In the Modern Times, the democratic movements in Iran have always formed against two main obstacles of democracy in Iran, namely Monarchism and Islamism.


The monarchists want to use the aspirations of Iranian people for human rights and democracy to regain strength and ascend to power and to use the Iranian intellectuals and Iranian youth as cannon powder (goosht-e dam toop), when there is hardly anybody who would be willing to sacrifice himself/herself for their cause.   Monarchist committees for human rights abroad, in the last 20 years, all have followed the same path, to seek the ascendance of monarchists to power and were not interested to do any genuine human rights work. The real genuine human rights work has been done by groups like IHRWG ( or MEHR ( and not by the so-called human rights committees of the monarchists.

The real intellectuals of Iran such as Ahmad Shamlooo were hurt by both the Monarchists and Islamists.  Shamloo was the first Iranian to be nominated for Nobel Prize and these two forces not only did not support him, but tried their best to undermine his works and called Shamloo's works as plagiarism and poor Shamloo spent so many years to prove them wrong. They could not see the pride of Iran and Iranians to have an original poet with world-class contributions, at a time when we have not had even one Nobel prize candidate in any field before Shamloo, and all they did was to hurt him, rather than share in the pride of having an Iranian for such nomination.  It was because Shamloo’s “kAshefAn-e forootan-e jAm-e shokarAn”, and other works, were about the martyrs of Iran, who had lost their lives in fighting for human rights in Iran, and both the Monarchists and Islamists shared the same hate for such real works of human rights, and Shamloo fought them both. Iranian people know the real thieves, the monarchists and Islamists who accused him of plagiarism and the real world-class experts in different fields showed us that Shamloo was right and the hate of Monarchists and Islamists was because they did not like Shamloo’s political stand.  The people were smart enough not to believe in all the nonsense of ghalam-bedastAn-e Kayhan, against Shamloo even after his death. The people loved the honest poet/activist Shamloo, and despite all threats of dictatorial forces, they showed their love for him on the streets of Iran in his funeral. And Iranian people have no wish to make any sacrifices for Monarchists and Islamists to regain the power in Iran.


The reason monarchists love so much to use the word "Third Force" is to attract the independent Iranians who are fighting the regime, because they do not have anybody who would really want to make sacrifices for monarchy and they need a launch pad.  They do not want a political leadership *outside* the Monarchists and MKO  (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization) to be formed.  These two forces because of some internal and external factors have monopolized the leadership of Iranian opposition in the last 20 years and they like to keep it that way.


The two forces of Monarchy and MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization) have created the perception that Iranian people cannot form any alternative *outside* of these two forces and this perception has hurt the growth of *independent* non-monarchy-non-MKO political leadership among the Iranians, and anytime a plan for unity is proposed, these two forces are brought to the table, and this is exactly why such plans fail, because neither one of them has any interest in any alternative, outside of them, to be formed in Iranian politics. They talk of unity but unity around them. The moment they see a *real third force* leadership, *outside* of them, being formed, they try their best to crush it, and they may even have a hidden agreement with each other on that.


Why should one think overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran, by just any kind of coalition, is to the advantage of Iran and Iranians?  Isn't this the same mistake we Iranians made when decided to overthrow the Shah by just any kind of coalition, without seeing what each one wants for the future of Iran, and thought anything else will be better than the Shah’s system, and found out to be wrong, and got something worse in its place.  What if a pre-mature overthrow ends the Iranian people with a government worse than Khatami's current government?


Until a real leadership force *outside* monarchy and MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization)  is formed, there is no guarantee that the overthrow of Islamic Republic will put Iranian people in a better position to achieve a democratic and progressive government. Invasion of Iran and a coup with Reza Pahlavi or without him may even undermine all these years of development of democratic movement in Iran and can put Iranians back in the mindset that believes some so-called "they" put Khomeini in power in Iran and the same so-called "they" took him away. A mindset that has hurt Iran and Iranians for so long, for not taking responsibility for the Iran's developments, and always thinking to blame the UK, or US, or Soviets, or name it, for whatever has happened to Iran and Iranians.




The proponents of Iranian monarchy talk a lot about democracy and unity and give the example of Sweden when talking about a democratic monarchy.  It is interesting that these same people still use the words like “traitor” when referring to the ones who fought for human rights in Iran, during the Shah’s regime, whereas the Swedish government of their model, is mainly run by a leftist social-democratic party.  Just taking a look at the monarchists’ views on various issues, 23 years after the fall of Iranian monarchy, one can see little difference between the dictatorial views of Shah’s regime and their views, and what little any of it shares with support of human rights and a Swedish model of monarchy!  Please read their plans for post-IRI and judge for yourself what one can expect from Iranian monarchy's return, and whether this new restored monarchy sounds anything like Sweden!  sAli keh nekoost, az bahArash peydAst.


The monarchists at the time of the Shah had a group of agent authors who worked for monarchy the same way the the producers of Islamic Republic’s Hoviat TV work now.  Hoviat TV is the show founded by Saiid EmAmi, on Islamic Republic’s TV in Iran, EmAmi was the killer of Foruhars and the show’s goal is to discredit the Iranian opposition.  The job of these so-called authors was to distort all the writings of progressive authors of the world to justify monarchy in Iran, and their main battle was to discredit the real independent intellectuals and thinkers of Iran.  They were part of Savak in the past and were mostly turncoat toodeis and other past revolutionaries who had ended up working for the Shah and their distortions of opposition’s views were published in Kayhan and on the Shah’s TV in 60’s and 70’s in Iran.  This is why it is better that I explain my views on other topics before returning to the topic of monarchy to prevent the distortions of my views by these agents.  I remember Dr. Sanjabi of Jebhe Melli once wrote about the Savak agents that were covering Jebhe that they were not even smart to report what Jebhe really stood for, in their reports:-)


Thus before I note my views on the Iranian monarchy, and why I see monarchy to be one of the worst traps and a real poison for Iran and Iranians at this juncture of our lives, it may help to first explain my views on various topics, so that my critic of Iranian monarchy and my claim that monarchy in Iran will never be a Swedish type monarchy, is not misunderstood. 




I am not a supporter of the left, in fact I am a critic of the left and have written a lot in the last 25 years criticizing the left:


I am a futurist and the futurists in the US are people like Daniel Bell or Alvin Toffler who have contributed in many areas of political and corporate ideas and any of these agent authors would not dare to call them some imaginary cold war name so they will try to distort their views or my views.  Here are links to articles that I have written about my views on future, futurism and Iran for readers to see my views and see the fallacy of the labels of agent Monarchist and Islamist authors:


I am also not a supporter of MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization) and have written critics about them before:


Moreover,  I support good relations between Iran and the West and here are my views on that:


And I am a critic of the Islamic Republic lobbyists and I believe any relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran should be contingent on the IRI’s observation of human rights:


And my views of Iranian Revolution have been always clear since a long time ago, when I published a series of articles in Iran Times of Washington DC in 1986, where I wrote that the 1979 Iranian Revolution was a reactionary revolution, and although not all of the forces in the revolution  were reactionary, but the revolution as a whole was directed towards anti-progress, in contrast to the  French Revolution, where the majority of the forces headed for progress, although there were reactionary forces in it too, that were directed towards anti-progress.  And I noted that ever since the French Revolution, the term Revolution had become synonymous with Progress, and that analysis of Iranian 1979 Revolution needed a new Immanuel Kant to formulate this reversal and end to any such synonymy.  Finally the monarchists in the last 23 years have tried to deny the reality that 1979 upheaval in Iran *was* a Revolution.  They know accepting this fact means accepting that Iranian people rose against them, overthrew the monarchy, and wanted them out of Iran.  But they try to deny this fact, by referring the anti-progress aspects of this revolution.  As I have noted in the linked article, this reality only means the synonymy of revolution and progress has ended, not that the 1979 upheaval was not a revolution, and thus being revolutionary by itself does not mean to be progressive anymore.  Here is the link to my series of articles where I have fully elaborated on this:


In the above and also in the article below, I had explained about why Shi’a Islamism became the flag of the 1979 Revolution:


And I have condemned the violations of human rights in Iran under the Islamic Republic from the start, whether towards Iranians such as Bakhtiar, Ghasemloo, and Foruhar, or towards non-Iranians such as Salman Rushdie:


And I believe in a referendum and replacing the Islamic Republic with a Democratic Federal Republic through a popular vote:


I have supported the movements for change in Iran:


And here is what I have written about the student movement in Iran from the time of its start:


And in the below article, I have elaborated on my understanding of Modern Democracy:




Now let’s discuss the issue of monarchy in Iran.  In my opinion, the monarchy in Iran will never end up staying a democratic state. When Reza Shah’s dictatorial government fell in 1941, and Mohammad Reza Shah became the young king of Iran, the Iranian monarchy was a semi-democracy for a while, but it did not take long before it became a dictatorship again.  Fooled once, one can say a mistake, but fooled twice, we'll be damned, if we make the same error today and think democracy to last long after monarchy regains power again.  I have shown why the monarchy in Iran will always be this way, and will not be a system capable of  institutionalizing democracy in Iran, and I have stated the two main reasons of Asiatic Despotism in the distant past, and state ownership of main resources such  as oil in the modern times, as well as other factors for this reality.  True that even a republic, because of such a background, can become a dictatorship, and one should be very vigilant not to end up like another Iraq and Syria, but for a monarchy, tilting to dictatorship is a sure thing in Iran.  Here is the URL of my article:


And for my views on history of Iran, please see the following paper which is focused on formation of central government in Iran, and the role of Kurds in this development is as an example, and I have shown why a *federal* government is ideal for Iran, which both the monarchies in Iran and the Islamic Republic, and many of the opposition, have denied, and have sided with a centralized state, which itself is responsible for a lot of absence of democracy in the socio-political structure of Iran.   Here is the link to my paper:


And below is what I have written about the state of agriculture in Iran, over ten years after the Shah’s White Revolution, which shows the backward economic structures that were kept intact in Iran, even despite the huge post-1973 oil income under the Shah:




Now the above shows what theoretical reasons I have to claim that monarchy is the bastion of dictatorship and not democracy for Iran.  Let me now discuss my views of Prince Reza Pahlavi.  He seems to me to have an honest interest in human rights and democracy and I have written the following open letter to him a while back:


But looking at the ones surrounding him, even before getting to the throne, one can see the same ones who were responsible for the atrocities of Savak under the Shah. This is just the start and we can see the dictatorial forces back around the candidate for the next monarch, and thus one can guess what forces will be running the show if the power is regained by the monarchy in Iran.  Below is the link to my article where I have discussed the ones surrounding Prince Reza Pahalvi:


I have also extensively explained in my following article why the answer to monarchy from the Iranian people would be a “no”:


But if Prince Reza Pahlavi is honest about his dedication to human rights and democracy, it is not enough just to condemn the atrocities under the Shah (even though he has not fully done that either).  He should call the end of this system of monarchy for Iran, which is nothing but the prospect for another era of dictatorship, and he should participate in formulation of a constitution for a democratic republic, and work with others to make sure all the necessary checks and balances are predicted in the future constitution, and in doing so I am sure the dictatorial forces will fly away from his surrounding, and will look for another king.  I believe this is the best he can do to help achieving the real unity of Iranians based on the possibilities of the future and not glory of the past.  The unity of Iranians around Islamism or Monarchism belongs to the pre-industrial life of Iran and ever since mashrootiat, the advanced forces of Iran call for the unity of Iranians around democracy, civil society, and law and other possibilities of the future and not the glory of the past:


Finally I would like to say that many in the West used to think that Shah fell because of making too much progress and in consequence, were advocating the Islamism and retrogression to the past for Iran and most of the Middle East.  It is good that this view is changing after the events in Afghanestan.  Below is what I wrote about this topic before and that the real reason for the fall of the shah was *not* moving too fast, but thanks to the income from oil, the economic progress was possible, and was done in some areas, but the system remained to be an anti-democratic system and it finally fell apart, because of not being able to support the economic progress.  In fact, the lack of democracy even impeded the progress, with a lot of resulting corruption, and accelerated class contradictions, in every level of Iranian economy at that time.  Below article is where I have explained this phenomena:





In the closing let me note that the  way to form an independent political leadership force for Iran and Iranians is first to understand that it has to be a non-monarchy-non-MKO force, and one should not waste time on looking for shortcuts using Monarchy or MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization) or imperialist invasions or other similar approaches. It should go the same way many people in the former Soviet Block approached change in their countries, and did not look for coalitions of Tsars of the past, to be the leaders of the new world. I think the leadership will come out of the students, teachers, workers, journalists, writers, and other similar organizations that are currently active in Iran, and I see the building blocks of new political parties to come out of such movements and organizations. Once such new parties are strong enough and on par with other forces like Monarchy or MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization), they can look at tactical cooperation, not only with such forces, but even with some internal factions of IRI, or even use regional and world forces, and that it is OK to have appropriate tactics and strategy for all such cooperation, when this independent leadership is strong enough, and as long as such coalitions do not jeopardize our independence and democratic focus.


Without a strong independent democratic and progressive organization, such coalitions can end up like MKO’s cooperation with Iraq, which made MKO (MojAhedin-e Khalgh Organization) subservient to Iraq’s objectives, rather than MKO benefiting from this cooperation for its own end, thus MKO not being strong, became a pawn in the regional games. Or similarly one can end up like those who received money from CIA and have gotten the worst name for themselves and their organization in the independent political circles of Iran and Iranians.


Here is the FRAMEWORK I recently proposed for unity.  I think working on such a framework is the way to organize an independent democratic and progressive organization to provide the political leadership for Iran, to achieve a democratic and progressive system, and not just give sacrifices to restore a dictatorial system which we discarded 23 years ago, with a lot of sacrifices at that time:




Hoping for a Secular, Democratic, Federal, and Future_Oriented Republic of Iran.



Sam Ghandchi, Publisher


January 28, 2002


P.S. For related articles about monarchy, please visit:




* The above article was first posted on Jebhe BB on January 28, 2002




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