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APRIL 2006
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Catch phrase of the day

Guive Mirfendereski

Whether it is the influence of climate or political restraint that a power structure imposes on societal communication, a civilization as old as Iran's tends to reduce its operational imperatives into short, concise and meaningful sayings. The wisdom of an entire ocean is produced in an ice cube of proverbs and sayings. This economy of expression, allows parents and grandparents to raise their children in reference to anecdotes and proverbs, with very little need for prolonged disquisition or persuasive talk about values and morals. In the aftermath of the Khamenei's recent warning to harm Amercian interests if attacked, the Resolute Nation might as well adopt the catchy school yard bravado "har keh baa maa dar oftaad, var oftaad." It is the Irani equivalent of "Don't mess with Texas," which underwrites so much of George Bush's equally comical and hollow swagger.

To debate or not to debate

Tina Ehrami, The Netherlands

I believe that this planet contains two types of people: people who talk and people who listen. I myself belong to that last group of people who rather lay back, let the eloquent and sometimes not so eloquent people say their say and in the end reply with only two sentences, usually leaving a short silence. Iranians can also be categorized into talkers and listeners.  Unfortunately there is no balance between the people who talk and the people who listen. There are far more people who talk, than there are people who listen, to begin with. Not only do the talkers exceed in amount, they also have the problem that within their own category of talkers there are none who even try the listening part... When these Iranian talkers start on this subject ("what to do with Iran?"), they tend to forget the minority called listeners and so only face other talkers and start their debate.  In a very short span of time the talkers turn heated, red, loud, intimidating and sweaty. The next thing that happens is that they forget that they are humans facing other humans and start assaulting each other, forgetting the importance of the discussed subject.

Don't aim at people

The international community is set to punish whom – the Iranian regime or Iranian people?
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The stage is set for a showdown between the western powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The leaders of the IRI have made sure by their rhetoric in the last few days that the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the UN Security Council will be negative and give enough ammunition to western governments to call for action by the Council. At the same time, the talk of American military action against Iran has been intensified, apparently as a means by Americans to pressure reluctant China and Russia into toeing the line. The question is: what action the Security Council will possibly take and how may that affect the behaviour of the Iranian regime?

I apologize

On Mina Hakim-Bastanian's "Sad & shameful": I am writing to you , as an Iranian woman who is born to a Muslim family, to tell you that i agree with you and sincerely apologize to you or any other Iranian minority who has been subjected to discrimination by their ignorant fellow Iranians. I for one, had Jewish classmates back in Iran who are still my friends to this day and never looked at them or treated them any different than my other friends. In fact, our religions has never been an issue between us, we were little girls from the same neighborhoods and same town. It is true that not every one was like me, but i am sure and hopeful that many were. I apologize again and strongly believe that the majority in Iran owes the minorities a long delayed apology for these cruel behaviors and lack of understanding. I wish you and other minorities could forgive those who had done wrong by you for there are many more Iranians who would love you just for being Iranian, no matter what your ethnicity or religious background may be >>> More

Dubya looking like a big ‘L’

Without dealing with the Mullahs, history will judge George Bush’s work as unfinished
Jalil Bahar

We all know he is a government stooge for big oil... and has been ‘cornering Iran’ mainly as a ploy to drive up oil prices. It’s all too reminiscent of the nonsense we all went through in the ‘70s when they were blaming Arabs or the Shah of Iran for pushing up oil prices. Western politicians shrewdly deflected the heat from themselves while their economies were tanking. They then quietly set the stage for exploiting ‘expensive to mine’ oil fields in Britain’s North Sea and Alaska. And then, they cut the Shah off at his knees when their oil fields came on line... and shut off Iran’s production. It was a convenient solution for a number of years to maintain prices at the correct levels for pumping oil out of those expensive fields.

Nuke those t-shirts

Golbarg Bashi

An American online company named “CafePress” has now on sale items as varied as t-shirts, teddy bears, baby clothes, underwear, stamps, caps etc with a "NUKE ‘EM" logo with an atomic mushroom cloud on a map of Iran. Their new “logo” not only trivialises human death and destruction, but helps shift public opinion towards an ipso facto dehumanisation of non-American life, especially that of the people in the Middle East and of Muslims among young Americans. It is also a dishonour to all victims of nuclear arms, the millions perished in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Halabcha and Falluja. I feel utterly sad and almost sick to my stomach that I had to write to a American company in 21st century, a company in a country, which wishes to export its “democratic” ideals with cluster bombs around the globe, to tell them that ‘Nuking’ Iran, or any other nation is not a joking matter, but a murderous and inhumane act. I believe that it should be illegal to trivialise human life (whether it is the Twin Tower victims in NYC or innocent Iranian and Iraqi lives) and glorify mass destruction.

Hey, how about energy-e bi hasteh?

Sima Nahan

Did you see this funny ditty in the Letters section? "Energy-e haste-i poonsad toman baste-i // Energy-e bi hasteh hezar toman yek basteh". After a good laugh and a round of forwards to friends (thanks to N. Shafiei) I decided to finally write what's been particularly bothering me about this Iran nukes debate. While there is lots of talk about nuclear energy/weapons being or not being our haqq-e mosallam, we are losing sight of a fundamental point: Nuclear energy is dangerous and unnecessary. What in the world happened to all the consciousness that was raised about this decades ago? Has everybody forgotten Three-Mile Island? Chernobyl? Right after the catastrophic event at Chernobyl I was in Iran. I remember how people complained that the butter and cheese that Iran imported from Scandinavian countries were the rejects produced by irradiated Scandinavian cows-fall-out from Chernobyl. That is, people in Iran were actually aware that a nuclear disaster has far-reaching tragic consequences. Now these same people are so duped that their national pride is invested in such a potentially devastating enterprise as developing nuclear power plants?

Zanaan dar varzeshgaah

Allowing women into football stadiums? Big deal!
Shadi Amin

I don’t know, therefore it does not exist!

Maybe I am too optimistic in hoping that almost thirty years of residence in a free, democratic country should teach anyone some tolerance and respect for personal freedoms?
Mohammad R. Jahan-Parvar

Reading Ms. Nemati's article ("Unworthy Iranians") was a surreal experience. Ms. Nemati wants us to believe that she is supposedly open-minded and progressive (what ever that word means) by calling herself "I am the most liberal Iranian I know (I am pro choice, pro gay marriage and adoption and having the right to make fun of religion and God)" and yet, turns around and lodges charges ranging from treason to paranoia without a shred of hard evidence on several hundred thousand people. The article gets more interesting as we read further. Ms. Nemati is "the supreme arbiter" of wrong and right. Hence if she does not see or know about an injustice, it does not exist. This seems a strange criterion to establish the “truth” about justice.

Your little psychological misfortunes

I could write a book several hundred pages long about Iranians who have used us so called "non-minorities" and our compassion yet once they were done they turned out to be not even Iranians
Azam Nemati

I had prepared myself for getting nasty e-mails which I would have not answered but I am overwhelmed at how many supportive e-mails I have received and am truly amazed and in disbelief that so many Iranians share my sentiments. Many have had a great exposure to the minorities who thought they are better than Muslims or they did not consider themselves Iranians. It is for them that I decided to write a follow up... To clear any misconception for these cowards who think I wrote "Unworthy Iranians" based on my interaction with a few, let's finalize the subject of minorities which like a sour show up periodically at the site, once and for all. I will give you a bit more details so you can see that I am the most qualified Iranian to "judge" and express opinion.

Don't go there

Iranian-American community's majority opinion is opposed to any military action against Iran
David Rahni

Recent developing speculation about US military intervention in, or sanction against Iran has created a heated debate worldwide. One community that finds itself caught in a unique dilemma is the estimated one million Americans of Iranian descent. While this community feels strong allegiance to the US, and whereas they have contributed substantially to the advancement of the economic and social infrastructures of the US, they, nonetheless, feel strongly connected to their ancestor's land where many still have extended family and cultural ties.  

Little dictators

On Kamal Artin's "Natural right": I see that you are really interested in a free Kurdistan. I personally believe that freedom is probably the most valuable human right and must be respected, no matter what. Freedom of course consists of freedom to choose your faith, your land, your leaders, and of course practice all your personal options without constraints... However within that Kurdish territory it is almost certain to have other minorities, such as Arabs, Farsi speakers, Turks etc. Would the Kurdish majority respect the same rights of those minority groups, or they would say "this is our land and we do as we please!" or "we are all Kurds and everybody living here must abide by Kurdish rules and customs." You see, we are alike. The only difference has been the historical tragedy of the Kurdish to be quite few in numbers living in mountainous lands >>> More

No to nuclear weapons! No to nuclear hypocrisy!

Not only Iraq, but also Iran, Syria, and even to some extent the Saudi regime are on the U.S. hit list
Mahmood Ketabchi

In its conflict with Iran, the Bush administration is increasing its war-mongering rhetoric and war preparations in a way that is disturbingly reminiscent of the US pre-invasion policies and practices towards Iraq. As the US government pushes to end Iran's nuclear activity, the Bush administration is shamelessly threatening Iran with a nuclear attack. It is no surprise, yet it only demonstrates the kind of world that America has in store for us. Although an invasion of Iran, similar to Iraq, seems implausible, the US government is working frantically to impose economic sanctions and/or launch a military assault on Iran. The US threats toward Iran have little to do with Iran's nuclear program Iran's nuclear activity is only an excuse to increase hostility with Iran and prepare the ground for possible military attacks on Iran.

Iran is not Iraq

Quick lessons in geography, language and culture
Parviz Forghani

The other day I was watching "Family Feud" on TV. One of the questions was: which country would hate America most? The third or forth option was Iran. To me as an Iranian it sounds an absurd perception. If there is one country in the Middle East whose people still honor and salute America, it's Iran. We should be careful not to mistake Iran with Iraq. The difference between the two countries is much more than the only obvious difference between the last letters "N" and "Q" in pronunciation of the names. Here are only some of them: Iraqis are mostly Arabs, Iranians are not. They are a rainbow nation of Persians, Kurds, Azeries, Turkmens, Lurs, Baluchis, and some Arabs who have coexisted peacefully for thousands of years.

Why the world is skeptical

Four cruel remarks to the leaders of the country which recently enriched uranium
Kamran Behnia

Research shows that between 1997 and 2001, the scientists affiliated to the Iranian scientific institutions produced 0.13 percent of the articles and 0.06 percent of the citations of the world scientific literature. Recall that Iran hosts one percent of the world population. In other words, while one out of hundred inhabitants of Earth are Iranian, only one article out of seven hundred and one citation out of thousand six hundred belong to Iranians. These figures leave little room for self-satisfaction. For Iran to become an average scientific country, the number and the quality of its scientific publications need to improve in such a way that multiplies the number of citations by sixteen. Only then, the country's contribution to the international production of Human knowledge will become proportional to the size of its population.

Step forward

One does not wish to "democratize" Iran
Hugh Fitzgerald

"The US and UK are working on a strategy to promote democratic change in Iran," according to officials who see the joint effort as the start of a new phase in the diplomatic campaign to counter the Islamic republic's nuclear programme without resorting to military intervention. "Democratic change"? Look, take care of the nuclear bomb project, and after a month or two or three of rally-round-the-flag support for the Islamic Republic by many who detest it, that support will end, and the full humiliation of what has occurred will embolden all enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the more corrupt mullahs will begin to be liquidated, and the end will be, if not close, closer than it was before. Do not believe those transparent remarks -- by the likes of Gary Sick, say -- that an attack on Iran would "set back" forever the cause of democracy and reform. It wouldn't.

What might happen next

Will Iran give up its civilian nuclear program? Will U.S. attack Iran? Can U.S. attack Iran?
Hussein Sharifi

The stand off between the U.S. and Iran over nuclear technology was developed from two misconceptions on part of both the Iranians and the Americans. The Iranians thought from the beginning that if they just insist on their right as a member of IAEA to civilian nuclear energy and open all their nuclear energy installation for inspection by IAEA, finally U.S. will accept their right and then the rest of the West will follow. They knew from the beginning that the Americans are after them and try to prevent them to complete the projects the shah had started, as they did with other industrial projects in Iran. They new the Americans will pressure them for political concessions.

Iranian cheh mikhaahand?

Islam, democracy, oil, nuclear power... What do Iranians want?
Homayoun Abghari

Darshaaee az "nassle sookhteh"

Former Mojahed on the "burnt generation" and ideological dogma
Ali Salari

The spectre of a divided Iran

It is upon the Americans to refute allegations and dispel any suspicions that they intend to cut up Iran
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

As the war of words between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the west intensifies, the Iranian community feels unease over the likelihood of military action against Iran and its consequences. Apart from the main worries about the unimaginable human, economic, social and political costs of such an operation, it is also a main concern of the Iranian people of what is going to happen to the integrity of Iran as a nation. Iran has a large population of non-Persian ethnic groups who are concentrated along most of its land borders and who have major grievances against the central government. Reports that the Americans are trying to exploit these grievances have led to fears that they may encourage separatism in those areas.

Suri, the Persian rose

Or Surrey, Scientology's headquarters?
Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD

On April 19 actress Katie Holmes, who is engaged to movie actor Tom Cruise, gave birth to the couple's first girl who was named Suri. Suri as a flower in Persian Culture is actually one of the members of Rose family and most Iranians call it as Gol-e-Mohammadi. Its scientific botanical name is Rosa damascena Mill (RDM). On the basis of various documents, the flower was firstly originated in Iran and it was possibly called simply as Rose. It is speculated that after Iran became a part of Muslim world, the Arab invaders became familiar with the rose and they introduced it to the gardens located in Damascus in Syria (in Persian: Suri-eh). Later, the Westerners called it as Rosa damascene (a part of scientific name) and Suri (as a local name).

Abracadabra democracy

Many expect a country formed in the 1920's and ruled by uncivilized dictators to form a modern democratic government without flaw or struggle
Slater Bakhtavar

We as Americans possess an ingrained cultural impatience that is a source of both our greatness and many of our ills. The latter example is how this impatience is unfortunately commanding our view of democracy's prospects in Iraq. Our antsy outlook is unfortunate, as history has proven that the evolution of modern democracies require patience and perseverance. After the devastation of World War II it took Germany and Japan many years to evolve into modern democracies with powerhouse economies. As late as ten years after the establishment of a democratic government in Germany Sigmund Neumann wrote "National socialism may be dead ... yet democracy has failed to fill the spiritual vacuum." Still, historical realists knew that the evolution of a modern democratic nation required endurance and long term sacrifice. They also knew that every nation will have an independent form of democratic government different from the Republic of the United States.

Armed with humor

No comedian in the world could possibly make fun of Iranians with as much flare as we do
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

One only needs to socialize a few hours with us Iranians to realize that a good laughter is at the core of our lives. We don’t just laugh, we breathe humor, our bodies are unable to absorb food unless a meal is enhanced with anecdotes, and sometimes our lives depend on a good joke. Thanks to our strong sense of humor, we have survived many ups and downs and it has helped us to withstand one foreign invasion after another. For example, look at the gravity of what goes on in our homeland, yet it has generated more Ahmadinejad cartoons and jokes than any of us ever cared to see or hear. With the seriousness of a bomb threat lurking over Iran and the entire nuclear hullabaloo, how else could we handle the horror except with a good chuckle? In fact, there are Iranian-Americans among us who have already started to plan ahead by designing activities in case we are all put into an internment camp; now that’s what I consider good humor!

How the Middle East was won

M. Ali Reza

Most of us have been reading about the latest saber-rattling regarding the conflict between Iran and America and wondering what really is going on. Is it all about oil? Is it about Iran gaining too much power thanks to Bush bungling Iraq? Is it about "America's vital national interests"? Or is it about creating the right environment for the Second Coming? ... To understand what is taking place in the Middle East all that is required is to read American history, and study "how the West was won". The way the West was won was through genocide and wiping away a culture and people that happened to be occupying a massive combination of natural resources. And the same is true for the Middle East.

Big clean up

Muslims and Iranians need healing the scars from having lived in lies for hundreds and thousands of years
Ben Madadi

I have a few times written about the Iranian common prejudice regarding nationality, historical background and so forth. This may well be a real issue that shall be dealt with among the Iranians. However there is a much deeper common prejudice that may be very much unnoticed among the Iranian diaspora though it is definitely a more powerful one within the Iranian culture. And this prejudice has its roots in our religion. Iranians who live abroad pride themselves to be more secular and open-minded in this regard. And it is quite true, anecdotally if not scientifically proved, that Iranians are not as religious as most other Muslims, though Iran is a country where Sharia is supposed to be the law. Maybe on paper but Sharia is so harsh the Iranian regime doesn't really dare apply it for real. Iranians seem to be less religious than the Turks, all the Arab nations, Pakistanis, and even Muslims in East Asia.

Natural right

Overcoming obstacles for Kurdish independence
Kamal H. Artin

Since I left Eastern Kurdistan 22 years ago, I have been waiting to visit home without going through the territory of neighboring biased countries. It is my utmost pleasure to be able to travel directly from the free world to this part of my homeland and speak freely. Thank you Southern Kurdistan, coalition forces, and KNC for making this happen. The title of the conference is Kurdish Independence. Independence, the freedom from being controlled by others, is not only one of the highest values of mankind, but also a very difficult aim to achieve. Kurdistan, the foster child of the Middle East, has been dreaming of obtaining her natural right of independence for decades. While its inhabitants share a common origin, history, language, and customs that define Kurdistan as a nation, obstacles such as culture, geography, politics, and traumas have prevented Kurdish independence.

Roshanfekraane maahigeer

Nuclear crisis and misguided Iranian intellectuals
Sudabeh Siavashan

Energy atomi dar Iran

Commentary from 1966 by the head of the Iranian Atomic Center
Ali Asghar Azad

I speak Irani

The case for a supra-national lingual identity
Guive Mirfendereski

In the Indo-European Family of Languages, the Indian branch evolved into Sanskrit, then into Middle Indian and from it derived the sub-branch that included Bengali and other tongues, while another sub-branch became Hindustani. The Iranian branch produced Avestan and then Old Persian and from Old Persian derived Middle Persian, the written form of which was called Pahlavi in Sasanid times. The Persian of today called by some as New Persian (and Modern Persian) is what most Iranians recognize among themselves as Farsi. Farsi (also referred to by a minority as Parsi) is the language of the Samanids, of Rudaki, of Ferdowsi and of Iran for over a thousand years. When an Iranian speaks of his language to another Iranian they refer to it as Farsi. The term Parsi is hardly used by the majority of the people unless they try to get across to the listener or reader a cultural, ethnic or political point of view, often laced with nostalgia, nationalism or ethnic purity. There is very little linguistic logic to its persistence.

History tour (de force)

Interview with Ehsan Yarshater
Hamid Karimi

Ehsan Yarshater is an iconic figure by all measures; he is perhaps the foremost expert in Iranian history, language and culture and with a steely resolve has set out to accomplish a grand task: to scholarly document the facts of history, language andcivilization of Iranian peoples through multi-disciplinary reference work and research in Encyclopedia Iranica. This is a stewardship project worthy of pride and generous support of all who are either Iranian by ethnicity, were influenced by its profound culture, or pursue a balanced, accurate account of its history and for that matter, the history of all civilizations... In his recent visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, in advance of the Iranica fund-raising gala on May 13th, I had the honor of interviewing professor Yarshater to learn more about his motivational drive in completing this grand endeavor. Expectedly I walked away content with his tirelessness, intellectual prowess and graceful fairness.

Most evil

Christian fundamentalists seem to exemplify such folks at the apogee of evil
Doug Soderstrom

The minimal test of evil is, of course, one of awareness, an intent, an abject willingness to be malicious, a willingness to go out of one’s way to harm others, a lack of concern for the welfare of another person, an unwillingness to place one’s self into that of another’s shoes, a grudging reluctance to acknowledge the pain one may have caused another. And, of course, worst of all are those who go to the extreme of regarding themselves to be shining examples, paragons of how to live a good and decent life, while having chosen to disregard the fact that they have lived life in such a despicable manner. And as we will see, the Christian fundamentalists seem to exemplify such folks at the apogee of evil, the nadir of civilized life, in that they preach to the world while yet living the life of a barbarian!

USA can wait

The US should mind its own business and let other nations respond to threats
David Etebari

This time around, the US should play its cards differently and stop reacting to the atmosphere created by the terrorists. Iran's Islamic regime, by nature, has always needed outside conflicts. Therefore it will not stop its rhetoric and will proceed with uranium enrichment but they still are years away from a nuclear bomb and the US can afford to wait longer.. The only thing that the US should now do is to fully promote, fund, and support Iranian people and opposition inside Iran and abroad. It should also facilitate a variety of TV, radio and internet broadcasts to Iranians and it should support any opposition movement effectively, morally and financially. It should side itself with the Iranian people and totally ignore those who oppose such policy. This will also cost the US taxpayer much less than any military intervention.

Unworthy Iranians

I never felt sorry for the minorities because I never saw injustices to them
Azam Nemati

I am the most liberal Iranian I know (I am pro choice, pro gay marriage and adoption and having the right to make fun of religion and God) and yet time and again, I am let down by these so called minority members. Yet, I do not feel in my heart that you are as committed to justice for all as you claim. I worked hard to arrange an exhibit for a Bahai artist who was not known in my area and even bought a poster from her but I was outraged when I realized she is dedicating her life to so called documenting the "persecution of Bahais". Give me a fucking break. Generation of young and talented Iranians perished under crown cannibal and continue to perish and you people want us to feel remorse for your imaginary suffering? Until you and your kind steps up to the plate and shows me that they are part of the Iranian community, I think you should all be officially stripped of the name "Iranian" because you are not worth it.

One nation, one idiot

M. Salehi

I overheard something on my morning commute, which I found amusing enough to share.I was sitting behind a couple of american gentleman on their way to work, and as everyone does in these situations all the newspapers were out. The headlines the morning in question were about Iran acquiring nuclear technology and president Ahmadinejad's comments on Isreal (which by the way,  when americans pronounce it, sounds like ah-maghi-nejad, pun intended!). The first guy said:"So waddya think are we going to war again?", the second guy said:"Well as far as I can tell this guy (Ahmaghinejad) is the only one who's creating all the ruckus, can't see as to why a whole nation of people have to punished because of one idiot?, I say we just go in, shoot him and we're done!"... I could not stop laughinge the rest of way.

Hounds of war

Ali Dadpay

I was reading Peter Ralph in the New York Post. "We should destroy" I believe this sentence summarizes his whole argument. It is not about a global peace, it is not about Middle East peace, It is not even about USA security. It is about, and only about, destruction... Now here is Iran. You must be fascinated my dear sir, like a hound smelling the blood. You are not going after nation building, you do not want to wage democracy either. You just want to wage devastation and destruction. No matter what is collateral damage. Then you shall sit and tell the world: It was an acceptable loss.

They OWE us

Mahdavikia will have to play extra hard during the World Cup
Assal Badrkhani

It was a shock last week when I came upon sporting headlines accusing him of having two wives. People will look at Iranians no different than they did in 1979 as those hostages were being paraded around for 444 days. A bunch of backward radicals. And that is a slap in the face to me and so many others because we are counting on these players for more than just to put a ball in the back of the net. My generation has no other heroes. We can't look to our honarmands and we can't relate to our politicians. We just have these guys and their sport. We have no flag. We have their jerseys. We have no real representatives to this world. Only their smiling faces, their amazing dribbles, their scores, their sportsmanship.

Six simple propositions

... to solve the Iranian nuclear "crisis"
Behrooz Ghamari

No one can say with confidence what the Iranian leaders have in mind. Do they have ambitions to enrich weapons grade uranium or are they simply looking for a long-term plan for their energy needs? No one should or could accept the Iranian leaders’ assertions that they have no intention of developing a nuclear arsenal. No one should or could believe the Bush administration’s promises that it will pursues a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the current crisis, much of which is manufactured by the neo-conservative war machine. When President Bush calls the idea of using bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons “wild speculations,” no body should believe him or any other White House denials that it is in the midst of operationalizing its contingency war plans on Iran.

When is the next “good news” due?

Mr. Ahmadinejad is keen to follow other devotees of Imam Mahdi, he needs to prepare the best possible weapons for him too
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The announcement by the Iranian government that they have succeeded in producing the fuel-grade enrichment of uranium has taken the western world by surprise. This at the time that the UN Security Council had demanded a complete halt to enrichment program was particularly provocative. The Islamic Republic has declared, in the words of President Mahmood Ahmadinejad when it gave the “good news” to the nation on Tuesday 11th April 2006, that it had joined the “nuclear club” and that no power can stop it continuing on this path. Now, the question that everybody wants to know is: how long before the Iranian regime acquires the nuclear bomb? The regime has consistently denied any intentions to produce nuclear weapons. However, this has hardly reassured the western governments. Because of the past attempts by the Iranian government to hide its nuclear activities, the international community has been suspicious of its true intentions.

Premature celebrations

Obviously nobody told Ahmadinejad that with becoming a nuclear country also comes enormous responsibility
Guive Mirfendereski

This past week I was amused most by the complete absence of haya (shame) in Iran's self-congratulatory attainment of uranium enrichment. Bravo, the sons and daughters of the Resolute Nation allegedly have accomplished in laboratory conditions something that will take years to perfect as useful fuel in a nuclear reactor. The day the Bushehr power station begins operating with Iranian enriched uranium and does not sputter will be the day for celebration. The present bravado is misplaced and certainly premature. The achievement is no greater than the time when in my youth we thought that Iranian future in space was well on it way because the Shah Pasand Vegetable Oil Company had installed mock rockets along some of Tehran's highways!

Cold shower for gods of war

On nuclear crisis: Make no mistake: This war will not just incur huge loss of life. It will cost Iran its sovereignty and its very identity. At best, it will turn Iran into a rubbled obsolete Afghanistan. At worst, it will tear up Iran into ethnic pieces, carving out several new republics. The ethnic posse are already hard at work on Wikipedia, actively defaming Iran and her people in every possible way, and selling the idea of Balkanization of Iran to Wikipedia's 2 Billion visitors per month >>> More


One & the same

Peace will not begin until we realize that
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

I read your letter to and even though I have tried to refrain from further discussions regarding my latest book review, this time my heart tells me writing back is the right thing to do. I will not make any further referrals to the book because as far as I am concerned, a book review is one reader’s take on a written text and no amount of debate can change my mind, particularly when I am being misunderstood. But as you said, this is no longer about a book as it involves my poor understanding of what has gone on in my own backyard.

A solution

... for the current crisis over Iran's nuclear program
Cyrus Mossaddegh

We are at a point in history where the Iranian nuclear crisis could take many different directions. The two options most talked about are crippling sanctions that everybody knows will not work and precision military attacks by America and/or Israel that will most likely escalate into a far wider conflict. Both contain the strong possibility of causing major disruption to the world economy and may even result in the eventual use of nuclear weapons. What if Iran agrees to dismantle its nuclear industry, would that not be the best solution? Of course many juicy carrots would have to be offered to the Iranians if they were to be persuaded to end their nuclear ambitions. Here is a scenario much preferable to the two options above, assuming world leaders have the creativity and courage to make it happen.

Sad & shameful

Understand what it is to be a non-Muslim Iranian
Mina Hakim-Bastanian

It is very clear that Iranians unless they are a religious minority and have experienced discrimination first hand, they do not understand the degree of pain that people of minority religions have endured. Regardless of education, creativity or background, many of our countrymen and women have no sense of how difficult it is to be a minority in Iran. Writing a critique of a book is one thing [See Zohreh Ghahremani's "Cold & dark"], but when Ms. Ghahremani tries to make a point about discrimination by questioning the use of the word najes applied to minority religions in Iran, she misses the boat. it is clear that she does not understand her own culture or the meaning of najes when it is applied to religious minorities and personal beliefs. We are not talking about dirty bottoms here.

We don't need to get martyred over this

Jahanshah Javid

The possibility of an attack on Iran's nuclear installations is very real... meanwhile Iran keeps fanning the flames and gives more excuses for Bush to attack... We don't need to get martyred over this. We don't need to see massive loss of life and destruction of the existing nuclear infrastructure which we may not be able to recover for decades. Iran should accept the Russian enrichment proposal, settle this crisis and get the nuclear power industry up and running by completing the Bushehr plant. I think an attack on Iran is almost inevitable... and the consequences for both sides would be disastrous... fasten your seat belts!

Radioactive costs

Strength enables Iran to name its price, but belligerence and subsequent isolation also increases the costs, substantially
Meir Javedanfar

Iran’s announcement today that it has completed “laboratory-scale nuclear fuel cycle” will reduce El Bradei’s Tehran visit to an embarrassing formality for him. This is because El Baradei, the man who has been trying to avoid an escalation in this crisis, has become sidelined. He asked a number of times for Iran to stop enriching uranium. Obviously Iran doesn’t put too much emphasis on his words. Nor does it care for the UN who gave Iran a 30 day ultimatum to stop enriching uranium. In fact, after the issue of the ultimatum, Ahmadinejad joked that “they have given themselves 30 days, not us”. Looking back two days later, those words make more sense. So why is Iran doing this? The simple answer is, because the conservatives in Iran feel almost invincible.

Collision course

I do consider myself an American Patriot and for that reason i feel the need to speak out when i see this county is going down the wrong path in it's foreign policy
Cyrus Mohammadi

Once again as i sit here and read more article about how Iran is a menace to world peace i can't help but to think how this is so unfair. when one looks at the treatment that Iran has received over past 60 years from the west we can understand why Iranians do not trust the west. Starting from WWII when the consortium of America, Britain and Soviet Union pretty much ruled Iran behind the scene and stole Iranian national wealth (IRAN'S OIL) through Anglo-American oil company. then overthrown Iran's democratically elected government of Dr Mohammad Mossadegh by the CIA and installing the brutal regime of the shah of Iran and training of the shahs most hated secret police SAVAK to brutalize the Iranian people one can understand the mistrust of Iranian people.

Thou shalt not kill

In response to "We won't nuke you" by Kenny James
Adam Chrisitianson

Actually, that is one of the "options" our President has on the table and will use if deemed necessary. We're talking about American national interest and security; our government will do whatever it needs to do in order to deal with real or perceived security risks. We don't care about any other country but our own... If you knew anything about American sentiment to WWII during that era you would know that Americans did not want to get involved. That being the case, our government ignored military intelligence that indicated an attack was imminent on Pearl Harbor in order for a chord to be struck with the American people that would allow for popular support of our involvement in WWII. Our government has done this more than once, that is why September 11, 2001 occurred; we again ignored military intelligence in order to have a reason to get involved with war.

Save your ‘gift of democracy’

An open letter to President Bush
H. Saftar

We are the Iranian nation! A nation of history and culture; a nation of honour and courage and a nation that smells ancient and looks old. When Abraham Lincoln was laying the corner stones of the Unites Sates of America, we had thousands of years of history behind us. In these thousands of years we have contributed to humanity in ways not measurable; the world’s first and largest empire, mathematics, medicine, music and mysticism, astronomy, the tax system, the postal system. The greatest and oldest poets, the most marvellous architecture and a passion for life which is hard to supersede. From the wine you drink to the bathtub you bathe in, they were all invented in Iran. You can therefore understand why we walk with our heads held high and hearts which pump not just blood, but a supreme passion for our nation.


Hamleye Amrika

Iranian leaders would be very foolish to think the U.S. would not carry out limited air strikes
Homayoun Abghari

Pre-emptive genocide?

Nuking Iran will morally bankrupt humanity
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

The foxy neo-cons, with fangs out for a kill, have outwitted the world.  After 27 years of violating the bi-lateral Algiers Agreement, finding itself in a quagmire in Iraq, the United States decided to bring on board other countries to attack Iran, or at the very least, have their blessings.  Falsely accusing Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program and using the NPT, it succeeded. Clearly, the aim of this administration is regime change.  However, its propaganda, the continuous revelations about the audacious lies that led it to illegally invade Iraq and cause the death of over 100,000 human beings, including thousands of Americans, has left us inert and emotionally inept to extract the neo-cons’ fangs and put a stop to their incessant demise of nations.   This is exactly what they count on – this allows them to persist. 

Who to talk to

How should the US reach out to the Iranian people?
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The American government may be sincere in its desire to help genuine Iranian democratic forces in their struggle agaisnt the religious dictatorhsip in Iran, but may find it difficult to reach them. Those queing at the newly expanded Iran desk at the State Department could make all the right noises to impress the officials with their credentials, but they would hardly srtrike a cord with the Iranian people within Iran or without. Assuming the administration’s good intentions, it will face the dilemama of the Sa’di’s benefacor: independent democrats will shy away from applying for the fund, while those willing to receive it will have a hard time explaining themselves to the Iranian people. Indeed, if the whole purpose of the fund is to encourage the deeply divided Iranian democratic forces to come together and form a united front against the Iranian regime, it may have a reverse effect. 

Rumi, opium and the beauty of genuine forgiveness

A review of Bijan Daneshmand’s “A Snake’s Tail”
Setareh Sabety

“A Snake’s Tail,” is a gem of a film written, acted and directed by Bijan Daneshmand. The film is set in London and is about the relationship between Kami, a forty year old businessman whose father has just passed away, and Agha, the Mullah or Muslim priest, who conducts the burial ceremony. The story shows how Agha, an opium addict with a penchant for Persian Sufi poetry, takes Kami, who is distraught by the death of his father, under his wings. During their weekly meetings Agha not only exposes Kami to the beautiful poetry of Rumi and Hafiz but to the euphoric pleasures of opium, the preferred drug of Iranians since time immemorial.

Simple math

Lessons from the recent rallies of "illegal immigrants" across America
Xerxes Darius

This very powerful tool of unity, organized assembly, and peaceful demonstration is nothing new. It has been effectively used by various groups in the American society and this recent event proved to all of us that it can be as effective when used by the illegal immigrants even after 911!! Let's see if we can explore some parallels between above and Iran and Iranians... But, where to go and why should Mullahs leave especially when the Iranians of Los Angles, New York, Chicago, London, and other cities around the world are marginalized and have precluded themselves from the equation of fate. To better describe the equation of fate, I have simplified it so that even those single-digits among us can follow:

Hoping on America

Since the US remains the leading power that promotes change in the world, cooperation with this power is essential for Kurdish independence
Kamal H. Artin

During the past weeks the media has had a fair amount of coverage on two violent and sad events (and rightfully so), men setting fire on Halabce’s monument and an earthquake shaking people in Lurestan, a modified version of Kurdistan. On top of these, Kurdistan experienced a few other major events with less media attention. Kurds of Syria were able to hold a unity conference in Washington DC; Kurds of Iran were shown a green light that they might be supported by the US if they cooperate with Iranian lobbyists opposing the fundamentalist regime in Tehran.

Politics is not sacred

Religious zealots bombard us with "sacred" views on subjects of supreme significance
Jeff O'mail

It seems these Christians forget that Muslims also claim their 12th Imam will come on judgment day and ever lasting peace will prevail!  This common belief clearly verifies that all religions are terrorists in nature regardless since their holy personas will appear with vicious intention and for one single goal and that is to clear all non conformists by massacring them in one single blow. The diminutive religious terrorists on earth (dogmatic religion believers) have always been with this agenda in mind that the path to judgment day should be paved for welcoming their master mind "terrorists". Religions have brought non-stop misery all over the world with mountains of life-destroying rubbish. Every religion preaches the truth of propositions for which it has no evidence.

Ideas for our future

Keeping Persian culture alive
Hossein Hosseini

After almost 30 years of living in America, I have learned there are many things we could do and should do to keep our Persian cultural heritage alive here in this great land of “melting pots.”  After all, the Irish have their St. Patrick’s Day, the Germans have their Oktoberfest, and who can forget the great Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo or Chinese New Year?  The key is how to best retain our Persian culture, while still adapting to American way of life.  So, you may ask, what is it in our culture that we need to maintain?  I would say everything that has to do with our identity as Iranians; from our food, art, and language, to the great history and tradition that we grew up with. Having raised two kids in America (Ages 14 and 12), here are few practical suggestions I could offer you as you deal with young ones being raised here:


Characteristics of America’s diplomatic culture
Guive Mirfendereski

A recent article written by two university professors and posted on a Harvard University website questioned the independence of the US foreign policy in light of the pro-Israeli lobby’s influence in Washington. Of course, the naïve are quick to point out that it is not so and that any coincidence in policy is because of the convergence of American and Israeli values. Naturally! What passes for coincidence of values between Washington and Tel Aviv (or Jerusalem) has to do mostly with the convergence of money and votes from American Jews into the political coffers of candidate who say good things about Israel and pledge to support the Zionist agenda no matter what. The recent Zionist battle cry is “Iran is the enemy” and the US leadership has begun to parrot this as its own strategic assessment.

We won't nuke you

But, if IRAN thinks that it can develop nuclear weapons and then turn around and use them to annihilate Israel and the United States, it better think again
Kenny James

The United States does not now nor has it ever had any intention of using Nuclear Weapons against anyone unless we are attacked first. We used them on Japan in 1945 only because that was the only way to stop an arrogant, overbearing vicious enemy who deliberately attacked us at Pearl Harbor and thereby sealed their own fate and brought about their own demise. The use of the two Bombs on Japan saved millions of lives, including Japanese even though thousands were lost. Had the Japanese not tried to viciously invade and barbarically violate the citizens of the nations upon whom they forced themselves, they would never have been attacked. The same with the Muslim Radical Terroist. If they think they can win a victory over the world with their vicious and satanic led attacks on the innocence of the world, they have another think coming.

Missile with a message

Iran's war games show concern and insecurity about its ability to defend itself
Meir Javedanfar

During the last few days, Iran has declared a breakthrough in its missile capabilities. The analysis below looks Iran's goals in the timing of its new missile revelations, and what this means for the West. The fact that the new missiles are revealed only days after the UN gave Iran 30 days to stop enriching uranium, signal the fact that Iran is now following a tried and tested US and Israeli method. That method is: ‘leaks' or veiled threats about a possible military action against Iran reach the press, either before a new round of negotiations with Iran have started, or right after they have hit turbulent waters. These threats are a ‘warning' to Iran that if talks fail, Tehran will suffer the consequences. This time Iran took the initiative. It revealed its new missiles, days after the UN ultimatum, as a message to the west that two can play the threat game. Also if the talks fail, Iran won't be the only one who will suffer the consequences.

Unusual activities

Atomic pride and human rights
Sohrab Ferdows

Islamic regime although successful in rallying people behind itself in the beginning by taking advantage of their religious feelings, has lost all credibility among big majority of Iranians since a long time ago. They have been resorting lies and dishonesty to conceal their anti nationalist agendas and to buy support from foreign extremist groups with generous payments while keeping at least 40% of the nation below poverty in a country that is considered one of the major crude oil exporters in the world. These days, leaders of Islamic regime in Iran need to link the Iranian national pride with their nuclear ambitions to rally the people in support of their nuclear cause. These leaders who never paid respect to Iranians and their national pride, and have used any opportunity to insult them and disregard their national interests, are now trying to treat the world community in the same way.

Mozaakereh baa Amrika

Iran-U.S. talks happening only because IRI under pressure
Ali Salari

Nationalization of oil and the nuclear stand-off

Nema Milaninia

I mentioned in an earlier post: “Am I the only one who thinks that a battle between Iran and the West over energy and technology smells too much like the nationalization of Iran's oil industry.” Well, apparently I'm not, because that’s precisely the analogy that Iran's UN ambassador, Javad Zarif made following the recent statement by the Security Council. There's no transcription of the speech, which was aired on C-Span. But in short, Zarif stated that current efforts by members of the international community to prevent developing countries access nuclear technology, as is guaranteed by the NPT, is akin to Western reactions attacking Iran's nationalization of oil.

Mohammad va peyrovaane ou

A Marxist-Leninist look at Prophet Mohammad and his followers
Hojjat Barzegar

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The Persian Garden
Echoes of Paradise
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