Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Iran, 25 years on

I saw an advertisement, entitled “In Memory of My Brother, MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLAVI, The Late Shahanshah of Iran” in the International Herald Tribune on July 27. It was the 25th anniversary of the passing away of the Shahanshah. Achraf Pahlavi, the sister of the late king of Iran, placed this advertisement.
She lauds rapid modernization in the White Revolution during the Pahlavi regime, and presents critical viewpoints to current theocracy.

Think again. The most detrimental factor in the Middle East is not the Palestine conflict but the Iranian Revolution. While the former is an ethnic clash between Jewish and Palestinians, the latter has lead to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism allover the Middle East.
The result? First, it is Iranian people themselves who suffer from repressive regime, dominated by archaic-brained mullahs. Some people may say the Pahlavi monarchy was repressive as well. But remember! Pahlavi shahs were Kemalists. The fundamental value of this ideology is modernization and enlightenment by throwing away outmoded Islamism, destroying mediaeval systems of exploitation, providing good education to the people, and so forth. Kemal Ataturk of Turkey and Pahlavi shahs of Iran may have taken some oppressive policies. But these approaches are necessary evils for the process of rapid modernization. This is completely different from theocratic oppression. In the Islamic regime, people expect little modernization and enlightenment.
In addition, the Islamic autocracy causes negative impacts throughout the Middle East. Islamic fundamentalism has become invigorated since then, anti-Western and anti-Jewish feeling has become intensified. In other words, no Iranian revolution means no Al Qaeda.
Judging from the balance of power in this region, it is evident. Saddam Hussein became increasingly megalomaniac, after the fall of shah. Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to fill the power vacuum. Consequence? I can list up too many clashes, including the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, 9-11, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War.

Why people blame too much on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, while paying little attention to negative consequences of the Iranian Revolution. In Palestine, there are easy target to accuse. Just name them. US-Israeli relations, Jewish lobbies, and anything related to Jewish are blamed.

We need to understand what the real cause of Middle East instability is. People overestimate Palestine, and underestimate Iran.