Jebhe Melli Needs to Come Clean


Jebhe Melli Needs to Come Clean
by religionoutofgovernment

As one reads the historical events surrounding the 1979 revolution, there are many characters whose actions played a role in the grievous outcome of this revolution. One such character who acted in a very opportunistic manner, sabotaging a pro-constitution and pro-democracy legacy, was Mr. Sanjabi, the leader of Jebhe Melli.

The history of what happened is well written and I am not going to recite the events. We are all aware of Dr. Bakhtiar dismissal by the JM and their pro-Khomeini stance. We have read Mr. Sanjabi's 3 point Paris proclamation which deviated from the principles of secular democracy. His actions were no more noble than that statement. They were every bit deceitful and opportunistic.

In the few decades prior to the 1979 fiasco, there were 4 main political alternatives:

1) The Shah 

2) The Mulla's and religious rule  

3) Tudeh party and other communists

4) JM with a democratic legacy of Mosaddegh

As you can see from the list, Jebhe Melli had clearly established itself as the only democratic alternative. I believe there are several principles that defined a viable democratic alternative:

1) Democracy 2) Secularism 3) Following the constitution.

It is hard to argue with JM's pro-democracy and pro 1906 constitution position. I also contend that JM was as secular as they could have been. Mosaddegh rejected the demands of Kashani, JM did not side with Khomeini in 1963 and they had an inclusive membership which included the likes of Maleki.

Why were the actions of Sanjabi so detrimental to JM? Because he undermined all three of these principles. Why is this important now? Because JM has lost its legacy based on the above 3 principles. It no longer has the position of the only viable democratic alternative. 

One cannot justify the ignorance of JM about the Mullas. JM knew very well the likes of Fazlollah Nouri, Kashani, Fadaian Eslam and even Khomeini. Their agenda had been issues such as (banning) women's voting rights, Hejab for women, opposing land reform and persecution of the Bahai's. Weren't these demands made to Mossadegh as a prime minister by Kashani? Didn't they issue fatwas against women's suffrage when they thought Mossadegh might be giving them voting rights? Didn't Khomeini demand the same issues of land reform and women's suffrage in the 1963 events? Didn't JM at that time vote not to support Khomeini (Yekrangi) ? Didn't JM members listen to the garbage tapes of Shariati and Jalal al Ahmad circulating before the revolution? Didn't they read Khomeini's Velayate Faghih? Fast forward to 1978-79 and the same Khomeini is now pro-democracy and will hand over the government to JM? Wishful thinking, as Mr. Boroumand saw in the smile of Mr. Sanjabi which he describes as "Ablahane" (see the videos).

I don't know how one can ignore the conflict between Sanjabi and bakhtiar, which was never resolved. Sanjabi was a man who told Boroumand he was going to USE Khomeini to get to power. When the Shah offered him to become prime minister, he could not deny the inevitable involvement of Khomeini in any future government (Harvard iran Oral History project, Tape 25, his words). He clearly wanted to reach his goals using any means, including sleeping with Khomeini. I call this opportunism and Machiavellianism.

In contrast, Dr. Bakhtiar was a man of principles. Yes, he also disliked the Shah and his tyranny, but knew very well the mullas were going to be worse. He believed and fought for the 1906 Monarchist constitution, as did JM prior to that time. He believed in Secular Democracy when Sanjabi was talking about an "Islamic and National movement" in his 3 part Paris declaration. The contrast in vision, knowledge, character and legacy are undeniable. 

When Bakhtiar freed all political prisoners, gave freedom of the press, abolished SAVAK and had a totally democratic government that JM had wanted for years, Mr Sanjabi and the crew back-stabbed him. In the meantime pro-democracy rallies in support of Bakhtiar were reaching hundreds of thousands in numbers (Yekrangi), but Mr. Sanjabi was busy attending the Ashura rally in which the pictures of Mosaddegh were being torn.

The real question is whether JM realizes these issues are important in the minds of Iranian people and choses to democratically address the past. Or whether it will continue with the same dogmatic approach to glorifying everything related to an ideological organization. This is what you expect from MKO not JM.





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by religionoutofgovernment on


I am aware of the position you are taking. I will have more to say about this later. For now, let me pose a question to you.

I think your position is discriminating against all Muslims!! Yes there will always be a temptation for a "shah" to try to obtain more powers if unchecked, but the greater threat comes from every Muslim who will have a tendency to follow The Quran the Shari'ah. According to this position, the way to eliminate this future threat is also to ban every Muslim and Muslim group from participating in any coalition, regardless of their commitment to separation of religion and politics. After all if the monarchist pose a threat of breaking their commitment to democracy, Muslims (ie 98% of our population) will also pose a threat of breaking any commitment to Secularism.


ROOG, I think I'll add something to that

by Parham on

Let's say we didn't have a history of power abuse. The conditions of the country --the oil wealth, the backwardness of (still) so many, most of all-- could only logically mean that power has to be distributed to its lowest denominator as much as possible so we don't leave a way for abuse by one individual or one group. I shouldn't have to lecture anyone on human greed...

But even beside that, if the monarchists on are any indication of what we might have as the surrounding of an eventual monarchy, I'd say we could declare forfeit on that supposed democratic monarchy already!..



by Parham on

A small reminder that the Islamic Republic is also a signatory of the current UN chart for Human Rights.


I think it does make a difference, yes. Especially for a country like ours. I think if there's a monarchy, it gives one person/clan easier access to power and to abusing it thereafter; whereas in a republic that wouldn't be the case as much, or at least it would be harder to accomplish (as we saw, the IR wasn't comfortable with a republic either and had to establish the concept of Vali Faghih to rule).

As we have a history of abuse of power in our country, I would opt for a republic more than I would for a monarchy.




by Parham on

due to a bug in the system.



by religionoutofgovernment on

This is the perfect juncture to leave our discussion of Sanjabi vs Bakhtiar and move to a more pressing issue to Secular Democracy. Judging from the participants, I think we are ready to leave behind those issues of the past and move forward.


I carefully read the last few posts about getting together under one umbrella of Secularism and Democracy. I see all of us agreeing completely. I want to thank Masoud for sharing his vast knowledge with us.


I believe religion can be discussed in 2 contexts. One is in a realistic/practical/political context and the other is a idealistic/philosophical context. My comment to Masoud that being a 100% devout muslim and respecting secular democracy are mutually exclusive was made in an ideologic/philosophical context. 


From a realistic/practical/political point of view:


I would basically repeat the last posts by Masoud and others. Then I would add the following; we need to go back to the drawing board and decide what central issues are important principles that we are NOT going to compromise. What principles should be the basis of our future political system. Forget about the past. Forget about the Shah, Khomeini, JM, Greens, Communists etc. Also, forget about the artificial boundaries that your current affiliations create for your thinking. What would be the common denominator that would unite most of us? 


I propose it is SECULAR DEMOCRACY. Assume we have a society based on SECULAR DEMOCRACY. Would it matter if we have monarchy or a republic? I think the discussion becomes irrelevant. Democracy by definition means no dictatorship. It automatically strips any monarch from ruling or any interference  with politics. If the principles of democracy are defended and preserved, no monarch would be allowed to broaden his/her powers, like the Shah did. In this case, who cares if Reza Pahlavi wants to live in a palace which he pays for, put a crown on his head and create photo opportunities for tourists? Or who cares if it is a republic but the monarchist are allowed to participate in the parliament and hope for a future where they have enough democratic votes for a referendum on such a symbolic figure. The issue would be irrelevant, but believing in SECULAR DEMOCRACY will create the opportunity for those monarchists who do not advocate dictatorship to join us. Believe me, many of them just want that powerless figurehead, just like Dr. Bakhtiar did.


The Secular part of SECULAR DEMOCRACY would ensure that those people in the Green movement who are also willing accept a separation of religion and state to join the movement. Secularism will not allow those who want to impose their religions on other people to succeed. We will always have those people. But they can be kept in check as they are in the US. 


MKO would also be able to participate in the system. The democracy part of SECULAR DEMOCRACY would guarantee human rights and so they would not be able create cult cities such as Ashraf and dictate to their member to abandon their children. They would not be allowed to bear arms. But within the constitution and principles of SECULAR DEMOCRACy they would be allowed to run for parliament or office and debate their point of view. 


It is amazing how when extremist groups are allowed to speak and express themselves, their extremist somehow diminishes.





by MM on

I take your point about explitcitly saying "separation of religion from politics".  But, if they do not talk about mixing religion and politics and instead do talk about supporting freedoms and implementation of the UN charter of human rights, they are basically reaching the same endpoint.  Especially, after I sent them the Iransecular preamble and they had no objections to any of the ttitles.




by Parham on

... they don't talk about the separation of state and church/mosque either. I don't know if you remember the first draft of the IR constitution, it sounded so nice too.

The truth is, the reformists/who I know as "greens" just want to "reform" the current constitution, thus no separation of church and state. I would say let's not contribute to the grey areas, that would only benefit the thugs in power, contrary to what many think.



by MM on

In the begining, folks thought that IRI/VF were reformable, and you may have quoted someone from a while back, but there is definitely a convergence of the schools of thought in the past 2-years.  And, I really do not care what someone calls themselves or whether they worship the devil himself, they are within my domain, if they/sect believes in

* separation of religion and politics

* freedom (speech/gender/info/religion/race)

* implementation of the UN charter of human rights

* true elections (not selections)

For example, I referenced the green's secular constitution, published outside Iran, in an earlier comment and they sound pretty secular.  The Green's constitution that you mentioned, unlike IRI's whose 8 early main tittles are based on Islamic principles, do not say anything about religion and base the laws on international human rights. 

ايران، دارای حکومتی است بر پايه اصول زير:

1 – حاکميت ملت بر سرنوشت خويش بر اساس خرد جمعی جامعه و با بهره گيری از دستآوردهای دانش در جوامع بشری،

2 – تضمين آزادی، برابری و ساير حقوق اساسی بشر، از جمله حقوق مدنی, سياسی, اقتصادی، اجتماعی و فرهنگی در کشور با توجه کامل به ميثاق ها وکنوانسيون های بين المللی،

3 – تضمين حق حيات و امنيت شخصی، حفظ کرامت انسان ها، ومصونيت حيثيت، جان، مال، حقوق، مسكن، شغل وحريم خصوصی اشخاص از تعرض،

4 – نفی هرگونه رفتار يا کيفر ظالمانه، غيرانسانی يا تحقيرآميز, و حق دسترسی همه به دادرسی عادلانه،

5 –  برخورداری غيرتبعيض آميز همه جنسيت ها از همه حقوق انساني، سياسي، اقتصادي، اجتماعي و فرهنگي، و تعيين وظايف برای آنان بر اساس عدالت،

6 – رعايت حق برخورداری کودکان، مادران، سالمندان، بيماران و نيازمندان از کمک و حمايت ويژه،

7 – رعايت و تضمين تفکيک و استقلال کامل قوا، با رعايت اصل حاکميت رای مردم،

8 – تضمين مشاركت تمام مردم در تعيين سرنوشت سياسي، اقتصادي، اجتماعي و فرهنگي خويش, و اداره امور کشور با اتكاء به آرا عمومي از راه انتخابات مستقيم و بلاواسطه توسط مردم،

9 – برخورداری کليه گروه ها، آئين ها و اقوام و عشاير اقصی نقاط ميهن از حقوق مساوي،

10 – تحقق حق برخورداری آحاد جامعه از تندرستی و بهداشت, رفاه مطلوب و شايسته انسان از جمله خوراک, پوشاک, مسکن, خدمات اجتماعی, و تحصيل رايگان,

11 – کوشش و حمايت همگانی، پيوسته و آزادانه برای پيشرفت در علوم، فنون، فلسفه، فرهنگ و هنر،

12 – تضمين استقلال و امنيت اقتصادی و سياسی کشور، ضمن داشتن تعامل با ساير کشورها,

13 – احترام به ساير ملل و برقراری روابط صلح آميز با کشورهای جهان،

14 – همکاری با نهادهای بين المللی جهت استقرار و توسعه حقوق بشر، صلح و بهبود شرايط زيستی در جهان.



by Parham on

I wrote the below message because you also mentioned the greens, the melli-mazhabis and the reformers in your previous post.



by MM on

The main difference is keeping religion out of politics which was clearly described in the principles I quoted.  Otherwise, Boroumand, according to his own video interiew was also a very religious person who gave khoms, zakaat, sadagheh to ayatollahs, and in some ways Boroumand mixed religion and politics by giving money specifically to Khomeini because he was opposing the Shah.



by Parham on

You might have asked XXXXX on, and they might have agreed with your secular principles. Ask Shirin Ebadi, she will tell you that religion and state are mixable, and she's a Nobel peace prize winner. If you had asked the late Sahabis, they would have told you the same thing! So as the French say, "we're not out of the hostel yet" ("on n'est pas sorti de l'auberge.")

Of course, ask Mousavi, Karrubi and Khatami ("Greens"?) and they would actually even want an Islamic Republic and nothing else. So the difference is there.

I actually think it's VERY important to make that differentiation, now that you bring it up, otherwise we'd confuse completely who is who. As I see, you among many others, see the "reformist" crowd as more or less in the same camp as those who want a (secular) democracy. That is in fact incorrect and is a major mistake to avoid if you're laying down a strategy.

The reformist crowd (in addition to Melli-Mazhabis who don't really have much say in the big picture anymore), even though themselves might think they're fighting for democracy and might even say so explicitly (which is actually not the case that much if you've noticed), and even though might be very good people themselves, are in fact not facilitators of democracy, but barriers to. (<---- very important!)

If you look at recent events with a certain distance, so far they have only served to dampen the pressure on the hardliners and nothing more. They're the ones who come in every time something might happen and ease the way for hardliners (this, perhaps despite themselves) to get away. If the pressure were directly applied to the hardliners, the real clash would have already happened and might have given something. But with the presence of the "soft" line --who indeed takes a lot-- the hardliners make themselves more or less untouchable.

So it's a major, major strategic mistake to make if you're taking things into account that way, even though things might look differently on the surface, i.m.o. The only solution would right now be to polarize this fraction of the population so much so that the real democrats within their ranks would join us (those who want genuine democracy) and those who wish to stick to their mixture of faith and state would go the other way (towards the current establishment clan) to the point that there is no real difference between them. Only then it would be possible to lay hands on the real culprits.

Again, my opinion.


Parham/ROOG - melli-mazhabi, Greens, JM, reformers, what ever!

by MM on

Boroumand, in the video, clearly says that he came back from the meeting with Khomeini all disappointed, fully knowing that Khomeini was not a grand ayatollah nor he was sincere.  Furthermore, Boroumand conveyed that message to ALL JM members when he came back, and Sanjabi still made a pact with the devil (3-point JM proclamation).  Boroumand also met with Khomeini after that meeting discussing things (see my last comment too).  I call that being an ultimate politician where he would kiss your baby when you are looking, and then steal his lollypop when you are not looking (don't take it literally).


As far as being melli-mazhabi, Green, Secular, JM etc - I have flashed pure secular principles from sites like to practicing Muslims such as XXXXXX (with Green/reformer tendencies) on IC asking them which priciples below they disagree with:

"We the people of Iran wish and demand these principles as the pillars of the Secular government of Iran. That these principles form the framework of our beliefs, vision, mission & purpose that shall guide our government of the people, laws and our elected and appointed representatives. That no person or entity shall govern, legislate or implement laws and agreements inconsistent with the following principles:

1. Territorial Integrity, Independence and Sovereignty of Iran.

2. Respect for independence and integrity of other countries and promoting peace with all nations and countries.

3. Government of the People, By the People and For the People.

4. Three Independent Branches of Executive, Legislative and Judiciary of the government with limited terms and full accountability and transparency.

5. No Official Religions and ideologies.

6. Full separation of Religion and State at all government levels without any exceptions.

7. Exclusion of clergy, religious groups, parties and organizations from government.

8. Freedom of Expression, Information, Religions, Beliefs, Media and Assembly.

9. Equal social and legal rights and opportunity for all Iranians.

10. Gender Equality without any exceptions.

11. Presumption of innocence until proven guilty. No political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

12. Full guarantee and legal protection of all human, political, ethnic, economic, social, religious and cultural rights within the scopes of the constitution.

13. Conservation and improvement of environment. "


and folks like XXXXXX have told me that they support all those principle.  So, my second point is that the differences amongst the JM, the secular nationalists, the melli-mazhabi, the Greens and the reformers are shrinking daily and it all comes down to putting a label on someone in a condescending way, or maybe our damn pride as who gets the credit for IRI's ultimate demise.  Excluding the ultra-religious who still believe in reforming VF principles, I don't even think that the factions disagree so much on the way to get rid of IRI, mainly general strikes, especially by the oil-workers (Practical path towards democracy).  Still, here we are arguing on whether someone is melli-mazhabi, a politician, a secular or a what ever!

My last point is that even with your books, videos here, US/Brit archives, we can not agree on what JM members did 30+ years ago, or what their real intentions were.  Let's just agree that they did what they could to survive or preserve what they thought was good for them or Iran, and look forward to bringing all these factions to agree on the underlying priciples that binds them "democracy for Iran".

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Islam, Fundamentalism, Fascism, and Liberty

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear ROOG,

There are a lot of problematic stuff in the Qoran as there are in the Old Testament and the New Testament. One could not build democracy or human rights, or women’s rights if one wants to strictly follow the words of each scripture. ALL the three books contain patriarchal passages, all three accepted slavery (the Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali owned slaves). But today we do not have slavery despite being allowed in Islam. Saudi Arabia abolished slavery in the 1960s (I think it was 1961).

In actual practice, Shia clerics had never been rulers before 1979. Out of power, ALL of grand ayatollahs in their resalehs said that interests on the money (bahreh) is against Islam. Actually in 3 verses in the Qoran, the bahreh is forbidden. When the fundamentalist came to power in 1979, they got rid of bahreh in the banks. They soon realized that it would not work. Khomeini used the concept of maslehat (expediency) to change it. Some call it "kolah shari" "Sharia Deception."

So slavery which is halal in the Islam of the Prophet Mohammad is now forbidden, and interest on money (bahreh, nozol) which was haram in the Islam of the Prophet Mohammad is now allowed!!!!!!

What we need is separation of religion (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) and the state. If one mixes religion (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) and the state, then that theocracy will be dictatorial and repressive. Mixing of religion and politics is also problematic. It is up to us to promote separation of religion and the state. It is up to religious leaders to modify, and re-interpret their religion (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) to conform to the modern world.

A few years ago, Ayatollah Montazeri, to his credit, made a NEW interpretation and said that the punishment of death for apostasy was only for the time of war and during peace, a person who was Moslem could present logical arguments against Islam.

In my opinion, what the Christian world experienced during the Inquisition and the Dark Ages is what the Islamic world has been experiencing during the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

ALL of us need to work towards a situation under which we would have a society of tolerance and coexistence. The Islamic leaders have to make explicit that all are free to hold any belief they want. And we have to make explicit that all will be free to believe what the want. We have to take violence and threats of violence out of religious expression.

Islamic fundamentalism is the Islamic world’s equivalent to European fascism. We are living in a most violent, repressive, and reactionary period. There are other forms of Islam as well. There are others like Grand Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari who opposed Khomeini. There were others like Ayatollah Taleqani and Ayatollah Abolfazl Zanjani.

In the first Congress of JM in Tehranpars (I think 1960 or 1961), Ayatollah Zanjabi sat in the same room with atheist and agnostic members of JM. When the delegates elected two females to the leadership, the two women (Parvaneh Eskandari-Forouhar and Dr. Darabi) went and took their seats on the table at the front of the room. The two elected female leader did NOT wear hejab. About 3 or 4 delegates objected that the women did not weak hejab. The leadership said publically, what to wear is the right of women, they can wear as they want. The 3 or 4 religious delegates left the congress. Ayatollah Abolfazl Zanjani and his younger bother (also an ayatollah) remained in the congress and had no problem with the female delegates of what they wore.

What ultimately matters is the practice of people. Of course what is in the Qoran is relevant. But we have seen how the fundamentalist including Khomeini changed their views again and again and again.

We need to open an avenue for those devout Moslem to begin NEW interpretations of Islam. THOSE Moslem that accept separation of religion and the state are our allies. THOSE Moslems that explicitly that every human being has the right to hold and express his or her views on religion are our allies. We need to isolate the fundamentalists.

If we succeed, then we could have a pluralistic society where you can be openly atheist or agnostic. About 500 years ago, a person in Spain did not have the right to criticize Catholic church. After much bloodshed, Europe accepted pluralism.

Lets hope that we could achieve that liberty without sooooooo much bloodshed.



Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear ROOG,

You are correct, the accounts presented by Dr. Bakhtiar and Dr. Sanjabi are different.

Amouzegar only had met with Bakhtiar. He did not meet with Sanjabi.

Unfortunately, the personal conflicts between Sanjabi and Bakhtiar and the split in the JM was harmful. By Oct 1978, JM was much much weaker than Khomeini. The split made JM even weaker.

There is no doubt that Khomeini was a zillion times worse than the Shah. I think every sane person would agree with this. The question is what policy would have prevented the tragedy.


There is, however, one redeeming value of the rise of Khomeini. The Iranian people, intellectuals, scholars have LEARNED a very valuable lesson" that it is harmful to mix religion and politics.

We need to keep in mind that in 1978, Islam and clerics were held in extremely high esteem by so many. For example, the Marxist atheist intellectual, Khosrow Golesorkhi, praises Islam and calls Imam Ali "the first socialist." Dariush Eghbali and Farhad, two of the progressive and decent singers in their popular songs (e.g., Boy Gandom), praised the clerics and Islam!!!!!! And the former Tudeh party member and then Niroyeh Sevvum member Jalal Ale-Ahmad (who loved American wiskey and American winston cigs) wrote the garbage Gharbzadegi. And the Shah was talked publically about being in contact with the 12th Imam who was giving him special protection and messages repeatedly!!!!!!! During Ramazan, the tv regular programs would stop and all day, they only had religious programmings on state tv.

The Shah was using religion to attack JM. For example, on Eide Ghorban, the Shah’s forces violently attacked a JM private gathering in a private garden. The Shah’s forces dressed as "workers" who were irrate that the JM members were drinking and attacked them including inflicting so much damage that the poor Dr. Bakhtiar was sent to hospital.


Compare the huge intellectual and political growth the Iranian people have so painfully gained in the past 32 years. It has been a hellish lesson. But compare that with the Algerians who voted for the fundamentalist FIS, or Palestinians who voted for Hamas. Lets hope the people of Egypt would not make the horrible mistake that our people made. But all accounts are that the Muslim Brotherhood would get the highest percentage of votes of any party in Egypt.

Also in Turkey, we have to see whether the AKP remains democratic or it would go dictatorial.

The Islamic world did nor experience the Dark Ages the way the Europeans did, so the intellectuals in the Middle East and North Africa simply did not develop the same sensitivities and awareness on the dangers of mixing religion and the state. Shia clerics were never in power in Iran. The Safavids, Qajars, and Pahlavis, used them for their own ends. In the Sunni world, the Bani Ommayed and Bani Abbas dynasties were not theocracies. The caliph even under the Ottomans was subservient to the Ottoman Sultan, which was a practice from the time of the Mongol invasion (at least).

We are observing the rise of Islamic fundamentalism only in the past century as a totalitarian ideology.

Khomeini’s rule has taught the Iranian people valuable lessons. It has been very painful. A question is would the Iranian people, intellectuals, scholars, and politicians have been able to learn this lesson without the actual hell that Khomeini brought to Iran?

My answer is no. We had to suffer to learn.

Moreover, lets remember that even today in 2011, there are millions of Iranian who support the VF regime. The support base of the hard-line faction is about 10% of the population. This is about 7.5 million Iranians. Add to this the 10% or so who support the reformist faction of IRI. That is another 7.5 million people. In other words, even now after so all the evil nature of the VF regime has been exposed about 20% of the population support it in its essence or with some reforms.

This 20% is more than the support the Pahlavis ever had (or have).

From the time of Jamal al-din Al-Afghani (Asadabadi), the notion of Islamic government has been around. The appeal of Islamism (transforming Islam from a religion into a political ideology) reached its height in the late 1970s. As long as it had not been practiced, many would continue to claim that Islamism is the panacea to all our ills. The only redeeming value of Khomeini’s rule, has been that now we have experienced Islamism. And thoughtful and decent Iranian have learned that it is a most hellish nightmare. Even many Shia clerics today agree with the harm that mixing Islam and politics has done to politics, economy, culture, and even the people’s religious beliefs.

We need to find a way to build a coalition that would have the capability to get rid of the vf regime and establish democracy afterwards. I think the primary issue dividing the JM and NAMIR was about coalition partners. It appears to me that NAMIR was allied with the monarchists and JM was not. Many in NAMIR still held the notion that it was possible to have a constitutional monarchy. People in JM from Oct-Nov 1978, have been calling for a republic.

Many in JM would not have a major issue with saying that Sanjabi was wrong in Nov 1978. But almost 100% JM members would be opposed to re-establishing monarchy.

In the past few years, many members of NAMIR and many close associates of Dr. Bakhtiar have joined INF-AO. For example, Dr. Houmayun Mehmanche was a close associate of Dr. Bakhtiar and now he is one of the three top members of INF-AO Executive Committee. Hamid Sadr a top NAMIR leader is now a member of INF-AO Central Committee. AmirReza Amir-Bakhtiar is a member of our Central Committee and a nephew of Dr. Bakhtiar. Hassan Behgar of Iran Liberal Party was a strong supporter of NAMIR and Dr. Bakhtiar and now is our close friend.

In conclusion, there were serious conflicts between Dr. Bakhtiar and Dr. Sanjabi. Each made a decision based on what he thought was best for Iran. BOTH men sacrificed so much for Iran’s national interests. Both men made mistakes. We need to learn from their mistakes and help build democracy, freedom in Iran. We need the supporters of both men to do so. If we are able to bring these forces together, THE BIGGEST loser will the vf regime, and that would leave a great legacy for both men and their followers.





May be not an opportunist

by religionoutofgovernment on

I agree with you on your answer to MM. I think after reading masoud's comments about Sanjabi, I am not going to say he was an opportuninst. The word opportunist could have many different meanings and different shades of negativity. I used the term to indicate any deviation from absolute principles. In that narrow definition, there are very very few people like Bakhtiar who would not be an oppostunist! I would now say that Sanjabi played politics as opposed to bakhtiar who stuck to his principles despite inevitable political consequences. In addition, and more importantly, these people who were all considered the elites of our society had verrying degrees of intelligence. They cover  the whole spectrum:


1. Sanjabi was ignaorant about the Mulla's intentions despite a long history and many books and document. But, he also could not figure it out when he met Khomeini. That is if you give him the benefit of the doubt.

2. Boroumand was also ignorant about Mullas, just like Sanjabi. Until, he met Khomeini and was smart enough to figure him out.

3. Bakhtiar was both aware of historical facts and figured out the Mullas  and their intentions immediately.

 i wonder if these different degrees of awareness were due to what Maoud mentioned. That there are different degrees of regiousness in JM members. The more religious ones were more ignorant and naiive. Just a theory! 


Dear All

by Parham on

Masoud - I think ROOG pointed out the major points in his (her?) message, so no more from me on that one for now.

MM - The why, to me at least, is the following: I don't think Sanjabi actually wanted the Shah to accept his offer, so he gave him a condition he couldn't (that he'd have to ask Khomeyni first!), as simple as that. I think Sanjabi had seen the big wave of people, had understood that the Shah is a "gonner", that ultimately Khomeyni will say the last word, so he just thought he'd side with Khomeyni for the time being and JM will have the majority vote behind it when/if the monarchy falls and there's a referendum of some sort. I think he probably also thought --like so many others-- that Khomeyni will just go back to Qom (or that he'll make him go there) and JM would ultimately control the situation. So basically, Sanjabi made an offer to the Shah he could only refuse. However, that would (in his mind) probably also make JM save face in the unlikely event that the monarchy won't fall. Sort of an "answer to the future", as we're seeing here.
I think Sadighi was more sincere in his offer, but then he didn't, despite past experience, really guess that the Shah actually wanted to leave; or if he did guess that, he probably thought he couldn't shed any authority on the army without the Shah's presence anyway, so it all would be useless without the presence of the Shah. I also think Sadighi was not that willing to take the job anyway but did make a sincere offer, in contrast to Sanjabi who didn't want the job at all at that point.
That's my 2 cents. I'm sure Masoud will not agree!

ROOG - I actually wanted to do the outlining of the chain of events after Masoud's answer, but you did a better job of it! Thanks!
And by the way, about why the Shah still met with Sanjabi -- keep in mind the Shah was constantly on the phone with the Americans at the time asking them what to do; the suggestion most likely came from them. Just a guess though.


Masoud very very important

by religionoutofgovernment on

"One can be very devout (that is 100% practicing Muslim) and be secular (separation of religion and the state). JM is secular".

This statement is completely FALSE. To be a devout muslim means you follow teh Koran which gives you devine directions on how to live and it also gives you devine direections on how society should be run. For devout muslims I am an apostate and it is their duty to kill me. You see how your statement is technically not correct!




by religionoutofgovernment on

I will try to find the link and post it. may be tomorrow. thanks for your comments.



by religionoutofgovernment on


Thanks again for your comments. There are so many things that I agree with such as some bias in Mr. Milani's books and other points you make. However, there are some that I would like to make a counter point.Here I would like to address only one issue.


You cite Dr. Sanjabi's Book as proof that he did not know about Bakhtiar's negotiations until he already accepted PMship. In Yekrangi, Dr. Bakhtiar paints the exact opposite picture. He actually emphasizes the fact that he called Sanjabiand and asked him if he wanted to take the position. But lets look at other evidence. Who else was involved and what did the say. 


Lets look at Jamshid Amouzegar first:


In the article that I posted in farsi earlier, Jamshid Amouzegar states that he got a phone call from a friend of his telling him that 3 members of JM, Bakhtiar, Sanjabi and Razmara wanted to meet him. This happened 5-6 weeks after his Sharif Emami came to power. This would be about mid November. So the initial contact involved Sanjabi according to Amouzegar's friend at least. For this to be a lie or conspiracy both Bakhtiar and Ranzmara and possibly Amouzegar's friend had to be involved, to drag Sanjabi into this. Why?


At this time, Sanjabi was still in Iran. he left for France on October 28. When Shah heard about the JM proposal his immediate reaction what whether JM was loyal to monarchy. This is a very reasonable question and concern. When Amouzegar conveyed this concern to Bakhtiar, he said "I need to talk to the rest of our 22 members". he then called back 2 days later (still before October 28, most likely) and said our members are not against monarchy. this was decided in JM general meeting. Is this account also all a lie and Sanjabi didn't know about any of this. It is starting to sound like a grand conspiracy theory, to create a lie that would look good 30 years later.


Bakhtiar's first suggestion for PM was Elahiar Saleh (not himself), but said this would have to be approved by everyone. Again consistent with the democratic and selfless nature of bakhtiar. Of course by then Sanjabi was already in Paris and could not be contacted. Bakhtiar finally contacts Sanjabi and at the suggestion of the Shah offers to send a government plane to bring Sanjabi back for these negotiations. Sanjabi himself actually admits that "I was in Paris when bakhtiar called and said our issues are resolved and we will send you a plane to come back". (HIOH project, transcript 24 page 8). This corroborates the fact that he DID KNOW of bakhtiar's negotiations with Amouzegar and the Shah.


Sanjabi comes back with his Khomeini deal and the 3 part declaration. This upsets Bakhtiar. it is very easy to see why they parted ways starting this moment. Bakhtiar was very aware of the dangers of religion in politics. He believed in secularism. If anyone is not convinced of this absolute fact they need to go back and watch his interviews and read his comments. Secularism was his conviction and not of Sanjabi. 


Sanjabi is the next one to talk to the Shah. The suggestion for Sanjabi to from a government was made by the US Embassy before he left for France. I don't know other details of why the Shah still met with him, but clearly after the France deal Sanjabi was not the man for the job. 


Bakhtiar is then approached by the Shah. Even if Bakhtiar did not keep Sanjabi posted on his final negotiations with the Shah, which really lasts jut a couple of weeks, this would be completely understandable. By then the 2 men have very fundamental differences. History proved that one was 30 years ahead of his time, and most of us know which one. 





Masoud Kazemzadeh

secularism in the JM

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

On pp. 310-311, Sanjabi clearly explains the notion of getting Khomeini onboard. In order to calm the situation, Sanjabi clearly states to all that he first needed to clear the problem with the Shah and then with Khomeini.

Dr. Boroumand was not a melli mazhabi. Melli Mazhabi is a clear category which emerged after the revolution. One could be a member of JM (or NAMIR, Hezb Mellat Iran). One’s religious views are NOT the business of JM. Many in JM have been religious or non-religious. For example, we have had ayatollahs who were members of JM such as Ayatollah Abolfazl Zanjani and Ayatollah Taleqani (until 1961). They did not use Islam as political ideology.

Melli mazhabis and Nehzat Azadi transformed Islami into a political ideology. Now many melli mazhabis have realized that their ideology of Islamism is bad. They have become secular in politics.

One can be very devout (that is 100% practicing Muslim) and be secular (separation of religion and the state). JM is secular.

Nehzat Azadi and melli mazhabi are not secular. Their ideology is Islamism. They have been making Islam their political ideology. They mix Islam and the state. Some have in recent times realized that is harmful.

Dr. Boroumand was NOT melli mazhabi. He was secular and a very devout practicing Muslim.

Dr. Sanjabi, too, was secular and a practicing Muslim.

JM included atheists (Khalil Maleki, Dr. Masoud Hejazi), agnostics (Dr. Bakhtiar) and practicing Muslims (Mossadegh, Sanjabi, Boroumand), ayatollahs (Zanjani).   ALL were secular (separation of religion and the state).

For JM, religion is a private matter.  Each person is allowed to hold any religious views he or she so desires.  It is none of the business of the government what each individual believes.



Masoud Kazemzadeh

Dear Parham, On Sanjabi and Bakhtiar

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Parham jaan,

In his memoirs, Sanjabi on page 310 writes that Dr. Bakhtiar had not told him about his meetings with the Shah. He adds that the the Shah in his book says that he had connections with Dr. Bakhtiar via Amuzegar. Sanjabi also add that although Bakhtiar had not told him, he knew Bakhtiar was in contact with Senator Khajenouri and Amouzegar.

On page 311, Sanjabi says that for the first time, he heard it from Le Monde reporter about Bakhtiar’s prime ministership. Then, Sanjabi makes a phone call to Bakhtiar and for the first time Bakhtiar says yes.





Parham - principled or just another politician?

by MM on

Based on what I read and based on the videos on Boroumand (a Melli-Mazhabi in my book), I think that JM, especially Sanjabi, was just about politics as much as principles.  For example, in the forth video (// above, two statements by Boroumand stood out:

* After signing the 3-point JM proclamation - Boroumand proclaimed that "It is too late now , but if we had stood against the Mullahs and told the people who they really were, we could have save Iran" (1:44 - "age vay-mistadim and migoftim "akhoond ya'ni cheh", shayad nejat midadim").  i.e., Boroumand told Sanjabi about Khomeini's ill-intentions and he still signed the proclamation.

* While visiting Sanjabi and Forouhar in confinement, in the presence of Arteshbod Moghaddam - While Boroumand was negotiating with Khomeini on the conditions of a change in Iran, Boroumand told Moghaddam that Mr Sanjabi had done an excellent job in signing the 3-point JM proclamation calling Monarchy naa-mashroo', and if the Shah came back to the constitution, he will be mashroo' again, at which point, Sanjabi concurred (3:......) and said, "see - that is what we want".  i.e., Sanjabi was playing both sides.

Or, we are told that:

* Refusal to form a government - The Shah's offer to Sanjabi in forming a government was refused untill Sanjabi got Khomeini's OK. i.e., I have no idea why!!!


ROOG - US or Brit archives?

by MM on

Did Milani base his interview on British archives or the US archives?  Below is the link to the US archives on Iran policy of 77-80, but unfortunately, due to the sheer size of it (3600 documents, 14,000 pages - WOOOOOW), this 2-volume document has to be ordered from Proquest (Orders and Inquiries)

Iran, 1977 -1980 (Iran: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977-1980 )

Documents include:

  • Cables
  • Airgrams
  • IntelligenceReports
  • Memos
  • Statements
  • Briefing Papers
  • Reports
  • Press Briefings
  • Hearings
  • Letters
  • Internal Papers
  • This is a sampling of the more than 3,600 documents included in Iran: The Making of US. Policy:

    • 6/30/77 Energy Development in Iran
    • 7/25/77 Straws in the Winds: Intellectual and Religious Opposition in Iran
    • 8/25/77 AWACS for Iran
    • 1/30/78 List of Allegations Received by FBI Concerning Savak Activities,1971 - 1977
    • 2/15/78 Mullahs, Corruption, Savak
    • 8/17/78 Iran: Where are We Now and Where Are We Going?
    • 10/6/78 Question for the Ambassador about the Shah's Mental State
    • 11/9/78 Thinking the Unthinkable
    • 11/16/78 Tudeh Leader Praises Iranian Religious Opposition to the Shah
    • 11/20/78 The Politics of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
    • 1/17/79 Failure of Mission to Khomeini
    • 2/22/79 U.S. Policy on Asylum for Shah
    • 3/19/79 The Attack on the American Consulate
    • 6/6/79 Moderates Against the Islamic Revolution
    • 6/24/79 Women's Rights in Revolutionary Iran
    • 7/19/79 Iranian Concerns About U.S. Military Activities in the Persian Gulf and Nearby Waters
    • 7/19/79 Planning for the Shah to Come to the U.S.
    • 9/5/79 Iran: An Opium Cornucopia
    • 1/29/80 U.S. Nuclear Material Supplied to Iran


    BTW, Here are more documents that the US national archives has released from various periods in Iran's history.  I am sure that many Iranians have seen the Mosaddegh papers. 

    It is funny that even back in 1970's the US analysts thought that the Shah was after nuclear weapons, e.g., see "Next to a statement by the Shah disavowing an interest in reprocessing plutonium, a staffer at the Pentagon's Office of International Security Affairs drew a little picture of a bull to express his skepticism. (See Document 30)"

    Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran
    New Volume Reexamines a Seminal Event in Modern Middle Eastern History

    The Secret CIA History of the Iran Coup, 1953

    The Iranian Nuclear Program, 1974-1978
    U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations in 1970s Featured Shah's Nationalism and U.S. Weapons Worries

    Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein
    The U.S. tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984

    Secret U.S. Overture to Iran in 1999 Broke Down Over Terrorism Allegations
    U.S. Also Misunderstood Iran's Leadership Dynamics in Attempting Exclusive Contact with President Khatami

    The Robert Gates File
    The Iran-Contra Scandal, 1991 Confirmation Hearings, and Excerpts from new book Safe for Democracy


    Masoud jan

    by Parham on

    Before we go on, could I ask you to provide any sort of backing for your claim about Bakhtiar going behind Sanjabi's back and beginning to negotiate with the Shah when Sanjabi had made his demands? Anything that would show Bakhtiar had already started talks with the Shah in or around early November 1978 should suffice! Thanks.

    About my calling the Forouhar-Bakhtiar-Sanjabi the "three-man pact" -- actually that should come from one of the books I was reading about between 20 and 15 years ago. Unfortunately, I'm not sure which one and I don't have any of those books around me anymore. Could be from Behnoud's "Az Seyd Zia ta Bakhtiar" or "Pedar o Pesar", or a number of other smaller books I was reading at the time, written by various people who were around the history makers of those days.

    Also unfortunately, this is not what I do for a living so I haven't been repeating all this material in my head throughout the years (add to that the fact that we're all aging!), so there are now details that escape my mind; like Ghavam having actually accepted the premiership on 25 Tir 1331 (that we discussed on the other thread), or whether Bani-Sadr belonged to Hezbe Jomhoori Eslami or not (which was actually something some historian/international relations specialist had told me)!

    Speaking of Historians, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Milani's book on the Shah -- I've been discovering that our "historians" these days are not really in the caliber of say, Abdollah Mostowfi, who reflected every detail truthfully and yet knew how to "sweeten" the pages at the same time so the reader won't get bored. The history-writing these days is either partisan (Milani) or they try to sweeten the deal so much as to start writing baseless stories (Behnoud).

    Anyway, I will await your reply, but I'll already say --as you might guess too-- that I don't really see it the same way about Sanjabi; for what my opinion's worth, of course.

    Masoud Kazemzadeh

    Dr. Sanjabi Was Right

    by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

    Dear ROOG,

    Thank you for this blog.

    1. Please read the review of Abbas Milani’s book.


    In this review, one of the very top historian of the period, clearly shows the large numbers of errors of fact and interpretation by Milani. It is fine to make mistakes. It is also fine to have a political affiliation and tendency. But as scholars writing scholarly works, we should have intellectual honesty. In Milani, I observe a consistent anti-Mossadegh bias and a consistent anti-JM bias. And he tries with all sorts of verbal and logical gymnastics to whitewash, or waterdown the Shah subservience to the U.K. and the U.S., as well as the Shah’s tyranny.

    Here Milani also uses the insults "cowardice and mendacity" for Sanjabi!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no low that Milani does not sink to.

    We have the words of the Shah in his book "Answer to History," and we have the direct words of Sanjabi in the IOHP, and we have the direct words of Broumand in his IOHP (which you posted). If you have fully presented Milani’s account of the episode, Milani has ignored the words of the Shah, Sanjabi, and Boroumand.

    Broumand is explicitly stating that Sanjabi’s conditions were the Shah to "leave temporarily" and "allow him to appoint foreign minister." Boroumand recounts the discussion between him, Sanjabi, and SAVAK head while Sanjabi was imprisoned in some sort of place in north Tehran.

    In his interview Sanjabi does not say that he demanded the Shah to abdicate. In his book, the Shah does not say that Sanjabi demanded the Shah to abdicate.

    Thanks to MM, there is the British FCO document. It is about 87 or so pages. I quickly looked at it. I could not find the quotes. If someone could please provide page numbers, so that I could look at the evidence. Even the document includes another person who enumerates the many errors and disagreements with the Brown dude who wrote the report.

    A scholar should include all the sources. In this case we have the words of Boroumand, Sanjabi, and the Shah. A scholar should include the words of the Shah, Sanjabi, and Boroumand. The scholar should tell us why the words of Boroumand is false. The words of Boroumand and the words Milani quotes from the UK source are in direct contradiction. If one accepts the words of the UK source, then one has to demonstrate why Boroumand was wrong or lying. If one accepts the words of the UK source, then one has to explain why Sanjabi and Shah do NOT mention this.  Intellectual honesty would requre on to present all the evidence including those which contradicts one own's biases.  If what you posted is the whole of Milani's discussion or an honest summary of what he wrote, then one could conclude that he is not intellectually honest.  Did Milani show that Boroumand is lying or he is wimply wrong?  Why ignore Boroumand's testimoney and solely accept the British account?  And why the INSULT to Dr. Sanjabi????????? 



    1. Sanjabi had publically went to Paris. Sanjabi and Khomeini make a public agreement, the so-called "Three Principle Agreement." The agreement states that the monarchy does not have legitimacy, and that the future system will be based on melli and Islamic values, based on ELECTIONS. When Sanjabi returns to Tehran, the Shah imprisons Sanjabi.

    2. On Nov 3, the Cater national security team (Brezinski, Vance, Brown) reach an agreement that the solution should be either a government by JM or a military government. The US tells the US embassy to communicate this to the Shah. Also Brezinski himslef on Nov 4, 1978 calls the Shah and tells him that a military government is also an option and also adds that he does not know of a military government which has failed (and two days later the Shah appoints Gen. Azhari military government).

    source UK source MM provided, page 62.


    Sanjabi, Bakhtiar, and Forouhar had issued their demands in June 1977. The Shah orders the bombing of the homes and offices of Sanjabi and several other JM and melli leaders. By September-Oct, the national strikes in the oil field and government offices, and factories have substantially weakened the Shah. By this time due to a variety of factors Khomeini has emerged as the no.1 leader with JM as a second. For example, the Jaleh Square massacre and the general strikes and the continued massacres by the Shah greatly radicalized the situation and promoted Khomeini’s rise among the protesters.

    Sanjabi and Khomeini reach the 3 Point Declaration. Basically saying the Shah had to go. The next gov will be based on free elections.

    AFTER this, the Shah talks to Sanjabi. WHY not before?????????? So in November, when the Shah talks with Sanjabi, Sanjabi and Khomeini had already made the public 3-Point declaration. It would be unethical and against all political principles to all of the sudden during talks with the Shah to accept becoming prime minister totally ignoring the 3-Point declaration. Had Sanjabi immediately accepted to become prime minister and abandoning the 3 Point Declaration, then one could have called Sanjabi an opportunist, whose words are worthless.

    When a party or leader makes a declaration or agreement, the HONEST and HONORABLE thing to do is to respect that declaration or agreement. If a party or politician simply ignored hoe or her agreements, then that person’s words are worthless. One’s words, have to be gold, they have to mean something.

    Sanjabi was the LEADER of JM, the main secular democratic group and arguably the second largest opposition group to the Shah. The leader of the second opposition group sits down and makes a public declaration with the leaders of the first largest opposition at that time. Now that all-of-the-sudden, the Shah talks to Sanjabi, how in the world could Sanjabi accepts the new agreement without green light from the person who was at this time the leader of the largest opposition with whom he had made a declaration a few weeks earlier???????


    3. I think one should dismiss Milani’s insults to Sanjabi. Milani has shown a bias against Mossadegh and JM. Milani has repeatedly whitewashed the Shah’s policies. The above again show this.  The detailed review of the book also show this bias.

    4. Ironically, the only solution was that in June 1977, the Shah accept JM offer.


    (My thanks to Parham for the link).

    JM could have saved the situation until August 1978, when JM had the leadership of the opposition to the Shah. From September 1978, Khomeini clearly had the majority support.

    By November 1978, when the Shah finally realized that he was not able to repress the people, he finally comes to Sanjabi.

    By mid-Nov 1978, the only way JM could have save the situation was to bring Khomeini along. Now this policy might have worked or not worked. It would have worked if Sanjabi would be able to send the Shah out of Iran. Hold a referendum to replace the monarchy with a republic. Have Khomeini go to Qom. Hold free elections for Majles and see how many candidates from Khomeini’s side would actually under free environment could win the election. Taking violence out of politics and allow as much representation to fundamentalists as their share of the votes would get them.

    Sanjabi was NOT Bazargan. Nov 1978 was NOT Feb 11, 1979. In Nov 1978, JM had not split into two factions. JM was stronger in Nov 1978 than in Feb 1979. Khomeini was weaker in Nov 1978 than in Feb 11, 1979. What Sanjabi would accomplish in Nov 1978 was faaaaaaar more than what Bazargan could accomplish in Feb 1979.

    5. By rejecting Sanjabi’s offer in Nov 1978, the Shah undermined that last realistic possibility to save Iran. By this time, the Shah had to abdicate and declare the Pahlavi dynasty’s end. Had to publically apologize to the Iranian people. Leave Iran. Place the military under the civilian administration.

    6. Dr. Sedighi was just one person. He was not a member of JM any longer. He did not have the support base to become prime minister. His policy for the Shah to remain in power was terribly wrong. The vast majority of the people hated the Shah and he HAD to go. As long as the Shah remained in Iran, the struggle would continue. The BEST thing, Dr. Sedighi could have done was to tell the Shah directly and unambiguously: "the ONLY person capable of creating a democratic alternative in Iran is JM and Dr. Sanjabi. Talk with him, and accept anything he offers you."


    7. Dr. Bakhtiar was the 2nd highest leader in JM. Dr. Bakhtiar had engaged in secret negotiations with the Shah. He had not informed Dr. Sanjabi. I think these talks began before Sanjabi went to Paris and continued afterwards. The Shah was very good in divide-and-conquer. Dr. Bakhtiar should NOT have engaged in talks with the Shah behind Sanjabi’s back. Sanjabi heard from the news media that Bakhtiar had accepted to become prime minister. Bakhtiar’s secret talks with the Shah UNDERMINED the talks between Sanjabi and the Shah. That is why the Shah rejected Sanjabi’s offer and accepted Bakhtiar’s offer. Bakhtiar’s offer of accepting the post based on Majles vote (or Senate vote), was doomed to failure. The PROOF is the actual history. This outcome we all know that FAILED.

    8. In conclusion, the ONLY policy that had any chance of success in Nov 1978, was what Sanjabi proposed and the Shah rejected. This might have worked or might have failed.

    The primary reason for what happened is of course the fault of the Shah. He should have accepted JM’s offer in June 1977. By December 1978, Khomeini had the support of millions and millions. There was NOTHING short of killing hundreds of thousands or millions and millions of Iranians to stop him.

    The Shah was nokar of foreign powers and had to go. The Shah was a savage dictator and had to go. Khomeini is a zillion times more tyrannical than the Shah. The question is what could have been done to get rid of the Shah and have democracy in Iran. By doing what he did, the Shah destroyed all the possible avenues to a transition to democracy by JM.

    Sanjabi was a brave man, an honorable man, a decent man, who did all one could under very tough situation. The fact the his policy failed was due to the fact that the Shah rejected his demand in June 1977 (with huge likelihood of success) and again in Nov 1978 (with possible likelihood of success).




    great stuff

    by religionoutofgovernment on

    I will read them thoroughly this WE. Next time your dad and his octogenarian Iranian friends talk politics around the sofreh with Sanzi Polo and claim that everything is a master plan of the British and that The Akhounds were brought by the British and are in power because of the British (Kar Kare Inglisas), you show them these documents. Tell them it is not the British but Eslam that has ruined our country and the future of our people!



    by Parham on

    Great reading material, thank you.


    British Archives: Q&A w/ Adams on Iran Policy (1974-8)

    by MM on

    Q&A: British Policy on Iran 1974 - 1978

    FCO Political Director Sir Geoffrey Adams answers questions regarding the release of the report British Policy on Iran 1974 - 1978 that was listed below (British Policy on Iran 1974-1978).


    British Archives: British Policy on Iran 1974-1978

    by MM on

    The paragraphs below were taken directly from the below site.  You can download the full PDF document at the last link.



    ---------------         British Policy on Iran 1974-1978


    The Islamic Revolution in Iran represented a seismic shift in the internal and geopolitical orientation of a formerly close ally of the United Kingdom.

    This document, now released for the first time, was commissioned in 1979 by the then Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon David (now Lord) Owen, in order to enable a detailed examination of the context of the events leading to the Revolution, and for the FCO to identify any lessons that might be learned from the UK’s reactions to, and analysis of, the events concerned.

    The intention, as mentioned by the then Permanent Under-Secretary in his foreword, was not to apportion blame for the fact that the FCO, in common with others, failed to predict the Islamic Revolution. Rather, the intention was to “examine where, if anywhere, we had gone wrong and how we could do better in the future”. In this context Chapter XI, “Conclusion: Lessons for the FCO”, is of particular interest.
    As a whole, this document shows the value of analysis and historical perspective in formulating policy not just with regard to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but to other countries and regions which remain of vital interest to the UK.

    It is important to bear in mind that this is a historical document and does not necessarily reflect the views of the current UK government. It has been released for publication on the web following the FCO’s standard clearance procedures.


      Foreword by the Permanent Under-Secretary

    Chapter I


    Chapter II

    Iran 1974 – 1978

    Chapter III

    British Analysis 1974 – 1978

    Chapter IV

    Shortcomings of the British analysis

    Chapter V

    Analysis of other governments and institutions

    Chapter VI

    The revolutions in Egypt, Iraq and Libya

    Chapter VII

    British Policy 1974 – 1978

    Chapter VIII

    Policy of other Western governments

    Chapter IX

    Losses to Britain from the fall of the Shah

    Chapter X

    Could the losses have been avoided?

    Chapter XI

    Conclusion: Lessons for the FCO

    *All links are PDF documents

    Full document:
    British Foreign Policy on Iran 1974-1978 
    (PDF, 17.2MB)

    Anahid Hojjati

    Even during 1979, Jebhe Melli was irrelevant to the youth

    by Anahid Hojjati on

    It is quite interesting to read about Jebhe Melli and what it can do now. As I remember even during 1979 revolution, it was really hard to find young people who were pro Jebhe melli. Youth was either pro Khomeini, or Mujahed, or Tudeei, paykari, Aksariat, aghaliat, Komleh, Rahe Kargar. pro Payman, etc but not pro Jebhe Melli. So if a party failed to connect with the youth in 1979, now how after more than 30 years, it is supposed to do that? Even in 1979, when we read about events of 1953, it seemed distant. Now some people keep talking about 1953 and 1963. Too much talk about past and not enough about future. What is the vision for future? and how can some of these groups be any relevant in today' s Iran. They simply cannot.