July 2007

Part 1 -- Part 2

July 16


Progress in the face of savagery

On Iran photo essays:

Hello everyone,

I need to ask for a small favor. Next time when you have the urge of forwarding yet another email showing how beautiful Iran has become and how great life is in Iran or how western media doesn't show the real Iran: add this to the list.

To be honest I'm as mad at Iran's regime as I am of some people who unwittingly, have turn into Islamic Republic's propaganda machine.

Life is not great in Iran because some have built beautiful hotels. Pictures of Iranian food and pastry, fruits or nuts such sunflowers seeds is not a sign of progress. Stoning human beings to death however, is a clear sign of savagery which is religion.

Ba doroud


I used to play tennis with our great general

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

Great evenning to you from nashville tennesse usa i would like to comment that our beloved general Minbashian was a true hero and my sincere condolences to his family and i used to play tennis with our great general in the french coast around 1980s may god bless your soul general. rest in peace dear General.

Tirdad Gharib
Nashville, Tennesse


Interview with Minbashian

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":


Please accept my condolences on your uncle’s passing.

Here is the link to the transcript of his interview with the Harvard center for Middle Eastern Studies. It is part of the fascinating oral history of Iran in the twentieth century.

All the Best
Kaveh N.


What did he do for his country?

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

If one takes up pen to write about a five star general he must add some of his glorious accomplishments. Given his high position in Iran's most critical pre-revolution years. People would want to know how did he earn that last star -the fifth one. What did the general do for his motherland to earn five stars or was the Shah just drunk when he gave them away?

Instead you gave some weak information such as:

"He looked like James Bond" Although I think he looked more like Lee Marvin in that picture.
"He played soccer" My daee-jaan also played but he didn't get anywhere with it.
"He spoke several languages" I say good, but that doesn't make "tonboon vasseh Fotty"
"He played violin" Well so did Reza Divoon, what does that have to do with army rank and file?
"He cared for soldiers' life style" But if I am not mistaken he himself took the luxury life of Paris!
"He had written two songs" Again, so what? So did Molook Zarrabee, when she was young!

Then you end with last paragraph saying: "Readers of Iranian.com who are too young to remember his great service to his country" well, excuse my Alzheimer but could you tell us a bit more about his great services to his country besides writing songs at his young age?

Do you think this is an obituary one would write about generals say, Patton, MacArthur or Montgomery? Once you decided to expose his life to us, you got to let us know what did he do for his country as a soldier? How did he prepare Iran's armed forces to face bunch of mullah's only three to four years later after his retirement? The mullahs whose only weapon were cassette tapes and aftabeh? How did the general coordinate the armed forces intelligence so that in case of a foreign intervention or a revolution the military and air force would not wait for orders to come from USA or the British or a sick Shah on death bed abroad? Perhaps you were too young to remember, in which case you should have asked mommy jaan first. Because I am sure the late general himself would not want his name to go to the pages of Iranian history as a five star general who played violin as a hobby.

I guess the Iranian version of what general Patton once said is: "old generals don't die, they just retire in back alleys of Paris or drive cabs in Washington, D.C.

May god bless his soul,
Goosht Koob (that is my real name by the way)


A great man and a hero

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

I met your uncle in his house in pahlavi street in Tehran when i was a kid, visiting my friend Phillip, who was residing in your uncle's house. the connecting dot was Dr Khodabandeh who was a major/cardiologist and father of Philip, in the army and friend of your uncle from Shiraz where your uncle and Dr Khodabandeh did their military tour. to me your uncle was a great man and a hero, please accept my condolesent.


ps i love the 2 songs that he composed.


Four not five stars

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

Timsar Minbashian was a 4 star general -- not 5 star.

Indeed, the 5th star is given only during wars. In the Shah's army, therefore, there was no 5 star general.

Siroos Afshar


Sad rahmat beh gaav!

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

kir beh kooseh zan -e- minbashian.

i served in the fucking shah's fucking army from 1967 to 1969 in kermanshah. i played soccer for a ball club. we went to shiraz for the land force "army" sports tournnament summer of '67. this mother fucking asshole minbashian was the commanderof the 3rd. army which was headqaurter in shiraz. he came, almost on daily basis, not watch us play, but to belittle high ranking officers before all the present at the stadiud. i saw that little shit minbashian from 8, 9 feet away. he looked mother fucking mean! he was a fucking turk, as i understand. (that says it all).

motherfucker! he was trash... mother of all trashes. heech shakh'seeyat nadaasht!! gaav! gaav -e- gaav!! sad rahmat beh gaav! he was like... you wanted to throw up every fucking time he open his fucking mouth. he did not directly do anything to me. but right in front of everybody, including women and small children, he would insult a captain! calling his wife names!? i fucking saw that shit my-fucking-self. and ain't no motherfucker ain't gonna tel me no different.

that little cock- sucking, american-ass-licking, nappy-hair-ho', gutter-trash, good-for-nothing, bucket of shit was plain bee pedaro madar! he was conceived, born and raised in a barn.

goh beh rooheh pedar -e- koss'keshesh.

issa hajjizadeh
las vegas


The loss of men like him is so much more tragic

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

Baa Dorood Mr. Haddad:

Please accept my condolences. We should all be consoled at the loss of a great man, such as your uncle. My father was a general (sartip) in the Imperial Iranian Air Force and knew your uncle. The loss of men like him are so much more tragic against the backdrop of no name, no good, nobodies of the current regime who are in place not because of their own worth but by Nepotism and through cultic fraternity. Kiosk has a song in which he utters the words "Kaarhayeh bozorg dar dasteh aadamhaayeh haghir" (critical jobs in the hands of the unworthy).

Again, I am sorry to hear the passing away of such a great man. Long live the memory of Arteshbod Minbashian.


Shahriar Mostarhsed


From lost and irreplaceable era

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

Sepehr Jan,

Such a pity to loose these priceless gentlemen of the old school. They definitely belong to a lost and irreplaceable era. But fortunately for us we have the chance to recollect and be proud to have been associated with such personalities.

My condolences to your family.

Laily Amir-Ebrahimi


Where is he buried?

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

And so thank you for the kind words in this article. Do you know where he is buried?



Wish our country had more like him

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

I, as an iranian share your loss. Wish our country had more civial servants / patriots like him.

Please send me the link to the songs if at all possible. thank you.



He was our Aryo Barzan

On Sepehr Hadad's "Five stars":

we lost another great man. he was our aryo barzan of great daryoush, we shall miss him.

our condolences to his family and all Iranian

Ahmad Pirnia


I couldn't finish any of Parsipur's novels

On Ramin Tabib's "Perfectly flawed":

I just read your article in Iranian.com. I think that literature is such a subjective matter that it is "almost" impossible to declare who is the best or even who is better than any other writer.

Myself, I couldn't finish any of Parsipur's novels I have, still it does not mean that I would oppose to anyone telling she is the best contemporary Iranian writer. Or I think that "Snow" written by the Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk, is the best contemporary novel I have ever read in a very long time.

Of course I can understand people who don't agree with me or cannot even finish his novels. It is all so relative. Depending on the particular time and the particular day and the particular period of our life we are living in, or whatever has happened in our past, one single sentence or one single paragraph or one whole tale can touch our soul so deeply that we can totally relate to it and our breath is taken away by the pure beauty and joy that literature, a good book, can offer to its faithful reader.

As Franz Kafka - my all time favorite writer - says (so beautifully with so much passion and power) in a letter to a friend:

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading for? ....

But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."

Still, I enjoyed very much both articles (yours and Parvaneh Hamidi's "Mozele baanuye saal") and after reading both of them my curiosity has been pushed enough to go find those old Parsipur's books to try finish them, at least!


Azarin A. Sadegh


Unbiased compared to BBC

On Iran's Press TV network:

I have been reading your articles on ranian.com with interest. I admire your power to articulate your thought process, but sad that you seem unaware of your own country's history. I presume you are Iranian (as I am ). For example, inspite of the tyrany and crimes committed by the Israeli government against middle easterners, you support them as if they are mantel of "freedom" and "liberty".

Iranian Press TV which was recently inagurated in Tehran seems to be a good media platform to become familiar with Iran, and Iranians. I have been watching it since July 2, and in my own mind and in comparison with BBC and other media, have concluded that they are unbiased in their reporting and comprehensive in their commentaries.

I hope that media helps all of us to become more familiar with the events in the ME - hopefully less bias than the garbage Fox News and other media here in US have been feeding us, and especially help us become more familiar with our own history.



Must we butcher a great song by John Lennon in the name of creativity?

On Jadugaran's music video, "Tasavvor":

What the hell? What is it with Iranians and this need for copycatting crap? Do we need Persian Rap? Must we butcher a great song by John Lennon in the name of creativity? Why can't we ever come up with something original? What is up with that? Or as you'd probably say it " YO, YO, YO WAZUP WIT DAT?"

Sometimes I, just for a short moment I look forward to global warming followed by another ice age.

Afshin Mehrassa


These are not generous people. They just like to pretend they are.

On Bruce Bahmani's "Apparently, we have some very wealthy [and generous] folks!":


<<I have spoken to several wealthy Iranians (by the way, with huge sums ready and waiting for us to spend wisely), and bluntly asked them the apparently un-askable question. "What do you need to see in order to fund something that would benefit the community?" >>


These are not generous people. They just like to pretend they are. I have taken "sales" lessons. My "sales" teacher says that when the client (the person with the money) says they have the money ready but wont give it away unless this or that condition is met, are simply looking for excuses not to give.

A trouly generous person knows that "volunteers" trying to help after getting off work at 7pm and tired as hell, cannot have "everything perfect" and much less before the "funding" has arrived.

Nayumadeh Rafti


Every time I meet another Iranian I am immediately suspicious

On Fariba Amini's "Two countries, close and far away":

Mr. Bahmani -

I'm so happy to finally see your sarcastic musings on. I've grown up in the U.S., but have never lost my inextricably, undeniably Iranian soul.

I attend law school in Washington, DC (a great place for that Town Hall Meeting), and despite my upbringing in a Texan town, I have never felt more isolated than in DC. I feel that my attempts to avoid aligning with Iranian political activists (what true Iranian isn't a political activist, is the first rejoinder, I know) have made me isolated. I attend a prestigious university and although I know several other Iranian students, we don't meet, we don't talk, hell, we don't even like each other.

Somehow, and I can assure you I was not raised this way, every time I meet another Iranian (particularly one in my own age group, as I maintain the traditional respect for elders) I am immediately suspicious. "Where is she/he from?" I immediately wonder. "Is she/he Jewish, pro-monarchist, anti-monarchist, a devout Muslim, a political extremist, communist, cynical, depressed, completely clueless about Iran, never been there, hateful towards Iran?" and all of the other various personality and psychology dementias and machinations that post-revolution Iranians are so well-endowed with.

I can't tell you the numerous times that I have found an Iranian "friend," only to be asked questions that spurn isolation rather than kinship. I purposefully sought out a landlord who was Iranian (thinking I would get a good deal, I'm zerang of course). His first question to me was "You were born in Iran? Tehran you say? The good part or the bad part?" His Ba'hai relics were strewn about the apartment (another question he asked me), and he was obviously not into finding a "new friend."

Why are we like this I lament?! I am jealous of the Arab students in my university, who bond so readily...and even absorb a few clueless Iranians, desperate to be "Middle Eastern" and "have a cause," without falling into a group where they might be tested on basic knowledge of Iran.

Not that such a group exists.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble, I suppose because I've felt myself change a lot since I've been in DC. I've become harder, less kind, more jealous, and sometimes hateful...I think that feeling isolated (despite the Iranian-ness you'd think was all around me) from other Iranians in my own age group is a large part of it. I note that I seek out elder Iranians, my parents age, in DC, because I inevitably have more in common with them.

So what I'm saying is: HELP US HELP OURSELVES!!

I'm wiling to actively participate in rounding up support, even my sad, solitary self, for this Town Hall and whatever else it takes to perhaps finally form a true community (maybe we can just ask Facebook to conglomerate all the divisive pro-Persian/Iranian Facebook groups?).

I would actually love to speak at a meeting or conference about my emotional experience of growing up an Iranian American, without the benefit of a sense of community.

I'd love to hear what you think.

Your fellowVatan-e (did I mention I'm suspicious?)

P.S. Just a thought on organizing the Town Hall Meeting. I think one thing that tends to stall our grassroots movement is a sense of division and hearty amounts of stereotyping among the various geographic locations of the Iranian diaspora:

LA/California: materialistic, money-grubbing, if you're not Jewish or pro-monarchist, don't even think about fitting in there
Washington, DC: power hungry, intellectuals, all somehow related by third cousin twice removed to Farah Pahlavi
Dallas, Houston/Texas: keep to themselves, what's wrong with them that they didn't gravitate to the meccas of Tehrangeles or DC? cute, but simple...how many are even down there again?

I think one way to break this kind of mental block is to sponsor a Town Hall Meeting for multiple geographic locations (LA, Houston, DC seem geographically fair to me, the more the better) ON THE SAME DAY! We can feel solidarity with our Iranian comrades (Soviet history a little much?) in various cities, and I think this is incredibly important to feeling that we are one community.
Just a thought.


Religious Jews are almost identical to the fanatic Moslems

On Fariba Amini's "Two countries, close and far away":

This is precisely the problem with these guys. Even at the most educated level, they are a bunch of religious zealots, and as such, they have much more in common with Hezb-ollahis/Alqaida (Sp?) than the average liberal like you and I. They look the same, they think the same, they just worship a different (just as stupid) God. The orthodox or religious jews are almost identical to the fanatic Moslems in their thinking, behavior and their violence. May Darwin save us of all from annihilation by these Morons (Jews, Moslems or Christians).

And please forward these comments to you Israeli friends.

Ramin Khashayar


How disgusting...

On Tehran metro suicide video:

How appalling is the video of the suicide in Iranian metro worse still is the recoding on the clip of two people laughing. How disgusting... i wish u would have edited that part at least.

Fay Askarnia


Let's just hope that someday we all learn from our mistakes

On Jeesh Daram's "Sir Ruhollah Khomeini":

With all due respect sir, you seem to put the burden of idiocy to create the Islamic republic of Iran on the British subjects. I wonder if we ever dare to blame ourselves? is it possible to say that "We, The Iranian" chose to have Sir Khomeini as our leader? is it possible to someday open up our eyes and admit our mistakes and learn from them? or as our culture always call for it we completely deny our blunders and easily and conviniently point our fingers... Let's just hope that someday we all learn from our mistakes and know how to correct them without having to blame someone else. Besides nothing will change unless we change ourselves and that is a hard thing to do for our nation...the old saying "mageh ma chemeh? to khedeto avaz kon" has always been the root of our problems... :)))

Best wishes

Yasmin NA


Bisexual god

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Goddess not God":

No blasphemy intended, but what if the Lord is bisexual?



Great place to have a kabab picnic

On Ahmadreza Tavakoli's photo essay of Sivand Dam area, "Before being drowned":

After viewing Tavakoli's photos of the Sivand Dam, I am convinced that it should be filled to the rim! The waterfront looks like a great place to have a kabab picnic :-)

Omid Entezar


Kheili jaaleb

On Ahmadreza Tavakoli's photo essay of Sivand Dam area, "Before being drowned":

Aks-haa kheili jaaleb boodan.



Shamelessly promoting Obama

On Bruce Bahmani's "Back Barack":


What if you just talk and write about music?!! And Only music! and definitely not Red and Blue politics crap! Has this world gone so hopeless that we should dpo nothing but to look for the a new fucking American president to save it? Or to prevent destroying it further? Or you're so tied in your American bobble that cannot find any other choice? Other than a bi-products like Obama? And shamelessly promoting him?

Mr. BRUCE! What kind of promise Barack Obama made that any other Democrat candidate didn't? Or you just simply sympathizing the colour of his skin! What good the Democrat version of capitalism did that the republican didn't? Did you say " he gives you hope for better America and better world"?

Man! Nowadays, the history is so accessible to everyone! Even youtube can help you to review the historical events. have you heard of "History for dummies"! it's on it's way.


Mohsen Shams,


Ahmagh! That is why I sent him to you! Because he was talking different!

On Mohsen Shams's "Shamelessly promoting Obama":

Sorry asking you to help with the Obama campaign upset you so much, that the only option left to you was to spit in my face. I certainly was to trying to spit in yours, even though you live in Canada. But now that I can wipe off what you attempted to say from my inbox, let me say this (about that!);

Actually this world has in fact gone "So hopeless" that rather than follow the "red and blue politics crap" as you put it, I thought maybe you needed to know about an alternative or someone whom I have found to be one of the most pragmatic candidates to run for this next opening coming up real soon.

Also, I am in fact shamelessly or without shame, promoting Obama as the better candidate. Yes, I am doing that. It's called participating in the process. Something apparently you feel I should not be doing, or maybe something you feel that only you should do. Either way you are wrong.

As far as promises, Obama has in fact made several that other Democrats haven't. I would list them, but then I'd be doing your work for you. All I'll say, is before opening your mouth and spewing what you obviously do not know anything about, you should actually use the computer you are sitting in front of, and do some research before crying to me about how Obama is exactly the same as the other candidates. Ahmagh! That is why I sent him to you! Because he was talking different!

Of course it is possible he is lying, just like the rest. But so far I like his lies better than the rest. I thought you would too. Clearly I was wrong.

Finally, what does History have to do with the future? I know that whole "if you don't know your history you are...." but what does that have to do with Obama?

Has he been president before?

Has he messed up Iran before?

Also, Please, you tell me, out of all the candidates available, are you seriously going to pick one of the others?

Lets see, other than the moron (I mean mormon), all of the Republican candidates have been married an average of 3 times, and are complete idiots.

On the Democrat side, Hillary us hoping that her sex-addict of a husband will help her woo all the women voters, and to be safe she's saying the exact same things as the Republicans.

But NO. I am wrong to suggest that out of all this, Obama is the better candidate. And I should apologize for that to an idiot like you.

Well I am sorry, I am sorry for you, that a simple suggestion to mobilize for the upcoming election and be part of it, is lost on you.

Then again, you live in Canada, and for that I am truly sorry!

Pardonnez Moi!

Bruce Bahmani


Democrats record shows blood

On Bruce Bahmani's "Ahmagh! That is why I sent him to you! Because he was talking different!":

Hi to you, my man!

Lost your temper eh? So J.J. must be a good Friend of yours for redirecting (till this very moment) my letter from Iranian.com to you! I guess he doesn't believe much in his own motto, and we all know the conveniences! It's so good to have a supporting friend!

Obama's promises are just a standard, up to date thing and it's been always practiced by candidates. and always vague like ending the war in Iraq! no precise plan and yeah "we'll do it, we're the one". the irony in American system is that only two overwhelmingly rich party can actually talk. another standard in capitalism! and don't get me wrong that I'm promoting Canada's by all means...no

Democrats record shows blood and bombardment and coup d'état and supporting and installing the most notorious governments around the world. yet for the country that in last 35 years owned 44-48% of the wealth of world, poverty strikes from coast to coast. there were well spoken good looking presidents before him from Democrat party but didn't do much...

History is very much related to the present and the future. If people get a proper education about the events, the dark side of the history would not repeat itself. And it's well documented that the "democratic party", indeed has its own history. and its rules and its path and doctrine.

How much longer can we afford lies? Of course I don't like it. Words are easy to fabricate but only action counts.

yes it pisses me off that your only concern is about Clinton's sex story, which is fundamentally private, but wouldn't care much of bombarding Villages in Columbia or destroying Sudan's only pharmaceutical centre... see that's the bloody vision that effected you,too.

Well, thanks now for being sorry for me that I live in Canada! What is it to be mentioned. I'm not Canadian and you're not American! then, what are you sweating for?

I belong to the world and I have a base in Canada to work and live and contribute to my belief. I spend my time and energy and financial facilities to fight for my belief and I see that my little steps, do work. Whether it's for Iran, Iraq or Chiapas...

I just chose Canada for having a humane and more peaceful society. that's all.

America's economy is based on war and oil. and either Red or blue party would run for only these, perhaps with different presentation and image. And they're the most profitable! they sell their crap whether we want it or not. It's just a race between them on who can put his hand on power first.

After all, both of us are fed with almost the same media and it's only up to us to dig further for truth and be more analytic.

From my part I apologize for being harsh and rude. But I don't usually call my opponent Ahmagh or Idiot. I leave that to your own decency.

Mohsen Shams,


Mouth piece of gross censorship

On Toofan Hosseinnezhad's "They're not Ron Paul":

Nice article, however, it misses several points, in which I addressed in my piece endorsing Fred D. Thompson.

Unfortunately by refusing to publish articles by Iranian-Americans who support the conservative Republicans, Iranian.com has become a mouth piece of gross censorship, a form of censorship that is vehemently inappropriate in a free society.

Privately owned groups can choose sides on issues, but when catering to smaller minorities groups such as ours in the United States these types of steps are dictatorial-like and inappropriate.

Slater Bakhtavar


We rarelay donate to campaigns, but...

On Toofan Hosseinnezhad's "They're not Ron Paul":

Dear Toofan,

Thanks for the great article. I have been a Ron Paul Fan since he ran for President as a Libertarian candidate back in 1988. I sincerely hope that we can try and get his voice heard a little more. The main thing that we have to also do is to ask our fellow countrymen to donate to his campaign (which we both know will rarely happen unfortunately).

Keep up the great work!

Cameron Douraghy


Fight alongside women

On Toofan Hosseinnezhad's "All men?":

Before you get too excited in defending the Iranian male society, look at the facts. Iran is a 110% male dominated society and all the rulers and the tyrants who have governed us were male. Iranian women have always strugled to become heard or at least given the chance not to mention same equality as their male counter part. Iranian women have been treated like second class citizens for god knows how long. Now before you get to excited do something about it. Join the women's rights groups and fight along them.

The current regime has tried everything to humiliate, suppress and belittle Iranian women but as the events are showing and are becoming visible once again or heroes and revolutionaries are the Iranian lionesses.

God bless Iranian women and their strength.

Amir Nasiri


It is "men" who oppress women. It is "men" who advocate it. It is "men" who tolerate it.

On Toofan Hosseinnezhad's "All men?":

"The green text dude" is actually doing a great job with his humorous subtle comments . On contrary to Mr. Hosseinnezhad , I do not see that as "male bashing ". Oppression and degradation of women is taking place in male dominated societies. It is "men" who practice it . It is "men" who advocate it. It is "men" who tolerate it. All because they want to turn women into a "second class citizen" that they can control.

Mr. H reminds me of some of those red-blooded white American men who get furious and feel offended when a black man condemns racism or slavery. Thus the white guy defensively shouts: " This is white bashing. I was not even living back then, I am totally innocent, I have never had slaves and on and on ...." We all know the era of slavery in the US is past gone, but the attitude still lingers on.

Well Mr. H, you may not be a sexist per se, but I assure you that the majority of the men in the middle east are. We have a culture that nourishes and perpetuates the status quo. we all need to change.



More likely a leopard

On Jeesh Daram's "Crocodile tears":

You can't have seen a stuffed tiger. They have been extinct in Iran for at least 50 years, probably longer. More likely, a leopard, as the name panthera also suggests. Check Eskandar Firuz's 'Fauna of Iran' .



Last sighting

On FF's "More likely a lepopard":

Actually, the last sighting of a tiger in Iran was in 1968 (39 years ago) in Iran and 1970 (unconfirmed) near Turkey. What I did not add in my article was that the object was in hiding for years and the only reason he had it outside was because he had taken advantage of the revolutionary chaos..... that is why it looked so worn out... I have no idea where he got it from.

See some discussions below from Wiki and another source for Genus and Specie name as well as other information:

Caspian tiger in the Roman arenas
The Caspian tiger was the subspecies of tiger (along with the Bengal) used in the Roman arenas. To Romans this subspecies was the most accessible as it inhabited the eastern borders of the Roman Empire. They were imported from Caucasus, Mesopotamia and Persia. The first tiger that fought in Rome was a gift from an Indian ambassador to Roman emperor Augustus in the year 19 BC. In the Roman arenas the tiger fought against Roman Gladiators and other animals like the aurochs and the European and Barbary lion.

History and extinction
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian government worked heavily to eradicate the Caspian tiger during an extensive land reclamation program. There was no room for the tiger in their plans, and government officials instructed the Russian army to exterminate all tigers found around the area of the Caspian Sea, a project that was carried out very efficiently. Once the extermination of the Caspian tiger was almost complete, farmers cleared forests and planting crops such as rice and cotton. Due to intensive hunting and deforestation, the Caspian tiger retreated first from the lush lowlands to the forested ranges, then to the marshes around some of the larger rivers, and finally, deeper into the mountains, until it almost certainly became extinct.

The last stronghold of the Caspian tiger in the former Soviet Union was in the Tigrovaya Balka area. Though the tigers were reported as being found there until the mid-1950s, the reliability of these claims is unknown.

An exact date of extinction is unknown. Some reports state that the last Caspian tiger was shot in Golestn National Park or some other place in Northern Iran in 1959. There are claims of a documented killing of this subspecies in the Uludere district in Turkey - a few dozen kilometers from the Iraqi border - during the 1970s (see below). Yet other reports state that the final Caspian tiger was captured and killed in Northeast Afghanistan in 1997.

The most frequently quoted date for extinction is the late 1950s, but there is almost no evidence to back that claim. It appears this date came to be accepted after being quoted by H. Ziaie in "A Field Guide to the Mammals of Iran." More evidence reflects an even earlier date of extinction. The area of Iran that contained the last Caspian tigers was the eastern region of Mazandaran, Northern Iran[citation needed]. According to E. Firouz in "A Guide to the Fauna of Iran, 1999", the last tiger was killed in 1947 near Agh-Ghomish Village, 10 km East of Kalaleh (Golestn Province), on the way to Minoodasht/Bojnourd. No one really knows for certain....... Much more in the subject there.

Jeesh Daram


Very important fact: He's Khuzestani

On Iranian of the day Mehdi Ghomeshi:

The writer forgot to mention one very important fact. Mr. Ghomeishi is a fellow-Khuzestani and has contributed generously to Iranian cultural events.

Azam Nemati


Top priority preventing military attack on Iran

On Mahvash Nasehi's "Zire yek saghf":

Dear Ms. Nasehi,

Thank you for your article. I, like you am all for the top priority .... and that is preventing military attack on Iran and the reason is simple to understand. At the same time, I try to see how other Iran lovers are active on other priorities. You know we are complex and the issues are complex. Trying to convince others that what I think is the priority is actually what we should be concentrating on is not simple. Your analyses are useful and constructive and I hope we will see more of those in the near future. Please help/advice us on the work to prevent military attack on Iran.

With best wishes

Mohamad Navab
Los Angeles



On Jahanshah Javid's book give-away part phoots, "Taaraaj":

It must have been quite liberating!



Not anytime soon

On Jahanshah Javid's book give-away part phoots, "Taaraaj":

Let me know when you are giving away your porn collection ;-)



Not only movies twisting history

On UNESCO's new 7 Wonders of the World:

Hi Jahanshah,

I was reading about the finalists of the new 7 wonders of the world new7wonders.com, and it was sad to see two things: One, Takhteh Jamshid not to be among the 7 finalists, but then again neither was Acropolis, but also not to have it listed among the finalists at all and instead having Sydney Opera House, Statue of Liberty, or Eiffel Tower which are all great but certainly not comparable to Persepolis to be listed. Pretty sad to see that it's not only movies like 300 or Alexander that are twisting history but also opportunities like this which can place a positive image on Iran are also being taken away.




Iran is going through a evolutionary process

On Ali Nasiri's "Hold them responsible":

You wrote in your letter, that we should tell "Iran's leader to stop their savage killing of innocent Iranians."

Except for Zahra Kazemi and the chain murders of 9 years ago, who else has been victim of this "savage killing" as you describe it. It is amazing you use this word on this regime, but I am sure you remained silent during the Shah's regime. The Islamic Republic is not systematically killing (it might be imprisoning those with ties to US think tanks, but it isn't killing them) and yet you use the word "savage" and claim that they have killed more than Ghengis Khan. Can you show proof of that?

The Shah's regime had a brutal secret police that dissuaded anyone internally or externally to voice out criticism of the government. Yet journalists from inside or foreign journalists routinely go to Iran, and the people freely express their views of the government, and no reprucssions are made. Of course they will not tolerate civil disobedience, neither do they tolerate it here in the US (look up Reagan when he was governor of California during Nixons time, and see how many Berkeley students he massacred for protesting against Vietnam).

Iran is going through a evolutionary process. It had 2,500 years of brutal dictatorship, which has inflicted its mind and it will take time for it to remove those shackles of time. No one claims the Islamic Republic is perfect, but no one should lie and claim they are "savagely killing innocent Iranians." That quote in itself makes you a liar.

You are an emotional reactionary. You seriously need to wake up and smell the hookah.

Dariush Abadi


Had me smiling and crying at the same time

On Eslam Anthony Shams's photos of Iran on YouTube:

Dear Mr. Shams:

I would like to thank you for the wonderful collection of pictures you compiled into video clips about Iran. As I sat and watched picture after picture of your memorable trip, I was reminded again that anyone can pick up a camera and push a botton to produce a photograph. But sometimes, and all too rarely, when we look at some photographs, we also get to see the person who took those pictures.

Your pictures and your presentation were so filled with love, respect, and a playful joy of life, they had me smiling and crying at the same time for a land I love and respect. I went with you on your journey, and I feel happy and rewarded in the end. Thank you for your labor of love.

Nazy Kaviani


Initiate court case for inciting genocidal hatred against ALL Iranians

On Qumars Bolourchian's "Merchants of hate":

Dear Qumars,

Thank you for revealing a thoroughly nauseating show of bloodlust. It is all the more shocking that some of the slogans calling for death and devastation appear on baby clothes and cuddly teddy bears. Is this what American babies are supposed to learn in diapers? Though I am no friend of the mullahs, I must admit that nothing ever said by anyone in the IRI hierarchy quite matches the bloodthirstiness of the slogans displayed on the items you show in your photographs.

Since I do not live in the US, I strongly suggest that those of you who do should consult a lawyer and initiate a court case against the guilty website for inciting genocidal hatred against ALL Iranians as well as promoting the total destruction of an ancient country with a rich cultural heritage. Nor is it unique to these items, one sees frequent postings with similar messages in in various blogsites originating in the US or Israel that display a total ignorance of Iran, its people and its culture, and rely only on distorted slogans gleaned from already distorted and un-nuanced formulae repeated ad nauseam by the American media. It is interesting to note that even in the Israeli blogs (Jerusalem Post or Ha'aretz) the most aggressive postings that call for the carpet-bombing of Iran or the annihilation of its people more often than not originate in the US or Canada.

A well publicized court case might clarify that Iran cannot be summarized in what a certain or his political appointee may have said, that there is much more to Iran than simplistic slogans, and that its destruction would be an immeasurable blow to the cultural heritage of the world.

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian


I can assure you, there will be trouble

On Qumars Bolourchian's "Merchants of hate":

If they ever do try what they've done in Iraq with the people of Iran, I can assure you, there will be trouble. And, that trouble will come from within.

There are many, many groups already getting ready.

Anthony Wrifford


Hit these scum bags where it hurts

On Qumars Bolourchian's "Merchants of hate":

I have one thing to say to the racist assholes that made these T-shirts. They could go and F**k themselves. NIAC, CAIR and every civil rights group should find out who is making these T-shirts and protest in front of their place of business. Give these people hell. Boycott their partners.

Many years ago Henry Ford wrote a book demonizing Jewish people in America. American Jews boycotted Ford until Henry Ford was near bankruptcy. Henry Ford apologized for his actions and wrote something complementing Jewish people in America.

The Iranian community in America should do the same. Hit these scum bags that make these t-shirts where it hurts. Hit their wallets and put them out of business.

Jacob Cohen


If I see someone wearing one of these t-shirts I will give him a bloody nose

On Qumars Bolourchian's "Merchants of hate":

If I see someone wearing one of these t-shirts I will give him a bloody nose he will never forget. But you don't have to do that since where I am from we call people like you Bacheh Kambiz. (no disrespect to the editor intended)



I let them know that they are promoting hate

On Qumars Bolourchian's "Merchants of hate":

I have called cafe press and spoke to sveral people there and did let them know that they are promoting hate and discrimination and their contents are ver racist.

Phone: Toll Free 1-877-809-1659

Write: CafePress.com
Customer Service Dept.
950 Tower Lane
Ste. 600
Foster City, CA 94404

The content Usage Management

Please let other know that they can contact Cafe Press.

Thank you
Amir Nasiri


Hello, war kills people

On Qumars Bolourchian's "Merchants of hate":

I looked at the pictures of the items you had on IRANIAN.COM. It is very unfortunate to see that some one who is intelligent enough to use a computer, waist "their" time on creating things to promote and encourage war. (the article had 2 names on it)

I am sure you realize that "wanting war" means another mess. Mass people getting killed and homes and places that are nothing to you, but mean allot to the poor people in that area are going to be destroyed. Instead of that if you hope that the idiot president would come to realize that war is NOT an answer to our problems, and by that I mean "your president bush" we all would have better lives. The president of Iran is of course another idiot, but If you could only place yourself in the life of one of the soldiers that are wounded in the war, or be a part of the families that have lost loved ones, or better yet for the people who live there and NOT wantingly are forced to live there and take whatever other people bring to them in their daily lives, then may be you wouldn't come to think that way. "BOMB IRAN"!!!

I can see your anger and frustration, but come on... be realastic... DO you think that any of us, including you, had any thing to say as for WHERE to be born?!! Did YOU decide to be born in your family in where ever you were born!!!!! I THINK NOT... with your attitute towards other people's lives in Iran, I am thinking you wanted to be born in a safisticated country like U.S. OK! yes, I live outside Iran, but I am never ashamed to be who I am and I would never, ever want other people to die... (hello, war kills people)

I am not even a Muslim, but I don't want my brothers and sisters of Muslim Faith to die. Even though I am a Baha'i and had to ran away from the government WITH my husband and three kids under the age of 7... we ran away because of the government, which was Muslim, but I would never want ill for them...

I tell you, the pleasure you find in peace, you would never find in war....try it, you might enjoy it.



Live Earth was missing one important man

On Siamack Baniameri's "Save the earth?":

Live Earth was missing one important man. The King. Not Elvis ... Reza Pahlavi.



Censorship in cinema

On Peyvand Khorsandi's "Taste of censorship":

I just read Payvand Khorsandi's appeal in favor of Marjan Satrapi's excellent film.

I absolutely endorse his suggestion but would also like to remind that both Abbas Kiarostami and Makhmalbaf father and daughter were present at Cannes and yet no public photo was ever released to my knowledge of them in presence of Satrapi or its cast of actors during the festival or after Persepolis received the Jury Prize. Nor did any one here a complimentary note from these prestigious directors in support of the film. Yet even the Makhmalbaf's had been complaining of being undermined (literally) by a terrorist attack on the Set of Samira's latest film: The Two Legged Horse (Turned One Leg after an explosion). See report.

Although the Makhmalbaf's comments and press conference at Cannes was not clear who they accused of sabotaging their film (Iran's government or more unlikely the US troops in Afghanistan), it seemed however that they felt some discomfort in regard to their working conditions in Iran or neighbouring countries.

Also alas censorship is nothing new in the Islamic Republic and even domestic films continue to be censored or delayed in their release with no explanation as has been the case of Niki Karimi's latest film One Night which triggered its director to write an Open letter to the Minister of Cultural affairs:

I personally think that it is extremly difficult for the Iranian directors working in Iran to express any open support for films deemed subversive by Tehran's theocratic regime like Zach Snyder's 300 or Oliver Stone's Alexander and now for Marjan Satrapi's Persepolis.

The reason is more due to the fact that they fear not being able to work if they openly support films deemed innappropriate by the regime rather than physical threats they may be subject too.

It should be reminded that it was the Farabi Foundation that sent an open letter to the Ministry of Culture expressing its outrage against Satrapi's film being screened at Cannes.

This institute is already conducting a cultural purge by seperating "Khateh Imam" directors and Films from others. It is important to unmask these organizations activities where they act as lobby groupes to promote the Islamic Republic's Ideology with a big smile and impose their own cultural agenda's.

I think that if indeed Iranians of the Diaspora bring their full support towards Iranians Artists in Iran and in support of Freedom of Expression it can indeed embold them and even make them more outspoken.

Maybe an online petition calling for Freedom of Expression in the Arts in Iran and the condemnation of the Banckok Film festival for conceding to the threats of the Iranian Embassy and authorities may be a good way to show to our fellow Artists in Iran and in the Diaspora our full support.

I am willing to sign it and would encourage everyone to do so including famed Actors and directors of the Persian Diaspora in Europe and the US, who could give even more credibility to this petition.


Film Critic


Why Islamic Republic's flag?

On Arzhang climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro:

Kudos and Congradulations for this Brave and Great Achievement to Arzhang but why did he have to host the Flag of the Islamic Republic on that World Summit??? and not the Sun and Lion or at worst the Iranian Flag without any emblem deemed political.

Gosh How Awful to see that Flag with the Red Fork no one likes glorified for nothing ...

Next time I hope you keep this in mind for your Aberoo !

Congrats nevertheless!



Other things U.S. has done to Iran

On Nahal Zamani's "Troubled history":

Please add the following to your list:

· Sending Reza Shah to exile
· Installing Shah and sucking Iranian people’s wealth.
· US objection to Iran acquiring Steel Mill factory in Isfahan from Germans. Finally Shah went to the Russians and was able to get it because it was during the cold war era.
· US objection to Iran to buy into shares of German companies such as Krupp, Mercedes Benz and etc.
· Forcing Shah to lend money to countries that they knew the money will be funneled back to the US.
· Selling military hardware to Iran beyond its needs
· US companies were able to sign big contracts in Iran and Iranians were getting nothing in return!
· Freezing Iranian money in US banks.

Washington, DC


I am all with you!

On Majid Boroumand's "Can we trust you?" and NY Times article "U.S. sues Merrill Lynch on treatment of Muslim":

Dr. Borumand,

I am surprised that you think this is something new, when in fact this has been their trade mark throughout the history and present! At least those israelis fired you, but they are going to fire on iran soon through the US with the help of AIPAC, SOB Lieberman, Kissinger, Scooter Levy (LIBBY), Richard Pearl, and the rest of the congress!

They started almost all the wars in this century including both persian gulf and iraq war, and now planning iran war! Now you see why I get mad when this idiot, trader Amil Imani writes an article on this site saying lets go bomb iran with the Israelis help! Israelis are no one's friend, they just use and abuse others through their devilish shrewdness, and steal their lands!

I am all with you! If an Iranian had done that to them, they would have crucified him!



Here is my point: A fundamental change is necessary

On D.M.'s "In Iraq, not Iran":

I appreciate your feedback and your position on the geography of the video. I also fully agree that education is the key to change and growth in any society. The problem with the IRI is that they are not going to change, become softer on repressive issues and give more freedoms or anything else that our “Hamvatans” who have taken the passive path hope for. We can sit here and hope and discuss all the small changes that will make our society better, but every so often, the regime just takes ten steps back and we are back at square one.

Here is my point: A fundamental change is necessary. A regime needs to be in place that promotes freedom, education, healthcare, a healthy economy and the well-being of our people in general. That is NOT going to happen with the IRI and it is NOT going to happen from the outside. No foreign force can bring this about. A US invasion will only serve in bringing the people together to rally around whoever within Iran is affected by this and at this time, it is the IRI at the forefront of this assault. The US has not succeeded in Iraq or Afganistan and it is absolute myth if anyone thinks they will in Iran. Again, it has to be from within, but it has to be fundamental, not gradual.

Kaveh N.



On Fariba Moghadam's "Mahasti va media":

Great review, at last someone with good moral, could point out those "LAASHKHORS" among Iranian commercial TVs.

You said what the majorities of satellite’s TV viewers want to say, about this "abduction of Mahasti's funeral", and none sense exaggeration of her art works.

Some of those morons in charge of those media whom do not comprehend the difference between a Concert or a Funeral SALE out..!!



It is amazing how we can do this some 30 yrs

On Fariba Moghadam's "Mahasti va media":

Dear Ms. Moghadam

Thank you for the note. It is amazing how we can do this some 30 yrs following immigration and living in a new environment.

Mohamad Navab
Los Angeles


Banoo Mahasti lived with grace and deserved a graceful burial

On Lance Raheem's "Zendehyaad":

all i can tell if Mahasti was alive she would be so sad by the way tapesh tv treated her fans i was there at the funeral we drove from fresno to be there but they treated us like bunch of sheeps after they beurried her compeletly they allow people to pass her grave and say their fare well this is not the way then keivan hayedeh 's son comes on tv and says it was the cemetery's law i called them and they said it was all tapesh tv's doing we had nothing to do with it banoo Mahasti lived with grace and deserved a graceful burial her fans should have been able to touch her coffin and kissed her goodbye for the last time shame on tapesh tv they did not even allow people to drink water in LA's heat may God bless her soul.

fresno ca


You are a good man to do that for your mom

On Brian Appleton's "Familiar and beautiful things":

Brian, I loved your narration of the family trip to Italy. Very touching and you are a good man to do that for your mom. And like a surprise dessert after a great meal; you finished the article with the "Sounds of Siena at Dawn!" Excellent.

Jeesh Daram


Friends changed so much

On Nazy Kaviani's "True story":

Dear Nazy kaviani'

Such a heartfelt enchanting story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Since I have left Iran in 1983' I have lost so many old friends for so many different reasons that I can totally relate to your true happy-ending story. Unfortunately' I am sure I am not the only one in this case...

I wish all my old friends would have turned into such strong accomplished well-known women (like yours) and I could easily Google their names and find them after so many years.

The irony is that in the few rare cases where I found them after the passage of too many years' I realized that they had changed so much that I had a hard time to recognize them again. So' I had to let go of my old cherished memories' replacing them sadly with the new image of a total stranger.

I always wondered if they were the ones totally changed or it was just me?

Azarin A. Sadegh

PS: This is one essay I wrote about my search for a lost friend:


What this has to do with Iran and Iranians?

On Azarin A. Sadegh's "I have lost a part of my humanity":

baa tashakkor valli ammaa: what this has to do with Iran and Iranians? are we using everything now to propagate false information? Yazidis or izadis have their own cultural codes. They are not Iranian and the writer is trying to make this to look like it is a norm in Iran. False begets false.



What made it even better

On Fatemeh Farajmandi's "Shades of home":

Ms. Farajmandi's photo essay was great. What made it even better was the fact that the description of location and such were also given with each pictures. This is something I wish all photo enthusiast who post their nice work to Iranian.com do' so we know the locals the pictures were taken.

I wish Mr. Sany also had done the same with beautiful picture essay about Shomal and the Caspian see development.

Keep up the good work'

M. Samii


Shah was not more than a puppet

On Masoud Arefi's "We had our guards down":

Dear Mr. Arefi:

We should remember that the literacy in Iran was not more than 22%. Iran did not have enough Doctors and Engineers to take the tasks in the country. In Mehrabad airport we could see US Airforce and Britain Royal Air Force Planes everywhere. The country was virtually occupied by the outside forces. The ruler of Iran' Shah was not more than a puppet for Americans and British. We are all nostalgic about the past. The reality is something else.



We don't have to shit EVERYTHING

On Naanaam's "Chand kaare kootaah":

I'm begging this Naanam khanoom to be a little more considerate about spelling farsi words. If she doesn't have enough farsi literature education' she better gets it' if she actually knows the correct spelings and just uses that strange way of spelling farsi words as a symbol of her over- romanticness' I encourage her to express her exploding emotions in some other way. We don't have to shit EVERYTHING.

Azar Nikghadam


"Eshghe Laati" should be our national anthem!

On Shahkar Bineshpajooh's music:

Shahkar Bineshpajooh for President. I love this guy. I heard one of his bootleg CD's over a year ago and fell in love with his humor. I love anyone who's willing to make fun of his/her own self/culture ... particularly from our own uptight Iranian culture where for some reason most people think too highly of themselves!

"Eshghe Laati" should be our national anthem!



Fond memories of Abadan

On Paul Schroeder's " Memories of an American boy":

I enjoyed the article. It brought back fond memories of my experience living in Abadan. The author lived in Abadan just before our family arrived and apparently lived very close to our house at SQ 1046 in New Braim. I would enjoy exchanging information with the author' Paul Schroeder' if you would forward my e-mail address to him.

William Dimpfl


Beautiful memories of Natanz

On Bita Ria's "Rerturning to Kesheh":

Dear Bita' I was overjoyed with much exhilaration to have looked at the pictures you shared on Kesheh. My parents' like yours' had left Natanz for Tehran when they were young to finally settle in Shemiran via SaboonPaz khooneh in south Tehran. I was born in Dezashib and grw up in Evian' outside the notorious wall along the Parkway.

In fact' my last name Rahni' corresponds to Rahan' a small village south of Natanz proper' which is now in effect annexed to Natanz. And my mother's folks come from Tameh' a small sleepy village at the foothills of the Karkas (Vulture) Mountain' elevation 4200 meters; I climbed it dozens of times.

The word Karkas relates to an era in the near past' when there were Zoroastrian burial mounds around Karkas Mountain. The vultures were hovering atop the mounds' hills and the mountains such as above Gonbade Baz' a dome' which is said to be the burial shrine of Shah Abbas Falcon' whom he killed out of anger' but in reality is a Atashkadeh (Zoroastrian Temple).

Like you I have many beautiful nostalgic memories of these places in the tranquil Natanz and the surroundings. It aches my heart to see the otherwise good noble name' Natanz' drawn into mud in western media' for the alleged nuclear related activities nearby. No one' including many Iranian compatriots' realize that this township and 70 plus villages and hamlets belonging to its district' spoke middle Pahlavi dialects till recent juncture an many were actually of Zoroastrian faith.

Thanks again for sharing.

Davood Rahni


If there is one place I love most about Iran is that little village

On Davood Rahni's "Beautiful memories of Natanz":

Dear Davood'

wow' i am so happy that you feel that way about the area surrounding Karkas mountains. Because before i go to Kesheh i thought no one cares about that area' and if the US have air strikes on Natanz's nuclear area' the small villages will definitly be targets too. In Iraq/Iran war i was only 3' and back then Kesheh was our Shelter away from all Tehran's bombs' now it's the new target. I think it is so sad too.

It's so good that you shared the history of the area with me' i didn't know that the area was originally a Zartoshti settlement' but im very proud to know that. I knew someone important was burried on the mountains somewhere' you can see the place from distance as you are driving towards the mountains' i remember my dad pointing it out everytime we were driving there.

Kesheh has a lot of caves. People used to hide there when the arabs attacked or the Qajar or whenever there were wars'...My grandpa says there must be alot of undiscovered places in the area where treasures are burried. Keshe is very old' people are very old' the population is dying one by one each year. My dad's mum passed away this year' and the lovely thing is' they all want to be burried in Keshe.

If there is one place I love most about Iran is that little village. However i don't know if i would feel the same way if my grandparents pass away - my childhood is summerised in two words : Mamani and Kesheh.

Anyway' your email meant alot to me. I hope if you haven't already been able to go back you can oneday and if you have i hope you continue to do so...and eat lots of Golabi.

Bita Ria


Postcard from Iran


I’m a father of a 6-years-old boy from Wroclaw/Poland' who just started to collect postcards from all over the world. I promised him to help to start his collection. As I found your e-mail on some internet site' I’d like to ask you if you could send him just one postcard from your country.

Maybe you can even ask your readers to send a postcard to my son?

If you can help' that’s the address of my son:

Wojtek Gurgul
ul. Wlada 6
52-203 Wroclaw

Pawel Gurgul


Little description would be nice

On Parviz Forghani's "Familiar forms":

Thanks for the beautiful photographs. But it would have been nice with a little description under each photo for those of us who are unfamiliar with these places.



I hate to profile people' but...

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Health fudge":

As true as it is for a lot of other people:

You can take an INDIAN out of INDIA' but

You can't take INDIA out of an INDIAN!!

I hate to profile people based on their.........!!!' but I think CNN PAYS more!!

The fact that a "successful surgeon and a doctor" leaves his area of profession to have a "SHOW" in CNN, tells me and everyone else what kind of a "DOCTOR" he really is.

I hate to profile people base on their .....etc.".... you know what I mean!! I'm absolutely sure that for HIM with the expertise he has, CNN pays more!!



Do you or are you comfortable with pretx of women's liberation?

On women and freedom in America:

Kindly I have a question to those Iranians living in America: I am 30 years here in self exile against Iranian regime. I say that so you do not think I am fanatic or someting, or fundamental, but I wonder If Western values is free sex, for men and women, then would you allow your wife or your sister to abide by this law?? Can your wife invite her former boyfriend home while you are present??

Do you or are you comfortable with pretx of women's liberation?

I hope no hard feeling, thank you

marshall shokouhi


What happened to my best friend?

I am looking to find out what exactly happened to my best friend Yaqub Behnia. He was either executed in Shiraz during the mass execution in 1988 or escaped to another country with some help from Adelabad prison's personnel.

Azam Fooladivand


Long lost friend Mitra Sanai

Hi there! My name is Martin Paran and I'm looking for my long lost friend Mitra Sanai going back to our student days at the University of Bristol in England. This was back in 1986/87. As far as I know she got married shortly after & moved to Canada so I'm quite sure she's not carrying the name Sanai anymore.

Coming on in life and not the youngest any more makes it all the more important for me to find her. If anybody out there knows of her whereabouts & how I can contact her pls. e-mail me

Martin-George Paran


I never forgot about him

I am a Mexican woman, I live in Baja California Mexico, back in 1978 I met Abbas Jalilehvand, he is from Teheran, Iran, last time I heard about him, he was in Holland, but I would like to know about him. I've done every thing I can to find out any thing, I just want to know if he is alive, if he is ok, that's it, I was in love with him almost 30 years ago. I never forgot. You know any thing? PLEASE let me know. Thanks in advance.

Mireya Alvarez


I remember eating melons and Samanu from this village

On Ghasem Ghani's memoir, "A man of many worlds":

I have heard the name "Deh Badnoom" or "Deh Badnam" in Sabzevar, Khorasan when I was a little girl from my Baba Boozorg, Mother Boozorg and my Aunts and my parents. I believe my grandfather Haj Mohammad Hassan -- "Haj Mahsan" -- was the owner of the village. I remember eating melons and Samanu from this village. I got to read some pages of this book by accident. I have just ordered this book. Is there any possibilities that the editor of this book to contact me?

Zohreh Ellison


Reminds me of my personal struggles

On Fariba Amini's "Two countries, close and far away":

Your article is good and I cried without knowing why. Perhaps because it reminds me of my personal struggles to bring the Azeris and Armenians over NK issues to the table back in 1993-994. It was hard but I achieved it.

You are a very good writer. I see sincerity in your writings. I wish if you were able to make a TV producer that organizes event such as town hall meetings to further expand your works. Several years ago I approached Ted Koppel with a letter for such an event but he did not respond although we are both graduates of Stanford. I thought that might have helped but it did not. Perhaps with your skillful writings, you might be able.

What I have in mind is that if we could organize a Town Hall meeting between two campuses of Tehran University or Sharif University and a US campus such as Harvard, Stanford or George Town and bring the issues of Iran, US, Israel and Arabs into dialogue among university students / participants. If you feel this may work so that you can spend some time on this subject, please let me know. I can better formulate the concept / plan if you / another associates could work and sponsorship funds made available.

Yours sincerely,



People who have no problem to betray their own

On Lawrence Reza Ershaghi's "Opportunists, not academics":

Dear Mr Ershaghi

First let me thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts in writing for the rest of us to read. However I find it so ironic that those who suppress the voice of masses and prevent free media and free debate whenever their power allows them, have no problem to express their own suppressive thoughts on such free and open to all firms.

Before any thing else I would like to confirm that you have touched on some very important issues about the state of our country and the mentality of people inside and out of Iran and although I might not agree with all of your assessments but the importance of the points you have raised could not be debated.

Let me start my assessment by giving my total agreement with one important point that you made in your assessment.

The opposition groups outside Iran are not united. They are mostly are a bunch of incompetent self-centred cronies who have mostly got their own interest in mind and are not at all in touch with the realities of life inside Iran, or what is happening to its people. This is their biggest weakness and as you have rightly put it yourself many of them have lend themselves to other third parties and foreign governments who do not have the interest of Iranian people in mind.

I guess every body has his price, as yours was a seat on the Tehran University's board of lecturers.

Another very important point that I find my self in agreement with you is the fact that the West and specially US have not yet understood the nature of mullahs and the extent on their duplicity. For the past 28m years the West kept undermining them and refused to admit to their strengths or look for their real weak points and as a result they kept undermining the West and its efforts to deal with them efficiently. But that is another story for another day and definitely out of the scope of this discussion.

However as for the rest of your article, I found it to be extremely naïve twisted and so out of touch with the realities on the ground that kept me wondering if your brain have been frozen since 1979 and you have just come out of the state of hibernation.

It is so ironic that every mass murderer, suppressor, dictator and fascist always hides behind the masses and claims to be supported by the poor people in their victim society. This was the same about Hitler Stalin Mao and the 13 th Imam. When on the other hand it has always been the case about the true popular leaders that they have always stood in front of their nation and led them

Especially when you claim that all the poor people of country are behind these mass murderer and the apposition is only confined to the wealthy people of northern Tehran. I personally find it as adding insult to injury, as you seem to believe just because we do not have a lot of money we must also lack brain and capability to think or evaluate and analyse these events for ourselves, or we do capable of being moderate and wanting to live a free life.

Just to put your mind in ease first let me to clear a few things about myself. I have been in Tehran less than 10 times in the past ten years and I have never even seen Niavaran.

The last time my family and I went to Caspian coast (Shomaal) was around 25 years ago when it was still affordable for the average Iranian to do so. And I have even been born in the very religious city of Mashhad

The next time you come to Mashhad just come to Tabarsi Street and ask for the Javadyye Alley way as that is were my family roots are and my relatives still live. We live a simple but honest life and we do not have a lot of money to splash around.

Another important point that I want you to remember is the fact that at the time when you were doing your university education in US of A and living a life of convenience it was me and people like me who went to war and fought Saddam's army. I personally served in 21st Brigade.

However I did it out of love for my motherland and not to spread Khomeini's version of Islam or going to Karbala. As it was the case for me and many of my comrades, we saw it as our duty to defend their motherland.

We fought for 4 years and brought Saddam's army into its knees. Until 1984 when Saddam agreed to a UN peace accord and even Saudi Arabia agreed to pay compensation to Iran for all the damages of the war. But because of the selfishness of one stubborn man who wanted to go spread his power in the region we were made to fight a pointless war for another 6 years, which killed a generation and devastated our country socially and economically.

Now to see someone like you trying to take advantage of our sacrifices and twisting the truth in order to further their own personal ambition really sickens me to the stomach.

For the facts that I explained above, it makes me very qualified to be one of the masses and in case you have been hiding your head in your back side for the past 20 years I should inform you that I am not the only one in my social class who thinks like this.

I was born in a traditional Muslim family and my parents tried their best to raise me as a "good Muslim" but after 25 years of observing the Muslim hypocrisy and the crimes, which happened in my country under the banner of Islam, I became sick and tired of it and so I converted to Zartosht. Ironically I see my self more lucky than my friends and other people of my generation who are still left in the limbo of carrying the title of Muslim but not truly believing in its doctoring or even resenting it.

In your article you made several claims about the fruits of revolution, where it stands and the faith of its enemies. As to an untrained eye or a person who has not actually lived it Iran and is not in touch with the reality of life here you might be able to get away with these claims But to a person like me it is noting but a house of cards and as soon as you pool one card out the whole thing will collapse.

But first things first.

Before any thing let me to remind you about a few fruits of 28 years suppression that you forgot to mention. Because I believe as a grass root member of this society who deals with its social problems day in day out, that makes me more than qualified to remind you of a few of those out comes

1- More than 10 million unemployed.

2- Double digit inflation

3- Incapability to refine our own oil and having to buy petrol from abroad

4- Record level of drug addicts

5- Record number of young girls who resort to prostitution because of poverty

6- An economy in ruin

7- A grim international reputation, as every body regards us as terrorists

8- Record number of young people fleeing the country to become homeless refugees around the world

9- Child poverty at its highest level. Even worst that the time of Ghaajaar dynasty

10- Ten years of pointless war which left our economy industry and human resources it ruin

And this is only the tip of the iceberg as the list goes on and on and on.

However may be the most naïve statement that I encountered in your article was the following

"The fact that the majority of the country is young is more of an economic issue than anything else, but somehow this is always transformed into a political issue. "

In this argument you seem to try to distinguish between the political and economical affair of the country. Which leaves one wondering about the authenticity of your education or the extent that you are willing to twist the fact and close your eyes the facts of life just to serve your own personal interests and ambitions.

To any body who have ever opened a book on economy sociology and politic it should be obvious the political and economical events of a country are so inter related that they could only be regarded as one and the same.

In fact it is the first and foremost duty of the government, the politicians and leader of any country to make sure that the economy is in a viable and healthy status as everything else is driven from that.

Just read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. What people want from their leaders is good managed economy, which creates jobs and wealth for those who are willing to work for it. They want such economy to first exist and be sustained and then its fruits ( i.e. tax revenue) to be used as basis for building other social institutions and infrastructures such as health education, welfare and a police which serves the people and provides them with security instead of suppressing and beating them up.

We do not want our leader to prepare us for the dooms day as we already have got Nostradamus for that. We do not want our leaders to preach religion as we already have the clerics and religious institutions for that. We do not want or leaders and security services to interfere in the utmost private aspects of our lives as we feel we are mature enough to decide for our selves. At the time when we have record poverty in the country we definitely do not want our leaders to waist our money on every shadowy terrorist group around the glob just to buy themselves some useless publicity.

As for your assessment of the faith of the enemies of revolution let me clear a few points for you.

First of all, MKO was the group who started the revolution and they were the ones who rallied around Khomeini and introduced him to Iranian people. I was there heard all their slogans and saw them in action during the revolution. Now can you claim the same thing?

They though that they can use Khomeini to get into power and then push him aside, but Khomeini was more dubious than they have taken him for and in the end he turned the table on them. Just like every other revolution this one's first victims became its own children. However I must admit that I believe that MKO got what they deserve and they deserve what they got, for betraying their people and country and I loos no sleep over their misery and misfortune.

As for Saddam Hussein he was noting but a poppet of the West who came to power by his coup against Ahmed Hassan Al-Baker in 1977 (with the support of The West).

His time came to an end when he started to bit the hand of his masters and his doom was when he started to deal Oil in Euro instead of American Dollar. An action, which would have inevitably resulted in the breaking of the Petro-dollar-Arms cycle (Now, I leave it to you do more investigation on that).

As for the Taliban, their end came when they started to pose a treat to The West by siding with Al -Quade and even more importantly when they were seen as an obstacle to the Caspian Sea oil pipeline to transfer Russian oil to the Persian Gulf.

Their end had noting do with the incompetent mullahs. It is simply ridicules and arrogant to try and claim credit for these events (as it is not even attempted by the people in the establishment)

Finally, on your remarks about the export of your disaster of revolution and its shadowy allies around the world. These are bunch of opportunist terrorists who are noting but "Magase Dore Shirini". They only coexist with the mullahs because Mullahs pay them well. As we all saw, after the Lebanon's war Hezbollah was paying $1000 per person to the people in South Lebanon. This was the money given to them by the mullahs. The money, which should have been spent to develop our own country's infrastructure, health service and economy instead. The money, which could have tackled child poverty in Iran and help young families to get back on their feet. But instead it was paid to bribe Hezbollah in order to get their support. The support that could neither be useful nor even be relied on. Now it is needless to repeat the same story with Hamas.

These are the people who have no problem to betray their own, as they have done it several times before. If you doubt, me just have another look at the faith of Arafat and Rafigh Hariri. Now what chance do you think you have when some one else like Syria Saudi Arabia or even U.S come along and through them a bigger bone, are you really naïve enough to believe that they would still remain loyal to you or are you ready to admit that they would be the first ones to betray you

Khomeini was a selfish greedy Indian bustard who had no regard or feeling for this country and its people. That was why he did not feel any thing when he was coming to devastate this land. In fact right to the end, after his policies killed more than one million of our people and destroyed our economy and country's infrastructure still he had no felling of remorse or otherwise and kept being the biter stubborn monster that he was, right to the end.

Areyo Barzan


>>> More July 2007: Part 1 -- Part 2
All past letters

Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions