Two Pictures that Summarize the Islamic Republic

I originally posted this on the anniversary of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, on my personal (secret and private) Facebook page, which is some time ago, but I loved it and I thought I’d share it with you even though it’s a bit outdated.


“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” – Karl Marx

Soon we’re going to have the 35th anniversary of Islamic Revolution. These two images, I think, summarize the revolution the best. The one on the left is an iconic image which signals the victory of the revolution, the one on the right is from a few days ago. The first one shows the Air Force turning their back to Shah, and the second one shows Air Force saluting the Supreme Leader. It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to recreate the same image for the “new” leader, who’s still “new” after 25 years of ruling the country, who still is haunted by the shadow of the previous leader, his father figure, the man he longs to be and never can. This is the Farce of Ayatollah Oedipus.

And the Islamic Revolution can be explained by comparing these two pictures – one is spontaneous, the other is staged, one is historic, the other insignificant, one is revolutionary, the other reactionary, one signals the fall of a dictator, the other signals the power of a dictator, one is meant to uplift people, the other meant to scare them, one shows soldiers saluting a leader of people who was supposed to be our Gandhi, the other shows soldiers saluting a dictator who’s too pathetic to be our Stalin.

These two images are almost identical yet they reveal nothing but differences, because photos don’t lie – not even the staged ones.

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About Kaveh Mousavi

Kaveh Mousavi is the pseudonym of an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran, subject to one of the world’s remaining theocracies. He is a student of English Literature, an aspiring novelist, and part-time English teacher. He is passionate about politics, video games, heavy metal music, and cinema. He was born at the tenth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He has ditched the Islamic part, but has kept some of the revolutionary spirit.