Not Iranian Enough For Some, Not Iranian At All For Others


by LanceRaheem

I recently travelled with my mother for our second trip to Kish Island in the past five years.  In the years separating our two visits, the island has been transformed into a lovely vacation spot.  We not only went on very exciting boating excursions, but we had the pleasure of visiting the dolphin park, the bird garden and many of the island’s shopping malls.  The shopping wasn’t that big of a deal to us, but I can understand that for many people from the mainland, it is a very big deal to have the the chance to shop and purchase goods that are not available elsewhere in Iran.

I love going to Kish because it is still largely unspoiled by over-development and pollution.  The water around the island is crystal clear and blue.  When one goes out boating, it is easy to look over the side and see fish everywhere in the pristine waters.  Furthermore, I love the people I meet there.  They come from all over Iran and although I’m sometimes mistaken for a foreigner because of my light colored hair, once they know that I speak Farsi (almost as well as they do), they are friendly.  Many of them have never met someone like me who is only half-Persian.  While some of the people I’ve met have undoubtedly thought of me as an oddity in the beginning, once we’ve chatted for a while they come to understand that I am one of them, and more importantly, they come to understand that I am proud to be one of them.  After all, the blood that flows through their veins flows through my own and the proud history that they cherish is the same history that my ancestors have cherished for thousands of years.  The Persian people’s loving hearts are filled with more love, generosity and compassion than all the waters of all the oceans on this earth. 

I am blessed and thankful that when I was young my mother taught me the language of my people and they customs and traditions we hold dear.  I am equally blessed that my father, who is not Iranian, always supported my mother in her efforts to teach me and my sister about our ancient Persian heritage.  Many men would feel insecure if their children spoke a different language at home than they spoke or learned different customs from what they knew.  My dad never felt intimidated by any of these things.  He always wanted me and my sister to be proud of whom we were: Americans like him, Iranians like our mother and Iranian-Americans unlike both of them.  Being the proud inheritors of two heritages was never a problem for him.  He never saw them as mutually exclusive.  If anything, he believed that our heritages complimented one another and made us complete as human beings. 

Though I love the beauty of Kish Island, I will not be going back any time soon, and it has much to do with the self-dignity that my mother and father raised me to hold dear.   I am not angry or sad, but I will not submit myself to degrading and humiliating practices by anyone whether they are Americans or Iranians.  After my recent trip to Kish, I proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with all the other Iranians who for whatever reason cannot go back or who refuse to go back and submit themselves to degrading and insulting practices by government officials.  I know that many Iranian expats who can’t or won’t go home have a far greater claim on Iran than I do since they were born and raised there.  I also know that the pain that they feel in being permanently separated from the land they love so dearly is far more intense and unjust than the small indignity that was recently thrust upon me.  Still, it has left a bitter taste in my mouth.

When my mother and I arrived in Kish, we got off the plane full of smiles and happy to be back in our beloved Iran.  She was clutching her Iranian passport and I had my American one.  When we entered the Immigration area, the officer in charge called out that Iranians should come to the front of the line.  My mother and I were the only Iranians on the plane which had come from Dubai.  The rest of the passengers were Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Filipinos and a variety of other nationalities making a quick visa run to Kish before heading back to waiting jobs in the Emirates. 

Proudly, my mother headed to the front of the line with me in tow.  The immigration officer asked her why she was traveling with an American, and she explained that she was my mother.  He asked her if she could prove it whereupon she presented her Shahnosnemeh which clearly had my name registered within its pages in the appropriate place.  He then told us to step out of the line and wait.  We waited for a long time as he supervised other officers in stamping all the other passengers passports.  When everyone on our plane had gone, he told my mother to tell me to follow him to a back room.  He did not yet know that I could understand every word he said.  When my mother told me in Farsi to go with him, he finally understood that I could speak Persian.

He was not hateful or aggressive with me, but he made it clear I was not an Iranian and for that reason he had to fingerprint me.  I asked him in Persian why he didn’t fingerprint the other passengers.   He told me that it was because I was American.  I corrected him by saying that I was only half-American...the other half was Iranian.  I told him that I was more Iranian than all the other passengers on the plane put together, but they were not subjected to this.  He looked at me said as far as the Iranian government was concerned I was simply an American.  He went on to add that I shouldn’t complain since the American government humiliates Iranians in the same way.  I acknowledged that what he said about the American government was true, but that there was a difference, and that was the fact that I was an Iranian.  I told him that the American government had never fingerprinted me.

He told me that I could call myself whatever I wanted, but that wouldn’t change a thing.  I asked him how many other Americans he had fingerprinted to which he replied, “Many.”  I asked him how many of those Americans could speak to him in Persian like I did to which he replied, “None!”  I asked him how many of those Americans had generation upon generation of ancestors buried in Iran like I did.  He said nothing.  I asked him how many of those Americans had relatives living in Tehran, Tabriz, and Esfahan like me.  He said, “Probably none.” 

He finished the dirty job of fingerprinting me and had me wash my hands.  Then he took me back to my mother who was waiting outside the office.  He told her that she was welcome to visit her homeland anytime, but that I would always be fingerprinted because I WAS NOT an Iranian.  We left the airport for our hotel.  My mother didn’t say anything during our ride in the taxi because what the immigration officer had told her broke her heart.  I’m sure she was thinking the same thing I was.  Why had she spent so much time and effort over the years in making me proud of our people, in teaching me how to speak and read our language and in helping me to learn to love our customs and traditions? 

How is it that my dad who doesn’t have a drop of Iranian blood in his body is proud that my sister and I embrace our Persian heritage when there are Iranians, like the Kish Immigration Officer, who wish to insult us?  I love Iran and Iranians just as my mother taught me to do from my days in a crib, but I will not go back as long as that government refuses to recognize me for what I am; an Iranian, nothing more, nothing less.  This is what my mother is and this is all my ancestors ever have been.  My claim to be an Iranian has been bought and paid for by a thousand generations before me.


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Michka El

by LR (not verified) on

Thank you for your curt comment. I would just like to say two things in response. First, I should not be fingerprinted at all when I enter Iran because I am an IRANIAN. If that government did not discriminate against its female citizens and would allow them to pass their nationality then I would already have my passport just like every other Iranian does.

Second, since I am not old enough to vote yet, I don't thing a U.S. Congressman is going to give a flying-f%&# about my opinion regarding U.S. Immigration policy.

This blog wasn't about was about the nationality laws of Iran. Thank you for your very uninsightful comments. Oh, btw are you even Iranian? I had a Polish neighbor a couple of years ago named Michka...wait a don't have a red Harley do you?


It's the law

by Michka El (not verified) on

The imigration guy did what he is supposed to do with those carrying US passport. If anything you made him feel defensive and insulted for something he has no control over.

Write to your congressman to change the treatment of Iranian citizens arriving in the US and Iran will change their law.


Mr. Raheem

by YT (not verified) on

Master Lance,

First and foremost, when I read your essay, your insightfullness and candor, and above all the amount of your pride in Persian heritage touched deep within my soul.

Lately such a love and true devotion to Persian heritage has become a rare commodity among some Iranian immigrant abroad(no punt intended).

Iran truly and without a doubt is of most beautiful country, with most proud and genuine people. I say this because of my own Iranian heritage. I do also command your family, your mother and your father for being so open minded and patriotic, toward both of your nationalities to have raised such a wonderful and kind young man.

My point from this comment is not to praise you and your family which is well called for and justified. I was wanting to bring one point to your attention regarding inconvenience you have had to endure in your trip.

And that is, US State Department has an outstanding ban regarding travel to Iran of American nationals. In another word, State Department forbids American citizens to travel to Iran, due to lack of diplomatic relationship with Iran. Which as you are aware was due unfortunate event of hostage crises. I happen to know this for fact because in one of my recent trips to HOME, along with some of my American Colleagues, My travel companions were seriously warned against travel to Iran, by State Department. Even though our trip was arranged by University that employs me and my colleagues, and the purpose of trip was to participate in a inter-collegiate seminar.

I myself, Even though carry both US and Iranian Passport, was issued the same warning by State Department.

I do hope that is unpleasant experience does not prevent you from making other trips to Iran.

Have a happy holidays


Thank you lance

by Tahirih on

I am honored , and speechless .

God bless

Most tender regards,



Lance I know what you mean.

by Nima (not verified) on

Lance I know what you mean. I went back couple years ago and am never going back. I hate those bastards.


Lance, it's not you!

by Monda on

When kids were little I used to travel overseas often. I did have an American passport but since my place of birth was shown as Iran, I got searched once at LAX. Kids were scared by this big nasty officer using hostile tone in front of them, with German Shephard sniffing my backback, for me to move to the other side for carry-on search. This man went through my baby's diaper bag for crying outloud! When I asked him why they're doing this, he said: it was procedure for all Iranians!  

So, it's got nothing to do with your true identity or the way you look. (heck I looked pretty darn good myself and my kids were cute angels back then! :o))


Dear LR.....

by FT (not verified) on

You clearly still miss the point because you are raising a different point which is nothing to do with the original point this article raised!

Without wishing to sound like the consulate staff, You can either apply for an Iranian passport (depending on your legal entitlement) or use any foreign passport and apply for a visa to go to Iran.

Of course rules come and go and there is also a rule that you can get an Iranian visa on a foreign passport, as long as you do not have and you have never held an Iranian passport.

The real point here is that this is all to do with "official documents at the port of entry" and not subject to discussion or negotiation!

You can not turn up in Iran with an American passport and say "trust me I'm ok, I speak really good Farsi" any more than I can turn up in US with a British passport and say "trust me I'm ok, I speak really good English!"

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.



by LR (not verified) on

Thank you so much for clarifying the issue. God, why didn't I see that so much sooner. Only one problem, my mother has tried to enter Iran using her American passport and she could not. Why, Iran doesn't regard her as an American. She will never be fingerprinted because they require her to enter on an Iranian passport. Conversely, Iran will not allow me to enter the country on an Iranian passport because the government does not recognize people like me as Iranian...we are foreigners who happened to come out of the womb of an Iranian. Not emotional, but factual. Thank you for your opinion.


Like a true Iranian, this

by FT (not verified) on

Like a true Iranian, this article reflects the emotional reaction of an Iranian-American and not an "objective & factual" aspect!

As mentioned by some other respondents, the fact are very simple:
US introduced finger printing for all none-American (meaning those who enter the country without an American passport)

Iran, along with a number of other countries interpreted this "behaviour" as an insult and reciprocated the American government's behaviour by introducing the same. So you will have your finger-prints taken if you enter Iran on an American passport).

This is nothing to do with how you feel or if you are half Iranian and half American!

So as a full Iranian with a triple nationality and holder of a full Iranian, full American and full British passports, if I was to enter Iran on my American passport, I will be finger printed, but not if I use my Iranian or indeed my British passport. Exactly the same as if I was to enter US on my Iranian passport I will be finger printed. Ironically, I will still be finger printed if I used my British passport to enter US !

No emotion, just fact of life! If anything, the original insult was by the American government and not Iran's!

Now that's another Iranian trait, go back to the route cause!


To: Xerxes

by LR (not verified) on

Please allow me to address a few of you points, if I may. Also, allow me to thank you for the very civil tone you used in making you comments. It was appreciated.

1. You asked me they know I’m not a spy. Well, first my non-Iranian father and my mother’s marriage was approved and registered by the government of the Islamic Republic long before I was born. As for me, my birth is officially recorded and stamped in the correct place by the government of the Islamic Republic in my mother’s citizenship booklet (Shehnasnameh) as is the birth of my elder sister. Furthermore, unless the CIA normally recruits teenagers to infiltrate Iran, then Iran’s government officials could probably guess that I am not a prime candidate for espionage.

2. You state that they want to humiliate me so I go tell the government of America to stop humiliating Iranians entering the U.S. Do they really suppose that the American government will change its policies if I complain that I was fingerprinted? Somehow, I doubt it.

3. I assume that you believe that I should be happy about being fingerprinted. Why then shouldn’t my mother be fingerprinted, or you? The only way that you can justify a difference in the way I’m treated and the way my mother or you would be treated is to acknowledge that you believe that I am not like you...that I am less than you....that all children of Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers are less than you. Come on....admit it. There is an elephant in the room and everyone wants to keep pretending it’s not here. The truth is that for many Iranians, people like me are foreigners that just happened to spend nine months in womb or an Iranian woman. We are foreigners who by a twist of fate can speak the language and have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins living in Iran. There are some who want to say that we are “less than”, but they are just too politically savvy and correct to do so on a public forum. They dance around the tree of prejudice with climbing it, but they want to climb it and they’d do it in a heartbeat if no one was watching.

4. You mentioned that every time you go back to Iran, you feel complete. Why shouldn’t I have the same right? My family is there, my heritage is there. Why do you have the right to be complete, but you do not think I should have the exact same right. If someone tried to take away your right to go back to Iran, I would be the first one to defend you. Why is it so difficult for some people to understand that all I and the thousands of other people who are in my situation want is for someone to stand up for us. Is the blood of my ancestors buried across Iran any less Iranian than yours? Please tell me if it is because I may be laboring under false beliefs.

5. Your last point is one that a few others have made, and that is that I shouldn’t care what the Iranian government thinks as long as I know what I am. Xerxes, you and others have the luxury of having this opinion because you can go back home any time you like. Your children and grandchildren will have that right as well. I do not have that right. When my mother dies, my right to visit my ancestral home and family members still there dies with her. If people in my situation are not afforded the same rights that you take for granted then my children and grandchildren will never have the joy that I have experienced on the many trips throughout my childhood I have been lucky to make with my mom and sister.

Live long and proper!


They need to fingerprint you.

by Xerxes (not verified) on

A few things.

1) You have an American passport. How are they to know you're not a spy?

2) As a "Full Iranian" I would get fingerprinted if I went to the United States. The reason Iran started doing that was to let it be known to others. They "Want" you to feel how humiliating it is, so that you can tell others about it, and push to remove the fingerprinting of all Iranian nationals who enter the United States.

3) Being an Iranian has more to do with what you hold dear, than what percentage of your blood is Aryan. If a born and raised Iranian is not willing to Fight and Die for the Land of the Aryans, then he is not truly Iranian. My parents moved to Canada back in 1990, when I was in grade 2. Nearly 20 years later, I'm still a Very proud Persian. As I tell my friends...I love Canada. I would fight for Canada. But I would only Die for Iran. Iran is a feeling of home. For someone who's been away for as many years as myself...every time I visit Iran, I feel complete. Every time I see an Iranian who is not doing well, financially, I cry and pray for them because I feel that they are a part of me.

There's nothing in life I'm more proud of than to be Persian. The worlds first, most powerful, most wealthy, and most advanced Empire was the Persian Empire. The worlds first and most widely influential Monotheistic religion which 'very strongly' helped shape Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is Zoroastrianism. Read up on this. It's truly Fascinating. Mithraism, Yalda and Christmas. There's just so much.

Persia hit a decline after the Arab Invasion, that's true. But it's still the longest running empire/civilization. anyone who is willing to call themselves an Iranian. There's more to Iran than just the Aryan Persians. So many Azeri's, Kurds, Lur's, and others fought and died to save this land. To me that is the greatest sign of ones' nationality.

Cheers. And be Proud.


To: Tahirih & motherofhybrids

by LR (not verified) on


Before responding to your posts, I wanted to take a bit of time to collect my thoughts. Please forgive me for not addressing you in individual replies, but there was something in your posts that affected me deeply.

Tahirih Khanoom,

I have read many of your blog entries before, and I am aware of how you have been hurt by some of our hamvatan because of your religious beliefs. You know firsthand what it is to be made to feel as if you are an outsider who does not belong. While your circumstances are different from mine, you can and you have stood in my shoes. I want you to know that through your writings I have come to respect you immensely. There is a gentle, but resolute strength in the words you write. While there are those who have been unkind to you both in Iran and in the Diaspora because of your beliefs and your writings, there are just as many who garner strength from your beautiful example of how to face adversity with dignity. You are a true Shir Zan. For the hundreds of thousands of those like me and my sister who have to struggle for official recognition before our mothers pass from this earth and we no longer have a right to visit our homeland, please know that those hundreds of thousands like you are have faced unjust persecution with your heads held high give us the strength, wherewithal, determination and courage to not give up even when there are those around us who trivialize our concerns and would rather that we simply shut up and go away. Thank you for sharing your big heart with all of us through your lovely writings.

Motherofhybrids Khanoom,

Of all the people who have posted messages, you know exactly what my mother feels like for your children are in my position. In your post you stated, " usual women are not significant." In the eyes of the goverment of Iran you are right, but in the hearts of many of the people, you are very wrong.

Sadly neither you, your children, my mother, me or the hundreds of thousand of other mothers and children who face this obstacle that hangs over our heads have the strength to change the laws of Iran alone. Without the help of millions of others who are willing to help us in our struggle, we can do nothing. Thus, the real question is whether there are enough people who do not face the difficulty we face who are willing to stand up for stand up for the right of Iranian women to be afforded the dignity that is their God-given right. As another poster so eloquently pointed out, Iranian women have had all their rights trampled upon for thrity years. Not being permitted to pass their nationality on to their children is just one of many. Whether there are enough Iranians who are someday willing to stand up for your children is something we do not know. If the posters who left messages to my blog are any indication, there are many good people who care, but there are just as many who do not see our problem as a real problem at all.

Even if no one cares to listen and I have to shout into the wind, I will never stop shouting that it is unjust to deprive a child who comes from the womb of an Iranian woman his or her right to call themselves Iranian. It is so harsh because it not merely deprives one generation, but all future generations of their right to stay connected to their ancestral homeland, and it is permanent and forever in its application. Even a murderer is treated better for once he is executed, his children face no persecution. Iranian women whose children have foreign fathers are not so lucky. The woman is punished by harsh government polices that deprive her kids to share her nationality and all future generations share in the punishment of being outsiders forever.

Lastly, the reason I will not return to Iran is not because I am angry or pouting about the way things are, but because I refuse to dignify the indignity of that government's refusal to recognize your children and me for what we are. We are our mothers' children, we are Iranians. The day the policy of Iran changes to regard your children as Iranian just as it does the child of any other Iranian mother, I will be on the first plane back. I love the country and I love my family there, but I will return only when I can hold my head high, and not one day sooner. It's not sour grapes at all, but simply waiting for a piece of paper that officially and legally confirms what my mother has already made me from the day I was born, an Iranian.

Khanoom, you and all the other mothers like you have my respect for raising your children to love your country just as my mother taught me and my sister to love it. While there will always be some in our communtiy who cannot feel our sense of having our personal identity violated by inflexible government policies that are intended to make us outsiders amoungst our own people, we must never forget that there are many more who completely understand. God bless you.


Ahh come on, now your making me feel bad

by Lati Pati (not verified) on

Lance, don't be like that. I never said i'm giving you the finger. I meant it as in "your so lucky that you get to go chillout in a hot tropical island and eat good iranian food while i'm stuck out here with a broken leg in -31C and 4 feet of snow, you know as in wow that guy is so lucky i'd give my right arm to have what he's got, get it, except I switched arm with finger in keeping with the theme of the discussion. Anyway just so there's no missunderstanding, I never intended to insult anybody here and if anybody interpreted like that, they should know that it is not so. Anyway, thruth is I was at home and bored so I thought let's checkout what's going on in the iranian community and came upon this post. Man am I sorry I did. I guess my sense of humor is not for everyone. Anyway goodbye and happy holidays to all and for the new years I wish you all less sensitivity and more sense of humor, even you curly sue. IRI? REALLY? :) I guess the only thing left to do now is some online shopping, i'm not going to let the terrorists win. (please nobody get offended, I'm not calling anybody here a terrorist) Okay bye.


Lati Pati

by LR (not verified) on

While I'm sure you completely understood your expressed views, I can't say that I did, but that is my shortcoming, not yours.

I would, however, like to thank you for offering to give me the finger. That was most gracious of you. I'm sorry to say that you would not be the first person to have given me the finger. Just one of many, but thanks anyhow.


OOOOOooooooo tough crowd

by Lati Pati (not verified) on

Really? IRI? Really? You got me curly, the jig is up boys, let's blow this popsicle stand, hey I hear there's a really happening Hezbollah rally going on tonight in Beirut, who's in? Ladies wink wink. But seriously what gave it away, was it the kid rock reference, I knew it! It always gives it away.

This ones for you curly fries


Cuz nothing says IRI quite like American Bad Ass does

Oh and it's Lati Pati, no e's


My parents come and go..

by Parthian on

My father has green card, he comes and goes to the United States from Iran often. He gets much better treatment on the US soil than he does in Iran. He is just an old man, nothing political about him. He loves Iran to death, but feels much more at home in America. This is the kind of Islamic utopia Iran mullahs have created.

The first and most important measure of any civilization and nation is the way it treats its own people. In case of Iran, lack of barbarism, thuggish behavior, terrorism, and harrasment of anyone and everyone is become the norm. Yet these degenerates dare bring Israel and jews into the discussion. I am waiting to see how zionists are related to the rude behaviour of IR officials in the airports...


Latie patie and esmal latte you are too" shafaf" here.

by curly (not verified) on

They are trying to confuse the issue and as usual these are the same " chomagh daran" and " lebas shakhsie" tugs that IRI sends to disperse the people and intimidate them.
You are too transparent for this thread. Go back to your holes!


Lance jan you say "The point

by Esmal Latte (not verified) on

Lance jan you say "The point of my article was never about the fact that I was treated badly, it was entirely about not being regarded as an Iranian."

Who is not treating you as an Iranian? If you were treated as an Iranian would it have changed your view about Iran and Iranian regime? Would you have forgotten about how this regime treats others like Iranian women for example?

You sound more like a child who is upset about loosing his toy than about loosing your dinner.

Your blog is valid and good and no one is trivilizing it yet you seem to insist some of us are or we should be. What are you trying to say? How should we respond? Just to say we understand and don't worry about it?

Do you want to worry about it or not? I don't know. I just know that you are not going to find anyone here who is going to say you are not Iranian enough. Maybe one of two people (not in this blog, yet) but those would be packed with those who set these stupid rules to begin with.


I'll take it.

by Lati Pati (not verified) on

Hey lance why this glass is half empty type of thinking. Half american half iranian with light hair and you speak farsi with a sexy american accent AND you have an american passport in kish during winter time while the rest of us are freezing our koonz off out here, the girls must have been all over you, i'll bet any guy here would gladly give up a few finger prints for that opportunity...Hell forget the print, i'll give you my finger for that right now. If it makes you feel any better, I was there not to long ago and they didn't fingerprint me when I arrived but before I could leave I had to go to a government office waste a half day waiting in line and filling out paperwork, then I got my picture taken and only then did I get the privilege of getting my finger printed so that I can get my exit papers, so that I can leave. I forgot to mention, i'm iranian, born there, both parents born there, raised here...Freezing cold Canada and I have both passports...Hello ladies wink wink. Anyway i had to do all this and when I left, I went through four security stops at the airport where I was felt up each time no less, by a guy no less. And let's just say they were pretty thorough. How thorough you say? So thorough it would have made my physician blush(Lame attempt at comedy). Anyway, the down side to my story, I got passed around more then a drunk groupie at a kid rock concert. Up side to my story, I don't have prostate cancer. So you see it's not so bad for you, but if you still insist, keep your fingers crossed and you might get the full "Persian Experience" next time.



by LR (not verified) on


Yes, you are right. You and the women of Iranian have been greatly discriminated against. Along with many others, I will always support the right of our mothers, sisters and daughers to equal rights. Sadly, I can't do much as a foreigner, but my heart will always be with all of you who stuggle against tyranny. What surprised me today was coming to see that some people don't care when others are mistreated. As long as they have what they want in hell with everybody else. While you and the proud women of our country seek justice, you are not face with the same clock that looms over the heads of people who have Iranian mothers but foreign fathers. We can travel to Iran as long as our mothers live, but when they die our priviledge to travel to Iran to visit our families and to stay connected to our culture dies with them.

I do not intend to understate or minimize the difficult struggle for equality the proud women of Iran face, for I know it must be hard...but at the end of each day's stuggle they can be thankful they are Iranians while people like me cannot say the same thing.

Thank you for your kind expression of understanding.


descriminatory laws against women

by femme (not verified) on

Lance, this is just another form of descrimination against women, and I believe there were there pre-revolution. I thought they were changing the laws a couple of years back, or it might have been just a bill, to allow Iranian women married to foreign men, to obtain Iranian citizenship for their kids and husband. I'm not sure what happned. Have you checked the latest on that development?

You see, as an Iranian woman, I've seen so much descrimination against women, it's numbing. I think you've just seen the tip of the iceberg, but there is so much more. It is not all IRI's fault. Some of these laws were set at Pahlavi time, such as for an Iranian woman to travel out of Iran, she needs her husband's permission. There are a lot of these laws against women, such as inheritance, right to work, marriage age, divorce,... you name it.

So this one law has affected you, sorry to hear that, but I go through these a lot. :(



by LR (not verified) on

Dasta shoma dard nakone for writing what you wrote and understanding my point exactly. The point of my article was never about the fact that I was treated badly, it was entirely about not being regarded as an Iranian. You have a big heart and very open eyes to have seen what I was trying to say. Some others were unable to see what you so very perceptively grabbed onto immediately. Khali mamnoon.


Lance aziz:

by Tahirih on

Your story just made me so upset, and the responses well, made me nauseated!!! as The Mrs puts it " OGH".

You have every right to be upset, because, the root cause of this issue is not your passport or this or that, but the fact that women have no status in IRI. But some people here look at it as lack of " thick skin " on your part!!??

I can clearly see your point and reason for your dissatisfaction with the situation. Azizam , even I am not being considered Iranian enough by some?! born and raised in Iran.

Please remember that many Iranians agree with you.

I guess some people need magnifying lenses to see that this is an equality issue ?! I mean equality of men and women , not USA is finger printing so IRI should do it too!




Thanks so much for the

by motherofhybrids (not verified) on

Thanks so much for the beautiful article. I am disappointed, however that you would not be returning to Iran. Those idiots are there to discourage you. My kids are not to ever get an Iranian passport, because their father is not Iranian. It does not matter that their mom is Iranian. According to the Iranian law, only the citizenship of the father is important. If a man marry a foreigner, his kids are considered Iranians. As usual women are not significant.


Change of Subject?

by AnonymousTheMrs (not verified) on


Don't put words in my mouth. I merely commented on the article which was basically dealing with your experience in the airport. Travelling with an American passport makes you American, regardless of who your parents are.

Whether or not children born to Iranian mothers should be citizens of Iran is an entirely different issue.

It's obvious that you have a right you an iranian passport. And if you are denied this, it's a shame and another stain on the IRI's reputation.

"Do Big Boy and The Mrs really believe that Iranian women should not be allowed to pass their nationality to their children? " That's not what we were discussing!!!! You talked about not wanting to go to Iran again because you were treated poorly at the airport since you American passport overtook your blood line. That my dear is different than questionning citizenship laws.

You have greivances against the IRI, get in line. You're not alone and no one is saying you shouldn't be officially and Iranian.




by LR (not verified) on

You are perceptive. I can never have an Iranian Passport because under the laws of Iran an Iranian woman cannot pass her nationality on to her children.

The law works like this:

1. Iranian man + Iranian wife = Iranian kids

2. Iranian man + foreign wife = Iranian kids

3. Iranian woman + foreign husband = foreign kids

I am a foreigner under the law of Iran and that is all I will ever be. When my mother dies, I will not have the right to step foot in Iran again, nor will my children or grandchildren. I will be cut off forever. Big Boy and The Mrs tell me that the issure is that I was traveling on an American passport. They are right about my passport, but they are mistaken about the real issue. The real issue is why Iranian like me are the ONLY Iranians to be legally designated as foreigners. I'll tell you why. Iranian women can not pass their nationality to thier children. Under Iranian law nationality and sperm go hand in hand. While my mother is about as proud an Iranian woman as I have ever known but that doesn't count for anything because she was born with the wrong plumbing to pass on nationality. Only sperm counts in the Islamic Republic.

The Mrs and Big Boy would fight like hell if someone tried to take away their citizenship, but they mock me with sarcasm for wanting what any other Iranian or half-Iranian takes for granted, Iranian citizenship. Why should people like me have to bow, scrape and beg other Iranians to recognize us. I came from the womb of a very proud Iranian woman, just like Big Boy and The Mrs did, yet they regard me as a whiner...a cry baby.

There are many other Iranians who face unjustice, but many of them have the hope that someday justice will prevail. What do I have? What does my sister have? When our mother dies we will be cut off from our ancestral home foreverrrrrrrr! Without the Iranian citizenship that millions of other half-Iranians who have foreign mothers take for granted, I have nothing so pass to my future children.

Do Big Boy and The Mrs really believe that Iranian women should not be allowed to pass their nationality to their children? They would prefer that I just shut up. They have their citizenship, so my complaints don't mean a thing to them...I bore them. While thier grandchildren will be able to someday visit Iran, mine will have to settle for pictures from books. Why because they will be foreigners just like me.

This is wrong. I don't care how trivial Big Boy and The Mrs wish to characterize my blog, but I will never change the way I feel. They don't feel like I do because they have their citizenship. No one can ever take it away from them. If something doesn't affect them then surely it must unworthy of empathy.

I hope neither one of them is ever on the painful side of injustice, but if they are...and if that unjustice comes at the hands of thier own people, Insha'Allah there will still be good people, kind-hearted people that will not scoff at them and trivialize their difficulties.


Dear Lance I have a lump in my throat ..

by curly (not verified) on

after reading your story. I can not believe how some commentators are belittling your experience by saying you have no " Janbeh" ? God they have no heart!
I totally feel your frustration , even I have not had the same experience. Your sense of identity has been violated by the same people that you thought would accept you as part of them.
my dear in my book you are Persian and some more. love your sensitive heart.


Lance your story reminded me

by Esmal Latte (not verified) on

Lance your story reminded me of Sean Penn who went to Iran as a reporter and got fingerprinted at the airport. Here's the link to his report:


I really liked his report which was in several parts and you can click the links to other parts if interested. He also took some videos the best for me was when he video taped Rafsanjani's aide pushing him to be next to Rafsanjani in a photo op! Very funny and he wrote about it really good.

Anyway, since you say you are enough Iranian for your sake anyway, then you should know that the Govt in Iran and many of these so called rituals and rules are not right. Many are in fact barbaric.

I really don't understand why you are taking such a harsh position. I believe you when you say you are in fact Iranian and based on your other stories in fact you are Iranian and a good one at that. So much so that you've traveled to Iran twice already with an American passport. I don't even know how you could go to Iran without an Iranian passport (being a child of an Iranian) but that is another story.

So why is this a surprise to you? Do you think there is no chance you'll ever be treated badly by an official in US or Europe? Ever? As you know these horror stories are out there. So if it happens to you are you going to stop visiting Europe or US?

I liked your story and your stories, I just don't like your conclusion in this case. In fact, this is one reason I don't recommend many of young women in my family to go visit Iran, even though they insist they want to. I just don't think they are ready and think they can tell the officers they don't have to wear their headscarve in a ceratin way and what they do should be good enough. Or if they say to these officers that I am actually not a muslim "anymore" and are Christian. I see nothing wrong with all these statements when you are in America but when you are in Iran you are in a different world.


Can you get an Iranian

by sdf (not verified) on

Can you get an Iranian passport LR since your motehr is Iranian?

Big Boy


by Big Boy on

I think TheMrs explained it quite well.  While it seems that your emotions have gotten the best of you, the fact is, when you travel with an American passport, by law you are American.  That's it, that's all.