What does the Iranian public really think?

Discussions at the New American Foundation

Washington, DC, February 3, 2010:

Panel 1, Analysis of the polling data. Participants are Steven Kull, Director, WorldPublicOpinion.org, and Jon Cohen, Director of Polling, Washington Post:

Panel 2, Implications for US Policy, Flynt Leverett, Director, Iran Initiative, New American Foundation, Publisher, "The Race for Iran"; Hooman Majd, Author, "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ"; Barbara Slavin, auhor, "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US, and the Twisted Path to Confrontation"; Moderator: Steve Clemons, Director, American Strategy Program, New American Foundation, Publisher, The Washington Note.


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marhoum Kharmagas

Vildee joon

by marhoum Kharmagas on

hehe, Vildee joon, my comment to you was nice (read it again). I am not Q, although I have great respect for him.


MK: You're Q

by vildemose on

MK: You're Q yourself...

I will not respond further to your silly tit for tat...Grow up Q!

marhoum Kharmagas

good one Vildee!

by marhoum Kharmagas on

"Q will surely fail those tests."

That is a good one, I like to see Q's response to that!  



by vildemose on

I think all future leaders of Iran need to pass psychological tests to determine their mental health.

Q will surely fail those tests.


Amir1973: agreed. It might

by vildemose on

Amir1973: agreed. It might take a few years before the Green movement reaches that conclusion. We just have to wait.

marhoum Kharmagas


by marhoum Kharmagas on

I am aware that people such as Dr. Sahimi support Mousavi .... but they are not Mousavi. That is why I said I hope 'in time' they come to power...



by AMIR1973 on

 Q and Sahimi are supporters of Moussavi and Khatami. IRI has proven itself to be unreformable in any fundamental way. I wish it weren't so. I wish peaceful, meaningful reform of the system were possible. However, 31 years of history have proven otherwise. IMO, the only way out for Iranians from this misery and torment is to replace the murdering dictatorship with a democratic state that respects the human rights of my people, the Iranian people (mardom-e Iran). Regards.

marhoum Kharmagas

Progressive patriotic Greens (to Amir3791)

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Amir agha, havaaset kojast? did you see Mousavi, Karroubi, Rafi, Khatami.. in the progressive list that I have down below?

Indeed all those people that you mentioned are responsible for laying a bad foundation for the new system after the revolution.


"Progressive patriot" Greens were in power from 1981-2005

by AMIR1973 on

Moussavi was premier from 1981-1989, when tens of thousands of Iranians were killed by the regime; Rafsanjani was president from 1989-1997; and Khatami was president from 1997-2005 (all of whom are devoted to this very day to the Killer-in-Chief and individual most responsible for the 31-year madness, i.e. Emam-e Aziz Khomeini--one of the most sinister, ruthless, and destructive figures in thousands of years of Iranian history). These folks are not  "opportunists" at all. The years from 1981-2005 were a Real Golden Age of executions, prison rapes, torture, lashings, hangings, stonings, and corruption for Iranians. Oh yeah, those were "progressive" times alright.

marhoum Kharmagas

your "lousy propaganda or hallucination "! (to Jaleh)

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Jaleh-e azeez, although I hope in time progressive patriotic greens (e.g, Dr. Sahimi, Q,  ..) come to power in Iran, I wish for continued failure of opportunist "greens" such as Sazegara, Makhmalbaf, Monarchists,......, and the noisy right/ultra right wing "freedom fighters". So not only I don't mind your "lousy propaganda or hallucination " I enjoy it!



onlyIran: Precisely. Jaleho

by vildemose on

onlyIran: Precisely. Jaleho comments are mostly monologues with herself/himself, which can only indicate either lousy propaganda or hallucination of a schizoid.


Minus unreliable data, same old data

by maqshush on

I've posted the same comments at //iranian.com/main/blog/sargord-pirouz/multiple-polls-do-not-show-support-regime-change-analysis which refers to the full set of reports on these polls.

Haven't looked thoroughly through the reports (not that it looks like anyone here has) but several issues come to mind.  This WPO analysis is done on 3 different poll sets: one released by WPO last Aug.-Sep., one conducted by the Canadian GlobeScan, and a "recently-released" set by U. Tehran.  The latter 2 sets were conducted even earlier than Aug. of last year.  So basically, there are no new poll data than what was already known, except for the U. Tehran ones, which for some reason were only released recently, though conducted more than 6 months ago.

1st off, as Hooman Majd argues in the second video SP has linked to, the U. Tehran polls are completely unreliable.  The atmosphere of conformity and intimidation is so strong in today's Iran that it's fair to assume no academic would publish polls contrary to the official party line.  (Don't forget that there have been reports of Dr. Alimohammadi's, the physicist associated w/ Iran's nuclear effort, house being searched and documents seized the day before his bomb assassination.)  Suspicion is further substantiated when the footnote on p. 3 of the report at //www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/feb10/I... tells you that the contact for the U. Tehran data is none other than Prof. Seyed Mohammad Marandi.  In case you've forgotten about him, let him speak for himself
//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZarZPtZ-oZQ&fmt=18 and //www.youtube.com/watch?v=SipzSQxmb9M#t=262

The GlobeScan survey was actually contracted to a company in Iran, which again raises suspicions of subservience to official party line.  WPO itself acknowledges the possibility of fraud in the polls conducted inside Iran, but says that it examined patterns of responses between the different sets of polls and found them to be consistent.  However, since the U. Tehran results (which seem to contain the largest data set of the group) were not released until recently, couldn't they have been ever-so-gently massaged to be made consistent w/ the other poll results already released for several months?  WPO also says that to account for possible inhibitions on the part of the respondents, it also did an analysis on those who claimed to have voted for Moussavi, assuming that they were less afraid of responding truthfully.  But did they include the unreliable inside-Iran polls when doing the latter analysis?

Basically, minus the unreliable inside-Iran polls, the data is exactly what was publicized and discussed last Sep. by the same organization.  Stephen Kull (one of the report authors) said back then that the refusal of one in four respondents to reveal whom they voted for was an "extremely high number ... [and] suggests that people have some discomfort with this topic."  Other criticisms were directed at the poll results at the time, with the most recognized one being that Iranians won't honestly express their opinions.  Why not next send pollsters to S. Korea to randomly call people in the North and ask their opinions on the Dear Leader and his nuclear program?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


While I agree with your analysis there is one problem we have. These idiots are going around shaping American public opinion. Therefore we must fight them at every level. Otherwise their BS will be the only voice there.


A non-event

by benross on

Last night I was watching Charlie Rose program on 'A look at Israel and Iran' in which, with the exception of short comments of Abbas Milani and one other member of the panel -and the host- there were an astonishing absence of common sense. 


Now, after wasting two hours of my time watching these videos, I came to conclusion that common sense is not part of the language of advocacy groups, on either side of the issues in US.

Two hours of presentation and discussion on irrelevance. This is what it amounts to. I wonder what would have been the New American Foundation point, seventy years ago, arguing that the majority of Germans are supporting Hitler... with numbers to prove it!

But just a reminder to obvious may be useful, at least to myself, not feeling that watching these videos was two hours total waste.

This presentation was set to clarify the following three points:

• Ahmadinejad did not win the June 12 Iranian election.

Well, this was never my personal concern and I never argued about the election result, which in my view, although rigged as usual, was somewhat representative of the social balance.

• The Iranian people perceive the current government as illegitimate.

Therefore, the issue should never have been the 'current government' but the 'current regime'. I don't understand what the panel wants to prove? that those who went to streets and protested should go back home and go about their lives and leave the regime alone? How do you want to convince them to do so, with tools other than torture and killing and raping and lies currently in use?

• The opposition, should it come to power, would have policies much more favorable to the US.

Again, when the issue is misdirected toward the 'current government' and not the 'current regime', then the content of its foreign policy within IRI doesn't change, no matter who is in power. The only reason 'reformists' can't gain power in IRI is that they will last only few days, before the overthrown of the regime. If this doesn't happen, it's only because no real reformist will ever come to real power in IRI.

Few obvious things, basic common sense, which eludes these observers and excites guilt ridden IRI supporters with their twisted mind and sadistic pleasure. This is just a non event.


Is it just me

by Onlyiran on

or is reading this "Jaleho" user's comments and blogs like reading old Soviet propaganda?  Dry, dictated, devoid of any kind of an intelligent discussion of issues and solely intended to persuade the gullible.  

If anyone believes that anonymous telephone polls in a dictatorship, where people expect the government to be proactively trying to locate and arrest dissidents, is an accurate measure of public opinion, they should rip up whatever college degree they have and use it as toilet paper. 


Ooops, Niloufar jan,

by Jaleho on

I haven't seen you, IRANdokht, Mehrnaz or KHarmas around, so I thought I am OK shooting my mouth off here a bit :-)

My comment was not meant for your pretty eyes of course!


comments from:

by vildemose on


 From: //enduringamerica.com/2010/02/04/latest-iran-video-what-do-the-iranian-people-really-think-4-february/


So…it’s a panel on what the Iranian public thinks, but only one Iranian, a guy who used to work for Ahmadinejad no less, is invited to speak. This is going to look SOOOO racist later. Somebody will probably write a book about it, and “pulling a Leverett” will become a term for trying to use statistics to cover up racism for purposes of oil extraction and kickbacks.

  1. From the Methodology for All Three Surveys:
    “GlobeScan’s professional staff designed the questionnaire and arranged for it to be conducted by a commercial survey research agency in Tehran which they had previously used for Iran surveys. ”

    So GlobeScan used another unnamed company in Tehran to run the survey. That is very trustworthy. Also the fact that the same company was used in the past, means that Iran’s government has had a chance to notice that survey company and perpetrate it.

    About University of Tehran survey conduct:
    “an academic pilot project by a group of University of Tehran professors and researchers as part of a plan to inaugurate a University of Tehran”

    Shouldn’t the profs that commissioned the surveys, have their names stated with their work? How do we know if the “group of professors” had a balanced spectrum of political views, or that they were all Marandi clones.


Tête à Claques

by Quebeqi on

For M. Kadivar

In Québec we have our own type of Têtes à Claques and I guess, in some ways, they match these experts ;vB


FYI According to the creator, this funny video was downloaded by three persons in Iran. Unfortunatelly, it was not being translated to Persian yet.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Keep on dreaming. Not matter what happens on Bahman 22 this regime is illegitimate.

IRR may use rape; murder; intimidation and keep the demonstrations down. That does not lend legitimacy to your dear IRR. On the contrary it adds to their crimes. Which are mounting by the day. 

It is times like these when people really show what they are made of. 


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: Nothing New

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The first link is to CS Monitor which simply quotes the discredited  World Public Opinion poll. I am not going to go into details of its problems but you can find them in many of the comments here. 

The second one is more of a long winded debate. It proves nothing other than the opinion of its writers and is contradicted by the Chatham house study. 

The real problem with AN's election goes deeper. The problem is that the candidates were pre-approved by the Guardian Council. The voters did not have a free choice of candidate therefore the elections are by definition not free; and not valid. 

So whatever these studies say does not matter. The system is rigged.

Niloufar Parsi

hats off to GS for great videos

by Niloufar Parsi on

Jaleho jan: you got some gall gal! :)

but the evidence supports your position.

AO jan: ok J is rubbing it in, but what about all the evidence? isn't it at all feasible that they might be right? perhaps the great majority of us here are really out of touch with what's going on?

i guess we will know better on 22 bahman. 

Truth Seeker

Nothing New

by Truth Seeker on

After election similar poll and statistical analysis showed that AN won fair and square.
But is hard on Pure Persians and Israeli Agents to accept this. Well suck on it





by shushtari on

you are on the same sinking ship as the mullahs....you're among the very few IRR supporters who somehow think of the mullahs as God's gift to iran!!!

I have to bite my tongue.....otherwise JJ will for sure delete my post 


There is something fishy here..

by faryarm on

There is something fishy here..

even with the people we like to think have no agenda..

because their loud on camera GQ look and almost flawless american english together with deceptively brilliant commentary on Iran, can fool even the average iranian, never mind the washington foreign policy intelligencis.

In the years ahead, no doubt  the Truth will be revealed and made crystal clear as to who was for whom and whose pulling the "tweed" over our eyes...  :) 




by vildemose on

overhauling an internationally recognized  process of democratic election so that you get what you want.???

What does that mean?? Are you suggesting that Ahmadinejad won the election or that the IRI is a democracy??? Are you upset the Mrs. Amini likend the IRI to Nazis Germany??


Re: no experts

by پندارنیک on

What is it you are suggesting? overhauling an internationally recognized  process of democratic election so that you get what you want. Who do You think you are? Now you have stretched your tongue into Germany and Reich. It's been more than 30 years of your( you, your own ) wretched situation as a refugee in the West with no tangible end in sight, yet you qualify yourself talk about Germany? Why not trying to shut up for a while? 


what a hodge podge

by hakimbob on

these guys are so off . Why post and circulate this B.S.?? Have we forgotten how thye counted the vote, how they re-counted the votes? How bogus their numbers were? Thanks to these US elites, they want to shove down another Coup governemt down our throat. Not again, Sir!


To leave comments on

by vildemose on

To leave comments on Leverettes blog, you need to click on the title of the article.

Use this link so you can leave your commnents on the related topic:


Fariba Amini

no experts

by Fariba Amini on

Would  the fact that most of the population that supported Hitler and the Third Riech makes the regime a legitimate government?  

Even if A. N. won the elections which is absolutely wrong, it does not legitimize a government which brutalizes its own population.

These so-called experts know nothing about Iran and they surely cannot be a good judge.

The polls don't mean anything because polls are not independent.

That is a proven fact.


We need to be involved in

by vildemose on

We need to be involved in these types of gatherings. Why are we allowing a bunch of morons to decide the future of Iranians and Americans?

Look at the site of the Moderator of this event:


The pollster was from Wapost. He needs to hear from us or the IIC.

What a bunch of imbeciles.