Saturday, October 29, 2005

Could someone verify this report in IPN?

IRIB’s bank account in New York closed by the Feds

Iran Press News
Saturday, October 29, 2005

Based on a report from Islamic Republic Television, the New York bank account of IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) has been shut by the US government due to the Islamic state’s sponsorship and support of terrorism.

According to the report the bank’s officials in New York have announced that their closure of the account followed a written request from the US government.

In the instructions given to the bank, the Islamic regime was characterized as a state sponsor of terror and one seeking weapons of mass destruction.


Verified HERE.

Ahmadinejad’s remarks do not represent a discontinuity with past policy

I came across this whitewash from the Islamic Republic’s mouthpiece in Asia Times, Kaveh (Nokar of the neo-liberals) Afrasiabi writing on the Islamic Republic’s call, in form of a presidential message, for the wiping off of Israel:

How [Islamist] hardline politicians think that they can advance [the Islamic Republic’s] nuclear rights while simultaneously pursuing such counter-productive public diplomacy remains a puzzle. The continuation of such an approach, representing clear discontinuity with past diplomacy, irrespective of Ahmadinejad's initial promise of maintaining policy continuity, will only harm [the Islamic Republic’s] interests and bolster the position of global forces pushing for [the Islamic Republic’s] isolation and marginalization.

Representing clear discontinuity with past diplomacy? Were he not working hard for the return of the “moderates”, and thus the continuity of the Islamic Republic, Afrasiabi would not be lying through his teeth.

Parallel to the policy of destroying an Iran built by the Pahlavis, every single president of the Islamic Republic before Ahmadinejad has one way or another called for the destruction of Israel. During the presidency of the “moderate” anti-Iranian Islamist terrorist Mullah Khatami alone---the most moderate by Afrasiabi’s standards---hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to the pockets of anti-Israeli Islamists such as the Lebanese Hizbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others throughout the Middle East.

Thank God for scholars like Robert Spencer, who also points out:

Ahmadinejad wasn’t saying anything new, as he himself made plain by invoking the Ayatollah Khomeini: “As the Imam said,” the President reminded his hearers, “Israel must be wiped off the map.” In 1979, not long after the triumph of his revolution, Khomeini dedicated the last Friday of Ramadan as an international day of jihad against Israel — making it particularly fitting that Ahmadinejad reiterated this lust for genocide and terror during Ramadan.

shirin hunter

ايران و فدراليسم؟ مصاحبه ای با شيرين هانتر

اولين قدم برای مسئولان کشور و رژيم اين است که برای اتباع خود ايرانی بودن را تشريح کنند. يکی از مشکلات اوليه ما پس از انقلاب تيشه بر ريشه زدن ايرانيت به دست خود ايرانيان بود. وقتی که در روزهای اول انقلاب تصميم به تخريب تخت جمشيد گرفته شد، دیگر از يک خارجی چه توقعی می توان داشت؟ بنابراين آشنايی با ايرانيت، حتی توسط اسلام گرايان که در آن ديار سکونت دارند، اولين قدم لازمه است. اگر بگوييم که داشتن مرز بی معنی است و امت اسلام مرزی ندارد، اين با واقعيت موجود متغير است چون تمامی کشورهای اسلامی دارای مرز می باشند و بر اساس اهداف ملی اقدام به عمل می کنند


You can now add the word “women” to “love” and “sex” as the words filtered by the Shiite Taliban in Internet search engines.

Article in Persian.

american enterprise institute

Video of the "federalist conference" circus

Manda Zand Ervin could not have looked more silly if she tried, sitting comfortably next to sworn anti-Iranians and smiling like an idiot.

I have great respect for Mr. Riggi who, correctly understanding the term "Persian", described all Iranians as Persian. But he too should not have participated in this conference.

As for Ledeen, so far as I'm concerned, he's finished. His "help" is no longer welcome.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Better late than never

The voice of Iranians who, for years but to no avail, have campaigned to expel the Islamic Republic from the UN---I recall that about two years ago, for instance, the Iranian journalist Parviz Ghazi'Said collected signatures for this purpose---is now amplified as they are joined by Shimon Peres:

Israel's Peres says U.N. should expel Iran
Reuters Oct 27, 2005

Israel's Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres said Iran should be expelled from the United Nations after its president called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map"....

Let's not waste this golden opportunity.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

4th of Aban

Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi's birthdate.

Instead of posting a picture of him or a clip in which he appears, as has been my habit, I think I'll mark the occasion with this simple picture.

You will always be the King.

Edging closer to the abyss

On Yahoo's front page. And yes, technically, it is a declaration of war.

70% of the population of Khuzestan is Arab!

This, according to a group calling itself “Marze Por Gohar”! You’ll find this piece of falsehood somewhere in their comments regarding Wednesday’s AEI conference in THIS article!

Wonder why Iranians either don’t give two hoots about the “opposition” or distrust it? Why should they when, like this instance, a group purportedly against federalism---but supportive of the other side of the same coin---awards anti-Iranian separatists with a claim they themselves have been unable to propagate on their own…despite The Guardian propaganda machine (see notes, HERE).

Iran’s population is currently (July 2005) about 68 million, and the total number of “Arabs” in Iran (i.e. all provinces combined) is 3% or 2 million of total population. Let us also agree that the population of Khuzestan is currently about 4 million; a conservative estimate, since it was 3.74 million ten years ago (according to a 1996 census).

Let us say that the entire 2 million or 3% of “Arabs” from all Iranian provinces suddenly found themselves in Khuzestan.

Even ten years ago, TODAY’s 2 million figure would have been 600 thousand short of a 2,618,000 figure that would have been necessary to constitute the 70% majority (i.e. 70% of 3.74 million).

70% of 4 million? 2,800,000. That is, 800 thousand greater than the total number of “Arabs” throughout Iran according to the latest demographics available!

IR agents at the National Press Club?

A follow up to THIS notice by the US-based Iran Policy Committee:

"Iranian Dissidents Square Off in DC"---Article

United Press International asks, and so do I:

The unanswered question is how did known Iranian intelligence agents enter the United States, a fact that has Iranian dissidents worried.

The U.S. government knew of their presence on U.S. soil because federal agents were keeping a discreet eye on the press conference, according to several eyewitnesses.

Questions put to the U.S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs were not answered by press time.

Adding insult to injury

This is a transcript of radio KRSI’s “interview” with Michael Ledeen, conducted by Hamid Arabzadeh (University of California, Irvine) on Friday Oct 21, and placed here for the visitors to notice the total absence of a single comment or criticism from the interviewer questioning Ledeen’s intentions or hinting at his real intentions. Nevertheless, listening to the interview has the merit of exposing the gap between Ledeen’s replies and Arabzadeh’s “interpretation” of those replies for the benefit of KRSI’s audience.

HA--We have always appreciated your efforts on behalf of behalf of democracy and freedom in Iran. What we want to do is to ask you to please explain to us about your most recent endeavors and efforts and the panel that you’re planning to get together next week.

Ledeen--Yes. It’s an effort to explain to Americans the diverse nature of the Iranian people, because I find that most Americans, when I talk to them, have no idea of the wonderful complexity and diversity of the Iranian population. And so we’ve asked people from various ethnic groups, minority groups, in Iran to come and talk about their people and the way in which they’re being oppressed by this regime and how…what kind of country Iran will be, the diversity of its makeup and the crazy quilt nature of the population once the Mullahs have fallen, so that Americans get used to thinking about the Iranian people the way they are.

HA--Could you expand, if you would, more on the efforts that you are leading? I understand that there are representatives from different Iranians groups and ethnicities that will be participating in the panel with you.

Ledeen--Well, if I can compare it to what I would do if I were trying to explain to an Iranian audience the nature of the American people, I would have Christians and Jews and Moslems, I would have black people and red people and oriental people and south American people and people of European origin and so forth, so that Iranians would understand how diverse the population of the United States is, so that they will not think of us just in stereotypical terms and think of Americans as all the same. You know what I mean?

HA--Yes I do! [LOL!]

Ledeen--Right. So in this case, we’re going to present to an American audience various different kinds of Iranians. We will have Turcomans and Kurds and Azaris and Lor[s] and people from various ethnic backgrounds and so forth, so that the American people will understand that they should not think about Iran just in terms of one single stereotype but to realize that the Iranian people are composed of people from various ethnic backgrounds.

Our purpose at the American Enterprise Institute is to explain to Americans the real nature of the various countries and problems that interest us, and I thought I…it’s an educational service to try to explain the nature of Iran, because Americans are not very well educated or very knowledgeable about Iran.

For some reason some people got it into their heads that we were somehow advocating breaking up the Iranian country into little pieces, which is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard. And I’m extremely annoyed that many people did this without bothering to talk to us about what we were doing. They just imagined what it was going to do and they started attacking us. Not one, not one of the groups that has organized petitions and written letters and done website petitions and so forth, not one of them ever spoke to me before they did this. Not one of them gave us the courtesy of asking what are you doing and why are you doing it.

And it’s particularly irritating because I and my colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute have been among the very few Americans who for years and years have been fighting as hard as we can for the freedom of all Iranians. And the idea that we would lend ourselves to anything that would disrupt the unity of the Iranian people at the moment when they’re fighting for their freedom is insulting and outrageous.

So our discussion will be about the ways in which the various ethnic groups among the Iranian people have been singled out for repression and torture and murder by this regime, so our American listeners will get a chance to see how desperately the regime is trying to isolate various groups among the Iranian population and single them out, which is a way of disrupting the unity of the Iranian people in their fight for freedom.

And I’ve said to everybody who has taken the time to talk to me that I live in a country with lots and lots of different ethnic groups and lots of minority groups, and I’m very happy about that. I’m very proud to live in a country which is a federalist country, which is the world’s longest lasting democratic society, and one reason why is because we have learned to live with each other and we all think of ourselves as Americans, even though we come from different backgrounds, and may have different religions and different ancestors and so forth, but we’re all Americans. And I can promise you that Americans really like countries that have diverse populations, and we have all, for example, been extremely impressed by how well the Iraqi people, despite the great diversity among them, have pulled together and are fighting together in order to accomplish democracy.

HA--Mr. Ledeen, thank you very much. If I may, I and radio KRSI we understand what you are…have been about the struggles that you have accompanied the Iranian people and those of us who have been fighting for freedom and democracy in Iran, and you’ve been with us. So if I may, not that it is our opinion, but to just perhaps help bridge this gap, to mention that Iranians historically have always been very leery of anything that even…it’s close, or even smells with the possibility of any secession. As you know in recent past some major parts of Iran were seceded. Afghanistan was one, British were involved in that, and the tsarist Russia were involved in the northern Azarbaijan part of Iran, and even in the administration of the Shah’s father there was a major movement to secede Khuzestan, the most important oil producing province of Iran. So this is always been an issue…however, democracy, freedom loving Iranians always have believed that Iran definitely has different sections. Even though, for example, Kurds and Lors are, if you wanted to even look at their purity, they are pure Persians. Their languages are even the old Persian languages. So we are all cognizant that there are issues that are unique and have to be addressed. But there is another ethnicity in Iran, Azarbaijanis, Azaris, but they actually, economically, have always been in a better shape perhaps than the rest of Iran, even though language wise sometimes they have not been able to get all their rights. So I just wanted to let you know why it is that Iranians are so very concerned. I don’t think anybody questions your motives and we know you are with us. So I just wanted to share that with you and see what your thoughts are.

Ledeen--Yes, well, thank you Hamid. This is not my problem. I mean I recognize that people can be sensitive about one issue or another. But I am not dealing with the question of secession, and nobody on this panel is going to talk about separatism or secession. And a population which is very diverse raises certain kinds of political questions that Iranians will have to deal with sooner or later, one way or another. But that is not my problem. I am not about that. I’m not suggesting solutions to that. The Iranian people will decide all of that. My only interest is accomplishing freedom for Iran, and once that’s done, believe me, I will have accomplished everything I want. And whether they have a federal republic, or whether they have a monarchy, or whether they have a religious republic that’s up to Iranians, that is not up to me and I have nothing to say about that.

HA--Mr. Ledeen, I truly appreciate your time and we want you to know that federalism is an issue that many of us in the Iranian community who have been involved with the struggle for freedom have been thinking about. If I…

Ledeen--Thank you Hamid. Thank you so much for calling.

HA--…I also wanted to mention to you and see if you have any comments, but the other issue also is that in Iran, especially and uniquely, freedom would be done as [???] among ourselves, freedom would start in Tehran and would spread everywhere and comeback. So I am very grateful that you are with Iranians and please know that many of us do appreciate what you’ve done and please do not feel discouraged. We do want you to be with us in our struggles.

Ledeen--No, don’t worry about that Hamid. Thank you very much.

HA--Thank you Mr. Ledeen.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Another petition

I don’t know how many have seen this, but there is a petition HERE to protest Scholastic’s (US publisher of educational textbooks) not-so-unexpected omission of the Persian Empire from its textbooks. Why not so unexpected?

Is the description of Khuzestan as an “Arab"/"mainly Arab"* province any worse?

Is the division of Iranians into what they call “ethnicities”, or was Richard Armitage’s description as non-Persian, of those of us from the province of Azarbaijan, any worse?

Is the continuous mocking of Iran’s 1971 celebration of Her heritage and the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire---even if it is presented as “the Shah’s” celebration in order to induce our “republicans”, who need little encouragement, to clap their hands likes apes---any worse? (Go HERE and HERE to see how they celebrate their own heritage.)

If they, much to the delight of our republicans, can call the Shah of Iran a “parvenu” and not only get away with it, but continue to have their garbage regularly syndicated by our “opposition”, then not only they will omit the Persian Empire from their textbooks, they will soon remove Iran from the world map my dears.

Anyway, some of the comments left by those who’ve signed this petition are interesting. One in particular who signed as Ayatollah Khamenei wrote: “Khomeini my predecessor and I along with hundreds of other Mollas tried to eliminate any evidence of Persian in the pre-Islamic era and failed. Now, this move from the US to do exactly what we failed to do, and has in essence reinvigorated us to unite with them and once and for all omit anything pre-Islamic Persian. Kudos Scholastic, what we paid you for heavily with funds, did pay off after all....”

Mind you, I of course don’t think they need have been paid a penny.

By the way, the author of this petition is “Pirouz Azadi”, supposedly “a university professor in New York”, according to the “Open Democracy” website where he writes. He has also written for “” and “”, websites we associate with the appeasement lobbies. HERE, for example, those of us under the illusion that Prime Minister Bakhtiar and Fereidoun Farrokhzad (to name but two Iranians assassinated by the Islamic Republic) were killed by the Mulalhs are assured that proof of any direct terrorist role by Islamic Republicans in Europe or the U.S. is lacking!

Just a little strange, wouldn't you say?

*Since at least June of this year, to name but one news source, The Guardian’s correspondent in Iran, Robert Tait, has been characterizing the Iranian province as “mainly Arab”: June 13, Oct 17, Oct 20.

Caspian peiknet peyknet

با اعلام نزدیک شدن توافق دو جانبه روسیه و ترکمنستان بر سر تقسیم منابع خزر، ایران در میان پنج کشور ساحلی منزوی شد

راديو فردا

همزمان در پيك نت:
"رضا می‌خواست هيتلر شود"

Friday, October 21, 2005

A coincidence?

12th of Bahman, February 1st, the date chosen for the filling of the Sayvand Damn reservoir, coincides with the anniversary of al-Khomeini’s return to Iran!

From CHN.

Heads in the Sand

"As crisis in Iran escalates, Americans are often apathetic."

ARTICLE by Bridget Johnson.

Yet, I often wonder, if some 95% of the "Iranian" community is itself apathetic, why on earth should we expect the American people, who God knows have their own domestic problems, to show sympathy for our cause.

Bravo Tajikestan!

The Tajik Education Ministry has banned female students from wearing Islamic headscarves in secular schools.


Begging for Dirhams

"Ailing and jobless, 65-year old Dost Mohammed from Iran hopes to be richer by a few thousand dirhams before his visit visa expires next month. The old man has travelled all the way from the village of Sarahavan, Iran, to Abu Dhabi to cash in on the charitable spirit of the UAE residents during Ramadan."

From THIS article.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Let your views on Iran’s territorial integrity known

If we’re not going to have any demonstrations, and we don’t when they do count, we might as well sign this petition:

[We the undersigned], view Iran's territorial integrity to be paramount above all and strongly condemn any policies or entities that seeks to harm Iran's territorial cohesion.

The American president has gone so far as to unequivocally state that "America believes in the independence and territorial integrity of Iran"‌ and it is therefore regretful to hear that a credible and well-known think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute, has organized a conference on Iran where the panelists are all separatists.

We hope the American Enterprise Institute takes greater care when organizing conferences that seek to infringe upon Iran's territory.

We urge AEI, as a token of respect for Iranians and to help clarify its position that it does not seek to instigate or promote secession in Iran, by only having the Iran Lion and Sun flag on display as the only Iranian flag present at the conference cited above.

Very good, short, and concise. Thanks to an anonymous visitor for the link.

Incidentally, do you remember that very famous passage from Silver Blaze?

``Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?''
``To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.''
``But the dog did nothing in the night-time!''
``That was the curious incident.''

Well, considering how they singled out and continuously attacked US neo-conservatives for pushing for regime change in Iran, don’t you find it rather curious that of the innumerable “Iranian news and analysis” websites (take your pick), particularly the "left-leaning" ones, so far there has been no serious “efshagari” or criticism, of American Enterprise Institute’s conference involving self-styled “federalists”? Most did not even mention it! And to think how they sing the praises of the nationalist Dr. Mossadegh on a daily basis! In fact, the first and only reference to the conference I found soon after hearing of it was from the pro-Islamic Republic Hoder!

I’m certain that you also noticed the absence of criticism, let alone attacks, from the usual anti-neoconservative, even anti-Bush websites (Antiwar, etc.). Are these not a case of the dog not barking in the nighttime?

My opinion is that the explanation is actually quite simple. Ledeen, the “neo-conservative” is now considering the “neo-liberal” method of dealing with the Islamic Republic, which is to give the Islamic Republic enough time, and aid, to implode from within.

Some call this Balkanization.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not even our ancestors’ skeletons are spared

From the Islamic Republic’s own ISNA:

“Criminals looting the cemetery in northern Persepolis. Government doing nothing.”

I couldn't help remembering this bit of flattery from an article published last month :

“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.”

Kuroshe Bozorg,
Shahe Iran,
Shahe Shahan,

Asoodeh bekhaab ke ma boroonmarziha “petition” emza mikonim!

Family values

These are graphic pictures of the physical abuse of yet another child. Not for the faint of heart.


Edit: I've just learned that she passed away yesterday. She was a five year old girl from Mash'had.

Mr. Sharafshahi's article in Sobhe Iran

I called Sobhe Iran an hour ago and spoke with Mr. Sirus Sharafshahi himself. He was about to leave the office for the day but when I told him the story, he said that he will e-mail me the article personally. A true gentleman.

NOTE: Please do not HOTLINK.

Secret Code in Color Printers Lets Government[s] Track You

"Underground democracy movements ... will always need the anonymity of simple paper documents, but this technology makes it easier for governments to find dissenters,"...

ARTICLE in Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Our prescribed "alternative"

"Ta Shah Kaffan Nashavad, Iran Iran Nashavad!"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Oil-rich Khuzestan NOT an Iranian province, according to AFP

I like to direct the readers' attention to the title of THIS article by Agence France Presse on today's explosions at a shopping center in central Ahvaz:

"Bombs kill 4, wound 90 in Arab province of Iran"

Begoo marg bar Shah!

Dear readers,

Issue 1:

The two-page article by Sobh Iran on the gathering of anti-Iranian elements in AEI was not removed by me.When I checked the blog last evening they had been removed by the host (, not Blogger). I've already e-mailed them asking for the reason and await their reply.

I have a feeling that it may have to do with people hotlinking to the images.

It should not be a copyright issue, as I know that Sobh Iran and Mr. Sharafshahi would not object.

Having read the article, I did not save it. So I cannot have it hosted somewhere else. If someone copied the two text images, they can e-mail them to me at: [removed] and I'll be happy to repost them.

Issue 2:

A reader e-mail: "I've had some problems viewing the live webcasts of Anjomane Padeshahi Iran and was wondering if you've been experiencing the same? It worked fine today when Banoo Saffari had her program but afterwards I haven't been able to view anything. This has been going on for some time now and I was just wondering if you would know anything more about these technical difficulties."

I too experience the same problems with the webcast, but the satellite works fine, despite the occasional technical difficulties. If you can only watch YourTV via the internet, try the rebroadcasting of the day's programs. Usually, there are less problems then than watching the live webcast. There is also, where the day's program (Ostad Fouladvand only) is archived.

p.s. Just received a reply from X.TO. It explains that due to legal reasons they delete images containing pure text in a foreign language (= not english).

Friday, October 14, 2005

كجاست گوش شنوا؟

On Yahoo's front page, as I write:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Front-page “news” on the Islamic Republic’s

It reads:

Effort by the agents of Mossad to bomb New York Subways

US department of national security and U.S. intelligence expert Thomas Heneghan have announced that the American-French Alliance intelligence team have discovered and thwarted an attempt by Israel’s Mossad operatives to blow up the New York City subways.

Mehr News Agency’s source for this news, admittedly, is THIS article in the website! The article by Mehr is a summary of the revelations by the source.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005



AEI's announcement of this event.

I've removed Ledeen's name from my list of links.

Exporting Shiite fundamentalism; without impediments

Fans of the US-based, Islamist, HOMA TV and SALAAM TV will be happy to hear that the Shiite Taliban is launching a satellite station called "KHEIBAR", to be mainly broadcasted, naturally, in North America & Europe.

Article from MEMRI.

20th of Mehr

Having spent the last two hours searching the most popular “Iranian” websites, including those of the self-styled “opposition”, I have yet to find some mention of the most important anniversary in the Iranian calendar: 20th of Mehr. The date is recognized as the anniversary of the founding of the Iranian (Persian) Empire.

If you had any doubts about the extent to which those of us living abroad have lost our sense of national and historical identity---i.e. Have become non-Iranians---this single omission alone should reasonably suffice to put those doubts to rest.

Incidentally, is there a contradiction between wanting to save Passargod from going under water and not knowing or caring about the 20th of Mehr?


20th of Mehr also marks the establishment of the tomb of Ferdowsi in Toos by Reza Shah Pahlavi, and a weeklong millennial celebration of our greatest poet throughout Iran on October 12, 1934.

To read one of the latest attacks against Reza Shah for his advocacy of Iranian identity and culture, go HERE!

Saturday, October 08, 2005



چكيده ای از رويداد يورش به ناوچه موشك انداز تبرزين ‌از سوی گروهی ميهنپرست ايرانی در آبهای كرانه‌ اسپانيا
تابستان ١٩٨١
نويسنده: بزرگ اميد ، ١٩٩٢

To order this book please contact Anjomane Padeshahi.

سيدمحمد خاتمي، عضو شوراي عالي مركز تحقيقات استراتژيك شد

Mullah Mohammad Khatami, former president of the Islamist Republic, joins other "thoughtful and peace-loving clerics" in Hizbullah's Center for Strategic Research:

Article from Entekhab (Islamic Republic)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Did you know...

...that the first Turkish opera was written and staged on the occasion of the visit of Reza Shah Pahlavi to Turkey in 1934?

From Opera in Turkey

A new computer game

Click on the picture for details and HERE to watch the trailer.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

In Memoriam

Remembering a great man, a friend of Iran, and the true friend of the Shah of Iran, Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi, when all his "allies" had abandoned him.

Anwar Sadat

1918-October 6, 1981

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Amin, I love you!

A boy named Amin rescued from torture
Entekhab (Islamic Republic)
September 30, 2005

Amin is no more than 7 years old. Like many children his age he should be preparing himself for school. But his fingers have been hammered so many times, they’ve been pierced by so many nails, and his arms have been bitten and burned with cigarettes so regularly that he cannot hold a pencil properly.

Amin does not know the meaning of happiness. He does not know how to laugh. Amin has only learned how to cry in the darkness of a stable in a remote area of the town of Shahre Rey.

The child, with his slight figure, is sitting in front of me. I turn my eyes away from his face; I cannot bear to look at the black and blue bruises. I lower my eyes to look at the floor but my heart aches when I see his weak and disabled legs. At 7 years of age, Amin’s legs have been paralyzed from torture and the poor diet provided him by his mother and Afghan father.

An assistant from the “Aba Saleh al-Mahdi” charity talks to us about Amin: “In the vicinity of Shahre Rey there is a place where, due to either the absence or inaptness of family guardianship, people live in extreme poverty. The charity takes them under its protection by providing relief. Two months ago some people informed us that a boy by the name of Amin was being abused and tortured. We immediately headed for the address they gave us and after hours of searching found the place where they lived.”

Amin’s mother is 38 years old. She says that Amin’s father left her when she was pregnant, and that despite all her searching she was unable to find him. After Amin’s birth, she has lived alone in hardship: “I’d spend my days and nights near the mausoleum of Shahre Rey, and made my living selling tea.”

After living like this for some time, one day she met an Afghan man 13 years her junior. Although she was severely addicted to drugs, the two entered into a temporary marriage a short while after this acquaintance: “I had saved $50 from selling tea, and since we had no place to live, I gave the money to my Afghan husband and he used it as down payment for a stable which formerly sheltered cows.”

After their marriage her husband was without work and she herself remained an addict. As they were unable to earn their livelihood, they thought of putting Amin to work: Gathering used and bent nails, the couple would sit Amin on an old, worn out rug and have him straighten the metals with a hammer in the darkness of the stable. The boy earned 120 Tomans (12 cents) for every kilogram of nails that he straightened.

From then on Amin took up the hammer, and faced with the abuse and blows administered by his father and the torture he received from his mother, had no choice but to hammer the nails faster and faster. That way, his parents would earn more money.

Fearing beatings and torture, Amin would gather all his strength in his fragile arms and bring down the hammer on the bent nails in the hope that the couple would not bite him, beat him or burn his body with cigarettes.

After finding the family, the assistant from the charity provided the couple with some household items, and also some food and eatables on a weekly basis. This kind charity worker had hoped to see Amin put down the hammer and pick up a pencil, and to eat some warm food. But…

He recounts: “You may not believe Amin’s reaction when we gave them a television. When we switched it on he was petrified but then, moments later, began to laugh. He was laughing at how the people inside the TV had shrunk. To see such reaction at that age would have moved anyone.

We asked his family not to hurt him anymore and to come and see us whenever they needed something. Every night I would take food for Amin personally but most of the time the Afghan man would not let me inside the stable, and would just take the food and go. Sometime later, I made some enquiries in the neighborhood and found out that Amin was being severely beaten.

I went to the Welfare Organization, for I had to save Amin anyway I could. I took me two months to find a place for Amin in a welfare center, because they asked for money and a sponsor. During this two-moth period, I provided money to Amin’s parents to prevent things from getting worse.

But I saw that Amin was confined to a dark corner of the stable with the hammer and the bent nails. He had lost his ability to speak. And he could no longer walk.”

He continues, “When a local branch of the Welfare Organization finally agreed to take Amin in, I learned that the couple had gone away and taken Amin with them. When we found their new address, we learned that they had sold the little furniture we had provided for them. But I ad finally found Amin. This time, his face was horrifically bruised and his eyes were red from the rupture of some blood vessels. No matter how I tried to take Amin away they would not let me. As there was no one else to protect Amin, I bought him for $50 and gave him to the office of welfare.”

Mr. Assadzadeh, the director of the center where Amin is being cared for, told our reporter: “When I saw the child I realized that he had been severely tortured.” For this reason he referred Amin to the coroner. After examining the 7-year-old child, experts from the coroner’s office revealed: Injury to the gluteal muscles, bruises on both sides of the face, wounds on the left side of the face, hemorrhage under the conjunctiva in the right eye, injury to the left and right forearms, skeletal disfiguration of the right forearm and the right leg, indicative of older untreated injuries…”These injuries were caused by heavy objects; the child has been physically abused.”

Amin was immediately transferred to a hospital for treatment, unable to walk or speak. “During the period I’ve worked for the Welfare Organization, this was the first time I had seen a disabled child so abused,” says Assadzadeh. “I called department 110 of the police and was told to contact 123. I contacted them and they told me to bring in the mother and the child. This was not possible, so I called the police, but they told me that they do not have the authority. I don’t wish to criticise these various departments, but I do know that children are innocent and that there are more children like Amin in our society, children who are kept hidden from those who do care.”

A doctor working in this medical center tells our reporter: “There are burn marks all over Amin’s body. There are so many injuries to his hands that they cannot be counted. His entire body is also full of bite marks. There are also some indications of sexual abuse, but that is being investigated by the coroner.”


I look at Amin. The 7 year old boy weights only 12 kilograms. He understands my words but is unable to answer my questions. I look at his blood-red eyes. He wants to revenge his heartrending fate, but a smile comes to his lips instead. He does not want to share his stories with anyone; stories that could mortally wound those who hear them. He extends his hand for a manly handshake. I place his hand between my hands. I feel the wounds, the blisters and the burnt flesh.

---Where did you live?

Garden, he gestures.

---What did you do during the day?

He places a pillow over his legs, rests one of his disfigured fingers upon the pillow, takes my cell phone and starts beating the finger.

---Who beat you?

The Afghan!

He shows his injuries.

---Is there anything you wish for?

He shakes his head. The child has no wishes whatever.


I find Amin’s mother and her husband, hiding away in the home of a relative. Amin’s mother comes to the door. “A kind person wants to help you out with a few million Tomans, I tell her. The couple laugh. The Afghan man has come to the door with a rather tidy appearance. Amin’s mother laughs and says, “My husband is shy.”

I ask about Amin’s father. She tells me that he was a grocer: “It was sometime after our marriage, when I was seven months pregnant, that his family came to see me and I found out that he had a wife and children. After that he left me. When Amin was born he wanted to take him away but I didn’t let him. I said I wouldn’t give him up even if I had to beg on the streets.”

I remember the welfare worker. He had told me that while Amin and his mother were in the welfare office, she had beaten Amin and told him, “I wish you’d die so I could be relieved.”

I know that Amin has died a thousand times. Perhaps death was that wish which the child kept to himself.

But Amin’s death is not of his own doing.

A quote

"The world has tried to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear expertise for a long time. But after pressure was stepped up by the international community, a moderate government in Tehran was replaced with a fundamentalist one. Thoughtful and peace-loving cleric Mohammad Khatami was replaced by revolutionary guard commander Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June's election."

------Haj Agha Hossein Derakhshan; popularized by western press as a “dissident”, or worse, "Iranian dissident."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

One Nation, One People

يك كشور يك ملت

مقاله ای از داريوش همايون