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Cablegate: Iranian Resurgence Party Created by Shah

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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