The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


March 26, 2001

Monarchy's vices

Dear Mr. Hoveyda,

Your recent article on the monarchy was interesting ["Shah or president?"]. I have now come to the conclusion as a lifelong monarchist (I'm 31) that monarchy or republic is, of course, an irrelevence, and that it is the vices of monarchical government that must be avoided: lack of accountability, injustice, corruption, cronyism.

You are right about the Shah, who was a fundamentally well-intentioned figure, indeed a great reformer, that he abandoned his responsibilities by leaving the country. The man who dressed as a general should have acted as one when it came to the crunch. Or at least he should have allowed General Oveissi to do a thorough job.

What we have lost is far more important than the monarchy. We Iranians have lost law and order, the security of the individual and private property, personal freedom: the pillars of civilisation. I am sometimes angry at the Shah for leaving people like my parents and the middle classes to the mob.

I have, I think, become a conservative Republican now, a supporter of those pillars of civilisation I have just named, rather than a monarch. There is nothing Reza Pahlavi has which I or any number of my friends do not. Given the choice in a future election, I would vote for the National Front or perhaps a constitutional monarchy party, if it exists.



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