Time will tell

What about relations with Iran under President Obama?


Time will tell
by Q

Barack Hussein Obama has "proven the impossible," or so the saying goes among people who just two weeks ago were swearing up and down that "America will never elect a black man President."

Within foreign policy circles, the conventional wisdom of all the pundits is that people in the Middle East are so racist, or have such a low perception of the American people, that they will be "shocked and awed" by the selection of a black man to the point of capitulation and cooperation with America.

That is wishful thinking for the most part.

I don't think the race issue is or has ever been nearly as extraordinary a factor with the developing world as it is with the developed one. For decades now the rest of the world has seen many diverse faces representing America. From Michael Jordan and Olympic athletes, to American movie stars, to soldiers serving on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, to congressmen, secretaries of State and supreme court justices, the world knows about African Americans and their issues in America. To a teenage Iranian who has grown seeing these faces of America, Obama's election probably isn't that big a surprise.

It is mostly the Americans who surprised themselves, along with immigrant communities of all sorts who live in America. This is an unforgettable lesson for the established Iranian-American community, many of whom go to extraordinary lengths to present themselves as ordinary "white", "secular" and "modern" Americans having little in common with rural religious villagers back home. For years they thought that if they just adopt the "white" mannerism and white culture, (and implicity "white" friends, "white" attitudes and "white" skin itself) they can get ahead in life (like they did under the shah) partly because this was a white country.

This explains much of the generational clash among the Iranian diaspora, as well as "recent immigrant"/"established citizen" differences in attitudes and outlook in life and foreign policy.

Therefore, it is a mistake, in my opinion, to try to reduce Obama's achievement to a racial milestone that will have far reaching consequences internationally. President Obama will have an extraordinary opportunity to restore America's prestige and work toward peace in the world. But this is due to the rejection of Bush's policies, a party change in the White House and Obama's stated position on the Iraq war.

If America wants to win Iranian hearts and minds, they have to emphasize Obama's humble origins, not just his skin color. Personal achievement, pulling oneself up from modest economic means and championing the dispossessed have always been rewarded by the Iranian people (living in Iran). Those who are tempted to think that such values have died along with the Ayatollah Khomeini need only look at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I saw first hand that in a competitive field of eight candidates who ran for Iranian presidency in 2005, Ahmadinejad was alone in presenting himself as humble, down to earth champion of the poor, while the rest of the candidates were tripping over themselves with pandering, flashy signs and sex appeal. A humble person knows how to instill pride and respect to people, a necessary ingredient to any cooperation.

These are the aspects of Barak Obama that make him attractive to Iranian populace and these are where he would get any authority to influence them should he choose to take America's policy toward Iran in a different direction.

Obama has already made extraordinary but logical statements. Saying he would sit down with Iranian leaders, for example may have played into the hands of the (now fringe) far-right wing during the elections, but it was probably a winner with the Iranian people. Here we have an admission by a major American candidate that Iranians are worthy of having direct and respectful discussions with.

According to the (now fringe) Iranian-American reactionaries and their like-minded neoconservative allies, it would be a mistake to "validate" the Iranian regime through the act of sitting down with them. But what these groups never realized was that quite apart from Iranian issues with their own government, their national pride demanded that they be treated seriously and equally in the international arena.

Another important clue to the change Obama will bring is his declaration on the night he won the election: "To those who seek peace and security: We support you." A simple logical sentence, that if followed with respect to Iran would simultaneously defend America's interests and validates Iranian need for security. It is in a nutshell a bargain (not necessarily "grand").

While this rhetoric is encouraging, the real decisions lie ahead. These are the decisions to be taken in 2009 which would be translated to change of facts on ground. These are decisions that  will determine if America is truly moving away from Bush's destructive foreign policy, or simply continuing them under a different paradigm.

We shall wait and see.


more from Q
Bijan A M


by Bijan A M on

Sir, you didn’t have to go to this length to show your disappointment with Obama’s choice for chief-of-staff. You praised him all along as “the one”. The only option that would never challenge IRI’s right to nuclear arsenals. Now, are you beginning to have second thoughts?. “Time will tell”.


What happened Tuesday night was quite historic in many respects. First and foremost, it proved to all Nay-Sayers and America-haters (many of whom gather around on this site), that the US remains to be the role model of  real democracy and the rule of law on the face of this planet. The son of a black immigrant, and an atheist mother had the opportunity to be elected in a landslide the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. These are indeed historic events.


If Mr. Obama is true to his promises, he would first take care of his domestic agenda, (i.e. health care, energy, taxes, etc…), then (hopefully simultaneously) answers the cry of Iranian and other nations for human rights and democracy.


Sir, there is no defending or apologizing for suffocation of Iranian people under IRI under the cover of nationalism.


I didn’t vote for Mr. Obama, but I hope and pray that those around him prevent destruction of this nation’s constitution and democracy.


We shall wait and see


American Wife


by American Wife on

I'm just now joining your blog and have a lot of catching up to do.  First of all I'd like to thank you for your very interesting and provocative article.  I enjoyed it greatly.  There might be an arguable point here and there but any such difference of opinion is virtually irrelevant given the overall text.  Nitpicking over a few words here and there serves no one.  I'm looking forward to reading the comments... I can only imagine what kind of responses you're getting...lol.

peace out.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

My last paragraph stems from the fact that Chuck Schumer is a two faced individual. Chuck Schumer on the one hand is bad-mouthing John McCain purely out of partisanship, and now he's "praising" John McCain publicly. In reality, what Schumer wants is for John McCain to be the Democratic Party's token Republican bitch. That's what I find extremely disingenuous. It's like throwing someone out of your house, then audaciously asking him to drop off your dry cleaning as you push him out the door and slam it behind them. Chuck Schumer lacks even an ounce of class.

Shadooneh: Sore loser? Not in the least. I completely respect the outcome of the election. The majority have indeed spoken, and they have spoken clearly. Whatever disappointment I have in the final outcome was fleeting, and is heavily outweighed by my deep respect for the political system that allows this process to take place every four years (every two if you count the mid-terms)

By "payback", I am referring to those parties, be it PACs, or individuals or other entities who have made a HUGE financial investment to ensure that Barack Obama won. The money raised by his campaign shattered the record for election campaign contributions quite some time ago. As heavy a role the concept of "change" played in this election, the old political standby of "quid pro quo" is as powerful as ever, maybe even more than ever before. With the huge sums of money invested by donors to the Obama campaign, quid pro quo will play a tremendous role in the function of the incoming administration.

Shadooneh.....don't be a sore winner. Be gracious, unlike Chuck Schumer.


Mr. Nouraee, better luck next time, my friend.

by Shadooneh (not verified) on

Aside from sounding like very much like a sore loser, you seem to be ignoring the fact that if you add the "extreme left and "the so-called moderate or liberal Republicans (this is a group that only you seem to know about)", who according to you voted for Obama, then you are talking about pretty much the majority of Americans! Everyone else will not be damned because, unlike you, they understand a thing or two about democracy. You on the other hand seem to have no clue, and the thought of people who exercised their democratic rights to achieve their goals is called "payback" in your book. I'm sure adding a few California prunes to your breakfast diet will do wonders for your condition, my friend.



by IRANdokht on

How very disappointing to read your last paragraph!  I am not saying change your mind or what did he do that was SO wrong or anything like that...  I am only saying whenever one expresses an opinion, a little class goes a long way...


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

His race should be a distant afterthought, if not completely irrelevant. Unfortunately, it's not. And it would be very naieve to think that it is.

As far as his qualification to be president, only time will reveal that answer. As far as who he owes favors to, he is deeply indebted to the extreme left, who will be undoubtedly demanding "payback" for their role in seeing him elected. And he also owes a debt to the so-called moderate or liberal Republicans who voted for him. These groups undeniably have the perception that they are entitled to be rewarded by the incoming administartion for their efforts, and everyone else be damned. It will be very interesting to see how all of this will unfold, in the face of the ideology sold during the campaign that Barack Obama will be a "people's president". You mentioned that McCain was trying to please everyone, and you are absolutely right....it failed....miserably.

It will be very interesting to see how this will unfold.

Speaking of McCain, that miserable Chuck Schumer is now all of a sudden kissing McCain's behind, wanting him to be a liaison between the GOP minority on Capitol Hill and the White House after January 20th in the "spirit of bipartisanship". What a disingenuous piece of crap that Schumer is.


Mullah Appologists & closet Lobbyiests

by samsam1111 on

excited for Barikallah Hussein . He is not a real emam, you know ... :-)) . Appologists better find another hydro pole Hussien to place their bets on..LOL..They need a real Seyed to get elected as to help Ommatist regime...I will help em find one for 2012.heeh.cheers!!


Must see video!

by sickofiri (not verified) on

Daie jan Napolean vs. Khomeini the criminal

It is hilarious...rofl


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

Then why don't get back to work, laborer? I'm sure you left your shovel in the same place you always do, in that intellectual hole you have so adeptly excavated for yourself.

You clearly cannot differentiate electoral process from processed cheese. But since you need yet another remedial primer in civics, compare the electoral process in the U.S. with the electoral process in any other country, even democracies. Look at all the instances of corruption and fraud. Do you think Iranians would vote the way they do if the process was 100% transparent? Remember when "100% of Iraqi citizens" voted for Saddam?

The system is the U.S. is indeed far from perfect. If it was perfect, there would not be multiple voter registrations for the same person. Or voter registration with the name of Mickey Mouse. Or people being dropped from voter rolls, such as the actor Tim Robbins, who had to secure a court order on Tuesday in order to cast his ballot because his name was inexplicably missing from the registration rolls, despite having lived in the same place in New York for many years.

If it was perfect, a "hanging chad" would have never become part of the electoral and cultural lexicon. There would be no such thing as a "disenfranchised voter".

So, grow up and shut up. 


IRI's Liar-in-Chief

by sickofiri (not verified) on

Ahmadinejad is a liar-in-chief: - every utterance is a lie :

Lie#1 before he became President: Ahmadinejad tells Iranians they need not worry about their hair styles and Hijab, because these will not be his government's concerns.


Ahmadinejad's crackdown on hair styles and Hijab







Ahmadinejad won not because

by Khosro (not verified) on

Ahmadinejad won not because he portrayed himself as humble but because Khamanei ordered his minions to elect him. You think Iran is a democracy? ROTFL



by IRANdokht on

President elect Barack Hussein Obama was the more qualified person running for the job, he ran a great campaign and he also happens to be black:  the first black president not only in USA but in the west!

Why do you think that bringing up the fact that he's the first black president takes away from his status? It's definitely a milestone, but not the only reason he's the president.

The good thing about him is that he has not been in DC for decades and does not owe a lot of people favors, unlike the maverick there who had to please everyone because he had made alot of friends and a lot more enemies .



The IRI virtual Enterprise Institue

by sickofiri (not verified) on

This group is a leading apologist for many (though not all) of the brutally violent, backward, apartheid, corrupt, inhumane and radicaly militant Khomeinist policies of the last 30 years — They smugly are waiting to pounce on Obama's new adminstration if he doesn't buy into IRI's usual trickery and shenanigans. I'm confident that Obama is astute enough especially when it comes to his own ideological concerns not to fall into their trap. IRI is going to regret its support for Obama.


"The man won the election,

by Lefty Lap Poodle (not verified) on

"The man won the election, fair and square, and it shows that the electoral process, while far from perfect, works better than any other electoral process in the world."

Kaveh when 2 Engineers are talking a laborer does not cut in their conversation asking where his shovel is!

You heard couple of words like "electoral process" and suddenly it is "far from perfect"??!! WTF?!! What would be perfect? How many electoral processes are there in the "world" and how many of them do you know about to compare this one to?

Kaveh Nouraee

"...it is a mistake, in my

by Kaveh Nouraee on

"...it is a mistake, in my opinion, to try to reduce Obama's achievement to a racial milestone that will have far reaching consequences internationally."

Agreed, so why then are the same people who are lauding his victory focusing almost solely on the "racial milestone"?

The man won the election, fair and square, and it shows that the electoral process, while far from perfect, works better than any other electoral process in the world.

But before the new president can even begin to entertain dealing with the issue of Iran, he will have his hands full trying to appease those in the far left that put him over the top and therefore feel entitled to a measure of "payback".

It shall be very interesting to watch, to say the least.


Dear President Ahmadinejad, PhD:

by Kablammad (not verified) on

Dear President Ahmadinejad, PhD:

Ever since you bestowed upon us our Eyeranian compatriots have become expatriots. I do no know why.

Maybe it is because; you do not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Esleep tight so you don't suffer from exhaustion again. Sam-I-am Samuel Adams.


I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Yes yes yes!

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Q is amazing! This was my favorite part of the essay:

"like-minded neoconservative allies, it would be a mistake to "validate" the Iranian regime through the act of sitting down with them. But what these groups never realized was that quite apart from Iranian issues with their own government, their national pride demanded that they be treated seriously and equally in the international arena."

Without TALKS Iranian-Americans are not being heard. We have NO VOICE at all. IRI is not our voice, but the US government is. That is what These FRINGE people don't get. Thank you Q. A thousand million thanks. Send this to NY Times or something too. More people need to read this. 



One final thought, Qumars

by Rosie (not verified) on

Your observation that the election of a black man to the Presidency is more of a surprise to the developed than the developing world keeps ringing in my head.

I can't really speak about Iran but last month I read on the Times editorial page a piece by Tom Freedman. He told how a friend of his in China was surprised at Obama's candidacy. She said she thought all black people in the U.S. were janitors and laborers. He said, no, they have all kinds of jobs, and she was astonished. She said:

"What an amazing country."

She was as amazed as we are, perhaps more. I was a young girl when the song below (lower right hand corner) came out. Please notice that the photo is a photo of the planet.

Take care,



خانم هو و اقای

Rok goo (not verified)

خانم هو و اقای کو مریدان احمدی نژادند که اوباما را تا حد شخصیت "ممتاز" او رقم میزنند.
بعضی از لابیها رژیم کا ندید "بهتری" دارند ــ خاتمی، قالی باف، و خلاصه هر "خودی" که
شورای نگهبان تائید کند. و هدفش راه امام, ره, باشد.

تمامی این لابیها یا مسلمان و مریدامام،ره، هستند و یا لا مذهب ولی نان را به نرخ روز میخورند.
اگر سایت این پیام را منتشر، اسامی دیگر لابی ها را نیز بعدا ذکر میکنم.

از واجبات یا وضائف انان جنگ زرگری با خودی ها و دشمنی با دشمنان امت اسلامیست.
منبر این لابی ها صفحات این سایت است و البته خدا روزی رسان همه است!


خانم هو و اقای

Anonymoust (not verified)

خانم هو و اقای کو مریدان احمدی نژادند که اوباما را تا حد شخصیت "ممتاز"
او رقم میزنند.
بعضی از لابیها رژیم کا ندید "بهتری" دارند ــ خاتمی، قالی باف، و خلاصه
هر "خودی" که شورای نگهبان تائید کند. و هدفش راه امام, ره, باشد.
تمامی این لابیها یا مسلمان و مریدامام،ره، هستند و یا لا مذهب ولی نان را
به نرخ روز میخورند. اگر سایت این پیام را منتشر، اسامی دیگر لابی ها را
نیز بعدا ذکر میکنم.
از واجبات یا وضائف انان جنگ زرگری با خودی ها و دشمنی با دشمنان امت
منبر این لابی ها صفحات این سایت است و البته خدا روزی رسان همه است!


the nuttiest right-wing

by Lawerence E. (not verified) on

the nuttiest right-wing commenters bent on preserving the IRI . The "JQIX IRI Enterprise Insititue" wishes Iranian and all justic seeking Iranians ill. Their standard IRI talking points and highly scripted verbal ammunitions wrapped in blog forms to mow down any anti-IRI dissent on this site and push IRI hard-right radical agenda in the US is a disgrace.

While Neocons and the religious wingnuts in the US have been disgraced, marginalized,and defeated, our Iranian neocons and relgious right wingers think they have a mandate and are truly representative of Iranians.

To sum up, While Americans faced the right-wing ideologues like QJIM and said STOP, our beloved IRI apologist continue to celebrate their religious nuttery.

Truly amazing!!!


White Guilt, Jamshid, all

by Rosie (not verified) on

The night Ohama won I was at a party in a restaurant and the following morning walking down the streets of downtown Manhattan and I'd see these black people and we'd look into each other's eyes and just fall into each other's arms and hug each other like we could never let each other and cry. The first time this happened we both said over and over again, "it's going to be alright. It's going to be alright."

That's not white guilt. That is true, pure and sincere expression of love and solidarity and I know many many black and white people felt the same way. This is about real change within the US. We're SICK of it, so many of us white people. WE ARE SICK OF THE RACISM, THE INEQUITIES< WE REFUSE TO LIVE THIS WAY ANYMORE. Obama is a decent candidate, BETTER than McCain by far. So we chose him. Who else would we have chosen? Hillary was just too hawkish for many of us...

Unfortunately the popular vote was disturbingly close, the nation is still divided. But we WON. WE WON THE ELECTION. Q may be right about the developing world being less surprised than the developed but the fact is this is the FIRST black president in the develped world. And it's a MAJOR breakthrough.

Jamshid, I meant to say Aaaaaaaaaaah in my post to you, not asssssssssh. :o)))

To my friends, well, my furlough's over. I came to celebrate this special day with you and I don't expect to be back here for quite some time. But it has been wonderful "seeing" you again here onsite. Anyone who wants to get in touch with me can reach me at rjgoldbird@aol.com


Darius Kadivar

Jaleho ICH BIN AWAKE ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

It's a Deal Jaleho : YOU take care of your Eyes next time you look at the Moon to watch your Prophet and make sure to send some Salavats for your crumbling IRI and I will take care of my Brain.

In the Meantime I will Treat you like Burt Lancaster Treats BOOZ : 





Darius K., ghatebeh one was great!

by Jaleho on

See, we might need a surgical strike, but you also need a brain surgery! Some of you neurons just won't let go :-) :-)

Thanks for the funny clip, it was great. And to reciprocate, I'll give you this alternative explanation of the reason for Obama's victory. Unlike your neurons, the Blue States threatened to LET GO, and the REDS got scared!

Dear Red States,

If you manage to steal this election, too, we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and the entire Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to us, the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend any more of our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Stanford, Cal Tech, and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all
televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson, and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too.

You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,
--Blue States

Darius Kadivar

FYI/HUMAN RIGHTS:Iran Hangs 7th Juvenile Offender This Year

by Darius Kadivar on



New York, November 4, 2008) – Iran hanged a juvenile offender on October 30, 2008, the seventh this year, only two days after Iranian authorities "categorically denied" that it still executes juveniles, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights Watch said today. Both organizations appealed to Iranian authorities to end such executions immediately.


Human rights issue

by Get Real guys (not verified) on

Dear "I have a crush on Alex Trebek";

Excuse my ignorance but who is Alex Trebek anyway?! I thought you were supposed to have a crush on Homer your hubby ... lol

When it comes to comparsion of Obama to Jimmy Carter, I certainly hope from the bottom of my heart that at least Obama will pressure mullahs as much as Carter did the Shah regarding Human rights in Iran, 'cuz you and I and those with no-strings attached to mullahs know quite well that mullahs are a 100 fold worse when it comes to their record for human rights violations.

Darius Kadivar


by Darius Kadivar on

More For Your and Their Education

Hee, Hee







by Anonymousb (not verified) on

اگر شما هم ريشه بدبختی های ما ايرانيان را در اسلام می دانيد، اگر شما هم معتقديد تا ريشه اسلام در کشور ما خشکانده نشده (البته سال ها بلکه قرن لازم است تا اينکار انجام شود) ايران ايران نشود پس در انتشار و آگاه کردن مردم در مورد اسلام و مطالبی که در مورد اسلام است دريغ نکنيد هر مطلبی را به ديگران بفرستيد.

اسلام ريشه بدبختی ايرانيان بوده واگر مردم امروز که رنسانس ايران آغاز شده است با ريشه های آن آگاه نشوند هرگز نسل بعدی در اين مورد اقدامی نخواهد کرد. کسانی که مانع از انتشار مطالب راجع به اسلام می شوند يا «اسلام را پشتيبانی می کنند» يا ندانسته «رژيم را پشتيبانی می کنند» يا نمی دانند ريشه در کجا آبياری می شود.

درست است ما نمی توانيم دين را از جوامع بيرون کنيم و يا هرکز نخواهيم توانست جوامع را از شر دين پاک کنيم ولی می توانيم مردم مذهبی و خرافی را به يک متفکر مبدل کنيم. اينرا قادريم و اينکار ميسر نيست مگر با تکرار، تکرار، تکرار و بازهم تکرار 1400 سال است اينها مرگ محمد ويا بعثت ويا مرگ حسين را به هزار حيله و دروغ به ما تحميل می کنند ما 1400 سال تاخير داريم 1400000 (آری 14 ميليون) يار و هم کار هم دست می خواهيم که در اين راه به ما کمک کنند...

تلاش نکنيد جلوی ما را بگيريد اينکار پيش از اينکه اين نسل نابود شود بايستی انجام گيرد. فردا دير است.
اگر ما تکليف اسلام را با مردم روشن کنيم رژيم به آسانی وا خواهد داد.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Darius! Jesus STOP! STOP! Control yourself please

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Leave them alone. Stop labeling people god damn it. Why are you so prone to doing the stuff that you hate about other people so much. They don't agree with you and leave it at that. And stop posting billions of youtubes. One is enough! I can't go through the comments when you do that. I still love you madly deeply truly. 


Darius Kadivar

I suggest a Surgical Strike ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

On IRI Apologists Like Q, Jaleho, Hamid Dabashi, Soraya Ulrich and Co ! ...