Friday, August 04, 2006

Kind to the cruel: how Khomeini's life was spared

[NOTE: I'm aware that the following information comes from Wikipedia, a somewhat suspect source at times. I can't independently correborate or refute the information, and I'm wondering whether anyone else can find another more reliable source that can shed light on its truth or falsehood.]

Recently I happened to come across this little tidbit from history. Read it and weep:

In 1963, [Khomeini] publicly denounced the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was thereby imprisoned for 8 months, and upon his release in 1964, he made a similar denunciation of the United States. It is well known that General Hassan Pakravan saved Ayatollah Khomeini’s life in 1963. Khomeini was condemned to death but General Hassan Pakravan felt that his execution would anger the common people of Iran. He knew that the most influential portion of the population was not its elite. He presented his argument to the shah. Once he had convinced the shah to allow him to find a way out, he called on Ayatollah Mohammad-Kazem Shariatmadari, one of the senior religious leaders of Iran, and asked for his help. [Ayatollah Shariatmadari] suggested that Khomeini be made an ayatollah. So, they made a religious decree which was taken by General Pakravan and Seyyed Jalal Tehrani to the Shah. After the Iranian Revolution, Pakravan was among the first of the Shah's officials to be executed.

Another illustration of the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished, as well as a demonstration of the wisdom of the ancient saying:

Those who are kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.

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