|By Behrouz Bahmani
November 15, 2003
Dear Amoo George,
Now that the war in Iraq is under control, and the North
Koreans are back in their pen, and Iran has willingly agreed
to open up it's "power generation" nuclear program
to inspection, I was wondering if we could address another
small matter. Now that you have the time of course.
This is the matter of the possibly forgotten current embargo
As you must know, the only items allowed in or out of Iran
from or to the US is Pistachios and Persian carpets that
are less than 100 years old. Personally, I'm sick of pistachios,
and I wouldn't carpet the White House with a Persian carpet
younger than 100 years old. Wait, nevermind, you already
have a beautiful one in the main ballroom.
The idea behind the embargo was originally a sound one although
hatched.. er.. I mean implemented by your nemesis.. er..
predecessor Bill Clinton. The idea was that through economic
pressure of an embargo, just like Cuba, Iran would be forced
(via the undue pressure of an economic blockade), to mend
their wicked ways and bend to the will of the US and the
West. As I will illustrate, this clearly has
not happened. Alas the reverse has ocurred.
But enough words. I know you do not like to read a lot,
so I will present the next portion of my argument in pictures
and captions. As you will see below, the Iranian urban population
is doing quite well. Rural Iranians have been so forgotten,
each day the Shah doesn't show up to collect his taxes.
start off with winning the hearts and minds of the people.
Well actually, let's begin with winning their stomachs
Advances in Iranian culinary habits has never been
so great as today. Restauranteurship leads the way as second
incomes go. Thanks to American Iranians who visit summer,
spring, fall and winter, with fistfulls of dollar bills and
the family and kids in hand, everything is abundant and available.
And almost everything goes better with Coke. Hey wait a
minute, isn't Coca Cola an American company? Then how come
they can still bottle and distribute in Iran? Must be their
wholly (holy?) independent European division. Phew! That's
I highly recommend you try this snack one day. As a Texan
I'm sure you appreciate good beef.
familiar? Nevermind that, look at the USA T-Shirt!
The Jumbo Pack! It's the better deal than the regular
you think Burger King knows that they're finally number
1 in at least one market in the world?
Been there. Puma? Done that. Wilson? Now that's quality
the state of the art dental plan. Maybe the US should
get one. Also notice the U of Maryland Terrapins T-shirt.
That's what I call painful!
brickmakers exhibit unusual strength on the job. That
is why their shirt of choice is EVERLAST!
is finally bigger than IBM with Epson running a close
25000 tomans, scuba gear for the day, 180000 tomans,
diving with your younger brother Saman who's balder than
you, Priceless! (Note the OK sign!)
teens even have the bratty sister who unplugs your PC
just as you were about to destroy your nemesis in Holland
with a sorcerer's spell and hell's fury combination spinkick!
poster for the 13th warrior. Antonio sure is one handsome
man. Clearly a favorite among the Mullahs, for his devout
beliefs, of course.
that is, Tehran hills. Y'all stay out now. Ya Hear?
Chalet's in Iran? You Bet!
can almost see the for-hire dog walkers coming down the
that what I think it is? It is! This mansion's gate comes
complete with stealth bomber motif!
you hate it when you park your mercedes under a tree
and the birds get to it? I hate when that happens.
sweet mansion! But you know, it's the little things in
life that count. Lots and lots of little things.
do you think would go nicely in the tower? Billiard room?
Media center? Freaky bedroom? You naughty dog!
So, as you can see life in Iran is far from painful for
the top echelon.The intention of the embargo has backfired
miserably. Nations of the world, primarily the ones we count
in our "coalition", flagrantly violate the embargo.
Domestically I would guess maybe 11 US customs guards and one
dog, with chips on their shoulders enforce the current law.
Tehran's cops tool around colecting bribes in the latest
Mercedes patrol cars, and ride BMW motorcycles more advanced
than the US Highway patrol rides. Danke shoen, Heinrich!
The consumer food packaging industry in Iran (fruit-yogurt,
milk, snack foods, soft drinks and fresh food shrink wrapping
machines) is having it's best years ever, thanks to modern
shiny new automated plastics packaging machinery imported
from such loyal and devoted US friends as Japan, China, Korea,
and now the Eastern European industrial gangs. Heck, they're
probably using US development money to establish this market!
But I'm sure you already knew all this. You probably knew
that GM has light truck assembly plants, and that Jeep and
Honda build cars and motorbikes in Tehran. Judging from the
number of Schwing concrete pumping trucks in Tehran, I'm
sure there are even a few US construction companies sniffing
are plenty of signs that we have a long way to go towards
achieving a secularist victory in Iran. And that
is the blatant disrespect for women that is still evident. They
are beginning to loosen their religious controls a bit and the
head scarf known as the hejab is beginning to slip further and
further back on the heads of beautiful Iranian women,
who more and more display
their beauty by wearing more and more Western makeup each day.
Some however, hold onto the old ways, by refusing to allow women
to swim for example. I will argue that if you have ever seen
an Iranian woman in a bathing suit, that the prohibition of this
is in itself a great crime to humanity, albeit the male side.
I sincerely hope that you have benefited from this brief
tour of modern day Iran and that the proof that the embargo
has failed and is failing every day, will convince you to support
doing away with it altogether.
Clearly evidenced by Iranians' desire for American consumer
products, one can argue that the best way to de-stabilize
the current regime in Iran would be to flood the country with
consumer product ever created by America. One quick solution
would be to dump the entire contents of a Super Walmart over
Tehran during lunch hour (currently from
I look forward to your earliest response.
Sincerely and very best regards,
The Only Iranian Republican.
cc Tom Friedman, New York Times
by Kaveh Bazargan
too shabby, by Yashar Zhalehdoust
by brick, by Yalda Moaiery
By Bruce Bahmani
Book of the day
A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
By Firoozeh Dumas