Monday, January 02, 2006

Expansion of Havana-Tehran Ties

Its one day before going back to the daily grind of work. From tomorrow its back to commuting on the over crowded, dirty and often late London underground trains. Trying to forget the stressful day ahead, I occupy myself with reading the news about the old country on the internet. The bus drivers leader, Mansour Osanlou is still in prison, two more publications have been banned, and then I come across Rafsanjani's meeting with the Cuban ambassador to Tehran, Fernando N. Garcia. Rafsanjani stresses the expansion of ties between the two countries. Suddenly my thoughts wonder towards thousands of Iranian Marxists killed and imprisoned by the Islamic regime.

Many of my friends and class mates from the teenage years were amongst the victims. Ordinary fun loving kids who were suddenly swept by the hysteria of the mass frenzy in 1979.

Friends whom I played football with in the back streets, friends who had suddenly become active sympathisers of the revolutionary Marxists groups of that period in Iran. Many of them had little knowledge of Marxism-Leninsm, they had read a handful of pamphlets, but in the unnatural zeal of those days where everyone had to belong to some revolutionary trend, they were the unlucky ones who had drawn the short straw to help lead the Iranian proletariat, or so they thought.

Many of them had swapped pictures of their favourite footballers with posters of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in their bedrooms. They regarded the Cuban revolution as the ultimate ideal. They regarded Cuba as the utopia they were after. The Cuban leaders in their eyes were the uncompromising figures whose examples they wanted to follow.

When the brief post-revolutionary honeymoon of freedom in Iran was over and the clerics quickly took control of all power and the crackdown started, the Iranian revolutionary Marxists who had helped the mullahs to power were amongst the first victims. It was not however only the leadership of the Marxist groups who were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and executed. The Islamic justice recognised no discrimination in age and size. Ordinary teenage kids, boys and girls, who may have only been involved in handing out some leaflets or sold publications of the Iranian Left-wing groups on street corners were rounded up and taken away. Ayatollah Khalkhali, the mad mullah, would visit prisons and round up prisoners just to satisfy his daily quotas for executions. For Khalkhali those in prison were not kids or human beings, he treated them like lottery numbers. He even killed one innocent teenager who had unknowingly approached his car to sell a Left-wing newspaper. Khalkhali took a simple attitude, "If they are innocent they will go to heaven after execution, so whats the big deal?". Those who were rounded up in the early eighties and survived the sadistic desires of Khalkhali, were mostly killed later in the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners. Even if the survived they had lost the best years of their lives in prison.

During all these arrests and killings, no Cuban official ever raised an eyebrow, no Cuban ambassador lodged a protest against the mullahs, no Left-wing group marched in the streets of Europe to protest. Fidel Castro never mentioned the imprisoned innocent Iranian kids who idolised him in any of his long fiery speeches.

Political thinking of the masses is very much like fashion trends. Ideas become fashionable at certain times and then fade away. Just like you may look at some old photographs and cringe at seeing the old jumpers and flare trousers you wore many years ago, you can look back and think, how on earth did I believe in all that nonsense?! In the West you have the luxury of adopting controversial views during your student years, go on marches, heckle officials, and as you grow older and wiser you can simply write it all off by saying that you have seen the errors of your judgement. Such luxuries do not exist in an Islamic regime led by those who think they represent God on earth.

I think back and think of those friends, had they lived, how would they have reacted seeing all these friendly ties between the Islamic Republic and their utopian state, Cuba? How would they react reading about the Cuban ambassador meeting someone like Rafsanjani? or Fidel Castro walking hand in hand with Hassan Khomeini?

I feel so sad for those innocent kids who were duped by all that Marxist propaganda. They died for nothing. They died for wrongly idolising hypocrites disguised in guerrilla fatigues with fancy slogans who like all other dictators are only interested in one thing, remaining in power.

1 comment:

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