Bridging the gap

Talking with the first Iranian-American appointee of the Obama Administration


Bridging the gap

Before accepting his new position as senior advisor to special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Vali Nasr had already distinguished himself as one of the leading analysts on the Middle East and South Asia, appearing on CNN, ABC, NPR, and lending his expertise to articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Time Magazine and Newsweek.

Author of The Shia Revival, Democracy in Iran, and The Islamic Leviathan, Nasr is also a Professor of international politics at Tufts University, and an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think-tank focusing on foreign policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with The Dubai Initiative of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. PAAIA's Rudi Bakhtiar caught up with Nasr as he prepares for his new role in the Obama Administration.

R: How would you describe your new role in the Obama Administration as senior advisor to Ambassador Holbrooke?

V: I have worked with Ambassador Holbrooke for some time now, most recently during the presidential campaign. I think he is one of America’s most capable diplomats, a man who has the ability to tackle the thorniest issues that confront the U.S. in the Middle East and South Asia. His current mission involves resolving the crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I will be serving as his Senior Advisor in shaping American policy in this conflict in particular by addressing the political dimension of America’s strategy and bringing it into alignment with the overall goals of addressing security concerns in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

R: You lived in Pakistan as a doctoral student and studied Islamist movements there, and have traveled to Pakistan many times since then. How do you believe your experience on the ground in Pakistan will shape your policy advice?

V: I have in addition traveled to Pakistan many times over the past two decades. I have also written extensively, including three books, on Pakistan’s politics, regional role and the role of Islam and extremism in its history. I hope to use that experience and knowledge to inform America’s approach to addressing the current crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

R: What, in your opinion, are the most significant challenges the U.S will face in the South Asia/Afghanistan region in the next ten years, and the biggest opportunities?

V: It is events in Afghanistan that have had the most significant impact on U.S. foreign policy over the past decade. The events of 9/11 and what followed in America’s relations with the Muslim world all had their roots in instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and now almost a decade after 9/11 Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to pose the most serious challenges facing American security and foreign policy. In many ways for America to get past this phase of its involvement in the Middle East and for the region to also turn the page the crisis in Afghanistan has to be solved. But this is a complex problem. Most immediately, the challenge is to contain and end the Taliban insurgency, and the lawlessness that reigns in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But to solve that problem we have to tackle other problems: establishing a viable government in Afghanistan, strengthening the government in Pakistan, addressing economic problems in the two countries, addressing the drug problem in Afghanistan, stabilizing relations between the two countries, changing America’s image in that part of the world, and building lasting partnerships between U.S. and the countries of the region and more important between the countries of the region. There are also other issues such as securing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal that have to be tackled. In short, the security problems require making sure Afghanistan and Pakistan become functioning and stable countries in a region with well-defined relations between regional actors.

R: You're well known here in Washington (and around the world) as a Middle East expert, and have been involved in policy-making for some time. How did your career morph from academia to politics?

V: I did not change careers so much as extended the purview of what I was doing beyond scholarly research into policy-making. I have continued to research, write articles and books. In fact I am jut finishing a new book before starting at the State Department. I have also continued with teaching and a good portion of my time over the past five years has been dedicated to working with my students. My involvement in policy-making came in tandem with my academic life. The change rather came in trying to bridge the gap between academia and policy-making worlds. America has some of the world’s leading academic institutions and there is a great deal of knowledge in them about the Middle East and other regions of the world. There are many Iranian-Americans who have excelled in this environment. However, traditionally those in academia have not been connected to those who make decisions about the world. In recent years there has been growing interest in policy-making, media and also general public in deeper understanding of issues relating to the Muslim world in general and places in that region where America has immediate interests. I have tried in my on way and in areas I know about to provide the necessary link between these worlds by addressing the concerns of policy-makers by relating what I know from my own research and writing. I have found great deal of interest in Washington in learning more about the Middle East, and then one thing led to another and I became more involved in policy-making and also talking to media.

R: The focus, in your new position, is solely on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Would you like Iran to eventually also become part of the equation, or is it already?

V: I believe that Iran today plays a pivotal role in the Middle East. Iran’s influence in one form or another is present across a vast region from Lebanon to Afghanistan. Ultimately America’s interests in this broad region as well as in individual arenas of conflict will necessitate contending with Iran. How the Afghanistan crisis turns out will ultimately impact U.S.-Iran relations and in turn how U.S.-Iran relations turn out will impact Afghanistan. So I think at some point there will be a convergence between the various issues the U.S. is dealing with in the Middle East and the future of its relations with Iran.

R: When did you come to the United States and what was that experience like for you?

V: My family migrated to the United States after the revolution; in fact, immediately after the revolution swept Iran. It is an experience that I share with countless other Iranian-Americans. Those early years were a difficult time for me and my family. We left everything behind in Iran and had to start from scratch in a new country; we had to deal with our loss and loss of the many family ties and bonds of friendship we left behind. Life was uncertain and although America was welcoming to all of us who took refuge here, nevertheless the deteriorating image of Iran after the Hostage Crisis was challenging. I remember the difficulties of being an Iranian then at school or working at odd jobs. Abruptly cutting from an environment and a life is always difficult, more so if the problems that pushed you into exile follow you there. But I guess time writes its own verdicts, and thirty years on, like many other Iranian-Americans, I too eventually settled into the rhythm of a new life and came to terms with what 1979 meant for us all. I think I never quite escaped the weight of the tumult that changed our lives as I was drawn to studying Iran and the political movement that changed its history.

R: Favorite Iran memory?

V: I have too many memories of Iran, and sometimes I think perhaps not enough. But what is always in my mind, what comes to my mind when I think of Iran instinctively, is the view of the majestic Alborz mountains looking down on Tehran; that was what I saw first thing every morning out of my room’s window since I can remember and then for so many years after, that is until all of a sudden I didn’t see it anymore.

R: I meet a lot of college students working with PAAIA, and many of them ask me if I know you...and tell me how much they look up to you. For those who want to be where you are some day, what piece of advice can you give them?

V: I am honored and humbled to hear such sentiments. I too am enormously proud of what the young Iranian-Americans have accomplished in this country and continue to accomplish. My first day in the State Department I met young Iranian-Americans working at various jobs as diplomats, foreign service officers and specialists managing this country’s foreign policy—and not on Iran-related topics but on variety of global issues. I cannot think of any other migrant community that has done so much so quickly in America. I doubt that given what the Iranian-American youth are accomplishing in academia, medicine, sciences, media, law, business, arts and now also in politics, that they need any advice. They are doing just fine. Iranians are hard-working by nature, and they value education. Our culture celebrates excellence. I think so long as our youth hold on to these values they will go far and make us, this country and the country their parents came from proud.

R: I know you don't have a lot of down time with three kids and your busy work schedule, but when you do, what do you do for fun?

V: I love to spend quality time with friends and family. I think the measure of a person is the quality of his relationships. When time is scarce family matters more, and I revel in spending time with my children, especially because I am grateful to them for their patience for giving me time to write and do other things. I love to read novels, that is whenever I get a chance, and I also love to travel, provided I get to set foot out of a hotel or conference room. I guess we all have favorite activities, but ultimately what matters is to be productive and to be satisfied with what you do, and doing it well. If by fun we mean a sense of joy and elation that gives color to our lives and lifts us above the grind of daily life I would venture to say that it has to come from within, and that requires a balance between everything we do.

R: You have played a big role in PAAIA as a board member of PAAIA Fund. How important is an organization like this to our community.

V: I think PAAIA is enormously important to us. America is a country of immigrants. Every community that came to this country before us ultimately found a right balance between its original identity and its American identity, and then enshrined that balance in organizations that represent it. It is time for Iranian-Americans to do the same; to properly define themselves for the larger American society, and hold on to the values and identity that matters to them and that they want to pass on to their children. PAAIA plays that critical role. America is also built bottom up by interest groups and grass roots organizations. A community as prosperous and accomplished as the Iranian-American community can only play its proper role in this society if it invests in organizations that can pool its resources and project its voice. As Americans we can all fulfill our potential the best we can, but as Iranian-Americans we cannot get anywhere unless we gel as a community. The wisdom of the Persian saying: “Yek Dast Seda Nadarad (one hand cannot make sound) tells it all. Iranians need one another to be one community, and more so to represent themselves in this vast country. I hope that PAAIA will be a trailblazer in this regard and will chart the way for many more Iranian-American organizations to take form in different fields and with different missions to capture the entirety of the Iranian-American experience and make sure it takes its proper place in American society, politics and culture. Each of us came to this country for a different reason and at a different time, but we all know that something unique binds us together and defines our lives in America. It is quite clear that that something matters to all Iranian-Americans; PAAIA was formed to capture that something and make something more of it, for us, for our children, and for the larger American society. We are here to stay and to make our mark, we know we can do it as individuals now it is time we did it as community.


more from PAAIA

Dear Friends

by A Proud Iranian (not verified) on

Can we once be happy for a fellow Iranian who has been able to reach some level of success, and not to undercut him so much.

I would like to share with you something: There are perhaps no more than 25 million or so Jews who live in this World! Yet, you can see their influence in Finance, Politics, The Arts, Science, Etc. I don't believe that they are particularly smarter than others. Yet, what distinguishes them from others, more than anything else, Is Their UNITY!

Again, Let Us Be Happy For This Iranian, And Wish Hime Well!!!!!

Thank You :)


Dear Alborzi, I hear you!

by Jaleho on

In fact one reason that Holbrooke has chosen Nasr as an advisor is precisely because Nasr comes as close to an Iraninian Ahmed Chalabi as you can get!

Nasr exemplifies American wishful thinking regarding the Middle East. That is, he exaggerates ten-fold the Shia-Sunni division that America is dreaming about to put a wedge in the region and isolate Iran and the more revolutionary Shia factions in the region, such as Hezbollah and militants in Iraq, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

America does not all of a sudden stop dreaming about its grand ideas of perpetual divisions of one form or the other (Arab-Israeli; Shia-Sunni, Arab-non-Arab..)in the ME from which it has been able to fish in muddy waters. Nasr is exactly the mud maker they dream of. But, let's not forget that all those policies have failed once the national aspirations has awakened.  They will fail again, and down with those dream will go the carrier of people like Nasr.

Darius Kadivar

Dear Mr.gol-dust Thank you for your explanation

by Darius Kadivar on

Please allow me first and foremost say that I bow to the pain and grief of you and your family for the death of your brother. I think that there are no words from a stranger that can ever sooth such an irreversible grief nor any objective explanation could ever justify a human beings death in a violent conflict that opposes him to another person or system of government amidst such historical earthquakes like Revolutions or Wars ...

All I can say is that I am fully aware of the tragedy that fell upon us as a nation 30 years ago and the cost and shared responsability of our collective self in its outcome. By collective self I mean all of us who belong or belonged to the nation of Iran and that includes the people at large but also the Shah and his government but also that of Khomeiny and his Revolutionary government and the leadership that followed.

I recall my late father telling us that a  "Revolution" is worst than a "War" since unlike in a War, in a Revolution you do not know who is your enemy. That person can be your neighbour, a jealous colleague or even your own siblings or children brainwashed by the circumstances, emotions channeled by events and speaches that are larger than life and encourage self sacrifice and martyrdom for an idea that is often noble but also which overshadows the reality of human nature which by essence is imperfect.

In the midst of the Revolution of 1979, my father who was a surgeon in Shiraz was called to the Hospital on emergency as well as in the line of fire to carry wounded compatriots to the operating room. He helped save the lives of equally Revolutionaries shot in the street fights with the Military as well as soldiers and officers of the Imperial Army equally hurt in these violent confrontations with the people in revolt.

Two Anecdotes come to my mind as I write these lines. One was of a young student who my father carried to safety while shots were flying in all directions. His entire sexual organs were blown out by a shell and he was bleading to death. Before dying, he turned to my father who was holding him in his arms and telling him: "Dr. Please tell me that I won't die in Vain in our fight for Freedom" And before he died my father had the time to comfort him by saying  "You won't die in vain ..." . My Dad has barely the time to shed a tear that other patients were rushed in to the hospital in order to be taken care of or operated in urgency.

On another occasion but after the revolution, an Officer of the Imperial Army whose leg was broken arrived in the formerly named Shahriar Hospital to ask refuge. My father and his colleagues sheltered him and took care of his leg and doing their best to keep the man in safe haven till the revolutionary climate eases. The man was from what I was told later a handsom and honerable officer who had commited no crime to anyone's knowledge nor had he been involved in any combat with civilians but had managed to flee his revolutionary aggressors after being beaten nearly to death.

A month passed but the Revolutionary guards managed to find out that he was in the Hospital and came after him. Despite protests by the nurses and that my father and his colleagues the guards take him by force in his leg cast and he was executed the same day.

Another more personal anecdote is that of a classmate of mine whose name was Cameron. His father was an engineer and the boy was something of black sheep at school cause he was often very enigmatically shy and would rarely speak up. Many of us used to tease him thinking he did not want to mix with us and being a bad sport. Then one day Cameron dissappeared from school for a whole month and that confirmed our suspicion that he was a "sissy" not wanting to mingle with us. What An Error on our part and how selfish we were when later we saw his father on the local TV News in Shiraz. He was presented as the head of the SAVAK in Shiraz and was bearded and tired in front of the Revolutionary Court. Khomeiny had at the time declared general amnesty to all former members of the Imperial Regime and so Cameron's father thought that he could come back to town out of hiding in the mountains all winter. He was weak and had clearly lost weight. The news said he had been executed after the Trial ( Despite the General Amnesty). We were all doubly shocked. One because we never even thought he could have been working for the SAVAK and the other that he was executed without even a fair trial. 

A month passed and Cameron reappeared as sad as ever. All my classmates and I who had made fun of him went to him and presented our condolences. He just shed a little smile and kept on his lonely pace. 

A Week later he left school with his pregnant mother. We learned later that her mother lost her child probably due to the stress of the whole situation and her husbands execution.

 Who is to Blame ? The Revolution, The Shah. Khomeiny ? I don't know all I know is that The Revolution left irreversible scars for many generation that followed. Particularly in the bloody 8 Year War that costed the lives of so many of our dear compatriots and even children under the age of 9 sent to death by the mullahs with a plastic key on their neck.

How did we get to this point of self denigration, mutual hatred and collective and individual tragedies ? 

From a Historical and Political Perspective I have my arguments to explain what happened back in 1979 in the same way you have yours. But I think you would agree that neither of our arguments can be totally satisfactory when we have closely witnessed firsthand ( particularly in the case of you and your family's grief ) such individual tragedies of people close to us.

Some people find some comfort by writing about it like Mrs. Afshineh Latifi the daughter of an Officer in the Shah's Army who was also unjustly executed:

BOOK: EVEN AFTER ALL THIS TIME By Afschineh Latifi ( A Memoir )

Others like you may not find that energy or will to write about it for nothing can bring your dear brother back to life. Not even Reza Pahlavi's public excuses for the Crimes commited under his fathers reign:

Reza Pahlavi New Book (A TIME OF CHOICE) Q&A With French Media

I have personally always believed that the Monarchy is accountable for what happened during the Shah's reign due to his abuse of Power and the fact that he no more than his predessesors respected the Constitition, where the Shah Reigns but does not Rule.

I believe that the Monarchy because of the way it was practised led to its own downfall. The People at large cannot be held responsible for revolting against their King. However I do blame the Intelligenstia and the so called "ANN TELLECTUALS" who having benefited from the Imperial Regime be it socially and educationally did not measure the level of absurdity of their demands and by whole heartingly embracing the Clerics Revolution.

From this point of view in my book The Revolution Was NOT Highjacked. On the contrary it was forged and shaped by the will to overthrow the Shah and establish an Islamic Society. When they understood what they were about to lose in terms of freedom and social rights. That is when they (and women in particular) protested in vain.

What was highjacked however was the will to reform the monarchy into its constitutional form. An Urge that was triggered already back in 1906. But instead of bringing the monarch into accepting these terms we as a nation prefered kicking him out and questioning the entire system as a whole. That is where I think the People made a historical mistake due to lack of political insight ( partly due to lack of Political Freedom Under the Shah but also because of personal ambitions and divisions between the most moderate elements).

I will concede to you that my view is debateable but that is precisely what History is all about: "Interpreting the past to better understand the Present"

This "Interpretation" Is naturally different for every person whose vision is shaped by different experiences and intellectual upbringing.

And from that point of view I respect anyone who would offer his or her arguments based on logic and why not even with emotions if it is done in the day of light.

When we have the luxury of expressing our views freely, the minimum is to do it by taking responsability for it. I feel accountable for what I write and the minimum I can do is do it with my real name and identity, especially if my words and comments can shape opinions of influence people.

Never have I tried to slander an individual's personality, family background, race or heritage but at worst HIS/HER OPINIONS if they appear to me as not sincere or biaised or simply dishonest.

Am I being Subjective when I do that ? ABSOLUTELY.

However I like to think (albeit with less talent) that Like Marjane Satrapi I believe said it best regarding her views of the Revolution and Iran's history in her film/book Persepolis that : "We All Have the Right to Have Our Own subjective vision of history and politics as long as we are sincere to ourselves and intellectually accountable to our those who listen or read us."

To conclude I would simply like to say that I hope that the Scars of the Revolution that have shaped us all one way or another for Better and for Worse will pave the way for our country towards a more tolerant one and where History will be relagated to where it belongs the dusty shelves of a university or schoolclass but not in the violent street confrontations we have witnessed in the past.

Lastly and purely from an intellectual point of view and Regardless of the nature of the democratic regime we may one day have in Iran ( if we Ever get to that stage that is, which I am afraid will not be the case for our generation to live it)  be it a Secular Republic or a Constitutional Monarchy, I believe that their will always be a  drift and debate between these two visions of Iran: That which will consider the Revolution of 1979 as an inevitable and irreversible progress towards democracy and that which will consider that on the contrary it was a setback on all levels. This debate will remain eternally whether Iran becomes a Secular Republic or A Constitutional Monarchy. What matters is whether the democratic institutions are respected and that Individual and Human Rights are respected. But even here in Republican France, A Monarchists Party is tolerated and can participate in elections and win seats in the Parliament and like wise in Great Britain a Republican Party has seats in Parliament. As long as both subscirbe to democratic values and practice of course.

This is why I hope that this kind of debate will be one day possible in Iran and that if there is to be a struggle it should be one of ideas and not fists and physical bullying in the Streets in an aim to encourage violence or suppress opinions as it did during the Shah's Era as well as today under the current Turbaned Absolute Dynasty that claims to be a "Republic".

Politics is I'm afraid not about solving our own individual psychological scars, traumas or dillemas but about our collective responsability as a nation or community to live together with the aim of improving our lives collectively, Its about participation and accountability as well as coexistance through mutual respect. But What we mean by Respect is not just a polite debate. No on the contrary debates can be harsh. sometimes verbally violent and passionate as they do in nearly all parliaments. This is where I think many of Us Iranians have learned the hard way that democracy is not something that will be given to us on a silver plate like much of what we actually did get on a silver plate in terms of social progress and economic wellfare and secularism during the Shah's Era. Sure it was not equally distributed and my arguments is not here to justify the shortcomings but to say that there is a Price to Democracy and Freedom and your brother's martyrdom is a reminder of this often harsh and cruel price we tend as people to forget or overlook.

Having no True democratic Parliament of ours today in Iran, this website at times reflects what kind of debate and emotions can be triggered in the light of day by people of conviction. If we had that luxury in our country today, I think that the nature of some of the conversations on this website would indeed be less tainted by frustration and anger.

In anyway I want to thank you for intervening and giving your point of view in the light of day ( at least with your picture) and I hope that this will lead to a better mutual understanding of eachother's stance with hopes that indeed your brother did not die in vain in the hope that one day his country would be a Free and Democratic Iran where personal happiness, collective wellbeing and Life would instead supercede martyrdom for any cause no matter how noble ...

I don't know if my explanation is sufficient but I hope that at least it clarifies some of the points your raised in your thread. 






Hooshie, thank you for proving my point!

by gol-dust on

Mr. kadivar, my point was only about this article. I didn't know about the history between you and Mr. Alborzi! If there is bad blood between you two, you have every reason to defend your point of view, then I am out of this one.

I had seen many of your writings and links in the past, and I had found some of them very informative, and I was surprised to see you calling him "nut haead" since frankly I did not expect this from you, and I thought to let you that. If I would flag it, you wouldn't know the real reason.

I have a different opinion on the Shah, since my family participated in the revolution even though I come from a military family, and I lost my 19 year old brother during the revolution. However, I never wrote anything against your writings, respecting your opinion even though it was different than mine. My appologies if I inadvertantly offended you.

Hooshie, you actually are proving my point by the example that you brought! I was offended by that guy for indirectly calling me a liar! NObody calls me a liar! This was a personal attack, not only against me, also against someone very dear to me whom I lost 30 years ago!

I might have answered his question if he would not have asked the question by insinuating that I was lying! Now, why anyone in a right mind need to say that? I have a lot of friends that I lost during the revolution that I could only name, making him happy! was he MOKHAABERAAT to go and investigate? 

In fact, I still have the magazine with the article where they interviewd my mom with a large photo of my handsome brother. If that guy calls me a liar in my face, I'll brake his teeth, as I have done to Khomeini's supporters. I don't appreciate it for me, and I don't appreciate it for others! Ok? Do you have problem with that? Now, if you are trying to attack me personally. let me know now!  


Mr Kadivar you are doing fine Sir.

by hooshie on

Hardly anyone can match your degree of civility when it comes to debates with the people who so radically opposed to you. Only recently  Gol-dust was ranting abuse against another commenter (Aboli) who simply asked him to name his brother whom he was so proud of. See how gol-dust replied.



Mr Gol-dust perhpas you should practice what you preach!


proof is in the pudding

by Alborzi (not verified) on

I do not care about who says what, in fact most of these so called experts are wrong most of the time. They thought revolution in Iran is impossible,. they did not see the crash of the markets ... . The way to analyze the situation, is to look back, Khomeini is buried in Iran in a shrine, with thousand visitors visiting daily, Shah is buried in Egypt. His end was tragic, even the master threw him out, none of these is insults, its just facts. Now back to the original article, could you speculate, why not an Arab , Afghan or Paki is not the aid. Iran's power does not come from barrel of a gun, it comes from its influence in other nations. Nothing nefarious about it, they see Iran as a fighter against colonialism, just like India, Algeria, Vietnam their power comes from being right.

Darius Kadivar

Mr. gol-dust

by Darius Kadivar on

Funny how all of a sudden I have become the person vehemently insulting others ... Do I need to show you the blogs that have attacked me on all Levels in the past without the slightest intervention to Flag their comments ?

Why Don't You Flag Me Then ?

Ive been called over many years writing here a TRAITOR, A CROWNED CANNIBLE, A SHIT HEAD, A ZIO NAZI and God knows how many other words which I will spare you and often by the same people  ... And No one came over to defend me not even the respectful editor of this website. 

HOWEVER, I have never shyed  away from a good and honest debate with people who wish to challenge my opinions particularly if they do it with THEIR REAL  IDENTITY. When they don't then I don't see the difference between insulting them and blowing in the wind ...

If They are Brave enough and Honest enough to stand for their BELIEFS  then I respect them even if I may not share their views entirely. This is the case for several other people on this website who at least have put up their names and at best their photos ( deemed real at least) and with whome I eagerly debate with and even share a certain level of cyber friendship and mutual respect.

However MOST IRI Apologists on this Website not to say nearly ALL don't even have the courage to blog with their Real Identity and want to give lessons on tolerance and political correctness to others. THAT is something I don't take for granted !  

But when it comes to the few people I bully through words ( and NOT FISTS) THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTORS writing either without being registered or under a pseudonym and All these ANONYMOUS BLOGGERS DON'T EVEN RISK THEIR REPUTATION Unlike Me and you today to a certain degree ( since you have added your photo to your registered and Flowery Name) !

As I said I have been constantly attacked insulted and polorized for my Opinions without the slightest excuse from the ANONYMOUS attackers (most of the time the same people)  who under pseudonyms and no Photo (Unlike You quite Recently ) recently allow themselves liberties to attack my personality, draw fallacious conclusions and attack without the slightest troubled conscience and even to the extent of trying to obliterate my freedom of expression on grounds of sheer personal grudge, Jealousy or hatred rather than reasoning.

My Provocative answers aim most of the time to contradict what they say with proof and arguments to my assessments and not simple slandering.

People like Ostaad, Capt_Ayab, Alborzi, Dariush ( a namesake) have been subject to my mockery in the same way they have mocked me. If they are too susceptible tough luck for their ANONYMOUS PRIDE !

What I don't like is the tendancy of these people to express their views as if it were natural to defend their opinion so staunchly without ever risking ridicule or contradiction.

Freedom of Speach and Respect for others is something I value very much in my everyday life and not just online BUT I AM NOT A SAINT, Nor do I claim to Know the Truth or to be Always Right !

But what I don't like is Hypocrisy ! If that means I am intolerant, then so be it but then I don't think I am the only on this site.

Have a Good Weekend Sir !




Mr. Kadivar, please don't insult those whom you disagree with!

by gol-dust on

I didn't sense that Mr. Alborzi was insulting you or anyone else. He simply expressed his opinion. You insult him and accuse him of being pro-IRI just because you disagree with him. Why? Why is it so convenient for people so easily lable others? Would that make you feel smarter and correct? Just adding links to your letter doesn't make you any more correct or smarter than him. Is this the ego trip again?

Even if he were pro-IRI, why should you insut him? He has the right to his opinion as you have to yours. I don't see others insulting you for being pro-shah, if they do, they shouldn't. This is your opinion and your conviction.  You sound like Bush:"You are either with us or against us!"

We would learn much more from the diverse opinions! Agree to disagree respectfully! Thank you! 


Darius Kadivar

Alborzi Keep On Dreaming ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Hey Nut Head here is what Nasr Say's about the Shah's Era To Your IRI Pro Khatami Lobbyist Houman Majd (Dahanesh Service Shod ):


Nasr and Nafisi Dahaneh Majd Roh Service Kardan !


In addition His Positive Review of Gholam Reza Afkhami ( Former Minister under the Shah) Book: The Life and Times of the Shah :

"This book rises above common misconceptions to tell an important story, one that forged the destiny of Iran and changed the course of Middle East history. There is no better book on the Shah, his rule and legacy, and none more enjoyable to read."—Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival



He is there because of Iran

by Alborzi (not verified) on

He is there because Iran has resisted imperial and colonial policies. After decades under Shah, where Iran was the playground of all the superpowers. Iran has emeged as an independent nation, just like India in 1950s, the initial steps are not great, but you can see that they are taken more seriously. Shah was bought by a visit by a floozy and some flattering about his vision and his army (who were pokhy), now just be proud you are from the nation of Iran.


As a reader

by secular on

I would've liked to know about his opinion regarding the US role in that regio, the Iraq invasion, and Obama's decision to increase troops in Afghanistan. I also would've liked to know his thoughts on Guantanamo, Bagram and legalizing TORTURE! 

Mr. Nasr, don't you think its time to get out of Afghanistan, especially since after 8 years - Osama is on the loose - or, perhaps we're there an entirely different reason!  


He is a senior advisor to Holbrooke on Afghan & Pakestan (&IRAN)

by gol-dust on

It is stated at the beginning of the article. That's his official duties. of course you know the real reson is to use his expertise on Iran. He has written books on those two countries as well.



by Anonymous2323 (not verified) on

He is Richard Halbrookes Afghanistan-Pakistan advisor. Though I'd imagine he might talk to Dennis ross about a thing or two as well.


Does anyone know...

by Ostaad on

what Mr. Nasr's duties and responsibilities in Obama's administration are?