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We, the Iranians of the diaspora matter!

Upon the termination of her hunger strike Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh the human rights lawyer imprisoned by IR thanked a number of people and groups in a letter which was published in this site by my fellow blogger @Ruhany.  


In this letter Ms. Sotoudeh specifically thanks the Iranians in the diaspora and underscores their importance in Iran's struggle for freedom and Democracy.


از مهاجران ايراني كه پس از جنبش سال 88 نشان دادند تا چه اندازه حضورشان منشا خدمات ارزنده‌اي براي احياي حقوق بشر و دمكراسي در ايران است]


[I thank ] the iranians in the diaspora who after the uprising of the year 88 (2009) showed how their involvement is a valuable vehicle for attainment of freedom and democracy in Iran]


I have always thought that we Iranians who live in societies that afford us free speech need to be the voice of the voiceless of Iran.  We, the Iranians of the diaspora have been mocked and often advised not get involved through a quasi subversive quote of "change must come from within".  In my opinion,  change must come from all possible fronts of this struggle, Ms Sotoudeh seems to agree.   


Thank you Ms. Sotoudeh to confirm our important role.





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Sayyad Sha'er visit:

I think diaspora Iranians should just stick to becoming doctors and dentists, leave the old country behind. We aren't united people like the Jews, we're a lot that's out for ourselves and our immediate families only. Who cares about politics anyway? Look at history, it's proven that we are illogical and cannot run a country in a direction other than into the ground.



Divaneh jaan, thank you for your comment. I really like the part below because it is so true.

"Despite living overseas we are still an extension of that society and share all its concerns."

It is so hard to cut through the thick layer of nonsense that is fabricated for the purpose of separating us in the diaspora from Iran that many of us are quite confused about the importance of our role.

I just saw a manshoor (what is a proper translation of Mashoor in English?) for a national coalition posted by David ET which seemed to spell out basic and fundamental items that should bind all democratically minded Iranians in Iran and in the Diaspora.

I keep hearing the word Democracy in relation to Iran and I am certain that we will get to the tipping point where we will see a free and democratic Iran. In the word of our fellow blogger Shazdeh Asdolah Mirza every voice and action counts. And I add -if I may-, specially the voice of the Iranian Diaspora which can speak in relative freedom.



Thanks Mehrban for reminding us of the importance of the Iranian diaspora and how it can assist the freedom movement in Iran. Despite living overseas we are still an extension of that society and share all its concerns. As you and some others have pointed we have more resources in our disposal but unfortunately are unable to organise and use them effectively.



Hi Dr Mohandes, are you really writting from Iran. That is amazing, I thought one can not log in from Iran. Well you are on the ground and I have to defer to you on what is going on in Iran. But my experience from people I talk to on the phone and travelers is that they are scared into submission. I was in Iran almost five years a go and that was the case I sense it is much worse now.

You never know when things will get to tipping point but I know there is quite a bit of dissatisfaction among the people. Thank you for writing here DM, it is great to see someone on the ground in Iran writing here.


Doctor Mohandes Beware. BS detector onboard!

Yes mehrban jan i am really writing from iran. I thought you knew! all you need is a nice and decent software that can guarantee your "secure" and "safe" web serfing.

I have not personally witnessed any cases of being scared into submission, but people are more than dissatisfied, to the point you would hear it day in and day out , in cabs, on the bus, you name it!
Everyone is wondering about that infamous "tipping point" believe me! So what is gonna happen? how is it all going to end? are the questions that you hear being posed by people.


DoNotShootMe If it's well written and well directed and you've got good actors to work with, acting is easy. But making sure all the ducks are in a row is the hard part. It's very rare. John Lithgow

No, I am talking about you.



Dear Khaleh Mosheh, there has been so much smoke and mirrors to impede the Iranians of the diaspora to get involved. Nasrin's shout out clears the deck and frees any Iranian in the diaspora that felt by being involved s/he may jeopardize chances for democracy in Iran.
It's always great to see you!


khaleh mosheh

Dear Mehrban- a very sensible sentiment expressed so succinctly. I whole heartedly agree that we should not underestimate our potential to play our part in trying to oppose this malignant regime. We could achieve a lot if we are organised, united and put aside small unimportant differences to achieve a higher aim of getting rid of the mullas.



Esfand jaan, I am against political Islam, because I find it arbitrary, oppressive and exclusive among many other reasons. I do not believe that N. Sotoudeh is an Islamists, if she is, then I certainly disagree with her politics. Non the less as an upstanding member of resistance to the regime and a prominent political prisoner, her views on the involvement of the Diaspora is very important. Such views are particularly important on a back drop of barrage of propaganda from IR to brain wash Iranians of the diaspora that they are irrelevant and that the change must only come from within. This approach leaves the a huge resource in achieving Democracy in Iran out of the equation and has only served IR.


Esfand Aashena

The best accomplishment that the Iranian diaspora has done and will be able to do and will do, is to mobilize efforts to free political prisoners such as Ms. Sotoudeh or Mr. Ganji and many others, or Sakineh and others like her in the case of stoning.

However, when it comes to other events like supporting the Iranian election aftermath many (not all) are as divided as ever! Many (not all) haggled about flags! Many (not all) insulted Reformists! Many (not all) said screw Mousavi!

So Mehrban jaan yes Ms. Sotoudeh said we matter and we do matter, but if she comes out of Iran and say similar things like what Mr. Ganji is saying, god help her! I recall there were similar support for Mr. Ganji when he was on hunger strike.

Below I leave you with a link to Ms. Sotoudeh's bio on wiki and how she represented Iran (IRI) in Hague earlier in her career. At the moment the vast majority of political prisoners in Iran believe in Political Islam as you define it and are Reformists.

The difference between Reformists and how I'd define Reformists are those who want change and wanted change from the very beginning. Their opponents who are the ultra conservatives don't want change, never wanted, never will.

Your definition of Islamists is "RUNG"!


Doctor Mohandes Beware. BS detector onboard!


Whether by not counting the diaspora we are leaving a huge resource out or not, the fact of the matter remains to be that the diaporians, if you will, never really showed that they are courageous enough to come up with anythng practical, and it is highly unlikely that words straight of the mouth of some political / HR activist would change things so drastically for that matter.
Regardless of how much sufferings we in iran are going through, I myself as someone who was part of the iranian-american community not too long ago, don't see any incentive, anything at all, to get me motivated to take actions, You are talking about a community of people who have either :
1- decided to fend off on their own, meaning that they will seek other solutions out of this mayhem.
2- or they have learned to be complicit and obey the rules!! and just go along with everything thrown their way. it is so sick and pathetic at times, particularly for someone who has not been in this country for years, but dare to say something and u better be prepared for the barrage of "ey agha...who has got the time and stamina" blowbacks that will come your way!
The sad point is that, and now i am a believer myself. that even if a foreign power would launch a fierce and strong campaign to make anything happen, i doubt people would go for it, it is as if no one cares.


G. Rahmanian

AO Jaan,
Although I haven't been back to Iran for more than three decades, I see lots of good in Iranians going back for visits. Just imagine the kinds of conversations people would have with their relatives about the free world outside Iran. Satellite TV channels have done a lot to help Iranians realize there's a free and better world outside of the Islamic hellhole. But talking to a brother, a sister, a cousin, an aunt etc. who is home for a visit and hearing their great stories first hand is a whole different thing. I don't think we can deny the influence of those living in diaspora on broadening the horizons of their friends and relatives back home and giving them the hope that some day they too can live in a free and democratic Iran.



AO jaan, that is a tough one. But what is clear is that Ms. Sotoudeh in no uncertain terms includes the highly powerful Iranian diaspora as a vital participant in the struggle for freedom of Iran. This fact alone should move many of the Iranians who were intimidated by the smoke screens of IR out of the purgatory of fence sitting. I hope we all hear her!