Decades after the events of 1950’s in Iran, there is still a lot of heated debates about what happened, who was to blame and why? The issue which in some people’s view, originated from intervention of foreign elements in order to influence Iran’s political process, had profound impact on the future events which happened during the years after that. Antagonistic atmosphere of Iranian politics has always been filled with extremist tendencies and emotions towards one side or another during this period which contributed a lot to creation of many unfounded stories around those events that eventually resulted in start of one of the cruelest governing systems of the world in our country.
Logical and thorough analysis of these historical events requires true neutrality towards all sides in order to bring a fair conclusion to a chapter in Iran’s modern history and find out what went wrong without looking for someone to blame. It goes without saying that historical events of this magnitude can not be result of mistakes or bad intentions of a single person considering that every human being is capable of making mistakes while others can view those mistakes with different interpretations depending on their own political stand. To this day, Islamic regime of Iran and some other extremist elements with different political affiliations have been trying to take advantage of the situation by adding to misinformation and confusion about this matter. This cycle must be stopped and Iranians need to get over the paranoia about the events that has paralyzed their ability to deal with current issues at hand.
First step in this direction is to admit the existence of an issue that needs to be addressed in order to reach a settlement and create the grounds for further progress in the politics of the nation with confidence and trust. We need to put an end to all these bickering about the issues of the past which have been used by enemies to create division among our democratic forces. Who says that we “have to” be either on the side of Dr. Mossadegh or the Shah? A realistic analysis of the services by these two patriotic leaders will clearly show that they were both working for the interests of the nation. Political differences and judgment errors based on lack of proper and mutual understanding and also miscommunications happens between political leaders in the world everyday. Why should this matter have such a destructive effect over political destiny of a nation for so long?!
Unfortunately for Iranian people, geographical situation of the country has been an important contributing factor to many problems for them during centuries. The rulings of different conquerors that came to their land for wealth and fortune since the end of Sassanid era have made the situation worse every time. Even assimilation of some of those conqueror tribes did not save the nation from being treated as “conquered” for a very long time and destructive effects and influence of that status in every stage became a preface to another disastrous chapter in the nation’s history. Surely, there have been times when Iranians have had some relative peace here and there with coming of a patriotic and caring leader but every time, that period of peace has been interrupted by eruption of brutality from another treasure hunter or greedy conqueror.
Tragic endings to stories of people like Babak Khoramdin, Abumuslim Khorasani, Maziar, Yaghub Leys Safari, Hassan Sabah and countless other known and unknown figures who tried their best to counter destructive forces of occupiers and invaders is a small portion from a long list that indicate the extent of efforts which have been made by Iranians to recover from the status of conquered. Political use of Shiite religious ideology during rule of Safavid tribe in order to repel the neighboring nation which was attempting to create an Islamic empire was a genius idea at that time in giving a distinctive status to the nation and separate them from the rest of Islamic world but extremist attitude that resulted from it became a hazardous byproduct which Iranians have to deal with till this day.
The damage caused by status of “conquered” that has continued for centuries has in fact become embedded in Iranian culture so deeply that it has created a cloud of distrust and paranoia over political atmosphere of the nation. Destructive influence of powerful colonial empires particularly during the reign of Kadjar kings made this matter even worse and competence and patriotism among Iranian politicians and leaders became a rare quality.
Expansion of the culture of “house boy” during this era, in which some Iranians openly showed their dependency to this or that foreign power by raising a flag on their rooftops to enjoy the privileges of this shameful act, had completely undermined the independence of the whole nation which once was a proud empire. At the same time, western civilization was advancing with speed of light and the number of Iranians who visited western nations was on the rise but these visitors could only convey their own wonders and admirations as a souvenir when they went back home! Among them, the new generation of Iranian leaders and politicians joined admirers of this or that western nation while failing to recognize their own problems and shortcomings in dealing with domestic issues.
Extreme poverty which was direct result from looting of Iranian national wealth by cruel tribal and national rulers, along with extensive power of religious figures who linked every simple event to divine powers and had control over all aspects of ordinary people’s lives, had created a lot of opportunities for prevalence of corruption and expansion of influence by colonial powers. It was under this circumstances which people like Qavam-ol-saltaneh, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh and Reza khan appeared in the political arena of Iran. Qavam and Dr. Mossadegh were aristocrats with links and relations to old school of Iranian politicians and long family history in that field while Reza khan, who came a bit later, was coming from the bottom of society with a considerable bag full of personal experience in poverty and all other issues that ordinary Iranians were facing in those days. Unlike Qavam and Dr. Mossadegh who had inherited their privileged status, Reza khan had gone through an adventurous and evolutionary process to get to where he was.
In simple words, Reza khan was an outsider while Qavam and Dr. Mossadegh were insiders to the ruling system who had both tribal and political links to the ruling class at that time. One could only expect that these differences in background would have an impact on relations between those people and the way that they viewed each other in the political battle field. One thing is certain about all of them and that is they all cared about well being of the nation and the differences came from their past experiences.
While Reza Khan later had the opportunity to implement some of his dreams through moving Iran in direction of becoming a modern and stable state, Qavam-ol-Saltaneh and Dr. Mossadegh made an imprint of their name in the history of our nation as patriotic leaders who deserve to be remembered with respect and honor. The issues and differences which came up later between Dr. Mossadegh and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran over implementing nationalization of Iranian oil industry should be analyzed and examined in the same context and with extreme caution. Both sides of this conflict definitely had mistakes and failures but blaming this or that side for all the problems with a “tit for tat” mentality will only prolong the shadow of distrust between political forces and prepares the ground for enemies to take advantage of this situation.