Why Roxana?

Saberi's case may be aimed at testing President Obama and his resolve


Why Roxana?
by Trita Parsi

Tehran's sentencing of Roxana Saberi to eight years of prison for spying has shocked people inside and outside the country. At a time when President Barack Obama is seeking a dialogue with Tehran, what kind of a signal does Roxana's sentencing send, especially given that the trial failed to meet the basic standards set by international conventions to which Iran is party?

According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), the Iranian authorities didn't even disclose the laws she allegedly violated, nor did they announce under what article of the law she was indicted.

Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist who has been living in Iran since 2003, was first arrested in January. She was accused of buying wine. The allegation was later changed to engaging in illegal activities by continuing to report after her press credentials were revoked in 2006. Then, during her closed-door trail on April 13, 2009, the authorities changed the charge once again. Now she was accused of spying for the US government.

As Hadi Ghaemi of ICHRI has pointed out, "to arrest Saberi for buying wine and suddenly uncover evidence a week before her trial that she was spying for the United States government lacks credibility."

So why is this happening to Saberi? Most analyst agree that she has become a pawn in the political games between the US and Iran, though the explanations for Tehran's actions differ.

One theory reads that both Saberi and Esha Momeni, another Iranian American who was arrested in 2008, will be used as leverage with the US in a future negotiation, possibly to exchange for two Iranian nationals taken by US forces in a 2007 raid of the Iranian consulate in Irbil, Iraq. Tehran maintains that the two Iranians are diplomats. The Bush administration said that they were Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps agents. (US forces arrested five Iranians - three of them have been released, but two of them remain in US custody.)

Some have speculated that the case is an effort by hardliners in the Iranian Judiciary who seek to undermine US-Iran negotiations. This would fit an old pattern in which Iranian hardliners often used their influence in the Judiciary or the Intelligence ministry to create roadblocks for any US-Iran diplomacy. President Ahmadinejad's public comments that Saberi should be given the opportunity to appeal her case, may support this theory. But it's election season in Iran and Ahmadinejad's comments may also be an effort to boost his popularity with the voters by seeking to eliminate roadblocks to improved US-Iran relations (US-Iran rapprochement enjoys strong support among the Iranian populace).

Alternatively, the Saberi arrest and sentencing may be an effort to sustain the elevated security environment in Iran. The Iranian authorities used tensions with the US, as well as the Bush administration's extensive threats of bombing Iran, to create a heightened security environment in the country to clamp down on internal dissent and deter human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists from challenging the government.

The Obama administration's outreach to Iran, and the President's extensive efforts to change the atmospherics between the two countries - particularly the signal that problems between the US and Iran cannot be resolved through threats and his consistent reference to the Islamic Republic - have largely deprived the Iranian government of the pretext of a perceived US threat.

Saberi's case may be an effort to retain elements of that atmosphere and signal the population that even though the US and Iran may have a dialogue soon, no one should think that regime's internal red lines can be questioned and challenged now. Though most human rights defenders agree that a US-Iran rapprochement will in the long run be very beneficial for the human rights situation in Iran (Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, favors talks on these grounds, for instance), there are signs that a lowering of US-Iran tensions may create a short-term backlash against pro-democracy and human rights forces in the country.

But the motivation of the Iranian authorities may also be of a completely different nature. Tehran has signaled that there is a general consensus among the many power factions in Iran that a dialogue with Washington should be pursued. One of the hesitations that exist, however, is whether President Obama has the ability to deliver and the resolve to stand up against the many forces in Washington - domestic and otherwise - that oppose a US-Iran rapprochement.

Entering into a diplomatic process that fails, many in Tehran fear, would strengthen the case for international sanctions against Iran - as well as potential military action. Just as much as Washington has its many legitimate concerns about Iran's sincerity and ability to come to an agreement with the US in spite of its anti-American ideology, Tehran has its concerns about Washington's - not just President Obama's - intentions and ability to come to terms with the Iranian government.

In his reaction to Obama's Norooz message, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hinted of Iran's hesitations. Insisting that "Changes in words are not adequate," Khamenei asked: "I would like to say that I do not know who makes decisions for America, the president, the congress, behind the scene elements?"

Saberi's case may be aimed at testing President Obama and his resolve at the earliest possible stage. Will the president continue to push for a dialogue in spite of the backlash from anti-dialogue forces in Washington - and will he prevail?

These potential explanations for Tehran's actions may not be mutually exclusive. Similarly, none of them may be valid either - outside speculation about Tehran's motives may once more be off the mark. But mindful of the Iranian Judiciary's handling of the case, the least credible explanation is that Saberi is a spy.

Trita Parsi is president and co- founder of the National Iranian American Council and author of "Treacherous Alliances: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States." First published in Huffington Post.


Recently by Trita ParsiCommentsDate
Bibi’s Three Steps Forward, One Back
Oct 13, 2012
Mistaken Path
Jun 22, 2012
Give Obama Elbow Room on Iran
Jun 15, 2012
more from Trita Parsi
programmer craig


by programmer craig on

One theory reads that both Saberi and Esha Momeni, another Iranian
American who was arrested in 2008, will be used as leverage with the US
in a future negotiation, possibly to exchange for two Iranian nationals
taken by US forces in a 2007 raid of the Iranian consulate in Irbil,

The US doesn't play the hostage game. If we claim those Iranians arrested in Iraq are IRGC members, it i sbecause we think that they are, and we intend to treat them accordingly. With the history between the US and Iran being what it is, with much of the bad blood between the two nations being due to hostage taking both in Iran and in lebanon, it hardly seems rational for anyone in Iran to think that more hostage taking would net a positive result for Iran. But then again, the Islamic Republic can hardly be considered to be a rational actor on the world stage, can it?



by Anonymous111 on

you know, the more I read smhb's comments, the more I become convinced that he is the same person as our good friend Nur, a/k/s Covenant, a/k/a Wahid Azal. 


Dear smhb,

by Jaleho on

Just wanted to thank you for your detailed comment. Although there are a lot of uncertainties in this case, I appreciate both your post and Mr. Parsi's article as a balanced possibilty, not often mentioned here. I think Mr. Paris's reminder that cases like this, or US capture of Iranians in Iraq can be detrimental to any thaw in US-Iran relation, is timely again. Both sides must be vigilant to avoid connecting cases like this, or thatt of Iranians captured in Iraq to any Iran-US future relation. As you can see from comments like Fred's, there are opportunists on both sides waiting just for moments like this to thwart the new effort by Iran and US for a constructive relationship. Cases like these must be and naturally will be discussed, but hopefully on the fringe of the main idea of establishing a lasting and friendly US-Iran relation.

Thanks agian for your comments here, and your timely News links that I always look forward to.


Farhad kashani

by Dariush (not verified) on

You are not going to leave this alone, are you?

Perhaps there has been torture in our history. we are not talking about the times of Adam and Eve here. We are talking about the last few decades when America claimed to be the most democratic and humanitarian country in the world and yet has committed the most horrific crimes all over the world. Yet you say "blind anti-Americanism and mental illness".
One who doesn't admit to truth is blind and deaf!

Don't take me wrong! I am not anti-Americanism. I am anti injustice and it just happens that America has been one of the worst, not just toward Iran, but many other countries.

I feel the same about tortures and unjust punishments in Iran.

Farhad Kashani

Dariush,   So let me

by Farhad Kashani on



So let me get this straight: we didn’t have prisons and didn’t know how to torture in out 2500+ years of history until “America came and show us the way”??? And we didn’t torture people in Evin, or numerous other Evin-type prisons all across the country for centuries, until we “learned American techniques”??? You must not be serious.


The difference between U.S system and IRI system is that an American (fool and misguided and ideologically-driven if you ask me) journalist was the one who came and exposed some mistreatment of prisoners not for U.S prisoners but Iraqis, and no American “vali fgahih” came out and order his arrest or execution. They are talking about it in open and those practices have stopped and all that being said, even some of the mistreatments have been outrageously blown out of proportion by leftist media. Also to be noted, since the birth of this country, no other country, maybe with the exception of Switzerland, Canada and Australia and New Zealand, have been so dedicated to honor the non torture policy. This is the U.S, now what about IRI?

There are hundreds of thousands-times-worst-than Guantanamos as we speak in Iran, if anyone even dares to talk about them only god knows what will happen to him, and its been done against innocent Iranian citizens with techniques that you and I don’t even know about. I know that the media loves to talk about “Waterboarding” since it’s really entertaining, but IRI, as we speak, is using thousand times harsher techniques against our people.


Bottom line Dariush, and I’m not referring to you although you have told me that “Basij is protecting Iran against people like me” (translation: I’m an enemy of Iran), but I have come to this conclusion that we need to classify blind Anti Americanism as a mental illness because it strips one from the slightest ability to think straight.




by Dariush (not verified) on

We had jails for punishment, not Evin. Evin was built to torture political prisoners. Who created Evin and the Idea? America.
Now it has turned into a grinding machine by some in IRI using Americans techniques.

There are better ways to deal with issues than running and feeding these machines. Unless we put humanity first and avoid greed nothing will change.

please let us get back on the wagon and leave this for another time.

Thank You

I suggest more credible Iranian or Iranian-American organisation send e-mails and mediate the release of political prisoners in Iran. That would be more helpful than making threats.


Deliberately avoiding the truth

by KouroshS (not verified) on


I believe the reference was to the history of Torture and how Iranian rulers used such methods against our own citizens way back when, rather than having americans teaching us about torture.


You are off the wagon

by Dariush (not verified) on

This is supposed to be about saberi not you beloved shah. Write something useful!


Farhad Kashani

by Dariush (not verified) on

You said, "furthermore, saying America used torture is absurd".

With all the news about tortures by Americans then and now all over the world that even CIA has admitted, you still deny them? What is next? That America tickles prisoners to death not torture them to death? You are loosing it. You should take your medication!

If saberi didn't work for FOX and her reports were used by FOX for propaganda causing this problem for her, she most likely has had no knowledge and control of that.

Farhad Kashani

Areyo Barzan jaan   I

by Farhad Kashani on

Areyo Barzan jaan


I appreciate your feedback and your points. I understand where you’re coming from.


The point I want to make is that those people applied the term “Ghabzadegi” to an entire spectrum of concept. Please note that all this fundamentalism and terrorism that we see in the Muslim world, including Iran, is a result of the clash between modernization and traditionalism. Khomeini himself said that the 1979 revolution was a “cultural” one before anything, which by the way negates that argument pro IRI people make about that revolution being about alleged “America’s bad behavior towards Iran”, or the “1953 coup”, or “Zionism” and things like that, it was mostly, certainly not all, about traditionalists fearing about the impacts modernization had on our country. Obviously Shah went way too fast in his policies of transforming Iranian society into a modern one, he raised panic among those traditionalists.

And since traditionalists, specially the Mullah segment of society, justify blind violence in attempt to keep those traditions alive, the result is what we see today.





smhb: Iran was colonized?? by jal-al-bigot (not verified)

by smhb on

Wow, such command of history and specially Iran's painful experience with colonization. I know I expect too much from former regime stooges who only understand how to peform lobotomy on dissidents.

Did you learn that as a torturer while emplyed by SAVAK and MOSSAD? Or where you also a trainer of S.Korean, Chilean, Philipino and other friends of the shah and his israeli masters?

Did anyone ever perform a lobotomy on you to correct your severe personality disorder?Or is this a zionist recommended procedure reserved only for the select few? 


Dear Farshad

by Areyo Barzan (not verified) on

Although I do agree with the principals that you present, I thought there are a few points that I needed to mention.

Firstly I think your judgment on Jalal Al Ahmad was a bit harsh and unfair, not because I agree with all his points of view or because I am a Muslim( because I am not) but because I believe that we need to read the views of all people specialy those we are in disagreement before passing any judgments.

You see, one of  the major problems that people like Al-Ahmad and Shariati face is the fact that more often than not their comments are put out of context and blown out of proportion. People often choose one small cutting from a big article and without upholding the context in which those comments were made and use it in their own advantage, to the extend that quiet often it even kills the intent of the original writer.

In many cases people who use these comments have not even opened a book from the person their quoting and they are just quoting what they have heard from someone else.

You see as a nation, this is one of out major problems. We are not a nation of readers but a nation of quoters and gossipers. You might tell me something and I tell it to someone else and he tells another one and so one. Each of us also add to and subtract from it according to our personal taste and after only one cycle the quote has changed so much that it is not even recognizable by the originator.   Most of these people who quote some one have never opened even a book from the person their quoting let alone knowing the original context of the subject in which those comments were made 

For example in case of our friend smhb Jalal Al-Ahmad have never used such phrase as Westixication as this is a very new phrase  and in English but Al-Ahmad is a Farsi Writer. What Al-Ahmad talks about is Gharb Zadegi  and even that is in the context of following another society blindly in expense of ones own culture and identity, and refusing to see the short come of that (for example Western) society along with their chievements, which makes perfect sense. However he never objected to adopting the good aspects, specially technological advancements and social advancements of those societies.  But our friend might have never bothered to read any of Al-Ahmads articles for himself and might not even be able to say which book this phrase is coming from or even name a few books from Al-Ahmad.

Please note that I am not too found of Al-Ahmad my self and do not believe that he was right in all contexts. But it is vital to read all opinion even the ones you do not agree with, assess them fairly and then prepare a prompt response. So even I as a non Muslim see no problem in reading from Shariati and Al-Ahmad an trying to understand and some times agree with  them, as well as challenging them.  

For example in case of Al-Ahmad although he shows a lot of sensitivity about Gharb zadegi and its negative effects on our culture and society (and rightly so), but he refuses to talk about another disease called Arab Zadegi which found its way into our culture under the banner of Islam, and the irreversible damages (such as suppression of women, religious intolerance, supestition and alienation from our own culture and history) that it has caused. He is neither brave enough to break some of the taboos of religion and challenge the supestitions associated with it.

That is were I find other writers like Ali- Dashti, Shoja-Oddin Shafaa and Masood Ansaary much more informative, refreshing and controversial

Just remember that we need to read  and listen to all opinions with patient, especially the ones whit which we are in disagreement. If we are sure about our own conviction and we know that we have made a right and educated choice then we have noting to fear

Farhad Kashani

Dariush,   Offcourse

by Farhad Kashani on



Offcourse Basijis get killed everyday for defending the regime against “people like me”, people who want a free, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Iran. We are IRI’s worst enemies. They have killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, and imprisoned millions of us. Your beloved Khamanei has brainwashed them to think that killing “people like me” (infidels, kafar, liberals,,,,) will be rewarded in haven, and in the process if they lose their lives, they will go to haven!


You wanna accept the logic of a Fascist, barbaric, fundamentalist, terrorism promoting, death culture inspiring regime, go ahead, I won’t stop you. But don’t ever think that Iranians will follow your path.


Furthermore, saying America used torture is absurd, and following up by saying “Iran learned these techniques from America, otherwise, they would not have torture people” is unbelievably absurd. What kind of logic is that? How difficult is it to torture someone? Thousands of years before the birth of America, Iranian kings tortured their opposition. If anything we, along with Romans and Assyrians and others, might be pioneers of torture! We, Persians, might have not tortured others, but damn sure tortured our people! So you’re saying IRI or Shah are some peace loving regimes, but “America taught them how to torture, that’s why they started torturing”!! Can you even comprehend how moronic that sounds?


Offcourse IRI people in Iraq are spies. Rafsanjani said once that if we want, we can reduce violence in Iraq. What does that mean? Maybe you need to think about that. IRI is the main party behind the mass killings done by Shites, and some Sunnis, in Iraq. How do you think they get their weapons and funding? Where do you think Muqtada Sadr lives? What do you think Muqtada Sadr does in Iraq? Promote feminism?!! He wants to be like Khomeini. A blood sucking, war mongering, Fascist vampire.

Farhad Kashani

Smhb,   It is not us,

by Farhad Kashani on



It is not us, rather you who sold out. You sold Iran to the global Socialist ideology; you sold Iran in the name of a blind anti Western rhetoric. It's you people who have held Iran back. Any type of progress and advance is always labeled as “Westoxiation”. You and your beloved Jalal Al Ahmad. This term has devastated any movement for progress, for application of human rights in our country, peace with itself and others, normal relations with the world, respect for our country and economical, technological and social advances. This label has devastated Iran. Every time anyone wanted to come up with ways so Iran can benefit from other’s advancements in human rights, technology, economy, he was immediately bashed and trashed as “ghabzadeh”. No word is more responsible for the situation Iran is now than that dumb foolish concept. A concept which is a mixture of misguided traditions and utopian worldview which has no sign of any liberal school of though in it.


And let me finish by saying this, if there were poor people in Iran pre 1979, now their numbers have multiplied. If they were looting by Shah and his family who were about 6-7 or a little more, now there is a group of 200 who do that at a much larger scale. If there were human rights violation, Khomeini has made not only Shah, but even Hitler look good. If we had any International respect for our culture, now that has demolished. Because we have an ideology of IGNORANCE ruling our country now. Pure ignorance. And you come out and defend it. That’s very sad.


Your socialist ideology is what has led us to the miserable situation Iran is in now. And you come around after 30 years, after enjoying all the freedoms and possibilities that the “evil” West society has to offer, bashing and trashing it.


Smhb, the people in Iran at one point believed that stupid term means something. Now, especially the new generation which is the majority, laughs at these concepts. They want peace, freedom, advance, progress, economic opportunity, respect for our country in the world not only among a bunch of Islamic fundamentalist like the regime that rules them, but everyone. That mentality belongs in the museum. Posting news from communist and socialist websites and promoting for their views on Iranian.com is not going to brainwash but a few people. Cause the Iranian people have woken up. Take my word. The sooner you realize the better.


Areyo Barzan

by Dariush (not verified) on

Don't get ahead of yourself! I was being sarcastic about your knowledge. Unless, you can come up with something practical under these circumstances.


Into the third phase

by Areyo Barzan (not verified) on

Well this is just like a clock work. First they start with a watery  and poor “logic” and pretend as they know it all. A few exchanges down the line when all of the arguments are defeated then they try to reformat the same question hoping to divert the discussion and extract another answer, and finally as they keep getting the same answer and when their arguments get defeated  and even their knowledge base is discredited over and over again, then they resort to insults, personal  attacks and attempting to shoot the messenger instead of addressing the message.

You see my friend although you might find these methods new and cunning . we have been dealing with them over past many years. The only difference is that in here when they loose the argument they even attack us physically and even arrest us.

The bottom line is that I have already explained the situation to you in black and white and everybody needs to make their own decision


Pretty obvious why Iran is in such a state as it is now!

by choghok on

The way most of people behave here shows exactly why we are in this situations. Some people accuse a person to be a spy without a shred of evidence. Other people call people/organizations names for expressing their views and analyzing the situation in Iran.

I would guess that as an Iranian you have to all be killed in Evin to be trusted by your fellow countrymen. This is really sick. 

/Bidar bash ke ma bekhabim


smhb: Iran was colonized??

by jal-al-bigot (not verified) on

smhb: Iran was colonized?? Indegenous culture?? Westoxification as opposed to Eastoxification? That bigoted Jalala Ahamd; The father of modern violent, militant Islam has infected the minds of commies like yours for genterations; and your affliction can only be cured by lobotomy.


Farhad Kashani

by Dariush (not verified) on

The Basigi you refer to might have been killed for defending Iran from people like you, amongst others who attacked Iran. I do find his answer logical and a perfect answer. I am sure it made the prisoner think for a few days. Understanding that what goes around, comes around. The same thing that some in IRI and western countries and Israel should be thinking.

You didn't get the point.
I said, the tortures you see today are as the result of American government's conducts and trainings in dealing with resistance. Iran started copying these techniques from America, since it has helped America to dominate and oppress others, and IRI has succeeded in doing so, as well. Again, the sad part is that Americans use the tortures mostly on others and IRI is using them on Iranians. Not that there should be any torture. This is unfortunately one of some Iranians faults like yourself, if I can even refer to you as Iranian, since I very much doubt that.

Just like How you criticize Iran for torture, but defend west and Israel for that. Just like when you say the Iranians kidnapped from embassy in Iraq were spies, without any proof, but the hostages taking in Iran from American embassy was a barbaric act, even though they are all very much the same. You are a propaganda machine loaded with lies and contradictions.


Dear Areyo Barzan

by Dariush (not verified) on

Where is the logic in this?
You call the idea of improvements and gradual change a wishful thinking. How is the changing of the whole system a realistic thinking? If you cannot get to change some simpler laws, how are you going to change a major issue like the supreme leader? or the whole government? This is the reality! I guess as long as you are wishing, you would rather to wish big.

This is exactly how it all starts, and soon becomes something different like IRI.
You started your writings with "in my humble opinion" and in a few hours you are the know all and leading the nation and shutting up others. You are beginning to sound like electric_samavar. He/she also bragged like you about how knowledgeable he/she was, but we didn't see much of a wisdom in him/her. He/she might pop up after this comment. Watch out!

Since you are not advocating war on Iran, that is good enough for me, I am not going to argue with you. Specially, since you are very knowledgeable and I am no match for you.

Good Luck


Farhad Kashani

by smhb on

Everytime I read your comments I am more amazed since I realize the typa sold out souls that had packed the former regimes ranks. Those who used to worship at the altar of the western god. Those who had been so blinded by what the late Jalal Ale Ahmad used to call westoxication. Those who had a modern 20th century appearance yet they were devoid of any decent character traits. Those who had official education yet knew nothing of their people and their culture. Those who were busy looting the treasury every opportunity they got. Those who gladly were serving the interests of foreign powers and actually considered themselves Iranian nationalists. Talk about self deception and denial of monumental magnititudes. Thats what you remind me of Mr. Kashani.

Having breifly touched on that, I also find it amazing that you seem to be unable to stick to the points I have made and allow your zeal and hostility to take the better of you which forces you in the direction of a tirade of accusations and ...... I just took the opportunity to respond to.

The regimes of reza shah the illiterate thief and his son was a period of plunder, robbery, colonization and looting of Iran's wealth not to mention the total destruction of its indigenous identity and culture. The by product of which seems to be people like you who serve their foreign masters and advocate invasion and occupation of Iran by foreign powers and dont blink an eye. 

You are a piece of work.

Farhad Kashani

Dariush,   It’s sad

by Farhad Kashani on



It’s sad that you take the moronic answer of some Fascist Basijdi as “logic”, as if he was right in what he said! If IRI shouldn’t be at fault, why didn’t the “kind hearted” IRI build another, better prison? The conditions in Evin are thousands time worse than pre 1979 and a million times worse than Guantanamo, but global Leftist media and forces do not talk about Evin. Fascist regimes such as IRI use Xenophobia and anti Western and anti government rhetoric to get to power. It’s only an excuse. Shah was bad, Khomeini was the devil himself. That’s the difference.


IRI is one of the biggest operators of spies in the world. Those “Iranian citizens” you claim who were arrested by the U.S (and Iraqis in Iraq) were nothing but spies. If America wanted to arrest “regular” Iranian citizens, well, it could arrest the hundreds that go everyday to visit the holy shrines, so why those? Cause they were chaos causers. Also, since when does IRI give a flying crap about diplomatic immunity and things like that? IRI showed the world from the first day its savage nature when it occupied U.S embassy and took the staff hostage.


If you listen to IRI officials, some of them have said before that they have operatives. IRIs intelligence and spying activities is way stronger than any Western service, because they spend all their time and resources not for constructive things, but rather on how to come up with better instruments and policies to cause chaos in the world and insure their survival.


Here are the motives behind her arrest:


1-     Discouraging Iranian – Americans and Expatriate Iranians from going to Iran and participate in reporting and other civil society activities.

2-     IRI doesn’t want relations with the U.S. Even if some elements do, because of the irrational blind anti Americanism perpetuated by Khomeini, it has dag such a hole for itself that it cannot possibly give up its past rhetoric and stance and establish relations with the U.S. Since Obama was foolish enough to initiate good gesture, IRI wants to kill that by arresting an American citizen.

3-     Terrorizing Iranians inside Iran and others not to get involve in any civil society activities.

4-     Engage in blind Anti Americanism propaganda to say that U.S has “spies”. Even if U.S does have spies, and I’m sure IRI has spies inside the U.S, Roxana Saberi is NOT A SPY.


Dear thanks- Thanks

by Abarmard on

It's a pleasure to have people such as you and those who get their ideology from Channel One, dislike my views. Yes, your ideology is against people like me and not religious fanatics, you got that right. In thirty years only a few TV clowns are remaining as the opposing ideology to the IR, perhaps is time for you guys to upgrade.

Happy Friday


Give Iran and the CIA some Credit

by eroonman on

The CIA would be really stupid if Saberi was not spying for the CIA.

Despite 1953, the CIA is NOT stupid.

Iran would be really stupid if they convicted Saberi without tangible embarrassing (to the US) proof.

Despite Ahmadinejad, Iran is NOT stupid.

Anyone who thinks that the VOA and NPR is not part of the US government needs a serious slap.

Anyone who thinks Iran is run by a bunch of timid nerdy mollahs who don't have a clue how to maneuver against the US, needs a swift kick in their aspirations.

You Can't Always Get what You want


AAH, Same old boring excuses, over and over and over again

by Areyo Barzan (not verified) on

Dear Darush and Abarmard

 I am afraid I see noting new in your responses but the same old jargon spewed by the IRI and its apologists. 

The typical old line used by these groups is that whenever somebody complains about the lack of human right in Iran or corruption and incompetence of the IRI’s administration, these people claim that such problems are common every where in the world and even in the West and U.S.

First of all who says that we have to model ourselves after the West? If we are to model our society after any other and get inspiration from them, there are much better point references in our own history. Secondly it is really beyond me that why on the earth these people only see the problems of the West and compares them with IRI’s record. But when it comes to human rights freedom of speech and economical competence they conveniently look the other way. The fact is that they are not even honest enough to compare the problems transparently and honestly.

For example a few months ago one of Ahmadinejad’s ministers announced in the Majless that $85bn of oil money is gone missing and he was penalised and striped of his rank for doing such thing without any body asking about this money and what happened to it, on the other hand last month the British Home Secretary was penalized in frond of British parliament for a 10 pounds yes you heard me correctly 10 pounds of illegitimate claim on her expenses. Now you tell me where is the point of comparison between those two.

It is funny that how many absurd excuses these people use and to what extend they go to evade responsibility. The latest one of these foolish excuses was to blame the system for individual crimes and corruptions. Or claiming that the murder of over twenty thousand political prisoners was out of fear and understandable well mate you should have been the defence lawyer of Nazis in Nuremberg as they could also claim that they committed the holocaust out of fear. Really guys, you need to do much better than this. At least put some thoughts and efforts in your responses. The points of flawed in your arguments are so many that I do not even know where to begin from. You guys really need to investigate and read a few books before starting to argue, as an example I would like to say to Darush that the prisoner in your prison story was not some generals but it was Amir Abbas Hoveida. Now, do you even know who he was? The fact of the matter is that you know noting about your history recent or distant, and I bet even your story was nicked from a quiz, set by JJ in this very same site. That is how deep your knowledge really goes.

Also I really erg Abarmard to pick up a book about the French revolution and learn about how many stages it went through and how many lots came in and were thrown out again through violence and war. It is out of the scope of this article but whenever you want I can discuss the French revolution with you and mention its fundamental differences with the mayhem of 1979. As a small example the first difference is that the French did not have a supreme leader who was representing God on the earth and beyond the law.

Secondly I do not really understand why you people automatically assume that any one who apposes IRI must be living abroad. When was the last time you have been to Iran and spoke to people in the streets or the workers in the factories floors here?

You also mention that

 On this threat, most of us don't agree with one another, consider a country that needs to come together to have a stable and a democratic system. If time is given, this most people in this threat would begin to compromise based on the concept of understanding.

However you refuse to see the most fundamental difference between this site and the atmosphere in Iran under the IRI’s suppression, which is FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

If JJ started to sensor all the opinions that he disagreed with and blocked all people who did not think like him, or if he started to send his cronies aruond to beat up those people who dare to contradict him in order to shot them up (just as IRI is doing) there would and could have never been any understanding.

However I agree with you in two points

Firstly the fact that the IRI is noting like what it started as. In many ways it turned out to become a monster much worst than what we all imagined

Secondly I agree that a regime change on its own, although necessary could not address all our problems and there are social issues in our country which has to be tackled in long term and corrected gradually. But in order to do that the right foundation should be laid first and the environment should be ready. This could only be achieved by getting rid of the IRI.

Apart from that I found noting new in your postings but the same old boring excuses and in many cases you did not even bother to read my article properly before raising a question that I have already answered or doing a bit of investigation on the issues you are talking about

Finally I would like to thank the Anonymous writer under the name of ‘thanks’.

I would erg you to go to the links I provided and learn about MAHASTIM national movement when you learned enough and if you belived this is  movement for you then join us and take part in saving our country


Dear Areyo Barzan

by Dariush (not verified) on

You said, the root of the problem is IRI. I think IRI has many problems, some caused by some in IRI, but many created due to the western countries involvements as you have mentioned. Therefore, west would be the root of the problems.

America herself is in a deep hole without any of the issues Iran has been subjected to. Can you imagine how would it be in America, if they were sanctioned and face the same issues as Iran has been for years? There are thieves in every government less or more and they will pay for it, if America don't help them to get away with it, as they did with Pahlavis and many others.

I think you got some points that IRI has had many years to improve the humanitarian issues, but hasn't done so. Maybe their fear have blinded them and they think by killing a few more they are reducing the opposition. Maybe some devils are playing God thinking justice will not catch up with them. perhaps they should listen to what they preach.

Yes, some laws are not fair and must be changed too, in respect to minorities and women and others in general. Don't you think changing a few laws is more possible than changing the whole government? I think this is the point Abarmard is making. If we cannot get them to change a few laws, I very much doubt, if we can change the whole system, specially under this circumstances. That is what he is saying, by bringing democracy step by step. Frankly, when you all speak of changing the whole government, you create more fear, thus making it so much harder to change the laws and endangering the lives of oppositions in Iran.

I am sure Abarmard is not an IRI apologist, as you said. He just has a little different opinion than you. You would have had more luck accusing me of that. Didn't you say, we should be able to speak freely?

Speaking against a government's crimes is not a crime. We wish all the innocent political prisoners be freed.

Thank you


Dear aynak

by Abarmard on

How is Mr. Parsi responsible for your accusations?

How is this not a political issue?

Can your own comment be perceived to changing the "real" issue here?


My point is proven through this thread

by aynak on


The issue of arrest and conviction of an Iranian-American without any type of

due legal process should be the subject of all discussions. Instead, as is usual

for both sides, the real issue at hand is forgotten and instead anything from

French revolution, advantages of west over all others, fations within IR ......


I have a feeling, we collectively have not reached the level of maturity and

understanding to view and treat basic human rights beyound our ideological

glasses. When the discussion drops down to if Bush is worse than AhmadiNejad

or vice versa, it proves the lack of interest in the real issue which is the defence

of our basic human rights, regardless of if we are in Iran or U.S.

Trita, by de-focusing on the real issue has turned this to yet another useless

position versus opposition. What a golden opportunity we miss, not just in

terms of defending human rights in this case our very own, but also making

an institution like NIAC a much more even handed and useful organization to

Iranian-American community.

There must be better ways to secure the release of Iranian nationals arrested in

Iraq, than involving from all evidence an innocent person.


Areyo barazan: Your

by thanks (not verified) on

Areyo barazan: Your observations are insightful and refershingly informative. Unlike other highly vested commenters on this site, they are rooted 1) in common sense 2)in real facts and not propagandist version of reality.

Don't mind Abarmard's nonsensical hyperbolic rationalization. He is part and parcel of the system that he defend. He is the status quo. Hiw views are what true Iranians (as opposed to radical islamist's views) are up against.



Areyo Barzan

by Abarmard on

Your ideas are based on time, that can be quantified by results. So let's focus on that portion of your argument. Firstly, name one revolution during the history that has given it's true path in thirty years. Those who were successful and those that failed. Thirty years are baby years for a history of a country. If we were to judge the Frech revolution during the first thirty years, we would be much harsher to that system than IRI.

Do you believe that the government and system of Iran today is similar to that of twenty years ago? I would argue that in most cases the core has even changed.

We can talk about the economy, based on the quantifiable factors rather than your claim of "infinite amount of resources", which even in the case of the richest country(ies) in the world, is an absurd claim.

We can also talk about the culture of corruption rather than a system of corruption. The largest democracy in the world is, as claimed, India and I would argue that Iran today is Sweden in comparison to the political corruption with India. Let's not compare Iran to India but to her European sister (based on the background and culture). That would be Either Greece or Italy. Now, let's talk about corruption! Make sense?

The point being that if you believe that stealing the wealth of our nation would be exclusively done by this regime, then you are mistaking. However your political views, the importance, as you have mentioned, is not to pretend that you are sleep. So read and investigate what's happening, rather than being emotionally charges without logical backup. Before making any statement, try question in in your mind, such as:

What are the ways for our society to minimize the corruption in government?

In this case you will see the importance of society and modernity in regard to any government, not the format of a system!

From the level of freedom, democracy, corruption or civility, we must look both ways. Cultural way and legal or governmental way.

This would be a long piece if we need to give a detailed view but it's worth thinking about and investigating by your own. Let's look and see that if we wanted to help the Iranian people, what  can we do. Let's say that we want to empower the people to decide for themselves what's best. I won't tell them nor would you. How would you accomplish that?
That should be our objective not the regime change, economic reforms or etc., while living in the West. This kind of thinking would be fruitful and can help Iranian.

Those decisions must be given to the people who live in Iran. Our objective as mentioned, should only be for the benefit of the people and respect of their ways along with constructive criticism that assists the intellectuals inside to move forward. We should offer those help and capabilities rather than prescribe solutions  while being so far, so distant for so long, which takes away our coherence about the realities of the land.