بختیار، سیاست‌مداری که در تاریخ بزرگ شد

اکنون دیگر تنها گروه‌های سکولار نیستند که به اشتباه خود در حمایت از خمینی پی برده‌اند


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بختیار، سیاست‌مداری که در تاریخ بزرگ شد
by Hossein Bagher Zadeh
16-Nov-2011
 

متن گفتار در کنفرانس «نگاهی دیگر به اندیشه بختیار»


11 نوامبر 2011 - 20 آبان 1390 لندن

انقلاب سال ۱۳۵۷ تنها یک تحول ساختاری در صحنه سیاسی ایران نبود. این انقلاب، هم‌چنین میدانی بود برای آزمایش اندیشه و عمل نخبگان فکری و سیاسی و اجتماعی ایران - آزمایشی که عموما در آن مردود شدند و تنها معدود افرادی از آن سربلند بیرون آمدند. یکی از این افراد شاپور بختیار بود، کسی که در آخرین لحظات در سنگر دفاع از یک حکومت سکولار قرار گرفت و سعی کرد به مانند یک سرباز وطن‌پرست تا آخرین گلوله خود مقاومت کند. این تلاش، اما، در برابر توپخانه سهمگین دشمن که از هر طرف بر سر او می‌بارید محکوم به شکست بود، و سرانجامی هم جز این نداشت. حکومت ۳۷ روزه بختیار در زمان خود از سوی جامعه سیاسی روز مردود شناخته شد، ولی با گذشت زمان، اهمیت تاریخی آن به صورت فزاینده‌ای مورد تصدیق دوست و دشمن قرار گرفته است. بختیار از معدود سیاستمدارانی است که در زمان خود تنها و مهجور زیست، ولی در تاریخ بزرگ شد.

انقلاب ۵۷ حرکت کوری بود که جامعه سیاسی و روشنفکری ایران را هیجان زده کرد. این حرکت همه نیروهای سیاسی از چپ و راست و میانه را به خود جذب کرد، و هر کسی از ظن خود به حمایت از آن برخاست. به مرور زمان، اما، روشن می‌شد که خصلت این انقلاب مذهبی و واپس‌گرایانه است. در این شرایط، وظیفه رهبران سیاسی سکولار بود که خطر پیش رو را درک کنند و برای دفع و پیش‌گیری از تحقق آن چاره بیندیشند. و وظیفه نخبگان جامعه و به خصوص قشر روشنفکر این بود که به جای این که مجذوب حرکت توده‌ای مردم و شعارهای انقلابی آنان شوند مشعل به دست بر سر راه این حرکت قرار گیرند و راه پیش رو را روشن کنند تا مردمی که از استبداد رژیم شاه به فغان آمده بودند از چاله به چاه نیفتند. ولی غالب این نیروها نه فقط در انجام وظیفه خود قصور ورزیدند و بلکه خود به این حرکت کور پیوستند و آن را به سوی پرتگاه جمهوری اسلامی سوق دادند.

این سخن را من در آبان ۵۷ که هنوز حرکت انقلابی اوج نگرفته بود در دفتر ایرانشهر لندن به زنده‌یادان احمد شاملو و غلامحسین ساعدی گفتم. شماره ۵ هفته‌نامه به سردبیری شاملو با سر مقاله‌ای به قلم ضیا موحد حالت کاملا شعاری در حمایت از جنبش انقلابی به خود گرفته بود. من به عنوان بنیانگذار و ناشر ایرانشهر که در باره خط مشی آن در آغاز مفصلا با شاملو صحبت کرده بودم از این کار بر آشفتم و به آنان اعتراض کردم. به شاملو و ساعدی گفتم آن چه که ما می‌بینیم حرکت کوری بیش نیست و معلوم نیست سرانجام آن به کجا ختم خواهد شد؛ و وظیفه ما به عنوان یک روزنامه‌نگار نه این است که آن را به سوی جلو هُل دهیم و بلکه باید با اطلاع رسانی دقیق و انعکاس نظرات مختلف، چراغی فراراه آن قرار دهیم تا مردم راه خود را آگاهانه انتخاب کنند. سخن من با این دوستان البته به سادگی به نتیجه نرسید و تا مشترکاً بر روی این موضوع توافق کنیم و ایرانشهر را به مسیر از پیش تعیین شده آن برگردانیم نشریه یک هفته از انتشار باز ماند.

آن چه که در دفتر ایرانشهر در لندن گذشت نمونه کوچکی بود از آن چه که در جامعه سیاسی و روشنفکری ایران در آن روزها می‌گذشت. تب انقلاب همه و همه جا را فرا گرفته بود و کمتر کسی به سرانجام آن می‌اندیشید. حرکت کوچکی که با یک مقاله در روزنامه اطلاعات در سال ۵۶ شروع شده بود به تدریج به بهمن عظیمی تبدیل گردید و بر سر راه خود همه چیز را نابود می‌کرد. عنصر سیاسی و روشنفکری ایران نیز مبهوت و مقهور این حرکت کور شده و به آن پیوسته بود. کمتر کسی به دموکراسی و حقوق بشر می‌اندیشید و یا خطر استبداد مذهبی را جدی می‌گرفت. این خصوصیت حتا در ماه‌های آخر پیش از انقلاب که به تدریج آشکارتر می‌شد نتوانست باعث بیداری شیفتگان انقلاب شود و آنان را به چاره‌جویی وادارد. و نتیجه این شد که وقتی شاپور بختیار در آخرین روزهای رژیم شاه وارد عمل شد تا شاید بتواند از استقرار رژیم مذهبی مانع شود کمتر کسی به یاری او شتافت.

بختیار از معدود کسانی بود که خطر استبداد مذهبی را به خوبی درک کرده بودند، و مهمتر از آن این که او حاضر شده بود با شنا کردن بر خلاف جریان آب، بر اساس تشخیص خود عمل کند. یعنی درک واقعیت، و عمل بر اساس آن. بسیاری در اولی لنگ زدند و کمتر کسی حاضر بود که دومی را مرتکب شود. بینش و شجاعت عمل: این دو خصوصیتی بود که بختیار داشت و هیچ کس دیگر در موقعیت او نداشت. آن چه که بختیار نداشت زمان بود. بختیار در شرایطی به نخست وزیری ایران برگزیده شد که زوال رژیم شاه قطعی به نظر می‌رسید. حکومت شاه در سراشیبی سقوط قرار گرفته بود و به سختی می‌شد تصور کرد که کسی بتواند از سرنوشت محتوم آن جلوگیری کند. ولی این واقعیت نه از اهمیت کار بختیار کم می‌کند، و نه می‌تواند توجیه‌گر کار آنانی باشد که به رغم همه ادعاهای سکولاریزم، ملی‌گرایی، ترقی‌خواهی، آزادی‌خواهی و دموکراسی و حقوق بشر او را در آن روزهای حساس تنها گذاشتند و یا حتا او را طعن و لعن کردند.

بختیار در فاصله کوتاهی از روی کار آمدن خود اصلاحات سیاسی را آغاز کرد. ساواک منحل شد، زندانیان سیاسی آزاد شدند، تیغ سانسور از روی مطبوعات برداشته شد و فضایی دموکراتیک بر جامعه ایران حاکم گردید. او معتقد به سوسیال دموکراسی بود و انجام انتخابات آزاد را به مردم ایران وعده می‌داد. بعدها تقریبا برای همه مسلم شد که حکومت بختیار آخرین شانس استقرار یک نظام دموکراتیک در ایران بوده است. اگر درد انقلابیون، استبداد رژیم شاه بود با ادامه حکومت بختیار می‌شد انتظار داشت که این استبداد خاتمه پیدا کند. ولی آنان که برای برقراری حکومت مذهبی تلاش می‌کردند به نفی استبداد شاه قانع نبودند و بلکه استقرار استبداد دیگری را تدارک می‌دیدند. و در این میان، خیل نیروهای سیاسی سکولار چپ و ملی و مذهبی بودند که به جای این که به یاری بختیار بشتابند، جانب انحصارطلبان مذهبی را گرفتند. حتا یاران قدیمی بختیار در جبهه ملی نیز او را تنها گذاشتند و به حمایت از خمینی برخاستند.

حکومت کوتاه بختیار در آن روزها جدی گرفته نشد و زود به پایان رسید. اخطارهای او در باره خطر استبداد نعلین کمتر گوش شنوایی یافت، و باید زمان می‌گذشت تا واقعیت دردناک و خونبار تاریخ درستی آن‌ها را ثابت کند. زمان زیادی به طول نکشید تا این واقعیت‌ها بروز کند و یک یک کسانی که آن روزها اخطار او را نادیده گرفتند شلاق آن را بر تن خود احساس کنند. آن چه که رخ داد البته سدها برابر خشن‌تر و مخوف‌تر از آن بود که حتا خود بختیار می‌توانست آن را تصور کند و یا اخطار می‌داد. و این خشونت‌ها همه کسانی را که با استبداد مذهبی/فقهی مخالف بودند و در عین حال در آن روزها به حمایت از خمینی شتافتند و بختیار را تنها گذاشتند و یا فعالانه علیه او به مبارزه برخاستند، در بر گرفت. کسی نبود که از این سرنوشت در امان بماند. تنها زمان لازم بود تا این شتر خشن بر در خانه همه بخوابد.

پیش از همه یاران پیشین خود بختیار طعم استبداد مذهبی را چشیدند. جبهه ملی که به حمایت از خمینی برخاسته بود جزو اولین گروه‌هایی بود که در فاصله کوتاهی پس از انقلاب طرد شدند، و سپس وقتی جبهه ملی در ۲۵ خرداد سال ۶۰ در مخالفت با قانون قصاص قصد تظاهرات داشت خمینی آنان را مهدورالدم اعلام کرد. به فاصله کوتاهی، مجاهدین خلق پاداش حمایت از خمینی را با اعدام‌های دسته جمعی و سرانجام قتل عام سال ۶۷ گرفتند. طولی نکشید تا گروه‌های چپ حامی خمینی و جمهوری اسلامی مغضوب او قرار گیرند و با خشونت سرکوب شوند. و در این میان، تقریبا همه روشنفکران و نویسندگان و هنرمندان و دگراندیشانی که آن روزها بختیار را تخطئه می‌کردند و به حمایت از انقلاب برخاسته بودند هر یک به شکل و نوعی طعم استبداد خشن نعلین را با جان و تن خود چشیدند و آواره و معزول و مطرود و ممنوع و زندانی یا کشته شدند. بی دلیل نیست که در طول زمان، همه آنانی که با استبداد شاه به مبارزه برخاسته بودند و بختیار را در آن روزها طعن و لعن می‌کردند به تدریج زبان و واژگان خود را تغییر دادند و اکنون کمتر کسی است که از او جز به نیکی یاد کند.

در تاریخ لحظاتی پیش می‌آید که عمل یک سیاستمدار سرنوشت‌ساز می‌شود. اهمیت این عمل معمولا در همان زمان شناخته می‌شود و مورد تأیید قرار می‌گیرد. کار بختیار، اما، از نوع دیگری بود. کمتر کسی اهمیت کار بختیار را در آن زمان درک کرد، و بلکه هر چه از زمان بیشتر گذشت گروه‌های بیشتری به اهمیت کار بختیار پی بردند و به تلویح یا تصریح به آن اذعان کردند. اکنون دیگر تنها گروه‌های سکولار نیستند که به اشتباه خود در حمایت از خمینی پی برده‌اند. حتا اسلام‌گرایانی که ستون‌های اصلی رژیم خمینی را تشکیل می‌دادند و امروز مغضوب همین نظام قرار گرفته‌اند به این واقعیت رسیده‌اند. برای نمونه امروز مصطفی تاج زاده عضو مرکزیت سازمان مجاهدین انقلاب اسلامی و معاون سابق وزیر کشور صریحاً می‌گوید که زمان شاه همه آزادی‌ها از قبیل آزادی عقیده و مذهب و پوشش و هنر و ادبیات و روابط شخصی و مانند این‌ها بود به جز آزادی سیاسی، و نتیجه می‌گیرد که کمبود ما فقط آزادی سیاسی بود(۱). او در واقع می‌پذیرد که با روی کار آمدن بختیار که آزادی سیاسی را تأمین می‌کرد نیازی به انقلاب نبود و اکنون در این حسرت تاریخی به سر می‌برد که با انقلاب علاوه بر آزادی سیاسی بسیاری از آزادی‌های دیگر را نیز از دست داده‌ایم.

به این ترتیب، هر چه زمان می‌گذرد اهمیت کار بختیار بیشتر شناخته می‌گردد. عمل بختیار در زمان خود سرنوشت‌ساز نبود، ولی کاری تاریخی بود. او برای جلوگیری از استقرار نظامی پا جلو گذاشت، و طعن و لعن دوست و دشمن را به خود خرید، که می‌رفت تا استبدادی خشن و مخوف را برقرار کند. این نظام مستقر شد و هزاران هزار دوست و دشمن و از جمله خود او را قربانی خشونت عریان خود کرد. بختیار پس از حکومت کوتاه خود به مبارزه با رژیم از خارج کشور ادامه داد و فعالیت‌هایی کرد که موضوع سخن من نیست و می‌توان به صورت انتقادی به آن‌ها برخورد کرد. ولی اقدام بی‌نتیجه او در دی ماه ۵۷ در مقابله با استقرار استبداد مذهبی به عنوان یک عمل مسئولانه و شجاعانه در تاریخ معاصر ایران ثبت شده و روز به روز اهمیت آن بیشتر شناخته می‌شود. آن روز دور نیست که مردم ایران یاد او را گرامی دارند و کار او را در آن لحظه تاریخی قدر بشناسند.


Iran Emrooz


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Masoud Kazemzadeh

روایت کریم سنجابی از نخست وزیری شاپور بختیار

Masoud Kazemzadeh



religionoutofgovernment

Mr. Hosseini

by religionoutofgovernment on

In response to this comment:

"Bakhtiar/followers, republicans, new seculars, social democrats and Reza Pahlavi all use sweet words when they talk about democracy and freedom. I would love to believe they really mean what they say. I am convinced their words are near enough to perfect, but what sort of mechanism do they put in place to ensure they implement what they say."

 It does not matter!! It is not about any of these groups and certainly not about whether you or I believe in them. It is about a secular democratic system which will curb any group that wants to act undemocratically. So, lets stop bickering about "other groups" and concentrate on a system that will guarantee our freedoms. 


default

Dear anglophile

by ahosseini on

I am glad we have come to some kind of understanding.We can only argue against each other if we have a common set objectives. If your objective is constitutional monarchy and I want a kind of system that enable us to control and monitor leaders at all times then there is no point we argue against each other. We simply don't have the same set of objectives. If members of a team have control over the leader of the team then dictatorship is inevitable. I think it is rather silly for anyone to accept the authority of another individual, but I have no right to be unpleasant either. About Khomaini and Bakhtiar, I think it is wrong to compare the two at all. We did not have two strong movement in parallel, one under the leadership of Khomaini and one under the leadership of Bakhtiar. What is the point of comparing the two. If you ask me about their political views than I would give my opinion. Bakhtiar/followers, republicans, new seculars, social democrats and Reza Pahlavi all use sweet words when they talk about democracy and freedom. I would love to believe they really mean what they say. I am convinced their words are near enough to perfect, but what sort of mechanism do they put in place to ensure they implement what they say. Have the members of these organisations have any say about the appointment of leader/s, policy documents, how polices are implemented and monitored? If they believe in democracy, then these are the rules of the game. We don't want to dwell in the past. Let's focus on our future movement. Transparency is one fundamental issue if they really mean when they talk about democracy.


Parham

You wish... : )

by Parham on

You wish... : )


anglophile

Greetings from London

by anglophile on

Let me begin with my favourite Freudian quote: "The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization. " I guess this why we Iranians are among the founding fathers of the civlised world! This tradition of civility continued througout our great and glorious history. From Rumi down to Hadi Khorsandi the flowery language is used at it best. So please don't take me wrong I may at times be mildly rude but it is all in the spirit of civility :)  Dear ROOG, as you say the best combination would have been a government led by Sadighi with Bakhtiar as his foreign or interior minister but alas ...! Thanks for your invitation to tea but I am afraid crossing the 'pond' may pose a little problem as you are in the Americas and I am in this tiny rainy Island some six thousand miles away. May I nominate Parham as my rep as his views and mine are so close :)) Mr Hosseini, if Esfand found my response rude I apologise here but my intentions were not being offensive but rather satirically critical. You see I agree that thirty two years ago we (as a nation) were not wise enough to foresee the cost of replacing the Shah with a totally unknown substitue BUT if thirty two years later, and given all the calamities that our nation has suffered, we still insist that what we did in retrospect was right then I must question sanity of the respondent. By the way I was not discussing Bakhtiar with reagrds to his post revolution activities. That will take a separate blog to analyse whether his (alleged) acceptance of funds from Iran and Saudi regimes were right or wrong. Baktiar before being appointed the PM was not the same as Bakhtiar who had experienced first hand the treachery of his own party, some of the Shah's closest associates (Fardoust and Gharehbaghi) not to mention the Iranian amy's senior commanders (with the excpetion of a handful), and the gutless moderate clergy who like sitting ducks fell victim to Khomeini's devouring appetite. I know that you don't agree with me because you believe anything that would have slowed down, let alone opposed the fall of the Pahlavis must have been condemned. But let me ask you: if, with the benefit of the hind sight, you were given a choice between rallying behind Khomeini or supporting Bakhtiar, would you have opposed Bakhtiar? I hope I have debated nice enough to have your reply. Darius jaan, thanks for the rich and extensive info as always. 

Darius Kadivar

To avoid Bloodshed Yet Maintain the Constitution Perhaps ?

by Darius Kadivar on

It should be recalled that a series of tragic incidents may have  prompted the Shah to make his bad timely speech on Nov 5th 1978  ( See Comment on Shah's Pale face Below PS NOTE):


Shah' s Last Speech (uncensored)

 

Indeed barely Two Months earlier on Sept The Black Friday in Jaleh Square had discredited the regime because of the blood shed during the demonstrations due to clashes despite the Shah's explicit orders not to shoot on the people:

 

Part of BBC’s Documentary on Shah : Jaleh Square Massacre (1979)

 

This tragic incident was the last thing the Regime needed given  that a year earlier the Tragic Cinema REX incident ( while ultimately was proven to have been the work of the Clerical Revolutionaries) had shed extra suspicion on the Shah's intentions:

Cinema Rex fire (August 19, 1978)

 

Barely a month after the Cinema Rex tragedy  in September 1978 another Tragedy inflicted the nation with Shock but this time triggered by Nature:

 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah of Iran visits Earthquake Victimes in Tabas (1978) 

 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Comforts Tabas Earthquake Victimes (1978)


This means that in barely a year the Country was to suffer the psychological blow of three tragedies in a row: Cinema Rex, Tabas Earthquake, Jaleh Square.

So indeed If ever anyone let alone a king was to expect a "Mohibatee Elahee" it could only come from the People ...

It didn't ... 

For amidst political unrest these successive Calamities were dooming the image of the Government as Incompetent at worst Criminal in the eyes of the population. 

As such I think that in the Shah's mind he felt that as Head of State his speech had to project a "Human" Face of a Monarch who understands the griefs of the nation and acknowledges that in such a short period of time they have been through too much in a matter of months.

The message was a mixture of paternalism but also compassion. But the Chemistry did not work out in my opinion because it probably was written in a way that while addressing civil society it actually was aimed to the more humble portion of the society which the Shah thought still loved him or with whom he could reconcile given what he perceived as their special bond  throughout his reign:

 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah and Soraya Share meal with worksman's family (1956)

 

 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shahbanou Farah visits Persian Gulf Compatriots (1974) 

The sad thing is that I think he actually believed every word in the speech and romantically but desperately hoped it would be "understood" ...

 

Milani is right on one point: The Shah was hurt. He truly did not understand why the People hated him so much after all he had done for them ... 

 

He felt he did not deserve to be compared to a Louis XVI for he had done everything in his power to enhance the living standards of his subjects and turn his country into a modern state.

 

Be it industrially: 

 

pictory: Iran's Industrial Progress-Pahlavi Era Promotional Film (1970's)

 

Socially:

 

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

 

While safeguarding our Frontiers:

 

TOP GUN: Grumman F-14 promotional film 1970's Iran

 

So in his mind he just could not understand why despite all these efforts he was hated so much if it were not for the Manipulation of Foreign Powers who never accepted to see Iran become a major Power ?

 

In his mind the people's ingratitude was simply unfair ...

 

That I think contributed to his psychological fragility which combined with chemotherapy only  contributed to enhancing his depressed mood. 

 

To a cynical dictator that may have appeared natural to be hated by a people he upon whom he would have imposed himself as an usurper. But as heir to a Dynasty he had not Founded this was pure Betrayal by an ungrateful nation.

A Romantic View ? Maybe ...

Sincere AND Patriotic ? Certainly ! 

In retrospect this speech appears as a strategic and psychologically miscalculation but at the time I think it seemed that this message would be understood by the people at large ( and there were still many whom Bakhtiar was to call the "Silent Majority" ) particularly the Middle Class whom the Shah wrongly thought his speech would appease by disassociating himself from those who may have committed "crimes" without his direct order ...

Knowing he was ill, undergoing chemeotherapy and suspecting that the West was conspiring against him  he must have felt that this was probably his last chance to ease an angry population and reverse the course of history.

Had he been in a stronger psychological disposition maybe he would have taken charge differently. Who knows ? ... 

But if you listen to the Shah's Speech carefully he refers to the Constitution as "Mohebatee Elahi keh az Mellat beh Padeshah dadeh meeshavad" aka  " A holy Honor delivered by the Nation to the Monarch") 

By acknowledging the "Revolution" as the" Voice of the People" he pledges to respect the Constitution to the Letter and fight misdeeds created by his previous government if any. But Note he refuses to abdicate. Recall that the word "Revolution" was far from taboo during his own reign since he considered himself as a Revolutionary and in his political rhetoric ( whether or not he believed in it is another debate ). By acknowledging the Revolution in his view the People were sending him a message to "Mend" the errors of the "White Revolution". To understand what appears as a Poor Choice of Words in retrospect actually were seen as the Right Choice of words by anyone who still believed in the White Revolution of King and People. From that perspective the speech in itself was not such a bad one. It was just politically a wrong one to make in that juncture knowing how determinant and organized the Opposition to his reign was at the time and their will to use the slightest sign of weakness against him. 

In such a context The Shah's choice of Azhari as a Mild Military Prime Minister was in the Shah's confused state the right choice of "Carrot" Vs  "Mild Sticks". Hoping that People will accept the "discipline" and accept for the good of the country to temporarily "swallow" the "pill " of military curfews in a bid for better times. 

What he hoped would be perceived as a "pragmatic" concession whilst preserving his "Legitimacy" as Monarch was perceived and presented by the Opposition as a sign of "weakness" ... 

An Oveissy or someone with the same Firm Hand by that time was probably best fit for a Job of PM but I suppose that firm option was dismissed due to the Jaleh Fiasco. 

I think the Shah was hoping that by setting his choice on a "Softer" Yet "disciplined" Military Option with Azhari at it's helm he was gaining more time when in fact he lost time.

Azhari having failed the other option should have in logical terms been a Tough hand but he hoped that the people would understand that he was not acting against their interests and was hoping to deliver the country in the hands of responsible civilians.

In his interview with David Frost in Panama that is what he said: 

"A Dictator can stay in Power by Shedding the Blood of his people, A King Cannot"   

 

David Frost's interview of Shah in Panama and Ted Koppel's Q&A 

 

That's why I think Contrary to Milani that the Shah Had actually Set his Choice on someone like Bakhtiar or any other patriotic figure as Head of a Civil Government rather than Sedighi as Head of a Military Junta mainly because he felt that would be the only way of Preserving the Legitimacy of the Constitution as a "Mohibaty Elahi" delivered by the People but this time if not to the Monarch at worst to his Son. Something which Bakhtiar hoped to Restore once calm and order were established enduringly.

In Manoto TV's documentary you actually see and hear Bakhtiar responding to Journalists that he hopes that the Shah's departure will help calm the population until serenity allows a more objective assessment of his reign by the population So as to allow him to come back.

 

37 DAYS: Documentary on Shapour Bakhtiar's Premiership (MANOTO TV)

 

Hence trying against all odds to rally that "Silent Majority" :

Pro Bakhtiar Demonstrations

 

As such Bakhtiar By opposing his own Legitimacy as Designated PM to that of Bazargan's Provisional Government:

 

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

 

He probably hoped to convince Khomeiny to accept his ultimatum or at least accept some negotiation. Which we know he was not ready to accept ...

 

Khomeini: No Constitutional Monarchy | Iranian.com

 

So I think the Choice of having a Civilian Goverment was already on the Shah's mind by the Time Azhari succeeded to Sharif Emami.

Obviously if in retrospect choosing Azhari was a miscalculated political error ... 

I think that in his mind what mattered was that if at worst he loses the Political Battle  he will ultimately Win the Battle of History ...

 

In a sense he did win ...

 

Even despite his disappointing  autobiography  written in haste knowing he was dying and not truly in a comfortable situation to reflect on it amidst all the difficulties of exile.

 

 

As such Ironically in retrospect the Shah's Behavior in those last months is what makes his regime and the former Constitution Legitimate today. Even despite the Referendum of an ignorant and ungreatful nation:

 

Footage of the 1979 referendum of the Islamic Republic of Iran

 

 

Had he behaved like Bachar El Assad in Syria or Gaddafi  in Libya let alone IRI's Ahmadinejad and Khamenei during the last election crackdown he probably would have maintained his throne but would have lost the historical legitimacy which prevails regardless of his regime's downfall.

 

Shah of Iran's Last Will Read by Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi:

 

As such I believe that like for his Father History will be Kind with the Last Shah ...

 

In Memoriam ...Rest In Peace My King ... 

 

And definitively with his last Prime Minister ...

 

 

 

My Humble Opinion,

 

DK 

PS NOTE: The Shah's pale face indicates some of the symptoms of his aggravating cancer unknown to everyone at the time except to himself and his closest physicians, Dunno if it's the video which seems to indicate  Jaundice typical of lymphatic cancer treated later during his exile partly by Dr. Ben Kean who described this particular symptom as recurrently appearing in the Shah's case ( Recommended Book : M.D.: One Doctor's Adventures Among the Famous and Infamous from the Jungles of Panama to a Park Avenue Practice by Ben Kean) 

 

Recommended Blogs:

 

POINT OF NO RETURN: Russian Revolution's Bloody Sunday and Iran's Black Friday 

 

Tunisia could benefit from bitter lessons of Iran’s clumsy '79 revolution

 


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Anglophile

by ahosseini on

Nothing you say stand to logic and yet you are very rude to Esfand Aashena. There is no doubt we all made mistake supporting Khomeini

(For your information, I for one did not like him and did not support him. In fact as our University's student union rep I went to see him in Paris. We were all horrified by his Hokomat Eslami book. I went there to ask him if still stood by that book. He managed to mislead me by saying people choose their political reps in a free and fair election. Then when I went to Iran I personally saw what happened in Ayandegan. It had such a terrible effect on me. I ran away fast.) and I am talking about the entire population. Do you expect people to be politically conscious after centuries of dictatorship in the country. Who gave mandate to Bakhtiar to impose himself. He talked so much about democracy and yet he denies people's right to chose who they want. If you collect money from US< Israel, Saudi Arabia then you are accountable to them. He who pays the piper call the tune. That is why in their meetings they hardly ever allow open discussions. It is obvious they are more accountable to sponsors than Iranian people. 

In US election people elected two absolute cowboys(Regan and Bush) and twice in a raw. . What can anybody do about it? Do you deny the right of Iranian people to chose who they want even if it is Khomeini? What sort of logic is this. People made mistake in bringing Hitler to power. What can you do?

Bakhtiar had a dark past in Paris too. He collected a large sum of money from Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. In one of BBC Pargar program one of the supporter's openly admitted receiving money from other countries. How is this correlate with Melli garaei I wonder.

The only option you have is to raise the political awareness of the people. We had a popular calt (MKO) group and a so called Marxist group(Tudeh and Fedaie Majority) supporting Russia's interest in Iran. Bakhtiar did not exist as a political party. He even betrayed his own organisation. Sanjabi, Froohar and Bazargan had more of chance to make a difference if they had the backing of other organisations. Tudeh Party and Fedaei Majority were the main problem. They were only interested in pushing Ayatollah onto Russia's camp.

Anglophile please be nice when debating with people.

Thanks


Parham

Re Friday

by Parham on

What do you think?


religionoutofgovernment

Friday

by religionoutofgovernment on

Depends, Are you on my side?

 


Parham

Tiger Lilly

by Parham on

Be my guest! Nick Tsk. All yours.

ROOG
Thank you very much! Shall I bring my boxing gloves? : )


religionoutofgovernment

This Friday

by religionoutofgovernment on

Parham, you would also be invited! :)

 


Tiger Lily

LOL LOL LOL, Parham

by Tiger Lily on

Tsk Tsk, Tsk.

 

See why, man ke zaboonam zip basteh, zipesham etesali dare.

 

P.S. Please, I would like to nick Tsk. It's perfect. ;)


religionoutofgovernment

Dear Anglophile

by religionoutofgovernment on

We may never know exactly why. I certainly wish 1) the choice had been made a lot sooner, 2) The shah had not left Iran and 3) He had agreed to Sadighi's appointment. I also believe, although you may not agree, that Bkhtiar would have been delighted with Sadighi as PM and would have served in his cabinet happily. The time was ticking, there was turmoil, the Shah was sick and he was getting memos from the US and British Embassy. This created a very diffult situation. 

PS. The way we are going you will be coming over to my house for a shot of Patron (or just Chai) this friday.


Parham

Tsk tsk tsk... : )

by Parham on

Tsk tsk tsk... : )


anglophile

Thanks Mr ROOG

by anglophile on

Well, after all those back and forth exchanges and calling each other childish or fact-loving, sharp tongue and no-intellect, we seem to be in agreement on the key issues. That is what I call progress :)  So as you say (and I had agreed with already) from Khomeini's point of view, Bakhtiar and Sadighi were one and the same. I am not questioning Khomeini's vote on the issue but the Shah's. What is so suspicious to me is the Shah's rationale in choosing Bakhtiar, over any other well established and better known candidate who, like Bakhtiar, was happy to see the Shah go. But why Bakhtiar - a man who had a blood fued with the Shah (over his father) in addition to all his ideological stands against the Pahlavi regime and even the monarchy. Why Bakhtiar? Was there a shortage of candidates who, like Bakhtiar, were anxious to see the Shah leaving the country? I doubt it and as a matter of personal knowledge I know that there were at least two other candidates who were equally demanding the Shah's departure as a condition to accept the post but they were all turned down in favour of Bakhtiar. Don't take me wrong I have utmost respect for Bakhtiar's political philosophy but was that the only reason he was chosen. What was it that made the Shah chose him out of other candidates , who were less personally aggrived towards him than Shapour Bakhtiar? We may never know answer to this question and this is why Nahavandi's version begin to gain crediblity. It was good discussing this with you. 

Tiger Lily

Funny (haha and very much peculiar)

by Tiger Lily on

Quite a few people seem to have put a zip on it: there were huge amounts of goings on behind the scenes, that even little me knows about that, no one in all the "articles" I've read on IC has ever mentioned, let alone shed some light on.

 

Funny. 

Well, sad really, although, lucky for those involved: they didn't get their skin scalpted.

Don't worry, mum's the word, coz my memory acts like a sieve for blank blankety blanks, when under pressure. 


religionoutofgovernment

Clarifications

by religionoutofgovernment on

Anglophile, I am going to clarify a couple of points here.

1) Here we have talked about several sources for the historical events relating to Bakhtiar. Milani ( and the sources cited in his book inclusing Dr. Sadighi's memoires), JAMSHID Amouzegar, Farah and Nahavandi. There are other sources as well whose account may partially overlap in the timeline. You can find Jamsihd Amouzegar account here:

http://www.shapourbakhtiar.com/Nazarat.htm

Interestingly, there is a mention of Mr. Nahavanidi in the second page.

Initially, I quoted both Jamshid Amouzegar and Milani. All sources corroborate each other exept for Nahavandi. He has a totally different account. As Darius said, one needs to consider all acounts and decide. I happen to belive Farah. You are certainly entitled to believe whoever you wish.

2) My point about Parson's remarks about Dr. Sadighi was completely missed. The issue was not whether he was athiest or not. The issue was how he was percieved by the parties involved (ie Khmoeni and his supporters Nehzate Azadi) . He was just as unacceptable to them as Bakhtiar. You were saying that Sadighi would have had a better chance because he was better known (I have no problem with this) and also He had better connections and more accepted by the opposition ( Here lies my point). Yes there were moderates like Shariatmadari, but according to Milani's sources they did not dare speaking against Khomeini. Indeed, they did not agree with Khmeini and would have supported anyone who stood up to him, just not publically. Khomeini ( and his supporters ie Nehzate Azadi) would have objected to Sadighi just as much as Bakhtiar. That is my point.

Now, it's time to get to work for me. I am sure we will meet again in a different discussion. I will read your response though if any.


Esfand Aashena

I meant to say

by Esfand Aashena on

But give her more credit, SHE spent years covering the Iranian revolution from inside and outside Iran and the hostage crisis. 

"he" was a typo.  

Everything is sacred


anglophile

Ghotbzadeh - aka Sadegh Seda!

by anglophile on

The most unprincipled member of criminal gang of three (Yazdi, Bani Sadr and Ghotbzadeh) was Ghotbzadeh who at one point in his miserable life was spying for the SAVAK.


Esfand Aashena

Mr. Bagherzadeh.

by Esfand Aashena on

Mr. Bagherzadeh, you are refering to the general Iranian population during the 79 revolution as "mob" and criticizing the degar-andishan for "joining the mob and opposing Bakhtiar".

My comment got too long so I blogged it >>>>>

As for Ghotbzadeh, yes he was showing himself as a democrat to his girlfriend and you could read it in her book and she says the same thing.  But give her more credit, he spent years covering the Iranian revolution from inside and outside Iran and the hostage crisis.  Her account is based on interviews with multiple other sources.  Those accounts are intresting, funny!  For example, when Ghotbzadeh was a man without a passport and a country thanks to SAVAK and Ghotbzadeh and his opposition to the Shah, what did the Immigration Officer ask him and what he answered when he said he is here on a student visa.  Student?!  Student?! the INS official screamed ...

Everything is sacred


anglophile

Mr ROOG

by anglophile on

I pointed out the flaws in your argument and some of the unfounded  'assumptions' you had made. Ironically it was you who had used one source, Amuzegar, without giving any attention to Nahavandi's. At least our friend Mr Kadivar has dimissed Nahavandi's version of events AFTER having read it. You dimiss everything that you don't like as 'childish'. On the question of Parson's classified report to the foreign office you seem to hold his view as words of gospel. I deomnstrated that Sadighi was just as an athiest as Bakhtiar or even Mossadegh were (privately godless but publicly respecting religion). I have never rerd or seen any public manifestation of Sadighi's or Bakhtiar's views of religion or Islam. I am sure the Shah knew a thing or two more than us to have given hours of his time discussing premiership with Sadighi. If he was such an outspoken well known athiest that Sir Anthony wished to present him as, there wouldn't be a point to have Sadighi considered as a candidate. Sorry that I had to disappoint you but I am not here to please people. I tell the truth as I believe in it. 


Darius Kadivar

Seems Some have confused Jamshid with Jahangir

by Darius Kadivar on

The fellow I referred to is also a respected academic of international stature:

Photo here: 

Jahangir Amuzegar Lecture - Pars Times


Jahangir Amuzegar, former minister of commerce, minister of finance, and ambassador-at-large in Iran, is a distinguished economist, international economic consultant, and former member of the Executive Board of the IMF who lectures at Johns Hopkins University. 


He has written more than 50 journal articles and is the author of seven books on Iran, oil and economic development, the latest of which is Managing the Oil Wealth. Dr. Amuzegar has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Amongst his books on economy and history:


The Dynamics of the Iranian Revolution: The Pahlavis' Triumph and Tragedy

 

 

Iran's Economy Under the Islamic Republic

 

 

Managing the Oil Wealth: Opec's Windfalls and Pitfalls [Broché]J

 

 


Iran: Economic Development under Dualistic Conditions (Center for Middle Eastern Studies; 7)

 


Technical Assistance in Theory and Practice. The Case of Iran. (Praeger Special Studiesin International Economics and Development).


 


And author of more than 50 journal articles:

 

Iran's Crumbling Revolution | Foreign Affairs


Iran's Economy in Turmoil - Carnegie Endowment 


etc ...

 

His brother, Jamshid Amuzegar, was a Prime Minister of Iran during the Shah's reign. 

 


Parham

Farah Diba on Nahavandi's claims

by Parham on

بی بی سی: دکتر هوشنگ نهاوندی، رئیس دفتر پیشین شما، در خاطراتی که منتشر کرده، صحبت از آن کرده که شما از چند ماه قبل با شاپور بختیار ملاقات می کردید و ایشان احتمال داده که چه بسا شاه هم از این دیدارها خبر نداشته است. او از جمله به دیداری در ویلایی در شمال کشور، متعلق به محمد علی قطبی، اشاره می کند.

فرح پهلوی: ببیینید افراد خیلی چیزها می نویسند و واقعا باعث تاسف است که کسانی که بخصوص نزدیک آدم بوده اند، نزدیک من بوده اند و اخلاق مرا می شناسند، به دلایل مختلف روزگار مطالبی را می نویسند که درست نیست.

بد به حال افرادی که کتاب می نویسند و دروغ می نویسند. اگر کسی باشد که مخالف سیاسی آدم باشد و از اول بوده، خب آدم می فهمد بد می گوید، شعار می دهد. اما کسانی که نزدیک بوده اند و بعد چنین نسبت های دروغی می دهند، واقعا بد به حالشان.

دلیلی ندارد که من بخواهم انکار بکنم. این حقیقتی است که پیش آمده است. من اصلا آقای بختیار را نمی شناختم، آقای صدیقی را نمی شناختم، آقای سنجابی را نمی شناختم. من توی کارهای خودم بودم، فرهنگی و اجتماعی و غیره.

ماجرا درست همین چیزی است که به شما گفتم. لازم نیست داستان تعریف کنم. تیمسار اویسی و مقدم آمدند. من آن موقع رفتم این را به اعلیحضرت گفتم. بعد آنها گفتند که آقای بختیار نمی خواهد بیاید کاخ ملاقات کند. به اعلیحضرت گفتم اگر می خواهید من بروم و با ایشان صحبت کنم. که گفتند برو. چون ایشان نمی خواست به کاخ بیاید، من گفتم بروم خانه کسی. خانه مادرم در کاخ سعدآباد بود که نمی شد. گفتم می روم خانه خانم قطبی که زن دایی من است، خودش هم از خانواده بختیاری است، شاید که ایشان به آنجا بیاید. البته می توانستم به خانه کس دیگری هم بروم.

بعد ایشان آمدند و مطالبشان را گفتند و حرف ها را زدند. بعد گفتند که من قبول می کنم به شرط اینکه آقای سنجابی از زندان آزاد شود.

من آن موقع آقای بختیار را دیدم و یک دفعه دیگر که با ایشان صحبت کردم، دو تا از وزیران به من تلفن کردند چون پاسپورت می خواستند که بیرون بروند و از من خواستند که به آقای بختیار تلفن کنم که به آنها پاسپورت بدهند.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2011/08/110809_l...


religionoutofgovernment

Your sharp tongue

by religionoutofgovernment on

Your sharp tongue is no replacement for intellect!

Again you are regurgitating stuff from one source, Nahavandi, whom other people already commented on. Besides the fact that you completely missed the point about Parson's comments on Sadighi, you offer nothing new here. You have yur opinions and then search to find sources to corroborate them. I don't call that objective. 


anglophile

I seem to be in trouble!!!

by anglophile on

Dear fact loving friend, ROOG,  If you are interested in facts then you'd better come up with facts. You dismiss Bakhtiar's vying for the coveted post by suggesting that if he was interested in the "job" he could have used his link some 25 years earlier with the queen Soraya as according to your facts she was "much" closer to Shapour in early 1950's than Queen Farah in the late 1970's! Well, let me see if I got it right. Even assuming that Shapour khan was closer to queen Soraya than to Queen Farah (more on this shortly) you are suggesting that due to Bakhtiar's alleged closeness to the young queen he could have been promoted to the premiership of his majesty in 1950's? Would you have settled on a little less senior position like minister of labour. In fact on the eve of 19 August 1953 Shapour khan was a relatively junior civil servant in charge of the office of labour in khouzestan. And soon after the fall of Dr M he was imprisoned for his membership of Iran Party under Allahyar Saleh. The story of his rejection of Soraya's offer to have him freed earlier and Shapour's rejection is only coroborated by himself and no other. While queen Soraya was his second or third distant cousin and (they had not even seen each other properly), his first cousin was no other Teymour Bakhtiar who was the source of much leniency towards him as they were fellow travellers in their trip to Lebanon and later to France. Shapour Bakhtiar's aunt (his mother's sister) was Mrs Louise Ghotbi the mother of Abdol Reza Ghotbi, Farah's cousin, who was and is the closest man to the empress after the Shah (some might say even closer). So Reza Ghotbi is first cousin to both Farah and Shapour at the same time. Now if you can find a closer family tie please let me know. Therefore is that still so implausible an account as expressed by Dr Nahavandi to have the empress as a go between? http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2011/08/110802_l78_bakhtiar_20th_anniv_hooshang_nahavandi.shtml As for Milani vs Amouzegar it was not me but you who gave the Amouzegar's version of the events without making any reference to the Nahavandi's version. I found that odd and unbalanced. But if you had listened to Dr Milani's weekly intervies with Hossein Mohri of Radio Sedaye Iran you would have heard that there were may more nominees for the 'post' including but not limited to Dr Mozafar Baghaei-Kermani and even Dr Amini (who had good relations with the mullahs) and not to mention Mohsen Pezeshkpour of the Pan-Iranist party. The Shah was testing all options to find a solution that would allow him to leave the country without leavig a blood bath behind.  Atheism  -  This is a rather amusing concept that you quite. It is fairly safe to assume that as far as Khomeini was concerned Mossadegh himself and all of his allies, past and present, with the exception of the renegade Bazargan were athiest. So not such abig deal here. One of Sadighi's famously quoted statements from his post 28-mordad trials is this (addressing the judge): "My difference with you sir is that you say 'khoda-shah-mihan' and I say ' khoda-mihan-shah'. If Sadighi was an athiest so was Bakhtiar and so was Mossadegh. There were moderate senior clerdy such as Shariatmadari and Taleghani who were prepared to work with a Jebeh Melli supported premier to find a compromise solution, but Jebeh Melli wanted the Shah out and were prepared to sell themselves to Khomeini in order to reach the seat of power, Sadly for them Khomeini was far too smarter than to fall for their ploy. Finally Shaour Baktiar was an incurable romantic. He had a deep love for the French and Persian poetry especially for Hafez's and Saa'di's. He even called himself "morghe toufan" after reciting the beautiful poem by Dr Gholam Ali Raadi Azarakhshi in his maiden speech in the Majless. Not to forget that he even got married and if I am not mistaken fathered a child a with a young Baktiari girl shortly before his tragic death.  I hope I have been able to answer some of your questions,

religionoutofgovernment

some points

by religionoutofgovernment on

There is a lot of talk here with little referrence to facts. I mean this with all due respect and do not want to be confrontational. 

Firstly, knowing Bakhtiar's life history, it is simply a cheap shot to accuse him of cronyism. In January of 1979, in all the turmoil, he "was competing" with Sadighi whom he admired greatly, to take the PM position and to do so he took advantage of his distant relationship with Farah??? He did not do that years earlier when he had a much closer relationship to Soraya. Bakhtiar's lifelong fight for his principles argue against this implausible story.

 

Amouzegar vs Milani

Anglophile, would you please give us an exact quotation or citation from Milani and Amouzegar's accounts of Bakhtiar that are contradictory. Again. just for me to learn.

About Sadighi, I respect him very much and agree he could have been a better choice if the Shah had appointed him. However, you said:

Sadighi was most respected and recognised by the army, the opposition, the people and was popular among factions of the clergy.  

In page 401 of "The Shah" Milani quotes Parsons (the British Embassador) as saying this about Sadighi:

" unfortunately he is generally regarded as an athiest" and " Khomeini bound to do his utmost to destropy a government by Sadighi". 

This is important because you use this claim to portray Sadighi as much superior to bakhtiar in a supposed "competition" when you also say:

بختیار اگر کوچکترین فهمی‌ از چگونگی روابط میان شاه و سران ارتش می‌داشت، و یا اگر کوچکترین آشنائی با سران مذهبی‌ ایران می‌داشت باید این را بخوبی درک میکرد که در غیاب شاه نه ارتش از او حسابی‌ می‌‌برد و نه اینکه مذهبیون و پیروانشان ذره‌ای ارزش برای وی و آرا و عقاید واو قائل بودند. بختیار اگر درک واقع بینانه‌ای از شرایط حاکم بر مملکت می‌داشت به خوبی‌ می‌‌فهمید که هیچ حمایتی از هیچ یک از جناح‌های مطرح در آن برهه زمانی‌ یعنی: ارتش، روحانیت، اپوزیسیون، مجلس و مهم تر از همه مردم نداشت. 

In fact, at that point in time, both men would have faced opposition from all the groups you mentioned. However, I agree that Sadighi's plan to keep the Shah in Iran was wiser. I disagree with the rest of the assertions in these quotes. 


anglophile

C'est magnifique!

by anglophile on

Darius jaan thank you for a very detailed and meticulously reserached response. There are many important points in your comment. To start with I was addressing our friend ROOG when I wrote that some people reject one's opinion without giving thought and time to other versions of the same story. But I am glad that you volunteered to share with us your insightful observations. Nahavandi:   As you say and I know that from my own sources that Nahavandi had his own ambitions and under the auspieces of the Shah founded abn alternative party which consisted largely of the academics and technocrats. And as you say he was not on good terms with Hoveyda brothers. But somehow I can trust him more than Amuzegars, perhaps because I respect him as an academic and a former chancellor of two major universities of Iran (Pahlavi and Tehran).  On the Issue of Bakhtiar's election for the post of prime minister, I find Nahavandi's account plausible. The fact that neither Bakhtiar nor the Empress had mentioned a word regarding their family connections (through Bakhtiar's aunt Mrs Louise Ghotbi who was Empress's aunt-in-law) adds weight to the conspiracy.      http://iranian.com/main/blog/arshan-27     Milani: As I have written before Milani's analysis narrative is that of a former leftie turned capitalist who still remains loyal to his old dream, You spotted a commin and delibrate error in his references to the Shah (minus the "the") which I find a cheap shot by someone who is insisting to be accepted as a Shakepearan wannabe. His research I have found largley accurate but his analysis of his findings are biased in fabour of th left/republican. And yes he gives a double talk: one to waarm up his Iranain audeinces (like his interviews with Hossein Mohri) and the other to appease his Western listeners and readership. By the way it have the vogue to claim Shakesperean pretentions among the new wave of the Iranian academics (e.g. Cyrus Ghani, Milani, Hakkak and Nafisi - khoda nakoneh ma iroonia beh yeh chizi band konim.   Empress: With utmost respect to Her Majesty I am also glad that she didn't give Milani an interview but not because of Milani. She must watch out aganist her own gaffes. "The Queeen and I", was embarrassment enough!    Thanks again for enriching the debate Darius jaan. 

Parham

And by the way

by Parham on

ROOG is right. It was Allahyar Saleh who was considered for the job and backed by Bakhtiar at the time. That is not only Amouzegar's account of the events.


Parham

Re Nahavandi

by Parham on

Even Farah (who was actually the man's "sponsor" at the time) says he has turned into a liar. She has specifically said that she doesn't know why he has lied so much in his book. Basically, he's not really the most reliable fact-bearer of history -- if he could even be called that.


Darius Kadivar

anglophile Milani "Californicates" History

by Darius Kadivar on

anglophile Not only I read Nahavandi but Know him 

My Father was a good friend of his during their student days in Paris and we met him when he left Iran and was in exile in France. He has since moved to Belgium.

Houshang Nahavandi on Mossadegh's Downfall


In addition to his newly released book "Iran, the clash of ambitions" Mr Nahavandi has a book dedicated to the late Shah of Iran entitled: "The Last Shah of Iran: Fatal Countdown of a Great Patriot Betrayed by the Free World, a Great Country Whose Fault Was Success".

But I can tell you that Nahavandi was also deeply ambitious himself and at odds with Hoveyda and particularly Fereidoun Hoveyda with whom he competed to be in the Shahnanou's Cabinet.

Both being French educated they wanted to impress the Queen who was also a Francophile due to her student years in Paris. 

 

I could say that also but with due respect to Nahavandi that What he said on the Empress is outrageous and that some of his claims are truly a product of his own imagination.

History is not about One source. To get a full picture one has to confront different sources to offer a Perspective.

It is interesting that of all the people Milani interviewed Jahangir Amuzegar wasn't one of them.

He is mentioned only oncee page 289  ( Chapter "the Bright Side of Camelot") 

One has to read Milani's book while referring to his bibliography constantly to see his sources. That is one of the great things about American publishers which we don't have in Europe. One can verify accurately the authors claims and see what was said and by whom when quoted.

Actually I was totally unconvinced by Milani's conclusions on the Shah's personality prior to meeting Kennedy in the previous chapter Page 278 ( Chapter "The Garrulous Premier ") for he goes at lengths clearly showing how the Shah was fighting his way with determination ( hardly what one would expect of a "reluctant" King) to rid himself of Amini and impose himself at court as well as his patience in ruling out Teymour Bakhtiar knowing that he was trying to actively topple him with the help of the Kennedy's ( particularly Robert Kennedy) only to wait for the right opportunity to get rid of him later on in the 70's. But then he concludes the chapter by saying :

"Not just the Shah and Amini, but the nation awaited the meeting between the young Prince of Camelot and the tired Peacock Prince in April 1962"

This is just one example of how Milani twists words to better manipulated the reader into accepting his conclusions as to the Shah's reluctance to be King. 

That is what irritates me with Milani is that he uses double talk. Say's one thing in an interview based on his audience being Iranian and another when the targeted audience in American.

The above is just one example but there are many others. And I tried to read the book without the slightest prejudice because as I said it is well written and enjoyable. But it is not a definitive biography of the Shah. 

Milani happens to offer his perspective ( a Jomhurykhah Reading of Iran's struggle for Democracy) which is respectable in it's own right. I just happen to disagree with it because it is not the events in themselves which are subject of criticism but the interpretation and perspective we offer to explain them.

I have a Constitutionalist reading of those events and could offer a counter argument to Milani's thesis. 

Not only after finishing his book have I already noticed several flaws in his interpretations of not only Iran's constitutionalist history but also his distortions of Machiavelli's Prince and Edmund Burke on whom I had even blogged on them not knowing prior to reading Milani's book that he had also referred to these two giants of Political Science:


Machiavelli's "The Prince" and the "Art" of Governing

 

Mini lecture on the political philosophy of Edmund Burke (1729-1797) 

 

Don't have the pages available here to share with the readers cause strangely enough although mentioned by Milani the names of Burke and Machiavelli are left out of the Bibliography at the end of the book, but I have noted the pages ( there are many) and if I have time will blog on this in more detail.

His distortions explains why he concludes the way he does in most of the chapters particularly in regard to the Monarchy. 

 

While quoting Shakespeare extensively and drawing parallels with the British Monarchy he also offer a well known and biased Jomhurykhah interpretation of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh ( quoting Fereydoun Hoveyda who was the first to offer this argument of Father Kills Son in order to dismiss the Monarchy as a Patriarchal institution incompatible with Modernity).

He seems to forget that Shakespeare's Richard II ( to which I also refered to in this blog in tribute to the late Shah):

 

In Memoriam ...Rest In Peace My King ...

 

As much as most Royal characters in Shakespeare are hardly Role Models Yet the British are attached to their Royal Heritage and the Monarchy which they consider as Legitimate regardless of the record of their past kings.

Besides "Hamlet" was Milani's First choice to describe the Shah and not Richard II and his book was supposed to be entitled : The Peacock Prince.

Hamlet's desire to venge his father while being crippled by hesitancy and guilt seems far more adequate for describing the Shah than Richard II's reluctance to be King yet ruling with tyranny ...

CASTING A KING: Shakespeare's Play On The British Monarchy

By Choosing Richard II it fits his argument that Not only the Shah was a Reluctant Monarch but in addition that his Throne was illegitimate and that he was something of an usurper ... 

Now I guess I know why he changed it to the "THE SHAH" ...

Have you noticed in his interviews he often drops the article "THE" when referring to the Shah ? Particularly in his interviews with American Journalists like Charlie Rose ? ... ;0)

"Shah wanted to ..." instead of  "The Shah wanted to ..." 

That is a typical linguistic "tic" I noticed amongst many former Revolutionaries including Ebrahim Yazdi or Sadegh Gobtzadeh when they used to speak to the Foreign Press ... 

Also how is offering Ferdowsi in Parallel to Shakespeare and then twisting it into a Republican Interpretation offer a valid argument against the Monarchy ?  

Others may well offer the opposite interpretation :

 

Words For Eternity ... 

 

But beyond the above anecdotes How come the Monarchy in Milani's view isn incompatible with Modernity ?

Regular Democratic Polls indicate quite the contrary :


 

World's Top Democratic Governments: Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index 2010 (PHOTO)

 

In addition Who said Modernity is necessarily a sign of Progress ? ...

 

Just look at America : 

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1plIgEbggSs

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQdhMSEqhfg&feature=related


 

 

That's why I say Milani CALIFORNICATES HISTORY : 

 


Californication: Trailer (New Showtime Original Series)

 

No offense to Mr. Milani but had he not spent his youth Smoking Pot while reading Mao he could have spent it more usefully Reading about Europe's Constitutional History and Edmund Burke in particular with a glass of wine ...

 

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


 

It would have avoided some of his psychedelic conclusions now that he has reached an advanced age and become a Respectable Scholar ...

 

Lucy is the Sky With Diamonds ...

 

La La La ...

 

Best,

 

DK 

 

PS: Shahbanou Farah rightly suspected Milani in regard to the biography ( however well written). Her similar experience with William Shawcross who wrote the TheShah’s Last Ride ( he also authored a Recent Official Biography on the Queen Mum in which he also makes outrageous comments on the Shah and Iran's Queen as being outshined in the eyes of Iranians by the queen Mum during the latter's Visit to Iran) who approached her with polite admirative eyes only to stab her and distort her comments in his book. Not surprisingly that Milani's last chapter (prior to his epilogue) copies Shawcross' title.

As such I fully support the fact that she did not endorse Milani's account. I am not against any publication or research by any academic nor their right to conclude the way they want but that does not entitle anyone to Lecture the Pahlavis as to why they did not endorse a biographer's work or why they should have helped the fellow in his research. Based on that flawed logic If Milani was dismissed because he was a Toudehi then our Shahbnanou would have also refused to appear in a former Toudei's Film:

 

FILM: The Queen and I


Meegham Koseh Sher Goftan amongst Iranians Just to be Fashionable assooneh ...

 

We've all become Masters in this 'Art' ... 

 

So Mark These Words by canadian author Saul Bellow ( a Favorite of Azar Nafisi) ...

 

"A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that faces death"-Saul Bellow.

 

 


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