January 2005
January 5

Burning nation

In response to Masoud Kazemzadeh's "Burning candle":

I read your article on the predicament of Iran's or should I say the Islamic Republics longest serving political prisoner Mr. Abbas Amir-Entezam.

I would like to say that I share your concerns on the sad detention of Mr. Entezam, and I believe that he does not deserve the detention he is subject to. However his predicament is the ironic conclusion to a political path that unfortunately Mr. Entezam (and his friends of the ex- National Front such as Mr.Sanjabi, or Mr. Bazargan) who decided to side with Ayatollah Khomeiny took. 25 years later I will not shed crocodile tears for Mr. Entezam, an indeed educated and particularly well dressed revolutionary. Mr. Entezam in no way can be compared to Mohamed Mossadeg or Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Entezam inspires sympathy but in no way can we compare his importance to such national figures who were at the forefront of the national struggle for independance in their respective countries.

I recall Mr. Entezam very well as part of the provisionary government of Mehdi Bazargan and the fact that he occupied a relatively comfortable position as Iran's ambassador to Sweden.

That Mr. Entezam decided to return to Iran despite the attacks he was subject too is respectable, however is it not ironic that the same often false accusations of corruption that befeld on the Shah's prime minister of 13 years Amir Abbas Hoveyda ( notice their reversed first name) were to also shamble the latters reputation. Mr. Hoveyda however had less luck. He was executed after a parody of Justice without ever being allowed to truly defend himself in front of an international tribunal which given the extent of the accusations would have only been the minimum required. Mr. Hoveyda unlike his boss The Shah of Iran had no particular inclination for personal belongings and wealth. He lived quite modestly in Tehran, was a patriot and the list of accusations which you find absurd towards Mr. Entezam were equally absurd towards Mr. Hoveyda.

In regard to the accusations held against Mr. Entezam, I certainly do not have the competance to confirm or deny them so please allow these quick guesses:

* Rejecting God, the Islamic Revolution and Imam Khomeini; CERTAINLY FALSE
* Having ties with the pro-Moscow Communist Tudeh Party;WHO KNOWS ?
* Being a member of the Shah's secret police, SAVAK; WHO KNOWS ?
* Using the word "dear" when referring to American officials in letters addressed to them; MOST PROBABLY GIVEN HIS SUAVE EDUCATION AND GOOD MANNERS
* Allowing members of the Royal family to escape the country; WHO KNOWS ?
* Being a Bahai; WHO KNOWS ?
* Being Jewish and Zionist; WHO KNOWS ? 
* Having improper relations with a women; I CERTAINLY HOPE SO FOR HIS OWN SANITY !!
* Being extremely rich.WHO KNOWS ?

Mr. Entezam is paying what is looking as a life imprisonment in the dungeons of the Islamic Republic for the turn of events that led to a short term of Mr. Bazargan's provisionary government, while Mr. Hoveyda paid with his life for his allegience to an ungrateful Shah and an equally ungrateful country.

Mr. Entezam certainly deserves attention but please spare us this tendency of turning him into a National Hero he never was. He is a victime of the system he helped create. That this irony is truly fascinating enough that talented and good minded intellectuals such as Mrs. Roya Hakakian want to explore his persona and tragic fate is understanding but come on don't pull our legs with such absurd conclusions:

" Humanity has produced human beings of truly historical stature such as George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Mossadegh, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu; great figures who led their nations against injustice and oppression by force of their intellect, personality and integrity. They express the anguish of their people, articulate their desires, and lead them against tyranny. Abbas Amir-Entezam is such a figure."

I am willing to light a candle for the hope of his liberation, but certainly not to honor 25 years of a so called struggle against a system that he and his friends helped create. What is the burning of a candle in the face of the burning of a Nation and its Identity.

It seems that is has become a National Sport these days to talk in support of the Youth in Iran and everybody is trying to capitalize on the dissatisfaction of the Iranian students. Yes indeed we seem all to have the answers to the misery of the massive Iranian population composed of 60 to 70 % of women and youngsters who were born after the revolution.

True it is important to support their struggle but lets stop lying to them about their past.

If we owe anything to the young Iranians its to tell them the Truth.

I am no moralist and have no intention of claiming that I know the truth of what happened in 1979 or what led to the revolution, which lets face it was an Islamic Revolution from the start, lets stop playing with words. I would like to insiste on the fact that the challenges facing Iran and Iranians in the future will surpass many expectations. The Iranian Youth is FED UP with empty words and admonishes. They are tired not only by the current theocracy and its absurd justice that allows punishments such as lapidation or executions in the form of hanging or being buried to the chest like "Leila M" and be banged on the head !!

What is the legacy we are trying to transmit to the future generations of young Iranians ?

Do you have the Answer ? I don't at least not entirely.

What I do know is that when a nation is humiliated by its own people, because yes the mullahs, those dirty cunning mullahs who for more than a quarter of a century have been ruling on our soil have done the greatest damage possible to their own compatriots. They have discredited what is so necessary to the stability and progress of a Nation and that is Moral standards to look up to. The representatives of these very moral standards that we Iranians for good or for bad have accepted for the past 1400 years have shaped our Nation as much as the Monarchy has for the past 2500 years.

Both institutions are discredited in the minds or subconscience of our compatriots.

Tommorows Leaders whoever they will be with all their goodwill and dedication will have the difficult task of rehabilitating politics and moral values in a country whose government and political leaders for the past 25 years has been mascarading. The differenciation of Good and Bad. I am not talking of resurecting a form of Moral Majority like in the US. I am talking about basic human values which have been ridiculized to the degree that the youth now turns to drugs, prostitution alcohol and so forth. By forbidding basic needs they have encouraged the contrary to happen.

Do you think it is by delivering to the Iranians Democracy on a silver plate that we shall make them understand the true meaning of this notion ?

The Iranian Nation is FED UP with soothsayers, they are FED UP with Lies and compromises of all kinds. Yesterday it was Khatami smiling and promising reforms tomorrow it will be Rafsanjani.

Who are these Lilliputs in the face of a century of transformations that have shook our Nation?

First with the will to modernize the Nation over more than 50 years, then with the will to abolish all that was accomplished by establishing an Islamic Inquisition.

Who today can claim to have a real vision for the future?

Mr. Entezam who you compare to Nation builders like George Washington or Muhatma Ghandi ? Or the ordinary Iranian ?

Even the National Front of Mr. Mossadeg is obsolete. Nationalsim In Europe led to two World Wars and to the advent of one of the most abject forms of Totalitarism provided by the Nazi ideology.

As for Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, in my opinion he is well  intentioned in trying to promote the idea of a referandum under international supervision, but what can he do seriously in the face of a regime that won't let go so easily and which has control over the Army and the Revolutionary Guards? The only card he can play is Time. Time to see the leaders of this regime grow older and wary of power.

Yet our Nation (which so eagerly wanted to fill in the Gap with the West in the past century by following first the example set by Kemal Attaturks Turkey and then by the "American way of Life" for the following four decades) is desperate for change.
I believe that the answers to the dissillusionment of Iranians with politics and politicians,will come through an honest approach.

The first is lets stop lying to one another.

Yes the problems facing Iran may be partly due to the Coup of 1953 but is that the only reason?

What guarantee does History give us but the benefit of the doubt that Mossadegs government would or wouldn't have been toppled by the Tudeh party? Iran would have had the same fate as the Soviet Satellite countries or at best would be led by a dictatorial regime like that of Nasser in Egypt with a compromise between the Soviets and the Americans. Not that Mossadeg would be a dictator but that an old and ill man he would have gradually let go to forces beyond his control.

Lets acknowledge the shortcomings of the Pahlavi Regime the worst being the SAVAK's abuses but lets also acknowledge the accomplishments and they were many.

The Shah did allow the Red Cross to visit the prisons of the SAVAK, when has the current theocracy been transparent in regard to the SAVAMA's abuses?

Or more correctly when have they ever shown any sign of shame in regard to Human Rights violations, on the contrary they take pride in it. 

Is this what Mr. Khatami cherishes so much when he considers in his own words and in front of dissapointed students at Tehrans University campus  "that the Islamic Revolution is the most significant progress in the long history of our Nation"

It is high time to encourage the collaborative effort of Intellectuals, Human Rights activists, artists and whoever believes in the virtues of a Democratic State.

Be them Republicans or Monarchists, it is time to set away our differences and look towards a common goal and that is to unite. In doing so we can then move towards lobbying our common efforts in direction of heads of States particularly in the West to put an end to the fruitless dialogue with the current Iranian leadership and put an end to compromise on human rights violations and political repression in our country.

Let us unite in order to show to the Iranian Nation that they are not alone in their struggle for Liberty, Democracy and Freedom.


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