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The Patriot
Painting Dr. Mossadegh


Reza Karimi
December 28, 2005

I was a little child in Isfahan , so young that I was not allowed into kindergarten yet. I was playing in the street with the inner metal wheel of a bicycle, rolling it with the help of a small stick. All of a sudden, the chanting din of the crowd distracted me.

They were chanting LONG LIVE MOSSADDEGH! They hung posters over the buses and the taxis. I looked at the posters, seeing an unattractive skinny old man’s portrait, almost bald with a large nose. It was an exciting day for me, since all of my older friends were at school, I had no idea what was going on. I did, however, recognize some of the chanting people, especially those guys that were hanging on the side of the buses.

About a week later, in the same neighborhood the same people were chanting LONG LIVE THE SHAH! A poster of a young handsome man in a military uniform, replaced the former poster, MOSSADDEGH. The crowd also sang a song “ MOSSADDEGH KALEH KEDOO, SIYASATASH RAFT LA PATOO” ( “BALD HEAD MOSADDEGH’S POLICY WENT UNDER HIS BLANKET”). I was too young to realize what was going on, but that day’s memories in my mind are as fresh as if it happened yesterday.

Some 18 years later, I was a student at Queens College in NYC, and in the library, I came across a book entitled Invisible Government. In the middle of the book, I read about the coup in Iran and what the CIA did in my motherland. At that time some of the pages were blacked out because of the secrecy of the act by the CIA and possibly to protect the identity of individuals involved.

Since that time, we had a revolution in Iran, where many lives were lost. We had one million casualties in the Iran -Iraq war. We had the Desert Storm war, where God knows how many mothers lost their sons. We had the September eleventh horror, with the loss of almost 3000 innocent people simply trying to make a living. The loss of lives in Afghanistan and the last 2 1⁄2 years in the ongoing Iraq war further contribute to the devastation. How many mothers lost their sons? How many wives lost their husbands? How many children became orphaned.? The reason for all of these atrocities, according to the current rhetoric, is that “ There is no democracy in the Middle East”.

Recently I read “All the Shah’s Men” by Stephen Kinzer. He came to the conclusion about the root of Middle East terror that started in Iran with the removal, by the CIA, of a Democratic, non-corrupt nationalistic, well-educated Prime Minister, Dr. Mossaddegh. All of these facts took more then 50 years to surface in history. He was a patriotic man who was physically weak, yet mentally strong. Remember, a British judge voted in his favor in the world court by nationalizing the oil, while an American judge voted against nationalizing the oil, during Eisenhower’s administration.

President Truman, who greeted him warmly, liked him. He was also loved by the American people and adored by Egyptian people as well. According to Mossaddegh’s defense lawyer in the military court in Tehran, all he wished for was a democratic Iran, an independent Iran, free from the ‘thieves’. My countrymen loved him one day and then betrayed him the next. He put his trust in them, not knowing his nation was used to a dictatorship, and they could not be trusted. A strong man is not determined by how much muscle he has, but by how strong he is mentally, and uncompromising to the corruption and how fair he is to mankind. I tried to paint these characteristics in ‘The Patriot’.

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