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Letters

July 2, 2003

Page 2

* To be slaves or to be free?

I am a Sri Lankan; still I find it difficult to understand why the recent student protests occurred in Iran. I always support people who wish that the Muslim community stays free from American influence. But I think such event like past protests would weaken the force of the Islamic Community.

The Iraq-Iran war made two Muslim countries rivals. Which made it easy for Israel to grow. Think if Iraq and Iran were friendly nations, there would have a heaven in the Middle East. But that war changed everything.

Did you see the statement issued by the Islamic Countries prior to the American led war towards Iraq? "We do not support the American led war toward Iraq but American's can use our land and air."

This is what is happening to the Islamic nations. There is no Islamic country strong enough to resist an attack on a Muslim country. They are now slaves of America. Specially Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.

Think if all the Middle East countries decided to use the Euro instead of the Dollar, America would come down to her feet. But they don't have the strength to do it.

I wonder how long Iran would be free from American invasion, if these kinds of protests start. It is up to the younger generation to decide. Whether split inside the country and be slaves of Americans or be united and be free.

From An Islamic Friend
Muhammedh Yasir

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* What about those getting screwed?

Mr. Ezzatyar, [This chap aint no champion]

It seems that you are a lot more angry about Iranians who "are so naïve as to fall fo Reza Pahlavi" than about the Iranians who are getting screwed by the current regime in Iran.

I wouldn't argue with your view of the late Shah. But as far as your views on his father, let me point to Reza Shah's legacy as noted in Encylopedia Britannica:

Pahlavi, Reza Shah (1878-1944) Shah of Iran (1926-41). Born to a family of chiefs of the Pahlevan clan, he rose through the army ranks and in 1921 led a coup that overthrew the Qajar dynasty in order to end Iran's political chaos and its domination by Britain and the Soviet Union following World War I. He constructed roads, schools, and hospitals, opened a university, and built the Trans-Iranian Railway. He emancipated women and banned the veil, nationalized several economic sectors, and reduced the clergy's power by repressive methods that eventually cost him his popularity. During World War II the U.S. and Britain occupied Iran to prevent an alliance with Germany, forcing him to abdicate in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

B Pejman

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* Regime change without Reza Pahlavi

Nice article Mr. Ezzatyar [This chap aint no champion], and don't worry and don't be angry at Iranians. Nobody will fall for Reza Pahlavi, excpet his own cronies around him, who are remnants of the old monarchy and a few "titish mamani" people in the affluent northern suburbs of Tehran!

Even the Bush administration knows his standing with the Iranian people and that is why there is no talk of him in any of their speeches or condemnations of the Islamic Republic.

Iranians are wiser than a lot of people give them credit for. They will change the regime, but not for Reza Pahlavi. They will elect someone from inside Iran who is struggling with his flesh and blood against the regime. Gone are the days of planting puppets in Iran, or anywhere else for that matter.

Take a look at Iraq, or even Afghanistan; Karzai is only the mayor of Kabul, not the leader of Afghanistan and the country is run by armed feudals. Why? Because the US planted him and forced him on the Afghan people. So rest assured Reza Pahlavi will not be planted in Tehran, not in this life time, or any life time!

Nahid Shafiei
A patriotic anti-monarchy Iranian

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* Pahlavi has said he's NOT doing it for the crown

Mr. Ezzatyar, [This chap aint no champion]

You are demeaning to all Iranians. You claim to be speaking for a whole nation, are angry that many may not agree with your views regarding Reza Pahlavi, you even sound jealous.

We will never know what your beloved Mossadegh would have done for the country, but the events unfolding in 1978/79 were more a coup d'etat than a revolution - and I was there, I heard the cassettes and the BBC reports, I saw the crowds brainwashed into a frenzy, believing paradise is around the corner.

If you have contacts inside Iran, so do others. It is not the satellite TV and radios from California who have brought the crowds of students into the streets. It is their own discontent and unhappiness living in a country run by a bunch of incapable theocrats, who would do better to stay in Qom or their Islamic schools and sermonize to those who are still ignorant enough to believe them. But the youth in Iran, the 70 % who did not vote in your so-called referendum almost 25 years ago, they know better.

If Reza Pahlavi speaks for them, what do you care? -- if you really care for your country.

And as to his interviews, he does quite well. It is the media's job to create tension and reactions that may get one into political hot-water. My hat off to him for making points in one minute sound bites.

As to Iranians living in this country and just waiting to go home, I am sorry to say many who are doing well (young professionals) don't seem to have that intention; as to others who are old and have nothing more to gain by a change of regime in Iran, many just want to go home, to a civilized environment.

Reza Pahlavi has stated, for the umpteenth time, that he is not doing this for the crown or personal gain; why not give him the benefit of doubt ? I believe that he will work with those inside the country and not look to the Diaspora or personal friends; there will be no nepotism. A referendum may usher in a republic or a constitutional monarchy, both of which would be far more democratic and for the good of all Iranians and the country than what we have now. Our country has an uphill battle which will not be easy, so whoever leads it will not have an easy time.

What will bring ultimately democracy to Iran will be to unite and work together for what is best for all Iranians.

Shahla Samii

Top

* He is a stranger

I am surprised by the title of your article [This chap aint no champion]. How can you claim that Iranians are falling for Reza Pahlavi? Well, if you consider Iranians as the well-established Iranian-American people in Los Angeles you might be right.

But coming from a generation born right before the revolution and having experienced the Islamic regime to its fullest degree, I can tell you Reza Pahlavi is not supported by this generation. This generation is now widespread all over the world.

They have left the country in pursuit of a descent life and truly miss what they have left behind. It is not easy to say goodbye to all you have loved for a life because you are forced to forsake of simply "living", believe me. If he had the slightest popularity, this generation outside the boundaries of Iran would definitely support him.

He is not popular not because of the analysis you did and what he spells out but because he is a stranger to us. He is Persian by birth and speaks a good Farsi!

That is not what I mean by being a stranger. No! He is a stranger as he has been away from that land for all his life , as he has not felt the depth of the poverty, darkness and gloom that people have gone through. He even in his resume in this land has never been involved in managing a complex system let alone the troubled socio-economic chaos that Iran is going through.

And Reza Khan whoever he was and whatever he did , let's not forget the fact that he made some invaluable services to Iran. A simple example is the infrastructure that Iran has right now and makes access possible to so many remote places.

Any era in the history has both the favorable and unfavorable sides together so let's not exaggerate when disclosing our opinions.

Kathy Hadizadeh

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* Does he think we're f****** stupid?

Hallelujah! well-said, ali [This chap aint no champion]. the only thing you forgot to mention-and this to me is the MOST damning thing about reza pahlavi-is pahlavi's burgeoning links with influential Jewish Americans and the Israeli lobby. he has become close allies with Michael Leeden and Morris Amitay. the former is a leading neo-conservative hawk who engineered the Iraq invasion and who now advocates "regime change" (=military invasion) of Iran.

He has been quoted as saying war and violence are "integral parts of human nature" and has derided the notion that peace can be negotiated between two nations; to this end he was also a fierce opponent of the Oslo peace process. Amitay, on the other hand, is the president of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful and notorious Israeli lobby group in the U.S.

Together, Amitay and Leeden have co-founded something called the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI), which advocates US government funding for the pro-monarchist LA-based TV stations, as well as a policy advocating Iranians rise up against the mullahs. As if Iranians need to be told by these people to rise up and assert their right to freedom. Pahlavi is also closely connected with CDI and AIPAC.

How do you think he's all of a sudden been appearing on all these media outlets, including Fox "News"?? 10 years ago pahlavi was a buffoon known only to iranians, and now you see his face almost regularly on these political shows and what not. it's because his neo-conservative friends have connections with all these news outlets and have arranged his appearances. in fact, Forward, the influential Jewish American weekly, even reported that he has secretly met with Israel's Iranian-born president, Moshe Katsav, as well as with netanyahu and sharon.

The very fact that reza pahlavi has associated himself with these people should automatically and immediately discount him from any consideration in the mind of rational, patriotic iranians. these are the same people who for the last two decades have done EVERYTHING in their power to oppose iran and iranians, from sanctions to opposing World Bank lending to advocating immigration restrictions for iranian students, so on and so forth.

I don't know, does pahlavi think we're f****** stupid, or what? does he think iranians are a bunch of uneducated peasants who will just jump to his side because he wears a nice suit instead of a turban??

I mean, granted the pro-Israelites and neo-cons are experts at grossly misreading and misinterpreting every situation, because all they do is regurgitate press releases coming out of the israeli embassy. they actually thought that by getting behind ahmed chalabi that he'd be welcomed with open arms in iraq once saddam fell.

And in a similar vein they seem to think the Iranian people will fail to see thru pahlavi's treacherous opportunism. the strings are attached, i can see them from here. if pahlavi had more than two functioning neurons in his brain he would look at the rajavi/MKO example and learn from it, that by aligning yourself with the wrong people you not only incur the hatred of the Iranian people but you also doom your political future vis a vis iran.

I disagree with ali's statement that the iranian people are naive to believe in this guy. they DON'T believe in this guy. and as time goes on, more and more people will see thru this treachery and opportunism. do you see or hear anyone yelling his name in demonstrations on the streets of tehran?? hell no.

someone should point that out to the neo-cons. the pahlavi era is LONG GONE, there will never be another pahlavi in power in iran. two-thirds of iran's current population was born after the revolution. any future government in iran will be lead and run by the people of iran, not by some joker who's spent the last 25 years sitting on a pile of stolen money in a leafy suburb of washington, DC.

NN

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* What have you khars done?

Hey OlAAgh Ali, [This chap aint no champion]

We don't need a novice graduate student to tell us what the Pahlavis have done or haven't done for Iran and Iranians!

What have your father and grandfather (e.g., Khomeini,
Khalkhlai, Khameneie, Khatamei, and the rest of the khars) done for Iran and Iranians?

Abbas Aghamohammadi
Born to be Shahi

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* Maybe better off in present misery

Dear Ali, [This chap aint no champion]

How refreshing to read your article. I've been following the developments in Iran and I can't believe the nonsense that is coming out of some Iranian quarters.

Wealthy expatriates in the US treating Reza like a saviour, youth on the streets of Tehran shouting, "We Love America" and followers of opposition parties self-immolating on the streets of London and Paris.

If this is the opposition to the clerical regime, I was beginning to think maybe the Iranians will be better off remaining in the miserable condition they are in.

The difference between the European peace movements who oppose a military strike against Iran and it's subsequent control by a US puppet, is that we genuinely want to help the people of Iran whilst Bush, Reza and their neo-conservative cabal want to help themselves to the people of Iran.

I really wish that Iranians could take away their spectacles of revenge and see through Bush's nefarious agenda.

Isa

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* Discovering those who governed for fifty years

I was delighted to read Mr. Ghaffari's piece on the tragic demise of Mr. Hoveyda [Man in the middle]. In the interest of full disclosure, the writer, I believe, is a dear relative and good friend and Mr. Hoveyda too was a cherished friend to my parents and attentive to their children.

What I like the most about Mr. Ghaffari's piece, besides its informed and informative narrative, is the affirmation of the obvious that sooner or later truth will reveal itself and its revelation will set one free.

The demagogues who maligned Mr. Hoveyda in his lifetime and post-mortem, now are free of the radical blindness of their own rhetoric of the day and are beginning to discover the truth about the great men and women who governed Iran in the fifty years of the Pahlavi's reign.

Recently, a friend who for years had known little about Mr. Hoveyda, confided in me that Mr. Milani's book about him opened his eyes to the literacy and humanity of this person.

Another friend has trusted me with the embarrassing disclosure that he has read Mr. Etemad's book on Iran's nuclear program and has come to be impressed by this person's profound and deep knowledge about nuclear energy and nonproliferation issues.

What did my friend think -- The man was after all the head of Iran's (peaceful) atomic program and so he should have been expected to know something about atomic energy.

Here is the rub. The detractors of the Pahlavi kingship could never get past their myopic view of the world and recognize that the king and his government after all had a country to run.

While the system may have tolerated many scoundrels in the echelons of power, the king picked capable and literate (and by and large honest) people to do the job when peformance counted the most.

Thank you, Mr. Ghaffari, for an illuminating piece.

Guive Mirfendereski

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* Refuting well-entrenched traitors

Dear Compatriot Mr. Farzin, [Too late]

You said everything I have been saying for the last 40 years.
Thank you very much.

It takes courage to come out with the truth & refute the well entrenched traitors to our beloved land.

Keep up the good work. You have the blessings of all the true Iran loving Persians.

H. Hakimi,
Norway

Top

* Questions for you

I had some comments for Badri M, in her letter "Feeling sorry for monarchy lovers". I have some news for you. If you think that the only people upset with this regime are "monarchy lovers" who want to go back and regain their positions, you may want to wake up and smell the coffee.

You need to move on and realize that there are much greater issues in our society than "do people want a monarchy or not". People want to be rid of the mullahs, and have their dignity and rights. That's all this is about, regardless of whatever label you want to put on it.

You are aiming to compare our students "illegally" demonstrating to anti globalization protests in Seattle, Davos, and elsewhere. You also aim to compare their arresting by "authorized law enforcement" to the anti globalization demonstrators getting beat up by American police and FBI.

I have a question for you. How many of the anti globalization protestors got tortured , sentenced to death, and put in jail for 15 YEARS for holding up a bloody shirt? How many of the anti globalization protestors were attacked with chains and knives and pushed off of their balconies to their deaths? How many *non-violent* anti-war protestors got attacked and rounded up and sent to torture chambers with no legal representation?

And how many times did the extremist attorney general, John Aschroft, call for treating dissenters as "enemies of God" and to hand them the death penalty? How many of the "American police" and "FBI" were out of uniform and beating up female protestors for showing their hair, or stabbing protestors and leaving them to bleed to death?

After the street protests in Iran, how many students remain in jail, and how many vigilantes were prosecuted? Where is the "reformist" president and his support for the very students who fought for him and elected him? And I don't mean a half-assed statement a week later, asking both sides to "calm down". Where is Mr. Khatami's demand for the rights and the freedom of Ahmad Batebi, Manuchehr Mohammadi, and the scores of other students who are rotting away in the Taliban prisons?

Frankly, I and many other Iranians are absolutely sick of the attempted portrayal of Khatami's "government" as a democracy based on the rule of law. Khatami is merely a smiling face attempting to nicely package one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. A dictatorship where there is an absolute supreme leader who has an army of thugs to attack our country's civilians with impunity. One in which the students repeated requests for nonviolent demonstrations are refused and called illegal. One in which women are beaten and stoned for "crimes" such as showing hair or adultery.

One in which an elected president has stayed silent in the face of crimes by an unelected "supreme leader" against his own civilians. One in which the clergy runs rings selling Iranian orphan girls to Arab sheikhs as sex slaves and get away with it. One in which a woman goes to jail for showing her hair, but a man walks free if he beats or kills his wife for his "honor". One in which drug addiciton and prositution and unemployment are at an all time high, while the likes of Rafsanjani and Khamenei and their gangs line their pockets with huge amounts of wealth.

I was there in 1979 as well. 97% of the people chose an "Islamic Republic" in a referendum where the "yes" vote was a bright green ballot, and the "no" vote was a bright red ballot, and revolutionary guards (islamic fascist thugs) were watching. By the same measure, people like Saddam Hussein and Hafez Assad are great democratic leaders as well, as they received 99% of the vote! Don't forget, the "reformer" Khatami was elected only because he could run as 1 of 4 candidates-out of an original group of over 200 which were filtered by the guardian council!

And if the foreign minister of France says Iran is a democracy, he is in fact not right. He is only trying to get cheap oil and profit from the mullahs continued rape and mismanagement of our country's diminshing resources. Remember, 25 years after the "revolution", our main exports to the outside are cheap oil, bright people who will never come back to live under the Taliban, and terrorism.

Whenever your "reforming democracy" shows the most basic minimal respect for fundamental human rights, your analogies can begin to be considered. Until then, they are a joke and an insult to the human intelligence and to the millions of Iranians who continue to suffer after 25 years of religious dictatorship. And until then I join millions of Iranians (whether they love the monarchy or not) in supporting our students. They are fighting for our future and our freedom, not for a label.

Fereydoon

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July 2, 2003

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* To be slaves or to be free?
Iran-Iraq-US
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* Marred by medling
* How would Iran defend itself?
* "No" means "Yes"
Satellite TV
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Reza Pahlavi
* Those getting screwed
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* He is a stranger
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* Does he think we're stupid?
* What have you khars done?
* Better off in present miser?
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Mojahedin
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