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Iran’s dictators make Shah look like a benevolent despot

Published: Sat, January 2, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Iran’s dictators make Shah look like a benevolent despot

It is hard to miss the irony of the son of the late Shah of Iran calling for the world to rain approbation on today’s brutal Iranian dictators.

Iran is what it is today because of an uprising against Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in February 1979. His fall ended a reign of 37 years that saw the emergence of a largely secular, Westernized Iran in which women were as free as anywhere in the Middle East, and far more free than in most countries. But the shah’s ties to the West, his marginalizing of the mullahs and his obscenely opulent lifestyle created a resentment that could be contained only by his brutal secret police, the SAVAK, and only for so long.

The revolution that drove the shah from the throne also returned Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from exile and gave him near absolute power. It drove the United States out by attacking its embassy and holding its diplomats hostage. And it has shown itself capable of being just as brutal as the shah in attempting to preserve power for Khomeini’s successors.

The aristocracy has been replaced by a theocracy that considers the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei answerable only to God and a civil government headed by an evil loon, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stole the last election. That’s a dangerous combination, made more dangerous by tens of thousands of religious fanatics who are intent on seeing Iran remain an Islamic dictatorship.

Brutal reaction

The pro-democracy rallies that emerged from public discontent following Ahmadinejad’s rigged election have been brutally suppressed by the government. They are now being met with a dangerous reaction from hard-liners who are calling for the execution of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and those who demonstrate in support of him. This comes after at least eight people died during anti-government protests on Sunday, including Mousavi’s nephew.

Reza Pahlavi, the son of the deposed shah of Iran, has called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to launch an investigation into human- rights violations during the unrest. He also urged other nations to withdraw their ambassadors from Tehran in protest of the violence against demonstrators.

Whether the U.N. and Western nations respond will say something about the value they place on supporting freedom. But regardless of what the West says, the response of the regime in Iran is predictable.

Rulers who came to power through revolution are prepared to crush any uprising that threatens them with far more brutality than they faced when they were the outside demonstrators.

While it is important for the demonstrators in Tehran to maintain their independence — the United States, for instance would do them no favors by injecting itself into Iranian politics — the United Nations dare not be silent while Iranian dissidents are slaughtered.

Western nations, many of which sided with Islamic revolutionaries against a monarch in Iran a generation ago, are now being challenged to recognize that the new dictators are worse than the old.


1BeliSharifi(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The Shah was 30 years ago. Get over it. Some of your American and western leaders are way worse than the Shah. And when even Karubi says that the crimes committed under this regime was NEVER committed by the Shah, then you need to put a cork in that whine.

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2tx4116(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

It is ironic that the son is acting like his father was some democrat. They are no different than the current mullas in manipulating the populace to suit their purpose. May be their funds are running low and they want to go back and dip in to the treasury? I would say go find a real job!

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3Attis(1128 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

In your propagandistic attempt to demonize Iran you seem to conveniently forget how the Shah, unlike the current rulers, came to power in Iran. Injecting itself into Iranian politics is certainly nothing new for the CIA. You may also wish to rethink your demonization of democracy through revolution ("rulers who came to power through revolution are prepared to crush any uprising"), or were the founders of our country also brutal tyrants? As far as rigged elections are concerned, how about presidential elections 2000 and 2004? Tone down the rhetoric. We've had more than a enough war. Give peace a chance. Start with the truth. Happy new year.

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4CaptAyhab(2 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The writers total lack of knowledge about Iranian history, particularly the Pahlavi Era makes this article an absolute hogwash[due respect].

Many Iranians see Pahlavi Dynasty as the main reason for the dilemma we are in right at this moment. There was no Secularism in Iran during Pahlavi. It is best characterized as Dictatorship, only without Turbans[Mullas wear turban] .

The writer might want to brush up on Iran's history. Here is an excellent source. 1) 1953 Iranian coup d'état and Iran Between Two Revolutions by Dr Ervand Abrahamian, the most renowned Iranian Historian

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5Logical123(5 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The Shah was much worse than the current government in suppressing dissent. In the most recent demonstration, while the Basij militia beat demonstrators with batons, they never used live ammunitions on demonstrators. Besides one reported assassination by unknown individuals, of the four other reported deaths, two fell off bridges and two died because of an accident involving a privately owned car. In contrast, the Shah used to send tanks to the streets and his soldiers on horseback used to to spear people and shoot at them with live bullets.

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6toefang(6 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I think you are a bunch of mullah lovin freaks. You can not compare the Shah to the mullahs. The Shah loved Iran and the people more than anything and if you truely know Iranian history you would shut the #@%* up. How many Iranians did the Shah kill and how many did the mullahs kill? Ansewr this if you know so much of Iranian history. And the ones the Shah killed were the crazy #%&@*'s that are distroying Iran and it's history right now, so maybe he was smarter than you and truely knew what was best for Iran and the balance of the world, Get educated and respect our history.

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7CaptAyhab(2 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I am an American Iranian, and I was a college student during last years of Shah. I migrated to US in 1977 and shortly after the uprising and demonstrations leading to 1979 revolution began.
How many years have you spent in Iran, and how many years have you spent as an activist against the Mullah Islamic regime.

Wait don't answer that, you have spent Zero, Zilch on both of the above. As to me I have spent major part of past 30 years in various movement. So pauleez don't sit there and preach about Iranian history.

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8123station(8 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Why are the comments from a nationality of persons that are in a foriegn country allowed to speak their word about this issue. Give your opinion from your country of birth. Not from the USA. The entire population should be deported and barred from re-entry. Imagine if all American dollars were spent on America!

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9toefang(6 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Capt Jack@$$,
I took my family out of Iran in 1978! Just before hammas burned my house in Nothern Tehran. I am no activist just Irani. It kills me to see confused children like yourself that can't figure out what movement to support, Jumping from cause to cause like a lost puppy waiting for someone to scratch your head to make your tail move. I dont want to give you to much information about myself because you couldn't answer any of the questions form my blog so for all I know you are mullah coonie. If you disagree with me why were you in Iran during the shah? and left when the mullahs came? Before I bow out gracefully I'd like to leave you with this, When it comes to Iran there is only one movement, Iranian freedom. JAVID IRAN!

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10EstherHaman(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

What is sad is the dysfunctional society of Iran is always blaming the people in charge. They can't see that the previous puppet was kicked out by themselves and now they only have to blame their own gutless traitor selves to blame for their issues. Stand up and claim your culture and heritage. The Mullahs have been in Iran for 1000 years and they have been around. If you want to separate yourselves from them, you are separating yourselves from your history and your culture.

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11toefang(6 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Please get educated. you talk about MY heritage and culture and that is over 3000 years of persian manarchy. Many people have come to destroy IRAN but all have left. The only traitors are the mullahs and there supporters. Do you not know the people that were slautered by your precius mullahs were real Iranian patriots that dedicated there hole lives to serve Iran and it's people. Is that not treason? Yes i can respect the faith as a small part of Iranian history as well as Zorostarism but I'm not taking my dead to the mountians for the birds to eat. The idealigy is primitive and Iran does not belong to the mullahs it belongs to the childern of CYRUS. For a thousand years they have been around but what of the Iranian Jews that have been in Iran alot longer than the mullahs? Does that give them the write to rule!OF COURSE NOT. You people need to get a qlue. Get ready for a DEMOCRATIC,SECULARE, MANARCHY. AND IRANIAN FREEDOM JAVID IRAN

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12fred123(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I think people don't remember how nice Iran was under the shaw. There is no way to compair the shaw to the currant regime in Iran. Todays regime in Iran is barbaric in all levels, they treat there own citezins like animals and have no regaurd to weman and childern. All in the name of god. shame on them.

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13IranBoy(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

According to Emad al-Din Baghi, a former researcher at the Martyrs Foundation (Bonyad Shahid, which compensates families of victims) hired "to make sense of the data" on those killed fighting the Shah's regime, approximately 700-1000 people were killed/executed by the Shah's regime from 1963-1978. Furthermore, during the revolt of 1978-79 approximately 2,500 died. That is some 3,000 to 3,500 dead over 15 years, many being armed MEK guerrillas (which the U.S., Europe and Iran consider a terrorist org). By contrast, most historians, including Abrahimian, have stated that during the first 10 years of the Islamic Republic, at least 20,000 were killed/executed by the regime. Some legit historians have said the number is closer to 40,000. It's like comparing the Tsar to Stalin: both violent, but really, you tell me which regime was more brutal.

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14toefang(6 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

With those numbers it amases me that people still speak on the Shah as if he was this terrible man. Not correct at all. Iran was considered the paris of the Asia's, and the tumon had real value. Iranians had a much better value of life with real freedom and that was 30 years ago. since the illegitament regime things have turned to a living hell for the Iranian people and the rest of the world. The Shah was a great man and I would love to see the day they bring him from Egypt back to Iran so he can rest in the land he loved.

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