Monday, February 16, 2009

Iran and 1979: The Revolution of Aspirations

Turkish Weekly Journal - Kourosh Ziabari: For the Iranian people, the 10th of February which annually corresponds with the solar date of 22nd of Bahman in the Persian calendar is not merely the reminiscence of pouring into the streets and chanting the traditional, familiar anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans. "22nd of Bahman" which is the horizon of "Ten-day dawn" reminds Iranian adults, grandmothers and grandfathers of the heroic saga which they composed 30 years ago under the supervision of the most charismatic leader of the century, the late Imam Khomeini.

To 14 millions of Iranians living under the poverty threshold in the descending years to 1979, it was not palatable to crash out in the slums of Tehran's suburb and witness the marches of Imperial Guards of Mohammad-Reza Shah before the Sa'dabad Palace; the most magnificent royal citadel of the Middle East at that time.

To 14 millions of needy Iranians who should have spent their nights scrambling for the regular daily meals and a very piece of meat, it was indigestible to witness the consignments of French champagne and Italian mutton berthing in the anchorages of Persian Gulf to be departed toward Tehran for the sumptuous dinner parties of Carter and Kissinger with the members of Royal family.

However and so forth, the unpopular, undemocratic government of Shah which was pushed to the verge of collapse thanks to its own suicidal policies was gradually turning the matchless, ancient Cradle of Civilization into the marionette of USA and its European allies in the region.

The dominance of American forces over the national companies, organizations, communities and assets of Iranian government which was started under Reza Shah and continued during the shuddering tenure of his son, soon turned Iran into the colonial state of U.S. and Israel in the Middle East, undermined the national pride of Iranian nation and divested the people from equal living opportunities.

A renowned Iranian historian, Dr. Khosrow Mo'tazed, once revealed in a program broadcast by the Channel 2 of Iranian TV in 2008 that over two third of Iran's Finance and Properties Ministry staffs were American or Briton brokers who had been employed in the last 5 years of Mohammad-Reza's kingdom. He had asserted that except the Minister himself, all of the high-ranking officials were Americans, even the deputy minister.

The American-backed coup d'etat of 1953 which under the direction of CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. lead to the overthrow of democratically-elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh was another cause of excessive flames of anti-Shah sentiments in the last years leading to the revolution. The coupe resulted to a grievous deposition of Dr. Mossadegh and the replacement of General Fazlollah Zahedi.

People believed that Shah's inability to control the country, his reluctance to allow the free flow of information in the mass media, his frequent demands for the suppressions of demonstrators and freedom advocates, forming the underground prisons and incarcerating the journalists, intellectuals and opposition proponents which were all emanated from his despotic manner and complacent deportment prepared the grounds for the establishment of an overthrowing coalition against the popular government of Dr. Mossadegh and the admission of Anglo-American agents in the dossier.

However, the rise of a plain and austere cleric in the late 1950s who first sparked the flares of anti-Capitalism and dared to criticize the invincible hegemony of U.S. such harshly revived the hopes for a new ascendance in the oppressed hearts of the subjugated Iranians who were jostling for their own independence, self-determination and lost ethics.

Imam Khomeini, who was soon put into the exile for his sever and uncensored criticism of Shah's regime and encouraging the masses to civil unrest, traversed three countries i.e. Iraq, Turkey and France in less than 10 years and finally managed to spearhead the revolution from the tiny commune of Neauphle-le-Château, northern France and without having any tangible access to the inside of Iran.

Interestingly, he was neither equipped with any special or extraordinary munitions nor possessed the military troops or arsenals to overthrow the autocratic government by force. He organized the movement of Iranian people solely through words, sentences and gestures and captivated the Islamic world by his unique, exceptional catchphrases. The fervent generation of Iranian youth who were geared up biddably to track on every single point of his fingers also committed all of the possible sacrifices to fulfill the decrees of their alluring leader and even bargained their lives purely; 3164 martyrs in the period between the civil insurgencies of spring 1963 and the final breakthrough of 1979 prove the veraciousness of the claim.

The country, anyhow, is now approaching the fourth decade of theocratic government with its own ups and downs. As the concept of absoluteness does not make sense anymore and the "relativity" is what the cooperative societies look for robustly, it's not rational to claim that Iran could accomplish the aspirations of the founder of revolution, and realize the perspectives which he had sketched for the future of country thoroughly. However, it should be confessed that Iran is now deemed an influential hub in the regional and international developments, and it would not be flattering if one claims that Iran is a superpower in the 21st century.

From a mere consumer and user in the late twentieths, Iran is now changed into a major producer and exporter. Having self-sufficient in the production of agricultural corps, Iran manufactures its national car brands, possess the world's largest gas field and the world's 3rd largest oil refineries, launches its domestic satellite and stands 17th in the world ranking of GDP estimates for 2009, passing Australia, the Netherlands, South Africa and Switzerland.

The swiftness of scientific productivity and inventions of Iran is the highest among all of the Islamic countries, and it has got lot to say in all fields of sports, culture, arts, economy and politics. Indispensably, it suffers from its own political and economic deficiencies and short-comings, but what matters is the volition of its own people. They want to improve their quality of life, their freedoms and their portrayal in the mass media themselves, decide on their own and never reiterate the appalling days of invasion and colonization. That's what makes their revolution respectful and prestigious.


Anonymous said...

You are right about the Shah, but has not the Khomeini and subsequent Khameini regimes followed the same tactic of jailing or killing journalists, and political opposition?
Do you think that bringing Khatami back as president will change things? After all the whole murder intrigue involving the ministry of intelligence occurred under his nose.
Iran needs REAL change and an end to velayat-e faqih.

Anonymous said...

Dear Koroush,

I can't believe you're only 18 years old!!! Your mastery of the English language is only superceded by your erudite political observations. Please keep up the great work and don't ever let your smarts make you over-confident. Remember to stay humble (khaakee). I wish you all the best.