Skip to comments.
Iranian Alert -- December 1, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 12/01/2003 12:07:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn
The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. But most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20, 21-34 last
Iraqi Freedom's Friend
December 01, 2003
New York Post
THOSE making Iraq policy in Washington appear to have found an easy way to explain, and explain away, whatever snag that their changing and contradictory plans may hit at any given time. It consists of one phrase: the Sistani logjam.
This refers to Grand Ayatollah Ali Muhammad Sistani, the primus inter pares of Shi'ite clerics in Najaf.
The day the war started, Sistani issued a fatwa calling on Iraqis not to hamper the progress of the Coalition forces. Immediately after liberation, however, he was blamed for the decision to halt town-hall style consultations about a new constitution. In July, he got the blame for the failure of the Governing Council and the Coalition to provide a timetable for the transition. In September, the grand ayatollah was blamed for the Coalition's failure to fix a framework for creating a constituent assembly.
And now we hear voices blaming Sistani for what look like hitches in the latest plan to transfer power to an interim government by next June.
Such a blame game is unlikely to do anyone any good. Worse, it could harm what should be the central goal of both the Coalition and the Iraqis: the creation of a people-based system in the liberated country.
Blaming Sistani for the mistakes and failures of others is easy for two reasons.
First, Sistani does not appear on television, and grants no interviews. Nor does he have a party through which he can play the power game. This is because he believes that mullahs should not play politician.
Second, blaming Sistani is an indirect way of sustaining suspicion against the Shi'ites who form a majority of the Iraqis.
Self-styled experts on American TV claim he is seeking power and/or wants to set up an "Islamic" republic, whatever that means. Anyone familiar with Sistani's life's work, however, would know that this is the opposite of what he wants.
Sistani belongs to the quietist school of Shi'ism that has always opposed mixing theology and politics. This is why he has refused to meet officials from more than a dozen countries, including the United States and Britain, who have applied to meet him.
Throughout the 1960s and '70s, decades that witnessed a great Shi'ite political debate, Sistani opposed other Najaf clerics (notably the late Muhammad Baqer Sadr and Ruhallah Khomeini) who wanted mullahs to seize power in the name of the Hidden Imam. (In doing so, Sistani continued the tradition of such scholars as Allameh Hilli, Abol-Hassan Isfahani, Muhsen Hakim-Tabatabai and Abol-Qassem Mussavi Khoei.)
What has Sistani been demanding right from the day Saddam Hussein went into hiding? He has told the mullahs to stay clear of political posts and, when there is a power vacuum, only act as advisers to non-clerical administrators.
Instead, Sistani has been calling for elections. The surprise is that Washington, rather than welcoming this, sees it as a hostile demand.
After all, Saddam was overthrown so that Iraqis could choose their form of government and the people they want to run it. Hasn't President Bush said repeatedly that he wants Iraq to become a model of democracy? Can there be democracy without elections?
Some claim that Sistani is so keen on elections because the Shi'ites, being a majority, could win a dominant position in a future government.
That claim is based on an "essentialist" view of politics that is seldom borne out by reality. If it were, all American Catholics would vote the same way in every election, and all Hindus in India would back the same party all the time.
Sistani is calling for elections precisely because he does not want the politics of new Iraq to be based on ethnic and sectarian divisions. Such considerations are paramount in forming selected, not elected, bodies. (For example, the Governing Council, appointed by the Coalition, has a Shi'ite majority.)
If there were elections in Iraq today, we would see the Shi'ite vote split among at least three broad groups: moderate Islamists, the left and the liberals (liberals in the European, not the American, sense).
Each of these has allies in other parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish areas. Thus any future parliament, rather than reflecting sectarian divisions, would reveal the relative strength of the various political movements that have marked Iraqi life for the past eight decades.
Iraqi Kurds, divided into two big blocs and several smaller ones, do not all vote the same way. Nor could anyone claim that Iraq's Sunni Arabs constitute a single bloc. So why assume that the Shi'ites are an exception?
By asking for elections, Sistani is, in fact, pulling the carpet from under the feet of those who wish to play sectarian politics.
Right now, the leadership of the biggest Shi'ite parties, often returning from decades of exile, are committed to positions that include a dose of sectarianism. This is understandable. Under Saddam, Shi'ites were persecuted because of what they were, not what they did. Their natural reaction was to become more of what they were, de-emphasising the importance of what they did. In an election, however, they would have to offer political, rather than sectarian, programs.
Another reason why Sistani wants elections is to see a leadership that is not almost entirely constituted of returning exiles. This need not be seen as a slight against the exiles, many of whom have heroic histories of struggle against tyranny. But the new Iraq needs a better leadership mix, with individuals who have a more direct experience of life and struggle under tyranny.
Sistani does not want an "Islamic" republic, and loathes the system created by Khomeini in Iran. He is calling for elections because he knows that a majority of the Iraqis will choose a pluralist system in which Islam, while providing the context of the nation's ethical existence, does not dictate its politics.
Finally, Sistani wants the break with the past to be legitimized by popular will. The Coalition brought political liberation. Elections would provide moral liberation.
Provided the Coalition has the will, reasonably free and fair elections could be held in Iraq. It is not Sistani's business to show how. He is not a politician. He is offering his reading of the situation. It is up to the Coalition and the Governing Council, who will get the praise if there is success, to decide whether or not what he says makes sense.
One thing is certain: Sistani knows that he would be dead if Saddam, or anyone like him, were to come to power. He also knows that any attempt at imposing a Shi'ite regime would mean civil war, which, in turn, would spell the end of his quietist brand of the faith. Thus he shares the Coalition's strategic goal in Iraq.
E-mail: email@example.com http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/12193.htm
posted on 12/01/2003 11:09:03 AM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
posted on 12/01/2003 11:12:20 AM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
Comment #23 Removed by Moderator
Thanks for the heads up to Warren article. (Missed the ping on that one.)
I don't know if Bush giving Sistani the "rhetorical whatever", as Warren puts it, is the best way to deal with this situation. Good to hear that he met with Council members. I was thinking he might win a lot of points and cooperation if he met with Sistani for 15 mins.
Maybe if Bremer, et al, step back and out of the way, the Gov. Council will start making some decisions, and get things moving.
To: F14 Pilot
"Iranian revolutionary militia chanted "Death to America" outside the former US embassy in Tehran"
Hey, didn't they do this a couple of weeks ago?
They think if they repeat it, and bus more people in, it will have more impact the 2nd time? Don't think so.
[And to the writer of the article, it wasn't "around 50" hostages. It was 53 who were taken hostage, with one being let go, resulting in 52. One or two lives may not mean much to them, but it sure does to us.]
U.S. Opens Afghan Reconstruction Mission
December 01, 2003
The Associated Press
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
HERAT, Afghanistan -- U.S. and Afghan officials on Monday inaugurated a joint military-civilian reconstruction mission in western Afghanistan, part of an effort to bring stability to the country's troubled provinces.
About 60 U.S. troops are being deployed in the city of Herat to foster security and carry out relief projects in four western provinces close to Afghanistan's borders with Iran and Turkmenistan.
The so-called Provincial Reconstruction Team is the sixth of its kind sent to provincial Afghan cities. Three are operated by the United States, while forces from Britain, Germany and New Zealand each run one team.
Worried by the re-emergence of Taliban guerillas, the power of regional warlords and burgeoning drug production, the United Nations and the Afghan government have called strongly for more international troops to be sent to the provinces.
Ministers from members of NATO, which commands the international peacekeeping force in Kabul, opened a meeting Monday in Brussels to discuss how they can supply more troops to expand that operation into key cities around the country.
Two years after the fall of the Taliban, there are still about 11,600 U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan trying to track down anti-government forces. The international peacekeepers under NATO command number about 5,500.
Gen. John Abizaid, the chief of the U.S. Central Command, visited American troops searching for rebels in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday. http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/ap/ap_story.html/Intl/AP.V9056.AP-Afghan-Peacekee.html
posted on 12/01/2003 3:49:59 PM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
An Interview With Dr. Amir Aslan Afshar
December 01, 2003
Iran va Jahan
15th January 1979. One day before his departure from Tehran, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi stood in front of a statue of Reza Shah I in one of the rooms at the Niavaran Palace and expressed his regrets for deciding to leave Iran and said farewell to his father. Dr Amir Aslan Afshar, Chief of Protocol at the Imperial Court, stands to the right of the Emperor.
An Interview With Dr. Amir Aslan Afshar
By Dr Mostafa Alamouti
Translated from the Persian edition of Dr Mostafa Alamoutis series Iran During the Pahlavi Era Vol.15 (1994) by Cyrus Kadivar, 28 December 2003, London, UK.
Introduction: Dr Amir Aslan Afshar is among the few knowledgeable Iranian diplomats with a distinguished career as a former ambassador to the United States, Germany, Austria and Mexico. His last role was Protocol Chief at the Imperial Court of Iran. Dr Aslan Afshar served the second Pahlavi during his final months in power and accompanied the emperor on his flight from Iran and remained by his side until the very end. He currently lives between Nice and Vienna.
Dr Mostafa Alamouti(MA): You were close to the Shah during those turbulent days. Why did the Shahs morale weaken so much that in late 1978 he was unable to take any decisions? I still recall the day when the Shah granted an audience to a high level parliamentary delegation. It was clear to me that he no longer had the will to run the nations affairs.
Dr Amir Aslan Afshar(AAA): Soon after the liberalisation policy was declared His Majesty wished to see his people participate in their national affairs within a constitutional framework. Unfortunately, his internal and external opponents took advantage of the situation and totally paralysed the country. His Majesty soon realised that the scope of the agitation was very great and those who came to see him offered their own set of solutions. None of them were able to calm matters. As things grew worse day by day His Majestys morale grew weaker and his opponents exploited the situation and did their utmost to strike against the imperial regime.
MA: Dont you think that the Shahs flagging morale had something to do with his cancer? Was His Majesty aware of his illness? Were you who met the Shah regularly aware of his cancer? Or did they, as Dr Safavian has said, kept the cancer a secret from the Shah?
AAA: I was unaware of His Majestys cancer until the day we left the country together. His Majesty never said anything about his illness. I suspect that at first he was not aware of it. After the Revolution when I met Professor Karl Fellinger, the Shahs medical consultant, in Austria, he told me that he was aware of the Shahs illness and that he had discussed it with Dr Ayadi and that he too had been of the view that the Shahs cancer be kept a secret. Once when I was working at the Imperial Court His Majesty informed me that two French doctors would be coming to Tehran the next day and asked that they be welcomed by a protocol officer and that upon their departure they should each be given a special gift. When this repeated itself a few times I asked my colleague Rostam Bakhtiar, Who are these doctors that His Majesty keeps talking about? He said that the issue was very secret because the Queen Mother has cancer and that they were coming to treat her. (Of course it was a rumour.)
MA: What was the reason behind the change in the Shahs decision to appoint General Azhari instead of General Oveissi as prime minister? Who were the people who influenced him?
AAA: The American and British ambassadors frequently visited His Majesty for consultations. Since His Majesty considered the disturbances in the country as being political in nature he was naturally seeking a political solution which is why he paid so much attention to their views. In those troubled days, especially during the last days of the Sharif Emami government when I saw how desperate the situation had become, a few of my friends including General Badrei, General Hashemi Nejad, General Khosrowdad, General Moinzadeh, Kambiz Atabai and Jahanbini came to my office. It was early evening. They pleaded with me to tell His Majesty to do something before the country was lost. In front of these gentlemen I threw myself at the Shahs feet besides his car and said, Your Majesty, think of something, because this situation can not last like this, the banks and shops are being set on fire, security is non-existent and the people are miserable. Khosrowdad had tears in his eyes. He said that the demonstrators were insulting his troops in the capital. His Majesty was very moved by what he had heard and told me: Go and phone Oveissi and tell him to stay at his office because I want to talk to him. All those present, especially the military, were overjoyed as they assumed that Oveissi would be asked to name his cabinet and restore order. I went and informed Oveissi. Moments later, His Majesty asked me to summon the American and British ambassadors to the Palace. I phoned the U.S. ambassador [William H. Sullivan] and he said that the town was noisy and since the embassy was in the northern part of the town he would still be able to come but since the British embassy had been set on fire, the British ambassador had sought refuge in the French embassy and asked that I should call him there. I rang and he [Sir Anthony Parsons] said that I have no security and I am afraid of coming over. I promised to send him an armoured car belonging to the army and did so. The American and British ambassadors were granted an audience and began their talks. They also met with Her Majesty, the Shahbanou, and exchanged views. Later His Majesty told me that he had decided to ask Azhari to form a cabinet. And what about Oveissi? I asked. His Majesty replied: Call him and say that I dont need him anymore. As it transpired, the American and British ambassadors were of the opinion that Oveissi would use violence which would make matters worse and even Her Majesty, Shahbanou Farah, believed that the demonstrators should not be maltreated. As a result His Majesty changed his mind about making Oveissi prime minister and immediately summoned Azhari and asked him to form a cabinet. Later in Morocco when I asked His Majesty why he had changed his mind, he replied that the American and British ambassadors were convinced that Oveissi would advocate tougher measures and that this would only further complicate the situation. It was therefore more sensible to appoint a milder person to quiet down the masses. In my humble opinion all these things were part of a plan and I believe the United States and Britain did not want to calm the situation.
MA: After the revolution certain individuals claimed or wrote that during the final days of the late Shahs rule they visited him regularly to offer him their blunt advice. How true is this?
AAA: I have read most of these claims. In my opinion the majority of these stories are not true. These are empty talks in exile. During the final days of His Majestys stay in Iran the number of people requesting an audience were very few. One day His Majesty said: Why are there so few visitors today? What am I to do all day? For this reason I decided to contact various personalities and invited them to come and meet with His Majesty and many of them I invited by telephoning them. Some of them visited him one or two times but all of them were polite and respectful during their conversations usually offering friendly advice on how to deal with the crisis. I advised His Majesty that in order for the people to be aware of what was happening to their country it would be better if we invited the heads of various guilds, the merchants, and other classes, to Saadabad Palace to talk with His Majesty. He agreed and this was done one or two times. When the people of southern Tehran came and met with His Majesty they expressed their support in an emotional manner. This lifted His Majestys spirits. Unfortunately, as the crisis worsened these meetings were abandoned. Those people who have written that they met the Shah many times and spoke to him for long hours are simply exaggerating.
MA: Some people believe that a foreign conspiracy led to the collapse of the imperial regime in Iran. What is your view on the role played by foreigners in creating the 1979 crisis?
AAA: The truth of the matter is that when His Majesty was fighting to raise the price of oil and leading other OPEC members to do the same the oil companies became very angry with His Majesty and decided to avenge themselves by using their influence in the media. Even the Israelis who enjoyed excellent relations with Iran became worried when they saw how much Arab-Iranian relations had advanced. They were alarmed when relations between Iran and Iraq improved in the aftermath of the Algiers Agreement  and Iran sent troops to Oman to quell the Dhofar rebellion. The Israelis felt that the close relations between Iran and the Arabs was too dangerous. For this reason they decided to change their stance and by using their influence in the world media they began a vicious publicity campaign against Iran and the monarch. The Americans and the British had their own reasons to be unhappy with the Shah and the situation in Iran and supported the agitation. His Majesty told me in Morocco that these [powers] did not want me no matter what I did. One day I suggested to His Majesty that now that the Americans and the Europeans are agitating against Iran it is better that we get closer to the Russians so that they understand that Iran would review its foreign policy, or that His Majesty should visit Brezhnev or that we invite Brezhnev to Iran. His Majesty accepted my proposal and summoned the Russian ambassador. The next day the Russian ambassador was given an audience during which His Majesty reminded him of the friendly relations between Iran and Russia and there was talk of inviting Brezhnev to Iran and His Majestys visit to Moscow and the ambassador happily agreed to inform Moscow of the royal decision. The following day the Russian ambassador invited me to dinner and said that he planned to host a reception in honour of the Shahbanous mother. It was a private dinner with about 16 guests. After our meal the Russian ambassador made a very lengthy speech about the expanding and friendly relations between Iran and the Soviet Union and hailed the stability and advances made under the leadership of His Majesty. After hearing this speech I was sure that a state visit would soon take place. The Russian ambassador went to Moscow and we never heard from him again and the daily problems did not allow a follow up. When I asked His Majesty in Morocco about the whereabouts of the Russian ambassador and whether he ever gave an answer to our proposal for a state visit, His Majesty replied that the ambassador had left and did not return until after Khomeini seized power and this proved that even the Russians wanted to see a change of regime. What other way could the Russians rid themselves of 40,000 Americans in Iran? How else could they dismantle the listening posts along the Caspian Sea? Then His Majesty added: Therefore, the best way to achieve their goals was to destroy me. His Majesty also told me that [before leaving] the British ambassador had told him that if Khomeini entered the United Kingdom he would not require a visa but when he had wanted to go to England they had refused. This proves that the foreign powers were implicated in a plot against Iran.
MA: What is your opinion about the BBC broadcasts during that time?
AAA: During his final days in Iran, His Majesty ordered me to summon the British ambassador to my office and tell him that the BBC was causing a sensation. I was to say that although the Imperial Guard possessed the equipment to jam the BBC broadcasts we preferred not to do so and instead request that such programs be halted. The British ambassador came to my office of protocol and I told him the matter. Of course, as always he said that the BBC was not state-controlled but free and that the British government could not interfere in its work. He promised to contact London and report back the outcome. A few days later the ambassador returned to my office and explained that a few nights ago British television had aired a programme ( BBC interview with members of the IRA) and added that these terrorists had agreed to be interviewed on the condition that they wear masks over their faces. During the interview they attacked the British government and stated that they would fight to the bitter end using their weapons and any method to advance their patriotic goals despite being accused of terrorism. The British ambassador said that when British television showed such programmes which went against British interests and ignored the wishes of the government how could we expect that they prevent its radio broadcasts? The BBC he said was free and did not receive orders from any public or private organisation. Later we discovered that after the ambassadors report was sent to London with our request to halt the BBCs provocative broadcasts they had staged a fake interview using their own staff who had Irish accents to appear on television so that their ambassador could give a reasonable answer and justify the free nature of the BBC and its independence from the government. Of course, I do not understand why despite what is taking place in Iran these days the BBC has gone quiet. And why did this programme take place two or three days after our request when the conflict between the English and the Irish had been going on for years?
MA: When in January 1979 His Majesty was leaving Tehran did he still hope to return to Iran? Or did he think that the monarchy in Iran was about to collapse?
AAA: His Majesty always complained that Sullivan, the US ambassador in Iran, is incapable of reporting the true situation in Iran to the State Department and the White House and that Iranian officials are equally unable to shed light on matters, so I have to go to the US myself and tell Carter and other American officials that what is taking place will create a lot of problems for Iran and the region, maybe in this way they will come to their senses and find a sensible political solution and in any case prevent them from taking action against Iran. For this reason His Majesty would say that he would be travelling at most for two or three months and that his destination is the United States and part of his luggage was flown by plane to America. During the last days of his stay in Iran, Carter suggested that it would be better if His Majesty would stop in Egypt on his way and participate in discussions between ex-President Ford and Anwar Sadat so that they may benefit from his views on the Egypt-Israel (Camp David) peace plans. The reason was that His Majesty was always telling Sadat that Egypts national interest lay in making peace with Israel because you are the one facing danger while the other Arab countries simply watch. One year before His Majestys trip, Sadat made a few secret visits to Iran and met privately with His Majesty at Saadabad Palace. His Majesty told him: You should make peace with Israel and I will help. Because His Majesty had an important role in the advancement of these talks the Americans wanted that he pay a visit to Egypt on his way to the United States. Three days after staying in Aswan the Americans informed His Majesty that his visit to the United States would be inadvisable. Thats when Ardeshir Zahedi arranged His Majestys trip to Morocco where we went and witnessed the collapse of everything. Maybe when Carter had asked His Majesty to come to the United States (we had sent the luggage to America) he had used the talks in Aswan to delay the trip. An interesting point was when we wanted to go from Iran to Egypt all our communication had been cut because of the continuous strikes and we were unable to get in touch with Egypt and the US ambassador kept asking every day for His Majestys departure date. Since I had no interest in leaving, I kept saying that we were still unable to establish contact and that once we did I would let him know. At midnight the ambassador telephoned me and said: We have radioed our embassy in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak said that the day after tomorrow at 2p.m. Anwar Sadat is expecting His Majestys arrival to Aswan.
MA: His Majestys trip to Egypt and Morocco took place with the royal aircraft piloted by Colonel Moezzi who is now the head of the military wing of the Mujaheddin-eh Khalq. How could such a person have gained His Majestys trust?
AAA: While I was still in Iran, the pilot Moezzi was among His Majestys most trusted officers and was always beside him during all his trips and at the end of each flight he would receive a reward. The day we wanted to leave Iran, His Majesty was in the Imperial Pavilion waiting for the parliament members to give their vote of confidence to the Bakhtiar government. I must add something here that three days before this date [16th January 1979] a group of parliamentarians came to the protocol office to ask me to inform His Majesty that should he leave Iran they would not vote for Bakhtiar. I passed on their message and His Majesty said: We shall be going abroad for only three months to hold political talks and receive medical treatment and then we shall return. In any case while His Majesty waited at the Imperial Pavilion all the telephone lines went down and we were unable to contact the Majlis (Parliament) to find out the outcome of the vote. Finally, using the equipment of the Imperial Guard we made contact and sent a helicopter to the Majliss parking to pick up the prime minister and the chief of parliament after the vote of confidence to the Imperial Pavilion so that His Majesty could make his farewells. After saying goodbye at the airport, Bakhtiar came into the plane and His Majesty said: You have all the powers, I leave Iran to you, and God Protect you. His Majesty piloted the aircraft while he was over Iran but later handed the controls to Moezzi who flew the rest of the journey. When His Majesty was ready to take lunch we discovered that there was no dining service in the plane and that at the airport no food had been loaded unto the aircraft. I asked the hostess: Did you not contact that officer at the airport responsible for the Shahs trips? The reply was: Yes, I did contact him (I have forgotten his name) and he said to give him sandwiches. Finally, Kabiri, the Shahs private cook, put a pot of lentil rice he had carefully prepared for the security guards on the table and there was no sign of any service. This proved how much the opposition had infiltrated the regime that they had even prevented the plane from being properly stocked. Another point worth mentioning is that I have read in certain publications that the pilot Moezzi had said that he had not wanted to pilot for the Shah and that during the flight he had considered crashing the aircraft killing the emperor and himself. Moezzis statement is a complete lie. He always had the Shahs trust and he left Morocco on orders from His Majesty and he returned the plane to Iran. All those who were with him during their farewell at the palace in Morocco fell to the ground and kissed the emperors feet and said: Majesty, we will avenge you. But now that his political loyalties have changed he says these things which are not true. Once I wrote an article protesting that the pilot Moezzi was forbidden to make such statements and reminded him that this was not in line with the behaviour of an officer of the Imperial Iranian Air Force. Of course, he never replied. Before His Majesty left Tehran I showed him a statement and suggested that His Majesty refer to the great things that were done in our country so that people could be more aware. His Majesty said: These things are for someone who plans to leave the country forever and wants to say farewell to his nation while we will soon be coming back. In the past, did we always make a statement to our nation each time we went on vacation? I must add that a few days before His Majestys departure abroad, the former British Foreign Minister (George Brown) accompanied by Sir David Alliance (an Iranian textile businessman living in England) came to Tehran and met with His Majesty. The next day he called me and said he wanted to meet me. I asked His Majestys permission and he said go and see what he wants. I went to see him at the Hilton hotel. George Brown said: I have suggested to His Majesty that now that you are leaving the country for two or three months it would be a good thing that Aslan Afshar whom you trust should be your only contact with Bakhtiar so that he can carry your messages to Tehran and bring back the replies. I have mentioned this to His Majesty and he has agreed. I just wanted to let you know this.
MA: In the diaries of Alam I read that His Majesty had called certain people names or used bad words about them which I personally never witnessed nor heard from his close relations. You who were close to HIM did you ever hear him use such [alleged] foul language about people or his intimate circle?
AAA: I always found His Majesty well-mannered and kind. I never heard him shout or use a bad word against anybody, not even his enemies. Only once he told me to tell so-and-so minister that if the rumours I hear about you are true I will pull your father out of the grave. When I hesitated to make sure that was what he wanted me to say, His Majesty said: Tell him these exact words. I phoned the minister and relayed the message and he laughed and said that His Majesty could be assured that these stories were untrue and simply gossip and that the matter was being taken care of. Of course, after some time the minister was dismissed. After that I never ever heard such words from His Majesty, not even during the most difficult times. I do not know where Alam had picked up such harsh words. His Majesty was an extremely polite person. His Majesty often travelled to Switzerland for his winter holidays and once while I was posted in Austria he came to a skiing village. On the day of his departure as he left the hotel his car was followed by police cars and those of his entourage. We were a few kilometres away from the village when His Majestys car halted. His entourage stepped out and I saw that he was scolding Dr Ayadi: We forgot to say goodbye to the hotel porter. Ayadi replied: But we gave him a good tip. His Majesty said: You talk about money all the time. Is money really the solution to everything? This porter was always shaking the snow off my clothes, removing my boots, polishing my skiing gear. Such an individual at least expects a simple thank you. Let us return to the hotel. We made our way back to the hotel with some difficulty through the narrow mountain passes. The hotel manager who could see the Shahs car in the distance became worried that something bad had happened. The Shah got out of the car and walked over to the hotel porter and shook hands with him and said: I am sorry it was too busy and I was not able to say goodbye. Thank you for all the kindness and hard work. The Shah was very shy, considerate and kind. Each time he was upset with someone he never told them directly but relayed his feelings through some other person. One day during an official ceremony the Shah became upset at one of the protocol officers who happened to be his adjudant and told me: Pull this fellows ears. When I left His Majestys office he added: Make sure you dont pull too hard. I dont want his ears to fall off!
MA: What was the situation like outside the country during the period which you spent with His Majesty?
AAA: His Majesty was of course very upset by what had happened to Iran. He used to say: All the achievements of my father and me and the Iranian nation during the past 57 years has gone up in smoke. Iran is experiencing the Great Terror and this will last for a long time. People will later understand what has happened to them but by then it will be too late. I must admit that His majesty truly loved Iran. Of course, even a lover makes mistakes. One day in Morocco while walking with King Hassan he turned to the Shah and said: Reza, one of your greatest mistakes was that you loved Iran more than the Iranian people and you wanted Iran to advance too quickly. His Majesty replied: I loved both Iran and the Iranian people. Was not everything I did for the farmers, workers, scholarships for students studying abroad, free meals for students in Iran, and other things, for the glory and prosperity of the Iranian nation? In Morocco I told His Majesty that in our country many things took place which Your Majesty was not informed about. For instance, during the 2,500 years celebrations when I was the Iranian ambassador in the United States I suggested that with the cooperation of the American authorities we try to catalogue all Iranian objects gathered in the US museums. It was a complete project. I prepared a report on the subject among other things and His Majesty liked the idea so much that he asked [Court Minister] Alam to execute it. A meeting was held with Dr Eghbal. The Court Minister said: I want to thank you in the presence of Dr Eghbal who has allocated One Million Dollars to be sent to you. I also thanked them and returned to Washington. When I got to America all I received was $100,000 and there was no sign of the remaining $900,000 and the Court Ministry never gave me an explanation. When I told His Majesty this story he said: Why did you not inform me? It was your fault. I replied: On numerous occasions Your Majesty expressed satisfaction regarding my work as ambassador in Austria, USA, Germany and Mexico. Nevertheless, I was certain that if I had complained I would have received a telegram a few months later thanking me for my services and informing me of another posting and ordering me to hand over my office to a member of the embassy staff. His Majesty laughed and said: Maybe you are right. One day, while I was serving as the Iranian ambassador to Washington, I received the CFO of the company that built Phantom jets at the Imperial Iranian Embassy. I asked him why there had been such a long delay in the delivery of the Phantoms? The fellow said that they were trying their best but that they were busy with the Vietnam War and would try to deliver the jets in the near future. He said: The real reason for my visit is that Mr Mahvi has approached us and has asked to be given the agency for the Phantoms but as you well know the Phantoms are not Cadillacs to require an agency and such a thing is unheard of, which is why I have come for your help? I replied: I dont know, let me ask Tehran. I sent a coded message to the Court Ministry since I knew His Majestys great interest in Phantom jets. From Tehran I received a reply signed by Mr Alam, the Court Minister, that: I passed on the message. His Majesty wants to know what does this have to do with our past instructions? The meaning of this telegram was that we were eager to receive the jets and that the rest is not of your business. At the time I thought that Mr Alam had presented the report [to the Shah] in such a way to help Mr Mahvi. One day in Morocco I told this story and His Majesty replied that he was unaware of it and that Alam had never raised the subject.
MA: In exile, did His Majesty ever complain of the ingratitude of those closest to him and who did he name? What were his feelings about his childhood friend [General] Fardoust?
AAA: His Majesty often complained about Behbahanian. During the final days when I was with him at the hospital in Cairo he said: He [Behbahanian] treated us very badly. About Fardoust he did not want to believe that he could have been so disloyal. As for Hossein Sadegh and Khosravi who had been serving at the Rome Embassy between 19-22 August  and who had proved their loyalty in those days, he asked: Why are they not here? They have not even telephoned once or written a letter. I said: Regarding these matters perhaps you have been misinformed. Your Majesty should not upset yourself. Inshallah, you will soon get better and return to the country. His Majesty said: With my health problems and after what the people did to me, how could I possibly return? In any case, I did everything in my power to serve my nation and now I await my fate. I have always been close to God and continue to be so. I always talk to my God but what can I do, the conversation is one way and I hear no response. During the last days of his life, His Majesty had grown very weak. Instead of thinking about his illness, he was thinking about his country and the Iranian nation and with great emotion he would say: We wanted to guide Iran towards the Great Civilization but the current regime will definitely take Iran towards final destruction. I fear that Iran will be dismembered. His Majesty would say: You know, the rate of suicide is greater in the advanced nations than those of the Third World. Take Sweden as an example. Despite having the highest standard of living it has the highest rate of suicide in the world. But in countries like Biaphra or Eritrea where people do not even have enough food to eat nobody thinks about suicide. If the Iranian people were fair and compared their situation with other countries and how Iran was 50 years ago, they would see that they were living in peace. They had it so easy that they decided to have a revolution to supposedly further improve their lives. But this was not a revolution of the Iranian people. In fact it was collective suicide on a national scale that took place at the height of prosperity. Two days after saying these words, His Majesty passed away and joined immortality. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=12&d=01&a=13
posted on 12/01/2003 3:51:19 PM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
Khatami Warns Against Furthur Politicising Religion in Iran!
December 01, 2003
Iran Weekly Press Digest
President Mohammad Khatami on Monday warned against politicising religion in Iran in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the news agency IRNA reported.
Our aim should be spiritualising politics, not politicising religion, Khatami said with reference to his hardline clergy opponents.
The president said that preventing institutionalisation of democracy might lead to wide-spread efforts to undermine the Islamic system as a whole and move towards a secular one.
The elections are scheduled to be held in February next year with clear indications that people might show their political frustration by boycotting the elections like in the municipality elections earlier this year.
Nobody is doing himself a favour not to vote as a democratic base can only be achieved though direct participation of the people, Khatami said.
Khatami and his reformists won the presidential elections 1997 and 2001 and the parliamentary elections in 2000 with a vast majority but neither the executive nor the legislative body could implement their promised liberal policies against the hardline clergy minority.
While encouraging the people to attend the polls, Khatami said that any political groups believing in the Islamic system and constitution should be allowed to get nominated with the final decision left to the people.
The elections this time will have a decisive role on the future of the administration, Khatami said confirming standpoints that the February elections will be a political turning point for the Islamic Republic. http://www.iranwpd.com/
posted on 12/01/2003 3:55:12 PM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
Violent clashes lead to injuries and arrests of tens of demonstrators
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Dec 1, 2003
Violent clashes rocked Karaj, a suburb City of Tehran, this afternoon, as the Islamic regime's forces intervened in order to save one of their affiliates from a public lynching.
Hundreds of residents exasperated by the persistent injustice and the expropriation of the residents' homes, by the regime's men and the managers of the local Mosque, tried to give a popular justice as a young girl was reported having beaten to death by the latter.
The special forces of the Pasdaran Corp., sent from Gohar dasht prison and several neighboring areas, intervened brutally in "Seraj Avenue", with clubs and tear gas, while members of Bassidj force and regime's plainclothes apparatus attacked, with clubs and chains, the angry crowd who was shouting slogans against the regime and its leaders;
The attacks increased more the crowd anger and retaliation by using stones thrown against the regime's men and patrol cars.
Tens of demonstrators were injured and arrested while members of the regime forces were also seen taken to hospitals by their colleagues. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_3880.shtml
posted on 12/01/2003 3:57:29 PM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
"Iran and Saudi Arabia, as important founder-members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), should hold consultations as well as strategic and closer cooperation to settle regional issues and those of the Islamic world," he said.
Sounds like a certain government is looking outside it's borders for money and handouts to me. Hmmmm... This could get interesting. I give Iran 18 months max before we see a new (and hopefully better) government form.
posted on 12/01/2003 4:16:54 PM PST
(I love freedom.)
To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; Grampa Dave
Managing Iraq, which means taking it easy on Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, also means condemning lots of people to death who could be saved if we waged war against our enemies.
Why is Arafat still breathing?
Why is Syria allowed to harbor terrorists?
Why is Iran allowed to host Osama?
Why are the likes of Lt Col West persecuted?
Why are "insurgent" celebrators allowed to be taped and televised?
Why did we acquiesce to the appeasement of Iran's nuclear charade?
All of the above-named miscreants should be paying a price in blood.
posted on 12/01/2003 6:17:18 PM PST
(Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
To: F14 Pilot
"Iran has announced that it plans to retaliate against those countries which voted against Iran at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governers meeting. These nations include Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and United States of America. "
Strange report. Who made this announcement and what exactly did they say? Seems they left out Spain.....
The Tipping Point
December 02, 2003
Wars have a tipping point when one side realizes that it will, inevitably, lose. In 1918, the unbeaten German Army in France and Belgian saw that the flow of fresh troops from America made ultimate defeat certain. In 1990, when the Berlin Wall was torn down, the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Empire was inevitable.
Leftism has reached the same tipping point: the Left will lose its war on America and ordered liberty. There is no specific event - no Battle of Midway or Siege of Yorktown - which precisely defines the coming collapse of Leftism, but a cluster of trends all point in the same direction.
Leftists pined for another Great Depression in America, which, they hoped, would bring back the good old days of soup lines and socialist rabble rousers. But the economy is growing at the fastest rate in two decades. This insures the reelection of President Bush, but it causes Leftists other problems as well.
Sanctimonious whining about the federal deficit, which never once concerned Leftists when the welfare state was being created, look increasingly silly as the engine of economic recovery produces much greater federal tax revenues. In the 2004 campaign, honest economic analysts will be able to project surpluses during the second term of President Bush.
Leftists invented the politics of personal destruction. They have used this tactic not only against politicians but against anyone who stands in their way, but it no longer works - and everyone sees that it no longer works.
Rush Limbaugh, hit with a double whammy in a single week, is back on the air and very popular. The risible concern expressed about Mel Gibsons production of a film which simply reflects the honest beliefs of Christians about the death of Jesus failed to concern serious people and will insure a bigger audience for The Passion.
Katherine Harris is now Congresswoman Harris and a member of the leadership of the majority party in Congress. Newt Gingrich is a frequent and respected commentator on conservative news programs. Senator Carnahan, by contrast, is now citizen Carnahan. Governor Davis is now citizen Davis.
Most important, the shrill hatred of President Bush, whose personal popularity has been higher than any president in the history of modern polling, shows the Lilliputian size of the Left. Conservatives and other normal people look at Leftist whining about President Bushs surprise Thanksgiving visit to our troops in combat zones with a combination of bafflement and contempt.
Leftists attackers now find themselves the attacked. The LA Times-Democrat and the New York Times-Democrat double teamed Governor Schwarzenegger several days before the recall election. Their sneaky slanders did not hurt him, but the LA Times-Democrat lost subscribers it could ill afford to lose and the New York Times-Democrat added its lies about a pro-Nazi Schwarzenegger to its ghastly incompetence in the Jason Blair fiasco.
CBS was forced to scratch The Reagans because the network grossly underestimated the intensity and organization of a very broad, connected and informed conservative majority in America. Books like Bias show Leftism is bankrupt and dishonest.
Academia is facing increasing scrutiny and ridicule as its absurd, surreal hatred of all things good about America becomes more and more commonly understood. The salient fact in this area: students are much more conservative than their faculty and much less willing to be cowed into submission.
The political landscape has changed as well. The Republican Party is now, unquestionably, the majority party in America. Men who once were listened to in the Democrat Party - Ed Koch, Zell Miller, and Andrew Cuomo - now throw up their hands in frustration at a political party that weighs the political consequences of fighting terrorism.
The picture around the world looks even bleaker for Leftists. When President Bush is reelected, the evolution of Iraq into a tolerant nation of ordered liberty is assured. The mullahs of Iran will lose power and be replaced, inevitably, by secular and pro-American leaders. The changes in these two nations will not just transform the Middle East, but Islam itself.
Castro will die soon, and Cuba will live again. Germany will soon have a political party sympathetic, rather than unsympathetic, to our goals. Revelations that the ruling Social Democrat Party was infested with Stasi spies and the sleazy way in which Schroeder won his last election will mean that the next Chancellor of Germany will want to mend relations with America quickly.
Everything points in the same direction: the outcome of the war between Leftism and ordered liberty is certain. Conservatives and other normal people will win this war. Marxists, Fascists, Socialists, Nazis, Islamic totalitarians and other Leftists will lose. As that fact becomes clearer, the orderly retreat of the Left will become a rout. http://mensnewsdaily.com/archive/w/walker/03/walker120203.htm
posted on 12/01/2003 7:38:37 PM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
This thread is now closed.
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!
"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin
posted on 12/02/2003 12:06:00 AM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20, 21-34 last
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson