IRAN’S PAST, IMPOSSIBLE PRESENT AND POSSIBLE FUTURE
TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.I.H. PRINCESS ASHRAF PAHLAVI ON THE OCCASION OF THE ANNUAL DINNER OF The ASSOCIATION OF UNITED STATES ARMY NORTHERN NEW JERSEY CHAPTER
AT: THE PINES MANOR EDISON NEW JERSEY - MARCH 20, 1981
The situation in the Middle East has never been as dangerous and explosive as it is today - from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, the Arab-Islamic World is upset with intense convulsions - especially acute are those shattering now my beloved country, Iran.
Naturally, in this volatile context, the Soviet Union is profitting and taking full advantage. Already she has occupied Afghanistan and thrown her mantle over Syria. She has introduced in Iran her stooges and communist valets who are waiting for the right hour to take over the land. She encourages South Yemen and the P.L.O. to destabilize Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf Emirates. Now the anarchy and chaos in to which Iran has fallen can only profit the Soviet Union.
Yet, two years ago, peace and stability still reigned in the region and oil was flowing abundantly at reasonable prices. All that thanks to the prosperous and strong Iran which my brother had built in 18 years of brave, continued and sustained efforts - from 1960 to 1978. The regime, in addition to being an ally of the West, was a source of stability for Iran itself, as well as all other neighboring countries.
Today, the general trend is to ignore all the realizations of the Monarchy and keep silent about its great achievements. But the results were there, for all to see, and the White Revolution initiated by my brother were bearing their fruits.
The growth rate increased 12% annually. Per capita income progressed in 25 years from $260 to $2, 200. More than 12 million children attended schools as compared to 250, 000 in 1960. In 1977, more than 200, 000 students from all income groups using the facilities provided by the government and the private sector were studying in foreign universities and spending more than 2 billion dollars a year. There were then 14 thriving universities against just a few in 1960. The Literacy Corps was busy teaching in the farthest corners of Iran and illiteracy fell from 85% in 1960 to less than 50%. The equality of the sexes was real. A majority of Iranians owned their own homes. The Gross National Product amounted to 75 billion dollars of which crude oil exports consisted of only 35%. Hygiene and public health programs had wiped out endemic diseases such as Typhus, Malaria, Smallpox, Trachoma, etc.
The standard of living of my compatriots had reached heights unknown in developing countries. There was full employment including a large community of foreign workers. Development programs were benefiting all Iranians and a strong thriving and growing middle class came into being. Huge industrial projects were achieved or in progress, and many more were on the drawing boards. Religious freedom for all sects created a climate of tolerance in which all ethnical and religious minorities were enjoying full rights.
The moderate and wise foreign policy of Iran had allowed for a constructive and fruitful cooperation with all our neighbors and the World Community.
A modern and highly disciplined army looked over the security of the region. Iran was a buttress for all moderate regimes. We were giving economic aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan and other countries. Iraq and South Yemen were quiet. The best proof of what I am stating tonight on the reign of my brother is that if the Iranian army despite its humiliation and dismemberment today, is able to sustain some sort of resistance to the Iraqi invasion, it is still thanks to well-trained soldiers and the stockpile of modern armaments left by the Monarchy.
But as I speak tonight, Iran has become a countr’y in ruins on the very edge of total destruction and disintegration. In less than two years, and well before the Iraqi invasion, the blood-thirsty dictator- ship of the Mullahs had wrecked and thrown out of gear the entire economic, administrative and social machinery left by my brother.
Mr. Banisadr himself, confessed that the economy only works at 20% of its prior capacity and all further programs of development have been abandoned or outright cancelled. The inflation rate has reached 100%! Qualified and efficient civil servants, as well as industrial managers have fled the tyranny of the regime and none are to be found to replace those who have fled, who have been jailed or, murdered by the Khomeini regime. More than 4 million Iranians, that is to say 10% of the entire population have been thrown out of work. Oil production which was around six million barrels a day has fallen to less than 800, 000 barrels. The administration and the judicial systems have been dismantled, all schools and universities have been closed down. Endemic diseases have reappeared.
The monetary reserves left by the Shah which amounted to more than 12 billion dollars and 20 billion received from oil sales in 1979 and 1980 or in all 32 billion dollars have been squandered in less than 2 years by the so-called dignitaries of the new regime! Mr. Ghotbzadeh, the former Foreign Minister, in an interview, last August, said that a corruption of fantastic magnitude was sapping the country at all levels. A document made public by the employees of the Central Bank of Iran, last summer, revealed that the mullahs were sending hundreds of millions of dollars to their private accounts in foreign banks. As of the first days of the Iraqi attack, the coffers of the state were bare and empty. It is for this reason that Khomeini, contradicting his prior statements, signed a “deal” with Carter and liberated the hostages! The funds received from the hostage “deal” is being spent to further promote international terrorism and fill the private coffers of the Mullahs.
How was it possible, in less than two years to arrive at such a catastrophic situation? Of course it is always easier to destroym rather than to build. But that does not explain the magnitude of the disaster.
The truth of the matter is that, at the very outset of the arrival of Khomeini in Tehran, the mullahs, taking advantage of the extreme weakness of then Prime Minister Bazargan, established a merciless and blood-thirsty dictatorship. Arbitrary imprisonment, barbarous executions, blood-thirsty repression, torture and the imposition of laws from the darkest of medieval times forced educated and experienced Iranians to flee their beleagured land.
Today almost two million distressed iranians live in exile, under harassing conditions in Europe and the United States. It was those Iranians who, in the private and public sectors, built the modern Iran that we knew! Administrators, professors, lawyers, intellectuals, writers, researchers, engineers, army officers, managers, technocrats, doctors, businessmen, etc. They had coop- erated with all their might under the reign of my brother to build and develop schools, universities, hospitals, dams, industrial complexes, etc. The actual regime is confronted with a void which it cannot fill. In addition, with reverting to practices going back to the Seventh Century where women are concerned, the Khomeini regime deprived itself from the services of hundreds of thousands of iranian women educated in iran, Europe and the United States.
Last but not least, the hate campaign initiated by Khomeini against Iranian and western culture and civilization has helped to create an atmosphere of unprecedented xenophobia which highly discourages foreigners as well as all educated Iranians.
I wish to quote here the very words of one of the few legal experts who tried to cooperate with the new regime. He is Hassan Nazih, former head of the iranian Petroleum Industry. He was able, luckily for himself, to escape the vindictiveness and persecution of the mullahs and find refuge in Paris. In an interview granted to one of the most important French newspapers, he revealed, and I quote “Today, Khomeini has decapitated and practically destroyed the Iranian intelligentsia, he has also reduced to ashes the military capability of my country by ruthlessly eliminating its best officers and elements the iranian economy is in a state of bankruptcy the oil production which assured daily returns of upward 75 million dollars has ceased to exist. Monetary reserves were entirely depleted because everyone and especially the mullahs, had their hands in the till. War finally has achieved the destruction of whatever was still standing. Foreign experts have assessed war damages to Iran, at the end of the first month of the conflict, to upward 30 billion dollars. Tens of thousands of Iranians have been killed and more than a million and a half, fleeing the battle zones have invaded Tehran and other Iranian cities.” End of quote.
The two sketches of Iran, prior to 1978 and from the advent of Khomeini on, which I have just brushed, are bound to raise within you a major question. With the success of the White Revolution of the Shahanshah, how come and especially why could the destructive revolution of Khomeini take place?
Many so-called liberals in the U.S.A. as well as leftists in Europe pretend that Iranians have revolted against what they would like to call the tyranny of the Shah and the lack of democratic liberties in Iran.
Their reasoning does not stand. For if such would have been the case, how come the Iranian people “craving for democracy” submitted themselves to the barbarous and medieval dictatorship of Khomeini, one of the most blood-thirsty and merciless dictatorships ever.
Some are saying that Khomeini “mesmerized” the illiterate masses, just as the famous Jim Jones did in the United States.
But this reasoning also does not stand when one witnesses the magnitude of the crimes committed by the new regime.
In eighteen months, the Islamic Komitehs, authentic “Soviets” instaLled in towns and the countryside have sent to their death more than 40, 000 people. Torture, for which certain liberal elements were quick to condemn the ancient regime, has reached such a degree of horror, that confronted with the scandal, Khomeini himself had to demote from his sinister functions of public executioner and judge, the infamous Mullah Khalkhali who not only ordered all forms of torture but practiced it personally with utter relish!! Today human rights are being daily trampled upon in Iran. Tens of thousands of Iranians are being arbitrarily jailed. 50, 000 political prisoners are languishing in the gaols of Khomeini. Our Kurdish brothers are bombed out with Napalm. Turkoman and other minorities are persecuted. The so-called “Party of God” with its henchmen and assassins, organize, just as Hitler and his “S.S.” did in the past, destructive raids in the houses and dwellings of peaceful citizens, in the editorial rooms and printing plants of news papers, in the premises of other parties. They kill and steal with impunity. They shoot pregnant women, stone them to death like in antiquity, and bury people alive.
Looking at the chamber of horrors that has become the Iran of today, the press and former champions of human rights which never had enough words to criticize the Shah and his regime are now mute on the crimes of Khomeini Better, they even defend him! Mr. Andrew Young, friend and confidant of President Carter called Khomeini, a “Saint”
Following the liberation of the hostages, Mr. Ramsey Clark, finds excuses for the atrocities of Khomeini and his violations of the most elementary principles of international law. We can even discover university professors, clergymen, and politicians who tell us that we should comprehend, that we should “understand” with sympathy the fantastic accusations of Khomeini against the U.S.A. and the previous regime of Iran. Furthermore, those professors, journalists, etc. condemn and criticize Saudi Arabia, the Sheikhs of the Persian Gulf and what is left of the moderate regimes in Asia, Africa and South and Central America.
They denounce what they like to call the “illegal” intei’vention of the U.S.A., but never find enough excuses for those of Cuba, Vietnam and the Soviet Union in Asia,Africa and Latin America, when not completely excusing the acts of terrorism committed by the P.L.O.
It is this very same attitude which has led to a concerted movement of destabilization which wrecked Iran during 1978-79.
It is utterly impossible to believe that the Iranian people, wilfully destroyed the momentous achievements of the White Revolution to submit themselves to a medieval dictatorship.
In fact, behind the tragic events of Iran, we can clearly see foreign hands and interests pursuing determined goals.
To begin with, the success of the White Revolution and its achievements, disquietened certain circles which feared to see a new Japan emerging in our region of the world. To understand that, just have a glance at the programs of their puppets, Mr. Khomeini and Mr. Banisadr. They want Iran to become an agricultural country, self-sufficient. Their destruction of the Iranian industry, profits to alien interests and will lead Iran, should they remain in power, to total anihilation. For Iran does not have enough water or fertile agricultural land to nourish a population growing at a rate of over 3% and which will reach 76 million inhabitants at the turn of the century.
What is even more fraught with danger is that the events of 1978-79 and the determination of Khomeini to export his brand of mad revolution aims not only at Iran itself but also other Countries.
In this respect, the tactics of some of the liberals and so-called human rights activists is crystal clear.
They wish to replace, one after another, the moderate regimes presently allied to the United States with regimes conforming more to their own wishes. Thus, consciously or not, they are opening the way for the takeover by the avowed enemies of the western democracies. Their determination in this respect, which I hope is unconscious, can only profit one country the Soviet Union !! The Soviet Union does not need to act directly, all it has to do is to encourage the liberals.
In today’s Iran, according to all observers, the Marxists are the only well organizedand disciplined force. Once in power, they will call for the Soviet Union to come to their rescue, lust as they did in Afghanistan!! Already the red flag flies over some of the northern provinces.
If we look back at events in Iran, what I have just said confirms itself. In 1977 my brother had initiated a program of progressive liberalization and free elections were scheduled for 1979. It was the moment chosen by some liberals here and in Europe to intensify their campaign against Iran. Professors, like Cottam and Falk, ancient politicians, like Ramsey Clark, threw themselves whole- heartedly into the battle. They encouraged dissidents within the student community, infested the press and television. In Europe also a similar rnovemnt began. They encouraged Iranians to revolt. They invented and circulated stories about the SAVAK, which let us say now, are quite pale when compared to Khomeini’s deeds. While Khaddafi and his friends were sending abundant supplies of money to organize subversion and disturbances, the Carter Administration was providing Iran with messages of moderation. They strongly dissuaded the government to utilize the forces of order as it is generally used everywhere in case of insurrection. Haven’t you used yourself, the National Guard, in Ohio Washington, Chicago, Detroit and Florida in recent years? There- fore why prevent Iran from doing the same? The press and the media in the West surrendered all their means of sup port to Khomeini and made of him a hero. But as long as the Shah remained in Tehran, Khomeini was unable to return. Alas, the Carter Administration advised, or rather let me emphasize it, forced my brother to leave Iran. Furthermore, they sent General Huyser to paralyze the Army. At long last, the way was paved wide open for the return of Khomeini in whose entourage were so-called friends of the U.S.A. Even citizens such as Yazdi and Farhang and old friends called “liberal” like Bazargan who stated publicly that the revolution could not have been successful without the help of the United States.
In deed, some of your politicians firmly believed in a close cooperation with Khomeini and congratulated themselves on the marvellous “Islamic-anti-communist” nature of the new regime!
From then on the Carter Administration treated my brother as an undesirable person and an erring refugee. The shabby treatment he received deeply shocked your friends throughout the world driving them away from you. Furthermore, the unfortunate hostage ordeal led you in an ever deeper maze of incredible concessions. The disclosures and revelations of Pierre Salinger in an ABC program are edifyzng. Mr. Hamilton Jordan was ready to have my brother arrested in Panama, while your President conferred in the White House with a French communist lawyer and a shady Argentinian adventurer. Needless to say, the inhuman treatment given my brother accelerated the course of his illness. However, despite my emotion, I do not wish to mix personal sentiments with facts.
My purpose is quite different. The communist danger in Iran is real and imminent. Unknowingly or not, many movements are working presently to the advantage of Moscow.
Thus Mr. Khaddafi is anti-communist, but he keeps helping terrorists and destabilizes regimes, like the one in Chad. All that is to the advantage of Moscow.
The P.L.O. is not communist but it helps everywhere forces favorable to the Soviet Union. Khaddafi, it is said, hates the communists. But the anar~chy and chaos he creates surely must profit the U.S.S.R.
What is the common denominator between all these individuals?
Obviously it is hate. Hate towards the U.S.A. The great Satan, calls it Khomeini The imperialists, says Khaddafi The Zionists protector, says the P.L.O.
This hate towards the United States is methodically cultivated within the masses and especially within the youth, in the Islamic world, in Latin America, in Asia, even within the youth of the industrialized nations as far as the U.S.A. Take a look at your campuses, the virus is already spreading.
The reasoning of Khomeini and his followers is crystal clear
I cannot attack directly the U.S.A., therefore I will ruin them from within. I will utilize Islam, the minorities, university professors, I will introduce terrorism and if I am not successful I will destroy Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the greatest!!
It is the reasoning of the cancerous cell which kills the body feeding it. It is the reasoning of Hitler and all those who know nothing but hate.
Who will profit from this state of affairs, if not the U.S.S.R. and other communists who jump on every available opportunity. Only Mr. Carter was puzzled by the Afghanistan invasion. “I did not know the Russians were like this” he declared! Although we had warned him of the imminent communist takeover at a CENTO reunion in April 1977.
Nevertheless, as early as February 1976, in his report to the Communist Party Congress, Mr. Brezhnev stated and I quote “We do not hide the fact that for us, detente enables favorable conditions to be established for socialist and communist build—up”. Fortunately, your new president knows better, for he did not hesitate to state that detente should not be a “one way street”.
Thus we see a double danger facing the U.S.A. and its western allies. For not only international communism continues to progress and installs at your very doormat its valets who seek the uprisingm of Latin America, but in addition, Khomeini and his sup porters can deprive you and your allies of oil and other vital resources.
Facing these dangers the previous administration hesitated and practiced a policy of contradiction. It showed itself to be weak during the communist intervention in Angola and Ethiopia. The Soviet Union took advantage of this weakness in order to spread its power. What do you want Mr. Brezhnev and Castro to do when Mr. Andrew Young. the friend of the President, publicly estimates that the Cuban presence in Africa is a stabilizing factor.
In the Iranian context, we all recall the hesitations of the Carter Administration before and after Khomeini and during the entire hostage crisis.
It is high time for the United States to recapture its rightful rank. We do not speak of sending in the Marines, but there is a definite need to show firmness and determination against subversion.
Not hearing the voice of the United States, the silent majorities in the world are loosing faith. That is exactly what is beginning to happen in Iran where a distressed and terrorized people are giving up, looking rather to the “communist order” which it hears is at any rate better than the terror, the anarchy, the arbitrary and chaos of Khomeini.
This brings me to the last point I wish to dwell upon tonight The future of Iran.
The Khomeini regime is fast loosing its grip and momentum. it is not only openly challenged and fought by different tendencies and separatist movements, but it is also undermined by an intense power struggle from within, it would be a grave error to artificially maintain it, and to believe that a Beheshti, a Banisadr or a Bazargan could bring back order and stability. It would be also a grave mistake to believe that a “sanitary Islamic fundamentalist cordon” around the southern borders of the U.S.S.R. could prevent Soviet expansionism. In fact there are only two alternatives, two solution left Constitutional Monarchy or Communism.
For 25 centuries monarchy was the backbone of Iran, the needed catalyst which brought the nation and its people together. At times monarchy faded temporarily only to reappear brighter than ever in order to recreate the unity and prosperity of the land.
Following the invasion of the Greeks, the Arabs, the Mongols, she faded for short periods, but she always reappeared for the greater bene fit of all concerned.
The events of today are not all that different from those of the past. Already, in Iran, people remember the blessings and benefits of the monarchy, the great achievements of 1960-1978. Evei’ywhere, portraits of Reza Shah II are appearing.
Should the monarchy fail to return and restore soon order and national unity, the communists will definitely take over power. For, as we know it from undeniable sources, the people of Iran have had enough of a backward clergy. They want a secular regime.
It will be therefore monarchy, theocracy or communism.