The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


February 23, 2001

No comparison

While I respect every person's right to their opinion, I find a disturbing double-standard in the author's treatment of history ["The general's widow"].

The author's casual and nonchalant mention of the execution of Dr. Hossein Fatemi, the Foreign Minister of Prime Minister Mosaddegh's administration, is bereft of objectivity, sincerity and any sense of integrity. This stands out particularly in the context of what has happened to General Rahimi and his family and a simple comparison of these two individuals and their alleged crimes and track records.

Hossein Fatemi was a political activist (maybe even an extermist), yet non-violent, a believer in Iran becoming a republic and at worst a loud mouth. He was not in the military, did not have guns nor did he have direct control of any military organization. He was a foreign minister.

His biggest crime, as alleged by his executioners, was attempting to establish a republic in Iran and facilitating the downfall of the monarchy. It took the CIA to stop him and his fellow nationalists. By all accounts he was a traitor to the Shah, but not a traitor to the people nor a killer, or embezzler of government funds.

Mehdi Rahimi was a career-military man, devoted to the Shah and his regime. He even asked for the Shah's "permission" to get married. He had direct access to arms, probably was personally armed and controlled military units, bloated financial budgets and secret actitvities.

I do not know of his civil, financial or administrative record but at a minimum he was an associate (if not a participant) of a large, wasteful, dictatorial, bloated and corrupt bureaucracy.

He was the military commander of Tehran. You get to that position by having pulled a few triggers or having ordered others to do so - against unarmed civilians. Soft-hearted human-rights whimps need not apply.

It is utterly abject to treat General Rahimi's story with such emotion and sensation while the by-orders-of-magnitude less guilty and less-deserving-of-execution Dr. Fatemi receives an oh-so-sorry-it-happened mention sprinkled with the "dasto-del-bAziyeh AryAmehri" to his widow. How convenient and liberating.

I have every sympathy in the world toward Mrs. Rahimi. But I feel like a true traitor to the Iranian people, and indeed to humanity, when I place her pain and hurt above those of Mrs. Fatemi and thousands of political prisoners and civilians murdered/tortured savagely by his Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah Aryamehr and his generals.

Aref Erfani


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