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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


April 14, 2000

Khatami & Nouri are not the answer

Notes on Mr Abdy Hashemi's "Final destination: Democracy":

I do have big misgivings about "Hojjat-o-eslam" Khatami due to his clerical training and the fact that he has been raised within the current system (and "aaghebat gorg zaadeh gorg shavad garcheh baa aadami bozorg shavad") and I hold him personally responsible for the atrocities committed by the present regime. However, I am still prepared to give him the benefit of doubt and reserve my final judgment on his performance after possibly his second term when he would have had the opportunity of taking advantage of the newly elected "reformist" members of the parliament. I also reserve my judgment on the Mr Hashemi's assertion about "fantastic transition to a near-total civilian rule" supposedly being achieved under his "leadership" (if the word really applies to what is going on in Iran).

I have no argument about Mr Hashemi's statement that "the Shah and his puppets ...... believed in the total eradication of opponents". Although I would like to know who does he refer to as Shah's puppets and where does Khatami stand in this analysis. Should we consider him a Rafsanjani's or Khamenei's puppet by the same decree? As far as I am concerned the "revolution" replaced one tyrant with another one, albeit several times more vicious and fierce.

If we believe voting by the masses means moves towards democracy then perhaps Iran has been a democratic country since the Iranians voted for the "Islamic Republic". I suppose with a turn-out of over 98% in that election one can claim the complete participation of a nation. Then what is this new claim by several Iranians that now live overseas? I am talking about wave of democratisation.

Reza shah forcibly removed the hijab and Khomeini reinstated it forcibly. People did not have any choice then and neither during Khomeini's rise to power. Any one who protested had to face the fury of Reza shah's soldiers and then the "rogue elements" of fundamentalists or shall we say the supporters of violence (obviously including Khomeini, the founder of infamous "Islamic Republic") now. Iranians dismantled one tyrannical regime in order to install another tyrannical regime in its place. It is now a well-known fact how Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was returned to his throne after the thugs mobilised by CIA backing took to streets to harass Mosaddegh supporters. The same method that Mr Hashemi's dear Khomeini and his successors have been using since their rise to power.

Khomeini who came to power with the help of various groups (Mujahedin, Fadaiyan e Khalgh, Tudeh and several other groups who were opposed to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's tyrannical rule; not mentioning blessing of the American government) eradicated all these groups as soon as he took to office. Yet surprisingly people like Mr Hashemi suggest Khomeini was a saviour. I wish to point out the atrocities committed and total eradication of opponents while Khomeini was alive (and as I understand was ordered by him personally) and the continuance of tortures, murders and widely held inquisition by him and his aides are many times worse than what the Shah did.

Khomeini and the clan have established a despotic system which continues to day and have brutally murdered several thousands of people during their purge (and eradication using Mr Hashemi's terminology) of their competitors (or if you wish their opponents). The continuation of the Iraqi imposed war by Khomeini and the way it was handled is sufficient to implicate Khomeini and his aides. Yet Mr Hashemi wishes to whitewash all this and settle his scores with Mr Reza Pahlavi. The list of titles being used these days by the present regime (or for them) are much more revolting than the term "crowned father" that Mr Hashemi is resentful of. It appears to me that the Iranian nation is very talented when it comes to apple polishing and giving titles.

Interestingly moslems start their prayers and supposedly their daily routines with the clause "in the name of god the merciful, the kind" suggesting that "god" is merciful and kind. But they kill anyone who does not agree with them. They have a habit of branding those who do not agree with their way of thought and then issue fatwas for their murder. How this compares with what they preach is beyond my understanding. A person has either to convert or submit or s/he should be eliminated. It is amazing that the great nation of Iran have to put up with the "supreme jurisprudence" and yet the term "crowned father" annoys or irritates some.

As a Shiite moslem one has to follow a religious leader which means people have no brain of their own when it supposedly comes to right or wrong. Whether the religious leader decides something is a virtue or a vice the devout follower has to accept the religious leader's determination. I am not sure how in this case people can freely "elect" candidates if they are considered not to have the required intelligence to recognise good from bad.

Furthermore, I am not sure what was the intention of the writer. If he is trying to warn us about the crocodile's tears (Reza Pahlavi's and not ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi's) then he should not forget that no matter what Reza Pahlavi says or thinks Iran's future will be determined by the action of Iranian people who live there. The very fact of murder of several intellectuals that was surfaced perhaps because the different factions in the "Islamic !!? Republic" are trying to score points does not signal liberalisation. The fact that the so-called reformists have been supposedly elected by the people does not mean anything yet until we see some outcome of this development (if it is in fact a development). First of all the candidates all come from the "family" of the clerics. Secondly these candidates got the stamp of approval by the clerics imposed "council". Which means that they have been cleared by the clerics.

What I see is that the present ruling clergy in Iran have realised that their survival depends on trading with the rest of the world and need the open blessing of the U.S. as well. They want to establish friendly relations with various countries of the world (this is the continuation of Rafsanjani's plans for the exploitation of Iran's wealth). Same as Khomeini who supposedly drank the glass of poison and conceded to the draw with Saddam Hossein now his successors are looking to bathe in the international trade to increase their share of the exploitation by supposedly giving in to the public's need for "reform". This time they persuaded the people to seek refuge in the "reformist" camp so the clergy can implement their plan of establishing international network for better exploitation.

The so-called rule of law that "Hojjat-o-eslam" Khatami is supposedly advocating is the same law that was devised by Khomeini and the company and has no merit for the general public as it does not recognise the right of people. At the end of the day Khamenei, Rafsanjani and Hojjat-o-eslam Khatami determine what rights the people have. In short I don't know what the future holds for Iran. I believe that Iranians are a very resilient nation and will bounce back in time. This may yet take some time but it will happen. Likes of Nouri, Kadivar, or Mohammad Reza Khatami will not define Iran's future but their desire to clinch power from the other camp will help true lovers of Iran to steer the nation in the right direction.

Jamshid Entesari


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