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January 3, 2002

* Failing to consider facts

Mr. Eskandari-Qajar;

Your article entitled "Consider the facts" almost ironically fails to consider several facts of importance with reference to your pro-Monarchy arguments.

Several of your arguments are borderline absurd, and the central theme you build your arguments around is flawed in that it is unacceptable given the mindset of the Iranian people, their history and experience of the last hundred years or so.

Firstly, a point that must be addressed;

"Iran and Afghanistan were monarchies before the advent of their current regimes, and..these two are countries that are experiencing tremendous pressures for change, both from within and from without..."

The irrelevant grouping the of the two countries aside, I fail to see how this could possibly be an argument for a return to monarchy, unless we forget a great deal of what has happened to and in Iran, in the last century, and also the reason we had a revolution in the first place. You admit the (upstart) "prince" recognises his fathers' failings: so what? Who says he'll be any different?

The comparisons of the situation of Iran to that of Afghanistan - and more outrageously, Spain, Bulgaria and Cambodia - with reference to the possible return of monarchy - are wishful.

"Three monarchs have returned to power after being removed from power by political events. The cases I am referring to are Spain, Cambodia, and most recently, Bulgaria... "

You cannot use the "successful" return of former monarchs to Spain and Cambodia as arguments that such a return could be possible in Iran, unless you demonstrate that Spain, Cambodia and Iran have such similar experiences and circumstances surrounding the collapse of monarchy that they indeed are comparable. Even Afghanistan, you demonstrate yourself cannot be used as a comparison - the revolution of 1979 was nothing like the experience of Afghanistan;

"[a] palace coup masterminded by his [Zahir Shah's] brother-in-law Mohammad Daud Khan..."

We've been skirting the real issue, however. The theme of importance in your article is that of bowing to pressure from the US and letting the US decide our future. There are ideological issues that you glaze over and misaddress.

You refer to a "search for alternatives to which America, the West, the UN, or a combination thereof, would give support and encouragement..." The "world" seems to be ready to entertain a change of regime... acceptable in principle to [the] West. Both Zahir Shah and Reza Pahlavi have managed to get a fair and supportive hearing from the country that matters most in terms of Middle Eastern politics today, the United States"

You seem to have conveniently forgotten a century of Iranian history and the struggle for self-determination against the powerful influence of the West, with particular reference to the US. How ironic that the same situation that has occurred several times in the past - the return of the Shah to the throne by the US and it's cronies - is still on the cards after all these years.

The US would love for there to exist an obedient monarch in Iran, this has historically been the case. However, history has proven that this situation is intolerable, and the Mollahs - for all their faults - have at least denied the US any further influence.

If we are unhappy with our current system, then it's up to us to change it - not to wait for Uncle Sam to change it for us, or to tell us that he and his buddies are unhappy with it, as you suggest. If we have learned from the mistakes of our past, we'll find our own solution and blaze our own path to self-determination, not relying on a lackey puppet of a monarch and his oil hungry master we got rid of in '79 for good reason.

And remember: the same street protests that demand the return of Pahlavi, swept Khomeini to power, as he seemed to be the only alternative. The only alternative, unfortunately, often sucks worse.


Ehsan Ghorani

* Propaganda offensive

I believe that the article by Mr. Esfandiari is part of a propaganda offensive by the Iranian monarchist movement ["Consider the facts"]. This seems part of a patern that is seen in the western and more particularly in American news media since 9/11. Bringing up the monarchy as an alternative in Iran is sponosred by the pro-monarchy forces based in the US and by forces who want o put pressure on the IRI.

Mr. Esfandiari's comparison of Afghanistan with Iran is very flawed. Afghanistan is still a tribalist society whilst Iran is a semi-modern socity with an overwhelmingly literate population. Iran has a politically aware populace with strong budding democratic movement that wants republicanism more than anything else.

In my trips to Iran and discussion with many people in and outside Iran I have not heard much talk of going back to the infamous and bankrupt system of monarchy. Iranians have been under the inefficient, corrupt, and undemocratic rule of monarchy as well as despotic and ruthless rule of the Islamic governments. They have experienced both.

Vast majority of Iranians now want neither of them. People of Iran have experienced the disaster that has fallen on them due to the mixture of religion and politics. They have also experienced the undemocratic notion of rule of one unelected person namely the king over their lives. They now equate rule of "velyate motlaghe faghih" with the monarchy and they reject them fully.

Mr. Esfandiai is pushing for a short sighted and a half answer to the Iranian movement for democracy. I say, let us help our countrymen/women achieve full democracy there. Mr. Reza Pahlavi can best help Iran by putting the interests of Iran and Iranians ahead of his selfish interests and push for real democracy and republicanism in Iran. The same goes for Mr. Esfandiari and people like him.


Majid Y.

* Will be sent to Evin and eat chelokabab

Look Aghayeh Mohammadi ["Don't get left behind"]:

We True Iranians all know that the "conflict" between the so-called reformists and the rest of the dirty Akhunds is just a fake play meant to distract public attention. Who are these Logmanian or Dadfar members of the Molla "Parliament" to challenge the mollahs themselves? No one! Just actors in the play! They will be sent to Evin and eat chelokabab with the rest of the so-called Reformists. This is called playing Good Cop, Bad Cop.

The end of your beloved Akhund Regime is near and you had better save your Logic and Arguments for your trial where you will sit next to your master Khartami Khoonkhar as a Propagandist for this Hated Regime of Blood Suckers.

Be Omeed deedar then!


* Against all revolutions of any shade or color

Even though I have not read Mr. Zanganeh's piece ["Cannot win"] and therefore can not comment on his point of view, I have read yours ["Don't get left behind"] and can, therefore, express my full and heart felt support for your arguments. It is well written and articulated.

Some eight years ago when I had been to Iran a few times and each time had stayed a few months, I came away with certain understandings that admittedly stemmed from my optimistic (some say naive) nature. I wrote a piece for a presentation and with your leave I like to send it to you, (attached).

In addition to your reasons, I like to present this one too: You see, I am against all revolutions of any shade or color. The only successful revolution has been the American one. And that one, because it really wasn't a revolution at all, but an uprising against a colonial power.

Depending on your point of view, the greatest revolutions of all were the French the Russian or the Islamic revolution of Iran. All miserable failures. The French suffered for a hundred years after, perhaps continuing to the present day.

The Russian failure is too obvious to mention and we are both familiar with the Iranian one. The lesser revolutions like the Cuban, the Iraqi, the Algerian, the .....all are pitifully unsuccessful. These statements will obviously be challenged but I have my own counter arguments.

If revolutions are inherently failures, then what. Exactly what you suggest. Reform! The most socially successful countries in Europe are those that continuously reformed themselves. Consider Monarchies of Scandinavia, Britain, Holland, Belgium etc., all have wonderfully democratic societies. Italy and Spain as well as many in Eastern Europe on the other hand changed societies by revolutions and suffered badly.

Only recently by adopting your ideas, we see these countries gradually become what they would have been long before; a decent and livable country.

Lastly a general comment that is based on scores of living experience. The Left have got stuck in a quagmire of past doctrines that, one way or the other, think all will be well only through revolution. They have no patience for reforms because they want power now.

That is why they have consistently opposed all reformist, so much so, that even a relatively benign reformist individual like Rafsanjani was pushed so far that his only choice of survival was to become a non benign Rightist. Further, the Left does not want democracy; they want power to push their economic theory no matter how many times in how many places it has failed.




In response to "Don't get left behind":

Lying, distorting facts, twisting other's words and, when it suits them, putting a "kolaahe` shar-ee" on things are all special skills of mollas . That is how they have survived. Mr. John Mohammadi's "Opinion" (Don't get left behind) is an example of that.

Mr. Zangeneh in expressing his opinion "Cannot win", highlights the Article 110 (in bold letters) and does conclude that at least some element of the IRI's constitution needs to be removed in order to provide room for manoeuver and possible reform - but he does not propose another revolution (bloody or otherwise).

Making reference to certain debates in the USA in relation to some constitutional issues, and also by referring to the fact that amendments have been made to the written constitution of the USA, Mr. Mohammadi compares IRI with the USA, suggesting that what has happened in the USA can also happen in IRI. Mr. Mohammadi, however, conveniently overlooks the "small!" but essential flaw in his comparison that the already established democratic system in the USA safeguards the implementation of any such political change and underpins it - BUT you need a "kolaahe` shar-ee" as big as Mount Everest to cover Velaayate` Fagheeh. How can you compare the IRI to the USA and how can you "re-interpret" or "re-apply!" Article 110?

Mr. Mohammadi does admit to the facts that the constitution of the IRI is fundamentally flawed, that people (particularly the young majority) are now demanding "mardom-salari" and that the momentum for change cannot be reversed. But, then he attempts to distort the reality by introducing another molla-invented concept of "loyal opposition"! - suggesting that Mr. Khatami and his supporters (who are loyal to the IRI and believe in its constitution, but are at the same time opposing it!!) are capable of delivering such changes.

True, changes are taking place in Iran, but not in the way that Mr. Mohammadi is trying to portray and not because of the so-called "reforms". On the contrary, changes are happening because the people of Iran have begun to judge Mr. Khatami and his "reforms" by results achieved (or lack thereof), and not on empty words any more. They are aware of the dire state of the country's economy and the vileness of corruption associated with it; the majority of young and educated (the ones who are not in the IRI's prisons) are desperately seeking employment, with no avail; they see the newspapers banned and their editors/writers imprisoned/disappeared; they see their MPs imprisoned - and the list is endless. These are the reasons why things are changing in Iran, and inevitably so.

Mr. Mohammadi even resorts to the tactics of scare mongering and minatory to impose his opinion. He suggests that any attempt to change the course of the IRI would mean "another bloody revolution" and that the resultant alternative would be "another oppressor". He goes even further as far as warning the opposition off, by saying that in the event of a free referendum taking place, the LOSER (meaning the "loyal-opposition" = supporters of the IRI) "will not gracefully bow out and go away". He is implying that they will fight back. The question now is, does Mr. Mohammadi mean that they will fight back politically and within the bounds of a democratic system? or does he mean that they will resort to violence? If the answer is the former, they should have every right to do so and such right should be guarantied by the same democratic system. But if the answer is the latter, then I would have nothing further to say to him, and would rest my case here.

I believe that the crux of Mr. Mohammadi's "opinion" relates to the US sanctions against the IRI. He seems to be of the view that the lifting of the US sanctions would lead to "improvements in the social and economic affairs" of Iranians and would, thereby, expedite the so-called reform process. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. Lifting of the sanctions would mean the US/EU investing in the IRI; which would mean signing medium/long-term contracts with mollas (and associates). Then, in order to protect their own interests, the US/EU would have to support the Islamic Regime and provide a secure and politically-stable environment for their investments to grow. The net consequence of the lifting of the sanctions, therefore, would be increased financial gain for foreign companies, increased pillaging of the nation's wealth by mollas & co., at the expense of the increased suffering of the people of Iran due to the prolongation of the oppressive and destructive regime of the IRI. So,what Mr. Mohammadi is, in effect, saying (to his fellow "loyal-opposition" friends) is that if you don't want to be left behind, try harder in your lobbying. FUTILE EFFORT.

Mr. Mohammadi and his friends are advised to open their minds and note that the solution to Iran's current problem rests in maintaining the sanctions against the IRI and uniting with Reza Pahlavi (and the vast majority of young Iranians) in pursuing the strategy of non-violent resistance, until the nation can decide its future in a free and UN-observed referendum.

Iran can (and must) achieve freedom and mardom-salari by non-violent means. Just look at some examples like the former USSR, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Argentina ...

With best regards, and best wishes for Iran and Iranians.

R. Sardar

* International exhibit

Congratulations. These photos should be displayed in an international exhibition ["Signs of life"].

Onder Ozar

* Feel for life and opinion inside Iran

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed today's issue. The articles by Sohrabi ["This isn't my real job"] and Rabi ["Divergence of beliefs"] really gave me a feel for life and opinion inside Iran and its implications for Iranian-Americans.


Cam Amin

* Clarity of thoughts

My compliments to you for printing the article "Divergence of beliefs" by R. Rabi. The clarity of thoughts and the analytical approach of the events are commendable. We hope you will encourage Mr. Rabi to send more of his writings to your publication.

Thank you.

Mark Manouchehr Houshmand

* Rich and colourful

As a Shirazi and one who many years ago attended a Qashqaie wedding I was truly glad to see the rich and colourful photos of Mr Davoodi in his Afsaneh and Enayat piece.

Our tribes are part of the exciting fabric of Iran and their lives a testimony of overcoming challenges and hardships that few of us could really comprehend.

I wish Mr Davoodi much success and hope he will continue to photograph our people.

Cyrus Kadivar

* I can empathize with John Walker, but...

I enjoyed your piece regarding your revolutionary experiences and feel that anyone who experienced life as a teenager should have some measure of empathy for John Walker ["Let him go home"]. For me, I think back to some of my earlier political ideas, which I have been slowly sloughing off over the years as my experience has broadened.

Yes, I can empathize with John Walker's search for ultimate truth and meaning. No, I cannot countenance his choice to join the Taliban or his parents' choice to support their sons spiritual wanderings with nary a word of guidance.

In fact, I have difficulty seeing the connection you imply between your own experience, as a product of a bicultural marriage, and that of John Walker. From what I understand, John Walker was raised by two parents who shared very similar world views and backgrounds. For much of his childhood, John attended Catholic services with both of his liberal-minded American parents.

If he experienced being removed from one geographic area and thrust into another, it was a move from suburban Silver Spring, Maryland to suburban San Anselmo, California. As someone who recently moved from Manhattan to rural California, I can attest to the fact that there are cultural differences within the United States.

While such an intra-continental move might lead one to reflect on his or her identity, it will not in-and-of-itself engender the sort of deep-seated identity crisis that compels someone to join the ranks of the Taliban.

Finally, while I will concede that teenagers make mistakes, and that allowance needs to be made for this fact, I will also argue that there must be consequences for these errors. For most teenagers, this might mean a grounding after sneaking out late at night with friends.

For the smaller percentage of teenagers who are caught abusing drugs or in petty larceny, they often spend time in juvenile hall or on probation. I wonder what the teens in juvenile hall serving time for minor offences would have to say in response to the suggestion that John Walker should be sent home simply because we are able to empathize with him?



* Because they're insecure

In response to "Dooste joon jooni":

We, Iranians, are fortunate to have cultural, literary, and public figures, celebrities, personalities, and national icons much greater in accomplishment, stature, and achievements than Mr. Saied Reza Pahlavi. Yet, we rarely use any special or any at all a title to refer to them and no one, not a single Iranian gets offended, nor does it reduce their stature.

We refer to Saadi, Hafez, Ferdosi, Rumi, Mossadegh, Nezami, Simin Daneshvar, Jamalzadeh, Bozorg Alavi, Nezami, Moddarres, Nima Youshij, Foroughi, Kasravi, Hedayat, . as Saadi, Hafez, Ferdosi, Rumi, Mossadegh, Nezami, Simin Daneshvar, Jamalzadeh, Bozorg Alavi, Nezami, Moddarres, Nima Youshij, Foroughi, Kasravi, and Hedayat and not Mr. Saadi, Mr. Hafez, Mr. Ferdosi, Mr. Rumi, Mr. Mossadegh, Mr. Nezami, Ms. Daneshvar, Mr. Jamalzadeh, Mr. Bozorg Alavi, Mr. Nezami, Mr. Moddarres, Mr. Nima Youshij, Mr. Foroughi, Mr. Kasravi, Mr. Hedayat....

Consider that Mohammad Mossadegh was a Qajar nobility, yet he much resented if anyone referred to him using such titles much less demanding that others do. In case of Nima Youshij, we often refer to him as Nima, and yet no one takes it as a sign of disrespect, nor when he was alive and he was often referred to as such, did it threaten his self-esteem and security when he was referred to by his first name.

He very well knew that it was much because of the affinity and affection that people felt for him that they called him Nima, and he immensely appreciated it. Only those who because of their insecurity worry about public's lack of respect and deference would get offended at being called by their first name, even in our Persian culture.

M. Mirmiran

* I did not see it as you did

Hello Shahrzad,

I am Reza Bankar. I am living in Breim-Abadan. Yesterday, when I conect to iranian.com I saw your writings there ["Oh sweet home"]. I was really affected because I have lived in Breim for about eight years but I did not see it as you did. You describe every thing in the best way.

We live in #390 Breim . I think you had lived in next street to us that is #304. I asked my father about your family, I mean Irani. He is one of the older personnels of the refinery. He recognized your father, of course. If we are not mistaken, your father was the boss of the refinery.

I am not so old to be able to recognize those good days. I am just 21. But my sister Minoo went to Parvaneh kindergorten.

Anyway I can help if any time you want to know something about Breim or want some pictures.

Good Bye.

Reza Banakar

* Hassan Pirnazar

I am beginning a search to help a friend find out some information about his grandfather. My friend says that this is what he has been told, but has no pictures or papers or anything to confirm or deny:

His grandfather's name was Hassan Pirnazar, and he was the Iranian ambassador to the Falkan (Balkan?) countries in the early 1950's. He was supposedly assassinated there in1953. Do you have any information on this, or know where I might find it?

Thank you for your cooperation.


Lori Casanova

* Nayer Khoshnoud

My name is Paul Dorrian and I live in South Africa. I am trying to trace a long lost Iranian friend of mine called Nayer Khoshnoud. She used to live in Knightsbridge, London in the eighties. If anyone out there knows Nayer or knows of her.

Many thanks,

Paul Dorrian

* Gaining access to Iranian TV

I work with an Iranian man who has mental health problems. He is very socially isolated and I would like to try to help him to gain access to Jam-e-Jam and/or INTV. I am trying to find out if this is accessible through more than one media as satellite will apparently not work at his address.

Can you help with any information on this?

I am also looking for other resources to try to reduce his social isolation taking into account the effect of his poor concentration levels.


Kevin Boardley
Mental Health Support Worker

* Simin Daneshvar

"Maar va Mard" is the title of a short story by Simin Daneshvar. It was published in Farsi in a collection of short stories entitled: "Be kee salaam konam."

Does anyone know of an existing English translation?

Shadi Bahar

* Iran-U.S. Pay Per View

If you are able to find an appropriate location to place this notice we would very much appreciate it. Merci agha.

We are looking for a joint venture partner for a martial arts Pay Per View event featuring Iranian and American athletes. We plan to have the event take place in Kish with a live up link as this will be a substantial savings to having the event be produced in the States. The event would feature Taek Won Do, Judo, and Karate.

We are able to take care of all the production requirements at this end; cameras, stadium rental, promotion, production crew, athletes, authorization, etc. What we require is for a producer or promoter in America that can take care of finding top level athletes, covering the cost of their plane fare to Iran, making arrangements with the various sporting federations, putting up the prize money or finding sponsors, and promoting the event to the Iranian-American market.

We estimate that our viewer ship will be in the range of 50,000 to 300,000 subscribers at $25. Much of the promotion will be taken care of by the Pay Per View company but the interested producer needs to coordinate activities with the PPV company. If you are interested in this venture please contact me at the following email address. daryanzade@hotmail.com.

Thank you.

Daryan Rezazad

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