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Remembering two great leaders in the history of our nation
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Remembering two great men in the history of our nation Reply with quote

Remembering two great men in the history of our nation

Around this time every year is the anniversary of passing away of a great leader in the history of our nation whose remarkable effects in the life of our people will never be possible to forget. He was a soldier who dedicated his life to relieving our nation of misery and suffering, reviving the national pride and identity and freeing the nation of colonialist influence and dependency. A man who was targeted by a united front of colonialists and their internal subordinates for awakening of our nation so the enemies could continue looting our resources while keeping Iranians in misery and poverty. The name is Reza Shah the Great.

Reza Shah, like any other patriotic leader in the world, made a lot of enemies for himself throughout his life. Many of these enemies were foreigners or those who were linked to them in different ways and had lost their influence and interests in the country because of him. The magnitude of services of Reza Shah Pahlavi to the nation in the short period of his rule over the country which was disrupted through unjustified military attack and invasion by colonialist powers during WW II, was immense and beyond dreams of any ordinary Iranian in those days. From the day that Reza Shah was forced out of power by enemies of our nation, propagandas of the colonialists and their Iranian friends have never stopped against him in order to belittle his work and reduce his inspirational influence on revival of a sense of national pride and patriotism in our people.

Unfortunately, the long lasting poisonous influence of almost one and half centuries of corruption under rule of Qajar dynasty had made the work a lot harder. Patriotism was a rare commodity and indifference of Iranian elite who were coming mainly from corrupt Iranian aristocrats, towards the destiny of the country and ordinary people, made rebuilding of the nation extremely challenging task. Lack of reliable, educated and effectual manpower and looting of limited resources by foreigners under agreements with Qajar kings was definitely a huge burden in this process on the shoulders of Reza Shah. From the other side, there was lack of any kind of public service and abundance of all kinds of diseases from which the means for recovery or prevention was not available to people. Democracy and justice in the country which was ridden with poverty, disease and corruption seemed to be an alien idea at that time while one American diplomat expressed exact same point about Iranian society in his report about 50 years later after Iran had gone through so many unbelievable changes to become a modern nation.
Judicial reform which was the main motive behind Iranian Constitutional Revolution had been put off for lack of skilled and educated judges. Tremendous task of training skilled personnel to organize a government system based on modern standards was nothing for a patriotic leader like Reza Shah even though he had no prior experience except in leadership of military. When he became Prime Minister of Iran, he was known as Reza Khan and it was the first time that someone from outside the clique of Qajars and the ring of their associates was appointed to such position without being acquainted with Qajars first. His main focus during premiership was on securing territorial integrity of the nation and establishment of security and ending the chaotic condition throughout the country. His most important allies during this process were those officers of military who used to work with him while he was their commanding officer and had loyalty to him and the country. Obstacles were plenty and so were the enemies who mostly linked to the interests of British.

Remarkable achievements of containing insurgents like Solat Doleh and Sheikh Khaz-al and some others happened in that period. From those, removal of Sheikh Khaz-al from Khuzestan should count as jewel of these achievements which resulted in infuriating British who had signed an agreement with Sheikh Khaz-al as their protectorate! During a heated dialogue with British consul in Shiraz over Sheikh Khaz-al, Reza Khan as Prime Minister of Iran, told the consul that they had no business making agreements with citizens of independent nation of Iran against their own government. British tried one more time to prevent Reza Khan of moving towards Khuzestan when he was in Bushehr. Neither threats nor bribes by British consul made any difference in Reza Khan’s decision and the issue of Sheikh Khaz-al was resolved at such sensitive time in the history of our nation just because of his iron will and determination. British had the best reason to hate him to the end and they never stopped poisoning the minds of people with false propaganda with the help of those who took pride in serving them.

In the meantime animosity towards Reza Shah was brewing among corrupt elite and aristocrats who had lost many of their privileges because of him and this added more fuel to anti Reza Shah gossip and anti Reza Shah propaganda.

Propaganda told us what Reza Shah did was not for good of people but his own. Propaganda told us that he was not the man of his own but a puppet of those who later forced him to leave the country. Propaganda told us that he served the interests of colonialists and that he stole from people, and that he took all national treasuries for himself, that he was our enemy. Propaganda told us that we did not need people like him and that we could do much better without such assertive and fearless leader. Propaganda told us to listen and follow those who boldly branded themselves as nationalists but in reality had no clue about what nationalism was. Propaganda told us to stick to our religious beliefs, follow our religious leaders and protect our religious values against the values which should belong only to western societies. Propaganda told us that the progress and liberty are in contradiction with morality and are a symbol of corrupted westernized society. Propaganda told us that our heroes are the ones who were killed in battle for religious beliefs which they loved more than anything else.

And, the propaganda finally paid off for those who were after change in direction of their own interest and the short sighted people who were incapable of seeing the truth from behind the colorful lies and shiny promises of paradise by self proclaimed champions of liberation and prosperity of the nation. About three quarter of a century after that, most Iranians have realized the true intentions behind all those propaganda.

Some critics of Reza Shah claimed that he was installed in Iran by British to serve their interest and whatever he did was in direction of British policies. Some of these critics attribute everything even establishment of Iran’s first railway to the interests of British and justify that claim with the use of Iranian railways by Allied forces during WW II. The absurdity of such claims sometimes is so obvious that could only be considered amusing to a logical person. Some of the critics who later failed miserably in delivering anything good to the nation when they had the chance, made unbelievable claims about how Reza Shah’s mismanagement of Iranian oil issue and blamed all problems related to oil in modern history of Iran on him without providing any solid justification. He was accused of purposely extending D’Arcy’s contract for benefit of British without anyone bothering with finding out how did that happen and who was involved! Amidst all of this nonsense we finally see the “plunder of Iran during Reza Shah” which was authored and promoted by remnant of Qajar dynasty members whose role in destruction of our nation is greater than any other in the history.

Daniel Yergin, an expert in energy and world affairs and president of Cambridge Energy Research Associates in his book, The Prize, remembers Reza Shah the Great as a challenge facing British government regarding Iranian oil in the beginning of twentieth century after Churchill ordered Royal Navy ships to transform to burn oil based fuel and linked the destiny of British military might and its security with Anglo-Persian oil. Differences between Iranian government and Anglo-Persian Oil Company, primarily, The British government as majority share holder of this company over Iranian share, had created a big headache for British officials at that time. In the words of Mr. Yergin “The prime reason for inability to come to final agreement lay in the character of highly personal autocracy in Persia and the huge man who stood at the top.” (P.270, ISBN 0-671-50248-4). In fact the reason for all of this was that “In the Shah’s opinion, Anglo-Persian was like mullahs- an independent power center, and was intent to reduce its power and influence as well.” (same page). This was the same man who was accused by some Iranians, intentionally, and some others, ignorantly, of being puppet of the very same people whom he was fighting for the interest of his nation!

The story about late Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi is not much different. The main enemy remained the same and the tools of enemy remained the same too. When late Mohammad Reza Shah, after the fiasco of nationalization of oil industry during late Dr. Mosadegh and entering American companies into Iranian oil equilibrium, could find a company who dared to compete with international oil consortium and make a better offer to Iran, a freak accident changed everything. As Mr. Yergin put it “The Italian tycoon Enrico Mattei risked the combined wrath of the major international oil companies when he made his deal with the Shah of Iran in 1957”.

Even though oil related issues remained in the focal point of Iranian government’s struggle to rid the nation from poverty and misery and expedite the process of modernization of the country, the extent of government activities covered a whole range of reforms while being in the center of one of the most important problems of the century, the Cold War. Introduction of the articles of White Revolution by late Shah which was attributed to pressure from American democrats by some Iranians in fact was a continuation of reforms which had started from the time of late Reza Shah the Great that Americans were happy to take the credit for it! Dr. Lajvardi, as part of his Harvard Oral History Project, in an interview with Stuart Rockwell, the American Ambassador at that time, has asked questions in this regard and received some interesting answers which should put an end to all the nonsense in this regard. Regarding President Kennedy he states: “…I think the Shah considered Kennedy to be an uninformed meddler in Iranian affairs…” and regarding White Revolution:

“Q. .... was the U.S. influence into the content of the white revolution. Someone I once interviewed told me that the whole White Revolution, especially the land reform part of it, was cooked up in the basement of the White House by Robert Komer, but I was never able to substantiate this.

A. I don't think there's any truth whatsoever to that. Obviously the U.S. had been aware that the land tenure situation in Iran was a medieval anachronism but didn't take it much .... to see that. The United States did not have any program for Iran other than the general and gradual bringing of a greater segment of the population into the day to day political operations of the government and we certainly did not have any blueprint for the White Revolution. But the problems addressed by the revolution were ones that were crying for solution; the lack of education, the need for greater medical services, the need for the distribution of land. I don't know where the idea of profit sharing in the factories came from. It was certainly not something that we thought sounded very logical. However, I can assure you to the best of my knowledge we had nothing to do with the proposing of the six points of the White Revolution.....”

And… the life goes on under wrath of Islamic tyranny for Iranian people because the lies which were sold to Iranian simple minded opposition with the help of champions of liberalism and democracy finally succeeded to drag a few hundreds of thousands of Iranians into the streets and destroy the foundations which have been laid with hard work during a few decades.

Sohrab Ferdows
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