Monday, December 31, 2007

1977 UK Archives on Iran

Each year the UK government releases a set of 30-year-old documents to the national archives for public study. Two interesting ones from what I have read so far have grabbed my attention related to Iran in 1977.

First one is around the death of Ali Shariati in Southampton, UK. Shariati is often referred to as the intellectual force of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Almost all the MeK supporters I have ever come across who played an active part in bringing the Shiite clergy to power in Iran, started their misguided path by reading Ali Shariati's books. Shariati had a great aptitude for creating Socialist interpretations of Islam, and his books particularly impressed youngsters who had never read a book before. Shariati's sermons and his publications were instrumental in turning away the Iranian youth from secularism and nationalism and instead poisoned them with a cocktail of Islamic-Marxism, fondness for the Algerian revolution and glorification of martyrdom.

Shariati's supporters, as can be seen on his official website always claimed that he was murdered by the Shah's secret services, yet the released archives confirm that his death was due to nothing other than a heart attack.

The next document that grabbed my attention was the Shah's very accurate understanding of the players in Rhodesia. In his meetings with Anthony Parsons, the then UK ambassador to Tehran, the Shah expresses his concern about the future of Rhodesia and states that the Mugabe-Nkomo alliance is that of a temporary nature and short-lived political expediency. He expresses his clear preferences for Nkomo and refers to Mugabe as a dangerous village Marxist who will lead the country to ruin.
Remarkably accurate predictions 30 years ago!

11 comments:

Winston said...

Now there is this stupid guy Sorush who is going on the same path. These ANtelectuals never cease to amaze me. Furthermore, I think our very own late Shah was an excellent politician and strategist who could understand the geopolitical forces and roles very well. Almost all of his predictions came true: Iraqi invasion of Iran, partial civil war in west and east of Iran after his departure, Mugabe being the dictator of Zimbabwe, his majesty's prediction of weakness among western politicians to deal with this new threat of Islamism, ... etc. I think the late Shahanshah is an under-appreciated man of our history. I am kinda regretful that he couldn't do what he wished for us.

Anonymous said...

But was it wrong of the Shah to put Shariati in jail?

Azarmehr said...

Yes probably it would have been better to promote secular intellectuals to challenge Shariati's nonsense. However were there enough secular intelectuals who dared to do that? As someone recently quoted from B. Gracian to me, "Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit"

Anonymous said...

"اين خصومت ها نگرش هاي اجتماعي و حيات سياسي ما را مسموم ميكند. بهترين راه رفع آن توسل به قوانين اسلام است. اگر ما مسلمان حقيقي باشيم كشمكش طبقاتي به هماهنگي طبقاتي و وحدت ملي تبديل خواهد شد" شاه در مصاحبه راديويي پيش از نخست وزيري مصدق.

وقتي كه خود شاه مثل شريعتي فكر ميكرد روشنفكر سكولار بدبخت چگونه جرات ميكرد با شريعتي و لمپن هاي مذهبي درافتد؟ آيا دستگاه شاهنشاهي جان اين گونه روشنفكر را تضمين ميكرد؟

Winston said...

اقای ناشناس

شاه هیچگاه پنهان نکرد که مسلمان هست اما از اون نوع مسلمونی نبود که سر مردم رو ببره یا دست قطع کنه. خود شاه مسلمون سکولار بود

Sohrab said...

Winston you are dead right!

"Islamic socialism" is the kind of absurd, self-contradictory intellectual contortion that could have only been produced by mediocre Islamist philosophers who have ruined our country with their bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Actually, a popular belief in Iran is that Shariati was killed by the I.R. agents in England..

Rayan said...

ایکاش همه مسلمونهای دنیا مثل شاه فقید ایران بودند

Anonymous said...

Hi!
Democracy & secularism say when quote or use an article, you should mention the author and/or researcher.

Regards,

Majid Tafreshi the researcher and writer of the article in this post and other seven articles on 1977 documents at the BBC site.
mtafreshi@gmail.com

Winston said...

من هم تا دیروز فکر میکردم ملاها این شریعتی رو کشتند

سورنا said...

واي بحال بدبختي كه قهرمانش ابوذر غفاري باشد