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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David jan

by IRANdokht on

you asked a very valid question:

The questions is when will we learn from our mistakes ?

As long as we think we know it all, we won't learn. The arguments I hear today for the international sanctions and a military attack on Iran are all stemmed from this same factor. People do not realize that their radical ideas on how to get rid of IRI that they helped put in place can one day end up in the destruction of the Iran's infrastructures and cost the lives of tens of thousands of people. It seems like things have to get worse before they realize they've made a mistake advocating such inhumane acts. That's when just regretting one's previous position is not good enough.

Emotionally charged ideas and activism has been proven wrong for our country. Why we do not learn to keep Iran's well-being on the top of our priority list, is beyond my comprehension.

Thanks again



Souri: I agree with you. The

by jamshid on

Souri: I agree with you. The army betrayed Bakhtiar. It could have easily bought Bakhtiar more time, time that he needed badly. It could have done so without bloodshed too.

 I always say it seems that abro baado maho khorshido falak... hameh dar kaar boodan ke in balaan sare iran biaad.

David ET: excellent analysis. I totally agree with your view.

Abarmard: People could have believed in Bakhtiar bringing democracy to Iran, had it not been for the poisonous propaganda of Islamists against him.

If Bakhtiar was alive and active today, I think you would find yourself opposing him since his first priority had always been the overthrow of the IRI.



by Abarmard on

That the sign of victory that people were showing and beeping happily was actually the defeat!

As I remember, people did not trust anything coming from the Shah, ultimately the west and the US. They did not believe that Bakhtiyar would bring a political independence. They thought that once they calm down, the government and SAVAK would take control and this time they would do it in such way that they would not be able to revolt again. Mistrust from the regime's actions and Mosadegh era was tattooed in people's memory.

Political independence, as I remember, was the actual, real and focus of the Iranian revolution far beyond the ideas of Democracy or civility or economy.


Khalayegh har che Layegh

by Mani624 (not verified) on

Baraye in mardome khar een hokoomat dorsteh. Bayad 100 sal shallaghe islam ro bekhoran ta bel-akhareh khar fahm shan ke Bakhtiar chee migoft.

Har chi bekeshan kam kesheedan.

Jahanshah Rashidian

It was too late

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

In 1977, Bakhtiar, along with other Jebhehmelli's leaders like Sanjabi, Foruhar, wote a letter to the Shah, criticising his failure in respecting the Constitution and human rights. The Shah ignored them and kept "yes sir" Hoveyda in office. When the Shah had to give up by accepting Bakhatiar instead of another general--Azhari--it was too late. Sadighi and other leaders of Jebheh refused the post, Sanjabi went to Paris to "bed'at" (compromise) with Khomeini. Not because they were against "constitutional" monarchy, but because they had no guts to stand against the islamisations of the pending revolution.

The revolution was underway, Islamic or democratic, leftist or nationalist, with or without Bakhtiar, with or without Gharehbaghi's compromise with the Gen Huser / Behshti-team.

It took me a long time to admire Bakhtiar's courage to take the command of a sinking boat. I still do not know what was his real aim--personal ambitions, safeguard of the old system, or transformation of the country into a social democtatic system , maybe a "republic", as he once hinted.

Now, I want to thank Irandokht or any positive voice about him for reminding us of Bakhtiar and let's think more in his caliber: at least he would say, "let's be now all together to get rid of the IRI, the main enemy of Iran." If he could survive the bloody claws of the Mullahs. And for such a solidarity it is not too late.


David ET

We are still making the same mistake!

by David ET on

Thank you for the timely article. Indeed Dr. Bakhtiar was a great man and Iranian hero, well ahead of his time who was not appreciated at the time by majority of Iranians and betrayed by his own comrades in National Front (Jebheh Meli) and other so called leaders and intellectuals whom instead of leading , also got caught up in the revolutionary fever of the time. There were other factors which also contributed such as lack of political education and awareness among masses and intellectuals due to years of Shah's dictatorship and closed society which did not allow exchange of thoughts. Other factor was the opposition of masses to anything or anyone who still was associated with continuance of Shah's rule (too little too late) including Bakhtiar's role as a prime minister especially after the experience of Mossadegh 1953 and return of Shah's dictatorship.

Possibly if Bakhtiar had not accepted the post of prime minister and instead had insisted on a secular republic and encouraged those in National Front and others to support the idea , people would have been more lenient to that option. Regardless, Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar will go down in history as a betrayed nationalist jewel of Iran .

Sadly, the right path often is often a lonely path.

The problem is not only that we Iranians did not appreciate true nationalists such as Mossadegh, Bakhtiar,..Farokhzad... and others ..., the problem is that to THIS DATE we still do not appreciate the true nationalists among us and it is ONLY after they are gone that we cry alas for them and for ourselves. At the time we think they have nothing to do with our future but years later when we see our future could have been altered for better if we had supported them, then we find out its too late.  

The questions is when will we learn from our mistakes ?   


Thank you Irandokht for your reply

by Souri on

Thanks for this clear observation :

" To those friends who are irritated by the positive and supportive comments: Better late than never! people do make mistakes...." 

I admire you for having said that. We learn, we do mistakes, we learn from our mistakes, sometime fast, sometime too long, but never late.

Great thank you.


Thank you for all your comments

by IRANdokht on

It's a relief to see such nice words from everyone. Dr Bakhtiar was a great man and a devoted patriot and he deserves our respect. To those friends who are irritated by the positive and supportive comments: Better late than never! people do make mistakes, Dr Bakhtiar was well aware of his political suicide, but his love for Iran superceded his political ambitions, or maybe he just over-estimated the Iranians logic, intelligence and patritotism.

Souri, Majid, Dr Hojjat, Mehran, Troneg, dear DK, Ahvazi, Samsam, Fair, Bakhtiari, N-A, killjoy, Abarmard I appreciate all your comments,

Here's just a few replies:

KavehV: thanks for the very sober account of those times. Maybe he should have, maybe he could...  the reality is Dr Bakhtiar was the only one who ever tried to save Iran! 

Azarin jan: I know, I was one of those soosool/taghooti who was bullied back then for not joining the protests and not seeing anyone's face on the moon. At least most of those same people have learned they were wrong. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Jamshid: Thank you for sharing your personal experience and being so honest and sincere. You're right Jebheh Melli didn't support him, becasue they were sell outs and looking forward to high positions in the "revolutionary government".

Safa Ali: Please don't hit anyone!!

Ali P: I should have remembered and mentioned "morgheh toofaan" when I was writing this. Thanks!

Kaveh jan: you and me both...   :-(



Mr. Bakhtiyar

by Abarmard on

Only if...


Thank you, Irandokht!

by Killjoy (not verified) on

A great man ideed. I'm not exaggerating when I say, he was the only ture patriot I ever came to know and admire.

Unfortunately, I was very ignorant and not interested in politics at all when Bakhtiar became Prime Minister, but my feelings towards him were, emotionally, positive. Now that I've gotten to know him I have a lot of respect for him as an honest man who wanted to do something good for his country.

I still cannot believe that so many people followed the mullahs. I said I was politically ignorant, but I was not so dumb to support the mullahs and I am very happy I never did.


Hero's Sangar

by Troneg on

He was the only one who has always kept his "Sangar".

People forget he also fought Nazis during second world war as a French resistance member.

Thanks for remembering him.

Maryam Hojjat

Thanks for Rememberance of this Great MAN!

by Maryam Hojjat on

Shapour Bakhtiar is a great politician in the modern history of IRAN.
I agree with magority of comments: 1) Jamshid, It was true that Jebeh e Meli betrayed Him, & shame on them.
2) Azarin, we Iranian are too late for supporting great heros like Bakhtiar and Mosadegh.
3) Kaveh Nouree well said"Bastard Mullahs stole Iran from Iranian"
May present catastrophe in history of beloved country teach us good lesson for bringing freedom and liberty to IRAN.


The writing was on the wall.....

by KavehV (not verified) on

I am not sure why Bakhtiar even accepted the prime minister post at the time. Most likely, it was a last chance effort to save the country, and if anyone, he alone would have known the importance of the dire situation.

For some reason, I still have this vivid memory of watching pro-constitution demonstration in Amjadiyeh stadium only a couple of weeks before 11th of Bahman. I vividly recall a 3-5 minute TV report on this demonstration. The crowd seemed emotional, but subdued, very unlike the energetic demonstrations against the regime. There were women crying with tearful chants, already mourning the coming disaster. Overall, it seemed like a demonstration acknowledging defeat, instead of resolute support for Bakhtiar's government.

The next thing I recall from this TV report was the chanting:"In Ast Shoaar-e Melat: Khoda Ghoraan , Mohammad", this had such an appeasing tone toward the Islamic crowd that I turned away.

At the end, I believe, this (conciliatory approach) was Bakhtiar's problem, he was trying to be a transition bridge at the last moment, but was swept away by the false storm. Too little, too late, perhaps.

In retrospect, after his murder at the hands of Islamisto terrorists and other countless acts of bloody Islamic barbarism in the preceding decade. One could argue that Bakhtiar's other option in 1979 would have been to become a willful disciplinary, making effective use of the security/military apparatus (and he had plenty at his disposal) to crush the rebellion. But as it turned out, even the military high command did not show much stomach for bloodshed, or may be they were already deceived by false promises of friends and adversaries alike.


It just applies

by Majid on

از شمار دو چشم یک تن کم

وز شمار خرد هزاران بیش 


Darius Kadivar

A hero by All Accounts

by Darius Kadivar on

A True Patriot and True Intellectual in the noble sense of the word. It was a shock to learn he was assassinated at the time despite protection by the police. The Assassins are still on the run and the only one arrested was liberated I believe by the French government of Mitterand in order to normalize relations with Iran. A True Scandal. And to think that he had also fought the Nazi's by joining the French Resistance and also fighting in the Spanish Civil War against the Fascists. It should serve a lesson to all the pseudo patriots today who see Ahmadinejad as the New Mossadegh. They really don't have any Aberoo. Forunately people are not so naive at least I hope they will think twice now remembering Bakhtiar's sacrifice and assassination by the likes of Ahmadinejad and the dirty henchmen of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran Hargez Nakhahad Mord

Roohash Shad

Azarin Sadegh

Dear Irandokht,

by Azarin Sadegh on

I was in Paris when islamists killed him, even if he was officially protected by the French Police (including his own son who was a high rank Police officer). But it took too long for the police to find out about what had happened. I attended his funeral, the same way I had attended the only political gathering I ever attended during the revolution. I remember so well that everybody was laughing at us back then, calling Bakhtiar supporters like betrayers, soosools, etc. 

His death was one of those events that moved me beyond my limits. It painted a darker view of the world and broke me in pieces. And when I glued my pieces together, the new person who wasn't me anymore saw the world as a world of hatred and darkness.

It took me years to get over his death before the next similar event.

Now, it's funny that everyone calls him a hero. I guess we admire only the dead heroes...

Thanks my dear, for reminding everyone of this sad event!



You can lead a horse to the water...

by Fair on

... but you can't make him drink.

We weren't ready.

30 years later we remember this great man who had what it took to speak his mind freely and not follow a herd. This is what every citizen should do in a democracy. As a nation, our response was ridicule and name calling (nokar-e-bee-ekhtiar). 18 years later, when Mr. Khatami said himself that he has "no ekhtiar" as president and had to go back on all his promises, so many still respected him and hoped that somehow he will miraculously bring change. Now let's honestly assess, which "reformist" president/prime minister was more popular and well received in their respective times?

Maybe what Bakhtiar really was lacking was a turban?

And thank you for reminding us of how Dr. Bakhtiar's own cohorts turned their back on him in favor of Khomeini. These men, entrusted with the nationalist legacy of Mossaddeq, screwed up so badly. They had one chance to make a history changing choice, and they got it so wrong. It is a lot easier to complain than to actually lead. And yet NONE of them have taken any responsibility for their gross incompetence.

Many Iranians like myself sorely miss Dr. Bakhtiar. Like all great people in history, they were ahead of their time and will be properly appreciated by their people hundreds of years later.


Roohash Shad.






Thank you for paying this

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Thank you for paying this wonderful tribute to one of the most genuine heroes in our history.

He should be remembred everyday.


May his brave sole rest in peace

by Mehran-001 (not verified) on

During the revolution, I was one of the few that were against the Mullahs and for Bakhtiar. His demeanor and the way he talked spoke greatly about the man. Alas that our people were brain washed by a stinking Mullah and hatred of the Shah blocked their vision at that time.
May he rest in peace



by Souri on

I believe you are right on this, adding to the fact that he was also betrayed buy the Army's chief (don't know how you name it in English) General Ghareh-baaghi at that time.

My sources are very valid. Bakhtiar was not aware that Gharebaghi will give up to the resistance. I have been told that, when Dr. Bakhtiar heard this from Ghareh-Baaghi, he was in his lunch time and he got so mad that he threw his dishes toward Ghareh-Baghi saying : If I knew you will betray me like this, I would establish my own government.

And Ebi jan:

At that time I was only 19 but had supported him. He called everybody for a
manifestation on the street very early in the morning.
I'd set my alarm clock, but it never rang (Thanks to my late father!!) and I
missed that manifestation for supporting him. he didn't survive so long
after that.

ebi amirhosseini

With all due respect,Let's be honest .....

by ebi amirhosseini on

with each other.How many of the poeple who here or in any other forum  shed tears for him now,accepted him then?evreybody?!blamed him for accepting the challenge.

Now that he is gone,everybody suddenly remembers what a great hero he was(by the way he died for Mashruteh,anybody remembers the anniversary)!.were where these poeple when in Amjadiyeh,some of us supported him & on way home,the so called revolutionary poeple( thank God cannot blame it on Hezbullah),attacked everybody,dragged women on the ground & threw stones at them( I still have the mark of 3 stitches on my head).

I saw another post ; farokhzad,the same story,when he was helping the kid POWs in Iraq,fighting for Iran's freedom,a lot of us just watched him,continued calling him Gay.

Dorud bar ravaan Paak Bakhtiyar & Farokhzad.

best wishes

P.s. Jamshid Jaan,appreciate your honest recollections :"I wish I supported him".

I rest my case!.



Re: Irandokht

by jamshid on

You wrote, "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?"

I do remember those days well. I was busy in the streets with many other university students fevereshly opposing the Shah's regime, instead of pausing and thinking.

And when I think back I do want to cry, except I can't find the tears anymore. Instead I feel a choke with such deep "hasrat" and regret that no words can describe.

Based on my experience and observations in those days, I think the main reason why Bakhtiar did not get more support is that his own party, Jebhey Melli, betrayed him. Sanjabi, Bazargaan, Foroohar, and many other influential members of the National Front, for all practical purposes, expelled Dr. Bakhtiar from the front. Only a few Jebheye Melli "rish sefids" such as Sadighi and Amini supported Bakhtiar.

Had Jebheye Melli unitedly stood for Dr. Bakhtiar and for his fight against the Islamic tidal wave that was on its way, Dr. Bakhtiar's chances of success would have enormously increased.

People who did not participate in the revolution and in the demonstrations probably don't realize that Jebheye Melli had a powerful influence on the majority of the demonstrators who were neither eslaami nor leftist. This was due to the fact that Jebheye Melli carried the entire weight of Dr. Mossadegh's reputation and political views.

I still remember Sanjabi giving his fiery speech against the regime, which included its legal prime minister, Dr Bakhtiar, and asking us, even demanding from us, to continue opposing the regime and accepting Khomeini's leadership.

This was repeated in one way or another by other members of Jebheye Melli's leadership which influenced us to abandon Bakhtiar in favor of Khomeini. It was then that Bakhtiar's fate was sealed.

And I am not saying these based on academic research. I say it based on my own direct experience of the prevalent atomsphere in the streets and among the revolution's participants whose majority consisted of ordinary citizens who were neither eslaami nor leftist.

God bless Dr. Bakhtiar's soul. He was a true hero and a martyr for Iran and for us Iranians. How I wish I had supported him, and how I wish he had succeded.

Safa Ali

The Iranian People

by Safa Ali on

It makes me angry when I think about it. I don't feel like crying, I feel like hitting something, or someone.

Iran used to have great leaders, Shapour Bakhtiar was without a doubt one of them. It was the people of Iran who betrayed, Bakhtiar, Hoveyda and the Shah. They traded them for Mullahs, and thats exactly what they deserve.

Ali P.

Morgheh Toofaan

by Ali P. on

When it comes to bravery, honor, love of Iran, and firm belief in democracy and the rule of law, can you name anyone in the contemporary Iranian history, who  comes even  close to the level of Bakhtiar?


"Chon oo dobaareh byaayad kesee? Mahaal...mahaal...

Hezaar saal bemaanee agar, cheh deer ,..cheh deer..."


Thank You IRANdokht for remembering.

Ali P.


Iranians didn't deserve that hero!

by bakhtiari (not verified) on

Just like they did not deserve Mossadegh.

bad az 30 saaleh nekbat o badbakhti, there are still Ali Reza's out there who don't get it!
Iran az dast raft! hanooz neshastand poshteh sareh ghahremaaneh melli harfeh moft mizanan.

khejalat dareh
heif az in mard keh khodesh ro ghorbanieh in mellateh namak-nashnaas kard.


Shapoor Bakhtiar

by ahvazi on


Khoda Biyamorzadesh. He will be remebered for his love of Iran and being a voice of reason in a time of chaos and excess....


The net result of

by samsam1111 on

a nation,s Baffoonic Rant = Generations buried in Sand.

The right hounorable Javid-Yad Shahpour Bakhtiar was and still is the Modern resurrection of our beloved  Ērān Spāhbod Rostam Farrokhzād in Ghadesiyeh. Zahak & his snakes will see that Shahpour will never die.

Once a Zahaki always a Zahaki.there is no such thing as Ex-Zahaki.

thx Irandokht for your timely blog (unlike us retarded men you ladies are good with dates & calenders :) & nice comments by all..  


""Iranians did not trust him""

I frankly lost total trust in what We eye-ranians trust  ..long time ago!

Now they are so overjoyed having a trustworthy Khaliffate al Qadesiyeh that they line up to get whipped daily.


Iranians did not trust him!

by ali reza (not verified) on

He was not trusted because he was put there by the Shah or his supporters.Therefore Iranians did not trust him.They probably thought that he may becomes a tool for USA for a while but later they wold bring the Shah back.


Thanks for remembering Dr. Shapoor Bakhtiar

by Souri on

He was a great man, a great nationalist and a real politician who knew what to do for our country.

Unfortunately, he came to the scene too late. Although I would say maybe
" it was still too soon" for the people to understand and value his

Kaveh Nouraee

May He Rest In Peace

by Kaveh Nouraee on

And may the IRI rot in Hell.

I still cry when I think about how these bastards stole Iran from Iranians.