One finds the ruling regimes in Iran and North Korea have a lot more in common than being in former President George Bush's “Axis of Evil” together.
'Supreme Leader' Khameini and 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong il'
With the passing of the DPRK's 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong il one aptly is reminded of the cult of personality surrounding Ayatollah Khomeini and the outburst of emotion and despair following his death in 1989. Furthermore one finds upon closer examination and overall evaluation and comparison that the totalitarian systems imposed upon the North Koreans and the Iranians are strikingly similar in their totalitarian nature and respective propagation of propaganda.
In 2002 when President Bush declared an Axis of Evil and from his pulpit proclaimed it to consist of Iran, North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq one thing was clear to the keen observer from the get go – that being the fact that the Iranian people hadn't been reduced to the state of the literal serfs that had been made out of the Iraqi and North Korean people.
While the UN mandated international sanctions imposed on Iraq following the 1991 Persian Gulf War starved the feeble Iraqi people in their thousands Saddam Hussein was still able to build a lavish palace for himself in every one of Iraq's provinces. In North Korea little over three years before Bush's speech a famine had killed upwards to 3 million as the nations crops once again failed to feed the majority of the people who struggled to stay alive by eating grass and muck in order to have something in their stomachs, both people lived in a constant state of abject fear.
Iran at this time on the other hand was undergoing a hopeful time of liberal reforms under President Khatami which saw the countries youth having a vested interest in the countries political system and hopes for a brighter and more prosperous future.
So while the Iranian people are much more well off than the North Koreans (not a substantial amount more democracy wise in the last year or so – but I digress) their leadership shares a unique commonality with the North Korean one that I will strive to illustrate:
North Koreans are treated as if they are vulnerable, weak and innocent children protected by a figurative paternal father against a harsh and cruel world. This figurative father was Kim il Sung who when he passed away in 1994 left behind over 20 million Koreans sobbing uncontrollably, their tears for the most part seemed genuine, because since at least 1953 Kim il Sung had started one of the most elaborate personality cults centred around himself and gradually isolated the northern part of the Korean peninsula to the status of a hermit kingdom with his Juche (self-sufficiency) ideology. For the most part North Koreans don't know the reality of the outside world as the country has virtually no access to any information that doesn't follow the party line. The people there have been made into malnourished minions, the crops are continually failing and the country is becoming even more reliant on foreign aid from the powers it brainwashes its people to detest – whilst at the same time building ballistic missiles to neither export to countries like Iran or Pakistan or for its own use to threaten South Korea and Japan.
The clerical regime in Iran treats its people in a similarly condescending way, however there is an actual religious name for their supposed paternal authority over them, the Vilayat-e Faqih. Previously a religious decree it states amongst other things that the insane, absentees and the poor must be given guardianship by the Guardian Jurist. Following the overthrow of the last Shah in 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini formed the basis of the constitution of the then newly formed 'Islamic Republic' of Iran giving the Guardian Jurist the role of Supreme Leader over the government and in effect the Iranian people, who as a collective would be subjects of that rule.
Going back to other thing the Dear Leader and the Supreme Leader have in common. Apart from the solipsistic attitude they take with regards to their own people they also share another commonality with regards to their propagation of anti-western propaganda.
The North Korean propaganda system and party line often referred to their brethren in the south simply as the “Yankee colony” and preaches a very xenophobic view towards foreigners (the Cuban ambassador to North Korea was attacked by an angry mob of Koreans upon his visit to Pyongyang in 1965 simply because he was black) as a means of stirring up fear and animosity towards the outside world, all the while – as I've already stated – furthering their nuclear ambitions and capabilities in which to threaten their neighbours and solidify the leaderships firm positions of power and secure its hold over the publics imagination.
The present Iranian leadership since its foundation in 1979 has similarly made the country and its inhabitants social pariahs, as it continues to cynically blame all domestic and development woes on Zionists, western imperialism and the age old wretched Anglo-Saxon's. Unlike in North Korea however this ostentatiousness is as clear as day to most Iranians, and they for the most part have outgrown and seen through the shallow idea that – like their North Korean counterparts are raised to believe – they are vulnerable and feeble children whom require the tutelage of a regime made up of aged clerics. This regime has in the name of God imposed a theocratical totalitarian entity upon Persia and her inhabitants, subjugating them to an infantile level of intellect and accordingly treating them with despicably high levels of condescension and contempt.
As the Professor of Iranian History from the University of St. Andrews Ali Ansari stated, Iran is an educated society that has a God King, as he mildly but firmly put it, we live in a world where there is no longer any room for the God King.
Editor’s Note: Paul Iddon is one of the authors of Uskowi on Iran. His weekly column 'Broadened Vistas' appears here on Wednesdays.
Religious rule is the worst type of governance.Worse than communism and worse than fascism because religion is like a drug dealers monopoly with the added twist of self righteousness used to control and brainwash therefore leading the masses to believe through superstition and fear of the life hereafter that leads to the day of judgment.
When's the last time a student was able to stand up before Kim Jong (or Barack Obama) and publicly criticize them for ten minutes straight?
An Iranian student did so before Khamenei in 2009.
By the way, Paul, how do you reconcile the fact that Iran's political environment is openly factional, with criticism going in many directions (at times occuring on nationally televised debates) - with your contention that Iran is "totalitarian'?
He stole the election; do you believe Ahmadinejad got 65 % (or something) of the votes in Tehran?
Rafsanjani, Khatami and even Ahmadinejad wanted to improve relations with the west; why does he block any improvement for 20 years?
He believes that solving any problem is beneath his dignity?
This is such an intellectually dishonest propoganda post that I don't have time to articulate all the errors.
But I'll point out one - Unlike Kim Jong Ill, Khamanei can be removed by a simple vote from the body governing the Supreme Leader Position.
One other thing, Khamenei - unlike Monarchist Iranians or Jews or Kim Jong Ill - does not live a life of debauchery and sex (Kim Jong Ill was noted for importing blonds for sex, along with sex).
can you discredit yourself anymore with hypocrisy and bullshit Mr Paul
i think comparing some conservative social restrictions to comparing a country than acountry whose population didn't even who was ruling them and following every command of a top down system with absolute control is not comparable
Irans population has more freedom in a socioeconomic sense if you take into relative balance of Irans economic policies and social policies for the average person with its political accountability
its definitively on of the best countries in Asia overall with its political and economic development
after reading a few columns i suspected you were anti-iranian and anti-Muslim
thanks for proving it by showing how little you know anything about a country you write about on a basic level
so your entire article rests around common western moronism of what other countries refer in their political understanding like your one of the western types who think when iranians say death to usa you understand it like that as your own literal sense and inflate to your views on iran as a dangerous state that's threatening a nation even though that's a common saying that can refer to anything that you dislike
so you use the "supreme leader" title as to connect iran and north koreas "great leader" to equate iran of how bad it is for people like you
never mind that titles depend on what they are actually functional for and what they are socially understood in its own societal context
in north korea its because of the cult of personality in iran its just a title which is actually just "leader" if you know facts paul which you dont they only use the supreme leader to not confuse him with other leaders and its foreign understanding like yours not iranian
it represents his postion as somebody thats has a quarky functionality to uphold the religious values of the government thats all
educate yourself about basics of iran before you write about how bad and dangerous iran is and needs to attacked by the great western civilization hypocrite
Anon 1:15 PM
Stop being a hypocrite by living in the West and go and live with your demonic elected deity in Iran.
Khamenei is a murderer so are his henchmen and his followers are dumb enough to believe any rubbish that comes out of that regimes propaganda machine.
And one more thing stop being a little racist by expressing your hatred towards the Jews something that only people with very low intellect will spout.Iranians love their Jewish population something that you might not understand because I doubt that you are even Iranian.
Stranger....Tell me mister if someone expresses the truth about a lying and dying theocracy they become anti Iranian and anti Muslim?
So in your hair brained logic if Germans were against Hitler that means they were anti German and anti Christian what a load of codswallop are you gibbering about.The truth is that people like you are agents of the Islamic fascist theocracy who have chosen to go against decent Iranians struggle against a fascist theocracy.
To all hypocrites who are defending a barbarous and corrupt regime Khamenei is worse than Kim jong il because the man claims to speak on behalf of god which is nonsense.They use religion to imprison rape torture and kill Iranian people by claiming they are waring against Allah.So they are nothing but immoral lying hypocrites which their followers avidly practice in every detail.
The author of this article doesn't know a damn thing about iran or north Korea. For him to compare Iranian leader with Kim jun-il is ludcrious. It's like comparing fire and ice. Whether, you like it or not, iran IS a free wheeling democracy, of course not in the western sense, more like Islamic democracy to represent people who actually live there aNd are obviously Muslims. I know you Jewish Israelis that regularly comment here pretending to be Iranians, don't like it, but really tough shit. No body gives a rats ass what you don't like
Sorry I just have to shut f$@k up to all anti-Iran jerks here. I live in iran right now and I'm in the position to know so I can say with complete confidence, you people are lying dogs.
Kim sung il
The greater majority of Iranians want the destruction of the fascist Islamic regime because there is no such thing as a Islamic democracy under the rule of the mullahs but only oppressive theocracy.
Your more concerned to be a Muslim than an Iranian which I doubt you are because a true Iranian wouldn't wright the nonsense that you have written.An Iranian could come from any religion and still be an Iranian and being a Muslim doesn't change it one iota.
Therefore I come to the conclusion that you are a Lebanese or a Pakistani Muslim or Islamist and have no right to claim to speak on behalf of Iranians and their wish to see the fascist Islamic regime go into the dustbin of history where it rightfully belongs.
If you live in Iran you couldn't post your spiteful message because this site is banned in Iran by your so called Muslim democracy.
With complete confidence I could say that you live in the West and enjoy its lifestyle whilst supporting a anti Iranian regime which tortures rapes and kills its citizens.Truly hypocritical.
One more thing masoud remember that there is no such thing as a lying dog but with certainty there are lying human beings who wear the religious uniform and pretend to speak for god so that they can further their personal power and fortune.
To the last anonymous dog that directed his comment to me, I resent the fact that you're even allowed to address me. I want no conversations with the zionist dogs like you.
But to others , just to let you know this site is not banned in iran , I visit it often from here , there are some useful info and some good people here, but I think its mostly infested by zionist dogs. They take over every iran related comment section any where and they they are basically an echo chamber for themselves, since what is commented here by some zionist is
Read by other zionist. So funny, they as basically reading each others comments. LOL.
Debate is open in iran, unless its brainwashing by zionist. Don't you people get it , no matter what zionist do or say, they ate most hated here in iran along with their garbage friend , the MEK.
"To the last anonymous dog that directed....etc etc"
You truly are like an ignorant Hezbollah wanna be that lives in the West and pretends to speak for Iranians.
First of all a dog is an noble animal unlike the types that rape torture and kill in the name of Allah in Iran namely creatures like you.
Secondly Uskowi is not aloud in Iran you liar and try having a open debate about the terrorist regime and Khamenei about what a murderer he is by killing thousands of Iranians in his blood soaked reign of terror.
You are a agent of the criminal Islamic theocracy which soon will be thrown into the dustbin of history and hopefully with the likes of you with it.
You call yourself an Iranian and you wright like that?
Which sty were you brought up in because you have manners of a uneducated person.
Your not Iranian because they don't wright with full of hate like that.
You are a Islamist and non Iranian that explains your hatred towards Jews.Iranian people have no hate towards their Jewish Iranian population.
Shame on you !
Masoud sounds very very very afraid!!! He lashes out like a small child!
I wonder why the forum moderators do not delete his name calling, abusive comments?
Mr Uskowi there is a nefarious person on this blog by the name of masoud which is bad mouthing another Anon on this site please remove masouds 12:42 PM uncivil remarks.
Thanks from a very civil anonymous Iranian.
@ Anon 3:32
My sincere apologies if Masoud has offended you, it was I published that comment and in retrospect I shouldn't have.
And Masoud, your opinions are welcome, and the last thing I want to do is censor them, so please, for the sake of discussion and argument adopt a civil tone when you voice your views and animosity with regards to the wider discussion on Iran.
masoud you hasoud how is debate free in Iran?
dear Mr. Paul , this is masoud , I'm very if I offended the good people here. But no apologies at all to zionist here. saying zionist is not a curse word or racist, so I don't know why anyone would want to ban me based on saying that word. In fact zionism, is itself racism. No one can dispute that , not even they themselves.
Now, they disperged me here by saying I'm racist for calling a spade, an spade. And don't you zionist, go and bring in the fine Jewish people of iran into this, because they obviously rejected zionism by not moving into other people land that some people currently call israHell. Iranian jews are fine people and I'm very proud of them. And I will always thank them for the sacrifices they are making for iran. So you guys stop going there, by trying to seprate us, because they are us, we are them and we all support iran.
You know what I don't understand from you zionist? I don't get why you want fan the flame of Muslim, Jewish fire? I mean after all jews and Muslim have always lived togther and have never had problems until recently when zionism came around. zionism and jews have had holocaust at the hand of European Christians. Why do you want to harm us? At the end of this self-inflected fire who will lose? 6 million people or 1.3 billion Muslims. Are you guys sure you want to go there? So why don't you zionist put away your daggers, guns, propganda, and start embracing the Muslim world , because you surly need to live again amoung us, next time you are facing the next Hitler.
You are welcome to discuss the finer points of Zionism if you see it as relevant.
My qualms with your comments weren't about bringing up Zionism - nor your personal distaste to it - but merely accusing anyone who you disagree with as being a 'Zionist', 99% of the time it is counterproductive and usually irrelevant to the point that user makes.
Furthermore referring to other commentators as 'dogs' will not be tolerated, neither by you or anyone else.
Please don't let this discourage you however from commenting, all comments are welcome, even if highly critical of me or anything I've said.
But as I've said, for yourself and the sake of argument and discussion please keep your criticism constructive rather than on an ad hominem level.
Mr Paul Iddon
There are some non Iranian elements here that accuse Iranians which dislike and accuse the Islamic regime of rape and murder (which is known to be true) then these people accuse us Iranians as being foreign Zionists.
The Islamic theocracy has hired foreign non Iranian bloggers mostly foreign Muslims to do their bidding for them.Now if these people (put mildly)want to debate it's OK but they come and use an illiterate and vile way of debate(which reflects the regime as a whole) that's a different issue.
Please can you remove masouds earlier very ill mannered and illiterate tantrum.
This is masoud, to the last anonymous who said I was non Iranian defending the Iranian government, well, half of what he said is right, I do defend the Iranian government but I'm very Iran and I live and work here in Iran unlike those zionist blogging from israHell , the only way I can prove I'm Iranian is to say something in Farsi.
Zionistha, koosh koneed man az zionistha bad am meyad Valle kalemehay Iran ra dost daram. Onha ad-dam khobee hastand.
Zendeh bad Iran aziz ma. Zenedeh bad khamanee va ahmedinejad aziz ma.
To the person who claims he is Iranian.
Anybody that puts Islam above all else and supports a regime that kills innocent people should live in Iraq or Saudi Arabia.You don't know the meaning of the word Iran because if you did you wouldn't support a Islamic anti Iranian system.
To Mr Uskowi I see that you disallow some of my posts.If this is the case then tell me so that I won't waste my time posting on this site.
Paul Iddon dabbling once again.
It's not worth a comment, except there simply doesn't exist any parallel between Iran and North Korea. Iran even has more in common with its arch foe USA than with North Korea.
Iddons views are so screwed, it's truly annoying.
THE AXIS OF EVIL THAT NEVER WAS!!. -a reply to Mr Paul's "in league with North Korea".
Mr. Paul has again come up with 'NEWS' !after laboring to convince his readers that there is an irresponsible regime in Iran, THIS TIME ,he HAS MANAGED TO COMPARE OR equate NORTH KOREA and IRAN!!Lumping IMAM KHOMEINI WITH KIM IL SUNG! In his trademark anti regime emotional outbursts! , inviting words from a BUSH who blindly PUT together IRAN AND NORTH KOREA in an axis of evil. But while much of your article is loaded with some glaring facts yet again have you displayed intellectual dishonesty and once more have YOU served us a meal of dry bones!
NO HISTORIAN OR ANALYST CAN COMPARE IRAN AND KOREA or their supreme leaders! And Mr. Paul why do YOU use BUSH as your sword to slaughter IRAN and its leaders? What makes you think that political words from US officials are binding and are a law unto themselves! so pitiful are you!!The other day you used Mrs. CLINTON when you debated the drone issue as though Mrs. Clinton IS AN ANGEL dropped from the seventh heaven! Pure and holy words in her mouth and deeds! MRS CLINTON IS NOBODY BUT A POLITICAL animal! With political blood running furiously in Her veins! didn't SHE tell as during the campaigns that OBAMA is 'all talk and no residue '!BUT when the political push came to shove and a free speaking and eloquent OBAMA [who literally sweet talked His way to white house] winning the hearts of AMERICANS ,MRS Clinton RESORTED TO OPEN LIES AND innuendo! Boasting that she visited a hot sport and was forced to flee in a helicopter under heavy enemy fire! Americans who are used to hard and violent Hollywood action movies did not see a big deal in that story it was later confirmed that it was in fact a cooked story!!and what about BUSH the war criminal!
as for North Korea i personally believe that the nuclear prowess there is a joke and a creation of the CIA.the NORTH KOREA WEAPON was created by the CIA to SO as to threaten JAPAN AND JUSTIFY THE PRESENCE OF PERMANENT USA BASE IN OKINAWA!were there no threat from anywhere, the Japanese would demand the closure of the base!!. IS IRAN THE SAME AS NORTH KOREA?
Iran tops the world in the global index for scientific up shoot-MR PAUL YOU have a difficult time to explain us how a regime that "has in the name of God subjected Iranians to an infantile level of intellect AND ACCORDINGLY treated them with despicably high level of condescension and contempt"!! Explain to us how a regime with these qualities allow science to flourish
The automobile industry-TODAY IRAN is the first car producing NATION in the middle EAST surpassing both ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA.
UNIVERSITIES AND FREE MEDIA-Today Iran has the biggest number of Universities IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND also has the biggest number of media houses in the region-MR PAUL explain to us how a regime with the said evil qualities can entertain fee secular education and build a vibrant media industry!!.
DOCTORS AND ENGINEERS-it is better to speak the truth rudely than to lie politely! Iran shares the same sport with ISRAEL WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF ACADEMICS and engineers In the middle east effectively surpassing TURKEY -a NATO member! SO BE serious Paul !is it true that an oppressive regime can ALSO produce doctors and engineers and still practice oppressions and lunacy . Any journalist speaking of brain drain MUST FIRST talk of the facilities that produce the academics fleeing the SAID country!
conclusion-MY FRIEND PAUL, YOUR EMOTIONAL ANTI REGIME RANTING WON'T WIN MANY HEARTS,TRUTH BE SAID IRAN IS A TECHNOLOGICAL GIANT and these are AMONG the fruits of the ISLAMIC REVOLUTION!SO HOW THEN DOES KOREA AND IRAN RIDE IN THE SAME BOAT?.
Fact:Iran is being run by a fascist theocracy where one man in a turban decides the fate of millions of Iranians.
Fact:Anybody that supports the corrupt theocracy is non Iranian and therefore is an agent of the dictatorship under strict guidance to propagate regimes nonsense on blog sites.
You refer to a previous article. As I asked in my response and rebuttal of all your points on that occasion am I supposed to each week assume you agree with my responses.
On the me 'using Bush as a sword to slaughter Iran and its leaders' I fail to see where you get the idea I did such a thing. The comparison comes from the 'Axis of Evil' speech Bush made in 2002 in which the Islamic Republic of Iran was lumped in with North Korea - hence the title being a question 'In a League with North Korea?' This question is followed up by a comparison between the two systems, how they propagate their propaganda etc. to essentially show they share strikingly similar traits.
I've pointed out that I believe the majority of Iranians see through the ostentatious nature of the regime, and I've previously stated it is the real Iranian patriots who are holding the country together, and building up rather than tearing down and engaging in a counter productive armed insurgency against the present regime.
Furthermore I've responded to the point of the high number of academics as well as the secular nature of Iran's youth, they live 'as if' they are free. Like a whole generation growing up in Czechoslovakia did under the old communist system. Furthermore, Iran ought to have more academics than Israel and especially Saudi Arabia. And I reckon if it wasn't for the violent subversion of democracy in '79 Iran would be a thriving economic success that would - with its vast resources and intelligent population - have surpassed the high level of economic development and standards of living prevalent in the Tiger economies. Instead we have a regime that in a Stalinist like manner tries to convert and blend culture with politics - a clear sign of a totalitarian system - labels its populace as children - whose destinies they do their utmost to determine and control - and propagates the most banal propaganda about the rest of the world in an effort to make Iran a social quasi developed pariah.
People like B.M.A and some other Anons are regime cohorts basically it's a waste of time trying to convince them.
But you are correct in your assessment.
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