Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brigadier General Saeed Mehdiyoun

An old account (2004) by Mahmoud Ghaffari on late Brigadier General Saeed Mehdiyoun.


Top gunned down
Mastermind of the Nojeh coup attempt

Mahmoud Ghaffari
July 22, 2004

His left eye was gouged out, leaving an empty socket, his body was riddled with bullets, and his entire torso was black and blue from torture. This was the scene the wife of the late Brigadier General Saied Mehdiyoun saw, when she was summoned to reclaim the body of this great patriot. In fact she had to pay a dollar for every bullet used to murder him, so that his executioners could replace their inventory!

This is the scene replayed thousands of times in the Great Islamic Republic of Iran, during the first few years of the revolution and ominously still continuing to today.

Last week is the 24th anniversary of the Nojeh coup attempt, masterminded by this outstanding highest ranking officer of the Imperial Iranian Air force and many other patriots who lost their lives in the clutches of the Islamic fundamentalists. Any one, who remembers the events of those days, can only draw one conclusion; that the events of the world for the next twenty years were shaped by such animalistic and terrorist acts. We all kept quiet, solemnly dowsed in our own sorrows for the lost lives, but could never imagine, that a group of about 2000 backward clerics, can do such damage and cause so much mayhem, because of their blind and unsubstantiated faith in religion.

Heroes like Mehdiyoun are not amongst us any more, but imagine what Iran would be like today, had the heroic acts of this man and the hundreds like him who tried to save Iran from the clutches of abysmal tyranny would have succeeded.

Mehdiyoun was the son of a wealthy Tabriz merchant. He started his professional life as a dentistry student and for some reason or another switched over and joined the Imperial Iranian Air force. He moved through the ranks and became one of the handful of "Top Gun" F-4 Phantom fighter pilots. Schooled at a US Air Force base in Alabama, during the late 50's and early 60's, his star was on the rise through out his military career.

He was one of the few that the Imperial sovereign could trust. He was considered one of the top 5 commanders of the Air Force. His tenure in the Air Force took him to command positions for the Shahrokhi 3rd tactical air base in Hamadan, and Vahdati 4th Tactical air base in Dezful. His final command position was Commander of the Air Defense Command, or "Padafande Havaie".

Mehdiyoun was a loyal officer, one who had taken an oath to protect and serve the unity of Iran and serve his sovereign to the last drop of blood. This concept unfortunately is foreign to the zealots running Iran to the ground at the moment. Such loyalty and sacrifice stems back to the time of the Great Persian Empire and the Immortal guards of Cyrus the Great.

When His wife was signing the papers to release his lifeless body, a revolutionary guard present at his execution recounted that he never renounced his beliefs. When he was asked to kneel and get ready for his execution, he responded with, "I will never kneel in front of you ..."

Right or wrong, good or bad, we have to agree that commitment, dedication to excellence and the love of Iranian soil drove many of these heroes of Iran's great past. They may never be duplicated and until such time that the Islamic Republic is ruling Iran the armed forces will never be restored to its glorious level it had attained under the leaders of the past. We can concur, that if the Freedom Fighting Forces of the US decide to liberate Iran, many if not all the officers currently serving the regime will abandon their posts in a fraction of the time it took the Arab thugs to do so in Iraq.

I had the honor of knowing this man and experienced first hand his devotion to his oath of office. He was always forthright and candid, and I think that had to do with his Azeri upbringing, and it was his assertiveness and command of those reporting to him, that made the Monarch take a liking to this man.

I have been a sideline observer of the events inside Iran. Now in the post 9/11 world, I can see why actions by the likes of Mehdiyoun are so much part of world history -- not only Iran's. Had his heroic effort been successful, it would have propelled the world and its inhabitants into a much more benign existence. All of us, be it Americans, Iranians and members of other national boundaries, should salute these heroes, as they were set to change the face of history in a more positive wake.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lieutenant General Ali Mohammad Khademi & Iran Air

I've received the following very interesting articles on the late founder of Iran Air, Gen. Khademi, and would like to share it with the readers of this blog.


KHADEMI, Ali Mohammad (1913-1978), Air Force officer, first general manager of Iran Air 1962-78
Encyclopedia Iranica

KHADEMI, Ali Mohammad (ʿAli Moḥammad Ḵādemi, b. Jahrom, Fars, 30 November 1913; d. Tehran, 7 November 1978), pilot, officer, and first general manager of Iran Air (FIGURE 1). Khademi was a career officer in the Air Force, who was promoted in 1966 to lieutenant general (sepahbod). He served from 1962 until 1978 as the general manager of Iran Air, the newly founded national flag-carrier, which under his stewardship became a very successful domestic and international airline. In 1970-71 he served as president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Family and eduction. His father Loṭf-Allāh Ḵādemi belonged to a prominent Muslim family. In the early 1900s he joined the Bahai faith, and the subsequent persecution forced him to leave everything behind and to move in 1927 his family to Isfahan. ʿAli Moḥammad attended high school in Isfahan and graduated in 1932 at the top of his class. He passed the demanding entrance examination of the Military Academy (Dāneškada-ye afsari) in Tehran, and graduated with honors in aviation studies in 1936. The following year he graduated with distinction from the Air Force Flying School (Āmuzešgāh-e ḵalabānān-eniru-ye havāʾi).

Air Force. Khademi joined the Air Force (Niru-ye havāʾi-e Irān) in 1938, and continued with his pilot training. He was the first Iranian to receive a commercial pilot license from the British Civil Aviation Authority in 1948, and in 1957 he completed a training course at the U.S. Air Force University in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1958 he was promoted to Chief of Staff (raʾis-e setād), and became lieutenant general in 1966. Khademi contributed to the modernization and expansion of the Air Force by fostering cooperation with the U.S. Air Force, the most technologically advanced air force in the world (Aṭrvaš, p. 263).

Iran Air. In 1962, when Iran Air was founded, Khademi was selected as its general manager. Shortly after the appointment, he completed the Air Transport Senior Management course at the American University in Washington, D.C. During his 16-year tenure at Iran Air, the company was transformed from a fledgling domestic airline to a thriving national flag-carrier. Iran Air had started in 1962 with a fleet of 13 old propeller airplanes and less than 700 employees, and in 1978 the company owned a modern fleet of 37 Boeing jets and had close to 12,800 employees. Its routes included the major destinations in the Middle East, Europe, the U.S.A., and the Far East, and this expansion was the result of bilateral negotiations that were initiated and led by Khademi (Aṭrvaš, p. 13). Under Khademi's stewardship, the net equity of the company increased eight-fold, though the company did not receive any government subsidies. Iran Air became one of the country’s most profitable government-owned enterprises and the highest foreign-currency earner after the National Oil Company. The company attained one of the best safety records of any airline in the world, and maintained one of the first Middle East technical service stations in Iran, which was certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (Adams, p. 25). In addition to his responsibilities as general manager, Khademi served as the chairman of Iran Air's Board of Directors from 1977 until 1978.

Khademi’s management style was often praised by peers and colleagues, since he emphasized a team approach to develop the company's managerial skills (ʿAlāʾi, p. 203; Milani, p. 454; Rahavard." href="">FIGURE 2). He relied on the most advanced industry-wide technologies and practices, and consequently he played an active role in promoting modern management education in Iran. From 1968 until 1974 Khademi served as the chairman of the Board of the Iran Management Association (Anjoman-e modiriyat-e Irān), and became the driving force behind its expansion. The association founded seven new chapters in the capitals of Iran's major provinces, and government and private sector executives collaborated in order to organize management trainings. The first management congress was held in Iran, and Khademi became a prominent contributor to the Iranian Center of Management Studies (Markaz-e moṭālaʿāt-e modiriyat-e Irān) in Tehran, a management school affiliated with Harvard University. Between 1976 and 1977, Khademi was an early supporter and mentor of the European Economic Forum, the predecessor of the World Economic Forum (ʿAlāʿi, p. 203). Khademi was instrumental in founding the first College of Planning and Computer Science (Madrasa-ye aʿlā-ye barnāma rizi o kārbord-e kāmpiuter) in Tehran in 1973, and served as a member of its board until 1978. He also sat on the board of Damavand College, and was an advisor to the International Rotary Club.

Khademi was a member of IATA's Executive Committee, and was the organization's first Asian president from 1970 until 1971. He belonged to the Governing Board of Civil Aviation of Iran (Havā-peymāʾi-e kešvari-e Irān). In 1977 Khademi’s outstanding achievements in the fields of civil aviation and management were recognized with an honorary doctorate from Northrop University, which cited his leading role in the advancement of the airline industry in Iran as well as his important and effective services to the field of international air transport (Shell; FIGURE 3).

In 1944 Khademi married Bahia Moʾayyad, the daughter of Dr. Ḥabib Moʾayyad, the first physician from Kermānšāh who had been educated in Western medicine. They had one son and two daughters. Due to the political instability during the months leading up to the Revolution of 1979, Khademi resigned from his position as Iran Air's general manager on 9 September 1978. On 7 November 1978, two days after the declaration of martial law, Khademi was assassinated at his home before the eyes of his wife. Later investigations suggested that the assailants could have been SAVAK employees, but no motive was discovered and no one was ever charged. (Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dādsetāni, file no. 401/68/3060; Dādgāh-e Kayfari, Šoʿba 180, file no. 193/64). The case remains unresolved.


A Short Biography of
Late Lieutenant General Ali Mohammad Khademi,
The founder, chairman and managing director of IRAN AIR (1962-1978)

"No great man lives in vain. The history of
the world is but the biography of great men."
Scottish essayist and historian,
Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)

"We all looked at him [Gen. Khademi] as a model.
He was a leader with broad views and yet able to keep
the rare qualities of a real human being."
Clemence Raffy, former Iran Air member of staff

The biographies of great people normally tend to demonstrate the magnitude of their lifetime achievements rather than their humane qualities. This short biography of Gen. Khademi, while it will illustrate the exceptional services he rendered his country and people, will certainly attempt to reveal his profound benevolent characteristics and moral fibre, some of which were not probably very well known to those other than the people associated closely with him.

Ali Mohammad Khademi was born in the Iranian southern city of Jahrom in the historical province of Fars on December 16, 1913. During his childhood the family life got pretty dour and though. When he was four years old, he lost his mother. Subsequently, the father and son left for the Iranian ancient city of Esfahan. They lived in Esfahan for several years, where he completed his primary and high school years. His exceptional intelligence was noticeable from his years at high school, when he taught mathematics and other subjects to his classmates. In 1932 after obtaining his high school diploma in mathematics, he went to Tehran to participate in the entrance examination of the military academy, where he stood first among hundreds of participants. At the end of his three year studies at the military academy he was transferred to the Iranian Imperial Air Force and soon after became a flight instructor. Around 1940 he began to fly for the Iranian State Airlines, a semi commercial airline operated by Iranian ministry of post and telegram, which at the time mainly carried mail, emergency cargo, some government personnel and occasional paying passengers. While flying as a pilot for the said airline with the rank of captain, he obtained his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license from the British as well as the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization and become the first ever Iranian commercial pilot.

Later when Iranian Airways started operations in 1946, he was one of the first Imperial Iranian Air Force pilot officers who were assigned to fly with the company as first officer and soon later as a captain. In 1949 he returned to the Air Force. Prior to becoming the Imperial Iranian Air Force Chief of Staff in 1958, he held senior training and operational positions and became the adviser to the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces’ general staff and commandant of the Air Force Staff College. During his tenure of service, he obtained a pilot and navigation license from Britain, attended the USAF command and Staff School of the Air University at Montgomery, Alabama as well as the Air Transport Senior Course in Washington, DC. In addition to that he never missed senior management seminars and courses.

Although this short biography will mostly concentrate on one of his most important achievements between 1962 and 1978 with Iran Air, it is most appropriate, however, to mention that his management ideas and valuable contributions to the Imperial Iranian Air Force helped this force to become one of the world’s best, was of utmost significance. Before his assignment to Iran Air, he held several prominent positions in the air force. He created, for the first time, the Air Force Air Transport Unit, when he was a colonel. His last position in the force was chief of staff.

In 1962, Gen. Khademi, with the rank of major general, was appointed managing director of Iran Air. From the very beginning, his vision for building and running a high standard international airline for Iran was very clear, because since many years prior to that, Khademi always had the dream of founding the ideal airline for his country.

At the outset, he clearly specified his objectives and prepared a detailed plan to accomplish them. The most important item on his agenda was the safety of Iran Air crew and passengers. While he did not count out the company's high standard service and profitability; but since by nature, he always had a great respect for and put high value on human beings lives, therefore, he reiterated that for him, nothing was ever more important than the airline's safety. As a result of that during his many years with the company, Iran Air did not have a single tragic accident. In 1973, three well known journalists who performed extensive research to write a book called "Destination Disaster", about the safety of the world's airlines, classified Iran Air as one of the few world’s safest. It was for the same reason that he put a great importance on the type of aircraft Iran Air acquired and the excellence of the company’s engineering and maintenance and flight operations department.

Khademi was greatly concerned about all the company staff’s overall welfare and training with a high priority for the flight crew and engineering personnel training. For the first time in the history of
commercial air transport in Iran, a group of most talented young men fresh from the school were selected and dispatched to the best schools in the United States to become professional pilots.
Whenever he wanted to make a decision or take an action in relation to the company, he first and foremost thought as how the most ordinary people and the travelling public would benefit from that. He, therefore, created a situation that made air travel available to every Iranian from all classes of society and not limited only to the affluent groups. To make this possible, he introduced a special 40% discount for the travel of government employees and their families, which was in fact widely expanded to beyond that group. This initiative made international travel affordable for almost every Iranian. In a short period of time Iran Air passenger and cargo traffic increased so significantly that more and more airplanes were needed every year. His success in building Iran Air to become a world class airline in a short period of time, amazed the aviation community around the world. At this stage Iran Air was regarded as the fastest growing airline in the world.

When he took over the company from Iranian Airways, the former owned only three turboprop Vickers Viscounts, three DC-6s and three DC-3s, and 600 employees with a limited network mostly operating within Iran and to the neighbouring countries. However, 16 years later the company possessed a fleet of 35 all jet aircraft of Boeings and Air Buses, a team of 12000 trained personnel and carried 5 million passengers per year on its routes in Iran and a worldwide from New York to Tokyo, covering 53 destination in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Far East and Persian Gulf. For the first time Iranians felt very proud of their national airlines.

Khademi had an exceptional talent in selecting the best people for Iran Air. He looked out and selected the most capable and qualified people to work with him. In the process he was particularly eager to choose young candidates from among the deprived societies and gave them extensive opportunities to grow within the company.

Being extremely factual, Khademi had a flair for and special interest in numbers. He often surprised his colleagues with quick calculations without using a calculator. He was an ardent believer in modern management and at one point he said and believed professional management is superior to expertise.

A large number of Iranian believed Khademi was one of the most outstanding men Iran had in a long time and some are of the opinion that had he given the opportunity to run the state instead of the airline he would have taken the country in a different direction and Iran would have been a completely different country than it is today. He was a symbol of hard working, smart and lots of fun and excitement to be around. No matter how tired he was, he was always anxious to get to work. His legacy is not just in his individual accomplishments, but also in his ability to lift the spirit of those around him to a higher level. He was an extremely brave man and a huge source of inspiration and motivation for the people working with him. Once he recognized the talent in a person, he would arouse so much confidence in that person to make him a incredibly self-motivated for the rest of his/her life.

He was the first airline chief from the Middle East countries to acquire this position and in this role too, he contributed significantly to the betterment of the international air transport, as admitted by the IATA and other airlines executives.

Khademi was an extremely conscientious and honest person. In Iran, the head of a national airline, like in most other countries, is much of a political position and in every country and government politic is a dirty game. Going through the process of holding a high office and coming out clean and uncorrupted takes an exceptional personality, and Ali. Mohammad Khademi was an outstanding example of this. Even 23 years after his departure from office and his death, still no one has attached any dishonesty or misconduct to him and his military or civil service.

General Khademi loved and was loved by his colleagues who nicknamed him simply as "Timsar," a title normally used before a general’s rank which implies respect. And he was indeed highly respected, not only by Iran Air employees but by any Iranian and non-Iranian who knew him. He was regarded and cherished for his good intentions, works and services to the country. Respecting superiors is a part of Iranian culture, however, the type of respect he received did not necessarily stem from his position; but was earned because of his knowledge, leadership, humane qualities and as the father of the Iran Air family. This self-made, quick moving man always respected his colleagues’ ideas and opinion. At the outset of Iran Air, he carried a pen and notebook and wrote down employees’ suggestions and comments to be considered and gradually acted upon in due course.

In the airline industry, in some ways, Gen. Khademi could be compared with Juan Tripp the famous American aviation legend and veteran, the Pan American's long time CEO. Tripp gave American aviation the most of what todays Americans are proud of. Gen. Khademi to Iran and Iran Air was what Juan Trip was to America and Pan American, with one distinction that after Trip left Pan Am, the airline collapsed. But Iran Air could have grown and prospered had the situation not changed. However, under Khademi’s leadership, Iran Air was so marvellously engineered and solidly structured so that even now, 24 years later, that this airline has been subjected to so much mismanagement and mishandling and despite the fact that the company’s most important assets, the majority of its experienced managers and personnel have left, the organization is still operative and serving Iranian people.

Khademi was a leadership and management genius. A man ahead of his time, he never took any nonsense from anyone unless it was beyond his power. When his colleagues were talking to him, they had to take extra caution not to make any unfounded statements. Suggestions, presentations and even simple talks should have been supported by facts and figures. He passionately believed in facts, figures, data and statistics.

Iran Air was his life; he loved Iran Air and its entire staff so much that when he was assassinated few months after he left office in November 1978, one Iran Air manager said, "In fact, he died on the day he left Iran Air," referring to his sad and emotional departure from his beloved airline and people.
There are numerous stories about his humane feelings and compassion. One day in a directors' meeting he started by saying, "In the winter, when you are sitting in your offices and you feel so warm that you pull off your jackets, or in the summer when you feel so cold that you put on your jackets; think about your colleagues who are working at the open areas of the airport day and night in the direct heat of the summer and under the freezing cold of the winter." He never forgot other people, particularly the underdogs.

One of the former Iran Air area managers in Europe was saying, one day when Gen. Khademi was hospitalized, he and his wife went to visit him. After few minutes of staying with him, he told the couple that there was an Iranian lady in the room down the corridor who apparently didn't have any relatives or friends in this town and he suggested to his visitors to share the time they have spared to visit him, with her.

Khademi was an ardent nationalist. He was one of the most ingenious self-made leaders and managers our country had seen in many years. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Bahieh (Moayed), and loving father to his two daughters, Mona and Minou and son Monib. Above all he was a most compassionate, considerate and kindhearted person whose love and legacy will remain and be remembered for ever.

Gen. Khademi, resigned from office as the Chairman and Managing Director of Iran Air in September 1978 and was brutally assassinated at his home in north Tehran on November 7, 1978. Certainly, this short biography will not cover all his outstanding achievements and superior personality. Therefore, it is very much hoped that the future book or books about him and the Iranian airline industry will pay him the tributes this great man deserves. May his soul rest in peace.


Mr Darius Kadivar's tribute to Gen. Khademi:

Lieutenant General Ali Mohammad Khademi, for a long time and before Iran Air, had the vision of building an ultimate flag carrier for Iran. He was a gifted, self-made, tireless, hard-working man and a management and leadership genius. He was an uncompromising fighter with unusual fortitude and self-confidence, who didn't accept anything less than perfect. Utterly fair and honest, he possessed a strong humane spirit, an extremely light heart and wonderful sense of humor. He hated favoritism and selected his colleagues on their merit. He gave young men and women, particularly those who were not from, or related to the privileged class, unprecedented opportunities for growth.

Obsessed with his dream and charged with infinite passion and stamina, he took over the airline and built a national carrier that every Iranian was proud of. While the Iran Air success story is attributed to a team of highly dedicated managers and staff, no one can ignore the fact that the history of modern aviation in Iran revolves around one person and that was Gen. Khademi, who among other things, hand-picked and coached a group of capable men and women to run Iran Air. Due to the political instability during the months leading up to the Revolution of 1979, Khademi resigned from his position as Iran Air's general manager on 9 September 1978. On 7 November 1978, two days after the declaration of martial law, Khademi was assassinated at his home before the eyes of his wife. The circumstances of his assassination and eventual culprits remain mysterious to this day. Khademi was a great man whose name will go down in history for the highest level of service to his country's aviation industry. Alas, the abrupt eruption of circumstances did not allow him to complete his dreams particularly the 15-year plan to expand Iran Air into one of the World's leading airlines. And a pity that Homaiyan, as he used to call the Iran Air family, and did not get the chance to give him that magnificent recognition he always deserved, during his lifetime. May his soul rest in peace.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HIM Reza Pahlavi II founds two non-profit organizations

HIM Reza Pahlavi II has founded two non-profit organizations, Iran Democratic Union (IDU) in the United States and Association pour le Rassemblement et la Democratie en Iran (ARDI) in Europe. The purpose of these non-profit organizations will be to support various Iranian pro-democracy and human rights initiatives. Financial support will be critical in realizing the planned goals and projects that are being pursued. For more information please visit: "Iran Democratic Union"

To view the results of the Q&A forum that was recently launched on HIM Reza Pahlavi II's official website please see "Reza Pahlavi II Q&A"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Reza Shah the Great & President Kamal Ataturk (1934)

Rare footage of Reza Shah the Great, founder of modern Iran, seen here conversing in persian & turkish with His contemporary President Ataturk at a state visit to Turkey.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sattar - Mehregan

Renown Iranian singer "Sattar" speaking to a VOA Persian reporter at the Iranian Mehregan festival encourages Iranians to celebrate their rich and ancient tradtions/festivals and admits that Islam has had nothing but a regressive effect on Iranian society since it entered by the tip of the sword.

Well done Sattar for your honesty and patriotism!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Guide for Interviewing Islamic Republic Officials on Human Rights Issues

Please review.

Reporters’ Guide for Interviewing Islamic Republic Officials on Human Rights Issues

"No one's stooge"

Readworthy comments from a compatriot.


Mohammad Reza Pahlavi: No One's Stooge
by Anonymous Observer

I try not to be conspiratorial. I always think that simple logic provides the best explanation for any given event. But I got to tell you, I have recently been watching a lot of Shah’s last interviews—the ones from 1975 on—and I cannot escape the nagging conclusion that this man was removed from power by the Westerns powers who saw him as an emerging threat. From his comments about the “blue eyed people being sleep” to his criticism of the Jewish Lobby in the United States to asserting his independence and refusing to be America’s ”stooge” when he was labeled in a CIA study as being too “unreliable” and “dangerous”, to his criticism of Britain and claiming that in ten years Iran would be where Britain was at that time and in twenty five years surpassing the UK, all the signs point to an ambitious man who saw his country’s economic and military power rising and who was intent on asserting his independence. And they didn’t like it.

Let’s face it. Iran was on its way to becoming a major power with great resources and a lot of disposable cash. It was debt free. It was becoming a nuclear country with the Bushehr plants on their way to a speedy completion, with one reactor at 85% completion and the other at 50% completion at the time of the 1979 devolution. It is not difficult to imagine that has the Shah remained in power Iran would probably have built a nuclear bomb at some point, probably in the mid to late 1980’s.

And watch this video where he remains uncompromising in the price of oil, and essentially threatens the United States with maintaining high oil prices in exchange for the price of spare parts and commodities being too high. Another notable point in this video, as well as in the one where he refuses to be “America’s stooge” is the sense of fear that the United States has of Iran’s growing power and possible “expansionist” goals.

This guy was no stooge of the West. He was a threat to the West. The West had probably surmised that if he remained in power for another decade, Iran would have been unstoppable. We would have become a rich and modern version of India: an independent Eastern nation that would have been a thorn in the side of, and a competitor of the U.S., in the Middle East, and specifically the Persian Gulf--and they could not have that. They had their hands full with the USSR. They didn’t need another headache.

Sure, he was a dictator. But given the nature of the democracy movement in Iran, and his inevitable death, I am sure that the monarch’s absolute rule would have ended at some point and Iran would have morphed into some form of a democracy. That was just inevitable.

We really could have been somebody. We could have been a truly independent, powerful country. Instead, they pushed upon us the most backward, reactionary, theocratic system since the Middle Ages and set us back decades in development and independence, to the point that re-packaging 60 year old aircraft and re-assembling 60 year old North Korean missiles became our measure of “progress” for us, and giving away the Caspian Sea to the Russians so that they stop sanctions and sell us cheap junk became our measure of “independence.”

Truly, kudos to that great Iranian, the Shah, for being a visionary and a lover of Iran and the Iranian people. He was not perfect by any stretch of imagination, but watching these old interviews leaves one with one inescapable conclusion: he was no one’s stooge.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Operation Shahrokhi Base

Operation Shahrokhi Base, later renamed to Nojeh, was an attempted coup d'état on July 11 (1980) by patriotic officers and servicemen of the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces, from the infantry, air force, army, and secret services under the leadership of the former Imperial Prime Minister of Iran - Shapour Bakhtiar; their mission was to eliminate Ayatollah Khomeini and overthrow the establishment of the newly proclaimed Islamic Republic.

A partial list of the fallen heroes of Operation Shahrokhi Base (aka Nojeh) who were executed by the terrorist Islamic Republic include:

1- General Saeed Mehdioun (Pilot) August 15, 1980 Tehran
2 - General Ayat Mohagheghi (Pilot) July 20, 1980 Tehran
3 - Colonel Daryoush Jalali (Pilot) July 31, 1980 Tehran
4 - Major Faroukhzad Jahangiri (Pilot) July 20, 1980 Tehran
5 - Major Iraj Soltani Jay (Pilot) August 7, 1980 Tehran
6 - Major Kavous Alizadeh August 7, 1980 Tehran
7 - Major Omid Ali Boveiri (Pilot) July 24, 1980 Tehran
8 - Captain Mohammad Malek (Pilot) July 20, 1980 Tehran
9 - Captain Bijan Iran Nejad Sabet July 20, 1980 Tehran
9 - Captain Karim Afrouz (Pilot) July 24, 1980 Tehran
10- Captain Mohammad Behrooz Fard (Pilot) July 31, 1980 Tehran
11 - Captain Hormoz Zamanpour August 15, 1980 Tehran
12 - Captain Ali Asgar Soleymani (Pilot) July 24, 1980 Tehran
13 - Captain Nasser Zandi (Pilot) July 24, 1980 Tehran
14 - Captain Ali Shafigh Sept. 16, 1980 Tehran
15 - Lt. Nejat Yahya (Pilot) July 31, 1980 Tehran
16 - Lt. Mohammad Ali Saghafi (Pilot) August 7, 1980 Tehran
17 - Lt. Hossein Shokri (Pilot) August 7, 1980 Tehran
18- Lt. Jafar Rastgoo August 7, 1980 Tehran
19 - Lt. Nasser Rokni (Pilot) August 7, 1980 Tehran
20- Lt. Jalal Asgari August 7, 1980 Tehran
21 - Lt. Ayoub Habibi July 24, 1980 Tehran
22- Lt. Mohammad Mehdi Azimi Far (Pilot) July 24, 1980 Tehran
23 - Lt. Mohammad Ali Farzam July 31, 1980 Tehran
24- Ho22mafar Yousef Pour Rezaee July 20, 1980 Tehran
25 - Homafar Jafar Mazaheri Kashani July 24, 1980 Tehran
26 - Sgt. Hossein Karimpourtari July 31, 1980 Tehran
27 - Sgt. Mojtaba Moradi July 31, 1980 Tehran
28 - Sgt. Siawash Nouroozi July 31, 1980 Tehran
29 - Sgt. Ahmad Mohamadi July 31, 1980 Tehran
30 - Sgt. Bakhsh Ali Karimian (and 22 other enlisted personnel)

(and over 112 Armed Forces Personnel + more than 40 civilians)

Footage of Gen. Mohagheghi's kangaroo trial before his execution:


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Overthrowing the occupational Islamic Republic

Amir Jahanshahi is son of Imperial Iran's former Finance Minister.

Hopefully this has been thought through properly and the necessary mechanisms are in place or are in the progress of being set-up.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

R.I.P. Mehdi Sami'ee

Photo above is of Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi's last visit with Mehdi Sami'ee, convalescing at a nursing home in Los Angles this past April, at right is Ms. Badri Adjoudani.

His Excellency Mehdi Sami'ee was the former general director of Bank-e- Markazie-e- Iran (i.e the Central Bank of Iran) during the Pahlavi Era. Mehdi Sami'ee was also an economist and occupied various key positions including general director of Bankeh Keshavarzi (i.e. Bank of Agriculture).

HIM Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi's statement on the passing of H.E. Mehdi Sami'ee.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Babak Khorramdin

Jul 30th Interview with HIM Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi of Iran

Clip of HIM Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi paying tribute to her late husband and President Anwar Sadat during a memorial service held in July 2010:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

All The Shah's Men

Political life after WW II
by Sohrab_Ferdows

Decades after Shah of Iran has been overthrown to accommodate implementation of certain policies in the region of Persian Gulf and Middle East to serve the interests of certain group of people in the world, we are still witness to the same propaganda nonsense that brought our nation to one of the lowest points in the history which is comparable to the times when Iran was overrun by Arab and Mongolian invaders centuries ago. To add more to this, one of the saddest issues of our time is glorification of ignorance under the guise of political correctness to justify and spread misinformation towards our history by some of the people who are expected to have better understanding of the political events but easily fall in the traps of false history which is fed to them through known or covert intelligence channels and propaganda. In fact, this is what paved the way for demise of our nation that was becoming prepared to enter a new era of prosperity and civilization while helping the rest of humanity in the quest for better world. All of that went down the drain and along with that, many other things throughout the world.

At least for the last two centuries, the more advanced nations which had realized the importance and effect of intelligence and propaganda in their own affairs and the relations with other nations, have increasingly invoked these tools to further their own agendas and policies in order to protect and advance their own interests and achieve their desired objectives. The importance of control over information will become more obvious when considering that, more accurate knowledge on any issue can help making better decisions and also, getting better results while avoiding waste of resources in dealing with that. These are the fundamental principles to justify use of intelligence in any situation as much as possible and these are exact same principles to justify spread of counter intelligence and misinformation in order to avoid exposure of certain agendas by confusing a targeted people. One cannot expect that others provide useful and valid information openly about their own hidden agendas in any areas which might be harmful to or against the interest of others. Misinformation has proven to be one of the most valuable tools of propaganda and psychological warfare to mislead others about true intentions regarding any tactical or strategic operation. Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov is a former intelligence agent of Soviet Union who defected to the west during cold war and in his interviews; he has disclosed that only 15% of resources in the field of intelligence were assigned for actual spying activities while 85% were used for brainwashing and demoralization of target societies. This matter is not specific to former Soviets Union or Russians. All advanced nations with strong propaganda tools have been taking advantage of these methods against each other and also against other nations, to achieve their goals and objectives and they continue to do so today. Spread of misinformation to create uncertainty and confusion towards certain matters is an important part of any psychological warfare in order to manipulate and disable the forces of a targeted people which might otherwise pose a threat or create undesired problems.

During the cold war era, Iran, as country which was at the forefront of conflicts between the East and the West, was under immense pressure by both sides of the quarrel and their internal elements. This issue created a lot of problems and restrictions for the nation in the areas of political and economic relations and developments. The problem had started right after end of WW II while Iran did not have enough time to recover from many of the major issues that she was facing as a result of decades (or even centuries) of corruption of ruling aristocracy and interference of greedy foreign powers. Before that, in the year 1941, Iran was forced to enter the war after being unjustly attacked and occupied by Allies, and break its neutrality to take side with the powerful invaders. This matter made it inevitable for Iran to become a field for future political games and manipulations by the great powers of the world and their agents inside the country. Presence of plenty of corrupt politicians among the ruling aristocrats which were all in love with the tribal traditions of hand kissing and servitude of subordinates while themselves would stop at nothing to please their own foreign masters, had made Iran a favorable place for covert or even open activities of colonialist and expansionist powers of the time since over a century earlier.

Reza Shah Pahlavi became the Shah and top political figure in Iran after almost 150 years of Qajar's ruling of the country. His rise from the bottom of society to the top in fact might have been one of the reasons that, despite all his services in development of the country and saving the people from extreme misery of disease and poverty, he was strongly disliked by many among Iranian elite which mainly came from Qajar aristocrats. Neither Reza Shah nor any of his ancestors (as far as history can tell) was part of Iranian aristocracy to link him with one or another foreign powers. His father, Abas-ali, who was an officer of Iranian army during Qajar, died before his birth and his mother, Nushafarin khanum, decided to migrate from the village of Alasht to Tehran where her brother lived. Reza grew in extremely poor condition and experienced poverty and injustice directly, which was imposed on Iranian society by corrupted ruling class, corrupt clerics and their foreign masters. He had to work hard at a very young age to support his mother and himself and that provided him with opportunity to see all the problems in society and experience them directly. During those years, children education was a luxury which was available only to a small portion of society which had all the means of prosperity in their monopoly while majority of Iranians lived a very poor life. This matter in fact became an important element in Reza Shah's plans once he had the opportunity to do something about it when in the position of leadership.

Reza's career in the Persian Cossack Brigade which was organized and run by Russians at that time was result of a lucky incident along his fascination with the marching and ceremonies that this military group carried every day in their barracks. Cossack's barracks was on the path which Reza walked all the time to do his business. He enjoyed watching the performance of organized uniformed Cossacks every day. As a strong and tall teenager, Reza drew the attention of a Cossack’s commander who noticed his interest while watching the ceremony and was asked by the commander if he was interested to join. Reza accepted immediately and started his long journey to change the destiny of his nation by freeing them from the hands of corrupt ruling leaders and putting the nation on the path of modernity and progress. It is true that Reza Khan's ascending to the position of Cossack's leadership after Russians revolution (which resulted in abandoning Cossacks) was with assistance and advice of a British officer named General Ironside whose mission was to find a strong military man to lead the Cossack Brigade. This was in fact to avoid chaos that might have affected the stability of Iran while British were not able to deal with that situation directly, but this matter in no way means that he was bound to follow the agenda of British in Iran. Even some of those who considered Reza Shah as their own enemy could not deny this. Reza Khan (as he was known by that time) was a very intelligent person who had realized the terrible situation that his country was in, and took advantage of the opportunity to put his own agenda to work in order to free his nation from dependency to foreigners (British and Russians in particular) as he continued to expand his control over different elements of power and affairs of the nation.

Reforming the nation with a backward and corrupt system and culture and dragging it into a modern age in a short period of time was an extremely hard task. The material that was available to Reza Khan was none other than remnants of Qajars aristocracy and an extremely poor nation which was ridden with disease and suppressed under local greedy and ruthless rulers who cared for nothing other than holding their own power over miserable people at any price. Later on, when he had become the Shah of Iran, someone told him that he had to either use Qajars statesmen and accept all the consequences of it (which meant continuing injustice and corruption) or start making his own statesmen by training new groups of people. This was an important task and in order to accomplish that, Reza Shah initiated a program to send some of Iranian students to European countries (France in particular) at the expense of government to get trained as new statesmen and experts to run the country for betterment of the nation. Among the first group of students, we see some familiar names like Mehdi Bazargan (who became the first PM after Islamic revolution) and Dr. Taghi Arani who established the first communist movement in Iran that later became Tudeh party. Undoubtedly, most of these people believed that they were serving Iranian people while they were in fact working against the interests of their own nation after getting the education that was intended to make them better statesmen for their country. There were many others who went the same route and some of them even found the opportunity to hold important positions within the system that they helped to break later.

In those days, it was the hardest thing for any leader in Iran, to find the people who could be trusted with any kind of work. Majority of people were poor, illiterate and ignorant and a big portion of limited number of educated people in Iranian society took pride in serving the interest of foreigners rather than their own or were after their own fantasies to save the nation by resorting to unrealistic and impractical ideologies and philosophies. It was under such conditions that Reza Khan had to implement his nationalistic agendas and revive the spirit of nationalism and pride in the heart of Iranians and put the nation on the path of progress and modernization with the help of those who were willing and capable of helping. He took advantage of weakness of Russian and British governments after the war to put his agenda to work and prepare the nation to enter the age of modernity through establishment of unquestionable authority for central Iranian government by suppressing the local rulers who dreamed of disintegrating the nation with the help of British or Russians. Many decades of weak and corrupt governments during Qajars had resulted in loss of big portions of Iranian territory in the north, east and south and Iran was on the verge of further disintegration from north and the south with the help of foreign agents. At this stage of his work, Reza Khan had assistance of some of nationalist Iranian army officers to impose the authority of central government throughout the nation and from those, name of Fazlollah Zahedi as a major army commander who later played another important role in another sensitive part of Iranian history, should be mentioned.

Reza Shah, who had felt the harshness and pain of poverty and injustice in Iran with his own flesh and blood during his childhood and teenage years, realized that he could not rely on taxing poor people for all his ambitious projects to improve the condition of living in the country. Search for other resources of funding drew his attention to oil which was being exploited by British under an unfair agreement that was originally made between William Knox D'Arcy and Mozaffar-odin shah Qajar and was slightly modified later in 1919 to satisfy the financial needs of Qajar king, Ahmad Shah. The need for money to fund development projects in the areas of national health-care, education, military, economy and industrialization, forced Iranian government to ask Anglo-Iranian oil company for renegotiating of the oil contract which was denied quickly. Failure of all efforts to convince the British side to increase Iranian share from oil left no choice for Reza Shah other than canceling the agreement from his own side. Daniel Yergin in his book: "The Prize, epic quest for Oil, Money and Power" describes Reza Shah's reaction to oil issue with following words:

"At the very bottom of the depression, Shah Reza Pahlavi of Persia became infuriated at discovery that, as an observer put it, "oil is not gold in these days." The Shah's country had become an oil state; petroleum royalties from Anglo-Persian provided two-third of its export earnings and a substantial part of government revenues. But, with the Depression, the royalties from Anglo-Persian plummeted to the lowest since 1917. Appalled and outraged, the Shah blamed the company, and he decided to take matters in his own hands. At a Cabinet meeting on November 16, 1932, to surprise of his ministers, he abruptly announced that he was unilaterally canceling Anglo-Persian's concession. It was the thunderbolt that no one had really believed that Shah would dare deliver. His action threatened the very existence of Anglo-Persian."

Reza Shah threw D'Arcy's contract in the fireplace out of frustration and declared it canceled when leader of Iranian negotiating team told him the contract is not negotiable! Some time earlier, in a private meeting with an educated Iranian who had criticized his decision regarding an issue, Reza Shah had told him that he was only a soldier of the nation and needed help of educated and expert people like him to come forward and provide ideas, directions and advice for better outcome of any plan so he could push to implement them. He even participated in manual labor work during construction of a road side by side with other workers to show that he would do anything to help in reconstructing the country. But in the case of oil, nobody seemed to be able to help and no other valuable resources were available to support development projects so Reza Shah decided to nullify the D'Arcy's contract altogether to force the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company into negotiation and it worked. It's worth mentioning here that nationalization of oil industry was once discussed during this period and was rejected by parliament in a realistic move as Iran did not have the skilled manpower and the resources for operating such industries at that time. Late Dr. Mosadegh who was an MP from Tehran and later in 1950's became champion of oil nationalization voted against it (and rightfully so) at that time.

One of the events which happened in the same period that Iranian government was struggling to get a better share of revenue from its oil industry was discovery of a plot to topple Reza Shah. At the top of this plot, a high ranking Qajar aristocrat, Firouz Mirza Nosrat o-dowleh, who continued to hold important government positions while still dreaming of restoring Qajar dynasty with himself at the top. Nosrat o-Dowleh along with a few others were arrested and put in jail. This matter had a negative effect on Reza Shah's trust towards his Court Minister, Abdolhossein Teymourtash, whom he consulted on every matter including oil related discussions. Teymourtash, according to writings of some of Iranian and foreign diplomats who knew him closely, had a lot of influence on Reza Shah at some point as he was the only person who had direct contact with the Shah. This matter had become a reason for jealousy of many who despised him for his power and influence. Some people accused him of taking advantage of his position and influence in financial institution (which he worked with at some point) to gather wealth and support his gambling habits. According to some stories, his womanizing habits resulted in becoming a victim of British espionage activities and losing a briefcase full of documents regarding his secret communications and relations with Soviet officials which ended up in Times of London to intensify suspicion towards him. This event happened when Teymourtash made a stop in Moscow to talk to Soviets on his return from London to Tehran. He was on a mission to convince the British to enter negotiation for a new contract with Iranian government over oil but failed to gain anything from that visit. Another story claims that a Russian who defected to Iran provided some information about Teymourtash being a spy for Soviet Union. Mr. Hassan Taghizadeh who later signed the new oil contract with British; has claimed that Teymourtash was innocent and what happened to him was unfair. But according to some reports, family of Teymourtash consider Taghizadeh the reason for his imprisonment and death in prison. As we can see from this little story, backstabbing, suspicions, espionage, betrayals, trickery and intrigues from every side had made Iranian political environment so intense and so complicated in those days that it was impossible to reach a solid and clear conclusion on any matter with confidence. This was a common issue regarding anything in the politics of Iran which suffered from poisonous relations that existed in our country because of corrupt aristocratic system and influence and propagandas of greedy colonial powers.

The conflict with Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was not settled easily and British side decided to take the matter to Permanent Court of International Justice which Iranian government refused to accept its competence and therefore the matter was taken before the Security Council in the League of Nations. At this time, British accepted to enter talks with Iran for a new concession after the League of Nations advised both parties to go back to negotiating table. Resulting contract after over a year of bargaining by both sides, provided Iranian government with much bigger share from oil while completely canceling the exclusive right of oil transportation for British side (which was very important from Iran's point of view) and reducing the geographical area of the concession that covered about 85% of the whole country earlier, but extending the period of contract till 1979. According to some stories, this matter was brought into discussion in the last days of negotiation by Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Seyed Hassan Taghizadeh was the leader of Iranian negotiating team, who came from a religious background (his father was a mullah named Seyed Taghi) and himself was a mullah during younger age. He later turned into a secular politician and his activities and roles in politics of Iran during Constitutional Revolution and after that was well known to many Iranians. The issue of extending the oil contract was later questioned by some of the members of parliament in an inquiry session from Mr. Taghizadeh, who led the negotiating team for Iran. When he was asked why he agreed with extension of the contract, he blamed Reza Shah indirectly (after Reza Shah's abdication) and claimed that he was afraid for his life if he did not. Regarding the oil dispute with British, Mr. Ismail Raeen in his book "Freemasonry in Iran" says that British had brought their Navy and other military forces around southern Iranian ports of Abadan and Bushehr to influence the outcome of negotiation at that time. British government which had switched all of its naval ships from burning coal to more efficient oil-based fuel in 1914, and had been tied to Iranian oil, was the main shareholder of Anglo-Persian Oil Company and intended to show to Iranians that she was serious in protecting her interests at any price.

Disputes between Iranian government and British over oil, although resolved in principles for the time being but continued over many other details. In the year 1941 presence of a group of German citizens became an excuse for Allies to attack Iran by accusing Iranian government of collaboration with Germans. After the WW I had ended, Germany which was driven out of world's oil market entered into an agreement with Iran to get one million barrel of oil in exchange for construction of two sulfur plants in Masjed Soleyman. In fact, some experts assert that oil was a major reason for Hitler to go to war as Germany was in serious need of oil to follow its industrial development projects. Shortly after Allies invasion of Iran, Reza Shah was forced to abdicate when British positioned their forces near the Capital and threatened that they would attack Tehran if he did not resign. During the days of the few weeks after Invasion of Iran by Anglo-Soviet forces, Reza Shah was target of worst attacks by British propaganda machine. They accused Reza Shah of being a despot and repressive ruler. In one occasion when the price of bread soared because most of the food was taken by occupying forces and created a near famine state in the country, Reza Shah interfered and ordered to reduce the price by 50%. This matter became a subject of negative propaganda by BBC which accused Reza Shah of forcing the poor bakers to pay the difference while in fact; it was Iranian government that subsidized the price of wheat and bread. The amount of false and negative propaganda by British and their supporters in politics of Iran against Reza Shah was so overwhelming that even some of true supporters of Reza Shah like Ali Dashti had turned against him. This matter had effectively disabled any reaction from the public in support of deposed Shah while most of Iranian people were watching as events unfolded, just like impartial bystanders. Daniel Yergin in his book attributes the rise of opposition to Reza Shah after his abdication to his distrustful treatment of even faithful supporters as he was suspicious of everyone. Knowing the history and background of deep corruption which had taken over the elite and higher classes of Iranian society have been definitely a major factor in this regard that Mr. Yergin could not have in dept information about. He mentions that Reza Shah once told a visitor that Iranians were "bigoted and ignorant" and considered Anglo-Iranian Oil Company something like mullahs, an element of power within power, and he was determined to reduce the power and influence of both.

Manuchehr Farmanfarmaian, a member of Qajar family whose ancestral tree reaches to Abbas Mirza and Mozafar-odin Shah Qajar, in his book "Blood and Oil", has written following lines about the time that Reza Shah was forced to leave Iran:

"Reza Shah's ouster was greeted with relief: no more police state, no more arbitrary self-aggrandizement on the part of Crown. We celebrated his fall, quickly forgetting that the most important human right is to live under a government strong enough to maintain law and order-- and that he had delivered such a government. Even the worst tyranny is better than no government at all, since nothing causes human beings so much misery as anarchy. Yet anarchy is what we were in the midst of as we hailed the new king, enthroned by Great Powers as they squatted on our land, while turning our faces from the man who had brought a modicum of cohesion to our country and relief from outside predators."

Mr. Famanfarmaian also mentions in his book that the British ambassador, Reader Bullard, was not happy about replacing Reza Shah with the Crown Prince and was in favor of either a Qajar king or a different member of Pahlavi family. Apparently, he even offered the throne of Iran to a Qajar prince known as Sarameh-doleh which he refused. According to memoirs of Prince Hamid Mirza Qajar who later joined British Navy with the name of David Drumond, the British plan was to install him as King of Persia but this plan did not go through after they realized that Mr. Foroughi had taken the Crown Prince of Reza Shah to the parliament to take the oath of office as the king of Iran. Reading through these lines might help us understand to some degree that what kind of situation Iran had at that time and how close it was to total colonization by British empire which its ambassador allowed himself to intervene in decision making about who should be at the top of the government system in that country even though Iran had a constitution and a parliament and a Crown Prince to keep things in order.

It is obvious that the issue of oil in Iran and dispute over that with British government as the main shareholder was not going to go away easily. This matter continued to affect the politics in Iran and the relations with oil consortium and British government for a very long time. Later on, US government and oil companies which were reluctant earlier to venture into Iranian oil exploration business in the eastern region of the country, were dragged into this story as partners to make things even more complicated. This matter continued throughout the rest of previous century and as we shall see, left its deep marks not only in the politics of Iran but also in the region and possibly the whole world. Mr. Farmanfarmian who worked in ministry of finance at some point, has brought a little story in his book about a meeting with a couple of American "oil consultants" in 1944 who were invited by Prime Minister Sa'ed at that time to bring Americans into oil equation in order to change the situation and take away British monopoly on Iranian oil by giving a new concession to Americans in the north region of the country. These two Americans were Herbert Hoover Jr. and A.A. Curtice who were both involved in negotiation between American oil company (mainly Standard Oil which belonged to Rockefellers) and Mexican government in their dispute during late 1920's. The first 50-50 contract in the oil business was signed with Mexican government at that time which settled the dispute to the satisfactory of both sides and started a new trend that was later applied to the oil concessions in other areas where Americans were involved. British however, were not happy about 50-50 contracts and had no intention to follow American model until they ran into serious problems and confrontations with Iranians.

Mr. Farmanfarmaian says that he told Hoover (the American oil consultant) about dominance of British in the oil business in Persian Gulf region which, as he believed, would drive Americans out of the area but Hoover laughed at him and said that he was overestimating British power. Then Hoover told him that British would have no choice but to share the oil in future which sounded very unbelievable to him. He later shared this information with his cousin, Dr. Mohammad Mosadeq who was an MP from Tehran at that time who expressed his deep appreciation in exchange. From the comments made by Mr. Farmanfarmaian in this regard and also in other parts of his book, it seems very likely that himself has been at least very sympathetic towards British at that point which was not uncharacteristic from a Qajar aristocrat. In some other parts of the book, he mentions another story about his meeting with American representative to complain about the Iranian election fraud which had cost him his seat in the parliament. This indicates that how the typical Iranian politicians were after resolving their problems by resorting to relations with foreign elements and centers of power because otherwise what could be the point of such discussion? This matter was very common in Iran especially in those days that Iran had turned into playground of all major powers of the world. A new trend was unfolding in the political arena of Iran as a new power was expanding its involvement in the political games of this country.

Soon after discussions with American consultants, Iranian communist party of Tudeh organized a massive demonstration in which they shouted "death to Sa'ed" and demanded the oil concession to be given to Soviet Union! Interestingly enough, many units of Soviet Red Army soldiers and armored vehicles and tanks were present in this demonstration alongside with Tudeh party which they could never deny it but tried to downplay that by attributing the presence of Red Army to October Revolution celebration. Some of Tudeh members who have published their memoirs later claimed that Red Army's appearing in that event was unexpected and Tudeh party leaders were not aware of that. Iraj Eskanadri who was a prominent member and later became the party leader, has complained (decades after the fact) about Red Army and Soviets demands in that event which had a huge negative effect on the image of the party. Tudeh party has always tried to present itself as defender of Iranian people's rights but turned out to be a tool in the hands of Iran's enemies to put pressure on Iranian government. In this way, an attempt by PM Sa'ed which was supposed to be carried out secretly in order to keep the British and Soviets of meddling in that affair, was brought to an end with a fiasco without producing any result. The news had somehow leaked to Soviets and Tudeh party in which Maryam Firouz (Mr. Farmanfarmaian's sister) was among its leaders. Now that I mentioned about two members of Farmanfarmaian family, I have to add here that Abdol-Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma (father of Mr. Manouchehr Farmanfarmaian), who had a total of 36 children from his 8 wives, was a known Anglophile. He was considered a friend by Percy Sykes who headed South Persia Riffles army that was established by British to control southern regions of Iran. Farman-Farma had been awarded the Order of St Michael and St George by British for his services and held many different government positions in the south and west parts of the country. He was governor of Fars province when Reza Shah took his troops to Tehran. He was later replaced by his nephew, Dr. Mohammad Mosadeq and was called to Tehran by Reza Khan to be imprisoned upon his arrival along with his son, Nosrat ol-doleh (father of Mozzafar Firouz who played a revengeful part against Pahlavis throughout his political career). Firouz Mirza Nosrat ol-Doleh whose mother was daughter of Mozzafar ol-Din Shah, was minister of foreign affairs of Ahmad Shah and the prime candidate to become the next Qajar king after him. Nosrat ol-Doleh and his sister Maryam later chose the name of their grandfather, Firouz, as their surname.

This was a very brief summary of what founded and shaped the political relations of Iran (internally and externally) during the decades after WW II which I will discuss in next part and that will include some of original and true intelligence reports and documents that despite wide circulation of falsified and fictional stories, have somehow escaped the attention of mainstream media and propaganda systems to mislead the public about the truth and hidden agendas of interested powers.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Neda's father rejects links to "green movement"


Above clip is of Neda Agha-Soltan's father speaking out against false allegations that Neda was part of the "green movement". Mr Agha-Soltan says that nor Neda nor anyone in their family is part of the "green movement" - and that Neda only stood for "freedom" [certain factions of the "green movement" are so-called "moderates" of this very same inhumane islamic regime who only want superficial changes but want to keep the foundations of the terrorist establishment]. Neda's father goes on to say that they begged her not to join the anti-regime demonstrations however she responded that "if she doesn't go, other youth don't go, if nobody goes then who will go"? Neda also asked her father why his generation had overthrown the country's progressive monarchy and paved way for a backward inhumane theocracy? To which her father remorsefully answers "we might have been wrong". Neda's father then says that she told him she would not accept what his generation had done and that she will take her own future into her own hands and try to change things.

Side note: the overwhelming majority of "green movement" supporters do not adhere to the fundamentalist beliefs held by the figurehead of the movement (a so-called regime "moderate") who is himself a former Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic during the 1980's when mass-murders of political prisoners took place (Mir-Hossein Mousavi), however use the "green movement" banner as a pre-text under which they can operate and make themselves heard internationally.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Foundation for the Children of Iran

HIM Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi of Iran speaking at The Foundation for the Children of Iran's recent fundraising event:

The foundation's website, inlcuding more photos of the event, can be found here:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Iranian identity

By: "AmirN" on

My religion is Iranian
My God is Iran
My prophet is Kourosh
My Imams are Dariush, Xashayar, Ardeshir, Shapur, Khosro Anushiravan, Babak Khoramdin, Yaqoub Saffarid, Amir Kabir, and Reza Shah
My hidden Imam is Kaveh
My Apostle is Ferdowsi
My Holy Book is the Shahnameh
My commandments are written on the Kourosh Cylinder
My Mecca is Persepolis
My Holy shrines are at Pasargad, Behistun, and Naqshe Rostam
My Ashura is Qadissiyah
My martyrs are Rostam Farokhzad and Yazdgerd
My Holy Banner is the Derafshe Kaviyani
My Jerusalem is Ctesiphone
My Judas is Salman Farsi
My anti-Christ is Mohammad
My Yazid is Ali
My Shemr is Omar
My demons are the Akhounds
My Satan is Allah
My angels are the Iranian nationalists
My cross is the Faravahar
My Hell is Islam
My Paradise is Nowrouz, Chaharshanbe Souri, Mehregan, Yalda
My temple is my own heart
My religious conviction is knowledge
My faith is logic
My sermon is history

Retrospective on the late Shah's reign

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980),
A retrospective on his reign on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death.
By: Alan Peters

Some 25-years ago this summer, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi the Shah of Iran was dying in Cairo. Egypt's President Sadat had offered him his last refuge and helped him escape from a perilous exile in Panama.

Historically, Egypt has been famous for providing shelter - even to those they do not approve - like the family of Yasser Arafart - at the time that Arafat was public enemy #1 in Egypt for inciting the overthrow of Sadat's regime, his wife and children were guarded by Sadat's government bodyguards.

In the case of the Shah, Sadat liked him and the Shah's marriage to former Egyptian King Farouk's sister made him "family", too.

In Panama, the fate of the ailing monarch had hung in the balance for several weeks as shadowy contacts between Panama's strongman, General Torrijos, and emissaries from the Islamic revolution increasingly pointed to a swap deal - the extradition of the Shah against the release the 52 American Embassy hostages in Tehran.

While the Shah's hand-over to Khomeini was seriously contemplated by President Carter, his administration had been drawn into an eerie gambit in Panama of which the hostage end-game was unknown .

The Shah's succumbing to cancer on July 27th, 1980 must have brought a sigh of relief in Washington as indeed in many other capitals burdened by the past courtship for refuge of the Iranian monarch, many of whom had previusly benefitted from his largesses.

Two decades and many sorry events later, some of the intricacies of the Shah's personality and rule still beg scholarly probe.

The majority of Iran's current population has been born after the Shah's demise. His image in their mind, as indeed in the minds of many casual observers abroad, has been shaped through unrelenting distortions of historical facts by Carter and an obliging liberal Media, intent on justifying Carter's decision to remove the Shah.

The younger Iranians deserve an unbiased account of these 37 years in its baffling turns and twists and contradictions. Including that when he left Iran for the last time, the Shah also left behind some $3 Billion of the Pahlavi Foundation funds over which he had total control and relied on some $90 million of his own money, accumulated over many decades, through investments in Europe, one of which was a jewelry business in Switzerland.

To be sure, a distilled account of these years would not completely vindicate the Shah. His handling of the constitution was self-defeating in ways that escaped his political savvy. Yet, at worst, was still aimed to benefit the country not himself. He had all the prestige he needed and required no constitutional short cuts to stroke his ego.

His authoritarian rule, much of it because he could not find "managers" to help run the country honestly and efficiently, carried the seeds of instability and a backward thrust, the prevention of which had served as an alibi to silence dissent. Yet, the surfeit of slander and libel before and after his downfall was largely undeserving.

Few leaders in history have been adulated and demonized in such a frivolous manner. A good illustration of hypes comes from two prominent Americans. On the New Year's Eve of 1978 -- a few short days before the triggering event of the Islamic revolution -- President Carter stunned the US western allies by calling the Shah his most trusted ally and dialogue partner.

Carter's effusive flattery - describing Iran as island of stability - was in opposing symmetry to another hyperbole by Senator Edward Kennedy, who some two years later, at the height of the American Embassy hostage crisis, castigated the Shah for having run "one of the most violent regimes in history of mankind".

Kennedy continues, even today, in his baseless attacks on anything and everything, including his own government and citizens.

Both remarks were clearly calculated to achieve short-term objectives. Carter came to Teheran, desperate to check the soaring price of the crude oil.

Kennedy's remark was timed to optimize the chances of his emissary to Tehran, tasked to obtain from Ayatollah Khomeini a token release of the American hostages.

Kennedy, then seeking to snatch the Democratic presidential nomination from the incumbent Carter, had chosen the former US Senator James Abourezk (of Arab extraction) for this unpublicized mission to Tehran.

Where should the line be drawn? In a mixed bag of achievements and flaws the Shah's balance sheet resembles other modernizing states. Many would grade it superior. What tarnished his image most was his alleged record on human rights and political freedoms, much of which proved in the aftermath to be highly exaggerated.

Detractors state "a silence of a cemetery" to characterize the political arena in Iran during most of the Shah's rule. The ubiquitous security agency SAVAK, created in 1957 with the help of the US through General Teymour Bakhtiar, later a sworn enemy of the Shah, was the instrument of the repression of mostly Communist attacks on the monarchy triggered by the Soviets.

By the seventies, the suppression had spawned violence as groups, sprung from the very edges of the ideological spectrum, resorted to urban guerrilla tactics and acts of terrorism. A vicious circle set in. General Bakhtiar, domiciled in Iraq, was instrumental in sending waves of terrorists into Iran. Terrorists willing to shoot to kill.

For the first time traffic police, who usually had empty holsters or unloaded guns at their waist were issued side arms and bullets. The terrorists robbed banks to fund their operations and for the first time in Iranian history, the robbers shot innocent clerks to make a point.

Then SAVAK blended ruthlessness with incompetence.

It had been effective in dismantling the clandestine structure of Iran's Communist party (Tudeh) but failed to guage the creeping popular discontent, fanned by Marxist groups like the Mojahedin and Fedayeen, still less the coming of the fundamentalist Islamic bane that surprised the Soviets and snatched away their Marxist revolution to place it in clerical hands.

When the crunch finally came in 1978, this colossus fell on its clay feet unable to save its master. A dozen Soviet urban guerilla psychologists, operating from inside the Soviet Embassy in Tehran and calling the shots for anti-Shah operations overwhelmed Iranian intelligence and police autorities, who had no training in how to handle or oppose these attaacks.

For instance, they had their Marxist minions knock on people's doors begging for Mercurochrome (a red antiseptic liquid common in Iran) and cotton wool. Ostensibly needed to treat wounded innocents shot by the Shah's forces in such huge numbers that pharmacies no longer had enough of stocks to provide them to these volunteers.

The red Mercurochrome was in fact used to stain the streets and clandestine flyers would then claim the Shah's men had shot innocents nd removed their bodies.

As proof they used another gambit. They collected old shoes - men's, women's, children's of both sexes and threw one shoe of each pair by the hundreds on top of the stains. The flyers would then invite people to witness the amount of deaths by those single shoes that had fallen off the bodies as the Shah's forces allegedly hurriedly removed the victims and left the shoes behind.

The extent of repression was never close to claims recklessly advanced in some quarters, including by such reputable institutions as Amnesty International, which finally concluded in late 1978 that there were less than 2,400 political prisoners in the Shah's jails.

Only this number despite the wide spread Soviet efforts to install their minions and find passage to warm waters providing thousands of candidates. Despite the Bakhtiar terrorists sent in their hundreds, despite the Marxist and Fedayeen in their thousands openly attacking the regime. And the Hezbollah-to-be, pro-Khomeini adherents who disregrded laws and inviting arrest on a daily basis.

No mass graves trailed the Shah when he finally quit the country in January, 1979. No "death caravans" haunted his memory. Tehran produced no equivalent of Buenos Aires's "Plaza de Mayo" where "grandmas" gather every Sunday to reclaim news of their missing children. To be sure the military courts were quick to mete out death sentences. But the practice of royal pardon was abundantly resorted to. The sentences were systematically commuted or annulled.

Some viewed this practice as a gimmick to earn political capital but be it as it may, few now dispute the fact that the Shah was averse to cruelty or execution. He even stayed Khomeini's execution in 1964 at the behest of General Pakrvan, head of SAVAK. In hindsight the gravest, catastrophic mistake possible, which not only later cost Pakravan his life but also Iran's progress into a modern nation instead of a deep well of suffering and pain it is today.

The overall number of executions by the military tribunals, including those occasioned by drug related offenses, after drug smuggling and distribution became a capital offense, were estimated at around 350 cases in a 25-year period. The USA has more than this and Iran currently has close to 200 a year, including teen-agers of both genders, which contravenes all laws and even Iran's own.

Figured among them were a few prisoners of conscience including some twenty-five ring-leaders of the military wing of the Communist party of Iran. Their crime, leading to execution, was to have been mesmerized by Stalinist Russia. The rest of the six hundred communist officers arrested in nineteen fifties - as indeed the bulk of other political prisoners - were rehabilitated, many were co-opted into the Shah's administration.

One of his favorite gambits was to invite dissident leaders into senior government positions and then ask them to do the job better than the person they replaced.

Then chortle when they eventually admitted they were unable to because the system and co-workers were too cumbersome and their staff often sabotaged work or were incompetent and they now understood why their predecessors failed to succeed.

Having experienced the challenges first hand, they usually ended up becoming strong supporters of the Monarch in his efforts to change and modernize the nation.

All in all some 3500 persons were reportedly killed in street unrests or by order of military courts during the Shah's reign, between 1953 to 1979 though little substantiaion exists for such a number.

In one famous incident of Jaleh Square, where claims of 5,000 deaths were made, secret martial law figures later showed only eight had died from bouncing bullets fired into the air to control the crowd and another 30 had been wounded the same way. The square was also not big enough to hold 5,000 people making such a claim even less possible. Over a thousand "unmatching" shoes were found in the square the morning after!

The Geneva based International Committee of Red Cross which visited all Iranian prisons in 1977 in an anti-Shah mission inspired by Carter and his allies, put the number of political prisoners at 3200 while some seventy prisoners were declared unaccounted for.

American liberal democrats, as was the intention, could pretend to be horrified by these figures, moderate though they are in relative terms and could use them to justify the removal of the Shah.

This having been said, there is another facet of human rights in the Pahlavi era which has largely been disregarded in the rush to condemn.

In an average middle class neighborhood in Tehran of the nineteen fifties, for example, a small alley had taken its name after a Jewish doctor, who had been the first to construct a house in that vicinity.

The alley housed an Assyrian Christian family, several Baha'i families, a Zoroastrian family and of course many Moslem households. No hint of bigotry disturbed the serenity of this cultural mosaic. Tolerance or lack of it was a personal matter not a government imposition and for the most part if you lived your life to the fullest but avoided anti-government activity, nobody bothered you.

It would be hypocritical to claim that religious minorities were by law on the same footing as Moslems but intolerance was being discouraged and the system moved progressively towards full equality of rights among citizens.

There were differences: minority members could not rise above the rank of Brigadier-General in the military. On the other hand, each ethnic minority had representation in the Majliss (Parliament) and Senate proportionate to their numbers in the overfall population.

A previously unknown historical anecdote cited by a US scholar in a recent book best illustrates the point. It concerns the protection of the Iranian Jews living in the occupied Europe during World War II.

Reich on the false pretence that these citizens, having lived in Iran for over two millennium, had been assimilated in the Persian (Aryan) race. According to the author, the Iranian Government of the time, managed to procure them safe conduct from the authorities of the Third

The status of women is another case in point. Under the Pahlavis Iranian women were brought to the society's mainstream. The mushrooming institutions of higher learning opened their doors to women. Teachers, doctors, lawyers and administrators were trained and fielded in different walks of life, to the very highest levels such as Minister of Education, Member of Parliament and so on.

The right to vote, to seek divorce and be protected from an abusive husband was - to the dismay of the clerics - written into the law - weakening their supersititious and religious hold on the general populace. And creating resentment among them toward the Monarchy.

Today, the Iranian women remain one of the vanguards of resistance to scourges of the fundamentalist Mullah rule.

The Bazaar merchants also resented their monopolistic control of imports and exports and general business being extracted from their little bazaar booths, which represented billions of dollars never put back into circulation for the improvement of the economy.

The Shah moved much of this into modern, multinational organizations in uptown Tehran, so the miffed merchants funded the clerics and encouraged them to foment trouble and use religion to attack the monarchy.

Much of the bravura exhibited by the Shah's administration in the seventies, was in the sphere of economy. The exuberance of the double-digit growth was indeed intoxicating. In 1974 - in the wake of a quantum jump in the oil price -- the Shah dismissed the counsel of prudence by experts and decreed an even faster growth. In his complex psyche, many imperatives drove him to go full blast.

One factor was to firm up the throne for Crown Prince Reza but he was equally concerned with his legacy and place in history - should he not disprove those detractors who claimed he did not measure up to the towering figure of his father. Reza Shah the Great, to use his full title, was a stern disciplinarian with a strong will to unify the country and willing to use force to bring Iran's tribal chieftains under Central Government control. A hard act to follow for his diplomat son.

But the economic bullishness did not pay off in the face of the sabotage by the bazaar. The country's weak infrastructure buckled under the weight of imports and the rise in the price of oil resulted in lower consumer demand in world markets.

As the economy wobbled and Carter's human rights agenda aimed like a javelin at the Shah, forced him to make liberalizing gestures, and the tide began to change.

Iranians respect power and strength. The moment he showed a "co-operative" attitude, they turned on him. Egged on by both the funds from the bazaar and the hostile clerics, whose influence had been diminished to almost nothing among a much more modern populace with open ties available to Western life styles and mind sets.

All these were unexpected perks for the disgruntled clerics. The magnetizing effect of the boom had already drawn rural masses to major cities glutting the congregations in mosques. Now the clerics reaped the harvest of fanned discontent, brandishing radical Shiite doctrine both as a challenge and a remedy.

The Shah's "politics of liberalization" had also created its own sliding spiral. To reverse these trends, the Shah should have - but failed - to rally secular political forces to his side.

With the hindsight, it is also fair to say that the rigidity of some of the secular National Front leaders, who could have showed support and not eventually been destroyed themselves by the clerics, was an error of historical scale on their part.

Marxist and libertarian influences also made them into a philosphical, snobbish elite, which could not see the pitfalls of their mindsets relative to increasingly literate but basically uneducated and inexperienced Iranian populace.

To what extent the Shah's judgment had been impaired by the secret diagnosis of lymphatic cancer in 1974 has not been established. Such a link is hard to quantify, all the more so that the Shah had apparently not been told of the exact nature of his illness, until the later years.

Be it as it may, his most serious errors occurred during the ensuing period. It was at this time that the Shah decided on one party rule to prevent the bickering that had ensued in the two party system of Iran Novin and Mardom and to allow very capable men in the minority Mardom party to accept important positions to carry the nation forward. Instead he decreed that the Rastakhiz party would have two "wings" to cover the differing views of the elected parliamenterians.

He replaced the Islamic calendar with an ostentatious imperial calendar in a historical acknowledgement - not of his reign - but that of some 5,000 years of Monarchy in Iran. Anti-Monarchy groups, using any excuse, immediately attacked this as personal grandure.

The Shah had also begun his somewhat fanciful flights on the "Great Civilization." The new royal mindset had the Iranians believe that within a generation or so Iran would rank among the world's industrial elite. Had he been given more time, his investments in key industries in the West, like Krupp steel and internal develoment of essential items like cement plants, nuclear power, etc., could well have made his vision come true. With all the various pieces inside his almost photographic memory he was looking beyond the horizon.

Had a race against the clock already began for the Shah? A wild-west climate of profiteering marked these balmy years. Abusive business practices, including by the Shah's close family and friends, became a hallmark of the laissez-faire policies practiced at overkill scale. Partly because policing or regulating everything in a rapid growth arena with too few people to help him, became too much to handle.

Remember, a country resembles a major corporation and needs competent managers, directors, vice-presidents, senior vice-presidents and staff to run profitably and efficiently. Iran's growth far outstripped the availability of persons who could accept responsiblity with any degree of competence - or sadly - with honesty and not line their own pockets.

The Shah himself could hardly be given a clean bill of health as he brooked corruption in his entourage, yet he was far from the rapacious persona, with a fabulous wealth, which the revolutionary puffery sought to depict. In fact he was a pragmatist. When complaints reached hin that his Minister of Interior had misappropriated some $40 million and should be sacked and thrown in jail, the Shah refused.

He explained that the man had been Minister of Interior for some ten years or so, knew his job well and if he were fired, would spend a few years in prison and then be free to go to Europe and enjoy his plunder.

Instead, the Shah stated, he will be at his desk every morning at six a.m., know that I know everything - and if from nothing else but guilt will do his job for the country better than before.

Which would be preferable to releasing him to go play in Europe with his stolen money, which could probably no longer be found to retrieve it.

During the Embassy hostage crisis, the revolutionary authorities kept no stone unturned to find documentary evidence of financial wrong doings by the Shah. This search was aimed, inter-alia, to substantiate claims in the extradition brief submitted to Panama.

In March 1980, foreign correspondents scrambled for scoops in the jammed conference hall of the Tehran's Central Bank, where President Bani Sadr was to make the Islamic Republic's legal case against the Shah. Scathing revelations were expected. Yet nothing worth the print could be wired back to editors.

The revolutionary authorities had not been able to pin the Shah to any financial irregularity. This was not, however, the case in respect of some of the Shah's close family members.

Interesting to note, however, is that within six months of taking power, the Mullahs had rapaciously transfered funds to private overseas accounts they created for themselves, which exceeded by about ten times the total amount of what the 1,000 elite families of Iran had placed overseas during the last 25-years of the Shah's reign.

Most of the money transfered out of Iran just prior to the revolution was done by trades people. Plumbers, carpenters, construction contractors, builders, electricians etc., who got their money out and quickly left while the Shah was still there.

When the crunch finally came in 1978, the Shah was unprepared and not up to the challenge. He was quick to shed the awe-inspiring mask of the mighty king and meekly looked for advice.

The Anglo & American Ambassadors were solicited most, yet their counsel was tentative and vague, reflecting indecision and discord with their own chancelleries. Others consulted, were an array of retired politicians, social scientists, military leaders and some prominent clerics.

Their advice was too contrasting to allow the Shah to overcome his indecision. In managing the crisis the Shah committed blunders, practicing appeasement from a position of weakness. By the last quarter of 1978, in the face of an astounding quiescence by the Shah, the largely apolitical mass of the urban population, 60% under the age of 25-years and still wet behind the ears politially, swung to insurrectionists' inflammation of them, rendering the trend irreversible.

But to his credit the Shah skirted a bloodbath. Evidence abounds that on this score he had remained steadfast throughout the crisis period. He repeatedly rejected the get-tough advice proffered not only by some of his generals but coming also from some unlikely quarters in the West.

By the year-end the Shah was ready to unclench his hold on power.

Images of his tearful farewell at Mehrabad airport on January 14, 1979 remain haunting memories of a dream turned into a nightmare.

In a grisly act of disappointment, the Shah left behind in detention his loyal and highly refined Prime Minister of 13-years, Amir Abbas Hoveyda. The ex-Premier was summarily executed by the revolution's hanging judge, Mullah Khalkhali, shortly thereafter.

With the Shah's departure, Iran sank into the darkness of the Middle Ages. A reign of terror, of which he had presciently warned the nation, set in. The first public act of Khomeini, when he took over the reins of power in February 1979, was to abolish women's right to sit in as a judge in a court of law.

He initially dissolved the Ministry of Justice, stating that anyone against him was against Allah and should be killed where they stood - with no need for a trial or other justice system.

That presaged the calamities and blood-letting that were to follow.

Perhaps no ruler in history like the Shah has benefited from a postmortem redemption, due not to any re-appraisal of his balance sheet but the misdeeds and brutal excesses of those who succeeded him in power. Far above and beyond anything of which he could have been accused even by his most biased opponents.

A case study would support a theory that the value accorded to any given regime should be measured in light of its inevitable successor and the ability of the latter to improve conditions and ills of which they accused the predecessors.

As they ask in American politics, are you better off now? Iranians would certainly say "no".