A Question of Numbers

Pahlavi and after (1925 AD - present)

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A Question of Numbers

Postby Amir » Wed May 30, 2007 4:58 pm

Apparently this article was written many years ago, but I just came upon it recently in Liberator’s blog site. I feel it is important enough that it be re-posted:



http://aryamehr11.blogspot.com/2007/05/ ... mbers.html


A Question of Numbers

August 08, 2003
Rouzegar-Now
Cyrus Kadivar




Rumours, exaggerated claims by the leaders of the Islamic revolution and a disinformation campaign against the fallen monarchy, not to mention Western media reports that the imperial regime was guilty of "mass murders", has finally been challenged by a former researcher at the Martyrs Foundation (Bonyad Shahid). The findings by Emad al-Din Baghi, now a respected historian, has caused a stir in the Islamic republic for it boldly questions the true number of casualties suffered by the anti-Shah movement between 1963 and 1979.

In the aftermath of the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, ordered the creation of the Martyrs Foundation with the sole purpose of identifying the names of the so-called "martyrs" and provide financial support for their families as well as those who had sustained injuries in the fierce street battles with royalist troops. The necessary funds were immediately raised from the assets seized from the high officials in the Shah's regime, many of whom had been executed after summary trials.

For many years the Martyrs Foundation collected the names of the victims of the anti-Shah revolution classifying them by age, sex, education, profession and address. The files were kept secret until 1996/7 when a decision was made to make public the figures on the anniversary of the revolution. At about this time, Emad al-Dib Baghi, was hired as a researcher and editor of the bonyad's magazine "Yad Yaran" (Remembering our Comrades) to make sense of the data. By the time his work had finished he was told that the names were not to be made public. The reason given was that to pursue the matter would run contrary to the statements made by the late Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors who claimed that "60,000 men, women and children were martyred by the Shah's regime."

Emad al-Din Baghi who left the Martyrs Foundation to write two books on the subject claims that the authorities felt that releasing the true statistics would simply confuse the public. So, officials continued to stick to the exaggerated numbers. During a debate in the Majlis at the height of the US hostage crisis, an Islamic deputy claimed that giving in to America would be an insult to the memory of "70,000 martyrs and 100,000 wounded who fought to destroy the rotten monarchy." In fact, by continuing the myth that so many people had been killed, the regime was able to buy a certain legitimacy for its "noble revolution" and excesses.

"Sooner or later the truth was bound to come out," Baghi argued. In his opinion history should be based on objective findings and not baseless rumours which was the root of the anti-Shah hysteria and street demonstrations in 1978 and 1979. The true numbers are fascinating because contrary to the official view they are quite low and highly disproportionate to the hundreds of thousands murdered in the last 24 years in the Islamic republic.

The statistical breakdown of victims covering the period from 1963 to 1979 adds up to a figure of 3,164. Of this figure 2,781 were killed in nation wide disturbances in 1978/79 following clashes between demonstrators and the Shah's army and security forces. Baghi has no reason to doubt these figures and believes that it is probably the most comprehensive number available with the possible exception of a few names that were not traced.

During the years separating the arrest of Khomeini on 5th June 1963 for instigating the riots against the Shah's White Revolution and his return from exile on 1st February 1979, most of the 3,164 victims were in Tehran, Rey and Shemiran and 731 were killed in riots in the provinces which constitutes 14% of the country. Most of the casualties were in central Tehran and the poorer southern areas. Of this number 32 "martyrs" belong to the 1963 riots who were killed in 19 different parts of the Iranian capital. All were male and from southern Tehran.

Despite this revelation all officially sanctioned books in Iran dealing with the history of the Islamic revolution write of "15,000 dead and wounded". Such wild figures have found its way in Western accounts.

Another myth is the number of those killed on Friday, 8th September 1978 in the infamous Jaleh Square massacre. On that day the Iranian government imposed martial law in Tehran after troops had fired at several thousand anti-government demonstrators in the capital. The opposition and Western journalists claimed that the massacre left between 95 and 3,000 dead, depending on widely varying estimates. Historians agree that the bloody incident was to be a crucial turning point in the revolution. Baghi refutes those numbers as "grossly inflated."

The figures published by Baghi speaks of 64 killed among them two females – one woman and a young girl. On the same day in other parts of the capital a total of 24 people died in clashes with martial law forces among them one female. Therefore, according to Baghi, the number of people "martyred" on Black Friday is 88 of which 64 were gunned down in Jaleh Square. These statistics are closer to the figures announced by Dr Ameli Tehrani (executed by the revolutionaries) who served in Prime Minister Sharif Emami's government. The Shah's officials repeatedly spoke of 86 people dead and 205 wounded in clashes.

But at the time nobody in Iran was prepared to believe the government version, says Baghi, himself an ardent revolutionary in those troubled days. Instead rumours turned into facts and made headlines further weakening the Shah's crumbling regime. Opposition leaders quoted figures as high as "tens of thousands" and agitators spread stories that soldiers had fired on the people from helicopters piloted by Israelis. Michel Focault, a leading French journalist, who covered the Jaleh Square wrote of "2,000 to 3,000 victims" and later increased the figures to "4,000 people killed" adding that the demonstrators had no fear of death.

The number of non-Muslims who died for the revolution was deemed by the Martyrs Foundation as "too insignificant" to be included in the list. Many of them were die-hard Marxist guerrillas who had fought running battles with the Shah's secret police known as Savak. In the 1970s the Shah's regime faced many threats from so-called Islamic-Marxist terrorists who carried out assassinations of top officials, kidnappings, bank thefts and bomb attacks on cinemas. Savak was given special powers to deal with this "terrorist" threat and appeared successfully ruthless in its "dirty war." Savak's crude brutality received a lot of criticism in the West. Amnesty International reported cases of illegal detention and torture.

But how many were killed? Baghi is methodical in the way he states numbers. Firstly, he claims that the total number of guerrillas killed between the 1971 Siahkal incident during which armed Marxists attacked a police station in a Caspian village and the February 1979 insurrection is 341.

The figure 341 is made up of 177 persons killed in shoot-outs with the Shah's security forces; 91 were executed for "anti-state activities"; 42 died under torture; 15 were arrested and "disappeared", 7 committed suicide rather than be captured, and 9 were shot while escaping. From among the guerrilla groups who died fighting the imperial regime the Marxist Fedayeen Khalq organisation suffered the highest losses. From the total figure of 341 killed, 172 were Fedayeens (50%); 73 Mujaheddin Khalq (21%); 38 fringe communists (11%); 30 Mujaheddin marxists before changing their ideology to Islamic (9%) and 28 Islamists (8%).

For completion sake, Baghi has added 5 other names to his long list. Four of them (Sadeq Amani, Reza Safar Herandi, Mohammad Bokharaie and Morteza Niknejad) were executed by firing squad after a military tribunal found them guilty of assassinating Prime Minister Mansour in 1965. The fifth name belonged to Reza Shams Abadi, a member of the Imperial Guard, who opened fire on the Shah as he came out of his limousine at the Marble Palace. The assassin was shot down by the king's bodyguards. By adding these five names to the 341 we get the figure of 346 non-demonstrators killed between 1963 and 1979.

In addition to the 32 demonstrators killed in the June 1963 pro-Khomeini riots two other persons were shot dead in the following weeks in an undisclosed part of Tehran. On 2nd November 1963 a certain Mohammad Ismail Rezaie was murdered in jail and on the same day Haj Mohammad Reza Teyb was shot by firing squad at the Heshmatiyeh army barracks.

The mysterious death of the famous wrestler Gholam Reza Takhti in 1967 was attributed to Savak but Baghi has established that Takhti committed suicide. Unfortunately, Baghi makes no mention of the Islamic philosopher Ali Shariati and the Imam's eldest son, Mustapha Khomeini. Both died of heart attacks in London and Najaf respectively. At the time of their deaths there were many rumours that they had been eliminated by Savak agents but subsequent evidence proves the opposite. Nevertheless, the negative effect on public opinion was tremendous and played a major role in eroding support for the Shah's regime.

In any case, by adding Takhti's name the total of those killed for underground action against the Shah's regime comes to 383 which added to the 2,781 "martyrs" would mean that 3,164 Iranians lost their lives in the revolution against the monarchy and not 60,000 as the Imam had stated. In time, other historians may take up the task of finding the truth about the countless people executed or eliminated during the brutal 24 years rule of the mullahs. But that will only be possible in a free Iran and the findings may prove to be a greater shock.
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage

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Postby Ahreeman X » Wed May 30, 2007 7:23 pm

What is your point?

Should we hang a hallow around Shah’s head and declare him a saint?

Should we read Namaz and praise to Shah as Iran’s savior?

Should we give blow Jobs to his family?

When convenient, Monarchists quote anything from anyone including an Islamist Reformist Mullah (Emad edin Baqi)! They would even quote Carl Marx if it would be good for their benefits? Tomorrow if Rafsanjani releases a historical document, which would suit Monarchists agenda, then they will quote from him!

It is very interesting that now you get your news and information from children’s Blogs! Jujeh Monarchists who are blind to the reality of history and are willing to go as far as naming all Anti Monarchy Democratic forces (including me) pro Hezbollah!

When suited, Monarchists call solid opposition figures servants of Hezbollah but at the same time, they quote an Islamist Reformist Mullah as a historian to justify Shah’s massacres. Everything goes as long as it preaches innocence and greatness for the bloody Pahlavi Family, right?

Riding the masses, any which way they can, is the monarchist policy!

One day Shah kissed Arab’s asses in Mecca, the next day he was in Persepolis!
One day Farah is a Seyedeh! The next day she is pro Cyrus The Great!

So as an academic, now you see historical documents and salvation in Piss Ant Jujeh Monarchists blogs? A traitor dog to IPC Operations? Someone who has no tolerance to hear any critics to his Bloody Shah? And if he does, then he calls the critic, a Hezbollah member? Some Asshole who calls me a servant of Hezbollah because I am trashing his Hee Rows, the bloody Pahlavis?

Or did you just want to cover my post in this room and push it down, so less people would read it? The post that trashes Pahlavis by stating historical facts in form of humor?

Monarchists can sing to the next eclipse or the Ice Age but they can never ever create a Saint out of Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi and White Wash his crimes. Monarchists are the most hated socio-political group of Iran after the Mullahs and this is a fact.

One of my life’s missions is to kick Monarchists as much as I can, while they are down, so they would never even think of standing back up, set aside gaining political power.

Monarchists sell their own mothers, set aside friends (and brand them as Hezbollah), to protect their bloody Shah and murdering ideology. The Ass hole you are quoting from his Blog is the perfect example.

So what’s the deal Professor?
Are we now sliding the Shiite under the Persian Rug?

I piss on Monarchists God
I piss on Monarchists Shah
I piss on Monarchists Nation

Let me tell you something:

Blind Fanatical Absolute Dogmatic Belief in anyone or anything obscures one’s vision to view the realties of the world. May this fanaticism be towards a person, a religion, an ideology or anything else, it effects the person’s logical interpretation of the reality.”
(Ahreeman X)

Monarchists same as Muslim are fanatics and they have absolute blind faith towards their Shah, Pahlavis and Monarchy. They do not have open minds to even think freely. They are delusional.

To quote anything from them is the same as quoting philosophy from a plumber who digs the shiite out of your toilet to unclog the drains! No offense to plumbers because they are far more advanced and brighter than monarchists!

Ps: Do not bother responding to whitewash the history of Pahlavi Crimes towards Iran and Iranians! I am a Historian and well aware of what had occurred! I saw it first hand in Iran, so save your breath! Next time be more substantial about who you quote from!

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Postby Amir » Wed May 30, 2007 11:55 pm

Should we hang a hallow around Shah’s head and declare him a saint?


I like neither halos nor saints. However, I do like the last king of Iran, because of his policies and deeds.

Should we read Namaz and praise to Shah as Iran’s savior?


I wouldn’t, but you are free to do as you please.

It is very interesting that now you get your news and information from children’s Blogs!


You may call it what you wish, but I do not share that opinion. In fact, what is indeed interesting is that it only became a “children’s blog” after its creator fell out of favor with you.

Jujeh Monarchists who are blind to the reality of history and are willing to go as far as naming all Anti Monarchy Democratic forces (including me) pro Hezbollah!


Such claims (calling you a Hezbo) were of course ridiculous.

When suited, Monarchists call solid opposition figures servants of Hezbollah but at the same time, they quote an Islamist Reformist Mullah as a historian to justify Shah’s massacres.


I am not very familiar with the author of that article. I never called him a historian, nor did I praise him. I said that I saw value and importance in the article.

Regarding Shah’s massacres, what is your position?

Is the blood-thirsty X now weary of massacres? Or does he wish that Shah had stayed behind and massacred more people during the revolution? Which does he prefer?

So as an academic, now you see historical documents and salvation in Piss Ant Jujeh Monarchists blogs?


I do not go to any site looking for salvation. I do not seek salvation, for I own it. The reason that I go to various sites is to offer it.

However, since you inquire about my recent visit to Aryamehr’s site, I shall tell you the simple reason. I read the little catfight that the two of you had in the Monarchy thread. In that thread, IPC admin posted an invitation for members to read about “Shahollah's New Anti IPC Campaign.” Therefore, I followed the link and did just that. While there, I browsed around and came upon this article. So you could say that it’s your own damned fault that I ended up there (not that there is anything wrong with there). I have visited it in the past on occasion, but I hadn’t been there in more that 6 months. Again, not because there is anything wrong with his site, but because I don’t have the time nor inclination to go to too many sites.

I must say that I was utterly disappointed with his comments regarding yourself and IPC. However, that is a different matter.

Someone who has no tolerance to hear any critics to his Bloody Shah? And if he does, then he calls the critic, a Hezbollah member? Some Asshole who calls me a servant of Hezbollah because I am trashing his Hee Rows, the bloody Pahlavis?


I do not agree with that behavior of his, and am disappointed by it. I am equally disappointed with you for pushing him so far, dragging him in front of the club in an effort to humiliate him, that he finally snapped and wrote that rubbish.

Or did you just want to cover my post in this room and push it down, so less people would read it? The post that trashes Pahlavis by stating historical facts in form of humor?


No, I posted it in here because it seemed like the most appropriate room for it, considering that it was applicable to modern Iran.

However, if you really think that I would post it here for the reason you claim, then perhaps you are hanging around the paranoid conspiracy theorists too much.

Do you really take me for this? That this is my tactic?

I piss on Monarchists God


As do I.

I piss on Monarchists Shah


You are free to do so.

I piss on Monarchists Nation


Such a nation is a nation of the past. So, unless you finally invent that time machine of yours, I am afraid that you won’t be able to carry out this threatened act of micturition.

“Blind Fanatical Absolute Dogmatic Belief in anyone or anything obscures one’s vision to view the realties of the world. May this fanaticism be towards a person, a religion, an ideology or anything else, it effects the person’s logical interpretation of the reality.”


I agree. You say this as though you are convinced that I think otherwise. Although I respect and cherish the memory of the late Shah, I have not held my opinion of him in a fanatical or dogmatic fashion. I am aware of his many mistakes and shortfalls. However, I measure him on a grand scale, and take into account all of his virtues as well as ills. After doing so, it is my opinion that he was an overall good ruler, and was good for the nation. We have had many rulers better than him, and many worse.

In no way do I deify him, nor do I hold him beyond the reach of critique.

To quote anything from them is the same as quoting philosophy from a plumber who digs the shiite out of your toilet to unclog the drains! No offense to plumbers because they are far more advanced and brighter than monarchists!


I do not agree with you on that. This is the mere definition of prejudice, and being prejudiced is not only immoral but also detrimental to one’s interests.

I would accept and embrace philosophy from a plumber, provided that the content of that thought was worthy. I would moreover scoff at that presented by a noted author or philosophy professor, if its content was worthless.

Judge not a book by its cover. Furthermore, judge not a book by its author. Judge it based on its content.


This article is not about the glory of monarchy or monarchists. It isn’t even about the glory of Shah. It only presents information on the matter of the number of casualties from Shah’s regime.

You may either accept that data, or choose to refute it. However, please don’t lecture me about monarchy. The sermon is getting old, and it belongs in the Monarchy thread. It does not belong in every single thread that concerns the Shah. You need to learn to separate the concept of a specific man from the concept of a specific form of government. Monarchists seem to have difficulty with this distinction as well. They equate Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the man) with the notion of monarchy (the form of government), and vise versa. This is a mistake.
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage

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Postby Ahreeman X » Thu May 31, 2007 11:35 am

As you have requested ….

This discussion has been moved to a more proper room. Just follow the yellow brick road, Big Academic GrassHoper :teacher: ……….

Iran Room => Monarchy or Republic Topic
http://www.iranpoliticsclub.net/club/vi ... =6127#6127

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