* Latest comments received in Oct/Nov 1997
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* Unappreciative

* Not sure?

* No sanctions

* Financial gain

* Mediahedin
* Ghorboon sadagheh
* More Persian
* Influenced minds
* Useless!
* Well-informed
* Even though

Ahmad Sadri
* Step too big
* Response
* Thanks
* Excellent

Bird & Whale
* From the heart

* Very helpful

Death penalty
* Retribution

* More diverse

* Much to learn
* Homesickness
* Harf-e del
* Simple minded

* Persik

* Put camels to bed

* Good laugh

* Shah again

* No onions

* My teacher

* Bijan Mortazavi
* Love it

Sweet rebellion
* In love!

Much to learn

I feel that you should be proud of being an Iranian [Why Iranian? Because]. The West could learn much from Iranian culture.

Joseph Oliver

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Shah again

I am half Iranian and British but feel that maybe one day we shall all go to Iran when the Shah will rule the country again.

I am at the moment very keen and interested to find out more about the country that my father originates from. I have been studying the culture of Iran now and present and I have come to the conclusion that before this regime, people had there freedom.

Now as the regime has changed people have no rights in there life to do as they please such as women can not have an education and are married at a very young age so that they can not study.

I would like anybody in the world who feels the same as I and my family do to contact me at



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Put camels to bed

I just read the piece about Henry Kissinger's musings advanced to the Iranian by the Los Angeles Times [A minimum of good will]. As your subtitle suggests, Kissinger seems to see the normalization of the U.S.-Iran relations in a combination of American leadership and Iranian good will.

This is tantamount to prescribing ass-kissing on the part of Iran and orders by the United States of America -- very much as the patron-client relations between the two countries was in the 1960's and 1970's. And all this from a man who in 1980 told an interviewer that the interests of the United States would be best served by Iranians and Iraqis killing each other off! A million Iranians died at the hands of Saddam Hussein's bombs, bullets, and chemical agents, another one half of a million became maimed or invalid.

In the days of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Kissinger provided the blueprint for Iran to pressure the Iraqi government by inticing the Kurds to rebel in northern Iraq, which scheme got Iran the thalweg in the Shatt al-Arab, but cost it the good will of the Kurdish people.

What moral standing or authority does this shuttle diplomatist of the Nixonian era possibly possess to merit an airing of his ancient Ratzelian views about geoplitics in this day and age. Put your camels to bed, Henry.

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Even though

Nice site . True facts . All people around the world should visit this site and know just a bit about IRAN even though I am not Iranian .

Kodha hafiz. *_*

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Good laugh

I just wanted to thank you for putting up another one of my Horrorscope pieces (BMW = Bijan). It feels great to see them posted, and better when I get emails from others saying they had a good laugh.

Makan Borhanjoo

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Financial gain

The "Anti-Terrorist" geniuses are at it again [Attempt to bar students into U.S. from "terrorist" states]. The same Mental Giants who think that a bomb can only explode if the travel destination happens to be Iran, or if the passenger carries an Iranian passport are probably on the consulting committee that made this decision.

It is interesting to note that almost every bullet, bomb, or other explosive device is manufactured directly or indirectly by materials made in U.S., or other Western countries. Furthermore the regimes on these "terrorist" states have very questionable relationship with the "Victim" states. So if the terrorism is the real concern : Stop selling these countries materials used for explosive. Stop all relationships with the regimes. Stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Stop ....

I guess I am being very naive. After all, financial gain overrides the occasional annoyance of terrorist activities. If you don't believe me, ask Germans: Does Mikonos mean anything to you?!

Meanwhile, the innocent bystanders are victims of the games played between the so called terrorist, and victim states. Then again, what else is new?!

Mehrdad Erfani

In love!

I think our friend Ramin is in love! [Oh sweet rebellion]

Sina D.

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Your daughter's report is interesting [Tehran-e Bozorg].

Now that you have decided to write Farsi with adopted Latin script (what I call Persik alphabet), it is better to be more cautious and careful about the way words are written both from the spelling point of view and the grammatical issues.

You may know that I have been advocating the usage of Persik for many years now and, naturally, seeing your daughterís letter in Persik has excited me tremendously. But I have a lot concerns too and that is why I am writing this letter. I will try to be brief and precise.

Why do you, or does she, use two 'o' when we have 'u'? or two 'e' when we have 'i'? Look how ugly these words have turned out: 'nazdeekee', 'omoomi', 'doost'.

Why should we use two symbols for one sound: ch, kh, gh, sh, zh, etc? It is vastly accepted to use certain Latin symbols for this purpose: c for ch, x for kh, q for gh and so on.

By the spread of using Latin alphabet for Farsi on the net, people like you, who are going to be very influential on the younger generation who have been raised outside Iran, should be very careful. We need standard alphabet, standard spelling of words and standard regulations for writing grammatical parts of the sentences.

Look at this word: "KETAAB E BOZORGI". What does the 'i' at the end of the word denote? It can denote a reference to a book about ëgreatnessí and, at the same time it could simply mean 'a big book'. The 'i' in each meaning has a different grammatical significance. I think, in the second meaning, 'i' should be written separate from the word: "BOZORG I", just like "A BOOK". But, in the first sense it should be attached to the word.

Thus, if you concentrate your attention on the unification of spelling and grammatical issues you will help all of us in developing a new important means of communication for the new generation.

I think you are doing a very sensitive and important job which will have long term ramifications for all of us living outside Iran. It can turn Farsi into a universal language for all of our children whose first languages are the languages of their places of residence.

Esmail Nooriala

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Love it

I love what u did on famous Iranian singers' and their music [Music section]. Keep up the good job. Bring more Iranian singers too.

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I must thank you. The other day I went on a hike with a bunch of Iranians who seemed to be delighted and impressed with how much I knew about their country, culture, and local Iranian events.

When asked, I told them that much of what I knew came from reading your electronic newsletter/magazine [THE IRANIAN TIMES] and the links you provide to other related sites.

So thanks for the service you provide for Iranian and non-Iranians alike.


Alex Bettesworth

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Bijan Mortazavi

Congratulations on an excellent collection of Iranian music. Would you consider including some music by Bijan Mortazavi?

Nasim Hajibashi

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I no longer read THE IRANIAN TIMES [email newsletter]. I receive it around 5:30 [in the afternoon on the U.S. east coast] (And lately even later).

I simply get my daily Iranian news some place else at a much earlier TIME.

Amir N. Fayaz

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My teacher

I just saw this pictorial essay in your magazine [Cheri] and am flabbergasted, dumbfounded and speechless! Is this Mrs. Bazleh? She was my first grade teacher at Roya school in Abadan and I remember her second (or maybe third) car: a1959 or 1960 canary yellow (British) Ford Anglia that she would park on the school grounds just in front of the building!

Also, the third young woman in one of the pictures (Cheri with friends in the late 1940's -- under 'playful' link I think) looks a lot like my mother (although her face is not very clear)! It is possible that she's my Mom because she was a nurse at the Oil Company hospital at that time. If this is all true, it's such a COINCIDENCE!

K. Cyrus Homayounpour

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No onions

I liked your comments on vegetarianism [Eat This]. I'm an Irish vegetarian and also find it an adventure if I can get a good veggie meal anywhere besides my own kitchen. I also don't eat eggs, any kind of onions and mushrooms. Thanks for an interesting page.

Fiola Kidd

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Very helpful

Thank you for publishing a wonderful and important page on the internet [Anxiety, depression & Iranians]. More people should be aware of their anxieties, and especially Iranians who try to ignore their problems. Your suggestions are very helpful.

Nooshin Ahangar

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Harf-e del

khily rast gofty' harfe dele mano mizani [Bebakhsheed, shomaa iraani hasteed?] . shayed lazem basheh ke geryeh konam az een haghighat. am be jash enghadar khandidam. enghadar khandidam ke khestakam khiss shode!!!! be bakhsh ke ro rastaam ba shoma, choon hanooz ne mishenasametan. Any way who ever you are consider me your fammily (hala dare geryam miggieh.....)........khoda Hafez tu basheh.

Ali Sanagoo
Los Angeles, CA

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It is foolish to abolish the death penalty [Iranian anti-death penalty campaign] because that gives murderers an option that the state no longer has.

There is a certain mentality which will always take advantage of any option which it possesses that others do not have. An example of this is a dictator who can do as he will without fear of retribution. This is the reason for separate branches of government, and so-called checks and balances.

Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment are hopelessly naive, and the result of their efforts may be seen in the U.S. penal system, and general lawlessness within the U.S. society. The collapse of law within the U.S. is solely the result of naivete and liberalism, and we experience here far more deaths than are instituted anywhere else under the use of capital punishment.

This excludes such activities as occurred in Cambodia, but which even there were the result of a maniac who had no fear of like retribution, justifiably, it turns out!!!

Leonard Clapp

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More Persian

The number of your articles and poems in Persian have dropped precipitously in the more recent issues of THE IRANIAN. I hope that this is a coincidence and not a trend.

World-wide and specially in this country there is an abundance of published literature in the English language; anything in Persian is hard to come by.

F. Yaghmai

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From the heart

I just read "The Bird & The Whale." Speaking from the heart, it is a very nice story indeed. I am touched by both the happiness and sadness you share. Someday I should hope to read part 2.

Alex Bettesworth

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More diverse

I applaud your decision to start every issure with a couple of beits of poetry. My only request is to make them more diverse and colorful. The one thing that we Iranians have plenty of and are proud of them too is our poetry.

Keep up the excellent work.

Ali AfshaR

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Simple minded

Under current circumstances, U.S.'s hostile behavior against Iran, It would be simple minded to call someone Persian-American unless the relationship between the two countries changes. I think one should ask him/herself who they really are.

I do not belong to any parties. I love my country and I think the general knowledge about Iran and Iranians among Americans, including representatives, are poor and led by groups that benefit from this environment. These groups use any mean, including lobbying and the media like TV stations and cinema, to achieve their goal.

Behrouz Heshmatipour

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Ghorboon sadagheh

I was just reading THE IRANIAN (Horrorscope section, "Persia, Iowa" and the pieces by Majid Tehranian and Ramin Tabib) and thinking that -- and this is no idle "ghorboon sadagheh" -- we, the diaspora Iranians, are fortunate to have such an ironic, level-headed and sophisticated journalist like you to bring us together like this.

Ahmad Sadri

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Step too big

I pose a couple of questions for Dr. Sadri [Echoes of Kierkegaard and Locke]:

What if the ancient Mithra based religions of the Persian Empire were to have succeeded the trials of time? What if Zoraoaster's Ahura-Mazda was able to help Darius III defeat the advent of Alexander of Macedon? What if the Islamic conquest did not succeed? What if the socio-political turmoil in the Shah's reign did not bring about the Iranian Islamic Revolution?

I would, in all probability, then not be able to write this letter now. Then again, almost any factor from our historical paths would inhibit me from writing this. But the fact is that history has manifested itself and now we deal with the hand that is given us.

Furthermore, I commend Sadri for pointing out the young age of Islam and acknowledging that Islam is also commited to the trials of time and history. And like many other great religions, it must grow in relation to the conventional wisdom of the day.

However, I find it extremely ironic of him to compare the current topics of Islam with that of Christianity and the forefathers of current secular existentialism (Kierkegard and Locke). Islam is far from reaching this level where understanding is more individualistically metaphysical.

This is too big a step for the Muslims to take, who are extremely used to theological authority being given (dictated) to them. There must first be a basic reformation in respects to what the common laymen may accept before we can move towards spiritual secularism. I think this is especially hard in our beloved country, which is the world's only nation governed by a complete theocracy. One can always hope. (Sadri's response)

Ary Farajollahi

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Dear Mr. Ary Farajollahi

Thank you for your response to my piece at the It is always good to ponder on thoughtful critique on ones' work. Here are some reflections on your questions.

1- You inquire about the question of "What would happened if?" I have explored this issue in some detail in my book, "Max Weber's Sociology of Intellectuals (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994, PP. 22-32). In any case I agree that we have to play with the hand deal us. But I must add that the Mithraist and Zoroastrian religions would probably have dealt us a similar hand! All the original civilizations of the area, starting with the Summero-Akkidain (and on its various scions, the Assyrian, Babylonian and Syriac empires) as well as the Egyptian civilization contained theocratic elements. The Iranian civilization contained some elements of the Mesopotamian heritage as well. At the risk of uttering an hyperbole; Iran has been the cradle of theocracy in the same way the Greece has been the cradle of democracy! On this issue you may consult an article on Shahnameh by Mahmoud Sadri which is posted in one of the issues of the Iranian.

2- A minor correction: neither Kierkegard not Locke could be considered as forefathers of the secular existentialism. The first could not have been farther from a "secular" agenda. The latter predates the whole existentialist philosophy and could be considered an influential political philosopher whose ideas influenced the formation of the first democratic constitution via the founding fathers of the American Revolution.

3- Iran does not qualify for the dubious honor of being "the world's only nation governed by a complete theocracy." As you know there are others, one in our own backyard. But I grant that we are a prominent case.

4- Regarding the differences between Islam and Christianity you must not forget the new theocracy in Iran is a recent innovation. Despite the spirit of "emulation of the jurisconsult" (taghlid) theocracy is not and has never been a spontaneous conclusion reached by the Shi'a jurists. On the contrary, Shi'a political philosophy has remained undeveloped until the present century. The overwhelming majority of our present jurisconsults agree with the dominant tradition of figh'h that considered Velayat e Faghi'h to be an eccentric and marginal view. The authorities that sponsor this view include the most prominent jurisconsult of all times (Khatam ol Mojtahedeen, Sheikh e Tousi) who states that justifying "Velayat al Faghih" would be as hard as dethoning a thorny shaft by running ones bare hand in the opposit direction of the thorns down the shaft (the arabic for this is "khart" ol ghetad.)

In short quietism and not theocratic ideology has been the bent of the Shi'a sacred history, theology and jurisprudence.

Consequently fighting this interpretation is not tantamount to opposing the entire tradition of Shi'a jurisprudence but opposing a rather new innovation.

In short the Shi'a religion has remained apolitical for more than a thousand years -- see my other piece at the entitled "Reinventing the Wheel of Democracy". I am not disputing that a significant reformation-type movement is in order. At the same time one should not underestimate the new theological innovative steps taken by Abdlokarim Soroush and Mohammad Mojtahed e Shabestari. Reformations do not always start with nailing a manifesto to the entrance of a church.

Ahmad Sadri

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Dr. Sadri,

Thank you very much for responding to my response to your article [Echoes of Kierkegaard and Locke] so quickly. I am grateful for the time that you took in order to enlighten me on your standpoint and the current issues at hand.

I must state that I am in complete agreement with you and have often pondered the course of Islam (particularly in Iran) in the same fashion. My response to your article was intented to illicit a response from you, as I am constantly in need of more knowledge from others who are better educated and experienced in Muslim matters.

Any other information that you may guide me to would be greatly appreciated.

Ary Farajollahi


Just wanted to congratulate you for including the excellent article by Ahmad Sadri [Echoes of Kierkegaard and Locke] in THE IRANIAN.

Arash Alavi

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Not sure?

Could the writer explain why he has chosen to put the word dissident in qoutes [Rouge is relative]? Is he not sure of their identity, or that they are really dissidents? If he wants to attribute a statement to another source why not qoute the entire statement; or is it that he is passing judgement on those individuals?


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Dear friends, This is a suggestion which builds upon Dr. Yarshater's argument regarding the use of Persian & Iranian. Persian has all the connotations of the ancient culture whereas Iranian is a modern word with no root. I suggest that your valuable online magazine change its address to to reflect the fact, regards,

B. Nouban

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Influenced minds

I keenly enjoy and I certainly admire yout effort; and I also have come to know and to deplore through your publication the misconceptions of the influenced minds of some of your readers or correspodents in THE IRANIAN TIMES. The reflection of these in the items you carried shows the need for a more comprehensive, less shallow and less trapped [exchange of views].

Ebrahim Golestan

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From the first sentence to the last I could relate to everything you said [Don't forget home]. As if you were in my mind, talking my thoughts the same order that they usually come to my mind.

In the city that I live (in New Hampshire), I only have one Iranian friend whom when I spend time with I forget about my problems and homesickness. And, sometimes I think this only one friend is perhaps all I have time to spend with.

But I also feel I am fighting the change. The change that I don't believe is healthy for me or any other fellow Iranian.. In either case, hope you find happiness even in the U.S. It is not impossible!

Peyman Parvin


You make a tough argument [Rouge is relative].  Point well taken about the pot calling the kettle black.  Of the countries mentioned, none have been blameless... 

Please consider the following:

1.  Who developed the Internet technology used to create your Web site?

2.  Where were you educated?

3.  Does Iranian humor reflect the morals of Islamic society?  (You may want to read the jokes linked to Iranian sites) .

I think you hit the nail on the head... nobody has the right to point any fingers.  Iran has a rich history and culture indeed.  I've also observed that the country Iranians like complaining about the most is the same country that provided many of them with educations and the means to communicate their beliefs and culture to others.  

Jeff Schwager

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Thanks for the Avalon Project site in THE IRANIAN TIMES, it is exactly what I needed most. Thus I nominate you "MEDIAHEDIN" of the year. By the way, this word has been coined by a great journalist of the French press! It is used often these days... just like paparazzi!

Farhad Sepahbody

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No sanctions

Mr. Sedaghat [member, League of the Iranian-American Voters],

I have read your letter in THE IRANIAN, and I for one do not see how in the world there is a discrepancy between voiding the Iran Sanction Act of Senator D'Amato and being an immigrant in this country.

The sanctions act has proven not only to have an adverse affect on the 60 million people of Iran, but at the same time it adversely affects American companies who could have significantly benefited from business dealings in Iran.

Therefore, I would like to make known to whoever reads this letter that your league of Iranian-American Voters certainly does not represent all Iranians residing in the U.S. or Americans of Iranian heritage in this country especially in light of the moderate approach that the newly elected Iranian government is taking.

However, your league does appear to have subtle loyalties to opposition groups such as the Mojahedin organization as well as Reza Pahlavi; both arguing for continuation of sanctions and repudiation of the French company, Total, under the ill-conceived act of Senator D'Amato.


Amir Amini

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