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Will U.S. Help “Reformists” Create Shi’a Islamist Empire?

May 20, 2010

Fool US Once (1979), Shame On You

Fool US Twice (2010), Shame On US


Few will forget the day the American Embassy in Tehran fell to the assault of a band of devout Twelver Shi’a Islamist students, beginning a 444-day drama on the world stage.  Many, if not all, believe the party-line story below of how the events unfolded.   None-the-less, there are several compelling twists I have uncovered to the real plot behind the hostage crisis, one in particular that is most troubling and inconsistent with the accepted “facts.”

Will history be corrected and lead to a true understanding of the play the “reformists” are making for Twelvers Shi’a Islamist control, or will we, the U.S. continue to play the fool in this carefully orchestrated masquerade?  It is on these undisclosed facts and how they change both the plot and reinvent its cast of characters that this writing will be focused.

The Deception

The Shah of Iran was overthrown in January 1979 by a tide of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s supporters.  The U.S. subsequently gave the Shah asylum, and in retribution, small group of Islamist students stormed the U.S Embassy in Tehran and took 52 American diplomats hostage.  Miraculously, the 444 days of hostages’ suffering, all ended the moment Ronald Reagan took the oath of office on January 20, 1981.   For over thirty years, this has been the official story line.

The Reality

By hijacking Iran’s democratic revolution and out-maneuvering the secular revolutionaries, the Twelvers Shi’a Islamist movement, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, gained sweeping momentum in 1979.  In establishing its own Islamic Government with the goal of dominating the sociopolitical, economic and strategic objectives within Iran, Khomeini’s doctrine placed the mantle of leadership in the hands of clerics, or Velayat-e faqih, “guardianship of the jurisprudent.”  Any successful political faction within Iran had to submit to Islamist religious leadership or be eliminated.

So, how did a small group of Islamist student-followers of Shariati whose doctrine places the leadership of the Islamic Government in the hands of Islamist intelligentsia, become so powerful?  They had crafted a secret plan with around long-term strategic objective that could only have been successful by gaining Imam Khomeini’s approval and support.  By concealing their allegiance to Shariati doctrine, this small group of Islamic university students posed themselves as Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam Khomeini and the follower of his Velayat-e faqih governance to carryout their covert plan.  With stunning mastery, they successfully pulled one of the biggest con-jobs in the history of modern Iran, fooling the entire world to this day.

For “their audacious initiative,” this small band of Islamist students, the Intelligentsia obtained “unconditional support of Imam Khomeini”. From the outset and for the duration of 444 days of hostage crisis, the hostage takers overtly helped Khomeini solidify his power grip to eliminate all the secular revolutionaries opposing him. They also covertly manipulated the crisis to out-maneuver all of Shariati’s rival Lay Shi’a political-Islamic thinkers and purge them from Iran political scene, calling them as “tools of the West.” and as well.  Khomeini called the event his Second Revolution.  Mehdi Bazargan (interim prime minister) resigned on November 5, 1979, and then Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, Iran’s first president (Khomeini’s spiritual son) was charged with treason in June 1981, and later, another Khomeini’s close aid, Sadeq Qotbzadeh (Iran foreign minister), was found guilty of treason and executed on September 15, 1982.

The Con-Job

By careful reexamination of the hostage-takers’ profile and the fundamentals of their Islamist revolutionary doctrine as reflected in their own writings and speeches, one finds compelling evidence of their allegiance to Dr. Ali Shariati’s Islamist revolutionary line rather than Khomeini. Shariati Islamist revolutionary doctrine places the leadership of the Twelvers Shi’a Islamic Government in the hands of Islamist intelligentsia in contrast to Khomeini’s clerics.  In fact, one would find more citations of Shariati’s Islamist teaching than those of the Ayatollah Khomeini, whose name is only mentioned when the hostage-takers have wanted to convince their audience that they had Khomeini’s “direct “ or “unconditional” support” for their hostage-taking affairs.

Almost all hostage-takers called Ali Shariati their “beacon,” a man who completely rejected any idea of Islamic religious regime ruled by clerics, particularly that of Ayatollah Khomeini.  And it was no accident when one of Khomeini’s closest disciples, Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari, expressed his pleasure over Dr. Shariati’s June 19, 1977 passing by calling it the “blessing from God.”

Why is this Relevant Today?

Despite all their recorded successes, none of us has made a note of the mastery of this band of hostage-takers who fooled the entire world and what they got away with.  “Never did [they] imagine” that they could fool the whole world and that their “act of protest would have such a far-reaching impact on the political history of [their] country, and of the region.” And they most likely are wondering about the degree of our stupidity why we did not see how “a handful of students had burst into the inner sanctum of a superpower and humbled it!” This is per the writings of Massoumeh Ebtekar, one the hostage-takers and the author of 2000 book: Takeover in Tehran: Ayatollah Mousavi Khoeiniha The Inside Story of the 1979 U.S. Embassy Capture. (pp. 36-7) !

Now, they are back again with over three decades of hands-on experience with much more sophisticated global network of “informants” and propaganda “information services,” (as Ebtekar calls them) than ever before, well prepared for their next act.

Today, many of the former hostage-takers and their allies appear on stage as reinvented players.  Rather, they remain wolves in sheep’s clothing, ready to carry on with Shariati’s old plan. They are some of Iran’s most influential Twelvers Shi’a Islamic reformist leaders who want to be the new leaders of Iran Twelvers Shi’a Islamic government. And one of the hostage-takers’ propagandists in the U.S. urges American policymakers to negotiate the future of U.S.-Iran’s relations with the former spiritual leader of the hostage-takers, Ayatollah Mousavi Khoeiniha, whom he presents as “The Power Behind the Scene” and as one who has no regrets whatsoever for his action (as documented in my main essay).

Today, non-religious secularism is central to a young generation of Iranians’ freedom movement.  Should the U.S. help this band of “Reformists” now, and empower them so that they could create their revolutionary Shi’a Islamist Empire…and lead it?

Fool me twice…

Part 1 & 2 of  Main Essay will follow

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