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The Orchid Man - Amir Abbas Hoveyda
One who came with Spring - One who left with Fall!

 

The Orchid Man
Ahreeman X

1st Edition: August 7, 2003
2nd Edition: October 14, 2006

3rd Edition: April 3, 2014


Amir Abbas Hoveyda
The One who came with the Spring and The One who left with the Fall!

Amir Abbas Hoveyda, as captured in my memory...

I wrote this piece, a long time ago...…, and then revised it with my tears...…

To memory of The Orchid Man,
Orchids Forever.......

I dedicate this piece,

- to Fereydoun Hoveyda, the valuable scholar from last of the Great Statesmen,

- to My Mother, my dear mentor, who loved and respected Amir, forever and ever more,

- to All Lovers of Iran


Amir Abbas Hoveyda
Orchid: Prime Minister of Iran's Trademark

It was a cloudy hazy afternoon in Tehran, one of those days that makes you want to cry, no sun, no birds in the sky, no breeze, just a cloudy hazy afternoon with no circulation of air, makes one's heart feeling heavy! Makes one sad, made me feel Moody Blue ......,

and then he made me smile and he brighten up my day! I heard his gentle voice and my heart warmened! That's when I first heard him talk! They called me over to talk on the phone and to "Aqa"! They called him Aqa (Sir)! Around the cabinet, family and friends, that was the name, I knew him by. Aqa wanted to talk to me on the phone! Aqa wanted to talk to me, a little brat! I grabbed the phone from my mother and said:

X: Hello Sir!
A: Hello My Big Boy, how are you?
X: Fine Sir, how are you?
A: I have heard a lot about you!
X: I have heard a lot about you too, oh yes Sir!
A: Do not call me Sir, no more. I am your Uncle Abbas.
X: OK Uncle Abbas, when will I get to see you?
A: Soon my Big Boy, soon............

......and that was the first time I talked to him ......

Iran has lost a great mentor, a great patriot, a great nationalist, and one of the greatest Iranians of
all times. Another blood-stain on the guilty and filthy skirt of the lslamic Republic Regime, another brave son of Iran has lost his life for Iran. One of my greatest mentors in life, "Amir Abbas Hoveyda" The Great Prime Minister of Iran has joined the Persian Eternal Hall of Fame. Amir became a legend and he left us his legacy.

They used to ask him: Where are you from? What state are you from?
Amir used to respond: "I am from all states of Iran, every drop of Persian soil has been my home!"
Amir was a man of many cultures, many languages, and many talents. He was a classic diplomat, an excellent negotiator, an expert politician and a true patriot. When it would come down to defend Iran's benefits, one could count on Amir to be there in the international scene.

April 7, 1979 marked the Anniversary of Hoveyda's shameful execution. I have read this paragraph and how true it is indeed and now I shall quote from it that, "It is perhaps timely to ask ourselves 'What are the qualities of a good statesman?' A good statesman is one who puts the interests of others above his own. He is a public servant who asks no more of others than he himself is willing to do. He must be selfless, not self-serving. He is a patriot we, our children. And our children's children can look up to and remember. He is not perfect, but he is willing to accept responsibility for his errors, along with the consequences. For him, substance is his hallmark. Style or an orchid is just an afterthought. He is not necessarily handsome, but he is a beautiful person. He is a person of character, integrity and principle. He is willing to sacrifice greatly for those he serves and, if necessary, lay down his life for them." Perhaps Amir Abbas Hoveyda was not all of that, but he certainly was most of it, he did not want to leave our homeland and he gave his life for Iran...

Amir, his cane, pipe, and Orchid in his top coat pocket, a true classic and a true patriot. He was quite a man, a great statesman, a man who spoke many languages, a man of culture, a lover of Iran who refused to leave, faced the Islamic murderers in a puppet trial, even though he expected a fair and just trial, but did he get one?! That was his gravest mistake! He forgot that who he was dealing with! A murdering illiterate mob of the Mullah's regime.

He stayed, cause he truly believed that he had done nothing wrong. He had many chances to leave Iran. When the jails opened up and all escaped, he stayed and he said: "I will face the people of Iran, I will state the truth in a trial and I will stand the consequences, I had committed no crimes to be ashamed of!" The murdering IRI goons never gave him a fair trial, never gave him a fair defense, just a show trial and finally the mentally deranged Executioner of Khomeini, Ayatollah Khalkhali, an escapee from the mental hospital, and his thugs, shot and killed him with bullets in the brain.

The man done nothing but to serve his nation. Islamic Republic of Mullahs took away another one of our Greatest Nationalists of all time.

Amir Abbas, may your intellectual sacrificing soul, rests in peace. We the Sons and Daughters of Iran are awake. Amir rest in peace, your blood gave Orchid to our gardens, you were "The Orchid Man." Orchids forever.....

...... for me, Amir Abbas-e Hoveyda, was not just another patriot whom we lost, yet he was my dear godfather, my Padrino (if anything would have happened to my father, I would have been his responsibility to look after). Little that we knew, my father out lived him!

My memories of Amir, maybe vague but sweet! My father had a various number of relations with Hoveyda. My father was a Minister in Hoveyda's Cabinet, he was also a well known Journalist, Author and a Historian. My father was one of the handful of people in Iran, who was granted a "Political License" by Alahazrat Shahanshah Aryamehr, to publish a Political Hard Cover Media Publication, naturally his interest was politics and he conducted many interviews with Hoveyda and wrote many articles about him. Beside the fact that he was working for and with Hoveyda, he had also another relationship with him. They were close friends.

So basically as a journalist, my father routinely interviewed Hoveyda to get an update on his work and fast-beat schedule on the run. As a cabinet minister, he served in Hoveyda's cabinet. As a friend, they had a very special relationship.

My father admired Hoveyda's organizational power, power of speech, fluency in several languages and his dedication for always trying to do as much good for the masses and the nation, from within the system. Hoveyda was a type of a man who was devoted to the cause of progressing Iran, Industrializing Iran and possibly "reforming the system from within" and as much as it was allowed! He had the power to do it! In his youth, he was a rebel with a cause, who helped the resistance against the Nazi Germany in Europe and in his later years as the Prime Minister of Iran; he kept on rebelling, but in a milder manner and format! He was practically a progressive visionary and a reformist from within the system. He changed things from within the framework of the regime and amazingly, to a great point, he was successful! He always believed that if any good can be done, then it must be done from gaining power inside the regime and then to do some good from within the Imperial Regime. He was popular amongst the masses, he was embraced by the masses and he was always running around Iran, from Tehran to farthest points of Iran like Zahedan, Baluchestan!

He was always in between the masses, amongst the tribes, villagers, and poor people, people of South Tehran, people in the Boon towns of distant states, amongst the masses and within the masses. I still remember him traveling around Iran, from large cities to small villages, walking amongst the masses, trading kind words, ordering severe constructive and progressive tasks to start in various states or observing and monitoring, what has been done for the people of these small towns and villages.

He truly cared for the under dog and the small man with the little voice. He carried their voices from Baluchestan, Khuzestan or Kerman, all the way to the Parliament in Tehran! At the time, his political party (The Neo Iran aka Iran-e Novin) was popular not because of the Bureaucracy and Hierarchical administration of the party, but because of him personally! He was the man, whom the little guy cared about, not the party!

People loved him, because he was always travelling all around Iran, large cities, small towns, little villages and even to nowhere lands! He was going to these places and made sure that government would facilitate and/or build various services for these people including but not limited to hospitals, clinics, industries, houses of justice, and provide them with irrigation systems and farming equipment. He was asking the little guy, what he needed to become a productive labor or farmer? Next, he would set a condition: "If I'll get you everything which you need, then you must promise me to put 100% productivity to progress your lifestyle and our nation?" He made them promise him to do their best, then he would provide them with what they needed from him and made sure that they carried on with their promise! "I do my part, you do yours," he held them responsible for their words and checked up on them! He actually went back over and over to make sure they were up to their words! The man was restless!

He spent more time running around Iran, working closely with the Cabinet on facilitating material and services for people, and visiting Industries and Agricultural Facilities or Farms, than spending time with loved ones, friends or the Government figures!

He was not a man of luxury, yet he had an acquired taste. Can you picture that the prime minister of Iran, except campaign times and official occasions, did not ride in a limousine with a driver and a bodyguard?!

Hoveyda was always driving that Peykan himself! They would often ask him: "When will you stop driving that beat-up Peykan and purchase a Cadillac or a Benz?" This was one of his typical replies: "How can I? I am only a civil servant! I am too busy to get used to the luxury!"

Hoveyda did not live in a palace or a mansion, but he lived in a modest apartment! An apartment not in Za'feraniyeh or uptown, but in Pahlavi Avenue, central city! Can you believe it? Decades of having the most important position in the country, but refusing to move out of an average apartment?!

After the Islamic Revolution (Reaction), when pasdaran broke into his apartment, they found nothing but books, pipes and canes! No luxury at all. His apartment same as his bank account was empty, simply because unlike many Imperial Family members and Imperial Statesmen, he was not a thief! He stole nothing and whatever salary he made; he spent it on his friends and lived a modest life! He was an intellectual who developed his brain, not his wallet! Hoveyda was a step short of a saint!

He was always driving around in that Peykan and getting things done. He was not a type of man, who would attend many formal receptions, ceremonies and superficial shows, yet he preferred to run around Iran and accomplish things! When he would find time, his interests were politics, journalism, history, music and literature, oh did he like literature?!

He was a scholar and a gentleman, he was fluent in several languages, meaning that he could read or write literature in those languages! He shared common interests with my father, including Journalism, Politics, History and most important, the Literature. He could debate/argue on Iranian and European Literature and Poetry, both classical and modern, with my father for hours!

They would just sit together for hours at a time, smoke their pipes, maybe have a cup of tea and get down and dirty with a bundle of books, magazines and news papers thrown on the coffee table and furniture, discussing various subjects of literature from classic novels, legendary authors, and fine poets, all the way to modern journalism.

You see, one of the reasons which he was so interested in journalism, was that himself was once a journalist! He was the publisher and editor in chief of a newspaper himself.

Hoveyda and my father would start from Shakespeare, travel to Tolstoy and then on to philosophy of Immanuel Kant, Hegel, Marx, Russell to Pragmatism, Realism, Individualism, Existentialism, deeply philosophical, and then turn around and do a left turn to Iran and start from Nationalism of Ferdowsi to Sufism of Moulana and bring it up-to-date to Modern poetry of Shamlu or Foruq Farokhzad!

Then they would kick it down with literature. For some bizarre reason, all the talks about literature, poetry and philosophy would end up to politics, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Der Spiegel, current affairs, global politics and naturally politics of Iran! They would get hot and get deeply in to it! Uncle Abbas would keep his cool, and speak slowly and calmly, that was his style of crossing the message over, with absolute peace and slow pattern of talk! My father was passionate and very defensive in his stands but through the years, he learned to compromise, also give and take a bit. He learned these skills from Uncle Abbas. He also learned about flavors of Pipe Tobacco and started a pipe collection! Uncle Abbas started my father's collection, by giving him his first pipe!

Uncle Abbas turned my father to a pipe smoker! My dad was a cigarette smoker before that, and I hated the smell of cigarettes and cigars, so being confined to smelling the apple tobacco was way better than cigarettes! Oh lord, Amir Abbas and his legendary collection of pipes and canes! Sometimes, I would catch them making home made flavors of pipe tobacco by mixing different blends of tobaccos and putting pieces of apple inside the tobacco jars, kind of like marinating tobacco via apples!

They discussed everything from Pushkin to "Satyricon"! At those tender ages of childhood and later on pre-teen and teen years, it was simply not comprehensible for me to see these two, read books like "The Mongol History", "The Modern Philosophies" or history and then sit down and debate about them! I would find these two interesting, but at the same time, I would find their studies boring! How little did I knew that I, myself would end up becoming a History Freak and an amateur Historian one day!

However, these two, along with a number of other scholars among the family and friends, started a fire in me which eventually consumed my whole body! These guys built a foundation of knowledge inside my young soul! To observe these guys with so much passion for knowledge and intellectualism, I started hanging around my father and my mother's libraries (each, had a library of their own). My mother's library was mostly poetry, literature and modern politics, while my dad's library in his study was loaded with books on history, philosophy and biographies amongst other topics.

Later on, I started my own library! At the age of ten, I was practically reading biographies of the great historical and political characters and the world history. This led to later studies in history, geography, philosophy and politics.

These chat sessions between my father and Uncle Abbas were taken place, sometimes with a few others but mainly just the two of them in various places. Sometimes they held them in our main state in Sepah Avenue.

We had various states in various locations of Tehran and other cities, but this house was our main state where we used to live. My Grandmother (head of the family), mother, father, butler, chef, cook, chauffeur, servant and a few maids were living there. My Grandmother's medical practice (while working) was also located on part of the first floor of this state. I particularly loved this two and a half story; large white marble building with the beautiful garden which surrounded it. Our main state was located on a very important strategical location. The house and the state were a full city block, right in the mid-town. On its left was the Senate Building, on its further left in Kakh Avenue was one of Alahazrat's palaces, a few streets up was Prime Minister's Palace, and in front of it was the Military Academy. This is exactly why Mullahs took over this particular house and now an important Mullah lives on each floor of this house, so they don't have to go far to reach today's Majlis (yesterday's Senate)! Actually Mullahs stole a number of our states, houses and lands!

There were two streets on both sides of our state and Sepah Avenue on the front. There was a large girls' high school at the end of one of these streets and at the back of our state. After the 1979 revolution, they blocked both of these streets and they closed down the girls' high school.

I do not know the new names of the streets but today, On Central Sepah Avenue, from Kakh Avenue to Baq-e Shah, and from Military Academy to Pastor Avenue, the complete area where our old house and state was located, is now blocked by Pasdaran! No one except Regime's high ranking Mullahs in bulletproof limousines and Pasdaran can pass through these pass points. Today, this complete city area is closed to public.

In early days, I was just a kid and when he would see me, oh boy, I would walk towards him, hold my hand forward for him to shake and say, "Hello Uncle Abbas!" I was just an itsy bitsy kid when I was behaving like this! He would crack up and tell my dad: "Look at this 'Big Boy' (that's what he called me), he doesn't jump, hug and kiss you, but he just walks towards you smoothly and wants to shake your hand and greet you! He looks like a kid but acts like a veteran politician!" Then, he would shake my hand and reply: "Hello my Big Boy"! But right away, he could not hold himself back with the sophisticated charade and resist my childish charm! He would grab me and pull me off the ground, bear-hug me, lay a big one on my both cheeks and tell me, "you little rascal, drop the politician act and give Uncle Abbas a big kiss!" He would continue, "Whose Big Boy are you?"… and I would respond, "Uncle Abbases Big Boy". "That's right and don't you forget that", he used to whisper!

Later on, I grew up and become a hot head and well-informed in politics. When I would see Uncle Abbases face, something heavy would be lifted off of my heart and soul! He used to put a smile on my face. The man was so pleasant that he would shine, oh yes, he would shine like the sun and he would make others around him to shine too! The man would actually glow from time to time! Him and his orchid, his pipe and his big smile without showing his teeth (more like a smirk)! A classic, I tell you, a true classic, they don't build them like that any more! What a character!

In my pre-teens, I used to always read about him in my father's magazine. I used to read his interviews to understand his views. In my teen years, I was grown enough to actually conduct a conversation with him. We actually had a number of discussions and I had learned a lot about history, philosophy and politics from him. A few times, I actually sat in some of those monthly intellectual chat sessions. I sat next to him, observing his facial moves, speech patterns, hand jesters and learn from his wisdom. I used to study the way he was debating and discussing various issues with my father and sometimes with other politicians and journalists attending those chat sessions. Those memories and what I have learned from this man are priceless!

My mother practically loved the man. She had so much respect for him and he also adored my mother in return. My mother had two positions, one with Health Ministry and one directly under Empress Farah. From time to time she would see Uncle Abbas in Formal Banquets, Night Receptions, Diplomatic Parties, Friendly Gatherings or just random visits and Uncle Abbas would always kiss her hand like an honorable gentleman and sometimes hug her and kiss her on both cheeks, traditional style.

He admired my mother for her bluntness, individuality, straight forward talk with no hide backs. Uncle Abbas always used to talk about the way my mother is very honest in her behavior and the way that she conducts herself, is more like Germans, because she studied in Germany and spent her youth over there. She did not have the traditional Persian Flatteries and Charm Talks in her, and that's why Uncle Abbas and her superiors in the Government could rely on her word to be the truth! My Mother found him a generous and a gentle scholar.

Abbas and my mother had a few things in common! They both done their best to help the poor people, the lower classes and the under dogs of the society. My Mother used her power in the Ministry of Health to force Doctors and Hospitals to visit and hospitalize poor patients for free. Abbas used his power to bring them goods, provide them basic facilities of life and build hospitals, electric plants, water reservoirs and decent housings for them. They both had a mutual understanding with each other, cause they both were coming from the same background and Ideology! They both studied and lived in Europe and were back to Iran to serve the MotherLand. They were both anti Hypocrisy and Bureaucracy. They both despised the corruption inside the Imperial Regime and they both believed that the only way to change things was from within (The Imperial Regime, which unlike IRI, was reformable). They perfectly understood each other, an interesting mutual understanding.

Once, in a Night Reception, a memorable incident had occurred!

"This kid acts so mature for his age, he will go places....", Uncle Abbas stated.
"Will I become a Cabinet Minister, Uncle Abbas?" I asked anxiously!
"Yes, I will keep an open position in my cabinet for you! As soon as you grow up, you can grab it!" He replied!
"You are planning a lengthy premiership your Excellency, I certainly hope so!" Mother replied with a smile!
" His Excellency been in office for a few decades, what's a few decades more?!" Grand Mother's Remark!
"Well, I'm trying to break the record for the longest prime minister in office, so don't worry about your future position in my cabinet, I'll give you a job my Big Boy!" Uncle Abbas stated with a smile!
.....and everyone laughed out-loud........

(My Grand Mother was a Powerful woman who made many smart remarks!)

In a way, these Formal Night Receptions and Banquets bored me, especially when it was mandatory to attend them! Yet from time to time, some interesting incidents would occur in them that would interest me to attend them!

Events like this, are some of my sweet memories left for me from those Golden Days. Sweet memories which I have captured via my memory snap shots or hard copy snap shots of family photo albums. From time to time, I review family photos and go back in time, decades back to the same old room where my father and Uncle Abbas were smoking their apple tobaccos in their designer pipes, chat about politics and trade a smile or two, a remark or two, a tale or two with each other. I look at the pictures of them walking together, talking together, blending tobacco together, my father interviewing him or shaking his hand or just chatting the afternoon away! Some of those moments were captured by the photographer who used to work for my dad and that's all I have left of Uncle Abbas and those Golden Days back in Iran.

In a way I can travel in time! My brain is a Time Machine:

My Memories are traveling to the past,
My Dreams are traveling to the future!

Memories, sweet memories ........

From time to time, I open the fancy case of the Gold Parker Ball Pen/Ink pen set, that once he gave me as a present, when I was a child. I polish them, stare at them and think of the time he gave them to me, and think of the last time that he talked to me on the phone.

In cabinet he was known as "Aqa". Everyone would know who are you talking about, when you speak of his name "Aqa"! They also called him "Aqa" (Sir) at my home........, my Mom called me and yelled, Aqa is on the phone and he wants to talk to his "Big Boy" (that's what he called me!) I was then well grown but I was always his big boy! I ran from my room to my dads office and grabbed his office-line phone, and said:

"Hi uncle Abbas, I love you..."
, and Amir said: "I love you too, my Big Boy......, now uncle has to go away for a while, make sure that you will behave like a Big Boy, OK?"
I whispered: "OK uncle Abbas..."
"Hold your thoughts and when I get back, we will have a chat" he whispered gently ………
"Sure do" I replied
"So long now" he finished saying.
"So long Uncle Abbas" I finished saying.

And that was the last time, I heard from Abbas........until one day I found myself on the telephone and my Mother on the other end, crying her heart out like a child, in her study, and when I asked:

"Whats wrong mother?"
she replied: "Your uncle Abbas......, went away for good...."
And that's when my world crashed! At the time, I did not fully understand the details of what was going on and what was the situation, but I knew that I will never see him again.....

......I hung up the phone cause she could not talk anymore, something was choking her, I could only hear random cries, moans and sighs, I could not speak any more and it did not hit me then, but it hit me years later! All I knew was that my world collapsed and turned dark!

Sometimes, I stare at the old family photos,
Sometimes I stare at the set of Gold Parker Pens,
Sometimes I stare in to my memories in my mind,
Sometimes I search, deep soul searching,
Sometimes I remember the Good Old Times,

I get deeply saddened by the fact that, men like,

Amir Abbas Hoveyda
Dr. Kourosh Aryamanesh
Dr. Fereydoun Farokhzad
Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar
so on ........

are gone and done with. They don't build them like that anymore! The Golden Era of The Master Statesmen are gone, once we had legends and now we have Sewer Rats!

Sewer Rats wanting to become Master Statesmen!
Sewer Rats are Rats, they can never become Legends!
Sewer Rats in Dreams of Greatness that they can never achieve!

Golden Days are gone and all we have, are the memories of those days ........

One of the old time greats of the Classical Iranian Statesmen from the Golden Era of the Iranian Politics is Mr. Fereydoun Hoveyda. Fereydoun is Amir Abbases brother and a veteran diplomat, politician and a great statesman. Fereydoun Hoveyda is one of the "Last of The Mohicans!"
Fereydoun is of The Generation of Endangered Species and Great Statesmen with The BackBone! Fereydoun Hoveyda had done a great task and it was keeping Amir Abbas Hoveyda's memory alive! He created a website dedicated to Amir, his life and times, and his legacy. I strongly recommend All, to view this wonderful site. Among other good readings are a couple of books written by Dr. Abbas Milani about Hoveyda. "The Persian Sphinx" & "The Charade of Hoveyda". Both books are results of a lengthy research, very elaborative, full of documented historical facts and exploring deep inside Hoveyda's Mind! Dr. Milani has done a fine job on these two books.

Amir Abbas Hoveyda,

He was only the gentlest soul that I knew in my childhood, pre-teen and early teen years.
He is only one of the Greatest Prime Ministers, that Iran ever had.
He was a Generous, Kind, and Passionate Soul!
His heart never stopped beating for Iran ....

Amir rest in peace, cause we are awake & we make sure that your blood has not been shed in vain.....

For more information, check:

Amir Abbas Hoveyda Photo Album

Amir Abbas Hoveyda, The Official Site

Farhad Sepahbody's Site (very informative)

IPC Club Calendar

We recommend these valuable books about Hoveyda:



...... It was a cloudy hazy afternoon in Philadelphia, one of those days that makes you want to cry, no sun, no birds in the sky, no breeze, just a cloudy hazy afternoon with no circulation of air, makes one's heart feeling heavy! Makes one sad, made me feel Moody Blue, ...... and then, he made me smile and he brighten up my day! Phone rang, I picked up the phone but I could not hear his gentle voice to warmen my heart! I whispered:

Allo, Hello?
Aqa? Uncle Abbas? This is your Big Boy! Are you there?

dial a Tone .............. Deadly Silence .......... No one on the other end .......I was all grown up and it had finally hit me, years later, but finally hit me, tears of blood, never ending tears of blood ...........

Aqa was gone, forever!

Rest in peace GodFather......

Amir's Student,

Dr. X

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