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Editorial policy

January 22, 2002

* Trying to find my cousin

Dear sir,

I am trying to find my cousin whom I have didn't seen since the Iranian war with Iraq.

Name: Abdolreza
Family name: Abedi
Father's name: Jaber
Mother's name: Maryam
Birthplace: Khorramshahr, Khuzestan Province
Date of birth: 19.05.1327 Iranian year or August 10 ,1949

If anyone has any news from him please contact with me in my e-mail at husseinameri@yahoo.com

Thanks and best regards,

Ahmad Aabedi

* Struck by simplicity

Mehrnaz Mahallati's short story, "Aghajoon to the rescue" reminded me that until even in early the 70s Iranians who were fluent in speaking and particularly writing flawless English in Iran were so scarce that we knew them by their names. Besides Dr. Lotfali Souratgar who was a well-known scholar of English language, there were a few good writers working at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other organizations.

To name a couple, Foad Rouhani, was famous for being very competent in writing legal text and contracts for the NIOC and Houshang Tajadod of Iranian Airways (later Iran Air) was capable of speaking English eloquently for a good amount of time without stumbling once. In fact I had the honor of working with the latter and observed his fluency in person.

Today, no comparison can be made. Circumstances have changed. Just imagine the number of talented young writers, who are writing for Iranian.com. They are amazing. While I have not the slightest doubt that some of these writers would have made a name with other publications too, I cannot ignore the significant role the Iranian.com has played in encouraging these talents and allowing them to and flourish in the past few years by getting them published. This is another reason that I keep saying, save this treasure, save Iranian.com.

Now back to "Aghajoon to the rescue", who on earth can believe that this short story has been written by someone whose first language is not English? Or probably could not speak English until a few years ago. The piece is simply brilliant. Its simplicity immediately struck me. The words are meaningful and persuasive, while at the same time they are light and pleasant. It's one of those pieces. Once you read the first phrase, you wouldn't want to give up reading.

I'm sure these young writers are up to introducing our rich culture through their immense ability of expression.

Abbas Atrvash

* Become totally indifferent

I must congradulate Ms. Sabeti's article about the passiveness of our dear Iranians abroad and their total insensitivity vis a vis the current affairs in Iran ["Don't ask, don't tell"].

She has said what I and many others are feeling and are helpless in shouting our outrage at how us Iranians in US have become totally indifferent to the poltical and social situation in our homeland. We must start learning and teaching one another to stop being such careless and carefree human beings when it comes to social and political issues.

When you talk to Iranians about human rights the first thing they say is "well we don't want to get involved in politics!" As if there is anyway we could funtion without having basic rights as individuals. and not everything political is BAD! It is surely a terrible state of mind . Shouldn't we all learn something from living in the civilized West where everyone is doing something positive for the good of their country? It is about time.

Thank you Setareh.

F. Amini

* Lest I be mistaken for a "collaborator"

In response to Setareh Sabety/Kobra Khanom article, "Don't ask, don't tell"

Lest I be mistaken for a "collaborateur" here's my declaration to Iranian.com readers and "sazman amniate-e akhoondi:

I, Amir Sheibany junior, oppose any institution based on Valayat Faghih. I support a national referendum under international supervision and will respect any political group that obtains a majority vote of confidence.

Since I believe the Valayat Faghih to be an Arabic institution that has been implemented aggressively and might require military force for it,s removal, I also volunteer my "life & liberty in pursuit of the above, if this is requested by Reza Pahlavi, the only leader I would trust my life with.

Amir-Khosrow Sheibany

* By mullahs, for mullahs

Ms. Sabety's piece "Don't ask, don't tell" was timely, intelligent, passionate and just angry enough. On the rare occasions that we choose to speak on the matters of conscience, it is often about some issue that has nothing to do with the misery imposed on our countrymen. The mullahs win by shifting the agenda from their bloody rule in Iran.

That is why they needed to occupy the U.S. embassy, later continue a war with Iraq for eight years when they could have ended it honorably after two. That is why now they want to engage in a terrorist war against Israel by arming Hizbullah, Hamas and Fattah. How long are we going to fall for this oldest of tricks? The problem is at home and it is the government of the mullahs, by the mullahs, for the mullahs.

Ali Kazemi

* I just smiled

I read Mehrdad Pishehgar's critique of his countrymen and women with a smile ["Nothing's changing"]. By his closing words, he obviously expects his vitriolic piece to stir an indignant reaction from outraged Persian nationalists, but I just smiled. I can afford to. I am not Iranian - just an Iranian-lover.

I live in an isolated part of the world, and although I was aware of noble Kurosh and the glory of Persia through the Bible narratives at my mother's knee, I had never met a Persian until refugees began to find their way here in recent years. Through my circumstances, I found my life entwined with theirs, and it was but a short time before I was thoroughly in love. I love Iranian people, and like all lovers, I love to tell the world how I feel.

I smiled at the writer's accusations because yes, they are often true. That excess of ethnic pride which leads to dishonesty with the facts and a lack of historical objectivity are sometimes seen among ex-patriot Iranians. However, perhaps it is because I am of Scottish blood that I understand those feelings so well! If one cares to study any group of people who have been displaced from the land that gave them life and which is woven into the fabric of their soul, you will inevitably find the same attitudes in much the same degree.

And if Iranians seem especially afflicted, is it not because their culture and identity is especially deep-rooted? No, Mehrdad Khon, let us be a little more charitable, and confess that love of our homeland sometimes causes us to say and do more that we should, and let us focus more constructively upon our duty before God to love and honour all people.

To me, the sweet thing is that most Iranians are consciously aware that they shouldn't behave that way that Mehrdad describes. Have you noticed how often letters of a similar tone to his appear in The Iranian and elsewhere? Iranians are the first to accuse themselves of their faults, for respect for others is intrinsic to their culture. Maybe that's one of the reasons I fell in love . . . . .


* I remember the Iran before Khatami

I am so sick and tired of hearing Iranians who do not live in Iran make the same narrow minded statements on how khatami and his "mullah reformists" have not done "shit". Well, I say bull shit to that NN ["Nothing's changing"].

I remember the Iran before Khatami came to power which was 1997 and then the Iran after 1997 and I have seen how much of a difference this reform movement has really made. Everything was a shock I was not use to the westernized Iran with cafes, burger joints, concerts, taller buildings, etc. I was not used to people protesting for more reform, which was unheard of before the khatami years. Yes, This government has a long way to go.

But from what I have been seeing lately is that Iran IS on the right track. I am sorry khatamis reform movement did not bring as much freedom and such as many people wanted but he did give us a taste, a tasty one in fact. Many Iranians must realize that reform takes time and cant be done with a snap of a finger. the events in Afghanistan made the hard-liners in Iran wake up and realize they have to give the people what they want to stay in power. Why do you think Khamenei excused karrubi? why do you think they are going easy with the taxes and making it easier to allow foreign investments in Iran?

Now NN you make the statements on how Americans should come get rid of our supposed taliban in our country. How and why? by bombing our cities, killing our fellow Iranians. Etc. The Iran-Iraq war was enough. Why would you want some Americans coming to kill ordinary Iranians or the mullahs which ere just as much as Iranian as you and me? Why do you sit in your comfortable house in America probably and tell us the kids in Iran to go to war with the mullahs for the sake of your own greedy needs like does traitors on NITV and others?

Shahrooz Shokraei

* Khomeini is nevertheless responsible

There are absolutely no disputes on the bravery of the warriors who defended our borders and a war that was fought with heart, blood, and pride ["Gheirat"]. And I also agree that the war was not Khomeini's fault. Saddam had had a bone to pick for quite a while. It was quite obvious that he had found the perfect opportunity to attack the borders and claim that which he had lusted after for quite some time. In fact, Saddam attacked hoping that most of the Arab-Iranians in that region would side with his troops and go against our own battalions but he was gravely mistaken. Iranians from different tribes and groups united against this intruder and drove it out.

The attention, however, must be paid to the comparison of how Saddam was kept at bay and smacked around before the revolution and how he was able to achieve his goal-if only for a very short period of time-after the inception of the Islamic Republic.

As I've mentioned in the first paragraph, those who fought, died for a cause and they died nobly and they will be revered throughout Iranian history as martyrs and defenders of the motherland. Their blood saved the chastity of the very folk whom they fought to protect. However, politics is a cold-blooded predator who preys upon courage and patriotism. And it was not necessarily Khomeini's fault why Saddam had a bone to pick.

Khomeini is nevertheless responsible for the thousands of our noble youth who gave their lives. Khomeini is responsible for a weaker Iranian military than there had been under the Shah. Khomeini is responsible for eliminating much of the upper ranks of the military during the first hours of his reign. He is responsible for waging an ideological war against the west so that our western aircrafts and other military equipment would be left effete and without maintenance after only being used for a short period of time at the beginning of the war.

The logic here is quite simple. During the Shah's "despotic" rule, there simply was enough military might and enough manpower and resources to defeat this fiend. If such an attack were to be launched by Saddam while Iran was still STABLE - as it had been - young kids would not have to go to war. Instead, there'd be special operations groups, and the proper regiments to handle specific tasks. That is if the Imperial Iranian Air Force would have allowed such an invasion. That is if the intelligence would have allowed the month-long Iraqi troop-deployment on the other side of the border to go unnoticed (speculations there of whether Khomeini's "cabinet" had knowledge of this and simply ignored it).

No, the war may not have been Khomeini's fault. But the fact that it stretched over years of bloodshed can ONLY be blamed on the anti-global rhetoric preached by the filthy Ayatollah who in reality did not treat his own people any better than Saddam would have.


* Take the high road


I just want to comment on "I feel better now" and the letters that have been written in response to it. I think that Mehrdad Pishehgar was too hasty in blaming Iran for the Iran-Iraqi war as well as stereotyping most Iranians as having feelings of superiority. I have many Iranian friends and although some of them do act like they rule the world, most are nice, open-minded and respectful of other racial/ethnic groups.

But I think that the main message that should be taken away from "I feel better now" is that Iranians, as a group, should not feel superior to any other racial/ethnic group. One person wrote back, that many of these groups also make derogatory marks about other groups.

However, I don't think that just because other groups do it, means that Iranians should do it. If Iranians are truly better, then we should take the high road, and not judge people based on their racial, ethnic or religious background, but on who they are as a person and how well they treat us in return.


* Everyone in the world knows

Dear Iranian.com,

I know that there were some Israeli weapons, as well as American, Russian, Chinese and ... weapons used in the Iraq-Iran war ["I feel better now"], but the Israeli weapons were imported into Iran before the Revolution.

No one can claim that Iran intentionally bought Israeli weapons after the Revolution, except the Israeli agents who want to defame Iran. Everyone in the world knows that Iran and Israel are arch enemies at two opposite poles. Do not forget that we have been under sanctions for about 20 years; that is, America and its nearest allies would never like to support Iran.



* Had the war not continued

I read your article "I feel better now" and I disagree on your opinion of the Iran Iraq war. Khomeini never talked much about "exporting the Islamic Revolution", this statement was part of an advertisement campaign orchestrated by the west in order to sell weapons to the Arab nations. Secondly we must not forget that Saddam was a very ambitious man who never respected any international treaties.

He tore up a treaty to start the war and was after Iranian petroleum, not "defending" against anything. His offer of peace may have just been a strategic trick to regroup and come back stronger. The Iranian decision to continue the war bankrupted the Iraqis who then tried to take over Kuwait in order pay the bills. Had it not been for the continuation of the war, the Iraqis would not have made their fatal mistake, and Iran would now be the Iraq of the middle east.


* Arab hegemony

There is lot I agreed with in your piece yet I had a problem with your statements about the war "I feel better now". Before I respond I had a question for you and Mr or Ms Nazarie (by the way 'Persian' does not refer to an ancient race, it's simply the Latin name for Iranians till the middle of 20th century, neither does it signify anything racial), what do you think Iran or Iranians should do in the face of Arab hegemony? This is not meant as a put down, it's a genuine question. I don't think you can deny such hegemony exits.

I do hope you take the time to answer the question.



* Persians in Bahrain

Dear Mr. Mifendereski, ["Confirm, amend or correct"]

This is a reply to your letter on Iranian.com about those who live on the lower part of the Persian Gulf.

I'm a "Persian Bahraini" , or an "Ajam" as the arabs would call us, who originates from Fars. Ajam is an old Arabic word which simply means "non-Arab" but in modern dialect (especially in Iraq and the Arab Gulf states) "Ajam" means a person who has a Persian origin.

I should think that more than 30 pct of the Bahrainis have (if not more) have have Persian origins, if you count the huwalas and the ajams altogether. And you're right, most of them emigrated to the "lower part of the Persian Gulf" from Fars (at the beginning of the 21st century).

In Bahrain the "huwalas" are simply Sunni "Ajams"/Persians, and most of them originate from Bastak, Avaz in Khuzestan, and other towns in southern Fars. However, many of them speak very little Farsi, and are characterised to speak and abide Arab customs very well. Some of them have even gone as far as claiming that they're Arabs who have "dwelled" on the Iranian coast and return/returned to the Arabian coast.

There is a Bahraini saying that goes: Don't fear the snake, don't fear the scorpion, but fear the mosta'reb (=arab-zadeh in Arabic) Huwalas [la tkhaf men el hayya o la tkhaf men el agrab, bas khaf men el "houli" el mosta'reb]... that is to say: "huwalas" are "Arab wannabes", so don't trust them.

The"Ajams" (in Bahrain the term is only used for the Shia Persians) make up about 20 pct of the population, and unlike the "Ajams" in Kuwait, UAE and Qatar, the Persians in Bahrain have managed to maintain their Fars-dialect and are very proud to speak it regardless of where they are and who is around them. Despite the fact that most of them originate from impoverished and illiterate towns in Fars, Ajams in Bahrain have become econmically and socially one of the most powerful group in this society... and many of them make up the upper class.

Bishtar az in az vaghtetoon ro nemigiram. I hope I clarified some points.


* Unsung heoroes

The old Italian proverb, "tradutorre traditore", the translator is a traitor, has stood the test of time. And yet, without the treachery of the translators, no idea would pass from one tongue to another, resulting in intellectual stagnation and inbreeding.

The translators of the Persian literature are the most treacherous of them all, for they make a valiant attempt to translate double entendres and other insurmountable hurdles adorning the works of our greatest writers and poets.

Zara Houshmand and other unsung heroes, convey the essence, or at times, just a taste, a glimpse of what our culture has to contribute into the pot. The interested, can pick up the trail and begin their journey back to the headspring.


Ekh'telaafe khalgh az naam ou'ftaad

Chon beh ma'nee raft aaraam ou'ftaad

Shahriar Zangeneh

* The art of poetry

I truly appreciate all the feedback and moral lessons I have received from our literary experts regarding my literature piece and previous letters. Besides being a bad critic (our literary experts used the word "critique" which is totally incorrect), I didn't know I was a tribesman with Hafez as the "Kadkhoda" and Parvin Etesami as the daughter of "Kadkhoda". Furthermore, I was also responsible for the political and economical upheavals of Iran and the entire world (not to mention WWI, WWII, Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis).

I try one more time to get my ideas across. This is my dilemma. If I don't use references, people criticize me as being shallow and cheap. If I resort to complex, authoritative books on the subject of poetry and poetic tools, some of our readers may think I am just "showing off" and that I suffer from "Ogdeyeh khod bozorg bini" (superiority complex). So, to solve this dilemma, I use as my reference a small, authoritative and easy to understand book, called "HOW TO WRITE POETRY" by Nancy Bogen. This book is popular among beginners because it is informative and written in a manner accessible to everyone. Chapter Eight of the book is called "Free verse--it isn't for free." Bogen writes:

"But there was, still is and forevermore will be one great drawback to writing free verse--each free verse poem has its own rhythm and sound correspondences, which have been chosen by the poet alone with reference only to his or her sensibility. And this--following dictates of one's own self, one's own ear--can turn out to be a form of tyranny far worse than being subjected to a bunch of outside rules and regulations. Consider--with the latter you either succeed or don't succeed, whereas one's own standards maybe difficult or even impossible to attain...having arrived at free verse in this book, don't think that you're home free!"

She describes "two major technical considerations" involved in composing "free verse" poems. The first is "Line arrangement" and the second is "It has to sound RIGHT too". She uses an example to illustrate these "technical considerations": "So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens." She then rearranges the words in this line to show the examples of bad and good line arrangements. A bad line arrangement could be:

So much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white


This is an example of bad line arrangement because "there's an awkward split between the barrow and its glaze."

Of course, she finally gives us the correct line arrangement which is nothing but the beautiful poem "The red Wheelbarrow." by William Carlos Williams:

So much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


Beside the white


But the question is why this is the correct line arrangement? "Concomitant with this scene that Williams was inviting us to behold as he beheld it is the rhythm or cadence that results from the shorter line following the longer line--which seems to underline Williams' vision, as if he were saying, "Look--LOOK!". But does it "sound right", too"?

Bogen writes: "No question about it, the echoes that Williams chose serve to support the peacefulness of the scene. Soft sounds like "n"s, "l"s, "r"s, and "s"s predominate--they mute the few hard sounds, like the "d"s in "depend," "glazed," and "beside." Remember what I said before that poetry is as much about what you right as it is about how you write--both in terms of style and meaning.

Since our literary experts specifically asked me to go into more detail and support my arguments with evidence, unfortunately at this time, I have to mention the works of some of our Iranian poets. If Ms. Kalbasi and Ms. Farjami think I am "picking on" them, I truly apologize. My only objective is literary criticism. I hope they don't take it personally.

Examples of bad "line arrangements" can be seen in Sheema Kalbasy's "[Internet]" and "[Never to be called mom]" poems. For example, take a piece from "[Internet"]:

A reinforced

use of power was unyielding to the promise of

life, although the path of embracing one

another was ultimately to be taken.


wonderfully delicious verse of imagination

projected itself through mysterious channels

into the next millennium; an exquisite

virtual paradise of understanding that spread

the message of forgiveness and love.

As you can see, words are "unnecessarily separated" in order to create the image of a line. Some of these "lines" could be combined together to form single lines which would add to the rhythm and beauty of the poem. Other lines create pauses that can very well be avoided by borrowing words from other lines. For example, a better, though not perfect, rearrangement could be:

A reinforced use of power

was unyielding to the promise of life,

although the path of embracing one another

was ultimately to be taken.

There is also another piece in "[internet]" that is badly arranged:

Knowing the beginning

of my story,

since the ghost of life resided

in me.

One way to avoid less friction and create more rhythm in the last two lines is to rearrange them like this:

since the ghost of life

resided in me.

You can see how by rearranging lines there is a better, more rhythmic flow of words which is reminiscent of an Asthma patient given steroids to open up her lungs and improve her breathing. Another example of very bad line arrangement in ["Never to be called mom"] is this piece:

of musical notes






my body


Strangely enough, the entire poem looks like a single long stanza. It could have been nicer to form several lines into "groups" and then separate the groups from each other while still keeping the entire piece as a single poem. All the examples that I mentioned above clearly represent line arrangements that could have been rearranged in a more creative way. You could see this by unnecessary splits and pauses and "one word" lines that the reader encounters while reciting the poems. Of course, I did not mention sound problems.

Classical Persian poetry is a whole different animal with much harsher rules and regulations. When Ms. Kalbasi published her "Rahroe Kaabeh" in response to my "Crimes of poetry", I immediately recognized what was wrong with it in terms of style and content, but I decided not to say anything because our readers think "I am a bad critic" and I should not be criticizing the "works of our good poets". So, I kept silent until one day I received a private email from a reader who said more or less what I originally wanted to say:

"This piece has some apparent rhythm 'vazn' and rhyme 'ghafieh' (with the exception of the second line, (or beit), in which the use of the word 'khodash' instead of 'Khod' shows how unfamiliar she is with the concept of vazn. But it is, in effect, a corrupted and generally meaningless imitation of the old masters of the Persian classical poetry who had composed poems on the same theme."

Now, let's take a look at Ms. Farjami's poetry. Ms. Farjami's poems, though written in Farsi (yes I know, she has written in English, too), more or less fall in the above-mentioned categories. But there is even a greater problem and the problem is this: is a piece like "Papa Noele marhoom" poem or prose?

In the same chapter, Bogen writes:

"The question may arise--if free verse can be in whatever rhythm or rhythms a poet feels like using, with any sequence of sounds, what makes it poetry as distinguished from prose? The answer is simply degree--any group of intelligible words has rhythm and sound echoes of a sort; free verse generally has them to a greater degree or with more deliberateness than prose."

As you can see, "Papa Noele marhoom" not only does not have such characteristics, but it is virtually indistinguishable from prose (for example, look at the second and third parts of the poem). The third problem which I mentioned in my letters is "transparency". An amateur reader will have hard time figuring out Ms. Farjami's "eehaams" or double meanings.

Another of her poems "Khahesham inast" suffers from "bad metaphors". If I compare the "face of my Beloved" to "full moon", it is a good metaphor. Both objects are bright, reflect the sunlight and they both exude a kind of feminine beauty that appeals to human sensibility.

But if I request from the tribe of man-eaters that they hang cabbages and drop atomic bombs on squash, then this does not represent a good case of double-meaning or metaphor or whatever you want to call it. You don't drop atomic bombs on squash and you don't hang cabbages, do you? Even from a non-literal perspective, it seems a little off balance and overexagerrated -- not too dissimilar to comparing Eiffel tower to a carrot. I can mention the work of other famous and not-so-famous Iranian poets whose works suffer, to a lesser degree, from the same problems.

My other objection to the work of the Iranian poets had to do with "literary taste, preference and meaning". So, it was a question of subjectivity. If you want to talk about shoes, chelokababis and supermarkets, why bother write them in the form of poetry? I am not responsible for how and why our poets choose the subjects they choose. They are free to select whatever subject they desire. I personally have high regards for the art of poetry. For me including such subjects in poetry is reminiscent of a man who goes to the United Nations in order to give a lecture on the art of cooking poultry.

By the way, I enjoyed the "tribesman", "smug" and "prehistoric thinker". Looking forward to more creative words from the rich lexicon of our literary experts. How about Ivan the Terrible, Tamerlane, or 666?

Hamed Vahidi

* Atr aanast keh khod bebooyad

Quoting from the personal correspondence and making cross references by name is not an ethical journalistic practice. Obviously such ethics are alien to Ms Kalbasi ["Shrug off personal attacks"] who has quoted me in a conveniently edited version of a correspondence between Mr. Vahidi and herself.

Although Ms Kalbasi is afraid of displaying the reply I gave to her, lest her poor usage of English is exposed, I am amused to see that her only objections to my critical views were confined to a few "typos" and the fact that I use a pseudonym. Otherwise, she must have tacitly agreed with the contents of my letter, which was only critical of Ms Kalbasi's poor technical poetic skills and not of her style, and has failed to produce a single meaningful objection.

It was even further amusing to note that Ms Kalbasi's knowledge of spelling is confined only to the American version and hence the words such as honour, flavour, and criticise, are seen as misspelled! Not to mention the commonly confused usage of "critique" instead of "critic" or "criticism".

Well, I suppose the O.E.D. publishers aren't doing so well in the States. But as our self-appointed "poet-laureats" are getting deeper into these childish bickering, and show off their flimsy credentials by citing such examples as the golden pen winners, Indian universities chosen poets, or calling themselves "professional poets", among their accolades, they should be reminded of the words of another reader ["Hostile exchanges"] who wrote: "Let your poetry speak for you" or putting in more simply:"atr aanast keh khod bebooyad, na aankeh attar begooyad".


* Symbol of unity

Dear Hamvatan Mr. Mazda Aghamohammadi, ["What makes him qualified?"]

With due respect:

You have put few questions forward to the Monarchist concerning the kind of Head of State we envisage for the future of our beloved land, IRAN. I tray my best to reply to your questions.

1- Do we need CHIEF EXECUTIVE?

Certainly not. We need a SYMBOL OF OUR UNITY. A constitutional Monarch that does not rule. Chief Executive inherently has to rule.

Constitutional Monarch depends on the expertise & wisdom of the freely elected Members of Parliament who they in turn, freely select the competent Prime Minister and vote for the Cabinet Ministers. The head of State does not need any specific expertise save common sense.

Therefor The Head of State as a Symbol of Unity does not necessarily need to have qualification as a chief executive of a company or corporation. If he has, by any far reaching chance, probably, so much the better.

2- Your 2nd. point, that you say it is a statement, is irrelevant. No matter who did what & when under the circumstances of the Time & Place has nothing to do with our decision on free & internationally watched pleblicit concerning the type of the Head of State & the Government we want for the future of our beloved

IRAN. Reza Pahlavi has never said that he wants to wear the Persian Crown. On the contrary he repeatedly has emphasized the FREE ELECTION & THE

FREE CHOICE for Iranians. Could there be any objection to his stand? Any other attribution to him is just false accusation.

3- What he did for Iran?

Dear Hamvatan, did we give him any chance to do any thing ? He volunteered to go to Iran & as a Jet Fighter Pilot participate in the war against Iraq, he was refused! Did he have any other choice?

But he is doing what none of us can ever do, POLITICKING in right places. Giving lectures, interviewing with TV, Radios, Journals, magazines etc. He can do that & HE IS DOING IT. He is doing it due to the fact that HE HAS LISTENERS in right places. Do any of us have any listeners any where in the world? Nothing else could be & should be expected from an expatriate, Reza Pahlavi or any body else.

Dear Hamvatan, ask a question from your good self, How is it that he has LISTENERS & nobody else from us have? Does that alone make REZA PAHLAVI out standing, at least among the Persian Expatriates?

4- Has HE done any charity?

Should one ask for whom?

For the expatriates? with all their infighting's? Or for our Brothers & Sisters in our country, through inevitable corrupt IRI administration? Do not you think that is a tasteless joke?

5 Executive of a corporation!

This is thoroughly American way of thinking. Not that there is any thing wrong about it, yet it does not fit to the nature of being a Head of State. Which one of the ex or present head of states Monarchy as well as republic had been Corporate Executive before resuming their office? Name one please. But they were more or less, very much competent in their difficult endeavor.

6- President of his class!

Are you cracking jokes?

7- Achievements.

Dear Hamvatan, Will you please come out with the achievements of the present or ex head of states, Prime Ministers? Let me make it easy for you. What was the achievement of President Jimmy Carter? Bill Clifton? G.W. Bush? Jack Shirak? Tony Blair? Berlesconi? Even the most famous of them all, Margaret Tacher? And above all, what was their qualification for their job? NON WHAT SO EVER!!!!!

Dear Hamvatan, This way of simplification of such an important issue concerning the future of all of us, is indeed amusing.

God bless you.

With kind regards,

H. Hakimi,


* We have nothing to lose

I would like to respond to Mr. Mohammadi's response ["Don't need Pahlavi's instructions on democracy"] to "Pahlavi's message is clear", you speak of corruption that relates to Monarchies in general, but corruption is in every society, including Iran now, even without a monarchy. The corruption is even worse now than in the past.

The reason that many iranians are rallying behind Reza Pahlavi, is quite clear. In the past, when under the rule of his family, Iran was the best it ever had been in all of its history. What is happening in Iran now is a JOKE. I don't understand. Why does everything have to be knocked down that is good and an improvement for iranians as a whole? Is it a cultural thing that we can't just see the good in change?

We have nothing to lose really. Only the hard-headed, greedy extremists will lose in the end. And I will understand Mr. Mohammadi's response only if he is an IR enthusiast. The only thing that is holding back Iran now, is fear. The politically correct iranians are in support of Reza Shah or his ideas. I hope for the good of the whole nation, that change will be welcomed. We really need it now more than ever before. Iran has become a nation filled with "rigid" personalities and hidden feelings. During the Pahlavi era... we were happy, colorful, vibrant...

Dalia Salvador

* History has weight

Dear Mazda,

In response to nostalgia, as I mentioned it represents one factor of older monarchists. The young cannot offord such arguments ["What makes him qualified?"]. The meritocracy you refer to is achievable within a constitutional monarchy. The prime minister rules not the King. The main Question is why a King in the 21 st century? Does that mean Iran is going backwards instead of forwards and why Reza Pahlavi?

I believe that in todays world where different societies have to coexist despite their differences the form of government is irrelevant as long as it is Democratic. The Cold War is over but other problems prevail the major one is the War against terrorism, nuclear proliferation, inequalities between rich and poor countries, overpopulation etc. Basically the same problems which divided the world during the Cold War and which were not taken seriously nor solved due to strong ideological differences. From a countries internal point of view and the country of our interest Iran why a monarchy? America is in my opinion a Democracy by excellence but historically it has followed a different path. It was a country with a new history, constructed by conquest such as that of the west by pioneers ( killing many native indians in the course )who fled Europe in search of new opportunities. It did go through a revolution which was in fact a colonial war against the British and financed no other than by the King of France Louis the XVI later beheaded by the French Revolution. America is a Continent that is why it is a Federal State. Iran is on the otherhand an Old nation with a complex and rich history and a long line of Monarchies. The foundation of Iran rests on the conquests of Cyrus, Darius and the Achaemenid Dynasties then largely reduced by the conquest of Iran by other nations such as the Macedonians, Arabs , Monguls etc...

If there was no democratic roots as in the case of America or other democratic republics there was a humanistic roots to the foundation of the Persian Empire as Cyrus' Cylinder testifies. We all know that this is 2500 years ago. So what ? the Foundations of European Democracies refer to Greek Democracy which in fact was not perfect either because only notables in the Greek States could vote. Yet the Principle is respected and they are right. That is probably the message that Mohammed Reza Pahlavi the late Shah tried to deliver to the World during the Persepolis Festivities in 1971 where All world leaders eagerly attended the Show. Even if in practice the Shah was not able to democratize his own country on time even if I believe had he not been fatally ill he had that in mind, knowing that his son would succeed him on the thrown someday.

The second major democratic movement in the history of our country was recent and goes back to the 1906 revolution. The first revolution in the 20th century in fact where democratic aspirations of the west penetrated within the intellectual circles of our countrymen including the clergy who felt that a Constitution was essential in defining the exact role and powers of the King and Parliament. The oppurtunity was missed due to foreign intervention, Russian and British but the constitution prevailed even if not totally respected by the two Pahlavi Kings. Yet the Despot like reign was considerably reduced in Persian Monarchy thanks to the existence of this Constitution. Now why Reza Pahlavi and not somebody else? The reason at the cost of repeating myself is Historical. He was crown prince from his birth.

History whether we like it or not has a weigth. Reza Pahlavi given his inheritance and family will always carry the burden of "History" like Prince Charles, Prince Phillipé of Spain or other Royals in or out of power. It is not just HIS problem but that of the Iranian Nation. Iran faces major problems, the IRI is pariah on an international level and considered as such. The economic and social problems are immense and uncomparable with what Iran was during his Fathers reign. The examples of racial, religious hatred set by the IRI for the future generations are stigmas in our society which must be healed. The new generation is obviously more aware of the flaws in Iranian society, yet even if role models do appear now and then there is no guarantee for a totally secure democracy where radical or racist movements would be set aside. Sure how more radical can one be than the IRI, but I am talking on a longer term.

A national reconciliation with the return of the monarchy if it is chosen democratically and it would be the first time in the History of the Nation would be a guarantee of a much needed stability. And why Reza Pahlavi and no one else. Well go ahead maybe their are other volunteers to the peacock thrown but what is their program what is their agenda? The crown in all monarchies is a symbol before anything. At some point it was that of Absolute power, today of Unity, Historical and traditional continuity with respect to human rights and at the service of the people and not the contrary. As Reza Pahlavi puts it in his latest Book "The Winds of Change" We should not become like our oppressors. Unity in the words of Reza Pahlavi does not mean absolute obedience to the crown but the general acceptance that to free the Country ( and let this not blind us it is indeed the need to Liberate the country from this theocracy), we need to agree on a common platform and that is a Referandum under UN supervision in order to avoid internal bloodshed and allow a fearless vote on behalf of our people.

Who else but Reza Pahlavi has so clearly proposed such an agenda?


Darius Kadivar

* Add a few more characters

I immensely enjoyed your recent cartoon/caricature titled "Secular democracy" and wish you had simply added a few more characters to it such as President Khatami and his "discovery" of "civil society" and Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush and his "new idea: Andishe-ye Noe" of 'Islam's compliance with democratic ideals", for which he borrows heavily from ideas espoused and advocated by Ghazaali and Suhreverdi, on the concepts of "bei-at and ommat" as well as basic freedoms of man regardless of faith and religion.

Best regards,

Mehdi Mirmiran

* Please encourage me


My name is Allen K. Kabayama. Two of my hobbies are learning languages, and singing.

Although I am not a native speaker of Persian, I have been studying Persian for several years. I combine these two hobbies by collecting songs that have versions in different languages. For example, I can sing "My Way", "A Mi Manera", and "Mai Uei", which all have the same tune as "Comme d'Habitude".

Naturally I was happy to learn about the Iranian version of the movie "The Sound of Music", "Ashk-haa va Labkhand-haa", which is described on the web page, I would very much like to learn to sing the Persian version of the song "My Favourite Things". Unfortunately, the lyrics on the page... are missing the last line of the song. That is, the lyrics end at "yaad-e aanhaa konad shaadaan maraa...".

The next line is the dramatic finish, that corresponds to the part of the English version that goes, "...and then I don't feeeeeeeeeel... so bad". Thus, it would be a big minus if I can't sing this line.

Also, the lyrics are unpointed and the image has been resampled down, losing some the detail, which can potentially cause difficulties for me, since I am not a native speaker.

Please encourage me to learn your beautiful language.

I would be grateful if you could provide me with any or all of the following:

1. The missing last line, after "yaad-e aanhaa konad shaadaan maraa...".

2. The music in any of the following formats:

Realaudio(rm, ra, NOT a link to streaming media), MP3, WAV. I would also be willing to buy a CD or VCD.

3. A clearer and pointed text of the lyrics. I would similarly be interested in learning the Persian versions of "Edelweiss" and "Do Re Mi".

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Allen K. Kabayama

* The answer is negative

This is in response to Edward A. Strassberg asking if it is legal to import oil from Iran to the USA. The answer is negative based on Iranian Transaction Regulations described in the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, described in www.treas.gov/ofac/t11iran.pdf Even re-export of Iranian oil to the US is forbidden.

However, Nigerians are notorious in creating excellent paper trail. So, a tanker filled with Iranian Oil leaves the Persian Gulf, goes through the Indian Ocean, through the tip of South Africa, and stops in Nigeria. The following week, a tanker full of oil leaves Nigeria, goes through the Atlantic Ocean on a Nigerian flag ship and arrives in New York. So, whose oil is in that tanker? As far as I know, there are no sanctions against Nigerian oil exports to the US.

The only trick with the above scenario is that the Iranian oil should be the same grade as the Nigerian oil and be sold way below the market price to allow room for all the money Nigerians will charge to make the switch and create the paper trail. Also, note that if you are a US citizen behind this scheme, and the US authorities find out the truth, you risk going to jail plus paying stiff fines. I'd say it is not worth it. There are easier ways to make a buck without risking arrest and ending behind bars.


* What is needed

I read "Killing history" with much interest. It is unfortunate that we Iranians do not organise to lobby for Iranian interests in the West to cover wide ranging questions of interests (community representation, treatment of refugees, and other subjects such as the raised in the above piece).

What is needed is effective lobby groups of Iranians to bring pressure to bear on the British and European cartographers, media and commercial organisations (Shipping industry in particular, London is the main Western commercial centre for Shipping) not to give in to Arab pressure. Some of the American-Iranians have made an attempt to organise but I fear it has not progressed beyond designing a web site (Persian Gulf Will Always Remain Persian Gulf).

By the way many of our own scholars past and present have argued that Islam is a militant Arab nationalist movement: Twenty Three Years by Ali Dashti Translated By F R C Bagley.



* If you could just gather the best

Photo of those two kids born in Bahman were UNBELIEVABLE. If you could just gather the best of every one of your columns and put them in a book, it would be unbelievable. Maybe I will do it?


* I am not like you nerveless

I complain to your site because of that ugly picture that you put it at the first page of your site. Do you know if an American or other people from other country came to your site and see that picture? They will say Iranian people are poor are ugly are uncivilized arenot modern are primitive.

I am an IRANIAN and I am not like you nerveless. I love IRAN. So think about it and change that picture.


Javad Aghanoury

* Bring back the date

Dear Mr. Javid,

I'd like to ask you to bring back the date on top of iranian.com's Today page. It was good to know the Iranian calendar for those of us outside of Iran.



* I would like to start a new life

My name is Demir Ajvazi. I was born in Gorazde, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 21.09. 1979. I left Gorazde in 1992. I was separated from my mother and when I came to Skopje, the First Children's Embassy in the World - Medjasi helped me to find her. At the end of 1993 I went to Turkey where I continued my education.

After my mother's death in 1997, I decided to return to Gorazde where I lived for about 2 months. These 2 months seemed to me like 2 years because I had a lot of problems with my friends. They accused me of being away during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So I was forced to return to Turkey and I started to work.

However, it is hard for me to stay here because I have no rights here and I can't get citizenship. Also I can't return to Gorazde because of my previous experience there. I want to continue my life in the United States of America (USA) because I have a lot of friends there and they could be a support system for me. I would like to start a new life even if I know that it won't be always easy. Currently I live in Antalya and I work in a hotel as an interior designer.

Demir Ayvazi

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