No Gentlemen, the people of Iran do not need a Chalabi

On the Leadership Council proposed by Reza Pahlavi

The prospect of seizing power with the help of the USA army has stirred Iranian right-wing conservative opposition groups into action. This segment of the Iranian opposition that has acquired the title of Monarchist and is a loose coalition of monarchists and right-wing republicans with a monarchist flavour all have a fairly typical right-wing conservative agenda under Western political standards. Everyone knows that the Islamic Republic of Iran is finished, not because of USA pressure, but as a result of the people's hatred for it. Now, though, this opposition wants to try its chances. Their 'road map' is pretty straightforward. They expect the USA military to bring their coalition to power in Tehran; the USA's escort of these monarchists to Tehran, however, stinks too much of the 1953 coup d'etat - the very coup that Mr. Pahlavi insists has taught him a lesson.

Thus enters their proposed referendum with an 'unspecified' guarantor who has been brought in from the side door. The issue is apparently about the Leadership Council (leadership of what nobody knows) while in fact the real issue is the repetition of the USA war against Iraq in Iran which will take these gentlemen into office or the garrisons if you like. Of course, they do not say so openly but it is not difficult to put this to the test. Without having the USA as the main actor in this scenario, the referendum plan is childish and even debating it is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Iran. Imagine that with the Islamic Republic of Iran still in power, the people are to choose a system of government between 10 to 15 competing systems (the infamous referendum). After the people make their choice and decide that they do not want the Islamic regime, then the 'brothers of the Islamic guards' (the Pasdaran) and the herds of Hezbollah groups will respect political etiquette by giving a speech conceding defeat and that the people have rejected the rule of Islam and the almighty, will peacefully clear their desks, give up their bank accounts and guns, wish the new government well and step down. This scenario is too childish to be taken seriously. The USA factor is assumed in this plan. Everyone knows that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not step down. It must be overthrown. But by admitting this well-known fact, the right-wing opposition in Iran has to face a more serious dilemma. They know that the Islamic Republic must be overthrown. They, however, do not want the people to do this. If the people overthrow the Islamic regime, I am doubtful that anyone within the monarchist camp really believes that the revolutionary people on the streets will offer the prince or his 'Leadership Council' the red carpet treatment. A people who have overthrown a regime and have taken power can only be sent home via bloody suppression and counter-revolution. This is certainly out of the reach of the right and will certainly face defeat - no matter how and under what circumstances the 'Leadership Council' has arrived in Tehran. A simple observation shows that the left and in particular the Worker-communist Party of Iran which is one of the main contenders of power in Iran will not allow this to happen. Multiply the power of the people by our influence and capability then one can see the dilemma of the right-wing opposition. That is why they have to take power over the people's heads. This is their only realistic chance. The right-wing opposition has no chance in hell of coming to power in Iran in front of a mass movement based on their own power; no velvet transition is awaiting them. So they must rely on help from another source. The 'other source', after the war in Iraq is the USA. If previously, Mr. Pahlavi referred to South Africa and Mandela and occasionally mentioned Juan Carlos of Spain as his role models, today his model is Chalabi - with the proviso that they do not dare openly refer to the USA factor.

Imagine for a moment that it was possible to pretend that the USA was actually after Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq or that it was possible to say that the people of Iraq were welcoming the USA with open arms. Imagine that it was possible to claim we were dealing with the liberation and not the occupation of Iraq or that it was possible for lackey journalists to claim that people hadn't been bombed and that the essence of civil life had not disintegrated. Imagine that it was possible to claim that women in Iraq had been liberated and political Islam has been pushed aside or that it was possible to claim that the USA has brought the people of Iraq something apart from misery. Imagine that it was possible to hide the largest demonstration in history by the world's civilised humanity and in the West against US policy; that it was possible to cover up the general dislike for USA policy all over the world; and it was possible, alongside the Islamic Republic of Iran, to curtail public access to 'undesirable' information. Under these circumstances, the right-wing opposition would not have to turn and twist so much. They could then behave like the good old extreme and dim-witted faction they are and declare that the Islamic Republic must go but that the people do not have to do anything since the liberating USA forces will do all that's needed and the only thing that they have to do is to organise a parliament in waiting and in exile and line up behind the USA to keep the power and control for them and their class. Then the portraits of Messrs. Bush and Rumsfeld would be hung on the gates of and entrance of buildings. But this will not be. The people of Iran have seen what has happened in Iraq; they have seen with their own eyes the disintegration of the Iraqi people's lives; that the civilised world is opposed to this policy; that the Worker-communist Party of Iran exists. There is a better world vis-à-vis the bleak and miserable world of the right-wing opposition. The right cannot enter the battle with the USA flag. Therefore, with trumpets and serenades, they have announced a hollow Leadership Council when in fact their aim is something other than leadership.

The declared Leadership Council of Mr. Pahlavi has nothing to do with providing leadership for the people's struggle. It has no chance of uniting right-wing groups, not even different factions of the monarchists, let alone uniting the opposition. Even Rumsfeld and Chalabi have been unable to put together such a council in Iraq. This plan is a mockery. It is a front. It is a front to draw the political, material and financial support of the USA government. They are preparing the prelude for the USA policy in Iran. Mr. Pahlavi is following Chalabi's model. This, however, lays bare their lack of any regard for the fate of the people of Iran. Compared to what they want the USA to instigate in Iran, Iraq will be deemed child's play. Thousands upon thousands of bombs would have to be dropped on the people in Iran. The essence of civil life will disintegrate and every part of the country will be controlled by various ethnic, tribal and religious groups. They want to Iraqise Iran just to seize power. Mr. Pahlavi has chosen Chalabi as a role model. But this model exposes the extent to which they have no regard for humanity, egalitarianism and freedom. Mr. Pahlavi as the hereditary leader of the right-wing opposition does not understand the difference between Iraq and Iran. In Iran, people are already on the scene, and despite the right-wing's allergy to revolution, a revolutionary movement is taking place in Iran. The left and communism are powerful in Iran. Accept this from me; the people of Iran do not need a Chalabi.

May 2003

The above was first translated into English for WPI Briefing 111, dated 9 June 2003 from International Weekly dated 30 May 2003. It was translated by Fariborz Pooya and edited by Koorosh Modaresi.