on the Persian Sphinx
This article is a critical analysis of the failed quest for justice 27 years ago, and the inherent dangers in relying upon pre-revolutionary propaganda and general word of mouth in charting our future. I conclude that disseminating gross exaggeration amounts to a falsehood and ultimately is detrimental to ones own political agenda.
Many books have been written in the past years dealing with Iran. Some, such as the memoirs of Mrs. Diba, Empress Farah’s mother, have proved to be blatant fabrication financed by the IRI government in Tehran. Probably there are others that are promoted by other governments and each in turn have become the basis of the shared image (1) of Imperial Iran that we use in rationalizing our thoughts about pre-1979 Iran. Most have received a critical analysis in an Iranian newspaper somewhere at some time. And none of this has really been my business.
I came across this biography of Amir Abbas Hoveyda by Abbas Milani that appeared at first glance an excuse by the author to vent his anger against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the rigid authoritarian hierarchy that characterizes Iranian government for millennia.
Hoveyda had always been described to me as a highly educated, thoughtful, deep, philosopher, who was well informed of world politics. Incorruptible. Honest and respected by the man on the street for this. He presided as Prime Minister of Iran over what now looks to be it’s golden period. He rose to the occasion and shone. It seemed during his premiership Iran’s demons were at last conquered. I was told only traditionalist and left wing intellectuals hated him and what he stood for.
Earlier this year, I noticed that surrounding this book, like bees around honey, are these same intellectuals and revolutionaries whom, I believe, would have celebrated Hoveyda’s death 20 years earlier and whom, I believe, have betrayed the youth of Iran and left them and the country in its current sorry state. They have gathered together and are congratulating each other on this great book and are having a party. Strange I thought and again not my problem.
I had heard many times the under 20 year old youths in Iran say quite sharply to their parents: that was your revolution and it is our life that is ruined because of it. The youth seem to have put aside the grudges and sectarian scores of their parents and are gathering the facts to rationally set a course for the future with what is left of their sovereignty and national aspirations.
It was when someone outside the 40 to 50 something age group (our revolutionary forefathers) presented Abbas Milani’s book as a factual reference of Iran's recent history that I actually read the whole book and I noticed what nonsense is posing as scholarly work.
Well written the book certainly is. The author has a writing talent and intellect that I cannot match. I quite liked how it evoked emotion and revulsion at the murder of such friendly personality as Mr. Hoveyda.
Factual the book most certainly is not. Yes it does make a good read. It sounds logical and well grounded in facts and also evokes many memories. Never the less, as much as I wanted to skip the petty points, which I had already heard ad nauseam, and read about Mr. Hoveyda it became clear that the key conclusions derived in this book are based on village gossip and the book has an agenda which is a bit difficult to decipher at first.
It would seem to the casual reader the book is out to tarnish the reputation of who the Iranians now call "Khoda biamorz" (God Bless him), using Court Minister Hoveyda's life as an excuse. In fact, as I intend to show, it falsely presents the very structure of the modern Iran created by Reza Pahlavi from the biased political view of someone who in his youth, as a follower of imaginary, idealistic and untested philosophy of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism (2) combined, was preaching the massacre of the wealthy and respectable people.
In this book I found a gold mine. It articulates the political motives behind the people delighted by the book and an eloquent display of their character at the same time. I believe it is necessary to bring to light the weakness of such gossip, present an insight from those involved on some issues raised, and show how spreading gossip and this casual lying that is a staple of middle eastern politics, ultimately hurts all us Iranians.
The author attempts at presenting an investigation on the past by using reports produced by the very same country whose reports (partial presented in this book) reflect their attempts towards the removal of the government (Shah, Hoveyda and the rest of the team).
From the political point of view this book has no added value since it simply regurgitates the western media’s campaign of darkening the Pahlavi’s reputation that started soon after the oil price hikes initiated by OPEC in Tehran.
Any comments about the Shah which do not give a single consideration to what American, British and Soviet Union’s interests were and which also fails to give consideration to their common and divergent views, their undercover competitive operations and also the general condition of the Iranian society would be a political stunt by the author, not history, biography or analysis with an academic value.
If you are patient and read my comments below, to the Persian sphinx by Abbas Milani, the Iranian revolution will remain a riddle no more.
Before I analyse extracts from this book I should state that what is written about Mr. Hoveyda’s childhood and youth could be presented for the biography of any Iranian from the middle or upper classes and of the same age as Mr. Hoveyda. What has been reported as the view of those close to Mr. Hoveyda has to be viewed with caution as most of them have had political jobs. As the author states, “memory is always selective and it becomes more so when hued by the mandate of ideology, and the pride and prejudice of politics”. But never the less it is surprising that so many pages of this book are devoted to points that have nothing to do with Mr. Hoveyda’s biography.
The author has the cheek and cunning to so blatantly use the book titled Hoveyda’s biography, at destroying the reputation of the very same King and Queen that Hoveyda had such camaraderie with! To a leader with whom according to brother Fereydoun Hoveyda, he had a “father-son” relationship with! And an imperial institution that he showed the ultimate loyalty to.
It is even more bizarre to read a book on Hoveyda, the famous Prime Minister and court minister, without a single mention of key events that led to the collapse of the Imperial regime (3) and ultimately the murder of Amir Abbas Hoveyda. How could such key facts be so conspicuously missing?
To who’s benefit this factually incorrect
and very biased view of the past that is being presented would be, and
to who’s benefit the Islamic Revolution in Iran has been, will be
for you the reader to decide.
1 – The author considers one of the reasons for the dissatisfaction and revolutionary movement, resulting in the sad fate of Mr. Hoveyda, as corruption of the government and the royal family. With this regard he uses the American authorities memorandums in support of these general rumours. The aim to expertly and proficiently darken the Shah’s reputation has turned out to be unprofessional detective work. Pay attention to some of these points:
“Not long after his appointment as Prime Minister, Hoveyda began compiling a highly confidential file that contained evidence of financial corruption in high places. He also made copies of orders that contravened the Constitution”. …
This point is greatly elaborated, but at the end he states that none of these documents were found because his family say that these papers were burnt during the revolution terror days. At his trial Hoveyda was asked about the file and whether he was willing to share it with the Islamic government. He politely demurred. (p 213) Does a sound mind accept that his family burnt the documents he kept to defend his integrity (and life)?
“Early in April, he also sent a note to Asadollah Mobasheri, the Minister of Justice in the provisional revolutionary government, asking for a private meeting. He further indicated that should his trial be public, he would then reveal all he knew about the nature of the Pahlavi regime and its secrets.” (p 330)
Mr. Hoveyda in court does not give a positive answer to this point either. (p 336)
His negative answer to these cases is the best proof that they are manufactured rumour, made by those responsible for undermining the government of Iran with gossip, rumours. and false information. Is the author attempting to dream up a conspiracy theory here? All this alleged corruption of the monarch we heard so much of from the opposition, but never in 20 years saw proof of, could be in papers that the prime minister refused to present even to save his life?
It is interesting to note that the author himself states that after the second coup against King Hassan of Morocco, which the Shah thought the Americans were behind, the Shah called on Hoveyda and had a nine hour meeting with him. Following this audience, Hoveyda called six of his friends and advisors and asked them to keep him abreast of the public mood as well as to act as liaison with business community.
Mr. Hoveyda told them that financial corruption had become the regime’s Achilles heel and the greatest danger to its survival. He beseeched the group to provide him with any information they had about financial impropriety in the country. The group raised the criticism of Shahram, and his holding in some 20 companies, and Mr. Hoveyda brought it to the attention of the Shah. The Shah ordered Shahram to leave the country as a long vacation and end his financial activities in Iran.
The author, then, without any basis goes on to claim that after a while, the royal family convinced the Shah that receiving commission is a legal way of financing their livelihood and Shahram was allowed to come back to Iran to carry on with his work. (p 263-5).
The misrepresentation used in expressing these kinds of rumours., in various pages is not unnoticeable by sharp eyes. In one section the author says Hoveyda after a 9 hour meeting with the Shah, considers corruption as the Achilles heel of the regime. In another page he also states when Mr. Sabeti reports some of the illicit activities of the royal family, it angered the Shah but the (presumably corrupt and dictatorial) Shah did not remove him from office. (p 222).
What the author fails to mention is that when the Shah is informed that Shahram has received commission that could be viewed as unethical, from an American company, he ordered Mr. Hoveyda that this money should be paid to the treasury within 24 hours. Mr. Hoveyda refers the case to SAVAK. Despite the fact that Shahram was not in Iran, SAVAK successfully finds him and dictates the order to him. Mr. Hoveyda reports payment of the commission to the Treasury to the Shah within the 24-hours. Why does the author neglect the successes of the SAVAK campaign against domestic corruption? Why is this biography all rumours. and gossip plus US government memorandums.
Do not think that the financial corruption of the government and the high people is defendable (4). Those involved, and I’m sure there are some high profile individuals involved, should be pursued with facts and prosecuted. What the author is blamed for is that he knows in politics, perception and rumour is as important as reality. Rumours. do not only takes the shape of reality but it becomes a tool of political and undercover warfare.
I remember in 1978 on holiday in London being told definitively that various hotels and buildings on Park Lane are actually owed by Hoveyda and his family. That Farah Pahlavi owns Baie des Anges on the French Riviera. etcetera etc. Shame on all these “intellectuals” that spread lies and even tarnish their own respectability to hurt others. This aspect of Iranian character and morality has done more damage that actual financial corruption ever could.
At a time when the Arab Sheikhs are spending their oil money on super yachts, mega palaces, and super expensive houses and cars around the world, we have a king who lives the life style comparable to the Jordanian monarchs. Has a small leisure speedboat in the Persian gulf instead of Super-Yachts in the French Riviera, promotes the investment of all the oil revenue for the education, future strength and prosperity of his people. Defers his coronation even and all we hear about is his wealth, and the 2500 year celebrations? Why, one wonders? If anything all corruption related evidence, pertaining to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, points to exactly the opposite picture to that drawn by the opposition, western media and the general word of mouth presented in this book.
The Shah was even willing to alienate the wealthy landlords and clergy, the bedrock supporters of a Monarchial system, in favour of empowering the farmers and working class. Is this the behaviour of someone who is only thinking of his own financial gain?
And when the current Mullahs veil their wealth in exactly in the same manner as their Arab brothers down south, we have some hateful people still talking of the $10 billion stolen and quoting Senator Kennedy's statements as the proof! After all, ill-gotten fortunes of heads of states such as Marcos or Mobutu were all confiscated and returned. These accusations without proof, or a single attempt to prosecute, have now resulted in the regime in Tehran and allowed a minority of officials who may have misappropriated funds to walk away from real scrutiny and surprise, surprise corruption by some of the accusers themselves.
By not honestly pursuing corruption with facts and paying attention to the issues and rumours. fabricated by foreigners and internal opposition to Shahanshahi, and spread by gossip, the author and his friends created the catastrophe that is now better known as the Islamic Revolution, and what after 20 years is being expanded upon by Mr. Milani, with CIA documents and rumours, is an attempt towards uprooting Iranian national culture of truth (17) and justice and replacing it with a culture of duplicity, lying, cunning and irresponsibility through forced exile of the educated and execution of those who dare to voice their common sense.
2 – The author considers a reason for the dissatisfaction and revolutionary movement and the sad fate of Mr. Hoveyda, as lack of freedom of the press. Yet in an earlier chapter he mentions “The ethos of responsible journalism had not yet taken root in the country. Libel laws were weak and practically unenforceable. The boundaries between investigative journalism and partisan scandal mongering were neither clearly understood nor heeded. Some of the less scrupulous journalists even used the power of the print media as an overt tool for blackmail. ….. The most violent, critical and vituperative scandal sheets received the most attention. (p 106)
In any organization, from time to time, people of bad taste, weak morals and illogical attitudes can be found. Would it have been right to have no regulation on the press when “the ethos of responsible journalism had not taken root.” Would it have been correct to openly publicize and allow promotion of the prosecution of the capitalists plus the uprooting of the base of a national culture based on untested philosophies and religious fanaticism?
Where in the world, does the author know of such freedoms? Even in the USA the freedom of the press ultimately belongs to those who own the press. The author knows very well that had he, when asking for the US visa, mentioned his political background, he would not have been granted the visa into this freedom loving country. And attention to the documents, which are published after 30 or 50 years, by the governments that present themselves as civilized and symbols of freedom, suggests their civil domestic values are in no way reflected in their foreign policy towards the oil producing nations and the 3rd world in general.
I believe freedom is one of the basic human instincts. But it is the first motive that finds limitation by the creation of society and civilization, (through social regulations). This is so, especially when some consider freedom to mean rightfulness of forcing their ideas to others through street clashes in a society where democratic expression was still possible. It is unbelievable to think that the author, studying the foreign documents he has presented, had not noticed that the freedom the prevailing world powers wanted for us is the freedom for themselves to interfere with our domestic affairs.
The author writes the Shah would not accept democracy as requested by the journalists. “It is absurd,” the Shah had said, “to think western style of democracy could be automatically transplanted to countries like Iran.” The Shah firmly believed that if even a referendum was held in Iran, “all but the smallest fraction (mostly a few American and the British trained maladjusted Iranians) would register enthusiastic support” for his style of leadership and economic reform.” (p 271)
This view was correct. Democracy develops with the increase of knowledge. But by expecting increase in the general level of knowledge and social progress (or modernity), by emotion of the masses, void of the complexity of social and economic information, we saw xx million votes for an Islamic government.
In 1978 the western educated doctors and engineers were even going as far as asking for a Swiss style “direct participation” democracy. If the Internet had been available then they surely would have wanted to use it to vote on each and every legislation being passed in parliament.
Does the experience of xx million votes for Khomeini and his Islamic terrorist caliphate, without knowing his motives or even knowing his background, and also the last 20 years of experience, not suffice to respect the Shah’s view that Iranians of the 1960’s and 1970’s were not ready for western style democracy. After the last 20 years experience, should we not have learned that the campaign to get votes, in a country with the demographics and social development of Iran, would have delegated power to the un –principled Machiavellians and even the Monarch’s spring 1979 free election under UN supervision would have been, possibly, premature. (5)
And in the meanwhile we had the "free press" of the "free world" (the international media owned by the western world) who were familiar with our national culture and the Iranian version of Islam, its positive and negative points (better than most of us) presenting Khomeini, whom they knew had his hand in the assassination of several ministers and prime ministers, as a spiritual, harmless person, uninterested in ruling and in exile for his Godly beliefs. "[He] would provide a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country." Quoted by a prominent professor in the New York Times.
And now they are presenting his crimes to the world, as Iranian Religion and culture. This book strives to present to us the same image (1).
3 – Despite the fact that the author, in the preface, writes in a manner to show he is a knowledgeable person who uses the view of those who know the power of words and who are familiar with research work to avoid ideological tendency and who are “catholic” in wise use of words to present an unbiased writing, and also having used the help of people like Mr. Fereydoun Hoveyda, Mr. Cyrus Ghani, Mr. Ebrahim Golestan and Mr. Ahmad Ghoreyshi, and by admiring their character sycophantically (6)gives credit to his own writing, every time he mentions the name of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, even when he points to a real fact, he does it in a poisonous and childish way. For example:
From the first paragraph of the first chapter:
3 – a – “Fearing for their lives, the royal family fled Iran on January 16th 1979. They took with them much of their personal belongings, including the royal dog. Their long trusted prime minister, however, they chose to leave behind”.(p21)” He was sacrificed to save his throne”.
What is the purpose of this manner of explanation?
1.) Does the author himself not state that when Mr. Hoveyda resigned as Secretary of States for the Royal Court, the Shah suggested sending him abroad as the Ambassador to Belgium, but Mr. Hoveyda did not accept the offer. (p 294)
2.) Does the author himself not state that France’s head of National Assembly sent a message to Mr. Hoveyda, stating we are certain that the situation will get much worse, and invited him to France, but Mr. Hoveyda did not accept this invitation. (p295)
3.) Does the author himself not state that childhood life in foreign countries had created a trauma that convinced Mr. Hoveyda to live in Iran and never leave Iran, with such significance that on the eve of the Islamic revolution, when he was offered a chance to leave Iran, he did not choose the life in exile? (p. 47)
4.) Does the author himself not state that with the Iranian army’s declaration of neutrality, Hoveyda’s guards decided to escape themselves. They left behind the key to a car and a pistol, and urged Mr. Hoveyda to flee as well. Hoveyda demurred. (p. 304)
5.) Does the author himself not state that Hoveyda asked Mrs. Ensha, his cousin, to arrange for his surrender to the new authorities. He called his wife in Paris and said I have nothing to fear. I have decided to turn myself in. (p. 304)
6.) Did not Mr. Riazi, the head of Parliament, who was abroad during the revolution, based on the same kind of reasoning, return to Iran?
Further, did or could the execution of Mr. Hoveyda save the throne? Is sending someone to prison, called sacrificing him? Was only Mr. Hoveyda sent to prison? What were people demanding of the government in those days? Does the author himself not state that Mr. Ardeshir Zahedi and his group, Mr. Manuchehr Azmun, Mr. Hushang Nahavandi, Mr. Mohamad Baheri, General Oveysi and some of the other generals, were requesting that Mr. Hoveyda should be sent to prison? (p. 296-8) Is going to court and the answering of the accused for their actions, unjustified?
The facts under these circumstances were that the Shah held talks with Mr. Hoveyda, suggesting that for his own security it was in his own interests, as well, to be kept in a safe house (as stated in the book) on the basis that later he will be answerable to a court of law. The Shah knowing full well that the Iranian people will find him innocent of most accusations hurled at him by his opponents and probably forgive any mistake he may have made in office. It was the mullahs that moved him to a prison with bars.
Has the author not seen the Royal families personal belonging at Niavaran palace, and the Pahlavi foundations wealth donated to an Islamic trust under Iranian jurisdiction? And we all saw the official ceremonial departure of the royal family, and the armies show of loyalty. Some of us heard at that time the worrisome statement of the BBC television news broadcaster who stated that the Shah has four generals who can still crush the rebellion, if hinted at by the Shah. With angry security forces waiting for a signal to put their foot down and confused as to why they are told not defend themselves, the Royal Family fled fearing their lives!? Eight months after the Shah had left Iran the nervous and paranoid government in Iran was still frightened of the possibility of an ill and dying Shah returning to power. In Algeria, Mehdi Bazargan asked Zbigniew Brzezinski if Iranian doctors be allowed to examine the Shah, now in New York, to determine if he was really ill, or if it was only a ruse to disguise a plot to return.
The Shah’s horse, selected as the most handsome horse in a 1975 Paris show, whom they did not take with them, was blinded and later destroyed by the movement the author calls Islamic!
From the second page of the first chapter:
3 - b - The author writes, “the Shah’s Italian tailor was also Mr. Hoveyda’s tailor for many years. Lest to appear impertinent to the Shah, who in the word of one observer (Marvin Zonice) suffered from narcissistic grandiosity, Hoveyda remained discreet about it”. (p. 22)
The ambiguity point? Was the case of the Shah’s Italian tailor a secret case? Was he only the Shah’s tailor for the case to be kept discreet by Mr. Hoveyda or did many, many others use this tailoring service?
Mr. Marvin Zonice, an American security expert, who could not tolerate the refusal by the Shah to adhere to the views of the American government, and instead carried out the speediest economic expansion, would blame the Shah for having narcissistic grandiosity! But why would an Iranian, unless he is a gossip monger and acts as a loudspeaker for western foreign policy, consider the desire by the Shah to remedy the economic backwardness, in the shortest possible time as narcissistic grandiosity.
3 - c- The author writes, “the young monarch was shy and timid, ill-fitted to fill the shoes of his domineering parent. There is a picture that captures the problematic father and son relationship. Taken in 1926 the father is 48 and the son 7. The contrast between them is striking in every respect. The huge, powerful Shah-father stand sulkily, predominant, hand on his hips, and beside him the small pale boy, frail, nervous, obediently standing at attention”. (p. 84).
Who else but a jealous, devious person, and they who take advantage of those who gossip, and who try to throw mud at the leadership to destroy it, would present the official picture of Reza Shah Kabir and his pre-pubescent son as reflecting the character of the grown up son?
3 - d - The author writes “Hoveyda had developed the habit of having most of his confidential and many of his intimate conversation in European languages. May be that was one of the reasons the Shah, no less a Francophile, grew to feel comfortable with Hoveyda. Speaking French or English, might have been part of their implicit camaraderie; they were both exile in their own country, at home only in Europe of their imagination.” (p. 175)……They were both out of sync with the deeply traditional and often religious centre of gravity that defined Iranian culture. …..The two men. …..embarked on a radical program, changing the socioeconomic foundation. …..The foreign language the two men used when talking about matters of state was an indication of this estrangement. (p. 176) ….. As the tempo of modernization increased, as the Shah grew more authoritarian in his style of rule, as he became more distant, haughty and self referential in his manner, he moved farther and farther away from the traditional centre of the city.
When I speak English or French it is to maintain privacy from the waiter or taxi driver and I am no less Iranian when I write in English as if I were to write in Persian. It is my suggestion that the use of foreign language between the Shah and Mr. Hoveyda was to maintain the privacy and secrecy of the talks from domestic staff as well as just to practice a foreign tongue.
Further, does using foreign language represents one’s distancing from his nationality? What does the author mean by the deeply traditional and often religious centre of gravity that defines Iranian culture? Do the Islamic Republicans in anyway represent Iranian culture? More importantly, at what period was the behaviour of the aristocracy, bazaary, labourers, farmers and the clergy the same, and what criteria exist to present the clergy as Iranian culture? Which one of the aristocrats has been following the bazaary way of life, and which semi-educated person ever took the clergy talks as serious?
Does the author not refer to the recommendation of the American Embassy to the President Lyndon Johnson, stating that the Iranian educated group do not have respect for Islam and feel uncomfortable about religious discussions. (p. 229) Is culture basically fixed and does it not continuously change with the increase of knowledge and the change of technology. The printing industry and the ease with which information spread, together with economic expansion and the increase of income in Europe and America helped the lower strata of the society to imitate what the aristocracy considered the proper way of living. Today too, with the spread of information and becoming familiar with the way other people live, the change in the habits and behaviour of different populations are noticeable.
What has caused the author to suggest that in Iran, replacing the way of life of those who shaped national Iranian culture based on truth and justice with the way of life of the least educated, who use terror with the help of the rogue, can be considered as a movement toward Iranian culture?? This I suggest might be the influence on the author of new friends he has found in America.
Was Marmar Palace built in the centre of the town? Did the transfer of the Shah’s living quarter from Marmar Palace to Niavaran have a decreasing effect on the Shah’s audiences?
These kinds of statements referred to above show that the author’s intention is not to write a biography for Mr. Hoveyda, but his main aim is propaganda of what he has learned from activists abroad, aimed at darkening the reputation of imperial symbols in Iran, and assist in laying the roots of a new national culture. Not forgetting that in politics, perception and rumour is as important as reality. Rumours do not only takes the shape of reality but it becomes a tool of political and undercover warfare. Long before one is judged in a revolutionary court, ones personality is being killed by the corrosive power of rumour. Every terrifying thought, every unpleasant political tendency, and every hidden undesirable tendency is blamed on those involved in politics.
It is a calamity when this kind of thinking finds buyer among the educated, and this kind of person becomes a storyteller for a society that accepts gossip instead of facts for scholarly work. This is why I have now put pen to paper. Let me continue.
4 – The author considers one of the other reasons for the dissatisfaction and revolutionary movement and the sad fate of Mr. Hoveyda being the dictatorship and despotism of the Shah. His ill intention in such characterization of the Shah could be visualized within his own writings. He defines any democratic attitude of the Shah as weakness and inferiority complex.
Pay attention to parts of this argument. “The Shah addresses the representatives of the clergy. ”Iran has had two kinds of kings; good kings and bad kings. And the latter kinds were themselves of two sorts; those who succeeded in doing harm, and those who failed. In my opinion, the responsibility of those kings who did harm lies with the people who permitted the rulers to misbehave. People must not remain silent, or neutral about the actions of their rulers. They must rise up to governments who trample their rights or break the law. It is indeed one of the major responsibilities of the clergy to awaken people and make them aware of their legal rights, and thus not allow rulers and governments to engage in reckless and lawless behaviour (p 85).
While the author states that contradictory to what all opposition to the Shah claimed that he is merely servant of the imperialists, there are reasons that show he had taken a more independent policy with regard to oil and foreign policy as of the mid 1960’s (16). In other parts, the author states that from the point of view of the personality, he was a bold dictator in dealing with the weak, and like a lamb, obedient when affronting those he considered strong.
There is no basis to suggest this to be the truth. In fact in all likelihood this is just another derogatory statement by a Pahlavi hater. In dealing with others, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi would have considered the issue at hand and not the personality standing before him. A very logical thinker (see paragraph 14) is how most have described him. The author suggests that being faced with a strong personality, the Shah would have accepted unreasonable proposals, and vice versa.
What atrocity did the Shah ever commit to the weak people? In carrying the program of the White revolution, were his opponents weak? Do the documents presented by the author not show that he was standing against both super powers in pursuit of Iran’s interests? In contrast see what a US Foreign Service official had to say: “the shah likes to deal with tough guys. He’ll have Sullivan eating out of his hand the same way he did with Helms and MacArthur. The shah is no Marcos.”(7)
Hamilton Jordan even went so far as to argue that of more than forty heads of state that Jimmy Carter had met in his first year in office “the shah was easily the most impressive” (8)
In opposing foreign intervention, the monarch is subjected to another blame: Presenting the Shah’s despotism, the author states: As oil price increased and Iranian revenue from export of oil increased, and the possibility of what the economists call the “big push” strategy (necessity of huge investment) could be realized (according to this strategy, economic development in third world countries is constrained by “vicious circles” of poverty. If an economy is to break free, the state needs to industrialize on a wide and diversified front). Plan organization experts, offered their analysis based on econometric models and statistical predictions, concluding that only a moderate increase in domestic expenditure was warranted. Large increase in goods and services would create bottleneck. Alex Mazhlumian, a high ranking official at the Plan and Budget Organization, even went so far as to predict that, if the government spent all the sudden revenues from oil, there could be a revolution in Iran.
The author considers the Shah’s anger about this report, and his statement that all the oil revenue should be invested, as despotism, without paying attention to the following:
It is possible that the author does not know that the American experts sent by the US government, were not permitted to suggest ideas that could create competition with the American private sector, and their instructions limited them to dictating gradual economic growth. In a country with water being a limiting factor, their main suggestions were on improvement of agriculture. But the king had extensive experience in relation to forces that had in the past occupied Iran and knew that he had to stand up to them in the interests of Iran.
It is possible that the author, when studying the American office memorandums on Iran, has not noticed their recommendation to the Iranian government to the effect that it is not to the benefit of Iranian government to invest in steel plants. But the Shah was faced with lengthy scientific discussions of other authorities, in addition to political implication of not paying attention to a project that was reflected as the national aspiration for a century.(16)
It is possible that the author does not know that the Plan Organization’s Iranian economists did not have enough experience and exactitude and were influenced by the American experts. For example, he may not have known that the reason for the removal of Mr. Amini, from his last premiership, which the author considers as the Shah’s unwillingness to tolerate strong prime ministers, was the depression of the economy, created by the “economic stability program” devised by plan organization economists, on the advice of IMF experts. But the Shah had to tolerate these kinds of mistakes of the high officials of government and plan organization.
It is worth considering on what basis does this chair of history and political sciences, who in his writings show familiarity with economic key points, suggest that an econometric model devised for developed countries should be applied to an underdeveloped country. (It is to be stated that the economic principals and laws, lectured in universities, only deal with conditions of free competition, which does not exist in the third world countries.)
The Shahanshah of Iran had passed the stage of philosophic discussions like, which came first the chicken or the egg? Whether the infrastructure should be built first or the industry, was not his problem. He was surrounded by problems all his life. He knew that rapid economic growth has problems. The problems of bottlenecks always exist. The more an economy grows, its problems increases. The work of management is predicting the problems and solving them. Loss due to bottlenecks should be evaluated against the loss of delay in investment.
It is not the rapid growth that causes revolution. Rapid economic and social development, because of displacement of wages and social relations, makes people uncomfortable and irritable. It is the intrigues and negative suggestions of the un-pragmatic and quixotic (9) that caused our "revolution"; the un-pragmatic who call themselves open minded writers and philosophers. They who sit on the edge and are not closely involved in the world of practical work.
It would be correct to state there was no room for criticism of the Shah’s decision to push for the highest rate of economic growth and liberalization policies of participation, decentralization and democracy. The monarchs declared position was that "political democracy without economic freedom is meaningless [for the masses]". And yet we had open-minded, writers, philosophers and university people who, with all their claims, could not realize the problems, unrest, disturbances and the cost of rapid growth is something natural and can be tolerated. Examples abound in other developed and developing countries.
Our open-minded, writers, philosophers and university people considered the Shah’s warning about Iraqi expansionary policy and its aim of ultimately confronting Iran, and thus the requirement for strengthening the Iranian armed forces, as ridiculous and blamed his megalomania and lack of self esteem. All this while the Soviet Union, having forcefully eaten up Eastern Europe, in pincer form had succeeded in helping to power the governments sympathetic to their cause: Syria and Iraq on the west, Afghanistan on the east, while through Afghanistan's claims on Pashtunistan were dreaming a hand in Pakistan and the Iranian province of Baluchistan.
What we have is our quixotic (9) writers, philosophers and university people, who, simultaneous with end of forced oil contracts, accorded with foreign inspirations and professional “student” agitators, to sheepishly polarize around a clerical leader who considered attention to the economy as the work of a donkey.
In this aim the intellectuals and Shia hierarchy were so callous that they were willing to present Khomeini as a new Mahdi who will bring justice and equality to Iran, giving the people the 13th Imam that they have been waiting for. So much for our intellectuals!
What is surprising is the fact that the author who know that the countries who call themselves civilized acted against international agreements and helped both sides of the Iran- Iraq war (10), to eliminate their military power. And he must have noticed that their attempt to bring the war to an end, and making Khomeini drink the cup of poison, began when their newly planted, so called Islamic regime, could be uprooted. At the same time that the smile of our open-minded people has dried in their mouth, the author, in line with Western foreign policy, continues with darkening the reputation of the icon of Persian Iran.
But for blind following of western foreign policy, why should the author considers the advice and guidance given by the King, based on thirty years experience of dealing with problems, as dictatorship. Further more, if he is right in claiming mastery of history, he should know that today’s most successful democracies of the world, look back with nostalgia at the economic development carried out during their strongest authoritarian periods of their history. (4)
As an unbiased person, to pass judgment on the behaviour of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi with regards to his possibly unconstitutional involvement in national politics and economic policy, one should balance the happenings prior to his involvement. (11), with Iran's successes afterwards, before coming to any conclusions.
5 - A large part of the author’s writing aimed at presenting the Shah and Mr. Hoveyda are the documented views of American security service men and those of the staff of America’s Foreign Office. The reason for this being mentioned as unreliability of Iranian government sources. In these writings contradictions are found. Despite the fact that he mentions that there are rumours. of conspiracy theory with regard to the Iranian revolution, and he does not go into this point, a large part of what he states as views of the American officials is reflective of their long-term strategy. Take a look at a few examples of these documents:
“A CIA report in 1958 states that the Shah is incapable of taking necessary actions to implement needed reforms”. (p 135) “On May 15th 1961 the National Security Council was informed that the “continuing trends toward revolution and chaos in Iran has reached the point where the US must take vigorous action.” (p 145) Kennedy and his brother had come to see the Shah as despotic, corrupt, and incorrigible. (p 146) The committee was faced with the knowledge that the “Shah’s de facto dictatorship” had moved Iran toward domestic strife leading to chaos or coup by rightist or leftist cliques, or soviet – managed subversion. …..The US could roll with the punch of history and champion the cause of moderates among the Mossadeqist. ….. A third alternative would be to support the best of the right-wing military leaders in a pro-western dictatorship. … the advent of prime minister Amini offers another course of action to the US. (p 147) . …. “the Shah’s character is such as to make his years in power as the ultimate repository of power almost certainly numbered.”
It is now suggested that rather than trying to remove the Shah, “the United States must actually and vigorously, albeit discreetly, press for political, economic, social and institutional reform in Iran. ….withdrawal of the Shah from an exposed position of public responsibility. ….the transformation of the urban middle class into a constructive [political] force. (p 148) A 1978 US Embassy report declared, “corruption has become a major political issue in Iran in recent weeks, with much of the criticism of the Shah being couched in terms of the corrupt activities of his close advisors and even members of his family. …. [the] issue is not likely to disappear without first profoundly shaking Iran’s most basic political institution – the monarchy” (p 267)
Even the tone of CIA reports about Iran began to change. …. Where as in the early 1960’s the reports often predicted imminent chaos and revolution, in 1977 they declared that Iran is likely to remain stable. …..(p 272) Another crucial factor working against the Shah’s use of violence was that both the British and the US governments were strongly in favour of a tempered response to popular demands and demonstrations. At every turn both governments, or at least strong elements of both governments, insisted that the democratisation process must go on. …..(p 291) Secretary of state John Foster Dulles wrote to President Eisenhower, “it would be helpful if he comes to Washington and talked with you and some of the top Pentagon people about the military problems which so engross him. …. I think, of great value in holding the situation stable to falter the Shah with the prospect of an exchange of views with you on modern military problems” (p 271) Eight years later the US Embassy in Tehran suggested that the Shah regards himself as a world statesman and will be flattered by a discussion of word affairs.” In the same vein, President Johnson is advised, “take the Shah into your confidence on other major international problems.” (p 272)
Is it that our college professor does not know yet that the US intelligence agencies and the State Department staff have no aim but the US interests, their duty and specialty is misinforming people and promoting their own policies. By mentioning some facts, they attract the trust of the people, but within these facts they give wrong and corrupt information, which suits their interests but misguiding those who listen to the word of mouth. Does the author himself not mention that in the world of politics, image and rumour is as important as facts and reality? Rumour not only takes the shape of reality but also becomes a tool of subversive cultural and political war. Long before one is judged in a revolutionary court, his personality is being killed by the corrosive power of rumour Every terrifying thought, every unpleasant political tendency, and every hidden undesirable tendency is blamed on those involved in politics.
Should we not expect from this chair of the department of history and political sciences that general accusations, are political acts, which aim at creating unrest and disturbance, and therefore should be ignored.
This author who quotes Socrates when he states that for a dictator, the most dangerous time is when he does not use force and becomes a democrat, seems to believe that the Americans of 2000 years later with full knowledge of social psychology were not familiar with this point?
I’ll quote again the American authorities that “rather than trying to remove the Shah, the US must actually and vigorously, albeit discretely, press for political, economic, social and institutional reform in Iran. .. withdrawal of the Shah from an exposed position of public responsibility. ….the transformation of the urban middle class into a constructive [political] force”. Does anyone else get a hint that foreign governments had the intention of interfering in the structure of government of Iran quite contrary to the “Iran is island of stability” posture? Am I discussing a rumoured“conspiracy” here or is it that because such manipulation is initiated by the western or communist world it is a solid rational policy.
6 – The author considers SAVAK roughness as another reason for Mr. Hoveyda’s sad faith.
Lots of rumour was publicized about SAVAK rough attitude. Probably some unsuitable people got into SAVAK administration, and some mistakes had taken place too. But does the author who 20 years after SAVAK is closed down, magnifies the case, has one case to mention, of the SAVAK roughness with anyone other than terrorist cells in armed conflict to over throw the state?
Should one expect the organization in charge of the security of a nation, to let free, those with the ideology of murdering others, whether it is political (communist) or religious (Islam)? The Shah’s instructions were, no ones nose should bleed. Reporting on this civility in a country were rough treatment is normal, is missing in this book. Has the Islamic Republic collapse because of its brutality and state sponsored murders?
Where are Mr. Milani's reports on the International Red Cross on torture (or lack of) in the prisons during Hoveyda's tenure? The International Commission of Jurist investigation in 1976 states Iran is way down the list and would not even make the A list of human right abusers. Or reports from the United Nations, and secretary general Kurt Waldheims special visit on this matter, after 1979? A regime that has no more political prisoners than the United Kingdom has in Northern Ireland and is willing to permit foreign agencies to scrutinize its prison and detention systems to demonstrate its civility gets a small reference note at the back of the book! Again in politics, perception and rumour is as important as reality. The rumours. re-iterated in this book, not only takes the shape of reality but are a tool of political and undercover warfare. (12) And again by spreading rumours. instead of the author establishing facts, the families of anyone who has perished will not get any closer to justice.
One wonders whether it would be possible if the author himself were one of those in favour of the death of Hoveyda and others? As Khalkhali would put it: "Cruelty of terror and execution is the necessary ingredients of a successful social transformation (p.310)
7 – History as Napoleon has once said, is that version of the past events that we have all agreed upon.
All the authors thought circles around the Shah as the reason for the sad faith of Mr. Hoveyda and the Iranian revolution. As if in this country the system of leadership and followers had not existed before the Pahlavi's.
Some people consider every happening as the work of God. For some, if it snows, they find the finger of the British in it. This chair of history and politics, too, has dismissed the American interests, British interests, their mutual interests, their undercover war, Soviet Union’s interests, the act of those who created the Azerbaijan republic, uprising of the Barezani tribesmen, taking of arms by the Iranian southern tribes, mismanagement of the Iranian elite and the influence of free masonry, terror created because of the power of the communist party, problems of slow economic growth, problems and unrest caused by rapid economic growth, writing and interviews of the head and high officials of the governments who took part in the “Guadeloupe” conference, regarding their role in Iranian revolution, and considers the reason for the sad faith of Mr. Hoveyda and the dark days of Iran, as the Shah’s authoritarian rule only!
The British ambassador to Iran, in his interview with the producers of the film “Reputation”, while mentioning the high hopes and valuable motives of the Shah for his people, states that his sin will be seen as his attempt to turn the Iranians to something they were not. Unfortunately it is noticeable that this view of the British ambassador seems to apply to many of the Iranian elite who use their pen not in search of truth but to uproot their own national culture. (13)
In support of this view, pay attention to some part of what the author has explained: During the first hours of the revolution, prominent figures of the old regime were rounded up and brought to Refah school, tributes from a jubilant crowd to their new masters. (p 24) In the footnote of the same page he states: One can compare the scene to images carved on the walls of Persepolis, depicting supplicant subjects offering their token of submission to the Persian Kings who ruled Iran.
Comparing taking the prominent figures to the abattoir of terror of belief, blaming them for fighting with god, with presenting gifts by the Satrapies, some of whom due to freedom of religion and humane behaviour of the Iranian Shahanshah, volunteered to become part of Iran for their safety! This is another insight into this authors frame of mind.
8 – The author considers the parliament as the rubber stamp of the Shah’s decisions, and the Refah School, as teaching place for religious studies. Usually, judgment on a case is wiser after the events. But this fellow, who has heared of the criminal acts of the students of the Refah school for 20 years now, still presents them as Muslims, and their studies as only religious studies.
What has caused the author to think that the majority in the Iranian parliament opposed the high hopes of the Shah for the future of Iran? Could weakness in administering an aim, which is organized by civil servants, be related to the principles espoused by the Shah. What kind of a program does not have negative points and could be performed without proper order and continuation of principals.
The general tone of the author, who wants to present himself as a scholar, and his cunning again comes to light, when he talks only of the army shooting at demonstrators even after confessions and books by Fadayan militants that they began shooting first at the army in Meydane Jaleh. Regardless of the fact that Islamic militants have a history of such tactics, as well as a history of torching of cinema's (like Rex in Abadan).
Further more, evaluation of services rendered by Hoveyda and the Shah, against their mistakes is rarely stated in this book. Specially, in this study of the chair of history, one does not see proper reflection of the memorandums exchanged between the Shah and the US presidents. More important, Iran's military pact with the US, which shows a broad view of the Shah, regarding future of the both countries, has been kept absolutely quiet.
Based on the very same material provided in this book it is to be brought to the attention of the interested parties that the death of Mr. Hoveyda, the generals (p349) and the following massacres (14) could just as well have been necessities required by foreign policy in dismantling the ancien regime.
It is also possible that the indecision, vacillation and contradictory signals from Washington DC could just have been a ruse to disorientate the shah, by an administration who considered the shah a rather cumbersome ally and looked forward to change Iran's political system. When Andrew Young, the US representative to the UN, calls Khomeini "a saint", and a prominent professor writes in the New York Times of Khomeini's "tolerance" and how he would provide "a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third-world country", this could also be interpreted, by some people, as support for undermining the secular Pahlavi regime, by those who have a clerical alternative in mind.
The Shah himself left the scene believing that he was betrayed despite being a firm ally of the USA and the West; as decades pass, and the US Human Rights campaign of 1977/78 becomes just another aspect of realpolitik, it seems these governments have betrayed the whole Iranian nation, not just one of its leaders.
The jury is still out, despite Mr. Milani's "authoritative" narrative. The last telegram of the American defence attaché, in a message to Washington on the day the secular regime collapsed, provides a succinct summary of the situation : "Army surrenders; Khomeini wins. Destroying all classified"
This systemic use of gossip has embroiled our nation in its current predicament. The author has the cheek and cunning to so blatantly use the book titled Hoveyda’s biography, at destroying the reputation of the very same King and Queen that Hoveyda had such camaraderie with! It is a calamity when this kind of thinking finds buyers among the educated, and this kind of person becomes a storyteller for a society that accepts gossip instead of facts for scholarly work.
Take a look at a thousand years of Iranian literature. Religious leaders have always been presented as symbols of duplicity and hypocrisy. Mr. Abbas Milani, in line with the foreigner’s policies, refer to these clerics and their ideology as rightful and present them as the symbol of Iranian culture. By doing so, they aim at cutting the root of our national culture, which is based on justice and truthfulness (17) and the basic motives of taking control of ones life.
The condition of terror of thought and belief, and following of a leadership which is the symbol of duplicity and hypocrisy will bring about a society based on duplicity, lying, cunning and irresponsible people with little knowledge. The attempt by the western media and the "liberal intellectuals" at darkening the reputation of the Shahanshah of Iran and the royal institution, is an attempt directed toward burying the very motives the Iranian Shahanshah is symbolized with. This means burying the Iranian national culture.
The Royal system that has been under attack and the imperial institution of Shahanshahi did not come to Iran from the sky. For a society with people and tribes with different languages, various religions, different ways of living and varying customs to coexist, our founding fathers have shaped the leadership (the Shahanshah) with Ahura Mazda’s (Zoroastrian god of truthfulness and love) characteristics as above all religious and tribal leaders, to direct the government toward truthfulness (17) and justice and direct the cultures motives toward progress. In Iran the Shahanshah has been the repository of honour (Sharaf yabi). The aim of coexisting was to create, through dialog and understanding an increase in knowledge and raising the moral standards for the people’s security, peace, comfort, health and happiness. (It is also essential to note that it is the people’s unconscious following of their leader’s characteristics that gradually shapes the society’s conscience. )
The outsiders who have dominated Iran’s recent history, with full understanding that there are limitations to the non- renewable resource, have found preventing progress of the third world the best way of allocating these resource for themselves.
Their imperial power is evident in the ability to marshal a multi-pronged set of policies – some fostered by private institutions such as the media, others advocated by the Governments, and yet others by international agencies and other countries. They have supported the culture of duplicity and hypocrisy and have attempted at darkening the royal institution’s reputation at each opportunity.
It is very unfortunate that some of the Iranians, even those with high scholastic background and university professorship at western universities, on the basis of various theories reflecting the ultimate in human desires (18), shaped on hypothetical assumptions, suggest to those who listen to gossip, the same message promoted by these foreigners.
Those who have their eyes on Iran’s oil, gas and raw materials, found the Shah (as the sovereign defending Iran’s sovereignty) a barrier, whose brand of nationalism is an anathema to western designs for Iran and the rest of the region. (16). They made use of the moral standards of the simple people who listen to gossip, and by manufacturing a few falsehoods and magnifying some events, have well and truly succeeded in their aims. These governments very well know that what has caused Iran’s economic and social backwardness is that part of the morals and way of thinking of Iranians (shaye-eh, abe-roo, ehteram, and darvishy negation of this life) which while serves a purpose in their private and social lives is counterproductive for economic development.
Foreign policy of the countries that invaded Iran half a century ago, and occupied us for half a decade, has been convincing the third world public to take the line that insures the economic dominance and well being of these foreign countries only. What this means is that the so-called civilized countries, have left aside moral principals, got around international agreements, and have become Machiavellian.
Their tools are the attractive mottos of human right, freedom, democracy and public rule; natural instinctive needs of people for freedom, security, safety, respect and success in solving their problems, and also psychological characteristics of people, such as attachment to general belief and prejudice. Their tools also include the WTO and IMF (15) which are closed to the public and media scrutiny, void of any democratic debate, and with their SAP's (structural adjustments programs) are just a new form of colonization. To reiterate, the less the knowledge of a society, the easier they can and will be mislead.
Our imaginative author, with his self exonerating rendition of history (2), who in his youth as follower of the imaginary, idealistic and untested philosophy of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism combined, was preaching the massacre of the wealthy and respected people, formed a belief that made him sympathetic to the followers of the Soviet Union’s foreign policy toward Iran (which was aimed at wiping out the Iranian national culture and replacing it with a culture that sacrifices its people for the benefit of the larger society). He had spent a long period of his life in the waves of this kind of politics but consequently, after tasting the cool waters of Iran’s prison during the reign of the Shah and after going to the U.S. and getting a university job there, he has now found it to his benefit, this time round, to follow the Western policy toward Iran in destroying Iranian national culture and replacing it with another culture [one presumes a Judeo-Christian (Semitic) culture].
The author has tried to present an investigation by using reports produced by the country whose own reports reflect their attempts towards the removal of the government (Shah, Hoveyda and the rest of the team). From the political point of view this book has no added value since it simply regurgitates the western media’s attempt at darkening the Pahlavi’s reputation, presumably to stop the Iranian industrialization and military program and undermine the power of OPEC.
Any comments about the Shah which do not give even a single consideration to what American, British and Soviet Union’s interests were and which also fails to give consideration to their common and divergent views, their undercover competitive operations and also the general condition of the Iranian society would be a political stunt by the author, not history, biography or analysis with an academic value.
Conditions of terror of thought and belief and enforcing ideas which do not have a scientific base have taken away our sense of curiosity and questioning of the happenings around us and acts as barrier to the search for truth and scientific investigation. In the long term this has created a backward society of people who take to gossip to fulfil their sense of curiosity and attempts at self-improvement (19). Such a society could easily be manipulated by the more sophisticated societies grounded in facts and science.
For example, if one wants to create a disturbance in a society that has seen the economic development of other countries and has thus developed high expectations and who's society functions around gossip and other words of mouth, one could state that "the reason for our development is our democratic regime". Who would ever think that before the European countries learned about the secrets of development and the role of money in it, their democracy didn’t raise much but the disturbing economic cycles and depressions.
Today’s developed countries owe their progress to the developments carried during the strongest period of dictatorship (4) of their countries (including looting of other countries) and their democracy has developed in line with the increase in their knowledge.
I should note here also that the countries that so ardently promote the ideal of democracy seem not to abide by it when their strategic national interest is at stake. In Britain, for instance, we were informed that their prime minister, without consulting the parliament has ordered bombardment of another country, or made a shoot-to-kill order against the IRA opposition group.
To be able to observe human rights, freedoms, democracy, and public rule, one must increase the education and knowledge of the Islamic societies. Here in lies another contradiction of the views put forth by Pahlavi haters: the allocation of so much of the nations resources in educating Iranians (including more Iranian nationals studying in the west democracies, than any other country in the world), was surely not so that they come back and be obedient servants in a feudal 'Oriental' monarchy.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was a man who with all the domestic and foreign problems that the country was faced with took charge of the leadership of a country that, as the author says, annual income per capita of its residents was $174, and the day he left the country, he had raised it to more than $2400 (18) (real-terms equivalent of $6,000 today) or put more simply:
The average Iranian was one of the wealthiest in the 3rd world. We even imported doctors from Pakistan, drivers from Korea, labourers from Turkey and Afghanistan, had one of the best trained and best equipped military forces in the world and at the very same time the country had one of the largest capital reserves in the whole world. The future of our young was bright.
From 1963 to 1977 our GNP went from 340bn rials to 5682bn rials, a 16 fold increase in 15 years. In this period we had a 13.8% compound growth rate in savings (from 45bn to 1509bn). And by 1974 we were listed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the 13th wealthiest country in the world.
This makes him a dictator and despot to those who’s political motives objected to a patriarchic society with a strong economy and military. For ordinary Iranians he was benevolent and with high wishes for his country. He should be praised for this. The observation of world-wise tourist in our country was also that the Shah of Iran was a good man completely dedicated to the welfare of his people and the Iranian masses loved and supported him.
What I propose to you the reader to assume is that manipulation by foreigners will continue. Disloyal people to their countries, having PhD degrees, will still be found. Expenses of the books that serve foreign interests (I am not suggesting that this book is one), and conferences that publicize it will be secured through universities and societies that have been given friendly names. And we will continue to hear what theoretically, based on unreal assumptions, seem right.
When looking to blame someone else for our failures 23 years ago, we must not forget that collectively, all of us can be regarded as being "guilty". Guilty of gutlessness and indifference by our very own national standards. We have surrendered completely and passively to the violation of our identity, culture and civilization by the Islamic invasion, initiated over 1500 years ago by the Bedouin Arab invader, and then a second time with the help of blatantly biased views, such as this one presented in the Persian Sphinx book, by a person who wants to become a storyteller for a society that accepts gossip instead of facts for scholarly work.