Iran: The SHAH

Nushin Namazi from Iran writes: Jon Kofas, Professor of History at Indiana University, presents a very narrow perspective on the Shah's
Monarchy. What was the free world's response to 'communism?" How did the Americans and Europeans treat communists during the Cold War? How was the Pahlavi Monarchy any different in its treatment of communists? The Tudeh party was composed of communists, and those who vandalized and sabotaged the country's programs were arrested. What do you do with people who vandalize and obstruct peace in your country? What about the McCarthy era?
What does it mean "Shah is a relic of the 1950's" What does it mean that he acted as a client of the US in the region? He was an ally of America and at the same time he was modernizing and industrializing Iran. He served Iran as well as maintained his friendship with America. Is it bad to be an ally to America? Why the use of this derogatory language to describe one of America's strongest allies? Why the use of this derogatory language to describe the efforts of a leader of a nation whose aim was to establish peace in the middle east? Does the CIA not work with the Israeli Intelligence Agency? Do the Intelligence agencies around the world not collaborate? What is so wrong with SAVAK's collaboration with Mossad? with the CIA etc? The Shah was ahead of his time! He was a peace loving democratic individual who was a stabilizing force in the middle east.
Where is Kofas' evidence that "he tried to emulate Mustafa Kemal of Turkey? The Shah had a greater leader who inspired him --his own Father --The Great Reza Khan who freed Iran from the hands of the clergy and established a secular government. The Shah of Iran had much grander Iranian leaders of the past to inspire him such as Cyrus the Great! Was Iran a police state during the Shah's time? Does Jon Kofas know what it means to live in a police state? Has he lived in a police state? Did he visit Iran during the Shah's time? To criminals and vandals, all countries are police states! Were communist welcomed in America or the free world? If you were a foreigner in China, you were watched and followed everywhere? In fact,during the Shah's time, Iranians were free and respected around the world!
Under the Pahlavi
Monarchy, Iran was growing, and if the Monarchy had continued, we would have seen a 2 party system if the people wanted one
, etc. Unfortunately, his opponents had infiltrated Savak and began to cause discontent and to harass people towards the last years of his administration.

Christopher Jones wrItes:I am afraid that Nushin Namazi's view of the last Persian Shah has very little to do with the facts. In The Return of the Ayatollah, by Mohammed Heikal, this quote stands out: "A degeneration exists in the West," The Shahinshah said on December 23, 1973, "We have nothing to learn from them.  They (the Western democracies) want to export their degenerate ideas that they call democracy, but this is something that we cannot accept."  I think that clears up the question as to whether the Shah had envisaged a two party political system based on free and fair elections.  Nushin should not confuse the two wings of the Rastajiz party that dominated the Majlis under the Shah.  They were filled with cronies of one sort or another, all beholden to the Shah's money.  In fact, the finance minister, Hushang Ansari was also the personal financial manager of the Pahlevi's fortune.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: September 2, 2005