May 26, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1175

Following Ahmadinejad's Letter to Bush, Iranian Satirist Writes to Ahmadinejad

May 26, 2006
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 1175

In response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's May 9, 2006 letter to U.S. President Bush, the well-known expatriate Iranian satirist Ibrahim Nabavi published an open letter to President Ahmadinejad, in the online Persian daily Rooz.

The following are excerpts from Nabavi's letter: [1]

"Oh Adorable Little Boy Who Makes Noise and Needs Attention!"

"...Oh adorable little boy who makes noise and needs attention!

"...In your explanation [about this letter], you said that you had written to [President] Bush to present a solution to the problems in the world. What an excellent idea. But have you noticed that the problem in the world is you yourself? Do you know that it is you who are the cause of most of the bad luck and punishments now descending upon the free peoples and the countries of the world? [Do you know] that if there is a problem that must be solved, it is called Ahmadinejad?...

"My dear son Mahmoud!

"You wrote to George Bush: "...[You intend to] establish a single global society which is to be ruled by Jesus and by the righteous of the earth..."

"My good boy! Do you really think that George Bush wants to establish a single global society so that Jesus and the righteous of the earth will rule it? Who told you this? Who said that Bush and the Americans - whose regime, thought, and laws are based on secularism - want Jesus and the righteous of the earth to rule the globe?...

"All Westerners, including the Americans, have for 200 years been diligently saying that they are not interested in a religious regime, and that they advocate secularism. Now you say that they are interested in rule by Jesus? Where is Jesus? Who was talking about Jesus? On your mother's life! Go find the nutcase who taught you these things, fire him, and don't listen to him any more. [Those who taught you] see that you are naïve, so they want a laugh at your expense. They say these things in jest - and you publish them?!..."

"If the Guantanamo Prisoners Don't Have Access to Attorneys - At Least in America Attorneys Aren't Thrown Into Jail Every Other Day"

"Dear Mahmoud, [you] kid who is looking to make a name for himself!

"In your letter to George Bush, you wrote: 'There are prisoners in Guantanamo who have not been tried; they have no access to attorneys, their family cannot visit them, they are being held outside their country, and there is no international supervision [of their treatment in prison].'

"My young friend!

"What business is this of yours? Such a statement should be made by the president of a country with no political prisoners, and whose prisoners have trials, and access to attorneys... If the Guantanamo prisoners don't have access to attorneys, at least in America attorneys aren't thrown into jail every other day. The president of a country that imprisons the likes of Abd Al-Fattah Sultani, [2] Shirin Ebadi, [3] Mehrangiz Kar, [4] and other attorneys has no right to criticize [prisoners'] lack of access to attorneys in the prisons of another country.

"Did Akbar Ganji [5] have the right to family visits [when he was in] Evin prison? At this very moment, isn't there in Evin a philosopher named Ramin Jahanbegloo [6] - who has no connection whatsoever to terrorism, violence, etc? Why are you pushing your nose into this matter?

"Is there international supervision in the prisons in Iran, for you to complain of the lack of the same at Guantanamo?..."

"If You Listen to Me, and From Now on Ask the Adults Your Questions, You Will Avoid Embarrassment"

"My small, young son!

"In your letter to George Bush, you wrote: 'The E.U. inspectors confirmed that there are secret prisons in Europe as well.' My dear Mahmoud! What don't you understand here? Don't you know what a secret prison is? The answer to this question is very simple. You can ask people like Ezatollah Sahabi [7] and Hanif Mazroui [8] to tell you what a secret prison is. A secret prison is a place where they imprison people without anyone knowing about it. According to Iran Judiciary head [Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi], all these years there have been many secret prisons in Iran - particularly Prison No. 59 and Prison No. 39... Ask Siamak Pourzand [9] to explain to you what a secret prison is, and don't embarrass us on an international level. If you listen to me, and from now on ask the adults your questions, you will avoid embarrassment - embarrassment that [makes] the public in the world laugh at you and say that Iran's president has several secret prisons yet criticizes America's [secret prisons]..."

"The Reason for the Lack of Security in America is Groups Like Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"

"In your letter to George Bush, you wrote: 'All countries have an obligation to protect the lives, property, and honor of their citizens. They say [America] has extensive security and intelligence apparatuses at its disposal, and that it hunts down its opponents even outside its borders. The 9/11 operation was not a simple one. Could the planning and execution [of 9/11] have been possible without coordination with [America's] intelligence and security apparatuses, or by means of their extensive influence? Of course, this is a reasonable guess. Why have dimensions of this matter remained secret so far? Why don't they [i.e. the American authorities] clarify who is responsible for the failures in this event? And why are the elements [involved] and those guilty not brought forth and tried?...'

"My dear Mahmoud!... [Let me] explain a few things to you. First, the reason for the lack of security in America is groups like Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and so on. You cannot voice the slogan 'Death to America' on a daily basis, and plan to destroy it, and then ask the president of America why the American public has no security. Smarty pants, why can't you see that it is because of you that they have no security? The cause of the lack of security is you yourself, as well as the people you love and whose success elates you [i.e. Al-Qaeda, Hamas, etc.]. Second, you are the one who plans and wishes to destroy America..."

"My Dear Mahmoud! Your Effort to Convert George Bush to Islam is Admirable..."

"My Dear Mahmoud!

"Your effort to convert George Bush to Islam is indeed admirable... Do you think that Bush's problem stems from the fact that he's not Muslim? If he were Muslim, he would have, first thing, become a Wahhabi, and, with the power that he possesses, would have attacked us with a vengeance overnight. So don't ask him to convert to Islam!"

[1], May 13, 2006.

[2] Abd Al-Fattah Sultani is an attorney who represented the mother of Zahra Kazemi, the Canadian journalist who in 2003 was murdered in Evin Prison, in a lawsuit against the Iranian authorities. One week into the trial, he was jailed for seven months. Today he is free on bail and awaiting trial.

[3] Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi is an attorney and human rights activist in Iran. Since receiving her prize, she has been summoned a number of times to court in Iran, once for shaking hands with French President Jacques Chirac while her head was bare. Another time she was summoned following a hunger strike launched by a client of hers, jailed journalist and political prisoner Akbar Ganji, on charges that she incited him to write against the Iranian authorities while in prison. Following this, she said that she had received a number of death threats.

[4] Mehrangiz Kar is a human rights attorney and writer, and a women's rights activist, in Iran. Kar was arrested for participating in the 2000 Berlin Conference, and was sentenced to four years, reduced after two years, for activity against state security and for spreading propaganda against Iran. Trial proceedings are underway against her for not wearing the hijab (head and body covering) required for women in Iran. At present, she is living and working outside of Iran.

[5] Political prisoner and journalist Akbar Ganji exposed the involvement of top Iranian officials in the series of murders of Iranian intellectuals in 1998. He too participated in the 2000 Berlin Conference, and as a result was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, which he recently completed, for incitement against the regime and for harming state security. During his prison stay, he published two pamphlets calling for a referendum and for boycotting elections. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.933, "Imprisoned Iranian Dissident Ganji in Letter Smuggled from Prison: 'I May Die, But the Love of Freedom and the Thirst for Political Justice Will Never Die,'" July 13, 2005, Imprisoned Iranian Dissident Ganji in Letter Smuggled from Prison: ‘I May Die, But the Love of Freedom and the Thirst for Political Justice Will Never Die’.

[6] Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo, Iranian intellectual and lecturer, was educated at the Sorbonne in Paris and also at Harvard. He was recently arrested upon returning to Iran for attending academic conferences abroad. He was accused of collaborating with U.S. and Israeli intelligence organizations. Following his arrest, he required hospital care.

[7] Ezzatollah Sahabi, leader of the banned main opposition group "Freedom Movement of Iran," was sentenced several times for his political activity and for "insulting Iranian leader Khamenei." He was editor of a paper, Iran-e Farda, ("The Iran of Tomorrow") that was shut down at the order of the authorities, and also participated in the 2000 Berlin Conference.

[8] Hanif Mazroui, the son of a former Iranian reformist MP, is a blogger who was imprisoned in 1994 for writing against the regime. He was also imprisoned in 2004, for 66 days, and was exonerated. Several months ago, he was again arrested and banned from writing about nuclear issues. Following his release, he closed down his blog.

[9] Siamak Pourzand, 72, who is married to Mehrangiz Kar, is a journalist and was literary critic for several reformist papers that were shut down. He is known for his criticism of the regime. In November 2001, he disappeared, and was held in solitary confinement by Iranian intelligence. In 2002 he was sentenced by the Press Court to 11 years' imprisonment, for undermining state security; he served his sentence at Evin prison. As far as is known, Pourzand suffered two heart attacks during his time in solitary confinement.

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