Iranian Signature Revolutionaries Abroad
There is a group of Iranians abroad who do not want anything less pure than a real republic and real secularism; and they are the first to warn about any collaboration with the monarchy, but what do they do for their ideals? Well every once in a while they sign a letter calling for the formation of a republican organization, and whenever the movement inside Iran gets hot, these people issue a communiqué claiming the formation of a republican-organization-to-be and of course they will not go for anything less than the leader of that organization or the president of the future republic of Iran, when they are hot signing such letters.
As soon as they see the movement subsiding or the fading of prospect of U.S. bringing back Reza Pahlavi, these folks disappear too, until the next time to sign another one of these communiqués, and they keep living their secure life abroad, without risking even to fight a hezbollAhi abroad, or even endangering the wellbeing of themselves and their family.
Why don't they spend any time to collect signatures and write petitions against IRI or to participate in numerous Iranian Internet forums to discuss about various issues the same way in the Shah's days these people participated in Pro-democracy discussion groups, rallies, etc in various cities? Why don't they talk to the press about IRI murder of journalist Kazemi or do something at the U.N. or at least raise a few dollars to help those like MEHR.ORG who have *done* real work, rather than appear on the scene from time to time like these so-called "leaders" of Iranian democratic opposition abroad?
Some of them even belittle the work of MEHR. My question is that why haven't t they done anything all these years with the kind of plans they think MEHR should have done? Have any of these people even contributed a penny or have they done any political work abroad in the last 24 years, except to appear on the moments, when they think the jobs for the next government are divided between these would-be leaders?
The reality is that these people are the remainders of the anti-Shah movement abroad and in the days of the Shah's regime, they had participated in the Iranian forums of Confederation of Iranian Students that were convened in various cities abroad, and these people participated in organizing rallies and other democratic activities against Shah's dictatorial regime, and in support of democracy in Iran. So in those days they were really active people, some of them even risked their lives in the movement for democracy in Iran.
But in the last 24 years, they have basically been dinosaurs appearing in the critical periods and even then more negative impact of misleading those real activists because they have not been in the loop. They are like retired generals who have been aways for 24 years and that is a long time for a general to stay in shape.
They have not done any serious theoretical work all these years, and they still like to speak for the movement, as if they are the leaders of it, when their ideas are very dated and what they present as issues of Iran, are at best things that were important at the time of the Shah, and today their so-called warnings, more mislead the current movement, than even helping it to learn from history. For example, one of the most important issues facing the anti-IRI forces abroad in the last 24 years has been the IRI lobbyists. What do these folks have to say on IRI lobbyists? Nothing.
When you talk to them, they even deny IRI lobbyists to be an issue, because they are not doing anything with the press or in forums or trying to build am anti-IRI voting block, to see how IRI lobbyists will be the blockade in front of them, as lobbyists work hard to help IRI regime from falling. So why don't these so-called "leaders" of opposition know about all these IRI lobbyist issues? It is because they have not been in the movement of the last 24 years, and the pre-1979 movement did not have to deal with these issues. These are *real* issues particular to the anti-IRI movement, which they basically have not been part of, and the experience of anti-Shah democractic movement will not answer these important realities of the anti-IRI Pro-Democracy movement of the last 24 years.
Well, these so-called "leaders" of opposition, after years of being outside the movement and attending to their life, for which I do not blame them, they should not speak on theoretical or political issues of Iran's Pro-Democracy movement today, with their readings of 24 years ago, and I do not expect theoretical or political contribution from them either. But why don't these folks at least do things like helping the active groups and people in ways they can, like financial help to the students or to groups like MEHR? Is it that all these people can do is to imagine themselves as "leaders" of opposition after 24 years of being away from it, and just to tell naive people who are active, stories of anti-monarchy movement of the past. Their words remind me of this satire in Persian which best describes these people:
Basically the stories of anti-Shah years are not an answer to the complex issues of handling monarchism in the current Iran Pro-Democracy movement. I believe most of those who are advocating monarchy are because of these so-called "leaders" of the republican movement, when they see that at best these people have been useless waste of time in the last 24 years, who do not do anything and want to imagine themselves as future leaders of the secular republic of Iran.
I think many of those so-called monarchists could have made a lot better and more active *republican* parties and groups, than these so-called "leaders" of opposition claiming to represent the secular republic, people who just show up from one time of upheaval inside Iran to the next. When students movement in Aban and Azar and finally Khordad this year were strong, suddenly these so-called leaders of opposition showed up and were in rush to form a next Revolutionary Council and were fighting among themselves who to include in their list of candidates. The same way previously they suddenly were charged up when the murder of Foruhars and writers happened, and these people were suddenly hot and active thinking they will be the ones forming the interim government. But when the tide subsides, they disappear forgetting all their sudden enthusiasm.
Frankly the so-called monarchists have been a lot more active than these people. As I had noted before, Prince Reza Pahlavi had done more work for human rights in Iran in the quiet years in between the sudden surges, than these so-called leaders of independent democrats. I think either Prince Reza Pahlavi will see that Iran and Iranians want a secular republic and will abdicate, and will help the leadership of Iran's Pro-Democracy movement to achieve a secular republic, a role similar to Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia, or these so-called republican leaders will start actually doing something rather than basically not doing anything, and just showing up from one surge to another surge of the movement, waiting to be the next president or prime minister of Iran. I hope at least they help organizations like MEHR.ORG that are really active doing something for human rights and democracy in Iran, such as what they are now doing trying to take IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran) to ICC (International Criminal Court) for the crimes against humanity.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
August 20, 2003