Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Derakhshan Enigma

'Iran doesn't have a policy of imprisoning people for the content of their blogs, as some human rights campaigners would have us believe.' - These were the words of Hossein Derakhshan, printed in the Guardian, May 7th, 2007.

But now the person who was responsible for writing that nonsense and a lot more nonsense on his blogs, especially on his blog in Persian, is supposed to have received 19 and half years in prison, or has he?

To me, Derakhshan just came across as a bisexual who liked his wine too much and so preferred to live outside Iran and enjoy the privileges and the freedoms in the West but at the same time he wanted the regime in Iran to survive, so that his rich daddy could finance his idle lifestyle. Which is more or less what can be said about many Lefties in the West, who although admire tyrants, still rather live in the centre of imperialism and rather not miss their intellectual progressive champagne parties.

Hossein Derakhshan is well connected in the elite circles of power in Iran. The Supreme Leader himself performed the wedding ceremony of Derakhshan's first marriage in Iran. His father is a wealthy Bazaar merchant and a member of the hardline Islamic Coalition Group in Iran. His uncle was a victim of the MeK bombing of the Islamic Republic Party Head Quarters in the eighties, the famous 'more than 72 martyrs' case, where IRI news agencies reported the casualties as 'more than 72 dead' to make it similar to the  battle of Karbala tragedy, where the prophet's grandson, Imam Hussein and his 72 companions were martyred in an unjust battle against the ruling Khalif.

Most English readers of his blog were not aware of his regime ties however. Hoder, as he liked to market himself in the West, had learned how to talk the Left language and win followers. Couple of 'anti-imperialism' here and calling all Iranian opposition, 'Western Agents and lackeys' along with some admiration of Castro and Chavez, and you can make the 'useful idiots' in the Western Lefties believe anything you say. And they really did! When he published nonsense like 'No one in Iran is imprisoned for the content of his blog', there was no shortage of 'useful idiots' and Guardian type readers who really believed him. Press TV had him as a regular guest too:
and he appeared on Iran state TV too:

So is he really in prison? That is not what everyone believes. Of all the thousands who have been detained in the post-election protests, no one has confirmed seeing him in prison. Some have even gone as far as accusing him of writing the bills of indictments against the accused in the show trials, for the uncanny similarities between the way the charges are written and the writings in his blog.

Maziar Bahari described how on several occasions, his interrogators told him they will bring Derakhshan to prove their accusations against Bahari. Other bloggers and web administrators were brought on Iranian state TV to make confessions, but Derekhshan never was. Even Ahmadienjad had unusually and publicly asked the judiciary to be lenient towards Derakhshan. Why? How is it that bloggers who criticised the regime have received harsh sentences but considerably less of a prison sentence than Derakhshan?

Well there can only be two answers to Derakhshan's enigma. Either as some suggest he is not really in prison and the Iranian regime just wants to divert the international attention form other political prisoners who deserve more attention or they are just so stupid that they even treat one of their best servants so harshly.

Either way, a big lesson for 'Useful idiots' in the West. Don't fall for someone, just because they have learned how to talk your talk.


Anonymous said...

I believe they look at Derakhshan as an Asset For two reasons:

First, at higher level, He can be used as a zombie,similar to the case of a former Marxist-Leninist who is writing in keyhan now
(He went through the mind cleansing in jail years ago and now writes articles on demand against opposition.)

Secondly, on lower level, his family wealth and resources can be exploited in favor of hardliners, since they've got a good leverage on them for the time being.

Anonymous said...

This is not true. Hamze Ghalebi, a famous reformist journalist has wrote that he has seen Hossein Derakhshan in prison:

Sohrab said...

All fair criticisms and suspicions re: Derakhshan - except the bit about his "bisexuality"

What does his alleged orientation have to do with anything?

The regime uses misogyny and homophobia. We should be better.

Waybec said...

A good bit of in depth analysis here Potkin. Glad you more enlightened me, rather than just me be white-washed by the usual rushed job of the gossip ridden and soundbite media!

Massimo Parizzi said...

Dear friend,
I'm the editor of an Italian magazine, "Qui - appunti dal presente", which comes out in English too as "Here - notes from the present". It was launched in Italy to gather testimonies, observations, and reflections about the times we live in. It presents diary pages interspersed with brief essays and some literary prose, and its collaborators are people from different countries in the world. It is published both on paper and on the Internet ( or Well, I happened to stumble upon your blog, and I'd like to publish your diary entry from September 10, 2010 (“After the Islamic revolution, the zealot revolutionaries…”) . May I have your authorization? You can write to me to To have a better idea of "Here" you can go to its web site, but if you wish to see a copy of it on paper, send me an address and I'll be glad to mail it. Thank you and best regards
Massimo Parizzi

Lirun said...

very interesting.. why are the commenters anonymous.. btw - is it too dangerous to even have a pseudonym or is it just coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Hoder was such a loud-mouthed anti-Western hypocrite that nobody is even interested in knowing whether the "blogfather" is in or out of jail. They'd all rather see him rot there. He got just what he deserved. Oh and we write anonymously so we don't get harrassed by IRI operatives. Duh.

bijan said...

potkin, thanks for drawing attention to this. great work as usual. i have a feeling that the IR elite realize that the status quo is not sustainable for a number of reasons (not least of which is the fact that "revolutionary" purpose and character cannot last forever). as a result, they are trying to find ways to transition from this current revoluntionary phase to a phase of permamence, without losing any power or control. to do this, they must find a way to get out from under the burdens of their "revolution" and earn a measure newfound legitimacy through public acceptance, if not support. they are planning to do this perhaps through the employment of figures such as derakhshan, whom they are building up through such prison sentences into credible members of the next generation. in a few years, people like derakhshan may emerge to lead a "reform" of the system, which may fool the majority of Iranians into embracing the IR all over again, without knowing it, that is.

Lirun said...


thanks for the "duh" but what would be different if you had a pseudonym like "citizen a" etc just so you can be recognised within a thread of comments..

im curious about the discussion of the revolution needing to convert into a stage of permanence..

even the best revolution can overstay its welcome..

how much of the responsibility do you assign to the people of iran.. what about their power to infulence the way forward..

we all saw the dramas during election time.. but is there nothing that can be done?

Winston said...

I hope he rots in jail

Sohrab said...


Why do you screen critical comments?

Azarmehr said...


Honestly I don;t. There are loads of critical comments all over my blog. The only ones I screen are spams and profanities against people's family members.

Which ones have I missed out?

Mehrtash said...

Sohrab - I can vouch for Potkin here, even though he doesn't need me to. Trust me, he does not censor comments or criticism - even if they are comments that appear to be contrary to his views, or from people he doesn't like.

As a fellow blogger, whose blogging activity was inspired by Potkin, I can understand why comment moderation has been activated - I check all comments before publication as well, because I receive a lot of spam too.

Nothing sinister.

Unknown said...

So is the sentence fake in your opinion, Potkin?

I am baffled.

Maybe Derakhshan has been liquidated officially so he can spy unofficially?

Azarmehr said...


I think you should learn lessons from HD. Sucking up to this mob has grave consequences either way.