Saturday, September 24, 2005

US-based "Homa" TV

One of the people present at the banquet held last weekend in New York for the delegates of the Islamist regime was Japeh Youssefi; the owner of the Arizona-based HOMA TV. You may have read THIS interview with him already. You may also be interested to know that Youssefi is a board member of the American Iranian Council, and a member of the Iranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN). Youssefi himself founded the Foundation for American Iranian Rapprochement (FAIRPAC) in 2000, which, in turn, launched HOMA TV.

Be sure to read THIS interview as well, where he declares:

“Some people say that Ahmadinejad was a member of the al-Quds brigade; but this is the greatest honor for an Iranian!”

Opposed to any policy that would threaten the Shiite Taliban in Iran, Homa TV also broadcasts Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” four times a day.

p.s. While on the subject of Homa TV, I cannot resist mentioning a certain Kam Zarrabi. If you don’t know who he is, I beg that you read THIS article. Written back in 2003, and cautious not to expose himself as a Hizbollahi to the non-Iranian readers, he portrayed himself instead as a Mossadeghist and used this approach, as many did and do, in order to argue against any threats to Islamic Republic. Well, this "Mossadeghist" and “democracy lover” also works for HOMA TV.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

From the Afghan front

“The warlords of Afghanistan will be well represented as a result of the country's election on Sunday.”

And so will the Islamic Republic, according to THIS report.

All the more reason to say...

"“Afghanistan has just completed an encouragingly inclusive parliamentary election!”

---NYTimes Editorial

Judeo-Persian writings

State Department praises NIAC

Certain of our friends are under the impression that the so-called National Iranian American Council is a “Mullah” or “pro-Islamic Republic” lobby group. My opinion, as I’ve stated elsewhere, is that NIAC is simply an American organization (as I see nothing “Iranian” about it) which, backed by certain quarters within the US, operates in our name in favor of normalizing US relations with the Islamic Republic. What’s the difference? It’s a question of interests. This, however, is not to say that NIAC's members are not Islamic Republicans themselves.

From this article:

"The volunteer spirit, however, is not unique to the United States. Among other countries, Iran too has an ancient tradition of voluntary charitable activity, based on an innate humanitarianism and the Islamic pillars of faith."

That is, my charitable activities for instance, as a non-Moslem, are based on "the Islamic pillars of faith," even as I have no idea what the hell these are.

Islamic Republic wins bid to delist its Argentina terror agents

Warrants in '94 Bombing Are Delisted
LA Times
September 22, 2005

BERLIN — [Islamic Republic] succeeded Wednesday in getting Interpol to cancel international wanted notices for 12 [Islamists] sought by Argentina in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center, police sources said.

Argentine judicial authorities called the decision a blow to their investigation of the Buenos Aires attack, which killed 85 people, the country's deadliest.

At its annual conference in Berlin, world police body Interpol conducted a ballot of delegates on rescinding the "red notices" arising from the attack.

"In favor of [the Islamic Republic], all the red notices have been canceled," an [Islamic Republican] delegate said.

Two other sources independently confirmed the outcome.

Argentina and Israel lay responsibility for the bombing on Hezbollah guerrillas backed by [the Islamic Republic], but Tehran repeatedly has denied involvement.

Interpol suspended the 12 notices requested by Argentina after [Islamic Republic] complained about irregularities, citing corruption allegations against the judge involved.

Argentina was seeking reinstatement of the notices.

Argentine court officials said removal of the alerts, which means countries are no longer obliged to publish the arrest warrants, made it unlikely the suspects would ever be brought in for questioning.


My personal thanks to the folks at Discarded Lies for sharing our concern.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sweden may deport Rabi Nikoo back to Iran

He was the journalist whose interview with Dr. Shahram Azam in Sweden provided a first-hand account of the murder of the Iranian-born Canadian photographer, Ziba Kazemi.

There is also THIS article from Ontario Independent Media.

Who is shameless, Mr. Holland?

Yet another article, in the series of articles on the British Museum’s “Forgotten Empire” exhibition, where the occasion is used to give vent to more venom against the Pahlavis. This one is an article published by Britain’s New Statesman, titled “The Persian Renaissance” and written by a certain Tom Holland. It’s similar to Hywel Williams’ article in The Guardian, but as you’ll see, somewhat more ambitious.

Holland writes of the Pahlavis’ unforgivable sin of reviving the Iranians’ sense of pride in their own history and their own ancestors,

“The Pahlavi dynasty, keen to identify itself with such A-list predecessors, exploited the glories of the Persian empire with shameless gusto.”

Holland, naturally, does not explain the details of this process of self-identification for fear of involving himself in complications; nor does he explain why celebrating, or as he puts it, “exploiting”, Iranian history is shameful. The Pahlavis were Iranians; why shouldn’t they have celebrated Iran’s past? The notion that the Pahlavis celebrated the Persian Empire for self-serving reasons (according to Holland it was the characteristic of “Persian imperialism” that most appealed to the Shah!) has served the enemies of Iran well, and continues to be propagated regardless of protests and evidence to the contrary provided by Iranians themselves.

In a recent interview, for instance, Iranian scholar Shojaeddin Shafa observed, “The Reza Shah [Pahlavi] period was not merely a change from one century to another, but also of one era to another era. During this period, an Iran molded from the beginning of the Safavid to the end of the Qajar period---itself influenced by a pre-Safavid era dominated by Arab, Turkish, Mongol and Tatar rule---would give way to another Iran, one which for the first time since the Samanids, looked for Her true Iranian roots, and struggled to regain its Iranian identity next to its Islamic identity.”

Holland continues,

“Now, more than 25 years after the Islamic revolution, the [Islamic] government has finally shown itself willing to follow in the shah's footsteps and capitalise upon the glories of its country's ancient past for diplomatic ends.”

Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi did capitalize upon Iran’s ancient past, but did he do so for “diplomatic” ends? Should not a commentator who wants his readers to believe that he did, have the decency to explain what those diplomatic ends were, especially as Iranian accounts, if one bothers to take them into consideration, speak of the Shah’s, and the Iranian government’s intention to put their nation on the world’s cultural map, and to encourage tourism and foreign investment? Amazing how when it comes to Iran, that which is most obvious is not even considered.

As to the compliment that common thugs and criminals who are the officials of the Islamic Republic are following in the Iranian King’s footsteps, one has only to look at the record of these anti-Iranians to realize that, unlike the government which they overthrew, they are exploiting Iran’s ancient past for diplomatic ends, and purely for self serving reasons. Could Holland be so ignorant of the character of the Islamic Republic and its Jihad against Iranian culture? No; but such facts are not very conducive to his purpose. Note how before paying the Islamists this similarity-in-motives compliment, he whitewashes their record. He writes,

“When the last shah was toppled in the 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini condemned the millennia-old traditions of Persian kingship as explicitly un-Islamic. One excitable mullah went so far as to suggest that Persepolis, the best preserved of all the ancient palaces, be bulldozed to the ground…But the revolutionary government, even at its most militantly theocratic, would never have countenanced such vandalism. The ayatollahs are no Taliban, and most Iranians, whose sense of national identity has survived countless upheavals, retain a deep sense of pride in ancestors who successfully forged history's first world empire.”

Holland must understand Robin Coningham (Professor of Archaeology at the University of Bradford)’s statement last November, that ”90% of the major archaeological sites in…Iran have been looted,” to signify the Shiite Taliban’s intolerance towards “such” vandalism! (Note the clever manner in which the ayatollahs are made to appear as a subset of most Iranians.) How else is one to counter such lies, but to suggest to the reader to do his own research on archeological vandalism under the Islamic Republic. As to Holland, his new book, which is about ancient Iran (Persian Fire), has received the seal of approval by the Islamic Republic.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Thank you Sheda Vasseghi!

Following are Sheda Vasseghi’s letter to The Guardian regarding its article, “The Evil Empire”, her e-mail to the author of the article, Jonathan Jones, a few days later, followed by Jones’ reply to Sheda. Think of this last as a student's frivolous protest to his professor after receiving an F in a history exam.

I want to thank her for forwarding them to me immediately after my inquiry.

On this blog, Sheda Vasseghi was previously mentioned HERE.


September 12, 2005

To the Editor of The Guardian
In Rebuttal to 09/08/05 Article “The Evil Empire”
By Sheda Vasseghi (Washington, DC)

I do not even know where to begin. I guess for starters I am appalled and absolutely shocked at the irresponsible and reckless decision by The Guardian to publish the September 8, 2005, article entitled “The Evil Empire” -- a ridiculously obvious anti-Iranian propaganda and categorically false and feebleminded article by a Jonathan Jones which sounds more like a pen-name than a real name.

First, who is this Jonathan Jones and why would The Guardian publish an article that has no historical basis or references which bear the justification for such publications?

Second, in response to the Joneses of the world and in defense of 70 million Iranians, who deserve to show their ancestors’ point of view regarding their own history, I would like to make a few points WITH references. I hope The Guardian will redeem itself and publish this rebuttal.

Jonathan Jones made many false and egregious statements in his article. Insufficient time will not permit my responding to all these misstatements. However, here are the most important matters that must necessarily be brought to his attention as well as your readers:

1. Civilizations are not “evil” or “villains.” What are Jones’s criteria for such a bigot comment? Why would one civilization have to be all good and another all bad? His statements that Iranians were “history’s original villains” is a gross representation of the author’s total contempt for that country and its history. The Guardian should not print articles based on personal hatred and bigotry.

2. The Western world has predominately studied history through the surviving and over-publicized Greek and Roman works. These records were written from those who considered Persia their enemy. Nothing should be taken as 100% accurate and one cannot rely on these statements literally. Unfortunately, in its 2500 years of history, much of Iran’s own records have been destroyed or remain undiscovered. Iran’s role and place in history should be shaped by its own point of view as well and not just by that of its enemies.

3. Alexander remains a “box office” subject because it was Alexander that brought the Greeks from an obscure existence to the rich and affluent world of the East. Alexander was not even a hero to the Greeks of Fourth Century B.C.E., who considered themselves enslaved by the Macedonian tyrant. “Hellenism” refers to the period after Alexander’s death in 323 B.C.E. which combined the Greek and Near Eastern social and cultural traditions after his conquest of the Persian Empire. Contrary to Jones’s opinion, no one civilization existed on its own nor created anything on its own without some interaction with and influence from its neighbors. Greece is no exception.

4. It’s true that Herodotus did not always write kindly about the Persians since he was Greek, but he also wrote The Histories “so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time, and great and marvelous [sic] deeds, some displayed by Greeks, some by barbarians, may not be without their glory; and especially to show why the two peoples fought with each other.”[i] He wrote the good and the bad. For example, according to Herodotus, Persian children are taught three things: “to ride, to use the bow, and to speak the truth.” Herodotus goes on to say

I admire also the custom which forbids even the king himself to put a man to death for a single offence, and any Persian under similar circumstances to punish a servant by an irreparable injury.... They consider telling lies more disgraceful than anything else, and, next to that, owing money ... they will never pollute a river.[ii]

With respect to Cyrus the Great, Xenophon dedicated an entire book on the founder of the Achaemenid Empire entitled The Education of Cyrus. In that book, he states that because of Cyrus the Great, “ruling human beings does not belong among those tasks that are impossible, ..., if one does it with knowledge.... We know that Cyrus, at any rate, was willingly obeyed.” He goes on to say that Cyrus “was worthy of wonder, ... [and] excelled in ruling human beings.”[iii] According to Xenophon, Cyrus “always used to make even the servants of the army share equally in all things, for it seemed to him to be no less worthy to honor the servants....”[iv] He also tells us that “[h]uman beings were so disposed to him that every nation thought they got less if they did not send to Cyrus whatever fine thing” they had, and “private person thought that he would become wealthy if he could gratify Cyrus in something. For Cyrus, taking from each whatever the givers had in abundance, gave in return what he perceived them to be lacking.”[v] And Cyrus “honored and was attentive to those under him just as to his own children, and his subjects venerated Cyrus as a father.”[vi] What is Jones’s motivation for leaving out the abundant evidence left by his highly regarded Greek sources praising the Persians and their great rulers? Do these statements written by Greek historians paint a picture of villains?

5. It is hard to imagine that exhibiting ancient Persian history involves a political coup to support the current Islamic Republic given that the national identity of Iranians and their 2500 years of monarchy is in direct conflict with the goals of that regime.

6. Persia is NOT now Iran. Iran, derived from the word “Aryan,” was always Iran and Persia is what the Greeks called it.

7. The love of material things and luxury is part of human nature and not considered negative attributes. Alexander and his men plundered and burned Persepolis to the ground and used 20,000 mules and 5,000 camels to carry its wealth and treasure away.[vii] I guess the Greeks liked a bit of wealth too.

8. As for Jones not knowing in what the Persians believed, he should go back to the exhibition and read the materials and look at the reliefs and inscriptions. The Achaemenids included many Zoroastrian beliefs in their outlook on life, education, and laws. Their reliefs and inscriptions praise the Zoroastrian God Ahuramazda, the world’s first known monotheism. The Greeks and later the Romans were very much influenced by ancient Iranian beliefs and religions such as Zoroastrianism and Mithraism. From their inscriptions and records we note the kings were lawgivers and believed in religious tolerance and being just. Cyrus the Great was the author of the world’s first Bill of Rights which is housed permanently at the British Museum.

9. Athens’s form of democracy 2500 years ago was nothing like modern democracy in that it only gave “all male citizens the power to participate in governing.”[viii] Women, slaves, and non-citizens were not allowed to participate. Unlike the Achaemenid women, Greek women did not have any political or legal rights.

This response barely touches the surface in rebutting Jones’s baseless and malicious article given the abundance of evidence about the Persians and especially the Achaemenids. But I think it is sufficient to show that The Guardian should not publish junk.

[i]. The Greeks considered all non-Greek speaking peoples as "barbarians." Herodotus, The Histories, translated by A. De Sélincourt, London, UK: Penguin Books (1996 revised), I:3.
[ii]. Ibid., I:57.
[iii]. Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, translated by Wayne Ambler, Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press (2001), I:22-3.
[iv]. Ibid., II:67.
[v]. Ibid., VIII:268.
[vi]. Ibid., VIII:273.
[vii]. Persians: Masters of Empire, Lost Civilizations Series, Alexandra, VA: Time-Life Books (eds.) (1995), p. 73.
[viii]. Martin, T. R., Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times, New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. (1996), pp. 70-1.


Sheda’s e-mail to Jones (Sept 15):

I want to thank other readers for forwarding your email address so that people can reply to your THE EVIL EMPIRE article. My response is attached and was sent to The Guardian on 9/12/05. I can now make sure that you too have seen it. I'm surprised that you are actually employed full-time as a journalist of some sort with The Guardian given the type of work you produce.


Jones’s reply to Sheda:

Before you condemn writers you should read more of their work. Mine is on The Guardian archive and reveals the richness of my education and my sensibilities. The most recent article, dated 15th September 2005, also demonstrates I am no western propagandist or enemy of ancient cultures.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

On the Islamist Republic's delegation's visit to UN

Avardgahe Rahayi
Wednesday, September 14
First 30 minutes of the program
File Size: 32.4 MB

The Plunder of Iran

"The Return of the d’Arcy Treaty; This Time, Iranian Gold"

Granting the invaluable right of gold exploration in a vast section of the country to a relatively new British company, reminds one of the d’Arcy concession of hundred years ago.

Baztab (Islamic Republic)
September 14, 2005

The British company Persian Gold (incorporated in 1982) has been granted exclusive rights to explore for gold, in unlimited amounts, in an 1800 square kilometer area in Takestan (in the province of Qazvin), a location replete with Alunite-Quartz mines.

This company, which was incorporated merely for the right to explore for gold in this region, is now working in Takestan’s Zahabad area, with an interesting record of extracting 14 grams of gold from each ton of rock from the Alunite-Quartz mines.

The Britons granted the rights to explore for gold in this volcanic area are so awestruck by the amount of wealth contained in these mines that even before finishing the examination of rock samples from the first phase they’ve jumped to the second phase.

The company’s specialists have found 8 gold clusters of various carats. Having had exclusive rights to extract three types of gold until now, the company has now requested exploration rights to 5 other types.

In addition to the gold veins on the surface of earth, it is said that the company’s agents are also very interested in the subterranean deposits in the area.

This company, which found its way to the London Stock Exchange only on account of its investments in Iran, now intends to sell some 4 million shares of its stocks. Because of a $300 thousand investment project in Iran, the value of this company’s shares, worth one million pounds at the time of its founding, are now valued at 14 million pounds. They currently intend to do exploration work in a 320 square kilometer area in Takestan for a period of 18 months.

The granting of concessions over exploration rights to this British company occurs despite the fact that Iran itself has several thousand years of history in the exploration and utilization of gold. Gold coins and engravings alone, found throughout Iran’s history and formed by Iranian hands, testify to this fact.

Previously, the British company Rio Tinto came in possession of the Sari Gunny goldmine in the province of Kurdestan. It was granted the right to exploit the mine for 25 years.


Click HERE to hear an interview with Persian Gold's founder and chairman, John Teeling.

p.s. Incorporated in 1982. That is, soon after the "victory" of the revolution.

"Iran Policy Committee’s" latest report

I’m losing count of all these think tanks and committees, but the role of IPC is “to stress the potential” for an alternative to the military vs. engagement options available to US policy makers. “To keep open diplomatic and military options, while providing a central role for the Iranian opposition to facilitate regime change,” according to their website.

Unfortunately for us, HERE, in their 90-page white paper released on the 13th, they argue in defense of MKO/MEK cult as the third alternative!

Congratulations to the “leaders” of the opposition! (Incidentally, how did it go in New York? The word here is that some Iranians don’t like somebody called Ahmadinejad, or at best, their new president.)

Fortunately, there is an alternative to this potential disaster. It’s an Iranian alternative. If you would like to help, and are serious, contact Anjomane Padeshahi.

The exciting speeches of Haddad Adel

Haddad Adel addresses “the top commanders” of Revolutionary Guards, according to the Islamic Republic’s Fars News Agency:

Can you spot the fellow dozing off?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


About two weeks ago I stated my opinion that in anticipation of a large protest against the Islamic Republic during Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York, and fearing a message that would contradict the NYTimes two months after it congratulated the Shiite Taliban on the “achievements” of the revolution, much effort has been made to misrepresent this protest, to non-Iranians, as one against a person called Ahmadinejad (to non-Iranians, to those who may happen to read about the protest, that’s all he is; you simply can’t expect them to know what you know).

I added, however, that the organizers should see to it that such fabrication and misrepresentation is exposed before September 14. This, naturally, has not happened. In fact, read the first sentence in the modestly titled article by what’s called “Marzeporgohar” released two days ago:

“Iranians from all over the United States are merging in New York to protest against the Islamic Republic president Ahmadinejad in New York City on Wednesday September 14th 2005.”

Dear reader,

If you are going to the protest, please prove our “opposition” wrong.

Make it perfectly clear why you came to the demonstration, some of you I know, from thousands of miles away.

It is the Islamist Republic, not its latest president, which you are protesting against.

I wish you success in your delivery of this message.

Here I must give SMCCDI credit for its September 8 communiqué. Compare the above with the first sentence in SMCCDI’s message:

“The unpopular Islamic republic regime is a theocratic system of governance which is a notorious Human Rights abuser and a main sponsor of terror. Its newly appointed President, Mahmood Ahmadinejad, is an ultra-Islamist who's well known for his past terrorist and executioner activities.”

آكروپليس 72 هکتاري ايران، رها شده در باد و باران

A statue of Anahita uncovered near Prague

Book on Sassanian Military

Sassanian Elite Cavalry: AD 224-642 AD (Elite 110)
By: Dr. Kaveh Farrokh

Osprey Publishing

Here is a review by Dr. David Khoupenia (includes very beautiful illustrations)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

SOS Iran comedy hour

Those among us who still wonder why their honest efforts against the Islamic Republic, and for an independent Iran, have been mainly inconsequential will be sure to find some clues by looking into the affair of Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York.

Although the arrival of the Islamist Republic’s latest president to address the United Nations would provide Iranians with an opportunity to inform the world, meaning others, of their hatred towards the anti-Iranian regime, certain individuals and organizations have been busy at work giving the impression---to others, to non-Iranians--- that this hatred is confined to and against the person of Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Republic’s “new” government. As to the media, daily apologies for Mullah Khatami as “an official without power” and “a figurehead” have been conspicuously replaced, overnight, with comedic and caricaturic vilification of Ahmadinejad as the Islamic Republic’s chief decision maker. He is undoubtedly a villain and a terrorist, like his predecessor; but why the cheap caricature?

In my opinion, of the individuals and organizations just referred to, there is one, “SOS Iran”, which either by design or because it is far more an American organization than an Iranian one, seems to be ahead of others in misrepresenting our cause. Wait a moment Khorshid, you may say; just because their cause is not yours that does not give you the right to criticize them so. You would be right, if they did not claim to represent Iranians at large. But they do.

A few days ago, however, these political comedians really outdid themselves. During their program on Wednesday, Ms. Homa Ehsan and someone else on the phone discussed how they’ve been making phone calls to the office of President Jimmy Carter, asking him for his presence and support during the upcoming planned demonstrations! Giving the Iranian reader a chance to recover let me explain to the non-Iranians that we have as much respect for Carter as we have for Ahmadinejad!

Decent people working within this organization are well advised to concentrate their efforts elsewhere. As to their leaders, they could always join THIS organization.

Ask Jimmy Carter to come and help the Iranian people! This was the reaction on Avardgahe Rahayi:

Friday, September 09, 2005

Pre-Islamic, ancient Iran was “the evil empire”

No, this is not a translation of the sayings of Ayatollah Motahari, Ebrahim Yazdi, Ali Larijani or some member of the self-styled “Jebhe Melli”.

Although hardly distinguishable from what we've read or heard from Islamists and anti-Iranians in general, whose shared duty to erase our sense of national identity requires that they mock Iranian history, you may still want to read this article, published yesterday, by Britain’s Guardian.

The evil empire
Persia's kings are history's great villains. Does the British Museum's show do them justice?

Jonathan Jones
Thursday September 8, 2005
Guardian (Art and architecture section)

The title of this exhibition is a bit misleading. Forgotten Empire, the British Museum calls its spectacular resurrection of ancient Persia. Yet the Persians are as notorious in their way as Darth Vader, the Sheriff of Nottingham, General Custer, or any other embodiment of evil empire you care to mention. They are history's original villains.

Continued HERE.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A nation held hostage by "Seyeds"*

Revolutionary Guards Spokesman: US attack on Iran will turn each of its states into a disaster area; US collapse and transformation into independent nations not improbable

ILNA (Islamic Republic)
September 6, 2005

“Every single state in the United States can suffer a calamitous Katrina,” according to the spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, Seyed Masoud Jazayeri. Commander Jazayeri told reporters: “Contrary to what is presented, United States’ power and ability in management and leadership is like a balloon that can easily be crumpled. The consequence of that country’s military aggression against Afghanestan and Iraq is precisely a revelation of this fact. Before revealing anything about the capabilities of its opponent, fact that its military is bogged down in Iraq reveals the weaknesses of the US departments of Defense and State, and the country’s intelligence services.”

In response to a question as to whether the US would confront Iran militarily or not, he replied: “The White House isn’t capable of handling a natural disaster like a storm; how could it confront the Islamic Republic with its battle hardened forces? The slightest mistake by the United States in this regard will result in each of its states being turned into a disaster area. The display of incompetence in managing acute psychological and emotional issues during hurricane Katrina makes plain the ability of others to turn, at any time, various areas of the United States into war zones.”

Jazayeri elaborated: “Reliable information from within the United States speaks of the lack of coordination between the country’s military, security and political networks, and knowing this fact allows those who expect to be attacked to cause far more damage in retaliation. So, forecasts regarding Unites States’ collapse and transformation into independent nations, from the scientific and logical points of view, are not far-fetched.”

Referring to the incidents of September 11, 2001, Jazayeri added: “Now the opportunity presents itself to put that incident and the White House’s weakness towards it on display for the world to see. There is one scene in that incident you should never forget: The running away and hiding of the United States’ president and politicians.”

*For the non-Iranian readers: The title "Seyed" denotes a descendant of the prophet.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Remembering Niousha Farahi

In September 1987, about 800 members of L.A.'s large Iranian community gathered outside the Federal Building to protest a visit to the United Nations by the Islamist Republic of anti-Iran’s president, Mullah Mohammad Khatami.

It was at this demonstration that Niousha Farahi, who owned a Persian bookstore in Westwood, set fire to himself as the ultimate act of protest against the Islamic Republic.

He died 13 days later.

Regarding the upcoming NYC demonstration

What are demonstrations and protests for? What purpose do they serve? For instance, what did I believe Anjomane Padeshahi’s demonstration (July) would achieve before deciding to participate in it?

In general, demonstrations and protests are meant to inform others of the position of a group or groups of individuals (even of a single individual) regarding various issues. This is the goal of demonstrations. This goal, however, rests on a basic assumption, one so central to the goal that the latter is deemed achievable only if the assumption turns out to have been correct. That assumption is that the protest will be reported. After all, how else would others learn of the message if even a million-strong protest were not reported?

In the case of the demonstration by Anjomane Padeshahi, I believed that the coverage of that demonstration would inform others of the existence of a group of Iranians committed to the liberation of their country from an Islamic Caliphate.

Supposing we are certain of the media’s intention to provide some coverage of a demonstration, an equally important and related assumption is that the news concerning it will be objective, informing the reader, listener or viewer, as the case may be, of the true objectives of the its organizers and participants.

With this short preface in mind, let me explain why I (and I speak for no one else) will not be a party to the upcoming demonstration in New York City against Ahmadinejad.

Exactly what is the message that the organizers of this upcoming protest wish to convey? The first time I read of a demonstration against Ahmadinejad in New York was sometime around August 11th, in an article in Sobh Iran by Dr. Rahnavardi. It was stated that in its latest session “concerning the fight against the Islamic Republic,” Kongereye Melliye Iranian (National Congress of Iranians) would join the “demonstration against Ahmadinejad” and will be represented by Mr. Saeed Sakuee. At the time I could only describe the statement as vague, but then this was followed by Ms. Roxanne Ganji’s petition, which I signed and posted on this blog. I signed her petition simply because the way the petition was phrased:

“If he is granted a visa we denounce his visit and wish to announce to the world that this person in no way represents the of people of Iran who are peace loving people, and who have been hostages at the hands of this terrorist regime for the past 26 years. We also reserve the right of holding a peaceful demonstration denouncing Mr. Ahmadinejad’s presence at the session.”

That an explicit “or any other…” did not follow “this person” is regrettable, but the nature of all the representatives of the Islamic Republic is implied.

Is this important? Should political activists be more explicit and clear in their statements? Ask a 10 year old child and he will respond in the affirmative; look at the statements by our “opposition” (all holding PhD’s Alhamdollah) and they seem clueless! Why not state explicitly that the demonstration is a denouncement of the Islamic Republic? Would there be no protests had Mostafa Moin, a reformist terrorist, won the elections? Is not Mehdi Chamran, Ahmadinejad’s immediate superior and one of Islamic Republic of anti-Iran’s most infamous terrorists, less worthy of our outrage? He is reported to be in Ahmadinejad’s entourage.

Well, this sort of ambiguity does have its consequences. For instance, while changing the channels yesterday, I saw Iman Forutan of the “SOS Iran” comedy show and his supporters (Hasteh & Pesteh) distinctly presenting the upcoming demonstration as one against the person of Ahmadinejad! Then there is the so-called NY Committee Against Ahmadinejad! Have you visited the website? Is this a joke?

As to the media coverage, not only are they getting it prior to the demonstration, but also the reports are unanimous in their presentation of the event, it is hardly surprising, as a protest against the person of Ahmadinejad! Read THIS article by the Associated Press or take a look at those placed on the left hand side of NYCA’s homepage.

Dear readers (all three of you), in my opinion if there was an effort to organize a protest against the Islamic Republic, it has been veered and sidetracked, by those who anticipated it, into a protest against the person of Ahmadinejad. Unless the organizers of the demonstration release statements clearly stating the purpose of the demonstration---is it against Ahmadinejad and the “hardliners” or against the Islamic Republic?---, I see no reason why I should participate. On the other hand, if the true objective of the organizers has been misrepresented, it would be rather reassuring to see the release of an announcement exposing such fabrication.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Destroying the effects of 2500 years of suppression

“We want to destroy the effects of 2500 years of suppression.”

---Ebrahim Yazdi, a terrorist and one of the founders of the republic, in an interview with Keyhan after the fall of the Iranian Monarchy

Most of our history has been looted already, but it looks like the last of these “effects” are to be destroyed as well. After destroying the tomb of Reza Shah Pahlavi, did anyone think they would leave Passargad for tourists?

But don’t worry. We’ll continue to have our Persian Parades, our seminars on Iranian art and culture, our Iranian art exhibitions and our poetry nights to convince ourselves, if no one else, that we are “cultured”, even “exiled” Iranians…instead of the most ignorant, the most anti-patriotic, the most vain, the most uncultured and the most ridiculous and laughable group of people on the face of the planet.

Now go sign some petition, post a comment on an “Iranian” forum, or read a non-Iranian blogger writing in your name and go to bed peacefully as an “activist”.

All is well. Our “opposition” and its armed wing (that would turn 700 Shiite mosques to black powder before the Mullahs could lift a finger against the tomb of Cyrus the Great) are wide-awake!

Speaking of the opposition, did Akbar Ganji take sugar with his morning tea today?