By Assadolah Nabavi

“If a ruler never steps out of the path of rightness, he will be destroyed. A ruler must be as keen as a fox, and as violent as a lion… Monarchs must only remain loyal to their oaths when it is in their interests, otherwise emirs must at times go back on their words… but if deemed necessary to cover up this characteristic, they must be a professional in histrionics and guile… there will always be those who have been deceived…”

This is just a look at the viewpoint of Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli in his book the ‘King’.

If Machiavelli were alive I would have taken him for a 35 year trip not in Italy, but to Iran. Not in the Middle Ages and the Christian clerical rulers, but Iran’s Middle Ages in the beginning of the 21st century and the so-called Muslim clerics’ reign. If Machiavelli were alive I would have taken him to the beginning of the 1979 revolution in Iran when Khomeini arrived and said he will do anything to strengthen the ‘family’. Then he ordered women to wear mandatory hijabs and robbed them of their right to political and social activities. He went on to say that women must only be involved in nurturing the future generations. Machiavelli would have been left in awe how this old coward was thinking of Iran’s future generations! The Iranian people went on to learn that Khomeini had actually declared war against the ‘family’ and freedom altogether.

If Machiavelli was alive he would have seen how Khomeini literally uprooted the families of his dissidents, sent hundreds of pregnant women before firing squads, and how he ordered freedom fighting women to be raped before execution, and the next day one of his Revolutionary Guards members would go to pay dowry to the grieving family…

If Machiavelli were alive I would have told him to go and take a look at the “residential units” and “cage” that Haj Davoud had built in Ghezel Hessar Prison so that he would come to understand what it means to not have the slightest bit of decency and morality! And he would see how Khomeini would use ‘family’ and ‘emotions’ as leverages to break the resistance of a prisoner. Khomeini would use a prisoner’s old mother and father, or a young man or women against another family member, and tell them to “give the prisoner some advice! It is not our fault, he is resisting and if he is executed or tortured, it is his own fault of not having any emotions.”

If Machiavelli were alive I would take him back to the summer of 1988 to show how Khomeini, feeling so sorry for the families, would use the bullet-riddled body of a massacred prisoner to torture this very ‘family’ day and night, and at times his men would give three different addresses of where a family’s loved one is buried. All this was aimed at depriving them of even a single moment of peace.

And I would take Machiavelli to the 1990s, meaning after the 1988 massacre, when the same henchmen who were the ringleaders of that killing spree, all of a sudden became staunch supporters of families. They would condition inmates’ release on promising to start a family after being released from prison…

If Machiavelli were alive I would take him to Iran to see how after 35 years under the reactionary Machiavelli mullahs’ rule, there is no such thing called a ‘family’ in Iran. According to the regime’s own media outlets, 25% of all marriages end in divorces very early on. From 2006 to 2011, there has been a 53% increase in the number of single mothers.

If Machiavelli were alive I would take him to far corners of Iran to see how rulers like him have rid an entire society of any emotions, morality and humanity, and then they actually seek to set an example for the entire globe. Afterwards I would take a walk with him to the annihilated cities of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, to see the thousands of grieving families and for him to understand the depth of the their pain.

And from there I would take him to Camp Ashraf in Iraq, where this same took of ‘family’ and ‘emotions’ were used as tools of 24/7 torture against Ashraf residents (members of the Iranian opposition) for two longs years to break their will in the struggle to bring about freedom to the Iranian people. I would also show Machiavelli pictures of heroes of the Iranian people such as Ali Saremi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie, Jafar Kazemi and … explaining to him that they were executed for the sole ‘crime’ of visiting their loved ones in Ashraf.

Finally, if Machiavelli were alive I would have invited him to Liberty prison. From there, from above 4 meter tall cement walls, he would have to see agents who had sold themselves to the mullahs’ regime. Under the pretext of ‘family reunions” again they seek to target members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran with white sound, and then red attacks!

I would tell Machiavelli did he see how many gifted students he has found in the 21st century, rulers who have never stepped in a right path to remain in power; they have never been loyal to any promise; and they are experts in dowry and guile…

I would also tell him to take a look at the unbreakable will of those inside of the cement walls to understand how the dowry and guile have failed.

Of course, if Machiavelli were alive he would have most probably bowed before the mullahs’ expertise in viciousness and …