Sehaty Foreign Exchange


  Write for The Iranian
Editorial policy

June 13, 2001

* Empty half

A reply to Hadi Khorsandi's "Entekhaabaat" by M. GH

* Rethink and rebuild

Oh yes, the boycott talk ["Boycott or perish"]. The large Iranian-exile community can't take a hint, can they? They invited us to boycott the 1997 elections, reasoning that our vote will only bring legitimacy for the "tormenting hell called the Islamic Republic". didn't work. Khatami got 20 Million votes! But these opposition groups, much like the hard-liners, know how to interpret a high turn out to their favor even when they lose, specially when they lose. They told us that our vote wasn't really a "YES" to Khatami but rather a "NO" for Nategh-Nouri! They invited us to boycott the sixth parliamentary election in 1999 as well. That election didn't work out the way they wanted it either.

They again shouted "Tahrim" on 18 Khordad this year. They again lost to the majority, who voted for one of them mullahs! Am I the only one that sees a pattern in all this?

My suggestion to Mr. Sheibany (va amsalohom) is to take a step back and rethink and rebuilt your standpoints, so that it would fit contemporary Iran. I would give the same suggestion to the hard-liners, who've by the way have lost as many battles as you! And by answering your comments I would like to contribute as much as I can to this rebuilding task you have ahead of you >>> FULL TEXT

Reza Ahmadi, 19
New York

* Holding Iran responsible

Although I agree with the basic premise that the U.S. should reassess its unilateral sanctions policy toward Iran, I am wary of an undefined policy of engagement ["Engage"]. Moji Agha is right to cite the U.S experience with China in this regard.

What we saw play out during Clinton's tenure is the limitations of a liberal foreign policy that assumes economic integration of markets will ultimately produce liberal democratic states. The problem, as you stated, is that Washington, D.C. cares as much about the human rights of Iranians as it does about the human rights of its own citizens (the U.S. is in league with Iran on the numbers of death sentences it carries out).

In the short term, economic engagement with the U.S. could, in fact, bolster Khatami's standing if it is seen as a reward for continued political reform. However, as with China, Iran will reach a point beyond which society will no longer liberalize because the conservative social order is so entrenched.

Human rights abuses may go underground and political crackdowns may continue, while individual rights remain a pie in the sky. In fact, Iranian hardliners may argue, as certan China experts have argued, that democracy in Iran, considering it's unique historical and cultural context, is qualitatively different than that of Western societies. At that point, do you think business interests in Washington, D.C. would voluntarily forgo profits if the U.S. were to adopt a pro-human rights and pro-democracy hard line? I don't think so.

What we don't want is commerce at the expense of freedom. I think Iranians in the U.S. should be unified and clear in its insistence that economic engagement always bolster the struggle for political liberalization and hold both governments accountible.

Columbia University

* Other side of the wall

I am an Iranian girl who lives abroad, has always respected the concept of virginity and a one-man romance, as someone else put i, but I love Nooneh's stories. She is very open and sincere and I learn a lot from her work. For me reading her work is like seeing the other side of a wall. I have always wondered what was going on behind it.

The girl in those stories is free. She has a beautiful sort of freedom that I like and adore, perhaps something on the back of my mind wanted to be like her, but somethings in the front of my mind and outside, has always been fighting back and eventually won everytime.

But now as I get older, I have come to realize that not everything works quite the way I thought or been taught. Mixing cultures is not easy at all and not always possible. The concept of marrying as a virgin was for girls who married in their late teens or early 20's at most. But it is so hard (and stupid at the same time) to be a 37-year-old virgin and still waiting for someone (perhaps a grandpa) to appreciate it :)

Thank you Nooneh for reminding us of our rights that have been taken away from us for so many years.


* Potential harm

In response to Naghmeh Sohrabi's article "Harming whom?", I would like to clarify some issues. Nooneh's stories potentially harm three groups. I use the word "potentially" since an absolute proof is out of my reach.

It may harm the publisher. Why? If her stories cause some people to leave this web site the publisher has obviously been harmed. The publisher tries a lot to make an attractive online magazine. He has done a great job doing so. I personally like both the design and content of the site. If some leave the site or stop visiting it, the publisher is harmed.

Of course one may argue that Noneh's stories have increased the number of people visiting the site. If that's the case then I am probably wrong regarding this aspect.

It may harm the writer. Why? The unknown writer is a talented one. She can spend her time writing articles/stories with more positive effects. Once she gets rid of this obsession with sexual relationships she may start seeing many other aspects of life. Since most of the writer's relationships are failures (at least this is true for the stories I found the chance to read) it may also harm her emotionally. It may be more helpful if she visits a shrink. That is a more reliable way to heal such emotional wounds >>> FULL TEXT


* Not so different

Dear Karina, ["Reality is so different"]

I am sorry for your loss of virginity at a extremely young age. You seem to be mistaken by my thoughts on Nooneh. I myself believe that a girl should be a virgin before she gets married. Now I know that many do not think that way, and unfortunately things that happened to you happen to those who want to wait. What I am saying is that I do not like the things Nooneh writes in her stories, that is my opnion. Plus no one said that you can't believe in a one-man romance, reality is not so different.


* You're no exile

Dear Ms. Khalili,

I enjoyed your article "Loving a farangi" and I happen to be in love with a wonderful farangi myself. However, I'm not sure if your repeated references to "exile" as a dilemma or condition are valid at all.

If I'm not mistaken, you're able to freely travel back to Iran and even live there if so you choose, right? I say this because I thought I read other article(s) by you about traveling back to Iran. I also know that exile is a forced condition; staying abroad by choice is hardly living in exile. Am I missing something?

Keep up the good work.

Ben Bagheri

* Love dosen't cost anything

In reply to Vahid's call for help, My sister in Iran just found out she has cancer. My father, who is 67, lost his job. My mom on Noruz didn't have any sweet cake on her table. My cousin is 24 and can't find any work. The whole country is suffering under the molla regime. Over 50% of teens don't even have a chance to go to university. Most of the elderly in Iran don't even have a retirment plan in there old age. Some people just die because of a simple flu because of lack of medicine in the village. Students are going into streets to fight and die for a better goverment. The economy is at its worst point, and dear friend you worry about getting married?

You believe people outside Iran are just sitting at home and spending money? You think in Iranian in America are swimming in moeny? Can you afford a room? Can you afford to put food on the table for two people every day? If yes, then remember REAL love dosen't cost anything.

Filip Saprkin

* Mary Isagholian

I am looking for an old friend of mine, Mary Isagholian. The last time we met was in Tehran around six years ago. I understand that she is now in the U.S. I would greatly appreciate receiving any information you might have concerning her well-being and whereabouts.

Reza Sami

* Saeed Tabatabaee

I am looking for my Kharazmi High School friends (graduate of 1350/1971) and my guitar-mate, Saeed Tabatabaee. Where are you guys?

Amir Forati

Comment for The Iranian letters section


June 2001
Archived letters

Letters index
Letters sent to The Iranian in previous months

Email us

Flower delivery in Iran
Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact:
Web design by BTC Consultants
Internet server Global Publishing Group