November 22, 1999
Near irreproacheable life
May I thank you for your excellent publication. I am a journalist specialising
in Iran, as well as the study of Iran being part of my PhD research.
I would however, like to voice my strongest disappointment at the article
with Khomeini". Given this is not the opinion of The Iranian,
but how such drivel could be printed in an otherwise excellent magazine,
First of all, the supporters of the Shah's regime, ex-SAVAK types inclusive,
would just love it if it appeared as though the Islamists were in fact
collaborators. Certainly, a great many were on the payroll. But this sensationalist
attempt to brand Ayatollah Khomeini as an opportunist smacks of pure, unadulterated
fabrication of history.
History can always be distorted to suit certain ends. But here we have
a wife of a SAVAK operative assuming inside knowledge into the mind of
one of this century's most influential personalities (like it or not) is
laughable. Among other inconsistencies in her story (such as the fact that
this has not been corroborated by a single other historian or biographer
of Khomeini), why should anyone believe her? The SAVAK and its minions
were never well-known for their honesty, and here, out of the blue, we
have a woman, nearly 20 years later, claiiming these sensational things.
One of the widely held theories is that Khomeini was after power - hardly
credible given his age. Also, the fact that the title of 'marja' was rather
a concession than an earned one. All of which history has proven false.
The writer of these memoirs has one purpose, to implant the seed most
dangerous to the memory of the greats, namely the label of 'collaborator'.
And unfortunately, this may stick and tarnish. It is also regrettable that
the influential institute at Harvard has lent its name to this dubious
Without seeking to be sycophantic, I would like to say that I regard
this 'account' as a somewhat suspicious project aimed to discredit the
personality of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, who, for all his rights and
wrongs, was proven to have led a near irreproacheable life. This casts
a slur on all serious historians and scholars of Iran, none of whom have
found any evidence of this kind of partnership between the agents of the
Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini. It is ridiculous that we should treat this
K. Magardie (Ms)