Karim Lahiji

Human rights lawyer

Tavana: Karim Lahiji received his doctorate in legal studies from Tehran University in 1965. His interest in human rights advocacy began in high school and intensified while attending law school. In 1977, he established the Iranian Association of Jurists (IAJ) and the Iranian Association for Liberty and Human Rights (IALHR) with the purpose of promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the society at large. After the revolution, he was among the first to condemn the executions and other violations of human rights by the new regime >>>

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Dariush, if you bother reading the posts.....

by Nezami. on

Dariush if you bother reading the posts fully, then you won't have to ask me to repeat them in my later replies!!!

I ended up repeating myself in my last posting to answer your question!! And I made the point that I had made in my first posting which you queried and disagreed with, and yet you now say had you agreed with me all along and it is my problem !!:-)

Funny guy;-)

Good luck dude and instead of paying you, I wish you a balanced judgment:-)

Darius Kadivar

Jesus ... See What I mean Now ... ;0))

by Darius Kadivar on

Een Hameh Back and Forth Arguments Only to prove my initial point !

Abbott And Costello 13 X 7 is 28 

Valah Bekhoda there are times when I seriously wonder if we Iranians would not have been Better off if we were Christians ...


Mel Brooks - Last Supper - History of the world Part 1

Someone should pay me for even taking the time to respond ...

Monty Python –The Last Supper debate between the Pope and Michelangelo


I'm Out ! 



Nothing at all

by Nezami. on

As I said before, I personally believe that Reza Pahlavi talks a lot of sense now and I supect if you ask him, he too will support Lahidji's Human Rights activism now.

Reza Pahlavi to his credit, has himself acknowledged mistakes during his father's time and that is enough.

The only point I am trying to make here is that Lahidji's Human Rights activism should be supported and encouraged by everyone and more so by all Iranian of all political leanings. That doesn't mean they have to agree with "every single" thing Lahidji has ever done.

Iran's salvation and indeed that of every country that aspires to democracy will come through full respect for human rights and we should encourage this as much as we can.

On this, Lahidji has been a frontrunner and he should get his deserved respect on this account.

Darius Kadivar

How does that apply to Reza Pahlavi ?

by Darius Kadivar on

"I firmly believe that any persons whose actions were helpful in bringing about the revolution should own up and apologise for their misjudgments and actions"



In fact Dariush..........

by Nezami. on

We have met twice (but I am certainly not going into that here) and I know more about you through your writings than you know about me.

The point I mentioned about my dad is 100% and the only reason I mentioned it here was because of its reference to Lahidji and his actions. So thanks for the symapthy point, but that is not needed here, and certainly the symapthy is irrelevant in the context of Lahidji's ideals which we are discussing.

I firmly believe that any persons whose actions were helpful in bringing about the revolution should own up and apologise for their misjudgments and actions. And that means everyone. including the lefties, Shirin Ebadi and definitely Pahlavi era policy makers too. They were all wrong and responsible for this mess. And they should all truly apologise for their actions.

But the fact that many have not aplogised for whatever reason, does not make their every action wrong. Or indeed if they apologise, it won't make their every action right!! So your agrument that because lahijdi hasn't apologised, he is therefore "not a worthy person in his idreals", does not wash. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi only apologised after 36 and half years in power and only done so in the face of gathering uprising against him. Did he ever apologise to Hoveyda and a few hundred others who had served him for decades, that he imprisoned himself to pass the buck?? But does that mean everything Shah did was bad and wrong?? Of course not. And the same principal applies to everyone else.

And I certainly won't give anyone a break about Gandhi !!! I am amazed that someone as well read as you even put these words down about deriding Gandhi and his ideals!!!

Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mandella (with all their faults and they certainly had their good share) were the three people who pushed the boundaries of humanity forward by a great margin in the past century. Mossadegh (again with all his good and bad points) was no Gandhi and of course Iran never had a Gandhi. Who says we did??

The fact of the matter is that if we had a Gandhi, or a Dr King, or a Mandella, they would have been executed in Iran because of their beliefs and opinions and resistance and the society would not have bat an eyelid. This is one major reason why Lahidji's arguments are so vaild and important and especially so in today's Iranian society. I am not sure why you came up with Mossadegh here as a Gandhi figure !!?? He was a political nationalist, who fought against another nationalist (Shah) and lost. But his thinking was not Gandhi's and I suggest you read up on Gandhi if you are unclear about his deep idealogy.

Shapour Bakhtiar's actions (and not just words) have shown him to be one of the most enlightened of Iranians of the past century. I personally believe that he has been undervalued and in time history will judge him favourably, and possibly well ahead figures like Shah and Mossadegh who were politicians more than anything else. And incidently Bakhtiar too, never apolodgised for his mistakes. Mistakes such as Nojeh and working with Saddam for a short time in the early 80s, but that doesn't make him wrong on "every" count. Of course not. 

Bakhtiar was as good as Iran could produce in those days and unfortunately most Iranians could not see it and took the wrong side with disastrous consequences. 

However, had Lahidji's ideals prevailed, we would not have had intolerance, human rights violations and so much of today's problems and injustices that we are suffering from and we would also have had Bakhtiar and many many others too. Without humanity, we are nothing and humanity is what  makes us a civilised society and that is what Lahidji is all about.

So Dariush, I urge you and everyone else regardless of their political leanings to judge in a balanced way, and without bias, and more than anything promote Human Rights as our main principle wherever we are. There has to be no compromise on this point at all.     



Darius Kadivar

Am I ? ;0) ... Neither Do YOU know me ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Well I guess we all have our contradictions:

Khomeini: No Monarchy

pictory: Bakhtiar Denounces Bazargan's Provisionary Government in exile (1979)

Aval Begoo "Marg Bar Shah" Badesh begoo "Edam Nakon" ?

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: IRI's Reign of Terror Begins (BBC Report 1979)

JAVIDAN: Farokhroo Pārsā (1922-1980)

Well If what you say is true about your father, I am sorry to hear it.

But then You are Not alone :

BOOK: EVEN AFTER ALL THIS TIME By Afschineh Latifi ( A Memoir )

And to my knowledge Mr. Lahiji and Shirin Ebadi have never Apologized for their Poor Judgment 30 years ago but expect that from other's:

Mehdi Bazargan and the controversial legacy of Iran's Islamic intellectual movement

And Give me a Break with all this Ghandi Here and Ghandi there. That fellow comes up everytime we want to put someone in the spotlight just like Mossadegh who is ridiculously compared to Ghandi:

THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY: How Would You Evaluate Iran's Democracy Index in 1953 ?

Ghandi was a man of dialogue and compromise something we Iranians definitively are not !

Which explains why India is a democracy since 1948 and Iran isn't since 1953 despite the fact that we had a perfect constitutional monarchy for the first 12 years of the last Shah's reign only to be jeopardized by the shortsightedness of an old Jealous Qajar Aristocrat with an overinflated Ego and unable to curb his enthusiasm:

YES, PRIME MINISTER: A Step By Step Guide To Mossadegh's Premiership and the Coup of '53 ...

So might as well stick to someone's intellectual and political legacy who had something Genuine to Say for change:

RESTORATION: Shapour Bakhtiar advocates Restoring the Monarchy

SPIRIT OF RESISTANCE: Iranian Intelligenstia Remembers Shapour Bakhtiar

And who unlike all of us here and your beloved father paid the ultimate price for saying it out loud and not just at the time of Iran's revolution:

BEHOLD THE PALE HORSE: French Socialists Pay Tribute to Shapour Bakhtiar

And assassinated by the same Bloody bastards this honorable gentlman endorsed their coming to power with his naivity and continues to consider their Constitution however as imperfect as legitimate to this day.

As for Lahiji's comments on Human Rights, Liberty and Freedom we may not have had political freedom during the Shah's second reign but we definitively had much more social freedoms than meets the eye:

pictory: Political Pluralism and Freedom of Press in Pahlavi Iran (1961)

Not more different than Ben Ali or Mubarak's Egypt. Which is Nothing in comparison to what These Folks delivered in 79:

Yasser Arafat Hails Iranian Revolution

Fit for Gaddafi's Lybia  maybe ... Definitively Not for a nation which like Egypt claims to have thousands of years of civilization and culture behind it only to make this most abrupt and clumsy choice which doomed an entire generation to this day:

Footage of the 1979 referendum of the Islamic Republic 

Had we appreciated this maybe it would have led to a very different outcome than what we accepted in 1979.

Something which Shirin Ebadi clearly does not:

pictory: Promotional Film on Women during Pahlavi Era (1970's)

Mahnaz Afkhami: A Women For All Seasons (VOA/BBC Interviews)

Recommended readings:

Iranian Diaspora Intelligentsia Unite Against Islamic Republic's Holocaust Revisionism by Darius KADIVAR

PRAISE FOR REZA SHAH: Adjoudani Slams Lack of Recognition for Pahlavi Dynasty's Founder


Dariush, you are running short on arguments here

by Nezami. on

Of course it matters who had the original ideas first. In the same way that Gandhi's ideals were replicated (with reference) by Martin Luther King. But equally, it very much matters how they came to have those ideas. That will show their characters deep down.

You don't really know me Dariush so reserve your judgment for another time.

My dad was one of the first generals who were arrested in the early days of the revolution and he asked Lahidji to represent him. Although they only knew each other by name only, Lahidji agreed. And he even said he would do it free of charge. In the end it did no good as legal representations were not allowed by the regime then, and my dad lost his life shortly after.

I am certainly no fan of the revolution and I certainly haven't lost my sense of balanced judgment about the mistakes of the past. We have to learn from them, not forget them.

Lahidji has always been a man of utmost integrity and high values and ideals and he came by these through choice and not by force. That is a big difference between him and some others who promote Human Rights now.

He is one Iranian to be proud of,................... and valued.

Darius Kadivar

Oh I see ... so it's all about Who's On First? ... ;0)))

by Darius Kadivar on

Who's On First?


You Know what I Absolutely Love Most about You Jomhurykhahs ?  Your Constructive "Openmindedness" ...

You Fellows are PRICELESS I mean REALLY FUNNY !

Hee Hee

Keep Them Coming !

Abbott And Costello 13 X 7 is 28


Reza Pahlavi may be a good man but the difference is..

by Nezami. on

Dariush, I have nothing against Reza Pahlavi and these days he talks sense, but he is not in the same league as Lahidji. Reza Pahlavi has arrived at his stance and way of thinking today after having seen and felt the brutal revolution in Iran, analyised his father's mistakes and Savak, and the chances are RP would not have been this liberal today without such experiences in life.

Whereas Lahidji has always promoted respect for human rights regardless. Lahidji deserves more recognition worldwide and maybe we could help in that direction JJ ??

The more (deserved) recognition Lahidji gets, the more his ideas and values get highlighted and the more it will help Iranians in general. 


Lahiji is a decent human being

by aynak on

I have known him for over 34 years.   True to human rights principles, true to himself.

His critique of "Islamic Republic" published couple of decacdes ago, was a systemic examination of contradiction of the phrase "Islamic Republic".   He argued, the two can not co-exist, as Jomhouriat has a well defined meaning  which will be in contrast to a religious government.    Today of course it is clear as daylight.

He also wrote a critque of the original constitution.   If we are lucky, he will be part of a group to draft a constitution for a future free-democratic Iran.

May we all have good dreams.

Jahanshah Javid

Must see Lahiji

by Jahanshah Javid on

I don't like to insist. But in this case I must. If you haven't listed to this interview with Karim Lahiji, I'd like to recommend again that you do. What he's talking about -- human rights -- is really a central issue. And he's largely responsible for why we care about it more than ever. Listen to both parts and recommend to others.


He's the type

by statira on

of a man who should be in the government.What Iran needs is more of him and less of Ahmadi, Khamenei, Sadegh Larijani and the rest of the Islamist goons.


Here is a man I like and respect

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Irrespective of his political allegiances (Which I dont know about, less care). Because he believes in and campaigns for the human rights no matter who the dicator of the day. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


One Iranian to be proud of

by Nezami. on

He has always been an Iranian to be proud of and it amazes me why we don't have rich Iranians supporting his group financially!!???

Iran's route to democracy will be through respect for human rights, which most of countrymen don't seem to appreciate deeply.

Anahid Hojjati

Karim Lahiji, what a name

by Anahid Hojjati on

If you lived in Iran about 1978-1979, Karim Lahiji's name was huge.  I remember him as a much younger man. It is really great to read about famous Iranians from 1978-79 who did not end up being executed or ended up as an executioner. I wish there were more people like him.


a very honorable man

by Pahlevan on

One of the first human rights activists in Iran. He became a human rights activist when it wasn't fashionable (or profitable!) to be one.

Darius Kadivar

Maybe So ... Even if he Drafted the IRI Constitution ;0))

by Darius Kadivar on

Karim Lahiji - Foundation for Iranian Studies

VOA Doh Roozeh Aval with Abdol Karim Lahidji on the IRI Constitution by DK

A draft However Unrecognized in it's legitimacy by other equally respectable patriots:

pictory: Bakhtiar Denounces Bazargan's Provisionary Government in exile (1979)

pictory: Pro Bakhtiar Demonstrations (1979)

HISTORY FORUM: Mashallah Ajoudani on Intellectuals and the Revolution

Mehdi Bazargan and the controversial legacy of Iran's Islamic intellectual movement

But then again I suppose everyone is entitled to his or her opinion in their own right or Should I humbly add to their intellectial "evolution" towards "Secularism" ?:

FINALLY GETTING IT RIGHT: Shirin Ebadi say's "I Don't believe in an Islamic Declaration of Human Rights"

ROYAL CURTSY: Shirin Ebadi Greeted by Monaco's Prince Albert II at Geneva UN Panel (2008)

HONORARY PARISIAN: Shirin Ebadi Bestowed Honorary Citizenship of Paris (June 10th, 2010)

In addition Who am I to contradict him anyways ? ... for After all I myself have evolved from a staunch monarchist who believed in Divine Kingship:

ELVIS IN PERSIA: The King Of Rock'n Roll in Isfahan's Chehel Setoon (1965)

KINGDOM OF IMAGINATION: Tintin saves King Ottokar's Sceptre in Hergé's 7th Adventure

to a Constitutionalist:

ROYAL FORUM: Explaining the Concept of a Constitutional Monarchy to a Staunch Republican


REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc... by DK

RESPONDING TO REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc in the Making ... by DK

As Such I cannot deny the right to a constructive "evolution" to others ... however different in their outlook !

But then again I suppose as the popular expression goes "better Late than Never":

pictory: Mehdi Bazargan Denounces Khomeiny's Authoritarian Rule (1980's)

DIPLOMATIC CORPS: Abbas Amir-Entezam IRI's First Ambassador to Sweden (1979)

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: Amir Abbas Entezam Chained to Hospital Bed (1990's)

Ta Gabre ... Ah ... Ah ... Ah ... Ah ...

Daie Jan Napelon

Hee Hee ...

Recommended Reading/Watching:

RESTORATION: Shapour Bakhtiar advocates Restoring the Monarchy

PRAISE FOR REZA SHAH: Adjoudani Slams Lack of Recognition for Pahlavi Dynasty's Founder

CONSTITUTIONALIST FORUM: Daryoush Homayoun Political and Journalistic life Honored in Germany 

Jahanshah Javid

My favoorite Iranian

by Jahanshah Javid on

He has served the cause of human rights his entire life. A man of honor and principles. Respect!