Political Culture, Mossadegh’s legacy, and Transition to Democracy in Iran


Masoud Kazemzadeh
by Masoud Kazemzadeh

Political Culture, Mossadegh’s legacy, and Transition to Democracy in Iran

In my article on "authoritarian personality" //iranian.com/main/blog/masoud-kazemzadeh/authoritarian-personality-and-democracy   I discussed several factors that positively contribute and/or hinder democracy. In this blog, I further discuss aspects of Iranian political culture that conducive for democracy or dictatorship.

Basic definitions:

Culture: The set of beliefs, values, and norms that distinguish the world views of one group of people and differentiates them from all others.

Political Culture: widely shared beliefs, values, and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to government and to one another.

There might be some cultural characteristics that are widely shared by a nation. But I also see various sub-groups of individuals whose political culture is different than others in the same nation.

Therefore, to say that ALL Iranians behave like this or that, appears to me to be misleading. Rather, I see different groupings of individuals. I see the following groupings among Iranians:

1. Hezb Baad [HB]

In Iran, as well as in many other societies, there exist those who have no political or ethical principles. These individuals provide their services to those in power regardless of who is in power. In Persian, these individual are sometimes called "noon o beh nerkh rooz mikhorand," "ham az toubreh mikhoreh ham az akhur," "2 nabsheh." The politically involved, call them "Hezb baad," or "fahesheh siasi" [Political prostitutes].

The members of this group provide their services to whomever is in power. One day they provide their services to Rafsanjani when he was in power, then try sell their services to Khatami when he president, and now to Ahmadinejad. The primary motivation of the members of this group is personal gain (financial, access, power, etc). Members of this group may establish organizations or lobby groups, or serve as advisors, some write pro-regime articles, or engage in similar activities (e.g., writing posts on popular sites like I.C). It does NOT matter whether the fundamentalists are in power, or monarchists, or Mojahedin, or democrats. The members of Hezb Baad will provide their services to ANY group or person that is in power.

Members of this group are against Mossadegh and Mossadegh’s legacy and method of struggle. They are against Mossadegh because Mossadeghi groups are not in power. If instead of the ruling dictatorship, we had a secular democratic republic and JM was in power, then the members of HB would write the most sycophantic essays about Dr. Mossadegh. The second reason is that Mossadegh’s method of struggle was PRINCIPLED. Hezb baad individuals do not have any political or ethical principles.

2. True Believers [TB] of Dictatorial Groups

There are members and supporters of anti-democratic groups who are anti-democratic and honest. For example, a true believer Basiji believes in his or her ideology. For him or her, democracy is a Western idea and s/he wants a different form of government. S/he is willing to die for her or his beliefs. Or a Shahollahi who supports Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The political culture and pattern of behavior of true believers are different than those of Hezb Baad.

3. Sanctimonious, Self-centered, Uncompromising

For members of this group compromise is equated with selling out. Members of this group could be found in all groups (democratic as well as anti-democratic). To have democracy in Iran, we need to learn to compromise with groups with whom we disagree.

4. Mossadegh’s Legacy: Principled, Pluralistic, and Compromise to promote the national interest

Monarchists, Fundamentalists, and Hezb Baadists have been attacking Mossadegh and his legacy.

Mossadegh held principles. They included independence, freedom, democracy.

Mossadegh fought for Iran’s independence from British colonial control (and lost in the 1953 coup). Mossadegh was also pragmatic. He saw the strength of forces that wanted Iran’s independence and those that opposed them. He forged PRAGMATIC alliances that advanced the cause of independence. Mossadegh was NOT a sanctimonious uncompromising person. If all forces were angels in Iran (or politics in any country) then we would not have had the horrible and tortured history that we have had (and have today). Whether it was anti-democratic individuals or groups such as the Shah, Kashani, or Brujerdi, or Tudeh party, Mossadegh tired to work with them as much as possible. Mossadegh did NOT say: "you are not perfect, pif pif, I will not work with you."

Mossadegh-JM lost in August 19, 1953 on an extremely narrow margin. On August 16 (25 Amordad), we defeated the coup and won. A number of factors caused our defeat. One primary reason was the brilliance and persistence of Kermit Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s first coup attempt failed and he was told by CIA headquarters to leave Iran. Roosevelt persisted and came up with plan B. Another reason was that Dr. Mossadegh made a number of crucial mistakes on August 18 and 19. Had Dr. Mossadegh not told JM supporters to go home and not ordered the military to go on the streets to restore order (Mossadegh was deceived by Roosevelt and U.S. Embassador to Iran Henderson), then the CIA 2nd coup would not have succeeded.  

The REASON Iran suffered from dictatorship between 1953 and 1979 is because we were defeated on 28 Mordad. The reason that there was the revolution was the following brutal dictatorship of the Shah (1953-1979). The fact that Mossadegh rejected the 50-50 deal was simple. The principle of the struggle was for the gaining of Iran’s independence. The British through their control of our oil were controlling Iran’s political life. Some, like the Shah, were subservient to the British colonial control. And as a nationalist organization, JM was for independence. Mossadegh was willing to COMPROMISE on all aspects of the nationalization process from keeping the British personnel, to fair compensation for the nationalization, selling oil to the British company, etc. One may argue that Iran was not ready for independence and democracy. So, the Razmara was the appropriate person. But the fact that we lost by a very small margin and that if only a few minor decisions were made differently, then we would have won, then the argument that Iran did not deserve independence or democracy is shown to be false. We could have and should have won. Our loss on August 19, 1953 was not inevitable.

The referendum was done in order to prevent the Shah from using the Majles to dismiss the prime minister. According to the 1906 Constitution, the Shah could dismiss the PM after a vote of the Majles. Our constitution was modeled after the Belgium constitution, which itself was the codification of the British system. In the British system, it is the members of Parliament who vote for the prime minister (appoint and dismiss) and the monarch’s role to sign it is ceremonial. In fact, if the monarch has the REAL power to appoint and dismiss the prime minister as he wishes, then why have the parliament, and elections for the parliament??????? Actually, the CIA plan for the coup was based on the Shah dismissing the PM. By dissolving the Majles via referendum (a democratic procedure), Mossadegh was undermining the CIA-MI6 coup plan. Mossadegh’s argument was if Majles is dismissed then the Shah and the CIA-MI6 lose the ability to use the Majles members to dismiss the prime minister.

In the past several years, some (usually the supporters of the fundamentalist regime) are comparing Ahmadinejad with Mossadegh. Some (usually the supporters of the fundamentalist regime) are also saying the nationalization of the oil by Mossadegh is similar to Ahmadinejad’s nuclear enrichment program.

Ahmahinejad is a Hitler-like figure, and any comparison between this fascist thug with our pro-democracy leader is not only FALSE, it is insulting.

Many months ago, I posted the following:

Mossadegh = democrat

Ahmadinejad = brutal tyrant

Mossadegh = liberal

Ahmadinejad = reactionary

Mossadegh = progressive

Ahmadinejad = fascistic

Mossadegh = secular

Ahmadinejad = fundamentalist

Mossadegh = freedom of the press

Ahmadinejad = repression of the press

Mossadegh = free election

Ahmadinejad = fraudulent counting in anti-democratic pseudo-election candidates pre-selected by the fundamentalist Council of Guardians

Mossadegh = non-violent

Ahmadinejad = chomaghdar, violent, rape of male and female political prisoners  

Mossadegh = supported democracy

Ahmadinejad = suppresses and represses democracy

Mossadegh = defended women’s rights

Ahmadinejad = suppresses women’s rights

Mossadegh = opposed discrimination against religious minorities

Ahmadinejad = oppressors of religious minorities

Mossadegh = foreign policy based on defending Iran’s national interests

Ahmadinejad = jihadi foreign policy similar to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda

Mossadegh = pro-peace

Ahmadinejad = bellicose, warmonger, terrorist


Comparing Oil Nationalization with the Terrorist Regime’s Nuclear Program

The oil nationalization struggle was a struggle to gain Iran’s independence from the British colonial control of Iran. Our oil was owned by the British which used that control to also control the politics of Iran. In order to be independent it was imperative to get our oil back from the control of the British.

JM was BOTH zede estemaar (against colonialism) and zede estebdad (against dictatorship). In actual fact, the JM was founded in the demand for free elections in 1949. It is false to say Jebhe Melli was only against colonial control of Iran. JM was both for independence and for democracy.

Esteghlal and azadi were our principles. And Mossadegh was pragmatic. He was willing to compromise on alliances. He was NOT willing to compromise on the principle. Mossadegh was a pragmatic politician willing to compromise for the sake of the national interest. Compromise is NOT a dirty word. It is the pragmatic way to find ways to reach the objective.

Mossadegh never said the Shah is against esteghlal, lets kill him. Mossadegh tried to pressure the Shah to respect the 1906 Constitution and reign but not rule. Mossadegh never said Brujerdi or Shah are against freedom, lets kill them. Mossadegh tried to find pragmatic ways to compromise with them. Same with Kashani.

The Islamic Republic’s Nuclear Program

The fundamentalist regime’s clandestine nuclear program is NOT a nationalist cause. The fundamentalist regime’s nuclear program is part of its military program. In another blog, I will detail the military dimension of the fundamentalist regime’s nuke program. Lets suffice to mention only a few indicators here.

The fundamentalist regime’s nuclear program began in 1985-86. Why did the new regime in 1979 stop all the nuclear programs under the Shah? Why did fundamentalist regime in 1985-86 began its nuclear program?

WHAT SIGNIFICANT problem was occurring in 1985-86 the prompted Khomeini to order the clandestine nuclear program??????

During the war, Saddam was using chemical bombs and scuds. Moreover, Iraq’s own nuclear site at Osirak was bombed by Israel earlier. It is idiotic to think that under such war conditions in 1985-86 Khomeini started the nuclear program because he wanted to generate electricity with nuclear power plants in order to conserve crude oil and natural gas for exports. To have electricity generated by nuclear power, one has to have nuclear power plants. Saddam hit the Bushehr plant again and again. Nuclear power plants are huge and easily hit. In 1985-88 Iran was suffering under very bad economic conditions. WHY spend soooooo much on the clandestine nuclear program? To save money down the road or to build nuclear bomb?????

Iran could not build its own power plant. Much of the clandestine nuclear program of the fundamentalist regime is centered around uranium enrichment which is needed to build nuclear weapons. And much of the clandestine program was initiated with the held of A. Q. Khan, the same dude who build Pakistan’s nuclear WEAPON.

In my blog on the fundamentalist terrorist regime’s nuclear weapons program, I will detail other evidence. The above on how the terrorist regime began its nuclear program should be sufficient for any fair person to conclude that the program was to build nuclear BOMB. The above should be sufficient to show that the propaganda on the peaceful nuclear program is to fool the idiots. Hassan Rouhani, the Chief nuclear negotiator himself confessed that the EU3 had evidence that the fundamentalist terrorist regime has done many things that are illegal and that is why IRI had to lie to them because telling the truth to the EU3 would land the IRI to the UN Security Council.

In sum, Mossadegh’s oil nationalization struggle was a nationalist cause.

The fundamentalist regime is a terrorist regime. It wanted to export its reactionary revolution. The ruling gang are a bunch of mass murderers, mass torturers, mass rapists, and charlatans and liars. Ahmadinejad (and other fundamentalist officials) wanted nuclear enrichment as part of their desire to have nuclear bombs. The ruling fundamentalists are jihadis and allies of jihadis (Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinians Islamic Jihad, Moghtada Sadr’s gang, etc). Nuclear bombs in the hands of martyrdom seeking jihaids is putting the lives of 75 million Iranians and tens of millions of other human beings around the globe in jeopardy.

Of course Ahmadinejad and other leaders of the fundamentalist terrorist regime want to portray their nuclear jihadi work as similar to Mossadegh’s oil nationalization movement. We should NOT be fooled. Ahmadinejad and Khomeini and Khamenei are charlatans and liars who have a PROVEN history of LYING. 

In conclusion:

1. Those groups and individual with a political culture of PRINCIPLED pragmatism would increase the likelihood of transition to democracy in Iran.

2. Those groups and individuals with a political culture of hezb baad increase the likelihood of Iran remaining dictatorial.

3. Mossadegh and Ahmadinejad are NOT comparable. Mossadegh is a democrat, liberal, progressive. Ahmadinejad is a terrorist, dictatorial, reactionary, FASCISTIC, a top leader in the mass murdering, mass torturing, mass raping regime, violent expansionist jihadi.

4. The oil nationalization movement is NOT similar to the terrorist regime’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.


5. It is in the national interest of the Iranian people to overthrow the fundamentalist terrorist regime. It is in the interest of the Iranian people to have democracy. It is against the national interest of the Iranian people to be ruled by the ruling brutal reactionary dictatorship. The fundamentalist constitution is dictatorial and reactionary. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are reactionary and dictatorial.


6. Appeasement of the terrorist regime allows it to easily sell crude oil and natural gas. This money directly goes into the hands of the terrorist regime. The regime uses this money to pay its coercive apparatuses (IRGC, Basij, Ministry of Intelligence torturers), its social base, and co-opt others to serve it. It is against the national interest of the Iranian people to promote appeasement of the terrorist regime, so that it could continue its brutal dictatorship. It is in the interest of the Iranian people to undermine the fundamentalist regime. Regime change (overthrow of the fundamentalist terrorist regime and establishment of a secular democratic republic) is in the interest of the Iranian people. The Islamic Republic is bad for the Iranian people. Appeasement of the Islamic Republic serves the rulers. Sanctions on the fundamentalist regimes weakens the terrorist regime, thus enabling and empowering the Iranian people, ourselves, to overthrow the ruling fundamentalist terrorist regime.


more from Masoud Kazemzadeh

Thanks for the links

by robertborden54 on

Especially to the BBC one.  As I said The Shah made huge mistakes one of which was not staying in touch with his people.  His belief (like many Iranians) in conspiracy theories and his almost pathetic reliance on US 'advice' were other mistakes.  But I still can't say he acted as a puppet throughout the 37 years. 

I am neither Hezb Baad or a monarchist.  All I want is a democracy in Iran free from personality worship.  A government that acts in the national interest not based on hate and anger.  A country whose politicians do not portray the other side as traitors, puppets, etc.  I don't care who are the the other people who criticize Fatemi.  I understand b/c he was executed he fits well into the 28 Mordad as Karbala for the JM followers.  I criticize him based on his venom, based on the fact that if he had got rid of the Pahlavis there's no telling who else he would have deemed a traitor and who else he would have wanted to execute and purge.  Fatemi was exactly the kind of politician who would have led Iran from the Shah's (at the time weak) rule to some sort of utopian anti-imperialist authoritarian government complete with daily executions of the enemies of the people.  I emphasize that Mossadegh did not share that view but he didn't have an endgame of his own either.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Robert on the Shah's Subservience to the U.S. and the British

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Robert,

The fact that the Shah was a puppet is well established.  READ the book I provided the link to.  The following is from British documents:






Sir R. Makins -- No: 1085, May 21, 1953


The State Department informed us today on a number of occasions associates of the shah have told Henderson that His Majesty is uncertain about the British attitude towards himself. He is reported to be harping on the theme that the British had thrown out the Qajar Dynasty, had brought in his father and had thrown his father out. Now they could keep him in power or remove him in turn as they saw fit. If they desired that he should stay and that the Crown should retain the powers given to it by the Constitution, he should be informed. If on the other hand they wished him to go, he should be told immediately so that he could leave quietly. Did the British wish to substitute another shah for himself or to abolish the monarchy?




the folloing is from the book by Dr. Nahavandi, one of the closest advisers to the Shah (and actually Farah):




در گزارش نهاوندی شاه به رغم دانش گسترده درباره سیاست خارجی از وضعیت داخلی کشور کم رین آگاهی ندارد. اطرافیان نیز می دانند که با گفتن واقعیت ها مجازات خواهند شد. بر اساس این گزارش شاه به رغم ادعای ناسیونالیستی از آمریکا و انگلیس حرف شنوی دارد و معتقد است و به صراحت به نهاوندی می گوید «اگر آمریکائی بخواهند می تواند هر کاری که بخواهد بکند.»


نهاوندی از شاه نمی پرسد اگر نخواهند چه؟ اما جواب معلوم است. شاه در بحرانی ترین روزها نیز نظر سفیران آمریکا و انگلیس را بر مصلحت و سود کشور و خود و خاندان خود و بر نظریات همه مشاوران و مقامات خود ترجیح می دهد.

زمانی که نهاوندی از شاه می خواهد تا برای آرام شدن بحران با فساد مبارزه کند شاه به او می گوید «تا هنگامی که آمریکائی ها از من پشتیبانی می کنند می توانم هر چه می خواهم بکنم و هیج کس نخواهد توانست مرا از کار بیندازد، آمریکائی ها هرگز مرا رها نخواهند»

چند ماه بعد شاه به جای توجه به طرحی که نهاوندی برای کنترل بحران ارائه می دهد به او می گوید «شاید اوضاع بهتر شود سرگرم گفت و گو با آمریکائی ها هستم که پشت همه تحریک ها هستند.»

شاه به دستور آمریکائی ها «طرح خاش» را که طرح ستاد ارتش برای سرکوب انقلاب بود خنثا می کند، چرا که «سفیران آمریکا و انگلیس از شاه می خواهند که [غلامعلی] اویسی [فرماندار نظامی تهران] را کنار بگذارد».

راه پیمائی تاسوعا و عاشورا از گره گاه های انقلاب بود. برگزاری این دو راهپیمائی، که روز دوم به دلیل اطمینان از منفعل بودن ارتش با استقبال گسترده تر رو به رو شد، قدرت مخالفان شاه را تثبیت کرد.

ارتش در این دو روز منفعل ماند چرا که به گفته شاه «آنتونی پارسونز (سفیر انگلیس در ایران) از من خواست اجازه راه پیمائی بدهم »


زمانی که سفیران آمریکا و بریتانیا از شاه می خواهند از کشور خارج شود شاه به رغم مخالفت همه درباریان، مشاوران و مقامات خود و حتی مخالفت غلامحسین صدیقی از جبهه ملی و آیت الله محمد کاظم شریعتمداری برای خروج از کشور شتاب می کند.

شاه و صدام حسین می کوشیدند تا کشورشان را در سایه حکومتی مقتدر و استبدادی صنعتی کنند. به هنگامی که رئیس جمهور آمریکا اعلام کرد که در ۷۲ ساعت آینده به خاک عراق حمله خواهد کرد صدام از کشور خارج نشد و شاه به دلیل آن که «حدس می زد آمریکا و بریتانیا خواستار خروج» او هستند در فکر فرار بود.

شاید شاه به اطرافیان خود اعتماد نداشت و می ترسید تا با سرپیچی از دستور آمریکا و بریتانیا به قتل برسد. اما پایان کار بر صدام نیز روشن بود و او حتا پس از آن که پسرانش در جنگ مسلحانه با نیروهای آمریکائی کشته شدند از کشور خارج نشد.

شجاعت صدام و استقلال رای او اما دلیلی بر درستی سیاست های او نیست چنان که فرار شاه و حرف شنوی او از آمریکا و بریتانیا نیز دلیل نادرستی کارنامه سیاسی او نیست که این اعمال را با معیارهای دیگری باید بررسی کرد.




The ONLY people who criticize Dr. Fatemi for his views and tone on the Shah are monarchists and Hezb Baad.  No other group does.  I would be grateful, if you would let me know what group YOU support, so that I can add this to my knowledge.


Thanks and best,







I'm NOT a monarchist

by robertborden54 on

At least after starting out with your slogans you tried to address my points.

It's quite telling that you hold Nasser's coup as an example.  I think that is exactly what Iran would have turned into had the Mossadegh project succeeded.  Don't get me wrong I actually think Mossadegh wouldn't have wanted to have a cult built around him.  Your ideological predecessors would have forced him into one.  The argument isn't over ehat Mossadegh's or JM's interntions were.  I highly doubt they really understood democracy.  But even if they did, the arument is over the methods. 

The Shah made enormous mistakes.  His rule bears major responsibility for what is happening to Iran today.  But I don't think we can characterize him as a puppet.  He was esentially another patriot who had no understanding of the importance of political development to sustain Iran's economic development. 

You really should stop your name calling.  Not everyone who disagree with you is a monarchist - or for that matter an IRI supporter.  I find it shocking that you actually teach polisci.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

رئیس جمهور محبوب،

Masoud Kazemzadeh

 رئیس جمهور محبوب،

 بسیار متین گفتید. 

یه دنیا سپاس از محبت شما. 



Masoud Jaan

by Khar on

It's very Ironic to see when it comes to the subject and idea of secular, democratic and free Iran and its champion Dr. Mosaddegh, how quick you’ll find the supporters of past repressive and dictatorial regime are in a same bed and beating the same drum as the current one. As if there is some strong attraction bonding these two repressive and backward elements together.



Masoud Kazemzadeh

Mossadegh was right to fight for esteghlal

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Dear Robert,

I. Monarchists (like you) and the fundamentalists (like the Basijis) as well as the Hezb Baadists oppose Mossadegh. They should. There are real differences among us.

1.a Monarchists. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was puppet of U.K. (until 1953) and the U.S. (1953-1979). For a mainstream Political Science treatment of the subject see:



Gasiorowski is highly respected mainstream Full Professor of Political Science at the LSU.


JM is a nationalist organization, which means it opposed Iran being colonized and wanted Iran to be independent.


1.b. Monarchists were for dictatorship.

JM was for democracy.

1.c. Monarchists were for lack of freedom.

JM was for freedom and civil liberties.



2.a. Fundamentalists are reactionary.

JM is liberal and progressive.


2.b. Fundamentalist are dictatorial.

JM is democratic.

2.c. Fundamentalists are traditionalist.

JM is modern.

2.d. Fundamentalists are opposed to freedom and civil liberties.

JM is for freedom and civil liberties.


3. Hezb Baadists lack ethical and political principles.

JM is holds principles (esteghlal, azadi, social justice) , and fights for these principles against those in power.


Therefore, it is natural for the conflict between monarchists, fundamentalists, and Hezb Baadists with us.




II. One may argue that JM was wrong to struggle for independence because JM-Mossadegh lacked understanding of the Cold War, etc. Of course, we disagree. Our struggle was in 1949. Our neighbor was the Indian subcontinent that under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi successfully fought for their independence from the same British colonial masters. They succeeded and so should we. Same in Egypt. The 1952 coup by Nasser was against the puppet King Farough. And by the 1956 war, Egypt succeeded in gaining their independence.

Most Latin American countries gained their independence in the 1800s. And China in 1949. Algerians were involved in their struggle for independence.

In sum, Iran deserved independence. We fought for Iran’s esteghlal and we lost, and the British colonial masters and the U.S. won in 1953. Many other succeeded. We lost by a very small margin. The Iranian people under the leadership of JM came very close to achieving our esteghlal.


III. I fully support Dr. Fatemi. Had Dr. Mossadegh listened to him and moved strongly against the court, then Iran would not have had brutal dictatorship since 1953. In my opinion, Dr. Mossadegh was wrong on trying to convince Mohammad Reza Shah to respect the 1906 constitution. Mossadegh should have (right after 30 Tir), demanded the Shah to abdicate. Hold a referendum on monarchy or jomhuri. And if we won, then convene a constitutional assembly. If we had a secular democratic republic in 1952-53 period, then by 1980s, Iran would have been an advanced, democratic country. We would not have held back under dictatorship, repression, and backwardness by the monarchy and fundamentalists.

Shah’s regime was a colonial system. It had to go because it is in the national interest of Iran to be independent instead of being a puppet system. And it is better to be democratic and free instead of being ruled by dictatorship and repression.

My 2 cents,




This is unfortunate for an academic

by robertborden54 on

I was reluctant to say anything in case I appear on the same side with the individual with the basiji picture.  However, I feel just bad to see an Iranian academic so blinded by Mossadegh worship.  There is no doubt that Mossadegh was a patriot.  However, as a politician he was a major disaster:

Mossadegh operated as if Iranian and international political realities did not exist.  He alienated almost all internal political constituenvies.  He aienated the religious, the bazaar class, the royal court, and the Tudeh.  Also, because of the isolation brought upon Iran and the ensuing economic impact, he eventually even lost the confidence of the masses of people. 

In the international He disregarded the major power disparity that existed between Iran and the UK.  The realities of international politics, including most importantly the Cold War were very much present for Iranians.  However, Mossadegh betrayed zero consciousness of the ramifications and potential costs of his 'principled' approach in the context of the international environment he was operating in.

Finally, ther is at least one similarity between the current approach of IRI to the nuclear issue and the oil nationalization as undertaken by Mossadegh.  Both have been inficted on the Iranian people as sacred causes, so holy in fact that any compromise over them becomes in fact impossible.   This is the crucial element that ends up burdening the weaker party in any international proceeding with unacceptable costs.

I won't bother you too much with other questionable claims such as Mossadegh's belief in pluralism and democracy.  He was a populist for sure but the was he conducted of the referendum to abolish the Majlis and the way he treated the contrary opinions of the few people who stick by him betrays no great understanding of pluralism or democracy.  Nor was the tone, language and conduct of some of his other followers, especially Dr. Fatemi, assure us that had Mossadegh stayed in power we wouls have had a democracy instead of a repressive cult of personality driven autocracy.

If I were to point one legacy for Iran based on the Mossadegh experience, it would be to make sure to leader is turned into a saint and that national interest and the welfare of people always take precedence over any one sacred cause.

Sargord Pirouz

I find it amazing how

by Sargord Pirouz on

I find it amazing how certain expat academics so willingly compromise themselves in the pursuit of political activism.

In Massoud's case, I see no evidence the man even understands the most basic tenets of the Method of Analysis.