Exposing the Myth of Reform in Iran


Sayeh Hassan
by Sayeh Hassan

Since the recent presidential [S]elections, the international community has had a real glimpse of the brutality and inhumanity of the Islamic Regime of Iran. We've seen peaceful protestors beaten, arrested and shot on the streets. We've heard reports of illegal arrests, torture and rape of protesters in Islamic Regime prisons. Scores of protesters have lost their lives under torture while at least three protestors have been sentenced to death because of their participation in the post [s]election protests.

What the international community needs to realize is that what we've seen in the past few months is nothing new. The Islamic Regime has been systematically arresting, torturing, raping and executing dissidents for the past 30 years.

Iranian people have not been silent in the face of severe persecution and brutality. For the past 30 years students, writers, journalists, women, workers, teachers and doctors just to name a few groups, have been fighting against the Regime in various ways. Iranian dissidents abroad have been fighting along their compatriots who are inside the country to make sure the voices of Iranian people are heard internationally.

Besides fighting against the Islamic Regime, since 1997 and especially in the past year, Iranians have come face to face with a new and much more dangerous enemy which is the so called "Reform" movement in Iran.

Because of the Iranian people's strength and determination to remove the Islamic Regime from power, the Regime felt threatened in the late 1990's. Dissent had increased, there were protests, Regime prisons were filled with dissidents and voter turn outs in both local and national elections were extremely low. This had created a question mark around the legitimacy of the Islamic Regime.

All of this caused the Regime to play a new card during the 1997 presidential [s]elections. The new card was a so called "Reformist" movement put forward by a Mullah called Mohammad Khatami. Khatami came forward with a smiling face and a platform of "Islamic Democracy" which included greater freedom for the Iranian people.

The Iranian people, especially students and women who were frustrated and angry with the Regime and craved change, went to the polls and voted overwhelmingly for Khatami. One must keep in mind that people did not have the opportunity to vote for a secular and democratic candidate, since all presidential candidates are handpicked by the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council. Therefore people decided to vote for a lesser evil. The voter turnout was over 70% that year, the highest the Regime had seen for years and once again the Islamic Regime had won the legitimacy it needed to continue its dictatorship rule.

It did not take very long for the Iranians to realize that Khatami was an integrated part of the Islamic Regime and did not intend to keep any of his promises. In fact some of the most brutal human rights violations took place during Khatami's presidency. This included the government sponsored chain murders of political dissidents and academics which took place in 1998 as well as the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy student demonstrations in July of 1999. During the protests thousands of students were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and some students were even murdered by Regime Agents. During the crackdown on the students Khatami showed his true colours by publicly siding with the Regime against the students and calling the pro-democracy protestors hoodlums and hooligans.

Khatami won a second term of presidency although with much lower voter turnout, because people had lost faith in this "reformist mullah." By the time 9th presidential [s]election had rolled around in 2005 the Regime had once again lost legitimacy and there were nationwide campaigns inside the country to boycott the [s]election. This was even through another so called moderator, reformist mullah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was running for the presidency. According to the Regime the voter turnout was 48% during those [s]elections although the actual figure may have been much lower. The winner as we all know was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Fast forward to the [s]elections of 2009, and once again people were angry and dissatisfied with the Islamic Regime, and the Regime was once again in trouble and facing legitimacy questions as well as pressure both internationally and nationally. Again the Regime played the reformist card, this time having Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi run as reformist candidates.

Both candidates were an integrated part and strong supporters of the Islamic Regime. They both had a history of extensive human rights violations against the Iranian people (which seems to be a pre-requisite for running for presidency) and there was no danger that they would ever turn against the Regime. Therefore they were prefect candidates to bring people to the polls and give the Regime a much needed legitimacy boost.

Here is a brief biography on the two so called reformist candidates:

Mousavi was the prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1988. In the summer of 1988 thousands of political prisoners were summarily executed after having three (minute) trials. At that time Mousavi was in a key and powerful position. However he did not lift a finger to stop the executions, and he has never condemned the executions. Most recently when brave Iranians took to the streets with the slogan of "independence, freedom, Iranian Republic" Mousavi came out and said the peoples slogan must be "Islamic Republic, not one word more and not one word less". Mousavi is a supporter of the Islamic Regime and all the atrocities committed by the Regime. He must be tried in a criminal court for the crimes he has committed against the Iranian people, before he is allowed to run for any public office.

Karoubi has also been an integrated part of the Islamic Regime for the past thirty years. He was the head of parliament while Khatami was the president. As well he is well known for ordering the torture of individuals and families who had lost a loved one or suffered in other ways during the Iran Iraq war. He ordered the torture of these individuals in the "Martyrdom Committee" which was a committee that had supposedly been created to help these families. Instead he was responsible for the abuse and torture of these individuals, and there are testimonies of people who were ordered to be tortured by Karoubi.

It is true that this year there was a relatively high voter turnout during the [S]elections, however once again we need to keep in mind that Iranian people are not free to choose what they want. They cannot vote for a system or a candidate they want, they cannot come into the streets and say they do not want the Islamic Regime. In this case they had a choice between bad and worse and they voted for bad, to show their dissatisfaction with the current system. This does not mean that Iranian people are supporters of the Islamic Regime, and the Regime is very much aware of this, which is why they do not allow for free elections.

Brave Iranians took to the streets in June of this year in numbers we had never seen before; many were dissatisfied with the [S]election results while many other activists and students were entirely against the Regime and had not taken part in the [S]elections. One of these individuals was a young girl called Neda who was shot to death on the street during the protests. Although reformists tried to use her name to their advantage, we soon found out that Neda had not voted and did not support any of the candidates.

For the past 30 years Iranian people have been dissatisfied with the Islamic Regime and have fought against the Regime in various ways. That is why the Regime prisons have always been filled with political prisoners and Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world. Iranian people are angry and dissatisfied with the entire system and we were all able to see this as the people's movement became more and more radical every day to the point where people were shouting "Mousavi is an excuse, the Entire Regime is target, death to the Islamic Regime and Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic." The Iranian people have shown unbelievable courage and the pro-democracy movement has gained great momentum in the past few months. By shouting these slogans, knowing that they might very well be risking their lives, the Iranian people and especially the Iranian youth have spoken and made it very clear that they want real change, they want Regime change.

Unfortunately the "reform camp" abroad which included actors, Nobel peace prize winners, writers, beauty queens, former political prisoners and even some political groups in exile, are doing everything in their power to undermine the people's pro-democracy, anti regime movement and to relate this movement to a reformist movement taking place within the frame work of the Islamic Regime. While the Iranian people have taken to the streets saying death to the Islamic Regime, the reform camp is referring to Mousavi and Karoubi as "opposition leaders" and trying to buy them legitimacy abroad.

Although it is easy to fall for this pro-reform propaganda, which is ultimately pro-Islamic Regime propaganda, we must be diligent in our support for the people's pro-democracy movement and to condemn the so called pro-reform movement which is nothing more than an attempt to keep the Islamic Regime in power, this time under the guise of Reform.

The People of Iran have taken to the streets and spoken loud and clear that they do not want the Islamic Regime, they don't want the hardliners or the reformers, they want real change, they want Regime change. There are groups and individuals who are supporting the reformist movement because they do not want Regime change and their interests lie within the Islamic Regime and its reformist camp. We must see through their propaganda and stand behind the Iranian people instead, in their quest for a FREE, INDEPENDENT, IRANIAN REPUBLIC.

By: Sayeh Hassan


more from Sayeh Hassan
Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime

Great summary...!

by Everybody Loves Somebody ... on

of the history of the Islamic Republic Reform movement over the past two decades.

Back in the 80's, Bud McFarlane, the NSA to Ronald Regan used to call Rafsanjani as a moderate element of the Mullahs regime!

The four important questions/discussion points/food for thought are:

a) What is the definition of an "Iranian Republic?"

b) Who are the leader(s) to rally masses behind in the pursuit of a regime change all the way to the goal/objective destination?

c) How does one "unify" masses to achieve the objective in (b)?

d) Can one suggest a simulation/emulation study in a small laboratory setting where (b) and (c) can be experimented and measured in terms of success/failure e.g., let's have an experiment in Iranian.com community where a group of people try to rally others behind? Better yet, let's have a gathering in front of the White House on a certain date demanding a regime change in Iran. Any suggestions what flag I should be carrying with me? Shir'o Khorsheed? Sag'o Gorbeh? You order and I will follow! I mean it, no sarcasm is intended here implicitly or explicitly!

Darius Kadivar

Elham57 Jaan Oh OK ? ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

No not these days especially after having been Banned for a week for much less ...

Don't want to give my enemies in cyber space mentioned below more ammunition ...

No Hard Feelings,

take care,



No sense of humor?

by Elham57 on

I was being sarcastic :-)

We luv U.

Darius Kadivar

Elham57 Jaan Don't you have ADSL Bandwith ?

by Darius Kadivar on

As I said I will Try but no need to turn this into a regular and endless debate to piss me off and piss my mood. 

Are you guys trying to Ban me from this website again ? While others Publish Crap and get away with it like Q, Jahelo and so forth ?

I can't help if your bandwith is slow.

Have a nice weekend,




by Elham57 on

ptherani is right.

I have a million things to do. I do not have time to read your long comment. Skipping it is also not easy: I have to put my finger on that middle botton on my mouse,..and,...click...click...click...scroll down, until it is finally skipped to the next comment.

Darius Kadivar

ptehrani Shoma keeh basheed ? ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Are you an admin on the site ?

Will try too though.




keep comments short

by ptehrani on


 Please keep your comments short and link to another article if you need to.

 Thank you

Darius Kadivar

How do You know they Want a Republic ?

by Darius Kadivar on

There is no probe which indicates what people really want if they had the choice.

Slogans like Johuryeh Irani shouted here and there are logical slogans in regard to the people's will to see a separation of State and Religion all the more that it contradicts the current regime's religious nature.

But if people were free to debate openly on this issue, you may be surprised by the responses you will get. All the more that many new documents indicate that the Revolution of 1979 come across more and more as a missed opportunity to reform the Monarchy into a Truly Constitutional One like in European monarchies today.

The Revolution WAS A HOAX ! Most probably a POPULAR ONE but a HOAX Nevertheless.

It will be Very difficult to justify for future generations that the Revolution of 1979 was anything else that the expression of frustration by a NAMAK NASHNAS Generation of Iranians who proved to be particularly immature in expressing their true demands.

Nation Building Cannot be undertook Only With OGHDEH !

I Personally Believe that the Best path towards democracy is through a British, Belgium or Spanish Like Restoration.

It's worked in these countries and I don't see how it cannot be done in Iran since I very much doubt that Reza Pahlavi can behave as a dictator and even less his daughter if she ascends to the Throne in the future.

You Can't Always Get What you Want !

I don't see how you can achieve National Reconciliation by excluding others or by ignoring your History.

For Once I agree with Marge. Whoever comes to power and no matter the form of the future democratic regime be it a Republic or a Constitutional Monarchy, they will have a HUGE Challenge in front of them and that is to maintain civil peace and stability in a society that will have to overcome many difficulties and not just economic.

Our Nation was run by Kings ( Good or Bad) for centuries and it's unity depended on the Crown.

If you liberate the energies in all directions in a revolutionary climate you may be faced by Seperatist demands in such regions as Kurdistan or Balouchestan and I very much doubt that a President even Elected will be able to have the respect that a King or Queen can have in our country from a symbolic point of view.

It does not mean that the King or Queen will have to power to decide anything but a Prime Minister can always claim that the Crown's legitimacy and the Constitution that defines it derives from the people and not from God like under this turbaned dynasty.

The Crown like in England or Spain symbolizes the UNITY not the Power of the person who embodies it.

King Juan Carlos of Spain Takes OATH in front of Parliment as Constitutional King and promises to respect the Constitution (1976):


I believe that this is the best and most logical solution for Our country too.

PRINCE OF PERSIA: Barbara Walters Interview with Crown Prince Reza (2002)

Protected by the Constitution and with the political awarness of our people today unlike in previous decades No King or Queen could breach the Constitution as it was the case under the former  Pahlavi Kingsor Last Qajar Kings.

My humble Opinion,



Let's unite

by ptehrani on

Nice article. However I think this is all ok!

Sometimes small people play big roles in History! The good thing is the Iranian people have grasped the opportunity that mousavi and the election created six months ago! I was myself against the whole election, thinking of it as a pure staged play (which is was). But I now realize that it played an important role the regime did not expect.

Similarly it is a good thing that Mousavi and Karoubi are still protesting the regime. Not enough but the Iranian people are seizing the opportunity. Let's agree that Mousavi and Karoubi are taking major risks (his newphew was killed 7 days ago!) and recognize their contribution even if in the past they have significantly helped the regime. The Iranian people is generous and forgiving. If they can help the new revolution by even 1 small step, then we are grateful to them.

ALso please read my article:


I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

the first leader to emerge from this mess

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

will not be successful or lucky. like obama, he OR SHE, will have a lot of work cut out for him or her. Don't feel so bad for a reform figure to come about. He won't be permanent and people won't tolerate shenanigans after the bloodshed.