Isn't is strange that exile of Khomeini to Iraq [Ruled by Pro Western Baathist] Turkey [Ruled by Pro Western Government] and France [do you need a comment about the Non-Islamic Society of France where the so-called Islamic Revlutionary Khomeini (spiritual brother of Satanic Mullah Mawdoodi of Satanic Jamat-e-Islami]
Khomeini spent more than 14 years in exile, mostly in the holy Shia city of Najaf, Iraq. Initially he was sent to Turkey on 4 November 1964 where he stayed in the city of Bursa for less than a year. He was hosted by a colonel in Turkish Military Intelligence named Ali Cetiner in his own residence, who couldn't find another accommodation alternative for his stay at the time. Later in October 1965 he was allowed to move to Najaf, Iraq, where he stayed until being forced to leave in 1978, after then-Vice President Saddam Hussein forced him out (the two countries would fight a bitter eight year war 1980-1988 only a year after the two reached power in 1979) after which he went to Neauphle-le-Château in France on a tourist visa, apparently not seeking political asylum, where he stayed for four months.
Read more in
Khomeini Life of the Ayatollah. By Baqer Moin. 355 pp. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin's Press.
Ayatollah Khomeini, US Central Intelligence and SAVAK [Iranian Intelligence Agency]:
SAVAK was the accronym for the Iranian Shah (King) Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's feared security service, which routinely tortured and assassinated dissidents, and spied on everybody. It had been created by the CIA after the CIA installed the shah in power in a 1953 coup d'état.
In 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- who as a dissident leader had been denouncing SAVAK -- came to power after the revolutionary forces deposed the shah. The next year, the Washington Post wrote an interesting article with the title: “Khomeini Is Reported to Have a SAVAK of His Own.”[1a] And what was Khomeini’s own SAVAK like? It was none other than SAVAK itself. Here is what the Washington Post writes :
“Though it came to power denouncing the shah’s dreaded SAVAK secret service, the government of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has created a new internal security and intelligence operation, apparently with a similar organizational structure and some of the same faces as its predecessor.
The new organization is called SAVAMA. It is run, according to U.S. sources and Iranian exile sources here and in Paris, by Gen. Hossein Fardoust, who was deputy chief of SAVAK under the former shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and a friend from
boyhood of the deposed monarch.
...‘SAVAK is alive and kicking’ in the form of SAVAMA, claims Ali Tabatabai, former press counselor at the Iranian Embassy in Washington under the shah... now president of the Iran Freedom Foundation in Bethesda [Maryland, near Washington D.C.]… ‘There are large numbers of former SAVAK people’ in the new organization, he says. ‘In fact, with the exception of the bureau chiefs [who ran the individual sections of SAVAK] the whole organization seems to be intact.’
In Paris, a French lawyer who specializes in representing Iranian exiles told Washington Post correspondent Ronald Koven that ‘SAVAMA is SAVAK without any change in structure. They just replaced some of the chiefs...
...Tabatabai, who claims he has good sources on the situation in Tehran, says that SAVAMA’s organization ‘is almost a carbon copy’ of SAVAK’s, with nine bureaus. These, he said, cover personnel, collection of foreign intelligence, collection of domestic intelligence, surveillance of its own agents and security of its own agents and security of government buildings, communications, finances, analysis of collected intelligence, counterintelligence, and recruitment and training.”
What Tabatabai is describing above is the security apparatus of a totalitarian police state: the nine bureaus of SAVAK/SAVAMA were spying on ordinary Iranians and even on SAVAK/SAVAMA itself. They were also torturing and murdering ordinary Iranians, as they judged it necessary: “SAVAK used torture systematically as a tool of internal repression.” The Ayatollah Khomeini, of course, installed a totalitarian police state, so from this point of view swallowing SAVAK -- which had a great deal of experience running the shah’s totalitarian police state -- was convenient. But it was still a perfectly absurd thing for Khomeini to do if he was really an enemy of the US ruling elite, because it was this ruling elite’s CIA that had installed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in power and created SAVAK for him, and therefore only an ally of the US ruling elite would welcome the “very close ties that SAVAK, under the shah, [had] maintained with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.”
Of course, US officials were very busy telling everybody that the Ayatollah Khomeini (whom they would soon start arming to the teeth, in secret, for the entire duration of the Iran-Iraq war was supposedly their enemy, so they rushed to deny that there was really that much SAVAK in SAVAMA. As reported in the same article:
“In Washington, however, U.S. government analysts offer a more subdued assessment.
‘It may be tempting to look at SAVAMA as SAVAK reborn,’ one source said, ‘but that is too fanciful for the facts.’ …U.S. sources say that some vestiges of the previous system could be useful [to new regime]. So, some former SAVAK functionaries -- described as ‘lower level’ -- who were able to function for the shah without being tainted now work for Khomeini.”
But as you can see from one of the quotes above, the one thing that both US and Iranian exile sources were definitely agreeing on was that “SAVAMA…is run…by Gen. Hossein Fardoust, who was deputy chief of SAVAK under the former shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi...”
Not only that:
“Fardoust...[was] a longtime friend, classmate and confidant of the shah. Fardoust,
Tabatabai says, was also head of a special SAVAK bureau that summarized all intelligence information. Fardoust delivered it personally to the shah daily.”
This Fardoust was not exactly “lower level,” was he? Nor was he merely “tainted”: Fardoust had been running Iran for the shah. It also turns out that “Fardoust’s deputy at SAVAMA is said to be Gen. Ali Mohammed Kaveh, formerly the head of the SAVAK bureau dealing with analysis of collected intelligence.” This Kaveh was not exactly “lower level” either. Finally, “In three former bureaus dealing with personnel organization and summation of intelligence, Tabatabai claims, every member who worked for Fardoust when he was deputy chief of SAVAK still works for him as chief of SAVAMA.”
The US ruling elite did not support Ali Tabatabai’s Iran Freedom Foundation, which wanted to topple Khomeini, and it was awkward for the US ruling elite that Ali Tabatabai was explaining out loud how the Ayatollah was running Iran with the CIA’s SAVAK, just like the shah had before him. It is possible that Tabatabai's assassination in his Bethesda, Maryland home, shortly after he made the above statements to the press, was unrelated to the CIA. However, it does seem significant that,
“Only Tabatabai was willing to let his name be attached publicly to the foundation. Only Tabatabai was eager to go before television cameras and radio microphones to discuss the positions of the foundation. In the end, said one of the original 10 [founders] who asked that his name not be used, their fears for the safety of their families and themselves were borne out by what happened to Tabatabai. ...‘Our object was primarily to expose the true nature of Khomeini,’ he said.
...Tabatabai was president of the foundation as well as its spokesman. Because of his prominent public profile, the Iran Freedom FOUNDATION (IFF) became in turn the most widely known of nine anti-Khomeini groups in the United States.
...In all cases, it was Tabatabai who took the public stage. ... He appeared on talk shows, both radio and television, locally, nationally and in Canada. He helped organize a major anti-Khomeini demonstration in Los Angeles earlier this month, designed to bring together the different anti-Khomeini groups.”
In other words, Tabatai had a big mouth, and he was the only person that needed shutting up -- everybody else had already gotten the message. With Tabatabai out of the picture, problem solved. And indeed, I was unable to find mention of the SAVAK/SAVAMA identity in newspaper articles since. On the contrary: the next year, The New York Times 'informed' the public in a headline that “[SAVAMA] Isn’t Like Savak Under Sha,” stating in the body of the text that “Savak [was] disbanded after the 1979 revolution.” An article in The Christian Science Monitor, the same year, did say that “Savama [was] the name given [to] the reconstituted Savak secret police organization, so long a weapon of terror and torture in the late Shah’s hands,” but it rushed to assure its readers that the reason “many Savak members gladly serve in Savama” was “to save their own skins.”
1- "HOW THE UNITED STATES DESTROYED DEMOCRACY IN IRAN IN 1953: Re-print of 16 April 2000 New York Times article"; with an introduction by Francisco Gil-White; Historical and Investigative Research, 5 January 2006;
2- Khomeini Is Reported to Have a SAVAK of His Own; Khomeini Reported to Have Own SAVAK-Style Agency, The Washington Post, June 7, 1980, Saturday, Final Edition, First Section; A1, 1706 words, By Michael Getler, Washington Post Staff Writer
3- Exiles plan assault on Iran, Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA), June 19, 1980, Thursday, Midwestern Edition, The News Briefly; Pg. 2, 206 words, WITH ANALYSIS
FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY DEBRA K. PIOT, Washington
4- “Terrorism came to Washington once again yesterday. The chaos and violence of world events crystallized in an instant in a Bethesda home as a gunman pumped bullets into the stomach of Ali Akbar Tabatabai.”
SOURCE: New Case of International Terrorism; Reminder of Vulnerability, The Washington Post, July 23, 1980, Wednesday, Final Edition, First Section; A14, 917 words, By Phil McCombs, Washington Post Staff Writer
5- Victim Led in Forming Anti-Khomeini Group, The Washington Post, July 23, 1980, Wednesday, Final Edition, First Section; A12, 654 words, By Donnel Nunes, Washington Post Staff Writer
6- AROUND THE WORLD; Iranian Says Secret Agency Isn't Like Savak Under Shah, The New York Times, June 1, 1981, Monday, Late City Final Edition, Section A; Page 5, Column 2; Foreign Desk, 183 words, Reuters, TEHERAN, Iran, May 31
“A senior Iranian official said today that Iran has a new intelligence agency but that it is not like the Shah's hated Savak secret police since it is run along Islamic lines.
Asked at a news conference to confirm the existence of a secret agency called Savama, a Government spokesman, Behzad Nabavi, said, ‘Yes, we have an intelligence organization.’
Revolutionary Iran needs an intelligence agency, Mr. Nabavi said, adding: ‘But of course it does not have the same methods as the C.I.A. or K.G.B. or Savak. It must have Islamic methods and not stray from religious precepts.’
Savak, disbanded after the 1979 revolution, was believed responsible for torturing and killing thousands of suspected political opponents of the Shah. Savak agents ‘were all robbers, drinkers of alcohol, knife-wielders and degenerates,’ Mr. Nabavi said. He did not directly confirm the name Savama, which is believed to stand for the Iranian National Information and Security Organization, or say how long it had existed.”
7- War between mullahs, leftists staggers Iran, Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA), August 14, 1981, Friday, Midwestern Edition, Pg. 3, 848 words, By Geoffrey Godsell, Staff correspodent of The Christian Science Monitor.
IRAN: Ayatollahs accused of corruption — Borzou Daragahi
A speech earlier this month by a former official of the Iranian parliament accusing some of the country’s most powerful senior clerics of corruption has reverberated through the political establishment this week.
Abbas Palizdar, a former parliamentary researcher and corruption investigator, made a widely publicized speech this week at a university in the western Iranian city of Hamadan in which he named leading politicians and clerics as engaged in pilfering state funds and obtaining favorable business arrangements for their relatives.
His targets included the family of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani (right), a powerful and relatively moderate conservative cleric and former president widely viewed as a rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Here's an excerpt from Rooz Online:
Their economic corruption is so widespread that it is not possible to list them. But one of them is in their lack of payment of taxes to the government.
Many saw the speech as an attempt by Ahmadinejad to weaken his rivals. The Web site Iran Almanac described him as one of the president's "closest allies." But a pro-Ahmadinejad site rejected the claim that Palizdar was an ally of the president.
Still many wondered why he has not been arrested for making such claims while newspapers are often shut down for publicly discussing corruption.
Iran’s fractious political leadership is gearing up for all-important 2009 presidential elections. Though relatively liberal reformers have been cut out of power, a conservative faction hostile to Ahmadinejad gained the upper hand in legislative elections earlier this year and elected a rival to the president, Ali Larijani, as speaker of the Majles.
Some predicted the revelations would produce even more friction within the country’s ruling elite. Here's Mehdi Noorbaksh, a professor of international relations at Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania, in an e-mail:
Ahmadinejad is playing with fire. Clergy belong to a class and when threatened, react cruelly and with malice. ...Rafsanjani has enough power within the governing institutions and also among the reformist and conservatives to deal with this new wave under Ahmadinejad.
The son of a blacksmith and Revolutionary Guard veteran who fought on the front lines of the Iran-Iraq war, Ahmadinejad represents a new force in Iranian politics. His backers include members of the Revolutionary Guard and military who are challenging the economic and political supremacy of the Shiite Muslim clerics who have run Iran since the 1979 revolution.
Palizdar made no allegations against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest religious, political and military authority. He also did not mention of the alleged corruption of the Revolutionary Guard, which has its hands in many business ventures.
Instead he singled out the members of the judiciary and other so-called traditional clerics. He said that the son-in-law of Ayatollah Makaram Shirazi, a powerful cleric, runs a sugar “mafia” worth so much money they were willing to pay $700 million to keep themselves from being publicly exposed.
He said a foundation that included several key conservative leaders including Ali Akbar Nategh-Nouri, a powerful confidante of Khamenei, and Asqar Owladi, head of Iran’s Islamic Coalition Association, demanded hundreds of cars at 50% discounts from the state-owned manufactuer.
He accused unseen hands of being involved in assassinations of a former minister of transportation and said the plane crash of a Revolutionary Guard commander was “suspicious.”
Unprecedented Revelations against Senior Iranian Clerics
A Member of the Majlis Investigative Committee - 2008.06.10
A film and the speech of Abbas Palizar, a member of Iran’s Majlis Investigative Committee are now available on the Internet for the public, whose contents expose the country’s judiciary and senior clerics. Palizar made his speech at Hamedan University in western Iran and named leading politicians and clerics from the conservative camp and accused them of engaging in corrupt economic practices. He also revealed that the plane crash that carried, and killed, Iran’s former minister of transportation during Khatami’s presidency was the work of sabotage by insiders, and also that another air crash that killed a former army commander at the Passdaran, Ahmad Kazemi, was at the least “suspicious”.
Who is this new exposer?
The person whose revelations at Hamedan University have now attained sensational quality was for some time the “operational secretary” of the research unit of the seventh Majlis where his key responsibility was to head the (Infrastructure Research Bureau) Daftare Motaleat Zirbanai. He was the leading figure to draw up a plan to punish those who committed economic disruption and prior to being the head the Majlis research unit, he was the advisor to the Majlis Economic Committee and the Chairman and spokesperson of the Board of Trustees of the House of Industrialists of Iran (Khane Sanatgaran’e Iran). He had made an unsuccessful bid for Tehran’s provincial council while running on the list that supported president Ahmadinejad.
The End of the Conservatists' Grouping and the Repetition of Old Accusations
Palizar called the country’s judiciary “the center of economic corruption” and forcefully asserted that neither the judiciary branch nor the State Inspectorate Organization would cooperate with the Majlis in its investigations over corruption. “The State Inspectorate Organization strived to prevent the investigative committee of the Majlis from gaining access to the existing corruption cases and to accomplish this provided forced leave to its members, while with the passage of a year, we eventually gained access to the data on this”, he said.
In detailing the corruption, he said, “One day a one of these cleric came to me and said that he had a disabled son and wanted to build a physical therapy center to be run under his management. We registered the center. Then he came and said that he desired to have a financial passport (license) and asked us to give him the license to operate the Dehbid stone mining company in Fars province, a company that has the best stones in the world. After that, he came and asked for the license to operate yet another mine in Zanjan province. Today, he operates four mines and owns the license to a physical therapy center.” Students at Hamedan University asked for more details and the name of the cleric and he told them that it was ayatollah Imami Kashani (member of the Guardians Council and one of the 4 temporary Friday prayer leaders of Tehran).
In another part of his speech at Hamedan, Palizar said, “Another ayatollah once went to the leader and said that they wanted to build a law university for women in Qom. He got the license to do that. Immediately after that however he requested a financial passport (license) for Dena Tire Company. The then minister of industries Mr. Nematzadeh told him that he would give him the company at the price of 126 billion Toman (about $126 million). The real market value of the company was 600 billion Toman ($600 million). Soon, these gentlemen were asking for discounts on the price of the tire company and eventually settled for 10 billion Toman (about $10 million). But then they said that they did not have the money and so would pay 80 percent of the price in installments. Nematzadeh accepted that. But they returned and said that they did not even have the 20 percent in cash but would pay it by selling some assets of the company. This is how easily he acquired the company, and then sold it in the market soon after.” Students again asked for the name of the cleric and Palizar burst it out: ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi (current member of the Guardians Council and Experts Assembly, former head of the judiciary and the new leader of the Teachers of Qom Theological Center, which is the most important grouping of the conservative clerics in Iran).
Palizar continued with his story: “Ayatollah Yazdi continued his drive and wrote a letter to Mr. Foruzesh, the then minister of industries arguing that his son, Hamid was jobless and requested that arrangements be made so he could export wood from the forests of northern Iran. It is interesting that Hamid Yazdi was a director general at the judiciary. But soon the forests of the north were looted. At the same time, a group of local residents were arrested for cutting down trees (which they did in amounts sufficient for their personal needs) and imprisoned, which led to riots in front of the prison where they were detained.”
Palizar mentioned another case of fraud to belong to Iran Khodro car manufacturing plant. “Iran Khodro company was transferred to judges who owned Persia Machine plant at half the market price, while the rest was supposed to have been paid in installments by buyers of the vehicles, most of which were never paid. But this state of affairs did lead to protests. For example, a group calling itself members of the Nahjol-Balaghe foundation came and said that they wanted 500 cars with the same terms. And who do you think are the members of this foundation? None other than Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri (former head of the Special Investigative Unit of the Leaders Office), Mohsen Refighdoost (former head of the Mostazafin Foundation), Asqar Oladi (the former secretary of the conservative ‘Jamiate Motalef Islami’ i.e. Islamic Coalition Association) Moezi (deputy director of the Leader’s office), etc. After this episode came another foundation, Hamgaraie Andishe belonging to cleric Falahian (former minister of intelligence) and ayatollah Elm Alhoda (the radical cleric of Mashhad).”
Adding to the list, Palizar continued his drive by adding that the Tabas Stone Mining Company and twelve other large mines in the country in Khorasan province (the largest province in the country) in eastern Iran were handed over to ayatollah Vaezi Tabasi, the representative of the leader of Iran in that province.
Moving to a different area, Majlis deputy Palizar revealed that the cause for the crash of two aircraft that carried senior officials of the Islamic regime (Rahman Dadman the minister of transportation during Khatami’s administration in 2002 who lost his life in the crash and Ahmad Kazemi, the former commander of the Passdaran ground forces who was killed in the helicopter crash of 2006) could be attributed to intentional planning in which one of the then leaders of the Passdaran had a hand in (no details are provided). The Dadman incident was pre-planned. The 1000-page dossier regarding this air crash demonstrates this (again no details are provided).”
As the list got longer, Palizar mentioned the importation of contraband through one of the airports called Payam and said, “The grand smuggler of Payam airport has 1,500 court cases for smuggling, but nobody has arrested him yet because he is under the protection of cleric Nategh Nouri.”
The sugar industry in Iran was not left out of these revelations, and Palizar said in this regard, “Mr. Modalal, the son in law of one of the senior clerics in Iran (this is a reference to ayatollah Makarem Shiraz, who is also a source of emulation) was the king of sugar and of the sugar mafia. Modalal worked with a person named Mohammad Reza Yusefi both of whom were willing to pay 700 billion Toman ($700 million) in hush money when the case was exposed.”
Palizar ended his expose by naming Hashemi Rafsanjani and his family members to be economically corrupt and said, “Their economic corruption is so wide that it is not possible to list them. But one of them is in their lack of payment of taxes to the government.”