Leaving Islam



Anti-British Feelings Reach Fever Pitch Amongst Iranians   

By Potkin Azarmehr

Jack Straw’s untimely statement, which coincided with the start of the street protests against the Ayatollahs in Iran, has been interpreted as British support for the clerical dictatorship amongst the Iranians. The Iranian people’s anger reached fever pitch last night, as callers to the LA based TV station repeatedly let off some of their frustration at the British and European governments and Jack Straw in particular.  

Iranians’ natural tendency for conspiracy theories and the historical relationship between the British and the Shiite clergy has been identified by most Iranians as the reason for the long overdue stay of the Ayatollahs, who have ruled Iran for the past 24 years. Add to all of this the fanatical support of Ema Nicholson for the Mullahs in Iran and one can start to see why the Iranian people are so suspicious of the British establishment. 

The protests in Iran have now continued for the third night running. Last night the fiercest clashes were reported in the Kurdistan Highway, when the women protesters who had taken off their scarves were badly beaten by the vigilantes. However the people’s anger at seeing beaten faces of Iranian women then turned against the Baseej thugs who were chased and beaten by the ordinary people. Some of the Baseej motorcycles were set on fire in the highway and the people celebrated around them in the traditional ways of Iran’s pre-Islamic fire festival. Between 500-600 arrests were reported last night in various locations at Felestin, Amirabad, Laleh, Geesha and other districts. 

The BBC last night briefly mentioned the protests in its 10:00 O’clock news only saying that Iran’s supreme leader has threatened to crack down on protesters and that the protests have been instigated by the Americans. Very short film footage of the protests was also shown. 

Four years ago in the aftermath of the Iranian student uprising, Tam Dalyel MP, the father of the Commons during a parliamentary debate blamed the riots on the sweltering July heat of Iran, where tempers can be tinder dry. His comments caused great offence amongst Iranians. 

Below is how some Iranians remember the BBC world service in Persian reported a street clash in Mashad, twenty-five years ago, during the revolution, which brought on the Ayatollahs: 

"An injured woman was carried off on a stretcher, and as she was being carried off her blood was dripping from the stretcher with her young daughter holding her hand crying and shouting mother!… mother!" 

Twenty-five years ago, the BBC world service also read out Ayatollah Khomeini’s statement in which he told all the military personnel in the barracks that it was their religious duty before God and the Prophet to leave their barracks.


The following exchange of emails between Potkin Azarmehr and John Simpson, the World Affairs Editor of the BBC, clearly shows that the British do not think Iranians are humans and therefore the same rules of Human Rights that apply to, for example the British, should  apply to Iranians. Mr. John Simpson goes farther and calls any Iranian who disagrees with his views  "rude".   


This is what Mr. John Simpson wrote in Sunday edition:

Simpson on Sunday: 
Why the US military is not about to
go charging into Iran


(Filed: 01/06/2003)  

The rimless glasses glinted, the harsh voice talked of threats and the sheltering of America's enemies and hinted at regime change. Donald Rumsfeld, the man who saved Saddam Hussein's bacon back in the 1980s by recommending that the United States rescue him from certain defeat in the Iran-Iraq war, had found another sabre to rattle: Iran must change its ways in order to avert American wrath. 

But is this a genuine threat, or is it merely following up on the glorious victory in Iraq? The American finger has, after all, been wagged at Syria and North Korea in recent weeks: maybe it's just Iran's turn. 

In the first instance, it seems to be nothing more than a threat. Mr Rumsfeld does the heavy breathing for the Bush administration: his is the voice that comes on the phone and tells you to behave or someone will come round and break your legs. 

There are quieter, more considered, less aggressive voices in Washington too: not so much that of Colin Powell, since whatever moderating influence he once may have had seems to have leaked away, but - for example - Ari Fleischer, the soon-to-be-outgoing White House spokesman. When someone asked him if Iran was next on the hitlist, he changed the subject: many Iranians wanted a different regime, he said, and they were worth supporting. And when President George W. Bush himself was asked on Friday by Russian state television if Iran and Syria would be attacked, he said there were no plans to do so. 

No political plans, that is. Military plans certainly exist to attack both countries - but then the US military even has plans to attack Britain. These are merely war games; meaningless except that they give the planners a sense of how difficult the job might be. In the case of Iran, it would be pretty difficult. Let's set the triumphalism aside for a moment, and look at what was achieved in Iraq. Yes, it was a quick and rather well-fought operation. But so it should have been: the world's two best military powers attacked a country which had no air force, no new weaponry, and which had been systematically weakened by 12 years of sanctions. The morale of its armed forces was pathetically low – and yet it still put up sufficient of a fight to give the generals and politicians a real scare after the first week of the campaign. Imagine what a larger country with up-to-date forces and a pride in itself might achieve. 

In Iraq as in Afghanistan, the poor quality of American troops as peacekeepers has demonstrated itself thoroughly. This, and the lack of any serious thought about the concept of nation-building directly hostilities were over, has given free rein to the Shi'ite mullahs in southern Iraq and Baghdad. They filled the power vacuum and are effectively running large parts of the country today. 

Surprise, surprise. Whatever did Mr Rumsfeld, his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, and all the other super-hawks expect? Did they really believe that after all the years of betrayal by the administration of the elder George Bush and after the misery of those sanctions, American troops would be greeted as liberators? They did, of course, and - to my shame - so did I. At least I have owned up. 

If Iraqis are allowed to hold free elections, it will not be the American-supported Iraqi exiles who will get the big votes; it will be the candidates of the Shi'ite mullahs whom most of the 55 per cent of Iraqis who are Shi'ite will support. And the mullahs, naturally and reasonably, have Iran behind them. For Mr Rumsfeld or Tony Blair to warn Iran to steer clear of Iraqi politics is like Beijing warning the United States or Britain not to support Chinese human rights activists. 

This will cause serious friction with Iran. But the American military, which has a very sensible understanding of what it can and can't do, will argue fiercely against any attempt to attack Iran. Instead, there will be a return to the old tactic of exile-support. All sorts of useless, corrupt and generally dodgy characters, and a few decent ones, will get lashings of money from Washington. Bombs will be exploded in bus stations (if it's done by our side it's not terrorism). A blind eye will be turned to all sorts of excesses. And as a result Iran, which should be reforming itself and opening up in the way 80 per cent of its people want, will sink back into extremism once again. 

You can see it, I can see it, the Foreign Office and the State Department can see it - but does Mr Rumsfeld see it? I think we know the answer. 

John Simpson is the World Affairs Editor of the BBC    


Potkin Azarmehr wrote the following email to Mr. Simpson 

-----Original Message-----

From: Potkin Azarmehr [email protected]

Sent: 02 June 2003 11:10

To: John Simpson-TAX [email protected]

Subject: Your comments on Iran made on Sunday 


I was actually agreeing with what you were saying and wasn't surprised either since I am normally a big fan of your reporting, except when I got to the end paragraph: 

"And as a result Iran, which should be reforming itself and opening up in the way 80 per cent of its people want, will sink back into extremism once again." 

This weekend even Fatimeh Haghighatjoo, the "GC filtered" Member of the Islamic Assembly, stated that "this regime is not able to reform and there is no point in us staying in parliament." 

I would like to know where you got the 80 percent figure from? and when you say Iran will sink back into extremism once again, well what is it now? Isn't public hanging, flogging, stoning, arbitrary arrests of dissidents, and even the imprisonment of the lawyers defending their clients, extremist enough for you? Perhaps you think this is the best Iranian people deserve, and as one Liberal member of the House of Lords said "We should not apply our own standards of human rights to Iran!!!"?? 

The Iranian people are actually quite encouraged by the tough talking of the American administration and it would be better if the British government talked in the same manner to IRI as it does to Zimbabwe. By the way I think Zimbabwe is far less extremist and despotic than the slamic Republic.




Potkin Azarmehr



This is what he got in response: 

-----Original Message-----

From: John Simpson-NEWS [email protected]

Sent: 13 June 2003 14:02

Subject: RE: Your comments on Iran made on Sunday 


Dear Mr Azarmehr, 

It may not have been your precise intention, but this letter of yours is unacceptably rude.  I have long made it a fixed rule never to enter into any discussion with people who are incapable of maintaining a basic level of courtesy.  I don't want to enter any further discussion, I'm afraid:  life is too short.  Sorry about that. 

Yours sincerely,  

John Simpson.


Dear Potkin 

As a fellow subhuman Iranian, not quite deserving the same human rights that the superior people of Britain are entitled to, I would like to ask forgiveness for my rudeness and beg Mr. Simpson to respond to your rude questions. 

I too would like to know why the BBC was so supportive of the Human Rights during the Islamic revolution in 1979 and is so silent today? Does Mr. Simpson believe that the Regime of the Mullahs is more humane than the previous regime when in reality the tortures and executions are hundred fold more?  I too would like to know where he got his 80 percent figure from and why he thinks if there is a change of regime, Iran will "sink back into extremism"? Extremism of what? As I understand the Iranian opposition forces want democracy, secularism and equality of rights for women and minorities. Can a country become extremist in democracy? Does Mr. Simpson really believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a moderate country that he is fearing it will sink back into extremism? 

Mr. Simpson does not want to answer to your questions because he thinks, “life is too short”. I wonder whether he knows that many Iranian youth pass their much shorter lives in prisons and under torture? Does the lives of these multitudes of young Iranians have any value for Mr. Simpson? What about the life of this young woman? 

Or this young man? 

The lives of them, as well as the lives of  thousands of other Iranian youths has been cut  much shorter than Mr. Simpson's life who probably already has lived at least three times longer than them and I hope will continue to live even longer. Does he have anything to say about these young Iranians and their short lives? The lives of these Iranians are being shortened by the same regime that Mr. Simpson and his likes want to protect. 

I post the the email address of Mr. John Simpson bellow. I invite the dear readers to be "rude" and write to him asking him why Iranians in his opinion do not deserve to have a government that treat them as human beings! That do not torture them, jail them, flog them, stone them or execute them!  Forget about the Human Rights. In which country stoning the animals, flogging them publicly, maiming them, gouging their eyes and hanging them is allowed? This is how the Islamic Republic of Iran, that is so dearly defended by Mr. Simpson and the BBC, deals with its dissidents. Do Mr. Simpson, the BBC, Jack Straw,  Ema Nicholson or the MP Tam Dalyel think that the Iranians do not deserve to be treated even according to the animal rights? Why the BBC and the British government are so supportive of the Mullahs? 25 years of pillaging the country and selling the impoverished Iranians, military scraps and junk at lucrative prices and taking the oil for almost free to add quality to the long lives of people like Mr. Simpson is not enough?  When greed is going to give way to humanity and fairness? 

Please be rude. Write to Mr. Simpson and ask him for clarification. He may lose just minutes out of his precious long life but many Iranians, because of his, and his country's support of the the Mullahs are losing their whole lives or are rutting in squalid jails. Let us be rude and ask Mr. Simpson  and other supporters of the thugs in Tehran for explanation. 

This is Mr. John Simpson's email:  [email protected] Please write to him. 

 "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Thank you.

Ali Sina  

I sent the following email to Mr. Simpson and I am waiting for his response. 

Dear Mr. John Simpson, 

Your curt response to the Iranian student political leader Mr. Potkin Azarmehr calling him rude for asking impertinent questions was published in the website faithfreedom.org  This generated a lot of controversy and anger even among the westerners to the extent that some believe BBC is a monopoly that incorporates the spirit of the modern day fascism. Please take a look at this page and read the comments that it generated by clicking on “comment here” at the bottom of the page. We’ll be very glad to hear your clarifications.    


Yours truly 

Dr. Ali Sina 

Just another rude Iranian

Please send your email to him with CC to me


Comment here





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