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Reactions to April Fool's
article on Iran-U.S. relations

(Updated April 28, 1997)

Each (*) represents a comment from a different person. Comments on top are more recent. None are from the editor.

* This was a seriously brilliant joke and you deserve a big hand of applause. I read a criticism on from some nut case saying that some people are actually relying and hoping for this type of scenario to come true. Well I suppose if you want theocratic dictatorial and murderous rulers to remain in occupied Persia then you should be hoping for friendly dialogue with the US, but if you want your country returned to you then you should be hoping for something closer to WW3 with the US, whereby we can at least start afresh, as Japan and Germany did barely 50 years ago, and rose to conquer the world.

For 2000 years humanity has been savaged by the ilk of the theocrat, and for that same length of time humanity has managed to survive at every step, whilst the theocrat was slaughtered by the very sword with which they prayed.

The length of time we can never tell, but the great thing is that some day and in some way, this collection of mutated scum in occupied Persia will eventually GO - just like all good and bad things in life eventually GO!

* I thought your April fools day joke was in poor taste. I guess because most of us wanted it to be true. I'm still upset....

* I became dramatically disappointed about THE IRANIAN. I will not trust any news from you from now on. It was the worst thing you could do in a public medium.

* You got me all excited for nothing. I wish it was not a joke.

* Oh man, very funny. U got me. Thank god there are people in the Persian community with a sense of humor.

* I have to agree with our friend's comment about the april fool's day joke. I am very disappointed and angry. Your are supposed to be a journalist not a gossip columnist.

* I support the idea to share these discussions with department of State, 60 minutes and even cspan. Though I'm sure negotiations between two countries already started, these kind of info could results in an earlier "open to public" negotiation. By the way I didn't like the April's fool joke of yours but hey look what you have done! so I guess we can compromise!!!

* I think your April fool's day bulletin was good. It was a stimulis for the Iranian community to think about and discuss the current state of events. The dialogue you have created is much needed as it is uncensored and energetic. Keep up the innovative good work.

* I have to say that this was a really bad April Fool's joke. I read the article and I was pleased at the possibility of the start of peace talks between Iran and the U.S. Peace between Iran and the U.S. is a major point of concern for many, many people and I feel you were out of line to joke around with such an important matter. April's fools jokes are supposed to be fun and light--hearted. This joke certainly was neither. Next time, you should think harder about the subject matter, before publicizing your "joke" to so many people. I'm sure that a lot of people will be disappointed to find out that there was no truth in your article, whatsoever.

* I really enjoyed the humour in your April Fools article. However, I think it wasn't very appropriate to send it through the Iranian Bulletin. I consider the Iranian Bulletin as a very unique and dependable source of (Iranian- related) news, and in my opinion, it would be much better if it's not distorted by such jokes. Sending such an article through the Iranian Bulletin is almost as bizarre as publishing the article in TIME magazine.

Also, I know there are people on your mailing list who are not that familiar with American traditions such as April Fools' Day. I don't think it was fair to send this article to a mailing list with probably many Iranians who could not see the point of the joke. I know a few people who were really disturbed by this.

In any case, thanks for your wonderful work on THE IRANIAN.

* You suck... I thought this was for real... I hate you... I can't believe you... April Fool's... Jesus Christ...

* Yes, definitely I think Iran and USA must sit and talk about different issues concerning both countries. I have been in USA for 20 yrs and I love this country like my country Iran. I hope these two countries one day become good friends and support each other.

* Hi. I laughed after i figured out it was especially written for April 1, 1997. Though it sparked some hope within me until I read the gift part. It gave it away. Naughty, naughty!

* I LOVED IT. IT CRACKED ME UP. I wish it was true too.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* If that's your idea of a joke it's no wonder those idiots in Iran are in power and will remain in power for a very long time to come. Please remove my name from your mailing list. Until now I have been telling everyone about your magazine and was surprised that for once a reputable magazine could be sponsered and run by Iranians residing in the US. I am sorry that this is how much you care about the future and existence of your fellow countrymen who are not able to escape the miserable conditions under which they are sentenced to live.

* The above comments were actually from my wife.

But I saw her letter, and I have to agree with her. I enjoyed the joke, actually, but not the execution of it. If it had just been on the Iranian site, that would be one thing. But the e-mail bulletin was, I think, in poor taste. It got my wife's hopes up, for one - after Mike Wallace's recent interview, it was actually believable that the US and Iran might start some sort of negotiation. I have to admit that I was surprised to think it might happen so fast, but I believed it, too. My wife's mother is visiting relatives in Iran right now, and she could hardly wait to tell her about the new developments.

The full article itself was fairly amusing. But part of what makes a good April Fool's joke, in my opinion, is having someone believe something that (in retrospect) they should have seen was a joke. The article qualifies as this, but the e-mail bulletin was presented as straight news.

There's not much challenge in getting people to believe something presented that way - it's as if the radio news broadcast led off with a story that, say, a member of Clinton's cabinet had resigned. "Well," I'd think, "fancy that. Wonder who it is?" I'd think that way because it's entirely possible that such a thing could happen - unexpected, but certainly possible. And it is the news, after all. . .if at the end of the broadcast, they said "Ha! April Fool's! No one resigned!", I wouldn't find it all that amusing or worthwhile - it hardly qualifies as being "fooled."

The same applies to your e-mail. It's no accomplishment to fool people with it. Now, if everyone had immediately gone straight to the URL and read the article, that would have at least caused less confusion. But I didn't (and I suspect many people didn't) - I went off to tell my wife the good news. And then I had to watch her when she found out it was a joke.

* This is in response to all those individuals who got so upset about the joke.Personally I thought it was ok. People, get a grip! We all love Iran but some of us don't bother to learn and get to know Iran's build up of political system's attitude toward the US. otherwise they would not get upset at the joke. Commm on! Iranian cabinet members in the picture with their thumbs up for the White House? Enough said.

* I really really really hope this is not an April Fools joke, so here I go to the web to find out!

* I love your magazine. I am what you might call a "Friend of Iran". I have great respect for you and the hard work you put into the magazine. But I have to opine that this article, the alleged letter from Clinton, is a very bad joke, in very poor taste. In our two-party political system, we're used to seeing cartoons and jokes from one side degrading the other; if this joke is supposed to be like that, then shall we assume that the author is opposed to warming ties between Iran and the U.S.? If that is the case, then I find myself on the opposite side of the issue from him; perhaps that is why I find the "joke" so distasteful.

* I have just read the section on President Clinton's statement on US-Iran Talks. It is heartening and indeed the best news that I could wish for. A relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation is what both people wish. I sincerely hope that this news is correct and not April 1st joke. Can you please confirm this. Awaiting your reply.

* As a joke, that was in poor taste. The main problem I had with your April Fools joke was that it was too serious for too long. I skimmed the beginning and then printed it out and gave it to my Iranian father-in-law, who of course didn't realize it was a joke. Finding out that it was was quite upsetting.

* Very creative. Shahrzad's Secret, Tehran GAP, Swiss Rev. Guard Knife. Thanks for the good laugh. I admit I was fooled once I heard the news and started shooting off emails to friends denouncing this move. I guess the lesson was: Read the Fine Print First.

* At first it made me very glad, however, when I found it to be an April Fool I got really sad. Please don't play with such an important subject. They will lose their interest in your journal.

* Like many of your other readers, I read President Clinton's Message and was momentarily convinced that after many years of hatred and enmity between the US and Iran that someone had finally come to their senses and was prepared to sit down and resolve these issues. I agree with the comments that some things are not to be joked about and this is definately one of them. The response of many of your readers points clearly to a desire by Iranian expatriates and friends of Iranians for a healing of old wounds. Perhaps efforts should be made in fostering this discussion, rather than dashing our long held and cherished hopes in a cruel joke.

* I did get somewhat puzzled and interested, I even tried to check other sources even the White House site, but I got it as the DOROUGH-E SIZDAH. Well done!

* You got me all the way. Two thumbs up. It was a good one.

* To all the folks who have complained that the "Clinton Statement" April Fools joke ruined their day, or that they found it in poor taste: GET A LIFE!!! (or at least a sense of humor!)

* Since I read the April Fools joke, I cannot stop picturing Iranian cabinet members "holding out their thumbs!!" I laughed my guts out. Keep up the good work. And for those who didn't like the piece, I say one thing, "Just chil and be a sport about it!"

* I did not like it a bit. It took 20 minutes of my precious time to trace this farce and verify that (as I suspected) this is an April Fool's joke! I certainly did not fall for it, but unfortunately you made quite a few of my friends disappointed. This stuff reached us on 4/2/97...They were cut off guard. Please use better taste in the future. Better yet..stop fooling around!

* Pretty cute.

* NOT FUNNY! You cannot mess with people's sentiments about their home and nation. I sure didn't appreciate it!

* Until today i looked to your paper as a source of iranian news. I will no longer beleive anything you say. I printed out your column to show my husband, at first he did not beleive it. I assured him that you had a reputal paper and would not joke about something so serious. My husband has been waiting for this for a long time no i have to tell him that it was only a sick joke. Thank you for playing with our emotions like that. I still can not beleive you could do something so sick.

* I thought it was great. the imitation of Clinton's speech style was great. the khaki turban and Chanel no.1979, all were just hilarious! Good job. All my friends who got the email from me though, got the joke instantly and loved it.

* This is your April Fools joke right? If it's not yours then it must be the official White House April Fools joke for 1997! But again, as our dear Uncle Napoleon said: een kaarha zeereh sareh ingilisaas.

* Nice April Fool, I liked it. Wish it was true!

* This Clinton declaration about Iran is senseless joke. It made rounds even in reputable Iranian lists and people believed in it. Why????? I did not expect THE IRANIAN to be the originator of this ridiculous joke.

* Nice 'dorough-e sizdah bedar', I was beginning to believe the 'US-Iran talks' report, until I got to the personal gift section! Anyway, thanks for a good laugh.

* How do I get Shahrzad's Secret catalog? I did a search on AltaVista, but could not find it :-)

* Your April Fool was a good one, it really got me, although it was sad to find it unreal, because this affects our personal lives, specially mine, a great deal!

* Read the entire piece with zeal, sneaking smiles and smirks at each other in disbelief that we were reading the words on the screen.

* A little mail to thank you for your sense of humor for this 1st of April. Specially for "...members of the Iranian Cabinet... holding out their thumb."

* That was one of the best April's Fool that I have experianced. Thanks I did forward your message to my daughter who is a student at GWU and she looked through the Washington Post and then called home and said "Dad that was a great April's Fool." So thanks and I wish it was not an April's Fool.

* I wish Clinton had one tenth of your common human sense and would do one tenth of what you fooled us with! Very good imitation of Clinton's rhetorics.

* I hope this is not an April Fools joke, cause if it is you are going to turn a lot of subscriber off. There are things that people don't joke about -- this is one of them.

* I almost bought it!

* Kudos. Nice April fool's day article!

* Nice try.

* Is this real? Why has no other news source announced this? If it is real, it is a great news.

* Very nice! I especially liked the part about "holding out their thumb."!!!

* Who wrote this joke?

* Thank you for sending me the e-mail regarding Clinton's change of strategy regarding Iran. It is very good news.

* Thanks for the joke.

* I didnt find it to be very funny.


Related links

* THE IRANIAN Satire Section


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