What US Marines think of ethnic Persians. From the US military manual on Iran.


What US Marines think of ethnic Persians. From the US military manual on Iran.
by Ari Siletz

The following are excerpts from a US Marines manual on Iran titled "Cultural Intelligence for Military Operations: Iran." The section excerpted deals specifically with Iran's Persian ethnicity.

1. This product is designed to help U.S. military forces understand the mindset of foreign cultures. Emphasis is placed on cultural factors with the greatest impact on military operations...The Cultural Intelligence Studies are in-depth comprehensive reports written for every significant ethnic group within a country.

2. Persians are the largest and most prosperous ethnic group in Iran, making up 53 percent of the population, or approximately 35 million people[this says that the report was written circa 2002]...The ethnic Persian identity is not the same as the national Iranian identity, but the two are closely aligned...Many ethnic groups in Iran are not Persian by descent, but closely identity themselves with Iranian identity through the commonality of their culture, particularly in speaking Persian or its sister languages or practicing Shi'ite Islam.

3. Persians are members of an Aryan ethnic group who have ruled and dominated the Iranian state for much of the past 2,500 years. Persians are ethnically distinct from Arab and Turkic groups of the Middle East and Central Asia...Persians continue to think of themselves as a special people situated at the center of the universe.

4. Since Persians have been the dominant ethnic group in Iran for several millennia, many Persians do not consider themselves to have an identity distinct from their affiliation with Iran.

5.Maintaining their authenticity and independence from foreign influence is a central theme of Persian culture.

6. Contemporary Persians accept Islam as an essential part of their identity, but they do not equate Islam with Arab culture. Persians consider Arab culture distinctly inferior to their own.

7. Justice, the just ruler, and a just society are fundamental concepts in Persian culture. The Persian meaning of justice is the preservation of balance and order in society [report clarifies the Iranian concept of justice with the Iranian proverb "Opression applied equally is justice." Zolm e belsavi adl ast"].

8. Persians tend to look to those of higher authority and status for direction, control, and protection.

9.Persians view poets as sources of wisdom and often use poetry, mystical tales, and proverbs, rather than political and social theories, to orient themselves to social and political events and change in society.

10. Persians more than any other ethnic group, gain the most from the wealthiest sector of Iran’s economy, the oil industry.

11. Persians tend to have dark, almond-shaped eyes, black, wavy hair, and oval faces with a pale olive complexion. Persians tend to be lighter skinned than Arabs, and they often have long narrow faces and noses.

12. The Persian historical memory embraces two diverse points of origin and reference...The first starting point extends back 2,500 years to the beginning of the ancient Iranian Empire; the second originates in the introduction of Islam to Iranian territory in the 7th century.

13, Though Islam had a profound and lasting impact on Persian identity, the world of Islam did not trump or supersede Persian identity.

14. The ancient Iranian Empire (550 to 331 B.C.) is remembered as a period in which Persian cultural achievements, military might, and cultural values of tolerance and just rule under law first came to world prominence.

15. Several enduring themes of Persian culture were forged in the ancient Iranian Empire. The first theme is that a powerful and charismatic king rules in the name of justice [note that the report was written more than 20 years after the revolution]. This king maintains peace and loyalty through tolerance of the diverse peoples living within the empire. The second theme is the continuity of a distinct and distinguished culture in which the monarchy plays an important role. The third theme is a sense of nationhood rooted in the continuity of a distinct cultural identity gained by unifying the peoples of Iran.

16. Persians consider the second Iranian empire of the 3rd to 7th centuries (224 to 641 AD), ruled by the Sassanid dynasty, as a period in which Persian culture flourished after centuries of foreign rule.

17. While contemporary Persians accept the conversion to Islam as an essential part of their identity, they harbor anger toward Arabs for having conquered them. Persians do not equate Islam with Arab culture, and they hold Arabs responsible for replacing a superior Persian culture in this period with a less civilized one.

18. They believe that without the Persian gifts of political organization and high culture, the Arabs alone would never have been able to sustain an Islamic civilization.

19. Contemporary Persians regard the third Iranian empire [Safavids] (1501 to 1736 A.D.) as the beginning of the modern era in Iran.

20. The [Persian] conversion to Shi’ism[during the Safavids]  in Iran was [partly] motivated by its use as a symbolic assertion of Iranian identity and resistance to foreign domination. Shi’ism was in many ways consistent with older Iranian notions, deriving many of its customs and doctrines from ancient Zoroastrianism.

21. Shah Abbas I (1588 to 1629)... is beloved by Persians for restoring national pride and making the country strong and prosperous again.

22. Persians think of their interactions with the West as characterized by exploitation and humiliation.

23. Persians...became aware of the populist power of Shi’ite religious scholars, known as the ulama, in the 19th century. In this period [Qajars], the ulama positioned itself as standing up for the interests of the people against the monarchy’s corruption and greed.

24. In the eyes of Persians, the ruling dynasty lost its Persian farr (mystical right to rule) by profiting from the self-destructive sale of Iranian assets to foreign powers [referring to the Qajar].

25. Persians regard modernity with caution and skepticism because they associate it with unpopular dictatorships propped up by Western powers.

26. Brought to power by the British, Reza Pahlavi was a dictator who maintained an iron grip on Iranian political and cultural life. Many Persians believe that in forcibly secularizing and modernizing society, Reza Pahlavi diminished Iran’s proud Islamic and pre-Islamic traditions.

27. Mossadeq’s movement was supported by much of the population, including a large, popular base and a coalition of groups that held the common goal of nationalizing the oil industry, long dominated by the British. Iran’s clerics, however, saw Mossadeq as an ally of atheistic communists inthe Tudeh Party.

28. Iranians' attitudes to the Mossadeq era are deeply split...To nationalists, Mossadeq was the victim of an American and British coup...To more traditional and religious Iranians, however, Mossadeq was a communist stooge...The current regime prefers to focus on the role of Ayatollah Taleqani, an ally of Mossadeq, as the true hero of the nationalization movement.

29. Though viewed as progressive outside Iran, [Mohammad Reza] Shah put severe limits on political parties and public religious expression. As a result, many Persians view his reign as an oppressive dictatorship.

30. In an effort toward political centralization, the Shah introduced cultural changes that legally and socially elevated Persian culture and language. These changes discriminated against non-Persian ethnic communities...

31. The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini... remains one of the figures most beloved by Persians...Persians still respect Khomeini as the leader of the Revolution based on his reputation for incorruptibility and the resistance he demonstrated to foreign intervention...More than a decade after his death, Khomeini remains a beloved figure to most Persians, regardless of their views of the current regime.

32. Widespread corruption had increased socioeconomic disparities among ethnic groups and between urban and rural populations. A broad popular movement arose to express resentment of the small elite that benefited from its ties to the Shah.

33. Persians, like most Iranians, feel that the Iran-Iraq War was imposed on them by Saddam Hussein’s decision to invade Iran. They believe that Western powers gave Hussein a green light for the invasion in order to smother the 1979 Revolution in its infancy.

34. The scars of the Iran-Iraq War run deeply in Persian society. Persians believe they were abandoned by the world in an unjust war.

35. Ayatollah Khomeini seized the opportunity [the war] to consolidate his power by eliminating challenge and opposition from secular and leftist leaders of the Revolution.

36. Most Persians disapproved of the Shah’s close ties with the United States. They were put off by his Westernized appearance and manner, and by his perceived submission to foreign imperialism.

37. Persians are often nostalgic about the relative prosperity and personal freedom they had during the Shah’s reign, yet they simultaneously revere Ayatollah Khomeini and cherish Shi’i religious values.

38. Persians try to achieve an outer life that is modern, but retain their internal characteristics as authentically Persian. They perceive a danger that modernization...will lead to Westernization...

39. Persians strive to match technological progress with a spiritual sensibility. They try to differentiate between what is truly modern and beneficial from what is merely Western.

40. ...the fall of a regime or a leader comes as no surprise to a Persian.

41. Since Persians believe unfavorable conditions will inevitably change, this worldview undermines the motivation to attempt to change existing conditions. While this perception of historical experience does not establish confidence in a fixed order, Shi’ite religious teachings provide an alternative worldview for Persians by promising the existence of fundamental truths and an ultimate metaphysical reality.

42. The Islamic concept of [history] was brought during the Arab conquest and is still adhered to by strict Muslim clerics in Iran. It holds that the period in history before the arrival of Islam is jahilliya (age of ignorance), and as such it is of no value or importance. Persian culture reinterpreted this concept and gave it a distinctly Persian twist. Thus many Persians believe that Islam only became a great religion when it encountered Persian culture in the 7th century. Before that meeting of cultures, Islam was only the ignorance and Arab Bedouin superstitions.

43. Living in the heart of a cultural crossroads and open to foreign cultures, Persians consider themselves cosmopolitan. Persians find it painful and diminishing to be cut off from foreign influences and cultural exchanges that have traditionally revitalized their own culture. Persians, therefore, resent the isolation and restrictions on exposure to foreign culture imposed by clerical leaders in the Islamic Republic. They have substantially undermined and circumvented these restrictions through black market sales of music and satellite television. Likewise, Persians resent sanctions imposed by the West that have a similar, constraining effect.


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more from Ari Siletz

Boos Boos, thats why Reza Pahlavi is the best choice for Iran.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

The people fooling iranians are foremost iranians themselves,
misinforming to the max to serve powerful foreign interests (while
those iranians that are fooling other iranians are no fools
themselves, they are just professionals at creating patsys/suckers like our MEK/Khmer Rouge).

The west did not steal our freedom, yes they opposed it, yes they worked
to undermine it, yet ultimately it was "iranians" that allowed the west
to impose and maintain tyranny on us for more than 33 years so far. 

So if we want to change, our predicament this it
will not happen until we decide to restore our freedom (even if it was
not perfect/it was freedom).

Reality is we are talking about using
political warfare first on our own duped intellectuals (and to be sure
not all are duped, many side with the uk/like mossadegh & bakhtiyar,
and others side with the USA like khomeini)

Basically name me one group of iranians that actually served Iranians from
the 79 revolution in the sense that they acted in favor of irans
national interests and were patriotic (the biggest losers were the
people of Iran)?

( Monarchists, because by standing
on the side of freedom and oppossing 79, they were the only patriotic
group, no matter what all the foreign leaning groups have to say).

For the good guys wearing the white hats among Iranians, the domination
is too great and they are not winning, at least yet.  Some even
shamelessly call the good guys, the bad guys thats really how bad it is.

This guy got lots of criticism for speaking truth,


And from a patriotic stand point he was right.

I think our grievances against them are more the result of foreign
domination.  People say they denied us democracy, yet it is more of a case that they could never honestly
implement it and we should all be very weary of those who say they can today. 

This is where
having information and knowledge are so important, if you had any idea
the number of plots, assasination attempts and pressure by foreign
funded groups were on the late shahs plate you would know that all the
good he did, was in total opposition to many iranians (who played
against their own country in favor of greater powers, based on his honest assessment with all the information he had access to, he was right to
not pursue democracy, that does't make hm a dictator, but patriotic.

You see I think too many iranians mistake concepts like... the good of
the truth... or the good of democracy etc.

Iranians are easily fooled because misinformation is so easy and issues are far more complex than meets the eye.

An understanding is necessary of where iran is politically/socially/militarily/economically, what its situation is,
what is the situation of the world and based on these things we know
what is the most patriotic thing/best thing for iran.

For example the truth is a good thing, but not always... imagine if you
were a jew living in Holland in 1944 and the SS came to the
house you were living in and asked the owner if he had seen any jews. 
If he was Being truthful that would not serve the jews highest good and the truth certainly would not be a good thing to do in this simple case.

In the same way, When the Shah stood up against the USA and its allies,
France, UK, Germany etc and stood against the idea of implementing a
true democracy for Iran he had a very good reason, democracy would have
been the work of a traitor to Iranians at that point.  He was not a
patsy, but sadly his people were and are today patsys.  He struggled for 25 years to get iran to have just one steel industry and succeeded with complete western opposition, using the countries leadership against itself.  He finally succeeded despite assasination attempts, terroring his prime minister and lastly losing his crown to iranian betrayal (organized by western propaganda in the media)

For people to be able to "be understanding" regarding the past is close to
impossible because of the forces that are working from within, either
knowingly or unknowingly in a direction that produces irans down fall.

The intelligent countries, defending themselves against western
hedgemony today are russia and china, both are on the rise, while both are
undemocratic (its impossible to argue they are not increasing freedom for their people and serve their peoples interest/so they are both patriotic) and it is only for the reason that they are not democratiic that they are on the rise,
because self serving politicians in those societies have no room to sell
out their country for power.  Like a mossadegh (so called nationalist).  Or a Yeltsin.  Russians
corrected course with yeltsin after tough years because their good leadership was not obliterated by a revolution and russia works towards its peoples freedom today based on capitalism and when
russians become more democratic it will be as a result of the work of
their current leadership in progressing the country and slowly establishing institutions that can cope with change of power/power sharing/foreign influence.

The Shame about betraying the late shah was that, in 30 years Iran would
have become capable of being truly democratic and moving from one party rule
to multiparty.

The Truth of the matter is Iran was never capable of democracy and
freedom and progress all together.  Sure we could become a democracy in 1
day, like Haiti or India, but are we really willing to lose our freedom from a progressing country creating the largest middle class/education 9th wealthiest country and climbing etc and leave the 3rd
world and become a 5th world nation?

So Patriotism trumps democracy, As does freedom trump democracy for people.  And we must
have some clarity about the real issues of the world and true
information, before we accept, cliches and remedies created by movements supported and encouraged by the west. 

It is For that reason
Reza Pahlavi is the only heir, unless he is terrored in which case again patriotic iranians will do what is best for our country, above all else.

A quote from my favourite author Mark Twain.

"The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is--a mob; they don't
fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's
borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any
MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness."

With that... ever wonder why the "BENEATH pitifulness movement" also know as the Grass roots, Green Movement
for Democracy was given such prominence by western leaders, it was their #1 strategy to contain Irans mullahs, not that they give 2 s$^$%#S about iranian human right.  It gave them greater control over iran.

Watch all the political comentary and films made with just one purpose to dupe iranians into the concept of democracy so they can meet their own goals. 

Like the Owner of the home in holland 1943, being taught a lesson in the virtues of the truth by the SS, I don't think right now is exactly the right time to be listening to the Empire of the United States or The United Kingdom regarding the virtue of democracy or their surrogates.  Iran desperately needs patriotism first and that starts with Reza Pahlavi and the Freedom & Human Rights Loving Monarchy of Iran above democracy.

Since Iranians are so far from the truth, and once the light bulb slowly comes on and they discovers just
how far they have been misled from their human rights, by Iranian leaders actng as surrogates for the west and working to betray the late shah and his son, there will likely be much pain and anger we need to express towards the west, not just on behalf of Africa or India, but on behalf of Iranians.  We need to be true to ourselves.






by BoosBoos on

Everyone knows (or should know) that militaries carry-out psychological operations (PSYOPS) to try to accomplish their goals without guns.  If they can take over an oil field with words instead of a tank, they'll do it.  If they can partition a country with words to make it easier to control, they'll do it.  If you love the U.S. or Canada that's fine - but always remember that everything generated by any foreign government outside of Iran, will almost always be against the interests of the Iranian people (or have a hidden agenda that will ultimately prove to be against the interests of the Iranian people). Now I know that's difficult for many to swallow because they also have an objection to the government of Iran. For many, no government is trustworthy: This is the Catch-22.  

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


  • Dear Vildermose: Thank you for your kind works
  • Reality Bites: You do have some good points. Yes people get panicked when their neighborhood changes radically.

However this racial thing goes way back. Well before now. British were really into it. For example in India they solidified the race based cast system. As it turns out they liked the Parsis and gave them special rights. They did not like the Indians because they thought of them as a lesser race. While they considered Parsis "more like British" hence more rights. Don't get me started on the Germans with their Aryan thing. Jews were living in Germany for ages until Adolf came along.

There were other ways of rating people also. In fact they used to also categorize people according to "intelligence" for example see definitions of "moron"; "idiot" they all had "scientific" definitions. Now thanks to PC we don't use them any more. See //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moron_(psychology)

Therefore I do not think this racial fascination is due to a change in makeup of the society. Rather it is a deeply seeded problem going back far. It is also not just a Western matter.


 VPK.  I couldn't agree

by vildemose on

 VPK.  I couldn't agree more. This manual is a load of crap. I'm not surprised if politicians and foreign policy makers don't use the same manual when writing policies. No wonder they get everything wrong all the time.

 Things take on meaning within a context.  Remove them from the context or change the context substantially and their meaning can either change with these changes or become statements out of context without a frame of reference.  This manual is nothing but a set of racist superficial gossip.

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx


Why are americans so obsessed with race.?

by Reality-Bites on

Maybe it's because their country's demographic is changing so fast through millions of, mainly, 3rd World immigrants of different races (many of them illegal) flooding in.

I think if I'd lived in a neighbourhood in my birth country full of people who were from the same culture/nationality and looked/spoke like me and suddenly within a couple of years large numbers of people of different races, from other countries, moved in the same neighbourhood, and some of whom (there illegally) started demanding that they were entitled to things, I might become a bit obsessed too.

I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing to have immigrants in a country, in fact, often it's a very positive thing and I'm one myself, but it can be a shock to the system if you have large numbers of different races  from different cultures coming in, as is the case with the US.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: why are americans so obsessed with race....

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Many Western scientists love to categorize things. It makes it simpler for them to comprehend. They get very nervous when they run into something out of the normal. For example they have "mammals" and "birds". When they run into platypus they get very unhappy because it does not fit their mold. The same goes with race and nationality. It makes them comfortable to say "this guy is white; that woman black". They don't like it when there is ambiguity.

They also love to attach labels to people. Like Iranians are like this; Indians are like that. It helps their small minds grasp things they would not be able to. It also pumps up their sense of superiority. Because "they are obviously in the superiority group".

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I was not necessarily just addressing you rather wanted to make it clear. Unlike what Americans and some Iranians say we are not monolithic. We do not all think the same way. This is an example of a philosophy that is both poorly explained not representative. It is poorly explained because it leaves out the context. It is not representative because many people including me do not adhere to it. If you like I will discuss the context sometime.

Many people like to put things into a 40 point bulletin note book. Well I am sorry but it does not work that way. If you want to learn a culture it take a lot more than 30 minutes of reading a handbook. No wonder Americans are such a total miserable failure in dealing with Iran; Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Now we got a chorus of people saying "what a wonderful document; Americans know us so well". I say "bull". If anyone thinks they can learn about Iran by reading a 40 point bulletin they are out of their minds. What is making me sick is the cheer leading of so many Iranians on IC who actually think this manual is something. "They know us better than we know ourselves"! What a pile of ***.



by Rea on

In case your comment was addressed to me.

I'm not trying to justify oppression. En+, don't know how good the translation is. But if it is true to the original, the expression merits a "philosophy of history" essay, no less.



by IranMarzban on

why are americans so obsessed with race....  


Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

You are very likely right that the manual means Ayatollah Kashani, not Taleghani. 1: The regime gives big credit for the nationalization movement to Kashani, not to Taleghani. 2. The temporary alliance between Kashani and Mossadegh is cited far more often than Taleghani's obscure eulogy of Mossadegh claiming he was allied with Mossadegh at heart and worked to maintain the alliance,


Ayatoilet Talequni?

by statira on

# 28 should be corrected to Ayatoilet Kashani.

About revering Khomeini by most Persians, they do it just in public in fear of retribution, but in the sanctuary of their houses, majority cursing and making fun of the system and Khomeini.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: Oppression

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I always hated that from the day I heard it. It was a long time ago and I was a child. But it did not make sense to me then and does not make sense to me now. It is a totally asinine philosophy and not all Iranian practice it.

Oppression is wrong no matter how it is applied. Some ***hole dictators like to excuse themselves with this philosophy. I have a suggestion for them. Next time they should start oppressing themselves; see how it feels! Taste of their own medicine!


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

The problem is that the poems have 2 entirely different meanings.

One is in farsi and talks about beautiful things that are truly poetic

and the other where the real meaning exists is in dari. I was speaking to a top Iranian Scholar, about this and the obvious problem it causes and his view was that it was probably the only solution at the time, because the ideas and thoughts are so harshly anti islamic that the true culture of of Iran, pre-islamic Aryan one, would not have had any other way of being preserved.

The translations were only available to 0.001% of the people due to the tyranny of Islam and it was not until the 1970's that these became available to 0.1% of Iranians.  Hence most Iranianshave no concept of the truly majestic and triumphant culture they have inherited.

I always laugh when the mullahs all stand around at a funeral and read out Hafez.  Since the literal translation of his works greatly and directly insults Judeaism, Christianity and Islam and their tenents.  For now, Thank God Mullahs are not aware regarding the truth behind our poets or else they would have desecrated all the shrines the way they did Reza Shahs.

In the Future, one day, I am sure more iranians, not just scholars, will be able to gain a true understanding of their own culture and the clear thoughts and ideas it puts forward.  In their farsi translation the average iranian is completely kept in the dark.  And they don't even know why their few elites & scholars put such emphasis on their importance.



Great Post Ari! Thanks!

by P_J on

Extremely informative.   Thanks again!


Persians for beginners

by Rea on

"Opression applied equally is justice."  Love it, very true, good translation or not. 

It's always interesting to see how one's nation is perceived by others. Particularly when others are supposed to be connaisseurs, ie. historians etc.

And I bet a lot of people had put a lot of work into this manual no matter how amateurish to you Iranians it may seems.

I made a copy, it may come handy, one never knows. ;o)  

Great blog, Ari.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Interesting discussion

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Iranian poets were philosophers and some were very good ones. In fact the motto at the UN is the famous poem by Saadi. 

But just like Western philosophers Iranian ones did not always agree. They had different points of view. So it is difficult to put our decisions based on poetry. Unless we want to reconcile the different ideologies. Of course same goes for any philosophy. You need to read them carefully then decide which appeals to you. Maybe a combination of them is your thing. From Khayyam to Saadi to Ferdowsi we get very different opinions. All valuable in their own right.

The error is for ignorant people who mix up different ones without understanding. One day they read Khayyam and go by it. Next day they read Saadi and so on. Just like any other philosophy you got to understand it before implementing it!


Mehrban not a huge error

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

You have a huge lack of understanding & information on the subject, like most 95% of iranians, which is why you feel that way.

Its complex, however the issue is western philosophers , niezche ,goethe etc pay the highest respects to irans poets, hafez sadi etc which most iranians do not even know the power of ther ideas or practice their thoughts as a result of islamic tyranny in iran for centuries.

In order to protect irans culture and traditions iranian scholars, would become poets and put forward their work in the form of poetry so they would not face execution at the hands of ignorant muslims. 

To understand their works and ideas, whch on the surface look like just poems, you would have to know the language of dari, all their poems are coded in dari because they had no freedom of thought or expression.



Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Astute observation! Our two treasures, oil and poetry, have also been our "eyes of Esfandiar"--- "Achilles heel" for the Shahnameh challenged.



by Mehrban on

[Persians view poets as sources of wisdom and often use poetry, mystical tales, and proverbs, rather than political and social theories, to orient themselves to social and political events and change in society.]

Our (Iranian) huge error! 


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


  • Is Iran center of the universe? I remember reading a discussion between two people. One asked the other "where is the center of the universe"? The other replied "right here where I am!". How do you prove it is not? I would say we all have our own little universes. Mine is my family and my nation. I say without shame that the center of my universe is my children. For someone else it may be their job or bank account. It all depends on who you ask.
  • Are Iranians racist? I would say not really or not nearly as much as others. The main feature of a racist is their love of "racial purity". Iranians are very open to intermarriage. We marry Westerners; Arabs; Turks. My own family has got Chinese; Turks; Arabs; Germans; French; English and Americans  in it! Now do you call that racial purity? If you put no value in racial purity then you are not a racist.
  • Are Iranians ready for democracy? I say yes but with limits. Just like in America an Iranian democracy needs major limits on the rights of majority. For example a good bill of right to prevent tyranny of the majority. We should be able to elect representatives but they should have their powers restricted by a very liberal constion which guarantees lots of right. These right may not be taken away even with majority vote.

No VF no dictator that has been our downfall. Because they inevitably become arrogant and out of control. From Nader Shah to Reza Shah to Khamenei it is always the same pattern. We should have term limits and maybe age limits. I don't want any more grouchy; bitter; old men sending our youth to their death!


This is good work Ari.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

It provides a good basis for people to discuss why persias think this way.

This is Iran, but does it serve iran?

A God Leader will know the way Iranians think and try to enlighten them with respect to their mistakes, clearly we have lots of work to do, no matter which political party we want.

My First Question to the Panel, specifically those of you honestly think Iranian society is ready for democracy, why, what is the basis for your view?

So many of you are impressed that this document is so accurate and that they know us better than we know ourselves, yet if you were not notice this document goes entirely against the idea that democracy can be created in Iran in a few generations, is that obvious or does any one here need explaining? 

Iran 2050

Wow...these are so

by Iran 2050 on

Wow...these are so true.

I'm glad that someone finally identified the reasons why Iran is in this hellhole. This point below is source of our problem:

 "Persians continue to think of themselves as a special people situated at the center of the universe."

Very true and very sad. This inexecusable racism, specially towards Arabs and intolerance towards anything non-Persian, specially Islam, is shamefull and is hurting us, folks. It's hurting us more than anything else!

For the sake of Iran's future, lets read this analysis and accept it and starting today, change ourselves, for the sake of Iran's future.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


What crap are you meaning? Most nations have a high opinion of themselves including United States. Many nations have divisions along religious and ethnic lines. Again USA has divisions along:

  • Racial: Black; White; Latino and mixed races
  • Religion: Have you heard of the "Bible Belt"?
  • South vs. North.

In fact I think those divisions far exceed anything in Iran. Maybe one day south will decide to go its way. I actually see a lot of good things like Iranian tolerance of diversity. Our problem is that we fell behind due to poor leadership. It started in Ghajars and was partially remedied by Pahlavi. However the IRI has put us back again. Nevertheless Iran is not as backwards as you may think. Sharif University is top notch. Not to mention all the educated Iranian diaspora.



by hirre on

This crap is why Iran will never be united since people (both iranians and non-iranians) are trying to divide people based on "'popular facts"...

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Well they got

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


a nice manual now who is reading it? Not totally accurate but somewhat close. It has nothing I did not already know. So I am not sure about them knowing us better than we do.

The one thing they are missing is the backlash against religion. I know many people who do not want either Shiaism or Islam. They also neglect to take into account the diaspora. With about 10% of the population living outside it is a big thing. Many of us have now lived under Western Secular democracies for 30+ years. This has changed our points of view. We know it is possible to criticize leaders. The Zogby poll commissioned by PAIAA shows only 40 % of Iranian Americans identify themselves as Muslim. This was not so prior to the 1979 revolution. The revolution and living in the West has had a deep impact on Iranians. Since Iranians in diaspora keep very close to those in Iran the influence goes back.

Hence while the description is "good" for say year 1990 or maybe 2000 it is dated.  No longer do we hold Khomeini in reverence. Nor do all of us deeply identify with Islam. Just see what people say when France arrested the burka woman. A good half or more of people on IC supported it.


Thanks Ari

by choghok on

Very interesting and accurate observation which shows the schizo nature of Iranian spirit. for example number 3 and 4 shows we have problem of identity and also problem with our false self image.


This goes to show that ...

by Bavafa on

the US military knows Persians better then themselves.  The report is pretty darn accurate.  Though surprise to see as much of [old] history in this report and not more focused on the day to day life and how to deal with or interact with Persians

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



On the whole

by Reality-Bites on

Not entirely inaccurate. In fact, it's spot on in some areas.

However, it is also way off base in other areas, e.g. paragraph 31 and generalisations, e.g. paragraph 38, which show the American military's intelligence (at least in 2002) was not exactly fallible.

What puzzles me though is the focus on Persians only and not Iranians as a whole! The other point is that often when people talk about "Persians", they actually mean all Iranians and not just the ethnic Pars/Fars people.



I didn't know that the US Marines could read........

by پندارنیک on




"(U) Persians tend to look to those of higher authority
and status for direction, control, and protection. This reverence for higher
status and authority encourages respect for the strong man, king, religious
leader, or foreign power who can protect their dependents."


Then no Perrrrrrrrrzhen I am.............