How To Vilify Ahmadinejad

I have to confess, I’ve been rather obsessed with the President Ahmadinejad spotlight this past week since his attendance of the UN General Assembly. First, the guy was refused a room by hotels in New York. Then his speech at the UN resulted in several country representatives walking out in protest. Those who stayed behind were chastised the next day by Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu who said they had “no shame”. I thought that was an interesting comment, all things considering. Then his interview with Katie Couric, which you can watch below.

What I find interesting about all this is the amount of time, energy, and resources that are invested in vilifying this man. Mass media has elevated him to a whole other dimension over the years and it feels like everyone just goes along with it. I’m not a fan of Ahmadinejad but at the same time I am somewhat astonished at the extent to which everyone is expected to hate him. It’s almost subliminal. I’m not sure if most people even know why they don’t like him to begin with. It feels like most people have just been told that they should hate him and that’s the end of that. There’s a sense of absolutism to hating Ahmadinejad that fascinates me, especially since a lot of that absolutism seems driven primarily by mass media. That concerted effort is just plain interesting.

Watching Ahmadenijad speak is quite a sociological experiment come to think of it. You may agree with him completely, or not at all, but try just listening and watching him speak in the videos below, and do so with an objective mind. In other words, make an attempt at clearing all the preconceptions you’ve ever formed regarding the man and focus on what he has to say, and how he says it. Pretend you know nothing about him.

Now here’s the thing, this isn’t about making a hero out of Ahmadinejad but rather coming to understand his vilification and the reasons behind it. Any sane person who watches one of his speeches can only conclude that he is an intelligent and calculating leader. Like him or not, it is very difficult to deny those attributes as western mass media has so eagerly sought to.

As for the criticisms levied against him, to be honest – and I speak from a solely personal perspective – it’s possible that I would grant those criticisms a degree of credence if they weren’t being levied so boldly by hypocritical nations. Yes, criticisms that emerge through a hypocritical mouthpiece are not necessarily fallacious, but their value is rendered highly questionable if not completely eroded. It’s like poisoning the well of reason and expecting people to drink from it.

It forces you to ask the question of who’s shining the spotlight, and more importantly, why? Moreover, why Ahmadinejad and not Khamenei?

And as matter of etiquette, this is not to say there are no similar efforts on the ground in the Arab world today. Indeed, the way many Arabs, particularly young Arabs, view Ahmadinejad and Iran in its totality, has a lot to do with propaganda issued by our own governments. Much of that propaganda moves beyond the limitations of concern set by the western world. For instance, many conversations I’ve had regarding Iran with average Jordanians seems to draw various negative connotations, little of which is derived from western media and much of which is derived from sectarianism and this idiotic hate for Shias. It goes without saying that when it comes to Iran and the Arab world, nothing, and I mean nothing, should trump religion as a reason to vilify all that is Iran, and yet most of the vilification seems to emanate from the western political sphere irregardless.

I can’t help but find that fascinating.

Part I.

Part II.

Also recommended, for the purposes of this post, is the Charlie Rose interview (forward to minute 11:50)


  • Puppet dictator buffoons should always be vilified.
    No world”leader”should be oh so proud of holocaust denial.
    Calculating with no intelligence more like it.

  • sometimes i think i want to like him just to spite those who hate him .. especially since those who hate him tend to be people i hate

  • chris: not so sure to what extent one can label ahmadinejad as either a puppet dictator or a buffoon, to say nothing of having “no intelligence”. feels more like you’re talking about former president bush. as for holocaust denials, that’s a whole other debate.

    mo: the enemy of my enemy…

  • Well you have to respect the man, he is a leader that can make a decision and stick to it without any hesitation.

    @ Chris – I think you should do a little more reading mate!

    The Iranians have excellent diplomatic skills, they like and have the ability to buy time have, they have aa critical eye for detail and the best thing us that they are so cool and laid back about their questionable agendas.

  • Yazan, say what you like, no problem, but i think respect is something that can only be bestowed on those leaders who show respect to their own people. Recent Iranian elections show the opposite. The dude showed no respect, hence, he deserves none.

  • I loved this post and agree with you! I have been “brought up” by the press and general media to hate Ahmedinejad but whenever I disregard 3rd party opinion on him and actually listen to him speaking DIRECTLY I cannot fail but notice the disparity between what he says and what the media reports him saying.

    Honestly, he scares me a little but and I disagree with a lot of things happening in Iran, but I cannot fail to admire him when I heard him talk the last time with Larry King after the UN visit.

    Let’s aim to be fairer in our opinions.

  • When your selected and ruled by khamenei that makes you a puppet.

    Ariel Sharon was good at sticking to decisions,had good diplomatic skills,could buy time and be cool about questionable agendas,I guess we should respect him too.No?I don’t think so.

    As for the enemy of my enemy is my friend and hatred,look in every direction to see how that logic plays out in real life.Nasty ain’t it.

    And by the way,Bush was and still is an idiot buffoon,that doesn’t let old mahmoud off the hook though.

  • Besides the internal political oppression within. Iran at least yes without hestitation! There standing
    up to the enemy Israel” you have unlimited. Of undisclosed (Weaponary__to say. Ahmadinejad is
    inept in his dipolmacy is laugh! Before you under estimate Iran you better. Observe the economics
    leader in fossil fuel which ran by the government. Not American imperalist pro Israel cartels. And
    nothing wrong with having weaponary remember were. Not the Gaza area so befofe you say. We
    Iranians are proud you spying on us. Through whom Qatar naval base along Bahrain! Nice for so
    call moslem socities you never take Iran! In your dreams …still your entitled to your opinion! Yes
    Ahmadinejad admit it gotten your attention reason there truth behind! The puppets besides Israel
    being pulled into intanglement! Saudi Arabia,Egypt,Qatar,Bahrain and Iraq I fogotten Turkey. The
    nation name fits it appropriately! I not tell you are external support thank you. For misinformation!

  • im going to go along with the hes a puppet dictator crowd just because i think that whether he is or not is beside the point ..
    the point is that there are dictators we like .. then there are dictators we dont like ..

  • Quite an interesting debate, with a few people “aka Rima” talking as if she hasn’t been really watching news, but rather only “spoon fed” their beliefs, the guy won the iranian elections by a difference of 10M votes!!! AND … well Chris.. the recent holocausts in Gaza..renders your fabricated historical statistics …completely invalid!!!!!

  • Terrorist or Freedom Fighters to be appropriate. Does matter when Israel has surivallance equipment to circumvate. The lot of things 2008 I felt horrible. That not even Iran enter to assist
    the Palestinians! I am tired of the western influence media. They distort the truths: when we
    obtain any science or weaponary. Israel gets nevorous American has. Strong Zonist movement you
    condone Gaddafi but at least he stands up! Most of the leaders await …pension from so Zonist influence companies. Iran nows that they’ll be envaded someday but when? EU and America is no
    (economic) position to envade! If America starts war with Iran yes Russia. Would intervene why?
    Geographical close to it’s borders. There major gas concessions along with trade. See the same
    take was use in Iraq all foreign companies. Contracts were void pro- Imperialsist America! Israel
    syps on Syria and Jordan there target Egypt. Has the military might not weaponary let’s say what is
    far. Palestinians were there first and not regionalist nor racist! The Zonist proved what they are
    you talk about geocide. Acknowledge Israel what you call terrorist notions. Innoncent famillies whom
    parished 2008 from your missels. No your defeading yourself this all double standards. You fear
    Iran because of organized military which supported by Russia!

  • Ahmadinejad is really good a dodging questions… Like Mark Regev, George Bush, Yasser Arafat and all those fools

  • I wasn’t going to comment (because whether or not you fear or respect Ahmadinejad depends on what side of of the world you’re on – if you’re Israeli or American you’ve got a good reason to hate him and despise him. If you’re Jordanian, you’ve got nothing to fear. Oh, that is unless he makes good on his promise and nukes Israel. Something about the proximity of Jordan/Israel/Gaza? Maybe this guy needs to take a closer look at a map of the Middle East, or the last Israeli “action” in Gaza is going to look like child’s play compared to that.

    About Holocaust denial – what happened in Gaza was awful, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the Holocaust did in fact take place in Europe and that 11 million people, among them 6 million Jews, were brutally murdered.

    I think that when you deny a well known fact (like Ahmadinejad does) you lose credibility, and that adds to his bad image in the world (just like his laughable comment about “there are no homosexuals in Iran”).

    Case In Point: A few years ago I attended a lecture by a guest lecturer at my university in America about the devestating effects and environmental consequences of the drying up of the Dead Sea. The speaker was adament that both Jordan and Israel must work together to repair the damage that has been done, and to prevent future damage.
    In the front row sat four or five Arab students (don’t know from where, maybe Palestinians? maybe Jordanians?) who, when given the chance to ask questions, immediately raised their hands and when given the floor said: Why should Jordan and THE SUPPOSED STATE OF ISRAEL work together when all Israel does is kill Palestinians?
    It was immediately obvious to everyone in the room that these students were not the least bit interested in the topic of the lecture and were just there to bring up anti Israeli sentiment, because the question they asked had nothing to do with the Dead Sea, but the minute they referred to Israel as THE SUPPOSED STATE OF ISRAEL they lost all credibility even in the eyes of people who may have been willing to listen to important and factual points about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

    Israel is a state, and to deny that fact makes the denier lose credibility in any argument. Yes, Israel does bad things (as do the Palestinians); yes, it is not infallible; yes, you could argue that the Gaza fighting constituted war crimes, but to say Israel is a made up state? The same is true for the Holocaust – you could argue that it wasn’t a good enough reason to kick people off their land, but how can you say it never happened?

  • chris: “And by the way,Bush was and still is an idiot buffoon,that doesn’t let old mahmoud off the hook though.”

    You’re right about that, but I would argue that by mass media standards, both have been vilified to a level that is equatable, when in reality one is far, far worse than the other. As for holocaust denying, my readings of ahmadinejad seem to indicate that he is against the mythologizing of the holocaust, i.e., putting this one piece of history on a pedestal as a pretext for the creation of an illegal state. I could be wrong as I wont claim to be an expert on the guy, but that’s my reading of his perspective thus far. mass media has played a crucial role in take that perspective and rendering it as a “the man does not believe that jews were ever killed during ww2”. lastly, not so sure that your sharon analogy fits here.

    @mo: well put.

    @Fares: you cant be a politician without that key skill.

  • Nice post neighbor.
    Nas,my Sharon take was just a play on Yazan’s post,just because you have all those attributes SHOULDN’T earn someone respect.I’m not an expert either on Ahmadinejad,but I think his many statements have make it pretty clear where he stands.

    Anyway,much love from the U.S. of A. for the Jordanian blogosphere.

    P.S.-Ahmadinejad might be jewish.Ouch! (UK Telegraph)

  • For starters in the end game of things he’s irrelevant and its baffling how Khamenai doesn’t get more airtime than him… oh well that being said whats the point of this post defending him ?
    Is it because he’s a good person ? not really sure ? whats ur take on him ? do you like him ? or is it just going against the grain ?
    This whole post sounded like a chris crocker “leave Ahmadinajad alone” post.
    Fact of the matter is i was ambivalent to him up until the last election, where he blatantly stole it ! *ruba sad to say it but you are the one being spoonfed information if you believe that it could have been possible for him to win the election with a 10million vote difference*
    For issa’s sake the guy was the head of the basij at one point, so that fact alone should be enough to think twice about defending him.
    It’s one thing to stand against the grain and voice your opinion in defense of what you think is righteous and just and its completely a different thing to just ignore certain details so you can just stand against the grain for the sake of it

  • @bambam: i hate having to repeat myself, but let me be clear that this is not a defense of the man nor an attempt to frame him as a “good person”, nor is this a “leave ahmadinejad post” or a stand against the grain post. this is simply put, an attempt to understand the extent to which mass media shapes our perceptions, with ahmadinejad as a perfectly good example.

    if you didn’t get that from the post then i hope this comment clarifies my position for you.

  • But here’s the thing … you justified him repeatedly and used the perception of a middle eastern society contrasted with that of the western mass media ….
    Honestly Al Jazeera and Al Manar have always championed his point of view. Those two compose a major part of “credible” mass media resources that influence the Arabic population, and contrary to what you convey the majority of the Jordanian population actually likes him. partly for the holocaust denial and his statements about Israel, we are sentimental like that !
    besides that point there is nothing fascinating, media has always been a tool used to create and vilify the enemy. it’s just business as usual. McCarthy anyone ?

  • May be you are a bit too quick to point at ‘the west mass media”? In my opinion, this is too easy. It depends on what you are reading and watching… As a Dutch reader of your blog, I find it interesting that Arab blogs in English mostly refer to American media only, as “the west mass media”. Well…
    But the most important for me are the views of Iranians themselves. Of course their views are very divided on A and his behavior at the UN, but a lot of them are very negative, not to say ashamed of him.

  • Anna – alot of Iranians are very negative and ashamed of Ahmadinejad?

    Care to share with us where you got that information from? Was there a poll done in Iran recently demonstrating that? Did you speak to the majority of Iranians and get that opinion from them? The only poll we are all aware of is the one that was taken just before the elections by two western organisations which predicted the election results that were eventually announced by the government. Let me remind you – Ahmadinejad was far ahead in the polls and was expected to win by a huge majority..of course, that was quickly forgotten by the western media.

    Now…after the elections, all these demonstrations occur and according to the western media and leaders, this showed that the elections were rigged. On our TV screens appeared all these Iranians speaking on behalf of the majority of Iranians, even though the vast majority of these spokespersons reside in the US or UK or France etc – similar to dear Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi who helped convinced the world that Iraq was a major threat blah blah…who are these Iranian spokespersons? Any chance that they are in any way related to the former Shah and his government? There is a rather large Iranian community based in the US and Europe – alot of these people moved there after the 1979 revolution which removed the despicable US supported Shah from power and have always been against the current Iranian regime because they lost their privileged position under the Shah – they are hardly the right people to listen to with regards what the majority of Iranians in Iran want or feel.

    With regards the actual demonstrations – do they represent the majority of Iranians? The country is some 70 million people…a large percentage live outside of Tehran and those people love Ahmadinejad because they are the poor and under-privileged who he has been focusing on helping since he came to power…perhaps not because he is a man of the people, but it serves his interests and he has secured their support…they make up the majority of Iranians…not the westernised Iranians living in Tehran who make up a very small % – its like saying the West Ammanis of Abdoun etc speak on behalf of all Jordanians!!!!! These demonstrations represented a very small percentage of the people of Iran.

    Please also keep in mind that it is public knowledge that the US is supporting and funding organisations in Iran to help overthrow the regime…they have actually stated that in the past, although it is always left out in any discussion concerning the “revolution” currently taking place in Iran. When you consider that – don’t you get a little suspicious about the credibility of these demonstrations and the coverage they are getting?

    Now, I am no fan of the Iranian regime…I come from a non-religious background and believe I should have the right to do as I please as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else…obviously, I would not be happy living under the Iranian regime…but at the same time, I find it hard to disagree with a lot of the things Ahmadinejad has said…forget the stupid comment regarding homosexuals…his supposed holocaust denial ? He never denied the holocaust – he questioned the number and he criticised the way it has been used by Israel to justify their actions and gain sympathy around the world…I agree with that and so do a lot of other people – Norman Finklestein to begin with – son of holocaust survivors. Destruction of the state of Israel? He never said that…he referred to the end of the Zionist regime, its policies and its occupation…big difference…unless of course when the US talks about changing the Iranian regime, they also mean the destruction of Iran…furthermore, Iran has said on numerous occasions that whatever the Palestinians agree to, Iran will respect that.

    How about his comments re US meddling in the region? Can anyone disagree with that? Had the US not meddled back in the 50s, then the elections a few months back could have been the latest in nearly half a century of democratic elections in Iran – unfortunately the US and UK didn’t like the idea of Iranians actually ruling their country so helped overthrow the elected leadership and installed their puppet the Shah.

    How about US support for Iraq which led to over 1 million Iranian deaths? A war Iran did not want nor did it start, but which it was forced into thanks to American meddling and Saddam’s stupidity.

    How about America’s support for dictators throughout our region and beyond? Can anyone argue with that?

    How about Ahmadinejad’s comments regarding the unfair system at the UN – what right do the 5 security council members have to decide whats right for the rest of the world? Why do 180 or so other countries have less of a say combined than those 5 countries? Is it because China and the former Soviet Union are democratic countries? Is it because the US is honest and fair in its dealings with the rest of the world? Is it because the US is not responsible for all the major wars and millions of deaths that have occurred over the last 50 years? Is it because Great Britain never believed in the policy of divide and rule which has led to so many conflicts since the demise of the empire?

    How about the nuclear issue? Why all this pressure on Iran when there is zero evidence suggesting Iran is building a bomb…where is the evidence? Someone show me please…as each day goes by, this sounds more like the BS we were fed with regards Iraq and WMDs. Whilst at the same time – not a word about Israel, the only nuclear power in the region and a non-signatory of the NPT…no one has ever inspected Israel’s nuclear facilities and no one has ever mentioned doing so. When Israel rejected an IAEA demand for inspections of its nuclear facilities recently, I can’t remember reading it in a single western media story – and yet, Israel actually has the bomb and quite a few of them.

    Yet Iran, a country that doesn’t occupy any other country nor has it invaded another country, is the country that all the pressure is on? Iran is also a signatory of the NPT and which, according to the non-evidence presented, appears to be abiding by the conditions set forth in that agreement…note that Iran also agreed to more intrusive inspections even though they didn’t necessarily have to do so, and only reneged on those inspections when the western countries applied even more pressure and issued more “instructions”…of course, that was portrayed by western media as proof that Iran was in contravention of the NPT.

    As Nasseem said…its not that I love Ahmadinejad and the system of government in Iran – but when the pressure is being applied by countries who have exploited, terrorised, abused and subjugated the rest of the world to their selfish and illegitimate interests, its kinda tough not to side with him and Iran, especially when they are guilty of pretty much nothing – just a lot of accusations with no evidence provided…as Mo said – I’m drawn to him because he hates the same people I tend to “hate”!

    And let me point out – if the US and Israel get their wish and have the opportunity to attack Iran, the entire region and world will suffer. Oil prices will go thru the roof, economies throughout the world will suffer, workers will be laid off and so on and so forth. Not to mention that those of us who happen to reside in the Middle East will also have the unfortunate pleasure of being in the middle of a regional warzone – Iran is not an Iraq crippled by 13 years of sanctions and is not dependent on the US and western firms for its military capabilities.

    Of course…there will be those who benefit…those people being the ones who own the multinational corporations that will win the contracts to rebuild everything, the ones who will have increased control over global energy supplies, the ones who may end up with a new Iranian market to sell their goods – the same people who have benefitted from wars throughout the world over the last half a century…they also happen to be the same companies and people who influence/run the countries pushing for war – and shock horror, they also happen to be the ones who own the big western media organisations promoting this rubbish about Iran and Ahmadinejad being a threat to the entire world.

    Turn off the western news channels…infact, don’t get your news from TV…do the research, read from a variety of sources and come to your own conclusions. Iran is not a threat to the world – western media and their backers are the real threat.

  • Monty,
    You completely misunderstood what I said:

    1) According to Nasseem, mass media shapes our perceptions, and “villifying ahmadinejad” of “the west mass media” as a perfectly good example.
    My argument is such a thing is too easy to say. There are a lot of sources and also a lot of “mass media” – from Europe, but also from the States – that have a more nuanced opinion on Amedinedjad and others. I have read a lot of different fact, stories and opinions about Amedinedjad and Iran, so I did not recognize what Nasseem was saying.
    My own observation from reading blogs as this one is that they mainly quote American mass media and probably don’t view or read other sources (for instance Le Monde or Der Spiegel – also in English – on the internet, European TV-channels).
    I think there is no monolytic “west mass media”. But there are a too many people that are just reading media from one or two sources: in Europa as well as in the US, but also in the Middle East.
    My point: when you attack cliches, don’t use them yourself.

    2) My second argument was: when arguing about the villification of A, include views from Iranians themselves. What are his own people saying about him?
    As you probably know, there are a lot of Iranians on the internet – in and outside Iran. Iran has (had? till this summer) a very vibrant e-culture. Most blogs I can only read about in other publications (I don’t read Farsi) but some blogs, facebookpages, etc are in English. As I mentioned, opinions on Amedinedjad and his government differ enormously. It has a lot to do with differences in Iran: between town and country, different classes. As a history student, I am fascinated.
    But after the crackdown on the opposition, the supporters of the opposition candidate are bitter. So when they see him in New York using his usual arguments (and yes – there are people that are ashamed of that), they are also thinking of their own situation, on what happened last summer. In the words of one blogger: ” Ahmadinejad repeated his story of denial but this time also added fraud in his election, crack down on protesters, shooting at people, rape and murders in prisons to his list of denials .”

  • Well, Hitler Mussolini and other were also strong male leaders who stuck to their decisions.. hmm

    Instead of trying to make him look good, and only criticising the west media for doing it wrong, you could write down som serious thought through criticism.

  • @S: no one is defending him here. try to read and critically analyze instead of proving my very point.

    then again, if you’re seriously comparing this guy to hitler then i would highly question your ability to analyze anything critically.

  • As an iranain , first of all i should say that i appreciate your attention to irans matter … i saw here completely by accident and persuaded to read the post and all of the comments.

    Im a university student … and an alive witness of mass cruelty happened here by the NAME of ALLAH but by the ORDER of his representative on earth (a funny title given to khamenei ) and by MEANS of AHMADINEJAD hirelings …
    YES WE HATE HIM … HATE from deepest point of our heart … and YES WE ARE ASHAMED OF HIM … but these are not all … its something you cant understand unless you live in a country suppressed by dictatorship … and also iran shows a valuable experience for those who are Arab here … i know there are some pro-religion movement in some Arab countries like Egypt … religious leaders are those you shouldn’t gamble with … they depict a utopia for you but bring you to the hell of earth

    He is a complicated case to study … mostly because of his unbelievable self-confidence which unfortunately has led to a unique ability of saying lies … its hard to understand for you … telling lies .. with this great volume and this clarity …. and when you know all the listeners know that you are saying lies … is a very difficult job he can master well

    He is a Populist … its easy to SAY or WRITE or HEAR or READ … but we can FEEL it … do you know what the best tool of populism is ?? …
    1 – Sympathy with the poor and overwhelmed people of the world or society ??? … it is, but not the BEST ….
    2- Promise to make a utopia in which there is no poor and problem (according to an ideology , Communism or Islam ) ??? … it is, but not the BEST …

    And you can guess lots of things … but the answer is nothing but : ATTACK TO THE ENEMY … and if there is no enemy … MAKE IT

    Ahmadinejad uses this simple rule again and again … both inside Iran and in International affairs esp for Muslims … and I wonder how much it is effective that it doesn’t become old

    HASHEMI RAFSANJANI , head of KARGOZARAN party , was president of Iran during 1989 to 1997 … in his era the government was trying to compensate the harms of Iran-Iraq war (caused by that fucking Saddam) … ahamadinejad group was formed that time with the name ” ANSAR e HEZB ol ALLAH” .. this group began to vilify Hashemi making and Propagating the rumors that ” Hashemi and his Family are economically corrupted and they are responsible for poverty “… they succeeded in MAKING him THE ENEMY OF THE POOR

    In 1997-2005 KHATAMI and the REFORMISTs tried to make a better connection with the world esp the west ( bill Clinton) … again this group opposed them … but this time the accusation was trying to promote anti-religion western culture and being ethically corrupted “and they are responsible for curroption of young generation ” … they succeeded in MAKING them THE ENEMY OF THE RELIGION

    In election 2005 he defeated REFORMIST candid in the first round … and the second round was between him and HASHEMI … between a HERO (!!) and the ENEMY OF THE NATION ( !!!) … the result was wining of the GREAT LAIR
    Even in election 2009 .. he emphasized on a ridiculous rumor that Moosavi (the actual winner of election) is supported by Hashemi and his economic plan will lead to make the poor poorer !!
    In international matters … Israel is the same as Hashemi … attacking to Israel is just because of show off … they have a secret political relation with Israel from many years ago … for example they bought many weapons from Israel during Iran-Iraq War
    And about nuclear program … with no doubt .. they are trying to make nuclear bombs … they believe in a dangerous branch of shiea … which says IMAM e ZAMAN (Apocalypse saver) will come just when there is a powerful shiea state which provide him weapon to start a war with all the world to make them MUSLIM (is there any other shiea sate except Iran ?!?) … ridiculously , they are making nuclear bomb ( the strongest weapon from their point of view) for him !!!

  • Nas – “@S: no one is defending him here. try to read and critically analyze instead of proving my very point.

    then again, if you’re seriously comparing this guy to hitler then i would highly question your ability to analyze anything critically.”

    Is the best reply I have heard for a very long time.

  • Finding my way here via the online news of this German TV and, reading your entry and the following discussion, here’s my ‘piaster’ – a short com(pli)ment: Chapeau!
    Taking the part of an advocatus diaboli; at least I (want to) understand your post this way sometimes is worthwhile.
    As the matter(s) do(es) not lack of complexity it’s just impossible to focus on all aspects within but a few lines. Therefore, in the hope you won’t consider it off topic, but one thought:
    I happen to know two authors who were tortured in prison under the Shah; then Khomeini took over, and they were tortured in the prisons of the Mullahs.
    May the Iranians find an alternative for the better*.

    *Just to make sure: I do link to an Iranian blogger, who is communist. May all bad things not be three.

Your Two Piasters: