January 29, 2001
In all fairness
You have raised various points in your editorial "Citizen
Pahlavi", which need to be addressed in the spirit of judiciousness.
1. "No politician or political group outside Iran can have a major
impact on what goes on inside. Iran is very different from 1979."
You are right in so far as change has to finally come from within Iran.
However taking into consideration the repressive and violent atmosphere
within Iran, it would only be prudent for any organisation to develop and
initiate plans in safe havens outside of Iran's borders.
2. "Given a choice, there's absolutely no doubt that the people
would choose a democratic republic rather than the restoration of the monarchy."
As you will agree there are many "democratic republics" in the
world that are neither republic nor democratic and many monarchies that
are democratic in nature; such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden.
Accordingly one can conclude that it is the Rule of Law as defined in
the constitution of a country, rather than its name and title, that will
be the ultimate guarantor of the rights of its citizens.
As we have witnessed very painfully in Iran, it has been the "Rule
of Law of the Velayat-e-Faghih" that has allowed the closure of more
than 30 newspapers; the imprisonment of scores of writers and students;
the serial murders of dissidents; and the acquittal of murderers and arsonists.
3. "What Mohammad Mossadegh stood for is far more appealing to
the public than the monarchy." Dr Mossadeq stood for a constitutional
monarchy and never questioned the institution of monarchy.
4. "But why even call for a referendum when you already know the
clear majority just want a secular democracy? Why even suggest the monarchy
as a possible future form of government when most people have no desire
for it? " In all fairness you surely cannot predict the outcome of
a referendum before it has even taken place. Your comment reminds one of
the absurdity of the MKO referring to Masoud Rajavi as President of Iran.
5. "The monarchy and velayat-e faqih have one very important thing
in common. And that is the notion that one man, or one family, or one social
class, has the God-given right to rule over a nation." Please do note
that whereas the Constitutional Revolution of 1904-1909 put an end to absolutism
and the rule by divine right , the Islamic Revolution of 1979 brought back
Absolutism and the Rule by divine right in the form of velayat-e-fagih.