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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 25, 2000

Opinions so obviously Iranian

It is interesting to have seen this survey and the myriad of results ["Iranians of the century"]; as well as the different opinions so obviously Iranian in the fact that they are heated and opinionated!

Being a polisci-major during my undergrad I debated with several Iranian classmates on this very issue about 10-years-ago: "personality cults" versus "media attention" versus "real results" (whether for good or for bad on any particular nation-state, such as Iran) are the real questions when deciding on who is a man-of-prominence deserving the title, "man of the century".

For Iran, it is interesting on the one hand to note that there isn't anyone prominent in the arts or sciences during this turbulent century, unlike the Iran of bygone-eras with names like Abu Ali Sina, for instance.

Let me say that definitely Imam Khomeini, Dr. Mossadegh, and Reza Shah should be noted, but someone made mention of the "Iranian masses," these whom I think deserved most credit, for it is from the people whom such great men, all deserving of praise for one thing or another, really make it in the annals of history!

Our personal-opinions don't really matter since only time will tell who made the greatest-impact on Iranian history; but, after traveling to Iran for the first time in 20-years in 1998, I was constantly amazed at the work & infrastructure in terms of developing a modern-nation state likened to Bismark in Germany; Reza Shah Kabir, and certainly he should be the Architect of Modern Iran.... Century or Millennium?

As for the eminent Imam Khomeini, who else can be given credit for the man who changed the face or Iran, the MidEast, the Islamic world and has continued to be an icon of the masses in every corner of the world?

Dr.Mossadegh, while being a "great man" for his times, I dare say he is representative of Iran's achievements for this century or even his decade. Certainly I refute and challenge this claim.

Cyrus Rafaat


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