Doostane Farsi Zabane Man

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New blog

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2011 at 7:20 am

Our new blog can be found at


Always Have Hope

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm

“Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you. ”

-Charlie Brown to Snoopy


Always have hope. Things will always get better.

Iran, Islam, and the Rule of Law

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 at 1:53 am

“When Columbia University President Lee Bollinger introduced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his school in September 2007, he denounced him as a “petty tyrant.”

Ahmadinejad is many bad things, including a Holocaust denier and a strong proponent of a nuclear Iran. But as recent events have underlined, Iran is not quite a tyranny, petty or grand, and the office Ahmadinejad occupies does not give him final say in Iranian affairs. That role is more truly occupied by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, head of the Council of Guardians and Iran’s supreme leader.

A real tyranny would never permit elections in the first place—North Korea never does—nor would it allow demonstrations contesting the election results to spiral out of control. Yet Iran is no liberal democracy. So what kind of beast is it? And in what ways should we want its regime to evolve?”

-Francis Fukuyama

Full text here.

Grants and fiscal sponsorship

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 am

Yesterday, I had a (very brief) discussion with the Sparkplug Foundation. I was going to apply for a grant from them as an individual since, to apply as an organization you need non-profit status or a fiscal sponsor. It turns out that they don’t fund individuals who run organizations, so I can’t apply until we get a fiscal sponsor. That means I need to start working on our Peace Development Fund sponsorship application again very soon!

We have received 8 letters since February 23rd and sent out 7 since March 1st.

10 Practical Ideas for Supporting Protests (via Global Freedom Movement)

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

These ideas for supporting activists in other countries can be adapted for use locally 1: Organise a meeting / rally / balloon release / protest / concert / poetry reading. Post details on FaceBook, or use a service like EventBrite 2: Sign one of the many online petitions online to seek help and support from various Western governments, European Union and United Nations. Try a Google search to find petitions 3: Use Twitter Change your avatar … Read More

via Global Freedom Movement

New Pen Pal Pairs

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm

We have recently matched six more American students with Iranian students, and there is the possibility for a seventh pair. We’re very excited about this.

Great post from Ali Mostofi

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Iran Tunisia Nist

Everyone is asking, “why did it happen in Tunisia, and not Iran?” The angry killers, are thinking that their way is spreading in Tunisia.  To me it seems that finally we have a window of opportunity for the freedom of Iran. Bear with me, let me define the various dots, and then we can connect them.

The Internal Situation

  • Iranians needed a moral order to fight to get more democracy and thought that Khomeini and his gang were it.
  • Iranians are disappointed with the Islamic way of life, but they do not have a simple alternative to fill the void, if Islam is removed.
  • Reforming Islam will not work as it sanctifies death, and Iranians do not like to kill.
  • Removing capital punishment as a distinct process will neutralize the religious discussion.
  • Political movements do not work, as no one trusts anyone until the country is regained first.
  • Once an Iran based on putting Iran first is created, then democracy can operate.

The External Situation

  • US military industrial complex is huge and it needs a foe.
  • USSR and Communists created the necessary fear to get the Shah to buy weapons, and become too “pro-US”.
  • Shah told the US to go out of the area as he was the policeman for the area against USSR.
  • US military gets rid of the Shah to be able to stay in the area and scare Arabs and Israelis with Khoemeini’s gang.
  • China and India are clashing with the US over Khmoeini’s gang exclusive deals.

So my argument is that it is all about money and in particular lucrative military deals.  They are those who have benefited.  Look at the military bandits in Khomeini’s gang.  They are so rich, much richer than the National Army’s Generals under Shahanshah’s White Revolution ever were. From a poor man’s perspective, nothing has changed.

Now that we know where the problem is, we need to think how to get rid of it in the simplest and least harmful way.  As you all know I have been the non-violent big mouth longer than anyone.  I have taken loads of crap from Generals’ kids for the past thirty years.  I love the Royal Institution as the defneder of Iranian culture.  We do not have anything else.

People say to me, you are called Ali, and yet believe in Zoroastrianism.  Nuts! I say that Ali and all those so called “Islamic” names didn’t just pop out of thin air.  What do you think Alis were before Islam?  They all read ancient Iranian books that we burnt by Salman Parsi’s gang.  So Iran is older and deeper than all that.  We Iranians have managed to find better thoughts without giving credit to Islam as if we hate it.

Dwelling on Hate. Let me go into this a bit.  I grew up with my mum as a Shiite who still prays towards Mecca.  My dad spent his life hating Islam.  Did he have an alternative? No.

So I found an alternative, and that is what got me out of hating. Nothing can be done based on hate.  Iranians now know that they cannot change Iran, by hating Khomeini’s gang.  Ok, you can argue that you can go and use a magic wand (if you had one) and wipe out Khomeini’s gang, but soon enough they will come around.

Remember Kartir tried to do that and look at what happened.  No Cause based on killing is a Cause.  So that is why we Iranians are not going around killing the gang.  We could not bear to look at them in the eye, and tell them we killed them.  Just look at how they are ashamed of what their gang has done so far.

Cracks that travel. We know that with time the gang will implode.  Cracks are there, but the pieces of the gang had no where to go until now.  With Islam revolting in the Arab lands, like it should have, instead of Iran, Khomeini’s gang can go there.  They have a way out, just like you will shut the lights to get rid of a fly in your room, to go next door. Iranians’ mind is shut to Islam, and the gang knows that.  They would love to leave, than die.  We don’t want martyrs.

US military can go elsewhere. With the need for US military increasing, as they worry more about the Islamic movements elsewhere, they will not be too concerned about Khomeini’s gang anymore providing the PR for them.  New gangs are propping up elsewhere and they will scare the US public more than Khomeini’s gang.  New scaremongering agencies are ready to work for them.

New threats to glorify. So once the US knows that it can still get funding because there are other areas, it won’t mind if we Iranians get rid of Khomeini’s gang.  Where we Iranians need help is in the media.  We need the US media to not convey the gang as Iranians, as they have since 1979.  The media sells a lot of articles about Islamic threat, and now it can write about Tunisia and elsewhere, and not glorify Khomeini’s gang.  Iran will be left alone.

New markets to sell weapons and other things to. So the US military industry has loads of new customers who are going to get scared, as missiles will threaten Europe from North Africa.  Christian African states will get worked up as well.  As these countries spend money on this new hardware, less money goes to the people’s welfare, and non-military domestic infrastructure projects. Suddenly the people will get more depressed and start to take more drugs.  Narcotics will increase like it has in Iran, and the drug dealers make money, just like they have in Iran since 1979.  Women will be exported.  Children will be sold.  Just like in Iran now.  But once they have other markets, they will leave Iran.

Ask any Iranian. Yes ask any Iranian, “what is it that has caused all our misery”, and they will tell you it is oil.  If we were some poor unimportant nation, then we would not have had Khomeini’s gang flown in by the US and UK and France.  So I say, once there is a new place for these miserable traders who feed on countries, to go to, then Iranians will be able to get rid of the gangs. So their new misery, will be our salvation.

Original article here

Follow Ali on Twitter at @alimostofi

Humanitarian Tragedy in Iran Yet Another Wakeup Call

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Post from the National Iranian-American Council’s blog: Humanitarian Tragedy in Iran yet Another Wakeup Call

It’s a very interesting piece. I have to say that, due to preconceived notions, I’m surprised that a California Democrat would be so ignorant of the situation in Iran.

Also, a piece from Radio Free Europe: Leading Iranian Publisher, Writers Accused of Attempting to Overthrow Islamic Establishment

Trojan Horse for Iran

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 at 5:09 am

As Ali Mostofi says “Again another US commentator gets confused.”

Gulf states should take a DIY approach with Iran

by Joel Brinkley

I have a New Year’s resolution for Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states: Take the initiative. Solve your own problem.

A few weeks ago, WikiLeaks put out those State Department cables that quoted the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and some other Gulf states practically begging the United States to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.

That wasn’t much of a surprise. The Arab world and Persia (now known as Iran) have been at each other’s throats for centuries, though in recent years they have pretended to get along. But the Gulf states are convinced that a nuclear-armed Iran would present a mortal threat. Hence the brazen requests: Take out those nuclear sites!

Well, think about a related fact: Over the last few years, the U.S. has sold those nations advanced weaponry worth hundreds of billions of dollars — fighter jets, smart bombs, offensive and defensive missiles. Europe, Russia and other nations have sold them billions in additional military hardware.

Then last fall, the State Department announced that the U.S. planned to sell Saudi Arabia another $60 billion in sophisticated military hardware including 84 new F-15 fighter jets plus upgrades to the state’s existing fleet of 70 F-15s. The bare outlines of this plan had already been known. But the State Department release revealed for the first time that the U.S. also plans to sell the Saudis as many as 1,000 one-ton, bunker-buster bombs — perfect for Iran’s underground nuclear sites.

So my question is: If you’re so concerned about Iran, why don’t you bomb those sites yourselves?

I know what King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia would say: We can’t attack a fellow Muslim nation.

That’s nonsense. Didn’t Iran and Iraq fight a nine-year war during the 1980s? Neither side showed reluctance to kill fellow Muslims; half a million people died. Haven’t the vast majority of Muslim civilian deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan been at the hands of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Taliban and other Muslim miscreants? “We can’t kill fellow Muslims” is a nice slogan, but one that Islam lives up to no better than Christians, Buddhists or members of other faiths.

Instead, King Abdullah and the others would rather watch the United States do their dirty work for them, condemn the U.S. in public, offer thanks in private and then watch passively as America absorbs terrorist revenge attacks and further damage to its reputation in the Arab world. Why should the U.S. do it? The danger for the Gulf states is far greater than for anyone else, except perhaps Israel.

For the U.S., the sad truth is that even if the Saudis and their neighbors did find the gumption to collaborate on an airstrike, Iran would still try to blame the United States. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have made a great show of selling those arms to the Gulf states specifically as a counterbalance to Iran. Congress has seemed happy to approve these sales even though, many members would have worried that the weapons would be used against Israel.

Iran already blames the U.S. even for problems of its own making. Last month, Iranian authorities complained about epic air pollution in Tehran that killed 2,500 people. It turns out that the United Nations’ sanctions, and others, have forced Iran to begin refining some of its own gasoline for domestic use. Iran had no refineries, so it converted several petrochemical plants into refineries. They produce dirty gas. As the air pollution grew thicker and more toxic, the government blamed the U.S.

Also because of sanctions, Iran has been forced to slash generous government subsidies so that the price of gasoline has shot up from 38 cents a gallon to $1.44. Millions of Iranians are furious about the price hikes, the pollution and other hits on the quality of life. I doubt that many of them any longer believe the regime’s excuse: It’s all America’s fault. Still, one reason the United States has not bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities is the fear that the populace might rally around the government, angry about an attack by “the great Satan.”

But an airstrike by the neighbors would carry a different political message. Most Iranians would probably welcome it. So what are the Gulf states waiting for?

Find the original article here.
What do you think? Would Arab countries “rather watch the United States do their dirty work for them, condemn the U.S. in public, offer thanks in private and then watch passively as America absorbs terrorist revenge attacks and further damage to its reputation in the Arab world”? What benefits do we, the United States, gain from being allies with countries like Saudi Arabia?

The Shah’s Son’s Suicide: Why the Pahlavi Dynasty Still Haunts Iranians

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

When the Pahlavi monarchy was approaching its final days in power in Iran, I was playing with Cabbage Patch dolls in Cupertino, California, and thought my friends’ parents who worked for Apple ran an orchard. The diaspora community of Iranians around me talked politics incessantly, and I remember hearing vastly varied things about the Shah of Iran, who lost power in the 1979 revolution. Some of my relatives credited him with great feats, like transforming Tehran into a modern city; one elderly great-aunt kept a portrait of him and his wife, the Empress Farah, on her bedside table. Others called him a torturer, and avoided the Iranian man at the neighborhood pool with the Shah’s face tatooed on his shoulder. He was a former agent of the SAVAK, the Shah’s dreaded secret service, and he seemed to inspire a shadow of terror even in the California sunshine.

I grew up to study political science and work in Iran as a reporter, and managed to develop an adult understanding of the Pahlavi family’s role in Iranian history. But that mature knowledge co-exists with all the associations I absorbed as a child. Like so many Iranians, I find my feelings toward the Pahlavis a complex jumble of personal dreams and resentments, and the intensity of my emotions reminds me that they have as much to do with my past, my own family, and my relationship to history as the royal family itself. (See how Iran reacted to the suicide of the Shah’s son.)

The tragic suicide of Alireza Pahlavi, the Shah’s younger son, this week in Boston has stoked great feeling among Iranians everywhere. When I first heard the news, I felt an enormous sadness for the former empress Farah, who has endured more piercing losses in the course of a lifetime than most people could bear. The death of her by-then exiled husband from cancer, the 2001 suicide of her daughter Leila, and now the death of her youngest son. True, I had been feeling rather disappointed in Farah until that moment. She was all over the film Valentino: The Last Emperor that I’d seen the previous month, and I couldn’t help but wish that instead of just mingling with the fashion gliteratti of Europe, she would engage in thoughtful charity and be terribly glamorous at the same time – like Queen Rania of Jordan. (See pictures of the rise and fall of the Shah of Iran.)

I wondered to myself later why I felt so strongly about how Farah, 72, occupied herself in her elderly Parisian exile. Did it matter much to anyone, let alone Iran? I realized that part of why I cared so much was that she remained the lone figure in the Iranian First Lady department of my mind. We know next to nothing about the wives of the mullahs. Mrs. Khatami, Mrs. Ahmadinejad, who knows what they even look like, let alone how they spend their time and what they contribute to Iran. The clerical government of Iran denies Iranians a first family to grow up with – to admire, to envy, to criticize. We are left to feel our place acutely as outsiders to the clannish, insular fiefdom of the ruling mullahs, undeserving as citizens of even knowing their wives and children.

Perhaps that is why I continue to hold Farah and her family to such high standards. They continue to be the First Family of my imagination, a reflection of my fierce wish to be a part of what happens to Iran, to feel included in a country that no longer has a place for people like me. My expectations of them are oversized and my anger towards them is studded with the grievances against the Islamic Republic, as though they are to blame for the three decades of often brutal misrule that followed them.

Iranians these days cannot vent their political opinions in newspapers or on television, so they use the Internet as a forum to say all the things they so urgently need to express about their current plight. Reading the posts of young Iranians on Facebook and on the BBC Persian service’s website after the news of the suicide came out, I was struck by how so many young people who weren’t even born during the Pahlavi era were roused by Alireza’s death. Many expressed their sympathy in messages that were remarkable for their emotional and political maturity; they reminded me that living under dictatorship can make young people as wise as 40-year-olds in first world democracies.

Many were incensed that anyone might feel sympathy for a Pahlavi. These are the angry Iranians who have given up on the mullahs entirely, for the prospect of meaningful, peaceful change seems a chimerical notion, inconceivable for their generation. Their despair – over lives disfigured by economic blight, in which simple dreams like finding a job or getting married seem permanently out of reach – is so easily channeled into fury with the Pahlavis. It is as though they want to scream at them with the bitterness of children accusing a parent, “You let us down, you fumbled, it is all your fault.” It is almost a familial dysfunction: so many Iranians rushing like angry relatives at the chance to lay their anger at Iran’s fate at the feet of the Pahlavis, whose failure turned Iran over to the mullahs. Decades after the fall of the Shah, the clan remains a political acceptable target for so many painful feelings.

The family remains of great emotional relevance to Iranians. The Pahlavis themselves know that they stand no chance of being re-inserted into Iran politically, though they must more than suspect that their moments of personal grief will be reflected in monumental ways on the larger stage of the Iranian political imagination. Indeed, the initial statement by older brother Reza Pahlavi on his website starkly attributed Alireza’s suicide on the younger man’s despair over Iran – an all too blatantly political argument that only opened the family up to criticism. Certainly, the shattering fall of his father, and the dislocation of exile contributed to Alireza’s depression and pain. But just as surely any suicide in a depressed person arises when such anguish combines with intimate factors that emerge from that individual’s genealogy, biochemistry and medical history.

But the family changed tack. On Wednesday afternoon, I heard Reza Pahlavi speaking bravely and honestly about his brother’s battle with depression in television interviews. I felt an immense relief. His comments were nuanced and candid. They broke the Iranian cultural taboo against acknowledging mental illness, and underscored a point most Iranians everywhere can relate to: families suffer when torn apart. Thirty years after the Shah’s fall, the Pahlavis are no longer anyone’s enemy, and in their grief lies an opportunity to reach out across all those lines that divide.