Chairman of the Iranian Revolutionary Council
17 July 1979
Preceded by: Mahmoud Taleghani
8 October, 1909 (age 70)
Islamic Republican Party
Mohammad, Gholam, and Leila
“Happy are those who have departed through martyrdom. Unhappy am I that I still survive.….”
- Ayatollah Eshmail Farhani on Iranian martyrs
Ayatollah Eshmail Hossein Farhani is a Shia Twelver cleric, theologian, and Chairman of the Iranian Revolutionary Council after the ousting of the Shah. Eshmail had a profound in Islamic philosophy and governance. He is known as Ayatollah Khomeini's confidante and political ally during the Iranian Revolution. He is considered to have pull the strings within the Interim Government's policies and way of governance through his influence among Islamists and, younger and more radical revolutionaries. An Islamic conservative and devout Muslim, he desires to see the implementation of an Islamic Republic in Iran following religious values as well as Islamic democracy. Eshmail supported the values of Islamic conservatism, a state-directed free market, as well as an "Illiberal Democracy" undiluted by liberal western political thought and rejected secularism and Western influence. Ayatollah Farhani's greatest support base comes from Baazar merchants, Mullahs, and young Islamic college students.
Work in Progress.
Work in Progress.
Eshmail Lecturing With Soldiers
Due to his widespread popularity among the public, Eshmail became a worthy candidate for the position of Chairmanship in the Iranian Revolutionary Council after the resignation of cleric Mahmoud Taleghani. A council created under the orders of Ayatollah Khomeini to manage the revolutionary politics in Iran which basically controlled all aspects of governance under the guise of an Interim Government. But the existence of this council became a secret in the early stages of the revolution. Eshmail would later be chosen as its Chairman and delivered a humble speech claiming that he was a man unfit for the position out of modesty. When it comes to his ideals, he originally supported Khomeini's theory of clerical leadership or known as the "Guardianship of Islamic Jurists". But would later abandoned his support in favor of a conservative Islamic democracy due to the elitist nature of Khomeini's proposals which reminded him of the Shah's elitist court nature. Eshmail criticized secularism mainly in Iran because it was a foreign idea which was alien to Iranians and had only alienated the lower-class, devout Muslim silent majority which only benefited the elite. He also believed that Western thought of liberal democracy was incompatible with the Islamic Republic and criticized its inefficiency and divisiveness. Eshmail also is a man who favors freedom of expression and thoughts regarding politics and religion where he believes that would result in a healthy discussion that provides a solution and new ideas in fostering development, a view not commonly shared among his colleagues. Beheshti is tolerant of people of different faiths and ethnicity such as Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Kurds, and numerous others. Stating that they are equal under Allah's eyes and had befriended numerous of them in his life. However, the same cannot be said for the Ba'hai community.
Eshmail Delivering a Speech
As Chairman of the Iranian Revolutinary Council he would oversee socio-political development within the Interim Government and Iranian society. He would pass numerous legislation encompassing all aspects of society and matters within the Interim Government. Ranging from political reforms such as the structure of the republic, holding revolutionary tribunals in punishing the "enemies of the revolution", to social matters such as industrial nationalization. He would keep a special team of advisers in implementing policies from various political backgrounds to understand better from opposing ideological viewpoints. Eshmail is open-minded in his opponent's beliefs and is willing to listen to logical reasoning in opposing his policies. His secret council's authority often overlaps with that of the Interim Government whose members belonged to the council. His authority often parallels with the Interim Government in the passing of laws before being dissolved in the next year. The council was in complete disagreement in how the Republic should be managed. Banisadr, Ghotzbadeh, and to an extent Taleghani favored a secular democratic republic modeled after the West while Eshmail, Beheshti, and numerous other clerics desired an Islamic republic following an (illiberal) democratic model based on Islamic values in society and governance. Two views clashed together and it is uncertain which one will prevail. His authority often clashed with that of President Reza which forces Reza to make concessions to the Islamists due to their significant influence within the government. This leaves the secularists and moderates within the Interim Government in a troubled position as their political authority was bounded to the council. Eshmail wanted to undermine the power of the Interim Government and desired to see the Council being the sole government of Iran and thus, effectively ending months of unity government and parallel authority. However, President Reza would only proceed to manage Iran's Interim Government with caution and had waited for the right time to gain dominance over the Revolutionary Council. Nevertheless, Iranian democracy is at its fragile state and two governmental organizations are vying for power through subversion. Only one would emerge victorious and become Iran's sole government.
For & Against
For: Political Islamism, Islamic Democracy, National Conservatism, Traditionalism, Populism, Clericalism, State Capitalism, Republicanism, Spiritualism, and Religious Tolerance and Pluralism, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organization of Islamic Co-operation
Against: Social Liberalism, Totalitarianism, Materialism, Secularism, Ba'athism, Fascism, Western Democracy, Zionism, Free-Market Capitalism, Communism, Soviet Union, and the West
Work in Progress.
“Secularism is a foreign idea alien to Iran. We Iranians are used to putting our faith in God above all else in aspects of society from governance to family. What Reza Shah brought into Iran, they thought it would drag us out of the Middle Ages and bring civilization. But rather, it only marginalized the religious lower-class and made them look backward and repressed religious values. And only benefited the elite minority in following a foreign lifestyle and let societal degeneracy to grow from its root. They forced secularism as if it was euthanasia to a rabid dog and I've seen instances of policemen berating a woman for wearing a veil in accordance to her religious needs. Does that sound like the ideal secular utopia to you? Forcing one's faith over another? Secularism is a foreign idea shoved upon down the throats of Iranians from the top elite.”
- Ayatollah Eshmail Farhani on secularism in Iran
“The West shall be held accountable for their crimes in corrupting Iran since the 1950s for giving their support to men such as the Shah all just for Iranian oil at the expense of the people. They are the corrupter and malevolent spirit of the Earth. They have intervened in numerous foreign affairs of independent nations and only left chaos on those they touch. They only serve themselves only and to side with the Satanic government of America is to fall into their trap.”
- Ayatollah Eshmail Farhani on American Foreign Policy
“Allah sees all of his creations equal under Allah's eye. Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians are the sons and daughters of Iran. Their loyalty and faith in their Gods and nation would ensure them that they live peacefully among others under the future Islamic Republic. To wish ill-will towards another believer is to insult the name of God and taint your men in faith.”
- Ayatollah Eshmail Farhani on religious tolerance
Timsar/General Dariush Mirzadeh
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces
11 February 1979
Military Position: Timsar (General)
Preceded by: Position Established
October 21, 1914 (age 65)
Iskandar, Morteza, and Hassan
Iranian Officers' School
“I have seen many bloodshed and atrocities in war to tell you that this war is not some holy crusade against secular Iraqi infidels or to defend the Iranian motherland that the Mujahid or nationalists would like you to believe. No, we have been played by both sides of geopolitical powers - we are mere puppets that allowed Iran to become a playground to test their weapons and spent money on as debt entrapment.”
- Timsar Dariush Mirzadeh
Timsar Dariush Mirzadeh is an Iranian military commander and revolutionary of the Iranian Revolution. He is popularly known as the Desert Lion in similar vein to Rommel's title of "Desert Fox". He is a highly decorated military commander in the Soviet-Anglo Invasion of Iran, the Azerbaijani Crisis, Kurdish War of Independence, and the Dhofar Rebellion. A capable and intelligent military commander, he utilized shock tactics of armored and air support as well as undertaking initiative. He is well-respected among all military and political circles of Iran. Known as a man of firm stature and incorruptible nature whose position was earned through merit, he is considered as a national hero for his duty during times of national crisis. He is known for being charismatic among his men, chivalrous and benevolent towards his foreign enemies, and yet brutal and merciless to Iranian traitors. Dariush supported the Republican cause during the Revolution but was reluctant to support democratic rule without political tutelage as well as inviting the Islamists to the coalition. Though apolitical and is primarily concerned in serving Iran, he is rumored to conspired with other shadowy groups within the military about the possibilities of a counter-coup in case of an Islamist/communist takeover.
Work in Progress.-
Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran
After World War II ended and he was released from prison, his kind of exceptional leadership was badly needed when the Azerbaijani Crisis broke out in 1946. Dariush led his motorized men in trucks, motorcycles and a handful of salvaged tanks effectively broke positions in Soviet puppet governments in Iranian Azerbaijan as his men marched into the capital of Mashhad. To showcase the punishments of treason against the Iranian nation, he had POWs hanged in public, and leaders of the short-lived nation beheaded and paraded around the capital to demoralize opposition. It was described as being brutal yet effective. For his swift victories during battles and ruthless nature towards traitors, he was immediately promoted to the rank of Colonel at his early 30s and then Brigadier General in 1961. Shah Pahlavi found him admirable as well as a useful political tool in advancing his military agenda and began courting him much to his distrust. Dariush know how in motorized military tactics was necessary in modernizing Iranian military in which the young colonel began teaching in military colleges. Dariush was vocal in modernizing the Iranian army to suit the modern era through procurement of armored and motorized equipment as well as expanding the air force to provide air support. His popularity helped swayed the Imperial government to listen to his suggestion. In 1953, he was critical of the Shah for working against Mossadegh with foreign forces (especially the UK) that he once fought against. Him and his men refused to participate in the overthrowing of Prime Minister Mossadegh but no punishment was taken due to his affluence within Iranian society.
Dariush's Men in the Dhofar Rebellion
After the crisis, he became involved in quelling Kurdish and other left-wing guerilla revolts in Iranian Kurdistan. He had to adapt to his environment, and began utilizing light infantry and vertical envelopment tactics which were effective against Kurdish rebels. This made him grew more distrustful towards the Kurds and only cemented his belief that minorities should be assimilated. By this time, he grew an affinity towards Achamenid culture and Iran's Zoroastrian past during his times in visiting archaeological sites during his military tours in which he fond of a greater Iranian empire. He was introduced to the Pan-Iranist Party and sympathized with its Pan-Iranian ideals in unifying all Persians outside of Iran but disagreed with its fascist ideals. Stating that it's a failed ideology as history proved it to be. Dariush then participated in one of the Shah's campaign to reclaim Abu Musa and the Lesser Tunbs and defending the Omani royalist regime by sending in Iranian troops during the late 1970s. Dariush came to realize that Iran had the potential of asserting itself as a greater power like it once was under Cyrus the Great and supported the Shah's interventionist policies. His unit returned with distinction in the battlefield on both conflicts in which then he was promoted to the highest rank of General or Timsar within the Army. But Dariush was unsatisfied when the Shah agreed to revoke its claim on Bahrain. This proved to be the catalyst that made Dariush come to oppose the Shah's corrupt and inept rule. He also despised the upper command chain of the Iranian military due to its chronic corruption and cronyism, based from the experience of a war veteran. Growing dissent within Iran in the late the 70s and the outburst of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 with news of soldiers massacring civilians proved to be the turning point for Timsar Dariush to defect from the Imperial Military.
Defected Soldiers in the
As Chief of Staff, he is responsible for managing affairs within the military. Post-revolution crises and turmoil saw him having to crush mutinies and rebellions in northern Iran against left-wing guerillas. He employed brutal punishment towards mutineers and rebels that earned him the fear and respect among the military for his unwavering loyalty towards the nation. His tactical prowess and initiatives helped the Iranian government cement its control nationwide. Dariush's units would conduct anti-guerilla operations against leftist Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan, patrol the border along Pakistan to prevent drug smugglers from entering into the nation, and were involved in numerous skirmishes with Iraqi troops before the onset of the Iran-Iraq War. He maintained strict discipline and morale among men to reduce desertion and was steadfast in defending experienced military officers of the old Imperial regime in which he managed to save many from execution during the Tabriz Trials. Though Dariush was satisfied to see the Shah overthrown, he feared that post-revolutionary turmoil would drag the country into economic depression, social unrest, and increase in terrorism. Dariush demanded that swift military action through the form of martial law was necessary to contain the situation in which Reza flatly went against. He was also opposed to inviting the Islamists to the unity government and urged President Reza to abandon them and seek support from the secular military, fearing that the Islamists was powerful enough to completely seize the Interim Government for itself. He was disappointed with the budget reduction in the military and argued that Iraq would sooner or later invade Iran during its times of crisis. Dariush was concerned with the shortages of mechanical parts of the Iranian military's more advanced equipment and suggested that the government should expand its domestic military industry. His meddling in political affairs left the President and Prime Minister concerned with the nature of the Iranian military. Timsar Dariush, being a well-respected war veteran and traditionalist in the military, has a large amount of influence in the Iranian Army and has been combating the influence of the Islamist Basij and Sepah militia. This has put him at odds with Iranian military commanders such as Mostafa Chamran, and others while Dariush insists the importance of a conventional military force without religious meddling.
Iranian Tank in a Military Parade
He criticized President Reza for being naive and idealistic in his political dealings yet admired him for his courage in facing the Shah, and criticized the democratic government for its corruption and bureaucracy that reminded him of the Shah's imperial regime. This puts him at odds with the Interim Government due to his authoritarian notions. He believes that political tutelage during a transition to democracy was necessary and rejects any forms of tyranny that blindly oppresses the people. He is also a fervent opponent of the Islamists faction within the Interim Government stating that their mentality were that of backward Arab savages and had no place in Iranian secular society. The chaos that came with the democratic republic left Dariush disillusioned for the future of Iran which forced him to conspire with secretive elements within the military and the former SAVAK called the Azadegan Organization in hatching a military coup in case the Islamists forcefully seized power. Though he tries to maintain a degree of a political apathy within the military, Dariush is a man of political ambitions and wouldn't sit idly seeing his country in turmoil and threat of civil war. But his association with a secretive group within the military doesn't help either. With Iran at a seemingly never-ending downward spiral and perhaps its collapse, the future of the nation would fall to one man in its dire times.
For & Against
For: Iranian Nationalism, Zoroastrian Resurgence, Pre-Islamic Culture, Cultural Assimilation, Political Pragmatism, Populism, Western Conservatism, Centralism, Middle Eastern Progressivism, Semi-Presidential System, Secularism, Meritocracy, Expansionism, Pan-Iranism, Militarism, Realpolitik, and the Non-Aligned Movement
Against: Fundamentalism, Politicians, Religious and Political Radicalism, Sharia Law, Wahhabism, Salafism, Pacifism, "Blind Totalitarianism", "Political Opportunists", "Parliamentary Bickering", Separatists, Ba'athism, Fascism, and Communism
Work in Progress...
Timsar Dariush's greatest weakness lies in his image. He tries to maintain his imposing stature among the military and a military disaster or scandal involving would cost his reputation greatly in the eyes of the troopers. He is overly cautious in his military planning and relies on unconventional methods and incentives to perform a successful operation. So far, he hasn't lost in any battle and is able to be reasoned with if a war effort is a lost cause for the military.
He prefers the solitary life of being a farmer as well as the companionship of cattle over other military officers. Stating that he would live the remainder of his life as a farmer if he ever retires though he prefers to die fighting alongside his men.
Though fair and benevolent towards the townsfolk that lived under his military occupation, he has a terrible past during his dealings with them. One particular event that would continue to haunt him was when him and his men entered a village in Iranian Kurdistan and ordered his men to massacre anybody inside the cave complex, according to intelligence, was a stronghold of Kurdish rebels. It is then revealed that it was a makeshift refugee camp and ordered his men to perform a mercy kill on the wounded. He hasn't forgive himself for this atrocity that has gone unnoticed and has tried to atone his actions. Refusing to die along with the guilt and bringing that knowledge to the "afterlife".
Dariush's sidearm is his personal S&W Model 27 chambered in .357 Magnum which he uses during war in the Anglo-Iranian War and the Dhofar Rebellion. A sidearm taken from a dead British officer from Iran's war with the British and Soviets.
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iran
4 April 1979
President: Reza Mortazavi
Preceded by: Shapour Bakhtiar
Member of the Parliament of Iran
1 September, 1907 (age 72)
Freedom Movement of Iran
Zahra, Abdolali, Fataneh,
École Centrale Paris
Mehdi Bazargan is an Iranian scholar, academic, and influential pro-democracy activist who serves as the 46th Prime Minister of Iran serving under President Reza Mortazavi after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He was also the head of the first engineering department at the University of Tehran. Bazargan is a well-respected figure among Iranians. Known for being a man of modest and soft-spoken character, he is a notable religious intellectual for his work in Islamic and secular sciences. He is credited for playing a crucial role in laying the foundations of a modern Iranian republic. Ideologically, an Islamic democrat and religious moderate, Bazargan is ambivalent towards the idea of separation of church and state while advocating for the establishment of the "Islamic Democratic Republic". However, Bazargan and the Islamic moderates inaction towards the increasing militancy of the Shia Islamist faction within the Interim Government could threaten the newly-founded republic.
Mehdi Bazargan was born in an Azerbaijani religious family during the Constitutional Revolution on 1 September 1907. His father, Hajj Abasgholi, aka Tradarti Tabrizi settled a long time in Tehran and became a well-known trader in the Tehrani market. He graduated from primary school at Soltanieh Tehran and Middle School in central Dar al-Magalim. Then in the year 1928 he was among the first graduate students of the Pahlavi administration and went to France. He studied thermodynamics and textile at the Paris School of Fine Arts and Technology, and returned to Iran afterward.
Bazargan and the Ayatollah
Due to his educated and scholarly background, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Culture by Prime Minister Mossadegh. Thus, kickstarting his political activity. After his post was finished, he was sent to Abadan to begin his duty as Deputy Chairman of the British Persian Oil Company. However, he resigned due to his differences with Chairman Hussein Maki. Bazargan then took charge of the Tehran Water and Wastewater Company and succeeded in building the country's first water pipe network. Bazargan would later join the Freedom Movement of Iran, a splinter party of the National Front. Though they part ways due to political differences, they found common ground together in 1953 when Mossadegh's government nationalized oil production and resisted against the coup attempt by putschist against Prime Minister Mossadegh. Because Bazargan thought that this was a breach of democracy as well as the workings of external forces and the Shah in order to continue export oil and keeping the Shah's influence intact.
After the coup succeeded, Bazargan and his party issued a proclamation in opposition to the Shah's White Revolution. This only encountered sharp reaction by the government which resulted in Bazargan and other key party members' arrest by the police. A kangaroo trial of businessmen and activists of the Iranian Freedom Movement was held on charges of taking action against the security of the country, opposing the constitutional monarchy, and insulting insults to the date of the reign of the monarchy. Other members faced life sentences while Barzagan was imprisoned for 10 years. He was briefly imprisoned in Qasr prison and was later transferred to Borazjan prison in Bushehr province. After 10 years of imprisonment, he resumed his scientific, religious and social activities. Bazargan would stay relatively quiet while still continuing to criticize the Shah's policies. His life would forever change during the 1979 Revolution where the Shah was ousted and a republican government was proclaimed. For his commitment in resistance of the 1953 coup as well as his scholarly knowledge, he was appointed as a compromise candidate by the Revolutionary Council and took President Reza Mortazavi at his wing.-
Supporters of Bazargan
Members in Tehran
Bazargan's appointment as Prime Minister shook much of the secular nationalists of the Revolutionary Council led by President Reza. However, Reza was quick to cooperate with him on all matters and Bazargan showcased his prowess as a formidable administrator and being the main architect of the new Iranian republican democracy. Reza owed much of his interim administration's success to Bazargan's experienced administrating and negotiating skills. Bazargan would become a senior mentor to the radical and young president Reza through his strong grasp of the parliamentary and legislative process. The Revolutionary Council of the preceding Iranian Revolution became the nucleus of a modern centralized bureaucracy of the Iranian republic. Bazargan would work tirelessly in creating peace between opposing factions of the council through a series of negotiations and creating the foundation of republican government institutions which left a relatively politically stable environment in Iran. Bazargan also held interfaith dialogues to promote tolerance and understanding between religious groups in Iran. Most members of the cabinet formed by Bazargan consisted of more experienced, competent, and radical members of Iran's political scene. He also undertook the role of expanding relations with the international world particularly in the Middle East and Africa. Despite conflicting with President Reza regarding the matters of religion in the state, the two has cooperated very well together for the most part despite occasional disputes.
In order to satisfy the demands of restless Islamists within the government, Prime Minister Bazargan made further concessions towards the Mullahs and the Islamic Republican Party in a desperate attempt to maintain the already-faltering unity government and to preserve Iran's democratic and liberal values. This only emboldened the Islamists, however. Bazargan's position as Prime Minister and the post-revolution political turmoil only worsened his mental health and he is much more interested in retiring with a pension rather than "attempting to save a sinking boat of the Iranian democratic republic" as he puts it. In spite of his eagerness to retire, President Reza ultimately depends upon Bazargan's political experience and sage-like status to preserve the unity government. Bazargan pessimistically believes that the only way to save Iran from Mullah's Islamism was for the military under Timsar Mirzadeh to intervene. Bazargan has stated that he is too old to be participating in politics due to his ailing health and has stated that the future of Iranian politics is open to young and ambitious citizens in Iran's newfound democracy and has said that old guards like him should co-operate with the revolutionary younger segments of the government for the betterment of Iran's future.
Today, Bazargan is in his first days in office after the Iranian Revolution and the establishment of the republic. Co-heading the Interim Government together with President Reza. Bazargan as Prime Minister is determined on stabilizing the disorderly political system inside Iran and forming the foundations of a modern Iranian republic. A statesman embroiled in secularists and religious Islamists conflict, Bazargan is open to compromise and appease both factions to ensure political stability in Iran. Only time decides how Bazargan will fare during his first days as Prime Minister of Iran in its turbulent period in history.
For & Against
For: Civic Nationalism, Islamic Democracy, Islamic Liberalism, Populism, Egalitarianism, Women's Rights, Religious Conservatism, Human Rights, Freedom of Speech and Religion, Pluralism, Republicanism, Democracy, Mixed Economy, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement
Against: Fundamentalism, Religious and Political Radicalism, Wahhabism, Salafism, Sexism, Racism, Imperialism, Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism, Ba'athism, Fascism, Communism, and Israel
PUT SOME INFORMATION ON LEADER'S PERSONAL LIFE
Both Bazargan and Reza are named as TIME's Person of the Year in 1979 for their crucial role in the Iranian Revolution and building democracy in Iran afterward
Bazargan is a very religious man in his private life. He would often attend Islamic prayers without being late and would interpret the Quran to understand its "deeper" meaning
Being a lover of nature, Bazargan always enjoyed going out for a walk in a park outside his governmental residency
A trilingual; he could speak Persian, English, and Arabic
Mehdi Bazargan is among the first group of graduates who received scholarships in Iran's history in 1928.
“The streets of Tehran are filled with bodies. Bodies of martyrs brave enough to stand for country and against foreign lackeys.”
- Mehdi Bazargan amidst the Iranian Revolution
“Our Iran will be the Islamic Democratic Republic. What we propose is the utter implementation of Islamic principles under a democratic framework while ensuring freedom of religion. Our Iran will be free and open than ever before.”
- Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan delivering a speech in the Iranian Parliament