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April 2006


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.

The principles of Iran's foreign policy, too, reflect this economy of words in expressing the Resolute Nation's point of view. In the time of Mossadeq, Iran's independence found its expression in the catch-phrase movazeneh manfi (negative equilibrium). The notion of positive nationalism that Shah Mohammadreza Pahlavi espoused later was a paradigm of securing Iran's independence by engaging with both East and West. The contrarian Ayatollahs, too, were quick to develop catchy phrases for their international posture. In that regard, Khomeini decided that his regime's fate (not necessarily Iran's independence) would be protected best by adhering to a policy of "Neither East, nor West." When threatened by the US, the catch phrase of the day became "America can't do squat."

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.

These two issues turn the world into a restless and sometimes frustrating place to live in. A current example is the whole discussion about "what to do with Iran?" If we don't consider the political importance of this subject for just one minute and pay attention to the sociological wave of rhetoric it brings about, we would observe some very interesting phenomenon. 

Not only do the talkers find this a stimulating subject to willingly throw themselves on and present the rest of the world with their fantastic, bright and original ideas. They also suddenly transform into representatives of some institute or political movement. Consequently, they start the debate. For those who have had the precious experience of actually being taught how to perform a decent debate, it becomes a torture to listen to these so called intellectual, political debates. Talkers all have a hidden flaw that presents itself in these situations. This flaw is called the lack of rationality and relativity.

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.

The question to be posed is: "should we allow all talkers to debate?" From a democratic point of view, one can not exclude any talker or listener. From a true debaters point of view, one would say: "please buy a book about the craft of debating, take a deep breath and  remember that your opponent is human too!" If the mentioned advice for some reason can not be accepted I would strongly recommend: "Don't enter a debate!"

The reason why you're Persian

Slater Bakhtavar

'People only say they're Persian because they're afraid of saying they're Iranian' is a common place quote used by many non-Iranians unaware of Iranian history and culture, but unfortunately it's also used by Iranians themselves. I hope the following educates people on the historical justifications behind using both Persian in conjunction with Iranian as ones ethnic/national background.

Iranian is a nationality, but Persian is an mostly used as an ethnicity. In fact, Persian is one of many ethnicities in Iran. Here's a breakdown of Iran's ethnic groups: Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%. Hence, ethnically 51% of Iranians are Persian. Much like how 75-80% of Iraqis are ethnic Arabs and 15-20% are ethnic Kurds. It's interesting how we hear Arab this and Kurd that, but when Persian is used people some including many Iranians have an issue.

Persian is also technically a nationality. "On March 21, 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi issued a decree asking foreign delegates to use the term Iran in formal correspondence. After Persian scholars protested, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi announced in 1959 that both Persia and Iran were acceptable, and could be used interchangeably. " Therefore, Persia and Persian may be used in conjunction with Iranian.

The circle

Hooman Golshan

Next time someone has a beef with being Persian let them know the truth.

you sometimes know that you are doomed... you know it all too well.. at that time, death becomes your best friend... he ends your pain... he takes your hand, and guides you through the darkness... he becomes your light... you become companions... you make your way through the uncharted territory... at that point, fianlly all your questions are answered.... all those years of worrying, shivering, shaking.... it was all for nothing.... alas... you keep walking... you finally break through the barrier... there you are at last... the finish line... and now you get to do it all over again... for that finish line is only a new starting point... the circle of life continues...

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.

Let it be very clear to the American public that any US attack on Iran, will have deadly results on the region for generations to come. An article arguing against this attack has just been published in Asia Times, which I would recommend reading.

I urge all Iranian and non-Iranian anti-war activists to write to this company and express their horror over their cruel and detestable “merchandise” and demand their immediate and unconditional removal. We must make a concerted effort to mobilize massively to boycott all the merchandise of this or any other company that trivializes human life.  We all need to be more active in our local anti-war groups and act collectively. Last night I personally had the pleasure of attending an excellent anti-war teach-in at NYU in New York City. 

We cannot let any company executives or Presidents of any country (be it Iran or the US) set back our ideals of freedom and a nuclear-free world.

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?

Hello...? Anybody heard of alternative energy? Anybody heard of Turkey quietly going solar, City Hall cash incentives for installing solar panels in San Francisco, or Brazil transitioning to biofuel? Have you seen the state-of-the-art wind turbines dotting California hills? I just heard that some regular diesel cars, like the old Mercedes Benz diesels for instance, can run on cooking oil mixed with a bit of diesel fuel-and it is actually even cheaper that way. (What a great use for all those GMO canola, corn, and soy oils on the market.) I know we have all kinds of knowledgeable people in the readership. Please, somebody who is an expert on this: write something!

Nuclear power our symbol of national pride and unity... developing nuclear power plants analogous to nationalizing the oil industry ... what's next? Ahmadinejad as Mosaddeq?

Allah-o akbar, indeed...

What’s it like to be an Iranian-American teen?


I remember punching Jerry Anderson in the eye after he called me a hostage-taker.  I was ten.  That was back then.  I was an eye-rain-ian to him and I learned early that it was safest to blend in. 

As a teenager, I did what comes naturally to most teens, whatever their heritage – I tried to fit in. But my name was a dead giveaway that I was not like the other kids at my suburban California high school. And if you came over to my house, the knick-knacks on the walls, what we ate and what we talked about over dinner, also hinted at something very different. That, and the fact that I could eat plain yogurt without gagging. 

I also remember not wanting anyone else to define me.  The nightly news was good at telling me who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to believe in. My non-Iranian friends asked me embarrassing questions.

It was enough to make me want to change my name or say my family was really Italian. But I didn’t, even though I was so tempted to hide my heritage.

That’s when I began to write.

Today, the media bombards us with same tired images of Iran.  Our best and freshest comeback must come from the mouths of our youth.  Hip, witty, fresh, and real.

Here’s our call to all Iranian-American youth to throw their own images back at the world, through text, sound, and photographs.  One Day, a multi-media project for Iranian and Iranian-American youth, through the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts offers:

  • A web project for youth stories, images and sound
  • An art show at Oliver Gallery
  • Writing and photography workshops

One day of your life may not be as newsworthy as, say, weapons of mass destruction, but I bet it’s easier to catch on camera.

Go to for more information and an application, or email inquiries to



No vacancy

Sahari Dastmalchi

Today I read a story on CNN  that baffled me:  “TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday again criticized Israel and called on Jews to leave the Mideast and 'return to their fatherlands' in Europe.”

Now as a Dutch citizen (or better said a shotormorgh right this minute), I have serious problems with this. Not that we don’t want the Jews, specially the diamond tradesmen and their pocket books back on Dutch soil where they belong. But here is my problem with Dr. AN’s plan: There's no space in Holland.

The historical Jewish quarter in the centre of Amsterdam which is “nieuwmarkt”, which was coincidently also the gathering place in the ghetto from where the Jews where shipped out to concentration and labor camps, now on one side houses the Amsterdam “Chinatown” (best Chinese food and cheap too, which is vital for the Dutch and transcends all other arguments on any and all accounts) and on the other side the number one tourist attraction in Amsterdam... yes you have guessed it the red-light district. Which is again vitally important economically, tourism generates income... yatta yatta yatta.  And since we have been taxing the entrepreneurs of the here mentioned district we can’t just simply move them.

Taken into consideration that every inch of Holland is currently built on, hell we have even stolen a complete province from the sea, we simply don’t have the space to take these people back. No no no no no... it simply won’t work...

Honey joon, it's true


Dear Sir or Madam, I was looking over your site trying to find some answers. I've met an Iranian man that I care for a lot, but wonder if some of the things he is telling me is the truth. For example: He says he can't get a VISA or any other international credit card in Iran, he can't get a PAYPAL account to pay for things online. He says there's no way he can order anything online and send it here [in the U.S.], and he says he can't send anything through the mail, because things get stolen. He even says talking on the phone would flag him as a dissident. Can you answer these questions for me, or direct me to where I can find out? Your help would certainly be appreciated. Sincerely, Katy

We shall not despair

Ali Dadpay

Everyday there are some pieces of news. It seems more than ever this administration is ready to use nuclear weapons against a people whose cause has been ignored for such a long time. Pentagon officials talk of planning. Secretary of State Rice mentioned the right to self-defense. In a crazy world, all actors of tragedy are coming together. Some present arrogance, some stupidity, some vanity and some greed.

We shall not despair. We people of Iran, this most ancient nation of the world, shall not despair.

We have survived the hordes of Huns and Arab invasion. We have survived two World Wars, to which we were drawn by the same powers, seeking to harm us today. We have survived revolutions, civil wars and invasions. We carried on, We still carry on.

Our poetry, Our sense of humanity, Our joy of watching a bride, Our sorrow when a kid loses her apple have not changed. We are still the great people of a great country: Iran. We shall survive this. We shall not despair.

Although one expects the ministers and presidents to be wiser, it seems governments are adopting the tone of roughnecks in this exchange of pleasantries. There is too much to lose in these crazy talks. Since our statesmen do not make sense anymore it is upon us to prevent this. It is upon us to tell them of consequences of destruction, of people they are targeting and things they can do. Any ideas? What we can do to campaign against it?

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?

It's all of the above, and none of the above.

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.

In order for America to survive this century it must import 25% of the world's oil and gas. Without the control of the Middle East, America will no longer be a superpower. And that's the bottom line.

The people, industry, culture, and civilization of the Middle East have to submit to America's control, and the only way for America to achieve this objective is to destroy the obstacles to its domination. And that means destroying Iraq, and now Iran.

The question is will China, India and Russia sit back and allow this to happen?

The Native Americas were massacred, enslaved, tortured, and locked up in "reservations" while white Americans built "forts", same as "enduring bases" being built today. Their infrastructure was destroyed the same way Iraq's infrastructure has been destroyed. The use of Depleted Uranium has the same purpose; to de-populate Iraq so the oil can be extracted without any resistance.

Now it's Iran's turn. But given Iran's strength, size, and independence this can only be achieved through the use of nuclear weapons, which Cheney is itching to use.

And so Colonel Custer rides again.

Unfortunately even if Custer goes down, the same forces will still remain; the hungry hordes of white Americans thirsty for our natural resources so they can remain top dog.

Yes, the West was won, but will the Middle East also be won? And is this not what Bush means when he keeps saying we must stay until we have achieved victory?

Well-oiled joke machine


I am off to Japan tomorrow, but I just read the joke about "hagh-e mosallam" ["2 taa zan hagh-e mossalam-e maast - vali behemoon nemidan!"] and remembered the brand new I heard a few days ago: After the Mohammad cartoons, a group of Qazvinis started marching and chanting: "Karikatoorist-e Danmaarki, hagh-e mosallam-e maast!!" Our country is a well-oiled joke machine.

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 (see 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.

The more arguments I hear, the more I sense the hatred, the blinding belief in military power. Peter reasons that since administration "pulled too many punches in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now we are paying the price." Conflict must be made devastating.

I did not know that there is a regular Iraqi Army fighting in Iraq. I did not know Iraqi air force is harassing American garrisons. Above all I was not aware Iraqi WMD's are being used. Mr. Ralph you are right you are paying a price but not because you did not cause enough collateral damage or destruction. Because you thought you can build a nation from ruins of Baghdad, Basra and Falujah. Because you thought if you shoot first and then shoot again and shoot again, your problems will be solved.

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.

Today I look at Iraq, a country who waged war on my motherland, at dozens who die there every day, at their people and their sufferings and I thank Lord that I do not tell the world that this was acceptable. I do not tell the World that had people have been wiped out, there would not have been a problem. Because unlike you I, an IRANIAN, cherish life, spring and hope. Go do your devastation in your kitchen sir, it calms you down.

Which one am I?

Leila Farjami

As talking to a good friend of mine tonight, I was reminded once again that sometimes our "tragic" experiences are not so "tragic" compared to others.

We were reminiscing about the good Old Iranian way of punishing school children: hiring psychotically sadistic teachers. I was telling him how when I was in fourth grade, despite being one of the most praised students in the class, my teacher had slapped me really hard on the left cheek because I had merely forgotten to bring my mathematics book. She made a point of making me the sacrificial lamb so that others would learn the embarrassing consequence of a lapse in memory as a nine year old.

My friend normalized what seemed like a horrific school experience to me as a child by saying that when he was in first grade, he had a young and psychotic female teacher. This particular teacher would have all the first graders sit straight and stare at the blackboard with palms of their hands on the desks hours on end, not moving an inch in either direction. She would then threaten them in a very torturously elaborate manner by saying that if they budge at any second, she will send them down to a dark and hellish basement where all the venomous snakes, scorpions, and spiders are bred and kept. As if this was not sufficient to scare the students out of their wits, she would occasionally pull a student out of the classroom and then call them back a while after and coerce them into validating the existence of this imaginary torture chamber. The student would be shaking and declaring to all the others that he has seen this terrifying basement with creeping and slithering snakes and scorpions wanting to eat him alive. This brutal psychological punishment, as my friend concluded, was a systematic method by which all the teachers of that particular elementary school implemented to discipline the kids.

Who knows what has happened to those teachers and their students, but one thing is for sure, it takes one second to realize that in some way, we have all been on either side of the Fear. Think of Iran as a classroom with a population of 70 million; then see the students, the teachers, and the imaginary torturous basements. Then see the people, the government, and all that has been taught and learned of the snakes, scorpions, and spiders that have never existed, but still kill with one anticipated bite.

Learn to wait

Vida Kashizadeh

There is a dark dark dark dark, dark room with no door. Don't enter it! When the weak man in the position of power in the third world is turned and turned and turned in Shams' mind he reveals himself to be a propeller. And when the weak man in the position of power in the first world is turned twice he turns to a screw and gets stuck in the back of the propeller. Do we have to watch this to happen? Learn to wait. That man does not recruit suicide bombers, he IS a suicide bomber.

Iranian-American Internment Camp

Siamack Baniameri

Once the bombs start falling on Iran, for security measures, I have a feeling that I and the rest of my 1.5 million Iranian-American compatriots will be assembled and shipped to an internment camp outside Los Angles. I figured if we are going to be sent to an internment camp, we should at least be given the option to pick and choose our own accommodations. Therefore, I'm starting a Request Hotline. Send me emails with your accommodation requests. I'll compile the best and the funniest requests and send them to the Department of Homeland Security (don't worry, I won't mention your name) and publish them on Here are my requests: I would like the Iranian-American Internment Camp to include: A Las Vegas style casino, and a BMW dealership.

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!

The lovely days we have!

Ali Dadpay

Have you ever felt your heart? I do now. It is beating faster and wilder everytime I read a piece of news about attacking Iran. PLEASE STOP! What I would give to have just a normal country to sit down and not to have every passing moment to be a count down toward a war. The reports have made these days of this great spring grey and The air is filled by the smell of ashes. There is no joy in sensing dark forces are gathering to attack the one place that we call home.

No matter what are the reasons to believe and what is the logic not to believe. It is not important that USA military forces engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan makes it impossible for her to spare forces to attack Iran. It is not important that there are anti war sentiments in Pentagon or State Department. What is important for me as an Iranian is that there is threat against my country, my family and my hometown.

I have grown up in an era where many shaked their heads with disbelief remembering how long the war with Iraq lasted. It can be sensed that there won't be enough wisedom in our esteemed politicians to prevent a war. The one lesson that Iranian history has taught us is that to expect the unbelievable the impossible.

It is on us now, no matter what political ideas we share, no matter what our disagreements are. Let us unite for Iran, Not behind any individual. But let us stay fast with Iranian people, who are targetted by these bombs, those who will suffer. Let us remember we shall suffer as well.

Let us make our voices heard, let us remember we have Iran and she is the only thing we have. for good or bad, her virutes are ours, and our faults hers. Let her not suffer from our vanity this time.

Why am I with you?

DJ Jurab

This very last evening, after a long day of toil and tussle and after a boisterous romp in bed, I let my head sink into the pillow and let the space cleared in my mind extend infinitely, conjuring up the whiteness of disappearance. In the bliss of the afterglow my body settled like a zone of pure possibility, without incidence, without voices. I knew this plateau would linger for only a few moments so I focused on taking it all in. No more than a few seconds had passed before Nadia opened her mouth: "So, tell me, why are you with me? Is it just the sex? Why did you call me that first time? Did you think I was a slut? Because we have to talk about this ..."

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. The very idea of bliss flushed down the toilet. Why, for the love of god, can we not just enjoy ourselves without asking such stupid questions? Why am I with you? This question boggles my mind. Isn't it quite obvious? Do they want a paper? A diagram? A poem? An ode to their beauty and virtuosity? What the fuck am I supposed to say? Is there any answer that won't result in disaster for me?

Why did I call you that first time? What?? Talk about an absurd question. Why did I call you? Because you were semi-attractive with a tolerable personality, plus I knew you were into me so I had to cash in, I'm not dumb, I even play poker sometimes. Is that what I'm supposed to say? And this woman is thirty-something, so it's obviously not an age thing, and that's probably the scariest thing.

And the insecurity, my god the insecurity. Look, I know you're not a supermodel, that much is patently obvious, and I'm not asking you to be one. I'm ok with your ugly ass, you see? I'm ok with it. And you're not exactly a Rhodes scholar, yes, I noticed when you couldn't find France on the map, that's fine with me too, it's ok, we can't all be dating Natalie Portman. I understand that. But if I'm choosing to be with you, please get a fucking grip and have some respect for yourself.

And women wonder why we cheat. It's April and its snowing and I guess I'm just cranky.

Grandpa: only dad I ever had

Safeyeh Tarassod

March 25: My grandfather died Monday. I heard the news when I was in class and my sister text messaged me. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't feel anything at the time. I couldn't cry and look sad, but shock. Her text said Baba Bozorg died. I tried my hardest to cry but felt emotionless. I haven't seen my grandpa in about eight years since coming to US at age 11. He had a so called fourth wife to take care of him, but she had become more interested in her money than his well being.

My tears started coming around Thursday when I was reading about an Afghan girl that a journalist had reported on his site. She was forced married at age four to a thirty year old; moreover, she was beaten, abused, and was feed once a day and left to sleep outside of the house in cold. When I read the article, it made me cry for some time and my grandfather came coming in front of my face. The fact is he was more than my grandpa, he was my only dad that I ever had.

When I was three my father sent us to Iran with nowhere to go. So for the next eight years he took care of us, and I am just disappointed that I wasn't able to take care of him when he needed the most. He had a heart attack and a stroke, and half of his body was not working. We send money so he could get a nurse, so he get better, but his wife keep sending them away.

My mom told me about a nurse who got him walking, and took him to parks, bought him ice cream and took pictures of him - I want to see the pictures. I keep bringing about how he died into my imagination. He died alone when he was the only person we had when we were alone. He was caring, and loveable, but died alone. I started thinking if a person who does so much for others dies with nobody around him, what is there for the rest of us?



Two good friends of mine, Nasser K. Manesh and Saied Kazemi, have lunched a very exciting service that I think you may like (no, I’m not trying to sell you anything, but I do have a request!). Their service is called “Frucall” ( It’s a very simple idea, when you go shopping (books, TV, CD, toys, or anything that has a barcode ...) you can dial their service number, enter the barcode, get the Amazon (and other web site) price for that item, and order it from internet if you like. It’s a great service for people like us that try to save few bucks to few hundreds. The interesting thing about their service is it’s free.

Generous dollars
Sadaf Kiani

Dearest Friends,

I am very touched and moved by your generosity. Thank you for trusting and give me an opportunity to share your love with our children in Iran [See: A wonderful gift]. Yesterday was the deadline for donating and I would like to share with you how much was collected.

I would also like to acknowledge Jahanshah Javid, who published my short message at, and acknowledge all of you individually for being so amazing and loving. From Canada: Betsy Danaii, Parisa Manouchehri, Mehrdad Arinnejad, Yahya Nattagh, Nima Namjouy and Reaza Nazari. From the U.S: Omran Feili, Maryam Ovissi, Afshin Nouri, Shawn Eshragh, Azam Nemati, Nooshin Hojreh, Cyrus Homayounpour, Shane Koohi, Ben Hassankhani, Karim Sharif, Shiva Sarram, Rafi Saadat and Mohamad Farokhnia.

We have raised $285 CAN and $781 US (one contributor sent $201, he said the one dollar is a lucky dollar)! I also received boxes of crayons, pencils and erasers. I am leaving on Tuesday and will be in touch with you from Tehran. The target organizations for children In Tehran are: "Anjoman e Hoghoogh e Kodak" (The Iranian Children's Rights Society) and "Kanoon e Kodakan e Kar". I will buy supplies for these children and will also give them art lesson.

I love you all.


P.S. If any of you could help me to find an unique name for the project I would appreciate that. I am thinking of the name "Creative Children of Iran".


Siamack Baniameri

Iranian satellite TV commercial for MasterCard:

Your first microphone: $200...
Your first satellite studio: $50,000...
Your first five cameras: $100,000...
Your first satellite antenna: $500,000...
Inviting people of Iran to start a revolution from a studio in Los Angles... priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there is that $75 million in emergency funding to promote democracy in Iran.
* Accepted everywhere except the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Paid for by the US Department of State

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.

Aside from this comment, Zarif made some interesting remarks regarding the importance that treaties embody incentives along with obligations in order to encourage states to ratify and adhere by them. He argued that when treaties create greater obligations then rights, or incentives, then the treaties loses credibility internationally. Thus, if the NPT is determined to confer obligations of restraint rather then the right and incentive to develop and encourage peaceful nuclear technology, then the NPT will lose credibility internationally. He argued that current agreements with Israel and India demonstrate that there are greater incentives to be a non-ratifying state. To that extent, the international community should encourage, rather then demonize Iran, by respecting its right to nuclear technology.

I have to agree with Pedram from, just when you think that all Iranian politicians are idiots, Zarif is a very articulate and intelligent ambassador.

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New Food of Life
Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
by Najmieh Khalili Batmanglij

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