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January 17, 2002

* We are not superior

I couldn't agree more with Mr Pishegah in his article "I feel better now", on the part of our artificial feeling of superiority. I am not a historian, but I believe this feeling of hatred originates from thousands years ago, when we (or better to say the Persians then) were really more civilized and advanced comparing to their neighbors.

Then Islam came. Persians could not resist it. It was a divine message of that time and touched the hearts, but our ancestors could not bear the humility of accepting it from the "inferior" race. In the same time, they could not show the opposition openly, so this remained in their hearts and unfortunately got rooted deeply turning to a "kine".

From a psychological point of view, we might analyze this feeling of superiority as a defense mechanism, that we apply to reject our shortcomings. We present other third worlders (and even Iran itself) as evil and bad to prevent our accusation.

While I could be considered by some of our dear nationalists, as "vatan-foroush", these are facts and I believe to be able to develop and advance we have to face our shortcomings and objectively resolve them. We are not superior to other third world nations. Iran is NOT north of Tehran (shomal-e shahr). On the contrary, "shomal-e shahr and shomal-e shari-s are minority in our homeland. A bitter fact we have to accept.

Loving our nation and country is not a crime, it is a must. But, let us not forget others while loving Iran. Let us be objective in this love. Every nation loves itself, and its country. This is a natural thing. We should transcend above this. Love our country, while respecting and admiring others. Once we could do that, we are in a good path for a "true" civilization.


* Mercedes Benzs for Afghans

Why don't you at least take one subject, instead of going all over the place about how pissed off you are about Iranians attitude and so on "I feel better now". You sound like a guy that has not got laid in ages! What do you want people in Iran to do for two million Afghan refugees?

You say majority of Iranians live in poverty, well if that's a case, what more can they do for them? I am sorry if we don't provide all Afghanis In Iran with huge house and Mercedes Benz! What do you do for the Afghans any way, since you live in affluent west? My guess: Nothing!

You claim Iranians are racist, intolerant and so on, really on what basis? Based on some people expressing their frustration in Iranian.com letters section? Have you ever bothered going to many other sites on the web And see how ignorant, intolerant or even racist other group of people are? Have you ever really got close to other nationality and races from Blacks of Africa (Notorious Racists) to whites, Hispanics, Germans, French, etc... and hear what they say in private about other races and people? My guess : Never!

According to your passage "We have always been ruled by a bunch of murderers and thieves who have in most cases made the lives of ordinary Iranians miserable. Well if that's the case, then what is your whining about? seems that Iranians are justified in whining or complaining? Or should we be thankful?

I tell you what is getting tiring, listening to Iranians like you, who evidently are better than any one (in your own mind set) , who are Taafteh jodaa baafteh az digaraan, with self defeating attitude, constantly whining or lecturing us about what we are, who we are, what do we suppose to do, say, act and be...

May be its time for you to look at mirror. As you said I said enough!

Mr Quincy Irani

* The world has changed

I see Mr. Pishehgar has raised so many issues in his article "I feel better now" that it is difficult to respond to all of them without a shouting match! I think it is good to see this point of view. I am also tired of hearing that Iranians have invented everything, and are solely responsible for culture as we know it.

I love my heritage, but not at the risk of offending others. I also have many Arab friends with similar views of themselves. Look at the popularity of the poet Rumi. He is now being considered an Afghan poet.

The pride of a culture should be in the way it survives the test of time. Taking the best of other cultures and growing. All the conquerors of the old Persia, also brought their cultures into ours. We survived them and are still a strong nation.

To constantly remember the majesty of the past and sigh is stupid. This is the time to get up and be known for what we are now. Let's grow beyond nationalistic feelings, the world has changed, so must we, once again.

Baygani Kamran

* Nothing's changing

I was thinking the other day about the future of Iran. I mean, most of us Iranian expatriates have lived outside the country for years and years now and have comfortably settled into our new homes in Europe and America. And from a distance, we watch and follow and hope for the situation to improve in Iran. We have watched and followed and hoped for years now. Nothing's changing.

Khatami hasn't done shit, and he can't do shit. He probably doesn't want to do shit. The situation seems to get worse everyday I read the news on Iran: more newspapers shut down, more intellectuals and reformists jailed, more oppression, etc etc. I have given up on these so-called reformist mullahs. We had all pinned our hopes on Khatami; we had hoped for an evolution instead of a revolution. But it's become crystal clear now that that's not happening and is not going to happen.

So what's the verdict going to be? Are we stuck with these petulant mullahs FOREVER?? Is that the destiny of the Iranian people?? Is Iran forever going to be backward, are we forever going to sit here from a distance and hope things will change?

Going back to my idea. With the Taliban in Afghanistan wiped away by the United States military (in less than a few weeks time, mind you), what IF the United States next invaded Iran and with a sustained military action finished off these mullahs ONCE AND FOR ALL?? There are American politicos and commentators out there who have actually called for this (although they're on the right), and I used to be vehemently opposed to this idea. But I'm starting to realize more and more that if this were to happen, it would be a gift from God. You read about ordinary Afghans who finally have something to smile about after 5 years; you read about the Afghan girls who cannot contain their excitement at being able to attend school once again, to walk the streets freely, so on and so forth. A few Afghan civilians were killed. So what? You think the majority of Afghans aren't thanking America a hundred times a day for getting rid of the Taleban for them?

You see, we can't count on ourselves to get rid of this regime anymore. Iranians outside of Iran are living comfortably and couldn't be bothered, and those inside of Iran are too busy trying to get out. We may be stuck with these mullahs for another 100 yrs. A sustained American military action to get rid of this CANCER may be just what we need to free our nation from these animals. It would be a gift from God. It might take a little longer than the Taleban, but for all their vitriolic fury and hatred the IRI military wouldn't last more than 2 or 3 months time. How refreshing an idea.

Indeed, in some of the recent demonstrations in Tehran, there were people calling for the US military to deliver the same fate to the mullahs as they did to the Taleban.


* Incindiary sermons

Dear Mr. Nafisi; Your deductions and speculations couldn't be more wrong and your attempt to raise reasonable doubt is useless. ["Ship of fools"]

Have you seen the photos of Khamenei and Rafsanjani wearing the Palestinian " head scarf " around their necks in almost all their public appearances. Have you heard their incindiary sermons urging all Palestinians to fight every minute of every day until Israel is destroyed.

Buttom line of the clear fact is that Khamenei and Rafsanjani are fervently and openly supporting the Mid East violence as well as the destabilization of Afghanistan in order to further secure their influence and continuesly pull their strings. Just last week several tonnes of similar weapons were shipped to Herat from Iran and are now in the hands of the war lords there, as the coalition forces and the Afghan Interim Government are actually trying to buy back those weapons from the war lords.

Do you think for one second that Khamenei, Rafsanjani and their cronies in the so called neghahbaan and masslehat, actually would give a rat's tail if the Americans bombed Iran's cities or people. I bet they would actually welcome it, for it might, just might, extend their soon to be cancelled lease, even if for a short while longer.

Mansour Amelli


* Laughing and crying

I love the article "It rained at last. It rained at last." couldn't stop laughing and crying. We need more writers like yourself. Good job!

Parisa Mohib

* Snot club

Siamak, ["If it fits, you must pick"]

I had not laughed so much for such a long time. It took me to my past, present and future. Do you ever flick your snot off your finger? So you do not know where it lands.

Please respond, you should set up a snot club.



* Aakband = Unpacked

On Mr. Karim Emami's comment ["Open question"]. In fact, there is a brand name that resembles the AK in Akband, and that is Akaii. But I doubt it comes from that side.

The suggestion that the word originated in the Persian Gulf region seems acceptable enough, but there should be a research done on the approximate time that the usage started.

My personal theory is that the usage is from a distorted meaning. It might have been "unpacked", meaning quite opposite of what it is. The position change of K and N is quite possible, in the southern Iranian dialcts, the soft and hard sounds often change their place.

I would not go with Mr. Perry's Urdu/Hindi explanation, although it sounds good enough to believe. The aspirated Hindi "b" (bh) is usually changed into either a P or a V in Persian dialects, and there is no reason to drop the aspirated "K", since it exists in our dialcts. I would say that the word Ankh Band in Persian would have become a[n]kh v/pand.

The issue is obviously open to debate at least until we have an approximate date for the start of the usage of this word.

Khodadad Rezakhani

* Completely "understood" wrongly

I was reading some of your Rumi "translations". Unfortunately a number of them are out of context and they have been completely "understood" wrongly and translated based on poor understanding of Persian language.

You must understand that reading and understanding these masrterpieces needs special training and translating it even more difficult due to the complexity of the English language. Please do not present this masterpiece this way. Even Mr Khayyam the famous Persian-English dictionary collector and writer did not attempt to do it.

Please do not disgrace this one a kind masterpiece. One example is here:

Saqi, I asked you for a simple wine;

Make it live; serve it to men who are free.

You said, 'A wind is stirring in the sky.'

Until it comes, my love, pour wine for me

This translation is completely "abdominal" and the translator has lost the plot.

Kind regards

Dr M.R. Ghassemifar

* I continue trying to learn

Dear Dr. Ghassemifar,

Your note was forwarded to me by the editor of Iranian.com. I have not, unfortunately, had the benefit of special training, other than what I can gather for myself as I continue trying to learn the Persian language and the subtleties of Rumi's thought.

One of the blessings of publishing on the Internet is the ability to share a draft with strangers, receive feedback, and make corrections easily. I have received many, many emails from strangers thanking me for the pleasure the translations have given them, so I don't think they are entirely without value.

I also receive occasional emails with specific comments on mistakes I have made. These are far more precious to me than the praise. I am indebted to these many teachers I have not met, and I correct and revise my translations in response to their comments. So I am eager to understand what exactly is wrong with the example you have quoted, and also to know which other poems have offended you so badly.


Zara Houshmand

* Kitchen culture

Although Ms Nemati and I are poles apart politically, we seem to have a common opinion on the preservation of the Persian culture ["I must have missed something"]. Reading Ms Sabeti's latest reincarnation as a "food critic" ["Simple yet noble piece of heritage"] reminded me of an old Iranian adage "farhnag-e matbakhi" (kitchen culture). In this culture your digestive system is the principal tool for flaunting your cultural identity. Primitive at it may sound, it has had a "huge" following.

From Henry VIII to Aqa Khan to Helmut Kohl and through to our own Ms Sabeti, all have seen something noble in devouring a grilled piece of flesh and let their guts absorb the cultural heritage of their ancestral primates. Sadly, the wretched beast, whose torn-up body is the subject of the feast, receives no credit for this noble practice. Where are the icons of our cultural heritage such as Rumi, Saadi, Ferdowsi, Hafez, Hedayat, E'tessami and many more to see their message oozing through layers of fat and flesh?


* Hostile exchanges

As a casual reader of the poetry battles of the last few days, and an admirer of poetry in general, I must say while I enjoy the literary exchange, I am at the same time disappointed by the hostile and combative tone of the exchanges. ["As soon as someone opens his mouth", "Trouble detecting double meanings"]

Defending one's own poetry is the penultimate ignominy and the scourge of so-called "professional" poets. (Hence my exalted view of poetry not as a profession and even beyond an art.) So a word to all would-be poets: let your poetry speak for you!



* Hope to read intelligent arguments

It has not been long since I have discovered Iranian.com and I am completely surprised how refreshing and amazingly delightful it is. It is great that an Iranian entity deals with such diverse topics in an educated and at the same time entertaining manner.

I specially liked the recent articles and letters about poetry. The examples of Azam Nemati ["I can not stand it anymore"] and Hamed Vahidi [As soon as someone opens his mouth] bring to mind the fact that no matter how far we travel from home, we will be and practice the same (well let me use Leila Farjami's sentence) grandfatherly practice of partial estheticism and narrow-minded authoritarianism on what is "right" and what "isn't"!!!

To my understanding it seems that the Iranian society and its people, generation after generation have failed to raise reasonable, and open-minded people in Iran. It appears that our young men and women do not understand the concept of a healthy critique, and it comes from lacking maturity as a nation (recently a statistical research showed that Iranians are not mature more than the age of a five year old while British are 13 years old -- this research was to show how old, each nations maturity is, compared to children's age) Azam Nematis and Hamed Vahidis seem to still live in their tribes where the head man (in this case Hafiz, Iraj Mirza, etc.) say something and every one has to live by the same rules year after year and generations after generations.

So when a Leila Farjami arrives with her style of poetry, Nematis and Vahidis do not see the need to re-evaluate their prehistoric thinking and ideas and when Sheema Kalbasi arrives with a poetry style that presents both classic and modern poetry, Vahidis still cannot accept that although Hafez, Molawi, and Bahar or Nima Youshij are long gone, Kalbasi does present our new poets, generation, with softer and even more delicacy compared to a (n) Etesami.

I think a mere acknowledgement of our generations, poets would do a lot to win optimism, something we really do not have and are not familiar with as a nation!

I hope instead of articles and letters of shallowness by Hamidis and Nematis we read intelligent arguments from some people who do not bring their BA in Persian literature (Azam Nemati) or so called compared poems to Tagore and Hafiz (Hamed Vahidi) as examples.

I am sure Partow Nooriala can bring all the books her poems have been published in, Laleh Khalili her PhD, Forugh Farokhzad her movies, books, Sheema Kalbasi her poems taught in universities and her golden pen for winning poetry, Leila Farjami her book of poetry, her interviews, and the invitations to read her poetry with her beautiful angle voice.

Mohammad Ashkan

* Shrug off personal attacks

I enjoyed reading your poem "Grave" and I find it creative and well written. I am sorry to hear/read that the abusive language of some e-mails has victimized you.

In your last letter to The Iranian, you quote a part from a Mr. or Ms. Parkhash's letter: "However, as you have mentioned in your letter, the works of Leila Farjami, Sheema Kalbasi, etc. are far from being qualified as poetry as they are often un- linked pieces of prose that have been chopped off into single or double lines. I hope I have not given you a headache but I thought to share my views."

Dear Hamed, regarding this person and his/her note, I would dismiss his/her letter at once. After all, how could one take this person seriously when he/she does not even sign a name at the end of the letter he/she sends you and has such poor spelling yet permits him/herself to construct others' literary works!! I for one find this person "far from being qualified" to judge any body's works!

In your other letter to The Iranian, what I liked most was where you'd written: "First and above all, have faith in your work. If there is a severe flaw in your work, the ultimate judge would be world literary community", not just Iranian.com. Second, do not be afraid of criticisms. Many years ago, my father told me similar words. He also advised me not to take others' praise or critique too seriously because I'd never know what their real intentions, thoughts or knowledge of poetry and my literary works are. I have been both praised and criticized for my writings.

Of course every single one of them is entitled to their opinion. While I am encouraged by kind words, I try to take constructive criticism into account and shrug off personal attacks (as examples of these personal attacks I use two of your own sentences where you address Mr. Khalili and Ms.Farjami and write: "I did not drop from an apple tree yesterday, but I guess you did.

And "These sumgs certainly have more class than you have.) and dear Hamed Vahidi, neither praises nor critiques affect me in doing what I love to do and that is creating literary work. After all, positive or negative, these are only words and as you nicely put it: "the ultimate judge would be the world's literary community."

I wish you further success with your writings.

With Kind Regards,

Sheema Kalbasi, USA

* Khod bozorg bini

This letter "A good poem resembles a melody" and the opinion article "Crimes of poetry" wrapped in eloquently formed, and mostly borrowed, words and phrases is nothing but another attempt to convey the "naneh-man-gharibam" mentality of some, yes, self called critiques.

It seems odd that putting all the poets of past and present decades and all their poetry do not satisfy the taste of Mr.Vahidi.

He asks readers, is it the job of a poet to stack a number of bricks and create a dry, rigid and senseless form that he/she alone knows its hidden meaning OR to design a beautiful structure that is meaningful and appeals to all sorts of mentalities? And he answers to his question by saying: yes, "Before I get to the meat of the issue, let me just say that I am not a novice in the art of poetry and every one hear-hear, here are my two incredible poems, "Grave and "Beloved. What our dear Vahidi forgets to write for his readers, is the fact that he is not only not familiar with the concept of poetry but he has Never written a Persian poem in his entire life, which makes him all the more un-knowledgeable.

Professor Safa, a great personality in the Persian literature, new all the facts and bases of poetry, he even published a book of his Persian poetry. One day he simply put a stop to writing poetry. He was asked why and he answered because "I do not have the talent and creativity to write poetry, I know the rules and regulations, and of cores I can write poems but they will never be as great as those poets works that have the artistic soul of a poet.

One cannot expect the world of poetry to be 100% correct and it is so typical of how we Iranians have many grandiose claims yet fail miserably when it comes to execution. Unfortunately many so-called cultural elites have spent such a long time away from genuine Farsi language that just because they use Persian words they think they can be good judges to the poetry works of our dear and respectful poets like Farjami, Kalbasi, and Khalili or past decades poet Nooriala, Farrokhzad, etc.

People like Mr.Vahidi whom seem to suffer from "Oghdaye Khod Bozorg Bini" and extremism have abused us, politically, economically, and emotionally, etc. as a nation and throughout our history. Considering the past, and how poets have been treated or mistreated, we should try a gradual change, otherwise we destroy, and hurt and all that on baseless and novice reasons. The one thing that we Iranians have plenty of and are proud of them too is our poetry. If Mr.Vahidi wants to attribute a statement why is it that he is passing judgment on others poetry and their personal and poetic characters and doesn't come out with examples from his own?

Siamak Sadri

* You need to be updated

I like to make a comment about some people who call themselves 'poetry critiques'. ["Crimes of poetry" ]

A Mr.Vahidi makes generalizations, which may not be true in the experience of other people but he still finds it lawful to write about our beloved literary writers and poets.

On behalf of all Iranians with reasonable taste, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Nooriala, Kalbasi, Shamlou, Khalili, Farrokhzad, and Farjami. Unlike Mr.Vahidi I find reading Shakespeare, Pushkin, Iraj Mirza, and Etesami boring, distasteful and harsh.

Vahidi writes, "A good poem creates a sense of weightlessness in the reader. The reader experiences a sense of physical and spiritual freedom. Of course, sometimes you have to sacrifice rhythm and melody for meaning." As a person who has studied in Iran and have my BA in the Persian Literature, I find Kalbasi, Khalili, and Farrokhzad poetry soft and beautiful and in touch with reality of a woman's nature. Their poetry - especially Leila Farjami's - is extremely refreshing and in touch with today's problems and new concepts.

Mr. Vahidi you write that a good poem has superior meaning and great style and it does not need to have rhythm and rhyme to appeal to human spirit or sound like a beautiful melody so why don't you check Kalbasi's Man o To or Yad Kon. Why do you write to her to quit sending me (I guess you mean Iranian.com and not you as a person) your classical poems just to prove I am wrong, when you Mr.Vahidi, know that her poems are taught in universities of India, and she is a well-established poet?

I am sure a poet as talented as Ms. Kalbasi does not need to prove anything about her creativity to some one like you whom lacks not only knowledge but also true documentation for what he writes. I am not sure if you understood the essence of Ms.Farjami's poetry or otherwise you have not had written that she has been dropped from an apple tree yesterday.

You write about all the healthy correspondences that you have had or still have with a number of scientists, philosophers and skeptics and that you have been published in highly regarded skeptical journals. I guess you do not know that Ms. Farjami has already published her book of poetry and have been interviewed by a very famous radio station, etc. and Ms. Nooriala was known long before you even could spell your name. I do not need to write about Foroogh Farrokhzad since she is a known case but if you need to be updated, let me know!

Despite the fact that you know your comments discriminate against the poets of OUR time, you like to view yourself and your so called comments the wise and the superior!

Zendeh baad Iran!

Mahsa Edraki

* Saram raa sar sari matraash

Dear Mr.Parkhash,

In your letter to Iranian.com ,you suggest that Mr.Vahidi's argument is not against modern poetry as such but against, using Mr.Khalili's term, the "trash" modern poetry and say that Hafez suggests: "Nah har keh sar betaraashad..." In response to your letter I like to say: "saram raa sar sari matraash aay ostaade salmaani keh har sar dar saraaye khod sari daraad o saamaani" meaning you might not enjoy the past and present decades poets' and their works and argue that their works are bad, but your judgment is limited to your knowledge and perhaps it is old fashioned or illiterate.

To presume that poets should not express their art and all these because you and Mr.Vahidi are the two pro-claimed critiques of our time? And if "art is not democratic" than you should be stopped to write or create?! What comes next? Poetry Gestapo?

Babak Tayebi

* Most irritating

With all due respect for the useful information I get out of Hamed Vahidi's ; some articles are simply pointless!!! I guess that is the price of a truly free site where everyone can contribute. I also guess that is invitation for all the rest to respond.

In particular, I found his recent letter "As soon as someone opens his mouth" most irritating and pointless. Mr. Hamed Vahidi gives the concept of constructive criticism a bad name. His piece, his two poems and his letters on the Iranian.com, don't give any meaningful critique on the character of Farjami, Nooriala, Kalbasi, Shamlou, Khalili, Farrokhzad's poetry.

If each and every one of us were to report the quantity and quality of our last food intake (Hamed Vahidi keeps writing about his correspondence with scientists and how his two poems have been compared to Tagore and Hafez and his being published in journals, etc.) in THE IRANIAN, then we know what comes next .....


* Bad language against Jews

It is amusing, if not disturbing, that two of the three replies to a letter on monarchy ("Moft-khor tourist attractions" by Yehuda Goldberg) stressed the author's name, religion, and nationality ("If you are not Persian" by H. Hakimi and "Listen to his words" by Rashid Sardar).

In fact, of twelve paragraphs in the letter by Mr. Hakimi, six involved Mr. Goldberg's nationality (and his right to take part in the debate) and his religion (and the manner in which he may do so).

I find the latter (discussion of religion) particularly odious where Mr. Hakimi states that "it is customary that the members of the Persian Jewish community use more polite language." I wonder if, in his zeal to correct our collective manners at iranian.com, he has also replied to any of dozens of letters that have included numerous curses and put-downs and generally bad language, most much worse than that used by Mr. Goldberg, and many indeed written by avid monarchists? Or perhaps it is the Persian Jewish community alone that is to be held to such high standards?

Further, just to make sure that the Persian Jewish community does not take the right to participate (see above) for granted and becomes too uppity, Mr. Hakimi hastens to add that Jews "are the last person[s] who morally & historically can allow yourself to criticize Persian Monarchs, considering the FREEDOM & the security the Jewish community in Iran have enjoyed during 2,500 years of Monarchy." (This sentiment is echoed by Mr. Sardar.) May I suggest two readings that might enlighten our readers on the great "freedom" and "security" that my Persian Jewish ancestors have "enjoyed?"

First the well-referenced book by Bernard Lewis (The Jews of Islam; Publisher: Princeton) and second a rather detailed and well-documented history, in Persian and English editions, by Habib Levy (Comprehensive History of The Jews of Iran - The Outset of the Diaspora; Publisher: Mazda).

It is quite proven at this point that the record of Persia in the treatments of its minorities (especially Jews) is at best spotty, particularly during the past 400 years. But more importantly, in light of the historical discrimination and severe limitations placed on them, my Jewish Iranian ancestors have more than paid any "debt" they might have owed through their contributions to sciences, medicine, industry, arts, and literature.

(As an aside, I wonder if we should then open ledgers for all those who have come to Iran over that past several thousand years, group by group, including the famous "Aryans," and demand that they too account for their debt before they are granted the right to be undiplomatic or critical?)

Incidentally, I notice that many writers to the Letters Section use pseudonyms or names that on first pass might appear unreal or not necessarily Iranian. I wonder how often responses to these letters have included presumptions and dismissive prejudices simply based on the authors’ names? Or are Persian Jews the only ones chosen for such treatment?

It concerns me that some of our monarchist friends might not have fully understood the meaning of equality, non-discrimination, and democracy. I can only hope that there are more of them, the silent ones, that have. Should Iran ever revert to monarchy, they then surely would not expect "their" minorities to stand in front of them, hat in hand, polite and with due reverence.

The saddest thing is that Mr. Hakimi and Mr. Sardar do make several valid points on modern monarchy which are obscured and diminished by their unnecessary and unhelpful comments on Mr. Goldberg's nationality and Persian Jews in general. Too bad they could not avoid the temptation to put Mr. Goldberg in his place.

I. I. Rahmim

* Don't need Pahlavi's instructions on democracy

Comparing the Pahlavis to the constitutional monarchies of Europe is quite ridiculous self-delusion ["Pahlavi's message is clear"]. Those are long-established and well-respected dynasties lasting several hundred years, while the Pahlavis were installed into power by foreigners and overthrown by the people in 2 generations. Also, the fact remains that the European constitutional monarchies are historical vestiges.

None of the European constitutional monarchies do anything constructive except to waste tax-payer money and act as tourist attractions. Iran has enough tourist attractions without the Pahlavis. As for corruption in Republics - you speak as if there aren't any corrupt politicians in England or Norway etc. What about all the scandals in British politics, some of which include the Royals themselves? Republicanism is no guarantee agaisnt corruption and neither is a genuine constitutional monarchy.

As for what Reza Pahlavi is saying - so what? He's not saying anything that everyone doesn't already know. Nobody needs Mr. Reza Pahlavi come instruct us about democracy, thank you very much.

So the question remains: what do the Shah supporters expect to gain from their "constitutional" monarchy that they're pushing so hard? A pointless, powerless, tax-wasting tourist attraction job for Mr. Reza Pahlavi (which is what real constitutional monarchs do) Or do they have more nefarious intentions merely covered up by their sudden concerns for a "constitution"?

J Mohammadi

* Repeating the same tune

Dear supposedly, Real Mr. John Mohammadi,

I had promised myself never to reply to your letters. But this time for the sake of records, as well as making you known to others who may fall into your trap, & for the last time I should say that you are all the time biting around the bush. Like any devote agent should, you never touch any substance .

You keep repeating the same tune (DELBARE JANANE MAN, BORDEH DEL O JANE MAN), since there is nothing else you are permitted to say. You are only good for throwing mud around, the first duty of any IRI agent. You are paid to create differences not solidarity. That is why you refrain from touching any tangible substance, any meaning full argument that may make us unify against IRI. Our unity is against the wish of your masters.

You have proved this statement of mine very many times. Even at this last incident, did you clarify, that, how did you get hold of my letter addressed to Mr. YAHUDA GOLDBERG? And indeed are you YAHUDA GOLDBERG ["Moft-khor tourist attractions"] or John Mohammadi? If you are not YAHUDA GOLDBER & indeed you are real John Mohammadi, what compels you to reply to my letter to YAHUDA GOLDBERG? Save as an agent you are not suposed to mkeep quiet, is not it?

For once, Mr. reall John Mohammadi, can you come out with a clear cut answer?

You do not answer any questions put forward to you, as if there were no questions asked.

And above all you act as a WOLF in the skin of a LAMB. You abuse the lax attitude of our editor Mr. J.J. to take the gratis podium of Iranian.com to carry out your subversive activities.

Let me assure you Mr. GOLDBERG or Mohammadi, that your effort is just in vain, The true Iranian Patriots will get what they deserve sooner or latter & the chaps such as yourself will have to find an empty cave in BORA GORA to hide. For the time being enjoy your salary!!!!!

You say that I react to criticism? Did you criticize any thing? I wished you did, you just came out with your emotions, if you are mr. YAHUDA GOLDBERG at all.


H. Hakimi


* Winds of change

Book review: Winds of Change: The Future of Democracy of Iran by Reza Pahlavi.

The majority of the political groups who came forward to contest the leadership of the Islamic Republic were the same people who had their hands in creating the mass hysteria which led to the current Mullah Republic. As a result, not many people found these groups or personalities credible enough to be followed.

Many Iranians rally around Reza Pahlavi as an Iranian Shahanshah because traditionally he symbolizes Iranian national culture and Iranians have rallied behind their kings after each and every national defeat. For such Iranians, Reza Pahlavi in exile represents their national culture being dislocated by lies, deceit, betrayal and malevolent intention of those Iranians greedy for power and those foreigners greedy for the natural resources of our country.

This book redirects the reader from such thought to think about what the author believes to be a more important issue, namely the step by step process for the average Iranian to achieve a Secular Democracy, as opposed who has the social credibility to be the leader.

It is for those who believe that the majority of Iranians are honest, decent and kind. That they are simple people who were cheated. Their anxiety's with regards to modernization were misled into a mass hysteria. They expressed regret about what happened. They are being pressurized through terror and they should have a way out.

Amir-Khosrow Sheibany

* What makes him qualified?

I have noticed many articles and comments regarding Reza Pahlavi lately. I have some questions to those who count themselves among his supporters. Before I begin, I would like to have it known that I respect your right to your opinions and mean no disrespect with the following questions. I'm just want to understand how many of you think.

First, what makes you think that he is qualified to be the future king or president or prime minister of Iran when he has had no executive experience and no expertise in any kind of jurisprudence? I understand that he has a bachelor's degree in political science. That's great, but I know a lot of people who have that same degree from UCLA and some of them have gone on to the top law schools in the country. Those are some pretty good qualifications.

On to my second question (actually more of a statement), what does it tell you about a dynasty whose founder, Reza Shah, was put into power by a foriegn government; whose second king, Mohammad Reza Shah, was put into power twice by foriegn governments; and whose successor, Reza Pahlavi, is now seeking to be put into power by a foriegn government?

I may be wrong, but that kind of "following in your father's footsteps" is one that I don't particularly care for. For all I know, Mr. Pahlavi may indeed be a man of solid character, fierce intelligence, and strength but he has not done anything to prove it. In his years in America, what did he do? Did he start a charitable organization of any sort? Was he the executive of some corporation? Was he at least the president of his class in his days in college?

Now, I may be in the dark in this, and if I am, then please inform me and your fellow readers of his qualifications to be a or the leader of Iran. In my opinion, there are plenty of Iranians who not only possess all the great attributes of a leader, but have shown those attributes through their achievements. Many of them are in Iran right now. Sincerely and respectfully,

Mazda Aghamohammadi

* Got what he deserved

It is amazing to me ,that with so many intelligent,honest,decent people available to the shah , they could not changed this man's behavior. To him some brainless people like Alam, Zahedi, Fardust or Nassiri were more important to him than Mossaddegh, Hoveyda or others. He got what he deserved.


* Very proud of my country

Dear readers, Assalamualaikum and Hello.

I am a Half-Persian, Half-European Muslim, I live in Great Britain.

I have followed numerous posts on discussion forumns and numerous letters on netzines, on the topic on the future of Iran; a country, that I myself am proud to have links to, and that I one day, hope to visit. But, it seems a country with so much turmoil in its' past, and so much uncertainty in its' future.

On reading many of your comments on outside interference, I agree. The future of our (if I may refer to it as "our", I do not wish to insinuate that I have an in depth understanding of Iran, or that I have experience of living there, but I do wish to identify myself with the country) country should be the choice of those who wish to live within it, and those who live within it now; it is all very well and good foreign politicians and exiled opposition leaders telling us to "rise up"; but it is not they that will have to live in the ashes of a revolution.

It is to this end that I voice my agreement with the notion that reform must come from within: Iran has faced so many difficulties in the past- Western, then CIA and MI5 involvement caused the political turmoil and infighting that resulted in the Islamic revolution. And then further interference that resulted in the massacre that was the Iran-Iraq war.

I think that, when people criticise the development of our governmental system, they fail to realise that our democratic system, has only been in place for less than half a century. Western democracies took centuries to develop. And, I think, that perhaps they expect the same from Iran in a much shorter time frame.

It upsets me, when I hear people speaking badly about Iran, I'm very proud of my country, and I only want the best for it in the future; I may not necessarily know what is best for it. But i don't want that to stop me from trying to find out, and supporting, what is.

I look forward to discussing, debating and contributing to this, and other topics with all of you. Inshallah.

Peace, and Allah be with you.

Iskander Khaleeli

* Magnificent

Thank you for posting these magnificent photographs of Persepolis. Would that more people knew and appreciated the beauty and meaning of these glorious treasures of ancient Iran!

Gene Paul Strayer, Ph.D.

* Looking for a good job


I had a question be glad if you answer me. I am a software engineer student of Sharif University I'm finishing my education and looking for a good job and prefer work in Canada or USA if you can help me or know somewhere that can help me?

Thanks a lot,


* Want to know

My name is Fatema a 4th year student majoring in Information systems. I want to know about shah Reza... could you please help me to find informantion about him? About his childhood. his wives and why the Iranian nation doesn't like him. What did he do exactly? Furthermore I want to know how he died.

Thank you for your help.

Fatema Al Khory

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January 2002
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