Islamic Republic cannot be reformed. Regime change is the only option for Iran! جمهوری اسلامی اصلاح پذیر نیست

Friday, April 1, 2011

Al Jazeera and Middle East’s Quest for Democracy

Al Jazeera and Middle East’s Quest for Democracy
Dr. Arash Irandoost
February 21, 2011
When Al Jazeera was launched a few years back, it was taken as a good omen and a breath of fresh air, since independent and objective reporting and news from mostly state-run Middle East news media are a rare find.

But, as it continued its broadcast, it was becoming obvious that that Al Jazeera was very sympathetic towards the Palestinian cause. One could initially overlook such a bias considering the total sum of Al Jazeera reporting. When Iraqi situation presented itself, Al Jazeera was notably sympathetic to Iraqi's and hostile towards the Americans, even though Iraq was being ruled by the mother of all dictators, but the eyebrows were not raised yet!

During the Iranian uprising in June of 2009, it was evident whose side Al Jazeera was on, even though it could not ignore it. It resorted to hosting shaky characters like Kaveh Afrasiabi and Sorraya Sepahpour (known for their support of the regime) to down play its magnitude.

During the Egyptian uprising, for those who followed it, Al Jazeera's biased reporting became even more obvious. In an instant, Al Jazeera's chameleons disguised as reporters smelled a wounded animal and sounded more and more like activists rather than credible and objective reporters. Later, it attempted to reign in its activist reporters, perhaps due to pressure and threats from the Saudi's who themselves felt threatened by the Egyptian crises.

Ironically however, as the crises have spread to other countries, Al Jazeera is finding itself in crises of identity and its true colors are fast emerging. Bias is clearly seen as Al Jazeera covers or ignores events in Iran, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Algiers and now Bahrain. This is indeed unfortunate and goes to show that when it comes to support democracy, Al Jazeera has been erected to give it a lip service and continues its own selective and biased reporting as it accuses America or the American media of the same.

Objectivity in the media, much like quest for freedom and democracy is a one way street. It is non-negotiable. You are either for it, or not.

With the advent of the internet, digital technologies, and the social media, real and authentic news indeed travel fast and hard to ignore or slant. Oppressive nations and those who pay lip service to it can no longer ignore or slant the news in their favor. It is time for Al Jazeera to decide. For it to remain credible Al Jazeera needs to remain independent, objective and cannot indeed afford to add fuel to the fire of democracy in one country and attempt squelch it in another.

Perhaps it is time for Al Jazeera and its chameleon activist reporters to take a couple of lessons in democracy and objective reporting. Otherwise, Al Jazeera will find itself in a dead end, much like some of the dictators it pretends not to support.

Freedom of Speech, Trita Parsi and NIAC Style

Freedom of Speech, Trita Parsi and NIAC Style آزادی بیان به سبک تریتا پارسی‌ و نایاک 

Freedom of Speech, Trita Parsi and NIAC Style
Posted by Arash Irandoost at 7:21pm

Dr. Trita Parsi's censored, highly controlled public event, and refusal to answer my questions reflected his and NIAC's duplicity and lack of integrity and confidence in themselves. Trita Parsi and by extension NIAC's conduct was a hallmark of an authoritarian and uncivilized behavior.  Dr. Arash Irandoost

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 4:17 PM, Walton Martin wrote: Trita Parsi, at a @NIACouncil sponsored event, refuses to answer questions. @tparsi #Iranelection @SenatorKirk

EVENT: Titra Parsi from NIAC speaks on Iran and Obama Administration’s Foreign Policy in the last 2 years Date & Time: Saturday Feb 26, 2011 12:30 – 3 P.M. Location: 5201 Democracy Dr. Plano TX 75024 Admission: $10.00 (Optional) Sponsored by : Dallas Peace Center, Iranian Democratic Society of Dallas, The World Affairs Council, and The Dallas Press Club.

A well dressed man in a suit and tie enters the Center for American & International Law, ironically addressed at 5201 Democracy Drive, Plano, Texas. Before he gets to the meeting room he is stopped and asked, "If you are here to start trouble you will not be allowed in and have to leave." After a short, calm and polite exchange about it being an event carrying an open invitation to the public, the courteous gentleman and his wife enter the auditorium. Before this, however, the gentleman is told that, if he wishes to ask a question of the speaker, he must obtain an index card from the reception desk and submit it to the staff. Unlike some, who were refused an index card for no apparent reason, this gentlemen is given an index card and enters the meeting hall. In the lecture hall the audience is told: "Whatever is discussed here, stays here. There can be no cameras or recording devices." A reporter objects and is told she will have to leave. She begins to leave but is followed by one of the staff and after a discussion in the hallway, she returns (it is not known what the conversation consisted of, nor if there were any conditions agreed for her return). The questions for Mr. Parsi which were submitted in writing after his speech by the audience are then collected and scrutinized (censored) by three of his assistants. An attendee later complained that, after she had submitted her question, which was "Do you believe in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic?" to one of the event organizers collecting the index cards, this organizer read the question and tore up the index card before it could be submitted to Mr Parsi, and threw it in the waste basket. Those who submitted questions were not allowed to read them out themselves. This is the question the gentleman in the suit submitted: ________________________________________

"Mr. Parsi, It has been said that you are only as good as the company you keep. You have a propensity to associate with unsavory characters such as Roy Coffee and David Di Stefano, who were investigated by the Justice Department for activities conducted on behalf of former convicted Congressman from Ohio, Mr. Bob Ney. Roy Coffee and Di Stefano arranged a trip for the Congressman to travel to London, where he met with a Syrian arms dealer and a convicted felon, involved in a conspiracy to circumvent United Nations sanctions and to sell prohibited aircraft parts to the Iranian government. Bob Ney pled guilty to charges of making false statements and conspiracy in relation to lobbying and bribery scandal and was sentenced to federal prison for 30 months. More specifically, Bob Ney received bribes from lobbyists and foreign businessmen, a felon and an arms dealer (Fuad Al Zayat), in exchange for using his position to advance their financial interests. AIFC has charged NIAC with 300 misrepresentations about your identity just in January alone. In a recent memo to Coffee and Di Stefano you plan to use NIAC in a lobby enterprise called NAIA aimed at opening up opportunities for trade but disguised by less controversial issues such as race, discrimination, racial profiling, yet you never admit being a lobbyist for the regime. My question is: With such troubling track record, conduct and murky affiliations, do you honestly think that you are qualified to represent the Iranian-American community honorably, with dignity, respect and integrity?" _____________________________________

To the surprise of the gentleman in the suit, Dr Arash Irandoost, the words and meaning of the question he had submitted were now completely re-written and wrongly summarized by Mr. Parsi's event moderator (who looked more like a bodyguard). Dr Irandoost realizes this, objects and states, 'That is not my question.' The moderator then asks him not to interrupt, to which he replies, 'I'm sorry, Mr Parsi, he is not reading the question the way it was written, I have the question right here, let me read it correctly'. Parsi largely ignores Dr Irandoost and carries on answering the incorrect question. Dr Irandoost politely objects again and asks "Mr. Parsi, how can you provide an answer if you have not been given the correct question?" Parsi's moderator then rudely asked Dr Irandoost to leave the room and then requested the police officer who was present to escort Dr Irandoost out of the building for 'disrupting the meeting', although some in the audience objected and requested that he be allowed to ask his question. Dr Irandoost comments that "If Mr. Parsi does not want to answer the question, then there is no reason for me to stay here" and he gets up to leave, with his wife. At this time, Parsi's doorman/guard, pointed at Dr. Irandoost and his wife, and then to the door, as a gesture to the police to remove them from the hall and, as he was leaving the lecture hall, the same, big, suited doorman, placed his hand on Dr Irandoost's chest, attempting to push him towards the door. At this point, Dr Irandoost clearly states loudly enough so that the police officer could hear him, "Don't touch me again" and the officer then intervenes and stand between them as Dr. Irandoost continues to walk towards the door. Even the police officer couldn't believe the actions of Parsi's staff and was courteous and friendly to Dr. Irandoost and his wife. As they were leaving, they were accompanied by others also offended by the behavior exhibited by Parsi and NIAC's staff. As they left and were followed by others in the audience, the doormen who pushed Dr Irandoost accused all those leaving with him and his wife of being members of the Mujahedin. In addition, Parsi's words, as Dr Irandoost left the hall, sounded very much like those used regularly by the Iranian regime. With breathtaking irony, he said that he thought it unfortunate that Iranians cannot discuss issues in a civilized manner, as if Dr Irandoost was being uncivilized rather than Parsi and his staff being disrespectful to his audience by not answering their questions, censoring them, and forcing them to leave. At this point, Dr. Irandoost turned around and called Parsi a liar. Now, that is Trita Parsi's and NIAC's representation of how a democracy should work, except their form of thugocracy is currently only used by dictators, such as those in Iran. We will not tolerate this behavior in the United States, nor should it be tolerated anywhere else in the world. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, claims he represents Iranian Americans, but really represents the IRI thugs in Tehran. He never did answer Dr Irandoost's question. It is no wonder that Iran is in the state that it is, if people like Hillary Clinton actually believe that Parsi and NIAC represent Iranian Americans. I only wish NIAC Board members and the internationally recognized and talented comedian, Maz Jobrani, were there to see the real Trita Parsi and his thugs in action. (End)

Freedom of Speech NIAC and Trita Parsi Style

Posted on Facebook by Mr. Aryo Barzan Pirouznia

NIAC (the self proclaimed "Natianal Iranian American Council" ( meetings are just a series of masquerade and demagoguery shows, intended in reality to create more fake background for its immoral president (named Titra Parsi)...

The following are my comments, on what I saw yesterday, 2/26/11, in Dallas / Texas, at a NIAC meeting..

First you must know that yesterday's meeting was organized, after that the organizers had canceled a prior meeting, about a month ago and as a lot of locals were intending to protest against.. and that the 2/26/11 replacement meeting was announced in a very short time frame, and that the notice ad was not sent to the local weekly news paper till 3 days before yesterday's meeting, for distribution, just the day before (on 2/25/11)....

Now, once organized, finally on 2/26/11, and as many Iranians and Iranian Americans were thinking that the project has been abandoned, since the last initial canceled meeting, and that news of the organization of the 2/26 meeting, is maybe a mistake,.... About less than 70 or 80 people (MAXIMUM.... and here I'm trying to stretch the number to a maximum), including the speakers, about 10 of the local organizers, about 5 of their security guards and bus boys, about 4 or 5 businessmen (coming to see of future self opportunities, and that apparently one of them has done an interview posted on youtube, and as no local journalist wanted to do a do an interview), about 10 well aware critics (including myself), about 40 curious and some unaware people (mainly young, in look to be represented and getting a group identity, but attracted by the demagoguery) - had come...

There was a tight security at the doors and everybody had to register, to see who they're (see below), in order to be granted access to what was supposed to be an OPEN and PUBLIC meeting, with policemen and organizational security members, some of them with well know past support for the Islamic republic regime....

Then, and once inside, NIAC organizers had a publicly declared rule that there was not any place for any open question, that any recording or taking a picture was strictly forbidden (despite that NIAC is targeting to boost its name), and that the meeting presence would be refused to any Iranians and Iranian-Americans judged to represent security danger...

In this line, and first and at the registration desk, they refused my access to this OPEN and PUBLIC meeting, by stating that I'm not welcome (as I had in the past exposed Parsi and people like Hooshang Amir Ahmadi and Hassan Nemzaee, and as I know well their hidden agendas and how they operate) . Thy claimed that I have been, in the past, "VIOLENT and BRUTAL"....and they escorted me with a Plano Police Dept. officer to the parking lot.... By starting to say that this is a PRIVATE gathering held in a PRIVATE space... (LOL)..

Everyone must know that their ad was published in the local newspaper SHAHRVAND, and was asking from people to participate.....

But as I stood in the parking lot and people were gathering around.. they saw that this will be turning against them and that their masquerade is not starting on a good basis... For so, some of the organizers came out and asked me to come in.... I stated that I won't come in till they explain me on when I have done of VIOLENT and BRUTAL .....

They said that I had made a protest, in one of the rallies, against some one holding or promoting Moosavi (the so-called Iranian opposition leader, who was for years the prime Minister of the Islamic regime and that during his office, thousands were executed, and tens of thousands of Iranian kids were sent to walk on Iraq's mine fields..) ....

I told them, you mean that I PROTESTED and this civically against someone holding a poster of this criminal during a rally , over my head and in front of TV camera???? And that now, you permit yourselves to call my peacefully made protest as VIOLENT and BRUTAL (for not asking to become a pawn) while you forget that VIOLENT and BRUTAL is the regime and people, like Moossavi, that NIAC is intending to sell - as good guys- to Americans????

Then, I added, now you are asking me to come in, so there's less shame on your activities???? Don't think that once inside I won't protest.... You're just doing this, as you know my access to Iranian media and on all the noise that this will make...

Despite stating that, and in order to calm the situation in the parking lot, by the main entry door, they still asked me to come in.... (LOL)

Once I was in, I went and sat a the top level of the Chatham Amphitheater, located in Democracy drive of Plano. My top level position was allowing me to have a good look on the place and to see all participants and their number..

The meeting started at 1:00 PM and the named Sean Murphy from NIAC in Washington DC acted as the MC...

He started the introduction with a very authoritarian voice and asking anyone against their policies to leave the premises before Titra Parsi (NIAC's president and the main speaker) starts his show...

He forbade even to the invited press any real way of reporting by asking them to not take any pictures or to record...LOL.... So much with Democracy and Freedom of Information.....

In this line, the well respected local journalist (of Shahrvand Publication, in which NIAC had run its add of a so-called "open to public" meeting..) left the meeting, by protesting,openly and publicly,against the existing censorship and repression atmosphere.....

The next one, to leave, was me and then several other during the meeting, as one of them was verbally abused by Sean the MC, when he protested on why they didn't read the second part of his written question, as it was embarrassing for NIAC.. Yes, the question had to be written and were selected to be responded.. Not in American way of organizing a meeting, but as an Islamic way of "democracy"....

The named Sean, the MC, was so verbally abusive, to the point that he was, later, qualified and this OPENLY and PUBLICLY, in presence of all participants as " a shameless cheap and forceful bus boy of a cheap Strip Club" - by one of the participants in the meeting....

NOW some notes on sidelines and organizers:

The most funny element was a Medical Doctor, who was also part of the local organizers and was listened by security members, but that was afraid (due to most likely the shame that can create for him, if the project collapses) to take responsibility and to confess that he had part in the organization..... He denied, when addressed, by myself, that he was a organizing member committee.. His name is Arash Manzoori.

Other members of the organizing committee were, individuals, such as a named , Reza Badee-i, known for his self promoting past, lack of social and political intelligence, and following Moosavi line....

They were also, part of the above named 40 participants, some young businessmen that are known, to the community, and that their dads and uncles did a lot of business with people within the Islamic regime, under Bani Sadr, by importing tons of Persian rugs, to the US, and which helped them to build their future in US.. Money has no odor, and Business means business.. From fathers to sons, it seems...

BUT, I sadly saw, at this NIAC meeting,... One person, who despite our ideological differences, I have had an immense respect for him, and he knew it.......

He was, at at time, part of left group and had humanist ideals of what were the best.... , But I sadly saw him on the table organization of NIAC in Dallas and in charge of filtering the participants (a censor in all point of view) and on who can get inside or not (of the so-called public meeting) !!!! and he couldn't answer me.... when I was, like a ...paralyzed parrot...., keep saying: Why you.. tell me why you..???

When I reminded him of the famous Saed Soltan Poor poem, of "Aftabkaran e Jangal", and that how the Islamic regime killed his comrade, Saeed Soltan Poor, and this during the Prime Ministership of Moosavi (today praised as a "hero" and "leader of opposition").. and added on why Bijan (the name of this yesterday friend in who I was believing at a time, in his integrity that seem to have gone with the wind) , and with tears in my eyes... he had tears in his eyes, also, but kept going....... I told him, you know Bijan, by seeing you here, and as a censor, and organizer of this masquerade, that we people of Iran, seem to have been doomed..... and we will never be able to plant the Sun in Iran (part of Soltan Poor's poem)...I'm sorry for all of us.....

Bijan called me today in order to justify himself and talk, I told him, I have to go, as something broke inside me, yesterday, by seeing him there...Boghz dasht khafam mikard....Nemikhastam, boghzam betereke, ke sharm bishtar nakon e... I'm sorry for all of us...

That everyone must know, is the that the real target, of NIAC, by creating such meetings , is to build more fake credential (of speaking in the name of our big community), to recruit ignorants, in order to get more funds ..

Indeed, Everyone, with a little bit of memory and some conscience, is fully aware that these jokers of NIAC (especially of Titra Parsi, at not a very far time that he was the political bus boy of Houshang Amir Ahmadi and Nemazee, the well known lobbyists for the Islamic regime (Namazee is today and for the next 10 years in a US federal jail for corruption-)

Indeed, Parsi and his bosses tried to hide for years the rights abuses in Iran, and tried to make the Islamic regime (in its worst dark hours) as a so called respectable interlocutor to the free world..

It's JUST, JUST, JUST since 2003, that due to world's awareness, Parsi is speaking about rights abuses, as he can't deny anymore such fact, as he did, when working for Amir Ahmadi and Nemazee, when he was pushing for almost the unconditional recognition of the Islamic regime by the US... Also, he portrays his group as opposed to war between US and Iran, while many groups are known to oppose such idiotic concept since years, while denouncing the regime's rights abuses...

Also, the one who was calling for an almost full recognition of the regime, by the US, is today picking what many opposition groups were asking, due that no one can deny the fact of rights abuses, for targeted sanctions against the regime and regime's men...

For years and when Amir Ahmadi, Nemazee and Parsi likes were asking for the world to recognize the Islamic regime and were off shifting the attention and focus on the regime, and asking for taking off the pressure on it, so many died in Iran...

Now, he starts to claim that he wants the regime to go?? after they could no more hide the daily crimes and the total unpopularity of the regime>>>

NIAC masterminds know that many know about Prasi's past and that will be denouncing him and his demagoguery. In this line, LOOK, they have even disabled the comment link to his ONLY interview during his 2/26/11 event in Dallas:

None of the local media wanted to get involved in his mockery of true and they had to content to Youtube and even disable, as of today 2/7/11, any comment link....

Shame on him and shame on all those masterminds of NIAC..,

Most its ignorant members must wake up and search the shady past of the corrupt founders and runners of the the real show... They MUST Avoid being a sheep...

They must check all available public records that will show NIAC lies on number of its members, in order to try to fakely boost its membership number, to attract more idiots, corrupts, non scrupulous businessmen, or ignorants or emotional people in their rank...

They must check Titra Parsi's activities that were to try to justify the Islamic regime and for US to recognize this bloody regime...

Don't be a sheep, check the public record and background... We need to plant the Sun in Iran, as predicted by Soltan Poor and sacrifices made by so many Iranians of all political background..... I'm sure all those who died, must not have gone in vain.....

Cheap marketing, fake and phone councils, juicy contracts with foreign companies, and fake opposition leaders MUST NOT stop us and the people of Iran from reaching a CLEAN Secular and Democratic regime... Don't let them fool you, like our parents were fooled....

I'll echo here and gain, with the late Dr. Shahpoor Bakhtiar and his immortal slogan "IRAN HARGUEZ NAKHAHAD MORD!!!!"

I only, in case if a day, Bijan, can see, a day, this note, paste him the below youtube link, so he can listen and remember of what made the GOOD and HONORABLE Bijan, that me and many of his killed comrades knew, and that our sons and daughters, must know.... A message of consistency, integrity, sacrifice and humanity... May that this reminder brake the NIAC ice that has taken over the hearts of those who are losing their memories and of what made them as good:

Armand Nouri Writes:

NIAC public event held in Dallas on February 26, 2011

I do not think that giving any prior information to introduce NIAC here will help in this report but I do have all links and necessary document to back up my statements.

I met the organizers of this event two years ago during the protest we organized against Islamic Republic after the fake election.

When I heard  that the NIAC event is organized by the same people, I knew that some words like democracy, civilized, educated and human rights will be repeated in every sentence they make but I also knew that I will face a series of masquerade.

As soon as I entered the building with some friends, their first reaction was to question us about what we want and what we do here, are we going to disturb their so called “ democratic and civilized event” or not.
A selection was taking place at the door by giving what they called “index card” on which you had a number and you have to write your question.  One of our friends had to leave right away because according to them he was known as a “disturbing” person [trouble maker]. After some discussion we had the “honor” to enter the event room.

At the beginning, a well suited gentleman introduced Mr Parsi as a hero and an exceptional person in politics, I better say the best almost in everything and at the end. He ordered the audience to not ask any open questions, to not film or record any audio, to not take any picture  and the most amazing request was that no one had to talk about what is said here once outside. 

When the reporter of Shahrvand stood up and objected by saying that I have to do my job and your conditions are not acceptable, she was asked to leave right away and she did so but then Dr. Arash Manzoori who was responsible for selecting people to organize the event brought her back. The amazing thing was that we all needed Dr. Manzoori’s approval before the police would let us in.

My first question was “ Wasn’t that a public event, if yes why this secrecy”???

Time came for our question and we all handed them to Mr. Bijan who was very carefully bringing them to Shawn Amoee and the suited gentleman who introduced the event, their role was to select the questions, if needed change, distort and alter them and then read them to Mr. Parsi.

Here is my second question: Why some questions need to be eliminated or modified , if they are so democrat, civilized and educated as they pretend?

One of my questions was about why was the NIAC inviting  the US Congressmen to meet in private high level Iranian authorities during Ahmadinejad’s UN visit?  Which Mr. Trita Parsi completely denied,  I managed  to give a copy of the NIAC email written by  Emily Blout the Legislative Director of NIAC  to the Congressman , inviting him to attend the meeting, to one of the organizers and told him that Mr. Parsi is being dishonest  and his answer is a big lie but as we had to remain civilized and we are all educated people, we do not have to say anything and accept their lies, I tried to remain calm. This person just asked me to remain calm and he said we will talk after the event is over.

Another question followed but it was apparently completely rephrased and distorted by the moderator. The gentleman [Dr. Arash Irandoost] politely objected and tried to explain to Mr. Parsi and moderator that this is not the question he asked, the suited guy ran to him and asked him to leave the room and continue the conversation outside. At this time the person did not move and asked the suited guy to read the question again but no success.

When for the second time he asked them to read the question correctly and insisted to talk to Mr Parsi, they called the police and asked him to escort the gentleman out of the room at this time I also left the room, once at the door another person who seemed to be Iranian but I am ashamed to call him Iranian pushed him out by telling him” get out of here, you are not here to ask question, you look for trouble”.

I interfered by asking the guy to stop pushing and being polite but he was insisting on his act and words,  and  he told me the following words” you killed people for seven years, now let us work”, I did not understand so I asked what you mean by “YOU” and he said: MEK, Mojahedin khalgh.

When I heard that I was so shocked that uncontrollably started to laugh at him and I told him that he is much like his Islamic Republic masters who also has a habit of  labeling  their opponents Monarchist or MEK.
I hope that Mr Badiee, Shawn Amooe, Dr Arash Manzoori, Kaveh, Bijan and all other people involved in this will get to the point that this was really not a democratic process. The human right is also about freedom of speech and not being escorted by the police as a criminal because of your question.

I will ask all my dear compatriots to educate themselves, to read and read more about any event taking place in their town, we all have access to the Internet , we all know someone who can inform or help, PLEASE DO SO.

In Persian we say: goosfandan ra hokoomat gorgan ast, much like the saying in English:
A Nation of Sheep, will be Ruled by Wolves!

I am desirous of a regime change, not change within the regime!
Armand Nouri

Open Letter to Congress on NIAC Sponsored April 22nd Iran Sanctions

Open Letter to Congress on NIAC Sponsored April 22nd Iran Sanctions 

March 15, 2011

The President of the United States of America
The Honorable Members of United States Congress
The Honorable Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton,
The Honorable Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Franz Geithner

Re: NIAC lobby invitation to State and Treasury Department to attend a seminar sponsored by Iranian-American businesses aimed at easing critical trade and economic sanctions

We, the undersigned Iranian-Americans and friends of Iran, formally request that the members of Congress ask President Obama to direct the State and Treasury Department staff to decline the invitation to participate in the upcoming National Iranian American Council (NIAC) sponsored seminar to be held in California, on April 22, 2011.  

NIAC, an obvious Islamic Republic lobby group, founded by Mr. Trita Parsi, which has been an advocate for dialogue and diplomacy, as well as, the lifting of trade and economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The seminar’s business sponsors include Etap, IBS Electronics, and IQA Solutions are all companies specializing in the oil and gas industries, power generation, chemical production, sophisticated electronic technologies, telecommunication and military equipment, all the right ingredients for Iran to bolster its nuclear program, oil production, refining capabilities, and inhumane treatment of Iranian pro-democracy activists.

Mr. Parsi is a controversial character who is despised by the majority of the Iranian-American community.  It is widely believed that he is a "non-registered foreign agent" clearly representing the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Mr. Parsi lacks the moral character, honesty, and integrity to represent us and is frequently shunned in Iranian-American circles. To most proud Iranian-Americans, Trita Parsi represents the worst example of what the Iranian community has to offer to the United States, cloaked in the pretense of human rights, and is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

In late 2009, the Washington Times published documents, obtained as a result of NIAC’s defamation lawsuit against one of its outspoken critics, indicating that NIAC had violated lobbying rules. Law enforcement experts, after reviewing some of NIAC's internal documents, offer evidence that NIAC has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws.

Other documents also indicate that NIAC intentionally lied about and ridiculously exaggerated its membership numbers to a number of the U.S. government officials. NIAC used National Endowment for Democracy funds for non-permissible grant activities, i.e., purchasing of flowers, paying for office rent and a employing a full-time staff who was already gainfully employed on a full-time basis for another organization. Mr. Parsi’s questionable grant management practices have been reported to proper authorities including the Office of Inspector General, Internal Audit of NED and Senator Kyl.

Much like a chameleon, NIAC once more has changed its color and this time purportedly as a human rights organization, focusing on non-controversial issues, such as visas and discrimination to hide its true intentions to lobby.

NIAC’s claim that sanctions hurt the ordinary Iranians, like many of its other claims, is deceptive and unfounded. Iranians are already subjected to the most horrible forms of torture, rape and oppression.  Iranians cry out for the toughest sanctions possible against this medieval regime. While we agree that the State Department should not impose food, medical and humanitarian related sanctions, however, we strongly advocate for the toughest sanctions against the regime, including freezing of assets and an oil embargo.

The regime used surveillance technologies purchased from Nokia and Siemens to identify, arrest, torture and kill peaceful demonstrators during 2009 uprising. We have information from Iranian citizens that the regime has altered the chemical ingredients in teargas used against them. Once inhaled, the altered tear gas causes respiratory tract bleeding.  Contrary to NIACs claims, we believe removing sanctions significantly helps the Iranian regime obtain the tools it needs to further suppress the already oppressed Iranian people.

Iranian demonstrators are writing a new chapter in their nation’s history with their blood. Most Iranians are horrified by the fact that NIAC and front companies would even entertain the idea of selling sensitive technologies and materials to Iran, knowing that the regime intends to use these weapons to crush and kill their compatriots.

It is time for the United States to change its foreign policy toward Iran and support regime change. Thirty-one years of futile attempts at diplomacy and appeasement, in large part advocated by NIAC, have failed each and every time.  Instead, attempts at dialogue and diplomacy have only emboldened the Islamic regime to commit more abhorrent human rights violations against its citizens, including genocide.

We strongly urge the State and Treasury Departments to rethink their strategy and refrain from attending the April 22nd NIAC sponsored conference. We view any participation in this event as an insult, further alienating and frustrating the significantly larger Iranian-American community. We need to be heard and respected.

Dr. Arash Irandoost, Founder
Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI)

Parvin Irandoost
Human Rights Activist

Walton K. Martin  III, Director

Dr. Gill Gillespie, Director
Iranian Refugees Action Network

Dr. A Samadani
Kazem Jamee
Farjoud Mahinsa
Shirin Tabibzadeh Pedram Karbassi Becky Hillman
Javad Riazi Ahmad Saraei Marzieh Hossienpoor Isabelle Chesley
Debora Andress Armand Nouri Henry Rahmani
Arezou Lotfi Sean Sanderson Debra Slattery
Ozra Samardpay Gholamreza Esmaeili Oureh Sepehr Esmaeili
Sattar Esmaeili Oureh Morteza Hedayat Aryo Barzan Pirouznia
Shannon L Kempf Helen Bolen Marianne Snyder
Yari Los Angeles J. Irani
Sayeh Hassan
Sahand Y. Nasrabadi
Verna Gabel
Kevin Shook
Shahria Gourgi
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A Message to the Egyptian People

Dr. Arash Irandoost
A Message to the Egyptian People
January 31, 2011
Iranian revolution 32 years ago was hijacked by Muslim extremists who deceived the Iranian people and turned Iran to what it is today, a country of misery, corruption, high inflation, unemployment, human trafficking, drugs, prostitution, rape, torture, hunger, poverty, hangings and murder.

Thirty-two years ago, President Carter turned its back on the United State's long- time ally and sided with Khomeini.  Carter, in his naiveté, thought that Khomeini would bring democracy and freedom to the Iranian people, even though he called Iran the "island of stability in the region."

Now, Iranians are much yearning for the freedoms they had, not to mention the democracy they aspired. Rulers of Iran have indeed taken the country back to the medieval times.  Boys and girls cannot hold hands while walking on the streets.  Islamic dress code is strictly enforced.  All forms of entertainment and joyfulness are prohibited. Women are treated like second class citizens.  They are hanged or stoned for having sexual relationships with the opposite sex, even though in some cases their male partners might have been the culprit.  Political freedoms are taken away.  Corruption runs rampant.  Independent newspapers are shut down. Religious minorities are persecuted. Many political activists, who helped bring this regime to power, are killed or forced out of the country and their latest's "son of revolution", Dr. Ibrahim Yazdi, is now rotting in regime's jail. Second to China, Iran is the most violator of human rights in the world. And the President Obama, unfortunately, is in bed with both.

Right after, the Shah of Iran left Iran, Islamists headed by hate-filled and arrogant Khomeini, forgot all the promises made to the Iranian people and started a reign of terror, cultural and human genocide that is continuing to this day.

As Iranians, we are much worried about you and the future of Egypt.  The situation at hand has much in common with what took place in Iran 32 years ago.  Your future does not look promising and your options are much limited, after Hosni Mubarak's departure.  Do not repeat our mistakes and take lessons from our experience.

On one hand, there is El Baradei, with questionable ties to the Iranian regime, who is promising a secular democracy for Egypt. Frankly, he lacks the charisma and political savvy.  His questionable past, as the head of IAEA, who stood by and allowed the regime to continue its nuclear program, and his current affiliations with Iran leaves much to be desired.  He might be a short-term fix but not a long-term answer to what lies ahead for Egypt.

On the other hand, there is the Muslim Brotherhood. They are much akin to Khomeini who promised us reform but never delivered.  Iranian lobbyists and organizations such as CAIR are serving as the mouthpiece for them to convince the world that they are the only option to bring democracy and stability to the region.  Much like Marxists and the Tudeh Party served as the mouthpiece for Khomeini with similar message.  They are intentionally quiet and the liberal leaning Western media is not talking about them, since the ordinary freedom fighting Egyptians are doing their dirty work for them, for now.  But soon, their ugly head will rear itself.  President Obama's measured speech, reiterated by Secretary Clinton and Senator John Kerry clearly show which side they are on.  Wikileaks documents clearly show that the United Stated has been behind the uprising.

PDMI, as a real Iranian opposition body, appreciates and supports your quest for freedom and democracy in Egypt and hopefully the greater Middle East.  But as the saying goes:  It is not what it seems.  Muslim Brotherhood, funded by Iran and aided by Hezbollah and Hamas, is much in control of the uprising and if not careful, will lead Egypt toward the future Islamic Republic of Egypt. If you indeed have followed events of 32 years in Iran and have witnessed the brutality Iranians have suffered under the dictatorship of Islamic Republic, you would stay alert. History has shown that, mixing religion with state is not the solution to complicated social, political and economic problems of a country.  Despite its oil revenues of $80 Billion annually, Iran has been set back almost a century under the corrupt Iranian theocratic regime. Is that what Egyptians want for Egypt?

Brave Egyptians should not settle for anything less than a secular democracy with free and transparent elections where all Egyptian can participate.  History has shown that the West is more interested in "false" stability rather than true long-term and lasting democracy and human rights in the Middle East.

Soon demonstrations will be propping across the world.  But, initial messages of democracy and freedom will be replaced by pro-Islamic slogans as soon as crack in Mubarak's government will appear.  Muslim Brotherhood and its stooge CAIR are much aware of the situation in Iran, so they will hide their true intentions. They might even claim that Egypt is not Iran which is true, but what they have in store for you is very much like Islamic Republic had for us. Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Islamic Republic and Iran, and to some extent Nouri-al Maleki of Iraq have much in common than they are leading you to believe.

We wish you much success in your endeavors and are anxiously and nervously glued to the news coming out of Egypt. May you not repeat our mistakes and stay resolute until a true democracy and long-term stability is achieved for Egypt and beyond.

The U.S. Policy on Iran: Cautious Optimism or Obsessive Insanity?

The U.S. Policy on Iran: Cautious Optimism or Obsessive Insanity?
Dr. Arash Irandoost - 3/24/2011

On the occasion of the Persian New Year (Norouz), President Obama extended his best wishes, this time, directly to the Iranian people, rather than the brutal dictatorship. This was a welcome departure compared to his former Norouz message. Is president Obama gradually warming up to the idea of supporting regime change? His message was much harsher toward the regime. He stated:

For nearly two years, there has been a campaign of intimidation and abuse. Young and old; men and women; rich and poor– the Iranian people have been persecuted. Hundreds of prisoners of conscience are in jail. The innocent have gone missing. Journalists have been silenced. Women tortured. Children sentenced to death.

President Obama went on to say that the “regime cares more about its own power than respecting the rights of the Iranian people… Regime’s actions demonstrated fear rather than strength.” Mr. Obama stopped short of highlighting IRI’s long history crimes, support for terrorism and abhorrent prison rapes that took place by the basij militia and Hamas thugs as affirmed by Mehdi Karrubi, a former presidential candidate.

President Obama angered many Iranians during his last year’s message when he extended his hand to the terrorist regime. It was seen by many Iranians as turning his back on Iranian pro-democracy demonstrators, his lack of familiarity with Iran and legitimizing a regime which second to China is most violator of human rights.

Iranians are cautiously optimistic about president Obama’s change of direction and message of hope. The occasion is historic and momentous, especially considering Libya, Bahrain, Syria and other looming crises in the Middle East. For the past 30 plus years, U.S. policymakers have shown little interest in acknowledging the opposition and acknowledging regime’s brutalities against its citizens. They have taken the dialogue and diplomacy approach in vain hoping to alter ayatollahs’ behavior. It just may suggest that, finally, the White House has begun to realize that the dialogue and diplomacy have been abysmal failure and a new policy must be adopted.

For a very long time the United Nations and the United States have appeased dictators and only provided lip service to pro-democracy movements. Their duplicity has been a source of skepticism and distrust among various opposition groups throughout the Middle East costing the UN and the U.S. dearly.

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. For too long various U.S. administrations have used dialogue and diplomacy, to no avail, starting with the administration of President Jimmy Carter who did everything possible to assure the new regime of American friendship and failed miserably. The more the U.S. government has tried to engage the Iranian regime, the more suspicious and hardened Iran's leaders have become. The United States cannot obsessively pursue the diplomatic path with Iran, it simply has not worked.

The United States’ misguided Iran policy can in part be blamed on Iran’s foreign agents of disinformation, regime apologists and lobbyists who operate many front religious and Iranian cultural centers, work at institutions of higher education and run not for profits organizations that have been allowed to freely roam the halls of Congress, doing regime’s bidding and providing inaccurate and biased advice on Iran.

Regime apologists’ propaganda manifests itself in various forms, depending on the political climate but their basic fallacious premise remains the same (dialogue, diplomacy, easing of sanctions, and portraying Iran’s nuclear program for peaceful civilian use), which has continued to guide the US Policy toward Iran.

These apologists, many with known affiliations with the Islamic republic, have intentionally portrayed the Islamic republic as pragmatic and a rational entity. They have suggested dialogue and diplomacy as the best course in dealing with Iran. They falsely claim, sanctions are not effective and hurt the ordinary people. Recently, primarily due to Mousavi and Karrubi’s arrests, these apologists are attempting to shift the focus from Iran’s weapon’s program to “Johnny-come-lately” human rights issues. They have falsely blamed Iran’s blatant human rights violations on U.S. pressure and have claimed that recognition of the IRI would improve the human rights situation in Iran.

There are a variety of other reasons as to why dialogue and diplomacy are not the best course in dealing with Iran. For one thing, the regime leaders consider animosity to the “Great Satan” as a hallmark of their policy, a source of pride, a badge of honor and an expression of loyalty by regime’s top echelon. Also, the regime’s leadership has normally dealt a heavy blow to those who have entertained the idea of dialogue and diplomacy with the United States with regime insiders. Any Islamic government’s official who might even give a slight hint of dialogue and diplomacy will be ostracized and considered by the regime hardliners, as a traitor and conspirator. Furthermore, Khamenei, as accurately cited by the Rand Corporation is very suspicious of the United States.

Arguably, repetitive attempts and persistence at appeasement, dialogue and diplomacy have had the opposite effect. The regime has masterfully exploited the West’s zeal to pursue a diplomatic course with it to aggrandize itself among the ordinary Iranians. Western’s attempts at diplomacy have emboldened the regime to continue its reign of terror. The regime has provided weaponry to Iraqi insurgents, Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda to do its covert war with the United States. It has used dialogue and diplomacy as a delaying tactic to achieve its extremist and expansionist ideology hoping to develop its weapon’s program and make life even more miserable for the “Great Satan.”

There was a slight overture to regime officials by Mr. Obama as well. But President Obama cannot have it both ways. He needs to make a decision. As demonstrators demanded of him and he let them down once during June 2009 uprising and his thundering silence on Neda’s death, he can not afford to continually let them down. By leaving the diplomacy door still open, the West will continue its haphazard and failed policies. The sooner, Mr. Obama gets out of dialogue and diplomacy mindset, the more seriously he and his message will resonate with ordinary Iranians.

Also, President Obama is ill-advised to connect Iran’s historic past and prominence with the present Islamic regime. The level of atrocities committed by the Arab invaders of Iran is very fresh and a source of great resentment amongst the Iranians even after 1400 years. What is more, Islamic republic itself is only 3 decades old with little historical legitimacy. Inevitably, it has waged an ideological and religious war on Persian culture and nationalism. It has repeatedly attempted to marginalize Persian holidays in favor of those that extol Shi'a Islam to denigrate Persian nationalism and identity.

Another fallacy propagated by the IRI apologists is that sanctions are not effective and hurt ordinary Iranians. Just the opposite, sanctions are very effective, if they were not, mullahs, lobbyists and IRI apologists would not bellyache about them. Regime derives approximately 80% of its revenues from oil and gas proceeds, an oil embargo will severely curtail Islamic republic’s ability to support its reign of terror. Iranians have suffered greatly under the Islamic dictatorship for three decades. They are already hurting. Most of the companies that want the easing of sanctions are the very companies eager to sell, military, oil and gas, nuclear, sensitive technologies, chemically altered teargas, electric batons and telecommunications devices to the regime, the very tools that the regime uses to brutally crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators and hurt the ordinary Iranians.

There are indeed lessons for the West. Most Iranians, identify themselves very much with their civilization and historical past, while the regime sees invasion of Iran by Arab invaders as the beginning of their conflicted legacy. Mention of Iran’s glorious civilization and past history by President Obama to Islamic government leaders, who detest Persian culture and civilization, and to Iranians, who abhor this regime, in the same sentence is much like adding salt to injury. President Obama does indeed have an opportunity to purge the White House of the intellectually dishonest agents of disinformation and side with the Iranian opposition. With Iran as a formidable and friendly ally of the United States in the Middle East, both countries can have a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.

Dr. Arash Irandoost (pen name), founder of pro-democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI) is a human rights and pro-democracy activist who advocates Regime Change in Iran. He has been published in numerous magazines around the world as well as hundreds of Internet magazines, websites and blogs. He is also a researcher and literary translator and has been a strong voice for the struggling people of Iran. He blogs at

NIAC and its Useful Idiots

NIAC and its Useful Idiots  

Dr. Arash Irandoost - 3/29/2011

Just who in America is the final arbiter of free speech? If you guessed Trita Parsi of NIAC and Bryan Mark Rigg, instead of the United States Supreme Court, you may not be exaggerating. While the highest court has just affirmed in an 8-1 ruling that speech, touching areas of public concern, deserves the highest level of protection in furtherance of public debate, Trita Parsi and his Speech Czar were hard at work disregarding such ruling. There may be no criminal punishment against these speech-minders but there certainly has been a heaping dose of public disgust and hopefully foreseeable damage to their already tarnished reputation and their professional standing as result. Specially, when Trita and his event sponsors assumed anyone who disagreed with them would automatically create some kind of disturbance at their event. This kind of unbridled and arbitrary power is alarming and certainly not consistent with the Supreme Court’s recent vindication of "free debate of public issues.”

Dr. Trita Parsi purports to represent the Iranian-American interests in the United States. The Center for Security Policy cites NIAC as a lobby organization for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr. Hassan Dai, a renowned Iran expert, has researched Mr. Trita Parsi’s lobby activities extensively and has provided an abundance of evidence using NIAC’s own documents obtained as a result of a defamation lawsuit against him by NIAC.

The so-called event took place in Plano, Texas on February 26, 2011. It was advertised as a “public” event in the Iranian local media and was sponsored by four area organizations. According to their websites:

Iranian Democratic Society of Dallas considers itself a strong believer of the freedom of thought, expression and advocates removal of any barriers that hinders such.

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth claims to bring international awareness and cross-cultural understanding to the North Texas community.

The Press Club of Dallas supports journalism in all of its forms. The organization actively supports the First Amendment, the public's right to know, understanding of the threats to access and the rights of both professional and citizen journalists.

Dallas Peace Center promotes a just and peaceful world through constructive action in education, dialogue, reconciliation and advocacy.

Some of these sponsoring organizations were perhaps deceived by NIAC or did not seem to mind that freedom of speech and opportunities for dialogue and mutual understanding were brutally stifled by Trita Parsi and his moderator. Who would have thought it could happen here in America? First, you learn that a controversial figure is coming to your town. The Iranian community takes a day off their precious weekend to attend the event, believing that this is a matter of importance and concern to them. They are anxious to participate in the exchange of ideas. But, as they attempt to enter the parking lot, a sign rudely greets them: “No unauthorized camera, No banners, signs or flags are allowed.” As some attempt to enter the building, they are stopped at the door and told they will not be allowed to ask questions. Some are given numbered index cards to write down their questions, all are told that this is a private event and they cannot take pictures, record the meeting and talk about it outside the perimeter. A reporter objects and leaves the room. She is approached by one of the organizers. A discussion ensues. She returns. Another gentleman objects and leaves the room angrily. The event begins. After the speech, all questions are collected and carefully screened. A participant’s question is unrecognizably altered by the moderator. He politely objects. He is ignored. He objects again. He is told to go out and explain his question to the moderator. He objects for the third time and says in a calm voice: “please read my question as written or allow me to read it.” He is denied and accused of disturbing the event and acting in an uncivilized manner. Trita’s useful idiots scuttle hurriedly and ask the police to escort him out. Sensing that there is a concerted effort not to answer his question, he gets up along with his wife and a guest and voluntarily proceeds to leave the room. He is pushed out of the exit door by one of the organizers. He objects, a police officer intervenes. He and those who are leaving the room in objection are told by the same man that they belong to Mujahedin and yells at them: “You have killed us for seven years, and now it is our turn.”

Days later, the NIAC puppets blast out numerous misleading emails about how your effort to civil discourse and exchange of ideas are misconstrued as “uncivil and troublesome.” Two responsible Iranian journalists see beyond NIAC’s smoke and mirrors and share their concerns with the Iranian community about the unfortunate incident.

The event and its sponsors, bestowed NIAC and its moderator, the status of tyrants with veto powers over all Iranians who dared to object and behave contradictory to Trita Parsi’s script. These unaccountable phonies, who act outside the law and constitutional parameters, left unchecked present a grave danger to our protected freedoms and individual rights.

Requests for an explanation about the contrived event still remain unanswered. No one seems to take the responsibility and answer some very basic questions:

Just precisely who organized this event?

Why did they agree to such controlled "authoritarian" type conditions?

Do they feel any responsibility for creating disharmony among the Iranian community?

Are they even sorry, for what took place?

Would they provide the same opportunity to someone like myself or Hassan Dai, who have extensively researched, NIAC to speak here in Dallas, as well?

This controversial "public" event was highly policed. Apparently, Trita Parsi did not feel safe among his own constituency without excessive and unwarranted security measures. It should be noted that there were no new revelations in Parsi’s speech, nothing we did not already know.

Trita Parsi’s speeches are normally imbued with certain twist: “unconditional dialogue and diplomacy and removal or easing of sanctions with a regime that has a peaceful nuclear program.” With people like Trita Parsi, a non-American, fighting for Iranian-Americans’ rights, the Islamic Republic of Iran is in very good hands for some time to come!

Here is my unaltered question of Trita Parsi distorted by Dr. Rigg beyond recognition:

Mr. Parsi,

It has been said that you are only as good as the company you keep. You have a propensity to associate with unsavory characters such as Roy Coffee and David Di Stefano, who were investigated by the Justice Department for activities conducted on behalf of former convicted Congressman from Ohio, Mr. Bob Ney.

Roy Coffee and Di Stefano arranged a trip for the Congressman to travel to London, where he met with a Syrian arms dealer and a convicted felon, involved in a conspiracy to circumvent United Nations sanctions and to sell prohibited aircraft parts to the Iranian government.

Bob Ney pled guilty to charges of making false statements and conspiracy in relation to lobbying and bribery scandal and was sentenced to federal prison for 30 months. More specifically, Bob Ney received bribes from lobbyists and foreign businessmen, a felon and an arms dealer (Fuad Al Zayat), in exchange for using his position to advance their financial interests.

AIFC has charged NIAC with 300 misrepresentations about your identity just in January alone. In a recent memo to Coffee and Di Stefano you plan to use NIAC in a lobby enterprise called NAIA aimed at opening up opportunities for trade but disguised by less controversial issues such as race, discrimination, racial profiling, yet you never admit being a lobbyist for the regime.

My question is:

With such troubling track record, conduct and murky affiliations, do you honestly think that you are qualified to represent the Iranian-American community honorably, with dignity, respect and integrity?

Dr. Arash Irandoost (pen name), founder of pro-democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI) is a human rights and pro-democracy activist who advocates Regime Change in Iran. He has been published in numerous magazines around the world as well as hundreds of Internet magazines, websites and blogs. He is also a researcher and literary translator and has been a strong voice for the struggling people of Iran. He blogs at

Monday, December 13, 2010

Persian Gulf: What Is In a Name?

PDMI-Arash Irandoost

Arash Irandoost
December 13, 2010

Emotions always run high among Iranians when it comes to Iran’s territorial integrity, history, culture and civilization. Iranians revere their Persian heritage and culture. Their culture has outlasted Alexander the Great, the Muslims, the Mongols, the ever scheming British and Russians and has prevailed still. All invaders have been eventually expelled or assimilated by the greater Persian culture – a thread that has carried through unbroken since Zoroaster. Strong reaction and active participation in various petitions and letters of protest are testimony to veracity of this claim. Once again, Iranians are reacting angrily and protesting vigorously over the use of politically-motivated and culturally-insensitive and ignominious term “Arabian Gulf” when referring to historically-rooted and internationally-accepted name the “Persian Gulf” by the State Department and the United States Department of the Navy.

There are plenty of documents, maps, historical books and professional research organizations that clearly show the legitimacy and validity of the name “Persian Gulf” for the body of water between the Iranian plateau and the Arabian Peninsula. For those unfamiliar with the history a summary of credible sources is provided in the second part of this paper.

The intention, however, for writing this article is to discuss the probable motivations and ensuing undesirable consequences by countries and prominent businesses and entities such as the State Department, the US Navy, Google, National Geographic, and oil companies who carelessly engage in such disingenuous and deplorable conduct.

Iranians are much troubled by oil corporations such as Saudi Aramco and Chevron for using the erroneous term (Arabian Gulf). Their unethical behavior and misuse of the name is due to shear economics as they continue to pump oil, careful not to antagonize their Arab masters and touching their Pan-Arabism nerves at the expense of dishonoring Iranians.

It is equally disspapaointing when a respected publisher such as the National Geographic which has contributed so much to our understanding of the world misuses the term. Iranians have always viewed National Geographic as a reputable magazine and its informative articles and breathtaking pictures, be it on Persepolis, a stone village in Iran, Persian carpets or the Afghan girl taken during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Such stories are eagerly read and such pictures are permanently etched in our minds and adorn our homes and offices. National Geographic should have known better to commit such fraudulence.

The motivation or short-sightedness by the US Navy is obviously due to large Navy presence and economic cooperation with Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The United States armed forces should not engage in politics and must have a consistent policy when it comes to historic names. The United States Army has rightfully refrained from using inflammatory words such as the Arabain Gulf and should be commended.

Most troubling however, is the State’s Departments “intentional’ use of Arabian Gulf as the latest round of childish interchange between Islamic government of Iran and the United States. The State Department knows well that this is a hot-button item for Iranians.

The State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro’s numerous intentional utterance of the “Arabian Gulf” simply to provoke the Islamic government has already had negative repercussions. Even though it was intended to get a rise out of the ruling mullahs, it was a careless remark and a gratuitous slap in the face of the ordinary Iranian people. Iranian-Americans consider the State Department’s decision as lack of respect for their heritage and disregard for historical and international standards by the United States. Mrs. Clinton cannot afford such personal and professional embarrassment as she tries to re-earn the lost trust and bring various parties in the Middle East to the negotiations table. Such miscalculations have worsened the already heightened tensions in the region.

Just who the Obama administration gets advice when making its decisions to use the term Arabian Gulf is perplexing. His thundering silence during Neda’s assassination by the regime’s Basij, extension of an open arm to Islamic regime during the occasion of Nourooz, Navy and State Departments’ deliberate use of “Arabian” Gulf, have done much harm to the United State’s credibility in general and the Democratic Party in particular among Iranians.

Iranian-Americans who guilelessly supported President Obama are extremely disappointed. President Obama showed his lack of experience, when he addressed the rapist regime of the mullahs on the historic occasion of the Persian new year holiday of Nowruz, a non-Islamic celebration which predates Islam and a celebration which Islamic government officials have been aggressively trying to suppress because of their dislke and hatred for Iranian nationalism and pre-Islamic culture and civilization.

Likewise with Mrs. Clinton, Iranians are very disappointed most notably because she has not shown the leadership and has not issued clear directives to her staff for “intentionally” or “arrogantly” inciting old rivalries and fuelling the fire of known but unspoken “dislike” Persians and Arabs have for each other ever since the 7th century Arab invasion of Iran.

Iran’s integral territory and historical sites and names are their source of pride. As powerful and untouchable Khomeini was during his early years of revolution, and in his zeal to turn Iran to an Islamic state, Iranians shunned him when he, along with Mehdi Bazargan and Khalkhali attempted to entertain the idea of the use of the name “Islamic Gulf.” The then “untouchable” Khomeini was reminded that he should not mess with Persian Gulf and the stubborn Khomeini was compelled to relent. Khomeini was made to understand that when it came to a choice between Iranian national pride and Islam, it was not a battle even he could win.

Though disappointed with the US foreign policy, Iranian-Americans passionately love both countries and believe in the saying that “Americans will ultimately do the right thing, once they have exhausted all the wrong things.” It is our sincere hope and desire that the American government will refrain from child play when it comes to Iranian national and cultural pride and act maturely and wisely be it when referring to Persian Gulf or its broader Iran foreign policy. One can only hope!

It is Persian Gulf, Stupid!

In order to understand why such powerful emotions are evoked among the Iranians, a brief exposition of the history of the "Persian Gulf” is provided below:

“The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. It is historically and internationally known as the Persian Gulf. The Arab sheikhdoms that have a coastline on the Persian Gulf are referred to as the Persian Gulf States.”

In 550 B.C., the Achaemenid Empire established the first Persian Empire in Pars (Persis, or modern Fars) in the southwestern region of the Iranian plateau. Consequently in the Greek sources, the body of water that bordered this province came to be known as the Persian Gulf.

During the years, 550 to 330 B.C., coinciding with sovereignty of the first Persian Empire on the Middle East area, especially the whole part of Persian Gulf and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the name of "Pars Sea" has been widely written in the compiled texts.

In the fifth century B.C., Darius the Great of the Achaemenid dynasty called the Persian Gulf "draya; tya; haca; parsa: aitiy", meaning, "The sea which goes from Persia". In this era, some of the Greek writers also called it "Persikonkaitas", meaning the Persian Gulf. Claudius Ptolemaues, the celebrated Greco-Egyptian mathematician/astronomer in the second century called it "Persicus Sinus" or Persian Gulf. In the first century A.D., Quintus Curticus Rufus, the Roman historian, designated it "Aquarius Persico" – the Persian Sea. Flavius Arrianus, another Greek historian, called it "Persiconkaitas" (Persian Gulf).

During the Sassanian dynasty the name invariably used was the "Persian Sea." This was continued by the Ummayyads and Abbassids. Among historians, travelers and geographers of the Islamic era, many of them writing in Arabic from the 9th to the 17th century, Ibn Khordadbeh, Ibn al-Faqih, Ibn Rustah, Sohrab, Ramhormozi, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al Istakhri, Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Mas'udi, Al-Mutahhar ibn Tahir al-Maqdisi (d. 966), Ibn Hawqal, Al-Muqaddasi, Ibn Khaldun, Mohammad ibn Najub Bekiran, Abu Rayhan Biruni, Muhammad al-Idrisi, Yaqut al-Hamawi, Zakariya al-Qazwini, Abu'l-Fida, Al-Dimashqi, Hamdollah Mostowfi, Ibn al-Wardi, Al-Nuwayri, Ibn Batutta, Katip Çelebi and other sources have used the terms "Bahr-i-Fars", "Daryaye-i-Fars", "Khalij al-'Ajami" and "Khalij-i Fars" (all of which translate into "Persian Gulf" or "Persian Sea").

Portuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in the early sixteenth century following Vasco da Gama's voyages of exploration saw them battle the Ottomans up the coast of the Persian Gulf. In 1521, a Portuguese force led by Commander Antonio Correia invaded Bahrain to take control of the wealth created by its pearl industry. On April 29 of 1602, Shāh Abbās, the Persian emperor of the Safavid Persian Empire expelled the Portuguese from Bahrain.

In the United States, Persian Gulf has been the label sanctioned for U.S. Government use since a decision by the State Department's Board of Geographical Names in 1917.

Considering the historical background of the name Persian Gulf, Sir Arnold Wilson mentions in a book, published in 1928 that: “No water channel has been so significant as Persian Gulf to the geologists, archaeologists, geographers, merchants, politicians, excursionists, and scholars whether in past or in present. This water channel which separates the Iran Plateau from the Arabia Plate, has enjoyed an Iranian Identity since at least 2200 years ago.

The International Hydrographic Organization, an international body for provision of hydrographic information for world-wide marine navigation and other purposes, uses the name "Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf)" for this body of water. This is outlined in reference S-23 (Limits of Oceans and Seas), section 41.

The group of experts on Geographical Names was set up by the secretary-general of the United Nations in pursuance of economic and Social council resolution 715A(XXVII) on April 23, 1959 and has endorsed 'Persian Gulf' as the official name for this body of water.

On almost all maps printed before 1960, and in most modern international treaties, documents and maps, this body of water is known by the name "Persian Gulf". This reflects traditional usage since the
Greek geographers Strabo and Ptolemy, and the geopolitical realities of the time with a powerful Persian Empire (Iran) comprising the whole northern coastline and a scattering of local emirates on the Arabian coast.

Until the 1960s Arab countries used the term "Persian Gulf" as well , however with the rise of Arab nationalism (Pan-Arabism) in the 1960s, most Arab states started adopting the term "Arabian Gulf" (in Arabic: al-kaiīj al-arabi) to refer to the waterway. However, this naming has not been recognized by the United Nations or any other international organizations.

The United Nations Secretariat on several occasions has requested that only "Persian Gulf" be used as the official and standard geographical designation for the body of water. Most recently, the UN Secretariat has issued two editorial directives in 1994 and 1999 mentioning that only the term "Persian Gulf" should be used in UN documents. The use of the name 'Arabian Gulf' was described to be 'faulty' by the Eighth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, Berlin, 27 August September 2002. At the Twenty-third session of the United Nations in March–April 2006, the name "Persian Gulf" was confirmed again as the legitimate and official term to be used by members of the United Nations. The group discussed the naming issue during its 23rd session, held in Vienna from March 28 to April 4, 2006. According to the report of the meeting, the Convenor "noted that countries could not be prohibited from using or creating exonyms."

Associated Press manual on usage elaborates: Persian Gulf is the “long-established name” and the best choice. “Some Arab nations call it the Arabian Gulf. Use Arabian Gulf only in direct quotations and explain in the text that the body of water is more commonly known as the Persian Gulf.

The United Kingdom government's Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use (PCGN) has endorsed the term 'The Persian Gulf' as the correct term for the body of water.

National Geographic Society uses the name Persian Gulf to refer to this body of water. In 2004, the society published a new edition of its National Geographic Atlas of the World using the term "Arabian Gulf" as an alternative name (in smaller type and in parentheses) for "Persian Gulf". This resulted in heavy protests by many Iranians, especially the Internet user community. On December 30, 2004, the society reversed its decision and published an Atlas Update, removing the parenthetical reference and adding a note: "Historically and most commonly known as the Persian Gulf, this body of water is referred to by some as the Arabian Gulf."