My Top Ten Lists: Best and Worst Political Leaders in the World

Masoud Kazemzadeh
by Masoud Kazemzadeh

Ten BEST Political Leaders in the World 1900-Present *

1. Dr. Mossadegh

2. Mahatma Gandhi

3. Franklin D. Roosevelt

4. George Orwell

5. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

6. Olaf Palma

7. Dr. Salvador Allende

8. Aung San Suu Kyi

9. Rosa Luxemburg

10. Dr. Sun Yat-sen


Ten WORST Political Leaders in the World 1900-Present *

1. Adolf Hitler

2. Josef Stalin

3. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

4. Osama bin Laden

5. Pol Pot

6. Benito Mussolini

7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

8. Gen. Augusto Pinochet

9. Idi Amin

10. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

* Choosing "best" and "worst" leaders is not purely objective, because there is a huge subjective, even normative, element to what goes into one’s selection. The above are from the standpoint of an IRANIAN liberal democrat. Each leader in the BEST category has done his or her best to advance the cause of civil liberties, democracy, human rights, and social justice considering his/her environment.

Those in the WORST category are those whose people deserved better, but due to their malevolent influence, their people lost in terms of civil liberties, democracy, human rights, and social justice.


Ten Best Iranian Political Leaders of All Time **

1. Koresh Kabir (Cyrus the Great)

2. Babak Khorramdin

3. Yaaghob Leis Safar

4. Ferdowsi

5. Mossadegh

6. Sattar Khan

7. Karim Khan Zand

8. Dehkhoda

9. Dariush

10. Khayyam

** By political, I also include literary figures who have had enormous political impact on our consciousness.


more from Masoud Kazemzadeh

Imam Khomeni was supreme leader of Islamic Revolution.

by Azim Baqar (not verified) on

Imam Khomeni was supreme leader of Islamic Revolution. He was the most radical Muslim leader of this age....This is one of the only, and one of the best biographies about Khomeni.


Khomeini & Ahmadinejad are finest leader

by Azim Baqar (not verified) on

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini & Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are finest leader of world.......


Re: Masoud

by jamshid on

You worte in your response, "What you say is wonderful, but sadly and unfortunately it could not happen..."

I believe that it COULD happen. All it takes it a bit of sacrifice by concerned and Iran loving people like yourself. The reason why I believe this, is that 90% of JM supporters, monarchists, leftists, melli mazhabis, silent majority and so on sincerely do want a free and progessive Iran.

However, they concentrate on their differences and issues of the past, insteaf of their similarities and issues of the future. This is much to the pleasure of the other 10% and also of the IRI.

If many from the above named camps, not just from one, but from all of them, join together and keep REPEATING their motto of "focus on the future and our common desires", as well as making the sacrifice of stopping to attack each other (for example attacking Mosadegh or the Shah or Islam), then the others will soon join. And right there a true and real "national front" is created. JM is in a strong position to lead this movement.

It does not matter whether it succeeds or not in our generation. Somebody has to start this and perhaps 20 years from now it will come into fruition among the newer generations.

I don't think we must find "good reasons" why this won't work. Instead we should look for "good reasons' why this COULD work, and focus on those reasons as well as on our faith on Iranians.

If our current leaders fail to do this, then they should be set aside and new leaders from among ourselves should rise to the occasion.

I do have my differences with JM, but I would prefer JM one million times over the IRI. I think most Iranians feel this way. That is why I keep saying that JM is in a strong position to lead such "new" movement. I emphasize on the word "new" for reasons explained above and in my other comments.

Either way, I wish you and JM good luck in your struggle against the IRI.

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

I am aware..........

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

Dear Masoud,

 I am aware and understand, what you speak of.  However, my concern was about those you mentioned: democrats, feminists, monarchists, PMOI, communists abroad..........

On many of the political blogs, they tend to be to busy working against each other instead of finding common ground to find any viable solutions.


We live in one of the  most intellectually advanced centuries and still people cannot come to an agreement. Instead countries are resorting to wars and oppression of their own people.  So much destruction....poverty....pain......sadness....blood shed.  When will it ever end?




 In all fairness, you must know that I am not political. I simply seek knowledge and understanding. I am a Humanitarian........people come first.

To help further my knowledge of Iranian politics, I purchased "Modern Iran Roots and results of Revolution" by Nikki R. Keddie.  Iranian politics is very vast and complex. It will take me many years to get a good grasp of it.

It is amazing the mess that foreign powers created in Iran. It seems Mossadegh was trying to do the impossible. I still don't clearly understand all of his choices but I am learning.....slowly but surely.


Yes, Galveston or Corpus would be a nice change of pace but alas......there is much to be accomplished.

Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)

Nadia (AKA)

Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Jamshid jaan,

I. What you say is wonderful, but sadly and unfortunately it could not happen. You under-estimate the horrible impact of our political culture on the behaviour of our politically active individuals. The negative impact of our political culture is like the impact of cigaret. One who is addicted to this damn thing, knows that it is bad and deadly, but is unable to change his/her behavior.

There are several elements to our political culture that are extremely damaging to the prospects of democracy.

1. Excessive self-centeredness (khod-bozorg-bini), excessive individualism (takravi). This has reached pathological proportions. This has undermined the ability of our people to work together for common purpose. This is the case among the fundamentalist rulers, among monarchists, among communists, among democrats....

2. Weird and excessive conspiracy theories.

3. The leadership of each groups, regards himself as Supreme Leader.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the groups you mentioned to sit and work together in one group.

If we are lucky, we would be able to force the ones you mentioned work together.

In conclusion, what you say is logical and wonderful and if I would do, we would be able to overthrow the regime and establish democracy. But due to the terrible impact of our political culture, nor I nor any other person could accomplish this. And this is a major cause of our tragedy.


II. There are many inside JM who have made open and public criticisms of our shortcomings. For example:



III. What is to be done? What realistically can be done?

I think it is possible to form an anti-fundamentalist coalition of all groups and individuals who oppose the fundamentalist terrorist regime. This could be modeled after the POPULAR FRONTS created to confront the fascists in the 1930s and 1940s, and 1950s. If we had competent leaders in various opposition groups (democratic republicans, monarchists, communists, PMOI, ethnic parties, etc.) then these leaders would work towards the creation of such a broad based coalition.

We have always welcomed those who have left the fundamentalist regime. JM helped organize many of the talks and actions by Mr. Akbar Ganji for example. JM encourages and support all individuals who are supporters of the fundamentalist terrorist regime to change: leave the regime and join the people. We will do all we can to help them in this transition.

Why I am being realistic? There is a Persian saying "sang bozorg alamat nandakhtan-e." It is better to have a realistic goal that can be achieved. It is not possible to bring all the groups into one organization. But it is possible to bring various independent parties into one coalition for the purpose of getting rid of the terrorist regime.





P.S. I am forwarding this blog and your message to JM leadership abroad.




Dear Mr. Kashani,

Thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks I was grading the finals and was not able to read more than 90% of articles and blogs and the exchanges in this bb. I absolutely love, but my duties at work simply had been too time consuming.










In one post, you say that you are mortad and mofsed fel arz in Iran (thus to be killed by the fundamentalist regime) and in another post you prefer this regime (that wants to kill you) to JM, which is our main democratic organization since our founding in 1949 with a proven record of practice and commitment to pluralism, democracy, human rights, secularism.

Either you are lying (pretending to be against the fundamentalist regime and then attack the opposition to the regime) or you are honest (and thus suicidal). If the latter, I would like to nominate you for the famous Darwin Award:










Dear Nadia,

Sometimes, we do NOT have common goals. For example, some of us want freedom and democracy in Iran; this is against the interests of the fundamentalists and their agents, and apologists. Therefore, there is a contradiction of interests. If we establish freedom and democracy, THEY will lose. They (fundamentalists, their agents, and apologists) want to remain in power; therefore they attack Iranians who oppose fundamentalist rule (democrats, feminists, monarchists, PMOI, communists aborad, and students, women, labor unions, teachers, human rights activists inside Iran).

The fundamentalist regime is very sensitive to its public image. It wants to portray itself as the wish of the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people. It is sooooooooooo sensitive about the various opposition groups that not only it has assassinated about 300 dissidents abroad, but also its has purchased many individuals to spy among the exile population.

The fundamentalist regime has hired agents who assassinated Dr. Bakhtiar for example. The agents pretended that they were opponents of the regime and once they gained his trust, they murdered him in his house.

It would be naive to think that the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and other regime entities do not have their agents post on this site in order to advance regime propaganda. Usually, it is very easy to spot them. They usually exhibit certain characteristics. Several of their tactics maybe:

1. They claim that they are not supporters of the regime. But the regime is preferred to ANY and ALL opposition groups.

2. They immediately call anyone who criticizes the regime as supporter of MKO. By doing so, the victim of their attack has to declare that he or she opposes the PMOI. So, at a minimum they have DIVERTED the discussion from the atrocities of the fascist fundamentalist regime to criticism of the PMOI.

3. They call any person who opposes them various names. In the past year and half, they have started to use the term "extremist" to attack anyone who wants an end to the fundamentalist dictatorship.  So, when one hears the word "extremist" being thrown at those who want to replace the ruling dictatorship with democracy, then we could be pretty certain that the attacker is either an agent of the Ministry of Intelligence, or one of their allies, or a useful idiot for the regime.

4. Other terms they use are: neo-con, traitor, Zionist, warmonger. They used to use terms like "liberal," "nokar America," "taghoti," and the like before.

5. One of the goals of the terrorist regime propaganda is to DECEIVE American journalists and public.

6. Another goal of the regime propaganda is to DECEIVE younger Iranian-Americans to stop criticizing the fundamentalist regime.

7. Not every one who exhibits the above is an agent of the terrorist regime. There are some simpletons who simply repeat the above which are in the interests of the terrorist fundamentalist regime without comprehending what the hell they are doing. So not everyone who uses the above is an agent. Some are simply supporters of the regime. Many are morons who do what is against the interests of the Iranian people and is in the interests of the regime which oppresses and torments them. By confronting the pro-fundamentalist regime propaganda, we help clarify for the people so that they would not be deceived. Therefore, confronting the pro-terrorist regime propaganda is necessary.

I rather be at the beach in Galveston, but for the sake of freedom, democracy, and human rights in our beloved Iran, we have to stand up to pro-fundamentalist regime propaganda. We have to use logical arguments and evidence to debunk their propaganda.




Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

All the same.......

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

 I have been reading many of the political blogs and threads on this web-site since September of 2007. It is always the same. Too many are too busy arguing about the differences and not trying to find common ground. Only through working together can you bring forth viable solutions.


Whether you agree or not, there has to be room in Iran for varying religious and political views.  

Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)

Nadia (AKA)


KM, you need more than slogans

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

KM says, "The brutality and bloodthirstiness of Khomeini and fundamentalist fascists has nothing to do with the PMOI."

KM, I am not sure if you were in Iran during that time specially around 1981 .... the influence of JM over the political events in Iran was nothing compared to that group .... nowadays your "JM" is even more irrelevant.
As Jamshid says in a nutshell you need to adopt a new paradigm to become relevant .... your empty MEK like slogans will doubtfully change the reality!


Mr. Kazemzadeh, I totally

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Mr. Kazemzadeh, I totally agree with you. I’mma liberal myself. The term leftist here means “leftist” forces in Iranian political dictionary. Obviously, terms like leftist, conservative, liberal…have different meanings depending on what country you’re talking about. For example, conservatives in the U.S are nothing like conservatives in Iran. And as far as leftist forces beginning to realize the truth and the mistakes they made, I actually had a posting about this same thing couple of days ago on this website. Some of them though are still refusing to accept reality! Some of them post articles and responses on this site regularly! We’re on the same page on that. Good job again.


Re: Masoud

by jamshid on

Thank you for your response.

One could ask why Bakhtiar, Sadighi, Amini and many more did not fall for khomeini's lies?

You did not carefully read the last paragraph in my previous post. Also, in our previous discussion in another thread, I asked you to deliver a message on my behalf to JM leadership. I'll repeat it here:

JM must "change" by breaking clean from its past mistake ridden leaders, and by adopting a new universal approach that could allow it to recruit not just from a few die hard Mossadeghis, but also from monarchists, melli mazhabis, the left, and even from the ranks of the clergy and ex-IRI supporters.

It must also abandon the culture of hero worship and constantly presenting Mosadegh as a god or as an emaamzadeh. This only turns people away. Mosadegh was just another Iranian leader with his share of right and wrong decisions. Instead of focusing on "Mosadegh" the person, JM should focus on his "ideals."

JM has the potential to be a unifying and powerful force, but it is wasting this potential by focusing on the divisive past issues and on hero worship. They blew it once during the revolution. Today, they have a chance to more than make up for it by making the sacrifices and good decisions that some of its leaders didn't make 30 years ago.

JM should not remain the same old JM. If JM is to succeed and have a meaningful role, it must "evolve" into a new JM that is a true "national front", and not just a "Mosadegh front".

I encourage you to re-read what I have written and to think about it. This is the best time for your generation of JM members to do something new and different.

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

I could not resist.........

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on


"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience."

            -George Bernard Shaw


 "History despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again."

                  -Maya Angelou


"History of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman."

                 -Willa Cather


"A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."

                -Robert Heinlein


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

              -George Santayana

Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)

Nadia (AKA)


PS: I have always found it interesting how HIStory is spelled.

Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Jamshid jaan,

In hindsight it is easy to see that Khomeini was a zillion times more dictatorial than the Shah. In Feb 10 1979, it was not clear. Khomeini lied. Our fault was that we could not imagine a man of religion would lie and lie and lie, and then kill and kill and kill. Keep in mind in those days, there were many decent religious leaders like Ayatollah Taleghani, and Ayatollah Uzma Zanjani. In those days, the Shah was saying that he gets regular visits from Imam Zaman about things that were to occur but he could not tell Oriana Fallaci what they were due to national security reasons. The Shah told Fallaci that his life was saved several times by the Imams, one of which was when once he was hunting and he fell from his horse and into a ravine and the Imam showed up and pick him up in mid-air and saved his life.

That was our mistake and we paid for it dearly. We did not have crystal ball and we could not foresee the future. We knew the Shah was a dictator. Khomeini was a question mark. History proved that Dr. Bakhtiar’s assumption was correct and our assumption was wrong.

There is a saying, "ghesas ghabl az gonah nadarim." Khomeini and his fascist gang had not committed the horrendous crimes against humanity that they committed after coming to power. We all have to learn from history, so that we and our people would not repeat them.







YOU are obsessed with the PMOI, which is a phobia of fundamentalists. There are about 18 lines that are YOUR words and in them you mention PMOI 3 times!!!!!!!!!! That is about 1 PMOI mention every 6 lines!!!!!! The Shah had his phobia with Tudeh party and the fundamentalists have their phobia with PMOI. They see their phobia under every rock and bed.

The brutality and bloodthirstiness of Khomeini and fundamentalist fascists has nothing to do with the PMOI.

1. When Khomeini came to power, he immediately executed about 500 monarchists and former officials without due process of the law. JM and Bazargan opposed those both because of the lack of due process of the law and also such mass killings was savage. Compare that we Nicaragua in the very same year 1979, when Sandinista came to power after a bloody armed struggle, but they did not engage in mass executions of former officials. Or compare that with the situation in South Africa after sooooooooo many years of apartheid rule and white racist regime. Did ANC and Mandela mass execute former officials????? Also compare with the Phillipines, former eastern European communist countries, and Russia.

In sum, Khomeini was a bloodthirsty savage psychopath.


2. Poor Bazargan asked Masoud Rajavi numerous times to support his provisional government. Rajavi repeatedly refused. Instead Rajavi publicly and repeatedly supported Khomeini again and again. In their paper, Mojahed, they repeatedly condemned "liberals," and repeatedly support "Imam Khomeini" again and again and again. The PMOI policy was public support of Khomeini as "the anti-imperialist leader of the revolution." The PMOI was wrong. Their wrong analysis began to change in 1980. Only in late 1980, did they switch and from December 1980 they openly sided with Dr. Bani Sadr and against Khomeini.

3. The problem between PMOI and Khomeini was the fault of Khomeini. Khomeini was a totalitarian fascist ideology and did not want to allow any other one. The fundamentalists attacked and murdered about 90 members and supporters of the PMOI before the PMOI made any single retaliation.

4. In March 1979, Khomeini said that all women have to wear hijab. Only JM and Dr. Bakhtiair’s from abroad made public criticisms of this. The PMOI supported Khomeini and condemned the women who came to the streets protesting hijab. The PMOI called for all women to show solidarity with Khomeini in the anti-imperialist struggle.

For a detailed explanation of the event see my book, pp. 59-60:




5. Again in April 1979, Khomeini ordered all female judges to be dismissed. The sole political party/organization that issued public call against Khomeini was the JMI. We were the ONLY group that sided with female judges and organized the rally at Tehran University on May 2, 1979. The PMOI was totally silent and absent from this struggle between Khomeini and JMI.

6. In August again, Khomeini called for the closure and repression of free press such as Ayandegan. Again the PMOI was totally silent and absent. Only JMI and Jebhe Democratic Melli (of Dr. Matin Daftari, Dr. Mossadegh’s grandson joined us) condemned Khomeini’s attack on the press. Members of Peykar and some in Fadaian (what became Aghaliyat faction) joined us in the protests.

7. Again during Khomeinist attack on the U.S. Embassy, JM strongly and totally condemned this illegal and irresponsible action. Ironically, we were the victims of the 1953 coup and Khomeini’s associates and buddies (Ayatollahs Brujerdi, Kashani, Behbahani, akhund Falsafi, and Fadian Islam) were against Mossadegh-JMI and sided with the Shah and coup, including receiving money to participate in the coup. I will write another post on this. But for the time being on the role of fundamentalist forces in the coup see:



The PMOI opposed JMI and Nehzat Azadi and supported Khomeini and Daneshjuyan Khate Imam on this issue. In other words, in this terrorist action, the fundamentalist regime including Khomeini, Ali Khamanehi, Rafsanjani are the direct TERRORISTS. We in JMI opposed this terrorist action. The PMOI was not involved in this terrorist action by Khomeini but verbally supported Khomeini’s action.



8. In December 1979, JMI and Ayatollah Uzma Shariatmadari and his party publically opposed the velayat faghih constitution and condemned it as dictatorial. We even called for a public rally against it. The PMOI opposed JMI and instead supported Khomeini and called for unity against imperialism.


In conclusion, again and again and again, it was Khomeini’s totalitarian fascist policies that was imposing its fascistic policies on all of us. We in the JM stood up to Khomeini’s fascist policies. But the PMOI did not from Feb 1979 until mid 1980. Not only the PMOI did not side with us during this period, but also publically sided with Khomeini. It is crystal clear that its was Khomeini and his fascistic gang that imposed the violent struggle upon all the Iranian people including the PMOI. Our criticism of the PMOI is that why the hell they supported Khomeini for soooooooooooooooooo long??????!!!!!!

9. Thank you for calling me an "extremist." I have been called many many many things. But "extremist" is a new one. I am soooooooooooooo used to being called "liberal," "bourgeois," "moderate," "fokoli," "sosool."


10. At each historical epoch, a particular ideology gains a large following among vast numbers of people. In 1979-1980s, liberalism and democracy was NOT a dominant ideology among our people, thus we suffered. In those years, extremism, anti-Americanism, and Islamist were in vogue. Thus that benefitted Khomeini and the PMOI.

Fortunately, and due to the utter failure of the fundamentalist project in Iran, our ideology of liberalism, democracy, women’s equality, modernity, moderation have become dominant; and this thus benefits us and harms the likes of you.





Mr. MK, you are not a good alternative

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

You claime: "Despite all our shortcomings and mistakes, we are the best, if not the only, hope for freedom and democracy in Iran."

Mr, Kazemzadeh, I too am mortad and was mofsede_fel_arz when I was in Iran! I too believe there have been many charlatans in IRI (more or less like many other governments, democratic and non-democratic), however I do happen to believe that MEK and likes are not any less charlatan and more democrat.
In a nutshell I said that you guys (JM) did not have the organization and the determination to take and keep the power ... and you answered me like a newly recruited MEK. You are not a good alternative Mr. Kazenzadeh, in addition to those issues you are an extremist! Here is more of your answer, which needs no comment:
Mr. Kazemzadeh also said: "Khomeini and Hitler were genocidal psychopaths as are Rafsanjani, Khamanehi, and Ahmadinejad. Khomeini is a Shaaban bi-mokh with amameh on his head. It is an honor and a duty of a every azadikhah va democrat to stand up to these brutal tyrants. It is our honor to be called a mortad by a charlatan fascist like Khomeini.

Whatever our shortcomings, we have had vojdan, sharaf, ensaniyat. What is certain is that Khomeini, Rafsanjani, and fundamentalist thugs lack vojdan, sharaf, ensaniyat. And that is what separates us. "


You described how various

by jamshid on

You described how various political groups decided to join the Islamists for their own higher goals. However, you forgot to mention that the majority faction of Jebheye Melli did the same during the revolution.

They had a choice between Bakhtiar and Khomeini, and they chose Khomeini. This includes Sanjabi and Foroohar. This was an unforgivable mistake.

But I would like to add that I do have respect for you and for Jebheye Melli and what you all stand for, which is the opposite of what the IRI stand for.

In a fair refrundum in Iran where people could choose only between the IRI and JM, 90% of Iranians, including myself, would vote for Jebheye Melli, Even many unhappy individuals from within the IRI ranks would vote for JM and against the IRI.

I wish you good luck in your efforts. My only word of advice to JM (and to all other opposition groups) is to abandon the old methods which breaks up our unity, and to look for new methods that could bring us together. This can start by setting the past aside (eg, Mosadegh vs Shah issues) and focusing only on the future (eg, what we need TODAY, secularism, democracy, joining the global market, etc).

Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Compañera Nadia,

Muchas gratsias.






WorSHEEPed. Baa baaa

Hee, hee; that was great. Thanks.





Jahanshah  jaan,

mamnoon. I will do my best. And you and all other opponents of the fascist regime are doing a wonderful job on this site and elsewhere. Ghatreh ghatreh jam gardad, vangahi darya shavad. It is through the works of each one of us that we, together, could end this hellish nightmare which has been brutalizing our people.







I will be happy to. I have to do several things in the next few days. By the next weekend, I will write an article doing my best to answer your question.








The fact that German Social Democratic Party did not succeed, does not justify the tyranny and atrocities of Nazis-Hitler. Similarly, the fact that Jebhe Melli Iran did not succeed does not justify the tyranny and atrocities of fundamentalists-Khomeini.

Yes, JM made a lot of mistakes and we are making a lot of mistakes. Despite all our shortcomings and mistakes, we are the best, if not the only, hope for freedom and democracy in Iran.

Khomeini and Hitler were genocidal psychopaths as are Rafsanjani, Khamanehi, and Ahmadinejad. Khomeini is a Shaaban bi-mokh with amameh on his head. It is an honor and a duty of a every azadikhah va democrat to stand up to these brutal tyrants. It is our honor to be called a mortad by a charlatan fascist like Khomeini.

Whatever our shortcomings, we have had vojdan, sharaf, ensaniyat. What is certain is that Khomeini, Rafsanjani, and fundamentalist thugs lack vojdan, sharaf, ensaniyat. And that is what separates us.





only if ......

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Mr. Kazemzadeh, if everyone had believed you/JM, if one group had done public project work for you/JM, if another group had organized the people for you/JM, ...... and if some fool had done the fighting for you/JM ..... then you/JM would have captured the power and Iranians would have lived happily ever after!
The problem is that the main fool (MEK) that would have done the fighting for you, would have wanted more or less all the power!


I am curious...

by azaadeh on

could u kindly talk about J. Melli and its foreign policy?



Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Masoud

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

The lists aside,what also mixed with personal subjectivity is, I am very fascinated by your replies and logic explanations. Especially when your dekhomeinisation of some poor souls, victims or dumb supporters of the IRI.

Through your sharp replies one can convince himself that Muslim Fanatics or IRI's apologists have no plausible arguments. Please keep up your enlightenments


The Most Worsheeped Iranians of all times:

by Anonymous^2 (not verified) on

1) Muhammad

2) Ali

3) Hassan

4) Hossein

5) Zainolabedi Beemar

6) Sadegh

7) Jafar

8) Kazem

9) Reza

10) Taghi

11) Naghi

12) Javad

13) Mehdi Farrari

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez


by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

¿Compañera? ¿Revolución? ¿Caspian? The food is still delicious and the ambience is excellent.

Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)

Nadia (AKA)

Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Nadia,

Hola, muchas gratsias for the wonderful quotes.



Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Characteristics of Good Leadership

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

 "Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation."

          -William Arthur Wood

"Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still.  Progress occurs when courgeous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."               -Harry S. Truman


"The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist."                 -Eric Hoffer


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. "

           -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



 "Successful leaders have the courage to take action where others hesitate."

         -Author unknown



"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on."

                          -Walter J. Lippman



Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)

Nadia (AKA)

Masoud Kazemzadeh

for Mr. Kashani on Iranian Leftist Intellectuals

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Mr. Kashani,

Thank you for your kind comments. I am personally center-left. It is good for the prospects of democracy to have democratic socialists on the left as well as democratic forces on the right. Unfortunately for the prospects of democratization in Iran, historically our left and right have been dictatorial. And our centrists been democratic. Of course the exception is Khalil Maleki who was a democratic socialist Marxist. He was viciously attacked by Tudeh party, which has played a terribly ugly role in our history.

Unfortunately for Iran and for themselves, the left forces, by and large had a very wrong analysis of the situation. For example, in 1979-1981, most leftists had the WRONG analysis and policies. The WORST were Tudeh Party and Fadaian-Majority; they believed that the major contradiction was between imperialism and anti-imperialism and this led them to support the reactionary fundamentalist forces against the liberals (JMI, Bazargan, Bani Sadr). In 1983, Khomeini mass arrested them, and in 1988 over 1,000 of Tudeh and Majority members were executed in the mass executions in August-Sept 1988.

The other major leftist group, Fadaian, and Peykar, each with tens of thousands of supporters argued that the major contradiction was between capital and labor. Their analysis assumed that Iran in 1979 was like Russian 1917, and Iran was ripe for a socialist proletarian revolution and they were the Lenins and Bolsheviks of Iran. This wrong analysis led them to regard JM and liberals as their main enemy (we were called national bourgeoisie) and they concentrated much of their attacks on liberals (they regarded us an Iran’s version of Kerensky, the liberal dude in Russian after the February-March 1917 when the democratic forces came to power in Russia before the capture of power by Lenin and Bolsheviks). In their wrong analysis socialist and anti-imperialist forces were in fight against capitalist and imperialist forces. They dismissed Khomeini and his supporters as a minor transitory group (they had no real comparison within the Russian situation to help them understand what was going on in Iran). They members and leaders of Peykar and Fadaian-Minority, which were Iran’s main Marxist-Leninist groups became main victims of Khomeini’s mass slaughter of leftists from July 1981 to December 1982, when Khomeini mass executed somewhere between 12,000 and 20,000 political prisoners, most of them PMOI, Peykar, Fadaian-Minority. The most ironic part was many of the Marxist-Leninist leaders of Peykar and Fadaian-Minority were simply put next to the wall and executed by Pasdars only a few weeks after these Marxists written articles arguing that their main enemy was liberals. It is tragically ironic because if these Marxists had supported liberals, we would have guaranteed their freedom to engage in politics while Islamic fundamentalists simply wanted them killed.


Jebhe Melli Iran’s analysis was that the main contradiction in Iran was between forces of democracy and forces of dictatorship. We argued that the main enemy was the rising of Khomeini’s religious fascism that was attempting to gain absolute power with getting rid of the relative freedoms gained and protected by JM, and Bazargan and then by Bani Sadr. There only a handful of Marxists who also shared this correct analysis of the situation: Shoray Motehhad Chap baray democracy va esteghlal was one.


Had the leftists had correct analysis and correctly identified the main enemy as Khomeini’s fascism, then they would have realized that a broad based coalition with liberals would have defeated Khomeinits. Unfortunately the WRONG analysis and thus WRONG policies led to their tragic mass slaughter and plunged our nation to the horrible tyranny under the fascist fundamentalist rule.

Iranian Marxists are not the only ones whose wrong analysis led to their own’s murders. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, German communists made similar mistake and they viciously attacked the German Social Democrats and dismissed Hitler and Nazis. One of the main victims of Nazis were German communists who only realized their terrible mistakes when they ended up in concentration camps.

Because Islamic fundamentalists are a violent anti-American group, many leftists around the world make the mistake that these right-wing anti-imperialists should be supported. Today our leftists tend not to make that horrible error any longer. If you look, you could not find any Iranian Marxist organization that does not know the reactionary nature of fundamentalism.

We should not make the mistake of confusing leftists (Marxists, socialists, feminists) with post-modernists. The former believe that Iranians deserve to have a socialist, progressive, advanced system and that the fundamentalist regime is reactionary, misogynist and should be strongly condemned and fought against. Marxists, feminists, human rights advocates believe in universal values and rights.

The post-modernists are different than Marxists, feminists, and human rights advocates. Post-modernists hate the modern Western world so much that they support reactionary, misogynist, groups that have some of the worst human rights records in the world. Post-modernists do not believe in universality of human rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights. So although they appear as progressive when they criticize the Western world, they become extremely reactionary when it comes to Iran and other similar places as though we Iranians do not deserve human rights, women’s equality, democracy, civil liberties, workers rights. In actual fact, the post-modernist become no different than propagandists for the most reactionary oppressive misogynist forces in the world: Islamic fundamentalists.

So, we should NOT confuse the post-modernists with real leftists. Many Iranian leftists have learned a bitter lesson and do not get fooled by fundamentalist propaganda any longer. See the superb article by Dr. Majid Nafisi published here two weeks ago:



His views reflect the perspective of increasing number of Iranian leftist; and this is a wonderful development for the prospects of democracy in Iran.









Perhaps my memory is

by sadegh on

Perhaps my memory is betraying me...I will double check...thanks...


Kind regards, Sadegh

Masoud Kazemzadeh

for Sadegh

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Sadegh,

In all scholarly books and articles that I have read, the number killed by Pinochet is given as "approximately 3,000."

I just checked the following and it says about 2,279 were killed by Pinochet:





If you know of a credible source, I would be grateful reading it.







Pinochet actually killed

by sadegh on

Pinochet actually killed 30,000...

Kind regards, Sadegh


Abarmard, let me tell you

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Abarmard, let me tell you why there is Ahmadinezhad and not Bush. In Ahmadinejhad’s country:
Iran has the second highest rate of execution in the world many of them for crimes that are punishable only in Iran and very few other places such as Zena, Homosexuality, political prisoners, and others…..U.S only executes for crimes such as murder.
- Iran imprisones its people for crimes rarely considered “crimes” in other country such as not adhering to a medieval dress code called Hijab. None of that exists in the U.S.
- Iran is on of the four enemies of the internet. U.S invented internet.
- Iran has one of the worst records in freedom of speech, social freedoms, political freedoms. U.S has one of the best. In one weekend, Iran closed up to 60 newspapers (Who were not even free to say whatever they want to begin with) by the order of the supreme leader. U.S closed 0 newspapers. No country trashes its president like U.S does, have you seen Lil’ Bush on comedy central? In Iran, you can’t even call Khamenei “Agha” although that word has been a word of respect in Persian language. Please refer to human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Reporters without borders and see where U.S stands in ranking versus Iran.
- Iran has an unelected leader who is considered by the above mentioned organizations as the second worst dictator in the world for the year 2006. Bush is not even on the list. Again, those stats are easily available on the internet.
- Iran’s inflation rate is 4th to the last place in the world. U.S has one of the best.
- Iran has (according to their own admission) one of the highest rates of addiction in the world, one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world, Iranians considered the second most asylum seekers in Western nations, has clost to 30% illiteracy rate, and one of the closest economies in the world. U.S has the strongest economy in the world, one of the lowest rate of unemployment in the world, one of the lowest rates of asylum seekrs in the world (It actually hosts close to 35 million out of 200 million immigrants of the world, including 1 million Iranians who left ahmadinezhad’s country), has a low illiteracy rate, one of the most open economies, host almost half of the world top 100 universities (Iran has one on the list at place 1000 something), produces 46% of world technology (Iran does 0.05%), U.S has the highest GDP income in the world with $30,000 plus (Iran is $2,000).
And these my friend are only tip of the iceberg. Now do you understand why?


Mr. Kazemzadeh, great

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Mr. Kazemzadeh, great observation and excelling listing! Keep up the good work dear sir. We need more and more true intellectuals like yourself to speak up and take back our intellectual movement hijacked by the minority of Islamic Marxists and socialists for the last few decades.

Masoud Kazemzadeh


by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Imam K.,

You are right in the fact that between 1979-present, the fundamentalists have defeated Iranian democrats. This does NOT makes fundamentalists-Khomeini right and democratic forces wrong. Hitler defeated German democrats, or Mussolini defeated Italian democrats, or Gen. Pinochet defeated Chilean democrats, or Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah defeated Iranian democrats. The struggle between forces of dictatorship and forces of democracy have had their struggles around the world. Sometimes dictatorial forces win, and sometimes we win.

Why did forces of religious fascism win in Iran?

In the transition from pre-modern, pre-capitalist, pre-industrialized polity to modern social system, modern economy, and modern culture and modern value and ideological system, a myriad of reactions occur. Some individuals and groups embrace modernity. In many polities, there are forces that feel under attack from forces of modernity. They feel bewildered. In the feudal system with its stable religious, social, economic system, one accepted his (or lot). With the rise of modern capitalism, old mores, values, relationships are thrown into a whirlwind of constant change and dynamism. A host of groups that feel they have lost their old ways, become enraged at the modern world as expressed with liberalism, socialism, feminism....

In each society, according to its historical trajectory, this reactionary response manifests itself in various extremist right-wing reactionary groups and ideologies. In the US, this reaction was manifested in the KKK, in Italy with the Fascist Party, in Germany in Nazi party, in Egypt in Akhavan Moslemin, in Iran with Khomeini and Islamic fundamentalism, in Sunni world today in al Qaeda.

Each of these movements, is a reaction to the modern world attempting to stand up to the modern democratic liberal secular world. They strongly oppose the equality of opportunity embedded in the liberal and liberal feminist presuppositions of the modern polities, many to its secularism (modern secular education, modern secular judicial system, modern secular culture). Each opposes individualism and freedom embedded in liberalism.

These anti-modern movements (KKK, fascism, Nazism, Khomeini’s Shia fundamentalism, Osama bin Laden’s Sunni fundamentalism) is a way to confront the modern world by combining aspects of the modern world with aspects of the traditional world that specifically attempts to restore to power its own (khodi) while attacking gheir-e khodi. For the KKK of the 1920s, the gheir khodi included African-Americans, Jews, and Catholics. For Nazis, gheir khodi included Jews, communists, liberals, feminists, Gypsies. For Shia fundamentalists in Iran, gheir khodi are those who oppose Khomeini which includes perhaps 85% of Iranian today including liberal democrats, feminist women, labor union activists, pro-democracy students, etc.

These reactionary reactions to modern world (KKK, fascism, Nazism, Islamic fundamentalism), are extremists, terribly violent, terribly dictatorial and war mongers. The nature of their violent ideologies have tended to produce wars with others around the world. Khomeini’s genocidal warmongering is evident from the slogans of "marg bar Amrica" "marg bar Israeli" and the violent attack on US embassy, the call for uprising in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, in the slogan "jang jang taa piroozi" "rahe Qods az Karbala migozarad" [effectively promoting other wars even after the capture of Karbala].

The warmongering foreign policy of Khomeini and his buddies (Khamanehi, Ahmadinejad) is like that of Osama bin Laden: violent terrorism.

Policy-relevant conclusion: if we the Iranian people do not succeed in overthrowing the fascist reactionary fundamentalist regime, then these violent expansionist terrorists will plunge our nation into war after war possibly with nuclear war has been done by their ideological brothers Nazis, fascists, bin Laden...

You are wrong in saying that Khomeini is the most beloved leader of all Iranians. That is false. That is why the opposition is demanding a referendum: "velayat faghih: aree va naa." We believe that around 85% of the Iranian people will vote against vf. We challenge the fascist rulers oppressing our people to hold a referendum under UN supervision whereby the IRANIAN people can vote in a free and democratic election whom they want.

Even Gen. Pinochet and apartheid regime in South Africa accepted the free and democratic vote of the people. But the fascist terrorists ruling Iranian people are afraid of one single free and democratic vote.




Dear anonymous 1234,

I agree with you.





I disagree with you. Osama bin Laden is a the LEADER of large numbers of Sunni Islamic fundamentalists just like Khomeini was the leader of Shia Islamic fundamentalists. Zarqawi is to Sunni fundamentalists, what Muqtada Sadr and Hassan Nasrollah are to Shia fundamentalists in Iraq and Lebanon. Both qualitatively and quantitatively Khomeini has done more savage torture and more killings that bin Laden and Zarqawi. On Khomeini’s order, thousands upon thousands of female political prisoners have been raped both as a form of torture and before their executions, large number of little children (as young as 4 year old children) of political prisoners have been tortured in front of their parents to get confessions. Thousands of political prisoners have been mass executed by Khomeini. How many Zahra Kazemi do you know where a simple photo-journalist was tortured, raped and murdered for no reason other than taking photos by bin Laden??????? Khomeini, Ahmadinejad, bin Laden, Zarqawi are the same: reactionary violent misogynist brutal terrorists.







I agree that Khomeini’s fascistic rule has been the worst thing happened to Iran since the Moghol invasion.





Azaadeh gerami,

Sepaas gozaram.





almo5000 and zirak,

You and I are on the opposite sides the red line. On one side are those of you who have oppressed Iranian people, brutalized Iranians, tortured Iranian people, raped Iranian people, assassinated Iranians, executed Iranians.

On the other side are those of us who demand azadi, democracy, hoghogh bashar, edalat ejtemai, barabari.

On YOUR side are bloodthirsty fascist savages like Khomeini, Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad, Ladjevardi, Mustafa Pur-Mohammadi.

On OUR side are decent Iranian democrats like Mossadegh, Khalil Maleki, Sanjabi, Amir-Entezam, Parvaneh Forouhar, Ahmad Batebi......

Our differences are the differences between:

Velayat Motlagh Faghih (VMF) vs Jebhe Melli Iran (JMI)


VMF: dictatorship

JMI: democracy



VMF: khafaghan

JMI: azadi



VMF: shekanje-gar

JMI: hoghogh bashar



VMF: adam-kosh

JMI: hoghogh bashar



VMF: chomagh-dar

JMI: azadi bayan



VMF: torture

JMI: human rights



VMF: ya roosari ya tosari

JMI: women’s equality with men



VMF: repression

JMI: freedom of press, elections, parties



VMF: fascistic, terrorist

JMI: liberal democracy; social democracy



VMF: reactionary

JMI: modern, liberal, progressive



VMF: violent

JMI: non-violent



VMF: rapists

JMI: human rights advocates







Unfortunately, our people do suffer from "historical amnesia." THAT is why it is the duty of our intellectuals to remind the actual deeds Khomeini, Khamanehi, Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad.

Our number one enemy is the fascist fundamentalist rulers who have been killing, torturing, assassinating, our people.

Supporters of the fundamentalist tyranny are relying upon "historical amnesia" of the people to whitewash the crimes of the terrorist regime in order to prolong its rule. Any single day the fundamentalist terrorist regime rules, that has prolonged the brutalization of our people.

This nightmarish regime has to be sent to the garbage can of history where it truly belongs.






I actually did put Gen. Pinochet on the list. Pinochet killed about 3,000 people. Ahmadinajed and his former Minister of Interior, Mustafa Pur-Mohammadi, and Khamanehi and Rafsanajni gang executed 4,500 in about 3 weeks alone in August-September 1988. The fundamentalist gang executed somewhere between 12,000 and 20,000 political prisoners between July 1981-December 1982.

Ahmadinejad is the second highest ranked official in the fascist regime according to their constitution. We should NOT fall for the pro-fundamentalist regime propaganda. When Khomeini issued his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the pro-fundamentalist propagandists confused the Western journalists by saying do not pay a lot of attention to what Khomeini says, he is only the "religious leader" and the head of the government is President (initially it was Khamanehi and then Rafsanjani). Now, the pro-regime propagamdists want to confuse the Western journalists by saying the President is a figurehead and all the power is in the hands of the religious leader. This is a ploy by supporters and propagandists of the fundamentalist terrorist regime. The duty of our intellectuals is to tell the TRUTH and debunk the fundamentalist propaganda lies.

On Mao, you do have a point. I was thinking where Mao and Saddam should go. You can make YOUR list and put various persons in YOUR list.






Dear Midwesty,

I read your comments. I respectfully disagree. Leaders like Mossadegh, Gandhi and FDR (and others in my best list) had wonderful ideals and attempted to implement those. Therefore, it is a combination of ideals and reality.

Folks like Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot or Khomeini succeeded but due to their success many human beings were worse off. Each was an evil alternative to a better option for their people.



















my apologies for the typos, I am in a hurry.




I don,t care about ur 10 worst leaders..but ur 10 best Iranian

by samsam1111 on

pick rocks!!...who ever you are you picked the right bunch.on the top Cyrus "miderakhshad" time do a pick 20...


To: Midwesty (re: Mr. Kazemzadeh...)

by zirak on

Don't talk credentials and objectivity with this fellow . He is an MKO member.