Making the same mistake one more time.

by Faramarz_Fateh

Thirty years ago, something like 60-80% of Iranians wanted the Shah gone.  That was it, nothing more, nothing less.  We never thought once about the consequences and we saw what happened.  Please excuse my language but we went from being partially submerged in "goh to being fully submerged in "eshaal"!  

Now, people of Iran are so sick of whats happened to them in the past 30 years (and rightfully so) that all they want is change, reform, an end to the current regime.  From my numerous blogs you can easily see that there is no one out there who hates the IRI and Islam more than I do.  Thats a well documented fact.

But for God sake, for once, lets think about what we are doing.  Lets say Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are gone.  Do we want a Islamic-Military regime to take over with one of the sepah or basij heads running the country?  Do we want Mir Hossein Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi as a President?  What about "velayate faghih"? Do we want an Islamic democracy or a secular democracy?  Who will be the heads of the new government?  Basically, who will be the running the country until a so called democratic system is installed.

Is there unity of thought in Iran?  The only thing people are united about is getting rid of the current regime. In my opinion, whats happening is a mistake. As usual, we have not thought this thing through and the chances of another big mistake is very high.

I sure as hell hope I am wrong. 


more from Faramarz_Fateh
ramin parsa

rustgoo, are you 12 years old?

by ramin parsa on

You sure sound like it! You write, "I don't understand why our sisters and brothers in Iran, today, have to fight a criminal and corrupt regime only to hand over the power to a family with the same criminal and corrupt past."

That is the most perverse dipiction of the last 50 years in Iran! Did the Shah's regime ever gang rape virgin girls the night before their execution and then require their parents to pay for the bullets? Did the Shah ever hang 16-year-old children by their necks in public squares? Did the Shah liquidate 25,000 political prisoners in one summer, as the mullahs did in 1988? Did the Shah send 10-year-old boys, to the tune of thousands, to walk over mines in that bullshit Iraq war, giving them plastic keys to Heavan? Did the Shah send terrorists to blow up INNOCENT people around the world, as the mullahs have done many times (for example, a Jewish community center in Argentina, 1994).

Did the Shah ever engage in international terrorism, ala the mullahs (for example, financing BOTH the Shiites and Sunnis terror groups in Iraq so as to kill INNOCENT people and create a quagmire for the Americans)? Did the Shah UNNECESSARILY prolong a war and needlessly slaughter 700,000 Iranian young men as the mullahs did from 1982-1988, when they rejected 8 peace offers just so they could liquidate their homegrown opposition and solidify their power base in Tehran?   

Did the Shah create a perverse situation, where today there are over 600,000 prostitutes in Tehran, 40% of which are married women? Did the Shah create a hopeless enviornment in Iran where presently it has the most heroin addicts in the world, per capita, as the mullahs have given us? Not to mention massive brain drain, obscene nepotism and corruption unparalled in the history of Iran, massive unemployment and inflation.

Go educate yourself a little before you open your dahati mouth.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

by benross on

Then perhaps I missed YOUR point. That's why we are not talking about the same thing. I never meant that we should apply constitutional monarchy to the letter. First, it is impossible, second, although it is in the constitution, but religion and state was kept separated during the past regime in practice. Third, it is inconceivable that we let religion get involved in state in any shape or form. That is, for those who don't want to keep IRI alive. This is what all we want and this is by the way, what RP was asking from day one. Separation of church and state.

But if we want to rid of pillars of what glued our country together in governance, one the religion and the other one possibly the monarchy, then let's give the society enough time to think through how we want to implement secular democracy. For one century we wanted democracy and we didn't know what it was. That's why we failed to implement it. Are we sure we know now what it is? Have you seen the content of IC lately?!

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Shame on your prescription of Tiananmen square massacre for IRAN

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

IHaCoAT or whatever your 10 other nicks are: I hope that what you wish for Iranian youths, will happen to you and yours instead!

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I don't think I missed the point. I am opposed to mixing religion and state. Now for details.

Of course the country should decide its own government! That is what democracy really is.  However there are also basic rights that should not be up for discussion. These include right to live without being subject to harassment. When you mix religion and law; specially Islam it becomes impossible to live in peace for non Muslims because Islam by its nature harasses non Muslims. It also becomes impossible for Muslims to practice their belief without someone else's interpretation being forced on them.

As for where to start. We cannot afford to make all the mistakes and discoveries on our own. Therefore we need to go beyond our own history and gain from experience of all nations. That is where separation of religion and state comes in. Yes, it is an "American" invention but it is a good one. No doubt some people will claim it is "Westoxification" but I say it is xenophobia. There are plenty of good ideas in the West. We should take good ideas wherever we find them. The very internet we use is a Western invention.

It make no sense to insist on going back to the old constitution. It will require major overhaul under the best circumstances. Plus is it not really "a part of us". Shahnameh and Golestan Saadi are parts of me but I don't feel the same about the old constitution. In fact I seriously doubt many Iranians have read the old constitution or really know that much about it.

We should take parts of it that make sense and drop part that do not.  Mixing religion and state does not make sense and must go.  For goodness sake we have witnessed first hand for 30 years the disastrous effect of mixing religion and state.  I argue that it is impossible to have real rights for all while religion is mixed with law. So then we  try to address it by special "minority" rights. We may not need minority set asides if we don't mix majority's religion with the state in the first place.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

tiananmen square.... remember that massacre? look at china now

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

i keep having this vision of the final option by the regime on these people and it will be just like tiananmen square massacre. the decade that followed proved vital to china's economy and stature in the world. I hope the regime doesn't win like china did. Hell, even Faramarz travels to China!  

i hope that people don't die and become paragraphs in history books, but slower is better. too fast will be dangerous and might leave iran vulnerable. 


This comment is from

by vildemose on

This comment is from comment section of Juan Cole's blog: I thought it was interesting:

"One of the main Ashura storylines is the tale of Qasim, nephew of Hussain and great grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. He was killed in Karbala along with his uncle while fighting against caliph Yazid's army.

The parallels between Qasim and Mousavi's nephew will not be lost upon devout Shias around the world.

That the Shia clerical regime has managed to turn itself into the modern day Yazid is amazing and ironic."


This is really not a hard

by benross on

This is really not a hard problem. There are dozens of secular democracies out there. We just pick either a Presidential or Parliamentary system. There are many examples to pick from.

I guess you missed the most important part of the problem that we struggled over, ever since the constitutional revolution. It's the society that should decide how it wants to be governed. Within its structure, culture and capacity not the other way around. If we have a secular democracy in our agenda, the issue of prime ministerial or presidential form is the least of our concern. And some emotional reactions in this thread shows that we are blind-sided about the big picture. This time we are talking about true democracy, with full respect of individual rights, which includes ethnic rights of all Iranians. Do you really think that with the end of IRI dictatorship and not returning to previous dictatorship (which apparently everybody here doesn't have anything else to do other than lamenting about) and with the promise of true democracy and freedom, we can address these issues by few articles in a new constitution?

This needs a vast social discussion, in total freedom of expression, prior to any attempt to formulate a new constitution. How do we go about it, without causing the collapse of the whole country? We will never reach a sustainable social peace without this vast discussion in the society at large. Now, how do we provide this period of freedom and stability prior to constituent assembly? This is why we need to rely on the path of our history for some stability otherwise we will never get out of this permenet social turmoil. We can only down play the issue at hand, either by our permanent foolishness, or by not being really committed to the freedom that we are talking about.

One might suspect that these trash talking about the dictatorship of the past regime, is only for camouflaging the lack of commitment to freedom. 

As DK says, my humble but firm opinion! 


Manny2001: Read it an weep!

by vildemose on

But values come into it, too. Farnaz Fassihi of the WSJ points out that the first month of the Muslim lunar calendar, Muharram, has been considered a month for truces and non-violence. The very name of the month means 'sanctified.' Even the brutal troops of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah or king overthrown in 1979, had not fired on crowds during Muharram. Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi openly said that even the shah's regime had not behaved on Muharram as clerical Leader Ali Khamenei's had. Hint: in revolutionary Iran, that is a slam.

In fact, in the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911, one of the complaints of the crowd was that the Qajar monarchy had had sayyids beaten. So if beating a scion of the House of the Prophet can help spark a revolution, what about shooting one? And, oppositional film maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf maintains that Mousavi was killed by a death squad that came for him in a van rather than just falling victim to random police fire.

Killing a sayyid is a blot on any Iranian government. Doing so on Ashura, the day of morning for the martyred grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husayn, borders on insani




The question is do we favor

by vildemose on

The question is do we favor the current regime in Iran over anything so messy as a new government???


Manny: are you still a supporter of IRI??

by vildemose on

Boring & Unreliable

by mannya2001 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 05:45 PM EST


I mean its one thing if the government can lie to old folks and fool them.  Its another for FG to try and fool educated people.

First, can you name Taeb's brother in law who lives in Canada. 

2.  Case of Taraneh Moussavi is still not proven.  Also given her name sounds like it is fabricated.  Her first name means "music"  last name similar to candidate moussavi.

Is this the same Manny2001 from this thread?


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You seem to be the one person who is happy with the theocracy!I don't know the future but all indications are the Islamic Republic is done for.

Why is the no capital flight? First of all what do you call that truck they found in Turkey with 18.5 billion dollars! The top leadership is and has been moving cash out. 

The average Iranian on the other hand has no reason to move their money out. A democracy will most likely improve things in Iran. I fully expect that following the overthrow of Islamic Republic there will be a big movement of capital into Iran not the other way.  Iran makes a great place for outsourcing specially engineering. When Islamic Republic goes so will the sanctions. That means lots of investments long overdue.


Modernity means going forward

by rustgoo on

Your road map is outdated; it led us to the land of corruption, dictatorship and, suffering; because of your road map we ended up  seeking refuge in foreign lands while the Royal propaganda machine was promising " The Great Civilization". Stop it Sir, I am not a kid born and raised in LA whose been in some cases, I do know, brain washed to believe the big lie about "the glory of the past". Your prince doesn't talk about the  past either. He should. 


Darius Kadivar

I second BenRoss on "Build from where?" Thread

by Darius Kadivar on

ditto !


FF- really thinks revolution is coming.give ur SERaTONIN a break

by mannya2001 on

FF, most likely you haven't been to Iran. 

I only have one question:

Why is it that Iranians based outside think that revolution is happening, whereas ones on the inside think its not.

is it a case where the brain decieves you into reaching conclusions that you wish for. 

1. Do you see any capital flight from Iran in last 6 months?

Be realistic folks, you are getting way too excited, your Serotonin is getting release like crazy.  I just wish you can get over the severe depression the next day after your serotonin is released en masse.

Folks, believe me, Khamenie is not fit to rule.  But that doesn't mean that the system is totally broken. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Nature of the next Iranian government

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


This is really not a hard problem. There are dozens of secular democracies out there. We just pick either a Presidential or Parliamentary system. There are many examples to pick from.

We already have the Majlis and office of President. What we really need is to dissolve the parallel system of clerical rule.  Then we can decide whether you need a PM or not. But all the basic institutions are there already.

The one thing we absolutely need is"Separation of Religion and State". I hope the past 30 years taught us a lesson we won't forget. Mixing religion and government is always prescription for problems. Personally I rather ban  Mullahs from politics for good!


I don't understand why our

by benross on

I don't understand why our sisters and brothers in Iran, today, have to fight a criminal and corrupt regime only to hand over the power to a family with the same criminal and corrupt past.

Look, If I was a republican, I would have said the same thing. And I might become republican when the time comes to choose. But we are not here representing our brothers and sisters in Iran. We are here to discuss what is the best way for Iran to get to a point where our people undo the wrong and reach to a secular democracy, republic or otherwise. If you find a better way, go for it. I don't even discuss your judgment of Pahlavi because whatever it is it's yours. Show me the roadmap. I showed mine.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Given it is the people in Iran taking the risk it will  be up to them to decide. My guess is that people want a regular secular democracy.

Maryam Hojjat

Esteghlal, Azadi, Joumhouri e Irani

by Maryam Hojjat on

That is what Iranians want.  Now, They need a leader to lead them to the destination.

P.S.  I am worrying too, there are a lot of blood suckers, power hungry waiting!

Payandeh Iran & Iranians 


Monarchy?... been there, done that!

by rustgoo on

The term "modernity" should not be used as an absolute concept. modernity, by definition, is a very fluid term. Monarchy has proved its futility; let's get over it. I don't understand why our sisters and brothers in Iran, today, have to fight a criminal and corrupt regime only to hand over the power to a family with the same criminal and corrupt past.


Build from where?

by benross on

One thing for sure however, this time the government should be a republic and separation of church and state to be the pillar of such a government. We will build from there.

Why the starting point should be your perception and not the perception of another citizen? We should build from our history, and our only legitimate document of modernity in Iran. Otherwise we are building from nowhere.

Constitutional monarchy document is very much a dysfunctional document. It is full of contradictory items. It has also provisions -never used- to ensure the supremacy of the religion over legislative. But it is at the same time a clear mirror of our historic struggle for modernity in the past century. It is part of us, with all its contradictions, and a society that denies its past, has no future.

The failure of Islamic revolution is encapsulated in its constitution. Now those who still believe in reforming IRI, may still look at working with this constitution or improving it. For the rest of us, the only legitimate document we should acknowledge and 'build from there' as you say, is the constitution prior to IRI. It has provision for a constituent assembly as MRX1 mentioned although we might forgo the conditions established for creating such assembly as we have always ignored the supremacy of Islam in the past.

The difference between the two constitution is not their formulated items. It's their historical value. While constitutional monarchy gave big concessions to the religion, in order to be able to carry out its modern and secular agenda, the constitution of IRI has given concession to some token modern formula (republic) in order to be able to carry out its reactionary agenda. The choice is yours, but we can't pre-establish a starting point, unrelated to our history, and 'build from there'.

The Phantom Of The Opera

A catastrophic vacuum; ...maybe it's worth letting it happen!!

by The Phantom Of The Opera on

Leaving 20% margin when assigning percentage to the population who wanted the Shah gone, seems a bit too generous if not user-friendly. Ironically, Shah himself was among those who wanted to see the Shah abdicated. He was not cut out for His role in the first place. And that kind of mistake, I do agree, should not be repeated. 

The Pahlavis and all mullahs must disclose the source and the amount of their wealth.


Faramarz Fatah, Good points.

by pedro on

Very few people have the vision and care to raise the red flag concerning the Islamic Military Regime. In fact I would like to thank you for writing about it, it has been a concern of mine for months now.

Lets talk plane and simple english, Are Iranians prepaired to stop and fend off formation of Islamic Military Regime?

PS.  For those of you with short fuses, cut the crap with insults and put downs, and stop using GOLOMBEH SOLOMBEH english words.  

It is a legetimate question and needs thoughtful considerations.



Faramarz, and my regret is ...

by Monda on

that I am Not one of those women on the streets these days yelling and screaming against what has been done to the Iranian people.

Since you mentioned regret, I had to add mine. 


From One Humble Faramarz to Another

by Faramarz on

I did not mean to imply that I know any more than you do. And if I did, my sincere apologies.

But allow yourself at least one thing. These people that are getting killed or beaten up on the streets of Tehran have the same hopes and aspirations that we have here, living comfortably in the west.

Let's just support their efforts. And even if they make the wrong choice, as you suspect, they will live to fight another day.

In life, you never regret what you did, but you always regret what you didn't do.

Here is a classic by Frank Sinatra to brighten your day.


The counrty is in such a

by vildemose on

The counrty is in such a mess that who ever ends up running it post IRI (I will feel sorry for them!) has to resort to some sort of iron fist policy to restore order and jump start the economey. Needless to say all that mumbo jumbo about jeffersonian or hamiltonian or what ever it is that people learned in their political science 101 class will be out of the door for the next several years, that you can count on that.

That sums up the future quite nicely. However, I hope it's not MKO's iron fist.

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

RE: Mr. Faramarz_Fateh

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

Well, there is no time for your giving this more thought. The green movement began as part of a call of fraud in the election from Mousavi which is said to be a reformist. It really wasn't planned as an over throw of the current government. Mousavi intended fully well to be part of the current establishment.

Actually, I have been doing some checking into Mousavi and others original part in the establishing of the IRI. Seems a lot of them that helped to put into place are now against it. I really doubt it was their conscious that had them change. Rather they fell out of grace with the powers that be.

I have to go. My mom has an emergency. I will pick up back on this discussion when I help my mother.




by cyclicforward on

I think it is good time to ask the hard questions and come up with answers. The fall of IRI is imminent and it will be abrupt. You can simply look at Eastern Europe experience and see what happened.

I don't have a quick answer for you but I am sure all Iranians collectively should come up with a good solution. One thing for sure however, this time the government should be a republic and separation of church and state to be the pillar of such a government. We will build from there.


Dear Ms. Alvarez

by Faramarz_Fateh on

I actually have given this issue a lot of thought.  In 2 of my responses in other blogs I alluded to this issue; ie. vacuum of leadership and a planned transition.  Don't get me wrong, I support protests wholeheartedly.

What I am saying is that in parallel with the protests, we need to know what alternative we are striving for and how we are going to get there.  In today's global society, we know what is going on in Iran.  24/7 TV, cheap telephone calls, emails, sites like

At this time, there is NO ONE person that majority of Iranians support to be their next leader.  I know people in Iran who participate in green protest and wear green, but dislike Mousavi.

Even among people who cry democracy there is probably as many versions of this so called democracy as there are people to ask.

Revolutions happen every couple decades.  All I am saying is that we need to give this more thought or else a bad choice means another 20-30 years.


Which is why

by MRX1 on

you have to go back to nearest thing that works,  and that is creation of national assembly (Majless Moasessan) as out lined in our previous constituion no matter how inperfect it may be for some people, and start from there.You don't have the time and luxury to reinvent the wheel.

The counrty is in such a mess that who ever ends up running it post IRI (I will feel sorry for them!) has to resort to some sort of iron fist policy to restore order and jump start the economey. Needless to say all that mumbo jumbo about jeffersonian or hamiltonian or what ever it is that people learned in their political science 101 class will be out of the door for the next several years, that you can count on that.

hamsade ghadimi

ff and the impossibility theorem

by hamsade ghadimi on

your question is fair; however, your conclusion (uprising is a mistake) is premature and insulting.  i know why i scratch myself: because i’m the only one who knows where i itch.  the same argument goes for the people of iran.  i don’t think that it is constructive to tell the people living in iran that the method(s) that they are choosing to accomplish their goals are wrong because it doesn’t fit your formula.  you use a circular reasoning in your argument: “people were sick of the gov’t 30 years ago, revolted, and got something worse.  they’re sick of the gov’t now, are revolting; therefore, they will get something worse.”  you fail to include the experience that iranians have gained during the past 30 years.  hopefully, we have learned from our experience to not let one group hijack the fruit of efforts of the entire uprising population when (if) this regime collapses. i don’t know what you mean by “unity of thought?”  do you mean that “all” agree on one idea of the government?  do you mean “all” agree on one leader?  if that is so, then we know that it cannot be accomplished.  do you mean majority as in more than 50%?  if so, shall we construct and administer unbiased surveys of the iranian population to gauge their beliefs?  how long do you think such process takes?  has it ever been done before?

i personally do not have a formula to offer the protesters.  i can only support them from afar, applaud their bravery, and deal with my guilt of not being there to join them in their acts of defiance.  have a good day.