August 2006
Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3

August 25


Orders from above due to recent political tensions

In response to Bozorgui-Nesbat's "How to make enemies"

With regard to Mr. Bozorgui-Nesbat's article and other issues surrounding the Sharif University reunion, when I first read about the incident, my original thought was, "So what?" We've all had parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins who tried to come to the US and got rejected--and these were people who had American residents and citizens as sponsors!

Indeed, Iran and the US haven't had diplomatic ties since the Hostage Crisis of 1979 and all Iranian citizens--including yours truly and thousands of others--have had to endure hardship in US embassies and consulates.

From reading some of the articles, I get the feeling that some Sharif University alumni are rather conceited and erroneously thought that their alma mater would somehow make them immune to INS treatments.

I believe that the officials' orders had come from above and were due to recent political tensions. It looks like all the folks who entered the US before August 2nd did not have any problems and those who came after that date were held in detention. Whether you like it or not, when you're taken in custody, they would put you in the slammer, and you may very well end up next to a mugger, a harlot, or a carjacker. That's the law for you and me as well and not just for Iranian citizens at the port of entries.

One may argue that detention centers in the US are not as clean and humane, but nobody has criticized that on this issue. You may want to see a coherent policy with the Border Patrol and/or INS, but that's just the way things are. Bureaucracy at the Immigration Service has always been messed up and purposely so. That way officials can reject or accept anyone on a whim.

I don't think NIAC, ACLU, or any other group would take their case as many others get rejected each and every day. Besides, lobbyists are for those who lobby them: citizens and residents of this country. Finally, I do feel bad that some folks thought by getting visas their entrance would be guaranteed, yet they were jailed. C'est la vie!

Mehran Azhar


I expect you voters to raise your voice

In response to Bozorgui-Nesbat's "How to make enemies"

We work like dog in this country and they treat our talented guest people like this. I am not an American citizen but I expect you voters to raise your voice to senate.  

Bizhan D


Minus 27 years and counting

In response to Guive Mirfendereski's "Iran 6 - International Community (still) 0":

Dear Guive,

I am just perplexed at your enthusiasm in Iran's accomplishments (so far) in its attempt to get nuclear power (nuclear weapons- really).

Is this an accomplishment for the Iranian people? You know- the average Morad, Ali and Hassan in the streets of Tehran, Esfahan and Shiraz?

The answer in definitely no! The Iranian people have been loosing under the Islamic Regime for the last 27 years. While Iran is busy funding the Hezbollah (look $12,000 for every Shiite family in Lebanon)and wasting its resources on atomic energy, Iran, almost 30 years after the revolution, still does not have the capacity to refine its majority of oil production. The 4th largest oil producer in the world, the Islamic Republic you boast about so much, has to ration oil. But hey, they can split the atom now so that is all worth it?

After 27 years of turban heads, Iran's major exports are: Oil that it can't refine; Carpets; Pistachios; Saffron; Donkeys (go check- Iran is the largest exporter of Donkeys and Islamic Fundamentalism. Do you blame the west for the past 27 years to?

Look at a country like India (another nuclear power)- with all its problems, India's main export is brain power for the entire world right now- not donkeys and Islamic Fundamentalism at least.

And then you say the following:

"Iran’s appeal today is the universal theme of friendship, lending a hand, standing up against the bully and for the oppressed."

Funny, one major word was missing from this sentence which proves that the whole point you are making is absolutely inaccurate. That word is "freedom". Without freedom for your own population and people you can not have the appeal of "friendship, lending a hand, standing up against the bully and for the oppressed".

The Iranian people are not free people and are accordingly themselves are oppressed by this great nuclear powerhouse you boast about. They don't have the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of commerce, freedom to choose a government or even freedom of thought.

The thought for the past 27 years has been: "marg bar amrica" "marg bar israel" "marg bar engelis", marg bar, marg bar marg bar.... What other civilized, advanced and humanistic societies' theme is "marg bar" at every public gathering with Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and all the other turban heads present?

The only places were Iran has any real appeal today are in the streets of Damascus (because Assad thinks he can get the Golan back with Iran's help), Hizbollah infested Lebanon and Hamas controlled Gaza. The rest of the world just likes to have another excuse to attack American foreign policy - That is the only appeal of the current crisis.

Under any scenario, the Iranian people will be the big losers- no matter on whether Iran succefully out maneuvers the west into obtaining nukes or not.



Freedom is a state of mind

In response to Kevin's "Minus 27 years and counting":

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for a very thoughtful note.

My enthusiasm about the Iran nuclear dossier is neither as a participant, decision-maker or player in this game. I am merely keeping score and every now and then throw in a personal comment about the way this game is being played. The day the international community scores a goal, I will change the number on the scoreboard reflecting that achievement.

Now, onto your points about the mullahs and Iran and nuclear power and the need of ordinary Iranians.

I do not speak for the Iranian people -- Setareh, Maliheh, Azadeh and Hossein and Keyvan and the rest. They can speak for themselves and often do, in one shape or another. I do not mix up Iran's interest on the international scene with the contentment or plight of the Iranian people at the hands of their own government, or whether turban is better or worse than chapeau or a felt-hat, or no cover at all.

I would like elevate the debate about Iran and Iranians to focus on the good in the national character, regardless of who is in power for the moment.

I have written before about the dismal Iranian economy (see "Sleep-walking economy" and other articles on this site). None of the economic non-achievements bother me; what I marvel at is that after 30 years this place still ticks and somehow works on its own by itself. Even if petrodollars were not there, as they were not before the twentieth century, this economy will hobble along.

I do not agree with you that Iran exports Islamic fundamentalism. That is the job of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Iran exports its influence and it exports it in markets where there are buyers for it, typically other Shiite communities. Of late, it has started to export self-respect by urging countries to stand up in the face of bulling in international relations. Yes, this regime has also killed people, sent guns and missiles to people and is corrupt to the core. That is another issue altogether.

India exports brains, because the language in which the brains are trained is English, so they are absorbed into UK and US easier -- and they have no visa restrictions and are willing to live in squalid conditions (often ten to an apartment in shifts) in order to make money and taste success. To each his own. But two things are worth noting -- given that India has a billion people, it is natural that its exports show up or catch your eye in larger numbers. Given its size of population Iranians are not absent from the ranks of accomplished people overseas.

You also wondered why I did not speak of freedom as part of Iranian values or some such. I chose not to, because freedom is not a commodity that any country exports or imports; it is a state of mind that begins with having some modicum of self-respect. I simply point out that being free from foreign intervention and domination is itself as precious to a country as individual freedoms are to the people. In the case of Iran, or any other country, the first one comes first and then the second one may or may not follow, but it is more likely than not. I define freedom as absence of fear.

Guive Mirfendereski


Intervention is reasonable under the circumstances

In response to Guive Mirfendereski's "Freedom is a sense of mind":

Dear Guive,

Thank you for your response.

I fully understand and agree with your explanation of freedom vs. free from outside intervention. I think, however, that out of all the countries in the Middle East in the past 30 years, Iran has been relatively free of foreign intervention and domination (except for American Intervention in the Iran/Iraq war which the Islamic Republic did not mind even though the Americans were supporting both sides and Iran was getting supplies from the "Zionist Regime").

There is attempted intervention in the current nuclear standoff and I believe that it is justified for many reasons (remember how Ahmadinejad saw the Mahdi when he was speaking at the U.N.). I think this intervention is reasonable under the circumstances and the west is not bullying Iran. I do picture the day that the Americans will have to make a decision on letting Iran become neuclear or attacking it. Ahmadinejad's behavior (which is really Khamenei) is pushing the Americans (Bush I should say) to attack.

Even if Iran was free from foreign intervention and domination for 500 years, there would be no progress for Iran as a country and soceity because of its system - no matter how cleverly it handels its current dispute with the West.

Moreover, I don't see a big difference between Iran exporting Islamic fundamentalism and exporting its influence. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are exporters of Sunni fundamentalisim; but even if Iran's intent is not to export, the effect of such influence is tantamount to exporting its brand of shiisim. Just look at the Hezbollah controled streets in Beirut. There are pictures of Khomeini and Khamenei all over the place. That is the Veyalet Fagih in Lebanon. I can just picture the posters of Khamenei in Iraq in a few years (althought the Ayatollahs in Iraq don't care much for Khomeini's theories).




High time for Iranians to stop defending the westerners misdeeds

In response to Mazloom's "Holocaust victims thank Iran":

I saw the anti-Iranian cartoon on Iranian.com and i think if you don't know what the hell is going on you should shut up and sit down.

the Iranians are only responding or reacting to the foolish and disrespectful westerners cartoon against their prophet. so they want to test the limits of so called "western freedom" to see if what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

if the Westerners wants to say they have a right to freedom of speech to commit blasphemy against the Muslim prophet then Muslims have right of freedom of speech too to make fun of their scared cow.

it's high time for Iranians to stop defending the westerners misdeeds and start defending your own people. it's so stupid to see when the west is kicking Iran and Iranians some foolish Iranians join them to kick their people. Iranians must stand united and tell those fools that these kind of action will no longer be accepted.

A friend of Iran,



Wait for Israel to drop one on Iran!

In response to Mazloon's cartoon, "Iran responds to nuclear offer":


You're just a fool by sending this nuke photo calendar! It was not funny! Wait for Israel to drop one on Iran!

Did you ever learn anything from this recent war? If you're MAZLOOM, these colonialists would crush you to death! Unfortunately, it is the survivor of the fittest (armed to teeth)!

Bush and Israel have created the bombing campaign against the world civilization! I thought that the islamic republic took us back 100 years, but now I see these regimes have taken us back to the time of Ganghiz Khan! What a sorry story in the history of mankind!



Shaban Baa Mokh

In response to Shaban "Beemokh" Jafari's death:

JJ Joon:

It is NOT a secret that you are on the list of Mullahs' pay-role or you must do Jakeshi on the side since it is not that easy for a couple to live off of selling adds on Iranian.com. Specially, in northern California where cost of living is one of the highest. Your sort of Western facade is just a disguise or as we used to say Ghalat-Anddaz! Deep down, you are a genuine bach akhoond/bache komonist. Am I right or am I right? Now to the crux of the matter.

Contrary to the common belief held by the Mordeh-khorrs and Mordeh-parasts ex-communists and Mojaheds who now-a-days regurgitate the 1953 chaos as if it was a tubreh full of Allaff, Dr. Mosadeq was very found of, God rest his soul, Mr. Shaban Jafari.

In the early 50's, the treasonous communists in Iran, including the Tudeh party, the Marxist Leninist, the Trotsky's, the Kirkharist, and their bastard cousins the Mullahs, hiding behind Dr. Mosadeq and backed up by the Soviets were hell-bent to force Iran to fall under under the influence of the communist world. Certainly, the Eastern European countries were collapsing one after another under the influence of the communists. There are many examples, Hungary, Chekoslovakia, Albania, and the rest of the saps... Look at those countries today!? All of you lard-asses live in the western Europe and North America where freedom and democracy rules. YOU ARE A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES!?

Thank God to the brave folks like Shaban Jafari for standing up to the terrorists and subversives like you, your predecessors, and their masters.

You should tattoo Shaban's image of PaeenTaneh on your foreheads as a symbol of dignity. I recommend the females tattoo it right above the butt crack.

God Bless Shaban And Dr. Mosadeq

Rostam Irani


Offshoot of Shia, Islam

In response to Amil Imani's "Painful thorn":

I guess Amil Imani knows quite well that Bahaism is rooted in Shia Islam. He would also know that Shia Islam is an offshoot of Islam. What I find interesting that after Mr Bush used the word "fascist", Imani decides to use the same terminology. He conveniently forgets that Mr Bush has also a divine mission to kill and destroy.

J Entesari


You are as radical as those ignorant mullahs

In response to Amil Imani's "Painful thorn":

as someone who didn't know anything about bahai, i found your article very informative and indeed opened a window for me to your religion. as a faithful you are trying to convert the ignorants!  your article is full of propaganda and misinformation. you are as radical as those ignorant mullahs that we all despise! And you are a different traitor to iran!

you are attempting to open the door for israel and US to re-conquer iran. your website reveals the true you and your traitor organization. you indeed are proving that you are the real traitors to my beloved country iran!

is your salary coming from the $81m devoted by US to overthrow the stupid mullahs? mind you, you are writing this article as the imperialists are trying to crush my country. unlike you, i love my country first, then i hate the mullahs, and i would never want to see my country to be occupied by the foreigners! But, you and you buds are helping the imperialists to occupy iran that you never cared for (based on your article)! you are actually proving your own point that iranians believe you are traitors to iran! proof is in your article!

thank you for enlightening me about your belief! indeed, you didn't manage to score with me! good try!  hopefully some idiot would fall for it!



Bringing facts out into the open

In response to Amil Imani's "Painful thorn":

I wish to thank Mr. Imani for yet another well thought out and succinct article. It is often frustrating to see Iranians and others in this world look the other way as Bahais who wish to exercise their right of free thought and free will are systematically persecuted by the Iranian government. The values the Bahais of Iran have stood and died for are the very ones most needed in Iran. Mr. Imani brings this fact out into the open.



The real reasons for evil

In response to Amil Imani's "Painful thorn":

As a Bahai I suffer with all Bahais being persecuted in the world especially in Iran, the birthplace of Bahaullah. But as a Bahai I must take exception to your one-sided description of the faith of Islam. Yes, the fundamentalists are creating a terrible face of Islam that is shown to the world and terrorism is in fact linked to Islamic fundamentalists. But at the same time, we as Bahais need to remember a few other facts:

1. Mohammed was indeed a Messenger sent by God and the Quran is a book of God.
2. Bahaullah asks us to learn about Islam because the Bahai Faith is descended from Islam just as it is descended from all other Faiths (like Christianity is descended from Judaism).
3. Bahaullah uses many quotations from the Quran to help explain the Bahai Faith to the Persians of His time (especially in the Kitabi Iqan) using many beautiful and inspiring verses.
4. Fundamentalists of any faith tend to interpret God’s words for their own ends (whether it be an excuse for a holy war, a reason to create hate for another religion or people, or a reason to take over another people’s lands, water, or resources). Just look at the history of the major world religions from Judaism through Islam including the horrific bloodshed in the partition of India in 1947 among the Seik, Hindu, and Islamic faiths. Many consider this even more bloody than Hitler’s holocaust but remember, all religions were sent by God’s messengers.  It is only the misinterpretation of His Word that has led humanity to turn away from His teaching of love of humanity and to make war on each other.

So before we as Bahais make generalizations that make it seem as if all of Islam is controlled by fundamentalists that have declared war on the rest of the world, let us be clear and specific in our facts of who is doing the persecuting not only of Bahais in Iran but other people and the real reasons this violence and evil is taking place.

And even more importantly let us look to the actions of the martyrs of the Bahai Faith in Iran as examples of what the teachings of Bahaullah should be in the present day and why He was sent by God – to Unite the peoples of the world, not sow seeds of hate.

George Busse



In response to Laleh Khalili's "Absence: Part one -- Part two -- Part three":

Hi Ms. Khalili:

Your articles are awesome. I have an Iranian business partner and best friend. I have seen her culture through her eyes to some extent, but you have let me see into her soul, because I am sure this is how she feels as a person who has lived in US for over 30 years and went through the struggles of blending into our culture and holding on to hers. I hope to visit Iran. I have learned to love the people, the food, etc.

God Bless you in your search.

Nita Riley
Brentwood, TN


"Bruce" poking fun at other Iranians

In response to Bruce Rosharavan's "Westollahis and Shahollahis":

I was reading Bruce Rosharavan's long winded opinion piece when I reached, quite early on, at this statement and I stopped reading any further:

" ... the Westollahis dream of living in Hollywood movies, having many blond bimbos as their sex partners and loosing their identity by becoming an "equally accepted" western citizen. Well, guys and girls dream on!!!!!"

I couldn't stop laughing at the irony of an Iranian, calling himself "Bruce" poking fun at other Iranians for "loosing their identity by becoming an "equally accepted" western citizen," :o))

Well, Brucie, you may like to joke with other Iranians and call on them to 'dream on ...' but don't you think the real joke is on you? Time to wake up Bruce!!



Total loss for words!

In response to Hasan Ghaffari's Iran photos "Nurtured by nature":

I'm at a total loss for words! These pictures are incredible!

Farah Ravon


Fair minded and nationalistic

In response to Bruce Rosharavan's "Westollahis and Shahollahis":

Ba dorrod, Bruce,

Kheily sepaasgozar-am for your fair minded and nationalistic article. I wasn't sure who you were referring to when you said WE, but I feel you were referring to people like me!

Satellites in Iran, programs (are mostly garbage western sex) have no intention of educating people, but corrupting them! They want to occupy our country physically and mentally. Taking away our religion, culture and humanity; in return giving us sex, more sex, criminal activities, drugs, divorce, illegitimate children, cold hearts, disrespect for elderly, sense of insecurity, treating other human beings as inferiors, racism, drugs and the list goes on.

Our culture is beautiful, and our religion (for good or bad) is not any inferior to other religions such judaism and Christianity. The people of Iran gave the world their religion and taught them morality, even though the jews got all the credit, so we don't need to learn from them about morality, but we need to learn from them about science, technology and manufacturing without becoming a member of WTO, which is a form of imperialism and slavery, leaving us with a culture of money!

G8 and AIPAC are trying very hard to weaken us and they have been successful so far by making sure the revolution would be a failure, and making sure we are kept a backward nation despite the brilliant minds, so they can dominate the middle east and iran! But, we know better, and are awake! They are afraid of the Persian glories to come back and hunt them!

Bruce, always remember that there are many traitors and ignorant, but the present of those should not bother you, rather strengthen your beliefs and the sense of nationalism for the land of our ancestors!

Bruce, wonderful article.

Jon Gol-dust


More de-Islamisation, please

In response to Esmail Nooriala's series on the historical links between Iranian shiite clerics and Lebanon, "(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)":

Dear Mr. Nooriala,

I am very fascinated by your articles in Iranian.com.

However, I politically expect more de-islamisation in your articles. Beside your historical facts of showing hwo Shiism has been imposed, we need a vital removal of Islam in any form and alternative from our society.

Regarding this pivotal fact, your articles will touch more effectively the reasoning facaulties of what we really need to secularise our society. Please remark this historical occasion that many Iranians are in the position to reject Islam in its all forms and alternatives.

Jahanshah Rashidian


Accusatory banter

In response to Bruce Rosharavan's "Westollahis and Shahollahis":

Perhaps, for this article to be taken seriously, the author should look into proper grammatical usages and the possibility of elaborating on what he knows so much about, yet conveniently enough evades in depth discussion of 'all he can tell of.'

Though he does state that no form of criminal activity (which I will, with hesitance assume to mean racism, anti-Semitism, or any form of -ism which makes the unfortunate mistake of showing hatred toward a group of people or sect) is justified, Roshanvaran weakly, at best, defends his argument by citing examples from history without clarifying their relevancy toward his argument.

I am not one to support any form of fundamentalism, religious or otherwise. But I do wonder how a people of such a culturally and historically rich nation, such as Iran, can tolerate such abominable conditions. I wonder additionally how the leaders of this country can sacrifice its glory, ultimately erasing it from the world's conscience, only to replace it with images of fanaticism and the like.

I wonder why, in the midst of over 20 Arab/Muslim countries of the Middle East, Israel has to continuously justify its right to exist- after centuries of its people being harassed and persecuted. This is not to take away from the Palestinians and their plight -- but I will state, in this same line, that I am curious to know about Mr. Arafat's billions and how they lost their from reaching the deserving people, why his wife resides in France (if she is so 'for her people'), and why internal issues and lack of infrastructure and leadership for Palestinians has to do with Israel. I do believe that through their desperation, they seek results through extreme measures. But has it gotten them anywhere thus far? No. I can elaborate on my views with regard to this scenario; should anyone be interested, please email me.

Finally, suffice it to say that no government, be it religiously motivated or not, is flawless. Attempts to act on behalf of their country's best interest at times do get overrun by personal vendettas, greed, and the like (as I believe is, to a certain extent, happening with the U.S. and its presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). However, I feel that if a point is to be made, as Roshanravan so poorly attempted, then opinions and facts are needed to present the point in an enlightened and seemingly educated fashion-instead of accusatory banter.

With all due respect,

V.A. Mehdizadeh


Saddam’s Iraq a ‘Paradise’?!

In response to Bahar Mirhosseini's "One hundred people":

I am sorry to read that you lament the days of Saddam when people were murdered en masse with such intentions. I am sorry to read that you forget or perhaps did not know how the Kurds lived in Saddam’s Iraq. Perhaps in addition to reading the New York Times, it would helpt to also talk with some Kurds and see that today they have a president, vice-president, cabinet ministers and representatives in their national legislature. Even the Shittes who constitute such a large part of Iraqi society: they too prefer to have the possibility of running their own affairs, than the ‘stability’ of being under oppression.

Furthermore, they all have hope, which they did not have during Saddam’s reign. Yes they had a suppressed society and with that comes the illusion of stability. Is that what you want for the Iraqi or any nation: the façade of stability over a criminal oppressive regime? Is that your ‘Paradise’’?

To call Saddam’s Iraq a ‘Paradise’ is mind boggling?! If that was the case, then nobody dare work to improve their lot. America would be still an agricultural society run by the Indians while millions in Europe and elsewhere remained under religious oppression, the French would still be under a monarchy that suppressed their potentials, and Iran too would be under the façade of a stable regime. How wrong you are.

Hamid Nazari


I really like your blunt, real toons

In response to Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

Dear Hossain

I really like your toons, they are blunt, real, brutal, factual, and easy to understand by all, no cover or hidden point, all crystal clear. Though some may object and consider them provocative, but no one can deny the clarity of them even to the naked eyes.

Good luck

Abdy Sadri


Offensive and insulting to Canada and Jews

In response to Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I found Mr. Hajiagha's cartoons offensive and insulting to Canada and Jews. Moreover all his cartoons include a long essay to make his points. A good cartoon dose not need that. Look at other good cartoonist work, most of them don't even have a title.

I love your web site, and appreciate your professional work.

Just a reminder.



Obvious error

In response to "Save Malak Ghorbany from stoning in Iran":

Dear Ms. Mazaheri,

This note should by no means be read as a vindication for a cruel and degrading act of punishment, for one thing, that I have been working in the field for the same humanitarian reasons as yours for years now. But as an advocate, you are expected to be more accurate than what you are in defining adultery. Where do you get your definition of this term in Iran's criminal law? You can get support through petition only if your statements are viewed precise enough to warrant support.

Adultery (and the punishment attached thereof) applies to a sexual relationship between a married man and woman, and in the case of one party being unmarried it merely applies to the party in a marital bond. Nor does stoning or any other death penalty apply to a non-married man or woman for engaging in a sexual affair or to a "a girl [who] is deemed to have committed "acts incompatible with chastity," which includes instances of rape".

I do not mean to restate details of penal code '101' here, since I assume you as an advocate must have the means to master that, but just to draw your attention to an obvious error. Again, none of this diminishes the importance of your message, but erroneous information does definitely affect chances of success, unless one is into getting ahead through propaganda.

Wishing you success in your advocacy,



American husbands? Role models?

In response to Kourosh Arianejad's "The Iranian downfall":

Dear Kourosh.

Your article was pretty interesting in that it touched up on the weaknesses and strenghts of both genders. Of course there are some exceptions in the way some moms and dads administer those teenage-raising techiniques. The only thing that troubles me is that you have picked the wrong role model here, namely the american husbands.

I don't know exactly what your experience level is when it comes to this issue, but based on my own experience, whether the iranian man that i happened to know came recently from iran or he has lived here all his life, all the major bad influences that was instilled in him was from their american counterparts.

I am not using this to blame the society or american men, but i am merely telling you what i have seen. Surely i have seen my share of rather intelligent and relatively wise american men as well.

I have also noticed that the abuse rate amongst american men is much beyond the rate that is seen and reported in iran. I would imagine that if all these cases were reported, we would be horrified to know that we are facing a major family crisis.

Kyle Saghafi


Hitler translator executed

Iranian translator of Hitler's "Mein Kampf executed in Reza Shah's time [1930s?]:

Ayaa shomaa name motarjeme ketaabe "Hitler, "Nabarde man" be FARSI raa mishenaasid? Ishaan avvalin motarjeme in ketaab bud va dar zamaane Reza Shah edaam gardid.



You shot yourself in the foot

In response to Ali Mogharabi 's "See you in November", "Read and read and read history", "We have to STOP this hypocrisy!", and "There is a big difference":

Mogharabi . disliked my cartoon photo paintings published on Saturday. He sent me two emails questioning my views. I replied briefly, yet with some sarcasm. He got fired up and replied with two other emails, basically demanding explanation. I emailed back stating that I will read all his articles and his letters in Iranian.com, and reply comprehensively.

Mogharabi writes, “ ... become educated, read and read and read about history of that region“, and informs us that “I have read my history books.” and goes into detail on how state of Israel was created. However he is absent minded or finds it irrelevant to discuss the creation of IRA (Islamic Republic of Ayatollahs).

Mogharabi continues his historical narratives by describing ethnical and racial discrimination in Israel: “ ... Ethiopian Jews cannot go as high in religious rankings as white Jews”, however he forgets to mention anything about ethnical and racial tensions in Iran. The recent uprisings in Azerbaijan, that according to one account 92 people have been killed, and ethnical unrest in Khozestan and Baluchestan. He ignores how most Iranian are resentful of the fact that Palestinian blood seems to be more precious than Iranian blood. He forgets that in the city of Tehran populated with millions people there are no Sunni Mosques, and how Sufi places of worshipers in Qom have been bulldozed to the ground.

Mogharabi proclaims his great love for Iran, however you have to be very careful not to be fooled by his tricks, because he is a very crafty magician. He has misdirected your attention from the main cause of the problems in Iran, which is the IRA regime, and focused your attention on Israel. We Iranian do not have any historical animosities towards the Jews or visa versa, except since the inception of IRA regime. Abbas Milani writes, “Iran was the first Moslem country in the world to establish diplomatic and economic ties with Israel.” And quoting from David Menashri, one of the most eminent Israeli scholars of modern Iran, calls the sixties and seventies “the Golden Age of Iranian Jewry when Jews enjoyed almost total cultural and religious autonomy, experienced economic progress and had no less political freedom than their Muslim counterparts.”

Mogharabi claims Mullahs “are a bunch of hypocrites” but he fails to mention any of their hypocrisies, instead he says “there’s just not enough time and space for all of it.” Well isn’t that special >>> Full text



2 wrongs don't make a right

In response to Golnaz Motarassed's "Go ahead, support the bastards":

Hi Golnaz. My name is Saman :O) I read your comment about Hezbollah on Iranian.com and quickly dismissed it without given it much thought. However ... It bothered me to have walked away from your writing for a cheap cup of coffee. About 2 weeks ago I returned from the Israeli/Lebanese war and for the last 3 years visited the region several times. I symphonize with the victims of both sides and like you lived in Iran as a child. Each time I've learned something more ... and more. For cheap thrill, I was even briefly detained by Hezbollah in 2005 for filming in Dahia (Southern Beirut) where they used to have bunch of offices.

As a non-religious journalist, it's actually been very easy for me to see both the similarities and differences between 2 governments/groups. You listed a bunch of questions/comments, which I will gladly answer for you.  This isn't about disagreeing with you ... it's a balance of how justice is viewed from the other side.

Q: The actions of which party in Lebanon has caused the current situation?

A: Lebanon's been invaded 7 times by Israel (way before Hezbollah). The history of this conflict is much deeper than 5 weeks and 2 solders. After Israel's withdraw (not defeat) in 2000, there were and still are about 9000 Lebanese prisoners kept in Israeli jails without trial. Terrorist or not ... these people are solders, civilians and government officials (some kept for almost 30 years) which haven't received any trial or visited by anyone. Lebanon knocked on UN and Human Watch's door and got nothing. Also ... IDF withdrew from most of Lebanon in 2000 but Shaba farms was still kept under military occupation. Hezbollah's one and only purpose is defending Lebanese land (for as long as it's occupied by a foreign force) and it's been playing this cat and mouse game (kidnapping) for years. So have the Israelis ... using the same kind of tactics >>> Full text



Intelligent and insightful on Mideast

In response to Ardeshir Ommani's "True causes"

Dear Ardeshir:

Your article in Iranian.com is one of the most intelligent and insightful analytical pieces on the Mid-East conflict that I have ever read. Thanks for your apropos contribution.

Leila Farjami


So much for Guarding our citizens' lives

In response to Abbas Aghamohammadi's "I can go on and on":

Hi Abbas.

Do you really expect people who read this site, or anyone else to whom this piece is forwarded to believe this nonsense? Please rethink and re-evaluate your decision to use the term "patriotic duty"!  I am not denying that FBI would know every single details that there is to know about someone, albeit within a reasonable scope of information.

I bet that you could go on and on since what your brought up is what applies to every single institution in iran, be it Tehran, shiraz, meli universities. I know that is especially true with tehran univ, since i have met a number of full-time faculty members throuoght my years in iran and abroad.

So your supposedly "reasonable conclusion" is that they should have used the mouth-full name of Aryamehr instead of sharif? oh, wow. You must really think and believe that the same Government who should do whatever it can to Protect its citizen would just make a hasty move and would reconsider such an important decison just by virtue of being presented with a different name. So much for Guarding our citizens' lives.

Instead of chastizing JJ and others for no good reason, why don't you get out of the shell and get exposure to a fraction of that "Light of Arya", make sure it covers a good portion of your head, that you have so far been using to get tanned.



I do not side with Isreal, but I do admire the resolve

In response to Kaveh L. Afrasiabi's "Anti-Dershowitz"

Here we go again.It's all Isreal's fault,of course Hizbollah is blameless. Forget rockets falling daily on Isreal,suicide bombers, etc. That is not a reason for military action, right?

The factions of hizbollah hiding in civilian neighborhoods to maximize casualties when Isreal responds to aggression, well that must be Isreals fault also.Mainly, the problem seems to be that those damned Zionists just will not roll over and give up, while their enemies use the UN as a shield to justify their actions {lobbing thousands of rockets aimed at civilian targets... then scream they want a cease fire?}.

I do not side with Isreal, but I do admire the resolve shown in this situation. I have eyes sir, and a functioning mind. There is a lot you did not mention, that makes the truth of your argument ring with the sour note of hippocracy.
The same as Dershowitz.

Jim Bardsley


Spreading Islamo-phobia must be condemned and stopped

In response to Alex Nasiri's "Do they want to gas or burn us or send us to concentration camps?"

Dear Alex,

Reading your name, I wonder if you can originally be a Muslim or at least some one who has been born and brought up in an Islamic country.
And if your oringe is Iranian, you are in fundamental contradiction by being proud of Islam, a religion historically imposed with all means of violence on your people, which is still responsible for crimes, destruction and backwardness of your country.

Dear ALEX read please Sharia, women's rights, jihad, records of human rights, etc, in Islamic countries, before being a blind proud Muslim.

However in a human perspective, I agree with you that spreading any feeling of Islamo-phobia or any conspiracy against Muslim commuinities in the West must be condemned and stopped.

jahanshah rashidian


All this has little to do with Muslims

In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"

This is in response to a very nice and well-written article. The article doesn't lie. But it is too pessimistic about Muslims, compared to Jews, without taking into account all the historical facts that have contributed to the present day situation. I agree that Jews have strong traditions that have helped them throughout history. They have survived as a people while others have been assimilated, converted, absorbed or annihilated by other peoples. The reasons for this invoked in the article are accurate.

But all this has little to do with the Muslims. If we look back hundreds of years ago we can see the time when Muslims were masters of the world, not Christians. Times have changed ever since and Muslims due to their inability to adapt have lagged behind. The reason that Jews have so many more Nobel recipients than Muslims is not necessarily because of their relative superior abilities to the Muslims. The comparison is a bit unfair. Why? Because we shall not compare the Jews to the Muslims. We shall compare Jews to Christians. These successful Jews are not the Jews who used to live in Muslim countries. They are the Jews who were, and are, from Christian countries. One of the main reasons Jews have become so successful is because they have been subject to so many hardships for so long in Europe.

Also children, with relatively good intelligence and some opportunities for good education, who are subject to hardship, have much greater chances of making it big compared to other children who live in luxury. Jews have benefited immensely from Christian cultural and scientific progress being among them just from the beginning of the Renaissance. This has not been the case for Muslims. So, we shall compare the Jews to Christians (not Muslims), especially in Europe (because they have had quite similar circumstances, though Jews have been subject to more hardship making them better survivors, hence a bit more successful). Jewish success has been largely because of Christendom, while Muslims have failed compared to the Christians. Jewish minorities in Muslim lands have also failed along with the Muslims.

This article also links Israel to the subject matter by referring to Hezbollah. Israel is a whole different story and if I am not mistaking Hezbollah just won a war against Israel. That is called a failure, not a success. Israel wanted to destroy Hezbollah, which it didn't. Hezbollah wanted to stay alive, to survive, which it did. So, the result is a clear victory for Hezbollah. This is no guide for the future though.

Let's not link all the Jews to Israel and its colonial and aggressive actions. Israel is not, and will never be, a success story unless it becomes a real democratic country that respects all religions. As long as Israel is the "Jewish" state I doubt it will be much better off than another well-known religious state, "Shia" Iran.

Ben Madadi


Other than that, that and that atrocity, they are pretty nice people

In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"

Although I like to read different views on Iranian.com, but this so called "advice" completely made my day. I really does make my day that every once in a while such stuff pop up on Iranian.com.

"the Jews did this without beheading anyone, without a single suicide bomber, without kidnapping and murdering school children, without slaughtering Olympic athletes, without flying airplanes into skyscrapers, and without bombing the train or bus station in Spain and London."

Either this is a complete sarcasm that I don't get, or the person (supposedly his name is Reza) was completely drunk!

Somehow Zionist Jews don't seem to think Palestinians, Lebanese, or Arab lives count at all!

So yes, if we don't count their lives, and if you circle out Mossad's kidnapping and assassinations of many Arabs and Muslims across the world, if you omit all terrorism they committed to both their neighboring countries and even European countries (e.g. remember the movie Munich?), and if you finally leave out torture, massacre, and expulsion of Palestinians and Lebanese people, oh yeah, then they are pretty nice people and innocent.

One more thing, count out their many bloody civil wars and violence in their ancient history because in this so called advise, historical facts don't seem to count either!

Again, it completely makes my day every time I read stuff like this on Iranian.com.

Good job and keep it up =)



Sad but true

In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"

Great article.

It is amazing that Muslims are in their Dark Ages while the whole world is moving forward. Sad but True.

Navid Khalili


Nobel prize winners according to race, age, height, baldness...

In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"

There seems to be a tremendous amount of facts in the letter Ahamdinejad wrote his friend Hezbollah. I am impressed by the Jewish acheivements. I would be interested to look up his references for all the quoted facts, especially the chrnological order of the Nobel prizes and the winners.

And I didn't know the Nobel prize winners are categorized by religion ! I should thank him for pointing that to the readers of iranian.com.

If you happen to know where I can find this list, or a web site to check out what he put in his letter for everyone to read, I would appreciate it. I wander if the list of Nobel prize winners are categorized in different ways, race, age, height, baldness, etc.

F. Bathaee



In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"

Che looos!

Amir S


I nominate Reza for Nobel Prize

In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"


As a Jewish Iranian, I had lost all hope that there is anyone among my non-Jewish countrymen who knows the truth and actually dares to speak it. I congratulate Reza Vessal-Shirazi for doing just that. I nominate Reza for Nobel Prize in honesty and courage.

Jewish Irani


Sit like sheep and bend over?

In response to Reza Vessal Shirazi's "How did Jews do it?"

Reza Jan,

I think you might have missed the pictures of those little lovely Israeli kids, sending their love to the Lebanese people thru the bombs that was dropped on them during the recent conflict. Or the numerous massacres that have taken place by Israeli soldiers during the last 40 or so years. I assure you, they have not survived, because they are such peaceful people.

They are given all the modern cluster bombs, tanks, jet fighters and they kill at random and we criticize the other side because they attach a bomb to their body and sacrifice their life for their freedom? What sense does that make. What do you suggest sit like sheep and bend over.



Fictional fabrications

In response to Guive Mirfendereski's "Iran 6 - International Community (still) 0":

I am very disappointed by lettting you publish Mr. Guive Mirfendereski's articles that are full of lies, and fictional fabrications about the facts.

I am not sure what his purpose of keeping scores is except to encourage some sick-minded right-wing hawks to think about getting even with Iran by dropping bobms on innocent people. I am sure he won't care while he is in his warm Massachusset bed.

I don't know what freaking source he is getting his news from but I know that BBC has published photos clearly seen that the proposal is not in Farsi.

Even the British and some other reps. has openned some pages and started reading them. But if what he says is true, it is a diplomatic norm to communicate in native language to value your own freaking culture not to kiss some foreign butts.

1- As you see in the picture the scripts in the proposal is laid from left to right.
2- She is British and more likely not being able to read a heavy text in Farsi.



Here, jackass

In response to that jackass Mohsen "Fictional fabrications" who questioned the source of my info about the Iranian response being in Farsi:

Iran responds to West's demands
Lengthy document suggests Tehran ready for talks
By Alissa J. Rubin, Los Angeles Times  | August 23, 2006

VIENNA, Austria -- Iran offered to enter ``serious negotiations" over its nuclear program yesterday, but appeared to reject the key UN Security Council demand that it suspend its uranium-enrichment program...

Iranian officials said the response, which ran to 23 pages in Farsi, offered a ``new formula" for discussions. Ali Larijani, the Iranian government's chief nuclear negotiator, was quoted by the state-run television as telling diplomats from the world powers that Iran ``is prepared as of Aug. 23rd to enter serious negotiations" with the countries that proposed the incentives package... >>> Full text

Guive Mirfendereski


What has gotten into you?

In response to Guive Mirfendereski's "Iran 6 - International Community (still) 0":

Dear Guive:

As a fellow Iranian, I like you and as the Slick Willey used to say I feel your pain. After all, you come from a respectful family. Your late father was an ambassador in the USSR. You yourself could have been Governor Guive, Senator Guive, or Ambassador Guive had the ex regime still been in power instead of spending your time in Newton! BTW, can you tell where that line comes from? I mean the Governor Guive, .....

But, for God sakes what has gotten into you? Here is an excerpt from your last letter, Iran 6 - International Community (still) 0

"....Iran‚s appeal today is the universal theme of friendship, lending a hand, standing up against the bully and for the oppressed. Wasn‚t that a long time ago America‚s own appeal. It is a shame all that has happened to all of that American moral authority....."

Since when the mullahs have been giving a lending hand to anybody!? Friendship with whom!? Standing up against who? Yes, they have been slugging Iranians in the rear end and giving all the petrol $'s to the Hezbollah. Come on dude! This is a binary thing, either the Russians gave the mullahs the Big one or not. If the former, God will only help us all. If the latter, then mullahs should send for jars upon jars of vaseline. You know what I mean.

If you hate Bush, that should not be a reason to side with the mullahs. It's ok to side with Iran but not ok to side with the mullahs!? Now, you are old enough to know and I am young enough to learn! This one comes from an old movie as well...? Can you tell which one? A hint, Paul Newman and Joan Woodward...?

I think you have been drinking a lot of Shiraz.

Cyrus Toopchi


I refuse to identify this country and its inhabitants by their lowest common denominator

In response to Cyrus Toopchi's "What has gotten into you?":

I do not know a Mr. Toopchi from a soccerball or a canonier; so imagine my surprise to see him preface his letter about my latest piece with biographical references to my family, my current place of residence and the "what ifs" of my career had the Pahlavis stayed in power. The fact of the matter is that who knows what anyone one of us would have been doing or where and this is exactly the problem with Mr. Toopchis analysis of my writing as well -- assuming something not in evidence, creating fantasy facts of his own and then setting out to rip apart my argument.

When I speak of Iran and Iranians I speak of the collective, not the regime in power or the mullahs. I refuse to identify this country and its inhabitants by their lowest common denominator. So for Mr. Toopchi to rip my article because he does not approve of the mullahs has nothing to do with all of Iran, all Iranians and national character that is helpful, defender of the weak and oppressed and standing up, when it can, to bullies.

Mr. Toopchi decries that the Iranian government pays money to the Hezbollah. Foreign aid is big part of countries influencing other people. The American government pays millions to mischief making "Iranians" all the time in the name of regime change. The Saudis ad other pay to the Palestinians, etc. It is a fallacy to think that if the millions were not spent on Hezbollah it would somehow be spent in Iran. on Iranians or make the Iranian economy stronger. In the inflation-ridden Iranian economy, lest thing one should want is more money in the hands of the people, to chase the fewer good -- that hurts only the poor whose spending power gets eroded by the furthering of inflation.

I wish Mr. Toopchis of the world to find a decent topic and write about it instead of mooching on other people's writing in order to make a point, regardless of relevance.


Guive Mirfendereski


Majority deeply fed up with Ganji

In response to G. Rahmani's "Ganji strikes alone":

As we know, many Iranian expatriates ignored Ganji's campaigns in Europe and the US simply because Ganji's controversial past and his dubious aims are his main hallmarks.

For many Iranians, Ganji does not represent Iranian people, secularism and democracy. He is an ex-pasdar who just recently had to shave and now demagogically looks for a rehabitilation. His Islamist record remains however much darker and heavier than his little beard.

As I desribed in my previous article, Imam Ganji, I personally believe that he represents a faction of disappointed Iranian Islamists who now have to use any tactics and tricks to save their bankrupt political Islam in any price.

I think Ganji's campaigns, his tour, his stay and other compromises abroad are organised and financially supported by his Islamist friends and also clearly helped by the West who sees in Ganji's ultra liberalism a future opened gate to their capitalist interests in Iran -- The Us embassy does not issue a visa for an ex-communist or ex-Nazi but why the embassy issues it for an ex-pasdar!

Of course a little group of Iranian optimists follow him as a saviour, but I am sure, we all, including this little group, will find out more about Ganji's wire pullers when the whole IRI is wiped out.

It is true that many Iranians abroad are gradually distancing themselves from their background and have to integrate in their new societies, but the existence of political Islam is not limited to Iran; it is an international problem. Today, Islamism is not a question of religion or a local belonging, but a danger to all humanity. It is furthermore a question law and order.

Only a little number of Iranians would agree or naively sympathise with Ganji's views. The majority of Iranians both in Iran and abroad are deeply fed up with Ganji phenomenon and his likes. People's reluctance towards Ganji is not because they do not care about Iran, but simply because they do not recognise any insidious Islamic alternative.

jahanshah rashidian


Using religion in degrading ways

In response to Amil Imani's "Painful thorn":

For many centuries some people held the wrongful opinion that religions are the cause of the socio-economical problems in the world. Believers cursing one another! Until recently, and through a substantial course of studies in the history of the world, we learn that the root of such chaos is in the nature of man, a decadence.

Today, it is more apparent that religions do not call for wars, but it is the minds of the so-called believers that create shameful atrocities in the name of God and his religion. Religions have been used in such degrading ways.

The problem is the ignorance of man not the core message within the realm of any religion, a message which is united through all. What one has no access to through experience one has no ear for. Today, man has come to the philosophical scrutiny of all ideologies. Although not known to some who lack the experience, the fact remains that mankind and its own greed and hatred has been the cause that engulf humanity not wars, religions, invasions, or politics. Do not mistake the cause for the result.

There is no more dangerous error than that of mistaking the consequence for the cause.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I believe we should not lash out our inclinations for or impressions against any particular religious philosophy. Instead, we'd make better sense if we stand on the logical ground of reasoning and faith in order to abolish anything that does not, no matter what name it has chosen for itself.

World peace arrives in a chariot called LOVE.


Saeed Shirazi


Shocking, depressing

In response to "It is a pity" and Saied Bozorgui-Nesbat's "How to make enemies":

These stories left me depressed, angry and shocked. Mr. Bush has repeatedly stated that the US administration has no problem with the Iranian people. He stressed that he respects the Iranian people. Is this shocking and humiliating treatment of our teachers and professors Mr. Bush's way of showing respect. Can you imagine how the US public would react if any other government meted out such treatment to US scientists from a highly respected academic institution, who were visiting the host country with proper visas and papers.

As a US educated Iranian, with many friends and relatives in the US, especially in academic and civil society organizations, I was deeply distressed to read the horror story of the indignity suffered by Iranian compatriots, including the women. My many, many US friends in the scientific and in the philanthropic community should soundly condemn this type of inhuman conduct. I call upon them to express their outrage and show their sympathy to their Iranian friends. Please help the process of healing of the indignity by demonstrating that Americans do not approve of such uncivilized treatment of other human beings.

Mr. Bush has also contributed to creation of considerable problems for civil society and progressive forces in Iran in his ill conceived drive for exporting his version of democracy. The farce of the $75 million fund to bring about regime change through civil society and non-governmental organizations (CSO and NGOs) is another glaring example of naivety or even ill intention. Surely he and his advisors are aware of the negative ramifications of such an initiative.

No credible and self respecting voluntary organization would want to be tainted with this "fund". The informed opinion in academics and in US civil societies have expressed opposition to this fund. Even opposition to the present government has denounced the fund as a grave mistake. These include Mehrangiz Kar and Shirin Ebadi. Mr. Ganji best expressed the position of Iranian civil society in his article stressing to Mr. Bush that Iranian CSOs cannot and will not be bought. Iranians remember very well the sad outcome of change promoted from outside.

If the US administration had any genuine desire not to extend its unfriendly relations to the people of Iran, to the CSOs and to the Academic community, it would remove the sanctions placed on cooperation of people based and scientific organizations of the two countries. So, please Mr. Bush give some credit to the intelligence of both the people of America and the people of Iran.

And as far as civil society is concerned I do think I reflect a broad spectrum of opinion when I say, Mr. Bush, you have no credibility with us. Please leave us alone. You have done and continue to do much harm and damage, to the world, American, ME and Iran. Your assistance is the last thing we need. Perhaps civil society and the scientific community in both countires, and independent of the disastrous policies of governments, can strive to keep a SUSTAINED DIALOGUE AND COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF THESE TWO GREAT COUNTRIES going. I welcome ideas from all those interested.

Baquer Namazi


>>> More letters in AUGUST 2006 Part 1 -- Part 2
All past letters

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