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    January 1999

    Letters are posted here a week after they appear in The Iranian Times.


* Alphabet:
- Patent non-issue

* Conspiracy:
- Foreign interference no myth
* Economy:
- Shared oil

* Googoosh:
- Key az roo miri?
* Rostam & Sohrab:
- Only an accident
* Mojahedin:
- Mixed message

January 29, 1999

* Patent non-issue

Babak writes: While I appreciated the spirited defense of the Arabo-Persian script by the author ["No thanks"], I wonder who on earth brought the subject up in the first place. I see some of these Iranians living in the West pondering such questions, and think how ridiculous and pathetic they are. They are in no position to make the decision, one way or the other.

Furthermore, it is only the residue of the Pahlavi regime that escaped to the West that have this distaste for their own Middle Eastern background (have any of them actually looked at themselves in the mirror, saw that they had big noses and dark curly hair and screamed, realizing they were far from European or Aryan??). Changing the script is a patently non-issue.

While I appreciated the spirited defense of the Arabo-Persian script by the author ["No thanks"], I wonder who on earth brought the subject up in the first place. I see some of these Iranians living in the West pondering such questions, and think how ridiculous and pathetic they are. They are in no position to make the decision, one way or the other.

Furthermore, it is only the residue of the Pahlavi regime that escaped to the West that have this distaste for their own Middle Eastern background (have any of them actually looked at themselves in the mirror, saw that they had big noses and dark curly hair and screamed, realizing they were far from European or Aryan??). Changing the script is a patently non-issue.

University of California, Los Angeles

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January 28, 1999

* Foreign interference no myth

While I must admit that conspiracy theories is prevalent in popular Iranian culture, I was surprised that Guive Mirfendereski in "The blame game" cited the American-organized coup against Mossadegh as one such example.

Putting aside the issue of whether Mossadegh's goverment would have survived with or without the coup, it is well recorded by both American and British archives that the events leading to the overthrow of Mossadegh were directly orchestrated by the American Embassy with the aid of unscrupulous Iranians who were paid handsomely.

I knew the Iranian who was the head chef in the U.S. Embassy in those days. He said that the night before the anti-Mossadegh demonstrations began, there were stacks of rials piled chest high in the basement for use the following day.

Although it is a sad testament to us that we can be manipulted so easily - there can be no doubt that foreign powers (chiefly Americans, British and Russians) have succeeded on more than one occasion in direct interference in Iran's internal affairs.

Maijd Abedi

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January 27, 1999

* Shared oil

Mr. Mirfendereski as usual is great in choosing the right topic in the right time ["Pretend we have no oil"]. I agreed with most of his article except for the part when he wrote: "A barrel of oil left in the ground is one saved for future."

I am not sure but many of Iran's oil reseves in south and the Caspian Sea are shared by other countries as well. It is a good possibility we lose all our oil even if we stop production in many locations. I hope I am wrong! Would some petrolium engineer comment in this regard?

Thank you Mr. Mirfendereski for your contribution.

G.H. Massiha

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* Key az roo miri?

[Letter to Googoosh:]

Salaam. Raasti khejaalat nemikeshi? Key az roo miri?

Ansaar Hezbollaah

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January 26, 1999

* Only an accident

I like to make a comment about Jerome Clinton's following comment about Rostam and Sohrab:

"However appealing a young man Sohrab is, this decision makes him an enemy of the shah. And being anenemy of the shah makes him an enemy both of Iran and of God. As modern readers we are inclined to see Sohrab's desire to overthrow Afrasiyab and Kay Kavus and replace them with the far worthier figure of Rostam as commendable, as a proto-modern anticipation of rule by merit rather than inheritance. But the Shahnameh is the Book of Kings. It has as its the fundamental belief that, for good or ill, Iran will endure for so long as it is ruled by a line of divinely appointed shahs."

I may be wrong, but Mr. Clinton seems to be portraying Rostam as one who would have slain his own son, to punish Sohrab for his military undertaking against the Shah. He fails to make it clear that Rostam was devastated by the accidental murder. I have read the original poem, not Mr. Clinton's book, and I got the impression that Rostam would have nurtured and helped his own son, had he known who he was.

Sohrab's mother, had appointed an entrusted brave warrior to pass on the message to Rostam, and avoid a father-son confrontation. That warrior was also accidentally killed by Rostam, when Rostam was spying on Sohrab's camp. The tragedy is that neither the son or the father wanted this ending, and only a very unfortunate and complicated sequence of events led to a "patricide."

In short, I do not think Ferdowsi had an underlying message, arguing or justifying the preservation of royalty. He was simply reciting a grand tragedy with epical proportions.

Babak Honaryar

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January 25, 1999

* Mixed message

I myself am an advocate of freedom of speech and expression, but I was shocked to see that you have linked to the Mojahedin radio station.

I persume, "The Iranian Times" just like any other reliable news source tries to go through all efforts to remove biases or propoganda. You may be well aware that the United States recognizes the Mojahedin Khalq as a terrorist organization and by linking to their radio station may, for some, give a mixed message that "The Iranian Times" supports terrorism.

I am guessing that "The Iranian Times" does not support the MKO and simply linked to their site because the site was Iranian and on the internet, but I think in this case it would have been wise for you to at least write a short disclaimer directly above the link in the email. This would make clear the position of "The Iranian Times."

I appreciate your time. Keep up the good work.

Ashkan Yekrangi

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January 22, 1999

* Not Without My Daughter II

It seems like the pictures you choose for the cover of The Iranian ["Two-colored lollipop"] do not necessarily tell something about your favors for or against the subject of the picture, but they have more to do with being somehow related to Iran.

Therefore, let me suggest that you have a photo of Betty Mahmoody ready for the next cover; I think she, too, has once written something about Iran.

Ataollah Togha

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January 21, 1999

* Royal fake

The travel diary excerpts posted on your web site courtesy of Par magazine is a fake ["Qebleye Alam"]! I believe both The Iranian and Par owe it to their readers to separate fiction from non-fiction, specially when it comes to historical events.

I have to give it to Par though, for the piece seemed quite authentic. But anybody with a slight knowledge of that era would immediately discern its ficticious nature.

S. Zahedi

NOTE: Since publishing this piece last week, we have learend through the editor of Par that indeed the true author is Mr. Jalaleldin Khaleqi and not his Royal Highness. Mr. Khaleqi's name was noted as the author in Par's index, but not above the article itself.

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January 20, 1999

* One thumb up

Really funny! ["National crisis"] Enjoyed it . I would have said "two thumbs up" (well maybe one, gholov cheraa?) but I was afraid it might be interpreted as a Persian thumbs up! Keep up the good work.

Mohsen Pourett

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* Lengesh kon

[Regarding "Just pretend we have no oil"], it's easy to sit outside and say "lengesh kon." does this self-professing economist have a plan that would work to get the country out of its dependency on oil and into an industrial track?

Agar mardeh, why doesn't he outline a plan to achieve this jump within the confines of the current social, economic atmosphere?


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January 19, 1999

* Stupid, disgusting

Tell Hamid Taghavi that his "The Sub Man" was by far the stupidest, most wasteful, useless, and disgusting piece of writing (if you can call it that) I've ever read. The attempt to stereotype the school kids, asking foolish questions and making useless (unfunny) remarks..... Really!! You ought to have better writers than that.

A Persian-American Math Teacher
Hamid Tadjvar

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* JAG star speaks Farsi?

I just read Armin Alaemani's article entitled, "JAGged," and I am not very sure if Catherine Bell can really speak Farsi. My father first pointed out that "the pretty woman on that JAG show was actually speaking Farsi last night!"

I finally got to see a rerun of the show. However, I noticed that everytime Ms. Bell spoke Farsi, her voice sounded completely different - as if someone was dubbing her lines and she was lip synching. I hope this was just my imagination, because I think it would be awesome to have a few role models on TV with Iranian backgrounds - especially one who is as beautiful as Ms. Bell ;-)

Mehrdad Modjtahedi

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January 18, 1999

* My vicotry

I am glad that you realized that I tried to show the "domal"s of our culture without hiding behind symbols ["In the Ring"]. You are absolutely right; almost in all situations concerning Iranian women, defeat is certain. But, the enlightenment of even one mind is a victory: that is my victory.

Shirindokht Radi

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January 15, 1999

* The good guys & the bad guys

I want to commend Ali Nikseresht's letter, "Not the Arabian OR Persian Gulf." It's about time someone brought this issue to the surface. I don't want to reiterate his points here, but here in America you have a media and an entertainment industry that's quick to point out who the good guys and the bad guys are. America and its military, of course, are the good guys. And everyone who hasn't yet made peace with Israel is the bad guy.

It's sad how Americans -- educated and uneducated alike -- can't see beneath the surface. I had an uncle who worked for U.S. Air Force intelligence (point should be made that he only joined the Air Force because he needed money for college), and he was told by his own superiors that everything that the U.S. does overseas is underlined solely by America's natural interests; whatever serves their interests. Which of course, makes sense.

But people actually think the United States does what it does because of moral obligations, which is completely ridiculous and in fact laughable. Morality means nothing to the U.S. government or its military. As Mr. Nikseresht said, they do what they want, where they want, and when they want. They go into another country and tell the government of that country that they cannot fly their planes in their own airspace (never mind the legal basis of it), and then have the audacity of riding the moral high horse for doing so.

The U.S. regularly condemns other countries, especially Iran, for developing and amassing "weapons of mass destruction," but never says a thing to Israel -- a country with not just a large stash of their own dangerous weapons but also a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world.

I am an Iranian who has grown up in America all my life, but I'm not stupid. All you need to do is to get your information from the right sources and keep your eyes and ears open to know what's going on in the world; and then and only then will it emerge who the good and bad guys really are.

Nariman Neyshapouri

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January 14, 1999

* Iraqi pilot showed mercy toward Shirazis

Reading the introduction to the article titled "Kuzestan in San Diego", I was reminded of an Iraqi whom I met in Pittsburgh through a good friend, who also happens to be Iraqi. His name was Adnan and he had sought asylum in the U.S. after being captured by the American forces during the Persian Gulf War. He had escaped from Saddam's army but not before being shot in the back as he fled. Fortunately, due to his great physical stamina he had made it alive to make it to the American (Saudi) border to surrender. However, it was not his ordeal that left an impression on me, but rather his uncle's, about which he told me as soon as I told him that I was originally from Shiraz.

During the Iran-Iraq War, Adnan's uncle had been a pilot for the Iraqi Army. His last mission had been to bomb a bridge in Shiraz, but when his plane had neared the target, he noticed a large number of people on the bridge. So he started firing into the air with the hopes of warning the people and dispersing them from the bridge. However, the people remained in place and after circling for a few minutes, Adnan's uncle decided to return to Iraq without dropping his bombs. Unfortunately, upon landing in Iraq, Saddam had Adnan's uncle executed for disobeying orders and not carrying out his mission.

Mehdi Ghajarnia

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January 13, 1999

* In spite of

Stumbled onto your site. I lived in Tehran from '70 to '73 as a child. I have fond memories of the country. Thanks for the images. They brought back good times "IN SPITE" of...

Julian Vail

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January 12, 1999

* Rajavi & his "lunatic cult"

[In reply to Roshanravan's letter],

After reading your letter posted in The Iranian, I was astonished to notice your mentioning of the so-called "egg-throwers." You see, the Iranian people are not stupid. There is a distinction between traitors that cozy up with Saddam (during the war years and even today) and the people that are struggling to change the nature of Iranian society.

We have a chance with Khatami, we have our hopes with Khatami. No matter how much the Iranian exile community today hates the Islamic Republic, we will never ever consider Rajavi, his lunatic cult, and their Iraqi overlords as a possible alternative.

Mahmoud-Reza Hussaini

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* Wonderful "Scenes"

I just received Tabrizi Zadeh's "Scenes". I bought his CD after listening to the RealAudio clips you have on the music page, so thanks for the recommendation. It's a wonderful album.

D. B. Little

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January 11, 1999

* Revolution's secular nature changed

[Regarding H. Jalili's letter: "The Shah made mistakes...":]

I completely and angrily object to your attempts at glorifying the previous regime and despising the 78-79 movement. I may agree with you in part, but would not attempt to forget about the crimes of the past dynasties.

The current reime did steal the revolution from the people and changed its historical, secular identity. It's hardly any justification for the ill deeds of the Shah and his N. American supporters.

Hamid Tadjvara
A left-oriented Persian & citizen of the world

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January 8, 1999

* I can feel the sunshine

What a lovely dream ["Abadan: Back home"]! Whether a dream or just fantacizing, it is very powerful. The power comes from your strong and sincere feeling about your town.

I went to Abadan once. That was 23 years ago and it is still with me. I can feel what you say. I can feel the sunshine in that picture of Maydan-e Alfi and the world that went passed us which we miss. Those were the days.

Mehdi Jami

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* Braim, Alfee, Annex, and, and, and...

I particularly liked your Abadan section. You see, my uncles used to live in Abadan and Khorramshahr. One of my uncles owned Sina pharmacy on Amiri Street next to an alley where there was a local merchant named Namakee (anyone remembers?).

My uncle's name is Dr Hossein Taghaddos. We traveled many times to Abadan and Khorramshahr (I am from Ahvaz), and I remember Braim, Alfee, Annex, and, and, and...

I could totally relate to those pictures of birthdays as I have similar ones from the same era taken in Ahvaz.

Ron Mogadas

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January 7, 1999

* Not the Arabian OR Persian Gulf

Everybody should, from now on, use the proper word for that body of water between Iran and its southern Arab neighbors - not the 'Arabian' Gulf, not the British favorite, 'the Gulf', and not the 'Persian Gulf' either. Rather, we should all remember whose Gulf it is, and has been, for some years now, and call it by its rightful owners' name: the American Gulf ["Save the Squirrels Society"].

The Americans are quite smart - they don't worry about the name of a place, as long as they own it, as long as they control and inspect and monitor all navigation through it, as long as they station their aircraft carriers and naval flotilla in it, and occasionally launch missiles from it (even if by accident some of these flying messengers of peace, land in Khorramshahr, or hit a passenger jet, for example) and as long as they pollute its waters, and go wherever they wish, and do whatever they want.

In short, they are treating it like home, like Chesepeake Bay; so why not give them some credit for using our collective weakness, and traveling all the way from half way around the world, to settle in a peace of real estate, over whose name we have been arguing since time immemorial, while they and the rest of the 'first' world, have been 'advancing', and keeping us in the category of 'developing' countries, that for some reason, never 'develop'.

It is their Gulf, and if we want it to be the 'Persian' Gulf, we have to do more than shout, and learn a lesson from them.

Ali Nikseresht

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* Tehran to Tel Aviv

I don't understand why some people don't see the importance of the Persian Gulf; they say we have more important things to worry about ["Save the Squirrels Society"].

No one says the killings in Iran should not be stopped but the Persian Gulf is important too. Otherwise they will soon start calling Tehran, Tel Aviv and Bandar Abbass, Port of Arabia.

Bagher R Harandi

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January 6, 1999

* Success speaks for itself

this is in response to the thursday, december 17 letter with respect to the piece which was written about us in and later displayed in the pages of the letter, titled 'deep crap', was unbelievably negative in tone. we get press clips sent/e-mailed to us everyday. some are less insightful than others. we refrain from responding to them directly. but none have been as humorous and ignorant as this recent comment so we just couldn't resist...

i don't really know how informed or qualified you are about anything remotely to do with 'legitimate' music but being unpredictable and original is how we came to land a lucrative recording contract with deconstruction (UK) and arista (USA) and enjoying the fruits of our labor in the form of a highly successful and critically acclaimed remixing/producing discography. not to mention being awarded the best international DJ award at this year's muzik magazine award ceremony in london where the likes of noel gallagher (oasis) were presenting. oh, and we also run a successful record company called yoshitoshi ... FULL TEXT

Deep Dish
AKA Ali 'Dubfire' Shirazinia & Sharam Tayebi

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January 5, 1999

* Democratic bullies

I went back and re-read both "Where are the Strategic thinkers?" and "Freedom not to react." Previously, I had enjoyed reading both. Mr. Roshanravan expressed his dissatisfaction with those Iranians who had not spoken out about the recent murders in Iran. Mr. Mirfenderski's commentary made a few things crystal clear for me. Why are we waiting for intellectuals to tell us what we should do or think? Why not think for ourselves? I choose my own opinions and actions. The Iranian revolution of 1979 was supported by many intellectuals and many followed their views. Is this what they intended? Have we not learned our lesson in blindly following others? Why expect others to carry our burden? I should carry my own cross and be responsible for my own life. I liked his punchline the best: DO IT YOURSELF! Mr. Mirfenderski also reminded me what freedom and democracy is all about. We have the freedom to react or not to react ... FULL TEXT

Shahrzad Irani

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January 4, 1999

* U.S. ambassador? So what?

Why is Mr. Nemazee's appointment [as U.S. ambassador to Argentina] worthy of a newsflash? Perhaps because Mr. Nemazee's name is Iranian? What has he done for Iran and the Iranian community that makes him different than let say other U.S. ambassadors? I guess he is just as Iranian as my grandfather, who was born and raised in Dezful, is American.

Morteza Beheshti

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