Who is an "Iran Expert"?


Farhad Kashani
by Farhad Kashani

What does qualify someone to be an “expert” on a matter? In the era of Internet and Globalization and flow of information and access to higher education, how do some people, allegedly, exceed the level of knowledge that others have and become an “expert”?

During the last few years, we saw that the leftist media invites some now-famous Iranians to talk about Iran and U.S – Iran relations as “experts on Iran”. The most notable one lately was when World Focus got Trita Parsi to talk about Pres. Obama’s message to the Mullah regime. He and his group NIAC, which act as a lobby for the IRI regime, are portrayed by the leftist media as “Iran experts”! So I like to brainstorm here and see what are some of the possible qualifications that they have which makes them “Iran experts” and the rest of us Iranians not. How are they getting the airtime and the attention to talk about Iran and speak on behalf of Iranians and influence U.S and Iranian public opinion and U.S decision makers, and the rest do not?

Here are some of the possibilities:

- They are college educated: That does not fly. Iranians are one of the most highly educated ethnic groups in this great country. There are many other Iranians who have higher or equaling degrees than what Parsi and Amirahmadi and Reza Asalan have, so why them?

- They are Iranians and know about Iran: Well, we are too!

- They are Americans and know about this country: Well, we are too!

- They take frequent visits to Iran and see things first hand and talk to people and get their opinion and see reality first hand: Well, we do too!

- They have inside access and information about the IRI regime: Very likely. However, that raises a question. If that is the case, IRI being what it is, one of the closest and secretive regimes in the world, would not let any outsider that it feels will not work for its benefit get that inside access and information, so doesn’t that make NIAC take positions in favor of the IRI? If so, why is the leftist media giving airtime to them, but not to the opposite side? Does that mean Leftist media is unfair and biased! (The answer offcourse is YES).

- They are involved and/or aware of the political process in the U.S: There are many other Iranian Americans in the same category. Again, why NIAC then?

- They speak on behalf of the Iranian American community: where is the proof? And we all know that’s not the case in any way, shape or form.

- They are organized and are “Political Activists”: Very likely, but that also raises a question. What logic says that solely because they are “activists”, they are experts? Also, there are many other Iranian activists that have been snubbed by the leftist media as being “extremists”. Why aren’t their views expressed?

- They are not “extremists”!: I love that one! A group that calls for the continuance of IRI regime, the most extremist regime in the world, is not “extremist”, but someone who calls for a free Iran (not by war, but by the world, including the U.S, helping Iranians remove the regime), is labeled as “extremist”! Furthermore, shouldn’t the media give equal access to ALL views, including extremists? What ever happened to Journalism responsibility and ethics and fairness? Offcourse we know the left does not have any of those!

- That segment of the media that engages in NEWSterntainment, find these groups “entertaining”: I don’t think so, unless I’m the only one not getting entertained by Hooshang Amir Ahmadi!

- They are ideologically similar to them: I think that is most possible scenario. We all know that left’s influence in universities and media have been growing steadily for the last 15 – 20 years or so. Although there is a backlash now and people are waking up, but most of the time, the leftist media only gives airtime to ones who are politically and ideologically in agreement with them. They do that so they can ask the obvious question and receive the obvious answer. When they claim they are being “fair”, they find a stooge like Rush Limbaugh and portray him as the entire non-left! As result, the majority who are moderate get no voice and are labeled “neo cons” or “Islamo phobes” or extremists! (Some Iranians will call you a “Zionist” also!)

I tried to come up with as many possibilities why these groups which in no way represent the Iranian voice, are getting so much attention, and the rest do not get a chance to express their opinion in the same playing field as groups like NIAC do. And by rest, I do mean the moderate majority who wants to see a free Iran and peace between Iran and U.S, not FOX or Rush Limbaugh.

The conclusion is that the left does not play it fair. It never has and never will. And also, IRI has done a great job employing groups such as NIAC to lobby for them and to improve their image among the public and decision makers.

We need to speak out and change this. This is a democracy, and we shouldn’t let those who are clueless about the interest of the Iranian people hijack our voice.


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Farhad Kashani

Anonym7 ,   The

by Farhad Kashani on

Anonym7 ,


The biggest exaggeration, the biggest lie, the biggest fabrication of truth, the biggest insult to Iran and its people, is when you and people like you put the unelected, illegal and illegitimate Iranian regime in the same basket with the country of Iran and its people. The biggest disfavor and insult to the Iranian people is when you call someone who asks for a free Iran with labels that you come up with. That’s shameful. How dare you say Iran and its people equal the IRI regime, a regime that has taken its people’s basic rights and is ruled by a ruthless dictator? How is that regime represents the Iranian people so criticizing IRI means demonizing Iran? Are you serious?


And damn right everything I say is right and all over the world knows that. That same Hillary that you talk about, I heard her myself, MYSELF, say on TV (C Span to be exact) that we don’t know a lot about Iran and we don’t know what it’s up to. So hell yeah she knows squat about IRI! You think just because she’s an APPOINTED foreign minister, she knows it all??!! I obviously admire her a lot, and I Think she makes a great foreign minister, but do you think she knows it ALL? And don’t get me started don that idiot Baer!!


And damn right everything I said about the IRI is true. Let me ask you, which regime puts its people in prison because they are not wearing a medieval dress code (Hijab) and “unaccepted cloth” (Men’s western attire)? Which regime stones its people? Which regime bans alcohol? Which regime band VIDEO device beginning of revolution? Which regime bans satellite? Which regime is ruled by a dictator? Which regime has killed and imprisoned millions of its citizens who disagree with their illegal rule? Which regime chops the fingers of people who steal? Which regime has banned music, unless the ones sanctioned by the regime? Which regime doesn’t even allow the face of singers on TV! Which regime banned boxing and chess beginning of the revolution? Which regime is ruled by clergy? Which regime’s stated goal is to “promote its version of Islam?, a stated version of “pure Islam” (i.s fundamentalist Islam)? Which regime inspired the martyrdom culture (i.e death cult)? Which regime attacks parties and weddings? Which regime calls for the annihilation of another country? Which regime has the worst records in human rights, according to many Leftist organization themselves!!? Which regime has dumped Iran’s economy into toilette? Which regime has an official “moral police”? Which regime treats women as 2nd class citizens? Which regime forces non-Muslims (their population shrank dramatically after they came to power) to wear Muslim attire (non Muslims Iranian women wearing Hijab)? Which regime throws students who ask for nothing more than their basic rights off the balcony chanting Allah Akbar? Is this the Iran you want for Iranians? To be treated like subhumans and to be slaughtered? That’s just scratching the surface. But still put that all together and THINK (Do you know what that is?!), and tell yourself you really believe in the garbage you say.


You really have to be out of your mind, you’re outrageous, simply outrageous!



Dear Anonym7

by capt_ayhab on

I am not trying to gang up on Mr. Kashani here, but I have to admit that you [verbatim] are saying the things I have been trying to convey to him.

If you care to read my posts you will notice I have asked him proof of his allegations and character defamation he has brought upon me but he fails to answer.

This gentleman, is spewing so much hatred about Iranians that he puts Sean Hanitty, and Rush The Fathead to shame.

Regards sai/madam



your exagerations Kashani

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Kashani, you lie and exaggerate when you say: " (Iranians) burn its (U.S) flag and bad mouth it (US) 24/7", you exaggerate and lie when you call Iran "fascist" and sometimes even "super fascist", you exaggerate and lie when you call Iran "the most extremist regime in the the world", you blatantly lie when you say "Iran is the biggest danger to the world peace", ...., even some of the AIPAC supporters such as Mrs. Clinton, and pro Israeli moderates don't demonize Iran as much as you do. Even my right wing republican coworkers don't demonize Iran as much as you do, CIA's Robert Baer does not demonize Iran as much as you do, even Christopher Hitchens ardent supporter of Mr. Bush does not demonize Iran as much as you do. You don't want democracy for Iran, you want your revenge, you want your war on Iran, and you sugar coat your extremism with "American" patriotism so that the Americans do your war for you.
As I have told you many times before, NEITHER the U.S nor Iran need another war. You need to topple IRI YOU GO do it.

Farhad Kashani

Anonymos7, a question,

by Farhad Kashani on

Anonymos7, a question, according to your definition, what is the right wing stance on issues like abortion, gay rights, stem cell, separation of religion and state, and internationalism, and compare that to my stance. Please tell us how does that make me a right winger? So explain their stance and compare it to mine. At this point, we will leave other issues aside and just talk about those.


Also, how do I have hatred for Iran? Asking for a free, democratic, peaceful, prosperous Iran which can only be achieved with the first step being the removal of the IRI regime, is “hatred” for Iran??


All this and you’re saying that I and not you “exaggerate and lie”?




by capt_ayhab on

By reading the comments since my last one, I see that I am not the only one who has seen through this Mr. Kashahi of ours.

Reminds me of old saying back in vatan[Iran] , when they wanted to compare ones political allegiance which changes with prevailing winds. They called that sort of person [Parchame Engilis] English Flag, since it goes whichever way the wind blows.In this case is more like hot air than wind. ;-)

Nice comments guys



Missed you all bekhoda ha......


yes I am "obsessed" Kashani!

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Kashani_jAn, like many other Iranians I disagree with last 30 year excesses, and like many other Iranians I have been subject to it, however I don't comprehend your hatred for Iran, and I am "obsessed" to understand why hatred drives you to go to such extremes, exaggerations, and lies.
BTW, a person who is driven by this level of hatred can not be objective, be it a secular right winger like you or a Muslim fanatic Taliban.


My literal progenitor

by Anonymous Amphibian (not verified) on

Now you are “curious”? You should know better. My bad. I was just amphibious. Imbeciles are those who “are using the word AMERICA to promote THEIR agenda.” For our “resident expert” dignify //iranian.com/main/blog/farhad-kashani/wh....

Farhad Kashani

Anonymous7,   You still

by Farhad Kashani on



You still obsessed with me?? LoL. That’s cute!


I’m neither a “Bush lover” nor an “Obama lover”. I am an OBJECTIVE person. Maybe you don’t know what that means, so please look up the terms “objectivity” and “reasoning” and “logic”.


khaleh mosheh

Playing the vicitim

by khaleh mosheh on

or delusions of persecution?


Either a nasty tactic or a mental illness. 


we like you Kashani!

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Kashani says: "They really try hard to get under your skin."

I don't know the full scope of your colorful political background but I know how smoothly you transformed yourself from a pro Bush war friendly guy to a pro Obama war friendly guy (AIPAC transformation?). why would anybody want to get under the colorful skin of such a chameleon?


anonymous fish

"They really try hard to get under your skin"

by anonymous fish on

now ain't that the truth!!!

i admit i have fallen prey to that particular form of intimidation and i hate when that happens!  we're only human i guess.  i just hate name-calling.  hate it hate it hate it.  it is so counterproductive, cruel, ignorant, selfish and... and... just plain mean.  :-)

keep your chin up, mo chara.  it makes for a good target but it also makes you feel good inside.

Farhad Kashani

Anonymous fish,  

by Farhad Kashani on

Anonymous fish,


Appreciate your support and your constructive criticism. Please note that I have to defend myself at times when I am getting viciously attacked by these people. However, I do understand your point about not getting down to their level. The main reason that we can’t tolerate each other’s opinion and point of view as Iranians, is because these people have made it very difficult for a culture of tolerance and acceptance of different views and civilized exchanges of ideas to ever be developed in our culture.  They really try hard to get under your skin.

 Thank you again


I am proud of Iranian achivements (to Meehan)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Meehan, I am highly critical of IRI for serious neglect of Iranian poor and middle class, and I am highly critical of IRI's "cultural revolution" which has backfired and turned into cultural corruption. I however am proud of Iran's scientific achievements, particularly in the nuclear area. And above all, I am very proud that IRI has so far not allowed the war criminals turn Iran into another Iraq. Like Kashani I am NOT a Muslim, but unlike Kashani I have no hatred for Iran.



by Mammad on

You asked a very good question. Here is my opinion:

Defend what is defendable. Criticize what must be criticized. Accept what is acceptable. Reject what must be rejected, and be proud of every achievement of Iran, from what you mention to others, because those who make these achievements possible do not necessarily do it for the mullahs and Ayatollahs or Islam, but Iran. The problem with some people in this website is that, they see only black and white. Only 1 and zero. The real world is more complicated than this.

One correction: Iran's uranium enrichment program has nothing to do with the Shah or Russia. The original plan and designs were obtained from Pakistan in the 1980s and early 1990s, and then refined by Iranian scientists.


anonymous fish

come on you guys!

by anonymous fish on

first of all, farhad... i liked your article and i usually agree with much of what you say.  as i do here.  but there is one thing i strongly disagree with.  while i might differ with YT on some issues (well, one big one...lol), i've never gotten the impression he was anti-american.  he expresses his opinions and displeasure respectfully and i've never been offended (as an american).  i think YT is very senstive about the islam issue.  i don't think you're anti-islam or muslim at all... your opinion seems to be strongly anti-IRI which is something all together different.  you might stress that specifically.  just a suggestion.  i wouldn't presume to determine your feelings.  i also wish you wouldn't give them a taste of their own medicine.  all it does is encourages the name calling and disgraceful behavior and reduces you to their level.  hard as it is to do... turn the other cheek and be the better man.  :-)

it's unfortunate but there are some who equate being critical of iran as being anti-iranian.  yet usually those are the same ones who criticize the US but don't want to be called anti-american...lol.  i think you're a little TOO objective about iran and the worst of the worst can't accept that without branding you a traitor.  what a shame.  it SO defeats the purpose of useful dialog.

YT.  listen... you know i think you're a great mind and a great wit.  but you do the very thing you accuse farhad of doing.  you're not above a little name calling yourself.   this is all so childish.  i agree with kaveh... i hate the "ism" and "ists" that people seem to love to engage in.  i've never seen a word used more hatefully or inappropriately than zionist. 

other than that, i don't see how anyone could conclude that you consider yourself to be an expert on iran.  once again, double standards.  you express your opinion and YOU'RE the bad guy.  what's up with that?



by capt_ayhab on

I asked you to prove your allegations, yet again you resort to demonstrating your class and ignorance[or lack there of]

Either retract your stupid and slanderous acquisitions or set forth proof of your arajeefs.

Do you understand me?



Enough is Enough

by Meehan (not verified) on

OK. Enough is enough. The Islamic Republic knows how to repair helicopters. How to make copies of F5 Jet fighters and calls them Saeqeh. How to enrich Euranium by American facilities in Iran bought by the former Shah of Iran and renovated by Russians and how to to test long range missiles sold to them by north Korea. Are these somethings that make you proud? What about our sisters and brothers being raped,tortured, stoned to death in Iranian prisons? What about all the Islamist terrorist camps owned and operated by the Iranian govt. in Iran and elsewhere? What about all the terrorist groups being created supprted by the Islamic Republic of Iran? Do these things make you proud or make you cry? What are your priorities? To support and condone this Islamist terrorist govt or condemn it? Obviously to condemn it and find ways to red of it


air time for you (to Kashani)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Kashani says: "Obviously people like Trita Parsi get more airtime than me and you combined ..."

Kashani_jAn, I agree with you, you should be given plenty of "air" time,..., that is hot air time.


the expert Chameleon (to Babak123)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Babak, you are dealing with an expert in changing color. When I was young, I thought IRI was the worst regime, and Mullahs were the worst lairs and best chameleons ... ..... after seeing the Chameleon here I realized how wrong I was. This guy definitely has much more expertise than those Mullahs. Never underestimate Kashani ....

Farhad Kashani

Capt ayhab,   Your

by Farhad Kashani on

Capt ayhab,


Your desperate attempts to twist reality or to “victimize” yourself me will only have a counter effect! It will not work.


No one is naïve enough to think that sneaky people like are going to come out and say “directly” what their true intentions are, or what they really believe in. twisting definitions is a trademark of what you guys do. That’s not saying that you have not “directly” stated your clear anti American, pro IRI and other stances. Every headline of every news you post has an anti American, pro IRI, blind anti Israeli theme to it, and now you’re coming out and saying that “show me one line I said this or said that..”!! Have you mistaken us for some illiterate naives? You said that I’m “anti Islam” or “enemy of Islam” and” show unconditional support for Israel” whenever I criticized the IRI (!!), and yet you come out and claim that I’m “misrepresenting” you, when you have engaged in an outrageous misrepresentation yourself???? Capt ayhab, you ain’t foolin no one!! So I guess let me ask YOU, show me one line that I said “I’m against the Iranian nation”, show me one line that I said “ I support Israel occupation of Arab lands”, show me one line that I said “I’m an extremist”!!!!


No one accepts Israel occupation of Arab land, but the question is not that, the question is, as an Iranian, what is your priority? Talk about what Israel doing, or talk about what IRI is doing to your own people (that’s if we accept your claim that you are anti IRI!!)? Why the obsession with Israel, but not a single word about IRI? Have you ever thought about why Israel wants to bomb Iran? Is it because they hate the way we look, or talk, or walk??? Or they just “hate” Iran?? Or like you would call it “hate” Islam?!! Have you ever thought that it might be something we did, as in, blind unconditional animosity and bashing and bad mouthing and threatening it and its existence that led Israel to become our enemy??!! For what? Should Iran be sacrificed for this conflict? Based on what logic?? Is it because IRI “seeks justice!!”? If it’s seek justice, why have they killed justice in Iran? Better yet, if they are upset over “treatment of Muslims by non-Muslims”, why are they dead silent about treatment of Chechnyans by Russians? Or Sin Kiang Muslims by the Chinese? Or Darfur by the “Islamist” Sudanese government? Didn’t Larijani say that arrest warrant for Bashir is an “insult to Islam” the same way you characterize my criticism of IRI as “anti Islam”??? Are you Mr. Larijani by any chance? I guess because Russia and China and Sudan are anti U.S, its OK if they commit genocide, but since Israel is a friend of the U.S, lets go after Israel, even that means ruining our beautiful country Iran!!! We hate the U.S and Israel more than we love Iran, right?!!!


And let me tell you, I’ll be damned if I ever let you and people like you, to the best of my ability, spit their pro IRI anti American propaganda without being confronted, and that’s a promise. Always remember whenever you’re engaging in your anti Iranian activities, that if I know about it and see it, you will find me there standing up to you.


Who is an "Iran Expert"?

by luciferous (not verified) on

The answer is clear: the western colonialists are the true orient and Iran experts. as britons came to asia and founded the east indian company, some of them begann to study islam-sciences, indian and of course persian=Farsi language. They studied the topographic geography o fhte large region. They studied the cultural roots of the way of life of the poeple. meanwhile they did not neglect to rab the area. they continued their scientifal activities but not longer tha 1978/79. This is the date of glorious islamic revolutionof the honourable Iranian nation. Up to this date knew those dirty, stincky and strange creatures more about Iran - and not only about Iran - than the iranians. best example for this fact is the SARAKHS AIRPORT. americans knew the locality since they had themselves put it down. Iranians did not know that such aplace exists. So now every body with a corn sence for logic would accept: The best Iran experts are the sunjects I have defind above. Or they have been or they were? up to 1978/79? Stil when i look up the western media today i see that those westerns know for example what is best for Thailand, for china, for russia, india, sri lanka. about their own country the know little. For example more than 32 million americans get money from state for their food. No media knows a word about this fact.
having given the answer in the following i explain the special situation:
we "IRANIAN"s are of course experts. in every matter, in every sence. The question "who is Iran expert" minimizes the fun and happiness and the short enjoyment one can have by writing in this site as an global expert. this question simply deneis the competence not only of expert bloggers but the competence of all "IRANIAN"s. Greeting


the mullahs and their progenies

by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

count 7ty million.
They are all fanatics, proove: western media.
it means they go to war with adeep motivation as they are all brain washed, proove: western media.
How many count "IRANIAN"Sß How many are motivated for a war against Mullahs? Where should the weapons come from?
from freinds of "IRANIAN"s, i assum? So, very soory the relation is not solvable. Better one makes for her-/himself a nice life, lays down the hate, cleans up her/his heart and enjoy the social charity one gets. Greeting



by capt_ayhab on

You say:[where as you post 1000 news postings a day that shows blind hatred for
this great country the U.S, Israel (which hasn’t done us any harm whatsoever), and democratic values.

Let see how desperate and what kind of pathetic lair you are Mr. Kashani[self proclaimed Iranian expert].

Lie #1. Show me one quote that I have called you a Zionist.

Lie #2. Show me one quote or news article from me that I have said anything that can be construed as [anti democratic values].

Lie #3. Show me one quote from me that provides deviance of me being  [American Hater].

Lie #4. Show me one line that can demonstrate my Anti Israeli views. Every and all my of opposition has been toward illegal occupation policy of Israel, I stand firmly on that, like it or not your problem.

Lie #5. Show me one line that I have shown any sympathy what so ever for IR regime in Iran.

Lie #6 Show me deviance of me being leftist.

Listen to me Mr. Kashani and listen real good. My entire life I have dealt with ignorant, illiterate belligerent and extremist people like you, I'll be damned if I let you get away with spreading lies and misinformation about me and about Iranian nation.

How illiterate are you Mr. Kashani? allow me show you couple of your own quotes:


[Your observer argument is also flawed and factually wrong. U.S
elections, and the countries I mentioned, do get monitored by the U.N,
and let me tell you who else monitors U.S, England, France elections:

You even have claimed that before the Akhund mutiny there were 300,000 Jews living in Iran, despite the fact that all the publication demonstrate that there were approximately 75,000 Jews lived in Iran up to 1993.

This is amount of your knowledge sir. This is extend of your expertise sir, This is how detached you are from the REALITY, being reality of US or Iran.

In article after article, in news posting after news posting, your sole agenda is demonizing Iran and Iranians. Just look at hand full of people who praise you and your articles: Mr. Mazloom, Ms. Zion and perhaps couple of other from the same ilk.

I challenge you to show me  one article that you have shown Iran in a positive light. As I have said many times, I appreciate your hatred of IR, as do many of the ladies and gentlemen of this site, but your hatred have taken over you. In process of you blind obedience of anti-Iran propaganda, from sources like NYT, Faux News you have lost the cite of true humanity.

Your blind and unconditional support of criminal action of Israel has blinded you to the plight of many displaced people around the ME. This is your prerogative to support anyone you wish, but do not try to dress it a patriotic clothing. This only demonstrates your transparency and your hateful agenda. And anytime one disagrees with you, you repeat the same old carp you know, and that is calling names and character assassination.

FYI: I shall never stop exposing a country[Israel] who has been beating war drums against Iran and Iranians, you can be rest assured on that issue.

I am awaiting proof of your prevarications about me.[go look it up]


Farhad Kashani

Fair,   Aziz, you’re

by Farhad Kashani on


Aziz, you’re exactly right. Very true. Thank you.


Hating “hatred” is OK. I “hate” the hatred represented in the IRI regime. You say I’m “filled with hate” where as you post 1000 news postings a day that shows blind hatred for this great country the U.S, Israel (which hasn’t done us any harm whatsoever), and democratic values. You call anyone who disagrees with IRI, an “enemy of Islam” (I’m guessing you got that line from Khomeini and Bin Ladan), and you preach to me about “hatred”? I guess the old Islamo Socialist technique of trying to ruin the world, and then play the “victim” card??!!


Furthermore, if I “hate” the Iranian nation (!!), why would I be calling for a free and democratic Iran? If I didn’t care, why would I get upset over what’s going on in Iran?


And as far as your question, its about calling out people who come out and fool the world to think they are “Iran experts”, whatever ideological spectrum they belong to. But like I said, you see that mostly among the anti U.S, pro IRI leftists with collaboration and enabling by leftist media.


Farhad Kashani

Kaveh jaan,   Agreed

by Farhad Kashani on

Kaveh jaan,  

Agreed aziz.


My name is Farhad Kashani, however, let me give you a clue, have you ever heard of 3 name “names” ..like Majeed Namjoo Motlagh? Ok, that’s your clue. That being said, you’re damn right that IRI has hijacked our country and many Iranians have to resort to name change, hiding identity, and things like that to get into their own country. That’s all you need to know. All that being said, how on earth does my “name” or “identity” has to do with anything I said?


Again, the whole point of my argument is that people like you are called “experts”!!! This article was about people like you, not me!!! Obviously people like Trita Parsi get more airtime than me and you combined, so, you can compare yourself to him, not me, and my point was people like him don’t know jack about Iran.


As for your other points:


Your characterization about U.S newspapers is wrong, wrong, wrong. WSJ is center right, LA Times and W Post are centrist, and NY Times is center left. Let me ask you this, how did your “expertise” help you figure out WSJ is an “extreme!!” right wing?

What is an “extreme right wing”? What constitutes an “extreme right wing” in the U.S? What does make WSJ an “extremists”? Are you saying because they supported the Iraq War, they are “extremists”? What if (and in no way shape or form I’m claiming that’s the case), let’s say, WSJ saw Iraq as a real threat, and that’s why it supported the war? Do you at all distinguish between someone who supported the Iraq war because, let’s say for the sake of our conversation, was “fooled” by W, or bought into his propaganda, or saw Iraq as a threat, or wanted Iraq to get liberated,,,and between someone who supported the war because he wanted to see some A-Rabs dead? Is there any distinguishing between the two? Does this make one an extremist and the other, let’s say, “Naïve”, or “incompetent”, or “politically immature”?

Furthermore, what about other issues that makes someone an “extremist”? Lets say their stance on abortion, gay marriage, freedom of religion, speech, expression, social freedoms, universality of democratic principals, things like that,,,are the stance on these issues a factor or not? What do you think is WSJ’s stance on these issues?


Bush: he was hammered way before the convention. Please come up with another excuse!

 AIPAC and NIAC: I did answer, let me copy and paste….”Your obsession with AIPAC is a result of a sick obsession with Israel. That obsession is a symptom of lot of things which I’m not going to get into. Secondly, I don’t care about AIPAC. Only dominant leftist media have exaggerated the influence of AIPAC. Blind anti Israeli, which is part of a blind anti Americanism, is a Leftist trait. Third, at least AIPAC doesn’t claim it’s not an Israel supporter, but NIAC, using sneaky tactics  (common among the left) never says it is an IRI supporter. So who is the hypocrite here? ”..to add, I like non-hypocrites and do not like hypocrites. Furthermore, who are we dealing with in Iran, IRI or Israel? Why should Israel concern me more than Iran? I want some decency from the left by someone answering this age old question! Why should I care about Israel or AIPAC when I’m an Iranian, from Iran, that has to deal with IRI? Who is ruling my country, Israel or IRI? Who is butchering my people, Israel or IRI? Who has ruined my country, Israel or IRI? Is Khameni an Iranian or an Israeli? So why should I care? Off course the Israel Arab country affects the whole world, no doubt, but , what are my priorities?  

Point: again, when your “expertise and “knowledge” and years of studying politics made you conclude that I’m a monarchist and a Zionist and a Right Winger (totally false!), isn’t that again proves the point of my article??? You “expert” guys are something else!!!

 Maryam jaan,  

Ghorbanat aziz. Yes, they always try hard, but let them expose themselves more and more! That’s what I want !


Anonymous Observer

I Think I'm An Expert !

by Anonymous Observer on

I wear a tie, I have dark hair, I speak Persian, I know the difference between Shia and Sunni, and I've been to Iran.  Isn't that all it takes to be a Middle East expert? :-)


No Good

by IRANdokht on

جنابعالی خجالت نمیکشین که نشستین اینجا جنگ داخلی‌ تجویز میفرمایید؟ از کیسه خلیفه میبخشید؟  انتظار دارین این جنگ رو کی‌ براتون بجنگه؟


Fair: I agree. For this

by good (not verified) on

Fair: I agree. For this struggle between Islamists and non-Islamists to be resolved, we need and Islamic Renaissance and that will not happen without a civil war with the mullahs and their progenies.


Thank you Farhad

by Fair on

for raising a very important question. Those who try to silence you obviously feel threatened by such questions.

The sad truth is that the concept of "Iran expert" or "Middle East expert" gets thrown around casually to the point of being dangerous.

No, an expert is not defined as somebody who has an opinion which is "correct" (usually that means "mine" to the listener). An expert needs to know what he or she is talking about.

In the case of Iran, it is very hard to be an expert. We are from Iran and we still don't understand the intricacies, let alone someone who has never spent time there.

Iran is a very complex country with a very polarized society,much more polarized than the United States. It cannot be understood without spending time and an open mind with members of these different poles. Even then, good luck trying to hear an honest frank opinion. Add to that a very complex and elaborate power structure socially, politically, and economically, as well as a very ehtnically diverse population, ancient history of undefeated and undominated cultures, and you have a full plate. And none of this can be seen in isolation, all this must be seen in the greater context of historical international forces like colonialism, oil, the cold war, modernity/industrialization vs. traditional social fabric etc. It is very very complex.

Those who try to simplify Iran as "Islamic and not taghooti" or "Persian and not Islamic and anti mullah" do so at their own peril. Much as I hate mullahs and believe in secular nationalist modern Iranian ideals, I have to admit that mullahs in Iran always had much power, and understood the Iranian domestic front better than anybody. There is no government in the last several centuries that has survived without some sort of power agreement with mullahs (and this was the case before the USA even existed). Sorry folks, that is a reality of our society, even today. For example, I would claim that somebody like Rafsanjani knows Iran much better than any of these experts, or most non-Islamic politicians. He does this because not just knowing the "Islamic" side, but also knowing enough about the other poles. If the late Shah and his lieutenants had gone through the same trouble, they very well might have still held power today. But we are where we are...

If we ever want to modernize our society and move forward, we have to learn these things for ourselves, think critically, and form our own opinions. And in this sense, Farhad is dead on- guys like these talking heads are no more experts than any of us. Let us all take a deep breath, understand who we are, and ask where we want to go. And we will never get to that state until we learn tolerance of very differing opinions of each other.




p.s. for example I don't consider Reza Aslan even close to an expert on Islam, he doesn't even know Arabic. He just sounds good on TV and writes readable books.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

If there were no such thing as bad, good, inferior, or superior opinions, then no one would be labelled as some kind of "ist" for expressing that opinion, now would they?

It's not a matter of subscribing to anything you have to say. But if someone is trashed for their opinion, which happens so regularly around here, then it is being inferred that the opinion is indeed bad, or inferior.