Dr Shapour Bakhtiar


Dr Shapour Bakhtiar
by IRANdokht

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the brutal assassination of a true patriot.

Dr Shapour Bakhtiar was our last hope during the chaos of 1979. After 25 years of being a member of the opposition to Shah's regime, a firm opponent of all totalitarian rulers, Dr Bakhtiar courageously accepted the prime minister position at the very end of the Persian monarchy, fighting to save his beloved country from the bloody claws of the islamic theocracy. His voice was only brave one, resisting the impeding catastrophe that eventually fell upon our Iran.

Dr Bakhtiar foresaw what other intellectuals of the times were too blind to see: He called for a peaceful transition to a democratic government instead of an islamic republic.

Dr Bakhtiar endured accusations, harrassments and protests every day of the short time he was in office, and faced with all the emotionally charged riots, he offered Iranians the only time in the history when freedom of speech was enjoyed by all, the newspapers and newsletters were distributed without any censorship. The TV and the radio, although run by goverment, covered all the news without bias or any cover-ups and most importantly he disbanded SAVAK.

How did the people of Iran respond to such a great man? I don't even want to remember the insulting slogans, the false accusations and the ignorance that had creeped over our people...

I am sure some of you remember those days better than I do. But does any of you still cry when you think back and wonder why nobody supported this great man's fight to save Iran?

Dr. Bakhtiar was brutally assassinated by the agents of IRI in 1991 at his home in Paris.

May this lone hero of our times rest in eternal peace.

Part 1

Part 2


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Shining Head

Shah Made a Mistake in Choosing him ....

by Shining Head on

Bakhtiar was officially in SAVAK jail when shah elected him as prime minister. However, in fact he was living in Paris.  There were quite a few "Savak prisoners" like that. Most savak prisonors who were poor and unrelated to the "dynasty" were in fact kept in jail or killed. While living in paris, this Bhatiar fellow became more of a soosool than a revolutionary, or a  man capabale of withstanding a powerful  revolution. Shah flew him in from Paris  and said to him, you are now forgiven and don't have to spend time in Savak jail (wink wink Paris). In fact come and be a prime minister so that you can save my ass. How can a bacheh soosool who spends his time gambling and screwing (while being paid by the iranian government to stay out of trouble! in Paris) withstand the push and power of "people's revolution"? The rest is history.


This needs to be on the front page for awhile

by Monda on

to show our solidarity in his rememberance, even for a short while. Many of the younger Iranians need to know of the possibilities that existed before this form of government took over. Posts like this one should make one think "what if?"

Thanks Irandokht.


dear Parham

by Souri on

I read your comment and enjoyed all you said heartedly.

There's still something I doubt about : " it shows some judgment standards are still universal and never change no matter what".

Although I really hope that would be true, but I doubt still Iranian inside of the country do share same value with us about this.

Don't forget, in this website, we are all Iranian outside of the country, and for most of all, we live where "democratic values" have been tested and proved since decades (if not centuries)

But over all, I believe you are right as it still a good start for
"Unity could exist among Iranian"...Let hope for that.


Thanks For Your Support!

by Killjoy (not verified) on

Dear friends,

I would like to thank those of you who agreed with the idea I expressed about keeping this blog on the front page for several days.

Rosie T.

Almost everyone here always agreed about Bakhtiar (pls.read all)

by Rosie T. on

Last year during the Wild Wild West it was also the only place where people could make peace with each other. As I recall it was Darius Kadivar who posted both a blog and photos at top of page of him at the same time. It was a brilliant move on Darius'spart. The ocnversatio really started to shift here, but then I believe Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and the topic got lost.

I don't think you should just leave it at this blog.Even if the blog stays up longer than usual you have to remember that the general readership focuses on articles much more than blogs Someone should write an article about what Bakhtiar means, how it shows what you all have in common, and continuethe discussion there.

.People really have to start using this website as a means for Truth and Reconciliation. Before it was the Wild Wild West and now it is civilized dialog but I have notice3d that in a way the dialog is getting more polarized than before It's like there's a Cold War instead of a hot war and people are also getting VERY hung up on semantics (but not in a productive way), It seems to me that sometimmes in the heat of passion of the craziness last year more meaningful exchanges sometimes transpired..not to say the moderation system isn't EXCELLENT, it IS..but what's next?

JJ said once to me that his vision was for all the people on all "sides" to be able to sit at a table together without killing each other. (Interestingly Dr. Martin Luther King talked about blacks and whites sitting at a table together in his I HAve a Dream speech AND IT HAPPENED.).

Well now you are already sitting at a table, This is the table.

but what are you eating and digesting?

Truth and Reconciliation has to be the goal here. One by one, two by two. Between individuals. No one is going to organize an effective strategy for the overthrow of IRI or for its swifter peaceful evolution next week on these threads. What you can do is make peace with each other and that's EVERYTHING. That's where it all begins. (And ends...the means IS the end...)

I think Dr. Bakhtiar is a very good place to start. You should always remember him when you are getting further away from each other. And remind each other too.

I say this as an onlooker. You are all actors in the play. I have had a front row seat for almost a year. I am sincerely trying to offer you the best I can.




To ponder upon

by Parham on

One thing I find amazing after having read the comments under this blog post is that the people who would normally have been at each other's throat discussing other political subjects, practically all unanimously agree on what type of a man Shapour Bakhtiar was. I think this is very important in that it shows some judgment standards are still universal and never change no matter what. It also shows that unity can and does exist among Iranians when it comes to certain fundamental values.
And to the person who asked what Bakhtiar did for Iran, I'd say perhaps he set a true democratic role model to follow politically, something not too many have been able to do in our recent history.


Before my time...but

by sadegh on

Before my time...but brilliant post IranDokht...thanks so much...Iranian history is replete with tragic figures and heroes...it's almost as if we can only understand them after it's too late and death, destruction and violence have been set into motion and emerged as the norm...

Ba Arezu-ye Movafaghiat, Sadegh



To kaveh N

by amirkabear4u on

YOU SEE I WAS RIGHT YOU ARE for three reasons;

one is you said, " I still have my passport that says "Empire of Iran", while you probably have one issued by the IRI, complete with the "blessing" of your beloved Imam, who sat upon on it and let out a cloud of intestinal gases that still have a profound effect on the thinning of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, much like the BS you spew". This is self expalanatory which you can figure it out after some thought (i.e. considering your IQ).

Secondly the whole idea of blogging is to express yourself if you do not agree to something or do not understand. This is were your problem lies. Besides you have the backward attitude to insult other people because you want to express yourself. At what university have you been educated? People like you take the advantage of democracy by insulting others then call it freedom.

Third reason is that you are blessed with such a minute amount of IQ that the moment someone has different points of views means he is an IRI supporter. I do not have an imam. I understand we do not live in an ideal world (becuase you live in it) why don't you understand this is not an ideal world!

May Bakhtiar rest in peace.


JM/Bakhtiar would have succeeded if...

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

JM/Bakhtiar would have succeeded if Shah had allowed them to be more visible long before he appointed Bakhtiar. Good part of the very large and prosperous Iranian middle would have had enough time to gather around JM..... Ironically Shah was playing with 'RastAkhiz party' at the time, which did not help him 'stand' ... and 'move on' a bit!


Too little, Too Late

by Khar on

No doubt he was a Vatan Parast and he meant well. But became a pawn a patsy (He had to learn about the Army’s surrender from a radio news broadcast!); he was dealt a bad hand as if by design, too little. He was given the task of keeping together the House of Cards that Shah and his gang built for 37 years, too late! If the Mossadegh-ha, Fatemi-ha, Bakhtiar-ha and va, va, va many others were ALLOWED the opportunity the first time around (1950's) I promise you these last 30 years would not have been part of our history. We reap what we sow va az maast ke bar maast! I'm sure history will judge him with a sympathy, an uneasy Shakespearean sympathy if you will. Roohesh Shad.


Dr. Bakhtiar's interview

by No Anonymous (not verified) on

Dr. Bakhtiar's interview (uncut)

More on Bakhtiar:

Shapour Bakhtiar - former Prime Minister, leader of the National Movement of the Iranian Resistance - and his secretary Soroush Katibeh stabbed to death in the Paris suburb of Suresnes in August 1991.

"... six conspirators were found guilty in the 1991 assassination of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar in a Paris suburb. Among them was an Iranian government official convicted in absentia. "The Bakhtiar affair totally implicates Tehran," says a French judicial source familiar with the case."


August 1998 ahead of the visit to Iran by French Foreign Minister (Hubert Vedrine), France released Massud Hendi an Iranian who was convicted and jailed for this murder... described it as a "mockery of France's judicial system".


Kill Joy: I second that

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Kill Joy: I second that motion. Please Mr. JJ keep this post up on the front page in his memorium at least for this month. We could designate August as "Bakhtiar's month".

Dear Ahvazi:
I don't know his exact position; prime minister or some other appelations. If you have a more accurate account of his exact title please do share with the rest of us.


Iranians are a bunch of

by MythBuster (not verified) on

Iranians are a bunch of ungrateful morons and thats why we as a nation have been so F'ed up.

What did Bakhtiar do for Iran?!!

I can name 200 things Reza Shan did for Iran.

How come no one signs his praise? Because we are morons.

ebi amirhosseini

Killjoy aziz

by ebi amirhosseini on

you said it all,



Dear friends

by IRANdokht on

Thank you all for your contributions to keep Dr Bakhtiar's memory alive. It means a lot!

I also agree with KillJoy that this is possibly the best chance for all of us to discuss our country without resorting to negativity and to show appreciation for our hero.  

Even if not technically possible to keep this blog on the first page, there is a link on the page under MOST DISCUSSED .   

Best regards


Masoud Kazemzadeh

JJ jaan

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

JJ jaan,

I would like to second the great idea by Killjoy. It would be a tribute to a great man, who gave all his adult life to Iran, including his life.

Best regards,


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

Great idea, on all three points.

Small request, but a tremendous gesture.

If such a request is a matter of popular vote, consider this to be my vote in favor of the request.


A Small Request!

by Killjoy (not verified) on

Dear JJ,

Would it be, editorially, possible to keep this blog(IRANdokhot's)on the front page for several days?

I'm making this request for the following reasons:

1. Out of respect for Dr. Bakhtiar, a rare man in the Iranian history.

2. This should also act as a reminder to all those Iranians who love their country that there will always be bloodshed, as long as the Rulling Terrorists are in charge in Tehran.

3. Thanks to Dr. Bakhtiar's memory and perhaps for the first time on this site, Iranians are not at each other's throat!



Bakhtiar taskhire khos beed!

by Persian (not verified) on

Many years ago we had a man who would come to our neighborhood to pick up the trash.He was Bakhtiari and any time he would come to our house he would talk to us and with his bakhtiari accent would say" Bakhtiar taskhire khos beed khos khose badbekht kerd"It was his own fault ,he was the one brought the misfortune upon himself. .After many years I still do not know what he meant by that.But whatever that meant if bakhtiar was a patriot god bless his soul and the rest of people souls who gave their lives for Iran.


Why Bakhtiar chose to be the Shah's Prime Minister?

by ahvazi on


Shapoor Bakhtiar had been imprisoned by the Shah. When he did agree to become the PM, he knew that perhaps the chance had finally come to get rid of the despotic rule and fulfill the constitutional revolution and bring Iranian society to a democratic and free era. Additionally he also knew that if the Akhoonds (no offense to my Hezbollahi hamvatans) took power they would crap on Iran and destroy it.

Ofcourse his own party sanctioned him and in blindness and euphoria of the time, the people ran towards khomeini and his group, abondoning Bakhtiar.

Roohat shaad Bakhtiar.


I think one of the reasons

by anonymousaaa (not verified) on

I think one of the reasons we can't come to a compromise is the lack of closure... As a community we're still in the first stage of grief and we might be stock on this stages in a long time.


Shahpour Bakhtiar accepted

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Shahpour Bakhtiar accepted the position of Prime Minister on one condition, that the Shah left the country for a short period of time until the situation was under control - in yet another bid to calm tensions; the Shah who did not want any further innocent blood to be shed by the violent revolutionary gangs agreed.

An excerpt from one of the articles recounts the brutal assasination of Dr Shapour Bakhtiar:


one of the two men struck Bakhtiar with a paralyzing blow to the throat, possibly with a forearm chop, crushing the older man's larynx. He could neither cry for help nor breathe.

Then, with a butcher knife and bread knife retrieved from Bakhtiar's kitchen, they stabbed him 13 times in the neck and shoulders -- then cut his throat. They also cut his wrists and removed Bakhtiar's Rolex watch as "a trophy," police said, to prove they had accomplished their mission.

Bakhtiar was dead when his secretary returned from the terrace and was similarly slain. Calmly and efficiently, exhibiting uncommon discipline and professional skill, the assailants cleaned up the most visible signs of blood on their clothing. The knives were returned to the sink. The phone was taken off the hook.

A scanned interview by Newsweek with Dr Shapour Bakhtiar (July 30, 1984) can be viewed HERE.

Rosie T.

Ebi, Jamshid, every generation...

by Rosie T. on

leaves a mixed legacy.  I have been thinking about my generation, the Woodstock generation, in light of Nazy Kaviani's article last year called "My Generation" on the generation of the Iranian "Revolution.", their mistakes, their naivete.

The ultimate value of a generation's legacy can only be measured in terms of what is done with it by the succeeding generations and what the now elders choose to do with it as they reflect upon their youth.

Learn the lessons and move forward, with responsibilty for your mistakes and with regrets, but without guilt or reproach.  Take the best and leave the rest. The best is always HOPE. Andhope is always peace.

"Water your dead and grow a new world. It is the ony way you can honor them." (Rosie Tozieh aaid that last year...seems so long ago...)

Do it right here. Right now. Make peace with yourselves. Make peace with each other. What more can you ask? It's more than enough...for now...isn't it?  What other choice is ther? It's the very best you can do.  Thank god for this new technology. We are all connected.

This website is a caravan of dreams. It will be whatever you dream it to be.  Dream peace. Dream hope/  Dream wholeness. Dream Truth and Reconciliation.

Do it for Dr. Bakhtiar. Water him. Right here. Right now.

Do it for yourselves.  Do it for each other.

Do it now.

Much love always,
Robin Jayne Goldsmith

New York City


Masoud Kazemzadeh

on JM and NAMIR

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

NAMIR statement on the assassination of Dr. Bakhtiar:



photos of Dr. Bakhtiar:






Some of the words in the exchanges in this thread are not the kind of exchanges of perspectives that members of Jebhe Melli and NAMIR have.  The JM and NAMIR are sister organizations, very much like those mentioned here:



others include Liberal democrats of Iran //www.iranliberal.com/

Hezb Mellat Iran //melliun.org/hezbemel02.htm





We debate what was the best policy back in 1979. This following exemplify the type of exchanges we have:





All of our sister organizations want freedom, democracy, human rights, and social justice. Our differences are over analysis on a particular situation and what may have been, or is, the best policy. Our information then, and now, is limited by our circumstances. We debate respectfully. Once in a while, someone gets too emotional, others counsel rational discourse. All our sister organizations are decent pro-democracy groups that have sacrificed so much, putting their lives, liberties, and fortune on the line. It is not fair to say that members of this faction or that faction wanted power. Members of our sister organizations (JM, NAMIR, HMI, LibDemIran) are women and men of principles. They have sacrificed for our principles of freedom and democracy. It is false to say that Dr. Bakhtiar accepted to become PM because he wanted to be prime minister. It is false to say that JM leaders who disagreed with Dr. Bakhtiar did so because they wanted to get positions from Khomeini. Why? If Dr. Bakhtiar’s motivation was to be PM, he would have done so between 1953 and 1979, when the Shah would have loved to have someone with his stature accept working for the shah. In actual fact, Dr. Sanjabi refused to accept Khomeini’s offer to become a member of Shoray Enghelab because of his principled opposition to have such an entity. Dr. Sanjabi resigned in about 45 days because of his principled opposition to Khomeini’s interferences and his support for Khalkhali and komiteh and the violations of due process.

We need to learn from these historical experiences so that they would help us in our struggles against the fascist fundamentalist terrorist regime. The goal is to put an end to the nightmarish fascist terrorist regime oppressing and brutalizing the Iranian people.



Dr. Bakhtiar, like other brave pro-democracy leaders in our recent history, from Dr. Mossadegh, to Dr. Fatemi, Dr. Sanjabi, Dariush Forouhar, Parvaneh Eskandari-Forouhar, Dr. Allahyar Saleh, Dr. Seddighi, Dr. Ardalan, Dr. Shayegan, Khalil Maleki, Abbas Amirentezam and..... have done all they could to establish freedom and democracy and justice. Each had his or her strengths and shortcomings. We are lucky to have had so many brave democratic leaders among us. We need to continue this struggle until we defeat the forces of tyranny and repression, and establish freedom and democracy in our beloved Iran.







Thank you Irandokht!

by Anonymous4now on

I was beginning to think that nobody would believe me if I claimed that I did not support the revolution and considered Bakhtiar a last hope to save Iran from falling into the hands of the mullahs, then I saw Mehran-001’s post.  


I had been brought up wise to the ways of the mullah by my father, but was shocked and horrified to find out, years later, that my father had stayed up the night before Khomeini’s return, in celebration!


I was in the U.S. at the time and was known as a Shahi and an ertejaii.  Other students could not and would not listen.  They would even change the TV channel if Bakhtyar appeared on news clips.  He was considered tainted and compromised.


You are right Irandokht, we have not learnt anything.  Everyone still wants it all his or her way and no one has learnt the art of compromise to arrive at an optimal solution.  It hurts me as much, today to see people bad mouth activists like Batebi because he appeared on VoA.  Guilt by association is still the fundamental block of our reasoning.  Bakhtiar had no chance because we weren’t listening. 


Jamshid is right.  Had his National Front pals lent their support to him, the outcome may have been different.  But how long can we live in the past?  Judging by the intellectual rift amongst people on this site, we are more fractured, and just as disillusioned, and sometimes as misinformed, as in those days. 


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

You bring up some very valid questions that 30 years later still have no clear answer. And every day that passes makes it that much more unlikely that we'll ever know the answer.

Somehow I think that within that puzzle you mentioned lies the solution that would have shifted the balance of power with better results than what we have now.

Well, at least that's what I'd like to believe.

ebi amirhosseini

Re: Ebi

by ebi amirhosseini on

Your wish is my command!.

best wishes

Jahanshah Rashidian

Bed'at of the Jebheh

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Dr. Bakhtiar was a follower of Mossadegh--he hanged Mosadegh's portrait in his office when he was Shah's PM. He was a companion of the Jebhehmelli. He thought his government was on line with Mosadegh'. But he was ousted from the Jebheh as soon as he accepted the post of PM . Was this split because of a confused position or simply a wrong timing of the Jebheh, which by the way was ready to govern before Khomeini got upper hand in the opposition.

Why the Jebheh criticised the Shah's despotism, but could not foresee the totalitarian character of Mullahs? Has it made a gaffe like many others did or it was a part of their bed'at with Khomeini and his team?

I know that the shah had long discussions with Sadighi, Sanjabi, Amini, who was not from the Jebheh but a US-recommended candidate of PM, to desperately convince them to form a cabinet.

Why only Bakhtiar accepted the post when he could not even easily find cabinet ministers remains a puzzle. I wish some trustful historians can shed light on both the role of the Jebhehmelli in the rise of Islamism and the 36-day cabinet of the last Shah's PM.





by IRANdokht on

Thank you or your comment. I am glad you changed your mind and saw Dr Bakhtiar for the patriot he really was.

you said:

at least he would say "let's be now all together to get rid of the IRI, the main enemy of Iran."

From what I know of this great man, he would not encourage any attack (military or economic) on his beloved country. Yes he would want us to unite against IRI, but he was not the type to let the end justify the means.

Thanks again




by IRANdokht on

I am sorry I did not mean to, but I missed your name in my reply to all.

Thanks again for your input and for granting my request ;-)