Interview with Reza Mohajer

Dear readers,

I had the great pleasure to interview the scholar and activist, Dr. Reza Mohajer* on  the ongoing reign of terror of the Iranian regime and what needs to change for an actual regime-change.  Here are the three main-questions, that needed long overdue answers.

1) How could it happen, that the regime can celebrate their forty years reign of terror?
The revolution in 1979 was collaboration between all groups who sought freedom, social justice and independence. Khomeini hijacked the revolution and used that opportunity to establish his vision of a theocratic state. He killed thousands of activists from leftist, nationalist and other groups in the process. The end result was a Islamic regime based on extreme interpretations of sharia law. The Islamic regime benefited from the hostage crises and cultural revolution which they closed universities for a few years to islamicize universities. When Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1981 a war began which lasted for 8 years making it a great opportunity for the regime in Iran to oppress the opposition and establish its new theocratic framework. Because of the absence of political parties inside of Iran and strong opposition from the outside creating external pressure enabled the regime to establish the idea of reform as an alternative to change. They were able to control the society while reducing the demand for democracy for over two decades. Finally because of corruption, nepotism, authoritarian rules, suppression, economic problems and power of ICTs (information communication technologies) majority of people understand that reform is not answer because it will not allow for change to be possible. Iranian society believes that for there to be change the whole system of current regime must be toppled. For 40 years people fought for their rights as much they could. Massive social movements in Iran under this Theocratic regime, challenged it and showed people’s demand for change. There are three major social movements in recent history, the student movement in July 1999, Green Movement in 2009 and Anti poverty movement in December of 2017 to January 2018.

2) What needs to be different for a regime change?
Iran’s Contemporary history for change is based on social movements. Change has to happen with Iranian people. They need to be united for a an independent grassroots movement to demand regime change from across the country to unify all civil society so every social movement and NGO is included which share common goals based on non-violent principles and secular democracy. They must also demand international relations based on the nation’s interest and world peace.

3) Who would you like to see in charge in Iran?
What we need is the right system which has to be a secular democracy regime and respect human rights values. We want to have democratic regime run by people with free elections. Iranians want to have a democracy run by the people not by a person or group. It is an inter-generational dream starting from the 1905 constitutional revolution.

*Reza Mohajer is a scholar, who holds in PhD in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He wrote the book: „Live Generation: Iran`s 1999 Student Uprising that opened the Door for Secular Democracy“ (New York; iUniverse, 2010) and is currently writting his new book.

Forty Years of the Islamic Republic- Forty Years of Failure of the Anticlerical Opposition

2019 the regime of the Islamic Republic celebrated the forty years existence of the Islamic Republic. It is about time to take a closer look why this inhumane could celebrate said jubilee. 2019 was also the year in which Iran was shaken by many protests and also in which a big flood, after a long drought, came. The flood of 2019 this man-made disaster created by the Revolutionary Guards that ravished Iran and had a worse aftermath than the Iran-Iraq-war in several provinces could not flush away the regime. Even despite the obvious mismanagement of the inhumane regime.

Actually, the flood could be beneficial for the regime. As an example: Since the flood and the disastrous aftermath quacks the representative of the regime, Javad Zarif, relentlessly that the sanctions should be eased for the sake of helping the victims of the flood. While the International Committee of the Red Cross has stated that humanitarian aid was never affected by the sanctions. This however does not prevent the regime to agitate with lies and therefore influence gullible people because the sanctions, primarily those sanctions that target the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) can really threaten the regime. Because of the flood the regime has now an excuse to deploy the Hezbollah and other Shiite “Militia” in Iran. The Hezbollah and their cronies can be used to suppress an uprising.

The so-called anticlerical opposition however is currently not a real alternative and keeps the regime, through their very own failure in charge. I shall take the liberty to list some reasons why this inhumane that does not have any democratic or moral legitimacy to rule upon Iran is still here:

  • Because of the presence of the Revolutionary Guards/ Pasdaran/ IRGC and the paramilitary Basiji. The Revolutionary Guards control over 60% of the Iranian economy through bogus companies such as the “Khatam Ghorb”, especially the very profitable construction sector, through which the Revolutionary Guards are able to launder dirty money (From drug-trafficking etc.).
  • Because of the martyr-cult that surrounds Mossadegh, that is still common among countless secular Iranians. For these the Iranians the ousted former prime minister is secular substitute for the Ali and the Hossein of the pious Shiites. With the ousting of Mossadegh these Iranians also excuse the precarious state in which Iran is currently because of the actual existence of the Islamic Republic. With this excuse these Iranians deliberately ignore the fact, that countries such as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Georgia not only had to endure the ousting of their leaders, but also in the cases of Nagy (Hungary) and Gamsakhurdia (Georgia) the killing of said leaders at the hand of the Soviets. Despite all of this people are not hanged on construction material in broad daylight in Budapest, Bratislava, Prague and Tbilisi.
  • Due to the fact that many people chose to leave Iran for good and therefore unintentionally release pressure from the regime. Because of the migration the regime has effectively to feed less people and there are fewer “Desperados” out there who could potentially challenge the regime in one way or another. In Exile the opposition is not able to mobilize the newly arrived Iranians to engage in political work against the regime. This practically forces Non-Iranians to take up the fight against the so-called Islamic Republic because the Islamic Republic is not an ordinary dictatorship of a Banana Republic, but Islamists that are ridden with genocidal delusions and chauvinistic Irredentism.
  • Because of the absolute failure of the Iranian opposition in the West, that does not benefit from the fact that in both, Switzerland and Germany, Iranian citizens make up the fourth largest group of Asylum seekers. Instead I have to endure insults and death-threats by misguided members of the Iranian opposition. Generally speaking, is the Persian chauvinism a huge problem inside the Iranian opposition. As the Iranian journalist Ramin Ghavami already wrote in his piece for the “Fair Observer» ethnic minorities in Iranian are attacked from two sides: On one side from the inhumane regime and on the other side from Iranian nationalists inside of the Iranian opposition that see in every non-Iranian citizen of Iran as second class citizen at the very best. It is also not helpful at all that many Iranians, supporters of the regime as members of the opposition, are hostages of their very own delusions of grandeur and therefore want to revive the Persian Empire. The Irredentism the sadly little noticed plague, that keeps haunting Iran and that is powered by Persian chauvinism and a revisionist creation of myths. This Irredentism is also the reason that differs Iran from Afghanistan. Iran and Afghanistan have much in common: Both are countries in the Middle East with Persian speaking majority of the population and an Islamic-influenced culture. Today Afghanistan is haunted by tribalism, while Iran is a hostage of Islamism and that so far little noticed Irredentism. I would like to say, that I completely understand that Iranians flee in masses from Iran as the Austrian news-paper “Kurier” has reported. However, what I deem completely unacceptable however is when Iranians in the diaspora act like hardcore-patriots and because of that insult me, threaten me with death and tell me, that because of my Caucasian heritage (I am of Georgian-Mingrelian ancestry), my only right in this lifetime is to die for Iran and because I am obviously still alive, am guilty of “genocide against Aryans”. When opposition groups such as “Farshgard” identify Islamism and Communism as inhumane ideologies and therefore exclude Islamists and Communists, but choose to ignore Imperialism and Irredentism despite the fact in countries such as Syrian act in feudal manner because Imperialism and Irredentism is this extremely reckless in my book.

While so-called SJW are more and more a plague in the Anglo-Saxon sphere and in Europe, countries like Turkey under the regime of the AKP, Russia and Iran, with or without the regime, must critically scrutinize their very own history. As long as this is not done properly these countries remain prone to ideologies like Chauvinism, Irredentism and so on, which can, in the very end not only be a thread to their own population. As I already wrote in “Freiheit ist keine Metapher» (A book published in the German-speaking world, obviously) Erdogan`s Turkey, the Russia of the KGB-midget and the Islamic Republic are dividing Syria in the manner of feudal lords, like their own ancestors divided the Caucasus among themselves. This comes to no surprise when it comes countries with a colonial past, which did face its own history critically and this exactly where the anticlerical opposition has to start today and not build pipe dreams on the ruins of Persepolis for an upcoming Persian Empire, no matter under which banner. Especially since this would be the continuation of a feudal policy that failed already under the Shah and latter in the Islamic Republic. For centuries the Shiite, Persian-speaking male was in charge in Iran, while women and non-Muslim and non-Iranian minorities were at the very best tolerated second class citizens. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979 there was a shift in favor of the Islamic identify at the cost of the Persian identity. Now from parts of the anticlerical Opposition seek a revival of a Persian Empire based on two pillars, monarchy and Pan-Iranism/ Aryanism, is a regressive move.

Because the revival of said Persian Empire, that is also called “Iranian cultural continent” and “Iranian confederation” by misguided members of the Iranian opposition, is completely unrealistic. It also extremely humiliating for all non-Iranian population in the Caucasus and Central Asia and is based on a false creation of myths from the Iranian part. Because there never was a so-called “Iranian cultural continent”. Even during the reign of the Sassanids the Caucasus was the homeland of many different ethnic and religious groups, the Proto-Kartvelians, the ancestors of the Georgians were one of the largest groups during said times. This makes me come to the conclusions that as long as anticlerical opposition in the exile continues to seek to revive the Persian Empire on six days of the week and to bemoan the existence of the Islamic Republic on the seventh day, the regime has nothing to worry about and can already plan its next “birthday”. As long as significant amount of the Iranian opposition seeks shelter in exile and solace in delusions of grandeur and sees Central Asia, the Caucasus and parts of Asia minor as integral part of Iran and Caucasian people as subjects, that have to serve Iranian demands, the world has to prepare itself through sanctions and at worst with military means for a further existence of the Islamic Republic.

For those Iranian for whom I definitely, because of my opinion and my heritage, a Pariah and therefore an “Aniran”, a “dirty Gorji”, a “dirty Tork”, a “Gendeh”, a “Vatanforoosh” and a “descendant of Zahak”, I have an opportunity how they can redeem themselves and save their face: By finally getting rid of the regime of the guardianship of the Islamic jurist and face their skeletons in their closet.