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Honouring Farvardigan
Remembrance day for the dead

Apill 7, 2004

On March 26, Mohammad Khatami vented his anger over Israel's killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. "The heinous crime reflects a cowardly behaviour of the occupying Israeli regime as well as its fear of Palestinian resistance." The hollow man of the clerical government could not of course pass up the opportunity of singing another serenade under the bloodstained windows of Middle-Eastern terrorism.

Words for Mohammad Khatami are pliable material to be employed for reconstructing reality and glossing over flagrant falsehoods and inconsistencies. It never occurs to him however that his sanctimonious remarks more than anything else are an indictment of the Islamic regime itself and its dastardly method of eliminating whomever it has feared since the day of its inception. The ruling mullahs have a habit of never seeing the plank in their own eyes.

Mr. Khatami of course has no remembrance of those Iranians executed or gunned down over the past quarter of a century by the assassins of the totalitarian government in Tehran. Those Iranians were targeted for possessing three qualities that terrorize terrorists: patriotism, courage and integrity.

Today, on the day of Farvardigan (19 of Farvardeen), the day in our calendar on which ancient Iranians honoured the spirit of their departed loved ones and the memory of their lost heroes, we pay tribute to those men and women whose power, unlike Khatami's heroes did not depend on the quantity of the explosives they carried under their belts or the amount of damage they could inflict on their fellow human beings. We honour those brave men and women whose strength rested in the humanity of their character and the steadiness of their moral fortitude.

Our immortal national heroes were not trained in guerrilla camps by the likes of Osama bin Laden or indoctrinated in extremism by Sheikh Yassin, but like Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar and Foreign Minister Abbas Ali Khalatbari had studied in the best universities in the world and had earned their degrees in law and humanities.

On Farvardigan we pay homage not to fanatical leaders like Ruhollah Khomeini who set a price on the head of writers and intellectuals, but venerate those such as Amir Abbas Hoveyda who enjoyed the friendship of the best thinkers of the era engaging in correspondence and dialogue with the most eminent national and international luminaries.

Our heroes unlike another idol of Mr. Khatami - Assadollah Lajevardi (the prison chief of Tehran dubbed 'The Butcher') are not remembered for incarcerating our compatriots and watching over their beaten and tortured bodies. Instead, like our country's valiant Captain Shahriar Shafigh they are immortalized for watching over our territorial integrity. We remember him and his proud naval fleet for helping to restore to our homeland the islands of Greater and Smaller Tunb and Abumosa. Captain Shahriar Shafigh stands especially close to our hearts for exactly the same reasons that twenty-five years ago put him on the top of the assassination list of the Islamic Republic: his unswerving devotion to his homeland.

And how can any Iranian forget General Rahimi captured by Khomeini's henchmen after the triumph of anarchy and barbarity in our country? How can anyone forget his unfaltering devotion to his king and his country? How can we forget his great self-composure and exquisite sense of humour under circumstances that would break anyone's spirit? How can we forget his bright and intelligent face beside that grim and snarling incarnation of envy and dogmatism in the person of Ebrahim Yazdi?

How can we ever forget the thousands of other Iranians murdered by an inhuman regime that has only succeeded in defeating the brightest hopes and aspiration of our nation?

Farvardigan is a day for remembering the dead, but its real lessons and admonitions are for the living. By marking this day, we remind ourselves that no matter who we are or where we are, the same incontrovertible end await us all.

Could the ruling mullahs in Iran register the real significance of this day and the eternal shame that will forever be invoked by the hateful memory of their crimes, they would not cling to their illegitimate power at any cost.

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Reza Bayegan

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