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May 2006

TALKS
Lion vs. Eagle

Kianosh Saadati
May 31, 2006

Now that Condoleezza Rice has officially offered talks with Tehran, many people would think this offer will resolve issues after 26 years of deadlock between the two countries.

But it is just the beginning! Hours after Rice's press conference, Tehran refused conditional talks for a very simple reason. If they suspend uranium enrichment they have opened up the door for the eagle to dominate. The mullahs perfectly know that uranium enrichment and the nuclear crisis are the only playing cards in this game. The moment the Lion (Iran) backs down, Tehran will not have any card to play. Simply an unconditional check and mate!!

I assume this offer worsens the issue. The mullahs know, or at least hope to know, that the only thing which can keep them in power and, of course raise oil price in world markets, is uranium enrichment.

With next few days things get uglier and uglier , Iran insists on uranium enrichment, the U.S. gears up for possible military attack and the world prepares for another crisis after still devastating war in Iraq which swallows American taxpayers dollars. In other word , the lion and the eagle gear up for the last duel!

LIFE
Lostville

Hooman Golshan
May 27, 2006

he was stuck in gridlock for 2 hours.... after a long day's work, all he wanted to do was get home.... finally he got home at 8 pm.... starving, exhausted and delirious.... he opened the door, and went in...."honey... where have you been? we can't go on like this.... it is about time you decided what is more important to you... our marriage, or your job.....".... too tired to argue, he went into the bathroom, locked the door, took off his clothes and sat in the tub.... the hot water started to sooth his body... aaah this was better.... it gave him a chance to clear his thoughts... see what his priorities were.... he thought of his house, and all the crap that was in it.... all the furniture, rugs, and all the other clutter... it meant absolutely nothing to him... and his car that gas-guzzling clunker... he hated that car.... it was more like a mobile coffin than anything else.... he was thinking last week, that he had probably spent three years of his life in that car stuck in traffic.... he snapped out of it... this was depressing him.... he got out of the tub.... put on his bathrobe and went into the bedroom... his nagging wife came in.... "honey, i was going to tell you next week, but i thought i might as well let you know now.... i'm filing for divorce!! you'll be getting a call from an attorney next week..... i want everything.... the house, the apartment in south beach, our summer home in france... well not everything... you get to keep that car...." he stood there, just looking at her... he didn't say a word.... after five minutes, he said..."you know dear... there is no need for an attorny...." he got a paper signed it and said "here is your blank check....write whatever you want".... next he took his car keys, opened the door to his car, put the car in neutral, and pushed that mobile coffin over the cliff -- their house was located on the top of a cliff -- without even bothering to take his wallet, he went over to his neighbor who was also his best friend, and said "get your keys jack, i want you to take me somewhere" they got in his car, and drove all night to montana.... there they were at last.... lostville montana, right by the canadain border....population 100.... (to be continued...)

HUMOR
Irooni-baazi

Nicole Pajoohi
May 24, 2006

For all of you Iroonis, the word 'Irooni-baazi' should sound familiar. This term has come to encompass a wide gamut of Persian tendencies that take place in day-to-day activities, typically negative in nature.

Literally translated "Irooni-baazi" means "Iranian games"; however, its connotation implies a degree of dishonesty, exaggeration, and deception leveraged for one's benefit, whether to give the impression of status/class/wealth or to conjure pity. It is essentially the belief that through calculated and harmless deceit, favorable results may be realized. Most of us have been subjected to random episodes of such behavior, although it seems that recently I have had more than the recommended healthy allowance.

Let's backtrack to Sunday afternoon -- a seemingly typical day in Georgetown. I make a stop at Zara and as I wait in the queue for the fitting room, my ear detects presence of a Persian accent, reminiscent of relatives who've been in America for 20 years but still put "E" before "S" when followed by a consonant (ess-tore, ess-kool, ess-top) or who refuse to acknowledge "W" as an actual letter in the English language, opting rather for "V" (vaat do you vaant).

My attention diverges from the excruciatingly slow paced queue to the conversation at hand. I turn my head discretely so to not declare my Iranian-ness or sudden interest. I observe 2 Irooni men and one black girl. The men, in their mid-twenties, humor the girl who describes her close Persian girlfriend as "fly". Unable to comprehend this adjective, the girl proceeds to provide synonyms in the form of "dope, kickin', and sick", none of which seemed to convey the message.

After several unsuccessful attempts the word "hot" does the job and the men begin to bombard her with questions: "vaat does she luk like? Vaat does she do? Vaay you don't bering her out?"The girl finally makes her way to a fitting room as the men stand outside and discuss important issues such as "dokhtar-baazi" and "mast-kardan" (skirt chasing and getting wasted).

Several minutes go by, the men in deep conversation, when the girl emerges from the fitting room wearing nothing more than a scantily clad bandana over her breasts. The men stop mid-sentence as though the words on their tongues dissipated into thin air and without hesitation, follow her into the women's fitting room for a closer look. Not two steps into the cordoned area, a store attendant intercepts, telling them that the area is for women only.

Enter Irooni-baazi.

The men begin to declare that they are doctors who see and touch human bodies every day. The attendant, not amused and unaffected, directs them to clear the area. The men continue boasting that as physicians (specifically in anesthesiology ... I guess name dropping also constitutes Irooni-baazi), they should be allowed to enter the fitting room, since they are clearly of a higher specimen of human being. Offended, the men bash the policy of the store, the lack of respect for doctors, and the ridiculousness of the entire situation (maskhareh-baazi).

Yet another encounter with Irooni-baazi took place just a couple months ago when I attended a 'mehmooni' at my uncle's house. My mom introduced me to a woman whose daughter was similar in age and was pursuing a degree in my major. As the woman and I engaged in conversation, I could feel the mounting tension of Irooni-baazi. I asked her where her daughter attends school -- by all accounts a simple question, requiring a simple response.

This is was the reply: "She goes to george mason university. They say it is number von eskool. She vas aksepted to deh UVA but just she vanted to be keloser to her family and it vas better eskool for biziness."

Does she SERIOUSLY think that I'm going to buy that load of crap?? UVA has been consistently ranked in the top echelon of public universities in the world, and yet her daughter chose to go to Mason ... a commuter school? The best part of this whole thing is that the lady was truly convinced of the story she was telling me. I literally had to compose myself and walk away from the conversation. My quick tongue could have done some major damage.

It's fun to observe Iroonis in action ... always entertaining, sometimes humiliating, never disappointing. I'm sure most of you can identify ...

IRANIANS
Are we really a great nation?

Kianosh Saadati
May 24, 2006

Like many other Iranians, I have always been asking myself: Are we really a great nation?? We have (or at least been told to have!) 2500 years of glorious history with numerous achievements in Art, Culture and sometimes science and technology.

We Iranians always portray ourselves in front of foreigners as a nation with great or sometimes greatest history in human history. But how many of these claims are really true??

You do not need to be a historian, a politician or a journalist to be aware of discrepancies and problems facing Iranians inside the country and abroad.

Iranians inside the country are facing many economic, political and cultural difficulties. A nation with 2500 years of history still does not know what to wear in its own country without facing prosecution. It does not obey even the simplest traffic rules properly and it even can not stand in a simple line when it wants to buy a piece of bread or attending the bank without violating other people's rights.

For those who have not ever been on Iran and they have always seen the country through historical books and articles, Iran is a glamorous country with a great nation. But this belief can easily fade out once they meet the country in very first moments of their arrival in Tehran airport and they see how disorganized, aggressive and sometimes rude and inconsiderate this great nation behaves on streets of the capital or even in the airport. Our history is filled with numerous records of mismanagement, inexperience, unprofessionalism from the highest level of the ruling regimes down to the lay people. In other word, story has always been the same, only characters have changed.

What is our real contribution to today's world science and technology?? I am writing this letter and it is being published on a website whose technology are coming from other countries who do not necessarily claim to be a great nation with 2500 years of history.

Our grandfathers and grandmothers simply blame these problems on foreign countries and they claim that our situation has deteriorated only because of them. So what was our contribution to this disaster??

I simply believe that we Iranians are very different to what we really claim to be. I assume that we are wearing a mask once we present ourselves to the outside world, and sometimes once the mask drops, we may ask ourselves: Are we really a great nation??

DRESS CODE
Dirty tricks

Ali Dadpay
May 24, 2006

A large number of Iranians abroad became horrified by the news: Iranian Parliament has passed a law imposing a dress code on non-Muslims to identify them from Muslims; said the National Post; a Canadian newspaper. Surprisingly article was written by a Mr. Amir Taheri, whose name implies that he could be an Iranian, and hopefully he at least could read Farsi or understand it when spoken.

Where did he read that colored ribbons are going to be forced on minorities in Iran? If you read the news, or contact people in Iran, and nobody had the impression that National Post and Mr. Amir Taheri gave to the world. Several English web logs and media have reported this as a fact and compared Iran to Nazi Germany.

The Islamic Dress Code is NOT even a law yet. It forces a certain standard on dress and to be honest conservatives have played their hand very intelligently. They brought a group of people, who constitute a minority in Iran, to Majlis. They were opposing the current situation and fashions in Iran last month, then conservative leading MPs left the Majlis session to give guarantees to these concerned citizens, whose opinion apparently is not shared by the youth and a large group of people. Then Majlis started to ratify a new law to safeguard Islamic values in the society, based on its members understanding of them, which many oppose. There is nowhere in this law such additions forcing minorities to wear colored ribbons, there is not even such an intention. Actually this law is meant to make life difficult for the Muslim majority (98%) and the youth not the minorities.

Many are writing about this report being a lie, but how many of those who want to believe such a thing about Iran are going to change their minds? How many of those bloggers are going to tell their readers that this was a lie. How many of Iranians who are living abroad are going to say that this was a lie? The fact is not many. Unfortunately at this moment of Iran's history many are eager to believe the worst about her and to act upon it. Some are even eager to provide them with false reports justifying their childish fantasies and illusions about a great country.

It is a widely known fact that some Iranians are not big fans of IRI, and many more are not Mr. Ahmadineghad's fans. But such dirty propaganda tricks, which actually reminds us of Mr. Goebbles, are not meant to help them, these are meant to silence them, to murder them and to justify a war on them. It is a shame that one's hatred blinds him to that extend that he forgets: journalism is not to entertain, it is to vindicate, to verify and to educate and to safe guard morality and dignity of human beings and their freedom. It is not to spread lies. Mr. Taheri actually helped building many bullets and many missiles to attack Iran, more than any White House warmonger could have possibly done. There is a name for that; I rather leave it to him to find it.

OIL
Don't be crude

Farid Moghadassi
May 23, 2006

When the demand is as high for a non-renewable resource like oil as it is now, a supplier has the luxury of exploiting the situation to plan for a better future. Imagine a major oil supplier, for example Iran, making it a national policy to, within a decade, not export a single drop of crude oil. All petroleum exports must be processed and refined before export. Refining oil is about as big a business as extraction. Moreover, it is an industry, employing significant number of laborers, traders, brokers, etc. This would be the next logical step for any oil producing nation which has already naturalized its natural resources, and has an independent, forward thinking government.

SHARING
Typical immigrant story

Farid Moghadassi
May 23, 2006

Evan is my roommate and he had a kidney transplant. I wrote this to him the night before his transplant, typical immigrant story:

Dear Evan,
        
when I first moved to America in ninth grade, I couldn't speak a word of English so high school was definitely brutal as football players were generous enough to give the new Middle Eastern kid an All-American beating every morning.

It was difficult to make friends but I tried very hard to conform. This one time, I was in class sitting next to this kid who I knew liked Nirvana. In my pursuit to make friends, I thought he might be interested that I also find a liking in Nirvana.

Unfortunately, he asked me to name a Nirvana album and I couldn't so in front of the class he called me a poser and a loser for trying to be a wannabe Nirvana fan.

In conclusion, I am a Nirvana fan but at that time I did not know the titles of Nirvana album, because my English really sucked. Later on, when Kurt Cobain (the lead singer) died, the kid approached me and reminded me that it is because of punks like me that Cobain killed himself. Last week, my therapist said it has been ten years and I need to stop blaming myself for Cobain's death.

I am not sure why I am sharing this story with you. Or why this story came to mind when I sat down to write you a delightful message.

I guess you are the kind of guy that makes people feel comfortable to the point where they open up and wanna share their personal stories regardless of how depressing they are.

I hope this makes you feel better. When you come back to 3840 Elmhurst, you bet your ass I am going to ask you to name one or two Beatles albums to make sure you are not a poser and the reason why they broke up.

Take care,

Farid

***
Dear Farid,

thanks for the letter, i read it the night before my surgery and had my only good laugh that evening. you are clever with words, you should forget law school and be a novelist and beat out salaman rushdie as the best writer. anyway i am doing a lot better right now than before. my wounds are healing and i'm sort of getting my energy back and sort of not feeling like shit lately. time should help that more.

Evan

BUSH
How unpopular is he?

Pedram Moallemian
May 22, 2006

I think most of us read the poll results on the falling approval rating of this administration with little or no interest. The latest results put 'W' and company at 29% (if you are pessimistic) and 31% (for the highly motivated supporters.) Many will probably look at that and just shrug their shoulders at how could close to a third of the populace still remain in such deep comma. But the truth is a bit more complicated.

To add some perspective to these numbers, a look at recent 40 year history may offer some help: President Carter's approval rating sank to a low of 28% during the debacle surrounding hostages in Iran. As the only other recent President with less favorable numbers during their term in the office, Nixon held a 23% approval rating at the height of Watergate Scandal.

Of course, much of this recent freefall is a result of the deepening quagmire in Iraq. Yet isn't it interesting that the anti-war movement is still struggling to attract the large numbers that are obviously disillusioned with the war? Shouldn't there be weekly demonstrations in every major city to demand a reasonable end to this illegal invasion? Why is it that even amongst the supposed more intellectual artists, it takes a 60 year old Canadian who is gutsy enough to express his frustrations?

The 'huddled masses' are too busy running after a way to pay off their super sized interest-only mortgages, while the big boys are left free to rob them blind. For that, the comma is far more prevalent than for a limited 30% crowd.

ISRAEL
Recruiting Mohammad Attas of the world

Afshin D.
May 20, 2006

I would agree that when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the present Iranian government may often times play the "kasseh-ye daghttar az ash" (More Catholic than the Pope). However the rhetoric that has been going around between Iran and Israel of late goes both ways. Israel for some reason has carte blanche to do as it pleases, violating all UN resolutions, and not signing the NPT, and it also makes veiled threats of nuclear annihilation every now and then. And yes, the US is in the unfortunate predicament of having to defend such rhetoric by adding a few idiotic comments of its own. Much like a parent would when their child misbehaves. This is precisely the kind of nonsense that recruits the Mohammad Attas of the world.

While the criminal actions of terrorists are grotesque, the rout of the problem persists and the current atmosphere only perpetuates an already tenuous situation. The Israeli's haven't been able to take care of their current problem of 5 million refugees in the occupied territories for the past 60 years! You actually think they have the wherewithal to attack a country of 75 million people with a government that's just itching for a fight? The idea of MAD or mutually assured destruction is not exclusive to the superpowers of the world. Any nuclear conflict would have the same ending. Total destruction of all involved.

On another note, why are we even entertaining such rhetoric on an iranian.com? Since when are we in the business of defending the Israelis? If the Saudis were to make such threats do you think any Moslem Iranian, religious or not, would have anything else on his/her mind than the destruction of Saudi Arabia? 

CONVERSION
For the gladness of Ahura Mazda

Kurosh Goshtasp Aryana
May 20, 2006

With the blessing of Ahura Mazda, and cooperation of Anjuman-e Bozorg Bazgasht in Norway and Zoroastrian Community of Sweden, two group Sedreh Pushi ceremonies (Navjot) were held in Oslo and Dubai during recent days (early days of April 2006). The first ceremony took place in the capital city of Norway, Oslo where a group of seven people including five Iranian citizens and a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan and a citizen of Afghanistan joined the Zaratushti religion. The second ceremony took place in Dubai where three Iranian citizens from Iran came to Dubai just to attend the ceremony to join the religion. It was a historical event that took place in an Arabian country after more than 1,300 years. May Ahura Mazda bless all.

WAR
Yes I will die for Iran

Bardia
May 20, 2006

I was born in Abadan. As the matter of fact my life changed on my 10th birthday, 21 September 1980 when Iraq started bombing my city. All I know is that if the U.S. decides to invade iran, I will be in a plane to Iran in a couple of days. I've been in the U.S. 21 years but I will go back to defend my country. I have no doubt about this at all. Politics aside. I will fight to death for my country. I am sick of Iranians that live outside Iran and want a regime change inside Iran. Let me tell you something: A lot of things are much better since that dictator, Shah the Butcher, left. Sure there are something that are not allowed nowadays. You can't be half-naked walking the streets like here in America, and they don't have sex and violence on TV for kids. But Iranians are doing everything they want behind closed doors. What if there was a regime change and those asshole Mojahedeen that are ten times worse than the Taliban came to power? Ahmadinejad might be a crazy bastard, but I give him credit for having balls and telling the Israelis, British and the U.S., to piss off. Damesh Garm. Yes I will die for Iran.

BOXER
Mahyar for mayor!

Goli Farrell
May 18, 2006

Last night I saw a program on TV (France 3) about successful foreigners in France. Among these there was a young Iranian by the name Mahyar Monshipour who has been France's boxing world champion for the last 6 years. And because of Mahyar, France has held the title of World Champion for years. He is very popular and much loved by his French compatriots. He came across as a modest, articulate, honest, and ambitious guy who wants to serve his fellow citizens and was elected to the post of town supervisor at age 31. He lives in the town of Poitier and plans to be elected Mayor of Poitier. I was very glad for this young man who came to France from Iran at age 11 and did many things to get "accepted" in a foreign country. Finally he decided to become a boxer and they showed him working out and practicing diligently, day and night until he beat everyone in the featherweight category and became world champion. I enjoyed watching this sweet Iranian champion talking a perfect French and planning to be elected mayor of his town. His pictures are all over in the boxing world web sites. thought you might like to know.

NUCLEAR
Not the first time

Eric Jerpe
May 16, 2006

In his May 16 Washington Post article, Kissinger mentions "...Iran's disregard of its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty" and declares "Iran has refused to agree to international control over its uranium enrichment program, in the absence of which no control over a weapons program is meaningful." I am as vehemently opposed to the Islamic theocracy as any non-Iranian can possibly be, but the fact is they have not violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty regarding uranium enrichment. (By a joke of fate, the Yazd desert area of Iran is the site of one of the world's richest deposits of uranium.)

This is not the first time Kissinger has accused the other signatory of violating a treaty without specifying which clause(s) they have violated. Shortly after the fall of Saigon in 1975, Kissinger declared that the North Vietnamese regime had violated "every single clause of the Paris Peace Accords [of 1973]." But then, in 1985, he appeared on Nightline and said to Ted Koppel, "I refuse to discuss the Paris Peace Accords". (How clever! When you have no intention of abiding by a treaty, you call it an "accord".) Le Duc To, the North Vietnamese negotiator, also appeared on the same program that night and began to discuss the clauses of the Paris Peace Accords. He was immediately silenced and cut off due a "mechanical failure". So much for freedom of the media.

How ironic if the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is destroyed because of Iran's insistance that it be adhered to!

HUMOR
Bush: Iran must halt production of long letters

Author unknown
May 16, 2006

Days after receiving an 18-page letter from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President George W. Bush called the lengthy missive "an act of war" and demanded that Iran halt its production of long letters at once.

At the White House, aides said that writing a letter of such length to President Bush, who is known for his extreme distaste for reading, was the most provocative act Mr. Ahmadinejad could have possibly committed.

"Everyone knows that the last book the president read was My Pet Goat," one aide said. "Expecting him to read an 18-page letter is really asking for it, and that Iranian dude must have known that."

According to those close to Mr. Bush, the president was infuriated upon receipt of the 18-page letter and asked aides if it was some kind of joke.

The president then demanded that the letter be boiled down to a one or two page format, or possibly adapted to a DVD version, just as he had ordered for news reports on Hurricane Katrina.

In Tehran, President Ahmadinejad said he was "taken aback" by Mr. Bush's refusal to read an 18-page letter, but said that all his future communications to the U.S. president would be in short, easy-to-read instant-messaging format.

In his first IM to President Bush, released to the press today, President Ahmadinejad writes, "Am building nukes. R U angry? LOL."

Elsewhere, Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden vowed today that as director of the CIA he would push the agency to find new and better sources of false intelligence.

EBADI
Down With Khomeini, Long Live Kabob!

Leila Farjami
May 16, 2006

It all started from a dear friend’s (*) genius idea to replace the “lion and sword” symbol of the pre-revolution Iranian flag with “Seekh va Kabob”, or “Kabob and Skewer” sign, since the latter appears to be the first and foremost and at times the sole common denominator amongst all Iranians. We were on our way to Shirin Ebadi’s speech at UCLA. Of course, we expected to see protestors from different political factions, the Mojahedin, the monarchists, the anti-Ebadis, and etc. and firmly predicted that all would be dining along with pro-Ebadis in the nearest Persian restaurant afterwards, devouring Kabob, rice, and grilled tomatoes with raw onions.

Despite the uproar during Ebadi’s speech and all the humorous and foreseen reactionary behaviors and accusations such as calling her a Mullah, the funniest and the most telling moment of our cultural mayhem and its politically fossilized individuals was this: An Iranian man, approximately 60 years of age, shouting uninhibitedly: Down With Khomeini! (marg bar Khomeini!)

With the Iranian Clock ticking backwards, and the opposition demanding Khomeini’s demise with a bit of delay, we all reached the same conclusion: A dish of Kabob and basmati rice will shortly heal all wounds and unify the most radical with the most conservative in the crowd. So why not name it truthfully and unashamedly as it is? Parchame Seekh va Kabob.

(*) Credit goes to Sourena’s capable imagination.

WORLD CUP
That football video

Nema Milaninia
May 12, 2006

There's two things that bother me about Arash's new video on the Iranian football team. One, none of the portrayed "football players" are actually on the national Iranian team. I mean come on now, if you're doing a song on the Iranian football team, it might be a good thing to show their pictures. And second, how ridiculous are those Iranian flags in the picture. Imagine someone waving the American flag with the letters USA written in bold in the center of the flag or FRANCE on the French flag. Its obviously a political move to disassociate with the Iranian national flag. What’s also interesting is that it's a political move to disassociate with the former Iranian sun and lion flag. The perceived relevancy of the debate, at least amongst exiles and the Diaspora, about what is the "legitimate" Iranian flag is pretty obvious in this video given the producers and directors desire to remain "neutral" on a sensitive matter.

TV
One-sided BS

Saeed S
May 11, 2006

Did you watch the show "Iran: The Next Iraq?"  on the History Channel? It was some of the most one-sided propaganda BS I have ever seen! Especially coming from a such a well respected program provider. They basically were talking as if these suspicions/allegations were actual facts. It was amazing! They did not even have a person from the other side of the debate! The scary part is I was able to see that almost every word was BS, but to the average American who may not have ever studied about Iran, or anyone else who sees and believes that the programs on the History Channel as accurate and honest will be so misled by this show. If you can find a way to watch it and if you agree with my evaluation of the program could get the word out to try to get the History Channel yank it and apologize. Or at the very least discredit them and their program.

LIFE
Scheduled execution

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam
May 10, 2006

I am an Iranian scientist and human rights activist. You can read about me in this BBC-report. As you know one week is remaind until the scheduled execution of Valiollah Feiz-Mahdavi, a young and courageous Iranian political prisoner. I have started a petition in protest against his execution. I know that the Iranian regime might not care about international pressure, but we shouldn't let it happen in silence! Regardless of our political view, we, as Iranians, should not let the regime do whatever they want to the people. Here you can hear his voice (recorded from a phone call he made from the prison).

LIFE
Two steps for Farivars & Nazanin

Kia Atri
May 10, 2006

It is not every day that the cause of a fellow Iranian (or fellow Iranians) is championed by those close to or holding the reins of power. There are no bleeding heart liberals for the Iranian people, unless of course there is some Anti-American mileage to be had in that cause. There are no Nelson Mandelas who would rail at the abject abuse of Human Rights in Iran. Why should they alienate the regime that once helped them? If there is sexual apartheid in Iran; well that is just unfortunate!!!

There is however a British politician who has chosen to put honour and principal before position and expediency: Claire Short. Mrs Short is no New Labour Blairite "'War Monger'" so don't worry I will not ask you to support a pro-war politico. No in fact she resigned from the Blaire cabinet because she felt that the war against Saddam Hussein was wrong.

She has chosen to support an Iranian family in their bid to stay in the U.K. at a time that the Home Office has through incompetence and ignorance let loose 1000 bogus asylum seekers who are in reality criminals. She has chosen to support an Iranian father with his family who fled the Islamic Republic/Repugnancy retribution laws.

The Farivar family have fled because the father had run over the child of a Hizbollahi and the court ruled against him. In the dire injustice that is the ruling theocracy he was condemned to submit to the fathers demand as forfeit for clemency. The demand was that he must submit to his teenage daughter being betrothed to the 43 years old brother of the afore-mentioned Hizbollahi. The family thus fled the Islamic lunacy.

The Farivar family are in the UK requesting asylum. The UK government wants to deport them. The Right Honourable Claire Short MP has championed her cause. Please sign the petition to both encourage her and keep the cause of an Iranian family alive. Think of it this way; the whole exercise will kill no more than a few minutes of your time but your silence may well kill a whole family. And if you; an Iranian, do not care about this family why should any politician or influential non-Iranian person?

If signing that petition killed off two minutes of your time kill another two minutes by signing another to high light the case of the young Nazanin who defended herself against rapists and was condemned to death for having killed one of her assailants. She has had a stay of execution but is not out of the woods yet. Yes this is classic Islamic Republic and you can do something about it as Miss Afshar-Jam did.

That was not so difficult was it? Two steps from you a few lives saved from the clutches of one of the most barbaric regimes on earth today.

REQUEST
Chop chop

Siamack Baniameri
May 9, 2006

The U.S. government has announced that it will make President Ahmadinejad's 18-pages-long letter to President Bush available to the media. The letter has pages and pages of references to historical events, ideological hypotheses and philosophical commentaries. For those of us who don't have much time to read, I would like to ask official editors to shorten the letter down to a few pages by summarizing the historical events up to World War II, reducing the ideological section to stoning and chopping heads, and finally include only philosophical commentaries that reference Freud and interpretations of sexual dreams.

WORLD CUP
Support Iranian soccer team

Guive Mirfendereski
May 9, 2006

International sports is politic by other means. We all know that. When the Czechoslovakia hockey team beat the Soviet team one winter it was a vindication of the Czech pride, which had been so hurt and humiliated when the tanks of the Warsaw Pact rolled into Prague and overthrew Dubcek's government in the previous spring. The year the English soccer team played the Germans in the World Cup it was World War II on grass turf. Who can forget the political dimensions of the Iran-Israel or German and Netherlands soccer contests in the 1970s. Or who can forget the beating of the US team by Iran two or three World Cup games ago. I think I have made my point.

The field of sports can also be about national (not necessarily political) solidarity. I always get goose bumps watching the North and South Korean teams marching under one flag. I equally have enjoyed the union of the Germans, East and West, to the tune of one of Beethoven's pieces just before the completion of the reunification.

What I despise is when sports is turned from an expression of national competition into an instrument of hate. That is why I thought it was stupid for the Carter Administration to keep the American Olympic team from participating in the Moscow Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I equally thought the Soviets were childish in boycotting the Olympics in Los Angeles. I thought it to be ever equally stupid that communist China should not get to host the Olympics because of its human right records.

Predictably, therefore I oppose any notion that the Iranian soccer team should be disinvited from the World Cup games i germnay this summer, or be boycotted, because they represent a country that is governed by a bunch that are many, many bulbs short of being a complete chandelier. The toopchis (footballers) of Iran-zamin represent Iran. It is incumbent upon everyone who claims to be Iranian, even if he or she is opposed to the IRI, or does not accept anyone else from Iran as "Iranian," to support the Iranian soccer team. Folks, take a step toward enlightenment by distinguishing about national pride for the team from the birthalnd from personal prejudice of your ethnic purity or politics. These are children of Iran and deserve our support. Meanwhile, screw the regime if and when you can with your own tool not the toopchis of Iran-zamin.

RESPECT
Making fun of Islam & Muslims

Damon Taghavi
May 9, 2006

Let's imagine these scenarios:

- The New York Times publishes an ad defamating homosexuals.
- The Atlanta Journal prints an article mocking African-Americans.
- The Wall Street Journal prints a notice that Jewish buisness men/women are stingy.

Now imagine the reaction. Furthermore, imagine everything you have believed in your entire life -- and all things you were told were pure, just, and right -- was now being desecrated by someone you believe to be impure and possibly an enemy of your faith.

Point of the matter is to envision ourselves in both perspectives. Now who is to blame? People who've reacted to intolerance or idiots who have as much right to freedom of speech as do Nazi enthusiasts. I ask you not as nationalists but as humanists to respect the beliefs of the people of the world no matter your political views, creed, race or any other divider of men and women on earth.

Not so much about freedom of speech but about the respect of peoples. If you dare to disregard other belief systems based on your education, please do re-evaluate that education.

QUESTION
Marketable art

Parsa Pezeshki
May 8, 2006

It is quite a widespread notion: the incontestable reign of money in our world. Time is money; money is power; money is the root of all evil, money corrupts... and so the trite sayings carry on. The continuous recurrence of such sayings, though, does not detract from their truthfulness. Indeed, the reign of currency, as we know it today, ought to be dethroned. Contemporarily, in light of dominant materialistic values, money decides the direction of travel in most journeys of life. Nevertheless, what has just been said is merely the exterior; money's extensive influence is rather obvious to most.

Prior to this, however, it is those things that are in high demand that have substantive economic magnitude. That is to say, it is the wants of the people that determine where the most money is to be found. "Marketable" then, means that a commodity possesses the potentiality to bring in money. Hence, in following a sequential development of ideas, it is evident that the thing which is of high popularity will be marketed and, thus, most frequently exposed. And surely enough, art, and all areas of artistic expression, are not exempt from these unwritten societal laws.

In capitalist states, such systematic limitations are the subterfuge in propelling the economy -- while art and culture are victimized in the process. Those expressions of concern that address the replacement of true art with marketable art are, in a way, overlooking the core of the problem: public opinion. For an intelliget, highly-aware, and morally upright population would be in the unremitting exposure to all that which is of truth, high quality, and artistic excellence, to paraphrase Margaret Atwood.

The question then arises: Is the prevalent low quality and triviality of art due to public deficiencies, higher powers (whether it be governmental or not) that manipulate public opinion, or, perhaps, a combination of both? The latter, I would infer, is the answer; verification of this, though, requires a setting of extensive research.

IRAN-U.S.
Validating Washington's baseless claims

Daniel M Pourkesali
May 8, 2006

Dear Directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,

As concerned citizens of the world while appreciating CPD's effort drafting a statement opposing a war against Iran, we regretfully decline to sign it due to several contradictory remarks and overall misleading language of this announcement. Notwithstanding, however, if the language of text is changed to accommodate our concerns, we would campaign for its universal acceptance.

Your statement begins correctly exposing the hostile intents of the U.S. administration by "manufacturing a climate of fear in order to prepare public opinion for another act of aggression, this time against Iran", yet in the very next sentence -- "three years ago it was the specter of Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction; today it's the Iranian nuclear bomb", the word alleged is missing with regard to Iranian activities.

Any doubt as above being an unintentional omission is dismissed in the 8th paragraph which asserts "Tehran's assurances that it only wants to develop peaceful nuclear energy are not credible" and the very next paragraph which begins with "We therefore strongly oppose Tehran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons". These two sentences together contradict your opening statement and in effect validate Washington's baseless claims against Iran. Absent from your entire statement is any references to the fact that Iran as a signatory state to nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) is fully entitled to develop nuclear energy which includes enriching uranium for peaceful use under article 4 of the NPT.

The rest of your statement is a diatribe of numerous accusations against the current regime which infringes in an area totally outside your jurisdiction. As evident from the daily reports of prisoner abuses, arrests without charge, human rights violations, and illegal wiretapping of Americans by our own government, we hardly hold the moral ground to preach those outside. Amnesty international reports that two years after the horrific images from Abu Ghraib prison shocked the world; the U.S. government continues to evade responsibility by blaming a handful of soldiers and officers -- despite mounting evidence of the systematic use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Iran is by no means a perfect democracy but the Iranian people have never stopped striving for a better and more just form of government since at least the 1906 constitutional movements, and that struggle continues today. Any change is exclusively in the domain of the Iranian people alone and as history confirms, any outside interference with Iran's internal affairs has often produced the opposite result.

SHORTS
Sure bet

Manouchehr Mehrparvar

Fresh off the press: Vegas line on payouts for the upcoming World Cup games. Example: If you bet $1,000 on Brazil and they win the World Cup, you''ll win $1,700 minus a few dollars as fees. On Iran, a $1,000 bet will result in a $36,000 minus change payout. Gooooooooooooooooooooooo Iran. Here are the odds:

Brazil: 27 to 10
England: 13 to 2
Italy: 8 to 1
Germany: 8 to 1
France: 12 to 1
Holland: 12 to 1
Australia: 22 to 1
Czech Republic: 25 to 1
Iran: 37 to 1

SHORTS
Hello from Brazil!

Carla Fernandes

I'm a brazilian teacher. I just like to receive any informations about Iran, or email to somebody who can help me. I'm a math teacher and in the school that I work I there will be a Cultural Fair about participant countries in the World Cup. My class is responsable for Iran and we have to talk about whatever related to Iran in the areas of math, history, geography, biology, popular culture, different ethnic groups (main ones), any important peoples (scientists, philosophers, researchers) to do a good work. If it will be able to place me in contact with somebody, or to supply some source to me of research I would appreciate that. Thanks a lot.

SHORTS
Iran barandeh misheh!

Blash

My name is Blash. I ve recently finished recording a song for Team melli. the song is now the most requested on www.radiojavan.com. i am trying to make this song an official football song for iran. I m just wondering if you can do a feature on me. for more info visit my site www.blash.co.uk.

SHORTS
I pray for more earthquakes

Brother Thomas

Regarding your web site, in which you have solicited donations for survivors of the earthquake in Iran, you need to understand the earthquake was part of God's plan. First, let us admist that Muhammad himself was an infidel who rejected Jesus as the Son of God. Second, your people have consistently used the excuse of "jihad" to kill innocent people throughout the world. All people are God's children, and all killing is unjust; when we kill our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are, in fact, killing Jesus himself all over again. As Muslims reject Christianity, the frequent earthquake in Iran are God's retribution for your infidelity to Him. I feel sorry for the innocents but, let's face it: if any nation deserves it, it is yours. In all honesty, I pray for more earthquakes, plagues, starvation, and sickness to befall your nation: maybe then you will stop threatening the rest of the world with your idiotic behavior and rejection of the Son of God. Shalom, my brother. Order of Franciscans of the Lax Observance, Texas Catholic Worker, Round Rock, Texas.

SHORTS
Threat? Prove it.

Guive Mirfendereski

In order to prescribe the UN Charter's Chapter 7 sanctions against Iran, the Security Council needs to determine that Iran is a threat to international peace and security. If Iran is a threat to international peace and security, then how does it follow that causing a wider war from the Oxus to the Mediterranean necessarily will address the international concern over peace and security!? It will be unfortunate -- if not a dereliction of duty -- if the Security Council should bypass the requirements of Chapter 6 of the Charter, which demands of the Member States to resolve their differences peacefully.

SHORTS
What can we do for him?

M.

Valiollah Feiz-Mahdavi, an Iranian political prisoner is supposed to be executed on May 16. We have now his voice from inside the prison! It is recorded from a phone call he made from the prison where he talks about how he has been treated and sends a messege to all fellow Iranians. He is so brave! He speaks of course in Persian, he tells about his background, when he was arrested, how he has been treated in the prison, and how he got to know his sentence. Recent reports from the prison say that he has been sick (with intestinal and exacerbated skin disease) and brought to the prison hospital last week, and returned back without any treatment. What can we do for him?

SHORTS
Northern comfort

Gary Marshall

Greetings from New York. PLEASE have patience, and understanding, regarding the purpose of this inquiry and a favorable response. I have known a University graduate (MBA Organic Chemistry) from Tehran, Iran for several years. He will be attending the University of Western Ontario studying for his PhD this coming fall semenster. He will be having accommodations on campus. Obviously, he will be quite a distance from family and friends and this will create some degree of discomfort. Therefore, I am attempting to determine how I can communicate with an Iranian community in the London, Ontario area, hopefully by a website or whatever is available. It is my sole purpose to help him become somewhat more comfortable. Thank you.

SHORTS
Airing out dirty laundry

Asghar Massombagi

The sentiments expressed in Ms. Nemati's pieces ["Unworthy Iranians" and "Your little psychological misfortunes"] are hard to defend; they are jumbled knee-jerk reactions to a reasonably written account of grievances by Ms. Bastiani ["Sad & shameful"].

But I suppose when you love your country as Ms. Nemati does and have to live in a country where it is demonized and  threatened to be reduced to rubbles on a daily basis, your considerably short fuse can only take so much before it is triggered. It doesn't help that the legitimate grievances of ethnic and religious groups in Iran, long standing and documented, are becoming - as they have from time to time in the past - factors in the geopolitical game of oil and power.

It doesn't take a brilliant strategist to figure out that a smaller weaker Iran with preferably smaller share of its vast oil reserves is easier to control and deal with for the military-industrial-petroleum complex headquartered in the White House. Breaking up and reconfiguring nations is an old power game.

And yet, airing out dirty laundry is the best way to assure the long term health of any community. Collective amnesia never helped any group. Old wounds sooner or later surface and contaminate everyone involved; just look at the Balkans. Were pogrom-style purges committed against the Bahais in Iran?

Yes. The evidence, anecdotal and academic is there for all to see. Were Jews and Armenians isolated to some extent from the rest of the society throughout the history? Yes. Did the Sunnis suffer discrimination in Shia dominated areas of Iran? Yes. And I'm talking about Iran before the fundamentalist Islam took hold of the country.

It's silly to think that the past twenty-seven years somehow has been a national nightmare brought upon by a foreign virus. That said, the majority Shia has suffered the most as a result of the current regime. The majority of those executed, imprisoned and forced into exile have been in fact the so-called Persian Shia Iranians. And yet, no one can ask an Iranian Jew or Armenian or Bahai to shut her mouth and not talk about their experiences.

Ms. Nemati's accounts are highly anecdotal and personal and drawing generalizations based on personal accounts about whole groups of people is very dangerous. I suggest next time to use the keyboard wisely, save your piece and look it over the next day with a cooler head. I don't encourage self-censorship but civility in public discourse. There is too much name calling and sloganeering and too little thoughtful exchange in the public arena these days.

The hyperventilating nonsense that passes as political and social conversation may sell newspapers and air time for the likes of Fox News but does very little to help Iran to chart the dicey waters it is knee deep in. If the likes of Ms. Nemati want a united Iran, then they have to provide its various ethnic groups, which are some of the most nationalistic people around, compelling reasons to remain so. And I don't' mean one coming out of barrel of a gun.

And that goes for those who've subjected Ms. Nemati to so such vitriolic attacks, especially the ones with first name only signatures and so-called "anonymous" email accounts. Put your names down and take responsiblity for your actions. At least she has the guts to sign her piece whatever one thinks of it.

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