US embassy cable - 75TEHRAN2069 (original version)

IRANIAN RESURGENCE PARTY CREATED BY SHAH (original version)

Identifier: 75TEHRAN2069
Wikileaks: View 75TEHRAN2069 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tehran
Created: 1975-03-04 11:25:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PINT IR
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
R 041125Z MAR 75
FM AMEMBASSY TEHRAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 475
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 1 OF 2 TEHRAN 2069 
 
Declassified/Released US Department of State EO 
Systematic Review 05 JUL 2006 
 
E.O. 11652: GDS 
TAGS: PINT, IR 
SUBJECT: IRANIAN RESURGENCE PARTY CREATED BY SHAH 
 
SUMMARY: CREATION OF IRANIAN RESURGENCE PARTY ANNOUNCED BY SHAH 
MARCH 2 IS MOVE TO SEEK BROADER SUPPORT FOR MONARCHY AND THE SHAHPEOPLE 
REVOLUTION. ALL IRANIANS OF VOTING AGE ARE EXPECTED TO 
EXPRESS ALLEGIANCE TO NEW PARTY OR RISK BEING VIEWED AS OPPONENTS 
OF SHAH AND EVEN TRAITORS WHO SHOULD LEAVE IRAN OR GO TO PRISON. 
SHAH EXPLAINED IRAN'S RETURN TO SINGLE PARTY SYSTEM AS NECESSARY 
BECAUSE QTE SHAMEFUL UTTERANCES UNQTE BY SOME IRANIANS SHOWED NEED 
FOR IRANIANS TO CLOSE RANKS IN EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE QTE GREAT 
CIVILIZATION, UNQTE AND BECAUSE OPPOSITION PARTIES HAD FAILED. 
ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER WILL APPARENTLY BE HELD, BUT IT IS 
NOT CLEAR HOW THEY WILL BE ORGANIZED. NET RESULT IS TO MAKE 
IRANIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM LESS FLEXIBLE. INTERNATIONAL REACTION 
WILL PROBABLY RANGE FROM INDIFFERENCE TO CHARGES OF INCREASED 
TOTALITARIANISM. SHAH APPARENTLY PLANS TO CONTINUE ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT 
IN DAILY POLITICAL AFFAIRS. THIS IS CONTRARY TO EARLIER SUGGESTIONS 
THAT HE MIGHT BE MOVING GRADUALLY TO CONFINE HIMSELF TO 
BROAD POLICY GUIDANCE AND LEAVE IMPLEMENTATION TO GOVERNMENT. END 
SUMMARY. 
 
1. SHAH'S LENGTHY STATEMENT AT HIS MARCH 2 PRESS CONFERENCE, FROM 
WITH CORRESPONDENTS FOR FOREIGN MEDIA WERE EXCLUDED, (TEXT SENT BY 
AIRGRAM) ESTABLISHED IRANIAN RESURGENCE PARTY. NEW PARTY WILL 
ABSORB RULING IRAN NOVIN PARTY, LOYAL OPPOSITION MARDOM PARTY, 
AND THE ULTRA-NATIONALIST PAN IRANIST PARTY AND ITS SPLINTER 
GROUP THE IRANIANS PARTY. PRIME MINISTER HOVEYDA IS TO BE SECRETARY 
GENERAL FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST TWO YEARS. SHAH WILL LATER 
PROPOSE CHAIRMAN OF NEW PARTY'S EXECUTIVE BOARD AND PRESIDENT FOR 
ITS POLITICAL BUREAU. A PARTY CONGRESS WILL BE HELD, PERHAPS 
WITHIN TWO MONTHS. GENERAL ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD THIS SUMMER 
UNDER AUSPICES OF NEW PARTY. 
 
2. SHAH'S STATEMENT BEGAN WITH FAMILIAR RECITATION OF IRAN'S 
GROWING SELF-RELIANCE AND ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE CONTRASTING SHARPLY 
WITH ITS RELATIVE WEAKNESS IN FIRST HALF OF CENTURY. HE NOTED THAT 
OPPOSITION PARTIES WERE CREATED IN RESPONSE TO HIS OWN WISHES 
AND COMMENTED THAT THEY HAD BEEN FACED WITH A DIFFICULT TASK. 
SHAH OBSERVED THAT THEY HAD FAILED TO FULFILL THEIR PROPER ROLE. HE 
COMMENTED THAT SOME IRANIANS HAD MADE QTE SHAMEFUL UTTERANCES 
UNQTE WHICH REFLECTED A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF IRAN' GOALS. IN 
ORDER TO WELD ALL IRANIANS TOGETHER IN PURSUIT OF GOALS OF THE 
SHAH-PEOPLE REVOLUTION, HE HAD, THEREFORE, DECIDED TO CREATE NEW 
ORGANIZATION WHICH WOULD SUPPRESS PARTY DIFFERENCES. ONLY REQUIREMENTS 
FOR MEMBERSHIP IN NEW ORGANIZATION WOULD BE LOYALTY TO (1) 
MONARCHY, (2) IRAN'S CONSTITUTION, AND (3) SIXTH OF BAHMAN (SHAHPEOPLE) 
REVOLUTION. HE SPECIFICALLY SAID NEW PARTY WOULD FOSTER 
CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM, AND HE PREDICTED THAT POLITICAL WINGS 
WOULD EVOLVE WITHIN NEW PARTY. HE URGED ALL IRANIANS ELIGIBLE TO 
VOTE TO ENTER INTO NEW POLITICAL STRUCTURE OR CLARIFY THEIR POSITION. 
BY THIS HE MEANT THAT THOSE WHO COULD NOT AGREE WITH THE 
THREE PRINCIPLES SHOULD LEAVE IRAN OR GO TO PRISON AS TRAITORS 
UNLESS THEY OPENLY EXPRESSED THEIR DISAPPROVAL AND WERE NOT ANTINATIONAL. 
IF DISAPPROVAL IS IDEOLOGICAL, PERSON WOULD REMAIN FREE 
IN IRAN BUT QTE SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS UNQTE. FULL 
PARTICIPATION IN IRAN'S PROGRESS WOULD OBVIOUSLY REQUIRE MEMBERSHIP 
IN THE IRAN RESURGENCE PARTY. HE SAID IT WAS HIS EXPECTATION 
THAT WORKERS, FARMERS, AND TEACHERS WOULD BE THE FIRST GROUPS TO 
ANNOUNCE THEIR LOYALTY TO THE NEW PARTY. 
 
3. COMMENT: ABOVE ALL, SHAH'S ACTION IN RETURNING TO SINGLE PARTY 
SYSTEM OF 1964-67 PERIOD SHOWS HIS EXTREME SENSITIVITY TO CRITICISM 
AND STRONG DESIRE TO RECEIVE OVERT EVIDENCE OF POPULAR SUPPORT. 
AFTER HE EXPERIMENTED WITH TAME OPPOSITION PARTIES IN 
1956-64 PERIOD WITH POOR RESULTS, SHAH THEN TURNED TO HASSAN ALI 
MANSUR'S PROGRESSIVE SOCIETY TO CREATE IRAN NOVIN PARTY AS INSTRUMENT 
TO IMPLEMENT HIS SIXTH OF BAHMAN REVOLUTION. MARDOM PARTY 
WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REJUVENATED TO STIMULATE IRAN NOVIN TO PERFORM 
MORE EFFECTIVELY. DESPITE CONSTANT STATEMENTS OF LOYALTY TO SHAH 
AND HIS PLANS FOR IRAN, PARTIES HAVE APPARENTLY NOT PLEASED HIM. 
AS INDICATED BY FAILURES OF FORMER MARDOM PARTY SECRETARIES 
GENERAL ALI NAQI AND NASSER AMERI, EVEN ACTIVITIES OF GELDED 
OPPOSITION HAD PROVED TOO CRITICAL FOR SHAH'S TASTE. NEVERTHELESS 
HIS PAST STATEMENTS INDICATED CONTINUING SUPPORT FOR COCCEPT OF 
MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM IN IRAN, AND IMPERIAL DECISION TO INSTITUTE ONEPARTY 
STATE REPRESENTS 180-DEGREE SHIFT IN POLICY WHICH ALSO 
APPEARS TO NEGATE EARLIER PROMISES OF FREER ELECTIONS LATER THIS 
YEAR. KEY SECTION OF SPEECH IS COMMENT THAT HE HAD HEARD QTE SOME 
REALLY SHAMEFUL UTTERANCES, WHICH IN NOW WAY SHOULD BE EXPECTED 
FROM AN IRANIAN. THIS SCENE, OF COURSE, HAS ALWAYS RECURRED WHEN 
IRAN HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN THE DEFENCE OF ITS RIGHTS AT A HISTORIC 
JUNCTURE. THIS SITUATION IS INTOLERABLE, UNQTE UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES 
WE DOUBT THAT MUCH CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM WILL EMERGE 
FROM THE IRANIAN RESURGENCE PARTY. 
 
4. IN OPERATIONAL TERMS LITTLE HAS CHANGED, FOR DESPITE FACADE OF 
QTE ME-TOO UNQTE OPPOSITION PARTIES SHAH HAS ALWAYS CALLED THE 
TUNE AND ONLY RULING IRAN NOVIN PARTY HAD ANY IMPORTANCE. PRIME 
MINISTER HAS BEEN LEAD DANCER, AND HIS SELECTION AS SECGEN AT 
JANUARY PARTY CONGRESS HAD TIED IRAN NOVIN PARTY EVEN CLOSER TO 
SHAH. IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCE OF NEW MOVE HAS BEEN FLOOD OF STATEMENTS 
OF LOYALTY TO SHAH, CONSTITUTION AND REVOLUTION, BOTH BY 
GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS. THERE IS CLEARLY NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR 
IRANIANS WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN IRAN'S DEVELOPMENT 
AND SHARE ITS PROSPERITY. ALL DIFFERENCES OF VIEW ON HOW TO IMPLEMENT 
SHAH'S PLAN FOR IRAN WILL BE SUPPRESSED UNTIL NEW PARTY 
DEVELOPS AN IDEOLOGY AND ITS LEADERSHIP IS CONSTITUTED. 
 
5. SHAH'S SPEECH IS VAGUE ON GOALS OF IRANIAN RESURGENCE PARTY AND 
MANY OTHER POINTS. IT IS NOT CLEAR, FOR EXAMPLE, HOW CANDIDATES 
WILL BE SELECTED FOR SUMMER ELECTIONS AND ON WHAT PLATFORMS THEY 
WILL RUN. SPEECH SHOWS SIGNS OF HURRIED PREPARATION FOR ISSUANCE 
PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FOR ALGIERS. WHILE MOST IRANIANS WILL 
ACCEPT NEW CHANGE WITH TYPICAL CYNICISM, IMPLIED CRITICISM OF ALL 
PARTIES FOR FAILING TO GET BEHIND SHAH'S PUSH FOR REVOLUTION FROM 
THE TOP MAY ALIENATE SOME PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO HAVE 
WORKED HARD FOR IRAN NOVIN PARTY ON ASSUMPTION THEY WERE CARRYING 
OUT SHAH'S WISHES. 
 
6. INTERNATIONAL REACTION WILL PROBABLY VARY FROM INDIFFERENCE TO 
INCREASINGLY SHRILL CHARGES OF TOTALITARIANISM. IRAN'S IMAGE AS 
COUNTRY IN WHICH ALL ELEMENTS WERE BEING TAPPED IN DEVELOPMENT 
PROCESS MAY SUFFER UNLESS NEW PARTY'S MEMBERSHIP COMES FROM BROAD 
SPECTRUM. IT APPEARS THAT EARLIER SUCCESSFUL IRANIAN POLICY OF 
COMPROMISE AND COOPERATION HAS BEEN REPLACED BY QTE TAKE IT OR 
LEAVE IT UNQTE STANCE IN DEALING WITH OPPOSITION. 
 
7. IN A-19 EMBASSY NOTED THAT SHAH HOPES TO MOVE TOWARD SITUATION 
IN WHICH HE GIVES POLICY GUIDANCE BUT KEEPS HIS DISTANCE FROM 
DAILY ACTIVITIES OF GOVERNMENT. INITAL IMPRESSION OF HIS ACTION IN 
CREATING NEW POLITICAL PARTY AND FORECASTING HIS PERSONAL SELECTION 
OF SOME OF ITS LEADERS IS THAT HE HAS RETURNED TO MORE DIRECT 
INVOLVEMENT IN THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT. BETTER JUDGMENT ON THIS 
POINT CAN BE MADE WHEN FUNCTION OF NEW PARTY BECOME CLEAR. 
 
8. IN SUM, GIVEN EXISTING STRICT DEGREE OF POLITICAL CONTROLS, 
SHAH'S DECISION TO MELD ALL POLITICAL PARTIES INTO ONE APPEARS TO 
OFFER LITTLE IN WAY OF IMPROVEMENTS TO IRANIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM 
WHILE ADDING SEVERAL DISADVANTAGES BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. 
 
 
HELMS 
 
Declassified/Released US Department of State EO 
Systematic Review 05 JUL 2006 

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