March 26, 2001
Dear Mr. Hoveyda,
Your recent article on the monarchy was interesting ["Shah
or president?"]. I have now come to the conclusion as a lifelong
monarchist (I'm 31) that monarchy or republic is, of course, an irrelevence,
and that it is the vices of monarchical government that must be avoided:
lack of accountability, injustice, corruption, cronyism.
You are right about the Shah, who was a fundamentally well-intentioned
figure, indeed a great reformer, that he abandoned his responsibilities
by leaving the country. The man who dressed as a general should have acted
as one when it came to the crunch. Or at least he should have allowed
General Oveissi to do a thorough job.
What we have lost is far more important than the monarchy. We Iranians
have lost law and order, the security of the individual and private property,
personal freedom: the pillars of civilisation. I am sometimes angry at
the Shah for leaving people like my parents and the middle classes to
I have, I think, become a conservative Republican now, a supporter
of those pillars of civilisation I have just named, rather than a monarch.
There is nothing Reza Pahlavi has which I or any number of my friends
do not. Given the choice in a future election, I would vote for the National
Front or perhaps a constitutional monarchy party, if it exists.