Iran or Islam? In Tehran That is the Question
Asharq Alawsat / Amir Taheri
19-Aug-2010 (14 comments)

Does Iran have an identity of its own? In fact, could anything called Iran even be imagined outside of Islam?

These are some of the questions raised in a heated debate that has pitted key figures of the Khomeinist establishment in Tehran against one another in what promises to become a massive washing of dirty laundry in public.

The debate was triggered earlier this month during a gathering of some 1,300 Iranian exiles, who had come to Tehran for an “ introductory visit” at the invitation of the government.

The man who raised the issue is Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, a self-styled philosopher who serves as Cabinet Director for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Initially, Ahmadinejad had appointed Mashai as his First Vice President.

Ahmadinejad was forced to backtrack after top figures, including the “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei, publicly said that they would not tolerate Mashai in that position.

However, the change of titles made little difference insofar as Mashai’s power and influence, as Ahamdinejad’s ideological mentor, is concerned.

The two men, who are lifelong friends, are also related because Mashai’s daughter is married to Ahmadinejad’s son.

recommended by IranFirst



Zionist child killers

by IRI on

Stuck in their holes and using ic as their meeting spot and as you can see they are outnumbered by iranians.
Ziochild killer, go back to your caves in israel.


Good point VPK

by IranFirst on

I agree with you and disagree with him about Islam and Kasravi then

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

Dude you are going to blow a fuse. This is an Iranian discussion. Taheri's articles are legitimate to discuss. I already said I am not a fan of his. To me he is way too close to Arabs and frankly too much of an Islamophile and Arabophile. But I am not blowing my fuses on this. You need to drink a glass of ice water with some hibiscus. 

No one is trying to hide anyone's name. I found Taheri's name in 2 seconds. As you did. So what is the big deal. If anyone wants to read the article it is a click away from them.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Amir Taheri

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

The article in question is written by Amir Taheri. I must say I do not trust that man one tiny bit. I have read his writings and he is an expert in being biased but making it sound good.

He seems to have an agenda of pushing Islam. He wants us to think Iranians love Islam. To this he makes some questionable arguments.  

For example he argues:

Some intellectuals, like the great jurist and historian, Ahmad Kasrvai, and the philosopher Hussein Kazemzadeh, wanted to de-Islamicise Iran so that it could “become itself, once again.”

They failed because most Iranians did not wish to abandon Islam as long as it was not pushed down their throats by force.

He neglects to say Kasravi "failed" because he was murdered. By the  "fadiaiane Islam". A gang of thugs who also did in Razmara.



Thank you "hamsade ghadimi" and "Artificial Intelligence"

by IranFirst on

Hamsade ghadimi,

thank you for your great analysis and comments.


Artificial Intelligence

Thank you for sharing the link and your comments

Artificial Intelligence

great article!

by Artificial Intelligence on

There is also similar analysis here:




hamsade ghadimi

thanks for the article

by hamsade ghadimi on

thanks for the article iranfirst.  it's a very interesting read.  i think that ahmadi and mashai's strategy is very clever.  the clergy who're blasting mashai should even know; but they're against him as they probably don't want mashai to gain popularity and be groomed to be the next president.  just guessing.

i also found it curious that in the program of the ex-pat conference in iran, there was shahnameh reading while usually clergy hold court in the very same building (e.g. larijani, a. khatami, ...).  what?  no sermon?  what's good for internal consumption in not necessarily good for external consumption and they have figured that out.  they're maximizing the results of their efforts.

the split personality of iranian psyche was spot on.  we all had/have the experience with people who have strong feelings of comradry with moslems while not practicing islam, while harboring hostility to the same moslems.  we get offended if someone who doesn't know the culture, and attacks islam/muslims.  but we agree with a compatriot who knows the culture and is attacking islam/muslims.  this is a mundane fact that the writer articulated well.

finally, i like the following statement that i've taken the liberty of generalizing:

"...people who disagree with you do not attack your ideas but your person. Thus no one bothers to examine [the author's/commenter's] ideas if only to refute them. Everyone takes the easy way of accusing him of being deranged or acting on orders from the CIA and Mossad."

what a self-evident statement that holds true for so many on this site (and elsewhere) no matter who're they batting for.


Its all there for readers to see

by IranFirst on

 Let's see , you say

IsraelFirst, propagandist,neocon,garbage


If You don't like Amir Taheri and I for posting his view, just don't read them.


For other readers:

This event and Mashai's words is a new attempt to use nationism as a new tool to attarct the millions who oppose IR, off course the cost has been the internal strife with the Islamists who oppose any sign of nationalism against their imposed Islamic government



Make no mistake, IsraelFirst,

by Q on

you're not important enough to upset me, and you understand very little. You are a propagandist who is trying to promote known pro war neocon propaganda while hiding the names of the authors.

It makese great sense to me: as garbage propaganda which Amri Taher is known for. I read it before you and am here giving my opinion about it. Why does this threaten you so? Aren't you currently pretending to care about free speech (while promoting warmongers like Taher) ? LOL!

Trust me, this is more of a "discussion" that you ever could have hoped for.


I am sorry it upsets you Q

by IranFirst on

You Islam is showing for trying to stop a post about IRAN. This is an IRANIAN forum and deals with issues related to Iran. I am sorry it is difficult for you to understand. I have read the article and its related to the issues that were brought up in the "hamayesh"  and the fake nationalism by Mashee and being atacked by the idiot Islamists. Why Do you oppose these being discussed? . If you don't like the writer, you can ignore the article or post your own from your sources (keyhan,...). I read your IRI sources, but disagree with them. Why insist on stopping posts that you don't like ? challenge the MATERIAL if they don't make sense, or don't read them



by Q on

Yes, don't pee yourself. You heard the truth. He is a neocon and a proven liar. If you had bothered to read the link you would see a small sample of it. But it seems like you're too "unable to reason" to understand! You're right, I post articles from "Press TV" all the time!

This is BS /AIPAC propaganda, just like FredCo. Israel-Firsters should understand that more than anyeone.

BTW, IsraelFirst, you didn't answer why you intentionally ommitted his name? Why are you so afraid? :)

We are not stupid.


"Q" unable to reason, smear

by IranFirst on

A typical IRI technique to kill discussion. Do you have any responses to his good points raised in the article? off course not. Sorry this is not IRI that YOU can force people only to read Kehan and jail and kill them if they disagree with IRI.

You should post articles from Press TV and Keyhan and readers can decide for themselves what to read.


By the way Who are "we" are you representing a group ? why not just say you own opinion ?!


Thanks for the link IranFirst

by yousef on

And to the islamist big mouth below: Nope he is not a liar. Yep, You are stupid.


Taheri is a neocon mouthpeace and proven liar

by Q on

don't spread propaganda, we're not stupid.
Why don't you put his name on these news reports?