Serving the Motherland

International Congress of Iranians Abroad


Serving the Motherland
by Ardeshir Ommani

Upon our return to the U.S. from a trip to Iran attending the Second Great Congress of Iranians Abroad, held in Tehran August 2 and 3, 2010, I decided to give a call to a long-time political friend and a peace activist to inform her about the success of the gathering and AIFC’s plans to hold a public meeting to report on the event.  In this Congress about 2000 Iranian professionals, doctors, engineers, economists, financial analysts, etc. participated to get to know each other and discover the areas, from teaching in the universities to building projects from mutual research work, to developing financial markets, that they can contribute in the developments of their motherland. 

With an investigative tone, the activist asked me who are the leaders of the country, one of which is called Ahmadi and the other is called Nejad.  She continued the query by posing the question: “Doesn’t Iran have a president and also a Prime Minister?”  Not even waiting for my answer, she asserted that in the U.S., we must talk about the restrictive social conditions of women in Iran.  By then, I realized two things: 1) our activist friend knew next to nothing about the structure of the Iranian government and secondly she expressed that the peace groups are ‘ready to educate, change and free Iranian women from the Islamic government’s “oppressive” policies.  This approach must be discussed later on in this article.

As a start, to screen 2000 educators and professionals on the basis of their educational qualifications and their political sentiments out of about ten thousand applicants who wished to take part in the Congress was not an easy task for the High Council of Iranian Affairs Abroad, particularly when plane tickets, other transportation facilities and room and board arrangements had to be provided on time.  The participants of the Congress were arriving from the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa and so many countries in Asia.  It was important for the Iranian government that all guests return back to their country of residence safely with no encumbrances.

In addition to attending the two day conference, the guests were offered to be flown to several provinces and cities across Iran and given a chance to see first-hand the economic and cultural projects in their different and unique stages of development.  The ex-patriots were encouraged to collaborate in building the country, by investing their skills and/or financial savings. No doubt, organizing for such a task was monumental and the objective very ambitious.

Opening Session

The first day of the Conference began in the magnificent Tehran International Conference Hall with a welcome statement by Dr. Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Iranian Affairs Abroad.  He pointed out that the Iranian government is prepared to attend to the legal and professional challenges that some Iranians may encounter in the country of their residence.  He also informed the audience that for the purpose of satisfying the need for socialization, the government is planning to establish ‘Iran Houses’ in six locations in the European countries.  These “Houses” will be the center for Iranian socialization as well as have staff that can help resolve Iranian citizen’s legal, professional and residential issues.

Following several other speakers was the notable peace activist and former British Parliamentarian George Galloway whose thunderous speech against U.S.-Israeli war threats against Iran brought the audience to their feet.  Mr. Galloway also pointed out that Iran’s nuclear enrichment is simply an excuse for the U.S. to undermine Iran’s sovereignty and economy and its critical regional role.

The emotional moment reached its peak when Mr. Richard Nelson Frye, Ph.D. (born January 10, 1920), an American scholar of Iranian and Central Asian studies and Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University requested that he be allowed to be buried in Iran, the country that he has dedicated much of his life’s work to.  His speech to the conference included recitations of some lines from Iran’s famous poets. In introducing Prof. Frye, Dr. Farokh Saeedi talked elegantly about him and his efforts in the field of philology, the study of literary texts, written letters and establishing their historical authenticity.  Later on, at his turn to speak, President Ahmadinejad responded to Frye’s request by saying that ‘we would like to have you alive in Iran and for that reason Iran is providing you a house of your own in the beautiful city of Esfahan, to live there and enjoy for the rest of your life!’  On Sunday, August 8, 2010, Dr. Frye cut the ribbon to this home in a special ceremony in Esfahan.  Dr. Frye was born in Birmingham, Alabama to a family of immigrants from Sweden. He speaks fluent Russian, German, Arabic, Persian, French, Pashtu, Uzbek and Turkish.  Certainly it was an honor to have Professor Frye among us.

The longest and most comprehensive presentation at the conference was delivered by Esfandiar Rahim Mashaee, equivalent of a vice-president who would replace the president should anything happen to him while in office, who spoke about the foundation of the Islamic Republic and its exemplary place in the world, noting Iran’s contributions in technology, science, culture and spiritual values. Both he and President Ahmadinejad defended Iran’s position in regard to the country’s peaceful nuclear energy industry.                                      

Next in line, President Ahmadinejad spoke of the redundancy of the U.S. Congress and the UN imposing trade sanctions on Iran, emphasizing that Iran’s nuclear power plant is not the real issue for the U.S. The U.S. foreign policy is aimed at refusing to accept Iran as a regional power in the Middle East, and he challenged President Obama to a televised debate with him.  President Ahmadinejad also welcomed the presence of Iranians from so many different countries, and called on them to build closer ties with their motherland.  In the closing, the President symbolically opened the fund for investment, and the info-bank – a database where Iranians around the world can forward their identities and research to collaborate in the development of Iran. 

Variety of Workshops

In the afternoon, following the citations from “Shah-nameh”, a cultural presentation, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Manoochehr Mottaki, talked about Iran’s position in the Middle East and its growing and dynamic relations with countries in Latin America, particularly with Brazil and Venezuela, and with the neighboring countries of the Middle East – Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan.

The second day of the conference began with a wide array of workshops comprising the professionals and experts from Iran and abroad in various fields of science, modern technology, education, medical sciences cultural and mass media, workshops discussing judicial and legal disciplines, economics, trade, social organizations and institutions, and financial markets including privatization of segments of the state properties.

No doubt, this was a great undertaking and it will take more than one congress and numerous workshops to reach to the political level and realization of the overall objectives of the programs. But it was a great beginning which provided the opportunity for the educators, professionals, scientists and investors to come to know each other and start to build networks in different domains for a brighter tomorrow for the nation.

Given my personal educational background in the field of political economy, econometrics and planning, I was placed in the group that dealt with finance capital, stock markets, investment, banking, insurance, foreign trade and the most sensitive topic like privatization of the state assets.

To be frank and sure, there is nothing in my background that supported privatization of the national wealth and its usurpation by a small minority at basement prices.  However, I took a deep breath when Dr. Kurd Zanganeh, the deputy Minister and General Manager of the privatization organization said, “by 2006 most industries, comprising 70% of the economy, remained state-owned.”  He continued that “the majority of heavy industry – including steel, petrochemicals, copper, automobiles, and machine tools – were in the public sector”, while only the most light industries and agriculture were privately owned and managed.  These facts were in sharp contrast to the erroneous information dished out in the U.S. and European media by some Iranians and Americans who pretend to be supporting the Iranian working class.

According to Wikipedia, “Article 44 of the Constitution states, “The economy of Iran is to consist of three sectors: state, cooperative and private and is to be placed on systematic and sound planning.  The state sector is to include all large-scale industries, foreign trade, major minerals, banking insurance, power generation, dams and large-scale irrigation networks, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone services, aviation, shipping, roads, railroads and the likes.  The agricultural sector, comprising 30% of the Gross National Product (GNP), is managed by the private sector.”

Industrial and Research Tours

So far, we visited the rhetoric and at times impatiently wanting to see their tangible counterparts, where reality speaks out.  Early next day, this enthusiastic crowd of nearly 2000 doctors, economists, professors, accountants and let us not forget the peace activists, were lined up in various tour groups to be flown to such provinces as Fars, Esfahan, Mazandaran, Qom, Khorasan, etc. where some of the real projects had taken roots.
My wife, Eleanor and I, were in a group whose destination was Mazandaran, the province by the Caspian Sea, the largest lake in the world.  When we landed at the airport, there stood a young school girl who handed each passenger a long-stemmed red rose and expressed a welcome message.  It couldn’t have been a kinder reception.

In two comfortable buses, accompanied by an ambulance the entire way, we were driven along the sea coast with a well-educated tour guide who knew each and every economic development in the area.  Along the coast are such cities as Behshahr, Noshahr, Sari and Babolsar.  We were learning about the geographical natural qualities and make up of the coastal regions along the Caspian Sea, the climate, the rivers, the forests, the pastures, the agricultural products, and fisheries.

Although Mazandaran Province has only 2.3 percent of the arable land under cultivation, the province supplies 8.7 percent of Iran’s agricultural products.  The province has seaport facilities that serve vessels from Russia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Kuwait and others.  One of the bigger ports is the Amir Abad, which constitutes a special New Economic Zone.  Ample and variety of agricultural products have given birth to different kinds of agricultural and food processing plants, producing tasty carbonated soft drinks, citrus concentrates, fruit juices, all kinds of chocolate products, honey, and dairy products, to name a few.  There are also chemical factories, pharmaceutical companies, electrical generator plants and animal husbandry.  The most majestic and unforgettable creation was our visit to the Sari Dam that produces electricity for the entire region around Sari.

Women In Iran

It has become almost a cliché when speaking about the development of Iran that 62 percent of the university students are women, a statistic recognized as a true fact.  Additionally, we may add that the ratio of college and university students to the country’s population, 5.06 percent, almost matches that of the United States, the wealthiest country in the world, indicating the priority that Iran places on education of its citizens.  Among the participants in the Congress, cultural workers and NGOs many of them women, were among the well-educated and organized who contributed to the richness of the event and showed great enthusiasm in wanting to continue their contact with the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC), by signing up on the email and giving their contact information.  In the span of a few days, AIFC registered more contacts and friends than it could do in six months in the U.S.  Young university students, women and men, demonstrated great thirst for knowledge, collaborative work and peaceful evolution of the world.  It became apparent to Eleanor and I that there is a new generation of educated Muslim students, a large number of them women, who are studying in the social sciences issues that are affecting the Iranian society, such as women studies, Islamic jurisprudence, gender abuse, and family and cultural mores. These students are comparing Islamic teachings while investigating theories and data presented in western media outlets. 

When opponents of the Islamic Republic criticize Iran, it is nearly always focused on women’s rights. To depict Iranian Muslim women as passive, ignorant, submissive and oppressed, and relate all that to head scarves and clothes, as is constantly presented in western publications, other media and in the four walls of the markets of ideas is effectively doing a great disservice to the Iranian Muslim women.  Such characterizations are an affront to the intelligence of the Iranians, especially to those who believe in Islam as a way of life and salvation.                                       

If the American humanists and progressives are serious about helping to emancipate women in general, as a first step they could begin exposing and criticizing the systematic commoditization of millions of women under the capitalist mode of production, and as a next step they could demand from the U.S. State Department to allow setting up a student exchange program through which American and Iranian women and men would spend a semester or two attending each other’s campuses and learning from each other and society as a whole.

I cannot end this report without complementing those who worked hard and who administered the Congress, the many young people who acted as guides and supporters, showing generosity and kindness throughout the trip, and the leaders in the Islamic Republic.

Ardeshir Ommani and Kazem Azin, Iranian born activists residing in the U.S.A. are on the Executive Board of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC), which promotes peace and dialogue between Iran and U.S., and defends the Islamic Republic from aggressive plans by U.S./Israel. They can be reached at


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If you went to the Hamayesh to help Iran please read:

by aynak on


Ostad Sabouti, helped build the  school ffor advanced studies iin Zanjan.   He is and educator (Physics).    The school is an example, of community organizaing and the thinkers implementing a very excellent educational program.    The parallels would be Harvard or Stanford in U.S, where indiviudals create a seed and with the support of community establish the best institution of hire learning.   Alas, in Iran  Kamran Zed-DaneshJou who probably has as good of credential as "Dr." Ahmadi Nejad, and probably have not completed a good semester of work at a college, is inthe position to dismiss a person who had helped establish one of Iran's better instiutes of higher learning.  An effort that has taken over 20 years of his hard work, and he is loved by people of Zanjan for doing so.

Imagine in what outher country than Islamic Regime, the government can dismiss --academics-- because of political disagreement from their position in a college?

If a well known scientiest can be dismissed so readily these are all signs of the worse that is coming up.  A full blown dicatorship.


Now ask yourself, what can you do, how can you possibley help Iran, by attending their show, when this regime is firing the best who have done outstanding work in Iran?

Would Elahe Ensaini stand for the rights of this physics educator?  The  asscociation of Irans physicists have come out in support of Dr.Sabouti.  Would Iranians who went to this show, do at least that much?

Go to Iran if you miss your family, if you can't afford it and need a free ticket like Azita Shafazand admitted, then ok do it, but for heaven's sake dont do it and say I am helping the motherland.   You could help the motherland if you supported  the professors and students that have been expelled, and telling the regime, unless you can respect the basic human rights of Iranian citizens there is not much we can help you with.


delete duplicate post

by aynak on

delete dup post


Where is the problem

by iamfine on

We must first educate people. If we are able to achieve that, then the government will automatically will go away. We should not forget that high % of Iranians are still too religious. Allow me to give you an example:

1) Most Iranians believe they must go to Mecca or Najaf at least once in their life. Otherwise, they are not a good muslim.

2) Most Iranians still don't know the difference between Shia and Sonni. They believe all muslims are Shiea

3) Most Iranians have no clue about Iranian history before Islam

4) Many others


Expert "Professional" beautician

by Agha_Irani on

I thought to visit this blog now that the profession of one of the "professionals" attending the conference has been  revealed as a beautician! hahahahahahaha

Yes she should invest in the islamist regime and she should return I'm sure more like her returning  will really beef up the islamist economy.

BTW Ardeshir Ommani the script for your blog is rather wooden - you might want to edit the scripts you are given by the islamist propaganda office before posting it - it might make it sound a little more genuine. 


mr ommani....

by shushtari on

you and the rest of your 'forsat-talab' friends are a DISGRACE to anything and everything iranian....


I hope you got a chance to visit the unmarked graves of the hundreds of thousands killed and hidden by your mullahs....


did you get a chance to ask antarinejad how many billions of dollars of iran's wealth has been waisted on arab terrorists, while our people haven't got any jobs????


you, sir, are either a fool or a very smart traitor.....either way, pack your bags for south lebanon, because that's when you and your friends will have to live to visit khayenei soon 



by aynak on


My blog link somehow disappeared.   Here's a front line write up on the professor who served Iran for all his life, and was dismissed by Ahmadi Neajd government at a blink of an eye.

He was the person who pretty much made this univiersity in Zanjan what it is, , and for all his service he was just dimissed, 6 months prior to his 20th year in service for this university.



Please look at the case of Dr.Sabouti dismissal

by aynak on


In the following link, 


I don't know who went to Iran, and for what motivation, as perhaps there are many different reasons, some of the Iranians went to this.   The case for some like the interview with Azita Shafazand as she explains in the interview is clear.  She has no expertise, but could use a free ticket.

But I am directing this at those who want to offer this regime support in technical areas.   Please please read the letter I posted.   Please look at Dr.Sabooti's credential and do your OWN reserach, to see if  Kamran Zed_Danshjoo should even be in a position to disqualify someone like Dr Sabouti?

If this regime means well, why is Iran's best like Dr.Sabouti are treated the way they are?  Answer this honestly?

At a minimum, shouldn't you at least ask the regime, why this great professor was dismissed?  And how could YOU ever help more than he did, and this is his outcome.




by iamfine on

Yes, we have much better option to govern Iran. But by taking cost, time, loss of life into the consideration, it is better to educate the mass and fix the problem through more interaction with the government and people.

Maryam Hojjat


by Maryam Hojjat on

I am sorry that you would like Iran being governed by poeple like AN & Mullahs.  Do not you think we have better option?


More interactions are needed

by iamfine on

More interactions with the Iranian government can be helpful. The Iranian officials will be able to see our side of the story. How can you fix a government when there is no dialogue among people. More  conference of the type for Iranians abroad can be useful to soften the AN government


Yeah, I am also looking forward to

by Fair on

the next expat conference in Tehran.  Who knows, maybe the "professionals" who attend may find enough decency to say something about the usurped rights of millions of innocent Iranians, and the imprisonment, rape, torture, and murder of thousands of their compatriots. Maybe they will set conditions that they will attend only if a fully free exchange and expression of ideas is allowed.

Or maybe they will do just like this last time and just shut up about all this, put their tails between their legs, and sell out Iran for their own personal agenda while a bunch of rapist pedophile mullahs ravage our people, like the terrorist stateless self proclaimed major here.  After all, for such people,  country is secondary to themselves and their personal gain.

Sargord Pirouz

Javadagha, you should have

by Sargord Pirouz on

Javadagha, you should have gone.

What have you got against Emirates? Hey, some of their aircraft are attractively painted. I'm fond of the ones with the painted underside of the fuselage. 

Anyway, I see the cackling hens are at it again, here on the IC. It just ruins their world view to see that not everyone in the diaspora is a disgruntled wretch of an exile.

Looking forward to the next expat conference in Tehran. 


bfarahmand, you're very naive to call this crowd "professionals"

by narmaki on

Can you imagine any real professional risking his entire career, taking time off work to attend this laughable "event" for a few thousand Dollars?

These are a bunch of old failure, and this whole thing just a non event. so dont get too aroused about this whole thing, in case you wet your pants. 


Thanks DK, very good video.

by Javadagha on

Thanks DK, very good video.

bydarshow, I do not consider you an idiot similar to Fred and his dar-o-dasteh.  Do some calculations.  Only 1,200 people participated.  The airfair ranged from $500 to $1,500.  I was offered $800 which was enough to fly to Iran.  Everybody flew in economy class.  Hotel in Iran is not expensive, because Government controls all the hotels.  In my view, at most for each person $3,000 was spent. 

Take some time to listen to the interview that DK posted.  Our problems were not created in ONE year to expect someone to solve them in ONE year.


This is how I look at it

by iamfine on

If our economy gets better and more Iranians travel back and forth to Iran, it may soften the current government and hardliners. May be there is a hope of changing the government by making the economy better. Hopefully, this can be done by bringing more Iranians (professionals) to invest within the country. This will be the shortest way of achieving our goal (a win-win situation).

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Screwing the Motherland

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Thanks to the glorious agents, paid servants and traitors to Iran, for royally screwing the motherland.

Keep up the good work and keep up your price tags!


Gole Soori آقایان


Gole Soori

آقایان اردشیر اومانی و کازم آزینقرض؛ رژیم اسلامی حدود بیست هزار دولار برای هریک از شما خرج نموده وشما هم با دستمال ابریشمی حقی که تلافی نمودید. 

تصور برآن است که شما نباید وضعتان آنقدرهم درمانده و مفلوک بوده باشد که گرسنه چند وعده خوراک گوسفند بریان و هتل چند ستاره بوده باشید. که این همه به ستایش پیش رفتهای اتفاق نیفتاده پرداخته ئید. وقتی شما سوار اتویوس مجلل شیدی وآمبولانسهم شمارا دنبال نمود نپرسیدید که چزا آمبولانس دنبال شما میآید. آزاین بگذریم،سئول این است آیا یکی از شما 2000 نفر خایه نداشت که از احمدی فقط سئوال کند ،تحقیقات در مورد قتل نـــــــدا، سهراب و دیگر کشته شده گان به دست رژیم بکجا رسیده؟ (البته چون خانمهای مهمان خایه نداشتند در نتیجه تکلیف آنها معلوم است) ولی شما  با حماقت تمام نشستید که احمدی به گوش شمابکند که منتظر نباشید ممه را زرنگها قبل ازشما برده اند، سلمان فارسی های زمان چه کردید؟ رفتیتد تا برای آن بوزینه کودتاچی دست بزنید و فریاد خوش حالی سربدهید؟ و اورا برای پرکردن زندانها از جوانان آزادیخواه وکشتن آنها  تشویق کنید؟ ای حجالت بر شما.


I remember too . . .

by Javadagha on

I agree with bfarahmand.  I remember the same things.  Very sad.

It seems that Fred and Co. show up with the same daro-desteh, and repeat the same non-senses.

I was invited to attend, but I chose not to go because of my own reasons, for example, from where I am the only airplane available to fly was Emirate.  I do not fly Emirate. 




we always like to criticize

by iamfine on

When I was student back in 70s, Iranians  were always complaining about their government and how bad it is with regard to economy and human rights. It doesn't matter how hard the government tried to satisfy his people, both within the country and abroad, still people would talk negative. Here. I see the same trend. I am not saying our government is perfect, but we should not be destructive if they are doing something that would attract Iranian professionals to come back and invest in their motherland.

Darius Kadivar

FYI/Hamayesh dar Tehran on Vimeo

by Darius Kadivar on

سه شنبه 17 آگوست 2010 - مهمان برنامه: خانم آزیتا شفازند



But I bet he can not serve his "fatherland'.....

by yousef on

because he has not a f'ing clue who the heck his daddy is.

c'mon guys, why do you waste your time reading, let alone responding to this kosso sher from a nobody wanabe joojeh bassiji?

Anonymous Observer

Not surprising at all that we have people like Mr. Ommani

by Anonymous Observer on

Every dictatorship has groups of people who do its bidding abroad.  It has been true throughout modern history.  The Nazis had them.  The Soviets had them, etc.  The reasons why these people take up the mass murderer's cause abroad vary.  Some do it for money and financial gain, some do it for ideology, some are societal rejects and want to get back at the society and some are a combination of all of the above.  I don't know what category our friend here falls under, but whatever it is, I'm sure he will have to account for his misdeeds when his bosses are sent to the dustbin of history, which is their certain eventuality.   

hamsade ghadimi

serving the mother...

by hamsade ghadimi on

ommani and the hezis on this site: it is true that you're "serving the mother..." (hint: rhymes with truckers).  because you're the true of sons of ...


I am jelous

by MRX1 on

I am glad you had fun mr. Omani, you needed a vacation from all those years of fighting impreialism. It must be exhuasting. plus what's better than free vacation when some body else picks up the tab?huh.  you earned it bro.

You know a half decent human being will keep quiet if he or she ever attends this kind of thing. (You don't a hear a word from the so called IRI diplomats in moscow who constanlty are boozing  in cabarets and whore houses) but you on the other hand is such an ego maniac that you can't even keep your mouth shot! 

you islamists are breed of your own!

Hoshang Targol

Isn't the writer of this "report," the same individuale

by Hoshang Targol on

who called on Islamic Republic TO EXECUTE ALL THEIR OPPOSITION?

Dear Sir. do you still have the same position? ( And in case you deny it I still have a copy of your statement).

If yes, why should anyone in their right mind listen to anything you might say?

And if no, what did exactly bring about this "change" of mind? cheers



The Greens have exposed themselves for the traitors they are

by Simorgh555 on

Please expose these countefeit Iranians for the shameless supporters of a rapist and murderous regime. When the day of reckoning comes near read out their names and tighten the noose around the necks of Mousavi alongside with Antari and the Seyed Ali Geda alongside all their supoporters.

Anyone who gives false hope to Iranians believing change can come within this regime should be treated a public enemies. 


Mr. Ommani, Did you get a free ticket and stay for this "event"?

by Onlyiran on

Because if you did, I hope you realize that they constitute "doing business" with the Islamic Republic, which is a violation of federal law, specifically, OFAC regulations that prohibit transactions with the Iranian government by U.S. residents and citizens such as yourself.  If you did get these benefits, did you, by any chance, obtain a license from the Treasury Department to a accept the monetary compensation?


bunch of low life

by cyclicforward on

Being a traitor is nothing something you want to brag about. Just keep your head down and may be we don't notice you any more.

Maryam Hojjat

Mr. Ommani

by Maryam Hojjat on

I am glad you enjoyed your free trip to IRAN with your wife.  If IRR/ IRI is so good and progressive why are you residing in most democtratic country US? I am sure you have been blessed by IRR/ IRI since its inception otherwise you would see the plight of IRANIANS under this barbaric, criminal, illitrated and backward Mullahs.


"Conference of arse lickers and loosers"

by Q on

Hey seemorgh, do you mean "losers" ?

What "irony"!