[lit-ideas] Re: Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 09:04:28 -0700 (PDT)

--- John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 2004/06/03, at 13:45, Omar Kusturica wrote:
> >
> > Whereas, had the Communists won out, they would
> have
> > used the power to create a political, social,
> economic
> > and cultural paradize, as they did elsewhere.
> Were these the only alternatives available?

That's a good question. There were other alternatives
but it's not clear how much popular support and/or
determination they had. There was a moderate Islamist
party lead by Ayatollah Shariatmadari, but they later
disbandied to avoid conflict with Khomeini. (A fairly
tame type of Islamists, it would seem.) There was the
liberal Freedom Movement of Iran, founded by Mossadegh
(the one toppled by the CIA in 1963), which at the
time was lead by Mehdi Bazargan. Bazargan was Iran's
first prime minister after the Revolution, but
resigned after only one year. The party continued to
function for a while after that but gradually it got
marginalized, until it was finally banned in 2002.
There were the Mujaheedin Kalk, an Islamist Marxist
organization, which after it failed to obtain any
seats in the 1980 parliamentary election started
engaging in pretty serious terrorist actions and also
established a rapport with Saddam Husssein, with whom
Iran was then in war. Hussein was supported by the US,
while the Soviet Union also would have loved to see
the Islamic Revolution fail. This situation was used
by Khomeini as a pre-text to crack down on all
left-wing groups and other opposition. Obviously, the
early years of the Islamic Revolution were chaotic and
dangerous times, but don't seem to have been more so
than the early years of the French, Russian, or
Chinese revolutions.


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