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tehranbureau An independent source of news on Iran and the Iranian diaspora

Marandi takes on the Media


10 Feb 2010 02:0228 Comments

[ Q&A ] In the nearly eight months since the Iranian election, few in Iran have openly spoken to the western media. One exception has been Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Marandi who has become a regular on the international talk show circuit. He has appeared on CNN several times, hosted by Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria, NBC, and mostly Al Jazeera English. Marandi has been quoted by Reuters, NPR, The Jerusalem Post, and co-authored an op-ed on the Politico Web site with Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett soon after the election in June.

Marandi's positions supporting the government in articulate American English has helped earn him the title of "the biggest monster of the century," something he laughed off in a recent telephone interview. "There's nothing I can do about it," he said. In fact, he went on to say that he considered himself a critic of the Iranian government. "I believe Mr. Ahmadinejad is the popularly-elected president of Iran, but if I were one of his ministers I would advise him very differently on several matters," he said.

Marandi, 42, is a professor of North American Studies at the University of Tehran, where he conducts research on American culture, film and literature. Marandi was born in the United States and raised in an upscale neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio, in the 1970s. He was even a Dallas Cowboys fan. At 13, his family moved back to Iran. And three years later, he took up arms and fought in the Iran-Iraq war, during which he was injured four times, two as a result of chemical attacks.

A passionate Occidentalist, Marandi studies "American misrepresentation of Iran." In one recent conference in Lebanon, Dr. Marandi delivered a speech on the lack of fair coverage of Iranian history in American textbooks. He appeared on NBC with Matt Lauer to dispute the translation of a speech by President Ahmadinejad. Dr. Marandi even criticized President Obama's choice of location for his speech to the Middle East: "I think that he probably made the worst possible choice to choose Egypt as a place to make a speech," he said.

His father is a conservative member of parliament representing Tehran and also Head of the Medical Sciences Academy.

Tehran Bureau correspondent Hamed Aleaziz recently caught up with Dr. Marandi.

Would you agree that you are the primary, or at least the most prominent English-speaking Iranian spokesman in the Western media?

Not really because I don't consider myself to be a spokesperson for anyone. I'm an academic at the University of Tehran. I'm a member of the North American Studies Department; I currently chair the Department. I have been elected by the members of the department to chair it, and that is my job. I teach and I work on campus. I don't work anywhere else. However I am perhaps the person most often viewed by English-speaking audiences over the last few months, and that is because I'm invited on different programs [that] I've accepted. But I have no official status anywhere, and interestingly, perhaps, is the fact that I didn't vote for either Mr. Ahmadinejad [the current president] or Mr. [Mir Hossein] Mousavi.

How do you feel about the role that you've been given by these news outlets?

As an academic I feel that I have a duty to speak the truth and say things even though it may not be popular in the U.S. and the Western media. I understand that the Western media has always been hostile to Iran ever since the Revolution and that the representation of Iran has always been very negative and that was the case when Mr. Mousavi himself was prime minister many years ago. I knew that when I would come to the defense of Iran that I would be portrayed in a negative light by many people in the English-speaking world and by many Iranian exiles, but I feel that I have a duty to say what I think. If I have to pay a price for it, if I am attacked or insulted, I do have to pay that price. I do get regular death threats, but I think that I have an obligation to speak out and if I have to pay a price then so be it.

What draws you to participate in these interviews on a myriad foreign policy subjects from nuclear weapons to the professor that was killed a few weeks ago, to even the supposed trade between an Israeli company and Iran?

It's just really a personal interest of mine, because my field of work is not politics, and these interviews take a lot of my time. I have to often go to studios and it prevents me from doing my own research and my own work. But I do it because there is a large amount of demonization going on in the Western media with regards to Iran. It's of course nothing new, but it has been intensified over the past few months. It is something that of course has existed for the last two decades and it's not even just Iran, it's the Middle East, the Islamic world, and even much of the developing world beyond the Islamic world that is usually viewed to be somehow inferior to the so-called free world. And because I feel that this is not appropriate and does not do Iran justice, these representations, and I feel that the Western media is biased toward Iran, when invited to different news, television, or radio programs, if I have the time I usually accept and I defend Iran when I feel it needs to be defended. And I defend the alternative perspective when I feel that it is not being mentioned in the mainstream media in Western countries.

Isn't it illegal to speak to the foreign media?

It is legal. But there are three reasons why many of my colleagues refuse to participate. One is because they find the western media, particularity the American and British media, to be so hostile that it is useless endeavor. And they regularly try to dissuade me from taking part unless it's Al Jazeera. The second reason is that Iranian academics have a difficult time getting visas for academic conferences and to travel to universities for sabbaticals and speaking out in the media doesn't make things any better. Many of my colleagues have been refused visas to travel abroad. Many believe it's linked to politics, and speaking to media will only complicate things for them.

Even I get harassed regularly at American airports despite having a US passport. I believe it has to do with my appearances and what I say. I may be wrong though, but it is my perception and perception is important anyhow.

The third reason is that while many of my colleagues can read and understand English text debating an issue in English for an American audience is difficult when it's not their with mother tongue.

Have you ever been contacted by or given praise by the government for your work on foreign news broadcasts?

Never. I have never been contacted by anyone in the administration. I do not work in the administration, and I have said on numerous occasions that I did not even vote for President Ahmadinejad, but I accept the fact that he is the legitimate president of the country and that he won the election, and those who stood against him should have accepted the legitimate result and the will of the people. I do that because I feel that it is my responsibility to do so, and whether anyone praises me or not it's completely irrelevant to me. But I think that all my students and my colleagues know me quite well, because I am there full-time and that is all that I do.

You grew up in the United States. How did your childhood in America shape your perception of the country?

I was born in the US. I'm an American citizen by birth. I grew up in the US and went to school there. After the Revolution, my family moved back to Iran, and I began to be more and more disillusioned with many aspects of the US government when I saw how the US had treated Iran and was treating Iran. Its support for the Shah and efforts to overthrow the Revolution were very much in contradiction to my childhood perceptions of the US as a freedom-loving country with a government that supports freedom. As time went by and the US supported Sadaam Hussein in the war and helped Sadaam Hussein in his war against the Iranian people, my disillusionment with the US intensified and I would consider myself to be a very strong critic of the US government, both then and now and even today as [represented by] Mr. Obama as the relatively new president of the US.

How do you keep up to date about happenings in Iran? Specific newspapers, channels, Web sites?

The internet. I read news on different websites that are from different political factions because in Iran there aren't two groups -- it's not the government and opposition. There are many political trends in the country, and much of the opposition has nothing to do with the so-called Green Movement. The Reformists inside Iran have for the most part completely distanced themselves from those people, and the so-called Conservatives or the Principlists, they too are divided into different groups themselves. So there's a very diverse set of political parties and persuasions in the country and they all have their own Web sites and newspapers. I read the news off the internet when I have time and usually I do so if I am invited to participated in a television or radio program before I participate.

Are there any particular Web sites you visit?

There are quite a few. My way of doing things is by reading alternative and diverse viewpoints and trying to find the consistencies or inconsistencies in each and then arrive to some sort of conclusion. Sometimes of course I get information from television or other sources.

Okay, I'm not too familiar with the news Web sites in Iran. Can you name a couple that you like to use?

There is Fars news. There's Tabnak, there's Jahan news, there's Mehr, there is Raja news, Farda news, IRNA, Farjan news, there is Mr. Rafsanjani's Web site, there is Alef news. There is Emrouz. There are very many.

Okay, so you use these Web sites?

No, these just come to me at this time. I can't speak from memory of all the Web sites that you can use. There are numerous sources that I like to use. I don't read all of these all the time, but if there's a particular story that interests me I try to read the different news outlets.

It has been widely reported that your father is the private physician of the Supreme Leader. Is that correct?

My father is a professor at Shahid Behesteh-University. He has his own private practice, and he is one of the physicians that the Leader might see if he wants to have a check-up. So no, he is not a personal private physician for him. He spends his days at the University and his private practice.

Have you ever met the Supreme Leader Khamenei?

I have never met him as an individual or had a meeting with him. I have seen him, but I don't have any government or any other role to play for me to be in any way close to him or to his office. So I have seen him, but I haven't spoken with him about any particular topic extensively or anything like that. Just a few words.

You frequently describe American news broadcasts that are beamed into Iran as inciting riots and violence--Do you believe other countries should refrain from supporting or creating news for the purpose of beaming into foreign countries? If so, how do you reconcile this view with Iran's own multiple Arab news channels?

The news channels that are being beamed in from the US are many, they are in Persian, they are all hostile toward Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran and many have spoke of and encouraged violence. Many others have used racist language to speak of Arabs for specific purposes.

Iranian channels in Arabic, as far as I know there are two channels in Arabic, one is a news channel and one is a religious channel. None of them are specifically directed at any particular country, and Iran, therefore, has channels that are very different by nature. The Iranian Arabic news channels, alongside many Arabic news channels, they provide information to the Arab world about international affairs. But the tens of Persian-language TV channels beaming in from the US are funded basically to destabilize Iran. There is no country in the Arab world that has claimed that Iran's two channels are directed at destabilizing any country in particular in the Middle East.

Do you have a message to the Iranian Diaspora who may feel troubled about the post-election events in Iran?

In general I'm not in a position to give anyone any particular message. I'm just an ordinary citizen in Iran. But I would say both to Iranians in the US and Americans in the US, that Iran is obviously neither a utopia nor a distopia, and neither is the US. And the representation of Iran in the US is very one-sided, and it is not constructive. It will not help to create a more favorable environment for future rapprochement between the two countries when the English media and the American media treat Iran in such an unfair manner. When Islamophobia and phobia of Iran is reinforced through the media, it only harms prospectives for future generations to come together to build a more positive and more friendly atmosphere for a better future.

But how do you feel about Iranians who are abroad and are upset about the post-election events? Do you think their claims are baseless?

Well, Iranians outside of Iran have very diverse news and they are not a monolithic entity.

What about Iranians who are against the current government?

Well again, that would be one segment of the Iranian diaspora and therefore I think that the best thing that all people can do, Iranians and non-Iranians, would be to look at the news from more diverse sources and not just American sources -- also look to sources within Iran. Put these pieces of news together through reason and logic -- without emotion -- try to come to some sort of conclusion. I think that if one does that, one will realize that the news coming from the US is not very objective and not very fair.

22 Bahman is approaching, do you have any ideas or thoughts as to what might happen?

I think it's pretty obvious that there will be a very high turn-out in all cities for the rallies in support of the Islamic Republic as a state. Those who are opposed to the Islamic Republic, or the so-called Green Movement, will probably try to stage some sort of rally but it will be very insignificant in comparison. What is also extraordinary is that the pro-Islamic Republic rallies that have taken place just a couple of weeks ago, especially through these days after Ashura, throughout the country and also in Tehran, which were massive and unprecedented in Iran, received almost no coverage in the US and in many Western countries as far as I know. I think that is itself revealing that the media in the US is very biased, but more importantly, it misleads American public opinion and even much of the political elite in the US. This creates a danger in that the US may, as a result of not being well-informed about events in Iran, miscalculate; miscalculations can have severe consequences for all people.

How do you feel about the executions that took place last week?

Well, the executions were, if you mean the two people who were linked to terrorist organizations... I think that in any country people who are armed and are supported and funded by countries outside of the country of their own birth, they would be considered as people who are carrying out treason. The same is true with the US. If American citizens are in the US carrying TNT, or have the intention of carrying out attacks, or are members of terrorist organizations, they will be dealt with in a very similar manner by the US. So I think that one should look at it in a more objective perspectives: The US cannot condemn a country for doing something that it would do itself if the same situation and the same sort of actions take place on American soil.

Copyright © 2009 Tehran Bureau

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Marandi is a lying mouth piece for the mullahs and he is the one who should be tried for treason. It is a shame that Iran is creating monsters like him.

Pirouz / February 10, 2010 8:32 AM

Marandi is an ugly shameless liar and an idiot. For 8 months he's been saying that the "so called green movement" is in its last throes. He is a despicable, odious creature.

Hossein77 / February 10, 2010 9:00 AM

Shame on Marandi for being a despicable mouthpiece for Islamic Republic and then lie about it...

He speaks of treason on his last response, nothing is more traitorous than what he is doing.

Shame on you!

Kia / February 10, 2010 12:22 PM

Marandi complains of simplifications and one-sided misrepresentations of Iranian society in Western media to serve Western interests, yet he's a crass regurgitator of the official party line in Iran. In his interviews he describes the protests as MEK-instigated violent riots by just a couple thousand hooligans attacking peaceful & pious Iranians, and dismisses Western human rights organizations as tools of their gov'ts. The only official scapegoats I haven't heard him use yet are the Baha'i. (And that's probably b/c he realizes how scapegoating a peaceful and persecuted religious minority for the recent events would sound to a Western audience.) His idea of countering the alleged one-sidedness and simplifications in Western media is to just become a mouthpiece for Iranian gov't propaganda.

BTW, the recent WPO/PIPA public opinion survey of Iranians used a large set of poll data from Univ. of Tehran and none other than Prof. Marandi is listed as the contact for the data. In case any cynic had doubts about a poll conducted openly inside Iran being unbiased and intimidation-free, Marandi's seal of approval should do away with such silly concerns.

maghshoosh / February 10, 2010 1:11 PM

Outstanding interview. Kudos to Tehran Bureau for publishing it.

I was unaware that Dr. Mirandi was a teenage war hero. By US standards, he'd be awarded four Purple Heart medals.

That's humorous that he didn't vote for Dr. Ahmadinejad in the last election. (Neither did I.)

I'm impressed by his expressed desire for a US-Iran rapprochement. I share the same exact wish.

I think his advice to the Iranian diaspora is sound. One would hope there are listeners here at TB.

Pirouz / February 10, 2010 2:10 PM

"Those who are opposed to the Islamic Republic, or the so-called Green Movement"

I love it how the IRI and its stooges like Marandi are themselves, with their own mouths, spelling out their own doom.

Mousavi wanted to keep Greens within framework of IRI, but the hardliners are making it IRI vs Green -- more and more polarized.

To their detriment, because as Marandi the Shameless Lying **** knows all too well, the "insignificant" numbers are on the SL's side.

Amir / February 10, 2010 6:37 PM

@ Pirouz ...

Instead of picking out two "safe" lines about no-vote for AN and US-Iran ties, how about trying to explain these flat-out lies and self-defeating logic of your buddy-buddy Marandi:

TB: What draws you to participate in these interviews on a myriad foreign policy subjects ...?
Liar: "It's just really a personal interest of mine, because my field of work is not politics"

TB: Isn't it illegal to speak to the foreign media?
Liar: "It is legal."

Let's see you attempt to introduce some sense into those warped answers ... !!

Helia / February 10, 2010 6:43 PM

Distinguish the message from the messenger!

Morandi's position in defense of the current regime is distasteful to many of us.

Morandi's position on the demonization of Iran in the western media is spot on!

Case and point...Calling Morandi the "biggest monster of the century". We have people like John Bolton (among several others) who advocated dropping an nuclear bomb on Iran in multiple interviews (NPR, CNN, MSNBC,..). None of these purported fair and liberal interviewers even bothered to confront him with his hideous statements and allowed him to continue to demonize not just the regime but the entire Iranian nation.

Distinguish the message from the messenger!

It is naive and one-dimensional to think in "white hats" vs. "black hats" terms. Innocent people often get caught in the power play between nations. A million or more innocent Iraqis have died because of the games we played with Saddam dating back to the 70s. No one will be "bringing" democracy to Iran. Freedom and democracy for Iran is only possible if we stop allowing outside forces from dividing and conquering. Organic and home grown changes from within - without outside interference. For that, there is a need for unity of purpose but not a litmus test for unity of opinions - that would seem to stray far from any version of democracy I am familiar with. We need the diversity of thoughts and opinions; including those we do not agree with. Those who promote divisions by demonizing are either ill-willed or are ill-informed.

WPO/PIPA is standing firm by its poll results - a careful reading shows that they did not rely on any one source for the data and used several sound statistical methods to test the reliability of the data. The fact that you and I may not like the results is a different matter.

jay / February 10, 2010 6:56 PM

Many economists have confirmed that under the reckless and corrupt current regime, Iran’s economy is in terrible shape. Everything is dependent on oil revenue and there is virtually no economic growth. One example among many is Iran’s relationship with China. China is raiding Iran with its cheap exports and destroying Iran’s manufacturing base.

Iranian government is incompetent in managing the future of its people. It does not serve its people in any respect. The Iranian government has lost any semblance of legitimacy or credibility.

This regime possesses a dark and criminal pathology. All their inadequacies are blamed on America and Israel. They have stolen millions from their people through the formation of strong Mafia style bands that are running the country’s affairs. All the Iranian government’s efforts are directed toward maintaining the status quo.

Iranian government has not performed the basic functions for its people and is a source of shame for humanity. The supreme leader, in his very recent speech, considered those opposing his ruthless policies to not be Iranians. How dare, he who has brought Iran to this miserable economic condition, spew such a statement? The Veghhet (crassness) of Iranian government is unprecedented in Iranian history.

Mr. Mirandi is part of this system and a beneficiary of it. Looking at his smarmy face, and hearing his voice, one sees an UGLY man who has no conscience. He makes a comment without hesitation or shame that the human right activities are a western concept. In one respect he is correct: true compassion in this case is a western concept and does not exist in the phony Muslim government of Iran.

It does not matter how Mirandi move his lips and does his laughable tap dance. He is the enemy of Iranian people and mouthpiece of the “fourth reich.”

Long live my country. I pray for its freedom from the ugly and despicable Mullahs and their demonic ideology.

Parivash / February 10, 2010 7:30 PM

I diagree with most of what Marandi says about Iranian politics. I especially despise his style which is simply to IGNORE realities: to say for instance, that it is "completely fine" for his colleagues to speak to foreign news agencies when many of them have been imprisoned, fired, etc for doing so.

But I agree with Jay. His criticisms of American media and politics is spot on. BUT, just like Ahmadinejad, he uses it to EXCUSE the behavior of the Iranians, which is just not going to work!

And lastly, I am grateful for Tehran Bureau for publishing this. Just like IRIB is filled with pro-Ahmadinejad propaganda to a point where it seems as if there are no other viewpoints in Iran, the diaspora too surrounds itself with ideas of its own kind and forget that there are millions of Iranians with Marandi's viewpoints living in Iran. No matter how much we despise it, we NEED it if only as a reality check.

Pedestrian / February 10, 2010 8:09 PM

I was going to write out a long response explaining why Marandi is nothing more than a despicable mouthpiece, but judging from the comments already posted on here he has no one fooled.

Sean / February 10, 2010 8:26 PM

It's great that you got Mr. marandi to sit down for an interview but why did the interviewer not follow with pressing questions to Mr. marandi's cliché and vague responses.
For ex. why did he not question the absolute bias Seda Sima has compared to American Channels he himself criticizes.

Why did he not question the theory behind jailing journalists and Political figures?

Why did he no insist that bringing up American wrong doing does not justify their atrocities?

Why did he not question the tactics the regime uses to bring so called supporters to the streets such as giving days off to schools and giving out drinks and food where as pro greens get bullets and tear gas?
Also why is there filters and censorships on flow of info to Iran if they are on the rightoues path, the US has no censors and they are Evil Remeber.
TB please if you are to interview such major IR mouthpieces please place competent interviewers who ask questions Mr. Marandi has not already prepared answers for and follow up on the holes in his logic.

Mehrdad S. / February 10, 2010 10:16 PM

I am utterly disappointed with the interview. There is not even an half hearted attempt to challenge Marandi's bogus claim of neutrality. No mention of jailed journalist and TB claims to be a cutting edge news site!

fariba taghavi / February 11, 2010 12:36 AM

fariba, put yourself in the interviewer's position! First of all, this could have been an email/phone interview. Second, if it was done in person, nobody knows who this Marandi really is or how much influence he really has. If I was interviewing him INSIDE Iran, the last thing I'd do was press him on certain issues.

What this interview does wonderfully is to present Marandi's viewpoints. Grilling him will have to wait a couple of more years and a less threatening environment inside Iran.

Pedestrian / February 11, 2010 2:22 AM

Marandi is a propagandist for the IRI. It cannot be disputed. Most of what he says is truly disgusting.

But, he does have a valid point about Iran demonization by the Western Media, especially the US and french ones.

George Stewart / February 11, 2010 2:58 AM

A good interview, perhaps to be followed by one with the SL! and John Bolton of course for wanting to drop nukes on Iran!!

rezvan / February 11, 2010 4:04 AM

Mr. Marandi is cogent and calm - he isn't a mouthpiece for the IRI as much as he is an articulate voice of sanity trying to put things in perspective for in the face of an aggressive media. Although Tehran Bureau's views are generally quite partisan, I laud their openness to hosting a voice like Marandi's and hope they continue to do so. It's imperative for their journalistic integrity to celebrate dissenting voices from the side of Iran.

George Costanza / February 11, 2010 4:36 AM

Mirandi is a joke Amanpour is a bigger joke for not engaging him in tough questions. At least Farid Zakaria showed him what was up.
Mirandi's day will keep but im sure he will switch sides.
Tomorrow is a big day...

Seyed / February 11, 2010 4:50 AM

dr mirandi;
obviosly because of his command of english,was chosen to be a spoke person for the regime.i do not know how he can go to bed at night and be in peace with his god,if he is a man of god ofcourse? and not have the blood of all those innocent young men and women on his hand.with his intelligent and wisdom,i would just stay silence,rather than defending this brutal regime at its final days.

fay moghtader / February 11, 2010 7:27 AM

Excellent interview. Dr. Marandi is a perfect example of a fervent supporter of the IRI who is not exactly enamored of President Ahmadinejad.

Samuel / February 11, 2010 9:10 AM

I was struck by the UT election polls that Prof. Marandi put on the web. I have two questions about them, in case anyone knows the answer:
1) Why do they show a steady narrowing of the gap betweem Moussavi and Ahmedinejad during May until May 30, when Ahmedinejad had lost 20 points and letd only 39%-30%, then Ahmedinejad gains 20 points back by election eve? Is Ahmedinejad considered to have been a big winner in the early June debate? Was there some sort of massive counter-mobilization of Ahmedinejad in those two weeks? Or what?
2) In the WPO/PIPA publication only some of the questions are put up on the web. Does anybody know anything about the questions that were not put up? What were the results?

Russell Swart / February 11, 2010 6:19 PM

He's tries rhetoricals point about treason or terrorism. But it is false.

He is articulate and that makes him dangerous. He can twist the truth through rhetoric that is meaningless, but flies over many Joes' heads.

Yes, we do remember Waco TX (Clinton era), Oklahoma City Bombers (Clinton Era)... They were executed. Remember mentally handicapped kids in TX (GWB era). We are not proud of either.

Just because the "Big Satan" executes people, it doesn't make it legitimate for IRI to mirror it. False rhetoric.

Any evidence that there was massive ashura turnout for the government? Even IRIB failed to show a single comprehensive video. False claim, to justify false rhetoric.

Who cares about the representation of Iran in the west? We care about the people of Iran IN Iran. Representation of their rights. Why is he using the rhetoric of the "mainstream media" to justify human rights violation?

The man is walking freely talking to the press in the BAD BAD west while Iranian journalist are being raped, tortured and killed in his beloved government's jails.

Dear Mr. Hamed Aleaziz, please do your homework for the next interview. You fell for the rhetoric that has duped many reporters. Better luck next time.

Maybe you can have asked him about financial corruption. Mafias of Ranfsanjani (bazar) fighting the Sepah mafia (military complex)? The re-deeding and then selling national natural land back to the government, millions of hectares a year. These can be documented. We need answers to these. Documents are on the web. Google Shanbazi.

The cause of press suppression is to keep this type of info from getting out. Corruption is the issue. The rest follows.

Nassim sabba / February 12, 2010 9:03 AM

Marandi is nauseating. He reminds me of Pirouz - living in a delusional world where apparently the IRI does no wrong but is wronged by the rest of the wrold. What a joke!

Agha Irani / February 12, 2010 12:46 PM

I think Mohammad Marandi was spot on. It takes a courageous person to take on the might of the western media and the mudslinging US government supported fanatics in the "Green Movement".

I am surprised that TB actually allowed the interview to be published and I'm pretty sure it will not happen again for a long time.

It is also interesting how his prediction about the enormous demonstrations that were held throughout the country celebrating the anniversary of the Revolution were completely accurate. Compare them to the foolish predictions made by the so called Greens.

There is no doubt that the Islamic Republic has the popular support of its people.

Iranian / February 15, 2010 11:20 PM

I think Dr. Marandi is a lone voice of sanity among the howls of the green hoards.

Liz / February 16, 2010 12:56 AM

A very good interview. If TB were to be more balanced in the future, people in America could get a better understanding of the situation in Iran. Iranians inside the country think very differently from most Iranian opposition activists in the US. Mohammad Mirandi reflects the general thinking of most Iranians, and contrary to what Americans think, it is rational and reasonable.

Saman Azizi / February 16, 2010 4:17 PM

Dr. Marandi is a great professor and a very respectable person. I've known him in person for years and I think those criticizing him are being very unfair to him.

Hossein / April 3, 2010 12:59 PM

I know Marandi very well. We used to work together at Tehran university. U.S is so naive that they let him enter the United States and carry out his propagandistic efforts just because he holds a U.S passport on account of his birth. U.S. officials should be more careful.

Persia / June 18, 2010 7:55 PM