporters, it is Israel doing this, or America doing that. I could care less what the Spanish did. I care what an Iranian "king" supposedly did or did not do.

Darius Kadivar

Hmm... How is that different from Alfonso XIII of Spain Fleeing?

by Darius Kadivar on

Alfonso XIII of Spain

When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, he fled and left Spain, but did not abdicate the throne. He settled eventually in Rome where he lived in the Grand Hotel. 

His grandson the current King Juan Carlos was not even born on Spanish Soil ... but in ROME, Italy ...


Juan Carlos I of Spain 


Restoration a Dream ? Maybe ... An Impossibility ? Not sure ...


 "A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that faces death" -Saul Bellow



I love Shapur Bakhtiar

by mullah-kosh on

Ruhash shad! he is my hero. Of all Iranian leaders in the past century, he was by far the most competent, even more than Mossadegh. But He is wrong on this account. Monarchy ain't coming back, and it should not be coming back. Mohammad reza made a mockery of an amazing,sacred, and grand Iranian institutions when he put his tail between his legs, and ran away. check out Mobarak, he is still in Egypt. Your Mohammad Reza was a degenerate playboy who was good at killing the weak, and ran away when the going got tough. I am sure Koroush e Bozorg, Dariush e Kabir rolled in their graves a few times when they saw what had become of their Monarchy, and Kaviani throne.
If you are a king, I expect you to be right in front of your generals, and soldiers ready to fight, not hand the nation on a silver platter to Zahak.
Now go drink wine, and watch french movies, these days, the monarchists are either doing that, or killing themselves.