Some Human Rights Questions for Iran’s President
Washington Post / Karim Sadjadpour
19-Sep-2011 (9 comments)

The media circus generated by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s annual visit to the U.N. General Assembly in New York is a source of great frustration for many Iranians, who wish Western journalists would ask tougher questions about Ahmadinejad’s domestic practices. The following questions are culled from Iranian democracy and human rights activists who don’t have a chance to query the president directly:

Your boss, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was selected by a few dozen clerics more than 20 years ago. Do you believe that he — as his office has asserted — is the prophet’s representative on Earth?

recommended by Ali Najafi


Darius Kadivar

Yes and Some wanna have a Cuckoo Clock with it too ... ;0))

by Darius Kadivar on

Esfand Aashena

Citizens of the world all have the same ambitions, don't they?

by Esfand Aashena on

Individually they all want to be loved, have a job, be succesful, live in freedom and be happy.    

Everything is sacred

Darius Kadivar

Yeah Sure ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

And Here is Another "Citizenof the World" Rhetoric ...  



Jesus I will survive



Albeit lacking the necessary Collateral Damage Control Device...



Esfand Aashena

We, our, me, you, all the same! We are the world!

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred

Darius Kadivar

Esfand Aashena jan No need to be saucy eh Bearnaise ? ...

by Darius Kadivar on

"We are NOT on the wrong side of history but learning at our own pace.  If you don't like our own pace then that is another story but there is a difference between eating and dining, ala eating fast food and sipping Chianti with a nice juicy steak!  csqqqhhh! "


And Who said "YOU" had the Monopoly of Defining the "WE" or "OUR" When it comes to individual taste ? ...



Sorry but I'm on my Pee Break ...


mel brooks piss shoe




Esfand Aashena

Darius jaan it's not that complicated, it's actually quite easy!

by Esfand Aashena on

In reference to your comment about Bakhtiar being the first reformer and wanting to establish a constitutional monarchy, I recall reading an article on recently that when the Allied Forces invaded Iran during WWII, the Iranian Foreign Minister was (ablahaneh ;-) declaring Iran's neutrality!

Same goes for Bakhtiar, he could've stood for all he wanted but once the flood hits your home it doesn't ask if you have flood insurance!  Shah and his last PM were the casualties of history and they're gone.  Just like Reza Shah came and Qajar went by the history.

So Iranians have their priorities straight.  Our intelligensia is not obsessed with "reforming" the Islamic Republic.  They are busy educating people with what is fundamentally wrong with Islamic Republic and every day more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the system can't withstand the will of the people.

We are NOT on the wrong side of history but learning at our own pace.  If you don't like our own pace then that is another story but there is a difference between eating and dining, ala eating fast food and sipping Chianti with a nice juicy steak!  csqqqhhh! 

Everything is sacred

Darius Kadivar

Sadjadpour's question and observations are pertinent But

by Darius Kadivar on

Karim Sadjadpour's question is pertinent and his observation is right on but The issue in my humble opinion is not much Ahmadinejad but the IRI itself. As Long as our Intelligentsia (including some of our prominent ones like Ramin Jahanbegloo for instance) see the IRI as reformable and the Revolution which brought it to power as legitimate after all ... , I am afraid we won't be moving forward in defining our long term goals let alone succeed in rallying Iranians in favor of an eventual regime change. Our very own intelligentsia has not done what the French would call their own"examen de conscience". By merely focusing on Ahmadinejad's so called "coup" or the "rigged elections" we are failing to see the Bigger Picture and that is the Illegitimacy of the IRI itself. This is the same Stubborn reasoning that kept us stuck in 1953 ?


THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY : How Would You Evaluate Iran’s Democracy Index in 1953


Not to say that In anyway I compare Ahmadinejad to the Shah ... Far from that ... But it seems to me that Each and every time we Iranians seem to get our priorities wrong.


Strategically we are all failing not because we are wrong in our assumptions but because we are in constant contradiction with history and what we aim on the long run. As long as we present the IRI and it's constitution as legitimate we will continue digging our own graves. The only way of fighting the IRI at least from an intellectual perspective (given that none of us are as physically courageous as those brave Iranians whodemonstrated and often died or were jailed after the Post Election Crackdowns,let alone any more brave than the Libyans today ) is to deconstruct the IRI ideologically by questioning it's Constitutional legitimacy as well as it's historical absurdity. Bakhtiar was precisely the first reformist.


He wished to put an end to absolutism but not to the Monarchy itself.


Hence why Bakhtiar suggested Restoring the former Constitution very much like the British did after Cromwell's Theocracy. Not surprising that he gave this interview to Newsweek during a trip to Great Britain to meet with Iranian Constitutionalists there in 1984:


RESTORATION :Shapour Bakhtiar Advocates Restoring the Monarchy (Newsweek Interview, 1984)


I would even argue further that our problem is not thelack of leadership per se but the lack of a coherent demand in our century old struggle for democracy.


Ultimately what is it we truly want ? …


I certainly do not advocate a foreign military intervention to oust the Mullahs as in Libya but at least one can see that fromthe very beginning the Libyan Rebels and Diaspora started by hoisting their Former Flag on Libyan Embassies worldwide. Their desire for regime change was clear from day one. But they also expressed their staunch belief in restoring what they deemed as their lost identity. One may not find their values or way oflife as compatible with ours or with so called Western Democratic standards but at least they are coherent and are fighting for it without ambiguity and that makes their struggle at worst GENUINE.

We Iranians on the other hand instead went rushing to vote including in the Diaspora as if the current regime and it’s constitution,however imperfect were democratic after all.


Even the “Green Flag” was an ambiguous symbol given the dual significance of it’s color associated to Islam:


How YOUR "Green" Color Was Chosen & By WHOME !


Our slogans even were not genuine: Allah O Akbar ... so how do you want the Western Press to figure out what we are asking for ? ...


In addition let me say quite bluntly why targeting merely Ahmadinejad is not enough. The reason is that the next Presidential elections may well draw people to the polls again. Why you may ask ? Because people have to carry on. But in addition because our very best intellectuals have sent the wrong signals to not only the western medias but to Iranians at large that the issue was merely about having a democratic system of government in Iran. The issue is Not merely that ... But to oust a tyrannical and illegitimate mafiafrom power. But also one which has openly rejected all references to our national heritage and culture including in the representation of it’s flag.


Why aren’t the likes of Ramin Jahanbegloo, Maziar Bahari,Massoud Behnoud, Shirin Ebadi ( who was after all named judge under the Pahlavis) and many others stepping up and honestly claim : Listen folks we had our reasons to have been part of the Revolution of '79 and may still have a point when it comes to suggesting the importance of respecting democracy and human rights for Iran but we were wrong to have endorsed the IRI constitution or to suggest that the IRI was reformable let alone legitimate.


Why not capitalize on the Legitimacy of the 1906 Constitution to begin with ?

People are not forced to suggest the return of the Monarchy for that matter. They can merely suggest the restoration of the genuine Constitution ( obviously amended in a future democratically elected Parliament so as to meet the far more democratic aspirations of today’s worldand today’s generation) as a common denominator which could rally all democrats ranging from Jomhurykhahs ( aka Republican) to Mashrooteh Khah (aka Constitutionalist Monarchists) beyond ideological differences.


But as long as we continue lying to ourselves about the historical roots of the current regime and how it came into being, I’m afraid we are merely postponing any attempt towards a democratic transition be it in our lifetimes.


For I am afraid contrary to our wishful illusions we maybe disappointed to discover that a large majority of Iranians ( at least those back in Iran) may well go back to the Polls given that the majority don's see any other concrete alternative.


If that happens then indeed we Iranians have learned absolutely nothing about the past let alone about the 37 Days when a handful few dared Stand Up for Our Lost Dignity and honor in a last gesture of genuine Patriotism…


37 DAYS: Documentary on Shapour Bakhtiar's Premiership (MANOTO TV)


But personally I have had enough of hearing our so called Intelligentsia and deemed crème de la crème lecture us on the virtues of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gadhi ( both of whome have been negatively described by another Icon of the 20th Century and that is the late American First lady Jackie Kennedy) …

Indira Gandhi bitter, Martin Luther King phoney: say's Jackie Kennedy ( In Recently revealed recorded interviews of former First lady)


All these clichés and lessons of democracy as if the ordinary Iranian can't tell the difference between a democratic state and a dictatorship are good for academic circles but how does that constitute apractical blue print for change ?


I don’t claim I have the answers but I believe as long as we don’t dare ask ourselves the tough questions and we refuse to be honest about the past we won’t get there … At least not in our life times …


My Humble Opinion,



Esfand Aashena

Darius jaan I think Ahmadi would answer the same!

by Esfand Aashena on

I think Ahmadi's answer to that question would be: "Shapour Bakhtiar was not merely "a 77-year-old Iranian democracy activist in Paris", he was Imperial Iran's Last Prime Minister."

Ahmadi's way or answering questions is to just open another subject and leave the question unanswered!

BTW, why was he released?  What was his sentence, life in prison or something else? 

Everything is sacred

Darius Kadivar

Good Points Karim Jaan ... Except ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Karim Jaan Shapour Bakhtiar was not merely "a 77-year-old Iranian democracy activist in Paris", he was Imperial Iran's Last Prime Minister ...


37 DAYS: Documentary on Shapour Bakhtiar's Premiership (MANOTO TV) :



pictory:Bakhtiar Denounces Bazargan's Provisionary Government in exile (1979)