For Ali P: Khomeini, the Shah, and Sanjabi


For Ali P: Khomeini, the Shah, and Sanjabi
by Masoud Kazemzadeh

Dear Ali,

As you may know, I have great respect for you. You are a thoughtful person. Therefore, after I saw your comments addressed to me, I listened to Khomeini’s speech.

I. First and foremost, as you may know in 1350 (circa 1972), the internet did not exist for the world. Needless to say, neither YouTube. So, it is safe to assume that the late Dr. Sanjabi did not access to this speech.

II. Some of Khomeini’s speeches were recorded and sent to Iran. Most people, including political activists did not have access to these. Only a handful of Khomeini’s supporters had access to these. And when SAVAK would find these, they would be arrested, and tortured.

III. Now lets assume that THIS speech was available to all the people of Iran in 1350/1972. Lets analyze what Khomeini says.

Analysis of Khomeini’s Speech

1. Khomeini praises as the ideal form of Islamic government to be Imam Ali’s 5 or 6 year rule. He says that Ali lived just like others, actually his standard of living was lower than most. That Ali believed in justice for all, especially the poor. Khomeini says that the destruction of Ali’s rule was a tragedy worse than the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

This is the standard Shia belief. NOTHING out of the ordinary.

2. Khomeini uses the notion of human possessing instincts and that Islam provides laws of how one’s life should be guided by these higher forms rather than lower forms. The notion of human needs are divided into lower forms and higher forms and that one should strive to contain the lower forms and strive for higher forms not only exists in Islamic thought but was dominant in European 17th to 19th centuries. The whole Victorian belief system was based on the containing of the lower instincts (morality, etc). Earlier Mediaeval Christianity had gone so far as have monks who would deny themselves satisfaction of their lower needs (sex, luxuries, good food, family life). Even the modern liberal thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham (father of modern liberalism), James Mill (the other father of modern liberalism and the so-called Utilitarian thoughts), and finally John Stuart Mill (the most celebrated liberal thinker of all time and the father of civil libertarian thought): all of them accepted the notion of lower needs and drives and higher needs and drives. And that although utilitarianism promoted the standard of "maximum happiness and minimum pain" they measured happiness not as mere satisfaction of lower needs. In the famous saying of John Stuart Mill, he said that he would rather be dissatisfied Socrates than satisfied pig. The notion that pursuing high ideals of philosophy and dissent against injustice is preferable to the satisfaction of lower needs and consumption of material goods.

3. Khomeini condemns the Shah’s celebrations of the 2,500 year anniversary of monarchy. Khomeini’s criticism of the anniversary was shared rather universally. It was estimated that the celebrations cost over $200 million. That is in 1972, and in 1972 dollars. Considering the inflation, it would probably be something around 1 BILLION dollars on 2012 dollars. Other than caviar, ALL the other food came from the Maxim restaurant from Paris. That was one of the MOST EXPENSIVE restaurants in the whole world. Certainly one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. In response the worldwide criticisms, the monarchists claim that the costs were less.

Not only the food, but all other stuff (other than Persian carpets) also came from around the world that made the tent and the decorations and the like.

If a country is advanced and rich, it would not be a bad idea to spend that sum. But Iran was a very poor country. We had terrible desperate poverty. Our people suffered from diseases. We had too few hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses. Iran terribly lacked basic infrastructure from ports, warehouses, roads, bridges, universities.......

When the Americans celebrated their 200 anniversary it was a celebration for the people. The Shah had this party for the world elites and not the Iranian people. Actually, SAVAK arrested large number of people who had done absolutely NOTHING, but SAVAK thought they MIGHT protest or something!!!!!!!!!!!


Not only Khomeini criticized the Shah, but also much of the WORLD criticized the Shah. It was a grotesque spending of money in a desperately poor country that the money could have been used for far more urgent and basic needs of the people.

In the past 20 years or so, in reaction to the fundamentalist regime propaganda against our pre-Islamic culture and history, our people hold very dear our pre-Islamic heritage. This is to spit the fundamentalists who have been insulting our heritage, culture, and history. The context was different in 1972. The Shah utterly lacked national legitimacy. The Shah was nokar of the UK and U.S. In order to claim legitimacy, the Shah was claiming the mantel of Koroush Bozorg. That was utter nonsense. Cyrus the Great was our hero and father of the nation. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi a nokar and anti-Iranian fascistic thug responsible for the destruction of our sovereignty, freedom, and rule of law democratically promulgated. Comparing a traitor trash like Mohamad Reza Pahlavi to the icon of our nation was and is insult to our heritage, dignity, and history.

4. Khomeini also talks about poverty. He also talks about how he is not afraid that the Shah would assassinate him. He also calls upon clerics in Iran to oppose the Shah. He asked the people to show negative resistance to the celebrations and not attend the ceremonies.

5. Khomeini criticizes the Shah for selling oil to Israel. Because Israel’s Mossad was training SAVAK, and the Shah had a close alliance with Israel, all Iranian opposition groups (liberal democrats, human rights activists, feminists, socialists) strongly condemned Israel. For good or ill, the Iranian people, hold the notion of "friend of my enemy is my enemy" and "enemy of my enemy is friend." The Iranian people regarded the Shah as the enemy. Period no buts or ifs. So those who helped the Shah’s fascistic tyranny (UK, U.S., and Israel) were considered the enemy. Now with the IRI, the same holds. The Iranian people consider the vf regime to be the enemy. The U.S. opposes the vf regime, therefore, we like the U.S. Russia and China support the vf regime, so we oppose and hate Russia and China. When the regime wanted the people to use the slogan "Marg bar Amrika" and "Marg bar Israel," the people spontaneously shouted "marg Bar Rusia." This is part of our political culture. That is why when the regime asked for the slogan "Marg bar Israel" our people shouted "Naa Ghaze Naa Lonban, Janam Fadaeyh Iran."

Thus in 1972, Khomeini’s condemnation of Israel was shared by ALL opposition groups because of the Mossad assistance to the SAVAKi rapists, torturers, and murderers.

In 1972, Mossad was to the Iranian people and opposition what in 2012 the Lebanese Hezbollah is to the Iranian people and opposition.

If in a few years, the vf regime is overthrown and a few months later the Shia people in Lebanon get rid of Hezbollah and form a democratic group supportive of the new secular democratic Iran, and in 40 years in some sort of internet someone would ask why the hell the Iranian people in 2009 said they do not give a damn about the Shia people in Lebanon and said "Naa ghaze Naa Lobnan, Janam Fadayeh Iran," then you and I have to write a blog like this and explain to the young people of 2052 that 40 years ago, there was a group called Hezbollah which was close to the horrible Velayat faghih regime in Iran. Therefore, in our culture, because we hated the vf regime, we also hated its ally and co-terrorist the Hezbollah. And because the Shia in Lebanon supported the Hezbollah, our people did not give a damn about Lebanon.

6. Finally, could you please tell me exactly what Khomeini said in the video that should have made Dr. Sanjabi to realize that Khomeini was a fundamentalist fascistic totalitarian thug?

7. Some FACTS. In his first book, Kashef al Asrar, Khomeini explicitly and openly supports monarchy. From 1942 to 1963, Khomeini was a MONARCHIST. From 1963, Khomeini began opposing the Shah.

In 1978, it was NOT known that Khomeini was a supporter of Sheikh Fazolollah Nouri. (Caveat, in 1978 Khomeini told Dr. Boroumand that he supported Nouri but immediately realized that it would damage him and then asked Boroumand not to share that with any other person).

In 1978, it was NOT known that Khomeini was a supporter of Fadaian Islam.

In conclusion, Khomeini on purpose LIED to deceive the Iranian people, the Iranian political parties and figures, including Sanjabi as well as the world.

At the same time, we should remember that the Shah was claiming that he is the Shadow of God on Earth and that the 12th Imam was in constant communications with him that the 12th Imam had protected him, and that the 12th Imam would give national secular materials to the Shah before those events would actually occur.


The Shah’s tyranny had gotten even more oppressive by the creation of the Rastakhiz Party where all the people were told to join the Party, or go to prison, or get their passports and leave Iran!!!!!!!!!

It is amazing that some would demand that Sanjabi should ignore the ACTUAL fascistic actions of the Shah and somehow been able to PREDICT what in the future Khomeini would have done.




more from Masoud Kazemzadeh

I give him benefit of doubt

by hmj2101 on

Dear Masoud 

To be fair, I give Mr. Sanjabi the benefit of doubt. However, nothing can ever change that he chose to join NF and the secularist camp to Khomeini's camp. Even if that was an honest and well-intentioned mistake, this is his legacy.

Moreover, Mr. Sanjabi never apologized to Dr. Bakhtiar, Mr. Sidighi and other secularists who warned what Khomeini would be. As far as I know, Sanjabi never met with Dr. Bakhtiar to cooperate with his anti-khomeini activities nor did he send a message upon Dr. Bakhtiar's murder. Mind you that Sanjabi lived a quiet life after the disaster he helped to create but Dr. Bakhtiar continued to fight the regime until his heart stopped beating.

With a hero like Dr. Bakhtiar, Mr. Sanjabi is best to be forgotten for his sake and National Front's sake. 

H. Michael Jalili is a writer based in the Middle East

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

 most of what you're saying can be found on all old magazine called SAHAND published in Paris by a close friend of mr. Bakhtiar.

Thanks                                   Maziar


Doesn't matter

by MRX on

Talk is cheap. none of this mumbo jumbo will absolve members of jebhe zed meli and their actions in manjelab of 1979. It's clear that with an exception of few (Dr. bakhtiar is good example) majority of them were bunch of opportunits who would do any thing (short of selling their mothers!) to get into some high government position so they went to bed with a whore called Khomeini and then they have been whining for 30+ years that they have got gonorrhea from him and the worst part is now they are condeming shah of Iran for their disease! some even go as far as say why didn't the shah kill him so they wouldn't ended up with the disease! Had it not been khoemini and some one else, they would have gone to bed with him as well. It's clear these dopes, never had any inclination or desire of establishing any  democratic system just oportunits and charlatans that's all.