Freedom Fighters vs. the Shah
January 25, 1977 — The Daily Iowan
This detailed letter from a member of the Iranian Student Association in the University of Iowa’s student newspaper The Daily Iowan appears to be pseudonymous—which, considering the inherent risks, would have been prudent. We have not fact-checked its claims and present it for historical purposes only.
Tuesday, January 25, 1977
Iran — U.S. aids moral bankruptcy
To the Editor:
According to the international press, on Nov. 16, three Iranian freedom fighters, members of the Organization of People’s Combatants, were shot to death by SAVAK (the notorious secret police of Iran). Following the barbaric murder of these patriots, seven other members of the same organization (whose identities are being withheld from the people) were arrested and are being held in the Shah’s torture chambers. A month later, on Dec. 21, SAVAK attacked the hideout of another group of 19 Iranian patriots and arrested 11 other freedom fighters, after having a member of the Organization of People’s Combatants and Zahra Ghalhaky, a woman patriot, executed.
These savage acts of murder, execution, arrests and torture are being carried out with the full support and cooperation of the U.S. government which sees as the answer to the present acute instability of the regime and the rapid rise of the Iranian people’s struggle, the augmentation of terror and repression.
George Bush, CIA director, on the Jan. 3 “Face the Nation,” stated that the CIA’s number one fear regarding Iran is the revolutionary forces. Newsweek, Mar. 16, 1976, stated that the CIA is directly involved in the present armed attacks of the SAVAK against the Iranian patriots and revolutionaries. It forgot to mention that the recent onslaught of the regime’s attacks have been directly formulated and guided by Richard Helms, former CIA director, who, until one month ago, was the U.S. ambassador to Iran.
The CIA created the SAVAK in Iran in 1956 and over the last 25 years has created and controlled the most repressive regime in the world.
On Jan. 1, even a State Department report was forced to admit that the Iranian regime is among the top in the consistent and severe violation of human rights. The regime’s prisons are filled with 100,000 political prisoners and savage torture is used systematically. The Shah’s dictatorial regime also ranks among the top in the numbers of murders and executions committed in the last few years. Today, Shah’s reign of repression has been extended to the Iranian people’s movement abroad as manifested in his recent attacks on the members of the Iranian Student Association in the United States (I.S.A.U.S.) as well as in France. Last month, 92 I.S.A. members were arrested in Houston, Tex., while protesting the frame-up of two I.S.A. members in France by the French government.
This situation is the result of the economic and political importance of Iran for the United States, the Shah’s role as gendarme of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf and the growing economic and political crisis facing the Shah’s decadent regime. Since 1972, the Iranian regime has become the number one customer for U.S. arms, buying over 50 per cent of total U.S. arms sales abroad at the rate of $4 billion annually. Furthermore, the sophistication of these arms is so great and the Iranian regime is so backward and dependent on the United States that according to the Senate report, “... there is general agreement among the U.S. personnel involved with the Iranian program that it is unlikely that Iran could go to war without U.S. support on a day to day basis.” The number of U.S. military advisers in Iran exceeds 30,000. The U.S. government is also the main force behind Shah’s war of agression [aggression] in Oman. Over 30,000 Iranian troops have invaded Oman (a country south of the Persian Gulf whose people have risen to rid themselves of the yoke of foreign domination and local reaction), under direct supervision of the U.S. government through her military advisers and attaches. Richard Helms, the late (sic) U.S. ambassador to Iran, has been assigned the responsibility to coordinate all the fascist acts of the Shah inside Iran as well as in the Persian Gulf region.
Due to U.S. domination of Iran’s economy and its policy of using Iran’s market as a dumping ground for its unwanted goods and militarization, Iran’s agriculture has become bankrupt, its industry stagnant and market saturated. As a result, the Iranian people have become more desolate and impoverished than ever before, leading to the rapid development and expansion of their struggle for liberation from the yoke of imperialist domination and its internal, reactionary forces. Within the ranks of the ruling class chaos prevails, augmenting the overall instability, corruption and a rabid fear of the regime.
This instability and isolation has led to the formation of the “Rastakhiz party” (National Resurrection party) as well as the direct and open-armed attacks against the people’s movement. In early 1975, the single party, “Rastakhiz,” was formed, which has become notorious as the open SAVAK and from this period, in the name of “Rastakhiz,” the Shah’s repressive forces have terrorized the Iranian people, gunned down patriots in the streets, machine-gunned workers, peasants and students during strikes and demonstrations.
The present attacks of the regime are examples of its bankruptcy, for the Iranian people’s movement continues to grow. In the last few months over 300,000 workers have gone on strike — many have sacrificed their lives. Peasant rebellions have also become numerous and most recently a new growth can be seen in the student movement.
On the day of solidarity with the Iranian students, Dec. 7, antiregime students poured into the streets and went among the people leading to the growing solidarity of the people with the students. The regime has become so frightened that troops have attacked the demonstrators, killing many students and arresting hundreds. Universities have also been closed.
I.S.A.U.S. is planning protest actions throughout the United States condemning the recent murders, arrests and tortures of the Iranian patriots. We ask all progressive and freedom-loving people to condemn these fascist acts and demand the end to the torture of the prisoners. And we ask everyone to join us in demanding:
—Names of the recently arrested political prisoners be released, the date of their “trial” to be announced and international observers be allowed into “courts” and political prisons; —Free the 18 recently arrested political prisoners.
Send telegrams or letters to: Abass Hoveida (Prime Minister), [Amir-Abbas Hoveyda] Tehran, Iran — or make phone calls to: General Consulate of Iran, 861-0990.
ORIGINAL SIN: The 1953 Coup in Iran Clarified | by Arash Norouzi
The Shah, the President and empty phrases — Letter to the The Daily Iowan, Feb. 16, 1977
U.S. cooperates in Iranian oppression — Letter to The Daily Iowan, July 6, 1976
Iranian-American Penn State Student’s Letter to The Daily Collegian About the Shah (1968)
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”