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April/May 2004

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* Bush is very popular in Iran

Salaam Roozbeh Jan, [That arrogant reporter]

I am very in sync with your opinions about the ridiculousness of Iranian support for Bush. But I just came back and there is a very sizeable, I mean extremely noticeable, number of Iranians whom I met in taxis, in mehmunis, and everywhere else where you run across Irunis asserting their opinions stating outright support for Bush, wishing that Bush would come and get rid of the mullahs and so on.

Obviously, if you are not just a reactionary (and I mean reactive) person who puts things in context as you do, you would never wish for Bush’s cronies replacing an N for a Q, but it is no surprise and not merely taarof that Mr. Kristof got the responses he did. Bush is very popular in Iran because he cusses the mullahs more than Clinton or the Democrats ever did, because many Iranians feel incapable of getting rid of the Mullahs themselves, and because many Iranians are still addicted to, or at least addicted to the idea that foreigners determine the future of their nation.

Hopefully, the catastrophe of the prison scandal will awaken some to the horrors of an American invasion of Iran but I am sure that the army of Bush lovers in Iran will find many ways to either deny the reality of the news or dismiss the incidents as just desserts for Arabs. Ghorbanet.

Vote for Howard Dean



* IRI had its chance

As an Iranian living in Tehran, I read with very much interest the "Those friendly Iranians" and I found every word very true. There was no tendency to state untrue stories or being one sided as this is what we experience daily in Iran.

The Islamic Republic had its chance of being accepted by the people at the time of Mr. Khatemi's election but lost the opportunity when it blocked his every effort to take care of young (and old) needs.

Hossein Hosseini


* Bush: "Nafas Kesh!"

Dear Mr. Shirazi, [That arrogant reporter]

As an Iranian, a fellow writer, and one who shares most of your thoughts on Mr. Kristof's article in the New York Times [Those friendly Iranians] , let me congratulate you on a job well done.

I wish you would send your letter to the New Yorker. Although I am not sure of their policies, I do believe your style to be in the same caliber as some of their better articles.

As a pre-revolution immigrant, I have had two bitter/sweet trips to Iran. What impressed me the most was the cultural gap between major cities and the rural Iran. Tehran has become its own world with all the fads and fashions of the West masked under an Islamic facade. Not that it wasn't so before the revolution, but with so many restrictions, the admiration for the West seems to have intensified.

Unfortunately foreign reporters only interview those who speak English or live in larger cities. Their readers are not aware of this, therefore the documented report on the opinion of a select group comes across as true and applicable to all Iranians.

As for supporting George Bush, I have also heard that from a few friends who have recently been back. I thought at the time it must be the old "Kolah makhmali" who like him. After all, his ruthless approach isn't that different from theirs. All he needs is a pocket knife, a coat on his shoulder, and a bottle of Vodka. I wonder if someone can teach Mr. Bush to shout: "Nafas Kesh!"

Thank you for your enlightening article. I do hope to read more of your work. Such articles are what sets the Iranian apart from the average online publication.

Zohreh Ghahremani


* Awesomely shameless sales job

I think Mr. Bayegan can definitely sell a Toyota as a Mercedes [Lesson in generosity]. This was the most awesomely shameless sales job i ever saw. If i wasn' told enough to know of the Empress and her book i would have assumed Mr. Bayegan was talking about Ghandi or Dalai Lama.

And what is with this animosity with Shariati? You honestly cannot blame the whole of Iranian problems on a writer who had been dead for 3 decades! No one person could have had this much effect.

And the former Empress' book was more for publicity and financial gain than for setting the history straight... let's not get all watery-eyed for the Empress like we did for Googoosh.

Honestly, all those who care for Iran were either killed (hint: Shariati) or in prison.

Ramin Tabib


* Nation of chossophils?

Dear Dr,

Your analysis of the Iranians in LA is LAmbastingly accurate [A to D]. There is, however, if I may add, one common attribute to all those Iranians who are classified as A-C: treachery! These types of Iranians, whether they live in LA, London or Lahore exhibit an innate urge to betray their own land and leaders.

History of Iran is littered with the stories of betrayal and treason. The first prominent case was that of Darius III who was arrested and later abandoned, ill and injured, by his own army commanders until in his dying moments when the chasing army of Macedonians caught up with him and gave him the last rites. Next was Yazdgerd III who, while running away from the invading Arabs, was slain by a greedy miller.

The case of Lotf-Ali Khan Zand who was betrayed by his father's ally and killed by the founder of the Qajars, is another dark episode in our homeland's history. Amir Kabir was betrayed by the man whose life he had saved. In recent years even Mosaddeq was betrayed by two of his chief lieutenants. 

As if the history should repeat itself we saw how the Shah, and indeed the whole nation, were betrayed by the Shah's closest friend and his top generals. The fate his last Prime Minister, Bakhtiar, betrayed by his own misguided sense of tribal fidelity is yet another testimony to the treacherous nature of us Iranians particularly the groups A-C. Even Khomeini was not immune fom the treasonous conduct of his trusted clergy nor from that of his un-turbanned cronies.

Will there ever be a time that Iranians can be relied upon for their sense of loyalty? During the last decade of the Qajars misrule of Persia (as we were known then) people, politicians and priests had a variety of foreign attachments.

As one witty historian observed some were Anglophil (in its French pronunciation) some were Russophil, some were Francophil, some were Germanophil but mostly were Chossophil (as in sugar puff) meaning having loyalty to something as worthless as a puff from the back orifice. Are we still a nation of Chossophils?



* E as in asshole

You neglected to classify your own arrogant stupid self [A to D]. Let me do that for you. You belong to group E which is assholes. Grow up and get a life. By the way, if you are an MD with a PhD, I am God.



* Huge wedge

Dear Dr. Sadri, [Please accept our sincere denials]

I have been looking for this analyses for a long time and in particular during the past two weeks and I thank you and The Iranian for enlightening us. Yes: What those few people did was the sharp edge of a huge wedge that has grown in American social consciousness. We have seen the elementary school shooting, reports of crime filling up the news, some 70% of the population approving of dropping 30,000 bombs on a city of 5 million and alike.

Mohamad Navab
Los Angeles


* Mullahs won't give Democracy

In your article "When they invade Iran", you wrote:

1. ... what's interesting to note is that Iran fought the real war of liberation against Saddam's regime back in the 80s and against the Taliban in the late 90s at a time when they were both being backed by America. And:Will you betray the sacrifices and blood of the shuhada?

Iran could have stopped the war after 2 years, from 1982 on it was the war of Iran against Iraq. We had so many "shuhada" because our rulers from 1979 on just wanted to survive.

2... both being backed by America

Remember the Iran-Contra Affair in 1986. Iran was backed by the us by getting weapons from Israel (enemy number 1) and the US (enemy Nr. 2) after a deal struck between G. Bush Senior in 1980 (Keeping the US hostages on Republican request longer and getting weapons later in exchange after Reagan got president)

3. You cannot "install" a democracy. And: The Islamic Revolution in Iran was not fought for in vain and the current regime is a work in progress.

I do agree. But if you must be very naive, if you think you will get democracy as a gift from the mullahs. The progress you mentioned will take another 100 years.

4. The Islamic Revolution in Iran was not fought for in vain and the current regime is a work in progress.

What kind of progress?

5. Despite one's views on the ruling government, the nation's independence should not be jeopardized.

I do agree. This means, that we are independant now. But I can proove to you , that Iran is not independant. More independant from the US maybe. It has good relations with China and Russia yes. But: Ii is not independant from the EU, From Great Britain.

6.  look at the insecurity and disaster that has been created in Iraq as a result of the American occupation today.
I do agree. I don't wish any troops conquering our country.

7. Take a close look at the pictures of torture in the Abu Ghraib prison. And: The Shah's notorious secret police SAVAK, which mastered torture techniques from their Israeli (Mossad) trainers,

No discussion about that. Horrible. But please have a look at the EVIN prison in Tehran today. And please note, that many iranian totorers in Iran are trained by the US and MOSSAD, which you are criticizing.

8. Whatever "problems" Iran may have

Why do you write "problems" with ""? Or don't we have real serious problems?

9. Take a close look at the pictures of torture in the Abu Ghraib prison and note that Rumsfeld testified that there are much worse pictures and videos that have yet to be seen. This is the democracy that Bush was talking about. How insulting! If this is what is meant by democracy, then we are far better off without it.

Right. But I would like to have a Democracy like in Germany where I live.

10. Witty remarks aside, I ask that we all remain vigilant and educate ourselves and others on such matters, for our sake and for our children's generation's sake.

Dear Writer, where will your childeren be raised, in Iran or in the US, where you seem to live now??? And: if the situation in Iran is not that bad, with a regime in progress,  why dont you go back to live there and do something for you country?

Schahram Schamsawary


* Proof how screwed we are

Dear Ms. Sohrabi, [Playing footsie with facts]

I agree with your response to Mr. Bahamni's article with one difference that the kind of junk that is published on like "Persian vs. Iranian" and most other articles are not worth analyzing and responding to.

Most of these articles and personal opinions are the prime examples of how Persians or Iranians are so screwed up inside or outside of that miserable land with their most screwed up history and culture in the world. The rest of the world could careless about "Persian vs. Iranian" and all their stupid arguments in difference!



* Iran encompasses all

Although an interesting artice, I believe the word Iran and Iranian are more appropriate [Persian vs. Iranian]. Persia comes from Pars, a province. I do not agree that a country should be named after a province. It takes away kurdish, Balouchi, Arab, Turkish, etcetc identities away. Iran encompasses all these identities into one universal multi-flowered, multicoloured garden.

The language is Parsi, but then this denegrades the beautiful local ethnic languages, hence "I speak Iranian" (although it does sound comical) is socially and politically better than "I speak Persian / Farsi / Parsi". The latter means that I am of a distinctly different ethnicity, totally foreign to and apart from the other wonderful cultures that have made Iran such a beautiful country with such rich culture and heritage.



More letters (May 2004)
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By subject
April/May 2004

U.S.-Iran-Middle East
* Bush popular in Iran
* IRI had its chance
* Bush: "Nafas Kesh!"
* Summarized Chomsky
* Shifting blame
* Mullahs: No Democracy

* Role of taarof
* Making things worse
* Sho'aar taa key?
Christian fundamentalism

* The dark side
* Shameless sales job
* Line of traitorship
Iraq prisoner abuse
* Huge wedge
* Please get out of Iraq
* Real picture of America
Goli Ameri: Congress
* Not enough
* Why badmouth?
Ahmad Mirfendereski
* Sorely missed
* Our guru

Hashem Aghajari

* Be proud

Human Rights
* IRI tolerance
* Support your president
* Nail on the head
* Dropped the ball
* No place for little sluts
* What are editors for?
* Also a place to bitch

* Assaulting sensibilites
* Load of crap
Ali Shariati
* Defending defunct idiology
NY Persian parade
* Filled with errors
* Why the surprise?
* Need hard slap

Iranian class structure
* Nation of chossophils?
* E as in asshole
Iranians vs. Persians
* As if they have no respect
* How screwed we are
* Iran encompasses all
* Things world missed
* Hostage Crisis effect
* We were ahead of our time
* Almost a perfect world
Darioush Winery
* Sold lots of wine
* Top of the list
* Felt I am there
* We will definitely visit
* Too many pictures
* Great

* Become more tolerant
* Live the way they want
* Empty talk

* Dirty dishes
* Outstanding talent
* Nice hand (job) book
* ... but COME ON!

* Understanding behavior
* Another sloppy kiss
* Old songs
* Where's Solie?
* Great memories
* Beautiful work
* Sepaasgozaar
* Bone Marrow Registry
* Unforgettable with 'Haji'
For sale?
* Obtaining nostalgia
Water or paper
* Some... smell
* Excited aliens

* Biggest export
* Naamardee


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