It is comments like the ones in this article (Tragic End, 06 Jan 2011) about the history of Iran that have caused added pain and depression to the young royals and millions of other Iranians who’ve been driven out of their beloved homeland.
Stephen Kinzer has clearly demonstrated partiality in this article as with some of his other articles. His biased viewpoint about the history of Iran has affected his judgment and political analysis, disregarding the Cold War during Mohammad Mosaddegh’s premiership and its effect on the politics of Iran as one of the most important countries in the conflict between the West and the Soviet Union.
Mumbling about more than 80 yeas of the Iranian history in just a few lines and in scattered comments here and there does not do justice to Iran and its people.
He seems to be somehow confused by his own analysis of Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza shah, while calling Reza Shah a very brutal ruler, he then criticises the young Mohammad Reza Shah for being cowardly wimp unlike his commanding father. This contradiction has also been demonstrated many times by those who branded Mohammad Reza brutal but after revolution called him a coward because he did not stand strongly against the demonstrators although it was suggested to him several times by his commanders.
The obvious fact of the effect of the Cold War after the Second World War during Mosaddegh’s government and the extreme influence of the Tudeh Party, which its seeds were sewed by the Soviet Union, has also been ignored in this article. A one time that many Iranians did not mind the interference of the CIA in the affairs of their country was the 1953 coup for what it is widely believed to be saving Iran from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union. Mossadegh, however with good intentions, was too naive and ambitious in believing there was any chance of real democracy considering the strong influence of the Soviet Union through her Iranian agents who toyed with Mossadegh and used him to achieve their sinister aims.
Stephen Kinzer also largely blames “the depredation of Pahlavi Dynasty” for the cruelty Iran has succumbed failing to recognise 31 years of political, economic, and social and every other adversity in any sense that a nation can experience.
He branded the Shah as a megalomaniac, a term that was first adopted by the West describing the Shah, I would say Mohammad Reza Shah was the symbol of stability and peace in the region for more than thirty years, something that none of the world’s superpowers have been able to manage ever since his departure 31 years ago. There are no perfect leaders and the judgment on them should be based on the geopolitics of their time and relative to their contemporaries.
The Writer is also blind and oblivious to the level of development and economic growth and brilliant global diplomacy during 37 years of Mohammad Reza Shah’s leadership compared to the level of political asphyxia and international isolation in the last 31 years of hell imposed on the Iranian nation. He states that young royals “are paying for the sins of their father”. Of course mistakes were made but his sins were no greater than many other world leaders before and after him, especially in developing countries. The “iron fist” ruler as described by the writer would not accept apology and forgive a man who plotted to kill him, a sin that would be severely punished in today’s Western and most civilised countries.
Stephen Kinzer’s article just few days after the death of prince Alireza Pahlavi is adding insult to injury for many Iranians who consider his death very close to home and another reminder of their own sorrow.