Following article was written last year by Spenta, a female Iranian activist.
I think what Spenta has done here is not only commendable, but also courageous. It is commendable because, contrary to the frequent and persistent assertion by the Republic’s “intellectual” guard, Islamist and communist alike, the past matters. Just as without individual memory we would lose our identity and be paralyzed, ignorance of history not only deprives us of even the most superficial understanding of the situation we find ourselves in, but also of the best available guide for action.
We know that Foruhar collaborated with Khomeini and Iran’s enemies. He served a government (Bazargan’s) under which thousands of Iranians, including women and children, were savagely brutalized and murdered. Who will speak for those victims? Why shouldn’t his status as a “hero of the republic”, a status granted him by his supporters, be questioned? The fact that he was subsequently murdered by the savages he himself helped bring to power does not absolve him in the least of his crimes against the Iranian people. Spenta has chosen to speak for the victims. That is courageous.
Left: Forouhar with Jebhe Melli's Sanjabi, Nehzate Azadi's Mehdi Bazargan, Yasser Arafat, and the infamous terrorist and butcher Ebrahim Yazdi of Nehzate Azadi, celebrating the fall of Iran.Dangers of the Cult of Foruhar
June 2004The Cult of Foruhar is very dangerous, Iran has had too many of these cults of the martyrs, and attempts at covering up Foruhar's many contributions to the tragedy of Iran in the last 25 years are even more dangerous.
Some background info On Daryoush Foruhar
Daryoush Foruhar: Famous Iranian Political dissident. Opposed the Shah and went to jail under the Shah briefly, but also managed to head a large business once released from prison (many dissidents under the Shah lived quite prosperously and had successful businesses). He was a devoutly religious Muslim who never missed a prayer, supported Khomeini as his leader, and saw him as a saint. During the revolution he betrayed Bakhtiar and his transitional government which was charged with holding democratic elections in support of Khomeini.
According to those who served under the Bakhtiar govt. such as Amuzegar, Foruhar did everything in his power to sabotage Bakhtiar and his government. Alongside Sanjabi and Sahabi of Jebhe Melli, finally they publicly sided with Khomeini against Bakhtiar and his government causing its collapse and Khomeini's subsequent takeover. Many analysts have argued that Foruhar et. al did this, because they were greedy for power and thought that they could takeover Iran with Khomeini, whereas with Bakhtiar they would have to get elected and share power with others. Rather than opting for a democratic process, they opted for a forceful takeover with Khomeini and his militia!
After Khomeini's takeover was complete, Foruhar was rewarded with a cabinet post in Khomeini's appointed govt. He served in this govt. for a year. While minister, the govt. he served in killed more in its first 3 months than the Shah had in his entire reign. This is a govt. that in addition to genocide committed other horrors like attacking thousands of women demonstrators brutally in March of '79 and then stripping them of their rights, massacring entire Kurdish villages in April of '79, lining up Bahais and Jews to kill them because of their religion, and the list goes on.
By the end of the year, the Mullah$ decided to completely takeover the govt., killing off anyone serving in the govt. that was not wearing a turban. Foruhar, seeing what direction the wind was blowing, quickly resigned from the govt. Others like Ghotbzadeh were killed and Bani Sadr was forced to flee.
After leaving govt. Foruhar never publicly criticised Khomeini. Others like Ghotbzadeh (close friend of Khomeini's during the revolution) did and was killed, and Bani Sadr criticised Khomeini and was forced to flee prior to getting killed. Thousands of Mojaheds, Toudeh, Chereekan etc. who criticised Khomeini were killed. Based on Amnesty International's estimates 25,000 political prisoners were killed in the first 3 years after the revolution. Thousands of teachers, professors, scholars, scientists who criticised Khomeini were purged and forced out of their jobs. Thousands were forced to flee Iran. Foruhar, continued to never criticise Khomeini, as many of his colleagues who were killed or forced to flee, did.
Throughout the 1980's thousands more were killed, assassinated in the west, imprisoned and tortured, and fired from their jobs for criticising Khomeini! But Foruhar continued to remain silent and managed to live a comfortable life running a 'tolerated' political party under the direct protection and patronage of Khomeini. While 15 year old girls caught with a political pamphlet were jailed, raped tortured and executed in the thousands, Foruhar raised a family comfortably and prosperously under the direct protection and patronage of Khomeini!
In the 1990s, with Khomeini gone, Foruhar had lost many of his previous privileges, and did not benefit from any favors from Rafsanjani and Khamenei the way he had from Khomeini. Alienated and blocked out of access to privilege of a kind he had enjoyed under Khomeini from the new leadership, Foruhar became more of an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic. In '96 as part of the chain murders, him and his wife were brutally murdered by assassins dispatched by Rafsanjani/Khamenei. Since then he has been enshrined as a hero, by the Cult of Foruhar. He is called as a Nazi Collaborator by many others, including me, who choose to not forget the past, especially when this past involved the genocide of so many and the destruction of a nation!
How should Foruhar be remembered today?
A few years ago, I really didn't know a whole lot about Foruhar. I only knew that he was assissinated by the IRI, so I automatically assumed he was a great hero. Until one day, someone brought Foruhar's entire history to my attention, and then I realised, how mistaken I had been. I then continued to research him, and was even further shocked to find out how much he was involved with Khomeini (even the New York Times mentioned that he was part of the regime, a favorite of Khomeini's who had fallen out of favor after the passing of Khomeini), how he sabotaged Bakhtiar, and how he refused to criticise Khomeini as all his colleagues died for doing so while Khomeini committed the greatest genocides of modern Iran! I was horrified, and then I became angry that like so many others, I had been misled into believing that Foruhar was a hero, when he was just a Nazi Collaborator who helped bring Khomeini and the IRI into power, and then refused to criticise Khomeini, because of his patronage while thousands of his colleagues died for criticising Khomeini!
While Foruhar's murder was horrifyingly brutal and totally wrong, his support of Khomeini and his refusal to criticise Khomeini publicly was equally wrong!
Foruhar’s support for Khomeini and his refusal to publicly criticise Khomeini as all his colleagues died for doing so, and as Khomeini committed the greatest genocides of modern Iran, renders him as a Nazi Collaborator, especially since many of these genocides were based on religion, ethnicity, and gender.
Why Foruhar is called a Nazi Collaborator Because:
1. Foruhar supported Khomeini, who believed in mass genocide based on religion, ethnicity, gender, and political belief. Nazis believed in racial superiority and the elimination of those who were not of them as well. Therefore Foruhar supported, helped to put into power, and served in a govt. that effectively imposed a racial, gender, religious, and ethnic form of apartheid similar to the Nazis.
2. Foruhar sabotaged Bakhtiar's transitional govt. that was charged with holding democratic elections, thus destroying Iran's chances of having a secular democracy. As the coup de grace, he publicly opposed Bakhtiar in favor of Khomeini. He betrayed Bakhtiar, in order to gain power in a Khomeini led govt.
3. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that killed more in its first 3 months, than the Shah had in his entire reign.
4. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that killed without trial or right to representation.
5. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that lined up Bahai men, women and children against the wall and machine gunned them to death for being Bahais.
6. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that brutally attacked thousands of women demonstrators demanding their rights in March of '79.
7. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that stripped women and children of many of their rights.
8. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that stripped religious minorities of many of their rights.
9. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that sent helicopter gunships and Palestinian mercenaries to massacre Kurdish villagers in April of 1979.
10. He served as a cabinet member in a govt. that killed Jewish businessmen in Tehran, for being Jewish!
11. After leaving the government, he refused to publicly criticise Khomeini, as many of his brave colleagues who did so were killed, forced to flee and executed. While Khomeini embarked on the biggest massacres in modern Iran killing anyone criticising him, Foruhar remained silent even as friends were dragged away in the middle of the night to be shot!
12. He ran a political party, that was officially 'tolerated', under the direct patronage and protection of Khomeini for many years, as thousands of dissidents and brave Iranians were either killed or forced to flee. His party engaged in occasional mild and inconsequential criticisms of the govt., that never really challenged the genocides as he continued to enjoy privileges from Khomeini. Many others stood up and spoke up on principal, only to lose everything, get tortured and killed as Foruhar refused to criticise Khomeini, and continued to live comfortably and prosperously in Iran!
13. After Khomeini’s death, he fell out of favor, and did not enjoy the same protection, patronage and privileges he had enjoyed under Khomeini. In the 1990's he stepped up his criticisms of the IRI, since he could not receive the same privileges from Rafsanjani and Khamenei that he had enjoyed under Khomeini. He ran afoul of the mafia, and was brutally murdered alongside his wife by Rafsanjani's assassins.
Are Foruhar and Hoveyda the same?
Are Apples and Oranges the same?
Lately, some people claim that we shouldn't call Foruhar a Nazi Collaborator because he was brutally killed by the IRI. That calling Foruhar a Nazi Collaborator is like calling Hoveyda a Nazi Collaborator. First of all Hoveyda never supported or helped put into power a leader and a government that committed mass genocide of the kind that Khomeini did on the basis of religion, ethnicity, gender and belief the way Foruhar did.
Hoveyda did not sabotage a government charged with holding democratic elections, in order to promote his own candidate, thus bringing about the worst regime of Iran's history since the Mongol invasion. Hoveyda did not serve in a government that killed thousands and thousands without any trials longer than 30 seconds, or any representation. Hoveyda did not serve in a govt that stripped women, religious and ethnic minorities of their rights thus effectively imposing a racial, gender, religious, ethnic apartheid similar to the Nazis. Hoveyda did not serve in a govt. that massacred Kurdish women and children and lined up Bahai families against the wall to machine gun them to death for being Bahai. Hoveyda did not serve in a govt. that killed Jews for being Jews! And the list, quite substantially long here, goes on for some time!
Foruhar's brutal murder was wrong, but so was his support of Khomeini, sabotage of Bakhtiar's govt., and his silence and refusal to criticise Khomeini as thousands perished in the most brutal genocides of modern Iran. And Hoveyda was not by any stretch of the imagination the same as Foruhar, for all the obvious reasons cited above.
Why is it important to state that Foruhar was a Nazi Collaborator?
Being a victim does not absolve anyone of their responsibility. Foruhar's murder was truly brutal and wrong, however this tragedy does not excuse his support of Khomeini, his serving in Khomeini's govt. which committed genocide and apartheid based on religion, ethnicity, and gender, in addition to his refusal to criticise Khomeini even as all of his colleagues who did so were brutally killed for many years!
Let me recount a story about how this cult of martyrdom in Iran can sometimes beget such disastrous results.
Khosrow Golesorkhi was turned into a martyr whose symbol was used throughout the revolution. He had been arrested, tried and executed for treason and terrorism under the Shah. Golesorkhi's trial was broadcast on TV. He was charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, to kidnap members of the royal family and to kill them, and to assassinate people. He never denied any of these charges, or that he believed in violent revolution, and the killing and assassination of people, including the Shah's young children. The Shah even offered to grant him a pardon if he was willing to renounce his violent ways, or his support for violence and terrorism, but he refused to, so the trial found him guilty and he was executed. (Note: there were many terrorist attacks, kidnappings, bombings, and assassinations of Iranians and foreigners in Iran throughout the 1970s, and there was an effort to put a stop to these campaigns of terrorism).
During the revolution Golesorkhi was turned into a great martyr. It was like the cult of Golesorkhi. Posters of him, and poems by him appeared everywhere. Young people everywhere idolized him, and cried recounting his execution. He was turned into a saint, his pictures were carried in demonstrations against the Shah, and his martyrdom was used to bring about the revolution and put Khomeini into power.
So what is the lesson here? The lesson is, here was a man who believed in violence, terrorism, killing and genocide whose execution by the regime turned him into a martyr that many idolized. As a result of idolizing people like Golesorkhi and never questioning his violent beliefs and terrorist acts, the nation ended up with a violent revolution, and a government that practices nothing but violence, genocide and terrorism against its own people, namely IRI. On some levels, it should come as no surprise that worshipping and idolizing a violent terrorist would lead to such a regime!
Lessons are repeated, until they are learned. The lesson here is that ultimately nobody is above or beyond questioning, and the faults, mistakes and wrongdoing of no one can be absolved based on their 'martyrdom'! Cults of martyrdom have cost Iran plenty, and its time to learn the lessons. Foruhar’s brutal murder was and is a tragedy, however this tragedy does not absolve him of any responsibility he bears for his choices and actions throughout his life. Nor does this martyrdom prevent anyone from bringing up the facts and additionally the many negative aspects of his life and contributions to the greater tragedy of Iran in the last 25 years.
So today, there is an attempt to do the same with the cult of Foruhar. Well, be forewarned that the cult of Foruhar also has consequences. Here is a man who betrayed his own colleague Bakhtiar in a greedy power grab with Khomeini and sabotaged Bakhtiar's transitional govt. which was charged with holding democratic elections and was Iran's best chance of having a secular democracy. When given a choice between democracy and his own desire for power, he chose his own desire for power. A man who supported Khomeini and served in his govt. which practiced genocide and apartheid based on religion, ethnicity, and gender. A man who lived comfortably and prosperously under the direct protection and patronage of Khomeini for many years as thousands were sent to the gallows in the biggest genocides of modern Iran. A man who remained silent and refused to criticise his diabolical and genocidal patron Khomeini as all of his brave colleagues were killed, tortured and forced to flee the country leaving behind everything, for courageously criticising Khomeini!
The Cult of Foruhar, which attempts to enshrine Foruhar, turn him into an angel and 'martyr', deny and cover-up his support and participation in the creation of IRI, his sabotage of Bakhtiar's govt. and Iran's best chance of democracy, and his silence in the face of Khomeini's genocides (his Nazi Collaborator activities) while all his colleagues who bravely stood up were killed are dangerous. Attempts at silencing the facts by the Cult of Foruhar are dangerous and will not bear any positive results, just as the cult of Golesorkhi 25 years ago did not.
I think of all those thousands of brave Iranian men and women, who unlike Foruhar stood up on principal and fearlessly criticised Khomeini's horrors only to be brutally killed and tortured, to lose everything, to escape out of the country for their lives, throughout Foruhar's shameful silence and refusal to directly criticise Khomeini ... and all I can do is to stand on principal today, in honor of their memory and speak up. So please, allow me to honor their memories by speaking up: Foruhar was a Nazi Collaborator!
More pictures HERE