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October 30, 2002

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* When you are at rock bottom

Can someone please give me a single justification for any good that can come out of Khatami's stunt with the thing he did about not shaking hands with women during his visit to Spain. It is at times like these that the expression 'It is so difficult to build anyhting, but so easy to destroy it' makes so much sense. Does the phrase 'Public Opinion' mean anything at all to middle eastern politicians.

It just hit me that why is it that some Iranians think that the reform process is going to work. When you are at rock bottom.... you can only improve. Last year our major victory is that women in Iran can expose 2 more inches of their hair... perhaps next year Khatami can stand wihtin a foot of a foreign woman. Let's leave the hand shaking thing for our 10-year plan.

When will I wake up one day and see that this sick/backward regime was just a bad dream?


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* Forgotten the population of India?

In response to your letter I was disgusted by your lack of awareness of your question. You seemed to ask a retorical question and make a poor attempt on trying to defend it. You stated : "How many Nobel prize winners are of Iranian origin? Compare the number with those of indian origin?"

Have you forgotten the population of India in India and abraod especially India? Yes, 1 billion. Compare that to the total population of Iran being 70 million, that's almost 15 times. Meaning if 15 Indians won the Nobel Prize then 1 Iranian should have won the Noble Prize by now. I don't know the precise number of Indians winning the Nobel Prize, but I am pretty certain that it isn't 15 or more. That means we have yet to win one and that comparison to back your argument is basless.

How dare you say : "That statement can only be applied to four communities in the world :- parsis(not iranians)". You just said that it was OK for any Indian even of Indian origin to win the Nobel Prize, but a Parsi who is of Iranian origin should be excluded from us? Most of the Indian Nobel Prize winners live in the US. I see, manipulating facts to back your own argument.

You claim that Iranians blame their troubles on Arabs and the US. OK, let me hit you hard on the facts. The fact that the US and Britain engineered a revolution in Iran, the British dividing Iran up from present day Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Armenia, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Bahrain, (and don't you dare to say that they were never part of Iran), eingineering a war with Iraq with all the Arab neighbours helping and supporting Iraq, isn't a reason for Iranias to feel some bitterness towards them. You're right, we are being childish.

You state that Indians are succesful. Have you been to the US? Do you know which ethnic minority is the most succesful? Tes, that's right IRANIAN. Go to LA and you'll know what I mean. While you guys invest in 7-11, Iranians invest in the big businesses. While you say 1.99, we say 1.99 million.

Heresh Rezavandi

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* Don't wish to be compared to a 'gorilla'

I just read this article about "hair removal"! [Zapped] I knew before reading it that it would be so ridiculous and "stupid"! However, I went ahead and read it so that I can comment on it!

Don't you have any other articles to publish!!!! I know that you are trying to publish so called funny articles!!! BUT PLEASEEEE!

Also, I don't wish to be compared to a 'gorilla' - Aren't we women called enough disgusting names as to be compared to the most ugly creature in the world!!!!!!!! GIVE ME A BREAK!

Mariam Nahavandi

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* Wine: "Winds of Change"

There is an auction for a bottle of red wine currently in progress. The bottle is called "Winds of Change".

It is a red wine (rich spicy combination of Pinotage and blackcurranty Cabernet Sauvignon); Year 2001; produced by SONOP Wine Farm of South Africa (Western Cape)

You can get to to auction by going here. Shipping is paid for, Current bid price is $15.

Amir K. Sheibany

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* U.S. created what Iranians couldn't in 5,000 years

We are responsible by Brian Appleton was very informative [We are responsible!]. But one thing must be considered is that the Iranians brought the Ayatollah Seyed Rohollah Musavi Khomeini to power. No one forced the Iranians to bring that person into power. It was Iranians that also brought back the Shah to power in the 1950's.

It is easy to point the index finger at the United States but remember you point one finger and the other three point back at you. Iranians should promote democracy. Say no to Monarchy, no to theocracy, and no to islamic marxism. The only way is a democratic republic with a federal and state system of government.

In a little bit over 200 years the US has created a people controlled government that Iranians were not able to do in 5,000 years.

David Banner

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* Shahnameh sources

Dear Ms. Wieck, [Missing subtleties]

I hope that we learn geography someday without a need for war. Peace keeps borders intact and makes geography a lot easier! About your Shahnameh question. One of the best sources to start on Persian mythology is the book "Persian Myths" by Dr. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis.

The mythological symbolism of the Shahnameh has been the subject of discussion for many scholary papers. I am not sure if you would be interested in those, but some of the easier ones are written by John Hinz and Arthur Christensen.

Also, read the books by Georges Dumezil, particularly "The Destiny of a King" and "The Plight of a Sorcerer". These might prove to be too heavy, but I am not aware of much else having been written on the subject. You might also be able to find some info in the website. I hope these can be helpful.

Please do contact me if any other questions arise.

Khodadad Rezakhani

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* Dedication to the Iranian people

With due respect for Mrs. Azam Nemati, whose writings I appreciate on this forum, I would nevertheless like to say that I feel that she is being too harsh "When are we going to wake up?" on Mr. Bayegan's excellent piece "Regal Grace" on Empress Farah.

I would just like to show these two pictures which are not the only ones which show the late Empress' dedication to the Iranian people.

I recall seeing her on National television present not only at ceremonial receptions held at Niavaran or Saadabad palaces but also close to the people who found themselves in the most difficult situations be it the earthquake in Tabas or her work for helping fighting leperacy in Iran and particularily in remote villages. I think these pictures talk for themselves.

Ardeshir Hafez

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* No reason to be ashamed

Your brain must have been damaged by eating too much of the Reza Pahlavi's shit [You will never wake up] otherwise, you would have recognized the fact that there is nothing hateful about my comments [When are we going to wake up?]. I decided long ago to ignore the pro Monarchy people because most of them have below average intelligence and succumb to threats and fowl language to scare people who are pro democracy or call them Islamist and Marxist and other names.

Why am I sure you are not intelligent? Perfect reason. You and all Pro Monarchy people always assume that those who want free election and people's choice to be the rule are pro Mullahs or some other regime.

What makes you think I am Oghdeie? For your information a die hard Reza fan who has several private jets and thinks he is God has commented several times that I am so smart and beautiful he wished I was on his camp. This idiot lives in Washington and periodically wastes his time and tries to bring on people to his camp.

Shame on you for being so stupid and disrespectful. I have no reason to be ashamed. My community (that includes stupid Monarchist like you) is proud of me not only because I am successful and independent but because I am forever trying to promote the greatness of Iranian culture. I help my fellow Iranian regardless of their political and religious believes.

You sound like an ugly, fat, miserable Iranian man who is full of hate for beautiful, intelligent Iranian women. It will take God's miracle to cure you. My agenda is to help and see my people are free to choose and be happy.

One more thing before you let the shit from your brain exit your mouth. How could I belong to the Islamist camp when my brother has been a Mojahed since 1983 and my parents and everyone else has been beaten up by the regime's people many times? Your agenda is to insult Iranian women.

May be if you become a bit more tolerant and kinder perhaps someone will have mercy on you. For your information I do not wish any of the Pahlavi's clan members dead. I wish them a long life filled with emptiness in their heart so all the stolen money in the world could not fill that empty space in their heart.

Azam Nemati

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* You will never wake up

For some reason this Azam Nemati [When are we going to wake up?] reminds me of the Setareh thing. I wonder they have the same background (please check "Aghaye Hosseini"). Azam and other creatures like her, have so much hate in their being that is hard to imagine. These nobody Marxist/ Islamists who seems to have originated from the same village, repeat the same nonsense over and over again. They were brain fed with some backward leftists, melli/mazhabi BS statistics, as it is quoted in Azam's total lie typical oghdehee letter, "When are we going to wake up?". It used to be 20B (the first year the Iran had that much income (1976 or 77), now is 50B.

Azam you will never wake up because you are full of BS, and your brain is full of kesaafat instead of real data. You have special mission, and you trying to accomplish the tasks set forward for you. However, if you have one Nano gram of decency, you would provide us with your data in regards to 50B stolen money. How dare you write such a rubbish in response to a great writer Reza Bayegan.

To use the same line of question as yours, When you people will ever become "ADAM?". When are you going to stop using the Revolty Tactics, the same nonsense which got Iran this status? When are you going to stop lying? Don't you have any decency? Shame on you and people like you. It seems unlike most of other Iranian, you were not raised in a family atmosphere, you liar, and jerk. Go do your "Ghazal" thing and don?t write these junks.

The era of cheating, deceiving, Cinema Rex, Maydaneh Jaleh lies is over. You guys were in Abadan some years ago when the oil and communist/ Islamists issues were hot. Most of Southerners including Abadanis are decent people and very well educated and adopted to realities of life. But some of you that act this stupid were fed with wrong data, and never have decency to check the accuracy of these claims.

You utilize agend set forward for you by original Abadan, Abadan set up. However, we know you and your agenda and your mission no matter what name/alias you use. You call yourself not stupid but you never search any topics you write about despite utilizing WWW as a mean for spreading your lies. Your letter contains only BS contaminated with some stupid emotional issues designed for backwards to grab the attention of backward Oghdeeie sympathizers, and still call yourself not stupid.

On the contrary, if you use the WWW provided to you by the free world, and search for the truth, then you will find out how stupid you are. This is not a tool to be abuse by left, Mazhabi, Oghdeiee and their colonies who never did anything to benefit human kinds except killing and spreading their lies and Oghdeh. You terrorists please go back to where you belong and leave us alone here.

This place is not for you terrorists.

Kourosh Ferisian

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* Much less offensive

I think that these photos [Ms. Cookandclean] are witty, and much less offensive than the martyr's wife on the poster in Tehran, who has no face at all. We all need to realize when we are making objects of other people, and STOP!


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* How could they?

Dear Mr. Kadivar, [This is Islamic Justice?]

I too had chills when I saw the pictures of the public hangings in Iran but for a completely different reason: These men have savagely abused innocent women on the streets of Tehran. I kept asking myself how they could have done what they did? Where has humanity gone in our country?

I am not concerned with politics but capital punishment (which is also applicable in some states in the US by the way) is an excellent way of making sure that criminals like these animals are kept at bay.

How would you feel if your sister or mother or wife or daughter was abused by these men. Would you have them sentenced for a number of years only so that they would be released and pose a further threat to our society, raping young girls and looting.

Unfortunately, there are some Iranians such as yourself who have taken the concept of "openmindedness" and being politically correct, too far, too soon.

Or do you suggest that the streets of Tehran be filled with murderes, rapists and paedeophiles (for the sake of animal rights) so that we innocent humans can live in constant fear as to what will happen to our wives and kids as soon as they step out of the door on to the streets. You talk of human rights. What about our rights as women to venture out without feeling threatened by thugs?

Aghaye aziz, these people should have thought of the consequences of their actions before they committed these vicious crimes and what they got, they deserved. Not only should they have suffered in the way that they died, I hope they burn in hell as well (Yes, I believe in the hereafter and am very religious). And to all you "open minded Iranians" out there, please come up with a sensible argument if you decide to write to me.



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* First ones hung on Pahlavi Ave.

I respectfully have to ask what in God's name were you thinking in doing a piece on these parasites? [Once upon a time]

Need I remind you, these rodents will be the first ones hung from the trees lining "Khiyabaneh Pahlavi" once they are removed. God will be their witness; as in the Spanish inquisition, the clerics will pay for all of their misdeeds!

Babak Kalhor

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* For the sake of power

In response to "Squandering solidarity", let's get things in perspective:

1. Iraq's military strength is about a third of what it was in 1990, the US military capabilities are ten times stronger than they were back then. How can Iraq be a greater threat now?

2. Iraq flouted UN resolutions, not for over a decade, as the president said, but only when it saw no end in sight for the economic sanctions and their removal. On the other hand, Israel has been flouting UN resolutions for the past 5 decades including Resolution 673 that deplored Israel for not cooperating with it, and Resolution 517 that 'censures' Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions.

It's a joke that Israel not only flouted the UN resolutions for over 5 decades but also those that asked it not to flout the resolutions! What does our president think about that? In face of these clear facts, the whole speech of the President to the UN becomes quite meaningless, in short a joke, and appears to the ordinary person like myself who uses his common sense, that an ulterior motive is being sought to put the lives of ordinary people, both American and Iraqis at risk for the sake of power and materialism!

M. Asadi

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* Cheshm nakhoree

I read your article about Bahais [Heechee kam nadaaran]. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to convey my feeling about your feeling in English, therefore I have to go by Persian: "Agha Jahanshah, agar amme daari gorbaanesh boro va begu yek esfandi baraat dood kone ke cheshmat nazanand.


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* We all have fragile egos

With a name like "Golden Flower Eyes", and men falling all over themselves for your (quite dubious) attentions, you darn well should respect an Iranian man's 'great ego' [You frustrate me]. But where's your compassion for them in not understanding the message "no, thank you" if you are so irresistibly beautiful AND educated?

Someone clearly hurt/rejected/toyed with/abandoned you in some painful fashion. My heart goes out to you, yet rather than deal with it in an appropriate manner you lash out with prejudicial condescension at a group of people, with an assumed air of 'educated' impunity. (No educated woman or man needs to announce that they are educated, by the way; it simply shows in their language, intelligence, and integrity. And no one who is truly educated can justify racial bias on any grounds, least of all on their so called devotion to their family.)

Like you, I am not an Iranian woman, and I am also married and with children. My soon-to-be ex-husband, an 'educated' Western man, recently lost his head and pounded mine, for no reason other than his wounded male ego, pride, and abject, though fervently denied, fear. I had decided, after sixteen years of commitment to an unsatisfying marriage that placed me in a subordinate role all too often, to leave him.

I discovered that I deserve to be treated in a manner that is commensurate with how I treat others, that I deserve to be loved in the same manner that I give love: honestly and openly. This wasn't a sudden revelation. It had been a long time coming, but fear and denial kept me complacent in the past. I, too, had received attentions from other men, to which I sometimes responded; but I denied those, too; I was fearful of where they might lead.

I chose ultimately to focus on myself, on evolving, on becoming the fullest person that I could be. Placing the blame outward always serves to perpetuate the problem; I suggest that you look inside yourself for your answers rather than bothering more Iranian men (and women) for them. Why they waste their time responding to your whining protests, rather than fostering more proactive relationships, is beyond me.

And why do I take the time to respond to you myself? Because one of those men is my dear friend. It doesn't matter he's from Iran, or Slovenia, or Fergus Falls Minnesota; he is my friend. And while we may not always see eye to eye, he would certainly never thrust himself upon me with force, as my Western husband did, even though he demonstrates a healthy dose of male pride, ego, and fear.

On the contrary, even before I was married, he treated me, as a woman, with utmost respect and discretion. He is the one man I've ever known who had the guts to go out of his way in admitting that he had been wrong, that he had hurt me in a manner he came to regret; and that I had taught him something about himself that he had not previously known nor wanted to admit.

I wish that I had had the courage then, before I was married, to tell this man how I felt about him, but I feared rejection and did not want to take that chance. I thought my fiance, from whom I am now walking away, was a safer bet, because he hadn't turned his back on me. Yet. This Iranian man's friendship is deeply valuable to me, so valuable that I am willing to fight for it. What are you willing to fight for?

Face it, Golden Eyes. We all have fragile egos. We all want to be loved, attended to by attractive AND caring people, and simultaneously we want to be in control. Unfortunately, we can't always have it our way. We do the best we can at the time, we often make mistakes, we don't get what we want and think we deserve, or we get something we hadn't bargained for.

Somehow, ultimately, we need to take responsibility for our own lives and focus on the people and things we love most and from which we receive the most nurturing value. We need to forgive ourselves, release the past, and move on, hopefully with open minds and hearts. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we each work on ourselves in order to encourage the evolution of our species, the male and the female, the Western and the Eastern of us. Or we will simply not survive.

Sarah Alexander

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* Dad called the Shah a "nut"

Can anyone say whether or not the Republican candidate for governor in California agrees with the opinion of his father who, while Secretary of the Treasury, called the Shah of Iran a "nut"?

Henry Precht

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* Bijan Mortazavi

I am a close relative of Mr Bijan Mortazavi. I am in Iran. If possible please send me his email address.

Farhad Nejat

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* Abadan refinery men, 1949

I'm a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology where my field is the Swedish petroleum industry from a technological and historical point of view.

One of our first refineries, Koppartrans, was erected i Göteborg on the westcoast of Sweden, and it is said that during upstart 1949 the procedure was supervised by people from Anglo-Iran Oil Co, among them Messrs Whyman and Harland, former refinery manager and chief engineer, respectively of a refinery in Abadan.

Do you happen to know anything about these men and the connection between Anglo-Iran Oil Co and Koppartrans? Founders of Koppartrans Olje AB in 1947 were jointly Stora Kopparberg Bergslags AB, Transatlantic AB and the wholesale dealer Robert Ljunglöf, who also became chairman of the board.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sincerely yours,

Kurt Johnsson

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* "Familiar" negative feelings towards "the Other"

Dear Beverly,

I wish to tell you I really enjoyed the article about your mother in law [My husband claims she was the perfect wife]. Thank you for being realistic and fair, for mentioning the nice as well as the not-so-nice things about her. I think she is a typical Iranian woman for her age and social background. She belongs to a generation who had to adjust to old and new lifestyles at the same time, in a country as full of contrast back then as it is now.

Within the first 30 years of their lives, their world changed gradually (as opposed to my generation's in the revolution era) but radically. Standards changed, principles changed, with hardly anyone being able to stop and reflect, or decide whether they cope with the pace. I share your view on how regretable it is to find unreflected antisemitism existing in her mind. It is the result of growing up in a society where you belong to the 98% majority, with no real experience with members of the "minorities".

It always makes me both sad and mad at the same time, because I had (and still have) jewish friends and know how it hurts them to hear those dumb persian idioms like "now stop acting like a Jew" instead of "stop making a fuss about your problems" or "stop being a coward". Noone really reflects before they use them. It makes me especially sad to hear those from poeple I love and who are otherwise very open and tolerant.

It's not a typical Iranian or Middle-Eastern thing to pick at people who are "different" than the majority. Ever heard anyone in your neighborhood making fun of a disabled person? Ever known a kid at school with a huge nose or the wrong clothes going through hell? I live in Germany, where you can live for thirty years, even be born here, and still be treated as a foreigner, an outsider, considered strange.

I know what it's like to always have to explain, proove, represent. It's not even hostile, but it exhausts. Living here for 16 years now, I know we are all much more similar to each other than we're different - but I gave up expecting the majority of my German neighbours as well as my fellow Iranians to realize that. Most people (everywhere) simply prefer to stick with their "familiar" negative feelings towards "the Other", rather than to be open and discover how these "others" really are.

The unfamiliar scares most of us. Most people prefer not to think before they speak, not to change their habits, consider their own ways as the only right way. And, there are always things that refertilize old ways and discriminating idioms. Nowadays it's very hard to argue against them while over in Isreal Jews and Muslims are currently doing very mean things to eachother. That makes things pretty complicated for other Jews and Muslims who actually have no problems with eachother.

People on both sides are told that the others are to blame... Everyone talks about the Jewish-Muslim problem instead of starting to talk about poverty, the struggle over power and ownership of land, coruption, isolation, an unjust system, which all lead to fanatism, and so affects all non-fanatic people on both sides, too. But that's another story.

Anyway, I liked your article very much. I wish you all the best. Enjoy your beautiful profession, your family life between two worlds - with all its ups and downs (I was married to a German, live now with a German-born Turk. I know its not always fun to deal with two cultures) and, especially, enjoy your own clear perception and fair view of the world.

Please say hello to Zahra Khanoom for me :-)

Best regards,

Mandana Samii

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* Extra caution when it comes to national security

Dear Picha,

I'm sorry that you had to go thru all this trouble and yes it is not fair [My last trip to the United States]. However what is happening to our country is also not fair. We iranian are victims of the circumstances. What you have to understand is that Iran's regime is supporter of terrorism and after sept 11. USA need to take extra caution when it comes to national security.

The process that you had to go thru at the airport is not just for the white men safety is for every person living here including Iranians. As an Iranian born in teheran, from German father and iranian mother,

I support USA's afford to keep this country save from terrorists like Bin Laden, Sadam, Khomeini. Dear Picha you should too, because if we don't stop the terrorists and there supporters, Canada will be there next target, and I hope your will be not in a building if it happens.

When we enter in someones house we show respect and take our shoes off and this country has now it own rules too. It may sound rude, but if you do not like this measures you may stay in Canada, because my and my family's safety is more important that your dignity and pride. Which I think they hurt more or less your IRANIAN pride.

Funny is that khomainies goverment didn't leave anything to be proud of and you don't complain about it. And if you talk about dignity, than take a trip to your home country Iran and you will see at the Mehrabad Airport what dignity means and how they embarass you there. So overall we all having it good here, yes discrimination exists, profiling is out there, but still I walk the streets of south florida with my family and enjoy the sun knowing I'm save as right now.

Yes I would love to be in my own country free and save, but I can't and I will never give up the hope. It is time that we give up our pride and work together for a better world.

Ba sepass


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* Inspiring mythology

Dear Azam,

Wow thanks. Its a shear delight to get such an enthusiastic reaction [Love watching it] to one of my articles [Battle for the West]. All the most that it also comes from another feature writer on this prestigious Iranian tribune. It encourages me in my efforts to encourage interest in these classic films, and renew interest in our history and culture.

Historical Films will always have their share of innacuracies or mistakes but they are often an excellent introduction to anyone interested in human history and can even be thought provoking at times. What decided me in writing these series was actually due to a book I read by George MacDonald Fraser called the Hollywood History of the World. An excellent and entertaining book on how Hollywood has illustrated Human History.I recommend this reading to anyone interested in motion pictures and History in particular.

I was surprised not to find too many references to Persia, yet I was convinced to have seen movies on Persia as a kid. I was finally able through various sources and personal tapes to come up with a number of rare gems like the "300 Spartans" or "The Life, Loves and Adventures of Omar Khayyam".

Another article "From Zardeh Kuh to King Kong" I wrote on a classic documentary "Grass" caught the attention of the iranian NITV satellite channel which broadcasted the film. Maybe we could do the same for this film. Actually all the films I have mentioned in my articles are available on As for the "300 Spartans" It can be found on ebay: I believe 20th Century Fox ownes the rights to this film they are the people to contact eventually.

My goal in writing these articles was to show that just like the Romans, Greeks or Egyptians our History and mythology is coulourful and interesting enough to inspire filmakers including in our country. A film like Bernardo Bertolluci's film "The Last Emperor" or David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" have now become classics. They also drew interest on these historical characters but also allowed us to discover the ruins of Petra in jordany or the Forbidden City in Pekin.

I think and as the films I wrote about testify a good amount of material for Hollywood producers to chew on. French movie makers like Luc Besson or Jean Jacques Annaud have understood the commercial functioning of World Cinema and that is why they have made most of their films in English with both French and American actors in films like "Joan of Arc" , "The Name of the Rose" or Seven Years in Tibet.

Shooting a film in English is a guarantee of a wider audience and thus success. That does not mean that all filmmakers have to follow this model, but I sincerely believe that the blue mosques of Isphahan or Mashhad as well as the Palaces of "Golestan" or "Tchehel Setton" deserve to be seen on a Wide screen. Of course we are still far from such an ideal situation given the political situation in Iran but I am sure one day this will be possible. In anycase Azam, keep in touch I am open to new ideas.

Darius Kadivar

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* Love watching it

As a major fan of everything Iranian, I am grateful anytime Mr. Kadivar writes about movies that relate to Persians because I would like to see them all and if possible purchase them for showing to my non-Persian friends [Battle for the West].

I own the video tape of Omar Khayyam the movie featuring John Derek as Hassan Sab and love watching it many times over. I have a suggestion since Mr. Kadivar seems to have access to the source we may not be aware of perhaps he can organize a petition to get the owners of the movie to release it in DVD and Video tape so we can purchase it.

I started a one person campaign in 2000 and then got others involved with demanding that Sundance and Bravo to release more Iranian movies and it paid off. They promised they would begin in August and they did show several movies. To be honest it did not hurt that I had the CEO of on International Film Festival and the marketing people for the company which owned a Time for Drunken Horses to write an introduction for me as well (to return the favor for all the work I had done promoting this movie for them).

Mr. Kadivar if you have the contacts then let's go to work and I will help you. Perhaps we can get this and other movies released and we can take it a step further and offer them the opportunity to sell it through an Iranian entity (I do not want to advertise for them here but most of us know them) which sells movies on the internet. Keep up the good work because many of us truly appreciate your sharing of valuable information with us.

Azam Nemati

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* Creative, hilarious

I found this to be very creative and simply hilarious! [The life and times of tahDig]

Khayli mamnoonam!!

Ayesha Kheradmandi

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* Mideast cycles and birthdates

I found your sebsite an excellent reference for modern Iranian history, especially the blow-by-blow account of events leading up to the 1979 revolution.

I am researching historical Mideast cycles and birthdates of key leaders & dates of key events are important to my work. I am writing for your assistance in this matter. I am looking for the birthdate and place for former President Rafsanjani, President Khatami, and the timing of the 1906 Constitutional Revolution. For the two presidents, most public websites list only the year and not the month or date and I have had trouble in finding the exact dates for these two president.

I also wonder if you could confirm 15 July 1939 as the birthdate for Ali Khamenei. As for the 1906 Revolution, the journalist Sandra Mackey lists 1 - 10 Aug 1906 as the date range for the 1906 revolution but is not specific. Taking the 1979 revolution as an example, the key time period is 1 feb 1979 to 11 feb 1979 - from the day Khomeini arrived back from exile to the date when the military announced they would not stop the revolution. I like the 11th althrough certainly it was strongly initiated by Khomeini's return on the 1 Feb.

I am sure such an analysis can be applied to the 1906 revolution and perhaps you have run across it. Also for the 1951 rise to power of Mossadeq, I am taking the day when the AIOC was nationalized on 15 Mar 1951 as the best measure of "revolution" for this period, opposed to 29 April 1951 election of Mossadeq as President. I would be curious for your opinion on which date was more important.

Sam Hewitt

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* Hard blow

Dear Mrs. Farmanfarmaian,

Thank you for the feedback. [Not true] I don't quite understand what you contest in my article. [Battle for the West] I was referring to the fact that the ambition of conquering Greece and the European peninsula was abandoned after Xerxes' defeat. That did not however put an end to the Persian Empire.

The policy of the Persians was indeed based on assimilating their subjects while respecting their autonomy from an administrative point of view and yes as you say the Greeks in Asia minor as much as the people in the rest of the Empire often served in Persian ranks.

Yet the defeat of Xerxes' Campaign was a hard blow after his fathers successive defeats at Salamis and Marathone a generation earlier. This was the reason why no other major campaign was launched by the Achaemenid kings against Greece afterwards. As for Alexander he indeed copied the Persian policy in administrating his new Empire.

Darius Kadivar

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* Not true

In response to "Battle for the West":

It is not true that all Persian ambitions were gone after Xerxes' defeats in Greece proper. The bulk of Greeks lived in Asia Minor then, and it was only the beginning of Persian domination there and in Thrace - until Alexander.

Two hundred years of domination of Greek populations, many of whom fought for the Persian army, and in their upper ranks were in the pay of the Persians, and indeed, were even proud of it, wanted to emulate Persian ways, which is what Alexander also set out to do when he started his campaigns.

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

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* DC protest, 1979

I'm a college student here in the United States and for one of my papers I'm wanted to write about the protest in Washington D.C. in 1979. Apparently hundreds of Iranians, primarily students in different Communist parties were protesting as the Shah was being greeted by the President.

Are there any books, articles or even websites that would better help me with this project?

Somayeh Kashi

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* Do it for yourself

Your parents shouldnt force you to marry anyone [Now what?]. You did right to hold your ground. But as I read your article it feels like your blaming your parents for everything and then some. I mean parents are human too and there is no handbook for them to refer to on parenting and they are bound to make mistakes as all people will admit and have experienced.

I think it is very courageous of you to strike out on your own and see what life has in store for you. Good luck. But I think this journey you are undertaking would be much more fulfilling and happy (for all concerned) if you did it to see where life leads you rather than to get back at your parents or "to die on the streets like your uncle".

This serves no one and the least of all you. Please go and live life on your terms and dont compromise but also do it for yourself and not to get back on anyone. Hurt, pain and revenge only causes injury to oneself.

Good luck.


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* Missing subtleties

"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." -- Ambrose Bierce

I am currently reading the Shanameh and would like to know if there is a discussion group or someone that you can recommend as expert on the work. As I am reading it in English and am not particuarly knowledgable about Persian mythology, I fear I am missing many subtleties.

Any advice you can offer would be most appreciated. I am located on Long Island in New York.

Tania Wieck

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* Two hoes and a Gendarme

In response to a quiz on pre-revolution celebrities:

Beats the crap out 'o me who the two hoes are. But the dude is that guy who used to play a subordinate Gendarme and used to say" Har chi shomaa begin sarkaar!!"

Baha Bahabaha

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* I hope one day America will understand

Sir Appelton, [We are responsible!]

Let me congratulate you for your very truthfull article. Here in France, our vision of Amercica is the one you quoted in your text: I hope that one day America will understand that "Business cannot rule the World".

For me, we should add something to Montesquieu's text on "the separation of powers": there is a new power to separate from the Government of a country: MONEY. You are the first America, I hear, that has this kind of concern and I hope not the last...

Fardad, a young democracy philosopher

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* Award for objective writing

Why don't you give Brian Appleton's special award for objective writing that rises above the personal? [We are responsible!]

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

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* Apologize for my President

Hi, my name is Dana Sundby, I'm an American from Wisconsin. I was watching some show tonight about NITV broadcast from California to Iran. It was an interesting show and it prompted me to want to contact someone, anyone from the Iranian world about a couple of things.

First, I want to thank the people of Iran for their demonstration of support and sympathy for the American people following the terrorists attacks of September 11. It probably took courage to do so.

Secondly, I would like to apologize for my Presidents inept categorization of Iran as being an evil empire. I was apalled by his comments and their timing and I wish to assre you that most knowledgable Americans do not feel the same or see the world in such simple black and white terms.

It is my hope and conviction that the great culture and people of Iran will someday soon emerge from present circumstances and become a great friend to the American people and justice, liberty and tolerance.

Thanks again.

Dana Sundby

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* What a pity

I am impressed by President Khatami's civilized composure in Spain after the ridiculous -- not to say totally shameful -- rejection of the Iranian administration to participate in this meeting over the question of wine served at the state dinner.

I just wonder what a pity Khatami is not a monarchist. Seeing him shake hands with the Spanish Crown Prince Phillipe knowing that he refuses to shake hands with the Crown Prince of Iran is indeed very ironic.

Darius Kadivar

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* Hotel Darius in Kish

I am looking for some info about Hotel Darius in Kish Island. If any one has any info about a web site or tel. number for reservation please let me know.


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* Death to who?

I am trying to find an answer to a question i've been asked : At public ceremonies in Iran chants against the United States and Israel are often heard. Tuesday at a speech made by Iranian leader , thousands of Iranians surprised reporters when they also chanted against what foreign leader ?

Thank you for your help and time ,

Gene Rachinsky

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* On the visa ban

Dear Farnaz,

I read your letter requesting feedback on the subject of visa ban, and here is my article of few months ago about the subject but on another website. Hope you be able to make a very good case for your presentation. There were several good articles about the subject in as well.

Farrokh A Ashtiani

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* Paper on limiting visas

My name is Farnaz Haji and I'm a student at University of Colorado at Boulder. For a political geography class I'm writing a paper regarding the recent law passed by the US Congress about limiting the issue of visas for the citizens of some countires including Iran.

I recall that I had received an interesting article about this matter from Iranian Times a while back and I was just wondering if you had anything related to this matter available in your archive. I will definitely appreciate your collaboration!



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* Hinduism, for your information

Your response to "Persepolis at Pataliputra" is very offensive [How dare you morons change India's history?]. Not only you deliberately have disrespected Iranians as a nation but also religions (Zoroastrian and Islam) that are important factors in the history of Iran and Iranians (Persians.)

Let us not discuss defeats because India too has been defeated in many periods of her history. What is it that makes Arab Muslims, a lower class and Greeks superior to the Iranians, and Hindu civilization to be far superior to everyone else? What makes a nation superior is not what you so intelligently have written in your letter, but is a nation's knowledge.

For your information Hinduism, unlike most major religions, does not have a central figure upon whom it was founded. It is a complex faith with roots stemming back five thousand years to the people of the Indus Valley, now part of Pakistan! When the Aryan tribes of Persia (present Iran) invaded the Indus Valley around 1700 BCE, the groups' beliefs merged and Hinduism began to form. Although there is evidence that the Indus Valley civilization may already have been struggling, its collapse began with the invasion of the Aryan tribes around 1700 BCE.

The Aryans were a powerful race and traveled through Europe and Asia, conquering whomever they encountered and with their arrival to the Indus Valley, they brought with them a very different belief system and way of life. Also by the 7th century BCE, Aryans, along with people of the Indus Valley, migrated across India to the Gangas Valley, settling among the native population.

Wherever Aryans lived, they represented the elite of society, and the most elite were the Brahmins, priests. These priests determined a class order, or class system, which they included as a Vedic hymn. To this day the cast system helps shape "your" Hindu society. I hope you can see that the Hindu class system Varna is rooted in the traditions of the Aryan people.

As for "your" Mahabarata (Mahabharata,) Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, and some of the gods appear in the famous Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabarata. These are in fact 'poems' that originated from the 'storytelling' and parables of the Brahmins and ascetics. In (your) present day India, these STORIES are beloved and even more popular than your Vedas (considered to be the world's oldest writing and yes they have been originated before the Aryans migrated to the Indus Valley,) and Upanishads.

Please note that they date back to 5000BCE. Rama is one of many forms of Vishnu. Vishnu, the Preserver is in fact one of the three gods of Hinduism (there is Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.) The Rama you mention in your letter is Vishnu's task number seven (also known as Rama the Prince,) who as prince of Ayodya, is the hero of the epic poem, The Ramayana!

Please do some research before you write about Iran because you may end up being wrong where you write: "These texts are far older than anything Iran has" also unlike what you suggest "Iranians who call themselves Arya -- now of course they are just semites since they have betrayed their religion," my response is, changing religion/s does not affect race and Semitics are people of Jewish faith and Arabs (Arabs can be followers of: Christianity,Islam, etc!).

As for where you write: "Hinduism is a religion that has not only survived but prospered and is getting more and more respect as their medicine, mathematics and other discoveries are being found to be true, Zoroastrianism is just a silly religion that couldn't even fight back... SORRY TO DEFLATE YOUR FALSE HOPES..."

You seem to be over exited with your own results. The relative size of the Major World Religions shows that Christianity has 1,000million followers, Islam, 800 million, and Hinduism (although India is the second most populated country in the world,) has only 500 million followers. If there is a religion that has attracted attentions to it self, is Buddhism (330 million followers,) and not Hinduism.

Further more if you want to discuss respect I think we should discuss the lack of respect for women in the Hindu society. Ronald J. Wilkins writes: "Everything in Hinduism is predicated on one's being a male. A woman is a woman because in his former life "he" did evil deeds of such a nature as to make him be reborn as a female! In the end I want to add one should not disrespect others Nationality and Religion. These are very sensitive issues.

Sheema Kalbasi

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* My teacher, Miss Iran finalist

Every time that there was a picture of Miss Iran in the Nostalgia section, i would open it up hoping to see my college freshman teacher in Iran. Now i don't know how i could miss her till today.

talking about Soraya Fekrat who was Reza Barahani's wife at the time (at least that's what the rumor was and sounded real. in fact i think she even mentioned it once, again not sure; memory is going down the drain. getting old, blah, blaaah blaaaaah)

but i'm sure of one thing at least our teacher in Tehran Markaz Azad University was '78 Miss Iran finalist.

Sheila D

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* Homosexuality in the Muslim Community

My name is Jennie Ko and I'm producing a 30 minute social-political program on Homosexuality in the Muslim Community. The purpose is to raise awareness on the different points of interpretations on this topic. Currently, we're seeking a media-oriented person to join the discussion such as yourself.

If you have the time and would be interested in learning more, please feel free to reach me here via e-mail or at to discuss further.

Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon,

Jennie Ko

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* I live with these people

I read the letter "Real Iranian girls?". I wasn't so surprised cuz I have seen a lot of such marriages arounrd myself. The thing that they want from you is only a green card and living in USA. and be aware that all of them had bfs previously and If the have they hymen there is two things that you may guess.

1- They had and operation.
2- They had anal sex.

I am in Tehran and I live with these people. Ok me, myself don't care my bride to be virgin. If I am not virgin, how can I except she have to be? I guess you may go to see a doctor. Or someone to advice may need a little advices! But From Iran :

1-The Hookers: You can find them everywhere in Tehran or any other city. It depends on where you live. In Norhetern Iran including Mazandaran, Gilan and Tehran there is more freedom and youths have access to non-hooker sex. But hookers (especially in tehran) are a lot. The Price is beetween $18$ to $100 or in some rare cases more than these.

2- Lesbians: It is true that they are not accepted in the society. But they are so free to do the job! Cuz if two gals are in a home alone, no one will catch them. belive me there is lot of them that I know myself. Here is a heaven for them cuz no one thinks they exist.

3- Gays: There are so free but not accepted in the society. They feel more free to do the job. Our leaders are gays themesleves:)).

4- There is nothing such as beheading with a sword or fallig down from a mountain. Please don't make these myths. I agree that our great problem in Iran is lying about everything. Open your eyes and tell the truth.

Masoud Shokri

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* Not false, but biased

dear friends,

i was just looking at your photos in and i really think, although it is not false, but its certainly one-sided and biased. [Black wrap]

when you title your essay "women in iran" you are conveying a very broad and general concept but if you live in iran, and specially in tehran, you know that is not the whole truth, ie, not every woman dresses up in those black wraps.

to prove my point, you can check out the sites below for some very different photos from iranian women against yours. the world already has that ugly "black crow" image of the iranian woman:


i have taken a very little step to change it as you see below. it is very disappointing to see that you are trying to strengthen that view and try to show the world that the iranian women, are nothing but faceless black covers!

regards (although i dont really have any regards for you, but just as a usual ending to my letter)


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* Fat culture, thin people

Dear Dr. Etminan,

I read your article "My big fat Persian culture" and enjoyed it. Most interstingly, me and my husband have had a discussion on the same subject not long ago. He agrees with you totally, i don't!!

Well, I agree that a fun and joyous movie about our culture is a great idea but unfortunately the majority of people in Iran are living somewhere close (!) to the poverty line (below or above) nowadays and the works of the directors that you mentioned their names are based on today's reality of life in Iran.

I even think there's a lot left untold. A film about life in the eastern province of Sistan & Baluchestan can be more shocking to Westerners than Jafar Panahi's "The Circle"!

So, the culture is as fat as ever, only the people are getting thiner and thiner every day and why not making thousands of films about that misery?

Sepideh Banihashemi

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* Zereshk!

In reply to "Reflection in the knife":

I have thought about suicide many many times. But each time I chicken out. I'm too afraid. I'm too scared I won't die and will be left crippled for the rest of my life.

But it's also true that I have never WANTED to die, or else I had done it. Life is too good -- even at the worst of times. Life is not mom and dad. You will grow. You will see the world. And you'll live this wonderful life to the fullest.

Jahanshah Javid


Thank you so much. I appreciate this a lot. But every one seems to think this is a personal article [Reflection in the knife]. It's not, it's just a piece of writing. I realized this is how many people my age feel.

It feels weird to be a happy teenager these days.

Torang Asadi

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* With Iranian girls, you never know

I am around your age Cyrus, and have had the same reflections. Although I do not agree with some stuff you say, but as a whole I buy your arguments [Real Iranian girls?].

What I found about Iranian girls brought up in Europe or in North America is that they want it both ways. They want to be equal and to be treated equal by men but they still keep the same behaviour as in Iran.

What I mean by "Iranian behaviour" is the nagging, and playing politics. Of course this doesnt apply to all of them. But this is not something that is biological -- it is something that they get from their family and community.

When it comes to virginity you need to know one thing. There is the saying better the devil you know. With the European/American girls you know what to expect they tell you how many people they have been with right in your face. But an Iranian girl will just say no she is the purest girl ever she doesnt even now what sex is.

About the hymen, if the girl has her hymen it doesn't mean she is not experienced. So the Iranian girls in Iran are not as pure and innocent as you think. I have heard a lot of stories from reliable sources about what happens in Iran now. I think you have been deceived or not saying the whole truth about your trip :).

I read in a paper some days a go about a poll in India. The women were asked about their relationship with men. Most of them wanted their men to be virgins and most of them had had sexual experiences themselves; doesn't that sound familiar?

All the best, and "jaaye maa ro khaali kon" in your next trip.


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Agha Mohsen-e Gol, [Saal-haaye sarkoob]

My article in was published one year before it was republished in Bonyan [Man zendaani meeshavam, pas hastam]. That is why I used another name (Nima Khoshkish). In Bonyan we wanted to talk very SHAF-FAAF! At that time - almost two years ago - I tried to send you an email (I got your email address from your book) but got no reply.

After my article in Bonyan, I got your phone # from editorial and tried to call you, but I couldn't reach you. I wrote a second article in answer to those four artcles and you have read them. I also read your second article which Bonyan had no chance to publish.

Anyway ... It was a good discussion for me. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

Nader Davoodi

NOTE: I replaced Nima Khoshkish, now that the author's actual name has been made public. -- Jahanshah Javid

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* Not a gedaa

Dear Jahanshah,

You are not a gedaa as you had written in your "Dear Solitary Donor"; you are a wonderful and powerful writer.

Hamisheh khoosh bashi


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* Educating misinformed people

Dear Mr. Appleton,

I truly enjoyed reading your new article titled, "We are responsible!". I left Iran in the summer of 1979 for Iowa State University. Regrettably I have not been back ever since. However, your article brought back many vivid memories from that year.

I participated in many of the events that you described in your article: chanting anti-Shah slogans from the rooftop of our house, marching in the '6-mile' march, leaving school early to participate in the women's march after Khomeini took power while being threatened by the mob on Pahlavi street, and finally being almost at the head of the one mile long line around the temporary branch of the US embassy on Takhte-Jamshid street, and being among the last and only group of students who were issued visas before the school was shut down by the authorities.

The six-month period after the revolution - referred to as 'The Spring of Freedom' - was truly an exciting time for everybody. I am indeed grateful for having been in Iran during the revolution. Do you publish your articles in main-stream journals in the US? I wish more people in the US would read informative and enlightening articles such as yours.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to educate misinformed people.

Setareh Makinejad

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* Truth: Demanding to be told

Rafizadeh Agha,

Thank you for your kind words [(Sounds) too good to be true]. Iranians have helped me from the time I was sixteen at one endeavor or another and made my life much richer in everyway. I will never repay the debt of gratitude I feel for Iran and Iranians.

As a "White boy" I can get away with saying many things like the truth with a little less fear of reprisal than Americans of Middle eastern origin [We are responsible!]. It's the least I can do. The truth has a way of demanding to be told.

I spoke for 1 1/2 hours on a Farsi TV stellite cable channel in Wash, D.C. last August and took every opportunity to encourage Iranian Ameircans to become more politically active in the US congress, etc. We desperately need voices of moderation right now!

Brian Appleton aka Rasool Aryadust

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* (Sounds) too good to be true

I came across your article tonight as I was browsing the Internet [We are responsible!]. I haven't even read the original article to which you wrote this answer. I think it was just pure luck. Your article sounds just too good to be true.

As an Iranian who left the country (which wasn't an easy task) to experience freedom (especially of speech) in America, I have to say that I am rather disappointed.

I cannot freely mention the things I read tonight, because then I would get all kinds of colorful labels, ironically the very same ones I ran away from. So that's why I said it sounded too good to be true, because it comes from an American.

Thank you so much for unfolding the truth so well. I wish I could be an American like you. You truly deserve an award.

Ray Rafizadeh

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* Too bad

The letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia was written just hours before SIRIK mitak's execution in 1975:

"Dear excellency and friend, I thank you very sincerely for your letter and your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowarddly fashion. As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people, which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it. You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But, mark it well, that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love. It is too bad, because we are all born and must die one day. I have committed this mistake of beliving in you , AMERICA."


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* Complimenting a city and its citizens for a good thing

In response to "Iranians get caught up in the look of things",

First of all, I wasn't characterizing Iranians as backward or uncivilized per se [Uncharacteristic civility]. I guess the title of the article (which wasn't picked by me, incidentally!) lead you to believe that the whole point of the article was to underline people's lack of civilization, which wasn't at all why this report was written.

The one comment about civility was meant to underline that the person who picked up the trash in the subway station portrayed an action not expected from the majority of the Tehranis and if you are honest, and have walked the streets of Tehran recently (or ever) and seen the way people drive and maintain their amenities, you wouldn't be giving me this speech about 2500 years of civilization, etc.

Please when you read something, assess it for its whole message and don't take one piece and criticize. The look and aesthetics are mentioned as an observation and was hardly the point of the article. I wrote a piece complimenting a city and its citizens for a good thing that they need and will make their lives better and easier. This is regardless of how much freedom they have or not.

Ben Bagheri

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* And "Rockford Files"

In regards to the letter sent by Kaveh Ahangar [More accepting than imagined] it may interest your readers to know that Reza Badiyi also directed a television show called "The Rockford Files". This was an action/detective show that was made in the 1970s starring James Garner.

As a teenager "The Rockford Files" was one of my favorite shows on television. However, like Mission: Impossible Mr. Badiyi only directed some of the shows.

As far as I know "The Rockford Files" can only be seen on the TNN Network at 1:00AM (EST).

Richard McCartney

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* The ambassador's wife

I read about the death of Richard Helms who was America's Ambassador to Iran from March 1973 to january 1977 at age of 89. His wife Cynthia Helms wrote an excellent book on Iran with extremly humurous anecdotes published in 1981 and entitled: An Ambassador's Wife in Iran It is available on as an audio book but also a normal book. She is also the author of Favourite Stories from Persia.

Beyond the obvious political responsabilities of her husband, Cynthia Helms proves to be an acute connaisseur of Iranian people and culture and her books deserve to be read.

Darius Kadivar

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* Best dissertation of the year

The Foundation for Iranian Studies is pleased to announce that the Committee on the Selection of Best Dissertation of the Year on a Topic of Iranian Studies of the Foundation for Iranian Studies has chosen Mohammad-Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam's dissertation "Les missions archéologiques francaises et la question des antiquités en perse (1884-1914)," submitted to the Faculty of History at Sorbonne Nouvelle (Université Paris III), as the recipient of the Foundation's annual Ph.D. dissertation award for the academic year 2001-2002.

In making its decision, the Committee, following the criteria established by the Foundation Board, noted, in part, "exceptional contribution to the field of Iranian Studies by using intelligently and efficiently an extraordinary array of primary sources to elucidate an important and hitherto less-studied aspect of the philosophy and practice of the French archeological missions in Iran during a period of as yet nascent Iranian awareness of the relevance of the archeological findings to Iranian history ... approaching imaginatively the asymmetry in Iran's relations with the West as reflected in the interaction of diplomacy, national power, and personal gain in Franco-Iranian archeological relations in the period studied... stating clearly the study's problematic and theoretical foundation... maintaining objectivity by judiciously using method to relate multivariate historical, intellectual, socio-political and, when required, technical data to the specifics in the development of the French and Iranian thinking and planning... grounding theory in fact by judicious use of primary and archival source material... sensitivity to signification and nuance in different languages to produce lucid meaning...attention to detail...good organization of the work."

The Committee also cited Colin P. Mitchell's dissertation "The Sword and the Pen: Diplomacy in Early Safavid Iran, 1501-1555" submitted to the Graduate Department of History, University of Toronto, with Honorable Mention for its high scholarship, originality, clarity, and objectivity.

The Committee cited in part the very significant contribution of the dissertation to the field of Iranian Studies by illuminating a hitherto less-appreciated role of the divan, particularly of the content, style, and nuance of the literature it produced, in the evolution of the Safavid diplomatic theory, planning and practice, and on the Safavid Court's relations with other states. Furthermore, the Committee was particularly impressed with the depth and breadth of the original sources Dr. Mitchell has introduced to the field.

Gholam Reza Afkhami,
Ph.D Dissertations Award Committee
Foundation for Iranian Studies

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* How dare you morons change India's history?

Your ridiculous article on Maurya being an Iranian isn't only irritating it's deplorable. [Persepolis at Pataliputra] How dare you morons change India's history? Let's talk about Iranian history and the pathetic Zoarastrians who had to run like cowards from the lowest race on earth --- the Arab Muslims!

1st - Iran's Darius was defeated thoroughly by Alexander the Great... Darius' empire only extended to northwest Punjab, the Magadhan empire extended to eastern Punjab and the Magadhans stopped the eastern expansion of the Greeks AND Iranians. Actually, after Darius, the history of Iran has been that of a slave... constantly conquered...

2nd - Greeks who were in every way superior to the Iranians, thought Hindu civilization to be far superior to anything they saw before, i.e. thought Iranians were barbarians...learned much from the Hindus including medicine, yoga, and mathematical techniques...Greeks thought the Hindus to be very much like them, everyone from Pythagorus to Socrates was influenced by the Hindus.

3rd - Magadha was very ancient indeed and is mentioned in Ramayana and the Mahabharata, these texts are far older than anything Iran has...Rama's exact planetary configuration is described, it was later found that this birthday occurred around 7500 bce - long before any record of the Aryas in Iran. In fact, the Aryas might have come from India to Iran, NOT IRAN -- India has the OLDEST extant history for a people than any other people on earth. Making Hindus the most ancient documented people on earth therefore far more ancient than the Iranians who call themselves Arya -- now of course they are just semites since they have betrayed their religion.

4th - Iran at the time had a larger empire and was next door, I'm sure it would'nt have been too much to have construction of a brand new palace built by Iranians -- that doesn't mean CHANDRAGUPTA Maurya, a very un- Iranian name, was an Iranian. BTW, by the time Ashoka took over, it was the largest empire in the world...

5th - Maurya himself was found by Chanakya, a brahmin who wrote the SANSKRIT Arthshastra in Magadha! Chanakya was insulted by the Nandas, the rulers of Magadha, in anger and wanting revenge he went and found a prince named chandragupta in Magadha. He was probably a general in the Magadhan army since he tried several times to start a mutiny in the army to overthrow the Nandas who were quite hated since they were abusing their powers and actually usurped the throne by killing the actual kings of Magadha...ONLY A GENERAL WOULD BE ABLE TO START A MUTINY or a HIGH LEVEL PERSON IN THE MAGADHAN ARMY WOULD BE ABLE TO BECOME A MILITARY GENERAL TO DEFEAT THE GREEKS.

6th - Chandragupta eventually retired as a Jain monk in Karnataka... pursuit of spirituality is hardly a thing that was known to Persian kings...

7th - you forget the yaksha statues that were also found in the palace, yakshas are Hindu dieties not Zoarastrian...

AS FAR AS BUDDHA is concerned...

Buddha was a suryavanshi kshatriya from teh lline of Ishvaku, the same line as Rama and Janaka. HE WAS NO PERSIAN...

Hinduism is a religion that has not only survived but prospered and is getting more and more respect as their medicine, mathematics and other discoveries are being found to be true, Zoarastrianism is just a silly religion that couldn't even fight back... SORRY TO DEFLATE YOUR FALSE HOPES...


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* Recognize the problems

Dr Ala makes several interesting points which I would like to address. [Generating hope]

Iranian students are concerned that their Iranian superiors will be incompetent. I suggest that they email some American retirees who have progressed through the US system. Assuredly, incompetence is not confined to Iran. However, it must be admitted that although the subordinates of the incompetent may have lost their savings and retirement funds, their jobs , etc. they have not been incarcerated in an Evin-like prison.

Also, it happens that America also has a brain drain, but it takes a different form. The form it takes is the transfer of technology , which is after all the product of the brain, to other countries. In addition, capital accompanies the technology so in effect it amounts to the export of jobs. China in particular has achieved a great leap forward by inviting investment in China. The recent development of China has taken place in a time frame that would have taken a hundred years had they had to depend on their own technical and capital resources.

Having said this, it must be remarked that the foreign policy of Iran has apparently gone out of its way to inhibit Iranian development. The collapse of the USSR should have resulted in increased Iranian influence in the area; the advent of large airliners should have resulted in expanded tourism; the discovery of unlimited fossil fuels should have resulted in an investment system which takes advantage of price structures of these fuels, in other words, investment banking a la Switzerland.

However, it is a good sign that Iranian students recognize the problems, even though it is a bad situation which they cannot currently correct. Most American students don't have a clue about the potential problems which may arise.

Leonard Clapp

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* Victory from the jaws of defeat

The author of this criticism of Iran's foreign policy [That sinking feeling], and specifically the impact it has on the Caspian situation, could not have been stated more accurately. However, Iran has the opportunity to seize victory from the jaws of defeat.

The transport and processing of the Caspian resources is as important as the resources themselves. Pipelines carrying natural gas and oil from the Caspian to refineries, petrochemical installations, and utilities could profit as much from those resources as the ownership of the wells.

In addition, the return trade via rail, road, and ship is easiest and cheapest through Iran. Thus Iran should be the entrepot center of the Central Asian area. But the opportunity diminishes as competitive systems are being built. Thus, not only have the resources been lost due to lack of realism in the foreign policy, but the advantages accruing to location and culture are also being ignored.

What a shame!

Leonard Clapp

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* Only in a secular, democratic society

Dear Dr. Ala,

I read your article in [Generating hope] and you made some interesting points to explain the brain drainage phenomenon in Iran. You said that the students mentioned these reasons for leaving Iran:

1. They end up working in organizations where their bosses/supervisors are incompetent.

2. They feel that they cannot grow intellectually and that no one is interested in their ideas.

However if these students were less afraid to express their opinions, they would tell you some other important reasons for their decision to leave Iran. Some of their reason are:

- The widespread corruption in government and the private sector.

- No personal freedoms, and no rule of law based on respecting human rights.

- Bad economic condition of our country because of corruption and mismanagement.

These are problems that the youth would face much less in the West, especially those who are intellectually gifted and talented in Iran. Many of the Iranians in diaspora would like to go back and rebuild their country. However they are afraid because of the problems I just said. The problems that had made them leave Iran in the first place.

You mentioned that "the changes can only be made by people who understand the Iranian culture and who can create a vision of Iranian progress that is acceptable to the majority of Iranian people". But in the current regime, the majority of Iranian people's will is not respected by the regime of Iran, and everyday their basic rights are stamped on.

If these problems are fixed which can only happen in a secular and relatively democratic society, then we will see the problem of brain drainage, and fear of diaspora for returning to serve their country resolved.



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* Surprised to see Behrang's face

Hi! I was really surprised to see Behrang's face today when I opened [Another time, another body]

I don't know him very well but he moves in the circle of artists in which my cousin used to spend a lot of time in while she still lived in Iran. So this summer when I went to Iran I actually went on this exact exhibition. It was really good.

But you can see that yourself. And also Behrang is a very sympathetic and nice guy. I hope and I wish him a lot of success.

Nastaran J

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* World Minorities Assembly for Peace

This may be of interest to you that religious minorities all over the world have suffered a serious setback after September 11, 2001 episodes and the aftermath.

We plan to raise a World Minorities Assembly for Peace in a bid to safeguarding the interests of minorities around the globe irrespective of their caste, creed and colour. Outstanding spokesmen of minorities across the globe are welcome. We pray you may visit our website and favour us with your response.

The salvation of the aggrieved lay in unity.

You can mail us at or visit

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* More accepting than imagined

I first came across Reza Badiyi name while in my early teen years in Esfahan, watching my favorite show on TV: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. I noticed his name as the director of that TV show when the credits were run at the end of each episode. Though he did not direct all the episodes, of those I saw, his name appeared on at least 25% of the episodes.

At that young age, seeing his name on that TV series, was a source of pride for me, as an Iranian. I then used to imagine how hard must be for a Third World director to be accepted and affirmed sufficiently enough in the West to direct a full American cast.

When I came to US, I realized that Americans were so much more accepting than I had imagined, though earlier experience with other Americans in Iran, such as Mr. Denis Egan, Director of Iran-America Society, and my mentor for a brief period of my life, had already indicated this.

Kaveh Ahangar

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* A+

I need a breif not more than a page long page of iran's history for a social studies roject at my local school. i would appreciate it if you snet my something or the link to a web site!

Shannon Murphy


Check this out "McHistory". -- Jahanshah Javid


Thank ypu very much for giving me that website about Iran's history. I really appreciate it and now I got an A+ on that project.


*Shannon Murphy*

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