The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 16, 2001

Shocked & saddened

Dear hamvatan and colleague, Guive: I am profoundly puzzled by your very recent published letter in ["Complain to..."] in that you support the regulations of fingerprinting and luggage searching of Iranian passengers at US airports. The more I read your letter, the more frustrated and deeply saddened I feel by what you wrote. Of course, anybody is entitled to have his/her personal opinions and to express them in form of letters and articles since we all live in a free country.

However, when a member of the board of Persian Watch Cat (PWC), a US based "Iranian American Anti-Discrimination Council", defends so boldly the historical discrimination and humiliation of his hamvatans in the US, then I am just speechless.

Indeed I am shocked (if the word "shock" could ever express what I am going through after I read your article). When the US government implemented the historical discrimination of the American Japanese during the World War II, what is still considered as one of the darkest spots of the US history, I doubt very much if ever an American Japanese citizen even remotely justified them and asked his people in the US to go to Japan and overthrow the devil Japanese Empire! When the Jews were systematically eliminated in Germany of 60 years ago, I doubt if ever a Jew sided with the enemy and recommended his people to change the religion (similar to changing our passports, as you are recommending) in order to avoid humiliation and elimination.

Dear Guive: You say that these regulations are legitimate because of the Islamic Regime in Iran, and are urging us to fight against the "Iran government" if we want our parents not to be fingerprinted at JFK Airport in New York! Wow! What a strong association and justification! Not even Senators Feinstein or Torriceli could have justified the humiliation of Iranians the way you successfully did. Bravo, indeed! Three years ago, when a group of Iranian Americans met with Senator Feinstein and criticized her for her attacking Iranian students in the US and calling them "potential terrorist", even she was not that outrageous to ask us to go back to Iran and fight the IRI if we want her to stop her attacks against us.

When the 59-year old mother of my best friend entered Chicago Airport from London to visit her only son after 7 years, they detained this old, respected lady for 4 hours. Imagine what the son went through during those 4 hours until the poor mother was finally released after 4 hours of fingerprinting and photographing like a CRIMINAL. And you, Sir, are defending such regulations! Do you really believe that the old lady deserves it only because the government of Iran is "Islamic Republic"! When my brother came here last year from Australia (not Iran!) by Qantas (not a US airline!) to visit us in San Francisco, he was fingerprinted and photographed like a criminal. He is an advanced PhD student in Melbourne with research grant from Australian government (not Iranian Government!). They treated my brother like a criminal. Do you want him to fight the IRI regime for what he experienced in LAX Airport?

Ten months ago, in March 2000, when I was going from a scientific conference in Washington, DC, to another one in Nuremberg, Germany (not Iran!), by Lufthansa (not a US airline!), I was arrested for several hours at Washington Airport since I dared to question the obligatory luggage search by Lufthansa German Airline and asked for a written version of these regulations.

How on Earth would you legitimize the arrest of a US academician and practicing physician specialist, who has not been to Iran for years and has not even committed speed violation ever?

Do I deserve being treated as a criminal only and only because I was born in Iran, whose current government is anti-humane?

I have not even committed traffic violations in my whole life, but since I am "Iranian", it is legitimate to arrest me and force me to undergo luggage search. And you, Sir, are defending them! And want me to overthrow the Islamic Regime in Iran, 20,000 miles from my home and my family, if I do not want to be humiliated again in the US next time that I go to my next scientific meeting in Germany or in London!

Dear Guive: Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more painful when one notices that his own kind is siding with the enemy. People like Senators Feinstein and Toricelli may hate over one million successful Iranians in the US, so be it. But when a hamvatan sides with Feinsteins and coworkers and legitimizes their humiliation of our parents and friends at US airports, then that day I feel the stab of the knife in my back. And I do not even want to remove the knife, for the pain is real and awakening.

Dear Guive: Nowadays, even the Iranian monarchists are decent enough to avoid defending humiliation of the Iranians at US Airports. The only group that is supporting such appalling regulations is Modjahedin Khalq. And they are the only Iranians who, in our 2500 years of history, ever sided with our enemy and killed our hamvatans. And for what they did, they are hated for years, but for centuries, for millennia, for as long as universe will exist. They opened a new chapter in our history: When an Iranian help the enemy to kill other Iranians.

When Rostam, in the last minutes of his gracious life, inside that wall of betrayal, full of knifes and swords penetrated in his body, was talking to his Rakhsh for the last time, he said:

"Bas keh bi sharmaaneh va past ast in tazvir, cheshm raa baayad bebandam, taa nabinam hich...".

He died in that wall but refused to accept that this was his own brother who finally killed him and his rakhsh. Not his known enemy, not Afrasiab, not Zahhaak, but his own kind! And I want to close my eyes too...

Kamyar Kalantar
Los Angles, CA


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