Going too far


Jahanshah Javid
by Jahanshah Javid

In the dispute between Mehdi Khalaji and Hossein Derakhshan, I sympathize with both Hossein and Mehdi, even though I have to take sides with free speech over truth.

Hossein has a habit of throwing wild accusations. But even if all of them were malicious lies, he is still expressing his personal political opinion which cannot and should not be silenced.

Political speech does not deal with facts. People do not read political blogs or opinion pieces to discover facts. Politicians accuse each other of all sorts of false things every day. They do not go to court and force the other to admit to lies and apologize. It happens only in very rare circumstances and even then, courrts in Western societies are extremely reluctant to issue a verdict against falsehoods in political speech.

Hossein has not been found guilty in a court of law. He has fallen victim to an aggressive lawyer and an internet hosting company that's trying to cover its ass. If Hossein had a lawyer and there was a trial, I am sure the court would not have ordered his site be shut down. And it would not have forced him to remove ALL references to Mehdi Khalaji in his blog either.

No one likes to be called names, especially mean-spirited ones Hossein has unfortunately become infamous for. I understand Mehdi's frustration because Hossein has put some silly lables on me too. But taking legal action seems like excessive force.

Mehdi is a well-known political analyst in a prominent think tank. He and his views will continue to be under public scrutiny. And in the Internet age of instant public reaction, no public figure can expect that he or she will be treated fairly. Far from it! There will be as many opinions as there are people.

Yes, Mehdi has the right to preserve his reputation and integrity. But at what cost? This is a time for more tolerance, not less. Mehdi would have been on a much higher moral ground if he had just replied to the accusations or simply ignored them. Now he also has to fight the impression that he can't take a shot of words.


I know Hossein and Mehdi personally and have enjoyed their company. I know both of them would rather be fighting much bigger issues than turning against each other.


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Excellent site

by shubhinetwork on

Hello everyone

i am completely new to this forum.
Interested in learning many new things. Hope we all will share our
knowledge and talk about different concepts in this forum.

Manish Solanki


Libel and Slander

by Loshon Hara (not verified) on

As a matter of fact Hossein did have a habit of disparaging people based upon incomplete and inaccurate information. I know individuals to whom it has happened. Sometimes these things can come back to haunt a person. The reality is however, that public figures are exempted from protection of libel and slander laws in many countries. In any event, it appears that he will not be doing this at least for a little while, if ever, in the future.


Who decides what is 'too far'?

by hoder on

Not a single sentence I've written about any individual or organisation lacks publiclly availabel sources and documents. So instead of being a preacher, perhaps Jahanshah should take a look at the following to see if this is going 'too far' or is it investigative journalism:



These defamatory statements by Hossein Derakhshan directly and by innuendo:

a) state falsely that our client is a traitor to the government and people of Iran;

Mehdi Khalaji is hired by a think-tank, created by the Israeli lobbying group in the US (AIPAC)[1] and has openly advocated for military action[2] or economic sanctions[3] to overthrow the government of Iran[4]. Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and James Woolsey, all strong advocates for regime change in Iran[5][6], are on its board[7].

Washington Institute for the Near East Policy (WINEP), Mr. Khalaji works for[8], has a clear agenda against Iran and that makes Mr. Khalaji, an Iranian citizen, a 'traitor' based on the definition of the word. (The American Heritage dictionary defines 'traitor' as “One who betrays one's country, a cause, or a trust.”[9])

b) state falsely that our client has worked for U.S. Vice-President Cheney's office; and by innuendo is a dupe or puppet of the U.S. government;

Mistranslated. The correct translation is that Mr. Khalaji “indirectly” and “through WINEP” gives advise to vice-president Cheney's office.

WINEP's director, Robert Satloff says that its products have been made accessible to “high-level Washington-based officials, prominent journalists, and senior diplomats.”[10] Vice-president's office is surly where many “high-level Washington-based officials” work and therefore WINEP's products, that includes Mr. Khalaji's contribution, reach Mr. Cheney's office.

There are also strong ties between WINEP and Cheney's office. For example, John P. Hannah, a deputy director of WNEP now serves[11] at a high position at the vice-president's office since 2001.

c) state falsely that our client has counselled the Vice-President of the United States of America to bomb our client's former offices in Iran;

Mistranslated. What I have written is that it is Mr. Cheney who wants to bomb Iran[12], not that Mr. Khalaji advises him to do so. Mehdi Khalaji has worked [13] as a section editor in a newspaper, titled Entekhab run by Taha Hashemi, a cleric appointee[14] of Ayatollah Khamenei in a government-funded organization related to the Qom's clerical school.

Mr. Khalaji wrote later in an article for the BBC Persian that the publishers of Entekhab had the personal support of Ayatollah Khamenei for the newspaper.[15]

A military attack on Iran surly could also destroy the building of Entekhab newspaper in central Tehran, where Mehdi Khalaji was once working.

d) state falsely that our client has counselled the Vice-President of the United States of America to bomb our thousands of men, women and children;

Mistranslated. Again, what I have written is that it is Cheney who wants to bomb Iran, not that Khalaji advises him to do so. Obviously thousands of men and women and children would be killed in a military strike against Iran.

e) state falsely that our client counsels enemies of Iran and of humanity;

Based on its output, it's clear that WINEP does not have a friendly policy toward Iran and openly advocates for regime change. So they are enemies of Iran and Khalaji counsels them.

Given the grave consequences of the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq, I believe those who supported and administered that invasion are enemies of humanity. At least two of these people, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle are on WINEP's board where Khalaji counsels and WINEP had repeatedly and openly supported the invasion.[16]

f) incites others to follow the defamer Hossein Derakhshan's lead by spitting in our client's face;

Mistranslated. The correct translation reads “I don't know what name you want to give this conscious intellectual contribution by Mr. Khalaji to the most merciless and dirtiest enemies of Iran and humanity. But I know that if someday I face him in person, instead of saying hello, I will through a big spit on his face.” There is nothing inciting others to do anything here.

g) state falsely that our client holds and publicizes the belief that political change is not possible from within Iran;

This is not false. Mehdi Khalaji finishes his presentation at the AFPC meeting with the following paragraph in which he bluntly rejects the possibility of reform (5' 55 form the video)[17]:

“The majority of people might not be [unclear word] to the political agenda of the government, but instead suffer from its policy and restrictions upon social freedom without possessing any concrete effective means for any change or reform. Idealism has been reconstructed not only in terms of government's perception of politics, but also in terms of citizens public ambitions. Thus, the regime seems to be more solid and stable as ever before. Therefore the prospect of the prospect for political change is dark.”

Moreover, in an interview with Radio Zamaneh he adds “well, for me the Islamic Republic is similar to Dariush Mehrjooie's film, 'Ejarehneshin-ha.' The owner of the building... doesn't permit any minor changes... Then what will happen? The whole building collapses.”[18]


h) state falsely that our client struggles to converse and express himself in the English language;

Mistranslated. Correct translation reads “Mehdi Khalaji, while sweating to read smoothly from the English translated text of his article.”

But it is true that Mr. Khalaji has problems, at least in terms of reading, pronunciation and intonation. The recorded video of his speech (mentioned above) clearly shows that Khalaji mispronounces or struggles to read and pronounces many words including 'entirety,' 'unprecedented' and ' judicial.'

i) state falsely that our client counsels the government of the United States of America to choose military action and economic sanctions against Iran, over and instead of diplomatic talks;

Mistranslated. The correct translation reads that Khalaji “tried to show why political change from within is impossible in Iran and therefore the U.S., in order to remove 'the increasing threat by Iran against world piece' should not negotiate with Iran. Instead, through economic sanctions (or implicitly even through military invasion if its it was feasible.)”

Khalaji said these words in a conference to an audience at the AFPC, not to the government. I didn't quoted from him, but sumerised in my own words what could he ultimately mean by his speech.

The words in quotation mark ('the increasing threat by Iran against world piece') refers to a widely used theme by the media and the politicians and by doing so I'm trying to mock the sterotypical aspect of those words.

j) state falsely that our client's academic research paper are in reality thinly veiled instruction manuals on how to locate and attack the weaknesses of the legitimate government of Iran;

In May 2006, Mehdi Khalaji says to a Wall Street Journal reporter “Western countries must push the internal conflicts inside the Iranian government.”[19]

In July 2007, in an article published on WINEP's website, Khalaji writes:

“For the West, there are many advantages if Iran's leadership is weakened by internal disputes. Such an Iran would be busier domestically and therefore less able to concentrate on foreign adventures. It would also be more aware of its weaknesses and therefore more likely to compromise. To be sure, a weak Supreme Leader would presumably have less authority to impose difficult compromises on objecting factions. That, however, seems like a price worth paying in order to see a less powerful revolutionary leadership.“[20]

k) state falsely that our client is a proponent of, and openly supports, civil unrest, revolution and a regime change in Iran through the use of the military, and violence if necessary; and

Mistranslated. I never implied Khalaji supports violent change. It is Khalaji's employer, the Washington Institute, who has advocated regime change through violence.

In February 2007, Jeffery White, a defence fellow at the Washington Institute, writes[21]:

“The choices for dealing with the Iranian challenge, both in and outside Iraq, are not clear, and the consequences of making the wrong choices are dire. But by the time the choices are clear, it will be too late for anything but acquiescence to the presence of a nuclear-armed Iran driven by hostility toward the West -- or a war to prevent it. “

But in his interview with Radio Zamaneh he explicitly advocates for a 'fundamental change', defining it as the removal of Ayatollah Khamanei, the Supreeme leader of the Islamic Republic, in a similar fashion to non-violent revolutions in Eastern Europe. He then adds that this fundamental change is “impossible without foreign assistance.”[22]

l) clearly evidence a personal vendetta being waged by Hossein Derakhshan against our client, under the guise of alleged "commentary."

Before Khalaji started working for the Washington Institute, I had written positive posts about him and his writings. [23] [24]

But since he started working for the neo-conservative Washington Institute with its clear agenda to overthrow the Islamic Republic, even through military action if necessary, I have been critical about Khalaji's contribution to such entity. The same way I have been critical of Mohsen Sazgera who was a fellow there before Khalaji. [25]

I have never met Khalaji and never had anything personal against him, either in public or private and what I have written about him is only based on his work.

At the same time, I am a established commentator on Iranian affairs. Aside from my bilingual blog that I have written in the past six years, I am a columnist for The Guardian[26], Washington Post[27] websites. My writings have also appeared on The New York Times[28], International Herald Tribune[29],, BBC News[30], Die Zeit[31], etc. and I have been interviewed by various print or broadcast media on Iranian affairs. [32]

  1. ^ //www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html
  2. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2520
  3. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC04.php?CID=257
  4. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/download.php?file=Soref2006.pdf
  5. ^ //www.antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=4200
  6. ^ //www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3422.htm
  7. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=133
  8. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC10.php?CID=33
  9. ^ //www.answers.com/topic/traitor
  10. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=21
  11. ^ //rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/2926
  12. ^ //www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/18834.html
  13. ^ //news.gooya.eu/politics/archives/2007/04/058513.php
  14. ^ //www.shareh.com/new/persian/magazine/hawzah/61/01.htm
  15. ^ //www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/story/2005/08/printable/050803_mj-mkhalaji-qom-press.shtml
  16. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=1486
  17. ^ //www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAhLUjGPJ8Y
  18. ^ //www.radiozamaneh.org/special/2007/04/post_188.html
  19. ^ //www.opinionjournal.com/wsj/?id=110008382
  20. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2638
  21. ^ //www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2567
  22. ^ //www.radiozamaneh.org/special/2007/04/post_188.html
  23. ^ //i.hoder.com/archives/2003/08/030805_007814.shtml
  24. ^ //i.hoder.com/linkdooni/2004_03.html
  25. ^ //i.hoder.com/archives/2005/03/050322_013794.shtml
  26. ^ //commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/hossein_derakhshan/index.html
  27. ^ //blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/hossein_derakhshan/
  28. ^ //www.nytimes.com/2006/01/28/opinion/28Derakhshan.html
  29. ^ //www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/30/opinion/edhossein.php
  30. ^ //news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4947354.stm
  31. ^ //www.zeit.de/2005/27/Iran
  32. ^ //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hossein_Derakhshan#References



Welcome to the Real World...

by bahmani on

Finally, it seems, we have come to the evolved state of debate and discussion and most importantly a hard lesson in the rule of law in a civilized world.

In the beginning of our long journey towards an evolved and civilized people (21st century not Cyrus The Great) HODER was loved for his fresh and almost sexual, explicit, and titillating tantrums that spoke a much needed truth to power.

As he learned of the power of the pixel, and as he gained his now huge notoriety, and was given the power that comes with it, he unfortunately succumbed to our ever growing hunger for his outrageously courageous statements to become bigger and bigger and bigger. In fact he lost sight of the goal, in trying to constantly out do and out shock his previous posts.

In his popularity, he forgot his prime responsibility. Which is to speak Truth to Power. I'll repeat it partially, to speak TRUTH...

The good news is that someone who perceives himself as innocent in this latest bashing, has stepped forward not with backdoor get-even tactics (which is our usual way of settling these kinds of scores) but up front and personal, with the good book of the law in hand, and now HODER has to learn another lesson on his continuing path to journalistic enlightenment.

This is an important wake up call or everyone who aspires to the way of the pen.

Although I am sure we would have relished this argument between 2 Iranians played out deliciously for our salacious enjoyment, I am altogether pleased to see that this lesson is being applied in this way.

Like JJ, I am not worried about rights, or hurt feelings, or the continued success of either party. Rather, I am eager to see us deal with this latest evolutionary challenge in a civilized way.

My only fear is that other destructive ingredient in our people, raising it's ever-present and ever-ugly head. EGO.


Hossein was never sued

by nmilaninia on


Thats where you got it wrong. If Khalaji had a case for defamation then he would have sued Hossein directly. Instead of suing Hossein, his attorney strong-armed the hosting provider. Even the hosting provider admitted in the emails that the posts probably do not amount to defamation. Rather, they simply didn't want to expend the time and efforts responding to the complaint. Had Khalaji actually had a credible defamation case, then he would have taken Hossein to court. But he didn't, which makes that his lawyer did all the more despicable.


Re: "Washington Institute, etc."

by Parham on

First, please open this document and have it somewhere near your main window.

Then, let's refer to this Oxford American dictionary legal definition of libel:

"A published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation, a written defamation"

Now please read the attorney's first statement of purpose. Also, kindly look at the parts he has highlighted in yellow on the document you have opened near your main window. According to Khalaji and his lawyer, those statements are libelous. I think they are, you think they're not. Fine. That's the beauty of it. Now up to the judge to say whether they are or not! No need to "challenge" anyone here. That was not even the issue to begin with. Also, there is no issue on whether AIPAC, the right-wing conservatives in America, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Van Dyke, Elvis Presley, or even Sardar Maharat Khan-e Hendi should be condemned.


The issue is whether free speech has been trampled by Khalaji and his lawyer's letter (c.f. Jahanshah's note, to which we are all replying, and Derakhshan's claims), and the subsequent act of termination of service by the provider. I think the legal aspects of that were very much explained by the respondant on the provider's side, and I quote:

"You have clearly failed to grasp the nature of their complaint and the specified content and just as clearly failed to understand why you are being informed to seek hosting elsewhere - it is certainly not because we are being "bullied" in any way, nor are we supporting "warmongers". Rather, your failure to abide by the terms of our acceptable use policy regarding defamatory or libelous material, plus your absurd conduct in this matter, have resulted in your removal from this service. You have also not learned anything about free speech in the US, since, once again, we are NOT a governmental agency and not required to allow you to say anything at all within this network if we choose not to."


Derakhshan has now moved to another blog hosting service (blogger.com), and is saying the same things all over again. So where was he "made to shut up"? He just had to move to another service, and was even given time to move his material. They even told him they'll waive his unpaid hosting bills! Are you saying he was bullied into doing so? Well go around calling people "filthy traitor" and i assure you, you won't get rosewater in return (on second thoughts, you might, but not from the person you accused)!


One more: If threatening to sue for defamation is such a "cowardly" act and deserves all the usual theatrics we're subjected to by Derakhshan concerning free speech and what have you, how come he also did the same thing (though not through a lawyer) to his friend Nikahang Kowsar about a year ago on a war of words (read: flame-war, yet again) they had on their blogs? Why was it not wrong then and why is it wrong now?


But wait, now I'll give you my personal opinion, since the above was only my attempt at remaining objective in my view of the case: I don't agree with the neo-cons. I don't agree with the right-wing conservatives. I hate to think that they're trying every minute to nail the idea that Iran should be attacked militarily. But I think what Derakhshan does spoils whatever the rest of us are doing to avoid such a situation. I also think what Derakhshan usually does creates a Mickey Mouse image of democracy and free speech for our young ones, but I won't get into that now. Most importantly, I think Derakhshan's acts are extremely irresponsible and they do more harm than they do any good to the cause. More, since he insists on imposing himself as the representative of the rest of us (and he has succeeded to a point in doing that by playing on people's naïveté, case in point), he becomes someone I deem worthy of a good lesson in real democracy and free speech. Let it be Khalaji who will give him that. I don't give a hoot.



Washington Institute, etc

by pivotoftheuniverse on

Those who are saying that Khalaji has a right to threaten to sue Derakhshan should back up their claims by pointing out what specifically is libelous (not rude or impolite) about what Derakhshan has said. I'm not trying to defend all Derakhshan's views - I frankly don't read him that often - but I've looked over the correspondence he has posted including the letter from Khalaji's lawyer, and I certainly don't see anything that even comes close to being libelous. If Khalaji is upset that Derakhshan's said he's working for an organization that is a front for the Israeli lobby, that's ridiculous. I follow US policy making on the Middle East and used to work in Washington DC - everyone there knows that the Washington Institute is the light-touch face of the various groups that comprise the "Israel Lobby". True, it's independent of AIPAC, but shares a great deal with it in terms of circulation of staff and shared board members, etc. To take a job with the Washington Institute is to clearly sign up to work with one part of the US "Israel Lobby" - in a way that is actually different from simply working for right-wing organizations such as Heritage Foundation or the Hoover Institute (where other Iranian intellectuals have taken on posts).

Maybe Khalaji is so naive as to not know that the Washington Institute is a constituent part of the Israel Lobby, but I doubt it. Calling him a "filthy traitor" to Iran is not libelous; it's an ad hominem assessment, perhaps uncivil, which is not libel. I still challenge any of those here to point out specifically what is libelous about Derakhshan's postings on Khalaji.

By the way you can call the US President a traitor and not be sued for libel, so why should calling an Iranian who has actually taken a job with a pro-Israel organization a "traitor" be any different:

And no one here has responded to the unethical and cowardly nature of Khalaji's tactics as yet.


a quick point for J.J.

by parsa1976 on

I really respect your tolerance. However, I believe it's Khalaji's right to take that guy to the court. If he has not made any false accusations, then he is gonna be fine.
Honestly speaking, I don't buy what some radical leftists say: "good laywer = winning the case".
Democracy is a combination of rights and responsibilities. Don't sacrifice one for the other one.


Mehdi Khalaji, AIPAC and WINEP

by hoder on

I have got no one of my facts wrong on Khalaji and this is exactly I call him a 'filthy traitor', since he know whom he is serving.

For example, for those naive Iranians who think everything someone says about Israeli lobby comes from conspiracy theory, I quote from two sources:

"The Israeli side also dominates the think tanks which play an important role in shaping public debate as well as actual policy. The Lobby created its own think tank in 1985, when Martin Indyk helped to found WINEP. Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel, claiming instead to provide a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, it is funded and run by individuals deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda."
-- John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby,” London Review of Books, March 23, 2006

"In the 1980s, AIPAC set up the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a pro-Israeli alternative to the Brookings Institution, which it perceived to be insufficiently supportive of Israel. WINEP has largely followed AIPAC into pro-Likud positions, even though its director, Dennis Ross, is more moderate. He is a figurehead, however, serving to disguise the far right character of most of the position papers produced by long-term WINEP staff and by extremist visitors and "associates" (Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer are among the latter).
WINEP, being a wing of AIPAC, is enormously influential in Washington. State Department and military personnel are actually detailed there to "learn" about "the Middle East"! They would get a far more balanced "education" about the region in any Israeli university, since most Israeli academics are professionals, whereas WINEP is a "think tank" that hires by ideology."
-- Juan Cole, antiwar.com

Now who is name calling? Is it still not clear where Mehdi Khalaji is giving advice to?


- Hossein Derakhshan


Re: "I think we're missing the point"

by Parham on

I found this e-mail exchange between Derakhshan and the hosting company on Derakhshan's new blog. I believe it's self-explanatory.

I'm sure we'll both have our opinions about it, but the exchange about free speech is quite insightful i.m.o.



Name-calling could in fact be harmful!

by benbagheri on

Dear Jahanshah,
I agree with your general view on this. Shutting down a blog and the ISP being so quick to influence a site's content is without excuse. I agree.
But I don't agree with your statement below: "Political speech does not deal with facts. People do not read political blogs or opinion pieces to discover facts."
This may be true in many other countries. But these types of accusations in a blog can in fact be harmful to you and your family in our respected homeland! Being called/labeled a spy for this and that foreign country can cause real life problems for anyone! How does one deal with that issue?


I think we're missing the point

by pivotoftheuniverse on

As far as I know name calling or character assassination is not in fact illegal. Libel is illegal in some juristictions but only if it a) involves demonstrably false allegations and b) can be shown to be purposefully intending to harm the subject of the claim, and c) does demonstrably harm or threaten to harm the subject of the claim. So I think the bar is quite high and there would be a very weak case for Khalaji to sue Derakhshan.

On the other hand, the issue is not simply whether Derakhshan has wronged Khaladji in some way, but rather the tactics of Khaladji in responding, and the conduct of the web host. The use of legal threats here in fact aimed to shut down and shut up Derakhshan -- it's not aiming to redress a particular grievance. If Khaladji wanted to be responsible, he could have asked his lawyer to write insisting on specific text changes or corrections to the content -- instead the aim of the legal notice seems to be to shut down Derakhshan's site for good. Just as bad is the hosting company who takes money to host blogs but then refuses to protect its own clients, their employees resorting to threats and allegations to disassociate themselves from their own paying clients. This isn't illegal -- they do have a "terms of use" clause that would likely allow them to end their contract with any client at will -- but it's bad business practice and spineless, and all who use their service should know how little they care for their own clients.

But the bigger picture is important: Iranian.com should be more concerned about this -- if I or any other individual who has been mentioned in these pages started to write threatening legal notes to the site host company, and if the host responded in this way, the site would be in great peril and all contributors would write fearful of inciting the wrath of one or another touchy person like Khaladji.

Finally, this is a clear indictment of Khaladji's new political pals as well -- this kind of tactic involving "shock and awe" legal threats towards public criticism is a classic of the neocon playbook. Shame on Khaladji, no matter how silly whatever Derakhshan may have written about him actually was. Khaladji may not be a "colonial warmonger", but he is a pathetic coward. After this, he really has lost any claim to reputability among Iranians.


Let's not mix the two issues

by Parham on

Jahanshah jan, You seem to be bringing two separate issues on the table, I think it's important not to mix-up the two:


1- The legal aspect -- "free speech": You say, and I quote: "If Hossein had a lawyer and there was a trial, I am sure the court would not have ordered his site be shut down."

I wouldn't be very sure of that. When we take up a space for a blog anywhere on the web, we "sign" by clicking "agree" or "disagree" a Terms Of Service that usually says we won't abuse the privilege given to us by the provider (thus "freedom of speech") by posting slanderous material.

If there are laws for free speech, there are also laws that won't let one abuse that free speech. Service providers are required by law of the land where they provide service to abide by and implement such laws.

Legally speaking, Khalaji's lawyer is most probably within his right to notify the service provider, and the service provider is within its right to go by the Terms Of Service it has made the user accept. Most importantly, again in terms of the freedoms granted by law, Khalaji is entitled to uphold and enforce his rights should he see it necessary to do so.


2- The issue of what Khalaji should have done/his attitude towards the libel. That's really a matter of personal opinion and doesn't have much to do with freedom of speech or law in general. It's important to make that distinction. i too, believe this is not much more than a flame-war in reality, but Khalaji's reaction is really a matter of how he personally sees it. I believe your reaction would also be your business and I'd respect the two. In fact, it would be my duty to do so in order not to see my own freedoms go to waste.


Again, the important thing here, in my opinion, is to remember this doesn't have much to do with freedom of speech, or laws pertaining to it.



Parham is right but...

by cyclicforward on

To be honest I have been tired of Derakhshan articles and have not been reading, listening or paying any attention to it for some time now. It seems that anyone with a computer and Internet link feels entitled to write whatever nonsense that they feel like without any hard facts to back it up.

I do not blame Mr. Khalaj response to these accusations and I do think he has a right to defend his reputation and honor but it would have been far better if he had ignored Hossein's accusation and let him write as much nonsense as he like and not to give him a chance to cry foul on his right to free speech.

Jahanshah Javid

Where's the harm?

by Jahanshah Javid on

Let's say someone calls you a "filthy traitor". That does not make you a filthy traitor and it will not make others see you as a filthy traitor. So what's the problem? Has it upset your gheyrat? Do you have to get even?

If someone calls me a filthy traitor, or a neo-con, or an agent of the Islamic Republic or whatever, I'll answer them back or ignore them. I could care less who says what about me. Accuse me of the worst things in the world... so what? It's never hurt me or my career or my friendships. No harm, no foul.

The negative impact of trying to suppress "slander" is far worse than tolerating it.


I agree with Parham here

by sepideh on

There's a big difference between free press and libel. I don't know all the details of this particular case, but if Hoder did indeed post untrue things about Khalaji then I don't feel very bad for Hoder. However, Khalaji's lawyers seem pretty snaky and Hosting Matters acted really prematurely. At least the Iranian blogosphere (in English) is interesting again!


Editor, www.ParsArts.com


I beg to differ on one issue...

by Parham on

Calling someone a "filthy traitor" is a matter of slander and character assassination, and has laws against it, even in free countries. That's what I believe Khalaji is objecting to, plus of course, the allegations about him being linked to AIPAC, etc.

Those, to me, are not only personal insults, but serious accusations that seem to always go unsupported with sustainable facts on Derakhshan's weblog. In my opinion, this case is not one of free speech any longer. Bringing up the issue of free speech only serves to fool the reader and divert his attention from the reality of the matter.

My 2 Papasis.