20 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 13

SIR,—As a young Iranian who has suffered under the Shah's

ten years of dictatorship and who has lost his faith in any miracle to come out of this regime, I would like to thank and congratulate you for pub- lishing Mr. A: Beichman's most realistic and well- timed analysis of the present situation in Iran (Spectator, August 16). It is encouraging to find that

at a time when the Shah's ideological enemies—the Soviets—are lured by his apparently reformist measures (or rather are blinded by their own petit- national interests), there are still some men of prin- ciple and character who cannot be blinded by the regime's massive propaganda or its royal hospitality.

At the same time, I ask for Mr. Beichman's in- dulgence to express my generation's well-founded doubts as to the 'goodness of His Majesty's instincts' or the 'benevolence of his dictatorship.' Were his instincts good or his claims of reform sincere, the Shah would never have developed such a morbid sensitivity to criticism or dissent. This strong sen- sitivity and intolerance is a sign of his awareness ol the weakness inherent in his corrupt dictatorship and its lack of any popular b 'eking or legal basis. 'He finds di ;sent impossible to bear' because 'dissent' would not yield to his usurpation of all executive power; to his retaining of 1,092 villages for his son and to hi; spending of over 60 per cent of the country's budget on an army which is only to suppress his critics After all, the power and privilege now accorded to the Shah is as alien to the Iranian constitution as it is to the British.