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Opinion

JUNE 2006
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HISTORY
Sheer lack of support

We need to do a better job protecting and promoting Iranian history, but in this fight, we are alone and lack resources
Khodadad Rezakhani

As a scholar-in-training from Iran, getting my education in the US, I would like to add a few comments to Arya’s very correct suggestion about promoting and preserving Iranian culture and history. My friends and I who are involved in the “business” of history notice the same thing every single day. I notice that in high-school history books, the whole of the Achaemenid Empire is a footnote to the chapter on Greece and Arsacids and Sasanians are mentioned in passing while talking about the glory that was Rome. Samanids and Seljuks are parts of the Islamic civilization and Safavids are only mentioned in college level courses when talking about the Ottomans. I see that etymology of words are constantly given as “oriental origin” and are left at that and nobody notices that Margaret is an Old Persian name! >>>

PSYCHOLOGY
Thou shall love no one else but me!

Iranians revisited: mother-son relationships
Ms. Insight

The mothers as covert lovers and the sons who cling to them as their own eternal saviors and undying icons of perfect love and divine security are countless in the Iranian culture. An overbearing mother’s characteristic signs are: feeding the son with excruciating guilt for making rightfully personal choices, interacting in a purely conditional manner as if every gesture of affection or kindness is being executed with some degree of effort and burden, interfering with the son’s matters of the heart; incessantly disapproving the son’s partners or significant others; having the “no one is good for my son” attitude, manipulating circumstances and situations to her own benefits and personal merit instead of considering the son’s ultimate happiness, individuation, and independence >>>

GASOLINE
New way out

Gasoline subsidies in Iran
Ebrahim Mohseni

Iran is a classic welfare state.  The economy is run by the government and everything from cheese to electricity is subsidized by it. The subsidies were initially introduced to garner public support for the Shah and where later maintained on social justice grounds.  Gasoline subsidies account for 17% of Iran’s energy subsidies.  It is becoming evermore expensive to maintain and is introducing severe inefficiencies on several grounds. Many measures have been proposed to bring gasoline subsidies under control.  None of the proposed measures, however, were able to overcome the entitlement mentality of the public and as a result failed to survive long enough to be effective >>>

ENERGY
Amrika va naft

As long as the U.S. is thirsty for oil it will continue aggressive policies
Homayoun Abghari

HURT
Shame on you

Yalda Hakimian

To Persis Karim, editor of "Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora" and 3 other so called "intellectual" women who were interviewed on KQED in Berkeley Thursday morning (June 29th), I only have 3 words: Shame On You. When asked by a listener what they thought about Iran sending Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to the UN, they all skirted the issue by saying: "Is human rights situation better here at US?" >>>

ARCHITECTURE
Freedom deserves better

New York's "Freedom Tower"
Saman Ahmadi

The latest design of the Freedom Tower to be built at New York’s “ground zero” was just unveiled. The original plan, created by Daniel Libeskind, called for a series of angular buildings with one rising significantly above the rest, its spire reaching 1776 feet -- the height, a gesture to the date of the signing of the US Declaration of Independence. In his plan, the lone tower and spire evoked the Statue of Liberty, freedom conquering tragedy >>>

ISLAM
Very dangerous place to be

Omid Townsend

Any student of history will be able to point out heights in Iranian history. Our culture is one of the oldest and most renowned in the known World. Our food, architecture, literature, language, people and customs have been admired and written about the World over. Islam has been a major contributor to a great number of these things, no doubt about it. However, the past is the past. How can Islam and the Iranian version of it be compatible with the world as it is today? >>>

IRAN
Democracy is not top priority

Kianosh Saadati

No matter the outcome of Iranian nuclear crisis, undoubtedly, Iran is heading to full scale chaos! Even if they can reach a deal with the Western world to suspend the Uranium enrichment, the economic situation in the country has become so bad that being optimistic about the future is a fatal mistake. Despite the hype made by the outside world that the main priority for Iran are democracy and freedom, many people do not even care them. They simply want lower inflation and a better economy. Sooner or later when the government rations gasoline or sells it with two different prices, inflation will skyrocket. Indeed it is already high and it is going to go higher and higher >>>

RELIGION
Heaven on earth

What kind of democracy in the Middle East? Islamic, secular, liberal or populist?
Ben Madadi

I wonder whether people would embrace fundamentalist religion (fundamentalist religion sounds like something bad, something out of touch with true religion, but it literally means the real religion in its true nature) if they had the chance for a life without purpose, but with enough chances and opportunities to make it enjoyable and nice. Life according to religious fundamentalism does not have much of a meaning actually. It can hardly be called life. A true religious Muslim has so much religious duties he can hardly get a chance for a happy life. But the fact is that human nature, with its aptitude for survival, is not fit to be a follower of religious fundamentalism. Then the question is, why do so many young Muslims go for religious fundamentalism and go so far that they even do the ultimate religious sacrifice, with their whole God-given soles? >>>

NUCLEAR
In good faith?

Analysts hold that the United States changed its rigid position as a result of various obvious factors and reason
Joseph M. Cachia

In a significant shift of policy, the United States offered to join Europe in talks with Iran on its nuclear programme, if Tehran suspends its enrichment of uranium. One must remember that in 2003, Bush refused to allow any response to the Iranian offer to negotiate an agreement that would have accepted the existence of Israel. The decision to change tactics towards Iran is definitely a major policy shift for the Bush administration, who earlier had refused to join the talks or make other diplomatic overtures to Iran, despite calls from European nations, other leading diplomats and former US Secretaries of State, overturning a high level decision by Washington last March to freeze Iranian talks >>>

IDEAS
How do we prevent China from colonizing the world?

Tina Ehrami

Until today development economics have aimed at improving the economic and social conditions in developing countries. The IMF for instance gives loans to developing countries along with a list of conditions that stimulates these developing countries to improve their government systems, combat corruption and improve their legal and human rights situation. Some find organizations like the World Bank or the IMF paternalistic or perhaps even neo-colonist, but at least they set conditions so that the people of these developing countries can have a better quality of life. This on itself is a noble goal and from my point of view the most appreciative way of friendly state intervention >>>

MIDDLE EAST
Kodaam democracy?

What kind of democracy in the Middle East? Islamic, secular, liberal or populist?
Ali Salari

FREE SPEECH
Pride & prejudice

Email exchange on Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:
Dariush Abadi & Ali Kimiai

It is interesting that you guys claim you want Hossein Hajiagha to stop bashing "Western minded individuals" but yet Western minded individuals should believe in individual right of freedom of expression. Why shouldn't he have the freedom to express himself without you guys sitting there and trying to censor him? If you want your say, let him have his say. Please take your 2,500 year old backward mentality and put it back in the stone age with Cyrus and Darius >>>

GLOBAL WARMING

See the truth

Photo essay: Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth"
Pedram Moallemian

AHMADINEJAD
Genuinely popular

At home, Iranian president is admired
Meir Javedanfar

Iranians living abroad are ashamed of him. Wealthy Iranian entrepreneurs and political moderates shudder at every word he utters, especially on foreign policy. Foreign leaders and analysts have called him a "great danger" to the region. Israel's Iranian-born former defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, has likened him to Adolf Hitler. Yet to millions of Iranians, far more than the West can imagine, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a rather popular guy. Barring his outbursts denying the extent of the Holocaust and threatening Israel with annihilation, Mr. Ahmadinejad is saying and doing what a majority of Iranians want to hear. The key to his success is that he has learned who the average Iranian is and what he or she wants. The West has not >>>

HERITAGE
Be a better keeper

Iranians, especially scholars with Iranian descent need to do a better job of trying to be keepers of their culture
Arya

As I was going through reading and formulating my thoughts on what I was about to write I came across another article here "Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood" written six years ago which basically discussed both the lack of presence and or misrepresentation of Iranian history in the West and more specifically in Hollywood. Of course since then we had several-failed attempt and some successful ones in this area. For instance many Iranians had hoped that finally Alexander Jovi project in 2003 will introduce Koroush to the West but apparently his attempt has failed. That failed attempt was followed by the fiasco surrounding arrest of Cyrus Kar while working on the documentary project on the life of Koroush >>>

WORLD CUP
Aftermath

Today, football dominates every corner of Iranian society, an occasion both for people to forget the chaotic situation of the daily life and for the regime to mask this situation
Jahanshah Rashidian

For the IRI’s team, a sense of unity only could take hold in an artificial stance. In fact, there was no unity for a team on which the public debate has already focused the question if the team after all represents its nation.  Of course, there are seemingly irreconcilable differences among Iranians concerning the legitimacy. For some epicurean Iranians who have trouble to accept the sad face of heir country, this legitimacy is not the issue at all. Instead, on a lower intellectualism out of touch with the realities, they may even carry any flag, chant any anthem and happily cheer and dance with any music. For some other Iranians, who truly tackle the problem, they do not let things drift with the euphoria of football, but instead point out the worries of people that will be appeared into the background >>>

POLITICS
Marze Por Gohar Party

Group makes strides in Los Angeles and abroad
Lisa Daftari

Thirty-four-year-old Farahanipour resembles his childhood pictures. He still has that baby face with two big, black eyes that turn almond-shaped when he smiles. He’s not so tall, and not so short, but his lofty yet eloquent Farsi rhetoric gives him a tall stature. By training, he is a journalist and a lawyer, and ashamed to admit that he now has to host tables at Shamshiri, a Persian restaurant on Westwood Boulevard, in order to pay the bills.  Things haven’t changed that much for Farahanipour absent the beating and torture. Now they have an American twist. Farahanipour runs his political party Marze Por Gohar, MPG or Glorious Frontiers Party out of Los Angeles, sometimes called Irangeles, the closest place to home. Their platform has stayed the same >>>

BLOGGING
Is Hoder's era over?

Kianosh Saadati

Since the launch of first, or at least one of the first, Persian blogs, one name has always been prominent. Hoder (Hossein Derakhshan) has been recognized as the Father (or technically the Godfather!!!) of Persian blogging. Numerous efforts have been made by him and others to encourage Iranians to launch and manage their own blogs. Indeed Persian blogs have been one of the fastest growing in today's media world... But these days he is quiet. He simply blogs once he is travelling or when he wants to judge current political issues in Iran. Maybe he already knows that Persian blogging is close to the end! Maybe he realises that many Iranians (including me!) do not enjoy reading other people's weblogs anymore. Instead, they tend to go to more reliable media and official sources >>>

POLITICS
Fanatic friends

MEK tricks US progressives, gains legitimacy
Rostam Porzal

While MEK activists feign humanistic values before mainstream audiences, they work closely with some of the extremist Washington circles that push for pre-emptive US confrontation with Iran. (Other American unilateralist think tanks prefer to support the rival monarchist Iranian groups here.) For example, the Iranian "security expert" who regularly warns us about Iranian fundamentalism on Fox News television, Alireza Jafarzadeh, is none other than the terror group's former registered Washington representative >>>

WAR
Our children need to be told the truth

To the young people of America
Doug Soderstrom

Just over 50 years ago it was No Gun Ri. Then My Lai. And now Haditha ... and, as (headlines declare), even more mass murders, most recently in the Iraqi villages of Ishaqi, Hamdaniya, Latifiyah, and Yusifiyah; young men fresh out of high school, frustrated by life, with nothing better to do than to sign up as mercenaries ready and willing to kill for their country, yet, as always, afraid to die and angry as hell as a result of buddies (comrades-in-arms) having been killed, everyone of them having been thrown into a world of cultural confusion and death wanting nothing more than an opportunity to return home, body and mind unimpaired >>>

STRANGE IDEAS
Irrational intellectualism...

West faces another 'barbarian invasion'
Iqbal Latif

PARIS -- Top security analyst Rear Admiral Chris Parry compares present threat to Western border breach that preceded collapse of Roman Empire. Rear Admiral Chris Parry makes comparison to 'The mass population movements that could lead to the "Rome scenario," he asserts, referring to the collapse of the western Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries when groups such as Ostrogoths Visigoths, Suevi, Huns and Vandals flooded its borders. Western civilization faces a threat on par with the barbarian invasions that destroyed the Roman Empire in the 5th century, warns one of Britain's most senior military strategists. Immigrant groups from the Third World with little allegiance to their host countries could undermine Europe in a "reverse colonization," said Rear Admiral Chris Parry, according to the Times of London >>>

MEDIA
The Press vs. Velayat-e Faqih

Factionalism in post-revolutionary Iran
Mariam Hosseini

The contrast between modernity and tradition in modern-day Iran is striking to say the least. It is a society in where social and political institutions contain both modern and traditional elements, and this contradictory nature is most clear the post-revolutionary press. To compensate for the lack of political parties following the 1979 Islamic revolution, the clerical leadership slightly loosened restrictions on the press. While this did not create an easy transition to social and political freedom, the press has succeeded playing a crucial role in shaping Iranian public opinion through introducing discourse different from that of the state, as well as enabling the public to communicate their views within the established boundaries >>>

POLITICS
Fanatic friends

MEK tricks US progressives, gains legitimacy
Rostam Porzal

While MEK activists feign humanistic values before mainstream audiences, they work closely with some of the extremist Washington circles that push for pre-emptive US confrontation with Iran. (Other American unilateralist think tanks prefer to support the rival monarchist Iranian groups here.) For example, the Iranian "security expert" who regularly warns us about Iranian fundamentalism on Fox News television, Alireza Jafarzadeh, is none other than the terror group's former registered Washington representative >>>

HUMOR?
Tamaskhorism

A new art in the making
Mazdak

What Mazloom has presented us with makes him as much of an artist as, let’s say, umm, actually can’t think of anyone I know. Maybe my sofa. What reveals his real talent is his own admission that what he does is neither satire nor art. He calls it “tamaskhor,” and by God, until I had read the caption, I had been wondering how to classify these recent surges of bubbles in pictures (BIPs) produced by some newcomer talents at Iranian.com. Tamaskhor is what they are, nothing more and nothing less. An insult on the person (here Ahmadinejad) and an insult on us readers’ intelligence >>>

WAR
Our children need to be told the truth

To the young people of America
Doug Soderstrom

Just over 50 years ago it was No Gun Ri. Then My Lai. And now Haditha ... and, as (headlines declare), even more mass murders, most recently in the Iraqi villages of Ishaqi, Hamdaniya, Latifiyah, and Yusifiyah; young men fresh out of high school, frustrated by life, with nothing better to do than to sign up as mercenaries ready and willing to kill for their country, yet, as always, afraid to die and angry as hell as a result of buddies (comrades-in-arms) having been killed, everyone of them having been thrown into a world of cultural confusion and death wanting nothing more than an opportunity to return home, body and mind unimpaired >>>

CIVILIZATION
We can do this

I want to create an article containing every aspect of Western Civilisation that has been impacted on by Iranian civilisation
Saied Ardakani

It was Eid (the Iranian new year), and with my Eid money, I wanted to go and by a good history book about Iran. So we went to Pages For All Ages first.  My expectations were high, and I was thinking that I would be reading a great book that evening. However, it did not take long for me to realise that there were no books on my topic of interest! I was shocked and angry. Where were all the books on this great civilisation that has impacted Asia, North Africa, two of the great monotheistic religions (Islam and Christianity), and the West? >>>

STRANGE IDEAS
Irrational intellectualism...

West faces another 'barbarian invasion'
Iqbal Latif

PARIS -- Top security analyst Rear Admiral Chris Parry compares present threat to Western border breach that preceded collapse of Roman Empire. Rear Admiral Chris Parry makes comparison to 'The mass population movements that could lead to the "Rome scenario," he asserts, referring to the collapse of the western Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries when groups such as Ostrogoths Visigoths, Suevi, Huns and Vandals flooded its borders. Western civilization faces a threat on par with the barbarian invasions that destroyed the Roman Empire in the 5th century, warns one of Britain's most senior military strategists. Immigrant groups from the Third World with little allegiance to their host countries could undermine Europe in a "reverse colonization," said Rear Admiral Chris Parry, according to the Times of London >>>

MEDIA
The Press vs. Velayat-e Faqih

Factionalism in post-revolutionary Iran
Mariam Hosseini

The contrast between modernity and tradition in modern-day Iran is striking to say the least. It is a society in where social and political institutions contain both modern and traditional elements, and this contradictory nature is most clear the post-revolutionary press. To compensate for the lack of political parties following the 1979 Islamic revolution, the clerical leadership slightly loosened restrictions on the press. While this did not create an easy transition to social and political freedom, the press has succeeded playing a crucial role in shaping Iranian public opinion through introducing discourse different from that of the state, as well as enabling the public to communicate their views within the established boundaries >>>

ETHNIC
Local vs global

We do not live any longer in the times of vast empires, only commercial ones
Ben Madadi

Recently there have been a lot of talk about Iran's diverse ethnic mixture. As long as provocative issues are discussed in civilised and peaceful manners there can never be any bad outcome. Nothing is sacred, nothing ought to be a taboo. Everything is open to debate... What to do now? My intention was to introduce probably a different way of looking at historical facts. In order to move on and do something for now and for the future any person or nation must come in to grips with the past and accept the goods and bads done for or on his or her behalf ... Nowadays big has come back in fashion, like in the old days of vast empires. But this time it's all about commerce. It's all about big trading blocks, huge markets >>>

22 KHORDAD
Inflating the truth

Did Human Rights Watch get it wrong?
Rostam Pourzal

I was reminded of all this by conflicting reports about the women's demonstration in Tehran last week. Contrary to dispatches by news services, I learned from an eyewitness whom I infinitely trust that he saw no beating or gassing of the demonstrators. Having attended the rally as a sympathizer, he believes Iranian women (and men) have every right to press for their demands, without a permit if necessary. But he is also an honest observer. Referring to published photos, he wrote me that some demonstrators were taken away by policewomen, but except in one case they were not physically abused. This is the opposite of what we are told by activist blogs and Western press about the scale and intensity of "the crackdown" on June 12 >>>

MEDIA
Forsat.org's opportunity and future

Interview with entrepreneur & philanthropist Noosheen Hashemi
Alaleh Azarkhish

Forsat.org is run with the discipline, team, and vision more akin to a high technology start-up than a non-profit endeavor. The core team's efforts are supplemented by a larger circle of volunteers sharing their professional expertise through contribution of articles. As an intellectual philanthropist and a member of the circle, I find my experience rewarding and want others to join this positive experience. Towards those goals, I sat down with Noosheen Hashemi to get a better understanding for Forsat.org's opportunity and future >>>

TRUTH
Pulp lies

In a visual culture, nothing short of video evidence will force some columnists to abandon their lies
Peyvand Khorsandi

Ralph Nader turns up to an Al Gore book-signing event. According to Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, two men in the line approach Nader and say: “Thanks to you we had Bush all these years, how many are dead in Iraq because of that?” It would take a highly creative legal team to build a case against Nader for causing the bloodbath that is Iraq. But we live in a time when people closer to power make increasingly outlandish claims against their foes. Rather than call for heads to roll, it becomes the job of liberals and the Left to prove, say, that the men who committed suicide in Guantanamo Bay were, far from working for an ad agency, deprived of the dignity of zoo animals. You can imagine the board meeting: “It’ll be the ultimate in experiential marketing, three boys in orange hang themselves by their beards, and the whole word will turn against the US.” >>>

IRI
A palace coup in the making

A rift has opened deep in the power structure of the Islamic Republic
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

Ever since Hashemi Rafsanjani was defeated in his last bid to become president of the Islamic Republic (again) in June last year, observers have speculated on his future in the establishment and his likely next moves. He bitterly complained about the election that saw his unassuming rival Mahmood Ahmadinejad sweeping to power. At the same time, he refrained from lodging an official complaint for what he saw as "vote-rigging" and "vote-fixing", on the grounds that "the people who are supposed to deal with these violations are the same who have committed them". This, coming from someone who has been the main pillar of the Islamic Republic since its formation, and who still carry a lot of weight both on and off the scene, sounded ominous >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Beh tarhe Amrika "nah" begooeem

Oppose American designs on Iran
Abbas Shahidi

VIEW
The exceptions

We Iranians do help each other and understand that a strong community helps all of us but the good ones do not brag
Azam Nemati

I am always interested in reading articles when someone takes up an issue, which not only interests me, but most often I address in the circles I travel. Although Mr. Nouraeei's article "Take care of your own" has many valid points, as an Iranian I am offended that he is putting all of us in the same pool. That seems to be the norm every time I read an article about what is bad about "Iranians". Yes, I know that I have written about these issues as well but I am always fair enough to say what is good about us and point out the exceptions. Let's examine some of his comments. First of all not all Jews have money. Ironically, this morning coming from my Iranian dentist's office located in a beautiful shopping center in Palm Beach County where mega million dollar homes surround the area, I drove no more than 5 minutes east and sure enough the development well known in this area which only has Jewish residents was to my right >>>

LESSON
Take care of your own

You want to know why Jews are stereotyped as having money and power? It's because they do. And you know what? More power to them
Kaveh Nouraee

From time to time, I read with great interest, the articles that claim to have the recipe for that magic all-curing chai, the one that will solve all of Iran's problems, whether political, social, cultural or whether a Bee Em Veh is better than a Benz. They have been written by both Iranians/Persians (I forgot what we are calling ourselves this week, I seem to have misplaced my "Pick My Identity" calendar) or by some busybody khareji, who has either been to Iran, heard of Iran, can locate it on a map, or just some jackass who ate chelokabab for the first time. This so-called intelligentsia always claim to have all the answers, when truth be told, they don't even understand the question. This recent article concerning how Iranian-Americans can learn from the example set by Jewish-Americans is especially nauseating. For no other reason except that it fails to address the single biggest problem in our culture--a total absence of personal accountability. Ask an Iranian what is accountability, and the answer will be, "Ven you can have checking account." >>>

NEO-CONS
Democratic criticism

Critique of American imperial designs IS NOT complicitous with theocratic tyranny
Eskandar Sadeghi

In his powerful and cogently argued essay Native Informers and the Making of the American Empire (Al-Ahram Weekly, 1 - 7 June 2006, Issue No. 797) Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University has provided an exemplary paradigm of critical intelligence. His conclusions echo more or less what I've been trying to convince partisans of the late Shah (unfortunately the dominant constituency of my own family) for some time.   In a somewhat disconcerted tone he asks, 'How could one account for this politically expedited collective amnesia -- of manufacturing consent and discarding history at the speed of one major military operation every two years?' The vast majority of Iranian émigrés it seems to me suffer from the same ailment of collective amnesia which Professor Dabashi diagnoses here as characteristic of the American public >>>

RIGHTS
Beating women

We are dealing with violent and dangerous animals
Lance Raheem

How and why we, the men of Iran, have stood by and done so little for our brave women while they have, for nearly three decades, been suffocating as second-class citizens boggles ones mind. Have we no honor, no courage? Have we forgotten our manhood? How is it that we have not stood against those that have stripped them of their rights as Iranians and their dignity as humans? How is it, that in silence, we have allowed them to be beaten, tortured, raped and killed without running to their defense? Why have they had to stand alone on the frontlines of their quest to be treated equally under the law? How is it that they became the courageous and we became the meek? Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten who they are? They are the heart and soul of our country >>>

VIEW
A beautiful plant or a man-eating monster?

An Islamic constitution
Tina Ehrami

I remember the first day I attended class at the Leiden University, Faculty of Social Sciences. The subject was " Introduction to Public Administration". The professor gave us such an inspiring and confronting task that even now, a year after graduating I still think back with admiration. He split the class in half and gave us the following mission: "Your airplane with passengers from different countries has crashed into a deserted island and with no hope of ever having contact with the outside world, you have to start a whole new society. Just how will you shape this? Will you create a government? What kind? What would be your constitution? What would you base your shared values on?" >>>

CIVILIZATION
Symbolic beheading

Daniel M Pourkesali

Dear editor at New York Times, June 9th op-ed commentary by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon is a laundry list of all the horrible things the terrorist mastermind Abu Musab Zaraqwi has committed... What offended this reader, and I'm sure score of others who are familiar with history, is the mocking of a very important iconic figure in this article: The ancient human-headed winged lion or lamassi which has been depicted as a headless lion with presumably scud missile wings, were guardians protecting important doorways to palaces of the great Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) Your ridicule of this important historical symbol is an insult to humankind and the birthplace of our civilization in ancient Persia and Mesopotamia >>>

VIEW
Pointing the finger at the victim

The so-called “Clash of Civilizations”
Joshua Shahab Nouril

Instead of discussing real issues that upset Muslims as the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the West’s one-sidedness in support for the Israelis to the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, such scholars point the finger at the victim as to not put the blame where it should be, on themselves and the governments they support.  These theories thrive on racist sounding rhetoric which when looked at seems absurd that this is considered scholarly material. I work in a bookstore and one of the saddest things about this is that these books sell, and some look to Lewis in particular as being a professional when it comes to Islam.  This to me is like reading works by Islamic Fanatics to learn about the West, both rely on their stereotypes of the ‘other’ and push it as the truth >>>

NUCLEAR
Not for us

A contrarian point of view on Iran's nuclear program
Karim Pakravan

Iran’s religious leaders' efforts to build a nuclear industry (and perhaps nuclear weapons) are taking it down a path of confrontation with the rest of the world which is guaranteed to increase the country’s isolation and contribute to the worsening of the economic pressure on Iran’s impoverished population.  I’m not just talking about the short-term potential or additional sanctions or even military action against Iran, rather taking a longer-term view. Let’s put knee-jerk nationalism aside for a moment.  Before we parrot the mullahs’ line in claiming that nuclear energy is our legal and God-given right, let’s try to think systematically about Iran’s nuclear ambitions in an objective framework, and examine the potential motivations for pursuing such a program >>>

VIEW
Looking for a scapegoat

Iranian Azaris are just as much part of Iran as you
Saied Ardakani

Saeed is, in my opinion, one of those disillusional Persians who has been sucked into the Western view on history and doesn't know the history of his country as much as he thinks. I would like to make one thing clear to Saeed and all other Iranians of the Persian ethnic group, there has never been an empire or nation called Persia by Iranians. Iranians, including Persians, have always referred to their land as Iran or variations of that (Ariana, Arya, Iran Zameen, etc...). Saeed says he would support Azari seperation, but what he is actually saying is that he would support Persian seperation. He is one of the rare and few Persian sepratists, who sees everthing in terms of Persian and non-Persian. >>>

JEWS
Lessons in success

Hopefully younger Iranian-Americans will try to emulate the success of their Jewish-American counterparts
Arya

I thought of what I'm about to write here after a brief conversation with a fellow Iranian-American. A young man in his late 20's who although was well educated surprised me with his comment that he was considering changing his name to a Jewish name. When I asked why -- he explained that in his field of work he deals with wealthy individuals and the Jewish people are more wealthy than other Americans. I asked him what about the overwhelmingly large percentage of Iranian-Americans who are also affluent. Just as I had expected he said he doesn't want to go after them because they don't want to work with Iranians!  Well after that exchange for some reason I got motivated to learn if in fact Jewish Americans do have most of the wealth in this country, and as I was doing my research I digressed into learning more about their success story especially after I came across  The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People >>>

IDENTITY
You're from Iran, not Persia

Ara Ghandhari

Referring to yourself as Persian is great. I'm ridiculously proud of being Persian. But lets clarify something ... you are not from Persia, your ancestors were. In fact, most "Persians" are mutts. How many Persians do you know that are Tork, Kord, etc? Even if you are fully Fars, you are from the beautiful country of Iran. Be proud of that. I understand that many Persians, living in Iran or abroad, disagree with the present day regime in Iran. I am one of them. But many people all over the world are in disagreement with the political status of their country. Where should all Bush-hating Americans say they're from? Seriously, where? >>>

VIEW
Yaashaasoon Azarbaijan

Or why should Azarbeijan secede and become independent
Saeed

Our Iran has been under the yoke of the Turks for the past 900 years. We have suffered innumerous defeats against the Turks. They have been ruling brutally all these years. The only non-Turkic rulers in the past 900 years were Karim Khane Zand and the the Pahlavis. Turks have penetrated most of the Iranian society. More than half of active army and police are Turks. Simply because they are hard-working smart people. Hats off to them. Nevertheless, Turks are NOT Iranian. We were enemies in the Pre-Islamic era. Powerful Iranian armies kept them at bay during all this time. Only after the power vacuum created by the Arab invasion, did the Turks could move westward. It is interesting to note that Babak, the Azari National Hero, was tricked and captured by a Turkic Prince Afshin! >>>

NUCLEAR
Iran 2 - International Community (still) 0

Keeping score in the nuclear football between Iran and EU-US
Guive Mirfendereski

A week ago Iran scored yet another stupendous goal against the international community, and this Iran was not even at the table. When it rains, it pours, I guess. I am referring of course to the about-face on the part of the United States to get actively involved in the Iran nuclear negotiations. Why that is a victory for Iran is because the US involvement will drag out the process even more – which means that Iran will keep enriching uranium, split the atom, sew it back together, develop fusion reaction, build a bomb or two (may be three) until it is blue in the face from yellow cake. I will explain this a little further >>>

PEACE
We've had enough
Jethro Heiko

I am writing to share www.EnoughFear.org with you. This is a campaign to bring the voices of Iranians and Americans into a discussion that is being dominated by extremists on both sides and bringing us closer to the unthinkable: nuclear war. We've had enough. Enough posturing. Enough threats. Enough fear. Our campaign begins with individuals willing to stand up and say no. This website collects and displays photos of people from the US and Iran (and other countries) holding up a hand in the universal symbol for "stop!" These photos are the first step in what we hope will become an international campaign in which people from both sides will work together to prevent any attack. These are the people who will suffer if war breaks out. There is no time to lose. We look forward to a peaceful future.

IDEAS

Maanifeste Sevvom

The Third Manifesto
Akbar Ganji

QUESTION
Wrong?

Tendency to show the world that we make no mistakes and we work hard to be the best in what we do
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Our great cultural heritage may be what we’re all about, but despite its many good qualities, there are also aspects that diminish our ability to function in a more democratic society. One such weakness is our fear of criticism, which in some cases is not far from a full-fledged phobia. I know someone who never tried any sports for fear he wouldn’t be good enough. What he really means to say is that he didn’t want any coach yelling at him when and if he fumbled. Indeed, as the saying goes, you can’t say to an Iranian, “There are eyebrows above your eyes!” While to the rest of mankind this may be an anatomical fact, to an Iranian it comes across as a clear insult, insinuating that we are not so perfect. This over-reaction to direct criticism is called anything from “pride” to arrogance to bruised ego, but the truth is we grew up thinking that mistakes are shameful. Many of us still believe this because as children, if we made mistakes we paid a heavy price >>>

LANGUAGE
Spelling BEESAVAD

I screamed: "NOROOOOOOUZ AHMAGHS!"
Bruce Bahmani

Last Thursday the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee, the preeminent demonstration of juvenile intelligence in the US, concluded it's month long elimination of innocently obsessive children from all over the country. 13 year old Katherine Close won with her nervously correct spelling of "ursprache", which has somehow become an English word, along with "wehrmacht" and "lebensraum" and a few other uncomfortably reminiscent Nazi-era terms. This year also, there were several words of "Persian" origin in the competition. One that caught my ear immediately came up in the 8th round, the word "Nauruz". Or as I like to spell it NoRouz >>>

REGIME CHANGE
The Iranian dilemma

Why should anyone trust the USA?
Brian Appleton

Reza Pahlavi wonders why no foreign powers have given any serious support to democrats and dissidents within Iran for the past 27 years when so many people within Iran are not content. I think that the answer lies in the fact that too many trading partners like Japan, Italy, other EU countries, Russia and China are benefiting from the status quo and have too much at stake to want a regime change. That is also why I think, that as admirable and correct a notion, as Reza Pahlavi’s position is that Iranians must change their own regime and by non-violent means; I do not believe they will ever be left alone to do so... not until the day they have no more oil or the world economy becomes fueled by hydrogen >>>

USA
Bush is the next Reagan

Slater Bakhtavar

The same people who heavily criticized former President Reagan for his tough stance against Communism and for his aggressive push for democracy in Eastern Europe are now attacking President Bush for his tough stance against fundamentalism and his aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East: They argued then that Communism would never fall - it did. They argue now that Islamic Fundamentalism will never fall - it will >>>

LETTERS
Rhetoric partly off, partly correct

On Daniel M. Pourkesali’s "Nothing but a PR ploy": It was very interesting to read Mr. Pourkesali’s, Nothing but a PR ploy.  This individual’s rhetoric is reminiscent of the hostage takers who seized the United States embassy in 1979.  I especially loved how he refers to the United States as a nation that has “arrogated itself outside the boundaries of international law”.  Perhaps Condoleezza Rice took lessons on international law from the Office of Strengthening Unity or President Ahmadinejad?  Perhaps we should not offer a fig leaf to Iran to attempt to work a diplomatic solution to the current situation >>> More letters

IRAN-U.S.
Is this anything?

Iran’s response to the nuclear deal
Guive Mirfendereski

The nocturnal fare called Late Night with David Letterman often features a shtick called “Is this anything?” The curtain rises and a person or two perform an act or display something and then the curtain descends a few moments later. The host, Mr. Letterman, and his musical director, Paul Shafer, then engage in light banter in order to decide if what they just witnessed in actuality was “anything.” The choice is either “something” or “nothing.” The parody that the sketch embodies is typical of the theatre of the absurd and that is why I think the question that it poses is the most apt form of a query regarding the recent mis en scene in London, where the cast of La Comedie americaine mounted yet another farcical performance of the piece entitled The Iranian Follies >>>

RELIGION
Stopping the plague

Rejecting political Islam
Jahanshah Rashidian

Shortly after establishing their Islamists regimes, the IRI and late Taliban have used respectively Iran and Afghanistan to international bases of Islamist terrorism. Jihadist centers of recruitment and training have set up dreadful colons of killers. These are to consolidate the local dictatorship of Political Islam and to spread Islamist terrorism worldwide. The West still underestimated threats of political Islam. Today, the IRI remains as the main base of international terrorism. Political Islam has resulted worldwide in violence and acts of terrorism. Although some Western countries, under their public pressure, consider Political Islam a threat to their status as secular society, the irony is that they have not yet taken adequate measures to even prevent its growth in the Western societies. More and more various Islamist persons and groups are active in many Western societies, creating more problems for the international community >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Nothing but a PR ploy

Daniel M Pourkesali

Throughout history there are numerous examples where unrestrained power, whether held by a single individual or a state has led to belligerent and irresponsible behavior. Today the global community witnesses in the United States a nation that has arrogated itself into a position well outside the boundaries of international law where it does not recognize the rules, organizations, or norms that limit its interests or freedom of action - whether it is the Kyoto agreement, the International Criminal Court, the Geneva Convention, or the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty >>>

POLITICS
Earning the right to be free

Lack of cooperation
Payam Shahfari

The reason for our sufferings in the hands of imperialists and fundamentalists, and our endless struggles for democracy and human rights is the simple fact that we as a people lack the sense of cooperation and for that reason we have adopted the destructive sense of competition as the means to success and progress. Our thirst for jingoistic, religious, and patriotic ideologies and our simplest dissensions regarding these issues has deprived us from quenching the real thirst of truth and recognition of all of its necessary components for achieving a united and organized struggle towards freedom >>>

LETTERS
Make fun of akhunds instead

On Elmira C's, "Che konim sag-haa haaremaan nakonand?": I have to thank Elmira C. It has been a long time that I am preaching the idea that our Iranian jokes are not jokes but insults. Jokes need to mature to reflect social dilemma of the Iranians. similar to many stand up comics in the U.S. Our jokes are disgusting and puts the Iranian citizens down rather than giving hope for unity. At this period, I think Iranians need to make more jokes about the religion, Iranian regime, and akhunds rather than put down their fellow country men. Elmira C has shown the true nature of jokes in Iran to the Persians that are too blind to see >>>

ETHNIC
Righting wrongs

Iranians need to heal the wounds of past religious and ethnic discrimination and offer to the discriminated groups greater rights
Ben Madadi

So, the Mohammad cartoon was not the only cartoon offending Muslim masses. Now there is also a cartoon offending Azeris. To complete the menu we need more cartoons, about a range of other sensitive issues that might upset Middle-Eastern peoples. Of course, this is just a joke! God forbid, anything that might cause violence is unwelcome. Look at the US where nowadays African-Americans have "discriminatory" treatment, which is called positive discrimination! In universities and many many other places, in the US and some other civilised countries previously discriminated ethnic or religious groups have privilege toward the Christian white. This is a sign of public maturity and national integrity. Because those ethnic and religious groups that have been discriminated before have, not equal, but even greater rights than the previously privileged groups. I salute this courageous act and I believe that any nation must do the same to right the previous wrongs >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Talking with the object of hate

There are strong reasons to believe that the change of heart on both Iran and the U.S. is tactical rather than strategic
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The mere fact that the announcement by Secretary of State Rice, that the US government is willing to talk to the Iranian regime, was received around the world as great news is indicative of the enormity of the crisis between the two countries. Talking with enemies has always been the norm, rather than the exception, in international relations. In modern times the US has done it with most of its adversaries. Negotiation was almost a constant feature of US-North Vietnamese relations even at the height of their hostilities. Talk between the American government and Saddam’s regime in Iraq was going on and off for most of the time before both “Gulf Wars”. North Korea too, another fellow of Iranian regime in the President Bush’s trio of “axis of evil” is in long conversation with the US for many years. Fighting means that you oppose each other. But not talking – it amounts to hate >>>

IDEAS
We don't need old farts

We need young, charismatic and reckless leaders who can breathe fire into our hearts and strengthen our will
Arash Sayedi

Iranians have much respect for the older generations. A trait that is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because a sea of knowledge and experience is given the value it deserves, and a curse because those experiences of yesterday are not always looked upon with an objective eye, and so distort our visions of tomorrow. Better to be done with it all I say and set foot boldly into the light of future than to remain haunted by visions of the past. Better to forgive and forget and start with a clean slate than hold onto age old prejudices and remain bitter and defeated as our fathers. For the task that remains ahead of us is a colossal one that cannot bare a moment's distraction >>>

INTELLECTUAL
Behazin e maa ham raft

Prominent author Mahmoud Etemazdzadeh, better known as "Behazin", has died
Soheil Asefi

WORLD CUP
Give them all a Mercedes

Iranian Football needs a little helping hand
Anahita Mansoori

I have just finished watching the impressive comeback of Iran from a 0-2 start to a 5-2 win in Tehran's Azadi Stadium against Bosnia and after this and the pretty okay start against Croatia in the friendlies I think I and many other Iranians worldwide are really looking forward to the real matches. This is the stuff of dreams, and echoes those brilliant teams which historically have come back from defeat like the legendary Phoenix from the flames. Here I come with a suggestion. And I hope that someone can action it somehow. As you may be aware most of Team Melli's players are based in Iranian teams and the more talented few that have been spotted (and arguably the better players) have been whisked off to European teams and (hopefully) enjoy the lifestyles and luxuries afforded by playing in high level football leagues that goes with it. I guess this could be seen as an incentive for all the players to show their skills as best they can as it's the perfect stage for self promotion in reality >>>

POLITICAL ISLAM
Change NOW

We need to dismantle sexual apartheid in Iran
Azar Majedi

I am not talking about Muslims. I really want to emphasize and clarify this point. I am not talking about Muslims. I am not disrespecting Muslims for believing in whatever they want to believe. And I do not believe that the mere force of believing in an ideology or religion make you commit such murders no matter how violent those values you believe in are. There has to be another organisation that takes these values, religion, and ideas and puts them into force and creates a sophisticated machinery of suppression. That is why I am saying it is a political fight. We have to look more deeply and question the arguments that try to portray these serial killings as results of mere religious belief. In fact there is a political force that transforms these religious beliefs into such a force of suppression, terror, maiming, discrimination, and torture at the end of the 20th century, a force capable of intimidating the whole world >>>

AZARBAIJAN
Sholehaaye ghiyaam

Ethnic protests underline demands for democracy
Ali Salari

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Book of the day
mage.com

The Persian Garden
Echoes of Paradise
By Mehdi Khansari, M. Reza Moghtader, Minouch Yavari
>>> Excerpt

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