The Fall of Iran

iran riots

Iran Experiences Power Outages Amidst Protests – Found at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem website. No photo credit given.

“Our star is falling from the sky, President Rouhani. These power outages are simply the latest sign.”

“So it’s not merely increased energy consumption and this cursed heat wave, Reza. Does SAVAK have any indication this is the work of the Mossad or CIA?”

“Nothing conclusive. It is true that the US and Israel have always plagued us, but this time, the people are rioting without outside provocation.”

“Damned that buffoon American President. This would never have happened if Obama were still in power or that woman Clinton had won their election.”

“What should we do?”

“Tell the Ayatollahs nothing. Let them believe they can win another holy war. Meanwhile, quietly gather the other ministers. We’ll follow the Shah’s example and transfer as much of the treasury to off shore accounts as we can manage. Exile to the west is far more preferable than another revolution.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image and/or location as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 146.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Tehran, Iran. The story almost wrote itself. My main information source was the Newsweek story Iran Faces Blackouts as Protests Rock Capital.

I decided to use the 1979 Iranian Revolution as a template. In that revolution, over 2,500 years of continuous Persian rule was overthrown by the Islamists, installing Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini into power. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was supported by the United States, had to flee the country with, I suspect, as much money as he could lay his hands on.

My tale of a conversation between Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian and President Hassan Rouhani is totally fictitious of course, and I have no idea if the CIA and/or the Mossad have their fingers in these latest events in Iran. Oh, SAVAK is the Iranian secret police.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

23 thoughts on “The Fall of Iran

      • I think /hope not. These days I am not offended by the international community’s view of America. It’s possible she’ll feel the same. Or, it’s not like possible she has insights into the complexities of the situation that would lend a different impression if we knew them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Decades ago, I worked with an Iranian psychologist who had emigrated to the U.S. and lived in Southern California. She had nothing good to say about the nation of her birth, at least in how it is run today.


  1. Well done. The CIA considered the subversion of Iranian democracy and installation of the Shah as one of their signature achievements in world affairs. In 1979 their corruption brought forth the fruit: a return to brutal fundamentalism.


  2. Interesting interpretation, and plausible too. When it gets to the point of power outages and riots, people in power are known to do any manner of extreme things to keep their own heads above water.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, after the first draft, there’s the whole process where I have to go over everything again to smooth out any inconsistencies I’ve introduced during authoring, then check yet again for the “English 101” mistakes. After that, I suppose I’ll ask for beta readers, but then at some point, I’ll have to pony up the fee for an editor. Not looking forward to talking to the missus about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Money and power – what is it, I wonder that makes people (mostly male) covet them to the extent of being blind to co-operation, violent, and deceitful?
    You gave us a plausible scenario in the economically written tale, James.


    • I suspect that the answer to your question is rather simple, Penny — not pleasant, but simple enough. In a wild, uncontrolled, threatening environment, survival demands selfishness. Cooperation represents risk, for which there are only limited justifications of potential reward. For those of lesser power or capability, deceit is a strategy by which to obtain or achieve perceived needs or goals — chiefly for survival, but also for other desires after survival has been more or less ensured. Nature tends to favor males with physical strength relative to females, hence men attempt to capitalize on that, while women attempt to capitalize on other strategies such as deceit in some cases and cooperation in others. Males who cannot obtain power by direct strength also resort to these strategies.

      It is this sort of logic that impelled Machiavelli to write “Il Principio”. In slightly later Western literature, Thomas Hobbs noted that the only alternative to such a situation is a cooperative society where everyone limits their individual quest for survival by adhering voluntarily to a “social contract” that places them on a level playing field to ensure their collective survival — though that doesn’t completely guarantee that some individuals will not still jockey for advantage via some form of the old strategies. Similar strategies are employed by small collectives within the larger body of humanity, thus similar behavior is in evidence. It then becomes advantageous for larger collectives to form in order to amass sufficient power to interdict the smaller misbehaving collectives.

      But even when the majority of individuals acknowledge the notion of some sort of social contract for the benefits it can offer, it is still necessary to identify the specific terms and stipulations that can maximize the benefits of such a contract. David Hume wrote of a “felicific calculus”, which is the notion of a means to identify the greatest good for the greatest number, over the largest area and the longest time. However, harking back to a Jewish writer some two millennia earlier, a “contract” written on parchment or stone or any other concrete medium is ineffectual unless it can be internalized in the individuals it must influence (viz: Jer.31:31). It must be a covenant written on human hearts, metaphorically speaking, to override natural individualistic survival instincts with the social principles that offer broader more commonly beneficial values. Humanity at large is still a long way from adapting itself to such a covenant, and there are very few small collectives who have even understood the notion or have tried to do so. As for the general stipulations of such a covenant, there is another prophetic passage I might cite, from Micah 6:8:
      “He has told you, O [humans], what is good;
      And what does [HaShem] require of you
      But to do justice, to love kindness,
      And to walk humbly with your God?”.
      I have modified the translation of two words in square brackets to improve their specific accuracy as compared with common English translations, emphasizing that the passage is directed to humans in general and not just to its original Jewish audience, and that it is nonetheless the Jewish God HaShem Who is likewise the God of all humanity that requires this.

      How’s *that* for an answer, Penny?


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