Hasn’t the time finally come?

Avoiding another dictatorship


Hasn’t the time finally come?
by areyo barzan

Our good friend Mr Jahanshahi wrote a blog about Dr Mosaddegh and the oil nationalisation affair. I must admit that this was a very informative blog and I personally have learned a lot as many of my questions were answered.

Also the great amount of contributions to the discussion from all sides made it a very rich blog. Although I may not agree 100% with our friend Mr Jahanshahi’s point of view, sill I believe that he has done us all a great favour by being brave enough to break another taboo and scrutinising the conduct and motives of another character in our country’s political arena. A character that for a while was believed to be unquestionable.

For a very long time the followers of Mosaddegh have attempted to put him beyond any criticism by creating a saint and a national hero out of him and calling anyone who dares to even raise a question (however legitimate) about the man, as a traitor and a servant (nokar) of  the West.

Personally I believe that in the end such people do not even give a damn about Mosaddegh, who he was, and what services he has or has not done to this country and  what errors he might have made along the way either. All they are interested in is to use Mosaddegh as just another tool in their arsenal to avoid facing the reality of their own errors and shortcomings.

You see? Culturally we Iranians have a big problem with accepting our errors and that is the main reason behind our failures over and over again. So instead of facing our responsibility, accepting our errors, learning from our mistakes and moving on, we resort to the game of heroes and villains.

So depending on our political orientation we either make a saint and an unquestionable hero of Mosaddegh or the Shah by moving them beyond any criticism and then conveniently hide behind them. Or we turn them into a Villon and blame everything that has gone wrong in our miserable lives -- including our lack of a basic understanding for democracy or the right and wrong way to achieve it --  on them by playing the role of victims.

Yes you heard me right! The ROLE OF VICTIMS. Over the many years we Iranians have always played the role of victims and have become very good at it too.

Every time something has gone wrong in our history instead of being brave enough to have an honest look at our own conduct and assessing what we should or should not have done, we pulled a hero or villain from our back pocket and either hid behind them or discharged the responsibility for all our errors to them and play the role of a “helpless victim”.

However I for one am fed up with this approach and personally prefer to look into the mirror, even and especially when I do not like what I see, as that would be the only way to identify what needs to be changed. Furthermore what I dislike the most would be denying my errors and shortcomings and blame others for my own mistakes.

With regards to the Mosaddegh affairs, in my personal opinion it is as naive and short-sighted to blame him for everything that has gone wrong in our country including lack of democracy . It is stupid to make a hero-saint of him and think that he was the solution to all problems.

Anyone who knows the first thing about the reality and nature of democracy would and should know that democracy is a plural phenomenon which needs the participation of all the members of the society which is seeking it. More importantly it could not be given to or taken away form a nation as it is and should be a part of their cultural and social character. For a nation to achieve democracy they first need to think and behave in a democratic manner. They need to know their duties and rights within a civil society and be prepared to walk the straight and narrow path of social justice even and especially when it might be against their personal interest.

If a nation achieves such a status then no other man or regime however powerful and influential or brutal could not take it away from them, and the survival and flourish of democracy in Europe after WW2 and defeat of Nazism is a good example. On the other hand if a nation and a people do not understand the meaning and essence of democracy then the most glorious revolution or the most powerful armies in the world would not be able to achieve that for them, as our own cock up of 1979 and the allied invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan could be considered as perfect examples.

The walk toward democracy is a long slow marathon rather than the short run we like it to be. It is along this path that we need to learn from our experiences and understand the meaning of civil society and apply it by not separating our personal interests from the broader interests of the society we live in.

The truth is that although we have improved immensely in the past one hundred years, we still have a long way to go to achieve such a state of mind in practice (and not just by empty slogans).

People like Mosaddegh and the Shah were no different to the rest of us as they also did not understand or appreciate many aspects of democracy, civil society and social justice or national well being.

Mosaddegh thought by creating an enemy of the West, instead of negotiating for the best deal, he could resolve our problems overnight, not to mention his undemocratic moves such as closing the doors of Majless and getting into bed with the likes of the Tudeh Party who's manifesto called for the handover of our sovereignty and turning Iran into a Soviet republic. On the other side of the equation was the Shah who believed that only material well being and improvement of people’s standard of living would be enough to take them through the gates of his “Great Civilisation” by arrogantly taking charge of everything and ignoring principals of democracy or our people’s crying appeal for freedom and even ignoring the open letter addressed to him by Dr Bakhtiar only one year before the tragedy of 1979 which we all know what that error led him and the rest of us into.

But maybe the Shah's most fatal mistake was to repeat Mosaddegh's error by hiking the price of oil and picking up a war with the West without first making sure that he has a nation of informed, educated and free thinking people behind him. As we all know that resulted in Guadalupe Conference and the equally short-sided decision by the West to support one Mr Khomeini and as they say the rest is history.

What both of these men overlooked and failed to address was the cultural well-being and the attitude or approach of a nation towards their own society and their will (or rather lack of it) to take responsibility for their own community or to be accountable for their own actions and most important of all to be able to listen to the opposite point of view open-mindedly and without any prejudice.

That is why in spite of their errors I still could not and would not dismiss their services such as the nationalisation of the oil industry in Mosaddegh’s case or all the social and infra-structural improvements of our country during 50 years of Pahlavi reign which brought our country and mindset from the dark ages into the 20th century.

Even today, more than 65 years after the oil nationalization affair and 33 years after the Islamic disaster of a revolution, still most of us have not learned the lessons of the past and in spite of all claims on being democratic and talking about freedom of speech, we still can see people in this site as well as in the rest on Iranian community who are as closed-minded as ever. We encounter many people who although claim to be advocates of democracy still launch personal attacks and insults on each other by using childish name-callings and making uncivilised accusations towards each other just because the person on the other side does not agree with all their points of view.

The tragic issue in all of this is that such behaviour comes not from the average illiterate fellow in the streets of Iran, but it comes from our so-called intellectuals, professors, doctors, engineers and the residents of Western democracies who are supposed to have learned the principal of democracy, tolerance and non-prejudice behaviour from their host nations.

Now! If these so-called intellectuals behave in such a degrading manner before getting into power, then I really hate to imagine how they would behave once in power.

Would it be surprising if they become the next dictators only with a different idol (Shah or Masaddegh)? If these people behave in such degrading manner now (when they have no power) then what could I expect from the illiterate mullah who is in charge now and believes he is speaking for God, or his stupid Baseeji servant who is not only paid well but also believes that by serving such morons he will also get an eternal palace in heaven.

Hasn’t the time finally come for us to learn to be fair and open-minded toward all other ideological and political groups and all different opinions even and especially when we are in utter disagreement?


more from areyo barzan

sorry dear vildemose

by h.jahanshahi on

خیلی ببخشید من فراموش کردم نام دوستی را که در پست خودش به امکان اشتباه مصدق و شاه اشاره کرده بود بنویسم.


کامنت من اشاره به جمله ی او بود.

بعد از جنگ 7 روزه ی اعراب و اسرائیل (جنگ یوم کیپور 1967)، اعراب به سوی ابزار سازی از سیاست نفتی رفتند و  کشورهایی که نیروی نظامی اسرائیل را ساپورت میکردند، مورد تحریم نفتی قرار گرفتند. قیمت نفت بمرور افزایش پیدا کرد تا اینکه غرب در دهه ی 70 به بحران اقتصادی کشیده شد. بالا رفتن قیمت نفت بوسیله اوپک و بعد تغییر روش عربستان سعودی را برخی دلیل دشمنی غرب با محمد رضا شاه میدانند.

در ضمن ازاینکه شما هم به روانشناسی اجتماعی علاقه دارید خوشحال شدم. بامید بحث های بیشتر و روزها و آینده یی بهتر 



 Mr. Jahanshahi: I urge

by vildemose on

 Mr. Jahanshahi: I urge to you to blog about what you've beautifully penned here in the comment section. Hope to see your blog soon.

btw, I share the same passion as you do.

On your last post, can you elaborate what you meant by shah's fatal mistake repeating Mossadegh's??

Thanks and look forward to your refreshing insights and thoughts.





All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


maybe the Shah's most fatal mistake was to repeat Mosaddegh's..

by h.jahanshahi on

بنظر من، لازمه ی موفقیت کشورها در آن سال ها ملزوم به دو شرط اساسی بود: پشتیبانی مردم از نظام و روابط دوستانه با غرب و بخصوص با آمریکا.

من فکر میکنم علاوه براینکه میتوان در سیاست نفتی شاه و مصدق شباهت هایی پیدا کرد ولی باز این سئوال باقی میماند که آیا ابزار سازی از بهای نفت راه درستی بود یا نه؟

آیا در کشور ما حل مسایل دیگری اولویت نداشتند؟ اگر مسایل دیگری اولویت داشته اند، پس بهتر نبود و نیست که بجای یافتن مقصر در دیگران ابتدا از خودمان شروع کنیم؟ یعنی باین فکر کنیم که چرا ما دائمن این دو شرط اساسی را نادیده گرفته ایم


dear vildemose

by h.jahanshahi on

از اینکه برخی مطالب کامنت من مورد توجه شما قرار گرفت خیلی خوشحال شدم. به نظر من هم گفت و شنود بر سر این مسائل و همزمان پیوند دادن آن با مشکلات فرهنگی ما بحث جذاب و سازنده یست و من هم در سطح خودم سعی میکنم به اینگونه مسایل بپردازم.  راستش، روانشناسی اجتماعی جامعه ایرانی برای من هم خیلی اهمیت دارد

شاد و موفق باشید 


Areyo Some interesting Views, a few of which i agree with

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

Some Idea's to Ponder.

Our own cock up of 1979, was Our Own Cock Up because there was no other true choice available other than to support the late Shah.  The Cock Up was that many iranians believed they honestly had another responsible choice to make, however what they had was deadly deceit, manipulation and coercion none of which constitute a real choice. It was Gospel in the so-called Free World media that the late king was a dictator, corrupt, torturer, excessively repressive. 

Where can one honestly expect to go when one starts based on lies?

On maybe the Shah's most fatal mistake was to repeat Mosaddegh's error by
hiking the price of oil and picking up a war with the West.

The USA/West are not exactly truthful on this point now are they? 

Sad to see so many can still be deceived by them so easily 33 years on.  It is the west job to create stories to defend their honor and pretend their actions had a justification and the blame for 1979 is in part with the shah for provoking their actions, there are more than 100 titles and many more research papers and books written by various Americans or those working with them to deliver this deception.

Looking at All of the Truth gives a very different understanding.  The Saudis and others opposed Oil Rise Prices and the Late Shah could not get them to budge, and so the Shah was forced to reveal his secret agreements with the USA and send Kissinger to get the job done and speak with the Saudi King etc. 

The raise of Oil Prices were never the goal or aim of the Shah, it was the request of the USA from an Ally of Iran, which had a pact signed with the govt of the USA.  The USA had already made the decision to get Iran leadoil privce rises for the USA so it could unite its allies to work together in order to betray the Shah.  The added benefit of this was not just that the USA could destroy Iran, which was and is its goal today for the reasons explained below, but also because all oil was traded in US dollars and after Vietnam the USA wanted to print more money and this helped stregthen the US dollar.  They hit 2 birds with one stone.

The real Justification for the USA's actions in 1970's until today in Syria and as far as the eye can see is the conclusions of the research the USA conducted, known as "Limit To Growth" by the Club Of Rome.  Their actions in Iran, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria etc are due to these findings.  Not the Shahs actions.  The Shahs downfall is a story of Irony and the real reasons the Shah was betrayed are intentionally kept a secret, so that Iranians can not calculate and realize what the US plans are one month from now, a year from now, 10 years, 20 years.

I wish this article has a small impact to restore guidance to purposely deceived and manipulated minds, so more Iranians can be more understanding regarding what they are really facing and from whom and why.  My beiief is that is the ideal basis to start from, is clarity and knowing all of the truth, while not always possible in some cases it is.

: )


 Mr. Jahanshahi:

by vildemose on

 Mr. Jahanshahi: Excellent comment. I wish you could post your comment as a blog. It's refreshing and worthy of more exposure and hopefully sustative discussion.



All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir

areyo barzan

Dear Mr Jahanshahi

by areyo barzan on

Thank you for the kind input and I would like to emphasize that I am in total agreement with you.

Let us hope for the day that all of us can resolve our problems with the past, learn from it and get over it but may be more importantly learn to think and behave in a democratic manner even and especially when it does not serve our personal interest


سپاس از بلاگ جالب و خواندنی شما


دوست گرامی از این بلاگ منصفانه و خواندنی و از توجه شما به تاپیک «مصدق، راه نرسیدن به دمکراسی» سپاسگزارم. من هم با بسیاری از نقطه نظرهای شما موافقم و مثل شما و دوست دیگری که در رابطه با این تاپیک نوشته اند، معتقدم که هدف باید نگاه رو بجلو، رو به آینده باشد. بدون بررسی اشتباهات گذشته هم جلوگیری از تکرار آنها دشوار میشود. انتقاد من هم به مصدق وبرخی دیگر از روشنفکران وسیاستمداران گذشته تنها کوششی در این جهت میباشد

همانطور که خود شما هم به آن اشاره کردید، استفاده ابزاری از مصدق بوسیله هوادارانش و یا قربانی دیدن خود ویا بطور کلی مظلوم نمایی در فرهنگ سیاسی ما، برخی از مشکلات مهم ما در راه نجات از اسلامیسم حاکم بر ایران هستند.  نکته ی دیگربنظر من، غرب ستیزی رایج در بین ایرانی هاست. من نمیدانم آیا غرب ستیزی ما از تمایل به مظلوم نمایی میاید و یا مظلوم نمایی از غرب ستیزی ولی بهر حال من فکر میکنم که این مسایل ما را تا حد زیادی به منفی بافی و ایستایی کشانده است و مصدقی ها در آن تقش مهمی بازی کرده و میکنند.  

بهر حال به باور من، بهتر است که ما ایرانی ها در آینده بیش از آنکه هوادار این و یا آن سیاستمدار باشیم، هوادار خود سیستم دمکراسی باشیم. چون ما هم باید کم کم یاد بگیریم که اعتماد به سیستم مهمتر از اعتماد به افراد است. سیستم دمکراسی بر اساس انتخابات آزاد، تفکیک قوای سه گانه، آزادی بیان و تلاش برای بالا بردن آزادی های فردی و رفاه اجتماعی بنا شده است. کسی که از این سیستم دور شود، کشور را به بیراهه و بحران خواهد کشاند، اینکه آن شخص شاه باشد و یا مصدق فرقی در ماجرا نمیکند.

در نتیجه کسی هم که میخواهد در آینده ی ایران مدافع چنین سیستمی باشد، لزومی ندارد برای مثال حتمن همفکر من جمهوری خواه هم باشد بلکه مهم اعتقاد و وفاداری او به دفاع و حفظ سیستم دمکراسی ست. اینکه نام او رضا پهلوی باشد و یا نامی دیگرداشته باشد فرقی نمیکند. فرد ستیزی روی دیگر سکه ی فرد پرستی و بسیار ضد دمکراتیک و خطرناک است.

areyo barzan

Daar Mr Bahmani

by areyo barzan on

As much as I agree with your statement implying that we should be looking forward in order to build our future rather than becoming stock in our past. But I am afraid I must state that our past and our future could not be separated that easily.

In fact not only for us Iranians but for every single nation on this planed the past and future are so interconnected that sometimes they could be referred to as two sides of the very same coin and as an statement by a wise man puts it so elegantly ”those who do not have a past will not have a future”.

This sentiment is even more true for us Iranians today as unfortunately for most of as individuals and all of us as a nation we have not yet dealt with or come to terms with our past properly as we should have and just as I stated in this article we still refuse to have a non bias look at our past errors in order to accept them, learn from them and then move on.

That is the reason for the fact that in every turn and twist on the road towards building our future and improving our prospect as a nation, the ghosts of the past (Shah, Masaddegh, Monarchy, the West, Arabs … you name it.) would again and again comeback to haunt and most importantly distract us from the task at hand.

Now that is what I am trying to deal with here. To make us have one final honest non bias look at our past and more importantly to have a look of our own conducts past and present. Not to look for victims and villains, not to evade our own resistibility, not even to draw any conclusion but to be brave enough to accept and learn from our errors of the past.

Now! If we can do just that then the future is bright for all of us and generations to come.

Otherwise we will be stock in this vicious circle of blame game and analysing the past just for the sake of analysing for ever and ever and ever. 

Now that is the issue at stake here and that is what I attempted to deal with


Another of our flaws: Over-Analyzing the Past?

by bahmani on

Thanks for your review of our past and a damn good attempt at the analysis. It follows the "Try to learn from your past, so you can avoid repeating it". And as that goes, as useful as that is, I think it is a good thing.

I would offer the suggestion up for discussion, that maybe, now that we know so much about where we have been (to no good end), might we consider where we intend to go?

Or, can we hold a debate and discussion on the ideal future of Iran and Iranians in the 21st century?

There are many options we can and should consider, everything from a left-leaning Social Democratic society, to a full-on no-rules completely free Capitalist one. And everything in between.

It seems that the better way to find your way, is to turn and face forward and walk forward. I fear that with all the emphasis and tendency to view and review on our long and storied past, it is akin to walking backwards into the future, looking back at where we have been.

If we keep looking back, how will we see where we should go?

Given the paths are pretty clear (Secular democratic society that accommodates religion but isn't run by it) based on what other countries who have faced similar transitions have done, we can learn a lot more from others who have succeeded, rather than looking only at our own failed laboratory experiments.

There is no rule that says we have to invent an entirely new exclusively Iranian way out of this.

Spain for example is a good model for us. They have both a ceremonial monarchy, and a fairly thriving society. One can argue that had Spain not sacrificed its sovereignty and joined the EU, it would probably not be in the current financial mess.

So Spain, I kind of like to think of Spain as a model for Iran to aspire to.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


Couldn't agree more with

by vildemose on

Couldn't agree more with your sentiments. Well done.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Excellent Blog Which was

by Azarbanoo on

& is needed to be discussed more often.  We need this type of enlightening to wake IRANIANS who are still asleep and do not recognized their shortcomings and reasons for our failurs in past 100 years since Constitutional Revolution.

Thanks Aryo Barzan