16 Azar heartache in unexpected places


16 Azar heartache in unexpected places
by Ari Siletz

Today, I received an email from a young Iranian scientist doing research in the United States. The email was titled, "New racism, very sad." It came with the above screenshot and said:

My Iranian friend who lives in Germany, and got her credit card from Germany was trying to book a hostel through HostelWorld.com just now, and she got the following discriminative message [see above screenshot]. This breaks my heart, this is new racism against people of a country that are giving their lives out on the streets to prove they do not agree with the policies of their government, it seems like the entire world is deaf and does not hear us.

I responded with some routine journalistic questions. Her reply gave me a heartache. Iranian youth get beat up in Tehran streets; must they also suffer abuse abroad?

Dear Ari,

Thanks a lot for the follow up and offering to publicize this matter more. The answers to your questions are as follows:

1. She only had Iranian passport.

2. She was in Germany at the time of use of her master card. She wanted to book a hostel in Spain for one of her friends who lives in Germnay too.

3. Banks require your info at the time of opening the account, they take copy of your passport. I actually had a bank account with the same bank last year when I was in Germany, the name of the bank is sparkasse . Its the only bank that lets Iranian students open a bank account .The other banks such as Deutsche bank and Commerz bank, which are mainly owned by USA, do not accept Iranian citizens even though the German government is paying their salary!

It might be interesting for you also to know that these matters happen in US too, because of the single entry visa that we get and the risk of going out of the country and getting rejected for visa, both me and one of my friends had to turn down travel awards for scientific meetings in Europe this year. All my Lab is currently in Dublin meeting with a group of scientist about MY research, and I could not go. My friend won an Art award and got paid to go to Italy to present her work but she could not go because of the same reason.


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Thank you

by IRANdokht on

Ari jan

It's painful to see our bright people being discriminated against both inside Iran and abroad. It's criminal to waste the efforts of our talented and intelligent youth... 

Thank you for the post.



Sehr Gut

by divaneh on

That's very clever. I am sure IRI is incapable of using a national of any other country to do its dirty work. They would book all the hostels if you dont stop them.

Thanks for posting this Ari. If she or anyone else prepares a petition against these ill tohught policies, I will sign it.


Iran threatens protesters

by vildemose on

Iran threatens protesters after detaining 200

Warning suggests Tehran fears opposition rallies will pick up new steam



Thanks to the anti nationalist regime

by Cost-of-Progress on

of the unelcted clergy which is responsible for the name of Iran and Iranians becoming synononmous with terrorism and chaos. It used to be that Iran was not well known in the western world, but we became famous for all the wrong reasons in the past 30 years.





Large American banks (Chase for example)

by Mehrban on

also restrict existing accounts of Iranian nationals.  Restrict means that they are not allowed to transact on the account.  The accounts are to be transferred to a foreign country or to remain inactive.  

I am not sure that this is because of sanctions against Iran or some sort of an agreement with Iranian government.  I have heard it both ways.


Thanks for pointing this

by DM on

Thanks for pointing this out, Ari. I had no idea the restrictions on banking went so far as to target Iranians abroad who are just trying to live their lives. That's wrong.


Ari jan, this is the tip of the iceberg

by Q on

Iranians are facing increased discrimination in all sorts of ways, some that are not immediately obvious. This campaign was kicked into high gear in past 8 years. The number of students coming over even to the US is now slowed to a crawl, compared to what it was in late 90's. I wrote about Iranian students being selectively barred from Swedish Universities back in August.


16th of Azar?

by Shah.Heir on

I understand where you and your friend are coming from. Although, being under such circumstances it is easy to feel as though you are being treated as a criminal or 'lesser than your peers' but you shouldn't feel this way. I really doubt that these tactics are being used just for the sake of humiliation. With that said you have to remember that just recently a man was arrested for trying to aquire military technology for Tehran. So this is serious and is certainly not child's-play. I am sorry to read about you missing your trip with your classmates and I sincerely hope you don't fall behind in your studies because of it. I really have no idea why that website doesn't accomadate to those certain nationalities, (if anything wouldnt that make them easier to track?) it is probly some legal bumbo jumbo. I hope that with all the tax money invested and all the think tanks in Washington they could come up with some better ideas in the near future.  Good luck and dont take it so personal ! ;0)




I believe we havent met. :) I was channeling Fred in my post. 



@Moosir va piaz

by MeyBokhor_Manbarbesuzan on

Two things for you.

1) How is this affecting regime officials? They deal in cash -- and I can assure you they do not sleep in hostels and the like.

2) It is apparantly very easy for you to say lengesh kon. Why don't you try giving up your credit cards for a while?


Very sad!

by Princess on

If Sparkasse is the best of them, than it is indeed very sad. Unfortunately, this is not something new, and to be fair, it is not just a political thing, it is also a racial issue disguised in politics. The politics give some racists a convenient disguise. 

Thanks for spreading the word, Ari. 


Fred would probably say...


Ends justify the means. A little suffering is worth it so Iran can become free. After all, isnt it all the regimes fault?


Thanks Ari for spreading this very sad but important event

by Bavafa on

The sanction put on Iran is for sure at work here and we see the result of it as what sort of people will and have got affected by it.