Dr Shapour Bakhtiar


Dr Shapour Bakhtiar
by IRANdokht

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the brutal assassination of a true patriot.

Dr Shapour Bakhtiar was our last hope during the chaos of 1979. After 25 years of being a member of the opposition to Shah's regime, a firm opponent of all totalitarian rulers, Dr Bakhtiar courageously accepted the prime minister position at the very end of the Persian monarchy, fighting to save his beloved country from the bloody claws of the islamic theocracy. His voice was only brave one, resisting the impeding catastrophe that eventually fell upon our Iran.

Dr Bakhtiar foresaw what other intellectuals of the times were too blind to see: He called for a peaceful transition to a democratic government instead of an islamic republic.

Dr Bakhtiar endured accusations, harrassments and protests every day of the short time he was in office, and faced with all the emotionally charged riots, he offered Iranians the only time in the history when freedom of speech was enjoyed by all, the newspapers and newsletters were distributed without any censorship. The TV and the radio, although run by goverment, covered all the news without bias or any cover-ups and most importantly he disbanded SAVAK.

How did the people of Iran respond to such a great man? I don't even want to remember the insulting slogans, the false accusations and the ignorance that had creeped over our people...

I am sure some of you remember those days better than I do. But does any of you still cry when you think back and wonder why nobody supported this great man's fight to save Iran?

Dr. Bakhtiar was brutally assassinated by the agents of IRI in 1991 at his home in Paris.

May this lone hero of our times rest in eternal peace.

Part 1

Part 2


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Dr Shapour Bakhtiar

by IRANdokht on

Please allow me to thank you all for the friendly and heartfelt discussions and the valuable information shared on this thread.

To continue the other important topics that were not directly related to Dr Bakhtiar, I'd like to ask you respectfully to start a new thread.

Let us never forget the lessons we learned and lets try not to repeat the mistakes we have already made.



ba sepaas va doroodeh faravan  



Dear Fair

by Souri on

Let me thank you for your great post and your wise words. This is wonderful to see some high standard people here who at least have a
political concept. So I don't need to repeat my point 3 times.

I do agree with your post (this last one) %100. I promise you , the day this will happen, I won't be a simple spectator.

the subject of referendum has been brought (Re, Anonymoushe) many times
here, I didn't protest, neither I did agree. I raised the tone only
when I read those lines (Re. Irandokht) :

"It sounds like we all agree that a new referendum is needed. One that
is not rigged of course. One that would present more than a yes/no
option. Isn't that exactly what Reza Pahlavi has been saying all these years? "

Starting a post with this, sound realy like a "shoar" to me. It's like : : we all agree, then we all should go under the flag of a certain person, what are we waiting for ?

And she continue more and more :

Granted Reza does not have Dr Bakhtiar's background in politics, he has
not proven himself in a political role etc... but aren't the rest of
the groups opposing him mostly for being Shah's son?

He's made a lot of very valid points, he gets coverage by the
international news media, his name and face are well-known in Iran more
than a lot of other opposition groups.

He's educated, loves Iran, doesn't want to be "Shah" and he is promoting a "free referendum".

It's really sad to think that we might be making the same mistake JM
and nehzateh Azadi made when they didn't support Dr Bakhtiar.

Tell me honestly, what you would think about the
these statement ? Wouldn't you believe this look more like an
electoral advertisement ?

That's why I said: We are not there yet
! Not yet ! Don't go too fast. Who said I will vote for him, because I
did a mistake with Bakhtiar ? Who said he would be in the list for the
referendum ? We don't even know what the people of Iran think about

When I talk about the "growth"...people jump on me to say:

You don't mind sadness and bloodshed and that does not make you lose
your temper, but a mention of a referendum gets you all fuming!

Who said I don't suffer from all this sadness and bloodshed ? What do you
know about my life ? What do you know ? What do you know about my best
friend being executed at the age of 19 ? my best friend, not just a
distant friend ...what do you know about the people's pain ? Pain is
not only what you write on your keyboard with hater...

I talk abut the growth, yes. It took almost 70 years for the Communism to be
thrown. We are talking about a system here, not a casual change of

It feels good to sit here and talk about the
referendum, but look at the reality. See the long distance we have from
the reality of our country.

of course a democratic referendum is the best solution not only for our country but this is a
ideal solution for every country in trouble. They all dream of this.

But when ? Where ?
It feels good to decide about a referendum, but go say it to the IRI now. I believe we can't.

Maybe the people of Iran, inside of Iran, can force this. I'm sure they will
be able to do it one day. Let hope for that. I am all with you.


Dear Souri

by Fair on

Maybe it is time for us to break into another blog- how to campaign for a referendum in Iran, or something like that. I agree we are getting far from honoring Shapour Bakhtiar here. But maybe not....

...because let us ask, what would Dr. Bakhtiar say if he were on this blog today? Maybe I am going out of my bounds here, but I bet you he would very much be for a referendum.

You correctly say that we are not the elite, and the people back home are not the "miserable". I agree. I also agree with you if you say that we should not decide for them or set "taklif" for them from here. (Please correct me if I misunderstand you).

But a referendum is exactly that- it is giving THEM the choice, and settling things on THEIR terms. The people in Iran have learned politics and social studies much better than 10 PhD's in some western university would give you- they learned it ON THE GROUND and through PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. They will lead us out, not the other way around.

My understanding of the various social movements in Iran (students, women's movement, workers, human rights activists, etc.) is that they have moved beyond ideologies and figureheads and slogans. They are dealing with ideas and debates. This is a HUGE step forward.

No longer is it about being for a Pahlavi or a Khomeini or a Bakhtiar or a Mossadeq or some other person. It is about ideas, policies, forms of government, constitutions, the role or relgion, rights of individuals, etc.

I would like to follow their lead and ask that when we say a concept like referendum, let's not mix it up or attribute it to any one person (like Reza Pahlavi or anybody else), but to treat it like an idea.

I promise you, the next big change in Iran will not come under the leadership of one figure (hero, charismatic, strongman or whatever). It will come as a collective movement with everybody doing their (however small) part, and it will be much more meaningful.

I don't know about you, but when it happens, I would like to say that I was not a spectator, but a participant. I would much rather be a proud member of the "miserables":) In mind, there is no US or THEM. We are ALL IRANIANS.

I hope you will join us.





by Souri on

"If you don't know how to show tolerance, stick to lighter blogs. Talk about poetry or music and you won't feel like the train of the
conversation might have passed you by...."

Sure", I will stay out of this. This is my point too. I can't tolerate these kind of debate. As for the "apologies", sorry nobody can force me to apologize when I am not convinced to. People talk about insult and accusation to Irandokht, I read my post 5 times to see any insult or accusation there, I didn't see any.

I have already said all I was thinking abut this subject and don't need to continue. You can go on as long as you want now.


I paid attention

by Anonymoushe (not verified) on

During the course of comments this weekend, people talked about the referendum, you were there Souri, you saw the comments and added some yourself.

Even Q accepted that the referendum might have not been done the way it should have. Anonymous4Now explained more about the circumstances and how the referendum was fraudulant, Jamshid also spoke of it and explained it clearly. Before all that, an anonymous user brought it up:

Let's discuss a new referandum for 2009
by Why? (not verified) on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:13 PM CDT

Why doesn't the Islamic Republic listen to the calls of millions of Iranians for a new referandum??? Why is it that the mere mention of a new referandum gets you killed and imprisoned in the Islamic Republic of Oppression?

Then IRANdokht posted about referendum and you went off on her as if someone had pulled a fast one on you! Where were you when everyone was discussing a referendum before? What betrayal? it was the flow of debate that led to the referendum topic. Do you know what a referendum is? I have news for you, it means: ASKING PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
That is what Fair previously said and IRANdokht also paraphrased Fair.

The anonymous user why? was right, the mere mention of a referendum gets people's blood boiling like we just witnessed here!

You even show the audacity to say that our people have to go through all the pain and suffering because they're still growing?
here's what you just said:
My belief today is :
the Iranian Nation is now in a process of growth. This process, however sad and bloody, should take its time and complete its evolution to reach to a conclusion for the right decision.

It's easy to see it, you said it yourself. You don't mind sadness and bloodshed and that does not make you lose your temper, but a mention of a referendum gets you all fuming!

I believe you owe IRANdokht an apology for acting as if you were fooled and forced to comment on something that was not entirely honest. You have insulted her and the rest of the people here who have contributed to this blog.

If you don't know how to show tolerance, stick to lighter blogs. Talk about poetry or music and you won't feel like the train of the conversation might have passed you by.

Kaveh Nouraee

Souri khanoum

by Kaveh Nouraee on

What do you find either unappealing or offensive about monarchists? Or the monarchy in general?

Dr. Bakhtiar's position was to have Iran return to function as a true constitutional monarchy, as it clearly strayed far from that path over time. This would have permitted Iran to enjoy the freedoms that the Khomeini and his gang have so blatantly denied for 30 years, allowing the country to move forward, and fully realize the goal of being the economic powerhouse of the region, with the Iranian people being right up there with crude oil and natural gas as the thee biggest natural resources.

That could have happened with Dr. Bakhtiar's vision of a constitutional monarchy. And who better than a one time sworn enemy of the regime to lead it? The real dictatorship began in February 1979 with the YES/NO vote, which was a sham to begin with.

No one is saying with certainty that Reza Pahlavi is the answer. Maybe he is, maybe he's not. I give him credit for saying "let the people decide what they want and how they want it in a free and transparent manner without coercion and threats, whether implied or actual". (I'm paraphrasing). But I'm not going to make my decision on his worthiness to ascend the throne or anything else based upon 15 minutes with him in the FastPass lane waiting to get on Space Mountain.

It wasn't perfect back in those days, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was manageable. And to build an economy as Mohammad Reza Shah envisioned it for Iran takes time. A lot of time. Mohammad Reza Shah always did think big. He wanted great things for Iran. Part of it was his to satify his own ego I'm sure, but also partly because he believed Iran deserved it. He didn't see us or the country as a backwards third world dump.

Dr. Bakhtiar didn't either. We could have had the best of both worlds. The traditions and customs associated with having a monarchy, combined with all of the tools needed to function in the modern world with a progressive and democratic thinking prime minister.

How does this fall into your idea of elitist thinking on our parts? Yes, it is a miserable society there. But they don't even have the freedom to express their true concerns and feelings. For God's sake, don't delude yourself into thinking they do.

If thinking that way makes me a monarchist.....then I'm guilty as charged and I wear the label proudly and with honor. And if anyone thinks less of me for it.....that's THEIR loss.

Javid Iran


Fair, Anonymoushe

by Souri on

Fair: Thank you for your statement.

Anonymoushe :

debate was about Dr. Bakhtiar and what he did for our country, I know
we can derivate from the subject. I do it too, but jumping from the
conclusion that " we didn' t give a chance to Bakhtiar" to a
proposition like " We need a referendum now"...was like a betray to me.

I admit I am sometimes temperamental, and I have to apologize for that, but I don' t like to be manipulated.

many Iranian, I have my baggage too. I have been
manipulated twice, in regard to politics. That's why I said goodbye to
all political activities/ideology since a 25 years ago.

But my love for my country never cesses and I am concerned by everything that touch my country.

Why I don't support Reza Pahlavi, is the same reason why I don' t support any other political movement for now.

My belief today is :

Iranian Nation is now in a process of growth. This process, however sad
and bloody, should take its time and complete its evolution to reach to
a conclusion for the right decision.

The image is :

A child
is still at the primary school, and the parents and teachers and all
people concerned, debate and devour themselves deciding where this
child should go to University and what Major he should study.

Let this child grew, they will decide by time what they want, they can and they should do.

we do here (all the people outside of Iran) is reading, talking and
learning from the past. This is not a time of decision. All we have to
do is exchanging ideas.

Irandokht herself said before, people in Iran don't give that much
importance to what is happening among the Iranian vatandoust outside
of the country.

I remember couple of years ago, in this same
website, I read a letter which had been addressed to Farah Diba from a
young woman activist who was in jail in Iran .

The letter started with : BIA LOTFI KON EI BANOO...!!!

that letter the woman asked Farah Diba, not to take part for her and
not to defend her right, not to speak of her every time in the
conferences and not to claim her freedom.

She wrote :" I was born in a country where your name belongs already to History. I don't know you, and you don' t know me.

have been outside of my country for many years now. You don' t know my
real problems and what I am confronting in here. So please stick to you
own values and fight your own case, don't take part for me...... "

When I read that letter, first I got mad. I couldn' t believe an Iranian woman in jail of IRI, could think and talk this way.

personally have lots of respect for Farah Diba, but that letter made me
think later. I said to myself, that's right. What we do know about
their lives ? How could we, the Iranian who left the country to enjoy
the freedom in some other land, how could we dare to think that we are
able to bring a solution to their misery and decide what is good (or
better) for them.

I know Reza Pahlavi doesn't claim the Monarchy
in Iran, I read his speech in his website. I do respect him and his
opinion as a true Iranian.

My problem is not the Monarchy or else,
my problem is that we pretend to be the elite of a miserable society.
We are not the elite and they are not miserable. We have to trust our




by Anonymoushe (not verified) on

Why don't you explain why you don't support Reza Pahlavi?

Irandokht said why she's thinking he would be a good option.

you accuse people of being a monarchist without providing a reason? a justification?
so why do you get bent out of shape when someone accuses you?

listen to Fair! don't be so judgmental and temperamental.


Dear Souri, Irandokht, NotAnonymous, et al...

by Fair on

Let us not fall into the trap of labelling each other and making a few simple buckets...

And let us be tolerant of each other. This is the first test of citizenship in a democracy.

It is not clear to me at all that Irandokht is a monarchist, nor that Souri is a closet pro IRI. What is crystal clear to me is that the vast majority of us debating here love our country, and want to take our proper place on the world stage. And we want to help our people, and in doing so, help our country. Remember the main question from us to those inside Iran: HOW CAN WE HELP YOU MOVE OUR COUNTRY FORWARD? I trust the Iranian people today, they will give us the best answer. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, we may have learned from our mistakes.

This is what matters, and this is the energy we must harvest and channel. The mullahs (or any autocratic regime) are most afraid of this, believe me.

Irandokht agreed that it is time for a new referendum, I think I speak for most people here when I say " I do too". She also says that is what Reza Pahlavi says. I understand that this will push many buttons on many people, but here is where the tolerance test comes. What do I mean?

I mean that I will tolerate any Iranian who is innocent and has no blood on their hands, speaking their mind honestly about what is good for our country. That means I will tolerate what Reza Pahlavi says, because he is an INNOCENT Iranian. On the other hand, I will not tolerate prescriptions of any kind from the traitor Rajavi, who has blood of fellow Iranians on his hands. Same goes for high ranking IRI officials.


Souri please do not regret taking part in these discussions, and please do not judge Irandokht. I am thankful to both of you for your writings and your opinions. Because SILENCE MEANS CONSENT.

In short, all I ask is tolerance. i.e. all I ask is...





Not Anonymous,

by Souri on

I have learned to be true to myself, long time ago. If according to your observation "Many people here think that I am a closet pro-IRI"....then I let it be. There's always a price we must pay for being truthful. I prefer being true to myself and my soul, rather than lying to my belief, just to fit the expectation of others.

Me, a closet pro-IRI ? doesn't matter if you think this way, but that will
never close my mouth on saying what I really think, if you hoped this.

You said, I'm too transparent for those who are savvy enough (you as an
example?) to recognize my tactics....My answer is, Madame, no matter who
you think I am, I am here with my true identity. My records
are known to many of the Iranian communities here in Montreal and in
Paris. Many people in those cities and even here in Iranian.com, know me
and my references.

And above all, let think you were right.

If I were a pro-IRI, what would be wrong with this dear ? There are also
pro-IRI in the world and inside of Iran too. Are they Iranian too or
not ? Have them their voices or not ? Have them a right to vote in your
presumed referendum or they will be excluded ?

One word of advice : Don't do to others what you are criticizing to be done to you now.


A4now, I have to repeat the main issue here

by Q on

First I agree with you on this and we have some common ground here:

It would be disingenuous to claim that the majority did not vote for the Islamic Republic.

But then you go on to say two different things:

1. people were coreced into voting YES
2. people were deceived into voting YES

I have already said that within my own larger circle of friends, acquaintances, and fellow students, there was no one who wanted to listen to reason and everyone was euphoric and hopeful for change.

It seems you agree not enough people were coreced, espeically since the voting STAMP on one's ID via rationing didn't seem to be a factor. I was hoping you could provide some examples of this.

So, now we have a larger picture of "mass deception" through "propaganda".

Well, I actually agree with you. Understand that it does not matter what was said before, even if it was completely sincere, these were still promisses that happen by all politicians in every election in every democratic country in the world.

I don't deny or excuse the lies. But this is clearly a gross exaggeration:

Within 6 months of the referendum, there was no one who did not regret what they had committed to earlier, by not supported Bakhtiar.

Leave aside the obvious generalization which is false on it's face. But given that people approved the constitution 10 months later, can you explain how someone who "regrets" voting for the IRI votes to approve it again over 6 months later?

We could say they were decieved again by a whole host of other issues. Maybe they were brainwashed a third and fourth and fifth time to produce increadibly high turnouts for subsequent IRI elections. Perhaps 10 years after the revolution, ten million people were again "brainwashed" when they took to the streets of Tehran for the funeral of the founder of the Islamic Republic. Uou see how it's quite absurd to say "there was not one person who did not regret what they did."

We can't simply go around second-guessing huge majorities like this. We have to stop PROJECTING our own feelings into the people of Iran. There were, are and for the near future will be significant number of hard-core pro-Islamic IRI supporters inside Iran. The numbers, I don't know, but that's the real truth.

Can we face this truth?

A vote is not a "contract" as some have suggested. In fact, it would be illegal in all democratic socieities to vote for someone based on a contractual obligation, the analogy is just wrong.

So, now, we have left with people claiming 90% of the people were brainwashed (3 seperate times in 1979) and many times after, including 65% in 2005.

You see how this charge can be made of any elections anywhere. There is no cure other than self-empowered informed citizenry. What can we do about it other than educate and ask critical questions before the vote? And then not support the same government again at the next vote?

Do you expect a minority who LOST the vote to have the power to "correct" the outcome and tell the majority: "No, you were brainwashed, you can't have your choice." That's not any democracy I recognize.

I know it's absurd but in theory even if 90% of the country is brainwashed, than you still have a true democracy. it is the will of the people. Unless we are talking about holding guns to people's heads in polling booths, it was their choice (which in this case they reaffirmed again months later).

The truth is that people were deceived and if given the same YES – NO choice, they would overwhelmingly vote NO, today.

Perhaps you are right. But we need to see more evidence of this. If a majority wanted to overthrow the IRI, it could easily have happened by now. I don't dispute that any people anywhere when given a choice without risk would opt to have a better government.

But what you do not mention is that there is a consequence to trying to change the system at a core, overnight, even through a referendum.

I would say that a majority of Iranians are against the RISK of changing the government overnight and would opt for a gradual approach. I'm not talking about personal risk (there may be some there, but Iranians have never shown to care about that if they really believe in something) but the chaos and uncertainty that would ensue, especially given the atmosphere of foreign war and intimidation. These things are putting pursuit for a better government at a distant secondary concern for Iranian citizens. Many are shocked that some of their exiled brethern are calling for bombing to "free" them and this truly hurts any desire for change. It's what every analyst says.

The problem is you are so entrenched with your own concept of what the people meant by a YES on the ballot, in 1979, that you refuse to hear everyone’s testimony to the contrary: THE IRI WAS NOT WHAT THEY ASKED FOR.

I don't appreciate the unnecessary characterization but I agree completely. But those same people who "did not ask for" IRI had a hand in constructing the IRI constitution as well and approving it later.

Earlier I suggested that Bakhtiar could have been more influential had he resigned and join the vast majority of anti-Shah protestors. I really believe it to be true, and in fact a tactical mistake not to have done it. I sincerely think that a more secular system was on the table until the Shah's hand-picked man advocated it. Now it had to have suffered serious public relations damage based on this alone.

On the other hand, if Bakhtiar was not associated with the Shah, his ideas may have had a better chance of coming to fruition. There is no doubt that Shah wanted to "own" or at least have some organized control (for the sake of law and order) over even his own exit from Iranian politics. That's what he meant when he said "I have heard your cries for injustice" but this made the brand of secular republicanism that Bakhtiar was pushing, TAINTED.

I also have argued many other factors such as the MEK bombings and the war that were instrumental in changing the character of the IRI from what "people wanted" to what it ended up being. But That' another discussion, we can get into in some other thread.


Irandokht jan: I have a Dr's

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Irandokht jan: I have a Dr's appointment.... and I have to leave but I should be back in 2to 3 hours. Look forward to see your new blog.


Dear Not-Anonymous

by IRANdokht on

You are giving me too much credit. I am no writer either, but I would love to continue this dicussion somewhere else before the tribute of Dr Bakhtiar becomes a battlefield!

I really thought we were starting to discuss issues like grown ups for a change... oh well

Thank you for your comments. Yes, I agree we're not going to support Reza as the new "shah", I think he has already announced that he is not pursuing that role. If it takes an official document for the people to give him a chance then why not!

Thanks again



factfinder, I'm disappoined

by Q on

how is it you can't even bring yourself to admit the false statements you made about me, even after charging that I "falsified history" ?

Yes, I see serious muddying allright.


Irandokht jan: we need a new

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Irandokht jan: we need a new thread. The issues discussed here are too important. I'm a horrible writer; ergo, requesting you to do it, if you have time or the desire...LOL


I am not surprised a bit!

by IRANdokht on

Souri khanoum

This blog was not what you are accusing me of. My intentions were and are the same.

Maybe if we all decided not to jump to conclusions, show decency in our arguments, leave aside our judgements and hang-ups, we wouldn't have to spend 30 years just talking!

As Fair suggested before and I agreed, we need to be asking people of Iran about what they want and find a way to help them. Reza Pahlavi is also asking for a free referendum. That was what I am suggesting here, but you're too busy having a temper tantrum! If there is anything here  that you need me to explain further you can always ask before you start your attack.

you can be disgusted with me and this blog, it's your choice, just like your participation was your choice. But when you decide to jump to conclusions only minutes after you have read my comment and not ask for any clarification, then I have to ask you to get a grip.

I have never met Reza Pahlavi, but I agree with what I have heard him say.

You met him and you don't agree with his politics.

why are you being so insulting to me based on a political disagreement?

Thank you Souri

You just proved to me that we have long ways to go before we can reach
the level of civilization needed to be able to discuss issues without
resorting to nastiness.




Dear Souri: Many have

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Dear Souri: Many have engaged in discussions with you on this thread or other threads, thinking that you're a closet pro-IRI and are here to create diversion to silence the dissenters of the Islamic Republic. You're not the one to speak of any kind of moral high ground.

Your tone is pretty slik and I give you credit for that but you're too transparent for those who are savvy enough to recognize your debate tactics.


Reza Pahlavi should

by Not Anonymous (not verified) on

Reza Pahlavi should officially and unequivocally renounce any desire to become a king before the referendum.

If Iranians want a king then they will choose their king based on who is the most qualified in economics, diplomacy, statemsmanship, laws both western and Eastern, philosphy, relgion, etc...There should be an exam given to all candidates to prove their intelligence and their candidate-worthiness. The candidates should also have an action plan on how they are going to fix the monumental problems that the Iranian nation face and they should reveal/discuss that plan to all Iranians.



by Souri on

"I am sure at this point, some may think I am a monarchist or whatever..."

Let me tell you: YES, I DO. and I am so disappointed I'd wasted my time here
in this blog, to only reach to this result, which seems to me more to a

I don' t belong to any political party or association.
there is something here you said that I fundamentally disagree. I
believe that we (the Iranian abroad) have neither the credibility nor
the right to decide for the people of Iran who live there and can
decide for their destiny much better than we do here, rounding around
the same circle with our mitigated memories and knowledge.

If I knew the point of this whole debate was to mention that we have to
granted Reza Pahlavi, I would never participate in this debate.

I am so sorry, I did.

There's something I must add here, that you and your alike friend might think I am against Reza Pahlavi's person, that's not true.

It's the base of your argument that is revolting me as you seem to believe
that we gather here to make a choice about our country's system. I
disagree Madame, as our choice has been made long time ago when we left our
country. No matter was the reason, we left our country into the hands
of our "hamvatan" who make this new Iran's population now.

As to Reza Pahlavi, I like him as a person. I had encounter him 5 years ago in Disney
Land with his 2 daughters. He is one very nice, friendly and very intelligent Iranian. He is a very humble and easy going and adorable
person. Also I have a very great respect for his mother Farah Diba.

But all this, does not make me a fan of him and his political views.

It was a mistake of me to participate in this thread.



Thank you Irandokht!

by Anonymous4now on

I have often said, that after 30 years, we must learn to put our grievances behind and use our collective experience and knowledge, acquired in those 30 years, fruitfully.  We must learn to compromise in order to come up with an optimized solution, and accept the rule of the majority, otherwise everyone will be fighting for their perception of what ideal is, and we will end up with the situation we have now.  Any optimized solution must be all inclusive and no group should be excluded based on ideology or because of past associations.  For a political movement, in opposition to the regime, to take a foot hold, we must have a leading figure who is recognizable as such, and you are absolutely right: there is no better person than Reza Pahlavi who has been calling for a referendum by the people to determine the form of government for the future of Iran.  Some people have such allergic reaction to this idea that they stigmatize anyone who would suggest it, but we must learn to get over our previous anxieties and move forward with the conviction that we will never again be deceived, to end the misery befallen our beloved country.  Let’s turn the clock back and start from where Bakhtiar would have liked to start from.      


A new referendum needed

by IRANdokht on

It sounds like we all agree that a new referendum is needed. One that is not rigged of course. One that would present more than a yes/no option.

Isn't that exactly what Reza Pahlavi has been saying all these years?

Are we associating him with Shah and not giving him a chance, isn't that the same way we treated Dr Bakhtiar?

Granted Reza does not have Dr Bakhtiar's background in politics, he has not proven himself in a political role etc... but aren't the rest of the groups opposing him mostly for being Shah's son?

He's made a lot of very valid points, he gets coverage by the international news media, his name and face are well-known in Iran more than a lot of other opposition groups.

He's educated, loves Iran, doesn't want to be "Shah" and he is promoting a "free referendum".

It's really sad to think that we might be making the same mistake JM and nehzateh Azadi made when they didn't support Dr Bakhtiar.

I am sure at this point, some may think I am a monarchist or whatever...

All I am trying to do is to make a point: Lets not make the same mistake again.

The Iranians abroad are in a different situation than the masses were back in Iran prior to 1979.

We have taken many years to talk about politics, rehash the past events, try to figure out a way to undo what was done. Now we're smarter, we're more politically aware and we have access to each other and the Iranians inside the country a lot better than we did early on.

Lets think about it. What do we have to lose except many more years of just discussions and debates.

Best regards



PS: thank you all for the very informative and thought provoking comments . I now remember some details I had not thought about for years... Thank you Jamshid, Anon4now, Factfinder, Q, Souri et al.


Then, you maybe right

by Souri on

as I said before, I left Iran 3 months after the revolution. then went back to live there only one year (1983) so maybe my memories are not helping accrately. If you are right, then I' m sorry, for the wrong info I stated here.


Let's assume hypothetically

by not Anonymous (not verified) on

Let's assume hypothetically the Iranians voted for the "Islmaic Republic". What were the perception of the people of such a system of governance?

What did "Islamic Republic" mean to them? What kind of preconceived notion people had of such government? Was the "Islamic Republic" ever defined by any group, journalists, or officials for the Iranians in the media??

What kind of images were conjured up in people's head when they talked about having an "Islamic Republic"?? was there a standard concept of "islamic republic" type of governance/political system?

Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge in clarifying these issues.


not quite right Souri

by Anonymoush (not verified) on

Rumors at the time were that with the new government, if you didn't have your birth certificate stamped you might not be able to get into schools or go back to work!

what you're talking about was the basseeji booklet. The birth certificates were stamped the first time because we still didn't have the basseeji book.

it was all rumors, but scared people anyway.


Souri and Q

by Anonymous4now on

In 1979, Iran’s economy was devastated after the strike’s of 1978-79, and there were widespread shortages, with everything being sold on the black market.   The Islamists with the help of their leftist collaborators, rationed daily necessities, much in the tradition of communist countries, by issuing coupons and distributing food stuffs in mosques.  Many were in fear of not having a stamp in their ID booklets and went to vote, only to find out that to vote NO meant to throw in a red ballot.   




If you do not remember or were never aware of the rationing, then I can’t help you, other than to say the rationing did take place and did affect voting.  No one wanted to be seen putting in a red NO into the ballot boxes and not too many could afford abstaining from the vote and having to pay black market prices for their daily necessities.


Bu all of that is academic, and in the face of your implicit argument that people voted for the IRI and that is what they have now.  It would be disingenuous to claim that the majority did not vote for the Islamic Republic.  The vote did not split 98% for and 2% against, but was, none-the-less in the majority in favor of the Islamic Republic, for the reasons many have suggested: Mass deception by Khomeini, fraudulent voting procedures, betrayal of the naïve population by the “intellectuals”, and so on.  I have already said that within my own larger circle of friends, acquaintances, and fellow students, there was no one who wanted to listen to reason and everyone was euphoric and hopeful for change.  Within 6 months of the referendum, there was no one who did not regret what they had committed to earlier, by not supported Bakhtiar.   


But this is history now, and if, as you claim, you are after the truth, then you must have the courage to face it.  The truth is that people were deceived and if given the same YES – NO choice, they would overwhelmingly vote NO, today.  The problem is you are so entrenched with your own concept of what the people meant by a YES on the ballot, in 1979, that you refuse to hear everyone’s testimony to the contrary: THE IRI WAS NOT WHAT THEY ASKED FOR.  In fact, what they voted for was what Bakhtiar had envisioned for Iran.  That is what people are saying to you on this thread.



Dear Q

by Souri on

Your comment below was very accurate and I approve it. There's just one ambiguity however, in regard to :

" From your post, it sounds like you are suggesting that having the stamp
coerced people into voting YES for the IRI to receive rations. But it
still makes no sense how this could be because the stamp didn't say
which WAY you voted."

While this is absolutely true, I must add that the " food ration" did not
exist in 1979. It happened after the Iran-Iraq war in 1981.

And the statement of "A4now" was true, in this regard, but only during the war period. Still it was not about the vote of (IRI: yes or no). It was about
the election of the deputies and some other election which needed to
stamp our ID, to have the food ration.



Referendum: Flawed question results in flawed answer

by factfinder (not verified) on

With Q's backtracking on his initial flase accounts of the referendum (and trying to muddy the waters by personalizing the issue) it is suitable to have footnote on the Islamic Republic's referendum of 1979. So far, I had avoided passing any personal opinion on the legitimacy of that referendum but as some commenters have chosen to open this aspect of the debate, I am going to give them a mouthful.

When a wrong question is asked, one can no expect a right answer to it. The 1979 referendum was based on such a flawed premise. To clarify I ma here quoting an extract from an artilce written on this site (seee the link) more than two years ago by Fariba Amini in an interview with Ami-Entezam:

" Dr. Mehdi Haeri Yazdi, a renowned Islamic scholar, son of Ayatollah Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi, the founder of Hozeh Elmieh Ghom who was Khomeini’s teacher, wrote in his memoirs. “I went to see Khomeini in Ghom and presented to him the idea of doing away with the assembly of experts; I pointed out that in fact we do not need either of these assemblies. The Monarchy has been overthrown and we can very well use what is left of the constitution which goes back to 1906. It is an excellent document except the part about monarchy. Let there be a public referendum on this matter and people can chose their real representatives. He hesitated, looked at me and said nothing. To me that was a terrible insult. I concluded after that meeting that Khomeini had made up his mind and his decision.” Mehdi Haeri Yazdi, who was the first scholar to refute the idea of Velayat Faghigh, in his book, Hekmat va Hokumat, and whose niece was Khomeini’s daughter in law cut all his ties with Ayatollah Khomeini until his death in 2000."


In short, the concept of "Islamic Republic" is a contradiction in terms (both from an Islamic as well as Republican points of view) and combined with Velayate Faghih is a double contradiction. As the nation voted blindly for something they had no idea what it was, the result of such a vote is flawed and not legitimate.

I rest my case.


Re: Q

by jamshid on

In most socieities, any transaction that is based on fraud is considered illegitimate and therefore null and void. If a person enters a contract in good faith and also based on the information that was provided to him/her by the other party, and later it is discovered that the other party fraudulently provided false information with the intent to deciet, then not only that contract could be considered void, but the other party could even be prosecuted for fraud.

The 1979 revolution was based on lies, methodic spread of false rumors, a propaganda of misinformation against the regime, including against Bakhtiar, and also many false promises made to the people.

People did vote in favor of the Islamic Republic in good faith, but it didn't take them much time to discover that they were misled and frauded. By 1980, we could already hear the expression "saremoon kolaah raft" everywhere.

One of the most notable liers was Khomeini himself. We all remember what he said about hejab for example. Most women felt assured that their rights will be respected. Today, we all know what he was intending all along when he was making those lies right in the face of the reporters.

He also lied about his role. He repeatedly claimed that he just want to be a "talabeh" in Ghom. He also repeatedly and falsely promised a true democracy while his goal was something else.

I also remember his remarks in his widely distributed cassette tapes in which he slammed the regime and made outragous false claims that unfortunately people believed. I clearly remember his claim that 600,000 (six hundred thousands) were killed by Mohamad Reza Shah. "shah ghabrestaanha ro aabaad kard", "eghtessade iran ro nabood kard", "javoonhaaye vatan ro be betaalat keshid", etc.

Do you remember him saying that gas and electricity should be free? One of the first things his government did was to end "taghzieye raayegaan".

Khomeini did not have any problems with saying lies because he was simply following "taghieh" which allows a person, or even makes it his duty, to lie, as long as it will further his religious goals.

People voted for the Islamic Republic in good faith because they sincerely beleived khomeini's promises. It took only a year or two for people to realize that Khomeini had decieved them. By then it was too late. This renders the Islamic Republic illegitimate since the vote that brought it into existence was based on intentional defrauding of the people by Khomeini.

When asked about his opinion on the majority of the people supporting Khomeini, Dr. Bakhtiar countered, vaghti yek nazari dar asare avaam faribi shekl begireh, on nazar ham mitooneh khatarnaak baasheh va ham naa maashroo. I still remember him saying this in the Radio just a week before the fall of his government.

I would like to extend Dr. Bakhtiar's opinion to the vote and refrundum that you are referring to.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

As if this day wasn't lousy enough on several fronts, it has to be capped off by reading the posts of a lunatic masquerading as an Iranian, who goozes all of his data from Wikipedia, and can only repeat the same, tired junk.

You're not even a broken record. You're worse. At least a record has two sides. You are a tape loop.

Specifically, a Froot Loop Tape Loop.

A more intelligent discourse could be had with a clump of dirt than with this guy.


A4now, It doesn't explain the basic issue

by Q on

You have some good information, most of which does not contradict anything we have been saying. However, you seem to be casting doubt on what the people of Iran wanted in 1979. As we said, everyone agrees there were irregularities with the vote, but are you saying this actually reversed the outcome. Unless the outcome was reversed, it doesn't change anything.

For example in 2000 in Florida, there was voter fraud in a very close election which was later proven to be instrumental in the outcome. I have not seen any expert or observer anywhere make the same claim about the Iranian vote in 1979. If you know otherwise, please provide the information.
To get back to the main topic of this blog, it was Bakhtiar himself who predicted an 85% YES vote even as he did not agree with the wording of the vote itself.

I know there were a lot of conspiracy theories floating around. Everything from a "Communist takeover" to a "Briitsh plot" was being discussed. The stuff about "rationing" is completely new to me. I know there were some rations because of the sudden drop in Western imports, but I have never heard that it was a factor in the voter outcome from anyone.

There was no real functioning "government" in early 1979. Even the ID booklets used for the vote were the Monarchy issued ones. The voter stamp was necessary because it was the only way to make sure people didn't vote more than once.

From your post, it sounds like you are suggesting that having the stamp coerced people into voting YES for the IRI to receive rations. But it still makes no sense how this could be because the stamp didn't say which WAY you voted.

In any case, please enlighten me further with any evidence you have of people being systematically denied anything because of the way they voted in 1979.

And lastely, this does not explain how people still overwhelmingly approved the IRI constitution 10 months later in a much more organized voting process.

Thank You.