February 13, 2001
Compare now and then
I do not wish anything less than a liberal democracy for Iran. However,
I do not like the opinions expressed in Fariba Amini's article ["Thy
father's sins"]. I feel that saying that the revolution was hijacked
by the clergy, as that article said, is incorrect. I feel that some Iranian's
say these "romantic" words in order to not take responsibility
for their own actions.
After all when the revolution was happening, people were shouting Khomaini's
name. Three million people greeted him when he arrived to Iran. I even
remember the slogan: "Yaa roosary, Yaa toosary". I remember
men chanting this slogan while laughing. As if it was a joke.
father's sins" also lists a series of "errors" and mistakes
by the monarchy as reasons why Iranians are facing the present Islamic
Republic. But just go down that list. Compare any item on that list with
what has happened during the Islamic Republic. It has all been hunderds
of times worst during the rule of the mollas.
If political disitents were sent to exile or jailed during Shah, during
the Islamic Republic they were simply "stabbed to death" (Forouhar's,
Bakhtiar..). No sweat. The Shah sent Khomeini and others to exile, but
didn't send someone to stab them. Khomeini on the other hand would order
the execution of 80,000 people without bleenking, just because they disagreed
with him, including 9 year old girls, 13 year old boys, gays, religious
minorities, battered women...etc.
It's been 22 years of countless horrendous crimes, much worst than what
went on during Shahs period. However those don't seem to have led to a
revolution. Have they? The changes made during Shah's period did not go
deep enough. Democratic institutions were not allowed to grow and mature.
He also did not work hard enough to eliminate the clergy's influence on
Iranian politics. He also did not work hard to promote literacy among poor
However, the Pahlavi monarchy made many non-cosmetic changes in Iran.
Pahlavi's support for football in Iran, building of parks, respect for
women and voting rights for them, openness to the international community,
privatization of land. Just compare Iran of the 1970's with countries such
as Saudi Arabia!.
In anycase, monarchy is a thing of the past. That should not be revisited.
However, it shouldn't be blamed as the sole reason why Iran is now controlled