Ebadi's mirage


David ET
by David ET

Last week CTRL + Click to follow link">The People Speak Radio interviewed Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Human Rights Lawyer activists and Nobel Peace Laureate. Ebadi has long been criticized by some for being a revisionist who recognizes the constitution of the Islamic Republic, but demands it to be properly implemented with reformed amendments and provisions. In order to clear any ambiguity I sent this question to the radio station which was asked from Shirin Ebadi during her interview:

Q. “The Islamic Republic has been in power for 30 years. Do you think with its current constitution which gives absolute power and say to the spiritual leader and the council of experts, there is any hope for the true democracy in Iran?”

Ebadi replied:

"When we speak about reform, we are thinking of the gradual improvement of the situation. If we want everything to change overnight, that is called a revolution and not reform....There are certain rights recognized in the constitution of Iran, but unfortunately they have never been enforced. For example with regards to the political prisoners, there is a constitutional provision that they must be tried by a jury. However this law has never been enforced and there has never been a Jury trial.

Therefore in the first stage we must demand implementation of those rights which are to the benefit of the Iranian people and have already been recognized in the constitution. Thereafter and in the next stage, we should think of amendments to those parts of the constitution which prevent progressive democracy in Iran such as the Guardian Council who has the veto rights over the bills passed by the Iranian parliament.”


The following is my view of the two-step "gradual improvement" and "reform" in Iran as defined by Shirin Ebadi in her answer:

The constitution of the Islamic Republic is not based on the secular view of the separation of the religion from the state and it fundamentally gives priority to the rule of God, enforced by the Islamic Government. One has to either accept the priority of God's laws (as interpreted by religious experts) over the will of the people (democracy) or must deny the possibility of the coexistence of a democracy and a religious rule as defined by the oxymoron of the Islamic republic.

In essence, Ebadi's revisionist views either shows her acceptance of a non-secular constitution and a religious government or represents an unrealistic belief that the current system can be reformed to secular government from its present religious format.

As I brought up in the very beginning of my question to Ebadi, Islamic republic has been in power for the past 30 years. Experience has shown that all the prior attempts by the revisionists even by those in power such as Bazargan and Bani-sadr to moderate mullahs such as Khatami have failed. In fact today every branch of the Islamic Republic from the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council to the office of the presidency and from the parliament to the judiciary are under the full control of the ultra-conservative Islamists. However, after 3 decades, the reformists still refuse to abandon their ideological and political fantasyland to face the repeatedly proven reality that the Mullahs have no intention of losing their God-given gripe of the power. Mullahs and their Mafia have often shown that they stop at nothing including murder and imprisonment of the reformists and opposition in order to maintain their power.

As Ebadi stated there are already some provisions in Iran’s constitution (and laws) that people can benefit from, however expecting that the ruling regime may implement those laws to its own disadvantage is a mirage that is still shared by Ebadi and other revisionists.

Presuming that the Islamic republic someday will implements its own laws, Ebadi fantasizes that in the 2nd stage of the gradual reform "parts of the current constitution" such as the veto powers of the religious leaders, will be "amended". The irony of this fantasy is that on one hand Ebadi recognizes that even the existing laws are not being implemented, but at the same time she promotes passage of new progressive laws. Although struggles such as the one million signature campaign by the Iranians at the grassroots levels demanding equal gender rights are highly admirable, however the unanswered question to those such as Ms. Ebadi remains to be: How can we expect the Islamic Republic to recognize and implement new progressive laws while the regime does not even respect the laws that are already in effect?

Aren’t the experiences of the past 30 years including the 8 years of Khatami enough proofs that the Islamic Republic is not reform-able nor will it comply with any progressive laws including its own if such laws would jeopardize its control of power or its existence? Isn't it time that the Iranian reformists face the ideological, political and personal reality check and recognize that at this “stage" any more attempts to "revise". "Reform" and "amend" the current system is the denial of the obvious facts and the experiences of the past 3 decades? That the dreams of a reformed Islamic Republic in Iran have resulted in nothing but more nightmares and disappointments?

While demanding human rights and exposing the current regimes’ crimes and violations, in order to make the ultimate leap towards a democracy, Ms. Ebadi and all of us must be honest with ourselves and each other that the existing system is not reform-able and the path to the “true democracy” in Iran is not probable until the collapse of the road-block of the Islamic Republic. It is only then that the formation of a new constitution which guarantees a secular democracy is possible.

It is time that the reformists such as Ebadi recognize that one can not live in a home built on a shaky foundation by simply adding extra walls and a fresh paint job. (keh een khaaneh az paaybast viraan ast)

(You can listen to the full interview with Shirin Ebadi CTRL + Click to follow link">HERE.)


more from David ET
David ET

راه نه آن است و نه این

David ET

قومی متفکرند در مذهب و دین
قومی به گمان فتاده در راه یقین
می ترسم از آنکه بانگ آید روزی
کای بیخبران راه نه آن است و نه این


wow, chilling revelation,

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

wow, chilling revelation, Mehdi. So, there is a potential jihadist in every religious Iranian willing and ready to kill those they disagree with who in the name of their own version of Islam??? Is that what being "very religious" mean in the IR? Then, if that is true, we have potentially 70 million Iranians who are highly explosive and violent and indeed they are a threat to US and Israel. Thank you for making the case easier for neocons and zionists to bomb Iran...

on the subject of virginity: Prefering virgins over non-virgin is a cultural issue which has been in practice by the people of orient (other Asian cultures,e.g., Japanese, Korean) until recently.

Let me ask you this question since you've chosen to speak for all Iranians in Iran: does the majority of Iranian people think the Islamic Repbulic represents true Islam??? or just the Basiji and their tribe et al??? Does being "very religious" automatically make them supporter of the Islamic Republic's cast of characters and supporter of their foreign policies?

And regarding the prospect of revolution in IRan, I have no clue, but I know one thing, if Iranians don't change their jihadist government, the external forces are going to change that for them; and we will end up being another Iraq. Is that what "very religious" people want so they can prove their religiosity to themselves and their God? Perhaps all of the "very religious" people in Iran have a death wish. Who knew?!!!


To: Anonymousmm

by Mehdi on

Well you keep bringing up new subjects. Why not stick to the discussion? Why not provide a reply to the questions raised?

The majority of Iranians are in fact VERY religious. Even among the ones living in the US! They still follow a LOT of cultural points that are observed in Iran. If you are looking for examples, look for a few postings by someone who looked for personality traits that gives it away that a person is Iranian. But for a taste of it, how about almost all Iranians consider a non-virgin girl far less desireable than a virgin girl for the purpose of marrying. Some of these people were born in the US and still have that viewpoint! If you ever look at recent videos and photos from Iran you may notice that majority are extremely religious. This is one study that the CIA did a lot better than any revolutionary group or "intellectual." The CIA actually found the real statistics instead of emotional and biassed opinions.

But are the majority savage? No. But religious people can easily be turned into savages - far easier than "secular" people. That's where the words "extremist" or "cult" come from. Like I said, even right now, if a mullah (who is generally trusted by people, even after all this mess) pointed to anybody and shouted "KAFAR" that would be the end of that person! That's what they did to most "intellectuals" and "opposition."

You say you don't advocate external force interference but you never say how else you are going to have your revolution.


Pouyan jan: Thank you for

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

Pouyan jan: Thank you for the heads up, however, I think it doesn't matter to me who anyone supports as long as they can make a cogent, well-reasoned argument. Republicans and Democrats view of the world is almost diametrically opposed to each other; however, you don't see them exterminating each other..We need to learn to get along and through the force of reason present our case. We can't just sit back and have them to set the discourse.



by Abarmard on

You are sooo cute



by Pouyan (not verified) on

My friend you seem to be a new reader of this site otherwise you would not spend your time discussing with the IRI supporters. You would never persuade them. They are not supposed to listen to the opposition but oppose it. Their full time job on this site is to preach for the IRI's survival.


Mehdi and abarmard: Mehdi:

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

Mehdi and abarmard:

Mehdi: Given your statement, it follows that the majority of Iranians are relgious savages/zealots who will kill and exterminate anyone who oppose their reactionary version of Islam??? I hope you're wrong.

Abarmard: Where is this natural growth??? I don't see any growth. The country and its people are stuck in the Middle Ages' mentality and ethics which is indoctrinated and reinforced by propaganda on a daily basis and the state uses its power to perpetuate this regression.

For example, the desegragation in the US had to be enforeced through laws and by force on the society not through "social growth" or gradual evolution of KKK; In other words, the state had to intervene and be the instrument of change and social growth not the majority of racist peopel in the antebellum south.

I agree that there are deeply rooted patholgocial and misogynistic sentiments in the Iranian society that the mullahs exploit to control and rule (Khomeini shrewdly pandered to this pathology to build his movement beginning in the 1960's) but those cultural characteristic have not evolved over centuries precisely because the mullahs continue to brainwash people; and they are just going to get worse.

Ironically, Khomeini and his fundemantalist ilk were not mad at the Shah because of lack freedom or liberty. The 1979 revolution was not a revolution against the monarch but an uprising pimped and procured by the Mullahs as they felt their version of Islam was undermined by the rapid progress the world was making towards secularism and humanism. The 1979 revolution would had taken place regardless of the system of governance. The 1979 hijacking of the revolution by the bigoted criminal shia-Khomenist had everything to do with saving their version of Islam (fundamentalist version) and nothing to do with liberty and freedom.

This group of fundamentalist have grown in number and influence and will wreack havoc and will endanger the future of Iran and its children. They will rob the future generation of prosperity and social and economic security. Time is of essence and prescriptions such as yours are not possible. In an ideal world, your remedy might have proved to be the right solution but we don't live in a ideal world. By the time Iranians reach the Social growth, there will be nothing left of Iran to save. Can you imagine if the colonists in the US had waited for the Royalist in the US to come aboard with their revolutionary ideas...America would have still been a colony of the Great Britain.

The cost of waiting for this eventual, inevitable, natural or whatever growth is too high of price to pay in a world that is moving forward at a speed of light.

I'm not advocating external force by any foreign powers. It will only strengthn the reactionary forces in Iran. However, I do advocate change from within as soon possible before a bloody war on Iran by the outsiders.



by Abarmard on

You might think otherwise and that's fine. The important point that I am making is not pro the current system. The main argument here is whether a religious system such as IR is reformable. The simple answer is based on the current event but a more complete answer is based on the historical evidence. The system does not need to remain if the people have passed it. The system could turn violent, that's possible but not the issue. The Iranians I see are mostly in the stage of religious beliefs. You could make an argument that they are not, and we can end it there. My argument is based on the fact that people are. Based on previous comment, some people are challenging the system. What Ebadi believes, an individual who cares a great deal about human Rights and is involved in the laws of Iran, is based on the philosophy that the society that has gained their own experience will reach their goals. I can't sit and design that, might be doable but not natural. The natural progression is something that no regime or foreign force can take away.

The ultimate result of the Iranian dilemma turns back to the social growth. That is one reality that is most certain. Iranians are questioning in the past thirty years the validity of an Islamic law over our country more than anytime in our history. Late, but better late than never. From this point is only forward, if there are no sudden shock to the natural social growth.

A sudden stop in our natural growth of the current Iranian social experience is similar to the last century beginning with 1906 constitutional revolution. Similar to then, we could have a advance movement among intellectuals that leaving the social involvement blank. And the result is our history!

Our intellectuals turned away from the west and perceived the west as the evil, not to realize that we could learn from them. But based on that time, similar to now, we could've not learned since we were not in the social level. Therefore many saw the result of our nation being fooled by any forces! and the possibility to be a powerful nation could not be realize, regardless of the accomplishments of the previous regime(s).

We have to investigate why we revolted in the last revolution. I think it comes back to our society. The continuous questioning of our religious system and challenging the system is a natural social movement that I can be sure of.

It's hard to comment about this complicated topic in a short space. If you wish I can go to my notes and offer you many readings about this. It's also hard for me to only rely on my memory to establish my arguments. Your answers are all over the libraries where many intellectuals and historians agree with Mrs. Ebadi.


To: Anonymousmm

by Mehdi on

"The separation of church and state was not through social growth in Europe. It was through 100-year bloody war. Please update yourself on the history of 18th and 19th century Europe."

OK, so you are saying that all the mathematical, chemical and physics formulas were discovered and researched in war time? Or maybe they were discovered and worked on due to the necessity that wars brought to the people? Very interesting viewpoint. Before the advent of what is now called science, there was nothing else but religion. Even the little science that did exist, was wrapped in religious beliefs.

"...put it but then a savage minority or a single faction of fundemantlist..."

Another interesting observation. You got it wrong, buddy. It was the "educated" that were the minority. And that is exactly why they lost - because they were a minority (and still are). If savagery alone can make a grou win, then what is your solution? Should we become more savage than the ruling group in order to succeed? So the way out is to become REAL savage? Interesting.

Your viewpoints are interesting. You look at history and your conclusion is that wars, savagery and killings caused a progress in societies. Or maybe it is just your own twisted views? Maybe it was in fact civility of a few who insisted on progress and worked hard to get rid of violence that caused the eventual progress? Hmmm, which could it be?



by Mehdi on

It's actually very easy to prove. All you have to do is put yourself in the CIA's shoes in late 1970's. Look at what your interests are? If you think CIA's interests are securing the US or the world, you need to get out more ;) Go to a coffeeshop or something and tell people what you think and note down their response.

But if you can truly get at the real purpose of the CIA and who they serve, then recreate the picture of late 1970's and the Shah and what Shah was saying and how the Iranian society was developing. Look at the "students" demonstrations, look at their interest in socialism and communism, look at economical plans Shah had, such as the HUGE petrochemical plant which would supply ALL OF MIDDLE EAST with petrochemical raw materials. Look at how many western manufacturers would go bankrupt (this is 30 years ago). Look at where the oil prices would be if Shah had succeeded with his plans. Look at where Israel would be compared to iran if Shah had succeeded. What would you do if you were the CIA? You would probably first do a thorough study of Iran, its people, its level of education, its culture, its understanding of the world market, etc, etc and then decide on a path that would guarantee the best oil prices for the next 30 years or more. What would be the best and most secure path? There is only one answer, really: a fundamentalist repressive regime that kills, maims, jails and exiles anybody who speaks of modernity, and they do it for free! All you have to do is point to some educated man and say, "Kafar!" That would be the end of him! Very effectice system, actually.

If you could manage to take out any educated individual from the positions of power, and leave only the incompetent, uneducated, superstition-filled individuals, you'd be set. You'd know that they would probably never get to a point where they could pose as a competetion for your oil cartels and your industry. Oh, it's actually too easy. All you have to do it just put yourself in their shoes and see what you would do. Then you'd notice that all those steps have come true!

And now that even the dumb mullahs have started to realize that it wasn't God who "helped them win against Shah" but the CIA, it is time one more time to have another revolution! If for no other reason, at least to destroy the country one more time and take it back another 10, 20, 30 years and hope that you'll have another plan ready by then. Yes, my friend, there is more than enough evidence to prove without any doubt that 1979 "revolution" was any BUT a revolution. You just need to study it a little and not be so emotional and not have a preconceived viewpoint - just search for truth and nothing but the truth.


Dear David

by Mehdi on

No, I think I read your article well enough. In fact, it seems to me that you didn't read my comment well. But then maybe you did but like you kind of mention, you have already made up your mind about what is and is not possible with regards to this regime.

What I asked, which is more or less what Ebadi asked is WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I am afraid you wrote this long comment but still managed to not answer that question. You say Bazargaan and Bani Sadr failed when they tried to "expose" this regime a little harsher than someone like Ebadi. Yet you recommend Ebadi should do the same? Am I missing somehing? Ebadi may not be perfect, but she seems to have accomplished far more than any of these "revolutionary" nut-cases who each have a station on satellite TV (an embarrassment to the Iranian community).

I read your article, your comment and the comments from "jamshid" amd "Jahanshah R." and it seems to me that you are all standing outside the arena, totally detached from the realities of the Iranian society, its culture, its level of education, its attachment to superstition, its lack of scientific understanding, etc, etc and just shout out demanding a "modern" or "democratic" or secular system. But you absolutely REFUSE to explain how exactly you suggest such a system will come into power. If the majority of Iranians right now will not submit to ANYTHING that doesn't have the word "Islamic" attached to it, how EXACTLY are you proposing that ideal and super modern system will materialize in Iran? If you refuse to answer that, the rest is easy. Like I said before, WE ALL KNOW that things could improve significantly. What EAXCTLY do you recommend?

You say " the existing system is not reform-able and the path to the “true
democracy” in Iran is not probable until the collapse of the road-block
of the Islamic Republic.."
But you then turn around and say you are not recommending a revolution. Am I missing something?


Abarmard: As usual your

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

Abarmard: As usual your arguments are non-sequitur.

non-sequitur: An inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence.

The separation of church and state was not through social growth in Europe. It was through 100-year bloody war. Please update yourself on the history of 18th and 19th century Europe.

We had grown, or at least a large portion of Iranian had "grown socially" as you put it but then a savage minority or a single faction of fundemantlist minority felt threatned by the progress toward modernism. So what happened was that they decided to exterminate those whom they did not agree with through sheer violence and murder; smiliar to the Spanish inquistion. Khomeini lied through his teeth to deceive the progressive and socially humanistic movements in Iran.

What makes you think that this faction which is much more powerful will not do the same thing as soon as there is little social progress toward modernism. In fact, that is what it does everyday through propagnda to set the clock back and it has been working to a large extent because eventhough people are critical of the regime, their mentality about religion is still very medieval and they still buy the superstitious mambo jumbo...Iranians are much more religious and ignorant of the modern world than they were before the revolution. I don't see any evolution here except regression and demise into a swamp of ever increasing ignorance and compalcency.

You're also under the assumption that a minority sentiment just because it is religious should rule over the majority, although the majority is much wiser and educated and can rule the country much more efficiently than the incompetent religious rulers.

You might be interested in reading this fascinating article. It's an old article but it sums up the parallels between what's going on in Islam today and the clergy-run Europe in the 18-19th century.



to mr.anonymousmmm: There is

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

to mr.anonymousmmm:
There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that in social pyschology which the CIS spend billions on funding research and acadmician who are later hired as social psychologist in the CIA.

Google, 'group dyanmic', group-think, group behavior...For God sake, Is that the calibre of Iranian intellectuals and educated in the West?? While you're at it google Social Psychology.


David ET you must be careful about your analysis

by Abarmard on

A close look at the advances of the west and the ideas of the separation of Church and State would remind you that it's not religion nor the regime that is based on dictatorial ideas, alone. The most important factor that advances a society from its traditional roots into a modern state is the social growth. The natural social advancement is in direct link with that societies capability to criticize the existing traditional rules. Therefore the question is not whether a government is secular or religious but whether a society is religious or secular. Secularism is parallel to the social understanding and wants to separate its personal beliefs with its social rules.

Christianity has been transformed from its political and dictatorial format into a modern democratic being with over 400 years of natural growth. Christianity is a religion of the other world while Judaism and Islam claim to have the answers for both worlds. Therefore the path to modernity in those religions for their follower needs to be addresses in a different manner.

It's not that people are born to accept dictatorial or religious rules, but rather it's the social level that creates the norms, which in the case of Iran is based on traditions and religion. The argument then could be made as for why we have not grown, but regardless the reality cannot be changed that we are at a level of a transition between the religious/traditional society into a modern culture.

One of the best thing that this regime has offered to us, unwillingly, has been the realities that people had to deal with during the Islamic laws. Having a society, at least good portion of it, educated and ready to step into a modern evolution is a result of the frustration and shortcoming of an Islamic system. Criticism towards the Islamic rules are high in the Iranian society and that, similar to the west, is a bridge that will allow us to cross into a modern secular state.

The idea of Mrs. Ebadi is from historical and philosophical essays that many westerners and some easterners have argued for centuries (half a century in Islamic world). The idea comes from the historical documents which claims the evolution of the western societies into a secular state.

Although thirty years seem long for individuals, given the length that one lives, in a historical perspective is not even a line of description. We are in the infancy state and some of us have a choice. Ebadi (and I also) believes that the system must reform because it's a natural evolution and the society dictates the path. Some want this path to be shortened by the interference and put place a secular system while the society has not fully evolved. We have a historical facts to look at and see if this method had given us answers.

Ebadi is correct to say that we as a nation must evolve in our social path to modernity, as one could argue that Iranian society regardless of its regime is in a transitional state and one could find modernity within it. This will not rewind but would go forward, naturally.

Otherwise freedom, modernity and democracy are just words that the society would not "care for" if the society is not there. Any regime in a society that has not evolved, will not be a democratic system, be it secular or religious.

Hope this makes sense.


Nice piece, you undoubtedly

by sadegh on

Nice piece, you undoubtedly pose questions that will provoke some necessary soul searching amongst reformists and those sympathetic to their cause.


TO: Mr. Anonymousmm

by TO: Mr. Anonymousmm (not verified) on

So let me guess this straight Khomeini and the Islamic revolution and all the people who protested were all puppets of the CIA, yet they had no clue about it? lol. And tell me exactly who from Washington was secretly coming into Tehran to give Khomeini orders? lolll.

Are you delusional?? Carter LOST his presidency because of Khomeini, the hostages, adn the revolution. US lost its most important ally in the region. US also gave Saddam green light to invade Iran to prevent the revolution from spreading. only a monarchist would deny the revolution was done by the people, because then they'd have to accept Shah's deep unpopularity and the peoples hatred for him. Sorry but nobodys buying your conspiracy theories outside of Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear David

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

I was very pleased to read your piece.

Under totalitarian regimes, because of repression, strain on the social life, ban of political pluralism, collective leery of each other a system of political and even moral decadence can emerge. Politically, a category of opportunists lurk to get a bone from the dictator to bark in a leeway as a sign of "bestowed" freedom. For that, any dictatorial system has direct intances or peripheric fringes to tie with such a fake opposition inorder to better curb the real opposition. We had the Front National and the Tudeh Party as examples. They had shrunk guts to oppose Khomeini’s proposal of "Islamic Republic with its Velayeteh Faghih added to it. We saw, as the first and in the first rows, Dr. Sanjabi, Frouhar, Sayyedjavadi in the Friday prayers in Tehran University. Than we saw flatterers of Tudeh Party admiring their “Imam”.

As you mentioned, our generation must learn by insisting on the needs of a paradigm shift. We need a bit more guts, a bit more brain, a little honesty to say simply "NO" to this totalitarian regime.

This is exactly the reason, the regime uses its stick and carrot to curb the real opposition while highlighting the fake one like Ebadi, Ganji, Khatami and their likes. What fails us is a courageous NO to any form or reformed shape of IRI.

As Jamshid perfectly described, these pro-IRI on this site manage to express Mullahs’ agenda under few categories and tricks:

A number of them write scholarly, political articles to serve the survival of the Mullahs’ regime.

A number of them attempt to confuse, frighten, disappoint and look down our people, which somehow get to the conclusion that the IRI is the only legitimate and possible system.

A category of them misuses words, avatars, names like “Iran / Iranian / patriotic slogans / ethic values…” to fool people while thugishly attack, slander and silence the real opposition.

Their core mission of all of them is to prolong the parasitic life of the regime under any banner, slogan, pretext, with false names, avatars or other tricks, be it the current form, a reformed shape, an evolved reincarnation and etc, actually is not their real mission.


Well said David

by jamshid on

However, the "gradual reformist" type have a very loud voice both in Iran and abroad. This gang of propagandists are well funded with Iran's petrodollars, or petroeuros.

Their methods include:

Installing fear in our hearts of another possible "disastrous" revolution.

Advertising that we Iranians simply lack the "capability" to take matters into our own hands.

Accusing any anti-IRI individual of being a sellout neocon, zionist, anti-Islam, and so on.

Falsely claiming "fantastic" improvements in reform are already taking place in the IRI.

Using the prospect of war with the US to convince people that this is not the right time for any more changes than is already taking place.

False promises of hope and effective use of these false promises (such as Khatami) as a pressure valve.

Effective use of the fake and staged elections as another pressure valve.

Effective use of diversion to divert people's attention from the main sources of our misery, as well as the inablitiy of IRI to genuinely reform, to other second hand issues. The main sources are of course a flawed constitution, assembly of experts, guardian council, velayateh faghih, etc. They have been very successful in this area in Iran.

Installing fear in our hearts that the overthrow of the IRI can only lead to long term bloodshed and instability in Iran. 

Shameless (but usual) use of "lies" and use of "repetition" to solidify all of the above.

We need to be stronger in countering IRI's propagandists, many of whom appear in this site on a regular basis.

I agree with you that we need a shift of paradigm in opposing the IRI. We all need to rally under a banner that all walks of Iranians could agree with:

Respect of human rights in Iran.

Release of political prisoners. Also the release of members of clergy who are under house arrest (whom the IRI fear most because if freed, the IRI can then no longer take Islam hostage.)

Desolution of IRI dictatorial institutions such as the Guardian Coucil. In this case, to begin with, we'll have to target only "one" of these institutions, and not more.

The incompetent opposition has always targeted a bigger "loghmeh" than it can swallow, hence its failure. We need to start small with things that we all can agree with, and can therefore unify around them, both in Iran and abroad. This could even attract some of those who are seving the IRI.

David ET

Dear Mehdi

by David ET on

I suggest that you read the article one more time because it seems like what I said and what you think I said are totally different.

- I didn't say Ebadi did not answer my question. She did and I even posted her answer and analyzed it!

- Nowhere in my article I suggested a revolution and I did not ask for an overnight American Style democracy anywhere in the article.

- No opposition "group" is ready and prepared to do "that", nor should "that" be expected of A group!

- What you are falling for is another SIMPLIFIED SELF-SERVING PRESUMPTION that Ebadi offers to justify her position and that is the only two wrong choices that she offers: Reform the existing system and assume that is reformable or a revolution! As if there are no other colors in the world except black and white which is a common way of looking at things when it comes to Iranian politics !

Ebadi and the reformist inside (or outside) Iran do not have to sell the idea of a reformed Islamic Republic because revolution may not be the alternative solution!

If you read the article again , you will see that I already answered your questions when I wrote:

"While demanding human rights and exposing the current regimes’ crimes and violations, in order to make the ultimate leap towards a democracy, Ms. Ebadi and all of us must be honest with ourselves and each other that the existing system is not reform-able and the path to the “true democracy” in Iran is not probable until the collapse of the road-block of the Islamic Republic. It is only then that the formation of a new constitution which guarantees a secular democracy is possible."

I have nowhere stated "lengesh kon". It is an individual choice of every Iranian inside and outside Iran including Shirin Ebadi to decide to what extent s/he wish to expose himself or herself to the potential dangers of demanding rights and exposing the regime. That is a personal choice that no one can nor should tell another what to do.

But what I asked for was being honest about alternatives and not continuing to sell the failed fantasy of a reformed Islamic Republic.

Ebadi and alike continue to rally for what they believe in or what they oppose to the same extent that they are now or they feel comfortable with (and that deserves much respect) , but what I disagree with is what they do beyond that which is selling the false hope of a reformed Islamic Republic,

That is where I wrote that the reformist should " face the ideological, political and personal reality check ".

While thirsty in a desert, one has two choices: Either look for water or to chase every "presumed" mirage that does not exist.

Facing Reality and being honest with ourselves and others is
all that I am asking for.
It is only when we see the facts for what they are , that the true answers appear. It is only then that true change will come. In comparison to us, the current system is as big or small as we presume it to be or in better words we are as small or big as we see ourselves.

The current regime will not reform and lets first be honest about that. "First stage" is to agree on that and then and only then we are ready to shift to the "second stage" and determine "how" to do "that"!

Look at history of so many countries (many in last 3 decades!) and you will see that they resorted to neither acceptance of the ruling dictatorships nor had a violent revolution.

What we first need a new paradigm shift, a new mind set and a new understanding of how powerful we are as people and obviously we have not
made that leap yet
, but when we do (and we will) the rest will fall in place
much faster and easier than we presume it to be.

History is filled with such examples if
we chose to see it .



by Anonymousmm (not verified) on


Conspiracy theorist: Read

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

Conspiracy theorist:

Read the excerpts from the book here:



To: Conspiracy

by Anonymousmm (not verified) on

To: Conspiracy theorist:

Educate yourself for god sake. Read the "A centure of War" by William Engdhal.

Engdahl's references are extensive and substantiate his disturbing interpretation of history, new revelation and so on. The Iranain revolution was a manufactured velevet revolution orchestrated by Carter et al.



Thank you David ET. Ebadi

by Anonymousx2 (not verified) on

Thank you David ET. Ebadi and other reformers are in deep denial because they don't want to face another revolution. Perhaps because their hands are just as bloody.




" The last "revolution" was performed by the CIA. " Mehdi are you delusional? Where do you get this information from. PROOF! not speculation!

Here are excerpts from Henry Precht, Country Director for Iran in the State Department, 1978-80, held a key position during the Iranian Revolution. Previously, he had served in Embassy Tehran, 1972-76, as political-military officer. Here follow relevant excerpts from him:

I recall a cable coming in from the Embassy in May 1978 which identified Khomeini, who figured in the troubles but wasn't revered yet as leader of the stature he later acquired. That the Embassy had to identify him in a cable to the Washington audience tells you something about how much we knew about Iranian internal politics and Khomeini's role in it.

Another incident occurred just shortly after I came on board. I was told that HenryKissinger [former Secretary of State] had just returned from Iran and gotten in touch with the State Department to report on his conversation with the Shah. The Shah told him he didn't see how it was possible for a bunch of ignorant mullahs to lead demonstrations so precisely organized and so effective. There must be some other force leading them. He concluded that the CIA must be behind them. He asked why the CIA would do this to him. Why would they turn on him? He suggested two answers: Perhaps the Americans felt that, with his dealings with the Soviets for nonlethal military equipment, a steel mill and such, he was too cozy with the Soviet Union. If Americans thought he was soft, maybe the religious people would be more staunchly anti-Communist and stronger in supporting the containment policy. His other theory was that the Americans and the Russians, as the British and the Russians in the beginning of the century, had decided to divide Iran into spheres of influence. We would take the south, which had most of the oil, and the Soviets could run the north, as they had in the past. person I was going to have to deal with.

PRECHT: These were the Shah's two theories as to why the CIA should be stirring up trouble against him. I was dumbfounded. This was the man we were relying on to save our terribly important interests in Iran. He was a nut. This was the

But, although President Carter had spoken about human rights and excessive arms sales in his campaign, in office he didn't really want to implement those programs. In fact, he didn't want any trouble in Iran. He didn't want Iran as an issue. The Arab-Israel question was looming large on the American agenda as was the Soviet Union and China. Iran in turmoil was an unnecessary addition to our agenda

Back in August, CIA had prepared a national intelligence estimate mentioning there was trouble but nothing serious in Iran. The Shah has it under control. There was one notable sentence saying Iran was not even in a "pre-revolutionary situation."

And the Shah was always depressed about what he should do. He wanted guidance from us. There was a debate in Washington about how to advise him. There were essentially two lines of thought. One was kind of weak-kneed: to continue liberalization or accelerate it. The other was the iron fist. That is, to send troops out and shoot down as many people as necessary and bring an end to the rebellion once and for all. Dr. Brzezinski was the advocate of the iron fist, but President Carter was not buying that kind of policy. So, what you had was Brzezinski in touch with Zahedi sending messages to the Shah of his own design, and we in the State Department, good and proper bureaucrats, clearing our instructions all over the government and sending out messages to Sullivan in regular channels, suggesting he encourage the Shah towards moderation. The Shah, poor fellow, was confused by the conflicting advice. He was getting one line from Brzezinski, and another from Sullivan, and was desperate to know what to do.


Lengesh Kon

by Mehdi on

You asked a question which you say wasn't answered. She also asked a question, in a way, in response, which you didn't answer. Her response question, essentially was, "well, do you want a revolution instead?" What is your answer?

You are standing outside the mess, in a far more democratic and modern country and asking why Iran is not like that. You don't seem to understand the dynamics of Iran. You can't just ask for American style democracy to occurr overnight in that country. And as for revolution, how are you going to do it? Which large group of opposition is ready and prepared to do that? The last "revolution" was performed by the CIA. Why would they revamp their original plans? It's been working very well so far for them. So how do you exactly plan to "take out the regime?" What is exactly your solution? We all know that things could be far better in Iran. If Bazargaan and bani Sadr failed, how would you do thing differently?