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

These were bunch of old members of JM who started coming together and had regular discussions in their houses starting 1977. They were old party members, some from Mossdegh cabinet, most of them highly educated, some university professors.  They did not have a formal party (Hezb) with a formal membership. Just bunch of elitist, educated liberal democrats. Of note, Bazargan was not formally in JM, but he did attend and was invited to many meetings. He refused to sign the letter to the Shah in 1977 which was signed by Forouhar, Sanjabi and Bakhtiar. Supposedly he wanted more junior and (I assume more religious) members of his Nehzate Azadi to also sign the letter. Once this was rejected he refused to sign the letter. 

Regarding Milani's source, I found the link after a little search in the British National Archives website. Unfortunately, I did not save the link. You will not be able to see the text of the document, but can order it. I did not do that.

Milani's comments were taken from his recent nook The Shah. 

I agree with you about forgetting the past and coming together. Please see my response to Siavash. There are 2 reasons I am posting this stuff. 1) I love to read about history 2) We need to learn from our past. I do not want to demonize JM. However, if they insist on a demagogic attitude denying there has ever been anything wrong in their past, then they are the ones harming themselves. 


ROOG: any links to Milani's documents?

by MM on

Also, they talk about a committee of 22 for JM.  Any ideas on the extent of public support? real members!



by Princess on

I would just like to add my voice to the others and thank you for your very valuable contributions. I am learning a lot from your posts and am eagerly following the discussions. Thank you!



Shah's offer to Sanjabi

by religionoutofgovernment on

Why did the Shah not give the PM post to Sanjabi??


According to Jamshid Amouzegar in my previous post:


In mid october 1978, Jamshoud Amouzegar is contacted by 3 members of JM, Sanjabi, Bakhtiar and Razmara, to persuade the Shah to let them form a government. Amouzegar talks to the Shah and his concern was whether JM wanted a republic. When Amouzegar asks bakhtiar about this, he says "I cannot speak for all 22 of us in JM but I will bring the issue up in our general meeting". Two days later he calls Amouzegar and says they discussed the issue in their meeting and they were not against the monarchy and they agreed that they should be forming a government. IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE MR SANJABI WAS NOT IN THAT MEETING.


While Bakhtiar, Amouzegar and the Shah are going back and forth, Sanjabi goes to Paris on October 28, 1978. There, he comes up with his 3 point declaration stating the future government should be both Islamic and democratic. In Paris his has his infamous interview with the BBC (See below).


When he returns to Iran he is arrested and taken to a palace in North Tehran. Once released in November 78, he meets with the Shah.One of the issues that we are told is that the Shah did not accept 2 simple demands of Sanjabi: 

1) that the Shah leave Iran and 2) that Sanjabi chose the minister of defense. 


The Shah decides against Sanjabi as PM. On Decemeber 10, 1978, The Shah starts negotiations with Sadighi for PM and soon JM denounces Dr. Sadighi as you read in Parham's post. Sadighi's conditions were that the Shah remain in Iran and not leave and of course hand over all the powers to his government. At the same time the Shah also starts to talk to Bakhtiar about his government in December 1978.


What was the real reason for the Shah rejecting Sanjabi as PM?

Was it that the Shah did not want to leave the country? Actually he wanted to leave the country and he did. In fact, in Dec 78 and jan 79 he was meeting separately with both Dr. Sadighi and Dr. Bakhtiar and discussing their possible governments. Dr. Sadighi's condition was that the Shah not leave the country. On the contrary, Bakhtiar wanted him to leave. One reason that he possibly chose Bakhtiar over Sadighi may have been that he actually wanted to leave and he DID (The Shah by Abbas Milani). Other reasons could have been his medical condition and pressure from the US.

Was it that he did not want Sanjabi to elect his own minister of war? Well in just a few weeks he agreed with both Sadighi and Bakhtiar to elect their own ministers. He had no objection to bakhtiar's cabinet and Mirfendereski (Yekrangi). On Jan 25 , Sadighi told the Shah that he was ready to form a government and had already chosen the names of his ministers. On january 28, Sadighi was told that the Shah had chosen Bakhtiar over him.

There is more to this story. Sanjabi had ONE MORE condition. He told the Shah that no government would be formed without Khomeini's approval (Interview with Sanjabi, Harvard Iran Oral History Project transcript 25, page 2 and 3.) This of course is not hard to believe when you recall that just a couple of week prior to this meeting what he had said in his BBC interview (see below).

Abbas Milani writes the following in Pages 398-399 of his book The Shah:

A few days earlier, the Shah had also met with  Karim Sanjabi, the leader of the national Front. Sanjabi predicated his acceptance of any role in a government on Khomeini's prior approval. (my writing: Sanjabi actually corroborates this in his 1982 interview with HIOH project). He has just returned from meeting with Khomeini in Paris, where he had made a statement - a statement the Ayatollah had refused to sign, lest the presumptive leader of the secular forces develop any delusions that he was on a par with Khomeini - in which he not only accepted Khomeini's leadership, but also the increasing role of Islam in shaping the ideology of the movement. Upon his return to tehran, Sanjabi told the Shah that " no solution would work without a green light from Khomeini". He added that at  present "this was impossible to obtain on the basis of the Shah's total abdication". (my writing: not just handing over the rule but actually disbanding the monarchy!) More incredible still, he "suggested that the present military government should remain in office for another couple of months to see if Khomeini's influence might be on the decline and if a situation might then obtain where some kind of national government could be formed". A more dangerous combination of cowardice and mendacity is hard to imagine.

The comments in bold are direct quotes that Milani has extracted from his source: PRO. Tehran to Cabinet Office , December 19, 1979, PREM 16/1720. I actually found this on the British Archives but needed to send a request to receive it. I have not done that, but I find it very unlikely that any quote in Milani's book would not be an exact copy of the original document.

In the end I leave you again with this infamous video:


This is also interesting

by Parham on

این یکی از صفحه ویکی غلامحسین صدیقی گرفته شده. اعلامیه ای که جبهه ملی در مورد نخست وزیری ایشان در آن موقع منتشر کرده. درست یا غلط بودن آن با همین صفحه:

”چون بعضی خبرگزاری‌ها گزارش داده‌اند که آقای دکتر غلامحسین صدیقی مامور تشکیل دولت خواهد شد و از ایشان به عنوان یکی از رهبران جبهه ملی ایران یاد کرده‌اند، لازم دیده شد به آگاهی عمومی برساند که آقای دکتر غلامحسین صدیقی از نیمه سال ۱۳۴۲ با هیچ یک از سازمان‌های جبهه ملی ایران کوچک‌ترین همکاری نداشته و اکنون هم در هیچ یک از ارگان‌های این جبهه سمتی ندارد. به جاست یادآور شویم همچنان که بارها اعلام گردیده جبهه ملی ایران، با وجود بقای نظام سلطنتی غیرقانونی، با هیچ ترکیب حکومتی موافقت نخواهد کرد..”


What is needed is an umbrella organization

by MM on

Thanks ROOG,

Looking at the videos and knowing a bid of history, it appears that there is plenty of blame to go around, and plenty of skeletons in closets (*).  What is needed is an umbrella organization with a forward-looking attitude of “Secular democracy for Iran”, and a plan of action and just not another e’lamyyeh.  Under this umbrella, I am including Monarchists, JM, Greens and other democrats whose motto is secular democracy in Iran (**). 

 (*) From Sanjabi and Boroumand to Mousavi and Karrubi alike.

 (**) I would even include MEK if they opened up camp Ashraf and came up with a new clean-slate leadership who believed in democracy.


Bakhtiar and JM's account by Jamshid Amouzegar

by religionoutofgovernment on

This is a very interesting account of the request by JM to form a government. This happened during Sharif Emami's term when Mr. Sanjabi was in Paris. According to this, Mr. Sanjabi already had decided not to form a government even before he was approached by the Shah, which was when he returned from paris. This is very insightful.    

                            غفلت جبهه ي ملي  و قضيه دولت نظامي

بيش از پنج شش هفته از استعفاي من و عمر دولت آقاي شريف امامي نگذشته بود كه يكي از دوستانم كه استاد دانشگاه ملي بود ، زنگي زد و گفت : سه نفر از اعضاي جبهه ملي آقايان دكتر سنجابي ، دكتر بختيار و دكتر رزم آرا، مايلند با شما ملاقات كنند . چه وقتي براي شما مناسب است ؟  گفتم : دوست عزيزم ؛ من كه ديگر كاره اي نيستم. با من چكار دارند ؟

گفت : نميدانم اما به نظر من بهتر است كه اين ملاقات صورت بگيرد .پس از لحظه اي تامل ، قرار ملاقات براي ساعت 6 بعد از ظعر پنجشنبه همان هفته در منزل من گذارده شد .

در روز و ساعت موعود ، در انتظار نشسته بودم ، ربع ساعتي گذشت خبري نشد .

در پي آن عقربه بزرگ ساعت از نيمه را هم گذشت ، باز هم خبري نشد . با خود گفتن لابد تغيير عقيده داده و از ملاقات منصرف شده اند. خيالات پراكنده و از هم گسسته اي ذهنم را مشغول كرده بود كه زنگ در به صدا در آمد . آقابان دكتر بختيار و دكتر رزم آرا ، به درون آمدند .پس از تعارفات معمول ، آقاي بختياراز دير آمدن معذرت خواست و گفت :  سنجابي : امروز براي ملاقات با آيت الله شريعتمداري به قم رفته بود . ما منتظر مراجعت ايشان بوديم ، ولي چون نرسيدند فكر كرديم تاخير بيش از اين جايز نيست و ما آمديم .

لحظاتي بعد بدون مقدمه گفتن و يا حاشيه رفتن ، مطالبي گفت كه خلاصه ي آن چنين است :  آقاي آموزگار ، مملكت در يك وضع بحراني خطرناكي ست . مردم به شريف امامي اعتماد ندارند . پس از جمعه سياه ، اوضاع وخيم تر شده  و كشور به سرعت در  سراشيبي سقوط قرار گرفته . هر روز كه نخست وزيري شريف امامي بيشتر ادامه يابد ، وضع بدترخواهد شد . ما پيش شما آمده ايم كه براي نجات مملكت ، به عرض اعليحضرت  برسانيد كه كه تا ديرتر شدن نشده ،شريف امامي را بركنار و دولت را به جبهه ملي واگذار كند . شايد ما بتوانيم راه حلي براي حل اين بحران پيدا كنيم . من از شنيدن اين گفتار صريح و بي پرده بهت زده شده بودم ، گفتم : چرا اين مطلب را از طريق وزارت دربار به عرض نميرسانيد ؟

چنين پاسخ دادند : اطمينان نداريم كه اين مطلب را عينا به عرض برسانند ، ولي به شما اعتماد داريم . سپس پيش از خداحافظي شماره تلفني به من داد و گفت : با اين شماره در هر ساعتي ميتوانيد با من تماس بگيريد .پس از راهي شدن آقايان با اينكه دير وقت بود به كاخ سعد آباد . تلفن چي صدايم را شناخت . اظهار محبتي كرد و گفت چه امري داشتيد ؟ گفتم مطلبي است فوري كه بايد به عرض برسانم .گفت گوشي خدمتتان باشد . دقيقه اي چند گذشت كه از آن سوي خط ، آواي آشناي منم در گوشم پيچيد .

عرض كردم حامل پيامي هستم كه نميتوانم تلفني به عرض برسانم .

فرمودند : شنبه صبح ساعت 9 بيائيد به كاخ در شرفيابي پيام را عينا به عرض رسانيد.

براي دقايقي طولاني سكوت ناراحت كننده اي فضاي تالار را گرفته . سپس در حالي كه طبق معمول درازاي اتاق را قدم ميزدند ، فرمودند : شما ميدانيد منظور آنها چيست ؟ 

عرض كردم : خير اين اولين باري ست كه با من تماس گرفته اند. 

فرمودند : اينها ميخواهند در ايران جمهوري برقرار كنند و حالا ميخواهند من با دست خودم اين نقشه را عملي كنم . من كه در درازاي بيست و يكسال معاونت و وزارت و نخست وزيري ، هرگز چنين گفت و شنودي با شاه نداشتم ، بهت زده عرض كردم . اگر اجازه بفرمائيد در اين مورد از آنان سوال كنم . بي درنگ فرمودند : بله بپرسيد .

در بازگشت به منزل به آقاي بختيار تلفن كردم . شايد برداشت شاه برايش تازگي نداشت ، چرا كه گفت : آقاي آموزگارما در جبهه ملي بيست و  دو سه نفر هستيم . من نميتوانم از جانب همه حرف بزنم . اين موضوع را در جاسه همگاني كه فردا داريم ، مطرح خواهم كرد و نتيجه را به شما خبر ميدهم . دو روز بعد چنين به من گفت : جبهه ملي مخالف سلطنت نيست . ما ميخواهيم مسئوليت دولت و اداره مملكت به عهده ما باشد ، تا شايد بتوانيم اين بحران ختر ناك را برطرف كنيم . سپس اضافه كرد : حاضريم نظر خود را در موافقت با سلطنت بيپرده ، صريح و روشن اعلام كنيم . تقاضاي شرفيابي كردم و پاسخ  بختيار را عينا به عرض رسانيدم .چهره گرفته آن روزهاي شاه كمي باز شد . براي دقايقي از اين و از آن و از اين جا و آن جا  مطالبي گفتند و در پايان فرمودند : بسيار خوب بپرسيد كانديداي آنها براي نخست وزيري كيست ؟ مرخص شدم و بيدرنگ با بختيار تماس گرفتم .

شادي بيرون از وصف او را از شنيدن فرموده شاه  حس كردم . هيجان زده به من گفت : 

فكر ميكنم اللهيار صالح را پيشنهاد كنيم ، ولي تصميم بايد از طرف همه باشد.

ما فكر نميكرديم اعليحضرت به اين زوري تصميم بگيرند . حالا مشكل كار اينجاست كه سنجابي و بازرگان به پاريس و لندن رفته اند و بدون حضور آنها نميتوانيم تصميم بگيريم .

سعي ميكنم تا با آنها تماس بگيرم تا فورا برگردند .

سپس گفت : مطلب تاره يي هم پيش آمده كه نميدانم چگونه تفسير كنم . ديروز دكتر نهاوندي تلفن كرد پس از مقدمه چنين اظهار داشت كه جبهه ملي هر مطلبي دارد كه بخواهد به عرض برسد ، بهتر است از طريق ايشان باشد ولي آقاي آموزگار نهاوندي وجهه خوبي ندارد . در دانشگاه بسيار بد عمل كرد . ما نميخواهيم با ايشان تماس داشته باشيم تكليف چيست ؟ 

گفتم : اين مطلب را به عرض ميرسانم . پايان شرفيابيم غروي آفتاب و حالا اوايل شب بود . با اين همه به كاخ تلفن كردم .از آهنگ گفتار چنين دريافت كردم كه اعليحضرت سرشام هستند . همه ي گفته بختيار را به عرض  رساندم .

از شنيدن نام اللهيار صالح خيلي خوشحال شد ند و فرمودند : بسيار خوب هر چه زودتر خبر دهند .سپس شنيدم فرمودند : ميگند نهاوندي وجهه خوبي نداره . دانستم كه مخاطب ديگري حضور دارد كه يكباره آواي آشناي شهبانو به گوشم رسيد كه گفت : كي اين حرف را ميزنه فرمودند : بختيار . واكنش اين بود : مهمل ميگه . من كه بهت زده از اين گفتگو گوشي تلفن در دستم بود . ناگهان بار ديگر خود را مخاطب يافتم .

فرمودند : رايط ما با جبهه ملي فقط شما هستيد ، به آنها بگوييد .

دو سه روزي از اين جريان گذشت و از بختيار خبري نشد ...

اعليحضرت تلفن فرمودند كه چه شد ؟  پاسخي نداشتم .احساس كردم كه ناراحت هستند . عرض كردم پيگيري ميكنم . بيدرنگ به بختيار تلفن كردم و گفتم : شما مرا در وضع ناراحت كننده يي قرار داده اي .شما بوديد كه به سراغ من آمديد .شما بوديد كه از من خواستيد پيامتان را به عرض برسانم . حالا كه شاه با پيشنهاد شما موافقت كرده موضوع را به ليت و  لعل ميگذرانيد و مرا سنگ روي يخ كرده ايد . خيلي ناراحت شد .

گفت : شما نميدانيد كه من با چه مشكلاتي روبرو هستم . تماس با سنجابي و بازرگان بسيار مشكل است .اغلب اوقات در محل اقامتشان نيستند . در اين دو سه روز بارها سعي كردم تماس بگيرم .بالاخره امروز با سنجابي صحبت كردم .گفت كاري دارد كه بايد تمام كند ، بعد به تهران برگردد . گفتم ممكن است وقتي را معين كنند كه من به عرض برسانم .

پاسخش چنين بود :سعي ميكنم دوباره تماس بگيرم . فراداي آن روز بختيار تلفن كرد و گفت : تماس گرفتم . سنجابي ميگويد كارش تمام شده ولي جا در هيچ هواپيمايي به مقصد تهران پيدا نميكند . من كه از اين گفته حيرت زده شده بود، بي درنگ بسان اينكه الهام شده باشم ، گفتم : هواپيماي دولت را برايشان ميفرستيم .

خيلي خوشحال شد و گفت : به اطلاعشان ميرسانم .پس از اين گفتگو در يافتم بي اختيار وبي اجازه وعده اي داده ام . بي درنگ به كاخ تلفن كردم و جريان را به عرض رساندم .فرمودند : خوب عمل كرديد ، روز حركت را  هر چه زودتر تايين كنند  تا هواپيما فرستاده شود .

مجددا با بختيار تماس گرفتم و فرموده شاه را به اطلاعش رساندم . دو سه روز ديگر گذشت و خبري نشد . من كلافه شده بودم .زمگي زدم و به آقاي بختيار گفتم چه شد ؟ 

پاسخش چنين بود : آقاي آموزگار من نميدانم جريان چيست اما سنجابي و بازرگان آماده مراجعت و گفتگو نيستند .

خيلي متاسفم . در اينجا بود كه دريافتم شكاف پر پهنايي ميان ياران قديم افتاده كه به زيان همگي خواهد بود .

                 قطره درياست اگر با درياست    ور نه آن قطره و دريا درياست

با ناراحتي بيرون از وصفي جريان را به عرض رساندم . فرمودند : گفتم كه اينها مقصود ديگري دارند . در ماجرا بدين ترتيب بسته شد .

بعد ها شنيدم كه شايد همين غفلت جبهه ملي موجب روي كار آمدن دولت نظامي و وقايع پس از آن شد . الله اعلم 

            واشنگتن دي سي ،25 شهريور 47 ، 16سپتامبر 1995 – ره آورد – شماره 39 



Abbas Milani

by religionoutofgovernment on

I posted the first part of this video earlier, but reading the recent comments about the events surrounding the revolution, I am going to post both segments again. I highly recommend his book The Shah to everyone.


According to Milani and his documents Khomeini was worried about a JB government and the possibility that it could have changed the course of events. This regime was not inevitable at least one cannot say so with certainty.



Mash Ghasem

The point of capitulation by Sanjabi to Khomni was Shah's ouster

by Mash Ghasem on

not the Islamic State. It's amazing how little mention of a religious state there is prior to khomeni's return to Iran, while in France he was truly promising everything to everyone. Of course when he returned all we got was his plastik!

P.S. All these honorable mentions by Framarz and Majnon on JM is making me a bit nostalgic too. JM is indeed one of the few truly honorable formations in Iran, with limitaions and mistakes all its own, like anyother. Perhaps most people won't agree with me but I think Dr. Fatemi's contributions and place in the history of JM is often ignored, or not paid as much attention to as it ought to. Perhaps a thorough tribute to Dr.Fatemi's legacy could be a very small first step towards a revival of JM. 

P.S.S. Mehrdad jan, perhaps the revolutionary movement of Kurdestan is one of the few exceptions to your point. An exception that proves the rule!


More on Dr. Sanjabi

by Faramarz on

My understanding of Dr. Sanjabi based on what I have read or gathered from the people who lived through Mossadegh time is that, while Dr. Karim Sanjabi was an educated man (Sorbonne) and was the head of Tehran Law School (Hoghoogh), he was not highly regarded by Mossadegh and when Iran was presenting its case against the Brits, Dr. Mossadegh chose Professor Rouland to make Iran’s case at The Hague Court, although Dr. Sanjabi was there as well.

Also Dr. Sanjabi’s capitulation to Khomeini in Paris is noteable. By completely giving in to Khomeini’s demand on an Islamic state, he effectively made Prime Minister Bakhtiar irrelevant and Jebheh Melli a toothless political entity of a bunch of old men from another era!

Today's Jebheh Melli has also failed to make a name for itself. Although it enjoys a positive name recognition because of Mossadegh era, you don't see them as a formidable opposition to the Regime. Maybe they can change that.



by religionoutofgovernment on


Shotbzadeh is precious! I will leave that one. I guess pun intended! 


It is not just JM that needs to come out clean....

by Bavafa on

I think we "Iranians" need to come out clean, accept responsibility for our [in] action and the continues passiveness, lack of pragmatic ness and stubbornness.

There is hardly any one group that has not been one way or another contributing to the present abyss that we are in and the light at the end of tunnel seem only to be an oncoming train.

We need to learn from our past but form unity thru compromise while we share and hold our core principals intact and dear.

Finally we need to let go of "what is in it for me" syndrome.

Thanks for the blog

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 


Mash Ghasem

It was a bit more complex than just Khomeini's sudden popularity

by Mash Ghasem on

A) Ayat Shaytan Khomeini gained most of his initial 'fame' by that letter published in Etellat, thanks to Daruish Homayon. Subsequent flight from Iraq to France made it  even worse, adding international recognition to national.

B) Ayat Shaytan,  Khomeini's  uncompromising instance towards Shah gave him a big leverage over Sanjabi.

C) While in France Ayat Shaytan Khomeni was promising everything to everybody. Very few people with the knowledge of his past and his views really knew what was going on. It was an anti-monarchy frenzy, and he exploited it to the max. a true Ayat Shaytan,


Dear Mash Ghasem

by divaneh on

I completely agree with you that I have been a little sentimental when talked about Iranian diaspora but even if there is 5% support, that would be 150,000 to 200,000 people.

I am also in full agreement with you about travelling to Iran. After the last election I decided not to travel to Iran anymore and that freed me to express my discontent with the IRI freely. Imagine if most of those Iranian abroad made the same decision what impact it would have on IRI and how much stronger would the opposition become. After all it has to start somewhere and everyone should join the struggle.

Collating the statistic is a very big job and possibly need a team of people in different countries. It must be done though and I hope that INF or some other national party give some serious thinking about it and ask for help from people like me and you. Otherwise perhaps and IC community can start this.


A little explanation

by divaneh on

Just to explain that the title and the first paragraph of my previous comment was a little joke about the author's typo who had written "Jenhe" instead of "Jebhe". Unfortunately it has now been corrected.

The blog has been taken of the featured list because you have changed the content. The only way to get it back is to write to the admin.

BTW, now that you are busy correcting, you may also want to correct the “Shotbzadeh” in your comment to Siavash. Did you use to get good marks for emla?



It is my understanding

by Mehrban on


On cooperating with Khomeini - (It is my understanding) that Khomeini was a (manufactured) tsunami, everyone was on the street shouting Khomeini Rahbar, no one knew exactly why.  JM had no force to stand against it, no one did.  He was backed by the Americans, English, French, Germans....  It is like taking your kids to Mc Donald (okay bad example) Madison Avenue decides and you somehow follow.   

Everyone (almost) was taken by the forceful tide and in their (JM) long political hiatus they had not been in the position of making hard decisions so they just went with the tide, hoping for the best.  

Remember, there was very little time then, things happened very quickly.  We, at this time have had thirty years to think about it.


Ps. In my view the decisive blow to Bakhtiar's government did not come from JM but from the Iranian Army who declared neutrality and was quickly dismantled!  Go figure.... 


Featured blog

by religionoutofgovernment on

Anyone knows how we can get this thread in the "Featured blogs" column on the right side of the home page?



by religionoutofgovernment on

Let me give you my heartfelt response. I totally identify with what you are saying. I sincerely believe the answer is to let go of all these parties and organizations as a way to salvation! Let's stop looking for the next hero, Hezb, organization. It is OK to work within them, as long as they adapt to our true principles. As long as they are fluid and tolerate questions and criticism and are willing to change. Discard them if they don't, but do not let go of your principles. What principles can we share and agree on? I say Secular Democracy. There is no reason for the democrats (ie JM ETC) and monarchists not to co-exist in a multiparty system based on Secular Democracy. Let's not demonize each other. Let's reconcile the past and stop worshiping heros. No one is sacred not the Shah, not Mosaddegh and not Khomeini.

Mash Ghasem


by Mash Ghasem on

Prof. Majnon, you're so open minded its just amazing! "...happy to support all kinds of national initiatives..." You really do have a lot of national fervor, good for you. With all due respect,  me thinks your picture of Iranian "diaspora" is a bit sentimental and simplistic. Why the quotation marks, the so-called diaspora? My question would be is it really a total diaspora. I wouldn't be surprised if there is an increasing portion of 'constant travelers.' And some might say, hence the problem with 'some' Iranians abroad. they simply don't want to risk anything in their planned travel arrangments to Iran and back. Your volunteerign for stats is commendable, at some points I really liked to pursue it, but never did. Me thinks you should go ahead  and compile any way. I could help you, all you need is to learn a couple of programs, right?


Our Resentment

by religionoutofgovernment on

I fully understand Siavash's resentment and bitterness towards anyone who cooperated with this barbaric regime. But, I think it is helpful to understand the players and to what extent each made mistakes, was opportunistic, or a traitor.

 You have to distinguish Nehzate Azadi from JM. NA were people like Bazargan, Shariati, Shotbzadeh etc with strong religious beliefs. They not only had and have no clue about separation of church and state, but actually want a marriage of religion and state. They DID support Khomeini in 1963 riots and DID help him in the following 15 years both inside and outside Iran. They DID stay with the regime after the revolution. They are the true traitors in my view.

Next, you have JM members. Let's say the likes of Sanjabi, Forouhar, and Bakhtiar. They were MONARCHISTS with liberal democratic ideas and wanted the Shah to reign but not rule. They actually DID NOT side with Khomeini in 1963 mainly due to Bakhtiar!! I am not sure about their personal religious beliefs, but to my knowledge until November 1979 they DID NOT have a policy of mixing religion and politics. We now know that this bunch differed in their conviction to Secularism. Bakhtiar clearly understood the importance of this principle, partly due to his knowledge of the French revolution. He clearly foresaw the religious dictatorship long before anyone else. In contrast, Mr. Sanjabi signed a 3 part declaration in which he admitted that the next regime should be based on "Islamic and democratic" principles. Of course this is an oxymoron and a mere impossibility. As the leader of JB, he should have known this simple fact and ignorance is no defense for him. He clearly was going against secularism. He may have done this due to either ignorance or opportunism. Either way, he ended up on Khomeini's camp and expelled Bakhtiar from JM. 

So, what should we call this camp of JM minus Bakhtiar and Boroumand?? I guess if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt and not call them opportunist, they for sure qualify as ignorant!! It really doesn't matter whether it was or was not possible to stop the revolution. Bakhtiar may have lost the revolution to Khomeini but won in the pages of history. He taught us a lesson about Secular Democracy. In my books, he won, and Mr. Sanjabi also could have , but chose to lose!! 


Did you mean JENDE MELLI?

by divaneh on

Reading the first paragraph I am not quite sure whether you meant to write Jebhe Melli or Jende Melli. You can count me in both ways as I am happy to support all kinds of national initiatives :)

Thanks for your informative blog and the videos that were first posted in MK blog as a comment. Viewing those videos I could not help thinking that Mr Boroumand had contributed to his own fate. How could a man like him pay money to Akhonds after they had killed Ahmad Kasravi with such savagery. Bearing in mind that Khomeini was instrumental in the killing of Kasravi, he should have questioned his donations even more. It is obvious that many of these people had underestimated Akhond's deceit and thirst for blood. Donations to one side, this man lived and died for Iran.

I agree with MK that Sanjabi was a principled man with good intentions but these are not the only qualities that we seek in a politician, especially if that person is at the helm of the most respected national party. Insight, cunningness and knowledge of history are all necessary. Where in the history Akhonds have been on the side of the democracy or even decency? Even if we forget the Fazllollah Nouri, wasn’t Shaban Bimokh a thug of Kashani? Shouldn’t have JM taken its lesson by then?

Like you I would like to support the JM but need an excuse to do so. Condemnation and statements are not good enough. There is a huge swing to the nationalist and democrat agenda and the JM seems unable to capitalise on this potential pool of support. There are by some estimates 3 millions and some other 4 millions Iranians outside Iran who care about the country and the fate of those inside the prisons. All have gone further than that desire for democracy and now have experienced the real democracy in the democratic countries and want the same for Iran. Many are affluent professionals who would be happy to support any initiative that takes Iran an inch closer to the democracy. Still we don’t see any party reaching for assistance with a proper proposal. Does any of these parties have a proper statistics of the Iranians abroad? Should they compile such statistics in the absence of a proper government in Iran? I will be happy to help with such a task if any party or group want to do so as a first step in galvanising the diaspora support.


Beside Bakhtiar, all J.M were Khaen

by Siavash300 on

This party played major role in destruction of Iran by bunch of stinky Islamic ragheads. J.M were all Khaen to Iran and to the nation. We never forget these people were cheerleadering Khomainie in Najaf and Paris, warmly welcoming him his return to Iran and voted 'yes" to barbaric republic of Iran. They even participated in mullah's provinsional government. They helped ruling mullahs to be stablized and massacre our people some years later (summer,1988) . Mullahs couldn't survive without help of these and other so called intellectuals. J.M is guilty of destruction of our beautiful country from shah's days. They even dismissed poor Bakhtiar who was standing by shah to save Iran from the hand of mullahs.  Shamelessly they brag about what they did against shah leading our country to the current situation. 

Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear ROOG,

Thank you.




Thank you

by religionoutofgovernment on

Masoud, I want to thank you very much for spending the time to write this response. It certainly deserves a thorough musing and analysis. I will respect your time and attention by doing just that. 


Kazemzadeh Attempting to Rewrite History

by Maziari on


JM should be renamed Islamic Front (JI). Iran was lost to the
Islamic Republic of Tyranny, Lies and Corruption because of treachery of the so called
National Front. Both Dr Broomand and Bakhtiar left JM because of treasonous
acts of its leadership. Sanjabi was traitor.

JM should either come clean and apologize to the Iranian nation or
disappear all together. 


Masoud Kazemzadeh

Sanjabi a Principled and Honorable Man

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

If Sanjabi was opportunistic, then he would have worked with the Shah all those years. If he was opportunist, he would have accepted to become prime minister from the Shah. If he was opportunist, he would accept Khomeini’s offer to become a member of Shoray Enghelab. If he was opportunistic, he would remain silent when the popular thing was to support the summary executions of monarchists. If he was opportunistic, he would have not resigned on April 15, 1979 as a matter of principle (for due process of the law and human rights of the monarchists). Time and time again, Sanjabi stood up for PRINCIPLES. He stood up against dismissing female judges. Sanjabi and JM were the only entities that had the courage to do so in May 1979. JM actually called for a rally at the Univ of Tehran. The same with standing up to Khomeini in closing of Ayandegan.

Sanjabi and JM placed their lives and honor and principles as among the most trusted entities in the early days to stop and weaken Khomeini. These are historical facts.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Dr. Sanjabi and Dr. Bakhtiar

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear ROOG,

This is what I wrote in the other blog in response to the questions by you and others.  I am re-posting it here.


1. The "strength" of a party is measured in several ways. In the period under discussion (1978-1981):

1.1. Ultimately, (and certainly in a democratic setting) how many people would vote for it. Despite all obstacles in 1951-53 period and even under the terribly adverse situation in 1980, those associated with JM and liberalism did very well in elections. For example, in the Presidential election in 1980, Bani Sadr got 70 something percent of the vote and Dr. Madani got 25% of the vote. The candidate of the IRP (Islamic Republican Party), Hasan Habibi got only 5% of the vote. Some JM cadres supported Madani and some supported Bani Sadr (2 top Bani Sadr lieutenants who got executed in 1981 were members of JM). We do not know what percentage of Bani Sadr’s support came from JM voters. For the same of argument say at a minimum it was 10%. If one adds the 25 of Madani and 10 from Bani Sadr, we get 35% of those who voted were JM voters.

In March 1980 elections for Majles, the IRP and Khomeini were frieghted by the vote of liberals and did ALL they could to increase the vote of IRP. According to the calculations of Prof. Abrahamian, the IRP’s share of the vote was around 35% although they ended up getting 65% of the seats. About 5 or 6 JM members (e.g., Sanjabi, Ardalan, Madani, Qashqaei) got elected to Majles, but none of them were allowed to take their seats. About a third of the seats went to Nehzat Azadi and supporters of Bani Sadr.

The regime did not allow the counting for those districts where PMOI candidate was ahead and might have won. Those vote counting were cancelled.


The actual VOTES in 1980 do illustrate that huge segments of the population in actual votes, voted for JM, Nehzat Azadi, and Bani Sadr despite violence by the IRP-IRGC thugs.

1.2. Other factors such as the quality of leaders, numbers of cadres, also matter greatly. For example, the PMOI was highly organized but in actual elections they did not do very well. To some extent, this was true for the Fadaian. They had large numbers of young university students members, but they did not do well in elections.

1.3. JM’s leaders then (and now) are known to the public.

1.4. The major weakness of JM was organization and discipline. The top tier leaders of JM, are highly independent persons and they do not simply follow the decision of the top leader.

1.5. JM also lacked cadres at this time. Most young persons (18-30 year olds) who would constitute cadres were supporters of Fadaian, Peykar, PMOI, and IRP.



TODAY, things have changed greatly.

The political and ideological bankruptcy of the fundamentalist project in Iran has seriously undermined the IRI. Only the reformist wing of the fundamentalist project (Khatami, Mousavi, Karrubi) has something to say and they do have their supporters among the youth. To what extent the youth uses the reformist fundamentalists to merely express their opposition to the whole VF project and to some extent they are true believers of the reform of vf nezam remains to be seen.

The collapse of communism, also has had its impact on Iranian left. Today, communism simply does not have the appeal that it enjoyed in 1978-1981 period.

The PMOI also has lost much of its appeal among the population.

The monarchists are then and now pretty much the same: about 5 to 10 percent of the population. Most of them appear to have become more extremist, more tyrannical, more dictatorial, more fascistic.




I see the following groupings in Iran:

1. Pro-Democracy. This group includes JM, NAMIR, Iran Liberal Party, Hezb Mellat Iran, Bani Sadr’s supporters.

2. IRI. This includes the hard-liners, Rafsanjani faction, and reformists.

3. PMOI.

4. Marxists.

5. Monarchists.

6. Ethnic parties. The largest being the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan.

7. The loyal opposition to IRI. This included Nehzat Azadi, and Melli Mazhabis.



in each group there are intense conflicts and competition.




On JM and NAMIR.

NAMIR members were JM members who left in December 1978. NAMIR leaders are genuinely democratic, Mossadeghi, secular, and decent.

Same with JM members.


Neither Dr. Bakhtiar nor Dr. Sanjabi was opportunistic. Both were principled men, both were brave, and both did what they thought was the best policy for Iran and Iran’s national interests.

The question is was it possible to save the situation and prevent Khomeini’s rise in December 1978. My answer is "NO."

The JM could have save the situation and brought a transition to democracy in June 1977 when the open letter to the Shah was signed by Sanjabi, Bakhtiar and Forouhar. JM was at this time the main opposition to the Shah. JM led the movement against the Shah’s tyranny until about August 1978. Due to a variety of factors including the Shah’s horrible policies and mass slaughter of the protesters, JM’s appeal reduced while Khomeini’s appeal INCREASED. By September 1978, Khomeini had the majority support among the protesters.

Had the Shah understood the situation and gave a damn about the national interests of Iran, he would have immediately accepted JM’s demands, leave Iran, and have the JM bring a transition to democracy. JM could have done this for certain by August 1978. Dr. Sanjabi was willing to take the responsibility as late as early November 1978. Amazingly the Shah refused to accept Sanjabi’s very very mild and reasonable demands.

By December 1978, when Dr. Bakhtiar became prime minister, it was simply not possible to prevent Khomeini’s rise to power without a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge bloodbath. In the video of interview with Bakhtiar that ROOG posted, Bakhtiar says that the generals "betrayed" him and now many of them are living in Los Angeles. Several of them were executed right away.

The Shah himself who had ordered the mass murder of about 2,900 protesters since 1977, did not accept the policy of blood-bath proposed by Admiral Habibollahi (the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy), and Gen. Nasiri (Head of SAVAK), and Shahriar Shafigh (son of Ashraf, shah’s twin sister).


By refusing to accept JM’s demands on time, the Shah is directly and totally responsible for the rise of Khomeini. By Nov 1978, although Sanjabi accepted the responsibility, it might have been too late. Nevertheless, Sanjabi accepted. It was the Shah that in Nov 1978 was not willing to leave in order to save Iran. The Shah placed his own megalomania and his own interests above those of Iran and the interest of the Iranian people.

After December 1978, JM was simply too weak to prevent Khomeini’s rise. It was a matter of time and modality. Perhaps the only way to prevent Khomeini’s rise was to engage in bloodbath of something like mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands or millions of people. JM is simply not the party to do such a thing. Even the Shah did not do such a thing. Even the armed forces general command did not do such a thing and declared its neutrality.


The notion that Dr. Bakhtiar wanted to be prime minister or that Dr. Sanjabi wanted to be prime minister is false. BOTH men were of principle. Neither was opportunist. It is both false and insult to throw such things at these great men who risked their lives under very perilous conditions to save Iran the best way each thought could be done.

Dr. Sanjabi rejected Khomeini’s offer to be a member of the Revolutionary Council because as a matter of principle he was against the Revolutionary Council.

JM has an actual PROOF of being 100% democratic action. We condemned the human rights violations of the Shah when he was in power. AND after the overthrow of the monarchy, when fascist Khomeini’s henchman Khalkhali was violating the due process of the law and executing monarchists (and many others, many of who were fully innocent) with total support from the criminal Khomeini, what did Dr. Sanjabi and JM do?????????????? JM and Dr. Sanjabi openly criticized and condemned the lack of due process and strongly condemned the executions. JM and some in Nehzat Azadi (Mehdi Bazargan) were the only groups that opposed the violations of due process and executions.

BOTH the Shah and terrorist Khomeini executed their opponents. JM and Dr. Sanjabi bravely criticized and condemned BOTH regimes for dictatorship and executions, and violations of human rights.

JM was among a few organizations that supported the women’s movement against compulsory veil in March 1979.

Dr. Sanjabi and the JM members RESIGNED from the provisional government on Farvardin 26, 1358, which is April 15, 1979. From Feb 11, 1979 when the monarchy was overthrown and April 15 is about 63 or so days

Dr. Sanjabi and JM were in the cabinet until April 15, 1979. Sanjabi resigned due to the violations of the due process in the revolutionary courts and interference in the work of the government by extremist forces.

JM was the sole political organization that OPPOSED and CONDEMNED Khomeini’s order to dismiss all female judges. JM organized a mass rally against Khomeini’s order in May 1979.

JM was one of few organizations that publically condemned Khomeini’s closing of Ayandegan in August 1979.

JM and Dr. Sanjabi openly called Khomeini "like fascist" is 1979.

In August-September 1979, JM openly and courageously condemned the dictatorial VF constitution and called for rallies against this reactionary dictatorial fundamentalist constitution.


In November 1979, JM openly condemned the terrorist Khomeini’s support for the terrorist action of the Daneshjooyan Khat Imam for taking and holding American hostage.


In December 1979, JM as the main pro-democracy organization of Iran openly declared the reactionary, dictatorial vf constitution as illegitimate and the "fake vote" as fake and unacceptable and illegitimate.


In 1981, JM condemned the reactionary and backward Qanon Qesas as reactionary and backward. We called upon the people to protest it.

The FACT of the matter is that Dr. Sanjabi fought against Khomeini as soon as he was engaging in dictatorial actions. Sanjabi risked his life in do so. It is therefore, wrong to call this brave man an opportunist.

We do know that Dr. Bakhiar’s policies did not succeed. We do know that Dr. Sanjabi’s policies did not succeed. It is true that there were also personality conflicts between these two great men. We cannot know what would have happened if they both (and both factions of JM) followed Bakhtiar’s policy of Sanjabi’s policy. Certainly JM would have been stronger if there was no split in Nov 1978.

Many supporters of Dr. Bakhtiar are now members of INF-AO. They are elected to INF-AO leadership positions.


Our primary enemy is the VF regime. The stronger the JM and INF are the higher the likelihood of us succeeding in overthrowing the vf regime and establishing democracy in Iran.

But today we are fighting against the vf regime. We need to gather the pro-democracy forces in a broad based alliance. As a first step, we need to bring together all the pro-democracy forces.

Vast numbers of Iranian people want a secular democratic republic. JM has been advocating this objective for at least 3 decades. Lets be honest, this is the sole system (democratic secular republic) that would work in Iran to bring democracy.

I hope this is helpful.





A few observations on JM and Greens

by MM on

A few observations on JM/Greens similarities:

* The first video clearly demonstrates that the leader of JM, Mr Boroumand, is a melli-mazhabi who believes in giving khoms, zakaat and sadagheh (sahm-e emam w/ reciept), while proclaiming democratic principles. 

* I have had many discussions with the Greens on IC, and they have conveyed that, e.g., while a devout Muslim, a secular democracy is also what they seek.  I have even flashed, to the Greens, a copy of the preface to a secular constitution and I was told that they agree with ALL principles seen, even separation of religion from politics.

* Neither one, Greens and JM, have a constitution and I hear that both want to work within the system to achieve secular democracy in Iran.  Meanwhile, both camps, in one way or another, were in line with the IRI, JM separating a lot sooner than the other.

If the observations are true, isn't the difference between the two camps just the language used (semantics) and/or who gets the credit for reforming the IRI.  I hope there is something else that I am not considering here? For example, Greens may cover a wider range than what I see on IC/US!  Or, maybe the JM is vehemently objecting to Mousavi, etc. as head of Greens?

Anything else?



by religionoutofgovernment on