Iranian People's Century-Long Struggle for Democracy and Social Justice
by George Pavlikian
”If I sit silently, I have sinned. With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism. I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests." -Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh (democratic elected PM of Iran, 1951-1953)
Today is anniversary of a sad event in history of Iran. 58 years ago on August 19, 1953 the first and only democratic elected government of Iran was toppled by a military coup d'etat (Operation Ajax) engineered by CIA/MI6, and sponsored financially by "Europe's old fox of colonialism”. Dr. Mossadegh's biggest "crime" was nationalization of Iranian oil industry:
"Yes, my sin—my greater sin…and even my greatest sin is that I nationalized Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire. ….This at the cost to myself, my family; and the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property." - Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh
This was CIA's first successful "humanitarian intervention" (against Communism) that led to many other imperialistic military interventions and atrocities in other countries.
Since 9/11 the pretext for "humanitarian intervention" has changed to "war on Islamist terrorism", and the result is "democratization" of Iraq, Afghanistan, and lately Libya by "North Atlantic Terrorist Organization" (NATO).
In this article I tried to review brief history of Iranian people’s century long struggle for democracy and history of regime changes from Operation Ajax to Islamic Republic of Iran to nowadays that apparently Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK) is the best alternative for EU and USA (exactly like Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress).
Iran (Persia) is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Iranians are honored to have the first "Declaration of Human Rights" from King Cyrus the Great”s time (about 2500 years ago). King Cyrus was the one who gave refuge to Jews (in fact Iranian Jewish community is the oldest in the world).
Iranians have been longing for democracy for quite a while. In 1906, Iran had a “Constitutional Revolution.” Oppressed by an absolute king, modern Iran was ready for a change. Widespread protests by clerics and merchants against the shah's mishandling of revenues and the foreign domination of Iranian assets lead to the Constitutional Revolution. The shah signed the new constitution in December, which effectively limited royal power and established an elected parliament, or Majles, thus creating the first Middle Eastern democracy.
In 1914, the Times of London wrote that British Parliamentarians would be well served to emulate democratic practices from their counterparts, in Iran’s Majles (parliament).
Election of Dr. Mossadegh as PM by parliament in 1951 was a breakthrough in history of Iranian democracy. Unfortunately it didn't last long and in 1953 Dr. Mossadegh's government was toppled by a coup d'etat (Operation Ajax) planned and operated by CIA/MI6 and paid by Europe's "old fox". Since then we never experienced democracy. The USA and UK imperialists re-installed dictatorship monarchy and their puppet Shah (king) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. His secret security forces (SAVAK) was trained by CIA and Mossad in order to crack down any democratic movement in Iran. Even Shah's regime became a gendarme for Persian Gulf (the same way Israel is gendarme of the Middle East).
This led to uprising of Iranian people from a very broad spectrum of social and political groups including Islamists. This was really an unusual marriage between "Theocracy" and "Democracy" because the goal was justifying the mean....however, the Islamists who were way better organized high jacked the revolution and political theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) was born. I remember I was 19 years old and university student. The Islamists planned a referendum with only one choice! Ridiculous, eh? The question was "Do you agree with Islamic Republic of Iran?" and the choices were Yes or No!!! According to IRI authorities 93% of people voted Yes!
30 years rule of theocratic dictatorship stays a black stain in the history of Iran. Even during the time when Khamenei was president with Mousavi as his PM more dissidents and leftist were murdered by this murderous regime, however, struggle for secular democracy continued....About ten years ago Iranian people tried the only legal way open to them to get some freedom. They elected a reformist cleric (Khatami) with the hope that he can do some changes in constitution.....Unfortunately, he betrayed them!
More than 70% of Iranian people are intellectuals and secular. Although after invasion of Persia by Arabs they converted to Islam from Zoroastrianism, but they are not fundamentalists’ extremists Muslims. Even the students who voted for Mousavi in June 2009 election were not necessarily his supporters. They just found this as a legal venue to express their outrage against brutal theocratic dictatorship, and for secular social democracy. The election was a big chance for Iranian people to fight for their fundamental rights. Their vote to Mousavi was not necessarily confirming IRI, it was the first step. In just a couple of days their chanting has been changed to "death to dictator", "death to Khamenei", "Khamenei! shame and leave monarchy" or "president commits crime, supreme leader supports him"! That means Iranian people are fed up of 33 years of theocratic dictatorship. Whatever they want is separation of state and religious establishment, and social justice.
Mousavi and the so called reformists, who by chance became leader of this spontaneous movement always declare their loyalty to Islamic constitution and still dream of a moderate Islamic Republic (like Turkey). They have only two choices:
1- Stay with people and continue their fight against theocratic dictatorship and for secular social democracy (i.e. forget to reform IRI because political theocracies are not reformable)!
2- Just leave people and become passive bystander. In this case the progressive left wing groups will take the leadership and it will be a catastrophe for people because the regime will continue their crack down even with more brutality! The militias loyal to supreme leader are ruthless mobs who don't hesitate to kill their own sisters and brothers. In fact when it comes to religious extremism and brutality they are way ahead of their counterparts in occupied Palestine (Israeli settlers armed by Israeli government)!!!
When it comes to regime change, apparently EU and USA are in agreement about MEK as their best alternative. The MEK was founded in 1965 with the goal of toppling regime of Shah, who was a puppet of US imperialists. Shah called them "Islamist-Marxists" because of their ideology. Founders of this organization were three Islamic leftist students who mixed progressive Islam and Marxism (similar to Latin America’s Liberation Theology that was a mixture of progressive Christianity and Marxism).
They were the road-paver on IRI, but 2 years after revolution they became arch enemy of mullahs, who didn’t want to share power with them. Since then MEK leadership (Massoud and Maryam Rajavi) has become a political prostitute who allied themselves with all sorts of political entities, from Saddam to Israelis to monarchists. In the USA they enjoy support of the most right-wing Neocon-Zionists like Rudi Giuliani and John Bolton (former US ambassador to UN) who shamelessly justifies Operation Ajax and advocates bombing of Iran.
....Sigh! We need a charismatic leader like Dr. Mossadegh (RIP), whose heart was beating only for Iranian people. Although he was from an aristocratic family and could have a lavish life style, but he preferred to stay with people and fight against “Europe’s old fox of colonialism” and newly raised US imperialism.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|