Dictatorship, Proportionality & relativism. For non-IRR readers only.... please


by Hovakhshatare

If there ever was a contentious issue that pits Iranians against each other, it is 79 mutiny/Shah/khomeini combo. Resolving this and not at emotional but logical level will help us all get past some historical inaccuracies that color our world view as far as Iran is concerned. This has very much to do with the extend and dimension of fraud that was handed to Iran on 1979 on a mass scale and still continues.

Here is a list that can readily be verified by independent resources, statistics, and cross referencing:

1-Shah & khomeini were forced on Iran by the West. No one disputes the first, but somehow the second is despite an even more sinister connection. Iranians did not want the first and don't want the second.

2- Shah was a western educated, nationalist, liberal, progressive dictator. Born and except education years, raised in Iran. Brought many advancements to the country except in democratization & stemming corruption. He built Iran's military to 5th power in the world, there were no wars during his time, Iran and the region were quite stable. Iranians were within the normal range of 'normal' and a generally healthy society.

3-khomeini/IR had little or no real education, was an extremist socially & religiously, had written on subjects like sex with camels, a Shi't moslem for whom Islam mattered not Iran. Had axe to grind with Shah, Saddam, a large portion of Shi't dominant thought, and brought a destructive war, social depression, and instability to Iran & the region. IR is not just bad for Iran but they are anti-Iran. All kinds of mental illness is rampant and statistics of IR itself suggested close to 50%. Prozac is the most popular 'medication' in Iran. Iran is an unhealthy suffering society.

4- Shah executed about 1500 people during his 35 years  according to U.N. and got beat up by carter for abuse of human rights. Khomeini/IR have executed about 155,000 people as of about 3 years ago. That is 2 orders of magnitude higher in 28 years. At time of Shah immigration out of Iran was negligible. However if someone wanted to leave there were no impediments. During the 31 years of Khomeini/IR between 5-8 million Iranians have left and if allowed at least another 20-30 million will leave.

5- Iran at time of Shah had global prestige by any standard, rial was 72 or so per dollar and was starting to trade on some international markets, visas were easy, and the only taboo in Iran was going against him & family and practically no other restrictions on freedom other than cultural. Iran was world's second oil exporter. Iran had more students in top universities of U.S. and the world than any other country. Iran owned 50% of Khazar rights. Persian Gulf was the only name anyone dared to call the Persian Gulf.

6- Iran at the time of Khomeini/IR is a global pariah, most won't easily issue visa to Iranians, most get abused upon entry , Rial is about 10,000 per dollar, prostitution/drugs/poverty are rampant. Anything against Rahbar or leadership or even lower rank people is taboo, just about every aspect of life is regulated, manipulated and arbitrary rules are the name of the game. Ranks 4th in Oil now. There is essentially no rule of law and corruption at time of Shah pales to nothing in comparison. massive billions have been physically moved out of the country and absurd sums that are not stolen, are handed to hamas, hezbolah or other criminal organizations. Persian Gulf is now called Gulf, and Khazar rights have been reduced to 10%.

7-Shah became more independent as time went on and asserted Iran's rights and projected its power and prestige (//iranian.com/main/blog/hovakhshatare-26), which is why the West and Oil wanted him gone and helped set up khomeini.

and on and on and on...

My friends, there is no such a thing as a good dictatorship. In all of life and anything we do, even in daily life relativity, proportion and scale are important. Even in a visual mode eyes can get confused without a sense of dimension and scale (see Ari's post). There are all kinds of historical dependence, impact and interaction but as Americans say the 'bottom line' counts. And bottom line at time of Shah was nothing like what we have with IRR. I'm not suggesting we all become fans of shah, and I know many of various political affiliations that gambled with Khomeini and 79 mutiny will just lose it if they admit this. However, if we want to help Iran and post IRR build a democratic Iran free of dictators we better respect relativity.Distinguish verifiable facts from fiction and use a sense of proportion in our historic, social and judicial judgements. The reality is we may not get from where we are to democracy and have to take historic steps. In that vein even if we were to be stuck with bad choices again, understanding the past and its context will help us choose the lesser evils. Even in the interim so we minimize collective suffering.


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SP, It seems you are confirming the main of this blog

by Hovakhshatare on

by adding details of Shah's education. Education of Shah was one of many items listed in brief. It was not the core subject and not stated that all his education was outside of Iran. Simply that he was of Iran minus a few years and Khomeini was not, in so many ways.

Based on your comment, it is fair to say that was the only item you felt was not accurate and you are not contending the main point of this blog. If so, then using the word "mistaken" in the subject line , to address this minor addition is misleading, intentionally or inadvertently.

Sargord Pirouz

Hova, you're mistaken

by Sargord Pirouz on

Not all of the Shah's education was provided abroad.

My great grandfather personally tutored the Shah in Iran, during his childhood years.

My ancestor performed this at the request of Reza Shah, after retiring from a long career as head of various ministries and Majlis positions. 



by Cost-of-Progress on

Even if you bring emame zaman to vouche for the validity of the info. the brain-washed alliance will not believe or concede to its accuracy. They would accuse the info as being tainted and manipulated by the zionists or the exile minority. Life is perfect with the Islamic Regime.






by Cost-of-Progress on

Shah is gone and it is doubtful that monarchy will ever return. if it does, we are more screwed up than we think because we set ourselves back half a century, lost millions to diaspora, lost billions in capital that flew out of the country, lost a lot of young men and women and became a pariah state in the eyes of the world only to get back to square one.

So I suggest you get over it.

BTW, that was slick when you "ADDED" the bit about the mullahs needing to disclose their stolen wealth too. Nice try for diversion.





Excellent article. How hard

by vildemose on

Excellent article. How hard is it to compare the available facts and documents on both regime and come up with an empirically verifiable conclusion about the two regime?? We need to settle this question once and for all using some kind of scientific methodology. The Shah's government should also be compared to Ghajar's to get an accurate baseline of Shah's perfomrance.


Phantom, the problem with totality of your comment is

by Hovakhshatare on

you are regurgitating stuff we have heard ad nauseum from all sides. You show no independent thinking, no serious thought, and disrespect everyone that may not subscribe to your limited virtual reality; myself included. I could readily say you are an IRR agent, or Israeli, Felestini or Hezbollah trying to incite, or an ignoramus that does not know fact from fiction. But I won't. You are one of many people stuck in catch phrases and sound bites who have mistaken theories and innuendo for research and understanding.


CoP. Thanks. You are right about whether we have learned

by Hovakhshatare on

and Phantom's comment is a fine example. I truly hope we have or will quickly; and debunking the myths like Khomeini and IR fallacy is perhaps a higher priority than most appreciate.


Nuri, you are correct about the green belt and that certainly was a big factor. It was mentioned on other threads including some response on the thred you linked and For Iran. 


Hova, Great Blog Brother

by Cost-of-Progress on

Your thoughts mirror mine, pretty much to the letter.

A poster here said that he was a regular demonstrator in 1979 and chanted "death to Shah", but now he's regretful - Bingo! How many others are out there with the same feelings? I've known a few, and I'm sure you have too.

The question is how can we learn from our mistakes and not repeat those we've made in the past. I believe that Shah was a patriot and tried to do good for his country. Yes, there was corruption, but show me a country where corruption is non-existent and I'll show you utopia. The problem was he tried to do too much in too little time and that backfired on him. Our society suffers from 14 centuries of backward thinking. His efforts to reverse that was way too quick, in my mind.

The Islamic regime boasts about their rockets firing into orbit these days. Imagine where we'd be had we remained a secular state with forward thinking leadership?

Again, the key is to learn from our mistakes - I am not convinced we have.






The Phantom Of The Opera

Einsteins of politics

by The Phantom Of The Opera on

Our Israeli friends, either those who actually live there, or those  in the West are at full force to shove the idea of " come on guys, Shah was not that bad a dictator" down our throat. Coincidentally they all choose pure Farsi names which have to be called "Persian" in order to meet their hidden political agenda.

After having failed miserably to portray the shah as an angel, so to speak, now, they are inventing the theory of "relativity" in the laughable hope of duping a nation; this theory works like this: Italians , for instance, should not care about the political merit of their politicians anymore only because Mussolini was a terrible man.

As I have said it before, Israeli lobby which supports the Pahlavist-Chalabist camp is making a huge mistake. State of Israel, with all her rights to a peaceful existence, has better, stronger, and more stable friends than the corrupt, and dysfunctional Pahlavis.

The Pahlavis, all mullahs, and all public figures associated with the Green Movement  must disclose the source and the amount of their wealth/income.


Social freedom vs. political freedom

by MM on

During the Shah's regime, Iranians had social freedoms, but not much of a political freedom.  Under IRI, Iranians have neither social nor political freedoms.  Sure, Iran has elections now, but the candidates are pre-approved by a body that I would not trust as far as I could throw them, and by a set of laws I do not care to see.

Yes, foreign powers manipulated the politics over and over, and hopefully, going forward, things will be different and the people of Iran will see a change.



by Nur-i-Azal on

7-Shah became more independent as time went on and asserted Iran's rights and projected its power and prestige (//iranian.com/main/blog/hovakhshatare-26), which is why the West and Oil wanted him gone and helped set up khomeini.
Nail, hammer and head! Don't forget the "Green Belt" theorists, i.e. Bernard Lewis, Zbiegniew Breszinski and co., either who wanted the Shah to be their first trial victim in their misguided , reckless and ultimately suicidal path to bring down the Soviet Union. They succeeded in taking Communism down in Europe but ended up with a nemesis far, far worse than it! And the worst part about it,  is many of these morons are still around in the policy making stratosphere of influential Western think-tank circles still attempting to socially engineer issues in that region.


Dear Kaveh, In this blog I focused only on debunking

by Hovakhshatare on

the arbitrary comparison that many still make, and the error that you point to via DK quote. These initiated in a blig & a thread. One was my blog of Shah standing up to West (//iranian.com/main/blog/hovakhshatare-26) via 73 speech that started the massive planning by the west against Iran, and second my comments in response to some of those comments (For Freedom) that ignore much historical and statistical facts.

I appreciate you bringing up the additional dimension & context that merits detailing and discussion.



by Kaveh Parsa on

I agree with the theme of what you say. However I like to expand the point from the comparison of 2 leaders to the comparison of the 2 systems & more.

With out denying all of its flaws, in every category that you have mentioned and more, the record of that system stands on its own, not only in comparison with IR during the last 31 years, our neighbours and any comparable country in the world in 1979, but also with western democracies of 1979 & today.

Having lived in the west now for more than 20 years, we all know about the draconian curtailment of HR & civil liberties that democracies impose on their citizens, always target specific groups; be they Basque separatists in Spain, to republican ones in Northern Ireland, and of course not forgetting Islamic extremists since 9/11 globally. So with out wanting to diminish the HR abuses in that system or its victims, even on the issue of Human Rights, the "shah's" system could put up an argument with the most liberal democracies of today!!!

Yes that system was a dictatorship and the shah was a dictator and the system he headed had corruption in it but it was reform-able and it practically handed the country intact to one of its most fervent critics in the shape of Bakhtiar. That system, was made to
function pretty efficiently, by a large group of able, competent people
who loved Iran and achieved a huge amount, by any & all given standards. the 1979 revolution, was a judgement not only on the shah
but also this group of people, running into 100's of thousands. That this judgement was grossly unfair and
unjust to the vast majority of this group, was obvious to me as a 14
year old then, and it becomes even more glaringly obvious, with the benefit
of 31 years hindsight.

I conclude by changing something that DK said in a comment somewhere else on this site, yesterday:

..... we need to acknowledge as a nation the historical misjudgement,
not only of the shah, but of the group that built Iran during those 57
years. Only then can we heal our scars & reconcile as a
nation to help mend both the Errors of the past and to help us regain our
National Dignity and Identity as Iranians rather than prolong this
hypocritical Schizophrenia that has been inflicting us as a nation

Thank you for a great blog.



jamshid, your corruption example is appropo. We had corruption

by Hovakhshatare on

but every reasonable person knows it was nothing compared to now or the examples you pointed out. I watched that revolution from here with my jaws on the floor and admittedly as weirded out as I was with Khomeini, saw shah's departure as good news. So I was duped like most. I also think the sense of guilt about 79 and bringing these thugs is so great, specially for the spectrum of far left, marxist/leninist, even the islamic version, that accepting that mistake may bring about the need for long term therapy. Many can't do/say what you have. It is easier to say all dictators are bad and move on.


Oktaby, good comment and wish I had a perfect answer

by Hovakhshatare on

because as you know those who play dirty, will play dirty. However, I think once a secular constitutional framework is approved, at a minimum it weeds out the islamists or anyone else with an ax to grind. That is about the only initial litmus test I can think of that won't be exclusive. We have a long way to go but I can foresee that once that interim constitution is well distributed and widely versed and approved, then the process of election and election itself becomes less problematic. From a pure pragmatic perspective, I would vote for those who were fighting for people's rights before the green movement brought along many surfers. People with credibility like Osanloo or those who proved their metal during it, like Majid Tavakoli and the many student nationalists.


Well said

by jamshid on

I think there are many things that are relative, but we Iranians tend to look at things in absolutes rather than in relatives.

Take corruption. We were told that the Shah's regime was corrupt. But we never asked ourselves, corrupt compared to what? Looking at the dollar figures and moral figures, the current US and Japanese regimes (for example) are far more corrupt than the Shah's regime was.

Even if limit ourselves to Iran, other Iranian dynasties and regimes were far more corrupt than the Pahlavis were. Also, we should not forget that the Iranian people themselves tended to be corrupt since many centuries before the Pahlavis. Corruption was part of our culture.

So "relative" to the majority of other countries and relative to our own history, I think the Pahlavis were actually one of the least corrupt regimes Iran had seen in centuries.

I know there were a few members of the Pahlavi family and a few timsaars and vazirs who were corrupt. But there were far many more clean, hard working and uncorrupt vazirs, timsaars and modir kols, etc.  that did not steal even one toman, or engaged even once in a morally corrupt activity.

In 1978, in the name of a few corrupt individuals, we declared all the other majority of uncorrupt, morally sound and hard working high ranking officers of the government and army, as "corrupt" and "mofsede fel arz". We spitted on their many years of clean and honest work, which was benefiting the country and us, in order to statiate our anger and ignorance. And in the process, we destroyed their lives.

And if there exists a God, perhaps He brought the IRI to Iran to punish us. I don't really believe in god, but I have always thought about this possiblity.

Of course, the issue of corruption is only one example of the many issues we were looking at in absolute terms.

Back in 1978, I was one of regular demonstrators in the streets of Tehran, shouting "death to the shah" and calling him corrput. Today, I live with regret and the agony of seeing the results of what happened to Iran, and do so on a daily basis.


Hovakh., If I understand your last point correctly,

by oktaby on

it poses a distinct problem: separation of domestic vs. foreign supported entities as few homegrown entities have survived this regime. Those who still do, have done so with some foreign support either human rights organizations or Iranians outside and that can be painted as foreign support. Many in jail now may be alive due to that support. It is like the tax issue here, that is easy to beat up people with. Or, are you suggesting a litmus test?