Two faces of the same coin

Iran needs a constitutional revolution


Two faces of the same coin
by Sohrab_Ferdows

Story of democracy in Iran had a disastrous turn in the year 1979 after Islamic revolution and, the elections under Islamic Republic which are supposed to be the means to enforce people’s will in democratic societies, are in fact nothing but another ridiculous game of deception and dishonesty by rulers of this tyrannical and extremely corrupt regime. Over ten years ago Iranian people showed their deep dissatisfaction with policies of terror and suppression in Islamic Republic by voting for a clergy who was campaigning with promises of change, justice, fairness and economic prosperity after so called moderate President Rafsanjani had completed his 2nd presidential term.

The landslide victory for Mohammad Khatami in that election which was result of unusually truly high turnout by the people at polling stations surprised leadership of Islamic regime that had predicted victory for their own candidate, Ayatollah Nateq-Noori. Islamic Republic did not have to resort to any cheating and use of under age or dead people’s ID cards to achieve this high number of voters like in their previous elections. This was an indication for new hopes about democracy among Iranians while many continued to hold on to their pessimistic positions.

The high hopes for transforming of tyrannical rule of clergies into a true democracy which were raised after presidential election did not last very long but Islamic regime managed to harvest the enthusiasm of people for a couple of years and give a democratic appearance to their deeply corrupted and extremely suppressive system.

During the same years, mafia style killing and disappearing of some journalists and opposition activists and leaders by Islamic Republic information ministry took place while elected President was busy with signing of all kind of unfair economic and military contracts with other governments and international corporations. These multi billion dollar contracts in fact did not accomplish anything for betterment of Iranian people, from which a big portion were living below poverty, but poured hefty commissions into the pockets of middle men like Mehdi Hashemi. 

Creation of so called “reformist movement” of a group of hopefuls who had been encouraged by people’s participation in presidential election around Mohammad Khatami, was in fact a byproduct of the election in 1997.  Swift reaction by ayatollah Khamenei and promise of investigating about source of wealth of “some people” right after this election and in a gathering of Islamic judges and prosecutors was sign of a new show in politics of Iran. Whether Mohammad Khatami was genuinely interested in enforcing any change in the system or not at that time, has been debated many times but the fact is that even if he was, the subsequent events proved that he was aiming for impossible.

First term of Mohammad Khatami’s presidency coincided with commitment of most heinous crimes against Iranian intellectual community and nationalist political figures inside the country by Islamic regime’s secret police. These horrifying crimes in fact had started in earlier years and fell out of secret with the help of two political activists and journalists who had sympathy for President Khatami and his so called “reform” movement.

Not much later, Mr. Akbar Ganji and Mr. Saeed Hajarian were both targeted by the part of the system that was implicated because of their disclosure of the secret criminal activities in ministry of information. These events and many others during presidency of Mr. Khatami were indicating that the real policy maker for Iranian government is not the elected president but someone else who has all the power tools in his possession and under his control.

Disappointment about possibility of change in Islamic government resulted in a considerable drop in number of voters in next presidential election and forced Islamic regime to invoke the old methods of election fraud to bring number of voters up and create a false impression about voter’s confidence and system’s legitimacy.

From that point on, all efforts of Islamic Republic rulers in Iran in order to revive the atmosphere of 1997 election failed to produce any result and almost all opposition groups boycotted the last presidential election in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was named President of Islamic Republic. Despite the absence of voters at polling stations, Islamic regime declared a high turnout in election while nothing of the sort was visible during the period which poll was open.

Coming of Mr. Ahmadinejad to office of presidency in Islamic Republic with a lot of hoopla did not bring any true change in the nature of Islamic regime and all the superficial social changes like the size of women head scarves, use of musical devices and media, and limited freedom of expression without guaranty of freedom after expression, which had been achieved under presidency of Mohammad Khatami, quickly vanished and true face of Islamic regime one more time became evident.

Throughout the whole life of Islamic regime, there has never been any time that policies and priorities of Islamic Republic government was set to benefit the national interest of Iranians and this matter continued through presidency of Khatami and Ahmadinejad the same.  

Poverty continued to get worse all the time while Islamic regime continued to magnify the importance of issues like nuclear fuel enrichment as a major national agenda and achievement after wasting billions of dollars on obsolete and dangerous technologies for doing that.

Iranian women continued to be targeted and violated by Islamic regime’s moral police under guise of enforcing Islamic moral code. Policies of Islamic government regarding issues like Middle East and international terrorism remained the same and the level of suppression of liberties changed just on the surface once in a while to create illusion of open society.

Efforts by different groups of Iranian people like university students, workers, teachers and journalists, to expand the limits of civil liberties and push for reform in suppressive policies, were always confronted with brutality by Islamic government to show that there is no budging when a government is acting on behalf of god on the earth and the word of clergy is above all others.

Policies of Islamic Republic regime have brought nothing but misery and corruption for Iranians inside the country and humiliation in outside world. Islamic rulers deliberately push the nation towards confrontations so they can have better excuse to enforce their hold on the country through suppression of people and continue the looting of national wealth and resources under the guise of nuclear or military projects.

In simple words, coming and going of so called “reformist” or “hardliner” president or parliament have no real effect on how the country is run as all important decisions are made by un-elected supreme leader and according to a rigid constitution which is full of flaws in favor of rule of clergy. Almost 30 years of rule of Islamic regime has proven that there is no possibility of real change in this system.

Iran needs a constitutional revolution and Islamic regime must go entirely along with its constitution to pave the way for a true democracy in which civil liberties and Human Rights are guaranteed and all people’s religions are respected while kept private.


Recently by Sohrab_FerdowsCommentsDate
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more from Sohrab_Ferdows

Funny One

by AlexInFlorida on

I really enjoyed the joke at the end of your article. "Iran needs a constitutional revolution and Islamic regime must go
entirely along with its constitution to pave the way for a true
democracy in which civil liberties and Human Rights are guaranteed and
all people’s religions are respected while kept private." What a funny conclusion. Cute too :) With everything that Iranians have show themselves to be in character and mindset during and after 1979 I think they need constitutional democracy, like Africa needs a space station. Not much use since the people are so backwards it will take 100 years just to bring them to the point where they can work together without selling there souls or being manipulated. Freedom yes, Prosperity, yes, security yes, constitutional democracy ha ha ha good one.



Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

I think even if the relations between Iran and the US become better, the IRI will never allow it to seem like a friendship. They won't be able to answer to all those basijis and other "marg bar america" type of people. They'll ask the IRI how come? We gave so much blood! And now we are friends?!


It will never happen. "marg bar america" in one of the "pillars" of the IRI. They may have excellent relationship with the US, but still domestically they'll create a resembence of conflict which they will use to continue their supression. The fake confrontation will never die.



To: Jamshi

by Mehdi on

I hear you. But the way I see it, it is possible sometimes to fight a regime without direct confrontation. This, I think, becomes more clear if pay attention to the fact that what we should really be fighting is the ideas and systems holding the repression in place not so much individuals holding those views, unless of course if the fight is "personal."



The reason I kind of liked their views is that I feel that the "apparent" fight between IRI and US, is probably the most powerful excuse for repression in Iran and the taking away of civil rights. Interestingly enough, it is also at least in part the excuse for the taking away of civil rights in the US (the patriot Act, etc). By resolving this fake and apparent animosity, I think "the rug will be effectively pulled" from under the feet of IRI. With that, I think it will be much easier for the freedom fighters to be active. The IRI could not nearly as easily call on "people" to support it based on the excuse that forign powers and non-Muslims are trying to destroy Iran.



What do you think? Am I being too simple minded about it?


Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

NIAC is an IRI front in the USA. I have closely followed their views, and I don't trust them. Trista Parsi is not a good name. Any organization that does not talk about IRI's repressive nature, and ignore the many thousands who are tortured in IRI's prison, turns its face to the executions... is a suspect.


To Sasha

by Anonymousviewer (not verified) on

I gather from your comments you are interested in the Iranian culture, but are not Iranian. I was curious what got you interested in Iran, and what is your ethnicity? i.e. other than American I assume.


Sasha: For sure

by Mehdi on

What you are saying is abolutely correct. It is very commendable to be an activist and work for improving conditions in Iran, or anywhere for that matter. But it is important to take steps that are actually going to help and not make things worse.


Mehdi........I realize that change is occurring........

by Sasha on

 I do realize that change is slowly occurring in Iran. It  has been brought about by all the activists on the ground floor (grass roots organizations) of Iran. I keep up with as much news as I can on Iran. I also, realize that many Iranians in Iran are not ready for a quick change in the govenment and life is general. The overthrowing of the Shah's government is a perfect example of it. One of the issues with the Shah was that he tried to modernize Iran too fast and the people had problems with it which is where the Mullahs stepped in.


By the way China is also slowly evolving.




PS: The US lessened threat of attack on Iran, also helped greatly to increase tourism in Iran. :o)





To: Jamshid

by Mehdi on

Thanks, I appreciate your compliments. I also feel that you are an individual who is well intentioned and who is truly working on truth and understanding.



Interestingly, our viewpoints seem to be getting closer. I'd like to make a further comment that just as there is such a thing as "lowered expectations," there is also such a thing as "unreasonable expectations," depending on circumstances. So I guess the trick is to find the optimum expectations as opposed to "ideal" expectations, which are for the future and not the present.



You know, I have been checking out the NIAC (// and I have to say I find that this is the best type of activity in my eyes, for the current scene. Interestingly, I just saw Trista Parsi (its president) on CNN on a program re Iran, the NIE report, the 2003 letter from IRI to the US, etc. How do you feel about that activity? Do you think that re-establishing relations between US and IRI would be a major step in the right direction? Or do you think that those kinds of activities are counter productive?


Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

I did not say you are giving credit to the IRI, did I? I said that no matter who rules Iran, after 30 years there would be some minimum progress.


I also said that the IRI has succeeded in lowering Iranians' expectation. The IRI has made many Iranians be "little" people just making ends meet, just happy that they are getting slapped 300 instead of 400 times. That has become "progress" for them. That's how IRI wants it. We should not accept this small progress in THRITY years, 30 years is a long long time. Compare Iran of 1948 to Iran of 1978. Now that's progress. If Iran had progressed half that much from 1979 to 2007, I would be the first to give them credit.


I agree with you regarding the oppostion. Remember one thing tough. The IRI has appropriated a large fund to counter the opposition. They do that in two ways. One is to create "fake" opposition groups or media, in which the standards are so low as to create the impression that hey look THIS garbage is the opposition. The proof is your opinion about the opposition! Second, they infiltrate the opposition with the intention to sabotaging it. As a last resort they resort to assasination.


I am willing to bet that the opposition would have done much better had it not been for the IRI's interference.


Besides, and this is an important "besides", the real opposition is in Iran. They are in the prisons. They are in the universities. They are in the government offices. They are the women who dare to demonstrate for their rights.


If the IRI continues for another 50 years and you and I live to see its results, you'll regret your opinion because I do feel that you geniunely love Iran and its people and you would never want to see Iran losing its identity, the identity that you and I are familiar with. By then, with its fossil resources depleted, we will have 150 million hungry and poor "shahid parvar" Iranians who would gladly immigrate to even pakistan for work.


We must avoid this before it's too late. Remember the Arabs ruled for 200 years with devastating results to Iran's identity. Remember the Ghajars too. There are many examples from which we can learn.


Either way, although I disagree with you, but you did make several good points and I truley respect your opinion as I have no doubt that you love Iran and want what's best for it.



Re: Jamshid

by Mehdi on

I don't know why you think I would give credit to IRI for what I consider is progress in Iran. In fact I said it specifically in my previous two comments that I attribute this progress to the resillience of the people inside and outside Iran. To me this is a relative success that we got from fighting, whether revolution style or reform style. I do recall clearly that the government thugs were far more vicious when I left Iran in 1985 than they appear to be these days. They have had to change their attitude. A lot of international exposing done by Iranians forced them to back off. Otherwise they had other plans - I am sure of it.



I tell you, if Iranians had a large opposition group that was well organized and supported widely, I wouldn't rule out stronger pressure on the government. But under current conditions what I see is that as soon as there is a little freedom, the opposition inside or outside gets a little too excited and that scares the masses as the government can easily use that excitement for thier propganda that these who talk against us are non-believers and they want to destroy Islam and such nonsense. And that causes a major setback - it is counter productive, in my eyes. I feel that if we could be a little patient we could get much better results. This doesn't mean we should slow down, it means we should use other avenues of pressure than direct confrontation.



I understand that taking too long can also mean that people will become brainwashed and no progress will be made. But I don't see that we are moving that slow. They way I see it, with more widespread Internet, with more educated people, with more contact with outside world, with Iran-US relationship resolved (which is used as the most important excuse by the IRI to repress people) and considering that around 3 million Iranians live outside, etc, etc, it is not possible for the IRI to hold Iran at that level for long.


Of course if the opposition were less confrontational, I think that would add to the speed significantly. Unfortunately most of the opposition activity, currently is actually counter productive. Have you watched Iranian sattelite TV lately? The best and most respectable channel is the mullah's channel! This is a disgrace for us. You think anybody watching them inside Iran will become hopeful about the opposition? People inside Iran, with little freedom that they have are doing a much better job for that country than a lot of the so-called opposition in a land of freedom. We can't ignore all this and just shoot for direct and forceful confrontation. We are just shooting ourselves in the foot.


Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on


30 years is a long time. Even if donkeys were ruling Iran, there would be some progress. Do not let that small progress decieve you. Your "mahak" (measuring stick) should always be the full potential of Iran for progress. Unfortunately the IRI has succeeded to shape many Iranian minds to accept the minimum as something very big. Do not succumb to IRI's brainwashing.


As an example, the IRI has reduced our expectations and potential to the point that when it allows a bit more freedom regarding hejab, we say WOW! And we praise the IRI for something as small as this. This is how "reduced" Iranian citizens expectations have become. When the IRI slaps us 300 times instead of 400, we say Wow! We got progress here. NO! There should be no slaps at all! NONE. Do not fall in the IRI's whirlpool of lowering Iranians' expectation by lowering their self esteem. Be more than this. Expect more than this.


One other thing: After Arabs invaded Iran, there were many Iranians who opposed expelling Arabs trough violent means. They thought Arabs could be reformed. And it was understandable. However, they forgot one thing. After many generations passed, Iran lost its identity. The same is true today. Let us say that the IRI stays in power for another 50 years and evolve during this time. What about the cultural impact they will leave behind with their constant Islamization and de-Iranization of the people? That is the part that may not be recoverable. Remember this.



Sasha: I appreciate what you say but...

by Mehdi on

But the fact that Tehran has become 18th indicates to me that it is not as dangeours to travel to tehran as it was 28 years ago. As a matter of fact it tells me that it must be very safe indeed. I am not saying the government caused this ranking but I am saying it indicates that the situation is not as dire and urgent as some tell us it is. All I am saying with that example is that change is occurring and I am all for more change as long as we don't go so fast that it all falls apart just like it did in 1979. I am saying let's make sure we we have a spare tire before we venture off-road.


Mehdi.......I just thought I would....:o)

by Sasha on

 Mehdi: "apparently Tehran is ranks 18th in most desirable cities

             for tourists to visit"


Sasha: I think that Iran as a tourist most desirable destination

          is due to its natural beauty. You must agree that there is so

          much natural beauty in Iran and the architecture design of

          some of the buildings is simply breath taking and then

          there is the Caspian Sea (there are simply no adequate

            words to describe its beauty to me).  All this and I have

            never  set foot on Iranian soil. All I can do for now is see

            it on the television or the internet. :o(

             I can assure you as a tourist wannabe of Iran, that it

             is not the government that attracts them to Iran.

             Actually, I would say that the current government is

               what keeps many tourists away.  Just a thought. :o)






Re: Sohrab -- Speaking about evolution

by Mehdi on

You say 30 years of evolution/reform has not given us much. Don't you think that within this 30 years we were not solely pushing for reform? Don't you think that revolution has also not given us much? I think neither reform nor revolution has been heavily applied. So we can't really say 30 years of evolution has not resulted in anything.



Besides, as my comments about hejab, etc, tried to establish, the point I am trying to make is that "relatively speaking" things have improved. I left Iran in 1985 and compared to back then, Iran is not even comparable. Economically, socially and any other way you look at it. Personally, I think this is the result of Iranian people's resilliance and fight for freedom not a result of repressive governments during this period. In that light, I see that progress as a evolution/reform. Today I see even the so-called hardliners are nothing like what they were back then. They have had to evolve. They could not survive with their heavily repressive attitude.



Also, when we talk of revolution, of course we are not specifying details. Some people for example consider an attack by the US to change the regime is an acceptable form of revolution. Others disagree. My stance is that at this point in time pushing for a regime change as opposed to pushing for improvement is counter-productive. And I have this view based on conditions, and circumstances not because I won't enjoy a more civil government in Iran.



If we just close our eyes to what kind of resources we do have at our disposal, what level of maturity our masses have, what is the educational level of an average Iranian inside and outside Iran, which foreign countries have their eyes on Iran's resources and what they will probably do if the government became weaker than it is now, and all the other factors and simply preach for a better regime and refuse any idea that supports reform instead of regime change, I think, that would be irresponsible and counter-productive.



The difference between reform and revolution can be considered to be an issue of speed of progress; how fast we move forward. I think we all can agree that there is such a thing as too slow and also too fast. That is if we are being realistic and not purely theoretical. Obviously too slow of a speed means we won't make it and also too fast means we break down before reaching target(s). So the question is a question of optimum speed. What speed could our vehicle handle that is the fastest but also safe.



We look at Cuba, for example, and I don't see a country that its revolution could be considered a success. So there is no guarantee that just because we make a fierce charge, we will for sure succeed in establishing something better. In fact the previous "revolution" in Iran proved that very well.



Yes, the reform movement in Iran may appear to have failed us but we also must not ignore that a lot of hot-headedness got in the way too; people who wanted a much faster speed and used the opportunity to make their voices heard. They also helped lose the chance. It is possible that if they had been a little more patient, maybe things would have kept on going that way.



I think we must admit that Iran is in significantly better shape than before, definitely in far better shape than 1985. There is Internet, sattelite TV, a lot more money, communication with other countries and culture (apparently Tehran is ranks 18th in most desirable cities for tourists to visit). These cannot help but change the face of the governent in Iran. the more we scare the government the more they become isolated and the more they try to defend themselves. But if we instead calmly put attention on the worst points of the government and ask for improvements, I think we will have a much better chance of actually doing something useful.


Sohrab_Ferdows ........thank you

by Sasha on

Thank you for the clarification. I just found it strange that anyone that would be truly so vocal against the government would be free to walk around Iran. I always assumed that they would be arrested, interrogated and well you know the rest.





Dear Sasha,   This was

by Sohrab_Ferdows on

Dear Sasha,


This was a show from beginning and the show goes on! I was IN Iran during a couple of months of presidential campaign in 1997 and I have seen Khatami and even Asgar-Oladi (another candidate in those days) speaking with a lot stronger language than this and I was deceived like many other Iranians even though I knew you should never expect truthfulness or anything good out of a mullah. enough is enough. "solh" is very noble but you can't be in peace with a gang which is aiming for your life and livelyhood. Iranians have sacrificed too much. too too much and damage on the nation has been too huge to fit in words.


Sohrab_Ferdows .......Khatami just for show?

by Sasha on

 So the comments by Khatemi on the news article cheh zaboon darovordeh (Home page of in headlines section) and the following Associated Press release are just for show?






Speaking about evolution

by Sohrab_Ferdows on

Speaking about evolution (or maybe reform?) after about 30 years of failure to solve simplest things for the nation is too little and late. Iranian people gave a golden opportunity to Islamic rulers when they voted Khatami (myself included) the first time so they can make things right. Eight years were added to disgrace of Islamic Republic under President Khatami and the accomplishments were no more than "tight dress" and smaller "head scarves" for women! Economic indicators, poverty, organized crimes by the government organizations against people in order to supress any opposition to their rule, continued to remain an issue of concern. Khatami showed his true face by calling University students (his main supporters) "hooligans" and threatened them to be thrown out of university after he was ridiculed in a speech at university at the end of his term!


Descriptions and definition given about revolution by Mehdi have no realistic base and a constitutional revolution does not need to be a violent change and this change does not need to be withheld for such unrealistic preconditions that he is suggesting. The issues in Iran are real and situation is as bad as it can get and it is beyond the size of women skirt and their head scraf. Dissatisfactions with government are very real. The poverty, the corruption, inflation and soaring unemployment along with declining of moral values and many many other problems are very very real! The Islamic Republic system has failed and there is no way for this system be reformed. If you can reform mafia to govern a nation then you can reform Islamic Republic system too! There are tons of reasons that justify a revolution and thousands of them are inside the prisons in Iran right now.



Iran can not afford another ten years of Islamic regime because the cost is too huge and repairing of damages and restoration of proper status of society will get a lot harder. This can not continue for ever and explosion is inevitable if the change does not happen soon enough and, that's when you will have chaos on your hand! Waiting too long will definitely result in big chaos and posibly disintegration of the nation.


Re: Jamshid

by Mehdi on

Sorry, but I think you are going back to a lot of opinions and subjective arguments. The claims you make about the situation in Iran is mostly opinion and I don't see most of them the way you do.



Hijab for example, I do not see how you say it is worse today. I have seen pictures of women in iran on this site that I could not imagine them 20 years ago! Tight clothes and scarf half way across the head. Impossible 20 years ago.



And I think you are oversimplifying a revolution way too much. You talk about it as if it will be an orderly progress! One gets the idea of hundreds of thousands of people advancing in a very organized fashion and shooting very precisely with their guns and hitting only the "enemy." Not even a window will be broken. I don't know which revolution was like that. The whole idea of revolution is a motion with "force!" A disorderly attack! How can there be no casualties or little casualty?



I think whether we go the route of revolution or evolution there will be some casualties. The point is which one has less and gets the job done faster and better.



If Iranians were so educated and aware of all issues, there wouldn't be a need for a revolution.



As for your comments about Shah, I think he was put there but after many years he started to try to become more and more independant. I think he went too fast. You can find his interview with George Wallace on Youtube, for example, where he attacks "the Jews" for meddeling with the affairs of the world too mcuh. There are other interviews where he attacks "the west" harshly and states that he will raise the price of oil significantly. He also states that he will not sell crude oil anymore but will refine it and seel that 9which would cost the world ten times more than crude oil). Because of such issues, I think certain powers decided to take him out and put in its place a regime which could not act this way. The mullah's regime worked great - cheap oil and resources. A weak government. So Shah's time was a sort of a mixture of different things.


To: Jamshid please read all of my comments before..

by Arezu (not verified) on

Dear Jamshid:

As you have seen in the comments that I provided starting from the first - I said that even under Islamic Law there is no concept of Vali-e-Faqh or Supreme Leader and it has to be eliminated!! I don't intend to keep repeating my comments every time I make another comment. It is a follow through of my previous comments. For God sake please read and stop trying to make it seem like you are searching for faults to make one look inconsistence. I am not a flip flopper, I have been consistent on my thoughts and beliefs and I stand by them. This does not mean that I do not take other individual's comments and am un-willing to be flexible. This is why I said maybe the right word is "evolution".

I am not running for the Presidency of the U.S. for you to start nit picking and go back to my kindergarten essays (which you don't have access to anyway!).



Re: Arezu

by jamshid on

Arezu, either you are among the deceived, or you are trying hard to deceive.


You say that "With any revolution, most of rights are crushed..." What about the Check repulic? What about South Africa? What about many other countries who rised against their oppressors and did establish a better and more democratic government?


Then you say: "fortunately we don't have inheritable presidency..." What about the supreme leader? Do we "elect" him? Does he not have more power than the president? It is these deceptive words that hit a nerve.


The reason why Iran is where it is today and not in a better place is because of self-thankful people like you who think they are so oh intellectually chic, but in reality their backwarded ideas have always hurt the very same people they so much champion.


Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

I read your comments. I think I can agree with a lot of it. There are a few points I would like to bring up:


I think you are giving way too much credit to the foreign powers and their degree of control over Iranian affairs. This is a desease that we Iranians are inflicted with. Everything "bad" in Iran is because a "foreign" power somehow mysteriously and trough their agents brought to Iran. It is not true! They do have influence, yes. But not total control.


You say that the shah was in power because it fulfilled foreign interests to have somebody in Iran with guns and in charge. I disagree. I think a lot of what the Shah did was against foreign interests and some other things were in the interest of the foreign powers AND Iran too.


One example is education. Foreign powers don't like highly educated Iranians. In 1978, out of 12.5 million school age Iranians, 12 million were in schools. That is why today we have such high literacy rating in Iran. How could this possibly had served foreign powers? Do you know how easy it was for the shah with the help of the very same mullahs keep Iranians uneducated? Think about it.


An opposite example is the modernization of Iran. It was a termendous profit making opportunity for the West and Japan and even the Soviets. I am talking about multi billion dollar deals. But it was beneficial to Iran too.


As far as how did the mullahs learn all their tricks (I am sure you meant in the political arena), we don't need to expose a hidden hand for this. The answer is simple: The leftists. They were the ones and in some cases still are training and showing the regime what to do. Haven't you noticed so many leftist techniques being used by the mullahs to brainwash the masses? Haven't you notice the similarities between the mullah and leftist progopaganda. What does that tell you?


The problem of letting IRI improves at its own pace is that first, it does not improve. And second, if there is any improvements, it is at such a low pace that it would take a 100 years for anything meaningful to happen. Meanwhile our oil will be depleted to the satisfaction of the oil thristy west. Do you understand that it may then take another 500 years for Iran to develop into anything at all? Have you forgotten our long history?


The IRI should be overthrown at any cost (with the exception of war which ironically the IRI wants so badly) and as quickly as possible. The IRI is NOT allowing Iran to evolve. You must not allow their political shows to deceive you.


How can you say the IRI has become LESS repressive? It has become MORE repressive. We have more executions today, we have more political prisoners today, we have a wider gap between the rich and the poor. Even with hejab things are worst than just a decade ago.


The reformist were not the results of Iranians fighting against IRI. They are the result of in-fights among themselves, and sure, they serve as a "soopaap" to control the people.


A revolution against the IRI cannot destroy anything. The IRI has left nothing to be destroyed. All is already destroyed. With the IRI, ANY day is the best time for a revolution.


I don't see any difference between IRI ruling Iran, and a Sadam puppet goverment ruling Iran, if he had won the war.


I agree with Mehdi

by Arezu (not verified) on

We need "Education" more than anything else.

As it appears from the current political discourse, we are indeed "Illiterate".

Revolution is a very costly process. With any revolution, most of rights are crushed, and fairness flies out of the window. Revolution is to fix the foundation, and not the decoration.

With all the shortcomings that we have, the foundation is reasonably functional. We have elections, although with many problems and very messy. We have normal and peaceful change of government -- fortunately we don't have inheritable presidency. We have parliamentary elections, we have local elections. We have separate branches of government not in collusion with each other. Although far from prefect, yet sound on process.

We must realize that the system of government doesn't matter, how people act/react make all the difference. Sweden is a social monarchy and working fine. US, the greatest democracy ever, has managed to upstate many dictatorial third world regimes, breaking down all checks and balances which were hard-coded in its system of government. Should their be a revolution to change US regime to monarchy?

By education, wise and functional decoration can be applied to the sound foundation. Since the process will take time, maybe the appropriate word that is needed in Iran is evolution.


Re: Jamshid

by Mehdi on

Well, I think we are now begining to see more eye to eye, as they say. Our viewpoints are approaching each other more. And that's good. Although we both seem to agree that things got worse with the revolution, I have to say, I don't see a big difference between the scene now and back then. To be fair, we don't have accurate statistics of exactly what is going on in Iran now and how it compares to the past. So a lot of evaluations are based on opinions and rumor rather than facts. I have myself seen people exagerate right here on this site, or take up something as cause that I don't particularly agree with.



I believe there is a fact that is very hard for most Iranian intellectuals to swallow. I think that fact is that Iran "natively" cannot really "absorb" more democracy than it has right now. By natively I mean if we isolate interference by foreign powers, and we average out the capacity of ALL Iranian population in this regard. People are simply not educated enough and by far the majority are still lliving in the Stone Age with very old superstitions. These people cannot easily free themselves from age old traditions and they cannot do so very fast. I have my own experience as may parens were very strict Muslims and to the very last days that I was in Iran I would hardly ever see any of my sisters not wearing a scarf. This is engrained in their blood. Not that easy to change.



I believe the reason a lot of our intellectuals are off track on this is because of what I call "enforced" modernization that has taken place in Iran during Mohammad Reza Shah and probably Reza Shah. It seems to me that foreign powers saw it in their best interests to ensure someone was in charge in Iran who could keep a country together. This was because in those days, the needs of these foreign powers demanded more stability in those areas so that they could extract resources (such as oil) without having to get involved in local civil fights of the potential local powers. So they established a powerful government (with guns) and they forced some education on at least a small percentage of the population so that they would have enough local people in Iran to run the government and keep people under some kind of control.  



So this relatively small group of educated people rose above the average Iranian and a few became "revolutionary" and others took it for granted. They thought that this was the average scene in all of Iran, but it wasn't. There was hardly anybody educated in Iran. I think this "misguided" view has caused most of our intellectuals to miscalculate the situation. This is I think exactly why when the "revolution" started to take a turn for the worse these intellectuals did not know what to do and did not even understand what was going on. They could not believe that people would kick them out in favor of the mullahs! But that was the education level of the "masses." The only thing "the masses" knew was that anybody who prayed five times a day was perobably a better leader than someone who is possibly not even a believer in Islam. So all that was needed to get rid of these intellectuals was a little mild propaganda to the effect that these guys are trying to destroy Islam! You want to get a Muslim or Iranian going, just make him think his "naamoos" is in danger!



Unlike what most people seem to think, I don't give the mullahs much credit for suppressing the people in Iran. I think there is a hidden hand behind them that has never been fully exposed. I just cannot see how they could have learned all these tricks. Sure, there are amongst them individuals who are very evil, but most of them are just simple minded outright dummies. Remember Montazeri? How many jokes did we hear about him? Even Khomeini was neither that smart nor evil - he was just a simple-minded cleric who truly believed that what he considered was Islam could improve the nation. At some point he did realize what was going on but he hoped that things would still turn out Ok and he also didn't see what choice he had. Should he give the country to the marxists or risk it to be given to them or should he continue with the executions?



So in short, that is why I believe we need to also work on this problem. That is why I think we need slwo down a bit on using force and let the rest of the nation catch up a bit. And if we keep attacking the government, the government feels more forced to repress.



We get a little "reformist" government and a few freedoms are given away but people immediately want to start a revolutiona and "changing the regime" is the only way! Well, what do you expect? It scares those masses! They revert back! We need to pipe down a bit. It is that misguided view that causes trouble. We think Iranians masses are capable of more, when they are not.



Today, there is Internet in Iran; there is sattelite TV; there are cars that some people can buy; heck, there is telephone (I remember what a pain it was 10-15 years ago trying to call Iran); Saha's posting couldn't come at a better time, privatization of the banks and posiibly other government owned property. I know a lot of these will first go to mullah's friends and family but the point is that things are moving in the right direction. Iranian money has some value compared to 10-15 years ago. The government actually is sending students to other countries for education again. I am fully aware that we probably have not even reached the levels of democracy during at least the latest part of Shah's reign but the point is if something is improving why not let it improve at its own pace?



In fact I believe the reason IRI is now less repressive is because people of Iran have triumphed against it to some degree. But funny enough we are unable to celebrate our own victory and many peole think that if we admit that things are better than 10-15 years ago in Iran, that would mean a credit to the IRI! No, I think it means a credit to all those who fought so hard all these years; a credit to the couple of millions who left their homeland and made a big stink about IRIR and exposed it. The credit should go to those who though exiled, nevertheless excelled in their lives and made names for themselves and then went back to Iran and helped their families and spread the news about what freedom is and means. They also demostrated to other nations that a few running he government in iran do not represent Iranian people. That my friend is why I am saying this is the worst time for a "revolution." Things are changing; they are improving. Unlike what Mr. Ferdows says here in this article, the reformists did make a difference. Because the reformists were a result of all Iranians within and without Iran fighting for freedom. So let's not invalidate our own gains and let's just calmly push for more. A "revolution can destrot all of this and throw us back another 20-30 years easily. Why risk it? Don't you agree?


Iran to start privatising state bank: official

by Sasha on

 I just got the following on my yahoo news:



Mon Dec 10, 9:00 AM ET

Iran will in the next months float shares in Bank Mellat on the stock market, making it the first state-owned bank to follow a privatisation plan aiming to reduce state ownership, officials said Monday.

"We will probably start by quoting 5 percent of the bank's shares by the end of the current year (March 2008) to figure out the price of shares," the managing director of Bank Mellat, Ali Divandari, told reporters.

The privatisation drive -- announced last year by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- envisages selling off 80 percent of state-owned stakes in companies in the banking, media, transportation and mineral sectors.

The base price of the shares, which are also open for purchase by foreign investors, will be decided by Iran's Privatisation Organisation. They will be floated on the Tehran stock exchange.

"We have held talks with foreign investors from Middle East and Europe who have voiced readiness to buy" shares, Divandari said, without identifying the institutions.

The sale of 80 percent of the bank's shares under the privatisation plan would take place over a three-to-four-year period, said an official, who asked not to be named.

The privatisation drive is in line with Article 44 of Iran's constitution which refers to the public and private sectors of the economy and speaks of private ownership in industry, agriculture and services.

The state currently has a grip on more than three-quarters of the Iranian economy.

Bank Mellat, the second largest bank in the country in terms of capital, was slapped with US sanctions in late October for providing banking services for Iran's nuclear entities.

The United States has also been stepping up pressure against the entire Iranian financial system for a year, pushing European and Asian banks to cut their ties with Iran.

But Divandari insisted Bank Mellat had no problems. "We voluntarily cut off our dollar transactions at least a year ago... in order to reduce the magnitude of these problems.

"We immediately replaced about 10 banks which had reduced their relations with us with more than 15 other ones," he said, refusing to give more details on the substitute banks.






Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

I re-read that paragraph. You say "This is the same mentality that helped pave the way for a revolution against Shah - exagerated claims...." And that we got ourselves a regime that was worst than the previous one.


I do agree. I was one of those who fell for those exagerated claims. You then suggested that the same mentality is at work today. I guess you mean exagerations that could possiblity lead to a worst regime/situation for Iran, just as it happened in 1979.


First, in my opinion, nothing is being exagerated about the crimes of IRI. I don't know how old you are, but I do remember that the Shah's regime did not have a propoganda machine like the IRI has. That regime was just a punching bag. 3000 political prisoners became 300,000. The 97 who died in the Jaleh square became 10,000. The 3500 who died during his reign became 600,000, and so on. That regime did not as much as lift a finger to expose those lies.


This is quite different with the IRI however. We have the exact opposite here. The IRI has a powerful and well funded propoganda machine at work that is very successful in not only hiding the extend of its crimes against Iranians, but to falsify any truth that is exposed about its crimes.


Second, the Shah regime was dictatorial but it was progressive. Iran was moving forward faster than in any other third world country. The IRI however, is at the bottom of the barrel. It is dictatorial and "ertejaa'ee". We are moving backward faster than in any other third world country (factoring in the wealth of oil).


We had something to lose with a revolution against the Shah. We had a lot to lose! And we did. But the IRI has left us with nothing to lose with a revolution against it.


Notice that I am not talking about a war with US. I am talking about Iranians in Iran and outside of Iran doing something together to overthrow this regime. If it is a revolution, so be it. Unlike the 1979 revolution, we stand NOTHING to lose.


Also note that I am not talking about doing something to "reform" this regime. The only true reform could begin only with secularism, i.e., the separation of governement and religion. Only then reforms can even begin. Thus this regime is "unreformbable". The few things that this regime "gives in to" such as women's issues, are just a show. They say ok, we'll reform. We'll slap you 300 times a day instead of 400. And then we all throw our hats and praise the IRI for its "reformablitiy".


There is no comparison between Shah and IRI.


You asked: "Do you think there is an environment where the evolution route is more appropriate than the revolution route?"


Yes! Evolution would work with the Shah's regime, specailly after he and his generation would be replaced with the next generation which was us who I am certain would have done better than our fathers. During the time this "evolution" would be taking place, Iran would have moved and progressed ahead anyway, as the regime was for progress.


However, today with the IRI, during any "evolution", Iran is progressing only backward, its oil being depleted, with no infrastructure or industries being built to replace oil. Also consider the butchery of IRI and the misery the Iranian people are enduring on a daily basis, and the damage IRI is causing to the Iranian culture.


As far as the US, why would there even be a need for a revolution here? Their system is not the best, but their people are generally living a good life in par with the the best countries in the world.


The regimes in the US and Iran cannot be compared. They are too different. 


Mehdi I mean this in the nicest possible way.....

by Sasha on

 It is not about a fight but an intellectual discussion. We are not in a bar and this is not a brawl fight.







Jamsheed: But You Should Reply

by Mehdi on

I am putting up a good fight for you, am I not? You enjoy a good fight, don't you? At least take the second paragraph of my original comment and tell me what you think about that. Isn't it true that these hot-headed ideas paved the way for the previous "revolution?" Aren't we regretting the results? If so, where was the error? Come on. Indulge me.



Or if you want, answer this question. Do you think there is an environment where the evolution route is more appropriate than the revolution route - or do you think that the revolution route has no use? Give me some real life examples not fictitious. For example, do you think that the evolution route is currently being applied in the US? Do you think it can work? Or do you think only a revolution could improve conditions in the US? That is, if you feel that the US could also benefit from some improvement.


Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

I will stop responding to you since you have nothing intellectual to offer for discussion. You only have accusations. If you apply your own reasoning to yourself first, then we may have something.


Jamshid Jaan You Prove My Point!

by Mehdi on

I am not sure why you have fabricated the phrase "proponents of war" within my statement - in quotation marks too (as if I said it) - but in all fairness, unless you are a believer of only-black-or-white, you can see that there are degrees of how much violence such "hot-headed" people will approve of. But I was generally talking about violent change - using a lot of force - be it war or "revolution."



It is comical how you claim I label people, or you. I am not sure what you are referring to. But look at the end part of your comment - nothing but labels! Like I said, you prove my point. You seem unable to even hear what someone not subscribing to your viewpoint has to say. You have this urge within you to just use force. Logic seems to be dead for you. Are you sure it is not the personal hatred that is talking?