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The Race for Iran

LIVE STREAM: What Does the Iranian Public Really Think?

This is a video of Panel 1, which featured WorldPublicOpinion.org Director Steven Kull and Washington Post Director of Polling Jon Cohen.

This is a video of Panel 2, which featured New America Foundation/Iran Initiative and Race for Iran Publisher Flynt Leverett, and authors Hooman Majd and Barbara Slavin.

The New America Foundation/Iran Initiative is hosting an event today to discuss what the Iranian public really thinks on key issues and the implications for US foreign policy.

Since the Iranian elections last June, there has been no shortage of commentary surrounding Iranian public opinion, but comparatively little evidence-based analysis.

WorldPublicOpinion.org (WPO) will present the findings of an in-depth analysis of twelve well-documented polls from three different sources addressing the central questions of whether the Iranian people perceive their government as illegitimate, how they voted in the June 12th election, and how the opposition views the US and Iran’s nuclear program.

This event will STREAM LIVE today from 12:15pm – 2:15pm simultaneously here at The Race for Iran and over at The Washington Note.

The full agenda is below.

Panel #1: Analysis of the Polling Data

Steven Kull

Jon Cohen
Director of Polling
Washington Post

Panel #2: Implications for U.S. Policy

Flynt Leverett
Director, Iran Initiative, New America Foundation
Publisher, The Race For Iran

Hooman Majd
Author, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Barbara Slavin
Author, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

Steve Clemons
Director, American Strategy Program
New America Foundation
Publisher, The Washington Note

— Ben Katcher


128 Responses to “LIVE STREAM: What Does the Iranian Public Really Think?”

  1. Anti-Iran propaganda and policy making has been heavily influenced for
    years on a daily basis by the entire pro-Israel power configuration in the US. This includes the 51 Presidents of the Major America Jewish Organizations with over a million members and several thousand full-time functionaries, scores of editorial writers and commentators dominating the opinion pages of the influential Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times as well as the yellow tabloid press.
    Obama’s policy of roll back of Iranian influence counted on a two-step process:
    Supporting a coalition of clerical dissidents, pro-Western liberals, dissident democrats and right-wing surrogates of the US. Once in office, Washington would push the dissident clerics toward alliances with their strategic allies among pro-Western liberals and rightists, who would then shift policy in accordance with US imperial and Israeli colonial interests by cutting off support for Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Venezuela, the Iraqi resistance and embrace the pro-US Saudi-Iraqi–Jordan-Egypt clients.

  2. Sarah says:

    Sanctions like the one US is considering; fuel and these regime companies will be effective big time.
    It is also necessary that western countries publish the amount of money in the bank account of IR officials! so that people of Iran know wht their officials are doing with their natural resources.

  3. Iranian@Iran says:

    Iranians in Iran find it very disturbing that the US is involving itself in the country’s internal affairs and that is one reason why the greens now have so little support even in Tehran.

  4. Nadia says:

    By the way Dan, Thanks for your comments and One more point: This new generation are hoping for substantial changes for sure and I don’t think there is any interest in Monarchy Marxists, etc. specially among our generation….I guess the policy maker does not know the current generation that are leading the movement

  5. Nadia says:

    Why would we be so much concerned about American covert acts all our lives and suffer as a result of it and live under a corrupt justice system?

    I also believe that although western journalist are trying to portrait Shah as a puppet (just similar to what our regime says to stay on power) Shah was not a puppet, He had serious difficulties with US. Documents from US embassy published in one Iranian newspaper in series was clearly showing the deep difference between US and Iran. Now we are trying to understand our own history without being influenced by our government propaganda or even western journalists who probably had a superficial understanding of what our parents experienced.

    Why should I trust your version of account? which has been used over and over to suppress freedom and justice in my country.

    The justice system in Iran is a mockery of justice. Shall we stay like this because of all the things you say. Isn’t it another sort of propaganda to keep us in fear? ….In the world of politics we have lost trust but we can’t sit there and see our next generation facing these rulers…we are going slowly and peacefully! We have a mixed feeling about US, it is up to American policy makers to make it positive or negative!

  6. Dan cooper says:


    You must be politically very naive to think that CIA and Mossad are not active in Iran.

    Have heard of The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in America?

    Research it in Google but do not be fooled by the word democracy.

    “The idea behind NED was to create an organization to do overtly what the CIA had long been doing clandestinely, and the organization has developed its own history of foreign interference. “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” acknowledged Allen Weinstein, one of NED’s founders”.

    Please also click on the link below, which is both interesting and fascinating;


    Bush ordered covert operation to divide and destabilize Iran and authorized $400 million dollar to finance a regime change.

    Many of the students and ‘civil society’ NGO’s in the demonstrations received
    funding from overseas foundations and NGO’s – which in turn were funded by the US government.

    The US Congress voted $120 million for anti-regime media broadcasts into Iran, and $60-75 million funding opposition parties, violent underground Marxists like the Mujahidin-i-Khalq, and restive ethnic groups like Azeris, Kurds, and Arabs under the so-called `Iran Democracy Program.

    In February, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested emergency funding from Congress to the amount of $75 million, on top of a previously allocated $10 million, “to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government”,

    In the words of The Guardian. The money “would be used to broadcast US radio and television programmes into Iran, help pay for Iranians to study in America and support pro-democracy groups inside the country.”

    The propaganda effort would include “extending the government-run Voice of America’s Farsi service from a few hours a day to round-the-clock coverage.”

    In announcing the request, Rice said the U.S. “will work to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy in their country.”

    According to an ABC News investigation, President George Bush signed a `finding’ that authorized an accelerated campaign of subversion against the Islamic Republic.

    Washington’s goal was `regime change’ in Tehran and installation of a pro-US
    puppet government.

  7. Nadia says:

    But at least this is the first time over the past 3 decades you are all confused, isn’t it?…that is a great sign!:)

  8. Nadia says:

    Iranian actually I lived all my life in Iran except for two months being out of it! I even can speak Arabic because I was interested to learn it. well racism is a different issue and I am not going to waste my time over that with you. This movement is like an iceberg, you are just seeing the tip! I guess we should not waste our time talking with those who can’t digest the reality!

  9. Nadia says:

    Iranian actually I lived all my life in Iran except for two months being out of it! I even can speak Arabic because I was interested to learn it. well racism is a different issue. I am not going to waste my time over that with you. This movement is like an iceberg, you are just seeing the tip! I guess we should not waste are time talking with those who can’t take the reality!

  10. Paneer says:


    Your attempt to marginalize this brave mass movement is futile and absurd. Rapes, shootings, jailings, and general state terror hasn’t stopped them and neither will your lies and propaganda. The Shah did a lot less killing and atrocities, and look what we did to him..

    Wake up. Tyranny will never last. It’s only a matter of when not if.

  11. Paneer says:

    “Iranian”: I don’t doubt that you prefer the PRESS TV over any other media given your support for the criminals in charge. How could you support butchers of Iran if you didn’t beleive their propaganda??

  12. Iranian says:

    With all its shortcomings, I find Press TV to be more credible than CNN or BBC, which rarely allow alternative voices to be heard. On Press TV, you can regularly watch the rant of Iran bashers when they are debating supporters of Iran.

  13. A Scientist says:

    Unfortunately Mrs Slavin is not informed correct. First of all not two Iranian diplomats resigned, apparently just one resigned, the other resigned four years later and his letter is fabricated and incomplete (his own words, seach in Google). By the way such a big crisis like in Iran expect much more resignation, but only just one diplomat resigned (he was never an ambassador,he was just an employer in consulate section, even not high ranking).

    The concentration of the demonstrations was limited in those cities where Mousavi actually won. Unfortunately due to the high hysteria exile Iranian media outlets (especially Jaras News) produced fantasy reports, there were actually never high numbers demonstration in other cities, even the funeral of Mr Muntezari was little comparing to other eminent regime loyal scholars like Behjat and Lankarani. Western experts should be careful when they get news from Jaras News, from all Iranian medias inside and outside the country Jaras News has had always the greatest numbers, all this numbers were quoted by western news agency and reached the desk of experts like Mrs Slavin.

    There are more errors in her speech which are already discussed here in the comments of the other articles of this blog.

  14. Iranian says:

    Maybe if you actually lived here you could see them. In fact, there are a bit more than 40 channels in Farsi here. As Liz pointed each province has its own channel, there are 7 national channels, and a few other channels directed at the Iranian diaspora.

    The real question is why does the US government fund almost 40 Farsi channels based outside Iran, with US taxpayer money? Many of these US funded channels advocate violence and are racist towards Arabs (in general, many of the greens are anti-Arab racists).

  15. Nadia says:

    wow 40 channels inside IRAN BY IRIB!!! Our TV is probably does not function well in Iran…we probably can’t receive them but who cares they are all state TV under IRIB no other private TV
    Liz and Paneer you are missing the main reason I mentioned Press TV! Actually watcht Brits, americans and canadians saying what they say as employees of press tv! and wearing chafieh!….etc I found Al-Alam actually a bit different! ….I am not going to get into discussion of Iran state tv channels! all run by IRIB

  16. Liz says:

    Iranians that I know portray a very different picture. They say that the population is highly educated and that the country is one of the most developed in the region and that, in fact, it is the less wealthy and disenfranchised that are among President Ahmadinajad’s staunchest supporters. They also say that there are over 40 Persian channels broadcasting inside the country (each provence has its own channel). I think some Iranians in the US feel so insecure about themselves that they can’t even tolerate a single Iranian television channel in English (Press TV).

  17. Paneer says:

    Liz says:
    February 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm
    Yes watch out for Press TV. They are a threat to the stability of the United States and the free world.

    This comment gives you a rare glimpse of what the IRI’s elite have in mind for the region.

    Why would a country with an economy the size of Connecticut, and according to the 2009 Human Development Report, Iran is ranked 88th in percentage of Population living below the national poverty line, behind Azerbaijan and Thailand, will invest so much in a Propaganda media such as PRESS TV for only English speaking people?

    Ponder on that for a while and hopefully the long-term goals/delusional dreams of the IRI will start to emerge.

    p.s.: The IRI also invest heavily in Arabic speaking media NOT PERSIAN. Al-Alam, and others?? WHY??

  18. Iranian@Iran says:

    Some claims are extraordinary. Face the facts, the people of Iran want Ahmadinejad and his reforms. Not yours. Imposing sanctions on the Iranian people will only make things worse for the US, because the Iranians will feel that that must punish the US in return…and they will. Where will that leave everyone? Also what sort of Iranian would support sanctions against Iran? I find that to be pretty sad.

  19. Nadia says:

    But in anyways thanks Dan! I like the idea of peaceful change! Although I don’t agree with roles of all these groups you mentioned! which is exactly what the regime is investing on too!

  20. Nadia says:

    Yeah yeah CIA, Mossad, the ghost of KGB… what powerful groups they are, you are making them too big to be true ….I could believe they could play a role in 1979 because Iran’s door was wide open everybody was going inside and outside. Today the regime does not allow a single foreigner in and those who are there are definitely under surveillance. Royalists r having fun life in California and don’t really care much, their children are not interested in Monarchy system themselves after 3 decades and even their children are in favor of free elections, they have been more laid back from the beginning…MKO is basically dead…they have no support inside Iran specially after joining Iraq during the war. If you don’t stop us again with war threats etc. we will achieve the freedom we are seeking for…

  21. Dan cooper says:

    Iran needs a reform, not another revolution.

    Hashemi-rafsanjani is known to be one of the richest men in the world.

    The fact that Mousavi’s campaign was bankrolled by corrupt Hashemi-Rafsanjani should tell the readers something.

    The opposition supporters must ask themselves this: If Mosavi and hashemi-rafsanjani came to power; would Iran be a better place to live in?

    With Mosavi and hashemi-rafsanjani’s past records, many experts doubt it very much,

    So why there is so much Lies and propaganda over Iran’s election? The answer is quiet simple;

    Behind some genuine protetesters in the street of Tehran, there were some powerful and invisible forces at work called CIA and MOSSAD.

    They were there not because they love Iran or Iranian people, they were there because they wanted to destabilize the regime and to create chaise, bloodshed and another revolution.

    Some of the opposition supporters such as MKE, Monarchist and other groups were actually helping CIA and MOSSAD to turn Iran into another bloodbath like Iraq.

    Most Iranian people must be aware that the extraordinary attention given to the Iranian election and its none-existent nuclear weapon suggests that many American and Israelis have a stake in the outcome.

    Much of the uproar, Lies and propaganda over Iran’s election and its non-existent nuclear weapons is done by the Israeli lobby.

    It is merely a way to discredit the Iranian government and to paint Iran as a threat in order to brainwash the international public opinion and justify a regime change or an attack.

    Under pressure from Israel lobby, Obama is now employing the same tactic, creating fear over non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons, same tactics Bush used over Sadam’s none -existent WMD.

    In 1953, The US toppled the popular and democratically elected Dr Mohammad Mosadegh, and replaced him by a US puppet dictator called “The Shah”.

    The main reason was oil.

    If USA and British did not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs back in 1953, and did not steal Iran’s oil, by now, Iran would have been one of the most prosperous countries in the world.

    USA and Israel will not allow any country to challenge Israel’s supremacy in the Middle East.

    The most important foreign policy of US and Israel is to prevent Iran from becoming a super power in the Middle East.

    Their objective is to protect Israel at any cost and in doing so; they do not care if they destroy Iran.

    So far, American government has lost nearly 5000 soldiers, spent over 900 billion dollars, killed, and maimed over one million Iraqis.

    This is the price American government is prepared to pay in order to change a regime in Iraq and replace it by a puppet government to look after the interests of US and Israel in the region.

    To American government, “Iran” is worth much more than “Iraq”.

    Iranian people must be aware that Iran is next. They must not allow USA and Israel to turn their beautiful country into another hell like Iraq In the name of freedom and democracy.

    Iranian people must also be aware that another revolution will have catastrophic consequences for Iran and its people.

    If the USA and Israel manage to divide the Iranian people and to destabilize the Iranian government, this will trigger another revolution and bloodshed far greater than what we have witnessed in Iraq and Lebanon.

    There will be bombing, street fighting, etc, the like of which we have not seen before.

    There is also a good possibility that Iran will be divided (as did Soviet Union) into smaller countries, such as: Kurdistan, lorestan, blouchestan, Azerbaijan etc

    The only looser will be the Iranian people.

    The last thing Iran needs is another revolution and bloodshed, however, Iran does need reform which can only be achieved by civil and peaceful none violent demonstrations.

    The genuine Iranian protesters must adopt Gandhi’s and Dr Martin Luther king’s philosophy of peaceful none violent demonstrations and resist and fight outside interferences at all time.

  22. Sarah says:

    Can US sanction target the ruling traditional Bazar as well?

  23. Sarah says:

    Yes Iranian governement agents are infiltrating everywhere!!!! believe it or not specially outside Iran…it is a big thing

  24. Nadia says:

    Liz that is exactly what I meant….seee Iranian governement buys brits and Americans as employees for press TV!!!! they can buy! Tehran University is easy! 1000 phone interview is the number you are relying…don’t tell it to Iranians they will just laugh at you! It is true majority in Iran are totally dissatisfied whether you are happy with it or not!

  25. Liz says:

    Yes watch out for Press TV. They are a threat to the stability of the United States and the free world.

  26. Liz says:

    Fake polls by the University of Maryland, Terror Free Tomorrow,…? You make up numbers 90 percent, 85 percent, as you write your comments…and then you call polls carried out by American universities fake? What does PIPA have to gain by doing such a thing? Are the Iranians infiltrating American universities and institutions?

  27. Nadia says:

    By the way just watch press TV they are not short of white american, canadian, british radical Islamist working for them, probably paid a lot to become radical Islamists and possibly spying for them! WATCH PRESS TV

  28. Sarah says:

    I think at the end of day you are playing with us…you know yourself what is going on…..

  29. Sarah says:


    The question I asked was from the the person who calls himself “IRANIAN”
    How much did they pay to buy you? some people have prices they can be bought by money! Today in Iran there r some who earn 50,000 dollars a day! a huge class difference…of course many of these new rich north Tehranis are happy with the system! I can assure you 90 percent of people are not sastified…you go and deal with the remaining 10 percent

  30. Sarah says:

    Liz…. “polls carried out by American institutes and universities” blah blah blah….losing credibility with fake polls and trying to justify for us Who have lived there all our life to know what a “survey by Tehran university” means!!!! You americans think black and white! By the way one question to IRANIAN

    How much did they pay to buy you? some people have prices they can be bought by money! Today in Iran there r some who earn 50,000 dollars a day! a huge class difference…of course many of these new rich north Tehranis are happy with the system! I can assure you 90 percent of people are not sastified…you go and deal with the remaining 10 percent

  31. Sarah says:

    Liz…. “polls carried out by American institutes and universities” blah blah blah….losing credibility with fake polls and trying to justify for us Who have lived there all our life to know what a “survey by Tehran university” means!!!! You americans think black and white! By the way one question from Iranian:

    How much did they pay to buy you? some people have prices they can be bought by money! Today in Iran there r some who earn 50,000 dollars a day! a huge class difference…of course many of these new rich north Tehranis are happy with the system! I can assure you 90 percent of people are not sastified…you go and deal with the remaining 10 percent

  32. Paneer says:

    “Iranian” this is for you: Happy Birthday:

    by Fred

    “In four days time IRR, the Islamist Rapist Republic will celebrate its 31st birthday.

    Here are my suggestions for what the celebrants should be most proud of:

    1- Creating parallel Irans, one behind closed doors and the forced one in public

    2- Instilling hypocrisy as a virtue

    3- Encouraging deceit as a national art form

    4- Adding copious amount of abhorrent Islamist savagery into the nation’s staple diet

    5- Making Iran the Mecca of Anti-Semites, orphaned lefties, free loafers, parasites, terrorists and other likewise international luminaries

    6- Having the knack to find the worst and promoting them to the highest positions

    And for the icing on their birthday cake:

    The Islamist Rapists and their supporters/accomplices should be really proud of holding, per capita-wise, the world record in brain drain, executions, especially of the children, road accident fatalities, drug addiction, jailing of reporters…

    Last but not least, the cherry on top of their birthday cake of achievements should be their practice of raping Iranian men, women and children. Enjoy your slice of the Islamist birthday cake.

    7 – Creating an object of affection for present and former Leninists, post-USSR 8 – Promoting Iran’s economy to have a lower GDP per capita than Gabon, despite having the 3rd largest oil reserves and 2nd largest natural gas reserves in the world (give IRI another 31 years, and the good times will come–might I then suggest calling Iran the Gabon of the Gulf?) “”


  33. Paneer says:


    Let’s hypothetically assume you are right and Ahmadinjad won the “election”. In a any other country who claims they are democratic, Ahamdinejad et al and Khameni would have been impeached, arrested and brought to justice if they had engaged in type of fascistic actions against their own people.

    Imagine if Bush in 2000 or 2004 had sharpshooters on rooftops killing innocent protesters in DC or NY, or running them over with cars, or raiding, and raping girls in the middle of the night, killing people’s sons and daughters and not allowing them to have funeral…etc. how would you think the American public reacted??

  34. Paneer says:

    Iranian: Bashin Iran?? I don’t think so.

    Bashing IRI?? The answer is a resounding YES. Get used to it.

    IRI and Iran are not one and the same. Iran’s interest and the IRI are contradictory and do not overlap.

    As an “Iranian”, you should care about Iran not what’s good for IRI. Unless you’re a quisling collaborator.

  35. Iranian says:

    There is no reason to believe the rantings of Iran bashers when they run against evidence provided by American universities. Ahmadinejad is the legitimate and popular president of Iran. Surely US universities and institutes haven’t been bought off by the Iranians…or have they?

  36. Paneer says:

    Significance of the poll?? Yes, didn’t you go to college? Didn’t your read the book, “how to lie with statistics”.

    Here is the link you can order it:


    The poll is ludicrous. Recycling this poll is an act of intellectual surrender.
    It only shows you have nothing of value or any rational or original thought to counter the arguments posted on this thread.

    How are you connected to the regime??

  37. Liz says:

    You can’t deny the significance of the polls carried out by American institutes and universities. Making up your own statistics isn’t going to help you. The people who read the material on this website are an educated bunch.

  38. Paneer says:

    So much in common
    The Nazi regime and Ahamdinejad’s Islamic Republic
    by Fariba Amini

    “Today the house is no refuge, no protection anymore.” Luise Solmitz

    The English historian, Richard Evans, in his three extraordinary volumes on Nazi Germany goes into great detail about the rise and fall of the third Reich. As someone who follows the events in today’s Iran, reading the 700 pages of volume two, The Reich in Power, I am struck by various similarities between the Nazi regime and the Islamic Republic. One is the role of resentment of perceived humiliation by foreign powers in both regimes. The Nazi regime derived much of its popularity and ideological fervor from anger about the humiliating terms imposed on Germany following World War One. The Islamic Republic owes a good deal of its existence and initial support to the perception among Iranians that the Shah had been a lackey of the West and in particular the United States. Both regimes were swept into power by ideologies that promised purification from the prevailing corruption, virulent race-based nationalism in Germany, and a return to Islamic values in Iran. And in both countries, the corruption that followed was far worse than what existed prior to the revolution.

    In their methods and techniques, too, the two regimes show similarities—beyond the propaganda in the form of posters, overblown rhetoric, and the adoration of the Supreme Leader. Perhaps the most striking of these is the use of paramilitary forces. Nazi Germany employed the SA Brown Shirts and the SS to establish and maintain control through intimidation and terror. Iran has done the same by mobilizing the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia. As was true in Germany, its members typically come from the impoverished rural areas, where intellectual horizons are limited and opportunities are few. They are young lads who are given power, money and guns—in short, a cause and a goal in life inspired by ideology.


  39. Paneer says:


    You are what Iranian call “vatan foroush”. The support for the regime is about 15% to 20% who are subsidized by the regime economically, socially, politically and otherwise. Take the support away, the regime is left only 5% ” true believer”, religious zombies.

    If what you’re saying is true why did the regime risk its entire legitimacy by such unspeakable measures of suppression. You’re not fooling anyone. Even today, the regime can redeem itself by asking for another election. Why don’t they?? Because they know they will lose again.

  40. Iranian@Iran says:

    Distorting the reality in Iran will not do anyone any good. If one watches all the videos and films taken over the past few months, the greens will definitly lose the arguement. The Islamic Republic has widespread support inside the country and there is no denying that. The enormous rallies after Ashura prove it. The greens in the US are receiving financial support from the US government and then they turn around and try to influence American policy making. Why? Because they have a vested interest in increasing tensions with Iran. However, the US just can’t affort to continue with this policy, especially with things as they are in Afghanistan, the economy,…

  41. Paneer says:

    Devestated Iranian: Point well taken.

  42. A devastated Iranian (by Mr. Majd's comments) says:

    paneer: (I was supposed to not answer you anymore.broke it just once!)

    I said “A TRUTH” but not “THE TRUTH”, the truth is your word ;).

  43. Paneer says:

    Check out Pirouz’s avatar and his IRGC uniform. Check out the archives of Iranian.com for his gems:


  44. Sarah says:

    US just looks desperate this way and relying on idiotic polls…they have to find a better way! I support it wholeheartedly if they try to change the american way!

  45. Paneer says:

    Goodness, Major Pirouz of IRGC, himself is here.
    He can’t even speak Persian but shamelessly has called for the slaughter of pretesters. Here are some of his comments on Iranian.com

    sargord means “Major” in Persian.


    Major, don’t you think you’ll be more useful in helping your basiji brethern in Evin?? I heard they need help beating and tortruing people in secret prisons of Khamnie.

  46. Sarah says:

    First of all I am not in exile. I live in Iran:) Secondly that is how we think in Iran and I repeat again:

    I am amazed by your self confidence that after traveling a short time to Iran you become Iran expert and without knowing us and our language you tell us what we want!!!! At least accept that Iranians want change like any human being! whether you call it “civil right movement” or anything else. Also I hope the American establish ties but not out of desperation and with evidences such as fake polls. I know the economy downfall makes any country desperate but not this much I hope!

  47. Pirouz says:

    I find it incredible that so many subversive, exiled Iranians here express the belief that the Leverrets’ are somehow trying to speak on their behalf.

    The Leverrets’ are speaking on behalf of what they perceive as American interests- not exiled Iranians’ interests.

    Dr. Leverret basically states that whoever is in power in Iran- and the polls back up the legitimacy of Dr. Ahmadinejad- the US should deal with, for it is in the interests of the US to do so. The reasons for this you can find in his readily available monographs.

    I agree with the Leverrets wholeheartedly.

  48. Sarah says:

    I am wondering why you are wasting your time talking to these hardcore biased gang!!!! of course they r occupiers whose life and interest is interwined with the current system…they are paid to work full time in internet to put comments! like software programs or machines!!!

  49. Paneer says:

    Goli: Bla….bla…

    I have no respect for supporters of the criminal regime in Iran. They deserve much worse. I don’t know who you’re shilling for but good luck. You’re doing a lousy job and noone will take you seriously…so, I’m not going to furhtr respond to your infantile and canned diatribe.

  50. Goli says:

    Great advice for you Paneer! I am talking about your comment before last where you reverted to ad hominem attacks. You should heed your own advice.

  51. Paneer says:

    My last comment was meant for “devestated Iranian”.

    Iranian: You sound like a software program rather than a human being…very funny.

  52. Paneer says:


    Are you suggesting you’re the only one who knows the truth?? You don’t what truth is if it hit you in the face…

    I hate to break it to you but your truth is only that. Yours.

    There are only perceptions. Truth is illusory. The Truth is like a broken mirror and everyone holding a piece of that mirror belives he is holding the Truth.

  53. Iranian says:

    At the end of the day reform comes from within and Iranians have chosen Ahmadinejad’s vision of reform in the last two presidential elections. The vast majority want an Islamic Republic for Iran and they are not going to hand Iran over to the US based opposition.

  54. Paneer says:

    Devestated Iranian: When did I say there will be a regime change anytime soon?? Right there, you’ve lost your credibility.

    I have no interest or investment in Iran. Never had any desire to. But that’s beside the points.

    Many of those upstarts former provincial people officials are in my own family. My family hails from a very poor village in Iran and I know very well who’s gotten where and how since the 1979. I have relative from hard core hizballahi to true believer khamniests. Don’t assume you’re the only one in touch with Iranian society. However, facts remain the same. They are Iran’s ‘teabaggers’, Rush Limbaugh, the xenophobic type, including my own uncle, who has a US passport but hates the US and lives in Iran.

    You need to get over the culture of “geda parvari”, “heghart Parvari” and want much more for Iran than these unfortuante vicitms of their circumstances.

    Are we going to wait forever so every single Iranian lompan is good and ready to face the realties of modern world?? Why should we allow lompan to determine the future of Iran and its children?

    Should the US have waited for every racist in the US to accept African-Americans as equals? Do you think if it weren’t for the anti-discirminatory laws of this land, the people will naturally accept one another as equals? Do you think the likes of Sara Palin and Ruhs Limbaugh will ever contribute anything constructive to democracy in America?? Shoud we wait until these people are evolved enough to see the light and then speak up??

    We can do better.. We deserve better…

  55. Sarah says:

    Let me just say something…actually it is the traditional Bazar that is ruling the country. The traditional economy is scaring them from modern economy… If you can handle Bazar then we are one step closer to substantial change

  56. Laleh says:

    It was unpopular for our parents and it still is:) but it is a tough bite. Americans were away but European were enjoying relations with Iran helping this system to survive. Forget about some scandal behind the scene deals that helped the regime.They ruled by force and brutality with the most corrupt system. violation of our rights. You think it is popular to force women to wear Hejab (this is just a very simple example! not all about what we experienced), how do you justify that? or all our basic rights being denied…..No we are not leading it down to path of confrontation. I think you are helping system by scaring us from confrontation, just like Iran-Iraq war helped them to survive. You are going to do the same thing by talking about threats of confrontation.
    Although we Iranians do not care about what the like of you say. We continue down the road of democracy for Iran, a peaceful path and no confrontation!…

  57. A devastated Iranian (by Mr. Majd's comments) says:

    @ paneer:

    this is the last time that I am answering you. you make things extremely personal, sorry to say; like a kid, not even as a conspirator.

    well, I have an interest in Iran not being under attack or sanctions or any other mess, for obvious reasons. nothing is gonna happen for my family and close friends by toppling the regime. nothing politically has happen by coming this regime. nobody in my close family is a governmental official. not even in the provincial level, maximum teacher and univ. prof.. my own family had a relatively good income at the time Shah regime as my father was a businessman.the situation deteriorated enormously in the 1360s, not because of political reason, but because of war and the overall situation of the economy. we do want ORDER in the society.

    we did not invest on this regime. however, we go to the poll and accept the majority’s vote even if that is against our will. if at some point in future, another regime is in Iran by popular vote, we would work daily like we do now. we all have valid university degrees from valid schools in Iran. nothing is gonna change for us: this is a promise!

    last but not least: one thing is clear, the fact that I am here at this level, and a lot of my friends in our region are well educated, is because of the the education opportunity, a less discriminatory, that was given to rural areas in Iran in this regime. it’s unfair to deny these facts. my elder cousins did not have such a chance, there was barely a relevant pre university school. however, it seems, the situation nowadays is going back to the discriminatory time of Shah. what is happening these days is the wealthy kids go to the best schools and have access to information and high education. one would say this is natural and the case everywhere. that’s right, but for the first 2 decades of IR’s time, there was more of the chance for the people from the periphery to get higher status. that was a gift given to millions in Iran. LET ME TELL YOU A TRUTH OF TODAY’S IRAN; many of these people are occupying the positions in the lower rank of the gov. if you remove the high echelon, the bulk of the system is consisted of these people (I call them traditional Iranians, not IR’s ideologues) from being judges, lowers, ministerial posts, provincial positions, even municipal positions….and these people, if not very supportive of the IR, have little stomach for liberal ideas or the oppositions abroad and are willing to maintain the status-quo. in the social perspective, it takes at least a generation for these people be gone (I am not sure which is gonna come afterward. that’s another discussion), and that’s why I think the claim of regime going away is baseless. this is the reality in today’s Iran. I am talking in a scientific point of view.

    I am not gonna ask about your personal situation and investment in toppling the regime as that’s your personal data.

  58. Liz says:

    We’ve been hearing about the imminent demise of the Islamic Republic of Iran for 31 years now. Years ago we were told that it was unpopular and now we hear that the younger generation, unlike their elders, dislikes the IRI. Regardless of the fact that the opponents of the Islamic Republic contradict themselves, independent polls carried out by Americans contradict their claims too. The so called green movement seems so hungry for power that they are willing to drive the US and Iran down the very dangerous road of confrontation.

  59. Paneer says:

    Ramtin,and all other IRI apologists:

    The end of Islamic Republic of Rapists is not a matter of if but when

    12 months or 24 months, it will largely depend on the brutality of the regime and how many they are willing to kill/imprison but one thing that is for sure is that the end is nearing.

    I held no respect or love for Shah, far from it, but at least once he realized that his was doomed and left without resorting to any large mass killings. I hope that this regime does the same thing…. It is time

    Thirty two years ago there were those that said the Shah was too powerful, that he had the army and the dreaded SAVAK on his side and as such how could a revolution be successful?

  60. Paneer says:

    Liz, Iranian in Iran, and Iranian:

    Reading your comments reminds me of old Soviet propaganda! Dry, dictated,contrived, devoid of any kind of an intelligent discussion of issues and solely intended to persuade the gullible.

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

  61. Sarah says:

    I am amazed by your self confidence that after traveling a short time to Iran you become Iran expert and without knowing us and our language you tell us what we want!!!! At least accept that Iranians want change like any human being! whether you call it “civil right movement” or anything else. Also I hope the American establish ties but not out of desperation and with evidences such as fake polls. I know the economy downfall makes any country desperate but not this much I hope!

  62. Paneer says:

    devestated Iranian: THank you for confirming my suspicions. You do have a vested interest in the status quo. what are you afraid? If the regime is toppled by the Iranian people, what will happen to you and your family?

    If you can answer those questions honestly, then you would know that you can’t possibly be objective about events in Iran.

    The military dictatroship in Iran is doomed. You need to wake up. Iranians deserve better than this…

  63. Iranian says:

    I think the polls carried out by PIPA, Terror Free Tomorrow,…have shown that the election results are valid. Ahmadinejad is the legitimate president of Iran and those Iranians in the United States who receive federal government support for pursuing regime change should not be allowed to influence policy making. They have a vested interest in worsening relations between Iran and the US.

  64. Paneer says:

    I’m not against rapproachment and I’m all for talks and realpolitiks. However, as a concerned Iranian-American, both for the US and Iran, I have an obligation to tell the truth. Don’t fall for the IRI stall tactics. Do not trust the IRI.

    The IRI has no intention of keeping its end of the bargain, even if a fake agreement is reached.

    please have your eyes wide open for both Iranians and the US sake.

    Facts will tell you the true story, not Marandi, CASMI ET AL, or other with vested interest of their own. Don’t be a victim of group think.

    We don’t want to have to nuke in Iran out of desparation under a Republican President in the next 10 years.

    The intelligence community needs to step up their game and learn Persian instead of relying on translations or briefs by others. It’s your patriotic duty, if you’d asked me…

  65. Ramtin says:

    It is obvious that after election only in places where Mousvi won demonstrations took places, in other places the participant were quite little comparing to its inhabitants.

    Mr Resai describe the elites not the people and beside elites that drift there are also new member of elites.

    I think discussing with fanatic opponents of the regime has no use, it is not a dialog it is a monologue including insults.

  66. Iranian@Iran says:

    The Islamic Republic of Iran isn’t going to go away no matter what the Iranians in DC say. Whether we like it or not, it has popular support and further hostility will only make rapprochement more and more difficult.

  67. A devastated Iranian (by Mr. Majd's comments) says:

    @ Paneer

    I was in Iran just two weeks ago, just for your information. I was there for weeks. have friends and relatives in Tehran and other cities, and villages, had an extensive contact and exchange of ideas from universities porfs to daily workers, but no politicians. I don’t need to lie, as I have a very clear background, never have been part of any political party (this is not something to be proud of though). many of my very close friends actually do support the reformists and we have had very informative and constructive political discussion, without labeling or any other ridiculous comments you make, at the time of my stay in Iran despite having profound political tastes. your labeling this one or that doesn’t change the reality on the ground. it’s indeed the clear sing of desperation. For you another question, as far as I remember, I put my foot in Sharif on Jan. 20 last time.

    I also know that changing a river’s direction is far easier than talking to people like you. so I am not here to convince you. as we say in Farsi, it’s impossible to wake up who has gone asleep intentionally.

  68. Liz says:

    There is no doubt that most Iranians inside Iran feel very different from many of those living abroad. They voted Ahmadinejad in the first time and after these elections when he was re-elected most of the country was quiet an satisfied including South Tehran. The post-Ashura rallies also show this. Try to accept reality.

  69. Nina says:

    I think it is smart that US finds a way to engage Iran but not based on such polls or propaganda! I am sure that there are some smarter ways of getting close to this. I also do not agree with Hooman Majd that anybody who tears Khomeiny or khamenei photo is welcoming US interference and that those who are not tearing Khomeiny’s photo do not want substantial change in the system!

  70. Nina says:

    I don’t think Monarchy really exists after a revolution and 3 decades only in the imagination of you! Now people want democratic elections! Not Guaridian Council selections! You use monarchy to attack everybody who has a different opinion from you! How stupid!

  71. king says:

    Iranian public is sick of you looni leftists and your continous support for the depotic regimes every where (iran, sadam, taliban,castro,etc..) specialy the regime in Iran just because you idiots think some how that the islamic rapist republic is anti imprealist, so there for it has to be supported at all cost!!!! Go tell that to tens of thousends if not hundred thousend Iranian parents whose sons and daughters were executed for no crime just because they wanted to live in freedom. Don’t you people have any shame?

  72. Kevin C. says:


    Do these Iranian monarchists really think Americans and their policy makers are so stupid as to take their word about what is happening in Iran over their own professionally conducted polls?

    It’s clear the real Iranian fanatics are the ones outside of Iran. Look at the comments on this page and tell me who is doing the “propaganda” work.

  73. Golsa says:

    I think US should definitely establish ties with Iran unlike the past three decades, learn a good lesson from European but it does not have to justify it with a phone interview with 1000 people!!!! how funny!!!!

  74. Nina says:

    I think US should definitely establish ties with Iran unlike the past three decades, learn a good lesson from European but it does not have to justify it with a phone interview with 1000 people!!!! how funny!!!!

  75. Paneer says:

    Dan Cooper: you need to understand that Iranian are not about to allow themselves to be destroyed on the alter of anti-imperialism crusade. We are noble people but not that noble.

    You can’t denounce capitalism and imperialism from the point of view of a religious or idealogical tyranny… Each just fuel the other….

  76. Paneer says:

    Dan Cooper: 1979 was a velvet revolution. There is nothing new under the sun.

    You need to read ” A century of war”..

    Manufactured velvet revolution of 1979:


  77. Nina says:

    ..I think the Americans should establish ties anyways but they do not need to justify it with idiotic polls! …how funny!!!!!

  78. Dan cooper says:


    Please click on this link:


    The propensity for “western governments” to manufacture or exploit intensely fabricated stories such Iran’s election and nuclear ambition, in order to hoodwink populations into supporting phony wars of “liberation” has been proven time and time again.

    How much more evidence do you need to be convinced that America has no intention of rapprochement and is using all her might to destabilise the Iranian regime?

    For the sake of Israel and Under order from Israel lobby, Obama has no choice but to destroy Iran the same as Bush destroyed Iraq.

    The only difference is that this time USA will not lose a single soldier as they have leant their lessons in Iraq.

    Instead of using military force, USA is using covert operation to divide Iranian people and to destabilise their government.

  79. Dan cooper says:

    In 2005,…. Ahmadinejad defeated Hashemi-Rafsanjani with a massive majority; there was no accusation of vote rigging.

    In 2007,….Bush ordered covert operation to divide and destabilize Iran and authorized $400 million dollar to finance a regime change.

    In 2009,… Ahmadinejad won again with massive majority, But this time, the US and its allies accused him of vote rigging without producing a shred of evidence to back up their claim.

    The vast majority of Iranian people still support the regime and the opposition’s supporters are clearly the minority. This is the reality in Iran today.

    This reality is almost impossible to stomach “For the western government, their media and the supporters of the opposition in Iran”, hence, they resort to lies and propaganda and allegations of vote rigging to demonize the regime.

    In my opinion Professor James Petras‘s analysis is the most credible. I urge everyone, particularly the Iranians to read it.

    Here is an extract:

    In Iran, Washington resorts to covert operations to destabilize or overthrow incumbent President who do not support the US policies.

    The covert and not-so-invisible operation in Iran found expression in a failed
    electoral challenge followed by ‘mass street demonstrations’ cantered on the claim that the electoral victory of the incumbent anti-imperialist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a result of ‘electoral fraud’.

    Western mass media played a major role during the electoral campaign exclusively providing favourable coverage of the opposition and negative accounts
    of the incumbent regime.

    The mass media blanketed the ‘news’ with pro-demonstrator propaganda, selectively presenting coverage to de-legitimize the elections and elected officials, echoing the charges of ‘fraud’.

    The propaganda success of the US-orchestrated destabilization campaign even found an echo among broad sections of what passes for the US ‘left’ who ignored the massive, coordinated US financing of key Iranian groups and politicos engaged in the street protests.

    Neo-conservative, liberal and itinerant leftist ‘freelance journalists’, like Reese Erlich, defended the destabilization effort from their own particular vantage point as ‘a popular democratic movement against electoral fraud.’

    The right/left cheerleaders of US destabilization projects fail to address several key
    explanatory factors:

    1. None, for example, discuss the fact that several weeks before and after the election a rigorous survey conducted by two US pollsters revealed an electoral outcome very near to the actual voting result, including in the ethnic provinces where the opposition claimed fraud.

    2. None of the critics discussed the $400 million dollars allocated by the Bush
    Administration to finance regime change in Iran, domestic destabilization and cross border terror operations.

    Many of the students and ‘civil society’ NGO’s in the demonstrations received
    funding from overseas foundations and NGO’s – which in turn were funded by the US government.

    3. The charge of electoral fraud was cooked up after the results of the vote count
    were announced.

    In the entire run-up to the election, especially when the opposition
    believed they would win the elections – neither the student protesters nor the Western mass media nor the freelance journalists claimed impending fraud.

    During the entire day of voting, with opposition party observers at each polling place, no claims of voter intimidation or fraud were noted by the media, international observers or left backers of the opposition.

    Opposition party observers were present to monitor the entire vote count and yet, with only rare exception, no claims of vote rigging were made at the time. In fact, with the exception of one dubious claim by free-lance journalist Reese Erlich, none of the world’s media claimed ballot box stuffing. And even Erlich’s claims were admittedly based on unsubstantiated ‘anecdotal accounts’ from anonymous sources among his contacts in the opposition.

    4. During the first week of protests in Tehran, the US, EU and Israeli leaders did not question the validity of the election outcome. Instead, they condemned the regime’s repression of the protestors. Clearly their well-informed embassies and intelligence operative provided a more accurate and systematic assessment of the Iranian voter preferences than the propaganda spun by the Western mass media and the useful idiots among the Anglo-American left.

    5. The US-backed electoral and street opposition in Iran was designed to push to the limits a destabilization campaign, with the intention of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, undermining Tehran’s opposition to US military intervention in the Gulf, its occupation of Iraq and, above all, Iran’s challenge to Israel’s projection of military power in the region.

    Anti-Iran propaganda and policy making has been heavily influenced for
    years on a daily basis by the entire pro-Israel power configuration in the US. This includes the 51 Presidents of the Major America Jewish Organizations with over a million members and several thousand full-time functionaries, scores of editorial writers and commentators dominating the opinion pages of the influential Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times as well as the yellow tabloid press.
    Obama’s policy of roll back of Iranian influence counted on a two-step process:
    Supporting a coalition of clerical dissidents, pro-Western liberals, dissident democrats and right-wing surrogates of the US. Once in office, Washington would push the dissident clerics toward alliances with their strategic allies among pro-Western liberals and rightists, who would then shift policy in accordance with US imperial and Israeli colonial interests by cutting off support for Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Venezuela, the Iraqi resistance and embrace the pro-US Saudi-Iraqi–Jordan-Egypt clients.

    In other words, Obama’s roll back policy is designed to relocate Iran to the pre-1979 political alignment.

  80. Goli says:

    A Correction to my note to A Devastated Iranian:

    The sentence before last in the first paragraph should read, :…without paying fees and taxes, and not by just paying bribes as they previously were able to do.”

  81. Mehdi says:

    Flynt Leverett:

    I was glad that Barbara Slavin pointed out another one of the fundamental flaws behind your hypothesis on the green movement as related to its limitation to supposedly upper Tehran crowd. She correctly pointed out to the various uprising since June in various major cities ala Shiraz, Esfahan, Tabriz, and Mashad — and your rebut to her factual comment was “how many were there?” !!!

    Well if I was Barbara Slavin I would have turned around and say to you: I don’t know exactly how many – but may I ask if you know for a ‘fact’ how many supporters of Ahmadinejad were there during the rallys outside of Tehran?!?!? Outside of the rally in Tehran which on Jan 7th in my previous post here I suggested wasn’t too unusual to have so many folks either willingly or coercively attend — have you seen any other rallys in other Iranian cities?

    Don’t know how good your Farsi is by the guys at Parazit show did a funny but somewhat true analysis of one of the points made by a regime insider — see this clip and fast forward to 9.40 mark


    I realize that one could find flaws with how hosts for the show did their calculation however the main point is that with every supposedly shedding of skin which is factual and even indicated by folks like Rasai — the total number of those who support this regime has dwindled. However given their power and violent support base and their volume folks like you think they are in majority.


  82. Goli says:

    A Devastated Iranian (by Mr. Majd’s Comments),

    I fully agree with your observations regarding Hooman Majd’s comments as I allude to them in my first comment below. My take on this is that Mr. Majd was profoundly disappointed when Mr. Ahmadinejad won the elections and will resort to any unsubstantiated claim to discredit the election results. Mr. Majd is a relative and admirer of Mr. Khatami and as evident in his book, the Ayatollah Begs to Differ, not very fond of Mr. Ahmadinejad. In his book, he expresses his dismay with Mr. Ahmadinejad primarily based on the latter’s comments about Israel and anecdotal claims that Ahmadinejad’s economic policies have hurt Iran. However, he does not offer any concrete evidence against Mr. Ahmadinejad. In fact, the only concrete tail he provides on the effects of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s polices is a tail about how some upper class/high level government employees were disappointed that since Ahmadinejad has become president, they no longer can get their Mercedeses into the country without paying fees, taxes, or bribes. (A positive development against corruption, if anything, I would say.) My reading of the book and my other observations regarding Mr. Majd has led me to believe that the underlying and primary reason for his dislike of Mr. Ahmadinejad is that he is not from the right class and intelligentsia.

    Regardless, Mr. Majd’s comments on the lack of credibility of Tehran University’s poll and his utterance that Iranians are liars are hurtful and unacceptable, fall right into the racist rhetoric about Iranians we have been hearing for years, and represent a new low for Mr. Majd.

  83. Paneer says:

    Some comments posted by others from another site:

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

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

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

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

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


  84. Paneer says:

    Great insight into the minds of Iranian official ruling leadership:

    Washington’s man in Tehran
    Swiss diplomat Philippe Welti spent more than four years as his nation’s chief envoy to Iran — and Washington’s. He discusses the benefits and limitations of diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.
    February 09, 2009|Borzou Daragahi

    TEHRAN — For two hours one day in early 2008, a tall, silver-haired man sat in an office in Iran’s ornate Ministry of Foreign Affairs compound. He came to beg, plead and charm.

    But the officials just looked bored, recalls Philippe Welti, who for more than four years served as both Switzerland’s envoy and Washington’s representative to the Islamic Repubc….


  85. Paneer says:

    A devestated Iranian: LOL, When was the last time you were in Iran?? When was the last time you set foot in Sharif University??

    Don’t be so devestated…Your regime’s reign of terror is almost over and the Jacobins like you will definitely get their commupance even it takes a hundred year.

  86. A devastated Iranian (by Mr. Majd's comments) says:

    After watching the video, I was really ashamed to hear Mr.Majd’s commenets. I don’t really know why so many educated Iranians in the West want to get credit by underminding whatever/whoever is in Iran. doesn’t it have anything to do with the their crises of identity?

    Mr. Majd with a ridiculous style questioned the credibility of Tehran Univ. in conducting polling and so on. it is devastating to see a self-styled intelligentsia taking such a shameful step of undermining the best general school in Iran (Sharif is a Tech. school. and I was not educated at Tehran Univ.). It does have the most credible profs in the country. The ones entered there are the best of Iran and this guy (who probably went to school,if at all he did so as I am not sure of that, only by his parents’ wealth) is dismissing them all. I am not sure this guy, with the intelligence shown so far, would have been able to enter a second rank university in Iran, had he been there and taking the entrance exam.

    Rather than accepting his bold mistake in calling the election a fraud (last summer in interviews he said, this was a fraudulent election, there is no doubt! about it. let’s talk about something else. now he says, yeah, you know, I am not an expert on the issue. this data could be right), he turned toward deception and even insult. he questioned the credibility of the whole nation in labeling then not being trustworthy enough (we all know who is his mentor! he said so). I was really shocked to hear these stuff from him. I think, when one doesn’t have anything new to see, it’s much better to be silent than turning toward insult ….

    (I have no access to him, if anyone here has, please send this message to him. I would appreciate to see his answers (apology) regarding these insults. here, in this weblog would be a place to publish his answers. we will wait for that).

  87. Jam says:

    A whore who sells her body for moeny has more honor than LIVE STREAM who sells its integrity to a bunch of murdering rapists in the government of the Islamic Republic. Know this and mark my words: Once this barbaric regime falls, the people of Iran will follow the trail of money, and bring you all to justice by exposing you and your corrupt sellout managers.

  88. Paneer says:

    Ramtin and Goli: Did your families suck up to the Shah’s royal court as you do to IRI now? Opportunistic much??

  89. Paneer says:

    Ramtin and Goli: You two remind of those taghootis before the Shah’s got his butt kicked out of Iran.. They sounded exactly like the two of you…

    I have no idea why the two of you peddle what you peddle but I can tell you one thing, If you two were my employees, I would have fired both of you…

  90. Goli says:

    Sorry, delete the first “and” in the opening sentence.

  91. Goli says:

    You know what I wonder about and Arian and Paneer ? I wonder how all these Iranians crying democracy for Iran are so intolerant of a simple expression of contrary view? I wonder why when they are in disagreement, they resort to name-calling, insults, and innuendoes? Their utterly undemocratic responses and their inability to accept that differing views exist and should be treated with respect is deeply disappointing and frighteningly revealing of their true colors, not to mention plain embarrassing. Is this how they intend to treat the opposition if their dream materializes? Wait, of course it is, since they are already claiming to be the majority and seeking to impose their tyranny on the true majority.

  92. Ramtin says:

    Paneer wrote: “It’s no longer about the election”

    That is: “It’s no longer about the facts”

    No comment

  93. Arian says:

    This is a shameful misinformation on my own country, people & opinion. I am just wondering how mush Islamic Republic has paid LIVE STREAM guys for this corrupted report. What is the Rate in International market for the conscience & honour of an unworthy, ignoble, abominable Organisation!

    LIVE STREAM Report just proves that we are dealing with an organisation which is as dishonourable, untrustworthy, unscrupulous, and unprincipled as Islamic Republic.

    My sincere congratulation to LIVE STREAM Boss! You made it man

  94. Paneer says:

    Ramtin: Parroting the official talking points of VEVAK and SAVAMA and MOIS is not going to change facts or make your illusions into reality. The regime has lost all its credibility and legitimacy even among the poor basiji. It’s no longer about the election.

    I think bringing tanks into the streets would be much less brutal than to shoot people from rooftops by plain clothes paramilitary, searching and raping people in the middle of the night, or running them over with cars and vans…However, the regime has learned from the shah’s era and will avoid bringing tanks to deceive the international public opinion. Khomeini precisely allowed fake elections because he knew how the West can be appeased/silenced deceived through such superficial procedures…


    No amount of rationalization can restore what has been lost.

  95. paneer says:

    oops…should read I will not respond…

  96. paneer says:

    Liz: Scathing rebuttle, eh??

    BTW, I will respond to transparent IRI lackeys anymore…

    Leverett & Pipes – two opposite but equally wrong approaches
    IRAN NEWS DIGEST | Free Iran (Posted by: Free Iran)
    Daniel Pipes wrote a piece at the National Review titled “How to Save the Obama Presidency: Bomb Iran.” This essay shows how utterly insane the man is. He writes: “[Obama] needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations. Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity.” As always, the neocons are quick to pull the trigger but never think about the consequences. It’s shocking that they have learned nothing from Afghanistan and Iraq – or learned the wrong lessons.

    Radical neocons like Pipes and radical “realists” like Leverett don’t have a clue what they are talking about. What I wouldn’t do to see these two in an extreme cage fighting match

  97. Liz says:

    Paneer. You’ve been saying this for the last 30 years. Go get some rest.

  98. paneer says:

    Liz: You must also believe that Bush won in 2000?? right??

    Where is your common sense??

    People are being shot to death from rooftops on broad day light and they are still risking to come out. How many of those pro-IRI supporters were afraid of losing their lives, limbs, jobs???

    Shameful intellectual laziness.

  99. paneer says:

    Leveretts are patriotic Americans who understand that meaningful engagement with Iran is in the best interest of the United States (and Iran

    LOL, Goli, like you care about America and their patriotism…How provincial of you.

    At any rate, no one is preventing or holding “meaningful engagement” (code word used by CASMII et al). Obama has already sent two personal letters to Khameni.

    As I said before, anyone who does not know the nature of the IRI and advocates illusory engagement, is not doing its homework for any engagment requires the other party to be receptive..You can’t engage with air…

    I’m sorry if truth is too hard to accept for some..I wish this regime was pragmatic and reasonable as you people try to portray but wishful thinkings is not going to get us anywhere.

    Realpolitic in this case is not going to work. You’re not dealing with a reasonable group of people. If you haven’t figure this out,,,you never will…

  100. paneer says:

    Goli: Many people were in Iran during and after the elections…I suggest you post your comments on Iranian.com, so you could be taken to task by those who actually just came back and are reformers with ties to the IRI.

    Goli, you might be able to deceive a few naive lefties on this blog, but don’t assume that Iranians don’t see right through your agenda. How about it, post you melarky on Iranian.com???

  101. paneer says:

    LOL, IRI’s little helpers…whatever..bla…bla….

    At any rate, an experts who is this clueless does not present any threat to the Iranians who are struggling for democracy…The more ignorant you people stay, the better for us.

    Enjoy your ignorance…

    Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you…

  102. Goli says:

    Mr. Leverett is right on target when he talks about western journalists covering North Tehran and believing that Mousavi must have won, and people believing who they and their peers supported naturally must have won. (Prime example of the latter wishful thinking being Hooman Majd who during his stay in Iran before the elections, by his own admission, hardly travelled or talked to anyone not from the city of Tehran—mainly his peers.) I was in Iran right after the elections and traveled extensively across the country, using every opportunity to talk to people from all walks of life. I never once got the impression that people I talked to did not speak their mind freely and without any hesitation. What I found is consistent with the polls’ finding that the majority of Iranians supported and voted for Ahmadinejad.

    I find it sad and unfortunate that the majority of Iranian expatriates deny the democratic outcome of the elections (albeit, within the confines of the Islamic Republic) and prefer the tyranny of the minority (another faction of the same regime, yet more corrupt) for Iran. Leveretts are patriotic Americans who understand that meaningful engagement with Iran is in the best interest of the United States (and Iran). While the U.S. Interest is what motivates the Leveretts, I congratulate them for having such an insightful understanding of the Iranian electorate, particularly compared to some Iranian Diaspora who accuse Iranians of being “liars” and think by the virtue of their blood ties to Iran they understand the Iranian society and know exactly how every man and woman in every town and village voted.

  103. Ramtin says:

    Dear Paneer Akvan,

    the failure of you and your like is that you constantly ignore the facts and constantly reproduces stereotypes. The fact is that Ahmadinejad has been elected by 22 million people if the people really want a regime change, then so many people would not flock to the polls. Moreover, a number of reformers no longer criticize the authenticity of the election. The election was not rigged and fair compared to all previous elections in Iran. Regard the brutality of the regime it is worthy to mention that in spite of the unrest no military forces were used, in other countries of the world were already at the beginning tanks on the street, especially if one assumes that the election would be falsified. In addition, the duel between Zibakalam and Motahari about the principals of the constitution is the best evidence for freedom in Iran, despite all the U.S. threats.

    Mr Leverett should know that the Iranian in exiles according statistics are highly secularized and even the Muslims among them describing themselves as little religious.

  104. Liz says:

    The majority of Iranians support the Islamic Republic as the recent pro Islamic Revolution rallies in Tehran and other cities have shown. It’s time for America to face reality. These Iranian exiles have been misleading the US for over 3 decades.

  105. paneer says:

    The majority of Iranians want the IRI to disapear, but are too scared to admit it. For every one person who’s brave enough to pour into the streets, there are a 1000 who are simply petrified of IRGC and Basij goons and electirc-shock batton wielding, murderous bikers.

    Ponder on that for a while.

  106. paneer says:

    Iran.ir: an ominous sign
    Guardian / Saeed Kamali Dehghan

    Iran’s Internet capacity had dropped to its lowest in anticipation of Feb. 11 mass protest…

  107. paneer says:

    Interim Constitution of the Secular Republic of Iran


    Btw, who was responsible for the American Revolution?? The uneducated?? The Poor??
    the religious nuts???

    Who is responsible for American not turning into a Christian theocracy? The teabaggers, Rush Limbaugh, The Christian fundamentalist evangelists??

  108. paneer says:

    Hessabi: Anyone who has to resort to a coward dead man like the Shah to avoid presenting a counter argument based on facts has zero credibility.

    Hessabi: What is at stake for you if the regime falls?

  109. paneer says:

    I invite the Leverettes to post their blog on Iranian.com to hear from Iranians who actually read, write, and frequently travel and have extensive family ties back in Iran. Anyone can publish their blog or comments. All you need to do is a one time registration.

    Maybe we will all learn something. How about it?

  110. paneer says:

    JohnH: I think you underestimate Iranians and you also don’t know the Iranian mindset. This is not 1978 or 1953. If the Iraqis were able to prevent Chalabi or Allawi,namely the US puppets to rule over them, we Iranians can take care of what anyone might have up their sleeves. There will always be those who would want to take advantage of Iranians if we let them…Iranians are not rural dwelling savages religious nuts…

    Many Iranians believe that the mullahs were installed (to keep Iran backward and ignorant)by the US and the Brits; and as time goes by, there are more evidence showing up that point out to that fact and Iranian feel utterly hoodwinked and regret their stupidity in 1979. You might want to learn Persian and listen to some of the so-called founders of the IRI.

    Sadegh Ziba Kalam
    “Revolution was for freedom, not Islam”


  111. JohnH says:

    Sad to say, the Iranian regime is pretty repressive. But Paneer and Akvan should be careful about what they’re asking for. They might get it.

    Before appealing for regime change under US aegis, they should first check on the state of civil liberties and personal freedom in other countries in the US sphere of influence–Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.

    Sadly, the odds of regime change bringing an open, democratic society are slim to nil. The odds of it bringing enormous suffering are very high.

  112. hessabi says:

    followed a link here from iranian.com. Just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful work on iran and please do not be discouraged by iranian chalabis and their neoconservative partners. only the will of the people inside the country matters, not those Shah-era elite who live in the west and are completely out of touch with today’s iran.

  113. paneer says:

    Leaving convenient facts out or deliberately lying.

    The IRGC is in charge of telecommunication and the Internet. People have lost their lives and limbs being traced through their phones and emails. We don’t even dare talk about events going on in Iran when we call our family back home because we are afraid that the IRGC or Basiji are listening, and we are led to believe that these polls are accurate given the repression apparatus in place by the regime? when sharpshooters on rooftops in broad day light kill innocent people??
    Where is your common sense for God sake??

    I hope Obama is more intelligent and savvy than these so-called dime a dozen experts. You don’t even have to be super intelligent. A little bit of common sene will do.

  114. Akvan says:

    Leveretts are clueless about Iran. They do not speak Persian nor do they know much about Iran today.

    Iran is run as a military dictatorship. Just a few days ago two pro democracy activists were hanged. Nine more are to be hanged soon. The “world opinion” poll is inaccurate. No one in Iran is going to tell the truth on to a stranger calling them on the phone. If they do, they are fair game for the Basiji militia (the Islamic version of brown shirts).

    The left wing in US is letting their (legitimate) dislike of Bush / Cheney blind them to the true nature of the Islamic dictatorship in Iran.

    Just as US mistakes in Vietnam did not make Soviets nice guys. Bush & Cheney’s evil does not make the IRI nice people.

  115. paneer says:

    How clueless can you get?? If you think there will be a backdoor deal with IRI, you’re in for a rude awakening….utterly ignorant…

  116. M. S. M. says:

    thank u rfjk!

  117. khurshid says:

    thank you for posting the videos.

  118. rfjk says:

    What Does the Iranian Public Really Think? – Panel 2

  119. rfjk says:

    What Does the Iranian Public Really Think? – Panel 1

  120. M. S. says:

    Thank you JohnH for pointing to the report by World Opinion Poll. It was a very comprehensive report and answered many questions.

  121. M. S. says:

    How good if the transcript were availble. viewing videos would be difficult with low internet speed. I’m really interested to see how the discussion went.

  122. JohnH says:

    Attached is a piece about the World Opinion Poll, published yesterday. I don’t know if the results presented at NAF today are fresher, since the latest results in this piece are from last September. If not, I don’t know why they would have delayed release for 5 months. Results seem about the same.

    The reaction of Washington policy elites is not surprising, since they had the same reaction to the “unbelievable” rejection of the attempt to recall Hugo Chavez in 2004. Chavez won 59% of the vote. Two years later he ran for President again, garnering 63% of the vote with international observers present and publicly audited voting machines confirming the results.

    Washington simply cannot acknowledge that its candidates got crushed in a landslide. Instead of admitting failure, they impugn the legitimacy of the election.

  123. rfjk says:

    NAF usually posts their live streams a few days or so after the event. Sometimes they are posted on various video websites like YouTube or Upstream.

  124. khurshid says:

    is there anyway of watch the video mentioned in this post.

  125. rfjk says:

    Now this is the kind of policy discussions between 9-11 to 19 Mar 03 that were virtually absent from the public sphere and media. Had such occurred when it counted, its arguable that the Iraq War would never have happened.

    What the Leverett’s and fellow allies are doing is standing up to those factions in the Obama administration, who are trying to drive US policy to further ruin as the neocons had done in the Bush administration. The failure to do this during the Bush era lead to a “war in heaven” within the Bush administration between “realists” and the neocons. Anthony Cordesman was the heavy in that fight and his blistering, savage attacks before committees on capital hill against Bush/Cheney policies and the neocons were a glorious sight to behold. It looks like the Leverett’s are reprising that role. Good for them.

    NAF is a rather new public policy institute and its American Strategy Program that Steve Clemons directs is excellent. I am by no means a progressive, but I value informative public policy discussions on foreign policy far more than party, partisanship or ideology.

    I also know America’s worst enemies aren’t terrorists or foreign nationals, but citizens whose affections and primary loyalties are to foreign entities. I can appreciate Flynt’s kind remarks regarding Richard Haass, but he and this Barbara Slavin chick need to be watched like a sleeping Greek…one eye closed and the other bug-eyed open.

  126. Arnold Evans says:

    I missed this, and it seems like it would have been tremendously informative. If a transcript becomes available or a streaming archive, please link to it someone.