Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Miss You, Shahanshah

I'd like to share this poem written by "AmirN" on Shahanshah Aryamehr; this great Iranian patriot who dedicated his life for the betterment of his country and people but who in return did not receive the praise he was worthy of.

I myself did not have the privilege to live during the reign of Shahanshah Aryamehr, since I was born after the Islamic takeover of my motherland, but through my own study on the era I've been able to conclude that us Iranians are indebted to the Pahlavi's for all their work to progress/modernize our country. The mollah's who took Iran hostage in 1979 have tried very hard to portray the two Great Pahlavi Kings as ruthless dictators but the facts and information all points to the contrary. The Pahlavi's after 1400 years of Arabo-Muslim domination in our country revived the Iranian soul and promoted "Iranism", to the contrary the mollah's have imposed a doctrine of eradicating anything Iranian and any progress made during the Pahlavi era. They will pay dearly for what they have caused our country and people. Iran has been under horrific occupations before and will overcome this one as well.

For now I leave you with this poem...


I Miss You, Shahanshah

I miss you, Mohammad Reza Shah
I miss your father too, the first Reza Shah
I miss both Pahlavis, kings of mine
I miss the recent past, when Iran was fine

I miss 1941, the year of your ascension
I miss that young man, who lacked apprehension
I miss your resolve, your unbreakable determination
I miss you saving Iran, defying foreign intervention

I miss your noble venture
I miss your kingly adventure
I miss your firm, Persian gaze
I miss your speeches, never ceasing to amaze

CONTINUED (read more)...

I miss your grand plan
I miss the pride you brought to our clan
I miss your peace, and prosperity
I miss your calm, and tranquility

I miss your military might
I miss your uniform, shining so bright
I miss your solid, imperial power
I miss how you made our enemies tremble and cower

I miss your Royal Air Force, the guardian of the sky
I miss your Imperial Army, waving our flag high
I miss your Imperial Navy, sentry of Persian Gulf’s coast
I miss the message they all sent: “attack Iran and you’re toast”

I miss your love of country, your patriotism
I miss the principles you fought for, your idealism
I miss your sense of honor and duty, above all
I miss the Commander in Chief, who always answered Iran’s call

I miss your palace of Golestan
I miss the beauty you brought Iran
I miss your ambassadors’ receptions
I miss their envy, their awe stricken perceptions

I miss your class, your opulence
I miss your demeanor, your elegance
I miss your walk, an effortless glide
I miss your head held high, emanating pride

I miss your fair and just reign
I miss your benevolence, lending a hand to those in pain
I miss the kindness you showed your subjects
I miss how you treated them as people, not as objects

I miss your building style, your architecture
I miss your improvements, of Iran’s infrastructure
I miss your commitment, to health and education
I miss the progress, of our once proud nation

I miss your endeavors, your dreams
I miss everything you did, everything that gleams
I miss the unity of our Persian quilt
I miss the nation you once built

I miss your peaceful, White Revolution
I miss your land reforms, ridding us of an old pollution
I miss the champion of women’s rights
I miss the champion of literacy; all just fights

I miss your love of Kourosh, and his heirs
I miss your homage, to the glory that was theirs
I miss your gala event, the Persepolis celebration
I miss your parade in time, presented in gradation

I miss your tough, yet gentle love
I miss how you looked as an eagle, but acted as a dove
I miss your show of power and strength
I miss also your restraint, avoiding bloodshed at great length

I miss that cold, dark, January day
I miss your last day as king, alas you couldn’t stay
I miss your sad farewell, before boarding that dismal plane
I miss that last day, before Iran became insane

I miss your last day of life, in a foreign but friendly land
I miss the pain I felt, unable to lend you a helping hand
I miss the humanity you received from Sadat, a true Pharaoh
I miss both of you now, leaders joined by sorrow

I miss our freedom, something we should have cherished
I miss our dignity, which with you also perished
I miss our happiness, which left with you as well
I miss our dreams and hopes, we’ve bid them all farewell

I miss you Shahanshah, our just and noble king
I miss a nation unable to laugh, dance, or sing
I miss not just the king, but more so the man
I miss the simple person, who like me, had just a simple plan

The evil acts of the wicked serve to show the righteousness of the just



Anonymous said...

I seriously think you should review the history of Iran under Shahanshah Aryamehr in order to find out how ALL of the problems we face today was created by his extreme arragance and ignorance towards the people of our homeland. I suggest you read the book titled "Shah of Shahs". Link provided. Enjoy.

Aryamehr said...

Dear Ramin,

If I hadn't reviewed "the history of Iran under Shahanshah Aryamehr" I doubt I would ever have named this blog after this great Iranian patriot.

I have read views ranging from Islamic propaganda against the late Shah of Iran to Marxist lies. It is quite surprising that a leading scholar of the Islamic Republic itself (!) has come out and denied the propaganda during the Islamic Takeover in 1979 that there were tens of thousands of political prisoners and that the Shah's regime had killed 60,000 Iranians!!!

Today we know better fortunately.

Again, Iranians during pre 1979 did not have much political freedom but the country was progressing and we were moving towards political freedoms as well; you cannot expect a country that a few decades ago was a lawless, superstitious wasteland, disease-stricken transform into a perfect U.S. styled democracy. I hope you do understand this and do understand that you cannot gain everything overnight.

Iran under the Shah was an Iranian government that could be cooperated with and reformed.
The Shah did commit a big mistake in turning Iran into a one-party state towards the end of the 1970's but admitted he was wrong and that he would hold free elections - this was ofcourse not in favour of the Islamist forces nor the Leftist forces. Also keep in mind that since the early 70's the late Shah of Iran had been sick with a malignant form of cancer and his leadership capabilities were seriously undermined which could explain his decision to form the Rastakhiz Party in 1977.
The Shah left Iran because he did not want to spill the blood of his compatriots who under the spell of the reactionary forces of RED (communists) and BLACK (islamists) had turned the streets of Iran into their battlefields - whether these people were in the majority or minority can be contested. Many Imperial Generals requested permission to open fire on these protestors but the Shah refused to allow that order.

Iran under mollah's is an arabo-muslim state (no "Iranianhood") that will not hesitate to kill Iranians who disapprove of their dictatorship. Tens of thousands of Iranians have been executed by this regime and most of these deaths are well documented. The first wave of genocide at the hands of the Islamic Republic took place in after their takeover in 1979 and later on in 1988 when there was mass-executions of political prisoners across Iran.

Iranians (of the pre-1979 generation) today realize that what they did in 1979 was terribly wrong and that they should have allowed for the system to evolve through the reforms that were ready to be implemented under the leadership of Prime Minister Bakhtiar - who may I add was betrayed by his own traitorous party-members in "Jebhe Melli" in favour of a backward anti-Iranian mollah (Ayatollah Khomeini) who amongst other things promoted bestiality and pedophilia!

I will proceed to post all of this information in more deatil as time allows me.

Leaving history aside...

It's your democratic right to not agree with me. I published your comments because you do not use any profanities and because I do not believe in censorship.

What I would like today is for me and you to be united in the overthrow of the mollah's. Secondly I want for both of us to be able to vote for the system of government that we deem best for our motherland, and for us to respect the results.
This isn't much to ask for is it?


Anonymous said...

I agree with the last part of your comments that we share one goal and that's to have a free, democratic and peaceful Iran. Although the phrase "Perfect US Style Democracy" is very debatable, at least when you compare the US system to many European democracies, it looks very primitive. But this is out of the scope of my comment.

I also agree that Shah 'at least personally' had good intentions.

But unfortunately he didn't have any correct plan how to reform the country from within, and the changes he made, though partly positive, did not work in Iran, which to me means he did not have a good understanding of the country and people he rulled.

Socially the Shah's time was much better for the people of Iran. Politically, active people lived in the same sort of fear today's activists live.

Yes Shah admitted his mistakes but that was TOO late and it was seen as a sign of weekness by all the people who were against him. Sometimes I really wonder how a swiss-educated politician can be so naive. Iran under the Pahlavis had great potentials and opportunities to become a highly developed country. By developed I don't mean quickly industrialisation; I mean development in every sense of it: high level of literacy, shrinking the gap between social classes and a cultural reform deep within the people. And, allowing educated minds to decide how they want to live their lives and how they want to be governed. but that dinesty specifically the last Pahlavi wasted huge amounts of money, didn't upgrade the cultural infrastructure effectively (it didn't work) and drove Iran to a point of no return and created all the causes of the bloody revolution (bloody in its both meanings!) and you and I now inherit and experience this mess called islamic republic. It was bad governance and bad investment of oil money that sent a potentially rich and superior country to this misery. I seriously blame the rulling monarchs for not seeing the realities and living in their own nice bubble. They could have been more aware of the situation, helped the progress in the country and stayed in power peacefully for many many years. The government bodies were extremely currupt (not much better than today's). the monarchs allowed extremely corrupt bootlickers to surround them and isolate them from the reality (something that was totally different during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi).

And the consequence of ignorance and living in bubble? Shah was probably one of the most arrogant contemporary rulers. Did you know that he "never" interviewed an Iranian journalist? He only interviewed European and occasionally American journalists. Iranian journalists were not up to the level to talk to his excellency. In the celebrations for the 2500th anniversary of Monarchy, the whole world was invited but the people of Iran (although I personally love to watch the pictrues of the celebrations, but it's true that people of Iran were the only ones who were not invited the party).

I think Kapuscinski has explained the causes that lead to his overthrow very well. It's a very good read, and it explains things from a very different point of view. If you have not read it I strongly recommend it, the book is reasonably priced :)

"Shah of Shahs" by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Aryamehr said...

Dear Ramin,

I by no means think that Shahanshah Aryamehr was a perfect person, but as any human being had flaws. I also believe that "court flatterers" contributed in portraying and painting a different picture of society to the Shah which led to wrong decisions being made. However I do not blame the Shah for the Islamic takeover but that is a responsibility that the people of Iran should admit to for following a backward muslim cleric knowing very well how far Iran had come under the Pahlavi Dynasty. Again as you said and as I concurred, politcal freedoms were limited but I do believe that these problems would have been overcome and there was absolutely no need for the misery that was to come to fall upon our nation.

I have never heard that the Shah never granted interviews to Iranian journalists - that was a new one. Would you mind pointing me to a text that claims so? As for the 2500 Imperial Celebrations it was foreign and Iranian dignitaries that attended this event so there were Iranian - there were no foreign nor Iranian common people if you mean that. The main purpose of this event was to show the world (hence the gathering of world leaders/press) the splendor of Persia (Iran). Security reasons did not allow for civilians to attend these ceremonies with half the world's top diplomats being gathered in one place. I believe it was a great event but was used by the enemies of the Shah to "demonize" him through their propaganda campaigns.

When it comes to politics I prefer to read books by Iranians rather than foreigners since I do not think they have a good picture of the whole story. I'm actually looking forward to read some by Fereydoun Hoveyda (late PM Hoveyda's brother). I would also really like to read Court Minister Alam's diaries who had a unique insight to the life of His Late Majesty (those books are quite expensive I believe).

Two books by His Late Majesty that I have enjoyed reading are:

Again in the end all I hope for is that WE can together build a better Iran for our children and learn from our history.

Payandeh Iran va Irani!


Anonymous said...

I'm just back from a difficult presentation!!! phew! :)

I don't have a reference off my head now to point you to, regarding Shah's refusal to interview with Iranian journalists. But I'll send it to you if I come across one.

Regarding your point that you prefer to read books by Iranians rather than foreigners, it's up to you what you prefer to read. But people who view things from outside the system normally give an account of stories and events which is very different and refreshing. They can see a bigger picture of what happened. Their experience and observations around the world and also their broader historial knowledge on similar events make their viewpoints rather interesting. At the end you dont have to believe everything they say but it kinda opens a new dimension in your mind.

To be honest the book "Shah of Shahs" was given to me by a British friend, and it gathered dust on my shelf for a year or more. I thought along the same line as you "What does a bloody polish journalist have to say about the Shah? not even a British but a POLISH??". One day I picked it out of boredom, and believe me I couldn't close the book, basically I read it in two days and then read it again (it's a relatively small book). And then I did some research about this guy on the internet and got to know him better.

Anyway :) best of luck and Viva Iran :)

Aryamehr said...


Hope it went well! =)

I didn't mean to refute your source totally as there could be truth in it, I would even like to read some marxist propaganda books just to read their side and their views however much distorted from the truth they may be.

Anyhow all the best and hope that we can stand united until victory, and let Iranians decide their future through a national referendum.

Payandeh Iran!
Marg Bar Jomhoriye Kasife Eslame!

Aryamehr said...

Just wanted to add that the whole wanting to read the other sides story reference is part of "knowing your enemy" (Sun Tzu). We Iranians cannot even trust ourselves as a nation when we have mullah's, islamo-marxists (mojahedin), religious-nationalists (what an oxymoron!), communists etc who will not think twice in stabbing us in the back...let alone trust foreigners who are out after their own interests and trying to keep us as "underdogs" -stealing our resources through the cheapest possible venues...

Anonymous said...

I am an American who served in the Peace Corps in Iran from mid-1969 through the end of 1971. I was, at the time, a freshly-minted MBA assigned to work in the Planning and Research Dept. of the Iran National Tourist Organization in Tehran. All of my work was in English; I never learned more than very basic spoken Farsi and even less of the written language.

Members of the Peace Corps were not supposed to do outside work. Nevertheless, I was invited to work in a low-level job (proofreader) at the Tehran Journal, one of two English-language daily newspapers in Tehran at the time. I worked for the Tehran Journal, as well as at INTO, for most of the two-and-a-half years I lived in Tehran.

I mention this background only to make the point that, while I do not pretend that my experience in Iran gives me any comprehensive insight into Iranian affairs, neither was I merely a tourist there. Most of my colleagues and friends were English-speaking Iranians at the two places I worked (one governmental, one private); I did not spend my time in an American diplomatic or other official cocoon completely isolated from the real life of the country.

My worm's-eye view is that Iran in the period 1969-1971 was a country which was starting to make very real progress in a number of ways.

The White Revolution, the land reform program which had been implemented not too long before I arrived, was one of the foundations for the creation of a modern Iranian economy. For better or for worse, the White Revolution was, at the time, a textbook example of the way land reform should be done. The rural population was transformed from what was almost a state of serfdom into property owners. However, the original owners were not simply expropriated; they were paid off with interest-bearing, transferable government bonds (backed by the even-then considerable oil wealth of the country) which became the capital which many Iranians used to invest in, and create, the beginnings of a modern Iranian economy.

Prior to my arrival in Iran, I didn't know what to expect in terms of living standards, except that Iran was still a very poor country. Much to my surprise, I found the stores full of consumer goods of all sorts, mostly Iranian-made or at least Iranian-assembled. The father of a young woman I had met while at graduate school in the States had built a substantial business manufacturing (in Iran) ceramic bathroom fixtures. There were even Iranian-assembled cars and trucks. It is very true that many Iranians did not have the money to buy the merchandise that was available, but every day more and more Iranians were able to enjoy at least some prosperity. Every now and then, the Tehran Journal would run a story about the adventures of some family or other that packed the kids into the Paykan or the Aria and drove off to Europe on holiday.

Socially, imperial Iran was making great efforts to bring Iran into the modern era in two important ways which Americans and Europeans tend to take for granted: the status of women, and freedom of religion. HIM Empress Farah was particularly active in trying to bring the status of Iranian women into the modern era, and to some extent she (and others) were successful. During my time in Iran a number of Iranian women (particularly in Tehran) lived lives which were similar to those of European and American women, with professional jobs and freedom of movement, and without chadors.

Similarly, the Pahlavi dynasty protected religious minorities and allowed them to practice their religions openly. During my time in Iran, the Armenian Christian community in Tehran built a major church on the extension of Elizabeth II Boulevard east of Maidan-e-Valiahd. Similarly, the Iranian Jewish community, who had been in Iran since the time of Cyrus the Great, prospered. As did the Bahais.

The imperial family were important patrons of the arts, both traditional and modern. The Empress tried to encourage many of the traditional crafts, and often used traditional Iranian fabrics and accessories in her clothing. The Empress, in 1970, was a young woman of extraordinary beauty who made everything she wore look beautiful, too. While I was in Tehran, it was a wonderful place to shop for handicrafts of all types. Of course, Persian carpets need no promotion. However, as well as carpets, I went home with brass, copper and silver handicrafts which I still value and use, as well as miniature paintings. I even had one piece made to order, a magnificent brass wall plaque with the center medallion showing a Persian Gulf sailing ship (copied from a photograph on an INTO brochure). And then there was Isfahan, which was a place of enormous beauty, and was a wonderful showcase of the best of Islamic Iranian art and architecture.

While I was in Iran, Tehran had fine museums with collections of Iranian and other art. The crown jewels (which were always regarded as national treasure and not the personal property of the Shah) were on public display at the Central Bank. Tehran had a symphony orchestra (a number of my fellow Peace Corps members played there)and some live theater at Rudaki Hall, many cinemas (including the Goldis Cinema with a daily 10 pm English-language show for us foreigners), and many other amenities made Tehran a nice place.

Politically, at the time Iran was an authoritarian government trying to make what has always been a difficult and dangerous transition to a more open and democratic type of government. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi failed to accomplish this transformation, but so did Louis XVI in France and Nicholas II in Russia. It happened in Japan only because of its defeat in World War II.

While I was in Iran, the country was a constitutional monarchy with the Shah as sort of permanent executive, but with an elected parliament (Majlis). It is my recollection that the ostandars (i.e. provincial governors) were appointed by Tehran, but the the municipal officers were elected. At that time, the government was making an effort to create a real, functioning party of loyal opposition (I think it was the Mardom party). It was the advertised hope of the Shah and his government to gradually extend democratic government as the as the population became ready to exercise such power in a responsible way.

I was favorably impressed with the Iran National Tourist Organization, where my primary duties were. The office was well run and staffed with well-educated, serious people who wanted to do the right thing. INTO had several responsibilities. One was to promote Iran as a destination for international tourism. Another was to promote the idea of internal tourism. And finally, we were supposed to promote investment in tourism-related facilities, while at the same time to discourage over-investment in or overbuilding of these same facilities. We tried to achieve all of these ends by providing accurate information to travel companies and investors. There was no coercion involved, and we didn't have any way to force anyone to do what we wanted, or to stop anyone from doing what we thought was a bad idea.

It was my impression that the other ministries of the imperial government were run in a similarly technocratic fashion. I was not aware of anything which indicated that someone at INTO was trying to put his own interests ahead of his professional responsibilities.

I am certain that imperial Iran was not a perfect country. However, to an outsider, the Iran of 35 years ago seems to have been a much better place than the Iran of today.

Aryamehr said...

Dear Mr Schneider,

It was very heartwarming to read your comments and i'm glad that you were able to find my blog.

I really appreciate your ENTRY! I think it deserves an ENTRY on its own and will make sure to make one as soon as I get the time (very busy at this very moment).

I would really like to hear more about your experience as you are a living witness to history. I hope that you will check with this blog in the future and share more memories.

Iran is not what you see today as you have tried to point out and as I try to point out by having this blog. I do not consider this government Iranian and rightly so I refer to this government as a foreign occupational one. This Islamic Republic goes against the core values of being Iranian and has done its best in destroying Iranian culture physically (by trying to demolish Persepolis at the early days of their take-over!!!) and otherwise (re-writing history, banning Iranian cultural festivals etc).

Again, I do hope to be in contact with you in the near future and I believe that many people who read this blog would really appreciate to get a glimpse of the Iran you saw during your time spent in Iran during the early 1970's late 60's.

All the best!

Aryamehr said...

Dear Mr Schneider,

It was very heartwarming to read your comments and i'm glad that you were able to find my blog.

I really appreciate your ENTRY! I think it deserves an ENTRY on its own and will make sure to make one as soon as I get the time (very busy at this very moment).

I would really like to hear more about your experience as you are a living witness to history. I hope that you will check with this blog in the future and share more memories.

Iran is not what you see today as you have tried to point out and as I try to point out by having this blog. I do not consider this government Iranian and rightly so I refer to this government as a foreign occupational one. This Islamic Republic goes against the core values of being Iranian and has done its best in destroying Iranian culture physically (by trying to demolish Persepolis at the early days of their take-over!!!) and otherwise (re-writing history, banning Iranian cultural festivals etc).

Again, I do hope to be in contact with you in the near future and I believe that many people who read this blog would really appreciate to get a glimpse of the Iran you saw during your time spent in Iran during the early 1970's late 60's.

All the best!

Vince (Vahid) said...

Although I was never born in Iran, my mother was born in Tehran in 1964, and told me what wit was like growing up as a child of the shahs white revolution.

My mother, though she is ardent monarchist, does agree that the shah made some mistakes, but like you, she agrees that democracy was something the shah was ready to introduce democracy to the people.

My mother also agrees that the people made huge mistake giving Khomeini power. something interesting that she always points out is that most of those iranians who protested against the shah wanted democracy and political freedoms, yet they un-democratically brought an end to the shahs government, and un-democratically put Khomeini into power. it's my moms personal belief that the best solution to gaining democracy would have been to protest for a new constitution or referendum, which would have given them the chance to democratically vote and it would given them an idea of how a democracy could function. and she also believes that the moment the people began to protest, the shah should have taken the initiative and announced a new democratic plan for the new decade and he could have thus established the permanent era of democracy in Iran.

some occasions when my mom looks at pictures from Iran, she cries as she feels like Iran took a sharp twisted path that was completely avoidable, and she always imagines what Iran would look like today if it was still ruled by the shah.