Letter From Iran

          
          l)Ec. 11
          A STORY from the Kennedy
          )‘ears which li ts the rare qual-
          ity of being true is that once,
          w hen tIle P resident was ot he rwiSe en—
          gaged, Dave l>owers, his original guide
          to the pour Irish of Boston and later a
          Corn hijied compalli ) ii and jester at the
          White house, was delegated to kill a
          few minutes with the Shalt of Iran.
          Subsequently, he was asked how he
          liked his Imperial Majesty. ‘‘/A,Tel],))
          Powers said, ‘‘lie's our kind of Shah.''
          I was reminded of that story when
          I saw the Shah few weeks ago here
          in Fe he ran. At that point, M diammed
          Reza Pahlavi wasn't anybody's kind of
          Shah. I Ic received we, as he had on
          several of my p ic i'i ois visits, in a ball-
          room on the second floor of tile Nia—
          varan Palace, on the northern outskirts
          of Ieheran. lie 1ook d pale, spoke in
          subdued tones, :uul seemed dwarfed h
          the vast expanse of tile rt on, wit Ii its
          huge, ornate eh;tndeli is and heavy
          F:n pii e furniture. He wore a double—
          breasted suit whose blackness suggested
          moti ruing. He St a rte il wit ii a ii api 1 gy
          He was sorry to have kept rue waiting.
          l'lte American and B ritishi Ambassa-
          dors had been in to see him. ‘‘‘l'hey
          tried to cheer me up,'' he said. “As if
          there were anything to lie cheerful
          about.”
          I expressed surprise at and, indeed,
          felt some suspicion about this show of
          glut m . There had it d ti no list iii —
          tions in many P ;11ts of tlic L'I) )ilitr ', alit 1
          strikes, hut 1'elieran, ipart from tile
          university, seemed cal ni, and the A rnly
          was in thorough control. ? ioreovcr,
          the opposition was headed by the l/1 s—
          1cm clergy, and tlie were clearly di—
          vided. Surely, I said, the factions could
          he played off against each to in r.
          ‘‘Possibly,'' the Shalt said, shrugging
          his shoulders in an elaborate show of
          disbelief.
          I pointed our that tie leader of the
          lay oppositit ui, Kit rin t San a hi, was the
          to go to Paris to see the nit st intransi-
          gent of tile religious leaders, Ayatollah
          Ruhollah Khomeini. Die gossip in Te-
          heran ‘was that a compromise deal was
          in the works. Sanjahi would win KJio—
          mcmi's blessing for t coalition govern-
          ment. The coalition would make ic—
          forms but maintain the nioiiarcliy.
          ‘l'he Shah expressed doubt that KIto—
          mcmi would agree to that. ‘‘Certainly
          not with Sanjabi,” he said.
          I further noted that, while there was
          ohvh tuS unrest in the Cowl try, the Shah
          himself had lifted the lid by easing up
          on security and initiating -efo -ms, May—
          he all that was required was a si, we r
          pace and more publicity for the changes
          he had made. I mentioned that one of
          the problems was corruption in the
          royal family. He had decreed a new
          code of conduct fur royal behavior, hut
          it had not been published. Could I get
          a copy? The Shah agreed—with. a
          weary air.
          If worst came to worst, I went on,
          there was always the Army. The mili-
          tary was strong, and its leaders were
          loyal. f'lie Shah said that force had its
          limitations. “You can't crack clown on
          one block and make the people on the
          next block behave,” he said.
          I asked him if the Army leaders
          realized that. “I hope so,” he said. He
          went on tt mention his soji and heir,
          Crown Prince Reza, who, at eighteen,
          iS 110W an air ca(let in Lubbock, Texas.
          The Shalt said tlta t he might not he
          able to pass all his powers tin to his
          son, bitt 1 ie could at least pass on the
          throne.
          I remarked that I had never Seen
          him so sombre, and asked when the
          black on 4)1(1 hail begun.
          ‘tile unit- in so turner,” lie said.
          ‘‘A tiy 5l)& i 1I reason?''
          veil us,'' lie said.
          I iii tiniated that maybe he was over-
          doing the blues to elicit sympathy atiti
          perhaps sup,iort from tile United States.
          ‘‘//‘hi;tt could America do?'' lie asked.
          I said that that depended upon what
          hi:ippeticd , and asked him wh:it lie
          thou gut that might be. “I don't know,''
          lie said.
          I asked him what his advise is
          thought was going to ilithtl iet i. ‘‘Many
          things,'' lie said, with it hitter laugh,
          and he msc, indicating that that
          all he had to say. - - —
          ‘] HE day after seeing the Shah,
          I drove, with an Iranian friend w
          had agreed to serve as an interpre
          to Qurn, a religu)us ceri ter with a p°p
          lation of roughly two hundred arid
          ty thousand, about seventy—five mi
          south of Teheran. Qum is the C .'tt..i
          try's foremost training center for
          priests—or mullahs, as they are kno
          in common parlance—of Shiite Isian
          the creed of ninety per cent of Ira
          thirty-six million people. Shiism iv,
          made the state religion at the hcg
          fling of the sixteenth century by a ne
          dynasty, the Safavids, who needed
          dig in against the Ottoman Turks. T'
          Shiites form the minority—--and larg.
          Persian—branch of the Moslem ii
          gion. As distinct from the ma o r
          branch—the Sunnites (who for ci-;
          tunes vested the line of authority fr,,i
          Mohammed in a caliphate that
          Iowed the tides of history frt.m l
          Inascus to Baghdad and thence, tk.
          the Turks, to Constantinople)—_ k
          Shiites traced the line of desce”
          through the Prophet's son—in—law, A
          Au, according to Shiite law, was
          first of twelve Imams, or holy lead.- ;
          The twelfth Irnam withdrew from
          world and is due to return some tin
          as a Mabdi, or Messiah. Au was burii:
          in An Najaf, and his son, Hossein,
          Karhala, and those cities, now :
          are, after Mohammed's tomb in Me
          ca, the principal shrines of Sbiite is'
          The eighth Imam, Rez ., d-
          Meshed, which is a town some
          hundred miles east of Teheran, an
          the mist holy shrine in Iran. Reza'
          sister, Fatima, died in Qum, so the
          includes Iran's second holiest sh :nc
          well as many madressahs, or sern::a.
          The most renowned students
          Islamic law in Qum, Meshed, an
          other major cities ate referred c ; i y
          the title Ayatollah, which means, lit-
          ct-ally, “Sign of God.” Fc)r roughly th
          past fifty years, the Ayatollahs of
          have been the dominant religious lead-
          ers in Iran. Ayatollah Khomei'i,.
          though born in eastern Iran, was ecu-
          cated in An Najaf, and then in Qu-
          and subsequently taught in Qum. : :
          achieved national stature between 196.
          and 1963 as the header of the oppos'
          turn to various features—including c:
          education and, many say, land
          form—of what the Shah called
          “white revolution.” In 1963, Kbomc
          was expelled, and moved to the s. t 'r
          of An Najaf. The raiica gime -
          Iraq, whic i in I 975. af:e: y a s
          bickering, reai.hed ar a 'm
          BP0005 88
          LETTEft FftOM IftAN
          , . -,!_
          
        
          
          35
          iwccd
          
          ( IZ ast
          wl;cfl trouai s
          €came intense 10 Iran,
          and he moved to PZIfls.
          He had been succeeded
          as the dominant figure
          in Qum by Ayatollah
          Shariatmndari. lor
          most of the past dozen
          years, the ,nadressali
          students have made
          Qum a center of op—
          position to the regime.
          Professor Michael
          Fischer, of I larva rd,
          who spent mitch of
          1975 in that city, ile—
          scribed the atmosphere
          at the time, in a mono-
          graph lie called “Ihe
          Qum Report,'' as ‘‘one
          of siege and coura-
          geous passive hostility
          to a state perceived to
          be the stronger, hat
          morally corrupt, °PP°—
          nent.” The p resc ut
          wave of troubles was
          Set in motion early
          this yea r by vi o I e ii
          demonstrations against
          the Shah in Qiim.
          I had telephoned ahead for an ap-
          pointment with Shariatmadari, and lund
          been connected with a Pakistani aide
          of his named Seyyed Rivzi, Who sptike
          English. Rivzi told me to be in Qium
          by eight in tile morning, because his
          Holiness, as he called Shariatmadari,
          went to the mosque at nine and Spent
          the rest of the day in prayer and medi-
          tation. My translator friend and I ar—
          rived before eight and, with the help of
          directions from the local police, found
          our way to Shariatmadari's quarters.
          He lives in a narrow hack street, paved
          with white brick and lined with yellow-
          ish walls. There are doors in the walls
          every ten yards or so, and, behind
          the doors, courtyards leading to build-
          ings that are used as offices and houses.
          We were first shown into an office,
          where we were received by Rivzi, a
          fat, middle-aged man wearing specta-
          cles and a black turban; he kept push-
          ing the turban hack from his forehead
          in order to scratch his scalp. Rivzi said
          that I was in luck, for His Holiness
          was feeling ill that day. Because he
          was not well enough to pray, there
          would he ample time for the interview.
          Rivzi asked me to disclose my qiles-
          tions in advance. He would write them
          down in Farsi and then read them
          off to I us hioliness—that way, there
          would be no mistakes I heg:in read—
          ing fri ni a list of p eSto ms I had P re—
          p;trcd. lie repeated them in F. tiglisli,
          then Set tiitin oiow,i iii larsi, tuutl 1e 1 (I
          them back to my Iranian friend for
          his approval tile translati on. A coo—
          p!e of times, the I. nglish Version oil my
          q estion differed Sign i fi ca ii tl y I m i ii t ic
          ot-iginal, ao(l at length r pointed out
          one of the (liscrCpaflc it -s. Rivzi Said, ‘‘I
          was not trained as :i reporter, bitt in
          the past few months I've been the in-
          terpreter for sixty—eight difFerent in-
          terviews. I've become quite good a
          framing questions. I lit pe y
          mind a little editing.”
          After the questions had been given,
          edited, and translated, we moved across
          the Street to see Shariatunadari. lie is
          a man of sev nty—six, with a white
          beard, a frail frame, and a thinitisli
          voice. He, too, wore a black turban and
          glasses—in his case, thick glasses over
          weak hut distinctly friendly eyes.. He
          received us in a hare, whitewashed
          room lit by a single electric bulb, which
          dangled from the ceiling. There were
          Some uninteresting rugs on the floor,
          and a curtain hung across the window
          on a string. Shariatniadari was lying
          down on an opened Crimson l)ed roll,
          with his head and shoulders raised nfl a
          purple pillow. Rivzi arid another aide,
          whose function I never discovered, sat,
          legs crossed, facing His Holiness. I sat
          : 11a lId t- hi III, :ilso C ross—i egged, hi it
          wit Ii 111%' hack ag:uinst a wall. In the
          C ‘ut-sc of our talk, which lasted sev—
          ml hoi t rs, a riotis people came in to
          see Sha riatinadari, kissing his hand,
          preSsing petitions on him, often with
          too ‘I1e between the pages, and then
          hit rrving awa '. A telephone by the
          bed roll rang frequently, hut it was an—
          swei-eil only rarely, by tile non—Paki—
          st:oni aide, who usually managed to pick
          it up after the c:ihler had stopped trying
          to get through.
          Sha na tniadari began by asking about
          my trip down to Qum. I said that it
          had been easy hut that we had noticed
          a lot of troops in the town and, on the
          wail (if his house, a scrawled sign say-
          ing “I )e:ith to the Butcher Shah.''
          His Ho1ine s said, “I don't know
          what is happening in Iran. I never saw
          a nation in such a spirit of revolt. It is
          cru pt in g like a v dcaiu i and, like a vol—
          en no, after hi jib liii g ii i p rcSsuu ic for
          years and years it is impossible to stop.”
          My fit-st question had to do with tile
          revival of religion iii Ira ii as :i political
          Iou-c-c. Shiariatniada ri said, “Religion
          used to he consideu--d marginal—_apart
          ft-urn the ni:iioustreani of events. Now it
          li;ts become ni uteh Stronger than before.
          The reas 01 is that religo 01 provides ;i ii—
          swet-s to pi-ohiems of Ci 'nscieuce. It pt- i
          vides a Vantage P°i t lot- fighitiuig in—
          ‘J -er- '/ot/y'c hazing .cp;-i/z-crs.”
          
        
          
          136
          DECEMBER 18,1978
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          UStiCe. In oti r Shiite religion, spiritual
          k aders are reatly at all times to assert
          the truth arid the right.''
          I asked him what injustices he had
          in mind. He said, “ Ve have never had
          free elections. I he elections in the past
          were all dominated by local magnates
          or the consulates of foreign powers.
          The consequence has heen that we
          now have laws repugnant to Islam
          and to the ptihlic interest. For example,
          alcoholic heverages are permitted.
          There is gambling. There is illegitimate
          sex—by that I mean sexual relations
          between people under twenty who are
          not married. The authority to marry
          is in the hands of civil oflicials. But it
          should not he. Marriage is not a deal
          or a contract. It is something spiritual,
          and so it should he performed by the
          religious authorities.''
          At that point, there were sounds of
          firing in the distance, and I started.
          ‘‘J)uzi ‘t he afraid,'' he said. ‘‘We're
          used to that kind ( f noise.''
          I asked him to tell me about the
          tr nihies in QuilL I {e said, ‘‘From the
          beginning of the (list it rhances in Qurn,
          we have asked people to speak their
          ininds, hut with calm and dignity, not
          in a provocative way. But I renieniher
          a few miiotiths ;Igo a company of sol—
          (hers headed by a major general walked
          into these lreme s :ind ailno (inc l.d they
          were on a mfliSsi (ml from the govern-
          ment. ‘l'hev st;u-ted breaking windows
          :iod sliootiiig, ( )tie person was killed 0 (1
          tile SJ t ;iii(l ;Iilotile r dietl in the lios—
          pita 1. Later, th government apolo—
          gii.c l. B Lit I ask, ‘How cati you apolo—
          gite for killing people?' Had it been the
          Prune V1ii iismer' house, would it have
          heeti enotai ii inemelv to apologize? Such
          an acti(•(ml ;iloiit- is i(leqii;tte for
          tile to deJa r i ii liol ' war or
          revolution ‘llt;mt might have
          let ppc tied if I We ic ii , t dc v (teil
          to til t Ca use of mn
          I asked hiiii how he would
          rectify tie ui ;iml% imi i5ti iiS antI
          wrongs he had cited. lie said that he
          favoriti it r ,tiirii 1 (1 tile CunStittitlon of
          1906 a (luclimil('iit that a liberal move—
          mci it wit Ii SLI 1 I lit fri IIII t Ii t' clergy had
          wrum i from time Qajar dynasty, which
          receded tile fairmily 1)1 tIle present
          Shah. 1 'hic 1906 constitution provided
          for, ;unoiig ((thi I things, a Supreme
          council >f t v religiotis leaders who
          — would have ii vct right over all laws.
          ‘‘If tile', foujitl tile l; WS repugnant to
          l 5hii l l 01. II) piiImci 1 )les (If justice Om-
          :igammist tile in temsts the majority,''
          Shariatmitdat-j s;iid, “they could reject
          asked .s' iat Wauki! haaaen if the
          five religious leaders disagreed among
          themselves. H said, “That would not
          he possible, for they represent tue
          highest spiritual authority.”
          I persisted with the question about
          a possible disagreement. “in that case,”
          he said, “the issue would he referred to
          the highest spiritual authority in the
          I assumed lie meant himself, and
          any doubts on that score were settled
          by Rivzi. He said, “His Holiness
          would have the final word.”
          I remarked that many people in
          rran, and in other parts of the world,
          had different views from His Holiness
          on such matters as religious liberty,
          land reform, and the role of women.
          He cut in before I could develop this
          theme. “The journalistic community in
          tile world,” he said, pointing a bony
          finger at me, “has constantly made the
          lihelluus charge that we religious lead-
          ers are anti—progres.sive and reactionary
          and anachronistic. That is not the case.
          want science, technology, educated
          men and women—_physicists, surgeons,
          engineers. But we also want clean and
          honest political leaders. Those who
          make the charges against us are them-
          selves reactionary, because their goal is
          to stop us from instituting a govern—
          mflent of hope. The government of God
          is the government of the people by the
          people.''
          I said that I would still like to know
          where he stood on the issue of equal
          rights for women—coeducation, for
          eXamj)le.
          Very smoothly, as if there were no
          break in the 1 ine of thought at all, he
          asked me hoW many Presidents there
          heid been iii American history. I said
          that it wasn't altogether clear
          whether tile figure was thirty—
          eight or thirty—nine,
          He said, “You come all the
          way over to Iran to ask about
          the rights of women here, and
          you don't even know how
          many Presidents you have had in your
          oWn country.''
          I explained that the matter was
          complicated by tile fact that Grover
          Cleveland had been President twice but
          not consecutively. I said that for the
          sake of argument we could assume
          there had been thirty—nine Presidents.
          “How many of them have been
          women? “ lie asked.
          I said that none had hut that that
          seemed to me beside the point. What,
          for example, did he think about coedu-
          cation?
          He said, “I'm not opposed to the
          education of women for all kinds o
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          ‘ W
          137
          We asked Rocky Graziano to choose his favorite Dakin.
          The buff k. A tough decision, because the champ was just
          like a.kid, crazy about all kinds of Dakins — bears, squirrels,
          walruses, elephants, the whole menagerie
          Of course, they say that the best prizefighters are just
          old softies outside the ring, but almost anyone of any age is
          a pushover for a Dakun Every Dakin is plush and furry
          Every Dakin is created with care and quality And every
          Dakin is irresistibly embraceable
          There's a Dakin for everyone At leading stores everywhere
          s. B it I do r a: want -oeduca& nJ
          ir to separate the SC000jS 01 learn—
          from the schoois of flirting. We
          5lam d n't look on women as play-
          gs, accepted as long as they are
          ig and beautiful, and then cast
          y. In Islam, the older the woman,
          t iigher her status. We know that in
          ucational schools there s a cor—
          ion of moral values, which is re-
          ed in the police records. The girls
          lop certain relations, and some
          illegitimate children, and others
          abortions. The girl loses her self—
          ct and her status in society. Either
          uffers a great personal loss or she
          up another way of life—prosti—
          asked him his opinion of abortion.
          aid, “In Islam, abortion is consid—
          murder. Therefore, abortion is not
          itted.”
          asked him his views on hirth con-
          He said, “Birth control depends on
          in circumstances. In small, over—
          Lated countries that have no land,
          control is acceptable. But in our
          try, where the population occupies
          one-fifth of the land, there is
          ced for birth control. Procreation
          d he free unless there is a particu—
          roblem. In our country, that prob—
          loesn't exist.”
          asked him whether there was
          ity in Islam for people of other re—
          s. He said, “In Islam, Christians,
          and Zoroastrians are all accepted
          ual—unless they become a Fifth
          nn for foreign meddling in this
          :ry. Jews are accepted as Jews hut
          defenders of Zionist aggression.”
          hen referred to the Baha'i sect,
          began as a retorm offshoot of
          Islam, and has been popular in
          particularly among educated peo-
          ho have done well in business and
          :s. He said, “Baha'i is accepted as
          ‘i per se hut not as a clique divid-
          p government posts among them-
          and working for the foreign in-
          s.,,
          sked him where he stood on the
          reform that the Shah had decreed
          63. He said, “Land reform is a
          on of the past. Even if there were
          objections made at the time, there
          no objections to the principle of
          reform hut only to the means of
          rnentation. The Shah could have
          the same thing in accordance with
          rinciples of Islam. That is typical
          • regime. In order to build roads
          treets, he destroys the house of an
          oman and does not give her an—
          house.”
          that point, Shariatmadari re—
          Rocky
          :cnd hk
          Dakin
          
        
          
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          priached rae for picking riot one is—
          sue at a time instead of dealing with
          the culture as a whole. ‘‘Culture is a
          mixture of many interwoven tiungs,''
          he said. ‘‘Yni cannot in fairness juSt
          pick on individual matters as if they
          were unrelated. For example, in the
          /Vest you cannot COnCeIVe of a banking
          system that does not charge interest on
          loans. But in Islam, for many different
          reasons, our view is that interest should
          not be charged.”
          I said that that was true; no one in
          the /‘Vest could .unrlei 'stand how a guy—
          e rnment without the power to raise in-
          terest rates could control inflation. I
          went urn Or say that his point seemed Va 1 —
          ol, and so I would shift subjects. I asked
          hint where he stood on the issue of meet—
          iii gs with reptesciltatiVcs of the Shah.
          lie lord tad some ‘‘ tinoflieial meet—
          ric s,'' he said, and went on, ‘‘Bitt
          we can't lriive uflicial meetings. The
          religious aotlrrrrities will partiCipate I I I
          ll offers of a solution to tire present
          problems, hut only with ii Lair and just
          ice ‘r i one n t m l par] ia inc n t. %Ve can
          Cr rIpe ate frilly rrrt ly a fter free elections
          rave returned a popularly chosen gOV—
          I'll In Cit
          I said, anti he acknowledged, that
          the Shalt ir;r,i trier! Or institute Some re—
          Irrruis riireeterl toward liberalizations of
          tue regime. I rrhscrvi'd that onarny
          ;/nlericirrrs felt tlrat President Carter,
          by iris It rtnn;ui—riglrts campaign, had
          played a r lie iii frrstering thrrse refxrrnns.
          Slrari rtin;rtiari said, ‘‘Carter's hri—
          nirann—rigiits P hey has riot been a very
          isnprrrtaist prirpellinig frrce, though it
          has mr it bee ii tally without effect in
          prmslrirrg liberalization. But itt Islam we
          rave sr nine skepticism imhrrrmt tire sinccri—
          tn' of Carter's irrminuntt—tights apprrraeh,
          bee a u e lie d rresr ‘ t apply it tr r tite U nit—
          cii Nirtirr is. In tire U.N., five countries
          have tire veto. I i it means we are Hot
          &‘qrmal. But the ;llnericans don't say
          ;mn lytiriiag about that.'' -
          a magnificent central square, the May-
          dan—c—Shah ; the exte ar rrdinary B ridge
          of Thirty—three Arches; and a gen-
          era] air of refined elegance. But even
          ftom the air, I could see burgeoning
          suburbs and smoke from factories—
          signs that change had come to Isfahan.
          A local oThciaI, who asked not to he
          mentioned by name, rapidly brought
          me up to date on rlevelopments in Is-
          fahan. He said, “F'ive years ago, there
          were five hundred and sixty thousand
          people in Isfahan, and this was one of
          the most beautiful cities in the world.
          Then the Shalt decided that there. was
          tot) much administrative and economic
          concentration in Teheran, and that he
          needed to decentralize. So he put a
          steel mill here. And an airhase, with a
          helicopter training center. Naturally,
          foreign companies followed suit. Bell
          I lelicoptc 'r came in with the . training
          base. I)u Pont put a plant here. Now
          we have more than a million people.
          ‘I ‘he doubling in five years of a J)opula—
          turn that had been stable for three hun-
          dred years has changed everything.
          1'lnis used to he an educational cen-
          ter, with a university, many religious
          schools, and lots of music. Now it is
          an industrial town, over three hun—
          tired thousand workers have come in
          from the countryside, most of them
          without their families. They live five irr
          six to a room in the poorer quarter of
          town. They make good wages—a do]-
          her seventy—five an hour—hut they
          don't have their families, and they're
          miserable. Everybody else has been af-
          fected, tot). Tine bazaar merchants used
          to he very important. NOW the banks
          manage credit, and the engineers are
          the big shots in town.
          “Students have grown up under the
          Shah, and they don't know what things
          were like before development started.
          All they know is that the Shah prom-
          ised that Iran was going to be like
          France or Germany. That isn't hap-
          pening. The huge surge in population
          means that services are spread too thin
          and are constantly breaking down.
          lucre aren't enough telephones. It's
          impossible to buy a car. The schools are
          jammed. Housing is scarce. During the
          past three years, there has been a re—
          cessiirn, especially in building, and
          manly laborers as'e out of work. So tire
          students are in a mood to reject every-
          thing that has happened. They are
          turning hack to the old days, and pur-
          suing an idealized version of what
          thtngs were like then. They are push—
          rug tine mullahs to go back and re—cre-
          ate the wonderful past. The mullahs
          see a cbarsce eg a . : eir prestge
          ; d oowe'-, T'he provide be r
          Portraits by
          YOUSUF
          KARSH
          of Ottawa
          in NewYork by appointment
          (212) TE 8-4565
          A C( ) UPI, E of days later, I flew
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          I ‘ic tnt! ag:s is acer run pa is V in g me irs an iii—
          terpreter. Isfaitani, as tIne 1966 Imachette
          (Jui,/, pr'rci:riisis with unwrnted effu—
          sirrnl, is “urnie of rite mist man'vellous
          Pla is inn tire world.'' lime CitS' lies on a
          (‘i:rteitu watered h zs large u:rsis and a
          Irs-ely str''anit. Sirah Ahbas 1——tise
          t.pe;itest 1>i - -rsiani ennperrri', flirt excepting
          TUT HAS NEW ZIP Xerxes and tire tlnr'ee I)arisiscs—-—isiade
          PREPARE TO MEET TUT. Dora/cd pride tO it isis capital at the end of tile sixteenth
          s,gnhlicarrt synrbolis,ri in Tot exhibit. Expluri,rs
          exhibit and i,tdividutils. gods. and symbols Cetsttit'y ; at tirat trifle, it had a pripula—
          as they appear on exhibit items. S ,cnd 5OUt titrrn of ahr ,rrt hal I a mnillhrn, and was
          time looking and appreciating — not reading -
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          Tl- l t fEW VO i
          139
          with a power base for outting rcsstrc
          orL the government to g:ve thc : ne
          consideration and importance they have
          been seeking for years. So the mullahs
          o along. That's the dynamic of trou-
          ble in Isfahan.”
          I asked about the circumstances re-
          lating to the declaration of martial law
          in Isfahan back in August, a month
          before it was declared in the other ma-
          jor cities of the country.
          The local official said, “That's a
          perfect example. All through the Sprin
          and summer, after riots in Qiim in
          January, and in Tahriz in late Fehru-
          ar), this town was seething with unrest.
          The workers were (lemandintz hctt r
          housing conditions, and more money to
          meet inflation. The bazaar merchants
          were bitching about the loss of their
          old status, about price controls, and
          competition from the big banks and
          supermarkets. The intellectuals Were
          complaining about the lack of freedom.
          The students were telling the mullahs
          to do their stuff, and the mullahs were
          saying ‘right on.' About the first of
          August, a mixed group of workers and
          students occupied the home of the most
          prominent local religious leader, A a-
          tollah Khademi. The governor-gen-
          eral and the local Army commander
          went to Khademi and told him to get
          them off the premises. He tried, hut
          he couldn't, On the contrary, the
          crowds got bigger and bigger. At one
          point, maybe twenty thousand people
          were camping there, Vhen Khadcnii
          tried to cool them down, the students
          turned ugly. They took down the post-
          ers of the Shah and put up posters of
          Ayatollah Khomeini. On August I I d i,
          the military decided to clear the place.
          rroops moved in, threw tear gas, and
          pushed the crowd out at bayonet point.
          The crowd then went on a rampage.
          It burned down a bank and a hotel and
          fifteen other buildings. It threw a bomb
          into a bus for Bell Helicopter employ-
          ees. That's when martial law was de-
          dared. The bazaaris—the bazaar nicr-
          chants—immediately went on strike
          and closed down their shops in protest.
          Fhe mad ressah students stayed in their
          schools, but they demonstrated every
          day, always making more radical (I C—
          mands. On the night of August 2lst,
          two high—school teachers, who had
          built up a large following of anti—gov-
          ernment young people, were arrested
          and sent to Teheran, Next day, the
          kids hit the streets, and there has been
          trouble of one kind or another ever
          since,”
          I asked for and was given the names
          of the teachers— wl i had been re-
          leased after a mop tli in custody. They
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          Parke Bernet's gallery at 171 East 84th Street, has done a great deal to nurture
          that interest.”
          “PB - Eighty-Four's ‘Victorian International' sales have been extremely
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          DECEMBER i8, 197 8
          ThE NEW YORKER
          Ii id no telephones, so my Iranian friend
          and I picked one—Hassan Zehtah—
          and drove mit to see him, lie lives Ofl
          the outskirts of town, in a neighbor-
          hood of n a r r ow, twisting u op nv e (1
          streets. The car could barely squeeze
          between the walls, and the puddles and
          mud in the r ad reminded me anew
          of the origins of the custom of remov-
          ing one's sh es before entering a
          mosque. Once we were in the neigh—
          ho i-hood, we had no trouble finding the
          house; everybody we asked knew Has—
          san Zehtab, and where he lived.
          Mr. Zehtah turned out to he a. partly
          bald, moonfaced muddle—aged man
          with a complexion slightly darker in
          tone than that of most Iranians. He
          was carefully dressed, in a suit, white
          shirt, tie, and sweater. I saw only two
          rooms of his home, and they were
          modest in size and hare of ornament.
          When we arrived, Zehtah was mcctii g
          in one of the rooms with about forty
          disciples. He agreed to see me. and we
          moved into the other room, with ten of
          his disciples coming along. I asked
          Zehtah to tell mc a little about who he
          was and what he believed.
          He said, “I'm forty years old, and
          I have been a schoolteacher here in
          Isfahan ever since I graduated from the
          University of Teheran, Tifteen years
          ________ ago. In all this time, I haven't seen one
          truly free election, or one instance of
          concern on the part of those in auithori—
          ty for the happiness of the people. I
          think the only way to bring about the
          happiness of the people is through an
          Islamic culture. We're given to under—
          stand that the ruling clique is talking
          about religion now, and putting on a
          turban and the white garments of
          holiness. But that is a mere pretense.
          Even a child can see through that. It
          is. like the ceramic facing on the wall
          of a building. Everybody knows that
          beneath the facing there is a real wall,
          of a different material.”
          I asked him if it was not true that
          under the Shah the country had taken
          large strides toward economic develop-
          ment over the past fifteen years.
          He replied, “I have to say with
          great sorrow that our economic growth
          is based on a windfall called oil. If we
          consider where we are, and then where
          the progressive States like Japan are,
          we realize how little We have accom-
          plished. When I think of Japan, I
          think of a verse:
          Leila and I were fellow-travellers on
          the road of life;
          She reached her home, and I am still
          a vagabond.”
          He said, “What we see here is infia—
          tion—prices for food have gone way
          op. What we see is the depletion of our
          oil reserves. At the present rate, we
          have only twenty years to go. /Vhat
          we see is an agriculture worth zero. We
          buy vegetables from Israel, wheat from
          the United States, onions from :ç r_
          key, meat from Australia, oranges
          from six different countries. Our in-
          dustry is just an assembly line for prod-
          ucts made in other countries. We
          would he poor fools indeed if we were
          satisfied with that.”
          I asked him what would satisfy him.
          He said, “My ideal future is within
          the framework of Islamic law. That is
          the guarantee of happiness and a good
          future for society. On particular reli-
          gious questions, I don't find it in my
          area of competence to make answers. I
          leave that to the highest religious au-
          thorities.”
          Al! during the interview, Zehtab, his
          disciples, my Iranian friend, and I were
          sitting cross—legged on the floor. I was
          extremely uinc on f mu ble , a nil it must
          have been evident, for one of the disci-
          ples asked if I would like a piece of
          fruit. I said yes, and he took an apple
          out of a bowl in the middle of the floor.
          He began to 1 t l it for me, hut at the
          first stroke of the knife the blade epa—
          rated from its handle, He held out the
          - broken knife. “There 31011 see it all,” he
          said in disgust. “Our country owns
          twenty-five per cent of Krupp in Ger-
          many, hut in Iran we can't even pro .
          duce a knife that cuts an apple.”
          Everybody laughed, and I began
          questioning... the disciples. All of them
          were students or professional men be-
          tween the ages of twenty and thirty,
          and had participated actively in many
          demonstrations against the Shalt. ‘1 ‘he
          all supported Zehtah in his quest for
          an Islamic society. I expressed surprise
          that young men with professional train—
          ing should he so drawn to a religion
          that seemed—to a %Vesterner, at
          least—not exactly with it. I went
          around the room, asking the disciples,
          One by one, a single question: “What
          (Irew you toward Islam?”
          The first to answer was a mullnh, in
          robes and turban, who had a degree in
          psychology from the University of Te-
          heran. He said, ‘‘My love for Islam has
          grown because I have studied it and
          compared it with other religions.'' The
          others—fouur students, two employees
          uf the National Iranian Oil Company,
          arm accountant, an engineer, and a
          plìysicist—all gave nearly the same an-
          swer. Two ‘)f them said that they had
          compared Islam with the teachings of
          a nineteen tim—cen tu my Eu 1-opea mm s ucia I
          Pbfhos ph . —tj i t is, Marx, whose
          I said that even if some countries had
          done better than Iran, Iran had done
          quite well.
          p
          jfth eM
          C/WW&
          1
          
        
          
          Ut C T1b .IL I5 97
          ThE EWYOI1I ER
          has be n taboo in Iran—and
          nd it preferable. Another offered
          generalization “Islam offeis a solu-
          1 o th.e complications of our life.”
          we drove away, I remarked to
          Iranian friend that the similarity of
          answers was disappointing. “You
          ‘t understand,” he told inc. “They
          followed the lead of the mullah. It
          sn't make for interesting answers,
          it makes them happy.”
          SPENT the night in Isfahan at the
          Shah Abbas Hotel. The clientele was
          rely foreign—a sprinkling of Japa-
          , Indians, Americans, and Europe-
          Apart from the sight of a section
          he hotel which had been damaged
          ng the riots of August, and an
          ed guard in the gardens, there was
          .igri of trouble.
          I lefore dinner, I visited Vanda
          :e, an American psychologist em-
          ed by the United States companies
          king in the Isfahan region. Mrs.
          :e reported that most of the Amen—
          in the area lived in a compound,
          ely removed from contact with the
          tians. They had the problems usual-
          ound in such communities. There
          great boredom—especially among
          children. Alcoholism was common
          .ng the women, and man)' of the
          iren had drug problems. There
          a good deal of contempt for the
          ians. “Because of their turbans,
          y Americans call them rag heads,”
          • Hake said. “That's the nicest
          e they call them.”
          Irs. Hake had some guests, and one
          1cm was a bazaar merchant from
          aid Isfahan family. “I could cry
          it what has. happened here,” he
          roe. “It used to he a paradise of Wa—
          md gardens and beautiful
          lings. Now the town is
          of strangers. There are
          people from the villages.
          y live in shantytowns.
          re are ten thousand
          ricans. They drive up
          price of everything—es-
          Wy houses. A house that rented for
          thousand rials per month live years
          now costs fort)' thousand nials per
          th. Many people are unhappy. One
          ay interests is a building project.
          workers were Afghanis—three
          li-ed of them. The other day, the
          rnment sent the Afghanis home.
          ow why: There was a crime wave,
          they did a lot of thc stealing. But
          dy gave me any warning. Now
          t do I do?
          Lots of the young men come to see
          about their problems. They don't
          v how to deal with the young
          ten sitting next to them iii their
          classes. In the past, they had never
          seen any women, even mothers and
          sisters, who were not wearing a veil.
          Now tlie see miniskirts and hare arms
          and hare legs. The say to me, //That
          do they want, these V men? //‘llat are
          they trying to do to me?
          “/Vlicn I go to Teheran, I feel as
          though I were in Hell. Somebody could
          die right in front of oii and floho(lV
          would do an v thin tr. l)eep sadness
          comes over me when r see the uses
          to which we have pitt our oil wealth.
          So it iS not SurJ)iiSing that t hcte has
          been a political eruption. hve years
          ago, Khomeini WflS nothing. Now he
          is held up as the equivalent of the
          Shah.”
          At breakfast the next day, I met a
          professor of religion at the university
          who had been educated at 1 larva nI and
          Oxford. His family arc memhcrs of
          the Baha'i sect, and he is going hack to
          Oxford, at least pa rtlv because of re-
          ligious persecution. I Ic said he would
          like to talk about the state of religion
          in Iran, but nob on condition that I
          not mentic'n his name. I agreed.
          He said, ‘‘As a student of religion, I
          rend wit Il gnat in te rest Toy n bee's ‘A
          Study of History.' I always wondered
          why he felt that the next stage of re-
          generation in the world would he reli-
          gious. I felt that religion had heen on
          the ru 11 all (IVC r the world for centu ries.
          In some places, there have been adjust-
          ments, hut they have been made oniy
          slowly and pain fully. Ci i ristia nit )' ac—
          commodated itself to Darwin, b 1 1 t it
          was hard even in a tolerant country like
          Britain. Islam has experienced a nuttnher
          of shocks and adjustments. lucre have
          heen several efforts to update tile re-
          ligion. But they have all failed. By
          and large, the clergy remains
          narrow, fanatical, and igno-
          rant.”
          He went on, “Tue mer-
          chants of the bazaars worked
          hand and glove with the
          mullahs. They were the two
          most conservative elements
          in the cities. Tile hazaaris usually rent-
          ed land from the religious foundations,
          and made tile foundations big gifts.
          But hoth the hazaaris an(l tue founda-.
          tions have been outmoded by recent
          developments. When I left Iran to go
          abroad to school, in 1960, this was still
          a backward country. Only a few Cities
          in tile country had running water.
          There were only about ten thousand
          people who had heco or wet-c at muliver—
          sities. Most 111(1 ustry was ha mimlicra Its,
          and mho(m t eight 3 per Cent of time people
          still lived in rural villages. In 1970,
          when I came hack, it was a (life rent
          country. All the %‘( mung pe pie—and
          that s over fifty per cent of )7U
          lation—were going to school. I ere
          are a hundred thousand univers;ty
          gra(luates 110W antI almost two him—
          dred thousand people in universities.
          On a normal weekend, between one
          and two million people drive out of
          Teheran in their own cars.
          “Tile mullahs have been losing stead—
          il 3 ' through these developments. Their
          base was education. Now they have to
          contend against state schools and urn—
          versitics. They've lost the large land-
          holdings they once had. Most of their
          endowments have been nationalizet!,
          and are controlled by tile state. No one
          ever paid muell attention to them until
          tile present wave of troubles. The ha—
          zaaris have also lost great power. The
          banks an(l big companies have taken
          away their control over loans and credit.
          ‘There are shops out in tile streets—
          across from your hotel, for example—
          So pople don't go to tile bazaar as
          irnuch. And for a while there was price
          inspection as part of a campaign against
          inflation. Ihat llit tile bazaaris very
          hard.''
          After a pause, lie continued, “Peo—
          11(1W don't remember what it was
          like in tile 01(1 days. As late as 1955,.
          I remember going with my father to
          a village in tile countryside. The local
          khan—tlic head man—(Ii(l justice the
          religious way. He cut off hands for
          thievery, splitting people's tongues for
          talehearing. There was a peasant in the
          village with a beautiful wife. The khan
          took her, and tile peasant complained to
          my father. Tile khan went out riding
          with my father, and they encountered
          tile The khan took his riding
          crop :mnd heat tiìe p cilSimnt SeilselesS.
          ‘“l'he oil hooi1 1 ended all tllat and
          P t it out of mnini. But it also brought
          lots of trouhle. Mainly inflation. I'here
          are buses 110W, ti 1 vegetal)les, butt
          most peoplc can't afford them. More-
          over, a lot of the money has been
          spent-—---I almost said wasted—on big
          projects an(1 arms purcllases tllat don't
          do ordinary people any immediate good.
          And it has to be said that on the cul-
          tural side the /Vestern world has not
          (lone well in iran. Students coming
          hack from Europe and tile United
          States present tile cities there as Mec—
          eas for drunks, whores, and illegitimate
          children. They depict a total break-
          down of morale. So to the di cuu1ties
          of local imdjustinent there is added a
          tarnishing of tile classic model. Ihe
          Wcst is seen xenophohically, as some—
          tiling frightening, and tile scarcll for
          old values is jmitensified.
          ‘‘It a 15(1 iii IS t( I be ;m, un ittemi t Ii at tue
          Silail, ill his c Ot 1 ) Imsiasni to build tile
          U'3umltrv, ignored the people ill it. ho
          
        
          
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          times, word went through the crowd
          that soFdiers were coming. ‘I he ranks
          broke and everybody rushed for CoVer
          But that day, at least, no soldiers caine.
          The professors, having no classes,
          were available and talkative. By far the
          most interesting was Karim Pakravan,
          an economist trained at the University
          of Chicago, whose father, a former
          Iranian general, had at one time been
          head of the security-police apparatus,
          known as SAVAK, and was now work-
          ing at tI)e Imperial Palace in a high ad-
          ministrative position. He came to visit
          me at my hotel room, and talked
          ft-eely (if his own Situation and that of
          his colleagues.
          “Young professional people. want
          to escape the establishment,” he said.
          “The establishment is evei-yhody who
          has i-cal power. In one way or another,
          either morally or financially, it is cor-
          rupt. Ve are not brave enough tO JO fl
          the opposition, hut by being at the urti—
          versity we maintain a passive opposi-
          tion. Our case against the government
          is lack of freedom. All creativity has
          heeti crushed. I teach a course in eco-
          nomies. I'm not allowed to say that
          there's mainuti'ition or poverty, or that
          we're underdeveloped. A doctor friend
          of mine went to the countryside to look
          at health problems. He found all the
          diseases typical of underdeveloped
          countries—trachoma, dysentery, that
          kind of thing. He didn't find cancer
          and hypertension—the diseases that go
          with modern society. So he was never
          allowed to make a report.
          “A whole generation of Iranians has
          been raised, educated, and given no
          freedom. Young engineers, for instance,
          have only a minor chance to take part
          in technological development. The Shah
          didn't develop a technology—he bought
          a blueprint of technology from the
          //Test. So there were very few major
          jobs for Iranians. At least ninety per
          cent of our people have been left out of
          development. I have a small consulting
          finn. I take only lm't'iIte clients. Unless
          we were huge and foi'eign, we couldn't
          get government contracts anyway. I
          might be able to do a project for the
          government at a charge of, say, ten
          thousand dollars for a couple of months'
          work. But people in the govei-nrnent
          would i'ather hire foreigners at a thou-
          sand dollars it day. That way, they get
          a kickback.”
          He continued, “Khomeini is merely
          a symbol of Opposition. He is respected
          as a Moslem, but he has no power. .Ten
          years ago, no prayers were said in the
          ‘3mversines. Religious Stct aSs were
          m : c cec, 5'(- '1, ' t e 'e is 2 ge.a uae s: .-
          . -oh eni Many of he students
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          masses were left out of his development
          program. The hazaaris were left out.
          The mullahs were left out. He thought
          he could hring them along th rough ceo—
          nomnic progress without any accompany-
          ing change in ways of thought. The
          heart of the difl culty, though, is the new
          group of university students. From fifty.
          to seventy—five per cent of them come
          ft-urn pool' homes. They at-c very dis-
          turbed when they sit next to a girl in
          class. They feel a sense of guilt, a fear
          of being polluted—of secularization.
          All this takes the form of opposition to
          the regime as the bearer of /‘Vestern
          values. The sexual drive pushes the stu-
          dents in the direction of religion, and
          the mullahs latch on to them to main-
          tain their position of importance.''
          WCK in Teheran, I found mount-
          ing turbulence and confusion. A
          wave of strikes that had started in Sep—
          timber with employees of the central
          bank had spread to thie r ban ks, to the
          telecommunications in(ltlstry, and to
          the oil workei-s. One day, there was
          a rutluor that the gas—station woi—kers
          would go on strike. I saw hundreds (if
          cii is lined up at several gas stations.
          Angry motorists jockeyed for position,
          oud in One place troops had to fire
          into the air to maintain order. The
          (university had been scheduled to reopen
          at the end of Scpttmlc'r, ;iiitl then at
          the cud of C )ctr ihe r. Each time, regis—
          (ration had bee it S rppe ul hy st tid en
          strikes and chemnoisstratioiss. ./fte r the
          seeond effort, the authorities gave up,
          and turned the camnp(us, iii dowfltown
          ‘1 ‘ehe ran, over to the tlcnu 0 1st rao irs.
          ‘1 ‘here wcre daily protests, amid rnc
          niot-iming I went to w:utch, with a viSit—
          ing American professor who spoke
          l”;ursj. Ai'mnc'ul soldiers iii tanks and iii'—
          mu (rrcd persurnmsel carriers patrolled the
          gates, but we were allowed in without
          an demand to show our credentials.
          ‘l'lme re we t'e two go nips of demnoust ra—
          ((Irs, mai'chiisg back and forth. ( )ne
          group—of about seventy—five students,
          almost all mnen—w;us clearly Marxist
          in its political SentinlentS. ‘1 ‘he Stul(Ii'u Its
          rm-ied placards denouncing inte ma—
          tis in:ul Imperialism, and chanted s1 g;uns
          calling for the unity of tIme workers.
          ‘I'he othie m' group, obviously Islamic in
          orientation, bore pictu res (If Ayatollah
          Khomeini and carried signs calling for
          in Islamic republic. There were sev-
          eral hundi-ed students in tile Islamic
          g ro up, md U duig ma fly women. All tile
          women wet-c veiled. Some wore the
          cluidor, a garment that envelops the
          body from head foot, while athet's
          wr -e hleea .''s , i'S”S. arir: sci'.r”e
          ve ed their heads a- d fac s. A few
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          ,co:me om r ' oCY families
          inceS The ” nave to rent rroms, and
          the financial burden is.unhearahle.
          Ther e has never been a systematic study
          made, SO we don't know hoW badly off
          they are. But they don't have enough
          money. They have to cluster six or
          seven in a room. In the last few years,
          there has heen an undoubted effort to
          reform things. There's real talk in the
          parliament. Those in SAVAN who were
          corrupt and who tortured people h;ive
          been ousted. There's an effort to bring
          roads to villages, and water. If there
          should he elections soon, I'd probably
          vote. But I wouldn't join the govern-
          ment. Next year is going to be had.
          Already, because of the strikes and
          the big wage settlements, it is t'lear
          that the gross national product will he
          down by ten per cent. There'll he an
          incredible inflation. One good thing I
          can say: At last, after twenty—five
          years, Iranian politics arc becoming in-
          teresting.”
          Pakravan put me in touch with an-
          other economist trained in the United
          States, who divided his time between
          teaching and working fur frail's Plan
          and Budget Organization. Because of
          his government job, he asked m c not
          to mention his name. He said that econ-
          omists at the Plan and Budget Or-
          ganization had repeatedly (lone studies
          showing that, while the national wealth
          was increasing, many people, particu-
          larly in the countryside, were relatively
          worse off. He showed me a report that
          indicated that the income share of the
          top twenty per cent of urban Iranians
          had risen from 57.5 per cent in 1972
          to 63.5 per cent in 1975. The share of
          the middle forty pet- cent dropped From
          31 per cent to 25.5 per cent. The share
          of the bottom forty per cent dropped
          from II .5 per cent to 11 per cent.
          /Vhile urban consumption per head
          was about two times that of the rural
          areas in 1959, it had by 1972 grown
          to three times that of the rural areas.
          But these studies, while circulated
          abroad, were, he said, not published in
          Iran.
          The economist went on to talk about
          the religious revival. “I was very ac-
          tive in politics during my high-school
          years,” he said. “At that time——the
          early nineteen—fifties—there were only
          two important groups: the Communist,
          or Tudeh, Party, and the National
          Front__which included the Pan—Irani-
          ans, who wanted to take over parts of
          Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan. The young
          had absolutely no interest in religion.
          After that, the political situation calmed
          fhc -re was a brief revival of poli-
          tics in 1961 and 1962, when Au Amini
          starteti the hind reform that the Shah
          later claimed as his own. The Tudeh
          Party was dead then, bitt the Natic miii
          Front was strong. ‘l'lw religious people
          did n't cmi nt. K horneini hecaine impor-
          tant only after he was (li-i yen into exile
          by the Shalt. The Shah's father, Re7.a
          Shah, h;ul been very successful iii fi gut—
          ing the mullahs. lie ill;ole ii di ed is—
          sa ult on the clergy--- b leing Wi one ii u
          take off veils, riding into tile shrines
          and beating lie in uhl;i is lie hi:ul pub-
          lic sympathy, because then the clertiv
          -Were curiiipt and /Ve;tlt liv. They were
          hated by everybody. Now they have
          lost their lands anti tile iihigiouis foiin—
          (lations. lhie ililillahis have hi 'eii puri-
          fied. They have the power ttl puvl! tv.''
          T HE economist at t lie plan iiiii t
          agency introduced me to
          Tehranian, an intellectual in i ns mid-
          dle thirties who had been trained :11
          Harvard and then eti—opted iiitu the
          Shah's SyStem as the head f an institute
          for the study of commit nications. I Went
          to see hun itt the institute, where lie
          looked every hit the lfuutopeati or
          American intellectual in his cozy oys—
          ter shell; he had a comfort;ible ofihe
          with a couple of secretailes, ;uid word
          a neat hlm suit, a silk tie, :uuid shoes of
          soft Italian leather. lie talked briefly
          ahiutit Iranian intihleeiiu;ils. lii ' s:i i,
          ‘ ‘1 lie great poihihem lacing -the
          versity graduates once thit ' are (suit of
          school is a lack of frecd,tn. Ve have
          lots of intellectuals and technocrats who
          have views, hut they a ri never allowed
          to express them. Everything is dictated
          from the top, and some of it is silly.
          For instance, •the government tried to
          build up the television network— -wit hi
          which I was involved. It was extended
          to the point where it reacheti Seventy
          per cent (if the people in Iran. I lien
          the palace intervened. They insisted
          that we show pictures of urban giler—
          rillas confessing their terrorist deeds.
          ‘They made us put Parviz Saheti, the
          head of SAVAK's anti-terrorist cam-
          paign, on the screen, giving his view (if
          history. We have an intelligentsia, bitt
          they have no chance to participate.
          They're just supposed to support the re-
          gime. But they don't like slavishly sup— I
          porting the Shah, so they turn against
          him. Yet, with all this, we have been
          surprised by the hreadthi of tue move-
          ment against the Shah. It reaches from
          plush Teheran to the remotest vil—
          lages.”
          Tehranian was said to have been a
          Marxist before he joined the govern-
          ment, and I had gone to see him pri-
          marily because I needed some help in
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          Th ‘O 1 EFt
          ascertaining the part that the Marxists
          had played in what had been happening.
          Clearly, the Marxists counted for some-
          thing in the movement against the Shah,
          hut I had been given the most diverse
          estimates of their role, from the most
          I surprising sources. The view around
          the palace was that the religious move-
          ment had been totally taken over iiv
          the Marxists. That view was shared
          by the economist who taught at the
          university as a form of “passive re-
          sistance” to “the esta blishmen t.”
          “The resistance is run by the Com-
          munists,'' lie had told me. “If you
          want to buy weapons, there is a nuin—
          her you can call and you get what you
          ask for. I don't know exactly who sup-
          plies the weapons—the Russians, tile
          Cubans, or the Palestinians. But they're
          the ones who have made the country
          erupt.” An American official, on the
          other hand, put absolutely no stock ii i
          the theory of Communist manipulation.
          He remarked to me that “the Army
          and the police and SAVAI< have hecti
          comhing tile country all year looking
          for the Communists behind the demon-
          strations. So far, they haven't found a
          single one. /Vhy Because there aren't
          any. The mullahs and the bazaaris be-
          tween them have informal networks
          that they've used for years to organize
          processions and festivals. That's all it
          takes now. 1'hat's all there is.''
          I told Teli ranian (If tile confused
          picture I was getting, and asked if lie
          could p(it me in touch with ahy of his
          former Marxist colleagues. He said that
          it would he easy, and set up an appoiIit
          ment for me witlì a friend holding a
          high post in the Ministry of In n'rma—
          tioti. ‘Ihe friend would organize an
          interview with three officials in the
          Ministry. I was not to talk about Marx.
          Instead, I should use the euphemism—
          “a European social philosopher of the
          nineteenth century.”
          At the last minute, I had to change
          the appointment from tile morning to
          tile afternoon, but that was no prob-
          1cm. 1 went to see tue official, and after
          a few moments he took me into a room
          behind his office. Three men, all about
          thirty, were sitting at a table with a
          woman—a graduate student at the
          University of Michigan, who acted as
          translator. I asked them if thcy were
          believers in the philosophy of a certain
          well—known European social philos-
          opher of the nineteenth century, and
          all three smiled and nodded. I asked
          them about their education and their
          jobs. They were university graduates—
          one from the Sorhonne, the two others
          from the University of Teheran. The
          man from the Sorhunne helped j)tlt to—
          gerber pubIic—opin r .n t oi s for the Min-
          istry, and tile two others had jobs as
          engineers.
          I asked what they found useful in
          the works of the nineteenth—century
          social philosopher. One said, “He ex-
          poses the impci'ialists and their rape of
          all the countries of the Third Vur]d,
          including Iran.”
          I asked how, specifically, the philos—
          opher's theories were relevant to Iran,
          and was told about the (lepletion of
          Iran's oil reserves and the purchase (If
          American WC OflS for open “use against
          the people.'' I asked about Iran's prac-
          tice (If selling natural gas to the So-
          viet Union and they responded that
          there was no shortage of natural gas.
          I asked if they felt that tile Russians
          hall ( IC 5 g OS on Iraii. All of tiieni
          thought that compa red to the United
          States influence, which was ‘‘all—perva—
          SiVC,'' tile Russian influence was ‘‘so
          small it d(IeSn't count.'' I asked what
          recent works by followers of the well—
          knowii nineteenth—century social phi—
          losc lphiLr the li;ui read .Afte some
          liusit a ti'' II, the man f n on the S rhon ne
          Sai(l, ‘‘Jean—Paul Sartre.'' No Other
          names were forthcoming.
          I asked how tile)' felt ahotit the reli—
          gi(o !s movement against the Shah. All
          said that they agreed with its oh 1 ec—
          tives, I asked if t here wasn't a con—
          tr:iihiction somewhere. Vasn't religion
          stlpp , osed to he ‘tue opium (If tile pco—
          plc
          ‘‘Sometimes that is true,'' I was told.
          ‘‘Rot in (levClo )iIlg countfles it is ohif—
          ferent. At times, religious feelings and
          social 1l1I(V('Ffleflts go hand in hand.
          Jh;ot is the way it is now iii Iran. /Ve
          are all of (IS tInitc(i against the Shah.''
          S I asked how they thought the go '—
          crnmcnt o f the Soviet Union felt about
          the Shah. ‘1 ‘lie)' said t i ey felt tilat thc '
          ila(l thi hacking (If Moscow.
          I asked whether they and their
          leaders were working from within
          tile religious movement. Ihere was a
          silence. IhlCn One (If them said, ‘“Xe
          arc in an Islamic country, and all So-
          cial movements inevitably have a re-
          ligious coloring. %Ve do not believe
          there will ever he Communism here
          as there is Conimunisrn in Russia or
          China. VVe will have our own brand
          Of soocialjsni.''
          Later, the official who had arranged i
          the interview told Iflo that I ShO(il(i
          have asked him the same (]ItCStiOns. ‘ ‘I
          believe that tile Communists arc ma—
          iliptihating the religious movement,'' he
          S tld. Still l;iter, an American official
          showed Inc a translation (If an article in
          A avid, a new, underground puhlica—
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          entitled ‘‘J'he ‘T'odch Party and the
          MIISICn1 MI)v& tnent, said, “/Ve are
          ready to put at the disposal of our
          friends from other political groups all
          our political propaganda and technical
          resllurces for the campaign against the
          Shah.'' I was also shown an inter-
          view with Iraj Eskandary, the secre—
          ta i'y—gene ral of the ludch Party, now
          living in exile in Moscow. Among oth
          er things, Eskaiidary said, “As far as
          the r cli gio us aspect of the present
          movement is concerned, it should he
          emphasized that the Shiite clergy can-
          not he viewed as a force demanding a
          return to the past, to the Middle Ages.
          Fhe position of the clergy reflects, to
          a significant e.xtent, popular feelings.
          And the fact that the religious move-
          ment is now pl;lying an important role
          in the rnohili 'Zati (In of democratic and
          nationalist forces against the dictatorial,
          :i iiti—na tionalist, and pro—impe rialist re—
          gime of the Shah can oniy he wel—
          co r ne ll. . . . /Vc are in favor of a union
          with all democratic forces, including
          tile religious oneS.”
          I I', tile role played by the Marxists in
          the fomenting of trouble remains
          obscure, tile role of the liberalization
          I HS() red by the Sli a ii a nIl his ministers
          looms larger and larger. ‘i'lie Shah ac-
          knowledged when I saw him that he
          ll:ld begun tO l(lOScfl things lIJ) ‘‘about
          tw i years ago.” I was in Iran in the
          spring of 1977, and I remember well
          the widespread talk of relaxation. Jim-
          my Ca rter's emphasis on ii oman rights
          Was one of the reasons, hut oniy one,
          anti not the moSt important. Iranian
          SttlllCfltS in the United States and Eu—
          o pe had focussed attention on the re—
          l) 1 'e features ilf the rcgiine—partic—
          ularly the practice of torture by SAVAK.
          Ihe international press, lcd by Le
          Month', of Paris, had picked up the
          theme. Both the Red Cross and Ant—
          I(CSEy International, the' private human—
          rights group based in London, were
          asking questions and proposing VISItS.
          But by far the roost important reason
          for the relaxation was that the rapid
          development that followed the great
          (il—price increase of 1973 proved too
          complicated for direct control from
          above. Dislocations and shortages were
          universal. I recall visiting a new alumi—
          n urn plant in an iitd ustrial area outside
          Teheran. The plant was supposed to
          accommodate several hundred workers,
          hut they had no housing and no trans—
          P(O 't, and there were no telephones in
          the offices. All over the country, power
          failures were frequent, and the pursuit
          of scarce goods and services drove in—
          th ri above :;‘ie twentv— ve -pe —cen-:-
          per—year level. An effort to hold down
          inflation hy fixing prices was faili n ill a
          spectacular manner. It was clear that
          the economy could he made to work
          only if there was Some freeing up,
          some devolution of authority.
          Signs of reform were ahu ndant that
          spring. Batches of prisoners were re-
          leased, and were allowed to talk to the
          press. The Shah declared that torture
          would cease—an admission that it had
          been going on. Corruption, which had
          never been far below the surface—as
          witness the Persian origin i f the word
          “baksheesh”—becarne public in the
          wake of a scandal that involved payoffs
          to high officials of the Iranian Navy.
          The National Front, the chief opposi-
          tion party, was allowed to circulate let-
          ters highly critical of the regime. Sni-.
          dent demonstrations went forward
          with only token harassment. Even the
          television appearances of Parviz Saheti,
          the director of SAVAK's political see—
          tion, were part of an effort to prove
          that the organization had a human
          face.
          ‘The direction of policy, to he sure,
          remained ambiguous. Low-level agents
          of SAVAK continued to stage raids on
          opposition meetings. Investigation of
          corruption at the highest levels was sys-
          tematically blocked—reputedly by the
          Shah's entourage. But a key figure in
          the entourage, Amir Assadollah Alam,
          the Minister of the Imperial Court,
          fell ill in 1977, and died in New York
          early this year. His departure from the
          Court Ministry opened the way for a
          political change that signalled an un-
          doubted commitment to reform. In
          August, 1977, the Shah appointed a
          new Court Minister, Amir Abbas Ho—
          veida, and a new Prime Minister, Jam-
          shid Amouzegar. I saw both men at
          their homes in ‘Teheran in late Octo-
          ber of this year, along with the Infor-
          mation Minister in the Amouzegar
          government, I)ariush Hornayun. They
          all talked freely, but not for mdi—
          - vidual attribution. /Vhat follows is
          my interpretation of their accounts
          of what happened during the twelve
          months beginning in August, 1977—a
          period of sweeping reforms that boom-
          eranged to injure them, and the Shah
          as well.
          H OVEIDA, an affable and highly in-
          telligent man, with degrees in
          history, economics, and political science
          from the Universities of Paris and
          Brussels, came to the Court Ministry
          after nearly thirteen years as Prime
          Minister—the longest term in modern
          tin es. He hac . :‘. ma c-r baod m the :‘ap—
          :d c1eveoumer that c.ha ged the face
          
        
          
          153
          of ‘Ira i ar Q sciiretl so mriiy o ts peo-
          ple. Though he wa said to have been
          tolerant of corruption in the past, he
          was reputed never to have been on the
          take himself, and he certainly did not
          live on the grand scale. He had realized
          •as early as 1975 that the pace of de-
          velopment had to he slowed down.
          ‘°sVe're in orbit,'' he had told me at the
          time, “and we have to come down to
          earth.” He brought to the Court Mii i—
          istry a determination to achieve eco—
          norniC slowdown and political rcfo
          As he saw it, the key to both was end-
          ing corruption at the highest levels.
          From the beginning, he worked with
          the Shah on a code of conduct for the
          royal family. That project brought him
          into conflict with many members of the
          family who had been active in private
          business affairs. In July, 1978, after a
          long and hitter battle, Hoveida finally
          won the Shah's approval for the code
          of conduct.
          The code was not published, for
          fear that the spelling out of what was
          henceforth prohibited would he re-
          garded as a confession of past guilt.
          But the fact that it was adopted was
          made known, and caused virtually
          every member of the royal family to
          leave Iran. Here—published for the
          first time, I think——is the code that the
          Shah approved last summer:
          CODE OF CoNnucr FOR THE
          IMPERIAL FAMILY
          In order to maintain the high status of
          the Imperial family, which is respected by
          all Iranians. the following principles are
          instituted as the Code of Conduct of the
          Imperial family:
          I) Refraining from conduct considered
          distasteful by social custom.
          2) Refraining from any acts or actions
          not in keeping with the high status of the
          Imperial family.
          3) Refraining from direct contact with
          public officials for the purpose of handling
          personal business. These matters will he
          handled through the Ministry of Court
          or His Imperial Majesty's Special Office.
          4) Refraining from contacts with for-
          eign companies or organizations which
          are parties to contracts and deals with
          Iranian public organizations.
          5) Refraining from receiving comnuis-
          sions for any reason whatsoever, from
          companies and organizations, foreign or
          Iranian, which are parties to contracts or
          deals with the Iranian government.
          6) Refraining from receiving valuable
          gifts from persons, companies, or organi-
          zations.
          7) Refraining from deals of any kind
          with public organizations, he it the gov-
          ernment, organizations associated with
          the government, municipalities, or public
          organizatiOns.
          8) Refraining from direct or indirect
          (through third person or persons) part-
          nership or holding shares in companies or
          orgaiiizatWfls that are parties to deals
          :;.e gpv ;r er c. punliC orgaluza-
          tions.
          9) Rdrairting from founding or hold-
          ing shares in organizations or companies
          whose activities are not compatible with
          the high status of the meiflt)CrS of the
          Imperial family, such as restau rants, cab—
          a rets, casinos, a iid the like.
          10) Refraining from the use of facili-
          ties and properties belonging to govern—
          me ot and pu 1)1 IC org aniz a ti otis for p ri v ate
          use.
          11) Refraining from tile use—for pri-
          vate or commercial purposes—of the
          services of the eniplovees of the govern-
          men t and associated org mhz a ti otis tv ho
          also have respotisihi Ii tics and lu ties in
          fou ndations :issocj ateil with the I mpe ri al
          family, or related organizations.
          12) Ref raining rom asking for special
          favors or ma k i tig reconi mend at h ins to
          public officials in the in te rest of ni em hers
          of the un pt ri I family ii r otlie rs.
          13) Ref raining f rofli the use of legal
          exemptions for persons outside of the liii—
          penal family.
          14) Refraining from the use of nation-
          al i zed It mis he longing ti t the gov e r OmenS
          Or pu hI it o rgani z at ii i tiS for the pit nit se of
          profiting, for example, t Ii rough c inst r uc —
          tion projects or establish itig conime rci a I
          service, or industrial organizations.
          15) Ref r ai Iii ng f toni receiving ally thing
          from persons (natural or legal) in lieu of
          influencing public officials in order to le
          pa Ii ze acts which would not otherwise be
          eligible for prolit—niaking (such is part-
          nership in ownership of large pieces of
          land in return for registering such lands
          for the purpose of making profit
          16) Refraining from the use of nation—
          alizeti lands for agriculture anil dairy
          proj ects.
          17) Ref raining from accepting positions
          on the hoards of I tint r aoce, hati king, :t nil
          other companies.
          18) Voluntary compliance with secliri-
          ty regulations and wi atever relates to
          public order.
          19) Protecting the prestige and respect
          of national values and beliefs outside of
          the country.
          20) Refraining from contacts with for-
          eign embassies in frito unless through the
          Ministry of Court.
          Amouzegar came to the office of
          Prime Minister with a reputation as a
          brilliant public servant. Hc was cdii—
          cated at the University of Teheran, at
          Cornell, and at the University of
          Washington, and has a Phi). in civil
          engineering. Before becoming P rime
          Minister, at the age of fifty—four, lie
          hati successively headed four Minis—
          tries—Lahor, Ag nc nIt tire, F'inance,
          and Jnterior—-—an(i had also served as
          Iran's chief ncgotiator ii the price—
          fixing sessions of the Organization
          of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
          Though less supple than Hoveida in
          political matters, Arnouzegar was
          thought to h equally free of Corrtip—
          hon arid far more competent in ceo—
          florfliçs As Prime Miiiister, he set his
          to curtailing infi atino anti runt—
          Ing hut Corruptu in at the ministerial
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          — -— . -- ‘.—I. . '
          level. 3 y squeezing hard on the money
          supply, he Cut Jn ation from thirty—five
          per cent in August, 1977, to ten per
          cent in August, 1978. In the process,
          he earned the enmity of mans' of those
          dependent on credit, including most of
          the bazaar merchants and the high
          rollers in the construction field. As for
          corruption, he pushed General Nema—
          toilah Nasseri out as the head of
          SAVAK and off into a corner as Am-
          bassador to Pakistan. He forced Fl 1 1 -
          shang Ansari, the Minister of Finance,
          to step out of the Cabinet and become
          head of the National Iranian Oil Corn-
          pan; . He obliged Mayor Gholarn Reza
          I Nikpay, of Teheran, to quit. Those ac-
          tions put him at odds with both the
          Shah and Hoveida, who had close ties
          to several of those who had been shunt-
          ed aside. In the recesses of the Imperial
          Court, an intrigue was concocted which
          came to engulf everybody.
          The starting point was tile death,
          late in October of 1977, of Sevyed
          Mustafa Khomeini, the son of the ex-
          iled Ayatollah. Tile Son, a mullaii, was
          forty—nine at the time, and he (lied,
          according to supporters of the Shah, of
          a heart attack. His father suspected foul
          play, and, during the Shiite days of
          mourning for the dead, which fell, in
          late December last year, circulated a
          number of letters throwing blame on the
          _______ Shah. Early in January this year, there
          was sent from the office of the Court
          Minister, Hoveida, to the Oulice of the
          Information Minister, Homayun, the
          text of an article. Homayun, as was
          the custom, passed tile article on for
          publication to the editors of a leading
          Teheran daily, Ela'alaat. The editors
          at the paper were sufficiently disturbed
          by the text to check with Homayun. He
          told them that it came from the Court
          and they should go ahead and publish
          ole!, it. The editors then apprised Amouze-
          zaif gar of what was in the works. Arnou.
          zegar called Homayun, who repeated
          I c the explanation that the article came
          from the Court and was supposed to
          he published. Exactly who wrote the
          ‘rId, article is not known to me, hut the un-
          willingness of those involved to name
          a the author suggests that it was either
          the Shah himself or somebody acting
          is, on his orders. My impression is that
          part of the motive was to embroil the
          Amouzegar government with the re-
          ligious opposition.
          The article appeared on January
          7th. It boi-e tile title “Iran and the
          Red and Black Imperialism,” and con-
          tained a harsh Personal attack on Aya—
          tollaii Khomeini rt started obliquely,
          7 with references to tile recent days of
          moo riling in which Ayatollah K u 0 —
          ji
          meini hau cu 'cuiateci his grievances
          against tue Shah. Ft iiinvetl ()fl to a
          discussion of forces designated as Red
          and Black Imperialism, meaning the
          Communists atiti the clergy. It said that
          cooperation between tile two lad been
          “rare” hut 111:1 t a ii exception was ‘‘tile
          rinse, Since re, and honest cooperation of
          both vis— t— “is the ‘Iranian revolution,
          especially tile progressive and reform in
          Iran.'' The article went on to recall
          the opposition to land reform hack in
          1963, including the ‘‘riots of June 5th
          and 6th,'' which had precipitated the
          expulsion of Avatol Ia ii Khomeini. It
          said that tile opposition to tile reform
          had conic from the Comm u nists
          grouped in the Jioleil Party and from
          ‘‘tile lalulowilers who had been robbing
          the peasants for many years.” These
          groups, the article continued, had
          turned for “succor to tile clergy
          since the clergy enjoy great respect
          among Iranians.” Most of the clergy,
          the article said, proved ‘‘far too intel—
          ligen t to act against the Sha h's—people's
          revolution,” so at tllat point the oppo-
          nents had decided to “recruit someone
          from tue clergy wilt) would he adven—
          ttirous.'' Ihat ‘‘someone'' had turned
          (lilt to he A atol1a II Khomeini. Accord—
          in g to tile a rticle, he had “an unknown
          past,” hut apparently llad lived for
          maIl)' years in India, where lIe had ( 1 C—
          veloped contacts with centers of Brit-
          ish imperialism” Ihe article concluded
          by denou llcing Ayatollah KIlotlic ini OS
          ‘‘Someone who had taken the initiative
          in carrying out tile pla OS of Red 011( 1
          Black I mpcrialisin . . . who fought land
          reform, tile Wc Ollell ‘5 v i ite, the nation—
          ali7ation of t he foi-ests who would
          sincerely serve cOilspirators and Fiftil
          Columnists.''
          On Ia ii ua iv 9th, two ilars afte
          the article ;upjlc:ired, the religious StIl—
          (kilts in Quiii went iflt(l tile Stree,,
          to piotes the att;ick on Khomeini A
          I I 500Moa
          I L3At HARBOURt
          L
          
        
          
          I I
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          cilill With h 111(1 eti iic 'd. Nine peo 1 )lo
          were killed 1 it I thuu IV Were IflJ ii red.
          loi 'ty daVS later, ii Juihiiz, a mt_iniinal
          service WaS held for those killed in
          Qum. Ag:siit, thee was a clash with
          (lice. I his time, thirteen people Were
          killed . After that, trouble came in Te—
          Iier;i it and Isfahait and Meshed, and
          tin-n iii Qtiiuu once more. August 5th
          tn iked ri-in's Constitution I)ay, and
          the eve of Ramadan, the Moslem
          month of abstention. The Shah de—
          live ie (1 a ililtil I I, wiii C te Ic visa h i sad —
          cast, pledging that he would go ahead
          with the liberalization p 1og im But
          all tii rough that month, in city after
          city, there were :issaiilis on the symbols
          of /Vc tein fir tdernity associated with
          tinS Shah's ruic——hanks, casinos, and
          cincittils. Jiie c;in1 )aigit reaChed a hor—
          rihin. climax i ii Ahadan, the Site of the
          colli ltr)'s largest oil iehuiery On Au-
          gust 20th, tile Rex Cinema was de—
          stro -v i by Irsurit, and SOInC four hun—
          dr c 'd and thirty people lost their lives
          ii t lie blaze.
          After that, Ammni 'iegar had had
          ciiougll. lie resigned as Pt-line Minister
          :uoi was ie 1)1 : (ec(l by [ aa far SI i a rif—
          I '.ii t;iiuti, a political 5-etc ‘au from a re—
          ligloils f:i ittilv WhO) hul worked closely
          with the Shah is, tit Ioilg (Oiler things,
          h r-ui of thu J 'iilia Vi lu iiuidation, a in ul—
          tiitiillioii—doll:i r St mi—li I II I V enter—
          pnsc-, which iS the owner of most of
          I ran's funrc ' gii holdings. Sitaril—Emami
          nioved swiftly huh (cross tii board to
          make cu Incessu ni to tile trouhlen iake rs.
          lie lifted tensorsiuii) and arranged
          for live radio broadcasts from thuc pre—
          v orislv lining Mijic's, tue lower house
          of thic 1 iarhiamuutiit. //hthi tile wraps off,
          i 'esi 'hitmeiit foiiiud tongue. Iii the par—
          liamnent and in the press, there was a
          Sn rge of ci ruiplaints ihoiit corruption
          and ciisciiinhitatiniuu against the middle
          and working classes. 1 he new govern—
          mt-itt met he strikes wit ii gene n ms
          (((ii t'c 'tSi))i iS oil Wages amiti In
          rein use tO eIi;ur es of corruption, in-
          vest ig:utiomus Were opened into the eaSeS
          of (jeiteril Nasseri (who was recalled
          from Pakistan ) and former Mayor
          Nikpav. Iiiirtv—four leading OfllcOtls
          rI AV '/ ‘ , including Puirviz Sibeti,
          we ic tiisntiSieii in One div. At every
          ul 1 ipnurtiuilitv, Siiaiif—Ernami sought to
          pl:ic:hie tue mullahs, lie closed down
          ‘;usira s, and eiiuemas showing foreign
          tilms. Provincial and university oflieials
          whirt it ad ti ke ii a St ruIng sta nd agai mist
          religion were replaced by milder men.
          Most important of all, Sharif—Einamni
          e itt e re ci in tt I eu 01511 tata inS wit ii rd igo (us
          le;uin.i's, mci tiding Ayatollah Shariat—
          m:ulari, and with the lay opposition, in—
          :?. ilg K :im San abic t e head ,f the
          National Front, full' : broad understand-
          ing about new elections.
          I /VENT to visit Sliarif-Emami in
          his () CC, just before the end of Oc—
          toher. I found a large, bluff, partly bald
          man in his sixties who exuded COflfl—
          deuce. He said that there, were many
          “dissatisfied and unhappy people in Iran
          who turned to the mullahs to voice
          their'grievances.” His strategy was “to
          establish a good relation with the cler-
          gy.” As he saw it, the clergy was di—
          vided into two groups. “One group,
          which follows Ayatollah Khomeini, iS
          radical hut very small,” he sai t i. ‘‘The
          other, which follows Shariatmadan,
          is moderate and very large. A split be-
          tween them exists in every city and
          every village.” He was negotiating
          with Shariatinadari for some kind of
          convocation where the majority could
          prevail. “They must do it,” he said of
          his plan for forcing a decision. “Some—
          hcidy must he the head of our clergy, a
          Pope.”
          He told me he was sure that lifting
          tile lid on censorship and on the Majies
          debates was the right thing to do. “A
          free press is much better than pres-
          sure,” he said. The economic conse-
          quences of the stiikes and the high
          wage settlements were, he thought,
          “utot serious.” There would be a cost
          to the state in higher wages and pen-
          sions, but that could easily he made
          tip by a cutback on expensive military
          projects and plans for nuclear power
          plants. He favored the allocation of
          more money to the villages, for “by in—
          cl-easing c i-edits for machinery, electrici-
          ty, atit! water, rural life can be made
          mote attractive and agriculture more ef-
          fective.” He said lie hoped to “draw the
          men who came to town back to the vil-
          lages.” He acknowledged that inflation
          might he a problem, bLit he hoped to
          keep it down by subsidies on basic corn-
          mnrdities—rice, bread, sugar, tea. He
          did not fear a military coup. “If they
          come in, there will be killing and shoot—
          lug,” he said. “Nobody wants that.”
          He did sense that a test would be com-
          ing within the next six weeks, and he
          hoped to put together a large political
          grouping that would help open the
          way to fm-ce elections. Among other
          people, lie mentioned former Prime
          Ministers Floveitia and All Amini. “I'm
          a patient man,'' he said. ‘‘I do not in-
          tend to leave this oflice until there is
          calm in Iran.”
          S HARIF-EMAMI had begun the inter-
          view by saying that that day Te-
          heran, at least, was cairn. But driving
          From his oflice back to nv . ‘uotel I had
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          S it happened, nobody's plans—not
          those of the Shah or those of
          Prime Minister Sharif—Emami or those
          of former Prime Minister Au Amini or
          those of opposition leader Karim San—
          jahi—carried the day. On Wednes—
          day, November 1st, the Shah, appar-
          ently convinced that Sharif—Emami
          cc uld not continue, received Au Amini
          for the first time in years and began
          con versations concerning the formation
          of a coalition regime. According to the
          local press, Amini told the Shah he
          needed support from Sanjahi, and the
          Shalt agreed to receive Sanjahi on his
          return from Paris. On November 3rd,
          after seeing Sanjabi, Ayatollah Kho—
          mcmi said in an interview on the Paris—
          based Radio Luxembourg, “WTe have
          told the representatives of the opposi-
          tion, such as Au Amini and Karim
          Sanjahi, that if they agree to negotiate
          with the regime they will be banned
          from our movement.'' Karim Sanjabi
          came hack to Teheran and called a
          press conference to announce his terms
          for negot ating with the regime. The
          press conference never took place. By
          that time, events had pushed another
          set of actors, the military, to center
          stage. J'wci months before, on Septem-
          ber 4th, there had been large demon-
          strations in Teheran to mark the end of
          Ramadan. Though the demonstrations
          were peaceful, thousands marched, and
          the military feared that matters might
          get ou r of hand, on September 6th, the
          government banned unauthorized gath-
          erings, and the next day there was an-
          other large rally against the Shah in
          ‘l'eheran. That aftem-noon, the military
          leaders went to the Shah and asked for
          a proclamation of martial law. The
          Shah told them to clear it with the
          Prime Minister and his government.
          The issue was argued between the sol—
          diers and the Cabinet late into the night
          of September 7th. Toward midnight,
          the Cabinet gave its consent, and early
          the next morning martial law was de—
          cre ' d a Tehe aa a: e .even ot. er
          c ti s. . 3 u' t wi s - : r a pubEc
          the Shah. Tic detains all the liberals
          and keeps down men of integrity. He
          likes thieves. He has sexual weaknesses.
          He is not sincerely for liberalization.
          He wants to gain time, divide the re-
          ligious from the lay opposition, and
          go hack to his old system, which is
          essentially military rule.” Of his
          isit to Paris, Sanjahi said, “I am not
          worried about my coming encounter
          with Khomeini. I am an optimist.
          A y atoll ali Khom eini doesn't want
          chaos. We have to turn to Ayatollah
          Khomeini.”
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          1 L
          pr( ‘clamation to reach most people. Lat—
          er that niorttiug—F'riday, September
          8th—a large crowd gathered in Jaleh
          Sc 1 oare, a central meeting Spot in down—
          town Teheran. After repeated orders
          to hsperse were ignored, the security
          forces opened fire. More than a hun—
          trying to c w tr, and man; hund i 'cds wounded
          , I he shock of that massacre caused
          C er everybody to draw hack. l'rime Mm-.
          ister Sjiarif-En-iami was able to ne-
          gotiate a lOoSe understanding
          whereby martial law was not
          cnforr'ed to the letter. Strikes
          by civil servants, which had
          hegun in September, were
          not broken up, though they
          Were illegal. Nor were stu-
          dent ilemonstra tions, though
          th niartial—law proclanlatoun
          forhade :tiiv gatherint of
          more than three persons. ‘‘There was
          niarti :ti law without there exactly he—
          iiig martial Jaw,'' th Prime Minister
          observed to inc.
          ‘J'h:tt f(e/.J.y ciundition put dO ohVi—
          ‘015 S(l:uiIt Oil tile military leaders. ‘J'op
          $8.95 con mantle is were unsure of their
          At bookstores spt usihil ties. t one point, in October,
          the commander of the ground forces,
          79 Madison Avenue, N.Y. 10016 M ADIII (; iiet-al (..fliolaiii Au ()veisi, sent an
          officer to warn th staff of th Log—
          Nearly all originally lisllla I igIa , ' daily against ar—
          tides lie cojisitlertul inaccurate and in—
          Ii a nina 0> ry. ‘I ‘lie rep rtc rs the rc Lip iii
          This Christmas Ii ie end to go ‘it strike, and the
          Give a Friend (orYourself) Prime Minister hacked them up. Unit
          continande is lie ye r knew exactly when
          The Magazine ‘ ‘ riters Read -
          to intervene. At least some of the rank
          ‘Th.e Paris Revie v nd file, and p' rhaps stone of tile jun—
          Now celebrating twenty-five ior ofliccrs, sided with (!emonstrators.
          years of fiction, p l1T and inter- ( )n two oCcdSioIls, provincial police of—
          views on the craft of writing. iiccrs Were shot by enlisted men in the
          Issue 74 includes !nterzitw.r .‘ riny.
          :viih Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Moreover, the military leaders had
          Oates, & Margarct Drabble; trouble re;ichiiug a consensus on what
          Ficilni by Max Apple & Alex- to do. Ihe Shalt, to assure his suprerna_
          ander Theroux ; Poetry by cy and to guard against coups, had set
          Charles Wright & Vinçcnte lines of eofllml inicatiuin
          Aleixand - with many ulifli rent security orgaitiza—
          O $11 for6 issues 0 $ni fr 12 n tiolls and their lealers. Ilk' Shalt him—
          0 $ tUO fur bk self is Sulli-eme Connnandet- of the
          o t enclose $— 0 ISill a rmetl fi rces. lie has a personal chief
          — of stall, General Cholain Reza Azlìa 1 -i,
          Name who oversees :11 the branches of the
          Address military, anti meets tetc—a—t te with the
          City State Zip Shalt twice a week. There are the
          Mail to: The Ps,i, Rcvieu ' chiefs of the three separate services—
          45-39 171 Place, Flushing, NY. 11358 General Oveisi, commander of the
          grou nil forces, with two hundred and
          CruisebeautifulFrenchcanatson eighty thousand men; Admiral Kania—
          hotelboat! Superb French cuisine. leddiri llal)ihollalmi, commander of the
          Relax on sundeck or cycle llas';ll Ilees with thirty—two thousand
          alongside while floating through ., . - - -.
          Burgundy. Visit picturesque vi!— llk 'ti and General Amnir Hossein Rahu,
          ages and chateaus. Individuals or - coninm;inder of the Air Force w t
          charter groun (maxirnurr-12 . °ar s ç - , -, . -
          pic¼u -4C ON 2 5 / 5t* -t 1 ° ‘gl t ( O( ‘ ‘ I ---W ) ,
          Belleville, tL 52223,618-397-7524 etd ' t Ow vir.ua y to the hab. .t here
          iS tile head ui tile rural poliec,_ or gen-
          darmerie, which is some seventy—five
          thousand strong and exercises adminis-
          trative control >ver all villages with a
          population of less than four thousand,
          General Abbas Gharahaghi, who was
          also Minister of the Interior in the
          Sharif—Emami government. There is
          the head of the secret police, General
          Nasser Moghaddam. There is, finally,
          the head of procurement, General
          Hassan ‘Toufanian, who also serves as
          Vice-Minister of War to a
          figurehead Minister of War,
          General Reza Azimi.
          Tile differences in mili-
          tary specialty are compound-
          ed by variations in personality
          and experience. The corn-
          manders of the Air Force
          and the Navy are relatively
          young men—hoth are forty-
          six—and do not carry a lot of weight
          in the system. Air Force General Rabii
          is known as a typical fly-boy, weak in
          political and geopolitical understand-
          ing. General Oveisi, a former class-
          mate of the Shah at the military col-
          lege, is particularly close to the ruler.
          General Azhari, the Shah's chief of
          staff, is sixty—nine and is noted for his
          deliberate ways and lack of ambition.
          “He is underwhelming,” an American
          who worked with him once said. “He
          always gives the impression that lied
          rather climb a mountain or read a
          book than command an army. He's
          exactly the right man when tensions
          run high.”
          Toward the end of October, I went
          to the Army headquarters, northeast
          of Tehe ran, to visit General Oveisi. I
          found a solidly built, plainspoken man
          wllose chest was covered with ribbons.
          lie was in a distinctly unhappy mood.
          He did not like one bit the messy poli-
          tics associated with the Shah's liberalj—
          zation campaign, which he felt played
          directly into the hands of the Commu-
          Ilists. He said, “Two years ago, the
          Shah decided to let people be really
          ft'ee. Iranians who had fled the coun-
          try—writers and people like that—
          came back here. The National Front
          began speaking out. The Communist
          Party began acting up. The religious
          people asserted themselves. Basically,
          there were two types. One group was
          very religious. They followed Shariat-
          inadari, and they didn't meddle in
          politics. The other group specialized
          in politics. They were the followers
          of Khomeini. They started to organize
          People ilgailist the government and its
          iflstitutjofls. The Communists took
          adv tntage of the si .atic . , They
          made s ro, g statements. They burned
          banks a.oci schools. Swre s ' dents and
          
        
          
          165
          many instructors in high schools and
          cofl th s are Commurilsis. The instruc-
          tm-s persuaded all the students to
          go on strike, and so all classes were
          postponed.
          “Most people in the United States
          and Europe are against our government.
          You send journalists here who see only
          leaders of the opposition. Then the
          journalists produce stories that are
          broadcast by the radio here and printed
          in the press. So the people here think
          they are not free.
          ‘“We have a well—disciplined and
          well—trained Army. The forces arc
          ninety-nine per cent loyal to the Shah.
          Maybe there's one per cent not loyal—
          I don't know. I just say that to he care-
          ful. So we are not worried. WThat does
          worry me is that there is a Communist
          Party growing stronger. What worries
          me more is that when the Communists
          use freedom to write or to speak to un-
          dermine the government, the govern-
          ment is silent. When people strike and
          make difticulties for others, it is not
          coriect. It jeopardizes security.”
          General Moghaddam, the head of
          SAVAK, who is a tall, pleasant-faced
          man with receding iron-gray hair, ex-
          pressed similar ideas when I called on
          him in late October at his headquarters
          in Teheran. He said that the demon-
          strations were “organized one hundred
          per cent by the Communists, working
          through students and religious leaders.”
          He said that he himself had talked with
          Shariatmadari. He was convinced that
          Shariatmadari “supports the regime hut
          is afraid to speak out”—afraid be-
          cause the government offered no pro.-
          tection. It was too weak to take action
          even against the Communists. “Two
          weeks ago, we identthed a writer who
          was very active in provoking people
          to demonstrate against the govern-
          ment,” he told me. “/Ve asked the
          government's permission to arrest him.
          We were told no. Ve did arrest sev-
          eral press people for instigating rebel-
          lion with false stories. /Ve vere obliged
          to release them all. The military and
          the police now have things under con-
          trol. But there are dangers. It is dim—
          cult for our security forces to attack
          young people. If the students keep
          pouring into the streets, they will para—
          lyze our security forces. If we had a
          powerful government that met di-
          culties in a powerful way, we c.uld
          deal with the troubles. But we now
          lieve the government is not stroTig
          enough. We in the security forces—in
          the Army, the police, and SAVAK—
          feel handcuffed.”
          The security forccs''SC315e of heintr
          handcuffed by a weak goverflfllcflt n-
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          PAPERBACK
          The
          Sea,
          The
          Sea.
          fl(3veI
          “It has so much ide. so much imaginative
          and intellectual eflergy .. marvelously
          entert&in ing ,” — Times biterary Supplement
          both sly and tantalizing.”
          — i. ss evie vs
          T}i E V i IN( R SS
          evit;tbly intensified in late October and teetor of the conStitUtion and undertake
          c:triv I/ovemher. I)emonstrati ns grew that past mistakes not he repeated anti
          I hej compensated. I hereby give assur-
          ever larger in Scope, and strikes spread, arice that government will do away with
          caching the oil industry and threaten— repression and corruption and that social
          i&i0 to cripple it. Negotiations fur a justice will be restored, after the sacri-
          widet- coalition picked up steam. In the fices you have made.
          first week of November, the two series At the present juncture, the Imperia
          Army will fill its duties in accordance
          of events moved in counterpoint to a with its oaths. Calm has to be restore
          showdown. In Paris, on Novembei with your cooperation.
          3rd, Ayatollah Khomeini refused t i invite the religious leaders to help
          play at coalition—making and ordered restore calm to the only Shiite country in
          the world.
          his followers not to stop demonstrating I want political leaders to help save
          until they had, forced the Shah from our Fatherland. The same goes for work-
          power. In Teheran, on November 4th, ers and peasants.
          the university students, sallying forth Let us think of Iran on the road
          fi-om the campus, toppled a statue of against imperialism, cruelty, and corrup-
          tion, where I shall accompany you.
          the Shah at the entrance. The troops
          there forced them hack onto the cam— By validating the revolution and
          pus. But the next (Ia>', November 5th, pledging early free elections, the Shah
          there was another (lemonstration. This presumably hoped to put a straitjacket
          time, the troops fired first into the air on the soldiers even as he handed over
          and then inu the crowd, killing several power to them. He named as Prime
          stu(lents. The students went on the Minister of the new government the
          rampage, burning banks, theatres, and mildest of the military chiefs, General
          the British Emhassy. The (lay after Azhari. But the military, once in of-
          that, Prime Minister Sharif—Emami fice, acted with brisk confidence. So!-
          submitted his resignation, apparently in diers were moved into the refineries,
          protest against the breach of the under— and the striking workers, threatened
          standing about limited use of martial with the loss of their jobs, gradually
          law. The military, with General Oveisi went hack to work. I)emonstratious
          in the van, sei etI time opportunity, were repressed with heavy force. Sev—
          They insisted that the resignation he eral leading officials—including former
          accepted anti that a military regime be P rime Minister Hoveida; General
          appointed. Time Shah consented. Nasseri, the former SAVAK head; and
          former Mayor Nikpay—were olaced
          O N Monday, November 6th, at tinder arrest. %Vhen Sanjabi, the Na-
          fl(mn Teheran time, the Shah tinnal Front leader, after his return
          went on national television and radio from his meetings with Ayatollah Kim—
          with an extraordinary statement, lie mcmi in Paris, tried to hold a press
          announced the appointment of a mili— conference, he, too, was arrested. In—
          tary government, hut at the same time vestigations were opened into two high-
          he recognized the legitimacy of the op— ly sensitive matters—corruption in the
          position, and pi-omised to deal with royal family, and corruption in the
          grievances and to imive toward free Pahlavi Foundation. Either investiga-
          elections. He spoke with contrition, and turn could he conducted in a way that
          referred to himself as the Padeshah of might implicate the Shah himself.
          Iran——a term meaning simply “King,” The opposition reacted very strong—
          amid far less exalted titan Slmahanshah, ly. Both Ayatollah Khomeini in Paris
          or King of Kings. He said: and Ayatollah Shariatmadari in Qumn
          denounced the military government.
          Dear People of Iran: Khomeini exhorted Iranians to “broad—
          In the open political atmosphere, en their opposition to the Shah, and
          gradually developed these two recent
          years, you, the Iranian nation, have risen force him to abdicate.'' In a series of
          against cruelty and corruption. This rev— fiery statements, he called for a cam—
          olution cannot but. be supported by me, paign of mounting demonstrations dur—
          the Padeshah of Iran. ing Moharram—the Shiite month of
          However, insecurity has reached a
          stage where the independence of the mourning, which began this year on
          country is at stake. Daily life is en- I)ecemnher 2nd. He singled out as a
          dangered and what is most critical, the special target the holidays of Tasua and
          lifeline of the country, the flow of oil, Ashura, which this year fell on I)ecem—
          has been interrupted. 1 , 10th and 11th, and which corn—
          I tried to form a coalition govern—
          mnent, but this has not been possible. memorate the deaths of Hossein, the
          I'lierefore, a temporary government has third In iarn and the grandson of Mo—
          been formed to restore order and pave hammed, and his followers, at the Bat—
          the way for a national government to tIe of Karbala, thirteen hundred years
          carry out free elections very soon.
          I am aware of the alliance that haS Normally on Ashura, ‘religious
          ex stcm1 between ‘htica , m m c i anemic iranians dress themselves n b acl,
          I co-runtion. I renew my oath to he t're- gather at the urincipmt bazaar, and
          4
          fris Murdadi
          
        
          
          When someone
          drons a new word,
          pick up the expert.
          Biorhythm, punk rock, laetrile, and workaholic.
          These are just four of the more than 20,000 new
          words found in Webster's New World Dictionary,
          Second College Edition. All with precise, easy-to-
          read definitions. Pickup the most up-to-date diction-
          ary you can buy at your f vorite bookstore.
          Remember, the word “Webster's” by itself is not a
          guarantee of quality. Insist on Webster's New World.
          rd I to the main n c scjiie. As they
          march, Si ;n ie cot their h-eads with
          swords and whip their b dies with
          chains in an ecstasy of atonement. The
          processions, with blood drenching the
          garments of frenzied believers, are a
          revolutionary's dream.
          Sensing peril, the military govern.
          ment on November 28th banned “pro-
          cessions of any kind” during Mohar—
          am. Nevertheless, crowds demonstrat-
          ed in Teheran during the rst two
          days of the holy montlì, and there were
          violations of tile curfew on a large
          scale. Oil production dropped from 5.8
          million to below 2 million barrels a
          (lay. An exodus of Americans got un-
          (icr way. But even as high noon ap-
          proached, the major protagonists drew
          hack. The Shah ordered that a bun-
          tired and twenty political prisoners he
          freed on Sunday, December 1 0th. On
          December 6th, Karim Sanjabi, the
          National Front leader, was released
          from custody. On I)ecember 8th, Aya.
          tollah Shariatniadari, at a press confer.
          ince in Qum, urged his followers to
          avoid violence. That same day, the
          military government announced it
          would permit the religious processions,
          and the next (lay pledged to keep
          troops only in tile northern sections of
          I cheran, our of the line of march.
          On Sunday and Monday, December
          I 0th an(I 11 til, crowds of several hun—
          tired thousand paraded through the
          downtown streets. They shouted Is-
          lamic religious slogans, and showed
          hostility toward the Shah, the military
          government, and the United States.
          But there was no serious violence, and
          hose who tried to make trouble were
          constrained by more responsible ele-
          lileiltS fl tile i)rocession. the troops
          d ‘awn up in the northern section of
          ti two, in the vicinity of the Niavaran
          Palace, were not even tested.
          Obviously, there had been put into
          ticet at the last moment a typically
          Persian compromise. The palace and
          tue military government—working
          tllrougil former Prime Minister Au
          / inini—had struck a deal with Shariat—
          _____________________________ mu mdarj to avoid a violent showdown.
          But, though the testing time has passed,
          all the contending forces are still in
          idace. The moment seems ripe for
          steps toward a regime that limits the
          role of tile Shah, in keeping with the
          1 906 constitution. But the moment is
          mutt going to last very long. Just be-
          fore the peaceful processions began,
          Shariatmadari indicated that he was
          prepared to renew pressure if COnCeS—
          smons were not forthcoming. He was
          asked When the screw would he turned
          again. He sau , “ w il be soon.''
          —JOSEPH r RitF r
          UEr ' -tl!(ER ‘i , O78
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Tagged as:

Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Conscience, Political Freedom, Discrimination