By Muhammad Sahimi
Over the last century,
June, July, August, and September have been, with few exceptions, bloody, dark,
and depressing months in both the pre- and post-revolutionary Iran, during which many historical
and history-changing events have occurred.
It was on June 5, 1963
(Khordad 15, 1342, in Persian calendar) that the supporters of Ayatollah
Khomeini demonstrated against the Shah's regime, which led to scores of deaths,
the Ayatollah's arrest, and his subsequent exile, first to Turkey and then to
Iraq. It was then that the seeds of the 1979 Revolution, already sowed in 1953
after the CIA-MI6 coup, gained strength.
It was on July 16, 1952
(Teer 25, 1331) that Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossaddegh, one of
Iran's true national heroes, resigned
from his post after he found the Shah's interference in his government,
particularly preventing him from selecting the War Minister, unacceptable. The
Shah appointed Ahmad Ghavam as the new Premier. Almost immediately after the
resignation, large demonstrations erupted in Tehran and elsewhere, during which
between 250  and 800 people  were killed or injured by the security
forces, culminating with the huge demonstrations on July 21, 1952 (Teer 30,
1331) that forced Mr. Ghavam to resign and go into hiding, and brought Dr.
Mossaddegh back to the Premiership.
It was on August 5, 1906
(Mordad 14, 1285) that the people were victorious in the first round of the
struggle for a democratic political system and government in Iran, establishing the first Constitutional
government in the Middle East.
It was on August 19, 1953
(Mordad 28, 1332) that Dr. Mossaddegh's government was overthrown by the CIA-MI6
coup that brought the Shah back to power and started 25 years of dictatorship,
leading eventually to the Iranian Revolution of 1979  (see also below). Thus,
the sweetness and glory of the Constitutional Revolution of August 1906 were
destroyed by the bitterness of the anti-Iran/anti-Iranians August 1953 coup.
It was on August 22, 1941
(Shahrivar 1, 1320) that the Allied forces invaded Iran by occupying Abadan and its oil refinery, in order to prevent Reza Shah
to overtly support the Nazi Germany and help it with Iran's oil, and also use Iran to provide the Soviet
Union with weapons.
It was on September 16,
1941 (Shahrivar 25, 1320) that the Allied forces removed Reza Shah from power,
ending his dictatorship, and installed his son Mohammad Reza as the next shah,
but it was on September 17, 1953 that the Shah's regime indicted Dr. Mossaddegh.
And, of course, it was in
September of 1978 that the Islamic Revolution of 1979 gathered significant
steam, after scores of peaceful demonstrators  were killed in Jaleh Square in
Square) on September 8, 1978. It was then that the
uprising appeared for the first time to pose a serious challenge to the survival
of the Shah's government.
What about the
It was on June 20, 1981
(Khordad 30, 1360) that the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO) which, until
then, was a legitimate political group and popular among various segments of the
society, declared armed struggle against the newly-born Islamic Republic. That
declaration, together with large demonstrations of the MKO supporters (and the
counter demonstrations by the government's supporters), and the huge explosions
in the central headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party, the
clergy-controlled dominant political group of that era, that killed over 100 top
members of the Party  on June 28, 1981 (Teer 7, 1360), began the dark and
bloody years of the 1980s  which resulted in the execution of thousands of
political activists and prisoners , and even innocent, non-political people
Over three days beginning
on July 9, 1999, Iran witnessed nation-wide demonstrations in many leading
Iranian universities, protesting the Islamic fundamentalists' attempts to crush
Iran's relatively free press of the first two years of presidency of Mr.
Mohammad Khatami, which led to arrest of tens of students, death of at least one
Tehran University graduate, Mr. Ezzat Ebrahimnejad, and the beginning of the end
of Mr. Khatami's reforms. Of course, Mr. Akbar Mohammadi, who passed away in
Evin prison in Tehran last year, is also a victim of those
It was on July 24, 1988,
after Iran and Iraq both had accepted the United Nations Security Council
Resolution 598 for the ceasefire on July 18, 1988, that the MKO, which by then
was nothing but a terrorist cult and Saddam Hussein's ally, sent a large number
of its members to their death [9,10] by ordering them to invade Iran from Iraq,
with the illusion that, with the support of Saddam's air force and mass uprising
by the Iranian people, they would quickly overthrow the Islamic Republic.
It was in July, August and
September of 1988 that Tehran's fundamentalists decided to "solve" the big
"problem" that they had, namely, the thousands of political prisoners who were
languishing in jails, by executing them [11,12,13], even though the prisoners
had only been given jail terms after being put on "trial" in the "Islamic"
courts. The "excuse" that the fundamentalists had was the MKO invasion of
Iran from Iraq.
And, of course, it was on
September 22, 1980 (Shahrivar 31, 1359) that the Iran-Iraq war started, which
resulted in the death of 270,000 and injury of close to 700,000 young Iranian
soldiers, and nearly $1 trillion in economical damage and loss.
Now, it is September 2007.
Not only is it the anniversary of so many sad events in contemporary
Iran, but Iran itself is
also at a crossroads again. Barnett R. Rubin, Director of Studies and Senior
Fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation and a
leading expert on Afghanistan, just reported  that
a reliable source has told him that,
They [the source's institution] have
"instruction" (yes, that was the word used) from the office of the
Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war in Iran in the week after Labor
day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute [the bastion
of the neoconservatives], the [editorial page of the] Wall Street Journal, the
Weekly Standard [the mouthpiece of the neoconservatives], Commentary [a
mouthpiece of the Israeli lobby], Fox, and the usual suspects.
According to Rubin, the
information has come from a friend "who has excellent connections in Washington and whose
information has often been prescient."
The senseless rhetoric of
Tehran's Islamic fundamentalists regarding
Israel has been used by the
neoconservatives and the Israeli lobby in order to justify military attacks by
the U.S. against
Iran. But, we must keep in mind that,
regardless of the rhetoric, the neocons and the entire U.S. political establishment have been after
Iran ever since the 1979 Revolution.
We must also recognize
that, given the quagmire that Iraq and Afghanistan have become for the
U.S., and given all the lies
and exaggerations that the Bush administration sold to the public in order to
invade Iraq, its campaign of
propaganda  against Iran needs much help, as the
skeptical public will not easily be convinced. In particular, the campaign can
be greatly helped by those Iranians and Iranian-Americans who are only too happy
to offer Mr. Bush a helping hand.
Iran's democratic opposition
in exile is either relatively silent (in the U.S.) or relatively weak and disparate (in
Europe) to counter the effect that such pro-war
Iranians may have. As usual, then, we have two main camps among Iranians in the
Diaspora, at the two ends of the political spectrum.
In view of some, the
Iranian people do not currently have the capability for self-emancipation. This
group believes that Iranians who live in Iran cannot by themselves oppose the
U.S. intervention in
Iran, while also opposing, at
the same time, Tehran's fundamentalists. This group of
Iranians forgets that the same Iranian nation overthrew the Shah's regime that
was being supported firmly by the West. Thus, in view of such Iranians, one must
choose between bad and worse, or worse and worst, namely, between Tehran's fundamentalists
and the Bush administration.
Those who prefer to
completely defend and support the Iranian government in its confrontation with
the U.S. consider the Bush administration
as the main threat. They believe that the differences with the fundamentalists
should, for now, be set aside because they only weaken Iran's position.
On the other hand, there
are those who regard Tehran's fundamentalists as the main evil.
Under the guise of freedom and democracy, they advocate and support the
U.S. military attacks on
Iran, either directly, or indirectly
by attacking anyone who speaks against the war. They believe that Tehran's fundamentalists cannot be pushed off the political
arena without outside intervention, and that the U.S. is the only
force that can bring about such a change.
Even if we believe that
there are indeed some Iranians who sincerely believe this, they miss at least
one important point: The Bush administration's and the neocons' plans for the
Middle East are the main threat to the
stability and democratization of that region. Believing that Mr. Bush and the
Bushies really want democracy for the Middle
East is like believing that the fox can develop and maintain a
But the vast majority of
the Iranians who, directly or indirectly, advocate U.S. attacks on Iran, belong to
one of two groups:
(i) The Iranian die-hard royalists
who settle for nothing less than restoration to power of the Pahlavi dynasty,
and a large part of the monarchists.
People who are in this
group, especially those who reside in the U.S. with Los
Angeles being their "Capital," are, in fact, secular fundamentalists,
or, better yet, the lunatic fundamentalists - the mirror image of Tehran's Islamic
fundamentalists. Just as Tehran's fundamentalists
wish for a limited war with the U.S. to consolidate their power, so also do the
secular fundamentalists who hope that U.S. military attacks will overthrow
the Islamic Republic and will bring them to power. They always attack viciously
anyone who has even the most minor disagreement with them, and label anyone who
defends Iran's true national
interests, or speaks against a war with Iran, either an agent of the Islamic
Republic or its lobbyist .
(ii) The MKO. It suffices to note
that the MKO is a terrorist cult, nothing more, nothing less. They are
completely similar to the secular fundamentalists, at least in practice.
On May 1, 2003, President
Bush, abroad the USS Abraham Lincoln, declared victory in the "battle of
Iraq," declaring "the end of all
major combat operations" under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished."
On April 29, 2003, the
author posted an article  in which he predicted trouble for the
U.S. in Iraq, and suggested that the U.S.
neoconservatives are looking for an Iranian Ahmad Chalabi [18,19]. As expected,
the author was attacked viciously and personally by the secular fundamentalists
who, due to the "easy" victory of the U.S. forces in Iraq, believed that Iran would be
next. Over four years after that posting, however, the author has proven to be
The goal of the present
article is to further elaborate on the astonishing similarities between
Iran's two groups of
fundamentalists - the Islamists in Tehran and the seculars in exile - that were
first pointed out in Ref. . This is particularly necessary at this critical
time, as the drumbeats of the war is becoming increasingly louder and,
therefore, Iranians should all have a clear view of who defends Iran's true
national interests, its political independence and territorial integrity, and is
against a war between the U.S. and Iran, and who does not and is not.
To put the discussions on a
firm ground, we describe and discuss the views of Iran's
fundamentalists - both Islamic and secular - by putting them in the context of
two illuminating concepts that are described below.
In an excellent article
, Mr. Eric Alterman, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a
professor of journalism at Brooklyn
College, and a columnist for The Nation
magazine, commented on the attacks by the U.S. neoconservatives on Dr. Paul Krugman, a
professor of economics at Princeton University and a New York Times op-ed
columnist. Dr. Krugman had published two excellent op-ed articles in the New
York Times  in which he had analyzed the roots of some of the anti-Semitic
comments by Malaysia's former Prime Minister,
Mahathir Mohammed. Although Dr. Krugman was (in the author's view) completely
even-handed in his analysis (and critical of Mr. Mohammed), he was attacked
savagely by the neoconsertives who had contended that he should not have even
BROUGHT UP and discussed such subjects to begin with because, in the neocons'
view, they would spread Mr. Mohammed's anti-Semitic remarks mentioned in the
article . In Mr. Alterman's words ,
These critics insist on a principled
In making hysterical calls
for Dr. Krugman's head, the critics even accused him, a Jew himself, of being
Mr. Alterman himself had
been treated similarly by the neocons after he had discussed  the roots of
anti-Jewish violence in France , and had noted its obvious relation to what
Israel has been doing in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip (a relation that
had even been acknowledged by senior leaders of the French Jewish community).
Reacting to the unfair attacks, Mr. Alterman wrote  that,
Conservatives, and some not so
conservatives, are testing out a new thesis in their effort to shut out ideas
that make them uncomfortable: Any attempt to analyze the origin of a distasteful
phenomenon is tantamount to endorsing it,
and went on to say that
The line was clear: 'Explanation
equals rationalization....' 'We are the good guys, period,' this argument tells
us. 'What else do we need to know?'
Mr. Alterman called this
attitude of the US conservatives the new
In other words, according
to know-nothing-ism, common people need to know very little, if at all, about
important issues. All they need to do is trusting a few "good" people who would
tell them nothing but the "fact" that they are "good." If people wish to inquire
about any important issue and learn beyond what the "good" guys are willing to
tell them, their knowledge may make the "good" guys accountable to people,
implying that common people have committed an unforgiving sin.
Even a glance at the
fundamentalists' actions and declared positions - both in Iran and in exile -
regarding any important issue, ranging from the social and political
developments in Iran, to Iran's nuclear energy program and what is happening in
Iraq, indicates that know-nothing-ism describes precisely the principles by
which they operate. The fundamentalists - both Islamic and secular - believe
that people should follow certain lines that they dictate. Any deviations from
the "official" line cannot be forgiven. They insist on ignorance - unprincipled
Worse yet, due to the
U.S. invasion of
Iraq, its threats against
Iran, and the events of the
past five years in the Middle East, even some
of the leading and seemingly well-informed Iranians in exile appear to have
caught the "disease" of know-nothing-ism.
How do the fundamentalists
enforce their know-nothing-ism?
Consider, first, Tehran's fundamentalists.
Whenever a journalist, a university student, an intellectual, a human rights
advocate, or a political activist is accused of "spreading lies," "making the
public anxious," or "disturbing the public," and is thrown in jail, what the
accusations most likely mean is that the jailed person has provided people with
information, knowledge, and/or insight that may make the fundamentalists
accountable to the people, and that people have learnt something that, in the
fundamentalists' view, they should not have.
This also explains why the
political dissidents, journalists, and even university students are put on
"trial" mostly behind closed doors and without a jury. But, in order to frighten
future dissidents, the drumbeats of accusations (without giving the accused any
chance to defend him-/herself) and "conviction" of the dissidents are very loud.
Moreover, the independent newspapers and publications are "temporarily" closed
forever. Why? Because the fundamentalists do not wish the people to learn about
the views of dissidents, independent analysts, and journalists and, therefore,
enforce their know-nothing-ism.
fundamentalists has been clearly behind some of the most important cases of
political repression. Why were Drs. Hashem Aghajari and Mohsen Kadivar, and
Messrs Abdollah Nouri, Hassan Yousefi Eshkevari, Emadeddin Baghi, and many
others jailed? Because, the fundamentalists were afraid of people learning about
progressive interpretation of Islamic teachings that the imprisoned espoused -
what Dr. Kadivar refers to as the spiritual Islam - and, hence, had to enforce
Why did many young bloggers
spend time in jail a while ago? Why are university students constantly thrown in
jail? Why are the fundamentalists afraid of cultural relations between the
people of Iran and the
U.S., and accuse a 67 years old
grandmother - Dr. Haleh Esfandiari - of trying to overthrow their regime?
Because, they all inform the people and, therefore, violate the know-nothing-ism
of the fundamentalists.
A comprehensive description
of the way the know-nothing-ism of Tehran's fundamentalists is enforced and the
names of its leading victims would make a voluminous book. I say the LEADING
victims because, in the final analysis, most, if not all, Iranians can be
victims of know-nothing-ism of the fundamentalists - both Islamic and secular.
The point should, however, be clear: Inquiring, speaking, or writing about such
issues as rampant corruption, secret and not-so-secret murders of the
dissidents, political and social repression, and reckless foreign adventures
fundamentalists accountable to the people and, therefore, represent unforgivable
deviations from their ideology of know-nothing-ism.
How do the exiled secular
fundamentalists enforce their know-nothing-ism?
All one needs to do is
watching their political programs on their satellite TV channels, or listening
to them on their radio programs, or reading what their analysts publish and post
on the internet. In order to keep people as uninformed as possible and enforce
their know-nothing-ism, so that they can advance their agenda, the secular
fundamentalists resort to the followings (which represent just the tip of the
(i) First, and foremost, what the
secular fundamentalists present as news or analysis is a maddening mixture of
myths, half truths, innuendoes, and outright lies. The real issues are either
never discussed, or if they are, it is done from such an extreme angle that the
discussions have nothing to do with reality.
This is completely similar
to what Tehran's
fundamentalists do. All one has to do is reading the writings of Mr. Hossein
Shariatmadari, managing director of Tehran Keyhan, or those of Mr. Mohammad
Kazem Anbar Louei, the editor of Resaalat, another right-wing newspaper, or have
a glance at Siyasat-e Rooz, the third right-wing newspaper.
A good example of how the
know-nothing-ism of the exiled secular fundamentalists is enforced is their
treatment of Dr. Shirin Ebadi , which is precisely the mirror image of that
fundamentalists. In addition to their unfair and unfounded attacks on Dr. Ebadi,
what the secular fundamentalists do NOT tell their supporters about her is a
glaring example of their know-nothing-ism.
Most supporters of the
secular fundamentalists do not know that, in addition to her work on behalf of
women's and children's rights in Iran, Shirin Ebadi has represented, and
continues to represent, in Iran's courts many of the most prominent political
dissidents, intellectuals and their families, including the families of the late
Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, Mr. Ezzat Ebrahimnezhad (the Tehran University
graduate who was murdered during the student uprising at Tehran University's
dormitory in July 1999), and of Dr. Zahra Kazemi (the photojournalist who was
murdered in detention in Iran in 2003). Moreover, Mr. Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, the
disillusioned member of Ansaar-e Hezbollah (a pressure group), Dr. Haleh
Esfandiari, Dr. Nasser Zarafshan (the courageous attorney who was jailed because
he tried to reveal some of the secrets of the infamous Chain Murders), Mr. Akbar
Ganji, and many young Iranian bloggers and journalists, such as Mr. Omid
Memarian, have all been represented by Shirin Ebadi.
In fact, 80% of all the
political prisoners and dissidents in Iran are represented pro-bono (free
of charge) by Dr. Ebadi's Center for the Defense of Human Rights, and their
families are financially supported by the Center. The Center holds a weekly free
class in which principles of human rights are taught, as well as a press
conference on the first Monday of every month to discuss an important issue
about human rights and their violation in Iran, and releases a report every six
months detailing all the human rights violations in Iran, and provide an updated
list of Iran's political prisoners and their status.
What do the exiled secular
fundamentalists do in response to all the courageous work that Dr. Ebadi and her
colleagues have been doing in Iran? When Ebadi represents the
dissidents, the secular fundamentalists refer to her only in third person, never
mentioning her name. But, they attack her viciously, repeating her name
disrespectfully innumerable times.
(ii) The secular fundamentalists
label anyone a lobbyist of the Islamic Republic who defends Iran's fundamental rights to peaceful use of
nuclear energy in the framework of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and its
Safeguards agreement, of which Iran is a signatory.
The author is almost
certain that most, if not all, of the secular fundamentalists have never
bothered to read these international treaties (and these treaties that the Shah
regime signed and ratified), and only rehash what nonsense the American and
Israeli warmongers keep repeating.
(iii) The secular fundamentalists
equal the defense of Iran's
rights in the framework of the NPT and its Safeguards agreement to supporting
the development of nuclear bombs by Iran.
This is what has repeatedly
happened to the author  and many others.
(iv) Lacking the courage and honesty
to explicitly advocate a war with Iran, the secular fundamentalists do
the next "best" thing: viciously attacking those who speak out against the war.
They label them agents or lobbyists of the Islamic Republic, simply because they
oppose the war.
(v) To justify their warmongering,
the secular fundamentalists blame the people of Iran for the
possible war. Their "reasoning" goes something like this: "Iranian people are
waiting for the U.S. It is their fault that they do
not revolt and topple the Islamic Republic. Therefore, the U.S. must attack
to get rid of the regime."
Who says that the Iranian
people are waiting for the U.S.? Who says that Iranians need the
U.S., anyway? Who says that the
U.S. actually wants democracy
in the Middle East? If it does, why does it not
start with its own allies: Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab
Emirates, Azerbaijan ...., all run by corrupt
dictatorships? The secular fundamentalists have no answers, of course.
(vi) The secular fundamentalists
have never bothered to understand the root cause of the Iranian Revolution.
Since they have no legitimacy, as the Pahlavi regime was installed by foreign
powers, they also attribute the cause of the Revolution to foreign powers. Thus,
in their view, this was a conspiracy by former president Jimmy Carter and the
West (the same West that they now beg to attack Iran).
In fact, the secular
fundamentalists attribute the root cause of the Revolution to anyone and
anything, except the real culprit: the Shah's corrupt dictatorship. Some of them
have gone so far as claiming that the people of Iran had some
psychological problems at the time of Revolution.
(vii) Despite being anti-religion,
the secular fundamentalists worship President Bush, and present him to the
people of Iran, through their satellite TV
programs, as a popular president and a man in love with freedom and democracy.
This is while the Bush
administration lied to the world in order to justify the illegal invasion of
Iraq (see Ref.  for some of the
lies). This is an Administration that has declared the Geneva Conventions
"quaint;" has suspended habeas corpus, one of the most important civil rights in
the U.S.; has used torture and secret trials, and has blasted its critics as
anti-Americans. The President's approval ratings is one of the lowest of any
U.S. president throughout its
history, and the American people have a case of very heavy fatigue with this
president. Despite this, a secular fundamentalist "analyst" recently said ,
President Bush has had enormous
success. Those who oppose him are either jealous of him, or are committing
This explains why whenever
this analyst speaks in one of the satellite TV programs in Los Angeles, one needs
Persian subtitles to understand what he is saying in Persian - the man is from
another planet with an alien language.
(viii) The secular fundamentalists
worship President Bush, even though they are anti-religion and the President is
a Christian fundamentalist.
President Bush believes
that he takes orders directly from God. In June 2003, he told Mahmoud Abbas (Abu
Mazen), who was the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister at that times, that
God told me to strike at Al-Qaeda
and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did,
and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East ...
How different is this from
what Mr. Ahmadinejad has claimed about his relation with God? He has claimed
that when he spoke at the UN General Assembly in 2005, he was protected by a
"crescent of light" (presumably created by God), and that he speaks directly to
(ix) The secular fundamentalists are
natural allies of the neoconservatives, and, in fact, not only do they repeat,
verbatim, whatever nonsense the neoconservatives claim about Iran, but also add
to it their own exaggerations, half-truths, and lies.
The sad aspect of this is
that, the secular fundamentalists never realize that the U.S. political
establishment in general, and the neoconservatives in particular, are just using
them to advance their own agenda. Once the secular fundamentalists' usefulness
expires, they will be discarded like a piece of trash. This has happened too
many times in too many countries to ignore.
(x) The secular fundamentalists
describe Iraq as heaven on Earth when, in fact, Iraq has been destroyed;
hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed; over 4 million Iraqis
have been displaced; the sectarian lines have become too obvious to ignore; a
low-intensity civil war has been going on for quite sometime, and terrorists who
did not exist in Iraq before the invasion now have safe bases in Iraq to operate
Even such people as Dr.
Alireza Nourizadeh still speak of the "democracy that President Bush has brought
to Iraq." They are from another planet
or, better yet, another universe in which natural and social laws are completely
different from those of our universe, where destruction and rape of a nation is
tantamount to democracy. Now, after repeating for five years the nonsense of the
neoconservatives and their Israeli allies, the same people shed crocodile tears
for Iran, "warning" against
the danger to Iran.
The goal is to enforce
know-nothing-ism; that is, keeping people uninformed, so that the agenda of the
secular fundamentalists can be advanced. In fact, what they "export" to Iran
through their satellite TV programs is a counter-culture of self-righteousness
and intolerance, all in the name of freedom, democracy, and human rights. This
is not, of course, surprising, as these are the same people who supported the
Shah and his regime, one of the worst violators of human rights.
The Information Matrix
Despite their belief in
know-nothing-ism and attempts to enforce it, Iran's
fundamentalists - both Islamic and secular - recognize that our era is the
information age. Therefore, one way or another, the people will get access to
the facts, if they so desire. To prevent this as much as possible, the
fundamentalists have resorted to building an information MATRIX (a rigid
structure), hoping that we will all inhabit it. Let me explain:
In an excellent article
 Mr. Frank Rich, a Sunday columnist for the op-ed pages of the New York
Times, commented on the power of AOL Time Warner, the producer of the movie "the
Matrix" and its sequels - "The Matrix Reloaded" - and more generally the media
giants of the U.S., for publicizing their products and fixating people's
attention on them, but carefully controlling, and even limiting, the flow of
information to their own liking. He wrote  that,
It [media giants in the
US] has the Herculean resources to
fix much of the world's attention on whatever it chooses to sell.... The media
giants took the same tack in banding together to push the
administration-dictated narrative of Saddam Hussein... The [TV] networks'
various production of "Countdown: Iraq," though as ponderous as "The Matrix
Reloaded," were so effective that by the time the [Iraq] war began, 51 percent
of Americans, according to a Knight-Ridder poll, believe that Iraqis were among
the Sep. 11 hijackers... One way or another, we all inhabit the Matrix now."
In other words, the media
giants create an information Matrix and have people inhabit it. The flow of
information into this Matrix is tightly controlled, so that, eventually, people
may come to believe whatever flows into the Matrix, even if the information is
Creating an information
Matrix and trying to have us inhabit it is another facet of the Iranian
fundamentalists - both Islamic and secular. In fact, the Matrix is created so
that know-nothing-ism can prevail; if know-nothing-ism is violated, the Matrix
will collapse, but the people will also pay a heavy price.
Tehran's fundamentalists control almost
all means of mass communications, in addition to the power to close any
independent publication and jailing any journalist who violates their ideology
of know-nothing-ism that harms the information Matrix.
Likewise, the secular
fundamentalists carry on the same "traditions." They control almost all of such
important means of mass communications as satellite TV and radio stations. In
addition, through the "articles" that they post on various sites, as well as the
profanity-laden e-mails that they dispatch to whoever that does not follow their
line, the secular fundamentalists try to silent their critics by threatening
them with all types of retributions, ranging from denying their business to
relatively independent Iranian radio and TV stations in southern California, to
spreading unfounded rumors about them, and viciously attacking the critics who
post on the internet articles that criticize them.
In fact, what Tehran's fundamentalists
do to their opponents has eerie similarities with what the Pahlavi regime - the
regime that the lunatic secular fundamentalists worship and yearn for - did to
the dissidents. The similarities manifest themselves in at least two ways:
(i) The Pahlavi regime tried to
silent journalists, intellectuals, and dissidents by murdering them, or keeping
them in jail for a long time, the same as what Tehran's fundamentalists are doing now.
For example [30,31],
Mohammad Farrokhi Yazdi, the great poet and journalist, who had been jailed in
1909 with his lips sewed to make an example of what can happen to dissidents,
died in Reza Shah's prison in 1939. Mohammad Reza Mirzadeh Eshghi was
assassinated by the security forces of Reza Shah (who was the Prime Minister at
that time) in 1924 at the age of 31, and Dr. Taghi Arani, the distinguished
leftist intellectual, died in 1940 in Reza Shah's prison at the age of 35, after
he was deliberately infected by typhus. After the CIA-MI6 coup of 1953, Dr.
Hossein Fatemi, a journalist who was Foreign Minister in Dr. Mohammad
Mosaddegh's government, was carried on a stretcher to the firing squad. Karim
Pourshirazi, a journalist, editor of Shouresh newspaper, and inveterate critic
of the Shah and his sister Ashraf, was burnt alive in a military prison after
severe torture. Journalist Khosrow Golesorkhi, film maker and teacher
Keramatollah Daneshian, Bijan Jazani, Hamid Momeni (who published under the name
M. Bidsorkhi), and tens of other leftist intellectuals were all murdered, simply
because they opposed the Pahlavi regime.
Similarly, in order to
enforce their know-nothing-ism and protect their information Matrix, the
fundamentalist perpetrators of the Chain Murders eliminated up to 80
intellectuals and political dissidents from 1988-1998, in addition to executing
thousands of political prisoners. Both groups of fundamentalists believe in the
philosophy of Joseph Stalin that ,
Death solves all problems. No man,
Just as Tehran's fundamentalists tried to eliminate in 1993 many
writers and intellectuals by throwing into a deep valley the bus that was
carrying them to Armenia, Reza Shah did the same by
jailing, all at once, the "53 group" of 53 intellectuals.
(ii) Both groups have no mercy even
on their own disillusioned followers, who may attempt to partially lift the
shroud of secrecy and reveal what they have been doing to their opponents, since
such attempts would represent deviations from know-nothing-ism and damage the
Saeed Emami, the chief
enforcer of Stalin's philosophy and know-nothing-ism, "committed suicide" so
that the murder of about 80 dissidents and intellectuals would remain shrouded
in secrecy (although the secrecy was partially lifted by the efforts of Mr.
Mohammad Khatami and the reformists).
The same thing happened
during the reign of the Pahlavies, the same regime that the secular
fundamentalists worship and support. The victims included men who had served
Iran honorably, and those who had
served the Pahlavies diligently. For example, Ali Akbar Davar, who was the
architect of Iran's modern judiciary, was forced
to commit suicide in 1936 at the age 49. General Teymour Bakhtiar, a man who had
served the Shah for years after the 1953 coup, was assassinated by agents of
SAVAK (the Shah's secret police) in Baghdad in 1970, in one of the first acts of
state-sponsored terrorism , an event that the secular fundamentalists, whose
screams about the terrorism committed by Tehran's fundamentalists are deafening,
pretend not to have happened. The complete list is too long to be given here.
fundamentalists' Matrix the true reformists - those whose main goal is NOT
achieving or preserving power, but CHANGING the structure of power in Iran -
defenders of human rights, and advocates of democratic principles are all agents
of foreign powers. In that Matrix, most, if not all, of Iran's
independent press - or what remains of it - is controlled, or at least helped,
by foreigners. In that Matrix, the elections that they hold in
Iran are free, fair, and competitive.
The thousands of the candidates who are disqualified from running are either
corrupt, or foreign agents, or enemies of Islam. In that Matrix,
Iran has no political prisoners, but
only people who have been imprisoned because they committed common crimes
against the interests of the people (read the fundamentalists' interests). The
list can go on and on and on.
Likewise, in the secular
fundamentalists' Matrix there is no difference between Tehran's fundamentalists
on the one hand, and the true reformists and advocates of democracy and human
rights, on the other hand, who have been jailed or are being threatened with
jail. Inside their Matrix (but only there!) the Shah allowed the people to
freely elect the Majles deputies, and during his reign Iran had no
political prisoners but only "terrorists" who had committed political crimes
against the interests of the people (the Shah himself made this claim an
innumerable number of times).
Note, however, another
facet of the information Matrix of the secular fundamentalist: They attack and
vilify anybody who does not believe in what they believe. But, if the same
person is murdered, they elevate him/her to the status of a national hero and
shed crocodile tears for him/her. Recall, for example, that so long as the late
Mr. Ali Akbar Saidi Sirdjani was living, he was vilified by many secular
fundamentalists, particularly those who are based in Los Angeles. However,
after that courageous man was murdered by Tehran's fundamentalists, he was elevated to
the level of a national hero by the same secular fundamentalists who were
Information Matrix: Rewriting the History
Not only do the current
Matrices of the fundamentalists - both Islamic and secular - have little to do
with reality, but so also do their historical Matrices. That is, their versions
of the history. The fundamentalists cannot read the history as it has actually
happened and, therefore, they constantly try to rewrite it - that is, try to
reload their information Matrix - with the hope that they can produce a new
history - their historical, reloaded Matrix - that makes people believe their
distorted or imaginary versions of the history. Consider just a few examples:
A. Day of University
The secular fundamentalists
consider July 7, 1999 (18 Teer, 1378) as the day of university students. As
mentioned above, this was the day when paramilitary and vigilante groups
attacked Tehran University students in their dormitory while they were
protesting the closure of Salaam, a leading reformist newspaper in
Iran. One graduate of Tehran University, Mr. Ezzat Ebrahim Nezhad, was
murdered; many were injured; many more were thrown in jail (some still are in
jail), and the dormitory was ransacked.
However, the enthusiasm of
the secular fundamentalists for this tragic day is due to the fact that, they
want to erase from their historical Matrix another important day of university
students, namely, December 7, 1953 (Azar 16, 1332). This was the day when,
during students demonstrations at the Faculty of Engineering of Tehran
University against the visit to Iran by Richard M. Nixon, the then U.S. Vice
President, three courageous students - Mostafa Bozorgnia, Ahmad Ghandchi, and
Mahdi Shariat Razavi (the brother-in-law of the late Dr. Ali Shariati, the
distinguished Islamic intellectual) - were murdered by the Shah's security
forces. Nixon was visiting Iran less than 4 months after the
CIA-MI6-led coup had overthrown the government of Dr. Mohammad Mossaddegh.
Tehran's fundamentalists, on the other
hand, commemorate, with much fanfare, the anniversary of the December 7, 1953
events, because in their historical, reloaded Matrix the July 7, 1999 events did
not happen, except for some "counter-revolutionaries trying to create chaos and
instability in the country."
In fact, BOTH are important
days in Iran's recent history; BOTH must be
commemorated as the day of university students.
B. Executing the
As mentioned above, during
July-September of 1988, a large number of political prisoners were executed.
They had been sentenced to prison terms by Iran's
Revolutionary courts, but not execution. Most of them had finished, or were
about to finish, their sentences. Their only "sin" was that, while in prison,
they had persisted in believing in their principles for which they had been
imprisoned (the author takes no position regarding what the executed prisoners
believed in; it was their right).
Every year the anniversary
of this event - which is truly a crime against humanity - is passed in absolute
silence by Tehran's fundamentalists. It is as if, in their
historical Matrix, the crime never took place. The few people who have tried to
speak up against what had happened have been silenced, including Ayatollah
Hossein Ali Montazeri.
But, in addition to the
fact that the Shah's regime executed hundreds of political prisoners, the
secular fundamentalists who speak loudly about the 1988 executions, are
absolutely silent about an exactly similar crime that was committed by that
regime, because they would like to erase that crime from people's memories and
Iran's history when they reload their
Matrix. Let me explain.
On April 19, 1975
(Farvardin 30, 1354), nine courageous political prisoners - Ahmad Jalil Afshar,
Mohammad Choupanzadeh, Bijan Jazani , Mash'oof (Saeed) Kalantari (Jazani's
uncle), Aziz Sarmadi, Abbas Sourki, Hassan Zia Zarifi [35,36], and Mostafa Javan
Khoshdel and Kazem Zolanvar  - who had been sentenced by the Shah's military
courts to prison terms, were murdered by agents of the SAVAK, the Shah's dreaded
secret service. Jazani had been given a 15 year sentence, Zia Zarifi a life
sentence, and the rest 10 years who had already done 7 years of their sentence.
The executioners' leaders
were Reza Attarpour - A notorious SAVAK agent known as Dr. Hossein Zadeh (who
escaped to Israel after the Revolution) - and
Colonel Vaziri, the Evin's warden at that time. Let us read how Bahman
Naderipour - known as Hossein Tehrani - who was a SAVAK agent  and was
closely involved with the executions, described the events :
We took the prisoners to the high
hills above Evin. They were blind-folded and their hands were tied. We got them
off the minibus and had them sit on the ground. Then, Attarpour told them that,
just as your friends have killed our comrades, we have decided to execute you -
the brain behind those executions .......
Jazani and the others began
protesting. I do not know whether it was Attarpour or Colonel Vaziri who first
pulled out a machine gun and started shooting them. I do not remember whether I
was the 4th or 5th person to whom they gave the machine gun. I had never done
that before ......
At the end, Sa'di Jalil Esfahani
[another SAVAK agent, known as Babak] shot them in their heads [to make sure
that they were dead].
It was then announced that
those brave men had tried to escape while being transferred from Evin and, thus,
had been killed . The SAVAK did not allow the medical doctor, who had
examined the bodies of the nine, to question in his report the cause of death,
since he had seen that the bullets had entered their bodies through their chests
, not their backs. The murder of those brave men was apparently in
retaliation for assassination of Abbas Shahriari, a notorious SAVAK agent who,
by penetrating the armed-resistance groups, had caused the arrest and executions
of many brave political activists, and Brigadier General Zandipour, who headed
the infamous the "anti-terrorism committee" within the SAVAK, whereas in reality
those nine men had nothing to do with the assassinations.
When Amir Asadollah Alam,
the Shah's long-time confidante and Imperial Court Minister, asked him why those
[brave] men had been murdered, the Shah had responded that ,
We had no choice. They were all
terrorists, and would have escaped, which would have been worse,
hence indicating clearly
that the Shah himself was a culprit in the crime.
While it is true that the
numbers of the political prisoners who were murdered in the events of 1975 and
1988 are vastly different, do numbers really matter when it comes to such
In fact, execution of the
political prisoners in 1975 and 1988 are BOTH crimes against humanity, not one
or the other. None must be forgotten. In both cases, the murderers could not
recognize that nothing would change by executing the political prisoners,
because the prisoners were the product of the dominant conditions of the society
and, therefore, so long as the conditions did not change, more brave people
would come forward to change them.
C. The 1953 Coup and Dr.
The United States
finally came clean and provided the history and details of the August 19, 1953
coup that overthrew the government of Dr. Mohammad Mossaddegh and restored the
Shah to power. First, President Clinton stated in April 1999 that ,
Iran, because of its enormous
geopolitical importance over time, has been the subject of quite a lot of abuse
from various Western nations. I think sometimes it's quite important to tell
people, look, you have a right to be angry at something my country or my culture
or others that are generally allied with us did to you 50 or 60 or 100 or 150
Then, on March 17, 2000,
Secretary of State Madeline Albright apologized  to Iranian people for the
But, despite the
confessions of the culprits themselves [42-44], the secular fundamentalists
still insist on reloading their information Matrix by rewriting the history.
Sometimes, they insist that
had the coup not happened, the Tudeh (communist) Party would have taken
Iran over, and handed it to
the Soviet Union. In addition to the fact that
no one has been able to find any documents in the archives of the KGB (the
intelligence services of the Soviet Union) that support such a claim, it is also
a well-known fact that even the chief of the CIA station in Tehran at that time
did not believe in this "theory" and resigned, rather than taking part in the
The fact that Donald
Wilber, the Princeton University expert on the Middle East architecture and the
CIA strategist of the coup , and Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt, Jr., the CIA head
of Operation TP-Ajax (that is, the coup)  both made the same claim has no
significance, because that is the only way they could justify their crimes.
Note that, Mr. Roosevelt
had met the Shah secretly in a car in Tehran late one night, and spoke to him about
the coup while hiding in a blanket, because the Shah was afraid that Dr.
Mossaddegh would find out about the meeting, if it took place in his palace.
But, it is perhaps most revealing to recall what the Shah said  to Mr.
Roosevelt, which is nothing short of a confession:
"I owe my throne to God, my people,
my army - and to you," sobbed a grateful Shah of Iran ....
The Shah always believed
that God was on his side (just as Tehran's fundamentalists also believe so) and,
therefore, claiming so was no surprise. Part of the army's high command which
had benefited from the Shah's largess and had lived for years with "long live
Shah," instead of "long live Iran," was also on his side. They included General
Fazlollah Zahedi, General Hassan Arfa', General Deyhimi, and Colonels Teymour
Bakhtiar, Hedayatollah Gilanshah, Hassan Pakravan, Hassan Alavi Kia, and Hassan
Akhavi (who held the important post of the head of military intelligence). The
people that the Shah claimed were on his side were the likes of the Rashidian
brothers (Habibollah and Asadollah), the MI6 agents , Sha'ban Jafari, and
numerous thugs. In short, the Shah did owe his throne to Mr. Roosevelt and the
U.S. and British governments.
The Shah also told Mr.
Roosevelt  that,
If I find [Dr. Hossein] Fatemi
[Foreign Minister in Dr. Mossadegh's cabinet], who brought down my sculptures
and my father's, I will immediately execute him ....
which, of course, he did
At other times, the secular
fundamentalists insist that the coup was, in fact, a popular revolt against Dr.
Mossaddegh . This defies logic: How could millions of people who had
supported Dr. Mossaddegh a short time earlier to dissolve the Majles, turn
against him and be against nationalization of Iran's oil industry and its legal
ownership by Iran? Yes, there was demonstrations on the coup day, but the
demonstrators were mostly thugs, bought with millions of dollars that Mr.
Roosevelt and others had taken to Iran.
Did Dr. Mossaddegh make
mistakes during those turbulent and difficult times? Of course he did. Could he
have done better? It is possible. But, nothing changes the fundamental fact: the
August 19, 1953 events were nothing but a coup against Iran and Iranians, for which we, and indeed the
entire world including the U.S., are still paying. But, in the
secular fundamentalists' reloaded historical Matrix, anything is, of course,
possible, including turning a world-acknowledged coup into a popular revolt.
When it comes to Dr.
Mossaddegh and the 1953 coup, and more generally Iran's contemporary history, there is not much
difference between Tehran's fundamentalists and the lunatic
secular fundamentalists. Although Tehran's
fundamentalists have been (correctly) blaming the coup for the Shah's
dictatorship, they have also tried, at every turn and opportunity, to attack Dr.
Mossaddegh, erase his immense influence on the history of contemporary
Iran, and attribute to
themselves whatever positive things that he did for Iran.
For example, they claim
that the reason that Ayatollah Sayyed Abolghasem Kashani stopped supporting Dr.
Mossaddegh was that, he was not happy with, and was afraid of, the influence of
the Tudeh Party. Therefore, both groups of fundamentalists have created an
imaginary super-powerful Tudeh Party which enables them to reload their
historical Matrices with their fantasies.
At other times, Tehran's fundamentalists have claimed that Ayatollah
Kashani was the true leader of nationalization of Iran's oil
industry , whereas after the events of July 21, 1952 (Teer 30, 1331; see
above) the Ayatollah was part of the opposition to Dr. Mossaddegh, first
covertly and then overtly. He was also used by the Shah after the 1953 coup
until he was no longer useful to him and his regime, at which time he became,
over night, "Sheikh Kashi." To further tarnish Dr. Mossaddegh's legacy, the
fundamentalists have even claimed that he was not a true believer and Muslim.
Tehran's fundamentalists have also
transformed Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri, a reactionary clergy, into a leader of the
Constitutional Revolution. They are also silent about the fact that Sayyed
Hassan Modarres was vehemently against Reza Shah's plan for abolishing the
monarchy and founding the Republic of Iran. There are many other instances of
rewriting the history by the fundamentalists.
This is not surprising
though; rewriting the history is an expertise of the fundamentalists - both
Islamic and secular. The author shudders at the thought of the time that will
take to correct the history again for the future generations.
D. The Good SAVAK Versus
the Bad SAVAK
There is a secretive
monarchist/secular fundamentalist group in southern California. Due to its
secret nature, not much is known publicly about this group. Why in a democratic
country, such as the U.S., a presumably peaceful group is
secretive is beyond the author's comprehension. Presumably, the group is too
small and revealing its identity will reveal the number of its members and
supporters which will be too embarrassing. The only fact about this group known
to the author is that it has an e-mail address, YariLosAngeles@.....
Any time a person, such as
the author, posts an article on the internet or publishes one that contains
something - anything - that they do not like, the group dispatches e-mails to
him and others that are full of baseless accusations, profanities, etc. Often,
they attack the author, regardless of what he/she has written about, due to the
preconceived notion that they have of the author. They are so "courageous" that
their e-mails never have a name, signature, or address (this is a hallmark of
the secular fundamentalists).
Recently, when an article
of the author was published , they "warned" him in an e-mail that they are
watching him "like a hawk," because the author has "supported
Iran's nuclear program and
the reformists and, therefore, is responsible for whatever that is happening in
Iran." The author felt truly powerful
that he could, single-handedly, do so much to his beloved Iran, after living in the U.S. for the
past 30 years. Among the author's other "sins" that this group had listed in its
e-mail was, "having spoken to a Muslim organization about Iran's nuclear
program" . They also threatened that when they come to power in
Iran, they will set up a "hall of
shame" with pictures of the likes of the author.
That they watch people like
a hawk and in secret is not surprising. They are too Americanized - despite
their boastful claims of being super-patriot Iranians - and have forgotten that
a hawk is the symbol of the U.S.; Iran's is a lion. They also carry on
the tradition of their masters - the Shah and his SAVAK - in watching people
secretly; they do not know any better.
This group has been
involved in some of the most absurd rewriting of history, in order to recreate
the Shah's image as one of a kind ruler. For example, in a recent e-mail
exchange with a progressive American academic, they claimed that there were in
fact two SAVAKs, a good one headed by General Mohammad Nasiri, and a bad one
headed by General Hossein Fardoust. They claimed that very few people knew about
the bad SAVAK, not even the Shah, and that one of the few who knew was Amir
Abbas Hoveida, which is why he was executed after the 1979 Revolution. They also
claimed that all the SAVAK's crimes were (naturally!) committed by the bad one
which is, in fact, still operating today and is none other than the Islamic
Republic's Ministry of Intelligence. In other words, even before the 1979
Revolution, the Islamic Republic was already in place!
Such fantasies need no
explanation, and must be seen for what they are, namely, rewriting the
historical information Matrix, in order to keep people as uninformed as
E. Selective Amnesia and
The "disease" of rewriting
Iran's history has spread to even
some of the intellectuals and supposedly democrats in exile. Some have praised
Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah; some have defended the 1953 coup. Some
In a recent interview ,
Dr. Abbas Milani cast doubts on whether the August 19, 1953 events constituted a
coup. The purpose of Dr. Milani's book on Amir Abbas Hoveida, despite the
scholarly work that had been done, also appears to the author to be, first and
foremost, exonerating Mr. Hoveida.
It also appears that Dr.
Milani, a former Maoist himself, believes that there has never been a true
leftist intellectual in Iran. If he finds one, he tries to
move him to the right. He claimed in that interview that ,
if you ask any Iranian, who are the
top 10 people that are working on Iran, I do not think that there would
even be one leftist among them.
Clearly, there is a large
number of Iranian leftists who disagree with the above statement. So, it appears
 that, in taking his imaginary poll, Dr. Milani has acted the same way that
the Tehran's fundamentalists' Guardian Council does, namely, he has disqualified
some Iranians from participating in the poll, while allowing others to express
their opinion, which explains how he reached the conclusion that, "any Iranian
..." In the same interview, Dr. Milani also "dismissed" most of Iran's towering
contemporary intellectuals and literary figures. So, Dr. Milani is also busy
rewriting the history . These are indeed strange times, dear.
Dr. Jalal Matini, who never
spoke against the Shah's dictatorship and was also silent over much of the
post-Revolution era, suddenly presented a quasi-scholarly study of Dr.
Mossaddegh's government and legacy, in order to rewrite the history. He
presented the August 1953 events as anything other than a coup, and tried to
exonerate the Shah's regime [56-58].
Some time ago, Dr. Alireza
Nourizadeh wondered aloud why Iranian intellectuals do not apologize to Iranian
people for supporting the 1979 Revolution. He has conveniently forgotten his own
well-documented support for, (i) the Shah; (ii) Ayatollah Khomeini ; (iii)
Mr. Rafsanjani; (iv) Mr. Khatami, and (v) President Bush and the American and
Israeli warmongers. In the last case, not only has he been repeating, verbatim,
the nonsense of the President and his allies, but has also been adding his own
exaggerations (which only a thin line separates them from lies) to it.
Justifying his zig zag by saying that, "I was young," does not wash, because he
has continued to zig zag throughout his political career, so his problem is
deeper than youthful mistakes.
These people have selective
amnesia and memory. They want us to forget about the 25 years of the dark
dictatorship, from 1953 to 1979, simply because they have emptied their
historical Matrix of this period and are trying to reload it with fantasies.
Since they are not capable of reading the history as it has happened, they are
also incapable of recognizing that the Tehran's fundamentalists' rule is the
legitimate "child" of the Pahlavi regime of the 1953 coup and the fascist
Rastakhiz Party. After establishment of this Party was announced in March 1975
(Esfand 1353), the Shah declared that
Anyone who does not like this
[one-Party political system] can obtain his passport and leave
Just like what Tehran's Fundamentalists are trying to do with journalists,
intellectuals, and dissidents, telling them that they can leave
Iran permanently and speak to Voice
of America as much as they want. At the time of establishment of Rastakhiz
Party, Abbas Sourki, one of the nine courageous political prisoners executed in
Evin hills (see above), said 
Before Rastakhiz political breathing
was forbidden. With Rastakhiz, human breathing was also banned. They [the SAVAK]
will murder us
and they did.
Those who are trying to
rewrite the history are not capable of recognizing that the crimes that have
been committed by Tehran's fundamentalists AFTER the Revolution
do NOT delegitimize the Revolution itself. They are incapable of understanding
that the Revolution had legitimate economical, social, and cultural reasons.
Likewise, Tehran's fundamentalists
have selective amnesia and memory. They would like to forget about the 1980s,
one of the bleakest decades in Iran's contemporary history. They do
not wish to recall that the Iran-Iraq war was dragged on six years longer than
its natural conclusion in 1982, nor do they want to remember, or even
acknowledge, that thousands of political prisoners were executed, and all the
independent political parties and organizations, as well as the independent
press, were crushed. There is just no room in Tehran fundamentalist's historical Matrix for
recalling and explaining such shameful events; their know-nothing-ism dictates
that they be erased from their Matrix.
But, in fact, no period of
Iran's contemporary history over the
past 100 years must be forgotten. If we become forgetful, we will be bound to
repeat the same fatal errors.
In the author's opinion,
there is not much difference between Tehran's
fundamentalists and the exiled secular fundamentalists, especially those based
in U.S. None of them is after protecting
Iran, its true national interests,
territorial integrity, and national security. The only goal of both groups is
having power to rule people, in a system in which people would follow them
blindly. To achieve this goal, both groups believe in know-nothing-ism, whereby
people are not allowed to learn anything about what the fundamentalists do or
have done, and rewriting the history in order to justify their past crimes.
References and Notes
 The figure is according
to Ervand Abrahamian,
Iran Between Two
Revolutions (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1982). The quote is from the
book's Persian translation on p. 334.
 The figure is according
to Tehran Keyhan, July 17, 21, and 22, 1952 issues (Teer 26, 30, and 31, 1331,
issues in Persian calendar).
 See Stephen Kinzer's
excellent book, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle
East Terror (Wiley, New
York, 2003). Mr. Kinzer traces the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks on the United States back to the 1953 coup.
 Although it was
initially claimed that hundreds of demonstrators had been killed on that day,
later research, most notably by Mr. Emad Baghi, a leading human rights advocate,
indicated that the number of deaths was far fewer.
 To this date, no one
knows with reasonable certainty which organization (if any) was the culprit
behind the explosions. The MKO never officially took responsibility for them,
and the main suspect, a man named Kashmiri, was not a known member of the MKO or
any other political group.
 In the author's
opinion, both the top leadership of the MKO and the extreme reactionary elements
of the government at that time - led by Asadollah Ladjvardi - wanted a bloody
confrontation. Therefore, both groups are responsible for the carnage that took
 Including the author's
23 years old brother, three cousins (all between 19 and 24), and numerous
friends and college contemporaries.
 One example of such
innocent people with which the author is completely familiar:
In Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra
cemetery, next to the author's brother's grave (who was executed September 18,
1981), a young man is resting in peace. At the time of his death he was a 29
years old medical doctor whose only "sin," for which he was executed, was
treating injuries of the people who had been hurt during the demonstrations in
Tehran during Summer of 1981.
 The operations were
called Eternal Light ("Forough-e Javedan" in Persian) by the MKO, and Trap
("Mersaad") by the Government.
 The total number of
MKO members who lost their lives during that invasion is unknown. The MKO itself
has admitted to losing at least 1315 members, with 1100 injured, while others
have put the actual figures around 3000. See, for example, the report by Human
Rights Watch, www.hrw.org/backgrounder/mena/iran0505/3.htm
 Including two of the
author's closest friends.
 The precise number of
executed victims is not known, because the Iranian government refuses to even
acknowledge that the executions took place. In his memoirs, Ayatollah Hossein
Ali Montazeri put the number at 2800 - 3800, but acknowledged that it may be
imprecise. See, www.amontazeri.com Other activists have put the precise number
at 4481. See www.asre-nou.net. Thus, such
numbers as 30,000, claimed by the MKO, have no basis in truth.
 Amnesty International
recognizes September 1 as the Day of Political Prisoners, in light of the 1988
executions in Iran.
 B. R. Rubin, Post
Labor Day Product Rollout: War with Iran, August 27, 2007. See icga.blogspot.com
 See, for example, M.
Sahimi, U.S. Strategy for Regime Change in Iran; www.payvand.com/news/06/sep/1074.html
 One example (and the
tip of the iceberg): In May 2004, after the author posted an article in which he
criticized the monarchists' harsh treatment of Dr. Shirin Ebadi, he received
insulting e-mails from a few "super patriots" (those who consider patriotism as
their own private property), and in particular from the well-known female
die-hard royalist, insulting him for the article. She was under the illusion
that by dispatching the author one or two e-mails full of innuendoes and
insults, he would simply abandon his political views that have been formed over
three decades. When that did not happen, a monarchist analyst viciously attacked
the author by name in his satellite TV program, without even explaining to his
viewers the reason. To read that article, see, www.payvand.com/news/04/may/1128.html
 M. Sahimi, The
Emergence of a New Axis: Los Angeles/Tel Aviv/Tehran; www.payvand.com/news/03/apr/1141.html
 See, M. Sahimi,
Traitors, Charlatans, or Patriots? Part I; www.payvand.com/news/07/may/1042.html
Part II is forthcoming.
 The author takes such
attacks as a badge of honour. As Theodore Roosevelt said,
It is unpatriotic not to
tell the truth
even in the face of such
 E. Alterman, The
Nation magazine, November 17, 2003, p. 10.
 P. Krugman, the New
York Times, October 21 and 28, 2003, the op-ed page.
 See also, J.J.
Mearsheimer and S.M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, London
Review of Books, Vol. 26 (No. 6), March 23, 2006. Download the article from www.lrb.co.uk
 See, www.Altercation.msnbc.com for Mr.
 E. Alterman, The
Nation magazine, March 28, 2005, p. 10. Note that Mr. Alterman is, in his own
words, "not only a pretty serious Jew - bar mitzvah, educated in Israel, lights
candles on Friday nights, goes to shul, sends kids to Hebrew schools, etc. - but
has been writing on Israel and anti-Semitism, speaking in synagogues,...."; see
the above article.
 Note that in the 1850s
there was a political party in the United States called the Know-Nothing
Party, which is presumably why Mr. Alterman used "new" in order to describe the
know-nothing-ism of the neoconservatives.
 Most recently by Mr.
Alireza Meybodi, the supposedly "moderate" and "informed" analyst.
 As an assistant to a
sports reporter, this analyst used to help reporting soccer games on the Iranian
TV in the 1970s. Then, in 1980-1981, when he was working in a dry-cleaning store
in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he reinvented himself as a
 A. Kamen, Road map in
the back seat? the Washington
Post, June 27, 2003. See also, J. Raimondo, Bush's satanic verses, www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=7546
 F. Rich, International
Herald Tribune, May 24-25, 2003, p. 20.
 For an excellent
account of the history and fate of many Iranian intellectuals see, B. Momeni,
The Condition of Intellectuals in Iran, www.tvs.se/womensvoice/condition_culture.html
 See also, M. Sahimi,
The Sad Story of Censorship in Iran. Part I: Censorship in
Contemporary Iran, Hamsaayegaan (in Persian), No. 37 and 38 (January/February,
2006), published in Los
 See, for example, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/j/josephstal109570.html
 On October 9, 1970, a
Boeing 727 of Iran Air with 44 persons abroad was "highjacked" and taken to
Baghdad, Iraq. It turned out a few days later
that the highjackers were in fact agents of the SAVAK, posing as supporters of
General Teymour Bakhtiar who had taken political asylum in Iraq. The agents
then murdered Bakhtiar in Iraq.
 Bijan Jazani, who was
murdered at the age of 38, was a leading leftist intellectual, who contributed
greatly to the theory and discussions about how to confront the Shah's regime,
including the books, The Thirty Year History of Iran, and, How Armed Struggle
 To read more about
Jazani's life and death, and also those of his commrades see, for example, On
the Life and the Work of Bijan Jazani, a Collection of Essays (Khavaran, Paris,
 The first seven were
members of People's Fedaaein Guerillas of Iran, founded in February 1971.
 The last two were
members of the MKO, founded in 1965.
 Naderipour was
responsible for savagely beating and torturing many political prisoners,
including many of the authors' friends and contemporaries in Faculty of
Engineering, Tehran University, in the 1970s. He was executed
after the Revolution in 1979.
 Tehran Keyhan, No. 10714,
May 24, 1979 (Khordad 3, 1358).
 Tehran Keyhan, April 19,
1975 (Farvardin 30, 1354).
 A. A. Alam, The Alam
Diary, edited by A. Aalikhani (Maziar Press, Tehran, 2003), volume V, p. 69.
 The White House Press
Briefing, April 12, 1999.
 For Dr. Albright's
remarks see, www.secretary.state.gov/statements/2000/000317.html
 J. Risen, The CIA in
Iran, the New York Times, April 16,
See also Ref. .
 Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.
 Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.,
Counter Coup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran (1979). Its
Persian translation was published in Tehran by Jama Publishing House in 1980. See
 The Rashidian
brothers' father was a wealthy man with much admiration for everything that was
British. The MI6 was paying the brothers 10,000 British Pounds/month (a huge sum
for that era) to "buy" loyalists for the Shah.
 P. Davar Panah,
Familiarize Ourselves with the Planners and Executors of the Mordad 28 Coup (in
 In addition to
countless other claims, see, for example, the advertisement by Mr. Ardeshir
Zahedi (son-in-law of the Shah, Iran's last Ambassador to the U.S. before the
1979 Revolution, and son of General Mohammad Fazlollah Zahedi, the military
leader of the coup) in the New York Times after James Risen's article 
appeared. See, www.ardeshirzahedi.org/cia-iran.pdf
 For some of such
claims by Tehran's fundamentalists, see, for
For a recent very good
article on what happened between Dr. Mossaddegh and Ayatollah Kashani see, for
 M. Sahimi,
Iranian-American is Twice Victimized, the Los
Angeles Times, June 22, 2007.
 The author would be
delighted to speak to any legitimate and peaceful group, including an Islamic
one. But, the fact is, contrary to the claim of the group, he has never spoken
to an Islamic group. This is just another lie by this group.
 The interview can be
downloaded from, for example,
an interview with Mr. Hossein Hedjazi on KIRN 670 AM radio on Sunday August 26,
2007, Dr. Milani repeated the same doubts about the 1953 coup.
 Quoted from, M. Bayat
Zadeh, Zarafshan and Milani, www.akhbar-rooz.com/article.jsp?essayId=11116
 There have been many
articles responding to Dr. Milani's diatribes. See, for example, Ref.  and
the article by Dr. Nasser Zarafshan, web.peykeiran.com/vs2005/article-body.aspx?ID=11439.
For articles criticizing
Dr. Zarafshan's response to Dr. Milani, or commenting on his article, see, for
 See, J. Matini, On the
Political Legacy of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh (in Persian) (Ketab Corporation,
 For a response to, and
critique of Matini's book see, for example, the article by Mr. Hassan Behgar at
 See Dr. Mossaddegh's
entry in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Mosaddeq
for many references on his life and legacy (both pro and con) and the events of
 See, Raah-e Niyaakaan,
No. 7, p. 2 (published in London in Persian), where copies of Dr.
Nourizadeh's letters to both the Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini were published.
Muhammad Sahimi, the NIOC
Chair in petroleum engineering, and professor of chemical engineering and
materials science at the University of
Southern California in Los Angeles, has published extensively on
Iran's political developments and its
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