Letters

April 2007

PART 1 -- PART 2

April 26

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Copycats

On Bruce Bahmani's, "30 years and somehow still kicking!":

I certainly agree with your point in regards with the current Iranian pop music. I have been a musician for the past 30 years and everyday I try to keep my ears away from the Persian pop. Directionless, copycats, pointless, lack of originality, electronic, unable to reproduce live on stage, incompetent musicians that do not differentiate G Major from Khe Major, dress like cheap mariachi bands... I can go on and on and on...

Black Cats: well... apart from Black Cats no other musician takes these jokers seriously.... what we call: Mickey Mouse music... I have performed with the biggest and the smallest, none of which have the audacity to even try to bring out original material despite being presented with the ideas. So keep on writing, perhaps one of these days our people going to wake up and STOP supporting these pop ... ; and stop buying and going to their taped concerts...
J. Kermani

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Peetzaaye ghormeh sabzi!

On Kiosk's music video, "Eshgh-e Sorat":

I loved this vidoe; the song was hilarious, peetzaaye ghormeh sabzi! two thumbs up.

Leila Farjami

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"Pashm" will come off easily

On Sean Amour's "Pashm-less spring almonds -- please":

Put them in water for about 30 minutes.then rub them together while in water for a while the "pashm" will come off easily.

Babak

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We can not afford to be aloof

On Touraj Daryaee and Warren Soward's "Microphones, planes, and stereotypes":

I have just finished reading your review of "300" and i would like to make a few points about your approach. This film is a hi-tech adaption of a comic book which itself is based very loosely around a historical event. The disclaimer at the end even outright says that "any simularities to events and persons is entirely coincidental".

I think you are reaching very far to elevate this film into a white plot to cement islamophobia. For example even though you make the point that Bush is different in that he has never actually fought in a war, you still make the comparision that he represents leonaidas in the next page.

The Jesus simularities as far as I can see is that the General has long blonde hair and this is probably what you think we believe Jesus looked like. It might surprise you that the majority of Christians now no longer swallow the pictures of Jesus they see in church. Aside from that, he is a ruthless killing machine who slaughters people, and i can't see much of the historical Jesus there!

You obviously feel strongly about what you see as an attack on a historical culture but when I went to see it I felt (as well everyone I have discussed the film with so far) that the black & white difference between the two sides was so laughable and cartoonish that while the persians were portrayed badly the Spartans didnt get off the hook either. To someone with limited intelligence they might look godly and heroic what with all that oil, slow motion and heavenly light, to everyone else they just look fascist and cold. In the end I just sat back and enjoyed the battles.

I just wanted to write this because yours is about the 100th review of 300 where the reviewer complains about bias and historical accuracy in a violent action film that has made no pretension of being remotely historical, but your review goes further and tries to make political hay out of it.

Jon
(England)

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Iran is home to many tribes and ethnic groups

Dear Yashar, as you also mentioned, the movie 300 was a racist movie. In my article "Try to be humble and nice", I was just trying to say that Persians are not the only inhabitants of Iran. I am half Persian myself so I love Persians but I think we should be aware that Iran is home to many tribes and ethnic groups including the Persians, Turkish Azeris, Kurds, Gilakis, etc. Iran is ethnically a very diverse country, that's all I was trying to say. The movie 300 was a racist movie and I never ever defend it. I was just trying to make us Iranians think deeper about our social and cultural issues. Best Wishes to you and all of us Iranians around the globe, Sadaf.

In response to Khodadad, I should say that I completely agree with you. Education is an indispensable tool towards achieving success and self fulfilment in life. I was just trying to say that education does not lead to success without observing values such as hard working, simplicity, and humility in life. As a last note, I would like to thank Mr Javid for providing me the opportunity to share my thoughts on this subject matter.

Sadaf Saeidi Haghayegh

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Come and get me, you evil devils!!

On Muslims view of Christians:

Hi there, you antichrist!

Muslims do deny that Jesus Christ was the son of God All Mighty!

This is the one and only thruth, all you Muslims, communists and all the other antichrists, are sons of the evil devil, belive me!!!

Jan Ove Søderholm
Oslo, Norway!
(And come and get me, you evil devils!!)

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What the fuck do you want from me?

On news item, "Baha'i schoolchildren in Iran increasingly harassed and abused by school authorities":

This appeared on Iranian.com, there in the corner somewhere. It pissed me off, so there went my fingers, typing fast and making a shit load of mistakes.

Before any of you yahoos, (and that's not those who use "Yahoo"), go off the deep end and without understanding what I'm saying attack me, BACK THE HELL OFF!!! I'm not a bigot, a racist, or any other bull shit label you have parked in your tiny brain. I have a point to make.

I asked a good friend of mine, who is an African American, "if you could hide or change your skin color, would you?" His answer, right away was, "hell yeah".

I grew up in Iran and went to schools where the kid next to me was Jewish, the one in front of me was Armenian, and I don't know how many Baha'i students were in my school. In fact I didn't know what Baha'i was or meant until about 20 years ago. I didn't know them, and didn't care that there were kids from different religious background sitting next to me. I still don't.

Why the long breath? My question is, "why does a student in Iran, who is going to be harassed and/or beaten up, wants to admit or 'advertise' about being Baha'i?" (I have close relatives, cousins actually, who are Baha'i or rather converted to Baha'ism through marriage, and have never spoke a word about their religion to me. Not one word. Their religion is in their heart, where religion and faith belongs).

What am I going to do with the information that you are Christian, Jewish, Baha'i, Buddhist, or worship goats? How that information is going to change me or change my opinion about you?

Do you really have to let me know? Do you see a problem here?

My co-worker comes to me, whispering,

-I got something to tell you, I've been wanting to tell you for a long time.
-Oh yeah, what is it.
-I'm gay.
-SO?

Now, understand that no co-worker had any doubts that this dude was flaming. But he made a point of coming to me and letting me know that he is different. And I don't have a cute ass, at least not any more! Why did I have to know that?

I'm busy enough trying to treat you different or trying hard not to treat you different because you have a different skin color, different shape of eyes, have an accent, or wear something that no American wears in the street.

I'm sick of this, and truthfully, can't handle the responsibility, guilt, or the pressure of having to separate you from the rest.

I'm sick of getting a petition in an email of this girl being hung in Iran, that woman being stoned somewhere in Saudi, because she slept with another man other than her husband.

I'm tired of everyone who goes out of his/her way to be different, proves to me that he/she is different and then at the end shoves it down my throat to accept him/her and not to treat him/her different.

If you insist on being so different and occupy the airways, the internet, and my freaking mind about accepting your "difference", why do you get your panties all bunched up when I treat you different? What the fuck do you want from me?

Alexander Max

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I was there

On Jahanshah Javid's "Secret treasure":

Thank you for bringing back memories of the Andiseh camp. I was there in 1975 or 76 and the same happened to me in the dorm Heheheheh. I have one black and white picture and will try to email to you. I believe father Nicola, Bedini and several other students are in it.

Ciao

Majid

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The kind of intolerance that has ruled Iran for centuries

On Jon Goldust's "It's only Bahai missionary work!":

Dear JG,

With respect; Bahais do not have missionaries; in this case this Iranian family decided to settle in an African country where they can freely practice their faith; that means, actually living by example the life prescribed in the Bahai writings; to be cause of unity and service to people, and to build a new society based on love and absence of hate and prejudice; imagine if Bahais were allowed to do that in our very own country.

But ignorance about anything Bahai; and 165 years of false propaganda and lies (as now daily televised and publicly manifest by a masterful Iranian clerical government on world TV screens regime) provokes an almost violent allergic reaction when the name Bahai is mentioned. It is even used to vilify personalities by vested interests as in the case of the Iranica projedc and the esteemed Prof. Yarshater.

In the video you notice , the father speaks of ridding ourselves our preconceived notions, passed down as heresay and superstitions. Ideas that we have blidly adopted and shape our views and actions towards others, blindly about race, religion and class.

Unfortunately in your case with disdain for any mention of Bahai, prevents you from seeing the merits and beauty of good deeds, not to mention this family's sacrifice and purity of motive.

Sadly, whereas most who saw Aref's video felt the magic of universal love, you on the other hand demonstrate the kind of intolerance, that has ruled Iran for centuries. Ironically, as Iranians we have to endure many more negative films as in 300, before we can relate and understand how prejudice is spread and how pervasive its effect.

Lastly, missionaries are by definition, paid professional members of church clergy; who in most part proselytise, convert and impose their ideology on the locals.

Bahai "pioneers" as they are called, whether Iranian or not ( most are not Iranian) , who choose to travel and live in distant lands and found Bahai communities at great personal sacrifice, are self reliant; they are not priests or clerics as Bahais don't have clergy, and in contrast adapt with the local culture and create harmony.

Over the years in Persian Bahai pioneers by their actions have been a shining example of goodwill and credit to the culture and history of Iran; not just by mere WORDS or Claim. (eddeaa, as beautifully illustrated and performed by the abjeez.)

Faryar M.

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You are so awesome!

On Saman's cartoons:

I think I have said this before but once again... you are so awesome!

Layla Khamoushian

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Islam has been their best tool of oppression

On Saman's cartoons:

Durood beh to Saman,

I enjoy your cartoons very much. Being from last generation, I would like to share one thing with you. Here I go:

Mullahs change their outfits where they are in danger. Iranians have not been able to eliminate them completely since Iranians always focus into their wardrobes not their core belief system. There are like big poisonous octopus that change colors for camouflage. To get rid of them, we must attack their core belief system of Islam in every attempt of ours toward freedom. These mullahs have always had support of foreign rulers especially those power hungry Englishmen. Islam has been their best tool of oppression.

Bedrood and I love you.

OFM

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I didn't know that being treated like royalty means....

On Hadi Panah's "Treated like royalty":

I didn't know that being treated like royalty means being held at gun point, blindfolded, forced to read inaccurate statements while being videotaped for propaganda purposes & not knowing whether you'll be dead or alive the next day!!!

Azita Ardalan

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Absolutely without merit

On Daniel M Pourkesali's "Outlaw mentality":

Dear Sir/Madam:

On Friday April 06th, 2007 Mr. Pourkesali article on issue of "Western media" was brought to my attention.

The above author of article besmirched the Western Media for being bias and not reporting abuse which are committed by US, as well as, by British Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author's comment is absolutely without merit and has intention to distort information because, according to real life, those entities who abused Iraqi people or Prisoner of War in Iraq and in Afghanistan were brought before criminal court and found guilty, and now serving their jail terms. In addition, the Western Media shine light on situation and exposed on pictures to public and did not allow any authority figure to get away without face legal percussion.

Kindly verify your author before publishing an article on line which has no merit and will be laughing stock of others.

Peyman

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Nothing but a joke

On Daniel M Pourkesali's "Outlaw mentality":

The article you have published from this self-proclaimed intellectual is just nothing but a joke.

Please let him know that he needs to move back to Iran and play with his buddies at JAMKARAN or be sexually molested at the seminaries at QOM.

Such an idiot he is who refers to the people captured in Iraq as diplomats. Is he for real?

Homayoon Khalili

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Hold our head high

On Sanaz Samali's "Three thousand years of civilization":

I agree with Sanaz we should be proud and hold our head high as we have culture and 3000 years of civilization. I am a Proud to be an Iranian. Thanks Sanaz.

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We can not afford to be aloof

On Touraj Daryaee and Warren Soward's "Microphones, planes, and stereotypes":

Dear Dr. Touraj Daryaee:

I just finished reading your article and I fully agree with your remarks, point to point. I personally did research on the "ideologies" of the filmmakers and Frank Miller a couple of weeks ago and to no surprise found obvious pillars of neo-con mentality. I think it's really important that Iranians learn to gain informed views on all aspects of events related to them rather than negating or shrugging off relevant accounts with indifference, by saying: "it's just a movie!" We can not afford to be aloof and uninvolved observers, again.

So, thank you,

Leila Farjami

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My 15 year old daughter was appalled by the raghs performed by the females

In response to Talaieh Joon's "Chelo-kabab culture":

I'm glad that you've brought this issue to the front. Every year I am more and more disappointed by the way Iranians celebrate Eid and Sizda-be-dar in America. It's has become more about showing off to others than to set traditions for children and family. I used to participate in sizdah-be-dar, thinking I want my daughters to get to know Iranian culture. As they got older and wiser, my daughters were the ones who refused to go to the picnic with the Iranian community. My 15 year old daughter was appalled by the raghs performed by the females and conduct of men towards them.

I realized that this is not Iranian culture. Our history has proven to everyone and should also prove to us-if we bother to read it, that Iranians are smart, innovative, and modest.

Now days my daughters are reading about Iran's history and learning about Iranians scholars such as Shariati, Jalel Ale Ahmad, Mosadegh, Sadegh Hedayat just to name a few. As far as for music and food and entertainment they know that gathering together in with hundreds of other Iranians that you don't know very well is just a new way of celebration not a tradition.

I hope the second-generation Iranians don't loose the true Iranian culture the way their parents already have.

Seirafi

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I cried after seeing each picture

On Ali Afshar's parade photos "New Year, New York":

I cried after seeing each picture. I am proud to be Persian and have people like you to register thease moments.

Thank you and god bless you all.

Farideh

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I am proud of all of you

On Ali Afshar's parade photos "New Year, New York":

Hello Mr. Afsha,

When I got the e-mail by my friend from North of USA made me so happy, we have a group that show what is Iranian New year. I am living South of USA and 18 years ago I came to here because the government executed my husband almost 25 year ago. I hope next year I will come to New York see to the carnaval. I am proud of all of you.

Farideh

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Thank for the effort

On Ali Afshar's parade photos "New Year, New York":

Hi Mr Afshar,

I loved your layout and we thank the effort from all you guys in reguards to this event.

Thanks again,

Farhad Ghashghai

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Hope you have a better impression of America than I have had

On Sanaz Samali's "Three thousand years of civilization":

Your analogy of being an Iranian in America hit a cord with me. I have been here since 1962 when I was 18 years old. I came here on The Queen Mary and when I saw The Statute of liberty on the Ellis Island, the experience was unforgettable. To make it short I was a kid in the candy store, 47 years later I have become disillusioned and I know that I'll be spending the rest of my life back in Iran, I have grown tired of the Niggers, Mexicans, red necks, Chinese, Filipinos who used to be our maids in Iran and other garden varieties of people who are irritating, uncultured loudmouths and spit freaks.

I am not saying my own people are very cool, even thou I do not acknowledge them when I run into them but I feel much closer to them, I know they are not out there to pull a gun or a knife on me. The is not a melting pot, it is a boiling pot and when it boils over God have mercy. In this land there are millions of admirable people and at the same time you've got the scums of the Earth banding together to defend their turf of inhumanity and criminality. You say Iran could be worse, it is very possible. Millions left their own country and went wherever they could to have security and freedom. Ironically in my case I see it back in Iran. Hope you have a better impression of America than I have had, as the time goes by.

Farnia

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Each little subtle attack infiltrates into the American subconcious

On Touraj Daryaee and Warren Soward's "Microphones, planes, and stereotypes":

You the man! I signed the peition against the 300 movie about a month ago, and asked my Iranian colleague if he signed it too. He said no, b/c it was based on an old comic book. I pointed out that it doesn't matter to the majority of ignorant Americans. Each little subtle attack infiltrates into the American subconcious. I so glad you took the time to look into Miller, Snyder and Hanson. I'll make sure and spread the word!! Thanks again. You are a great Iranian, American and world citizen.

Babak

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It's a matter of national security and embarrassment

On Bruce Bahmani's, "30 years and somehow still kicking!":

I'm with Bruce on this one. LA-Pop all together should be abandoned and given the chance to die. They suck today as bad as they did ... whenever they shouldn't have started! Watching talent less people like Shahram-K or Abbas Deez-Nutz makes me understand why IRI executed so many damn people in the beginning. Can anyone blame them? It's a matter of national security and embarrassment. This nightmare must be banned forever ... even in a democratic Iran. Marg bar 6/8.
By the way... Shahin and Sepehr suck too. That's not flamenco ... that's feta!

Saman

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I like feta cheese, what does that have to do with music?

On Saman's "It's a matter of national security and embarrassment":

This is in response to Saman (see below) who at the end of his letter about the Black Cats, made a comment about our music. First of all, why throw that vignette in at the end. Secondly, neither Shahin or I have ever stated that our music is flamenco as you state. I like feta cheese, what does that have to do with music? Finally, Saman, talking about "sucking" I for the first time saw some of your cartoons. Good luck with that.

Thanks

Sepehr (from Shahin & Sepehr)

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Why the mockery?

On Bruce Bahmani's, "30 years and somehow still kicking!":

My god. Perhaps Bruce had gotten off the wrong side of the bed, the day he decided to wrote this commentary on the Black Cats (actually i'd like to call it Nimche Commentary)! One can even wonder if he and one of the band memebers got into it at one of the group's gigs.

I find it very abhoring that he would go out of his way and to stoop himself to such rediculously low levels, when he berates the band and his fans and anything and everything that is related to them! Can't imagine that you wasted so much space analyzing their every move, and style just to get the point across that you don't like them.

Why the mockery Bruce? your Cycle of Crap metaphor, excuse me for being so direct and forward, is just a bunch of crap of its own. Do You really think those who listen to 6/8 kinda music, don't have access to other forms of music or that they have no taste whatsoever when it comes to that? you are wrong.

You are basically undermining the ability of your audience in making the distinction between good and bad music, and to make it worse, you redicule them and once you have got them ready and have them where you want them!!, preach about being unique and not afraid of standing out and don't waste a second to tell them about this new band you have been promoting...

Absolutely Brilliant Bruce.

Kourosh (Kyle)

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They are mocking you, their fan, with their work

On Kourosh Saghafi's, "Why the Mockery?":

Hi Kourosh,

Well well well, finally a defender of 6/8 actually awake from the dead! Now if I can just get you to take that 1979 panbeh out of your ears!

But first a few things, before we can discuss my point, I need you to understand a few things about the english language;

"...he decided to wrote..." you mean write, and it's "get out of the wrong side of the bed", not "...gotten off...", and you spell abhoring as abhorring, also you don't say "...stoop himself...", you say "stoop to such ridiculous levels", actually I like that one, good job. also I am berating the bad and their fans, not "...his fans...".

OK, now on to your points,

- so you can't imagine why I would analyze their style to get the point across, that I don't like them.

Hmmm, that's strange because I would think that when you are going to argue that something is good or bad that you would be careful to analyze them in great detail to make sure you are correct in your assumption. So I hope this clears up my attention to the details as to why I think BC are bad for us/you.

- Why the mockery?

Well actually I think they are mocking you, their fan, with their work. Keep in mind that your bias towards them doesn't cancel my bias against them, unless you can also accuse my kind of music of being 30 years old, and painfully repetitive. My music is the Kiosk and Abjeez kind, really really new stuff, that has just begun. If it stays the exact same way for the next 30 years, I'll listen to your argument against it then. Until that time, BC is repetitive and boring to me. Actually to a lot more people than you think, growing every day, leaving the 6/8 and the dark side.

- Do I think those who listen to 6/8 kinda music don't have access to other forms... or that they don't have taste whatsoever...

No on the first part, Yes on the second. Basically at this time, I think that anyone who listens to BC 6/8 and calls it good, is really wrong. There is some good 6/8, Afshin from Germany's Maach album is quite good, for example. But I am talking about BC 6/8, and claiming it to be crap.

- You are undermining the ability of your audience in making the distinction between good and bad music...

No, not my audience, the BC audience. Example, my best friend happens to be completely tone deaf. Couldn't carry a tune if the Baseejis held a gun to his head. He also loves the BC. Case in point.

- "...don't wast a second to tell them about this new band you have been promoting..."

Guilty as charged. Actually I am 100% guilty of promoting 2 new bands, one is Kiosk a highly provocative lyric'd blues rock band, and the other is Abjeez, possibly the strangest thing we have seen yet, 2 girls in a Punk/Ska/Rock band singing about things like the ridiculousness of the Khaastegari ritual. Now that is weird!

And I love it.

Don't you think it is strange that the BC have never had a girl singer? Shoot, I should have noticed that sooner, and aded sexism to the list of their sins.

The concert is on may 4th at the Great American Music Hall, you can still get tickets at Beyondpersia.org. I highly recommend that pull your head out of the BC sandbox and the past, come to hear the future.

Thanks for the note. send it to me next time, so I can respond faster.

Bruce Bahmani

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Very innovative

On Michael Minn's rock opera, "MOSSADEGH":

This was very innovative and fresh in every aspects. It reminded me of the early work of Pink Floyd.

Thank you for posting it.

Mehrdad Emadi

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Ploys to demean the Iranian people

On Michael Minn's rock opera, "MOSSADEGH":

Salaam,

You should note that the perpetuation of the myth that Dr. Mossadeq was "democratically elected" or the absurd notion that Mohommad Reza Shah Pavlavi was "installed" by a CIA coup in 1953 are merely ploys to demean the Iranian people and paint Iran as a banana republic where some flunky aristocrat from the US embassy could change the course of the nation's history with merely a fist full of dollars.

Dr. Mossadeq was elected to the parliament. The same parliament that he attempted to dissolve with a distinctly unlikely claim of "99.99%" affirmative vote according to a referendum held while he held fairly autocratic powers in Iran. And regardless of the merits of the Good Dr. or his deservedly applauded efforts to restore Iranian sovereign rights over Iran's resources, or the involvement of foreign powers in the reassertion of Shah's constitutionally mandated power to dismiss the Prime Minister that he 'appointed', it must be remembered that there were no elections for the office of Prime Minister in Iran, and that Dr. Mossadeq's refusal to step down as demanded by Shah was, in fact, an illegal attempt to maintain power at any cost.

As long as Iranians refuse to accept facts, and instead embrace mythical narratives as 'history', Iran and Iranians will remain further vulnerable to outside influences who will manipulate us using this apparently pervasive characteristic of refusing to critically face the facts as they were and remain.

My suggestion to fellow Iranians is to learn to celebrate the best of every single distinguished and influential Iranian over the past century. It will be an unlikely (and to ideologues no doubt an unpalatable) set featuring 2 Pahlavi Kings, 1 Qajar Prince Prime Minister, and 1 Seyyed Mullah from Qom, but it should be noted that each and every single one of the aforementioned, in the final analysis, attempted to improve the condition of Iranians according to their own understanding and abilities and contingent realities.

This nation will show itself to have finally turned the corner and arrived at the required emotional and intellectual plateau when it no longer feels the need to tear down (the symbolic and metaphorical) statues and monuments of a preceding era and leadership. Certainly this Iranian is looking forward to that day.

Come hamvatanaan, the view is lovely from up here ...

Alphazero

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Greatly commend you and your country for swiftly resolving this matter

I do not know how to send this to the Iranian President. So I am sending it to you in hopes it will somehow find itself before him.

To the President of Iran,

Earlier I had sent a letter to Iranian.com conveying my sadness and discontent over the captured British Sailors. I am happy today to see this crisis has been resolved. I realize that you had to make compromises in order to release these soldiers. Your diplomacy to me shows great promise. I realize also that giving the same situation it is very possible if Iranian soldiers crossed into the wrong territory that American or British soldiers would more than likely detain them for questioning also. This is called protecting your country. An oath I know you must take just like our President also has to do when he is given the oath of President. I am glad however and greatly commend you and your country for swiftly resolving this matter. I know the world community will smile today knowing another crisis has been avoided. God Bless you Iran and your President and People.

Dan Anderson
United States

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I cannot smile

On Jalil Mortazavi's "Strength that amazes men":

Dear Jalil,

As an Iranian woman living abroad and involved in educating non-Iranian students but proud to be an educator I loved your article. Personally I scream when it is needed; I cannot smile.

Parisa Eslambolchilar

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Yes, there is an agenda...

On Touraj Daryaee and Warren Soward's "Microphones, planes, and stereotypes":

With thanks for writing such an informed piece about what is going on behind the seemingly innocent works of "art" such as the 300, may I also further point out the mal-intentions of people like Victor Davis Hanson? For those who often argue that Americans don't associate "Iran" and "Persia" anyway and that the Spartan fight against the Persians would not translate as being a fight against Iran (an argument I have heard several times since the movie came out), might I point out the opposite? In this interview that is reproduced on Hanson's website, when asked about "Iran", Hanson makes sure that he answers the questions by using the term Persia and its derivatives (e.g. "This sort of extremist Persian Shia fervor nullifies classical deterrence."), lest anyone forget that Iran is the same as Persia.

If you thought it random, let me assure you that it is not. Look at the credits for any film or TV series made about ancient Greece in the last 10 years (including Troy, Alexander, and anything else you wish) and you will surely find a certain Victor Davis Hanson (VDH as he likes to be known) thanked and credited. Yes, there is an agenda...

Khodadad Rezakhani

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Nazi Germany was modelled after Sparta

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Let us not forget that Nazi Germany was modelled after Sparta. Hence is the Hitler's notion of the superior aryan race and slave nations.

Pail K

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Life will be much better once you come out of your shell

In response to Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

Dear Haji Agha,

I can't comment on where all these oblivious unceasing hatred towards Canadian women come from. The women that you literally call them "whores".

Or your hatred towards Iranian political activists or towards Jews and even Palestinians! Not to mention your rants on homosexuals as you call them disdainfully: hamjensbaaz. Not to mention your ongoing contradictory works... but after all, since you're promoting the "Iran e Eslami" and have a big heart for it, I wonder why don't you wrap up your stuff and go back, where you claim to be well received and respected? Where the Islamic values are well preserved!!!

Let me tell you my friend: most of us, the immigrants/newcomers/refugees have been (or still are going) through the hardship of life in a new country. It's a nature of exile if I may call it. But portraying Canadian life in an unreal and grotesque image doesn't get you anywhere. And with the attitude you express towards women... (and almost everything in here) you will be far more isolated and those hateful cartoons would buy no sympathy among Iranians for the condition you might be in.

Life will be much better once you come out of your shell and explore and acknowledge the values that are being practiced in here. I know it's still doesn't meet your expectation! and it's not perfect and we can work on that! But I swear, while living in two major Canadian cities in real hip neighborhoods for years I never encounter those "wild women" that you often find!!

Canada, our new home, is a great country that's still being evolved for better and it's partly being done through our cultural exchanges with our hosts. So instead of futile bitter bashing, lets show some gratitude! Then soon you'll find life's good. Chill out!

Mohsen A Shams

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TOUGH SHIT

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Mr. Daryaee, perhaps you have had your head buried in books for a very long time, but more conspicuously, you have your head buried in your ass. It's about time you move on. Nobody cares about the false and unsubstantiated details of the movie, much less the personal opinions of Miller, Snyder and whoever else partook in the making of the movie (which you had to spend time looking for).

If you are the demographic that is going to be influenced into taking the stereotypes of this movie to heart and view current day Iranians the way the movie depicts them, albeit Warner Bros has labeled the movie as a complete work of fiction, chances are you are an insignificant moron with no leverage (and unworthy of any attention you self-appointed guardians of the sacred history of Persia pay them). The majority of moviegoers go to the movies for the thrill of it, not to draw any sort of insight from it. As such, the Iranian community is not going to become the subject of segregation because of this ludicrous movie, unless you assholes continue to bring up the subject enough times that every one finally becomes fed up - I know I already am.

Let's just say the movie is false in every way, and what's more, a deliberate assault on your culture and way of life. TOUGH SHIT. Others before you have had their culture scrutinized, falsely depicted and blatantly slandered. So I ask you, for how much longer are you going to cling on to this inconsequential subject matter and your trivial pursuit of enlightening the masses and taking a stand against Warner Bros' blow to your unblemished lineage and culture? I mean, cherish your civilization, but quit littering every medium willing to publish your insipid rhetoric with bullshit. Your activism is not needed Touraj.

Mohammad Ali

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You are not alone in this battle

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Dear Dr. Daryaee,

I just finished reading your new article about the movie 300, and I truly enjoyed all the smart facts that you have mentioned. I guess you know that I am the writer of the petition against the movie, which collected close to 60,000 signatures. I just wanted to thank you for your effort and saying that you are not alone in this battle.

Good luck in doing this great job.

Hamed Vahdatinasab
Postdoctoral Researcher (Molecular Archaeology)
Department of Anthropology
Baikal Archaeology Project
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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They are civilized

In response to Talaieh Joon's "Chelo-kabab culture":

It is very simple. In Iran fanatic Islamic trying to take country back 1500 years while making money out of misery of majority of Iranian, so they are uncivilized. In US Fanatic Christian/Zionist trying to take over the world with the most brutal and criminal force ever experienced in human history. So they are uncivilized too. Of course we still have people of both countries that are trying to survive this disaster. They are civilized.

RM

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I was offended by every single posting

In response to Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I am very disappointed in the cartoons posted on this site by Hossein Hajiagha I am an Iranian-Canadian and I was offended by every single posting by this person. I find such cartoons offending and far from funny. I would appreciate if cartoons by this character are removed from the site and please be choosier with things that are posted. It normally takes a lot for me to react, but this page has made it very easy for me over react. I was not expecting this from Iranian.com.

Taravat

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Neutral historical and cultural facts

In response to Pouya Alimagham's "Pouya's Top 10":

Pouya jaan,

I really enjoyed reading your top 10 list; it does not contain any traces of uninformed nationalistic/sentimentalist quality that most Iranians exhibit in their opposition to propagandized Western views on "Iran", but at the same time, it is a significant compilation of neutral historical and cultural facts that must become common knowledge to ALL Iranians, specially the activists in all fields.

Thank u,

Leila

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You're that naive?

In response to Pouya Alimagham's "Pouya's Top 10":

Your Top Ten List is commendable but I cannot believe you're that naive.

The Bahai faith is a persecuted faith under the current theocracy. I can give you first hand accounts from Iranian Bahais driven from their homes and professions.

Yes, Iran is a land of many ethnicities. But not all ethnicities are equal. If you're a Rashti or of Arabic/Bandari descent, you're the butt of disparaging jokes, if not blatently discriminated against.

Get real man.

David Brown

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Best Doroghe Sizdah

In response to April Fools photo essay, "Coming out":

Nice Try Pal,

This is the best Doroghe Sizdah ke man shenidam.

Thanks & regards

Majid Yazdanian

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FICTION FROM DAY ONE!

In response to Siamack Baniameri's "What are you going to do about it?":

I just wanted to say one thing about 300...

IT'S A COMIC BOOK PEOPLE! IT'S NOT NOW, NOR HAS IT EVER BEEN, BASED ON HISTORICAL FACT. IT'S BEEN FICTION FROM DAY ONE!

Apparently Iranians don't read comic books, because if they did, they'd know that. I'm not only a comic book collector but a middle easterner (you're not getting anything more specific from me than that) to boot.

Get over yourselves people.

Batwoman

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Zabaan-e sorkh dahad sar-e sabz bar baad

In response to Afshin Afshar's "Forget about Americans, Iranians get Iranians wrong!":

I wished everybody had your line of thinking, and the world would be in a better position. Some people are like a willow tree and where ever the wind blows they gracefully blow that direction. I sometimes read something new and I feel so empowered and think that now I know everything, but a day later another article can turn me around 180 degrees.

Just because we read few articles here and there it does not make us expert in politics. So please my fellow Iranians don't become a slave to your feelings, open your eyes wider and hear with all ears and just for the sake of saying something don't open your mouth. Remember "zabaan-e sorkh dahad sar-e sabz bar baad".

Love you all
For azadi

Masoud Talebzadeh

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Handed on through the generations

In response to Zohreh Ghahremani's "Lilies growing in a dark lagoon":

Lovely piece. Very thoughtful and evocative of how a child's illusion of a new year, a new spring, a new beginning becomes a lifetime tradition to be handed on through the generations. Much more meaningful than our casual Western "Happy New Year" and resolutions that are never carried through.

S Penelope

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My great grandfather was born there

In response to Jahanshah Javid's "Persia, Iowa":

I stumbled upon your commentary on Persia, IA. My great grandfather was born there, and my great great grandfather owned 3 huge plots of farm land just west of the town.

I don't know anything about the place. Do you have any pictures?

Jason Goff

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Boro sabzi gereh bezan

In response to Sheema Kalbasi's "Sizdah Bedar":

Beh een Kalbasi begin bereh sabzi gereh bezaneh.

Farzad

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Islam compels its leaders to uphold and promote its tenets at any and all costs to anyone

In response to Maziar Shirazi's "Sit and have a shot of vodka":

I just read your simple and ludicrous, so called comments, about an article I wrote a while back. sorry, I do not drink any alcoholic beverages. So, save your Vodka for those occasions that you get too depressed, like now.

First and foremost, I did not even know that such comment existed. You never CCed me when you sent it to JJ.

I normally do not bother to rebuttal to these insignificant comments, but this time I was in a mood to do so. I neither think you are an Iranian, nor I think you have any formal education to grasp what I am about to tell you. The best you can do for yourself, If you do not understand the subject, is to stay calm and avoid being embarrassed among your friends even further.

Now that you got my attention, please let me share my thoughts about Islam with you. I assume that subject got you excited.

I also assume you are a die-hard Muslim who has no idea what is a Muslim. That applies to many Iranians. OK...here we go:

According to dictionary, apartheid: An official policy of racial segregation promulgated in the Republic of South Africa with a view to promoting and maintaining white ascendancy.

In 1973, the General Assembly of the United Nations opened for signature and ratification the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (ICSPCA). It defined the crime of apartheid as:

"Inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial [religious] group of persons over any other racial [religious] group of persons and systematically oppressing them."[Italics are mine]. The declaration prohibits,

"Acts such as murder, infringement on freedom or dignity, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, imposition of inhumane living conditions, forced labor, or enacting measures calculated to prevent a racial [religious] group from Œparticipation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country' such as denying them Œbasic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.'"

Islamic member countries of the time, such as Egypt, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are signatories to the above declaration condemning the barbaric practices of apartheid. Yet, these same countries, as well as other Islamic nations, are the most blatant violators of the declaration.

Discriminatory Islamic teachings condone and even promote wanton practices in violation of the United Nations declaration. Islam is an ideology under which male believers maintain domination, systematically oppressing females >>> Full text

Amil Imani

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The heart behind the lens has seen and captured magic

On Omid Alavi's "Dazzling":

Mr. Alavi:

I want to thank you for the visual feast you provided me with those beautiful photographs on Iranian.com. And this beautiful event happened in Philadelphia? I am impressed! I wished you had provided some narrative about where this was held and who came and who those dancers were; they simply looked awesome! Their costumes were remarkable, and even by looking at the pictures, their timing and rythm seem so perfect and so well-synchronized, showing that the production was not an amateur feat.

You are either a professional photographer who loves and understands photography as an art, or you loved something or someone at this event very very much to make you see it and capture it so brilliantly -- either way, the heart behind the lens has seen and captured a magical night, which we are fortunate enough to see. It makes me wish I had been there. Thank you.

Nazy Kaviani

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Some factual errors

On Cyrus Kar's "The power of film":

Sir,

You make some good points in your article, but I felt compelled to point out some factual errors in your piece:

- Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus, but lived his adult life in Athens and later in Thurii, an Athenian colony in southern Italy. During his adult lifetime he did not live in a Persian ruled area.

- Halicarnassus was not a Persian city, but a Dorian Greek city ruled by the Persians until it was subsumed into the Athenian empire (Delian League) by Cimon after the battles of Salamis and Plataea.

- Nobody knows the exact number of Persians at Thermopalye, Herodotus claims 5 million. I dont know where you found 2.7 million, but even one million stretches credibility considering moving and feeding so many soldiers, not to mention horses, mules, oxen, and camp followers.

- Comparing 9/11 with the burning of Sardis is deceiving, Sardis was a "town" made of "reeds" with "reed thatch on the few houses built of brick". the quotes all came from the same Hero. passage you cited 5.101. An atrocity to be sure, but I doubt there were 3000 (9/11 casualties were 2900 or so) in a town when 1000 was considered a good sized city.

- The mainland Greeks got involved in Persian affairs as a debt to their cousins in Halicaranassus, Mytilene, Miletus, and other small towns and cities. These were Ionian Greeks for the most part who had settled the western coast of modern Turkey between 750-600 BCE. They had been conquered by Cyrus the Great but later rebelled against Darius. Athens and Eretria, two ethnic Ionian cities sent men and ships to help their kinsmens' cause which resulted in the massacre at Sardis and Persian reprisals of Ionian cities. This was Darius' motivation for invading Greece, revenge on Athens and Eretria.

- Sparta was brutally repressive for sure, but they didnt hunt the Helots for sport, it was because the small number of Spartiates lived in constant fear of slave revolts and so killed any who did not toe the line. The did practice infanticide, and youths were encouraged to steal in order to survive, but they did not practice rape (outside of conquest). Spartan women often held more power and influence than other Greek women, certainly more than disenfranchised Athenian women.

I hope you took time to read all of these, the support for all but one point (Thurii) is in Herodotus, which I know you have access to. Information about Thurii can be found in Thucydides, just look it up in the index. Please understand I am not debating your argument, just your evidence. I wish you luck on your documentary, as graduate of ancient history I look forward to anything to do with Greece or Achamenid Persia.

Jack McKinnon

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Very moving

On Jalil Mortazavi's "Strength that amazes men":

Found your article about women very moving. Thanks for the acknowledgement.

Nouri

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Just because we do not like the Iranian government

On Sonia Gilani's "No wonder America gets Iran wrong":

I hear you brother. For many years I have been preaching the same thing, that not everything is black and white. So just because we do not like the Iranian government, it doesn't mean that they are always wrong.

No matter what, a proud Iranian.

Omid Haftlang

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And Hafez and Hapez?

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

You are getting quick with your April Fools...! But why not wait for "doroogh-e 13"?? We still have two more days. I think we can announce that it is not Hafiz either, rather Hapez! :-P

Khodadad Rezakhani

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I am laughing a lot now

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

Hello Von Momica,

Thanks for your nice article on Firdowsi seminar. I read in iranian.com: "The parallels between Rustam’s feat of heroism and Hercules’ labours were explored ably in a pictorial PowerPoint presentation by George Triantapoulos, a professor of ancient history at the University of Athens." Is there a way to get that article somewhere in the internet or somewhere else? I am very much interested in that subject.

Thank you
Babak Shariat
www.studioexistence.com

REPLY from Von Momica: Happy April Fools!

Babak Shariat: You mean it was all fake and there was no such seminar in Tehran?! I am laughing a lot now.... Am I the first April fool? Any prize?! The fake report was excellent though a bit amazing! I loved the imaginary sessions and topics! Wish it was real! especially the topic on Rostam and Hercules.

Actually I did write a paper with that title and compared the 2 heros in 1996 when I was getting my masters degree in English Literature at Tehran University. I lost that paper but I plan to write it again and post it in a new website I have bought: www.rostamdastan.com.

I like that topic very much and you seem to be kind of knowledgeable on Firdowsi, I would like to know more -- if possible -- on your knowledge about Shahnameh and Firdowsi. I have great plans for that website in near future and I might want some help or advice from people with good English on one hand and knowledge of Shahnameh on the other.

Babak Shariat

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What a wonderful essay

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

What a wonderful essay – thanks for the taking the time to write it – much appreciated!

SM

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Public praise belongs to the culture of the west

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

Dear Colleague,

Thanks for the literary comment that you wrote which I only had time to skim it for lack of time in this culture and country. To briefly respond to only one thought: "I had covered this beat a few years back, when the affair hardly received any attention, not even among the Iranian intellectuals, here or abroad." Iranians (the older generation I mean) live by the words of Ferdousi, they don't brag about it and they don't publicly throw parties or festivities commemorating his name or how great he was, etc.

I have lived most of my life in this country and I still hear from the old uncle or a older colleague verses of his poem in every subject that we discuss even a simple greeting in each day depending on how they feel, a verse that describes their either physical or metaphysical state of being is recited by them to express their own feelings.

The new trend of having conferences, and commemoration to praise Ferdowsi belong to the culture of the west. For instance, if you could live your life by the meaning of what Molavi (Rumi) said below imagine what it really takes to live by those words. The second verse "love, as though you've never been hurt before" is so true in everyone's life --- do you know what sort of inner training and higher being is required of you to be hurt and not to hate?

That's what I mean to live by the words of the verse... and we, the Iranians who lived through the life we used to have in Iran can only understand until someone like me take the time to write about it... I can only convert my memories as a sociologist in Iran to a book. But, unfortunately I don't have the time.

FN

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Parshad (Formerly know as Farshad)

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

After reading this article I was so moved that I decided to take the leap and change my name as well. From now on I will be known as Parshad.

Parshad (Formerly know as Farshad)

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Where can I download?

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

Mr. Von Monica;

In your article “It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi”, you mentioned a documentary by Ramon Iranzadi, a graduate student at the State University of New York at Buffalo . Do you know where I could download a copy of this?

Many Thanks

Shoraka

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Date gave it up

On April Fools story by Steven J. Von Monica, "It's Pirdawsi, NOT Ferdowsi":

Next time don’t put the date under author’s name. It gave it up. Happy April Fool’s Day to you as well.

KM

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Quick grab

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Just say you're sorry":

If the British sailors were in Iranian waters, so was the Indian ship they were inspecting, and the British helicopter. Were the Iranians at all interested in the Indian ship? No: they snuck in while the helicopter was away, did a quick grab and skedadled out of there before the helicopter could get back.

The Indian ship stayed there at anchor for hours after the event. Did the Iranians come to inspect it? No, because it was an Iraqi problem, in Iraqi waters.

The tidal range there is 1.7 metres, which is not insignificant where the coastline is shallow, as it is in most deltas. Maritime maps are made from mean low water springs, because you want to know the least water depth you may encounter under your boat. Land maps are made from mean high water springs, because you want to know where you can build a road. If you can't find the data you want, you are probably looking at the wrong kind of map

Sen McGlinn
Leiden, the Netherlands

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Future seems dark

On Amir Rostam Begli Beigie's "Price of adventurism":

Amir has made a great point. Very clever comment about the situation we are in. Both sides don't give a damn about Iranian people. In Iran, we have a regime that has seen what happened to Saddam in Iraq. After the first Iraq war, Iraq was subjected to economic sanctions.

Over more than a decade the American drained the Iraqi regime, mentally and financially. They chose the time at their convenience to invade the country and get rid of Saddam. Iranian regime has learned from Saddam's mistake and they see the similarities between the approach. They have asked for security guaranty and never got it. The regime concluded that since the confrontation is inevitable, it is now to set the scores not later. Since the American resources are stock in Iraq, The Iranian regime is clearly looking for a fight as sooner it is better.

But, it is true, the Americans miscalculated in Iraq. But, they are not that stupid to invade Iran. The Americans would accomplish their objectives by just bombing Iran to stone age. This is where the Iranian regime is making the biggest mistake. Their underestimation of American Air power would result in the destruction of the country and death of thousands of innocent Iranians. I wish they would feel this responsibility as a government should and avoid it by all possible means. It seems all they care about is the survival of the regime. They have shown their priority in the past. The survival of the regime made them end the war with Iraq after eight years of enormous casualties and destruction.

My fellow Iranians, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place and the future seems dark. We need a miracle to avoid it. The only hope is if the Americans provide the regime with security guaranty and leave the regime change to Iranians themselves. What would be the chance of that?

This theory is very important to be discussed, specially among Iranian in Iran. They have everything to lose. Please broadcast these points. Maybe seeing their hands would avoid the unavoidable.

Ala

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All of you OUT NOW!

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Just say you're sorry":

Well said! However, you forgot to mention what the hell were they doing in Iraqi waters? Were they invited by the Iraqis? If they were, their tourist visas were only expired more than three years ago, and they should be deported to their home countries!
It is Persian Gulf Mr. Blaire! Stop showing us the GPS that you manipulated as you manipulated the map of the world to serve your interests! Talk about guts and imperialism! These jerks coming all the way from the other side of the world attacking and raping different people, culture and religion, while they are looting their countries and natural resources, and claim that Iran cannot protect her territory or neighbor's!! Give us a break!

Remember Cuban crisis? Russia moved weapons into Cuba, which is 100 miles away; and US was going to bomb Cuba, because Russians were too close for comfort! Now, British and Americans and israelis come knocking on our door, and we are not even allowed to ask them to move a little further back since you are too close before you invade us!

Talk about dumbing down people! How dumb these guys think we are? Pirates, we just want you leave the Persian gulf, it is not British or American Gulf! it is PERSIAN GULF, and we can go anywhere in those waters peacefully! So get out of our waters and region now! While you are at it, don't forget to pay billions for reparations for your atrocities in Iraqis and Iran! All the human losses and economic losses including future losses to the countries and their people! All of you OUT NOW! Leave the Moslem lands before you totally lose your latest crusade!

jon

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Appeasement is better than upholding your nation's values?

Dear Editor,

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership have proven that they do not have the ability to make good foreign policy decisions. The Democrats in the House refused to condemn the British hostage crisis in Iran, providing no support for America's closest ally in her time of need.

To add insult to injury Speaker Pelosi visited Syria, a leading state sponsor of terror and one of Iran's closest friends. It seems that the Speaker thinks appeasement is better than upholding your nation's values and supporting your allies. If Pelosi thinks this is a good idea, maybe she should use her two week vacation to read about how well this strategy worked for France before World War II.

Mazi Bahadori
Mission Viejo, California

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Why are you letting your imagination run wild?

On Sonia Gilani's "No wonder America gets Iran wrong":

Sonia. You should demonstrate more open-mindedness and wisdom, than to call "an average" redneck an usual Iran -hater. Because for all we know, you don't even live in the USA and even if you visit frequently, you still can't make the claim that you know for certain what an American, be it redneck or not, thinks about Iran.

Why are you letting your imagination run wild and free and make the assumption that we are having it hard in US? I don't think anyone needs or asks for your pity and sympathy.

In the most recent PBS broadcast, Karim Sajadpour did not pin the blame on Iran for no good reasons. Perhaps, you got pissed off the moment he mentioned that and did not even bother to listen to the rest of his analysis. Nobody convicted Iran of any wrongdoing and with defenitive proof. He did not say that the Iranians were desperate or did not what they were doing!! All he said was that given the current economic situation, the notion of a massive militarization movemnet is not what anyone is Iran romanticizes with.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if Iranians played around a bit with the GPS coordinates, and this does not mean at all that the british are absolutely Guilt-free.

I'd appreciate if you could clarify one thing for me. Is BBC not an european Broadcast agency and aren't their analysts and reporters taking sides?? Were they not the first ones who brought up the fact and put so much emphasis on the heavily political content of the letters written by the captives? You call that impartiality??

Kyle

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Please do not give people in Idaho so much credit

On Sonia Gilani's "No wonder America gets Iran wrong":

Dear Ms. Gilani

While I do not wish to express an opinion on the brutal bashing you gave your fellow Iranians who reside in the United States, I do wish to address your obvious ignorance of American demographics.

Average rednecks do not come from or reside in Idaho. We come from and inhabit places like Alabama, Louisana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, parts of Texas and the southern halves of both Georgia and Oklahoma. Please do not give people in Idaho so much credit for they aren't worth it. All you will find in Idaho are skin heads, white supremacists and other scum-sucking Aryan trash.

Rufus Redinecki

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These Mullahs lie like Persian rugs

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Just say you're sorry":

Global Position was used I am certain to determine where these troops were. Iran has had to correct itself once already with poor coordinates they have provided. These Mullahs lie like Persian Rugs.

Dennis C

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Your comment on the timing of 300 is just bitterness

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

I don't think the writer of this article realized that "300" was based off a graphic novel which wasn't made exacting to historical accuracy or standards. Also, in the movie, it was only *1* million. Again, it was the nations of the Persian Empire, as in, they conquered many other nations and cultures. I doubt few enough of the actual army was actually Persian. Then, there' s the fact that the movie was ... fantasy ... ?

I can see how he wanted to compare the movie to real life events, but all of his presumptions are incorrect themselves. It is of course, based off a true event, but it was made by a Graphic Novelist, which equals for entertainment purposes. I also don't remember anything about the 300 commanding slaves in history and I have done some research on this long before the movie came out. I don't doubt Sparta HAD slaves, but I don't remember them using them in this battle, but I won't argue this because I am not entirely sure, like I am of everything else.

"Are we to believe that the Improvised Explosive Devices which are killing our soldiers in Iraq, and which the Bush/Leonidas administration claims to be manufactured by the Iranians/Persians (Iran was called Persia until an official name change in 1935), can suddenly appear on a fifth century BCE battle field?" Yes, we can, because it' s a movie based off a graphic novel meant for entertainment. I also personally don't doubt they had something similar back then. People back then were in the iron age, not the stone age and they weren't primitive.

"In an almost sexual gesture Xerxes holds Leonidas from the back and asks him to submit, to bend before the Persian ruler." Are you sure you actually watched this movie? I'm beginning to believe you haven't. Xerxes wasn't anywhere near Leonidas and you' re implying he wanted him to kneel to him at a distance/direction he is not at.

"The moral of the story is that 300 men sacrificed their lives for freedom, their way of life, and Democracy, something echoes in today' s broadcast updates on the war against so-called Islamic terrorism." Where did you pull Democracy from (They didn't elect Leonidas)? I believe this is one of the few valid points you have. Though, Frank Miller didn't draw the story because he wanted to show some way of life we don't believe in ...

Your next argument about the "historicity" of the film is valid. They should have included that in the film ... had the Spartans actually knew that was the case. They believed Xerxes only wanted to imprison and enslave the Spartans. That might have also been an ulterior motive for Xerxes. The "mothers of men" quote was merely in response to the one bigot ambassador. According to the movie, who actually knows what the Persians actually did for their women. I do have to say though, they made a bigger deal of the slavery than they should have, they would indeed have been able to continue their lives, with taxes and certain other things of course ...

Nobody likes what Bush is doing except the Bush administration. I don't believe Bush, his family members, or anyone akin descends from the Spartans. I do believe your comment on the timing of this film is just (aside from being coincidental ... maybe) bitterness. I don't like the war in Iraq or Iran anymore than the next person. Believe me, in the FAR west of America, the majority of us don't like Bush and don't endorse the war.

Good tidings.

CJ

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Pahlavis should leave the youth of today's Iran alone

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor ":

I'm not an activist by no means. I'm just someone who is interested in what happens in the world, specially in the Middle East and specificaly in Iran. Ms. Forghani's letter is as if she was reading my thoughts. The Pahlavis should stop meddling in Iran's affair. My surprise could not be put into words as I heard they began to use words such as: "Solidarity, free elections or what the people want". Where were these words in 1357? Weren't the Pahlavis familiar with these words and their meaning before the revolution? I still remember vividly Ms. Farah Pahlavi's comments concerning the future of Iran in her interviews, before being overthrown, which were always with an emphasize on the youth. Those youth did what they thought was right at that time. Those youth are now middle-aged. The Pahlavis should leave the youth of today's Iran alone and they should accept the fact that the Pahlavi era is over.

Shirin Vazin

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Crass display of cruel stupidity

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

I just wanted to commend you for your eloquent piece, which hit the nail on the head and expressed precisely my own feelings on the matter.

The parading and flaunting of the British sailors and in particular the sole female sailor, on the Iranian TV and broadcast for the World to see, was not only distasteful and stomach churning, but very probably against the International law. Although the sailors appeared to be physically well, the discomfort of the female sailor, while being interviewed, was clear to see. Iran has every right to defend its borders and detain anyone illegally crossing, be they British or anyone else.

However, whether these sailors were in Iranians waters or not does not excuse such behaviour. If the Islamic Republic thinks that is getting one up on the British, on the propaganda front, by parading Seaman Turney on Television and getting to express her "regret" and "sorrow" for crossing into Iranian waters, it should think again. The reaction in many countries has been far from supportive towards this charade and it is fanciful to believe her words were reflective of her genuine feelings and that neutral observers are gullible enough to buy into it.

This crass display of cruel stupidity has been further compounded by the Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki's, earlier comment that the female sailor could be released being later contradicted by Mr Larijani, chief nuclear negotiator, who has blamed UK for its "incorrect attitude" over the issue.

The Americans, have already shown their lack of regard for International conventions with their Guantanamo fiasco and the detention of Iranian nationals in Iraq without any due regard for their rights. But those who usually rush to the defence of the Islamic Republic should note that it is no better when it comes to due regard for Human Rights, and in may cases far worse.

One would've thought that during a period when talk of possible US military action against Iran for its nuclear activities is ubiquitous, the regime in Iran would do its utmost not to antagonize the atmosphere. But then maybe the Islamic Republic, or at least certain elements within it, wouldn't mind confrontation with the West to divert attention from problems at home and consolidate their hold on power.

R

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Bashing Iran to please the westerns

On Sonia Gilani's "No wonder America gets Iran wrong":

Thanks for your article. No wonder the Western People treating us like that. As Iranian we are bashing Iran to please the westerns. Good for you.

Apadana

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The world has changed, wake up

On Ben Madadi's "Why make things worse?":

Mr. Ben:

As your name indicates you are one of those people who are in beleive in English and see them more as James Bond Character. You definately see American as they present themself in their Holywood Films. The world has changed, wake up. Be a True Persian.

Apadana

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Don't take him seriously

On Sonia Gilani's "No wonder America gets Iran wrong":

Thanks for your article. You should remember that Mr Karim Sadjadpour and the like are only Iranian in name. For example, Mr Karim Sadjadpour works for the Voice of America (Radio Farda -- known among Iranians as Radio Dirooz!!!). CIA and the like are clandestine agencies with the sole aim of destroying life for us iranians in Iran, and globally destroying life for whoever from whichever nation who wants to be Independent. Remember 1953 and Dr. Mossadegh?

So don't take him seriously, but make it known to other Iranians what their representations are.

Regards,
Ali (from Iran)

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Balanced

On Farid Parsa's "Past & present 'Persians'":

I enjoyed this balanced essay very much. Thank you.

Gary Wise

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Dogs don't like being poked with a stick

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Just say you're sorry":

Thank you for some sense in this debate.

I also do not care for the UK's history, but to use hostages in such a shameful way will cause much harm to Iran's cause internationally. Much as Guantanamo has for the US.

I hope Iran doesn't keep this up, because dogs don't like being poked with a stick. There are more ways of hurting nations than invasion, and only the innocents get hurt.

This is a careless way of protecting your country.

Pray someone gets a heart and does the right thing.

Gary Wise

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Why the different reactions?

On Iranian and British detainees:

Dear Iranian.com,

I noticed that your site featured the phrase "let them go already" above the link to the BBC story about the captured British sailors. I can't recall any such appeals on your website when U.S. occupation forces entered the Iranian consular office in Arbil, Iraq not too long ago and took five Iranian officials into custody. The difference being, of course, that the Iranians were taken from a Iranian government building in a neighboring country, and the Brits were taken apparently inside Iranian territory halfway around the world from their homes. Why the different reactions on your part?

Alireza Mirmiran

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Your red hot screams -- in words

On Sheema Kalbasi's "Now that spring is here":

I do not know what dragged me to a place which I never
look, to see your writing. I saw your longing, alive
in me, your desperation was played in me.I enjoyed
your playfulness with words which is like plafulness
of a lover to a beloved, a master musician to the
sound of his harp. I saw your pink heart smiling,
hopeful but desperate, jumping in my sight and
guiding it into its chambers.

And now, I have arrived.....

*******************************
I enjoyed your writing. Since I write poetry too, I will be pleased to send you some and receive your red hot screams in words.

I am the source, uncompiled!

Manny

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Just a trick

On Tinoush Moulaei's "Just say you're sorry":

For the most part you are right, but regardless of what went wrong, this is an old tactic of British government. When Israeli attacked Lebanon in the recent war, the claim was that they wanted to bring their soldiers back. This could end up the same way. But I rather kick the aggressor, than turn my face the other way when someone enters into my land; the land that is the gift of our forefathers that we have not valued the way it meant to be.

I do however believe that the British entering the Iranian water is just a trick from the British side so they can start what they have been planning from long time ago to start something.

Iranian government did the right thing, they have the proof and I am not, I REPAET, I AM NOT THEIR SUPPORTER... but if British or the Yankees attack, I will support them no matter what.

Keep on writing, I'll be reading!!!

Abbas

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I really think that would help preventing a war on Iran

On Babak Andishmand's "Loud & clear":

How about sending a loud and clear message to Iran's government as well. Let's say, I don't know: "STOP TAKING FOREIGN SOLDIERS AS HOSTAGES". I really think that would help preventing a war on Iran. But of course I'm sure I'll be getting many emails in response calling me a traitor or anti Iranian, sell out etc.

Since as Iranians we can do no wrong because after all we have delicious food and poets like HAFEZ and SAADI; or is it because we are always the victim even when our government brakes international laws.

Afshin

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I hope they show it in Iran!

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

I agree, the Persians are all deformed idiotic and stupid till this day. A few well trained western men and women can put down a whole bunch of invading persians. This movie was great! I hope they show it in Iran!

Alexander Grover

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How does this site work?

On iranian.com:

I've spent a fair amount of time on this site and have enjoyed most of the content. However, I have to admit that there appears to be very little logical organization to it. I read a story that interested me and I cannot find it anymore. I e-mailed a writer and have no clue whether he will receive my e-mail, respond to it, or even see my e-mails as a comment on the site. Finally, I submitted a letter and have no idea if it will ever be published or if it has then where is it?

HELP!

Ali Behbehani

REPLY: The site's architecure is not very logical, that's true. iranian.com is undergoing a fundamental and -- hopefully -- logical transformation. When it's completed this summer, you will be able to leave comments on the site automatically. Currently if you email authors directly, they will receive it. The letters section is updated once or twice a month. If you want to find an old article, do a site search, look it up by author's name, or see all items archived by month here. -- Jahanshah Javid

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Perpetual insanity raging on and on

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

I don't know if you watch comedies or not, but the show MadTV (on Fox, believe it or not) has some of the best writing and actors I've seen since the Saturday Night Live cast of the 70's. They handle some stuff about the conflicts in the middle east with such unique wit and irony that I am convinced that the show's creators actually care about raising their viewers' consciousness. I believe it is really amazing how it seems that everything in the news media tips so persuasively to support these underlying idealogies that our Governments want us to accept. Sometimes I think it's time to investigate what kind of oracles exist who might, like Solomon shed some light on the matter.

An old book I found recently at 2nd hand store entitled Oriental Magic by Sayed Idries Shah (a European anthropologist) has a huge wealth of historical data about the history of magic in the middle east and Asia. None of it makes much sense to me, but I think only in their world-view could such a world like ours today exist. World leaders who themselves have families who yet at the drop of a hat are ready to destroy millions of lives and the planet, leaders who don't seem to possess any good communication / diplomatic skills at all, or the means to tell a joke to break the ice.

It really is absurd to me, a non-educated person so I can imagine just how depressing it can get for those more intellectual than I. I am extremely sorry to hear about your own fears regarding to a possible war in your ancestral homeland, as in such a backwards reality, this is still a real thing we have to deal with. If I can offer any consolation to you, it is that from my perspective, I don't know many people who, when approaching a time in their lives of true wisdom are ever really fooled by such a weak form of leadership. The news people are doing such a good job of showing just how ruthless they are to report "the truth" that I think most people can just seperate themselves from it as a reliable, honest source of information (it's a downer).

I don't think it is really just about Western dominance anymore. To me, it seems analogous to perhaps an alien race that somehow controls the tv news and tries to scare the living bejezus out of as many people as it can. Of course maybe I think that only because I believe that people would never become so inhuman to each other, though I'm sure almost everyone on this planet has met mean people who just seem to be that way, good reason or no. To me, being asked to choose sides, narrow idealogies, is all so absurd. The real issue for me is acheiving an inner peace of mind, balance. That is my ever present fight, and part of it encompasses ignoring as much of the negative news and other media as I can, or being able to see it in a non-destructive way (of course there's a limit to this approach).

I am hoping that eventually things will be better, that there won't always be alarming newpapers preying on my thoughts, keeping the perpetual insanity raging on and on ad nausium. I'm 31 now, and I haven't had a girlfriend in nearly 10 years, never been quite able to find my place in this society, and still I feel connected to some truth. I'm not a communist, but I see the toll competition takes on people. We compete in everything, including as intellectuals trying to make the grade in school. Ignoring spiritual discipline altogether. Pretending that there is an easy answer for everything. It feels like a game put upon us by some higher power. All the tools for a near perfect society are here, but instead we are treating our lives like dirt. Is it the spirit of the world that is this way? Is there any one idealogy that can rationalize, justify this type of living? I feel blessed to be living in such a world with all the modern conveniences that we enjoy, and I just want those bad people (if they are people) to go away. Forever.

Phil

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