Boycotting Ahmadinejad's U.S. Visit?

No Way!


Boycotting Ahmadinejad's U.S. Visit?
by Rostam Pourzal

For most of the last two decades, I felt strange when I was asked if my sons speak Farsi. When it was too late to change anything, I felt vaguely embarrassed for not having taught them my native language. I wondered silently if I'd cheated them or betrayed my heritage by not sending them to weekend Persian language schools that exist in my city, Washington. But I'm getting over those feelings lately, and it's not only because they are delightful young adults now. Rather, I'm comforted because I look around me in the expatriate community and I realize that my sons have learned something equally valuable, if less tangible. Their social consciousness goes well beyond accepting superficial tales of American virtue. Like me, they want this country to move towards its professed ideals before issuing judgment on human rights elsewhere.

Recently my older son heard about an opportunity to meet with President Ahmadinejad in New York this September. He spontaneously and enthusiastically wants to sign up. Not to go shake a finger at the Iranian leader, but to welcome him and express solidarity with Iran.

Would the young man be so charitable if he lived in Iran? Probably not, but we live in the United States, where demonizing Iran is the ruling elite's latest trick to distract Americans from home foreclosures, outsourced jobs and declining standard of living. Knowing that the U.S. military budget (for killing, let's face it) equals the rest of the world's combined, my son feels it would be irresponsible to join U.S. war profiteers as they magnify every shortcoming of Iran. I'm proud of his wisdom.

I wasn't half as smart when I was his age. I grew up in Iran during the Cold War with a father who fled the Russian Revolution and had nothing good to say about socialism of any kind. The curious youth that I was, I read most everything he brought home, including countless government-issued translations of Western exaggerations about horrors of life in Soviet Bloc countries. And I was fascinated even more than he was with the full color monthly mailed to us by the U.S. embassy while the Vietnam War raged on. My education about the civilizing mission of the White Man was rounded by the translated U.S. comics strip that portrayed Tarzan and Jane as bringing enlightenment to Africa. (My son, by contrast, finished reading Malcolm X's full autobiography before he was a teenager!)

Despite his best intentions, my immigrant father missed a prime opportunity in 1959 to teach me about human rights. That was when my elementary school and others closed for a day so students could line the streets of Shiraz to cheer President Eisenhower's motorcade (and a year earlier or later, Queen Elizabeth's motorcade). I proudly showed my father the black and white photos that I took of the "Free World" leaders waving from their open limousines in the direction of my class. He didn't dare tell me about the Anglo-American coup that had only a few years earlier brought back the Shah and established the SAVAK.

My father had an eventful army life, which made him extra cautious about politics. He'd been put in prison (for months?) along with other Iranian officers by the invading Soviet army during the Second World War as the Reds struggled to defeat fascist Germany. Later he was a junior aide to prime minister Ali Razmara, who was assassinated by an Islamist extremist in 1951. I'm sure he never dreamed that even after retirement he'd be taken away and nearly executed by a local revolutionary "Komiteh" after Khomeini's return in 1979.

Anyhow, I grew up believing everything horrible that I heard about the Soviet bloc, not realizing that Western capitalism has left a far bloodier trail of death and destruction while pretending to promote "human rights." For as long as he lived, my immigrant father loved for the rest of my family to speak Azerbaijani Turkish like him, and we did. I am thankful for that. But the "American democracy" fairy tale that he thought Iran should copy was patently false. And when I realized that after I arrived on these shores, I decided I wouldn't pass it on to my children.

My sons know that the "Soviet enemy" strength was exaggerated in the U.S. not in order to protect American citizens, but to silence dissent and undermine democracy in this country. And I know that thousands of immigrants from Eastern Europe with questionable backgrounds were recruited, in some cases unknowingly, to spread poisonous propaganda in the West for the "liberation" of their homelands. A similar campaign is now under way to use fear of Iran (and Islam) to suppress dissent here at a time of sharply rising bankruptcies, health care crisis, and rising social inequality. "Patriotic" advocates of ever increasing U.S. military budgets at the expense of public services couldn't be happier.

Political opportunism is not uncommon anywhere, but when it happens here it infects the whole world. Around the time when Iran's national hero, Mohammad Mossadegh, was overthrown by the CIA, hundreds of U.S. citizens were caught in a dragnet initiated by Senator Joseph McCarthy for alleged communist leanings. Most lost their reputations, livelihoods, or both. That episode cast a long shadow on how history and social studies are taught in schools and what the media dare to publish, with public opinion to follow. Democracy has never recovered here from the resulting corruption and paranoia, with the near-impeachment of Richard Nixon being an exception.

I encouraged my son when he said he wanted to greet Iran's president in New York three weeks from now. Some others may boycott the meeting out of concern for democracy in Iran. But my sons are American citizens and have a responsibility to protect democracy in the U.S. from McCarthy-style witch hunts in this country, the kind that Columbia University, Zionist organizations, and some Iranian fugitives subjected the Iranian president to last September. As long as we support the American war machine, however reluctantly, with our taxes, we have a solemn duty to dissent from the prevailing myth that Iran is a danger to the world and should be isolated.

I'd be happier if my sons spoke Farsi in addition to being defenders of democracy for Americans. But realistically at this point I don't think both my wishes will come true.


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The future under the

by redneck (not verified) on

The future under the left/islamists is dark ...... a very dark age. Ahmadinejad's thuggery and gangsta style and bullying should be condemned by the UN. He should be arrested upon setting foot to New York.

Ahmadinejad's supporters should be identified by the FBI here in the US and deported back to Iran. This terrorist has no right to be here in the US. He has called for a "World without America"...He funds Iraqis militia to kill American soldiers, his government is responsible for the killings of more than 240 marines in Lebanoan...We have becoem a nation of useful idiots and trasferring our wealth to this petrodictators like there is no tomorrow. This nation is going to pots...

K Nassery

Still time to learn Farsi...

by K Nassery on

Many people learn a new language as an adult.  I don't understand the problem with your two sons picking up books and making the effort....  So they will have an accent....Lots of people have accents. I hear that toddlers are learning Farsi...I bet those sons can too.



Mr pourzal , could you please ask your son to ask about Bahais!!

by Tahirih on

 Tell him that , We love our dear Iran, our forefathers were born there,our prophet, Baha'ullah was born there and is the reason that non Iranian Bahais worship Iran. Tell him our fathers worked hard for their  pensions,we want our dead to be left alone,we want our youth to go to university. We want to be in Iran and have the right to go back if we want to. We loved our martyred daughters and sons, we hurt when he calls us a cult, and denies our existence. We bleed just like others when they cut .

Above all , please ask him why he has kept our administrative members in jail , they are sons and daughters of Iran. Tell him we are here and will stay , even after he is gone.




Pourzal: Fathers and Sons

by Kurush (not verified) on

Mr. Pourzal’s confessional is honest and thoughtful. More importantly, it has poignant overtones, which I, for a lack of better word, would call the ‘moral imperatives ‘ of human existence. It is the moral balance that dictates the issue of war and peace, or, for that matter, suffering and happiness. This moral balance antecedes the outcome of all events. What destroys this moral balance the ancient Greek tragedians called kybris, which is the etymology of the word hubris, arrogance, vanity and the inevitable blindness thereof. When the American idiots, Bush and McCain, tell us that in 21st century nations do not invade nations, with the grotesquely bloody American aggressions and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq not being apparently invasions, it is the work of hubris and the concomitant blindness.. It violates a moral order deep within us. When the evil one comes to the earth, he would likewise proceed to undermine this moral order. The Zoroastrians personified this moral order in the faravashis, the Bountiful Immortals. It is said that America is a democracy and, therefore, it follows that America does not have dissent and dissidents, nor tyrants. God forbid we call Bush and Cheney tyrants! It is them Rushyian commies (sic) and Eye-ranians (sic) who have tyrants and despots and dissidents, not in good ol’ America where everyone watches homogenized TV and homogenized culture bestowed by the studio moguls of Hollywood. ( and if there should be anything approaching dissent in America, the McCarthyisms and the Patriot Bills will nip it in the bud). What is painful to observe is the failure of the Iranian expatriates to keep one crucial point in purview of things. As flawed and screwed up the Islamic Republic might be, it is the first truly sovereign Iranian government ever since that curse, better known as the Treaty of Golestan , and its pernicious fifth article which gave the Anglo-Russian powers the right to determine the Iranian succession, was cast. Ahmadinejad is the product of a dialectical historical process. We Iranians can not have democracy. When we did have full-blown democracies after the 1905 Revolution ( God bless the souls of those who made it possible) and in the immediate post second world war, they were subverted by foreign powers ( and we know who they are), yet we must abandon absolute monarchy. But the third way, proposed by the would-be saboteurs and infiltrators, is not the answer. And what did the poor Iraqis get when their Chalabis and Alawis returned to their so-called liberated homeland? They got what follows kybris, namely the Furies


Dear mr purzad Your sons are

by baharam (not verified) on

Dear mr purzad

Your sons are American, and they have all the rights to express themselves freely. It is garanteed by the law.

Mean time could you please tell your sons to ask Mr Pesident in the name of milliones of Iranians who are searching for their relatives, friends,neighbours, classmates, coworkers...
who disappeared from prisons 20 years ago . Don't you think it is a mother's right to visit his son/doughter's grave and silently cry. You know very well, that in Iran we can not ask those "non sense " question.

Please do ask.



Fred's hypocrisy is marvelous

by Q on

Dear proud Persian "Fred," who courageously fights for human rights and standing up to evil from behind a keyboard, let me explain something to your highness:

US is responsible for killing over one million Iraqis through bombs and sanctions in addition to supplying chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein for killing thousdands more Iranians and Kurds. US has killed thousands more in central America and another couple of million deaths in Vietnam, and that's just since 60's.

By your (stupid) argument, no one should be "clamoring" to meet wtih any US leader. In fact, the same could be said of China, Russia, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Israel, Spain, etc. By your own standard, if people shouldn't meet Ahmadinejad because of what IRI did decades ago, they should surely kick President Bush on sight, because of what America did decades ago. If you agree with this, we can say you are at least fair.

This is a world view that makes peace impossible. But I'm sure you're not losing any sleep over this little fact.

So, you see my "brave" human rights fighter friend and "like minded" Zionist allies, you can be either consistent or you can be a hypocrite. But make no mistake about it, you have proven yourself to be the latter with ironic consistency.


Dialogues, when possible, are Better than Boycotts and wars

by Logical (not verified) on

Boycotts, protests and other civil - or violent- disobedience methods are used when there is no dialogue or communication allowed. Regardless of your opinion, you cannot deny that Iran has been more welcoming to dialogues and intercultural exchanges than the American government which keeps ignoring Ahmadinejad's open invitation and proposal (in his Columbia University address) to exchange students, faculty and speakers and conduct open and uncensored televised debates across both nations. One wonders who's more afraid of transparency?!


By Their Silence Shall We Know Them

by Not anonymous (not verified) on

Irandokht and aaj Sr:

Today and everyday, all peace groups and pro-democracy groups should raise their voices against the brutal subjugation of the Iran and the Iranians sons and daughters.

Any peace group or pro-democracy group which criticizes democracies must also be ready to criticize dictatorships. Alas, we hardly ever hear their voices on this site.

By their Silence Shall We Know Them!

Irandokht jan: You're right. But for me, the issue of corruption is more important than human rights because the Iranian economy is not diversified as other countries and once the oil/gas runs out, there is not left for Iranian children to fall back on if this regime continues to rape,plunder, and mismanage the economy.

By Their Silence Shall We Know Them


Clamoring to Meet the Islamist honcho

by Fred on

It so happens around this time twenty years ago the Islamist republic committed its well documented mass murder of thousands of prisoners. Khomeini’s at the time heir apparent has the actual kill order in his memoire. And now the shameless Islamists label the blood soaked pages of their Islamist republic as having “human right problems”.

No question about it, that there are human rights problems in Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, etc.”

Islamist/Anti-Semites and their likeminded lefty allies including Islamist wedding photographers and the conjoined twin lobbies are just marvelous. 

ebi amirhosseini

Like fathers,like sons,not in your case...

by ebi amirhosseini on

 Dear Mr pourzal

I've always enjoyed reading your articles published in Iranians,our weekly magazine in D.C area.Just shocked to hear that you never let your kids learn Farsi/persian,despite their father having an incredible knowledge of it ( your Nasr in your articles)!.You still appreciate your late father's inistance on his children speaking his mother tongue(while you blame him for everythnig else!!).As you well know, knowing another language,opens a window for one to be able to know the culture,customs & most important of all the literature of poeple who speak the language,which in case of your sons;you a well educated (sociologist) man,have deprived them the opportunity that your father provided for you!.

I think your father was a smarter man than you.

best wishes


program about MA visit to Colombia

by rn-network (not verified) on


What a thinly veiled

by shameoniriaplogists (not verified) on

What a thinly veiled propaganda to defend the indefensible and to protray the criminal/liar Ahmadinejad as a human being.

The man has blood on his hands.//


corruption and human rights violations

by IRANdokht on

which one do you think would attract more attention to them internationally? corruption of public officials and raping of the country's resources would not raise the international outrage that human rights would. We already witnessed what brought Carter and the rest of them to oppose Shah and chase him out. You think they gave a hoot about the corruption at the time?



Is human rights issues the

by shameoniriaplogists (not verified) on

Is human rights issues the only problem with the IRI??? I don't think so.

The biggest problem is the massive corruption and thievary, mismangement, and ourtright raping and plundering of Iran national wealth to line the pockets of khodi and apologists..

There are no human rights because noone can object to the regimes' wholesale robbery of the future generation of Iranian children.


Dear Mr Pourzal

by IRANdokht on

I have read a lot from you, heard your interviews and always been very impressed with your fight to save the iranian people from mistreatments and harm...   but you seem to forget that one of the biggest dangers that our people are facing at this time is the IRI regime and radicals like AN.

Please let your sons read what "aaj sr" has written here and decide for themselves if this figure deserves the respect they want to pay him.  

Respect for Iran does not constitute respecting IRI regime, actually it's quite the opposite. We should be letting everyone know that the IRI regime and its president do not represent the Iranians and the iranian culture, we should voice our objection to the human rights violations in IRI and condemn the military attack on Iran simultaneously. 




You AND your sons should be there

by Q on

When President Chavez visited America and got not reception from the government, he became even more popular. Hundreds of people in Massachussettes and New Jersey met him and it was a great opportunity to humanize him and Venezuela in the eyes of the Fox News watchers and violence-seeking demonizers (see Fred and his Zionist buddies).

No question about it, that there are human rights problems in Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, etc. But nobody wants the dirty hands of the US government to fix them. Only arrogant fools think they have it all figured out, and feel entitled to dictate (by force and intimidation!) what's best for other nations. Therefore meeting with these leaders is a good thing in America. You also need to tell the President that in spite of the expressed wishes of some warmongers the vast majority of Iranians in the US do not accept any kind of bombing or invasion of Iran by the US.

Your sons should meet Ahmadinejad. But if you want to set an example you should talk to Mahmoud in front of your sons, about the human rights record in Iran. Take a forceful, but polite, stance in front of him. Otherwise, what's the difference between hiding those realities and hiding the ones about communist governments that your father did to you?

By the way, is this meeting open to anyone?


No one can criticize IRI

by cyclicforward on

The butchers will finish you off in a second if you do so. Everyone knows about the Evin prison and what is going on there. Can you tell us what happened to Zahra Kazemi? She did not forefit her rights to criticize IRI and she was in Iran. Can some one tell us what happened to her?

This place is infested with IRI clowns. JJ you need to do something about it. The traffic of their crap is out of control.


I am proud of your Sons

by Roshanbeen (not verified) on

I am sick and tired of this attitude of some Iranians who believe, if you live in this country and you are prosperous, it means you should blindly succumb to the policies of any Billy Bob that wins the white house with help of supreme court. Basically you foreigners forfeited your right to critique the government, media, economy , and ....why? b/c you drive a nicer cars and live in nicer houses that you may or may not have in your own country. WOW what a democracy.

If Americans criticize the policies of Billy Bob , they are labeled un-American, unPatriotic, even enemy of state. Foreigners simply are told you don't like it go back home.

We are witnessing the tip of the Ice-burg only after 8 years of Billy Bob, after all those who criticized were right , and they did it for love of this country and it's citizens not because they were the enemy.


Will you be honest with your son, ask to read these messages?

by aaj sr (not verified) on

Tell your son that; homosexuals are hanged in Iran or they have to have sex change operation, and that's why Ahmadi in his last trip to NY said , "we do not have homosexuals in Iran", let him know, people are stoned to death, make sure he understand the value of a woman and the rights of women ( his mom, his sister, his grand ma) is half of the men. Let him know that girl considered as adult at age 9 (when you say it, make sure you are looking at your daughter, while your wife is present) and boy is an adult at age 15.
Make sure he understands, if a few strand of hair sticking out of women's scarves, it's punishable despite Ahmadi's interview against it, before presidential election.
Make sure he knows that about 25% of people are living under poverty line while Iran is considered one of the richest country in the world and let him know where the money is going to?.

Let him know there are thousands of political prisoners and in last visit to UN Ahmadi said "we do not have political prisoner!" and recently he and his thugs claiming Iran is the center for democracy in the world, while they are not allowing any gathering anywhere, all opposition newspapers are closed and writers are either unemployed or are in prisons. TV, radio and most newspapers are funded by government (I mean by people's money and brain washing them daily)

Let him know that there are 400,000 street kids, let him know there more than 1.5 million kids working in factories and are not attending schools due to family's poverty.
Let him know women are not allowed to go to stadium to watch games (women get aroused and that's un-Islamic !!!).
let him know there are segregation (gender apartheid) in Iran, women are given separate park, separate hotel, separate taxi, separate section in the back of the bus, separate entrances in government offices, in weddings, men/women are not supposed to be together. Let him know there are plans to separate boy and girls in universities, same as it is in schools now.
Let him know that people sell their organs to pay their debts and make the end meets.
Let him know if you want to name your kid, if the name is not usual ( mohamad, zahra, taghi, zainab etc) you will be denied the name and if you insist, you have to attend the special court defending you rights expressing why you want your child name to be a different than the norm!!.
Let him know music is HARAM, and youth are arrested in their houses, in their cars playing music.
Let him know that you, as his father are allowed to marry more than one woman, up to 4 and unlimited temporary marriage (legal prostitution), and ask him if that's ok with him and his mom if you should do the same? or ask him if his sister, your sister, your daughter to share her married life with other women and have a polygamy life?
Ask him if it's ok for you to loose electricity, minimum for 2 hours every day, while Iran help other countries, giving them loan and facilities to increase their power capabilities?
Let him know we are under severe sanction, we are tagged as terrorists, we are treated like 3rd. world citizen in many parts of the world, because we are not abiding with international rules and not trying to solve the grid lock peacefully, while we are poking in international eyes by rhetoric and defiant every day.
Tell him if it's ok for him to not wear short sleeve shirt, otherwise he may get arrested, or have a fancy hair, or he may be arrested and slashed ? Let him know if it's ok that the thugs stop him and inspect his cell phone and see if there are SMS messages among his text messages?
The list can go on and on .. finally ask him if he wants to live in Iran? If the answer is yes, do not wait, pack and go, I am sure there are very many people in this site who can contribute for purchase of your tickets and both of you can wave to Ahmadi every day. You do not have to wait for his annual pilgrimage!!!.
And at the end, seriously ask him should he go and wave to Ahmadi when he is here in NY? I am sure he is a very smart boy, he will make the right decision, if he is not brained washed like his father.

p.s. I really wonder what the hell you are doing here in USA; go back and take your son with you, there are over twelve million Basij, Sepah, sucking Iranian wealth and blood and they need more foot soldier like you.


You are absolutely wrong

by cyclicforward on


You live in this country and you raised your family here and you praise the coomunist. Also, IRI hangs youngsters in public, it's president is trying to develop nuclear arms and there is no freedom in the country and your son wants to shake hands with him. 


Go  tell these stories elsewhere, nobody is buying this nonsense here. Iranian president needs rotten tomato in NewYork and I hope he gets it.



Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression

by John Carpenter III (not verified) on

America is built on the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and expression. "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." First Amendment to th US Constitution. Those who do not know their opponent's arguments do not completely understand their own.


Please ask your son to wash his hand , since....

by curly (not verified) on

Ahmadinejad's hand is so stained with the blood of our youth, our Kurdish and religious minorities,and political opponents of this corrupt regime of terror!!
You definitely have leftist thinking, which is fine, but please do not glorify this criminal government, and it's president!!
I feel bad for your sons , if they are not paid handsomely, since this is like political prostitution to me.


They killed your sister and you sitting here defending him?

by samsam1111 on

""by respecting the Iranian's president""

Wow..that,s all I can say..What a brother you are Alborzi!!


Fred, is lobby a bad word?

by Shadooneh (not verified) on

In that case what do you think of AIPAC? As for meeting Ahmadinejad, one must distinguish "the office" from "the man (or woman)". I abhor the current regime in Iran, but Iran as a country has its own geopolitical weight and place in this word. Ahmadinejad happens to occupy the president's office in Iran during the most taxing and crucial times it its history. The situation in Georgia and Russia's position in the world offer a golden opportunity for the West to wean Iran from dependence on Russia. Iran's location can provide the perfect alternate route, as well as the source, of gas and oil to the EU as opposed to the Georgian route whose security and stability is being decided upon in Moscow at the moment. Please watch Charlie Rose interviewing Ahmadinejad. He sounds reasonable and accommodating. Obviously Ahmadinejad is speaking for Iran and not as himself.

Here's a link to his latest interview with Charlie Rose.


This is a must-watch for anyone who is interested in the complex Iran-US relationship and the chance to fix and even improve them.



by Kurdish Warrior (not verified) on

reading article, I felt that the author tend to have leftist ideology. which is fine as every1 has right to their opinion., however what I do disagree is shaking or greeting a man who has terrorized his own citizens with his followers is not the right way to defend the value of USA democracy...That man should be banned from entering USA. That way USA condemn him and his regime actions for their treatment against his own nation...Remember that Ahmadinejad and the rest of the IRI doesn't represent the majority of Iranians. And many countries in the world are aware of that...



by Reza K. (not verified) on

I grew up, being told, life under the communism sucks!
My communist friends would tell me that is all capitalist propaganda.

The Coup' of 1953, caused Iran to stay under the Western bloc, and not go underthe Eastern bloc.

Now that "pardeh bar oftaad", I am sooooo glad I grew up under the capitalistic system.
Life really DID suck under the Soviet system.

I wonder how many Iranian scientist would be in NASA today, had we joined Tajikistan and Turkamanistan...

What are you offering us THIS TIME??



by sz (not verified) on

“…and have a responsibility to protect democracy in the U.S. from McCarthy-style witch hunts in this country, the kind that Columbia University, Zionist organizations, and some Iranian fugitives subjected the Iranian president to last September.”

Your write-up minus the fluff boils down to, welcoming the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New York is tantamount to defending the American Democracy.
In light of the incontrovertible proof of the Islamic republic’s myriad of large scale crimes, this is just too outlandish to be serious.



by Zion on

`But the ``American democracy`` fairy tale that he thought Iran should copy was patently false. And when I realized that after I arrived on these shores, I decided I wouldn`t pass it on to my children.`

I wonder why you didn`t just leave for Cuba or North Korea to have your sons live in a more humane environment?

`My son, by contrast, finished reading Malcolm X`s full autobiography before he was a teenager!`

Wonderful. I wish him luck. Do let us know when he finally reaches complete enlightenment and goes on to meet his 72 virgins with explosives round his belt, will you?
(Or would he? I have a feeling that like his father, he rather talk the crap and keep enjoying all America has to offer like a true old style parasite.)

Good to know who these twin lobby organizations are made of.


You will be respecting the nation

by Alborzi (not verified) on

I actually do not like Ahmadinejad. I think he is too delusional, my sister was arrested and killed by these guys. However, I do feel there is too much demonizing Iran and you will be doing an act of peaceful
demonstration by respecting the Iranian's president. It will be a message to all the neocons who dehumanize Iranian nation and preparing the world for yet another genocide. Go and say no to the neocons.


Mr. Pourzal

by ahvazi on


I think its great that you are encouraging your son not to fall for American propoganda. I would also encourage him not to believe Mr. Ahmadinejad's "Khali bandi". He should take time to read Iranian history, shahnameh, hafez and saadi, and see that Iran is not about khamenie and ahmadinejad. In fact I would encourage you to do the same. All the best