Well, the last week certainly was a field day for Iranians in the British press. First there was that hullaboo about the Iranian academic who had sliced out numerous invaluable pages from books in the British Library, and then there was the British army soldier of Iranian origin who was caught “red-handed” passing military secrets to the Iranians, thereby “possibly” endangering the lives of British soldiers…

Well, I’m sorry for the books, not so sorry for the soldiers and rather amused at the exploits of my fellow compatriots. That crazy Iranian academic, now, how come he wasn’t referred to as an American of Iranian origin in the press? After all, he had been an American citizen for many many years- but various press stories (I read the Guardian and the BBC)  mention this on the side, while continously making reference to his Iranian nationality. And when was the last time he had lived in Iran? Come on, how come whenever an Iranian expat does something cool like travelling to the moon or winning lots of tennis matches, minimal reference is made to his country of origin, but doing something stupid like this has Iranian written in ten-feet high neon letters all over the place?? Anyway, as a fellow Iranian, I can guess what was passing in his Uncle-napoleon-crazed mind while busily slicing away at those book pages: “These British have ruined our country, ruined the entire Middle-East, as a matter of fact, they dragged down Mosadeqq, and so these pages are MINE! MINE! They do not deserve to have these books!”. Context, context, spend a term or so at any Western university and you will soon learn that it is all about structures and contexts and placed in the context of British actions in the Middle-East, the Iranian acadmic might be excused for thinking he was merely getting a bit of his own back. Yes, he was very selfish and crazy as well, and ripping out pages of books is an inexcusable thing in any circumstances, but since they made such a fuss about his being Iranian, then it is ony fair to point out the particular sort of madnesses which obsess Iranians which is induced by British exploitations thoughout the generations.

Which brings un to Officer Daniel, and his extreme Iranian patriotism which survived after so many years in Britain and working in the British army… excuse me, he was doing what? He was passing British secrets to the Iranians? In Afghanistan? Endangering lives of British soldiers? How can that happen? I thought the Taliban were the enemy in Afghanistan- not the Iranians? Can we have some sort of background here, some sort of  framework? I though the British in Afghanistan were fighting the Taliban, I didn’t know the Iranians had an official military presence in Afghanistan, I didn’t realise, from reading the information we were given, that passing info to the Iranians would have endangered lives of British soldiers- I thought the Taliban were the enemies? Weren’t they? Can somebody explain to me who is fighting whom in Afghanistan?

Enough of this malarkey. I have actual work to do.


  1. Don

    People are the same all over. My side is the right side, your side is the wrong side, unless it agrees with my side. I was working in Paris during the American invasion of Iraq, and in spite of everyone back home assuring me that Americans were getting spit on and abused in France, I found that if you talk to people one-on-one, you generally have a lot more in common than in opposition.

    Of course, there are also fanatics everywhere.

  2. do you remember those series called “saraab” broadcast in iran TV years ago? in that program, the western culture was under question and the life of opposition Iranians abroad as well. The main idea behind such propaganda was “there is no ethics abroad, there is no family values, everything abroad is bad, the world outside is to be exploded and destroyed because there is no moral,…” and so and so
    the stereotype all around the world is the same. we (I mean officials not actual we!) make fuss out of one exception, and they do the same, and others do the same for each other too. this story repeats everywhere forever!

  3. Rhonda

    Another point to keep in mind is that the press tends to manufacture stories to sell papers. I have first-hand knowledge of the falsehoods and even faked photos in reports on the mid-east conflict. And if you actually travel in the middle east, despite horror stories, you find that pretty much anyone you meet is friendly unless you give them a reason to be otherwise. There will always be fanatics in any culture/country; unfortunately, they’re the ones who get most of the press coverage.

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