Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 26, 2006

Is Fakhravar A Fraud?

UPDATE (Oct 8, 2006): There are two follow up posts to this collection of materials about Amir-Abbas Fakhravar. The first continues the discussion on legitimate Iranian opposition that stated in the comments below, the second refers to the evolution of a Laura Rozen piece in Mother Jones.

The Mother Jones article establishes that Fakhravar is not a legitimate regime critic, but is an Ahmed Chalabi like neocon tool to manipulate an U.S. supported regime change in Iran. In the same piece two Iranian dissidents assert that Fakhravar has also been a spy for security forces while having been in prision in Iran.

You are welcome to follow the trail starting with my original post below.

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A 30 year old Iranian "student" is currently making his circles in some conservative media.

Amir-Abbas Fakhr-Avar, sometimes also named Siyaavash or Siavash, had recent appearances in the New York Sun (May 9, 2006), the Telegraph (May 10, 2006) and the Sunday Times (May 21, 2006). Earlier, there were three National Review pieces about and interviews with him: July 18, 2005, December 5, 2005, February 13, 2006.

One can not deny a certain common tendency throughout these media outlets. So let me ask: Who is this guy?

From the Sunday Times:

Fakhravar, a 30-year-old writer and leader of the dissident Iranian student movement, who has been repeatedly jailed, emerged in Washington last week after spending 10 months on the run inside Iran. His sister was told by Revolutionary Guards that there were orders to shoot him on sight.

He surfaced at the end of last month in Dubai, where 24 hours later he was met by the leading American neoconservative, Richard Perle. Fakhravar was whisked to America last weekend and has already met congressmen and Bush officials. He said he was in Washington to spread one message only: "Regime change," he said, breaking from Farsi into English to deliver it.

Mr. Fakhravar claims about president Bush that, in Iran, "all the youngsters support him and love him" and that "people were buying pastries and cookies and candies in the streets of Tehran and going to each other to celebrate" when Iran was referred by the IAEA to the UN Security Council.

He had a website www.siavashonline.com which is not defunct, though parts can be still found in the Google cache. Since early 2006 his personal website is AmirAbbasFakhravar.com. It includes his bio which you may want to read.

According to it, he is a political activist since his last year in high school time in 1993 when he was also arrested for the first time. Since then he has been a regular in student protests and was arrested several times. He says to have written three books.

Mr. Fakhravar may well be what he claims to be. A legitimate struggler against the government of Iran who has been jailed and even tortured and who deserves support.

But the last time the prince of darkness pushed a "Regime Change" promoting exiles into prominence, there were some serious consequences.

Therefore this little attempt of web-research and of picking apart the information available on Mr. Fakhravar.

To get into the quite long story, I will try to build a timeline and will try to point out where the story may have changed or be inconclusive. If you know more, find stuff that I did not include, or if you see different aspects, please feel free to add to this effort in the comments.

The earliest web-accessible reports on Fakhravar are from 2001. They are coming from a Russian human rights news agency, PRIMA News which is financed by some US foundations.

On Jan. 5, 2001 PRIMA reports: Journalist disappears

IRAN, TEHRAN. Jan. 4-Amir-Abas Fakhr-Avar, a 25-year-old student and correspondent for the banned "Mosharekat" newspaper, was forced from his home on December 31 by five men in civilian clothing. Representatives of the Ministry of Information (the security service of the Islamic Republic of Iran) responded to relatives' inquiries that they know nothing of his being arrested.

According to a report by the Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran, Fakhr-Avar is the author of the book "The Shah Is Not Here," which has been banned in Iran, and investigative reports on the murders of about 120 Iranian public and political figures between 1996 and 1999."Mosharekat" newspaper is an organ of the Iranian Front for Islamic Participation, a major political association that supports moderate Iranian president Mohammad Khatami. It is one of 17 newspapers closed on April 27 of last year by order of the Islamic Press Affairs Court.

In further PRIMA reports posted on January 12, 2001, February 12, 2001, March 7, 2001 and November 12, 2002 we are told:

  • Fakhravar was arrested on August 19, 2000 during a demonstration and released in late November 2000.
  • He was again arrested on December 31, 2000 supposedly for an "interview to Voice of Iran radio, based in the United States".
  • He was transferred to a hospital on January 11, 2001 after having been beaten.
  • He was again arrested on February 6, 2001.
  • Another arrest of him is reported to have happened on March 6, 2001, this time for taking part in a meeting of the "outlawed" Iranian People's Democratic Front.
  • The last report from November 2002 says he was sentenced to eight years in jail by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

It also says:

According to the US-based Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI), the dissident was also incriminated with writing a book "The Shah Is Not Here" which has been banned in Iran.

All the above news agency items are sourced solely on reports from the Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran, an organization seated in Addison, Texas. The Who We Are on the site reads:

The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran"  (SMCCDI) is completely independent of other groups and political affiliation as far as its administration and decision making is concerned.

Their history highlights activities like:

the invitation of top American officials and policy-makers such as Michael Ledeen to the Internet Q and A sessions and by this means providing major support for the advancement of friendship among the two nations in the hours that the Islamic Republic was trying to portray America as the enemy of the Iranian nation and the widespread reflection of this meeting through the mass media

Searching for "Voice of Iran Radio" brings up KRSI.net, Radio Sedaye Iran, an exile radio station in Los Angeles (currently on the front page: Bolton, Leeden, Rice). In the Financial Times Guy Dinmore wrote on December 5 2003 US lobbyists tune in for regime change in Iran (behind subscription wall - there is a copy on some forum in the Google cache here  (scroll down)):

With a touch of under-statement - "we are trying something a little out of the ordinary today" - one of America's most influential neo-conservative lobby groups this week started broadcasting a live radio chat-show out of its Washington headquarters and into Iran, featuring interviews with opposition activists in both countries.

The teaming-up of the well-funded and well-connected American Enterprise  Institute (AEI) with Los Angeles-based Radio Sedaye Iran (Voice of Iran) marks a new step in the efforts of the US right to influence regime change in the Islamic republic.
[...]
Most of the Los Angeles-based exile radio stations have monarchist leanings and several listeners reflected those views. While Mr Pahlavi, now a resident of Virginia, has the backing of some AEI members, the panel of exiled opposition activists assembled in Washington to go on air represented a broader spectrum.

Manda Zand Ervin, head of the International Alliance of Iranian Women, served under the Shah before the 1979 Islamic revolution and is regarded as close to the monarchists.
[...]

Those to the background of the PRIMA News stories.

Back to the timeline:

Iran va Jahan, a London based exile site reports on March 19 2003:

Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a political activist, was savagely beaten and sustained heavy knee injuries, upon his voluntary presentation to the judiciary in Tehran on March 18, 2003.

Transferred to Ghasr prison, without medical attention, Amir Abbas Fakhravar was incarcerated amongst criminals, bandits, rapists, and drug traffickers.

A follow up on March 22 has this:

One case is that of Amir Abbas(Siavash) Fakhravar a 27 year old Iranian writer and journalist, who previously worked in the now banned daily "Khordad." He was rearrested two days ago in Tehran.

Speaking from Iran, his father said that Amir who was recovering from a broken knee injury had been summoned by Seyed Madjid of the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court to appear at a hearing for his appeal against the charge of "Offending the Rahbar.

This charge is based on writing one book and signing two statements. His book written in 2002 was entitled "This place is not a ditch" - Inja Chah nist.
[...]
Amir is currently being held in Ghasr prison, where non-political prisoners, including sex offenders and murderers are kept. According to his father, while being transported to Ghasr, he was subjected to severe beatings in the head and the broken knee and the abdomenal area.

Expressing his fear for Amir's safety, his father said that, "Ghasr is not a political prison. They are keeping my son with murderers and rapists. I am afraid that the authorities will order the other prisoners to hurt Amir."

Mr. Fakhravar continued, "I urge all Iranians who care to please help secure the release of my young son. He has sacrificed his life for Iran. Please help him!"

Another update on June 10 2003:

Amir Fakhravar, a pro-democracy activist and medical graduate has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his political activities by the revolutionary courts, but in order to further his suffering, he is kept in Qasr prison amongst common criminals.

This is the third assault on Fakhravar since he was first taken prisoner.

Fakhravar was first attacked by the notorious deranged revolutionary court secretary, Seyyed Madjid Hosseinian, during his court appearance in front of his parents which resulted in Fakhravar having a broken leg.

A few questions and remarks:

  • Is the book "This place is not a ditch" the same or a different one as "The Shah Is Not Here"?
  • What is the actual translation of "Inja Chah nist", the Persian title?
  • Could there be a marketing reason for a title change, i.e. to avoid the word Shah?
  • What is the Seyed Madjid of the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court?
  • What does Rahbar mean and what is the meaning of "Offending the Rahbar"?
  • In the second report the interviewed and quoted father says that Fakhravar was reconvalesenting from a broken knee when he had to appear in court, in the third report that changes unsourced into a broken leg that resulted from the court appearance.
  • Also according to the quoted father, the beatings did not happen in front of the court, but on the way from the court to the prison.

(If you know Farsi, please help me with answers to the questions above.)

According to the May 9 2006 New York Sun report (behind subscriber wall, copy here) on Fakhravar intense contacts between the US neocon movement and Fakhravar started in early 2003:

Mr. Perle first got in contact with Mr. Fakhravar in 2003 through a contact in Los Angeles who asked that she only be referred to her by her first name, Manda. Manda, who emigrated to America from Iran in 2000, sought out Mr. Perle through contacts of her father, who served as a high official in the Shah's government toppled in the 1979 revolution.
[...]
"Whenever Amir Abbas wanted to talk to Richard, at 11 at night, at five in the morning, Richard was available every time," she said. Mr. Perle says he remembers these conversations with Mr. Fakhravar and one of the leaders of the 1999 Tehran University uprising, Ahmad Batebi. "I was reluctant to stay on the phone so long because I know about the technology," he said.

You will remember that the FT, linked above, had written on the AEI contacts with an Iranian expat monarchist women Manda Zand Ervin.

The London Pen Club has an undated entry on Fakhravar:

Profession: Writer, journalist for the now-banned pro-reform dailies Mosharekat and Khordad, and law student.
Date of arrest: 10 November 2002
Sentence: 8 years in prison
Expires: 9 November 2010
Details of trial:Sentenced by Bench 26 of the Revolutionary Court on or around 10 November 2002 to eight years in prison for criticizing the supreme leadership of Iran in his book Inja Chah Nist ('This Place is not a Ditch'), shortlisted for the 2001/2002 Paolo Coelho Literary Prize. Following a period of leave from Evin prison he was ordered to appear in court on 18 March for an appeal hearing. When he appeared he was denied representation by his lawyers. After an argument with the judge he was beaten in front of Bench 26 before being transferred to prison. It is thought that he may have been targeted for writing an open letter to the authorities on 4 February 2003 criticizing the Iranian government and demanding a referendum on the future government of Iran.

There are several questions/remarks on this entry:

  • Who gave this information to the Pen Club London?
  • Here Fakhravar is said to be a law student. In his own bio he was first a "medicine student" and was accepted by a law faculty only in 2004. The Pen entry must  have been made after this.
  • Sentenced on November 10, 2002 to eight years Fakhravar was on a period of leave in early 2003. I do find this extraordinary. But maybe the 8 year sentence was on probation? Or he was free on bail until the appeal on March 18, 2003?
  • There was an argument before the court about the admission of the lawyers. If this was an appeal to a sentences by a lower court, this could make sense as not all lawyer have accreditation to higher courts. But that is speculation. I have found no information on why the judge refused the lawyers.
  • The Pen entry claims that Fakhravar was "beaten in front of Bench 26 before being transferred to prison". The father said in an interview that the beating did take place not in front of the court, but during the transport from court to prison.
  • The Evin prison from which, as Pen says, Fakhravar "was on leave" seems to be a kind of political(?) jail (with leave?) while we know from the father that after the court dispute the son was put to Ghasr, a prison for criminals.
  • What happened in front of the court, that made the judge to take the decision for an immediate arrest in a prison for criminals? 
  • Even after intensive googling and reading through Paolo Coelho's long bio I fail to find any evidence for the existence of a "Paolo Coelho Literary Prize" or a similar award.
  • Note that the title of the book here is again not "The Shah Is Not Here" but "This Place is not a Ditch".
  • PRIMA News said the book was banned in Iran. Fakhravar in his bio says "“Inja chah nist” was   published in the US in 2002". I do not find any reference of the book, except in story about Fakhravar, with either title. Who might have "shortlisted" a book banned in Iran and impossible to find and to buy for this unknown literary price?

In September 2003 Canadian journalist Jane Kokan made a report from Iran on the Iranian student movement for PBS Frontline. It was aired on December 2 2003 by Channel 4 and January 4 2004 by PBS. A video sequence (at 5:10) includes Fakhravar arguing with his mother. From the transcript:

JANE KOKAN: [voice-over] Amir Fakhravar, arrested 17 times, is now serving 8 years in prison for student activism and calling for democracy in Iran. To the students, he’s both a leader and hero. This video of Fakhravar and his mother was filmed secretly just before he went to prison last year.
[...]
JANE KOKAN: The same day, I’ve arranged to meet my most important contact in Iran, a man we’ll call Arzhang. He’s been a political activist since the late ‘70s, when the shah was deposed, and now he’s helping the students take on the mullahs. It’s brave of him, like Kianoosh, to insist that I show his face. Arzhang has set up a telephone interview for me with the student leader Amir Fakhravar from jail.

[on camera] Do you think we’ll see a new democratic Iran sometime soon?

[voice-over] Amazingly, Fakhravar has gained access to a phone line inside one of Iran’s toughest prisons.

[on camera] Will you, the students, win? What do you think? Will you win the battle? OK, I’ll pass you back to Arzhang. OK.

[voice-over] Fakhravar’s English and my Farsi aren’t exactly perfect, so I ask Arzhang to act as our interpreter.

An Iranian opinion on the piece

Cold war mentality and this cloak and dagger attitude to journalism has killed enough legitimate stories. I hope the chronicle of Iranians struggle towards democracy and the different obstacles they face in that road is not fallen victim to fast cut, overly dramatic, sensationalist treatment Jane Kokan employed in this way-too-short documentary.

A comment on the opinion reads:

To me it was totally obvious that every thing was set up for the camera. Camera moved around the guy and at the end of the shot the camera moved towards the mother’s face showing her tears. What kind of "secretly shot is that? Why does the guy need to do a lecture for the camera before going to jail? and how has such a person have access to the phone in such a "police regime?"

and another:

One interesting thing was the claim that the student was at Ghasr prison. Am I the only one who read that the prison was shut down a couple months ago? They’re turning it into a park or museum or some such thing. And anyway I don’t think there ever were political prisoners there... Whatever. It sucked.

My questions/remarks:

  • "Arzhang. He’s been a political activist since the late ‘70s, when the shah was deposed"  - was this man an "activist" for the shah or against the shah? The first would put him into a certain political "monarchist" that is, as the FT piece shows, connected to the AEI.
  • I agree with the commentator that this was not a "secretly shoot video".
  • A phonecall from a harsh prison for criminals seems indeed extraordinary.
  • If as the Kokan report claims, this political activism in Iran is so very dangerous, why is everybody showing their face? That would not be heroic, but stupid.

There are several topics mentioning Fakhravar in a forum at a FREE IRAN Project site. An early entry from December 17 2003 sourced on an Iran activist in London reads:

Amir Abbas (Siavash) Fakhravar, jailed Iranian student and the subject of the recent Channel 4 documentary, Iran Uncovered, has been badly beaten up by other criminal inmates. The prison authorities have refused to provide him medical treatment. Fakhravar is kept in a cell with 25 other common criminals at the Qasr prison. All are dangerous prisoners jailed for serious offences. There are still 3000 prisoners kept at Qasr prison while the other 5000 have been moved to another prison.

The UK Amnesty International site has a page on Fakhravar posted on February 13 2004.

This is the first time that Amnesty International has documented evidence of the practice of "white torture" in Iran.

Amir Abbas Fakhravar has been in prison for over a year. In January 2004, he was taken from Qasr prison to a detention centre called 125 to be interrogated about his alleged links with a political organisation called Jonbesh-e Azadi-ye Iraniyan, which opposes the Iranian government. The centre is under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, a military force responsible for matters of national security.

His cell in the 125 detention centre reportedly had no windows, and was entirely coloured creamy white, as were his clothes. At meal times, he was reportedly given white rice on white, disposable paper plates and if he needed to use the toilet, he had to put a white slip of paper under the door of the cell to alert guards, who reportedly had footwear designed to muffle any sound. He was forbidden to speak to anyone.

Amnesty International has been told that the "silence is deafening" in the facility and that this technique of sensory deprivation is called "white torture" (shekanjeh-e sefid). Such conditions of extreme sensory deprivation appear to be designed to weaken the prisoner by causing persistent and unjustified suffering which amounts to torture.

On or around 8 February, Amir Abbas Fakhravar was reportedly allowed to leave the detention centre. However, two days later he was taken into custody again. This is a form of psychological torture, which keeps a prisoner in a permanent state of uncertainty and anxiety. While he was free he was able to tell others about what was being done to him. It is not clear whether he is now held at 125, Qasr or elsewhere.

Amir Abbas Fakhravar was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment on defamation charges in November 2002, because of comments on Iran's political leadership in his book Inja Chah Nist (This Place is Not a Ditch). In February 2003, he and imprisoned student demonstrator Ahmad Batebi signed an open letter which criticised the Iranian authorities.

The letter stated, "We wish to openly and overtly express our dedication to all universal covenants. We want to show our respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, universal peace, non-violence, environmental protection, permanent progress" and added that "violence has absolutely no place in our struggle, neither in our words nor in our deeds." Shortly afterwards, he was reportedly beaten in front of judges in the court room where his appeal was being heard.

Questions/Remarks:

  • The PBS piece including a phone interview with Fakhravar was aired December 2, 2003 and January 4, 2004. The prison change from Qasr (Ghasr?) to a detention center, according to Amnesty, also happens in January. This may well be connected.
  • All the "white torture" stuff seems to unverified by AI. They use qualifiers, "reportedly", "has been told", "reportedly" in those paragraphs, while the other paragraphs are unqualified. Who "told" AI about this? (In the recent Sunday Times piece and others AI is used as "proof" and "source" for this "white tourture" claim without mentioning AI's unusual qualifications.)
  • AI says he was questioned for "his alleged links with a political organization called Jonbesh-e Azadi-ye Iraniyan". His own bio says: "Fakhravar is the founder of the Movement for the freedom of Iran (Jonbeshe Azadye Iranian, JAI)". Alleged links?
  • According to the Pen entry Fakhravar was imprisoned in March 18, 2003 for an 8 year sentence. According to this AI entry he was freed on February 8 2004 and again arrested on February 10 2004.

Another AI entry reports:

On or around 21 March, Iran’s New Year or No Rouz, he was granted 19 days’ leave.

Fakhravar's bio says:

Once again his fathers tireless efforts got him transferred to Evin’s Political ward. In 2004 together with Ahmad Batebi and Mohammad Manouchehri he participated in the national university entrance exams and was accepted by the law faculty of Payyame Noor University.

The transfer from the prison to the ward must have happened sometime between early 2004 and September 2004, but I have no idea when exactly. Is the Evin’s Political ward  the "white torture" "detention center" AI mentions or is there a different third place?

Another post at the FREE IRAN Project forum on September 30 2004:

KRSI has reported the sad news of the death of Amir Abbas Fakhravar's (maverick student activist) father, Mohammad Bagher Fakhravar (former Iranian Air Force Officer), in a car accident, in which his brother has been seriously hurt and is in coma. The Jomhoriye Kasife Eslame has demanded a large sum of money for Amir Abbas to attend the funeral of his father.

In April 2005 the Paris based Iran journalist Safa Haeri for his Iran Press Service has a long interview with Fakhravar:

Speaking with the Iran Press Service from Tehran during a short leave from prison, Mr. Amir Abbas Fakhravar of the Confederation of Independent Iranian Students (CIIS) that fights for a secular, democratic system based on a freely elected Parliament expressed support for the proposal of boycotting the coming presidential elections and turning the occasion into a referendum for changing the present Iranian political system, as suggested recently by Mr. Abbas Amir Entezam.
[...]
Editor’s note: Born in 1975 and single, Mr. Amir Abbas Fakhravar is serving an eight years imprisonment, on charges of insulting the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i.

He experienced his first jail when 17 year old and was imprisoned 18 times since.

He has been exiled several times to remote areas in Iran, abducted and thrown in unknown prison in Oroumiyeh (north-eastern Iran) and tortured.

Students at law faculty, he was forced to abandon studies. Evin is my residency.

Has collaborated with several reformist newspapers, wrote three books, including “Here is Not a Ditch”. After newspapers in Iran reported that the book was presented to the Paulo Coelho Literary Award, security forces raided his house and office and took all the copies, but a diskette was saved, sent abroad, where the book was translated into English and published.

“Lost Prison Papers” is a collection of life and tortures in Iranian prisons.

Remarks:

  • The interview has a strong "Regime Change" tone. But as it does not further the timeline I will not try to wade into it for now.
  • This is the first time where I see a claim of "exiled several times to remote areas in Iran, abducted and thrown in unknown prison in Oroumiyeh (north-eastern Iran)".  According to his own bio: "In 1994 he was elected chairman to the student government body of the University of Medical Sciences in Uroomiye, [...] In 1996 [...] he was arrested on university campus and was incarcerated by the ministry of Information in Uroomiyeh". Exiled? Abducted? Unknown prison in dark north-eastern Iran?
  • You may be interested in Sala Haeri's interview with Amir-Entezam on the referendum. From what I have read, there are serious infights between various exile groups positioning themselves for  a unlikely referendum.
  • The law faculty, which has accepted him in 2004, somehow ditched him in 2005
  • "Evin is my residency." As Safa Haeri lives in Paris, this is of course not an "Editors Note". Has Fakhravar send in his bio and Haeri missed to change that part? If so, who came up with the "exiled" above?

As additional background: Wikipedia

Abbas Amir-Entezam was the spokesman and the secretary of the Interim Cabinet of Mehdi Bazargan in 1979. In 1981 when he was ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran in Scandinavian countries, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, asked him to come back quickly to Tehran via an encrypted message. After coming back to Tehran he was arrested because of allegations based on some documents retrieved from U.S. embassy takeover and received life time prison from court.

According to Fakhravar's own bio there are three books: In 1997 "Sabztarin Cheshme zamin" ("the greenest eyes on earth") was published. In 2000 or 2001  "Inja Chah nist" (this place is not a ditch) was written while being in the political ward of Evin prison and "this novel was short listed for the Paulo Coelho literature price". In 2001/2002 he was again arrested and put into solitary confinement.

The memoirs of those days are summarized in the book; “still, Prisons lost papers” which was published in July 2005 by the American publication “Ketab”. This was his second book to get published in the USA (“Inja chah nist” was published in the US in 2002)

As said above, I do not find any trace on the internets of the first or second book at all nor of a Paulo Coelho literature price. 

The latest one, in English and Farsi was published in 2005 by Ketab Corp in Los Angeles, a company specialized on Persian media. The book has an ISBN number but a search through bookfinder and some other means does not find any other place where it is mentioned or where one could buy it.

The picture on the front of the book is one that Fakhravar also has on his website. It has the subtext "from left to right: Amir Abbas, Ahmad Batebi in Evin prison (Iran)". Telling from the picture, the photo studio in Envin prison (Iran) has some pretty good equipment.

From the bio:

Short while ago Amir Abbas received leave from prison to participate in university exams, after which he didn’t return to prison. As a consequence of this action an order to shoot on sight was issued in his name.

The Sunday Times writes in May 2006:

Fakhravar, a 30-year-old writer and leader of the dissident Iranian student movement, who has been repeatedly jailed, emerged in Washington last week after spending 10 months on the run inside Iran. His sister was told by Revolutionary Guards that there were orders to shoot him on sight.

He surfaced at the end of last month in Dubai, where 24 hours later he was met by the leading American neoconservative, Richard Perle.

In April 2005 in the Sala Haeri interview it is claimed that Fakhravar was ditched from the law studies, but some ten month ago, about Mai/June 2005, we was getting leave from the ward to participate in university exams. That definitely does not fit.

December 05, 2005 he has an telephone interview with Jason Lee Steorts of the National Review titled Message From Underground.

In May of this year, while on such a leave, he decided he had had enough, and ran.

As for "His sister was told by Revolutionary Guards that there were orders to shoot him on sight." The only source for this is the bio on Fahkravars website. He certainly didn´t behave like that danger was real.

In December 2005 Sahari Dastmalchi, an young Iranian woman grown up in the Netherlands has met Fakhrava in Iran. With four people they drive into the mountains for some kind of weekend camping. She has written a piece, ending in a quite a romantic scene, about this at Iranian.com. Therein she calls him and his friends "monarchist and republican". She describes him as charismatic:

Siavash is a very likable young man very sociable and down to earth, at the same time polite and gentlemanly like with remarkable green eyes. The color of the eyes is not what makes them remarkable, his eyes are unusually communicative. One look in this mans face and I couldn’t help feel like I was naked, with one handshake this man knew all my deepest darkest secrets. To be quite honest it felt like he knew things the rest of us had missed.

Oh, you want the romantic scene?

He put his arm around me and pulled me closer towards him “Well, start packing then, Jooje Hollandi (Dutch chick lit)” he said laughing “can I ..?” as he looked at the huge blanket I had dragged out with me.

I smiled and full of confidence answered, “Sure, we lefties don’t mind sharing” as I gave him a corner of my blanket. So he could cuddle up next to me.

He just laughed at me “wise ass” he said while he got himself settled. We sat there perfectly still smelling the sweet mountainous morning air.

“Siavash, I am glad I met you,” I said quietly.

Sahari Dastmalchi has written for The Iranian several times. The Iranian is a website marketed to young expats. She blogs and wants to become a journalist and she meets Fakhravar, as it seems from her piece, just by chance during a visit in Iran and has such a nice weekend with this charismatic men and another young ideal pair. This while "an order to shoot on sight" is issued against him.

Quite a story.

In January the domain name for Fakhravars website is registered through a provider in Teheran.

Domain Name:amirabbasfakhravar.com
Record last updated at 2006-01-24 00:04:11
Record created on 2006/1/2
Record expired on 2007/1/2

Domain servers in listed order:
ns2.zoneedit.com ns17.zoneedit.com

Administrator:
name: Amir solymani kashaniha
mail: info@amirabbasfakhravar.com tel: +98.9121916084
org: Amir solymani kashaniha

An February 13, 2006 interview on National Review Online with Fakhravar mentions a Manda from Los Angeles that appears again to be the monarchist Manda Zand Ervin that also appeared in the 2003 FT article above.

Through the help of an Iranian émigré living in California - who wishes to be identified only by her first name, Manda - Fakhravar recently phoned NR deputy managing editor Jason Lee Steorts to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the hopes of the Iranian people, and his life as a fugitive.
[...]
NRO: What do Iranians think of George W. Bush?
Fakhravar
: The people of Iran, especially the youth, are so admiring of Bush and his administration for siding with the people of Iran rather than the government of Iran. No other leader of any government, even the Europeans, took this stand. All the youngsters support him and love him, and we want to express our deepest gratitude for him and his administration and what they are doing to liberate us.
NRO
: Are you receiving any support from the U.S. government?
Fakhravar
: I cannot mention who, but I'm definitely communicating with some people in the U.S. government and have established contacts with people in the Bush administration.

According to the NY Sun and Sunday Times, April 29 2006 Fakhravar meets Richard Perle in Dubai and went from there to Washington DC. Since then, according to his picture gallery, he has been meeting Michael Ledeen and Senator Rick Santorum and, one may guess, a lot of other important people. He is making the rounds in the media.

A hero he is, or is he? Enough people have written that story.

To me this man seems to be something else. But I will write that story on another day.

Posted by b on May 26, 2006 at 03:14 PM | Permalink

Comments

A fraud? Yes. Isn't everyone they trot out.

Posted by: gmac | May 26, 2006 4:19:22 PM | 1

"A hero he is, or is he? Enough people have written that story."

A hero he might be if he confined his dissidence to his own country. If he takes his grievences to a foreign country for sympathy and possible help to overthrow his government then he is commiting an act of treasonous sedition. He is a traitor.

Posted by: pb | May 26, 2006 5:01:31 PM | 2

Isn't Iran a democracy?

Last I heard Israel was denying civil rights to their citizens who happened to marry Palestinians, in Israeli occupied lands.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | May 26, 2006 5:20:29 PM | 3

Even after intensive googling and reading through Paolo Coelho's long bio I fail to find any evidence for the existence of a "Paolo Coelho Literary Prize" or a similar award.

Found it:

"Paulo Coelho's Literary Prize" awarded in Iran

May 2001, Teheran, Iran

Paulo Coelho awarded a Literary Prize to works originally written in Farsi language in two different categories.

The fiction prize was presented to "The Eighth Valley" by Mr. Mohammad Ghasemzadeh, while in the category of non fiction the prize went to "Dreams and Visions in Iranian Culture", by Ms. Khojasteh Kia.

During the ceremony held in Teheran, Paulo Coelho's message was read to an audience of 300 intellectuals, focusing on the importance of a dialogue between cultures based on mutual love and discipline, and the uselessness of wars.

During the event Mr. Kamran Fani, president of the jury, talked about the importance of Literary prizes since ancient times, from the era of Greek Civilization until today, and he thanked Mr. Coelho for establishing a path of understanding and love, and for producing a space for Iranian artists and writers to be able to convey their ideas to the western world.

The prize includes the publication of the winning books in Brazil in Portuguese language.

Source: Sant Jordi Asociados Agencia Literaria

It does not seem to have been awarded more then once and this source does not include any mentioning of a shortlist or which books was on it. Not that this disproves the existence of a shortlist.

Though I can not find the book under any of its names. Not with google or amazon at least. I find a lot of references to the persian name and the ditch translation but no reference to any where I can buy or download the book. If it is banned it is supposed to exist in the first place, right?

Maybe fauxreal has even better ways of determining the existence of this book.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | May 26, 2006 8:03:17 PM | 4

If I had read your whole piece before commenting I would not have had to search for "Inja Chah nist" myself. No harm in double-checking though

Who "told" AI about this?

We will probably never know. I would imagine that Amnesty international keeps their sources pretty secret. Of course this makes them susceptible to false information.

A more general comment: Good work in covering this person. If he is a fraud, I think the book is the best way to expose him. That facts gets mixed up dealing with a police state prison system is more or less expected (or will be explained that way), but books are concrete stuff.

Why not contact the Sant Jordi Asociados Agencia Literaria? It does not look like they handle much else beside Paulo Coelho, so if anyone knows of a shortlist it would be them. And Paulo Coelho is no friend of Bush.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | May 26, 2006 8:25:47 PM | 5

Thanks ASKOD - for the find. I'll write a mail and we will see what comes back.

Posted by: b | May 26, 2006 11:19:11 PM | 6

In Nov. 2003 I have been approched by a Iranian man in US and another Iranian in Paris France to join them in a highly secret in Paris to get involve with a secret plan designed to free Iran. I accepted the offer, but I did not have any clue as to what are the detail.
Make story sure, I found myself in Paris in 2 or 3 days later. It was in Paris that I found Mr. Fakhravar supposedly in the prison in Iran plus another man in Iran who never been in jail are leading the secret plan. I found a few days later that I am drawn in a very questionable plan that smels very FISHY. I told them flat NO I do not want to be part of this. Story is much longer and I know now I was right about what was going on. I am very glad that I did not join those shadowy people then.

Posted by: Mohammad Hassibi | Jun 1, 2006 6:29:25 AM | 7

You obviously have good judgement Mohammad Hassibi.

As pb pointed out above, it is one thing to oppose the government in your own country and it can still be a patriotic act when forced to leave that country and plan resistance with other exiles. But it is quite another thing to plot with foreigners whose interest will undoubtedly cause harm to your fellow countrymen especially if it is likely the foreigners real interest is in obtaining your nation's resources and not the well being of your fellow citizens.

Mr. Fakhravar strikes me as a person who is more interested in culturing 'a legend' about himself.

A legend designed to mislead others into thinking Mr. Fakhravar is a patriot when in all probability he's far more interested in ruling and exploiting his countrymen than sharing, then eliminating their oppression.

Posted by: | Jun 1, 2006 8:11:09 AM | 8

Another fraud: More From Iran on Baha'is. Interesting similarities. Ledeen working the grounds...

Posted by: b | Jun 1, 2006 3:39:08 PM | 9

It is interesting how you've spent hours researching to find something out of nothing, when there are hundreds within the mafia regime of Iran that you could have allocated your time to chase.

You have no name but obviously support the interest of the fascist regime of Iran. Some cleverly say people should not seek outsiders to overthrow their own regime. Hey good try! Why don't you say the same when the lobbyists of Iranian regime are all over America and in Europe trying to get the help of the outsiders to save the Iranian regime.

One such lobbyist is Hooshang Amirahmadi who runs AIC on East Coast (American Iranian Council ) and another also on the East Coast is NIAC (National Iranian American Iranian Council

Hooshang Amirahmadi is getting millions from oil companies and Hiliburton and many more trying to normalize the relationship of U.S. with the terrorist regime of Iran. I bet some of your pro IRI supporters think getting help from outsiders is OK as long as it helps IRI!

Let's see how much time the author of this site will spend in chasing these well-known lobbyists!

I'm so happy there are genuine sites (i.e. Most Wanted Murderers of Iranian Regime ) who go after real criminals and don't try to protect them like you do.

Shame on you for attempting to discredit everyone who is fighting for the freedom of Iranians and exposing the crimes of Iranian regime, while you are trying to protect that regime by diverting the attention of the public away from the mullahs.

Posted by: Noktehsanj | Jun 3, 2006 3:55:07 AM | 10

hi my name is Sahar Dastmalchi, Allthough you have missed the point totally and completely, I am writing to say thank you for paying so much attention to my little story. I was surprized to find a romantic ending to what I exprienced as a friendly gesture, must be that culrural thing between US and europe..
I was hoping that people would understand that due to security reasons I couldnt elaborate on the details, without endangering my friend.
I can see where you got confused,1. the iranian calendar is different from teh one we use and date conversions are not always done quite accurately, 2.Iranians have been scattered all over the world since 79 and have adapted phonetics from where ever they live, so someone educated in germany for instance will use the letter U some one from an anglophone country will use oo fench ou for the same sound. anyone with any knowledge of any foreign language could have told you that.
I am glad you are trying to analyse a situation and obviousely you have put lots of effort in to this, its just to bad that as we say in holland : the trees are keeping you from seeing the forest!
please try to find the forest again...
and again thanks for publicizing my writing.

yours
Sahar Dastmalchi

Posted by: sahar d | Jun 7, 2006 8:09:34 AM | 11

"Inja Shah Nist" translates to.... The Shah is Not Here.

and NO, Iran is most definately not a democracy. Iranian students are imprisoned and tortured for opposing any statement of the "Supreme Leader". Iran is a police state and free speech is not a reality.

Posted by: Sara Omidvar | Jun 13, 2006 9:30:09 PM | 12

These last 25 years of Islamic Occupation of Iran have been some of the darkest hours in our history. The Mullahs are forcing our great nation of Iran back to the dark ages and not only do us Iranians in the U.S. not band together and create a mass politcal movement in congress to put pressure on the Jomuryee Eslami (Islamic Republic), but some of us don't even reconize the threat and absolute terror this government instills in the hearts of its people, as well as its threat to the rest of the world.

Nationalists like Fakhravar should not be mocked. It is of course important to question the man's history, as with any political activist on the front line, but I think Fakhravar's loyalty to Iran and his love of it, including his sacrifices (which have been greater than any I could imagine) have proved him a worthy defender of a our glorious land. I have read his books, I have heard him speak, this man is a genuine supporter of freedom in Iran and a true Iranian, willing to risk his health, his freedom, and his life in order to see our great country rise once again.

Comments from men like Mohammad Hassabi are extremely saddening and ill-guided.
"Mr. Fakhravar strikes me as a person who is more interested in culturing 'a legend' about himself. A legend designed to mislead others into thinking Mr. Fakhravar is a patriot when in all probability he's far more interested in ruling and exploiting his countrymen than sharing, then eliminating their oppression."

Men like Mr. Hassabi who sit in their computer chairs and critize men like Mr. Fakhravar are one of the other great problems our community has in ridding Iran of this Mullahs, that we are not unified. If you want to critize a man who's been beaten and jailed and nearly killed in order to save his country from oppression and persecution, then give good reason, and if you have no good reason, get up there on the frontlines and fight yourself, otherwise do not try and prevent the progression of democracy from moving forward, because then you are and enemy of the true Iran.

To all Iranians in Iran, America, and Europe: You are the children of our beloved motherland. The land that has sheltered us for the last 3,000 years. We are one of the first and oldest peoples in the world and for too long has glory of the Persian Empire been spat upon. It is time for us to stand up and rise against our oppressors. For us in America, who are significantly more well-off and are not stricken by the grief of poverty, politcal oppresion and death, lobby in congress, make your voice heard. If not able to pass legal action, then at least make this country and the rest of the world aware of one thing: REGIME CHANGE. You'd be suprised how much of the world isn't aware of our problem. And the Mullahs are too strong to be combated within Iran at the moment, at least until we are able to create our own movement and/or Army within Iran.

Until then, make the world aware. Send out the message of 'Regime Change.' Send these Mullahs back into the dark, miserable holes that they crawled out from. Take action. Take it now. This is your country, these are your people, this is your duty as an Iranian. Don't let our sweet land of Iran fall to these barbarians. I myself and a few others and trying to get involved politically in American politics to aid the fate of our brothers in Iran, as the Jews in America do for Israel. (And they have been extremely successful) So lets rise once again.

And I also agree with Mr. Noktehsanj comments. This man, Siavash (Amir Abbas Fakrhavar) is trying to bring back the Iran the Reza Shah the Great and Mossedegh had tried to create. Do not spit on him. Respect him. Support your brothers in Iran and America. The time for injustice and politcal persecution is over. Now is the time for Iran to once again to be it's majestic and noble self. We will rise once again.

Payandeh Bad Khake Iran Ma!

Your fellow brother,

Arian

Posted by: Arian | Jun 15, 2006 10:56:08 AM | 13

On another note, be wary of internet posts and other media gatherings. The Islamic Republic's black hand streches very far from Iran and they have their own Basiji's here in America as well as Europe, on internet chat boards and elsewhere, to cause as much controversy as possible and also to spy on Anti-Regime Democracy advocates here in America to report back to the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran. Don't be suprised when you hear what you think to be a fellow Iranian-American ridiculing Iranian Freedom Fighters and critizing other aspects a true Iranian would normally be proud of and support. These people are not you're brothers. They are pawns of the Islamic Republic put here to confuse and and disorganize us. These people are obviously more abundant in Iran but be aware that the Islamic Republic also wants their interests to be represented in these conversations. They are here to confuse us, be wary and see through their smoke. The Islamic Republic is very clever and should not be underestimated.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 15, 2006 11:32:16 AM | 14

This man, Siavash (Amir Abbas Fakrhavar) is trying to bring back the Iran the Reza Shah the Great and Mossedegh had tried to create.

You mean both tried the same thing? Then why was the democratic elected Mossedegh thrown out in a CIA coup and a dictatorial Shah installed?

Idiot.

Posted by: b | Jun 16, 2006 1:20:13 AM | 15

First off, I'm talkin about the Shah's father, Reza Khan, who came in power BEFORE Mossedegh, and I wasn't referring to the way the came into power, I was referring to their dedication and love for Iran, and their determination to bring Iran back to it's majestic and noble status.

Don't call me an idiot just becuase you simply don't understand.

By the way, you seem like someone suspiciously concered in discrediting and critizing any and all those have some kind of noble sentiment for the progression of democracy and freedom in Iran. Maybe you'd enjoy sharing your skeptical and critical attitude with someone who holds your similiar mindset, someone like Mr. Rafasanjani or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Arian

Posted by: | Jun 16, 2006 11:38:34 AM | 16

It's also funny how out of my entire comment, that was the only thing you took from it, and how quick you were to jump on whatever "flaw" you could find an exploit it. Unfortunately for you, you were wrong and missed my point entirely.

Posted by: | Jun 16, 2006 11:42:27 AM | 17

(By the way comment 17 was my post)

Posted by: Arian | Jun 16, 2006 11:43:39 AM | 18

@Arian - you are right, I "jumped" on the wrong shah. Anyhow - to call for "regime change" at all cost is either dumb or criminal or both.

Posted by: b | Jun 16, 2006 12:33:11 PM | 19

It has now become apparent that you are a supporter of the Islamic Republic of Iran. You have no interest in the freedom of the Iranian People, nor do I even believe you to be an Iranian, in which case you obviously understand nothing of Iran, it's people, or the true nature of its current situation. So you should stick to what you do know, which is nothing. Free speech should never be criminal, and how it is dumb to wish for a government of terrorists and murders to go so that a new and democratic Iran can emerge I can only wish to understand. You are truly a fool.

Arian

Posted by: | Jun 16, 2006 2:39:50 PM | 20

@Arian -I am not from Iran but Germany and have never said otherwise.
I do not support the current regime in Iran but I do not fight it either.

I do also not support to bomb Iran, to drive it's economy into the ground and machinations to disolve it as a nation into pseudo ethic statelets.

Those are the things in the working now and Fakhravar is a tool (a dumb one I think) in this. Maybe you did not follow what happened to Iraq. For Iran it will be worse.

Posted by: b | Jun 16, 2006 2:47:25 PM | 21

i would appreciate if anyone can translate the subject matter of #7's link.

b. the picture gallery link is no longer working. i cannot remember if it was the first time i read the thread.

Arian, i do not doubt you want what you think is best for your country. being against us colision in regime change in iran is not synonymous with supporting Ahmadinejad.

make no mistake, the help you get from neocons will not be from the goodness of their hearts, more for their own benefit and possibly you end up w/not freedom but servitude to another master puppet. either way, as an american i do not want my country 'helping' to 'liberate' another ME country. this is for iranians to accomplish. you need to work within your own society to free yourselves. we can offer refuge, sympathy, support other than implimentation. these neo cons have made their intentions very clear


“No stages. This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq ... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war ... our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” [ American Enterprise Institute, 10/29/2001 ]

�Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.� [ Wall Street Journal, 9/4/2002 ]

this michael leeden character is not to be trusted. beware, and fight your own revolution, our country should not be involved in regime change, except our own.

Posted by: annie | Jun 16, 2006 3:28:42 PM | 22

Let me start out by saying (in response to Annie) that I was born and raised in the United States my entire life, so please do not refer to me as if I'm immigrant by refering to America as 'your' country. I'm a natural-born American citizen just like you. Second off, you speak as if it's just so simple for Iranians to have a revolution in our country and kick the mullahs out just like that. The country is worse than a police-state and free speech is a joke. Try and organize a revolution when half the country is in constant fear of getting beaten to near-death for simply speaking aloud, and the other half has been poisoned and blinded with Islamic Fundamentalism since Kindergarten and is too poor and illiterate to realize the truths about their own lives. The most important point I have to make though is you say that America should stay out of Iranian affairs because this is an Iranian problem. If what you say is true, then the CIA should of stayed out of Iran in the 1950's when we were on the verge of democratic reform, by kicking out Mossedegh and instilling the young Shah Reza Pahlavi, simoly becuase we nationalized our oil and America and England wanted it for themselves. Yeah, America's done enough in the last century to screw us over as well, it's about done they do something good for once to show for it.

In response to 'b', it is a great misconception to think America will militarily involve itself in Iran.
Your comment, "Maybe you did not follow what happened to Iraq. For Iran it will be worse." is a typical Westerners opinion about the current situation and only further demonstrates your ignorance about the matter. Iran is more than twice the size, more unified, and more than 4x the manpower of Iraq, so do not underestimate Iran's military abilities or compare them to that of Iraq. Iraq is a completely different country entirely and it is a common mistake when the two are compared. Given, America's military force is obviously superior to that of Iran's, do not assume America will simply 'invade' Iran. A military invasion of Iran will cause such global chaos that it would be unimaginable for the westerner world. Imagine Hezbollah cell suicide bombers goin off every half every in Iraq, England and the U.S. at schools and other public places. And don't forget that Iran is the world's 4th largest oil provider. Think about how bad the oil economy is now in America, imagine what would happen if Iran was attacked?

As for the both of you, no offense to either of you, but you simply do not understand the situations at hand because you are not Iranians. As an Iranian-American, I have the benefit of knowing both sides of story, you only know one, which is an ignorant one at that. So please, do not pass judgement on things you have yet to understand. Hopefully, the situation will become more clear to you in the future, but until then do not try to explain to me why I'm wrong, because it only makes you look more ignorant.

Arian

Posted by: | Jun 16, 2006 4:10:15 PM | 23

There's a nice rhetorical trick! You claim to be the only one who can understand Iran because you are an Iranian(-American), but soon as someone says "your country" you're suddenly an American. I guess you can have it both ways!

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 16, 2006 4:26:02 PM | 24

@Arian:

You make a number of mistaken assumptions. For example, you seem to think that leftists are happy that the CIA screwed up Iran in the 1950s, and that we should therefore be happy, or at least willing, to intervene again. No. The CIA's installation of the Shah of Iran is one of the textbook examples of why intervention of that type is wrong. And don't delude yourself that two wrongs will make a right -- do you think that all those people who have been "blinded and poisoned" with Islamic fundamentalism since kindergarten would put up with a secular government installed by the U.S.? You may know Iran, but you don't know human beings.

Furthermore: a larger, more effective army actually makes Iran a better target than Iraq. The Pentagon does not know how to wage a war against a civilian populace (with good reason). They know very well how to wage a war against a coherent government and an army.

As for an invasion of Iran causing chaos, Bush has already shown that he has no clue what the consequences of his actions are. He clearly wants to use nuclear weapons, and is busy (along with the rest of his criminal administration) trying to prepare the way for nukes by classifying Iran as a rogue state peopled by Islam fundamentalists. If Iran were engaged and showed any signs of winning, every Iranian city worth mentioning would shortly become a radioactive ruin -- that's precisely the sort of thing they do know how to do, and it doesn't matter how many troops you have. In fact, the more success Iran had on the ground, the more cities Bush would happily bomb into smithereens with the approval of a Congress desperate not to oversee a military loss.

I have never been to Iran. But I know history, and a little digging will show you that inviting other countries to invade is never a good idea. If you are very lucky, they only take over the country instead of destroying it. You say things are bad -- well, don't go looking for more trouble.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Jun 16, 2006 4:41:09 PM | 25

As an Iranian-American, I have the benefit of knowing both sides of story, you only know one, which is an ignorant one at that. So please, do not pass judgement on things you have yet to understand. Hopefully, the situation will become more clear to you in the future, but until then do not try to explain to me why I'm wrong, because it only makes you look more ignorant.

You were born in the U.S. and raised in the U.S. Have you ever been to Iran? For hwo long?

The Iraq war started some 15 years ago. The counry's infrastructure was bombed into rubbish. Then followed 11 years of sanctions killing 500,000 kids because of malnourishment. Mrs. Albright did think the "price" was worth that effort.
Then some false claims were made to finaly raid and rape that country that had lost all abilities to dense itself.

The same plan is used on Iran. There will be no ground forces now. But there will be bombings and navel blockades and suffocating economic sanctions.

Iran is 4x bigger than Iraq? So there will be 2,000,000 million kids dying because a U.S. state secretary thinks it's worth the case. But maybe you do think so too.

Later, ten, fifteen years from now, when there is no longer real danger for those precious U.S. "heros", the real slaughter and the invasion will come and Iran will be back in slavery.

The alternative: Include Iran in trade and security pacts and let the normal people experience the benefit of that. Quite easy to do and deadly for any dictatorial or autocratic regime. But maybe not profitable enough for some people involved.

Posted by: b | Jun 16, 2006 4:53:21 PM | 26

Arian, i do not doubt you want what you think is best for your country.

so please do not refer to me as if I'm immigrant by refering to America as 'your' country

i'd like to first start out by saying that whether or not you are an iranian, an american, or both america will always be my country. excuse me if you took any offense by my assumption you were living in iran. i did check the site meter, there was someone from iran on at that time, which was one of the reasons i commented on the thread.i also assumed that person was you.

either way, whether iran is your country or not i will consider america our country from now on. will that make you more comfortable?

you speak as if it's just so simple for Iranians to have a revolution in our country and kick the mullahs out just like that.

no, i did not. perhaps i did not make myself clear.

as an american you should make your allegiances clear. you can't have it both ways. i am looking out for whats best for my country, our country, whatever you want to call it, america. and i have every right to pass judgement regardless of what you think " do not pass judgement on things you have yet to understand."

there is no requirement i understand anything about iran at this time to pass judgement about whether we involve ourselves in their internal affairs now that i know iran is many years away from having the capabilities of making a nuclear bomb

it is a great misconception to think America will militarily involve itself in Iran.

perhaps you are not aware that mr leeden has in the past been a consultant to the pentagon. did you read the quotes in my last post? does that sound like a consultation that rules out war? perhaps you should read seymor hersh.

you simply do not understand the situations at hand because you are not Iranians.

so what! i do not need to understand the situaton at hand to pass judgement whether i want my (our, sorry)country involved in the regime change of another country.

if you think your dual citizenship gives you any more leverage to pass judgement on the future of america's tresspasses than i, it is you who are ignorant.

Hopefully, the situation will become more clear to you in the future, but until then do not try to explain to me why I'm wrong, because it only makes you look more ignorant.

Posted by: annie | Jun 16, 2006 5:06:14 PM | 27

Anyone else find it somewhat odd, that an ethnic Iranian pops out of the woodwork at such a time as an obscure blog such as MOA posts on current topics? I wonder if I were to write on, I don't know say, Somalia or Haïti if some Hatian national would pop up with much to say.

Either way, one does not need understanding, a translation nor an cultural degree to know what it feels like to see many Innocent people dying.



Ledeen goes to Rome


A recent trip by Michael Ledeen to Rome has raised red flags among those concerned about a potential war with Iran. Some believe that Ledeen -- a long-time advocate of Iranian regime change -- was involved in the Niger forgeries scandal.


Pentagon confirms Iranian directorate as officials raise new concerns about war

A recent trip by Michael Ledeen to Rome has raised red flags among those concerned about a potential war with Iran. Some believe that Ledeen -- a long-time advocate of Iranian regime change -- was involved in the Niger forgeries scandal.


f the American public falls for this twice, shame on them.

Wouldn't it be great for this country if we actually had a government that told the truth?

f any member of the current administration were to tell me that the sun was shining, I would feel morally obliged to get up, walk outside the door, and look for myself.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 16, 2006 5:36:18 PM | 28

A couple more things to cross my radar of late...

Senate endorses Bush approach to Iran

Translation: Bush can't get the support to bomb Iran, so he's gonna pretend it's his idea to go back to the negotiating table.

Iran, Syria sign defense agreement
In a joint press conference, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and visiting Syrian counterpart Hassan Turkmani said their talks had been aimed at consolidating their defense efforts and strengthening support for one another.

Meaning if we strike Iran, Syria will also come to its defense. (And what about China and Russia?)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 16, 2006 5:47:11 PM | 29

How do we know you are not a FRAUD?

Posted by: Destiny Salem | Jun 18, 2006 6:46:39 PM | 30

customscoop customer (or facsimile) no doubt

"NetVocates then recruits activists and consumers who share the clients views in order to reinforce those key messages on targeted blogs and rebut misinformation when appropriate."

or rebut the truth

Posted by: annie | Jun 26, 2006 12:29:21 PM | 31

This site is a debate-based blog, where people come to share their opinions about current events. This is not a commercial blog. There are no products being sold here, so there is nothing tangible being represented/sold. Therefore, Annie, there is no need for anyone here to be 'recruited' or 'hired' because no one is trying to sell anything. Everyone here is in fact real, and here on their own will. Your blog has no relevance to this website, but nice try.

P.S. The only way your point is valid is if a government (U.S. or Islamic Republic) or group (Mujahedeen Khalq) tries to manipulate blogs to create anti-nationalistic Iranian sentiment to confuse the American public. However, this is still not commerical 'recruitment'.
This is political intervention.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 26, 2006 6:50:22 PM | 32

@Arian

No, annie's point still stands. Whether or not there is a specific and tangible "product" being sold here, Bernhard has a reasonable amount of traffic which translates to big business as potential consumers (Frito Lay looked at Asia and did not see potato chip eaters; they saw a vast number of people who weren't yet eating their potato chips and that made it more important than ever to them to move into that market). And, as stated in the second link annie provided, "...blogs frequently impact an organization and its products and image in uncontrolled and often unexpected ways." It is the job of a marketing department to expect and control those ways in any way they can.

Beyond that, however, I think you are being painfully naïve if you believe that one semi-overt action undertaken by a commercial enterprise has not already been considered during its development for military/political applications. The phrase in vogue currently is perception management and the line between branding a soft drink and branding a foriegn policy has become almost inevitably blurred.

The military qua military is only doing a small share of the work for the US empire; the Green Zone in Iraq was built by private contractors and they have a very particular approach to doing things. Well before global political machinations became a full-blown corporatocracy (it can always be argued to have been a commercial enterprise), are you suggesting that even a proper military never "recruited" or "hired" anyone because they weren't specifically selling a consumable? The semantic distinction you make between recruitment and political intervention seems to me to be so trifling as to make no odds and is especially irrelevant in a world which is run by CEO/CFO's.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 26, 2006 11:33:29 PM | 33

The "reconciliation" plan announced on Sunday by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is part of a grand strategy by the Bush administration to stabilise Iraq - or to stabilise the perception of Iraq - in advance of the mid-term elections for Congress in November.

no one is trying to sell anything

actually the american public is being 'sold' first on iraq, now on an 'idea' regarding iran. perhaps you should do some googling on psyops, info warfare, fighting the war thru perception. lots of money there, ask rendon corp. ask the CPA, bremmer, pr scams to place fake news stories. as long as the military industrial complex is healthy the ME does not represent spreading freedom and democracy in the world, it represents the interests of global elites, oil, money...

have you checked out the sitemeter on this blog. the audience and participants are international. go check the world map last 100. so, you just la dida'd your way over here, happened to stumble upon the post, oh yeah. just like the readers from the military.

to even imagine there isn't a concerted effort($$$$$) to convince the world of the perception of immediate danger from iran, the same way the concerted effort to convince americans and the world of the threat of sadam, well, naive is not the word for it. you are going to have to peddle that idea on another blog, we are a little more sophisticated here.

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 1:44:47 AM | 34

just in case arian has the cajones to come back here i thought i'd drag b's excellent laura rosen link on over and post an excerpt because i doubt the trollers spend much time cruising around the bar when they're here.

an extra nail in yer coffin arian, this one's for you

In a new campaign to ramp up pressure on the Iranian regime, millions of dollars are pouring into exile groups, anti-regime propaganda, pro-democracy projects, and intelligence gathering. State Department and intelligence personnel are being deployed to the region and new Iran operations offices are being “stood up” in the State Department and Pentagon—the latter even featuring some of the names familiar from the pre-Iraq-war Office of special Plans.

clip

In February, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested an additional $75 million for promoting democracy in Iran; that same month, a team of U.S. government Iran experts traveled to Los Angeles to talk to exiles there. State Department Iran watchers are being “forward deployed” to the Persian Gulf and surrounding region; in Washington, think tanks and exile groups are launching Iran initiatives, all of them jostling for the money and launching whisper campaigns against their competitors in a game whose stakes have suddenly risen.

yawn

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 4:01:11 AM | 35

yeah, what's your point?

Posted by: Arian | Jun 27, 2006 4:10:14 AM | 36

you're not the arian!!! you're the fake of the fake!

my point?! you have to ask after my clear and present explanation?? you better watch out or i'm coming to your town w/my perceptive seeing eye ...

scoundrel, imposter..;) i know you... tease . making fun of me....

fool me once and i'll just come back to get fooled again..

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 4:46:58 AM | 37

I know what your point is, fool, what I meant to ask you is if your tryin to imply that I am here because of some else's agenda and not my own. And by the way, I'm pretty sure these efforts to promote democracy and this money spent doesnt include futile web blogs like this one. Just so you know, most of that money, which is hardly anything, was intended mainly to be spent on telecommunications with the youth in Iran, in an attempt to improve satellite radio and television broadcasts and other programs designed to better inform and target Iranians.

The REAL Arian

Posted by: Arian | Jun 27, 2006 12:53:24 PM | 38

if your tryin to imply that I am here because of some else's agenda and not my own.

i am perfectly willing to believe your agenda coincides w/the neocons in power.

i wish there were millions of dollars available of taxpayers money to promote my ideas across the internet.

i also think your agenda includes spreading lies and deception, that my money goes towards helping you implement your deceptive agenda paying not only you but the process in which you operate is where i draw the ethical and moral boundary. the foriegn policy agenda of the global super power should not be manipulated by the cabal that funds spin. you are a part of that. your access to us and the reason you found us is because of my tax dollar. are you going to thank me for providing you w/a format to push your agenda?

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 1:20:58 PM | 39

so which is it?

I am here because of ... my own [agenda]

or, as you said earlier

I myself and a few others and trying to get involved politically in American politics to aid the fate of our brothers in Iran, as the Jews in America do for Israel.

Posted by: b real | Jun 27, 2006 1:22:21 PM | 40

Just so you know, most of that money, which is hardly anything, was intended mainly to be spent on telecommunications with the youth in Iran, in an attempt to improve satellite radio and television broadcasts and other programs designed to better inform and target Iranians.

just so you know, i'm not that much of a fool.

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 1:22:45 PM | 41

You truly are a fool, and an ignorant idiot.

you are a part of that. your access to us and the reason you found us is because of my tax dollar. are you going to thank me for providing you w/a format to push your agenda?

YOUR tax dollar? Fuck you. I pay the same taxes you do, so don't you try and give me that shit. I was born and raised here just like you and I found this website the same way you found it asshole. YOUR tax dollar didn't give me anything that MY tax dollar didn't give YOU.

i wish there were millions of dollars available of taxpayers money to promote my ideas across the internet.

Well guess what, NO ONE'S PAYING ME EITHER.

Your money isn't going anywhere that my money isn't going too, and you nor anyone else is funding me to post a 10 minute blog on some random website. Don't be an asshole.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 27, 2006 3:07:07 PM | 42

uu fangs, screaming, how easily you explode. if we all went so crazy around here re all the injustice done in our name we'd be yelling all the time, not a problen call me anything you like. your opinion means squat to me, less now that i see your self righteousness and lack of control.

i will suspend my opinion for the moment you are one of the hired hands. doesn't make the situation any less dire. the reality is the masters of war are engaging in manipulation and spin via our tax dollars( irrelevant whether you pay or not, i can use the term our or me, both are accurate) without authorization from congress based on fact, an example which i provided you which you naturally chose to ignore .

you did not find this website exactly like i found it. by all means explain to me how you found this website, there are many here who know exactly how i 'found' this website. let's see if you can guess.

Your money isn't going anywhere that my money isn't going too, and you nor anyone else is funding me to post a 10 minute blog on some random website. Don't be an asshole.

i take it you don't mind the government is funding trolls to promote lies w/regard to the threat of iran? just because it serves your interests and you pay for it doesn't mean its good for americans, the world or the majority of iranians.

if this is some random website to you, why not bugger off w/yer fk u's and slinging asshole remarks. you aren't impressing anyone here (my guess) come back w/out your pompous know it all attitude and you may be recieved differently.

and btw, the idea that my money isn't going anywhere yours isn't going is totally beside the point. would a death squad be moral if we both paid for it?

"fool, ignorant, idiot,Fu, AH".... heavens, give yourself an enema you'll feel better

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 4:39:43 PM | 43

Arian-

The sorrows of Empire are reflected in Iran today, agreed. However, the simple dictum that "two wrongs don't make a right" can surely be seen in extremis in the situation in Iraq today and may be applied to Iran's sad circumstances.

It would seem to me that any American intervention would most likely have the opposite of the effect that you desire because it would inspire nationalism in a population. If I remember correctly, Bush's support for the Iranian students during the last election may have tipped the scales away from reformers.

I do not support the clerical govt in Iran (and, btw, when Iran gets its self back, I'd just like to say that it's current name does not reflect its past glories, with its identification with Aryianism of the early 20th century.)

Persia is such a beautiful name. It forms like a kiss and slides in the mouth like honey. Qum, Persepolis...these deserve a name that reflects an ancient and beautiful literature...but I digress.

(Turtle Island would also be a beautiful name for the U.S., but I don't expect that would change either...who knows, tho, with the ways things are degenerating...)

To create a better Iran, imo, the U.S. should focus on a move away from a petroleum-based economy. Such a move would surely do more to destablize the cleric's reign than the largest consumer of world oil killing innocent women, children and men...not to mention the problems with the destruction of cultural heritage, depleted uranium's deforming and slow death qualities, and the further support for untrammeled American militarism as solutions.

Perhaps, as a person of Iranian descent, your voice would be especially crucial and important to help create awareness of the potential for exporting democracy through taking away the financial power of the current regime.

but maybe I speak with The Sound of All Swollen Words.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 27, 2006 5:10:09 PM | 44

Well, fauxreal, maybe you need a history lesson. Iran has always been known as "IRAN" to Iranians since and before Cyrus the Great founded the Persian empire. And yes, IRAN means "Land of the Aryans", like my name, Arian. The term "Persia" was coined by the west because Cyrus comes from "PARS" a province of Iran. Like how Rome is a province of Italy, hence ROMAN empire. So the Greeks coined the term "Persian Empire." There is no word in Farsi for "Persian", only Pars or Parsi. However the names are both synonymous. Just like if you ask a native German what they name of their country is, they'll tell you "Alman," not Germany. Persia is simply the name the west refers to Iran as, which is fine, but to Iranians Iran has always been called Iran, never Persia. It's not a big deal, I'll call myself Persian (or Iranian doesn't matter)in America, but when Iranians speak with eachother Persia is refered to as Iran, and Persians and Iranians. And like I said, there's no name for "Persia" in Farsi, simply, "Iran". I just want you to understand the history behind it. And Iran is just as beautiful a name thank you very much.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 27, 2006 5:35:15 PM | 45

Dear Arian-

Thank you for the history lesson. According to my history books, which were written in America and are thus obviously wrong, Iran adopted this name for THE WEST to show its affliation with Hitler. Pars relates to Farsi, as well, it is my understanding, and is a linguistic marker for ppl who migrated from an area near the black sea long before the Iron age. (this origin and subsequent migration is also the reason Iran identifies itself as "non-arab.")

but, who gives a fuck.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 27, 2006 7:07:24 PM | 46

And we didn't "idenify" ourselves with Arianism in the early 20th century. Iranians/Persians are in fact Aryans and have been for more than 5,000 years. The Aryans are the Indo-European tribe that settled in Iran (hence land of Aryans) more than 4,000 years ago and in time created the Persian Empire. Zoroaster, the founder of the ancient Persian religion and first monotheistic relgion, accounts Iranian/Aryan heritage in the Avesta. Cyrus the Great among many other incscriptions including the Cyrus Cylinder, the first human rights doctrine in history, and the freeing of the Jews from Babylon, idenifies his history and roots. "...I, Cyrus the king, an Achaemenid, an Aryan..."

YahooEducationDictionary.com
OTHER FORMS:
Ary·an (Adjective)

WORD HISTORY:
It is one of the ironies of history that Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians, Indo-European peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran, Afghanistan, and India. Their tribal self-designation was a word reconstructed as *arya- or *rya-. The first of these is the form found in Iranian, as ultimately in the name of Iran itself (from Middle Persian rn (ahr), "(Land) of the Iranians," from the genitive plural of r, "Iranian"

So, we weren't tryin to be Hitler's bitch no. We've been Aryans 3,000 years before that asshole was even born.

Posted by: | Jun 27, 2006 7:25:19 PM | 47

by the way annie
the foriegn policy agenda of the global super power should not be manipulated by the cabal that funds spin.

If you think America shouldn't be involved in Iranian affairs and shouldn't be funding Iran, then you should also know it was America who crushed democracy 50 years ago with the CIA coup in Iran when Iranians had elected Mossedegh and established democracy on their own. America involves itself in foreign affairs.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 27, 2006 7:27:17 PM | 48

@Arian:

you should also know it was America who crushed democracy 50 years ago with the CIA coup in Iran when Iranians had elected Mossedegh and established democracy on their own. America involves itself in foreign affairs.

Yeah, so what? That's irrelevant to annie's point. "this is how things have been" is not a valid counterargument to "this is how things should be". America should stay out of Iran now. It should have stayed out of Iran then. The fact that America was too damned stupid to stay out then doesn't mean we have to be too damned stupid this time, too.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Jun 27, 2006 8:54:07 PM | 49

Arian,

Some unasked for and unwanted advice:

Don't make the same mistake I did, don't assume. Read more to know the people you are speaking to. Please.

Posted by: Amurra | Jun 28, 2006 12:39:08 AM | 50

Comment 47 was my post

Posted by: Arian | Jun 28, 2006 2:56:37 AM | 51

Anyone can be anyone on the net. When I want to know about Iran I talk to my friends who come from Iran and more importantly my friends who currently live in Iran. It is vital to seperate the two especially when the circle of 'people who come from Iran' widens to include the offspring of people who came from Iran.

Incidentally this isn't just with Iran. I did the same when I wanted to understand more about the situation in Iraq prior to it's invasion and rape, oops hush my mouth, 'liberation'.

Back in 2000 my friends in Iraq all said much the same thing "we are sick of Saddam Hussein and would like to get rid of him but the sanctions make that hard as the people are expending most of their energy on survival, they don't have time for politics".

By early 2002 when it was apparent that amerika was determined to invade the common meme seemed to be "we are far more concerned about an invasion than we are about Saddam, we know him and know how to stay out of his way but we don't know americans". Some also made the point Saddam supporters won't just go away if the US invades, they will fight to the last man, as well there is much arguing within the Shia community about how and who should lead us." (said by both Shia and Sunni although at that time the distinction between the two wasn't much of an issue)

Now anyone with half an ear to the ground prior to that invasion could have successfully predicted the present circumstance in Iraq.

The messages I get from my friends in iran is similar but not quite the same. For example while many people are angry and unhappy it more with the oligarchal families who sequester the nation's wealth than it is with the politicians. Many support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because they see him as someone trying to confront both the oligarchies and oppressive and corrupt clerics.

Life isn't as tough or scary for them as it was for Iraqis.

On the other hand they are equally vehement about their dislike of outsiders of any type be they amerikan or expatriate forcing change upon them.

Their fear of the US of course stems fromwhat they have seen in Iraq whereas their opposition to the 'return of the Shah' comes from older peoples' memory of the last time the Pahlavi clan ruled.

They feel that many of the expatriates now arguing for change were deeply implicated in the Pahlavi regime. the concern is one oligarchy would replace another, but worst of all if it were like the previous times the Pahlavis were in control it would be much more oppressive and cruel than their current leadership.

And this brings me to the reason why the offspring of migrants should be totally discounted when they claim to know what's best for their forebears former home country.

Children of refugees have their heads filled from an early age with stories of how wonderful things were back home in the good old days before the mean cruel, selfish or tyrannical people chased them out. Parents do this for many reasons, not least of all because life is hard for refugees, especially since most have suffered considerable deprivation.

The problem arises when those refugees offspring try to act out on these tales. firstly because the stories are distorted but mostly because they have little or no connection to the people who have remained behind.

Apart from immediate family they have no way of being able to judge anyone in the 'old' country's complicity in their family's exile, so they tend to regard everyone they don't know as perpetrators of their family's misfortune.

Looking at it from that point of view reduces the current inhabitants of that nation to obstacles who need to be removed in order for them to regain their rightful position.

You see those refugees who settle happily into their adoptive nation rarely have time for the 'old country' they are just too busy in the 'new country'.

This whole syndrome becomes really exacerbated when the refugees feel their exile is due to a particular ethnic group or clan.

The most brutal acts against Sunnis were carried out by the Badr brigades made up of the families of Shia who had been exiled in Iran. They took it upon themselves to go about Iraq murdering old veterans of the Iran/Iraq conflict of the 80's. Not only were they fighting from an Iranian point of view rather than an Iraqi one, most of them were too young to have been around during that conflict. Born in Iran their heads were filled with stories as youngsters. Their motivation wasn't a 'better iraq' it was to 'avenge their families'.

Exactly the same thing happened in Yugoslavia during the break-up of that state.

Young men from the US and Australia went to fight for Croatians, Serbs or Bosnian Muslims. They were brutal and completely unforgiving. They had no positive memories of the other side. In fact their only memories of contact would have been the brutal conflicts during soccer matches that nearly bought the game of soccer to a halt in Melbourne and Sydney in the late 70's early 80's.

Don't be advocating that any nation should be interfering in the business of another unless their is a clear risk of some type of brutal genocide about to occur.

Intervention in the affairs of another nation causes a distortion of that nation's political processes and can never result in an outcome which suits the majority of the population.

It is worth remembering that whilst the Pahlavi regime was propped up by the US and UK, the forces which overthrew it received little assistance from anyone outside. To me that says it is more likely they had the support of the bulk of the population.

If that is no longer the case then the people within Iran are more than capable of changing that state of affairs. To say otherwise is to belittle the very people and the nation you claim an affection for.

Posted by: | Jun 28, 2006 4:47:47 AM | 52

Whoever you are and for whatever reason you chose to say anonymous, you have no idea what the hell you are talking about. You don't know Iran, you don't know Iranians.

And this brings me to the reason why the offspring of migrants should be totally discounted when they claim to know what's best for their forebears former home country.

This is the most bullshit comment I've heard. Essentially you're saying I can't speak, but you can? Ignorant, non-involved confused westerners like YOU should be totally discounted. What the hell.

Second off,
The messages I get from my friends in iran is similar but not quite the same. For example while many people are angry and unhappy it more with the oligarchal families who sequester the nation's wealth than it is with the politicians. Many support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because they see him as someone trying to confront both the oligarchies and oppressive and corrupt clerics.

Life isn't as tough or scary for them as it was for Iraqis.

I'm sorry but once again your wrong. I've been to Iran, I have family that's currently residing in Iran, and I have Iranian relatives and friends of the family here. No one supports that idiot fool of a president Ahmadinejad, except for a small 9% minority in Iran that come from poor villages. He's a complete fool and Iranians mock him, his policies, and his monkey looking face all the time. Where you get your terrible sources from I have no clue. And even though life wasn't AS hard as the Iraqis, you still get shot, murdered, tortured, or imprisoned for speaking one word out against the government, or doing something insignificant.

They feel that many of the expatriates now arguing for change were deeply implicated in the Pahlavi regime. the concern is one oligarchy would replace another, but worst of all if it were like the previous times the Pahlavis were in control it would be much more oppressive and cruel than their current leadership.

Pahlavis time was in no way whatsoever, more oppressive and cruel than the Islamic Republic. Pahlavi didn't order people hung for disobeying islamic law, or have peoples hands cut off, or have people stoned to death in the middle of the street. No, Pahlavi, was not nearly as harsh as these terrorists. And Pahlavi also didn't fund millions of dollars to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups. SAVAK was never in a million years as harsh as the Islamic Republic's Ministry of Intelligence. This is a government of fools and terrorists who wish to bring Iranians and Iran back to the Stone Age and bring the world down with it. 91% of Iranians feel this way and I have a feeling your source is one of the few 9% so get your shit straight. No one likes these assholes.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 28, 2006 2:17:21 PM | 53

No one supports that idiot fool of a president Ahmadinejad, except for a small 9% minority in Iran that come from poor villages

Iran, elections, 2005

Candidates, Votes 1st round, %, Votes 2nd round, %
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 6,159,453, 21.01, 10,046,701, 35.93
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 5,710,354, 19.48, 17,284,782, 61.69
Mehdi Karroubi, 5,066,316, 17.28, -, -

Sure a 9% minority can get 17 million to vote for Ahmadinejad.

Federation of American Scientists:

Over the years, SAVAK became a law unto itself, having legal authority to arrest and detain suspected persons indefinitely. SAVAK operated its own prisons in Tehran (the Komiteh and Evin facilities) and, many suspected, throughout the country as well. SAVAK's torture methods included electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting brokon glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails. Many of these activities were carried out without any institutional checks.

At the peak its influence under the Shah SAVAK had at least 13 full-time case officers running a network of informers and infiltration covering 30,000 Iranian students on United States college campuses. The head of the SAVAK agents in the United States operated under the cover of an attache at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, with the FBI, CIA, and State Department fully aware of these activities.

In 1978 the deepening opposition to the Shah errupted in widespread demonstrations and rioting. SAVAK and the military responded with widespread repression that killed thousands of people. Recognizing that even this level of violence had failed to crush the rebellion, the Shah abdicated the Peacock Throne and departed Iran on 16 January 1979. Despite decades of pervasive surveillance by SAVAK, working closely with CIA, the extent of public opposition to the Shah, and his sudden departure, came as a considerable suprise to the US intelligence community and national leadership. As late as September 28, 1978 the US Defense Intelligence Agency reported that the shah "is expected to remain actively in power over the next ten years."

However, it was no surprise that SAVAK was singled out as a primary target for reprisals, its headquarters overrun, and prominent leaders tried and executed by komiteh representatives. High-ranking SAVAK agents were purged between 1979 and 1981; there were 61 SAVAK officials among 248 military personnel executed between February and September 1979. The organization was officially dissolved by Khomeini shortly after he came to power in 1979.

Posted by: b | Jun 28, 2006 2:49:12 PM | 54

And Pahlavi also didn't fund millions of dollars to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.

The last time I looked hamas was the elected majority party in palastine and it was israel that kille at least three times as many palestinians than israelis get killed in the this colonial conflict plus israel is currently bombing the gaza getto infrastructure back into stone age.

Hezbollah is a lebanese political prty with quite a represention in the parliament. It did fight the israeli attempt to annectate south lebanon and it did win.

What makes these organisations "terrorists"???

Posted by: b | Jun 28, 2006 2:59:13 PM | 55

Possibly the fact that they are responsible for terrorist attacks in the middle east and elsewhere?

And as far as the election is concerned, 1)They're rigged, 2)You get the choice of choosing from A)shit, B)shittier shit, C)crap, and D)garbage. Some choices. Sounds like a real democratic election to me.

Posted by: | Jun 28, 2006 4:05:04 PM | 56

Arian- please pardon my mistakes. I think some of my information was from reading John Loftus. Who knows how much of what he says is correct. he tried to dissect the great game from time to time in books, based upon his work in gov.

nevertheless, I have to say again that if 90% of Iranians do not support the current regime, then I don't understand why they do not oust it. Khomeni led a revolution while out of the country...

the same question could be applied to the U.S. as far as its present govt, but the split isn't 90% -10%. but the answer is the same. --and if anyone came to the US to oust this gov, the response would not be to welcome them and greet them with flowers, even with the knowledge of the repulsive acts of this govt.

the ppl in a country have to achieve their own destinies by their own actions...or suffer their fates by their inactions. again, the U.S. serves as a marker. Here, rule of law constrains for now...we still have enough of the veneer to rule of law to keep us off the streets. media gets paid well for this, and to create others who we need protection from.

this post, of course, marks me as hopelessly bourgeois in that I believe in personal freedom and responsibility for creating your own future...however, I also understand the forces that can bear down on nations (and individuals) to oppose that self-direction. But what other actions have shown they can work as well as personal-group responsibility? ghandi, mlk...they did something, and of course they paid for those actions. no one wants to pay the costs if they want others to do it for them -- and so it's not "your" revolution that way.

I have no doubt that the US finances opposition within Iran and without, and with the porous borders b/t Iran and Iraq at this time, should be able to supply whatever counter-revolutionaries want, in the same way that France supplied the US with help back in the day (and went nearly bankrupt and had its own revolution by putting the cost of this rev. on the backs of everyone but the ones who really got rich from it)...that's history I can state with some confidence, even if it's simplified.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 28, 2006 4:43:21 PM | 57

Just like if you ask a native German what they name of their country is, they'll tell you "Alman," not Germany

I have never heard of this before nor can I find any reference to it.

follows is what some believe to be the etymology of the word Deutsch, which means German in German and is the root of Deutschland which means Germany in German.

Deutsch (German for German) "Deutsch" has its origin in the Old High German word "diutisc" meaning "the language of the people" (as opposed to Latin). There are also uncertain alernatives origins of "German" as Celtic "The Noisy Men" or Old High German "The Greedy Men"!

no need to thank me....

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 28, 2006 5:43:42 PM | 58

the word for germany in spanish is alemania and in french allemagne, which are obviously derived from the root alman. not sure if it is germanic or romance.

annie, do you think you could find out for us tonight?

Posted by: conchita | Jun 28, 2006 6:09:16 PM | 59

dan-

yes, the reference to alman was latinate, which would not be the cognate for a germanic language person, but I didn't bother to say anything about it b/c I defer to Arian's take on the word Iran and really am trying to step back rather than react from my own possibly wrong assumptions, such as Arian's snarky tone...b/c I don't care about Arian or his snarky tone. (how's that for snarkification while denying you're going to be snarky). LOL.

and, not to go there very far, but there the choice between using a latinate or germanic word in English is a very interesting subject that has nothing to do with Iran, but has lots to do with the perception of "language of the ppl. vs the court" even today.

...and one reason rat fuckers could use Kerry's knowledge of French against him.

what a strange place, when knowledge of another language is a reason to think someone isn't qualified to be prez, while not knowing black people live in Brazil makes you a great man. I consider every day that I remain relatively sane (no comments from the peanut gallery) a personal achievement.

and this is the man who is supposed to bring anything good to any other culture? as Steve Colbert would say, there are many routes to believe in Jesus as your personal savior. when did Franklin Graham pack up his missionaries and head home after the invasion of Iraq, btw?

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 28, 2006 6:33:38 PM | 60

Arian's consistent attempts to seize the rhetorical high ground with his heritage are reminding me of one of the things I like best about the Moon - people here are not judged on background, but what they produce. Certainly, we respect backgrounds, and may give slightly more credence to those who have 'struggled for a cause' but we don't think that this background alone makes them more correct.

Sad that it takes one person, flailing his heritage like a whip, to realize how democratic we are in dispensing our epistimological priority.

And of course, I give thanks every day that we don't jump on typos as reasons that people's points are incorrect. Of all the annoying trends in internet discussions, that's probably my least favorite.

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 28, 2006 9:48:25 PM | 61

Well, thank you Rowan, but I do not "flail my heritage around like a whip," I use it as credentials that indicate my first hand insight and experiance to the matter at hand that's not just from what I heard or read in the news. And my "attempts to sieze the rhetorical highground" are in fact based on the arguments that I present and not my backround. And my background doesn't make me correct, you're right about that, it's the damn good fucking points I bring up that do. Maybe you should try reading what I write next time.

Arian

Posted by: Arian | Jun 29, 2006 1:08:38 AM | 62

And you reject any attempt by anyone to counter your arguments by saying that because they don't have your heritage, they CANNOT know. Such arrogance prevents me from reading your "damn good fucking points." Thus you are tactically unwise, and preventing people who might agree with you from actually agreeing.

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 29, 2006 2:00:39 AM | 63

Well, not so much they CANNOT know but moreso that they usually DONT know. And everyone's already set out on disagreeing with me anyway so my 'tactics' are irrelevant.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 29, 2006 2:30:58 AM | 64

Your implication is that they cannot know, not that they don't know. Or at the least, that they don't know, because they do not have the same heritage as you, which is the same as cannot. Either way, it amounts to the same thing - you believe that your voice is the only relevant one, because of your heritage.

And you might be surprised at the range of intellectual diversity on this board. We range all across the board, from Marxist fruitcakes to Stalinist fruitcakes. Indeed, at least some of us actually agree with you that the current Iranian regime should not be tolerated, though the Bushies are perhaps not the people who should be dealing with it.

I also remember a few people who seemed to first make their way onto the board taking diametrically opposite points of view from most on hot-button subjects like Israel and Palestine, and they are still respected.

You'd be surprised how effective presenting a message in a tactically wise manner is.

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 29, 2006 2:52:37 AM | 65

@ Rowan

I hope I am not the target for your shot at nitpickers who find typos and harp on them.

The problem I have with posters like Arian and the Israel supporter who typed everything in caps is their disrespect for others. They come around after being sent by some action group or defense league and attack without having the faintest clue as to what is happening. I do not think this is accidental and they are usually successful in changing the discussion to something quite unrelated.

The reason I pointed out the alman reference is that it tells me that the writer is full of crap and spews nonsense either for pay or out of ignorance. Of all the examples in the world he could have used to show foreigners have different names for one's country he had to make one up.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 29, 2006 3:30:42 AM | 66

Before you pass judgement on me, ass of steele, why don't you ask a native German what they call their country. And it could be Germany or anything other country, its still the same point, it doesn't matter which country I bring up, I was just giving an example. I'm also not part of any 'action group' or 'defense leauge', but its ok, I remember getting high and skeptical when I was 14, creating widely abstract conspiracies around me, thinking everyone was in some world wide scheme. It's ok, you'll grow out of it. And in fact, my posts have never been unrelated in anyway. My first post had two purposes. 1) To answer the question of this whole website, "Is Fakhravar a Fraud?" and 2) To reach the Iranians that may come to this website, (which haven't been many actually) And all my posts since then have my been rebutting somebody else's attack on my points. No irellevance here, sorry.

ARIAN

Posted by: Arian | Jun 29, 2006 11:15:09 AM | 67

Before you pass judgement on me, ass of steele, why don't you ask a native German what they call their country.

Why don´t you look it up Arian? No thirst for real knowledge?

Posted by: A native German | Jun 29, 2006 12:01:22 PM | 68

I'm also not part of any 'action group'

Take action. Take it now. This is your country, these are your people, this is your duty as an Iranian. Don't let our sweet land of Iran fall to these barbarians. I myself and a few others and trying to get involved politically in American politics to aid the fate of our brothers in Iran, as the Jews in America do for Israel. (And they have been extremely successful) So lets rise once again.

Posted by: annie | Jun 29, 2006 12:54:04 PM | 69

so arian, do you and the few others who are trying to get involved poltically in american politics to aid the fate of your brothers in iran yet are not part of an action group tho you call for action , does your non group have a name?

Posted by: annie | Jun 29, 2006 12:58:55 PM | 70

Well, we don't have a name yet and we're working on that, but we've only got the letters F and U so far.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 29, 2006 2:08:54 PM | 71

@#52-

what you said is wise and true. what everyone else should see clearly is that it is useless to argue with "Arian" because he or she refuses to even acknowledge the point of what was said in the cited comment.

what "Arian" said can be applied to him or her as well: F U.

Posted by: | Jun 29, 2006 5:07:57 PM | 72

Yeah...I just can't compete with that kind of wisdom, you're right. Try saying FU next time with a name, makes you less of a coward that way.

Posted by: Arian | Jun 29, 2006 8:25:42 PM | 73

dangerous

The speakers and informational videos left no grey area, no place for dialogue or debate, and certainly no place for dissent. I especially squirmed at the parallels AIPAC drew between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hitler. To the tune of more dramatic classical music, the six enormous screens flashed back and forth between Hitler giving anti-Jew speeches and Ahmadinejad giving anti-Israel speeches. The famous post-Holocaust mantra Never Again popped up several times. Everything was geared toward persuading the audience that another Holocaust is evident ... unless we get them first. Now, I dont dispute that Irans leader is a Holocaust denier or even that he could attack Israel, but I mind very much being forced to think hes pure evil through clever sound bites and colorful images.

The screens faded to black and the speeches began, and I recognized, beneath the rhetoric, a battle cry. As U.N. Ambassador John Bolton promised painful and tangible consequences for Iran, and as Vice President Dick Cheney said, The terrorists have declared war on the civilized world, but well declare victory, I noted the scariest division of all: Youre either pro-war or pro-Holocaust.

maybe 2 of those letters are A I

Posted by: annie | Jun 29, 2006 8:28:42 PM | 74

dan of steele,

No, actually, it had nothing to do with you - it was a meditation on internet arguing. Nitpicking about grammar is an incredibly annoying attempt to gain the rhetorical high ground. Nitpicking about words is fine, I like linguistic philosophy.

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 29, 2006 11:01:45 PM | 75

Lets face it, English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant.
No ham in the hamburger.
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England.
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted.
But if we examine its paradoxes--
We find that Quicksand takes you down slowly.
Boxing rings are square.
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth,
shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth?
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught.

Eye halve a speelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques for my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29, 2006 11:21:40 PM | 76

Interesting really. One of the chief purposes of not using a nym in these discussions is to assist the debate to be around the message, not the messenger. After all if what any of us say has any merit at all it should be able to stand on it's own 2 legs.

Putting a name to a post is meaningless from the point of view of establishing veracity. Given that few if any use their real name and that anyone can use anyone's nym, for me the only potential use of a name is that it can indicate that separate messages came from the same hand. As most of us have experienced, even that need not be the case.

So not putting a name to a FU is nowhere near as obnoxious as the initial nymed F U'er that became frustrated at his/her inability to propagate the normally easy to spread half truths, selective statistics and out-right lies at MoA.

He/she resorted to an awfully repressed way of venting his/her frustration on those obstructing him/her. That is he/she loosed a wimpy and oblique FU rather than the honest anglo saxonism of FUCK YOU!.

A good indication of the type of person that tries to get others to fight their battles for them.

Posted by: the fucker | Jun 29, 2006 11:32:07 PM | 77

Just so you now, 'the fucker', I wasn't tryin to be obnoxious with the FU comment, henceforth saying FUCK YOU wouldn't really fit what the aim I getting at. The 'wimpy and oblique FU' was more humor than anything else, and if you read the comment you'd be able to see that, maybe your the one that needs to chill out.

ARIAN <--- name

Posted by: Arian | Jun 29, 2006 11:59:45 PM | 78

Now grammar. . . As far as I know someone who corrects someone else's grammar in a way that is intended to undercut the validity of the post the other made is simply demonstrating their own ignorance and lack of a sustainable point of view.

This is especially so when the grammatical 'error' that has been corrected is in common usage, so that there was in fact no real likelihood that the person would be misunderstood.

An example: When I'm in amerika and the airline desk clerk informs me that the plane will be boarding momentarily; if I were to say something like "How am I going to get on board if there are 237 passengers but United is only let us board in the space of a few seconds", I am being an asshole.

But if someone has said something which is geuinely ambiguous because it is neither grammatically accurate nor accepted usage it is a good idea to clarify what has been said.

Of course in that instance if the clarification is requested derogatorily then the person requesting it is being a stupid asshole because not only are they hopping into someone unprovoked, they are blowing the opportunity to discover what the person really meant.

Good grammar isn't a meaningless ritual used to lord it over those ignorant of 'good grammar'. It is a tool to ensure clarity of communication.

Posted by: | Jun 30, 2006 12:07:03 AM | 79

Arian, Shoma koja zendegi mikonid?

Posted by: | Jun 30, 2006 12:17:03 AM | 80

New York

Posted by: Arian | Jun 30, 2006 12:11:51 PM | 81

Shoma?

Posted by: Arian | Jun 30, 2006 12:14:12 PM | 82

Well, I wasted a good half an hour to read these posts. I really feel for Arian, I see why he is upset by the ignorance of Annie! I guess he will now understand why Iran is in the condition that it is right now, we are trapped in between the ignorance of people that in order to show to others how good and peaceful they are, by doing nothing, not even lifting a finger, are killing thousands. So Annie you think that you are against the neo-conservatives, no you are not you are against people of Iran. And if the government of USA, does not spent THE tax money to make a change in Iran, the Iranian government will spend their oil money to make a change in USA. The Iranian Americans, who had suffered from IRI government, and ran, are like people how have been burned by fire and are asking you for your help to put out the fire and you are like: huh... why? it’s pretty! Idiots it burns and destroys everything and has no logic. I know you wont understand, my suggestion to all of you is to please take time off from you life in USA and Europe and go to Iran and try to live/work there for only 6 months, then make a statement.

Posted by: Zahra Dana | Jul 7, 2006 12:40:57 PM | 83

It's about time a like-minded Iranian backed me up, lol. Thanks. Getting through to these people is virtually impossible. I guess some things you really do have to experiance first hand, because the majority of westerners simply 'dont get it'.

Posted by: Arian | Jul 8, 2006 1:40:02 PM | 84

Thank you for your thorough examination of Fakhravar.
There can be no doubt that Fakhravar is a fake and is being used by Likudniks, Neo-cons and Iranian Royalists to fool the Iranian people. One reason for Fakhravar's sudden emergence is the growing popularity of Akbar Ganji. Ganji has rejected the return of monarchy to Iran and he has also voiced his opposition to foreign military intervention. This runs counter to the agenda of folks like Perle, Ledeen and other Neo-Cons. These people want regime change that will benefit them, while Ganji and other true forces of resistance want to preserve Iran's independence.
Mr. Fakhravar may have been a victim of Islamic Republic's oppression, but his alliance with forces that are clearly working to destroy Iran is unfortunate and must be unmasked.

Posted by: Reza | Jul 9, 2006 11:22:23 AM | 85

Hello Reza, All,

Surfing by chance to this blog. FYI, Akbar Ganji, the new darling of the various US intelligence agencies, used to be a Passdar (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) member and it is coming out he was also one of their torturers. Hard to know where to turn, isn't it.

For some straight analysis and insight into Iran as it is now - and a view into the past - go to http://www.antimullah.com - all five sections of this site. The bilingual Farsi one is new.

Posted by: Alan | Jul 9, 2006 9:38:59 PM | 86

Alan and Reza, you should get your facts straight. First off, Fakhravar and Ganji are both journalists, fighting for the SAME cause. Journalists in Iran and the rest of the world for the most parrt support eachother and are part of a community that shares information and help with one an other. While I'm not saying Ganji nd Fakhravar worked together, I am saying you cannot call Fakhravar a fraud and Ganji a hero. Second off, Alan, Ganji (A JOURNALIST, NOT A REVOLUTIONARY GAURDS MEMBER) was imprisoned in the toughest Iranian Regime prisons, beaten, and tortured, and in form of protest, refused to eat for 30 days. Finally when the media got hold of the news, international pressure got him released. Does this sound like a torturer to you? Propaganda boys, propaganda, and you're buyin' right into it...

Posted by: Arian | Jul 10, 2006 1:58:15 AM | 87

I am following this conversation with interest but again: please don't attribute motives and direct disparaging remarks when you are unfamilliar with all the writings of the people involved. I'm grateful that the language is not as untoward (thanks, fellahs. There ARE people who get offended).

I felt compelled to say something because Annie is one of the kindest people posting and I'm embarressed by your treatment of her. Again: All I'm saying is this is not every blog you've been to. The people posting here are some of the brightest.

Posted by: | Jul 10, 2006 7:37:00 PM | 88

We're not here to be kind, we're here to get to the point.

Posted by: Arian | Jul 11, 2006 1:15:01 AM | 89

I strongly recommend a trip to Iran for Annie. Not as a tourist but just try to make a living there.
Only for 6 months. Also make no compromise about her freedom rights of course while being in Iran.

Posted by: Zahra Dana | Jul 11, 2006 11:02:09 AM | 90

I stumbled upon this blog and I want to make a few comments as an Iranian American born and raised on the East Coast. First off, the frustration and high emotion (including insults) being expressed are clear indicators that there are parallel processes at work (including venting which discourages dialogue). We are all engaged in a frustrating political world where voices are neglected so lets try to make the best of it by "getting to the point" without having non-Iranians walk away thinking poorly of our character. To succumb to our tempers does not serve a productive purpose and mitigates social resources. I would like to share an independent opinion because of the heavy handed arguments being made. It is common among descendants of countries that have experienced turmoil to be socialized by their families into believing extreme arguments and eagerly supporting political parties (which can discourage independent thought). Unfortunately, many of our arguments are not our own and as the sociologist Gouldner put it, we acquire them at too early an early age to offer intellectual consent. This means we are all limited in our mental categorizations, not just backers of one approach to social change or another. The dichotomy of Shah/Western supporter or Mullah supporter are more reflective of that which powerful political figures encourage us to limit our minds to than what is best for the country and its people. Having a narrow range of options is the best way to avoid innovation (and the powers that be do NOT want innovation in Iran).

That being said, it is common fact that the CIA removed a democratically elected Iranian leader to bring in the second Shah (former CIA officials even talk about it in a documentary on the History channel). We all know the West has had its business in the natural resources of other countries for a long time now. England has also played an ENOURMOUS role in this, not just the U.S., and if you research the origins of BP it will lead you to the Persian Gulf, Iran and Mossadegh’s removal. Some have argued that in removing Mossadegh, the U.S. triggered a cascade of political events that led to the now dreadful Mullah situation in Iran.

“Oil has shaped the geopolitical constellation of the Middle East to its very core. In 1953, when nationalist Persian leader Mohammed Mossadegh nationalised BP's assets in Iran, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup d' etat to overthrow the regime and restore the Shah to the Peacock Throne. The bitter memory of Western intervention in Iranian politics stripped the Pahlavi regime of any legitimacy, led to the Islamic revolution of 1979 and resonates in Iran's determination to enrich uranium in Bushire.”

-http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7461912626/m/2371906918

I think countries should be held accountable for crimes, and that it is a crime to overthrow a democratically elected leader – period. But that won’t happen so it is neither here nor there. Next, let us be clear that it is not above a very power hungry and selfish Mullah to falsify voting documents, so I agree that the facts on the most recent Iranian voter outcome cannot be considered realistically. We can’t even get a real vote count in the U.S. so it is not that difficult to imagine. Simply put, the majority of Iranians HATE the fanatics in power and did not vote for them.

However, (and here is the part of the story that elicits strong opinions and anger in Iranians who are very hungry for change) whether we like it or not, no Western power is going to embrace Iranian political change in the sole interest of happy and prosperous Iranians. It is false to think this isn’t a game of control. If I am wrong, just name a time that the U.S. went into another country for the good of that country? Whatever your answer here, I promise there are counterarguments suggesting that it was in U.S. self interest. America is using Iran as a board game for its own self interests just like the other times they intervened. Fanatics are in power because of the West, as are puppets like in Saudi Arabia. That is the game. Now, I am not one of those people who sit around blaming countries for acting in their self interest, I mean if they don’t, who will? (here I will consciously avoid a tangent into the complexity of whether or not it is possible for governments to one day act in the collective interests of the whole world). However, our problem is a systemic one. Democratic leaders in Iran are a dangerous thing to reckless people like Cheney and Bush. This is why Neo Cons keep backing either a pro-America potential or a religious fanatic. It saddens me that we as Iranians and Iranian-Americans continue to swing with the U.S. Government’s pendulum of puppet/Mullah while they benefit time and time again as Iranians suffer.

No aspiring Iranian leader will work with American Neo Cons and bring about the best for Iranian people – it may be sad but it is true. Fakhravar may have the best interests of Iranians in mind, but he is misled in thinking he would ever lead Iranians to a sustained empowered Iran by siding with Bush. He claims that Iranians love Bush for standing up to the Mullahs but we all know people in other countries hate Bush and see him as the greatest warmonger they have ever witnessed in their lifetime. In my international consulting travels around the world I have seen nothing but contempt for our U.S. government’s foreign policies. I have family in Iran and around the world and I know the majority of Iranians feel no differently. There is a core of Iranians who benefited financially and otherwise when the second Shah was in power, and those people in my experience are the quickest to announce that Iranians love Bush, them and rich Californian Iranians who save on taxes - but that is another story. One simple explanation for this is their perceptions that they would likely regain the spoils of their family’s name if/when an American-backed leader returned to Iran, or that they would get some sort of preferential treatment because their grandparents were in the “inner circle” (which by the way left a minority of people well off, and many starving). This reinforces our default thought processes of embracing the ridiculously simplistic dichotomy of Mullah or American Puppet. We all hate the Mullahs, and some well off Iranians in American loved when the Shah was in power, so we keep highlighting two options (I firmly believe anyone who is invited back to power in Iran by American Neo Cons will be a puppet). There has to be an Iranian people-led alternative. We all know things are unacceptably bad in Iran with that idiot as “president”. The current regime is completely unacceptable in Iran. However, we do not know what Iran and the rest of the world will look like if America drives the regime change, and this cannot be taken lightly.

What if the true strength of Iranians could be tapped in an innovative way that would allow for them to decide the fate of their country rather than having superpowers continue tampering? One reason we don’t consider this is that there is a lot of money keeping fanatics strong and scary in that country and superpowers have financial power that can counter the Mullah’s strongholds. Another reason is that we are tired, drained, and looking for a quick way to change the status quo, which is something that Superpowers play on time and time again to manipulate us.

I for one would like a real revolution to happen from within and agree with Annie that if the U.S. really wanted to help this happen, they would change their economic policies. However, in my opinion any governments with real power do not desire an empowered democratic Iran with a leader who represents the people, which is why there is something really illogical about turning to Western powers for help. Like it or not, real sustained change will only happen the hard way with sleeves rolled up and by the people themselves. And if that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon, it doesn’t mean we should invite a reckless host of new variables in an already unstable region.

Hopefully we can consider one another’s perspectives in this blog because between all of us, our knowledge base is powerful. To those who are counter to Arian in this blog – imagine how frustrating it is for an Iranian-American to hear you say that the U.S. Government should not be involved in changing a country they have helped screw up so badly. The natural thought is “oh, so now that the U.S. can actually benefit the Iranian people (a questionable assumption), they should just bow out?” Similarly, to those countering Annie and her supporters – imagine how frustrating it would be to hear someone ask for one of the most corrupt and violent Governments in the world to “liberate” Iran, when they have such a horrific track record of destroying countries that have oil and when their inner circle of power elites are so dependant upon a war economy that it would be impossible to attack the Mullahs for pure reasons and in a just way.

To all those Iranians who look to Bush for help, I would love to cry out to you – Bush does NOT want to help us. What he and his people say has more to do with international chess games than helping civilians. It is hard enough to get him to help civilians of his own country, so assuming his office has the knowledge/foresight to help Iranians is just illogical. I would hesitate to assume we know what the best action step would be just because we so desperately want change to happen. It is easy for our desire for change to drive us to favor specific actions prematurely. However, if we are too quick to do this, we forego the possibility of homegrown innovation and end up just supporting options that are created by the Western political figures that have had too large a hand in Iranian fate already. A wise victim of abuse would never seek love from his abuser.

[This comment has now been elevated to a new thread here . Please add your opinion to that discussion.
July 12, 2006, 04:35 AM - Bernhard]

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 12, 2006 3:24:59 AM | 91

Further comments on these issues are welcome at Fakhravar Thread cont.

Posted by: b | Jul 12, 2006 4:49:50 AM | 92

This thread is closed. You may want to add to the issue here: Fakhravar Thread cont.

Posted by: b | Jul 13, 2006 12:56:40 AM | 93

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

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