Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Taboo of the West

Sam Ghandchi

تابو غرب


The taboo of relations with the West is a big disadvantage for the Iranian independent democratic forces, and these forces may end up to become a pawn in another game like the hostage-taking.

Hostage-taking was staged by the pre-industrial forces of Islamism in Iran, to legitimize their retrogression, under the banner of fighting foreign interference, and IRI has been using the theme of so-called independence and anti-Americanism for decades to rally the democratic forces for its own retrogressive goals.

Examining the history of relations with the West will be very useful to give us a perspective when looking at today's attack of pre-industrial forces on globalization.

I believe the approach of us Iranians, when dealing with Western powers, has been flawed for over a century. All our progressive historians and politicians, have written only about the interferences and mischief of the Western powers in Iran, and have portrayed the self-pity as the independent stand, and have not reviewed whether the approach of Iranian progressive forces, in dealing with the West, has been flawed or not.

It seems like our progressive personalities, and political organizations, had viewed all relationships with the West, to end up like that of vosoogh-ed-doleh, and they always avoided any relationship with the West, especially when not in power.

When in power, some like Mossadegh, had to deal with the West, and were not well-established in their rapport, not only with the West, but even with the Soviet Union, whereas their reactionary counterparts, like Qavam-ol-saltaneh, had established a thorough rapport, not only with the West, but even with the Soviets.

I think the mistake has been that our progressive politicians had considered all relationships with the foreign powers to be that of a puppet and a master, which was mostly true about Shah's relationship with the U.S. and hezb-e tudeh's relationship with the USSR. Also our progressive politicians had thought of relations with the West, as if it had to mean a secret deal with the Western governments, whether involving territorial promises, or not, like that of vosoogh-ed-doleh in the long past.

The above are not the only possible types of relations with the West, and in fact these are the master-slave relations, that are mostly formed in secret, behind the closed doors. A proper relationship does not have to be like this.

A representative of an Iranian political or human rights organization can *openly* contact a Western government or a Western political party, such as the U.S. Democratic Party, to discuss issues of mutual interest, and there is nothing wrong with this. An Iranian political or human rights organization does not have to be in power to create such international relations, and does not have to speak for *all* Iranians before creating such relations.

Of course, such relations do not mean that such organizations are representing all Iranians, and it simply means that they are representing their constituencies, and as such are discussing issues of mutual interest of their constituencies, with the spokesperson of the constituency of their counterpart. This is something that political, cultural, and human rights organizations in the Western countries have been doing between themselves, for over a century, and their relationships are not limited to the relations of heads of states or political parties that are in power.

I think the critical point in all these rethinking of relations with the West should be *full openness* about any such contacts, and making sure that the constituencies are well-aware of all discussions, especially when such contacts are with governments, or offices related to various states.

Unfortunately, not only the hostage-taking, and death threats against Salman Rushdie by the Islamic Republic of Iran, isolated Iran and Iranians from the West, but the Iranian political and human rights organizations have also fallen in trap of isolating themselves from the West, by being scared to be called pro-US, etc, avoiding to contact various governmental, political, and human rights organizations in the West, regarding issues of mutual interest. The only organizations they contacted were the U.N. or international human rights bodies. I think this is not enough.

In a way, Iranian progressive forces self-censored themselves, even when they were living in the free atmosphere of the West for 20 years. This taboo only has hurt what they could otherwise achieve, and has further kept the Iranian progressive forces isolated from the world.

I think it is now time that all progressive forces of Iran to establish *open* and *direct* contacts with as many political, cultural, human rights, media, and governmental organizations in the West and elsewhere, to communicate their stands on Iranian issues to the rest of the world.

Staying away from *openly* discussing issues of mutual interest with political entities in the world, only helps the ones who are making secret deals with the worst enemies of Iran, behind the closed doors, to succeed. The same ones, whom at the same time, have their veins inflated giving anti-imperialist slogans, are issuing death sentence to kill pro-democracy students.

It is time that we get rid of all these nonsense taboo that we have believed as "anti-imperialism", which has only helped the enemies of Iran to speak to the world, as the sole representatives of Iranians all over the world. Below let's see how pre-industrial forces approach the West before focusing on their approach on globalization..

Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher


August 26, 2004




This article is part of Chapter 8 of the new edition of Futurist Iran book


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