Raha Etemadi listens to some of the numerous messages of his documentary aired worldwide and beamed into Iran via Satellite which was viewed more than 268,000 times just on youtube. The Shahbanou of Iran’s own office was flooded by warm messages by fellow compatriots ( See Her Majesty’s Message)
Viewers Messages to Raha Etemadi the Producer of the Documentary « From Tehran to Cairo »
THOUSANDS of Iranians are contacting the widow of the last Shah as dissatisfaction with the Islamic Revolution grows, it has been revealed.
It is the latest evidence of widespread discontent within the fundamentalist state, which has been hit by economic mismanagement and the effects of international sanctions and faces the prospect of impending military conflict with Israel over its nuclear programme.
Empress Farah, 73, who has lived in exile since Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi was forced to flee the country in 1979 following a coup led by the religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini, revealed she has been deluged with thousands of e-mails following a release of a documentary three weeks ago on YouTube.
The film, in which she explained the final years of the reign of the Shah, who died in 1980, has been viewed more than 268,000 times.
Speaking from her home in Paris, she said: “From the onset, the Islamic Republic of Iran created malicious myths and lies about the Pahlavi era that the public bought into. Although it has continued to do so throughout these past 33 years, people can now see through them and are therefore avidly seeking to find the truth.
“It is fortunate that the advance in internet technology has unveiled many secrets and thus exposed so many lies. To quote my son, Prince Reza, if Khomeini came to power with the help of audiotapes, then Khomeinism will disappear with the internet.”
E-mails shown to the Sunday Express were written by children, housewives, university graduates and even civil servants and serving army officers.
One female student wrote: “Your documentary broke the sound wall of illusion and indecisiveness within the Islamic Republic.”
Another e-mail states: “I see pictures of my parents on the beach holding hands, or in a casino, or a disco wearing jeans – what happened? Why did it happen? Was the Shah so liberal?’
A 30-year-old man said: “ I wonder where we could have been in this world, especially when I see all the growth and progress in the smaller countries around us.”
However, not all e-mails were pro West. One 24-year-old student wrote: “The imperialism of the United States and the United Kingdom supported the takeover of the religious fraction (Mullahs) in order to halt progress in Iran.”
More than 60 per cent of Iran’s 75 million population was born in the years following the revolution, largely as a result of Khomeini’s order that Iranians should breed to produce a “20 million member army”.
Though boasting a high level of education, the country’s imploding economy has resulted in widespread unemployment, with university graduates forced to live at home and wait an average of three years before securing a job.
One writer, born during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, said: “The late Shah did not shed the blood of his people. Many people are now realising who the Shah was and what services he rendered to his people. All I have seen in my life is crowded classrooms, unemployment, misery, suffering, inflation, corruption and discrimination. We are all Iranians.”
An army officer said: “ I was only 12 years old when the revolution took place. My best memories in life are from the years prior to this nightmare.
“Your interview had a positive effect among both the intellectuals as well as the uneducated people. All those who love this country carry you in their hearts.”
A 43-year-old housewife wrote: “My life has been sacrificed (destroyed) by this revolution, and I want you to know that people, especially the younger ones, are more and more aware of the work of the late Shah. I wept throughout the entire documentary.”
Empress Farah said: “The younger generation is now more than ever aware of all the social and cultural freedoms that existed prior to the revolution. They see that Iran during the Pahlavi era had made quick progress in all fields, and carried more clout and respect in the world.
“They wonder how different life would be today had the revolution not happened. I feel confident that this regime will soon come to an end by the hands of the younger generation and the women of Iran.
“My message to the people is that one should let hope surpass all suffering. Do not lose hope and use it to fight darkness. With the help of all true Iranians, Light will prevail and Iran will soon rise from her ashes. Iran and all its people deserve a regime that will respect Iranian culture and civilisation.”
Last night Iran expert Prof Ali Ansari, of St Andrews University, in Scotland, said: “There is no doubt that there is huge wave of nostalgia for the Shah sweeping Iran today, prompted by a huge dissatisfaction with the current situation in Iran.
“It shows just how far the Islamic Republic has lost the youth. The youth are looking for new leaders.
“Ayatollah Khomeini always said if we lose the young, we lose Iran. They have lost the young.”