Letters

April 2005
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Aghdash who?

On Shohreh Aghdashloo's interview with Voice of America (move forward to 1:07:46) on Friday, April 29, 2005:

Shohreh Aghdashloo was the guest of the show on Voice of America just a few minutes ago. As soon as I heard about it a few hour before thatI went directly to my computer and sent an email. An email that was censored by the host of the show like the emails of many of my friends with them I chatted in the after noon before the show.

My attempt to call the show was futile too and it was quite apparent that special callers were given the given the chance to speak and say their corny usual BAH BAH CHAH CHAH. But at least one person could get through all the barriers and ask my question from Aghdashloo:

"Why do you systematically insult Googoosh, while she never talks about you and replies to your harrassments?"

In fact I was overjoyed when I heard this question and got quite dismayed by Aghdashloo's answer. Her answer was this "I will never forgive Googoosh because she has insulted Los Angeles [Iranian] music and has also lied to her people."

Wow. Somewhere deep in my heart I thought maybe all the confusion about this matter was something created by fans but this response left no doubt to me that our lovely Shohreh Aghdashloo IS really a jealous woman. I know she reads Iranian.com and I hope while my comments about her behavior was censored by the VOA, there would be a small chance for her to read this humble letter so from now on I will make it like an open letter to her.

Dear Ms. Aghdashloo,

Who do you think you are to forgive anybody? Who has given you the authority to forgive or not forgive people and announce it on TV. Why do you think you are an authority on music while you have never sung one syllable in your life? Googoosh was asked to express her views on Tehrangeles music and she said she does not approve of it. Like many of us here in Iran.

I thought at least in the West there is enough freedom to say what you mean. Do you know that the educated people in this country never approve of the garbage music of Iranians in LA? What kind of lyrics do you like? For example do you approve of Habib's new song which goes like this: TO RO JOON MAADARET MANO FARAAMOUSH NAKON? Or when Mansour repeatedly says: ZED HAAL, BI KHIAAL in his corny CDs?

Who has given the title of LOSANGELESI songs to this kind of music? In fact, it was coined by Shahyar Ghanbari, Zakarian, Janati Atai, Ardalan Sarfaraz long before Googoosh left Iran.

No baby, it was not a good reason to cover your sense of jealousy. In fact that rage was quite obvious in your eyes when you talked about her. Lying to people? Who? In fact it was you who told the biggest lie to your people when you repeatedly announced that you would never play a terrorist but went on to defame your country and compatriots in the Fox TV series "24". Googoosh has never lied to us and please leave the judgment to people and history.

And forgiveness... my God. VAAGHEAN KE ROO DAARI. Have you heard the farsi proverb " YAAROO RO TOO DEH RAAH NEMIDAADAN SORAAGH-E KHOONEYE KADKHODAA RO MIGEREFT?" Dear Shohreh it is YOU who should ask for forgiveness. Did you notice in the same censored program there were a few emails and phone calls complaining about your role in "24"? You have betrayed your country and its national diginity and you have insulted your fellow compatriots. You are in no position to forgive anybody because forgiveness is something you badly need.

Dear Ms. Aghdashloo,

Googoosh belongs to her fans and we have decided to fight for her and will do so. She will never reply to your harassments and that is what makes it more painful to you. Baby, I have bad news for you SHE HAS NOT EVEN NOTICE THAT YOU EXIST. Why don't you listen to some of the readers of this site and really see a shrink for your chronic jealousy. And if you want to call her name please wash your mouth first.

Saman from Tehran

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Bravo IHF

Dear Iranian.com,

I feel compelled to break up the silly Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) fights that seem to be shaping up on your site. First and foremost, because it is I believe, precisely as a result of this kind of bickering and one-up-manship that we are spread as a community across 4 continents. The lack of tolerance amongst members of our community is deplorable - and no one seems to be willing to pass on some constructive criticism, without making sure to bad mouth the recipient.

I've lived between London and the US (it seems to be a crime according to one of S. Kordestani's critics [see Sorosh Kordestani's "Professional, classy" and Peyvand Khorsandi's More than one community]) and have attended many an IHF event.

I personally met and enjoyed a great conversation with "Crimson Gold's" director, Jafar Panahi, no thanks to IHF's help in hosting the movie's Premier and reception in London.

An exhibition of Iranian Fashion designers at the V+A (Victoria and Albert Museuem), numerous lectures on Hafez and Rumi, and a generous pariticipation of IHF's at the BAM Earthquake fundraiser at the Royal Festival Hall, have all been inspiring.

Music, literature, cinema and architecture, all feature regularly in IHF's events, and the suggestion of their only pandering to International award winners only is ludicrous. Simply visit their web-site and judge for yourselves.

IHF has been a great educator for me whenever I have stayed in London.

I also could personally attest to the fact that it's founders range from a huge variety of political leanings. In fact they have been remarkable, in setting a precendent of tolerance amongst Iranian organisations - recognising that culture should and could hover over all else.

I am sure IHF readers tap into this site too and I wanted to have passed on my bravos. Bravo for the diversity of cultural programs; Bravo for bringing friends from an array of political leanings into the same lecture halls. And most of all, Bravo! for teaching us that "too sareh ham zadan" doesn't get any Iranian any where worth a visit.

Kind regards,

Afsaneh Mirfendereski

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Shaah-kaare...

On the link to Fred Nassiri's web site "Eeno bebin toro khodaa...":

JJ,

Khodaa la'natet kone. In Nassiri music ro be maa neshoon daadi, ... enqadr khandidam ke too khodam shaashidam.

Khoondanesho goosh kardi?

Shaah-kaare...

SM

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NIAC does not represent me

Dear Madam/Sir:

NIAC recently released a Press Release dated April 20, 2005, in which it claims that there is strong opposition among Iranian Americans to H.R. 282 / S. 333 (Iran Freedom Support Act), a bill that would make regime change official U.S. policy on Iran and eliminate the sunset provision on existing sanctions on Iran.

As a freedom loving and patriotic Iranian-American, who is well informed of the opinions of other Iranian-Americans within U.S., I find the method of NIAC's findings suspicious, biased and the result of such findings dubious.

Following are my objections regarding NIAC's Press Release and its survey:

1. NIAC's survey allows the same person with exactly the same information (name, address, email address, etc.) to vote more than once from the same computer.

2. NIAC's survey allows non-existing email address for the voter.

3. The voter can be sitting in Chicago but give a postal or residence address in Texas and as long as the zip code is in Texas NIAC's survey will submit the vote without any objection. In other words, one can be sitting in the office of the cleric rulers in Iran and claim to be Iranian-American residing in Chicago and to pretend that they are residing in U.S. all they need to know is the zip code and for that they can go here.

4. All the 504 votes, NIAC is claiming to have received, could have very well been cast by one individual and NIAC's survey does not have the ability or capability to verify the reliability of the voters.

5. NIAC's Press Release regarding the opponents of H.R. 282 states: "making regime change official US policy on Iran is the equivalent of declaring war. And through war, democracy cannot prevail. They also expressed concerns that a confrontational approach would prompt the Iranian regime to crack down on pro-democracy forces in Iran, making their work to bring democracy to Iran even harder."

NIAC's Press Release regarding the opponents of H.R. 282 also states: "We should not waste tax-payers' money on exiled groups that Iranians and Iranian Americans themselves refuse to fund." However and not to my surprise, I noticed the sample form-letter that NIAC provided for its voters opposing the Bill having exactly the same wording (see here) which states:

Making regime change official US policy on Iran is the equivalent of declaring war. And through war, democracy cannot prevail. Such a confrontational approach by the United States will only prompt the Iranian regime to crack down on pro-democracy forces in Iran, making their work to bring democracy to Iran even harder. Did the person who wrote the Press Release also write the sample form-letter for opposing the Bill? Is this how impartial NIAC is?

6. NIAC in its sample form-letter that it provided to the voters opposing the Bill states: "most Iranian opposition groups in exile are neither democratic nor legitimate. We should not waste tax-payers' money on exiled groups that Iranians and Iranian Americans themselves refuse to fund". Are we to believe that NIAC is impartial when instead of addressing the Bill in question it attempts to discredit the opposition groups?

7. If according to the sample form-letter provided for the voters, most opposition groups in exile are neither democratic nor legitimate, then what can we call the 4 out of 5 that NIAC claims to be against the Bill? Members of most of the opposition groups (4 out of 5)? Non-democratic and lacking legitimacy?

8. NIAC's Press Release states: "In 2003, findings from a NIAC letter writing campaign addressing the student riots in Iran during that summer showed 22 percent of Iranian Americans supporting U.S. funding of Iranian opposition groups and satellite TV channels. That number has now dropped to 17.5 percent." However, going back to NIAC's Press Release dated January 31, 2005 (see chart) it shows that suddenly only 8.5 percent of NIAC's legitimate/democratic (or possibly illegitimate/undemocratic) voters supported US funding of the Iranian exiled opposition. 8.5% only 3 months ago and 17.5% now? Why such discrepancy? Is this not enough proof testifying to the unreliability and fallibility of NIAC's survey?

NIAC does not represent me and I do not find NIAC as a true representation of the overwhelming Iranian-American living in this country.

As a patriotic Iranian-American I support any legislation including H.R. 282 / S. 333 (Iran Freedom Support Act) that would make regime change official U.S. policy on Iran.

Davoud Rezai

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They should learn from NIAC

On National Iranian American Council's "Democratic culture":

I just read NIAC's response to Bamdad, and I am so impressed! Finally, we have an Iranian organization that knows not only how to conduct itself democratically, but also how to handle the Iranian Nazi groups (MKO, Pahlavi etc) that are trying to scare all of us into silence.

I am still not decided whether I like HR282 or not, but I am so impressed with how NIAC presents the information objectively, and respects my right to chose my own opinion. Does the MKO do that? Does Pahlavi do that? Does the Iranian Jewish Federation do that? No, they don't! Instead of bashing NIAC, these groups should all learn from NIAC.

We all should learn from NIAC. If we do, I am confident that we will get rid of the dictators in Iran and the dictators here in Los Angeles! Instead of liberating Tehran, we should first liberate Los Angeles from all these Persian Nazi's! Ha!

Laleh T.

PS. I am not a NIAC member, but I believe I should be.

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I'm not telling non-Iranian friends

Dear Iranian.com

After a delayed viewing of the NY Persian Parade photos - I wanted to comment on was to me some scary stuff.

For starters, our women are amongst the most beautiful on the planet - so why chose to don an array of mismatched tribal gear? With due respect to such tribes, their culture did not however symbolize the zenith of our artistic/architectural achievements.

The fact is, that unlike the Indians, and thier gorgeous Saris, we have lost the real traces of our true clothings from the days of the Persian Empire. A student of fashion could probably spend time at SOAS (London's School of Oriental and African Studies), or perhaps the British Museum, and find some traces of what must have been truly majestic attire. It would be great if someone could let us know more, as in such palaces as Persepolis, to the best of my knowledge, the clothed bas-reliefs are of men only.

I looked at those pictures, and I was like - oh gosh, they don't make me feel like forwarding them to my non-Iranian friends as an awe-inspiring insight into the magnificence of Persian culture.

Why do we always throw the women in those garbs when we want to be "Irooni" - the fact is that that is NOT what they were wearing in the courts of Cyrus and Darius.

I'm not being a snob here - or perhaps I am. But merely a cultural one.

My second "ouch" was the number of "shir-o-khorshids" at hand. Peace to anyone's personal beleifs, but it sure does not symbolise or unite us as a group.

I still adhere to the motto: "az hichi behtareh" and admire all efforts involved in the Parade.

I would recommend, however, attending the Persian New Year's IHF (Iran Heritage Foundation) event in London. Yes, yes, it costs an arm and a leg - but boy is their haft seen classy and majestic. And it is as a designer an artist that I attest to that.

Kind regards,

Afsaneh Mirfendereski

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The value of discovery

On interview with Saba Valadkhan, "The young scientist":

Dear Dr. Valadkhan,

We in the science world realize what it means to make the type of discoveries you have made and the value of the recognition you have earned.

I thank you for the hard work and look forward to your future accomplishments and success.

Mohamad Navab
Los Angeles

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Feminism's best weapon: meaningful contributions

On interview with Saba Valadkhan, "The young scientist":

It was very refreshing to read the interview with Saba Valadkhan on your site, especially in the wake of the controversial debates on women and their contributions to the world of science.

As a fellow scientist, I want to congratulate Saba not only on being a successful female scientist in the U.S., but also for the timely reminder that Iranian women are more than preoccupied victims of the sexual oppression in Iran and their aspirations go much farther than the relaxation of the Islamic code of dress and conduct.

Don't take me wrong, I think it is absolutely critical to discuss, expose, and resist all manifestations of the oppression against Iranian women, but it would be a shame to limit the discourse to just the obvious and create a new stereotype about our identity, struggle, and aspirations that are by no means limited to the need for sexual freedom alone.

Nothing helps the feminist cause better than meaningful contributions towards society and humanity by stellar performers like Saba. There will be no better justice for President Summers than having him watch his male Harvard graduates referencing the pioneering research by female scientists, and no better wakeup call for the fundamentalists than witnessing their inability to undermine our success in every field imaginable, not only here in the West, but more importantly in Iran. 

Changing the gender imbalance in the society would take much more than our determination, but let's dream our dreams big - whatever they may be about - and let's not give up, no matter what resistance we may have to overcome.

Regards,

Mojgan M.

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We are a very hassoud

On Farhad Radmehrian's "Khatami photoon":

I think he is saying:

In aaghaa-ye maa koss-e-she'r miguyad.

Kamal N

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We are a very hassoud

On Azam Nemati's "Aghdashloo has it all":

Salam I read your email you posted on Iranian .com although there is a lot of junk that people write but what you wrote caught my eye, even though I go there every once in a blue moon.

You have to realize that Iranians unfortunately as modern as they seem to be out side and physically they are still very much barbarian (my personal opinion ). I have lived in north America since I was 13, and I am in my 30's now. I watch I listen I see , you show me one Iranian who is successful and /or has made it in this world and as soon as it gets to the Iranian media people start looking so hard to find a flaw, a mistake .. a negative point no matter how small to trash this person .

We are a very hassoud, some in secure nation, I am so sorry to say that. I agree with what you wrote. A simple example is you go to a wedding as soon as they get in the car, before even the engine start they start trashing the mehmooni ... about the food , the groom, the bride, her make up, her out fit, the ring and so forth and so on.

Now you want these intellectual people (as they call themselves ) to be supportive to Aghdashloo or people like her? Please give me a break. I am sorry. But this is so sad, and it won't change. If this is a movie, for god's sake, it is not reality, grow up wake up. That is my opinion.

I have given up on the Iranians, I just think our people are so phony, very hypocritical. Now the same people if they see Aghdashloo or Googoosh they will kill one or two people on their way to go and take a picture with them to show friends & relatives.

Ghorbanat,

Mahi Etminan
R.N Clinical care coordinator
Department of pediatric immunology

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Making TV executives happy

On Azam Nemati's "Aghdashloo has it all":

I would commend her on trying to at least look impartial on this rivlary between Googoosh and Shohreh. She made the attempt, but still could not hide the fact that deep down, there is a sense of resentment and anger brews, when it comes to Googoosh's work. So she is not being completely impartial.

However, one major point that has been overlooked in her remarks is that, Googoosh had to meet the same exact obligations in Iran (when she came out with Hazrate Eshgh song, not Agha Khoobeh!) that Shohreh is obligated to meet, in today's america. She had to appear to be on regime's good side so she could maintain her career, even though she got nothing in return but dissapointment.

Aghdashloo is basically embarking on a same path. the only difference is that she has to make a bunch of film or TV executives happy, instead of a gang of politicians. This was not at all about A "lack of courage" or any other nonsensical assertion along that line.

Azam would do us all a huge favor by not getting into the nitty gritty of what Shohreh did or did not mean to say, specially since she makes it clear she has neither seen nor heard any of the statements Shohreh has made.

Kyle Saghafi

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Access to great music archive

On music features compiled by Azam Nemati:

Ba doorod va sepashaye faravan, be honarmand mardomi, va gerami khanom e Nemati.

Baes khosvaghti va neshat ast ke bad az salian madidi, dobareh ba honar shoma nazdiki mikonim. Shoma dar tool e omer honari khodetan sabet kardid ke az mardom jooda nabodid va nakhahid bod.

Man 44 sal bishtar nadaram, vali ba esgh e be moseeghee moteraghe va mardomi Iran az doran e tofoliat ashna shodam.

Sokhan ra kotah, va bedinvasileh az shoma tashakor va ghadr dani mikonam, bekhatere zahamat be darigh, va dar ekhtiyar gozashtan e archive ghani shoma be mardom e Iran.

Sarfraz va payandeh bashid

Doosdar e shoma
Hamed Mohseni
Boston

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Persian Parade, the novel

To: The Shadow of GOD, the Astro-Neuro-Cardio-Vascular-Surgeon Siamak Baniameri!

Dear Siamak, aka MAK John, ba salaam va arze eradat!

As an avid reader of,  and contributor to Iranian.com I have over the years enjoyed your satirical [master-]pieces with much appreciations, as I have truly found them mostly to be therapeutic in nature, thereby reliving some built internal pressure!

Siamak John,

Among many pro bono, in cognito endeavors including those Persian related that I have got sucked into, one has found a spot a bit closer to my heart: The Persian Parade in New York City...

... My humble proposition is whether you would consider the case worthy of writing a novel, comic tragedy, satirical, with the names all substitute names, to really bring this to the forefront of our community?

(Name withheld)

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Aghdashloo's bizarre behavior

On Azam Nemati's "Aghdashloo has it all":

Recently there has been confusion as to why the Iranian community is upset from the recent actions of Mrs. Aghdashloo. In this article I wanted to explain why that is.

Mrs. Aghdashloo is an academy nominee and we praise her for that, she is a self claimed educated and amazing actress, however this does not mean that we ought to simply forget about her previous statements and interviews and recent interviews.

Mrs. Aghdashloo in her many interviews have mentioned that in her new carrier she has been approached by many American film makers who offered her a role in Hollywood yet she claims that she has denied all because she was asked to play a terrorist, this suddenly seems to change when she changes her mind. The only difference is her salary before and now that she is an Oscar nominee.

In another interview in a Persian media she had claimed that she does not like to appear in a TV network in which the CEO of that network appears on TV frequently, and ever since she has contradicted herself by appearing on Tapesh, and other networks of such.

Some people say that we should be 'proud' of her role in 24, which creates a damaging image of Muslims and Iranians in particular.

The fact of the matter is that no one can claim that there has been a Behrooz named terrorist or other Persian named terrorist ever in the world. And for Mrs. Aghdashloo who claims to be an Iranian and claims to care about her country this is simply a deviation from morality, ethics and sanity contrary to her 'education'.

Her response to this criticism is that the director liked Behrooz Vossoughi and therefore he chose the name. One would wonder that such reasoning is unexpected from an educated person. Who uses a name of a beloved as a hated terrorist?

I want to know if tomorrow Mrs. Aghdashloo or any other actress acts in a movie in which the Persian Gulf is misnamed the Arabian Gulf, would this not anger many if not all Iranians. Well calling all terrorists Muslims is a racist and false statement.
One should wonder that stating all Terrorists are Muslims by a self proclaimed well educated Iranian despite the fact that in the world we have more terrorist organizations that are not Muslims than are (e.g. The IRA, etc).

The second issue with Mrs. Aghdashloo is her frequent insults she continuously has made towards Googoosh. Perhaps she is the only one who can explain her reasons and her ambitions as to why such 'educated' person would attack Googoosh who even her American friends and coworkers admire so very much. Bear in mind that Googoosh never spoke ill of her and that Mrs. Aghdashloo is in no position to speak is such manners that is contrary to her proclaimed 'education'. If the reason is not jealousy then may be one day Mrs. Aghdashloo would explain her bizarre behavior.

We should not forget that Googoosh has so far won more national and international awards than of the simple nominations of Mrs. Aghdashloo and yet those who claim that because Mrs. Aghdashloo was nominated for Oscars once therefore we should let her do anything and let her easily destroy our international image, also manage to contradict themselves and criticize Googoosh for one song that she has sang many years ago for which she has provided legitimate excuse many times.

Let us not consider anyone above politics and let us not forget that we are all first Iranians as the name of this site suggests and we should not forget that no matter who we admire and no matter who entertains us most at the end of it all we should be a proud Iranian and never allow the international community let alone the members of our own community to even try to damage our more than 2500 years of glorious history.

Iranians should be known as the first nation who wrote the basic human rights not the nation of terrorists as Mrs Aghdashloo, an Oscar nominee hopes to achieve for some strange reasons.

Ali Anari

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Bank Markazi

I am attempting to research the officers and the Administrative Staff of the Central Bank Melli in Tehran in the 1970's prior to the Revoluntion.

I believe the banking industry is an economic indicator of each country and thus the people in charge of those banks are all in a very powerful position to assist or deter governments and to promote or demote the citizens of each country in their needs.

Is there any records available of the staffing of the Bank Melli in this time period? Are there any articles regarding the banks employees of this time period from 1970 to 1979?

Sincerely,

J. Cecil Stanley

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Gulf games

Did you know that in recent international conferences which took place in Iran, Tehran, one on Nuclear Technology and another on economic cooperation in the Persian Gulf region, all of which were organised by the Iranian Govt under the leadership of President Khatami and his foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, delegates referred to the Persian Gulf as Gulf?

This means as far as Iranian govt is concerned the EU3 and USA can do whatever they like with Iranian territories; they shall not be bothered; nor are they prepared to kick up a fass over territorial advances made by Britain and USA inside Iran, the latest of which is the elimination of Persian Gulf, and change over of hands as far as authority over the Gulf is concerned.

Right now Iranian govt under Khatami and Kharazi leadership are engaged in negotiations with the EU3 in order to restart economic and political co-operation between Iran and EU. It has only now come to my attention that during all these so-called negotiations / mozakerat, the officials from the EU3 refer to the Persian Gulf as Gulf, thus reminding the Iranian side of the negotiations that the Gulf is gone, it is no longer a Persian territory. And worse than that is the fact that Iranian side knows all these aborrations, yet continue to wish, want, try extremely hard to rebuild a relationship between Iran and those powers / countries whose most important wish and desire is to eliminate Iran and make it part of the colonial territories in India, Pakestan and the Red Sea.

As a matter of fact, if you visit EU3 sites, you will see that Iran is listed under Gulf region; meaning that as an independent country, as far as EU3 are concerned, it no longer exists.

If you study documents issued by the EU3 on Iran, some as a result of negotiations with the Khatami - Kharazi govt, and others to report the outcome of these negotiations, you will sadly notice that in all these documents the word Gulf is used to verify and describe Persian Gulf, and these are documents issued jointly by Iranian Govt and EU3. How can this be possible?

Iranian govt asserts that it has banned National Geography books and periodicals from Iran in order to put pressure on that Institution to correct their errors respecting Persian Gulf. Yet this very same govt does not issue any warning against EU and USA for doing their best to make sure that Iran's govt and all the negotiators from Iran / mozakereh konandegan  realise and know full well that Persian Gulf is gone; it is no longer a part of Iran; must not be considered Persian territory.  How could this be?

Why should Khatami administration want to have political and economic relations with the West, when the West's only intention is to rub their nose in the mud?  Should we think men at the helm of Iran today are sadists and enjoy being tormented, degraded and upstaged by the EU3 and USA? Or no, should we think Khatami administration consist of a bunch of traitors and collaborators with the West against Iran and its interest?

Can somebody read this carefully and tell me what is Khatami govt on about? Is there a Khatami govt in Iran? Or is it a mere phantom, a shadow behind which the British govt and interest are hiding for the sake of abusing Iranian people's trust and stealing our land, our wealth, our pride, our nationhood, our culture, in short our country from us without being detecting by the care-takers of our country and its natural resources.

Rana Bahar

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