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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


February 2, 2001

Personal vandeta

I read Guive Mirfendereski's article ["Power of one"] and found it highly provocative.

It seems that Mr. Mirfendereski has used his bully pulpit (as a regular contributor to The Iranian Times) to settle a personal vendetta against Dr. Kamyar Kallantar-Zadeh, and thus chose an appropriate title for his piece.

I have read all the commentaries of both individuals, and as a current member of the Board of Directors of the Persian Watch Cat (PWC), I'd have to say that Mr. Mirfendereski's remarks about the organization being anti-American and anti-Semitic in general, and Dr. Kallantar in particular is simply outrageous.

If you read Dr. Kallantar's article ["Shocked and saddened"] carefully you will notice that he is implying that if Iranian-Americans don't unite and stand up against discrimination, such as finger-printing in U.S. airports, then this could lead to harsher regulations in the future.

In other words, if we don't fight the finger-printing regulations now, this could send a signal to the U.S. authorities that Iranian-Americans are not very concerned about their civil liberties, which might lead to more serious remedies, similar to the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII for example. This is not an anti-American remark but a factual statement with perhaps a far-fetched conclusion.

I believe Dr. Kallantar is using the word "enemy" as being used from the perspective of the perpetrators of such anti-Iranian policies. So when Dr. Kallantar is accusing Mr. Mirfendereski of siding with the "enemy", he is implying that Iranian-Americans are being attacked as if WE are the enemy.

Regarding Mr. Mirfendereski's charge of anti-Semitism, all he has to offer is a "castigating remark about Senator D. Feinstein and Senator J. Liberman". Well, if you read Dr. Kallantar's comments you will see a reference being made to Senators Feinstein and Toricelli (who is an Italian-American), not Senator Lieberman, the "castigating remark" being that Senator Feinstein hates Iranian-Americans because of her comments about Iranian students being "potential terrorists", comments for which Senator Feistein has so far refused to offer an apology.

If anyone can brand these comments as anti-Semitic or anti-American, then they ought to have their heads examined.

Mr. Mirfendereski's comment about the PWC leadership being "bigots" is a fabrication at best and a personal vendetta gone awry at worst. Please spare us from his future rantings.

Shahram Mostarshed
San Jose, CA


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