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Poletik: A program from inside the dugout.
With your host Kambiz Hosseini
Hello I'm Kambiz Hosseini.
And this is Poletik, people!
A program for the Hasan Rouhani Generation
A generation that is sitting in the dugout and shouting slogans.
Poletok says "No" to intolerance of other people's desires, tendencies and nature.
Poletik says "No" to harassment and intolerance against *** minorities.
Poletik says "No" to the use of the word "***" instead of "homosexuals".
Poletik says "No" to associating *** minorities with mental illness.
Poletik says "No" to ignorance and poisonous propaganda against *** minorities.
If one day, God forbid, God forbid, excuse my tongue, excuse my tongue, put me against the wall,
don't let Satan hear my words, God bless you all, may He save your soul and protect you from Evil
and shield you from disasters,
and may God never hear me the coming of that day
that awful, heart wrenching day,
when suddenly, without reason a nobody like me can understand,
we will return to Allah the Creator.
If Mr. Khamenei passes away...
... we all die, right?
If he, God forbid,
at some point in time,
Mr. Khamenei dies,
what will happen then?
You're so rude!
That's a very ugly way to react to someone's death.
Control Room! Behave yourself!
What do we hear when we're in mourning?
Unfortunately we were informed that Mr. Dorri-Najafabadi whose name still bleeps in our memory,
has said that we should be thinking about the period after the current leader.
And here's the news item:
"Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi, a member of the Council of Experts
"which is in charge of selecting the leader of the Islamic Republic,
"said that we should think about the period after Ali Khamenei."
Excuse my tongue, excuse my tongue,
shut Satan's ears!
May God protect you!
May He save your soul
and protect you from Evil!
I hope that day never comes!
But who am I to say?
It could happen.
We all return to our Creator.
Is there something wrong with Mr. Khamenei?
Not at all!
Thank God he's not suffering from anything, not even pain in a single tooth.
So there's not even a chance that he might,
God forbid, God forbid,
May you always be safe and sound!
OK. That's enough.
Mr. Khamenei along with the people's good prayers
might one day sadly leave us.
That only MIGHT happen.
When that day comes
what will you do?
Khamenei: My life is not worthy.
My body is weak.
Of course those words were more like attempts to draw sympathy.
Film director Iraj Ghaderi, rest his soul, was really good at that sort of thing.
Was he a leader? No!
In his film "I Want to Stay Alive" he knew how to jerk tears out of the audience.
Was he a leader? No.
But this Mr. Dorri-Najafabadi, on orders of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei,
is looking for an heir because hopes were dashed for his son Mojtaba,
as you remember...
People shouting slogans:
"Mojtaba! Hope you die and don't become the leader..."
In any case, now we are at a point that we have to see who's qualified
to choose the next great leader.
Of course there's the members of Council of Experts.
Revolutionary song: "All rise!"
Meanwhile in Qom, half of the religious authorities are sticking with Khamenei
and holding on to dear life.
The other half had some memories of the late Imam Khomeini
and they could have pulled out a new Supreme Leader.
But they too have turned into memories.
Rafsanjani: "We assumed there's no one who can be introduced as leader.
"Because we were basing the leadership on jurisprudential qualifications and such things.
"Then the Imam said you do have someone [who is qualified]: Mr. Khamenei."
If people want to select a leader,
God forbid, God forbid,
May my tongue be cut off for saying this!
I hope Satan won't hear my words!
Listen to me! People have no right to make such decisions.
Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi: "Who are the people to think they have such a right?"
"Do they even have such a right?"
Now let's see what sort of minor characteristics should the next Supreme Leader have.
Khamenei: "I have small amount of dignity."
How much dignity do you have?
"I have small amount of dignity."
How much was that?
"I have small amount of dignity."
A small amount of dignity? No my dear.
A small amount of dignity is not going to be enough to solve the problems of the country.
There's so many scandals and indignaties going on right now that
the next Supreme Leader needs to have more dignity than a package of yoghurt.
If not, as the leader he at least need to have some cheese in the fridge at home.
Khamenei: "Someone said over the phone that we haven't had cheese at home for some time.
"And if so and so, the President, does not have cheese at home, we will love him.
"We will love officials who are this way.
"But if you have cheese at home, do something in order that we have cheese also.
"When I heard about this, I thanked God from the bottom of my heart,
"because in those days you couldn't find cheese in our house.
"We had a guest in hour house and we didn't have any cheese to serve for breakfast.
"I was forced to ask some friends for help to get some cheese.
"I told them we have a guest and we don't have anything to serve for breakfast other than bread.
"These are the conditions in the Islamic Republic and we're proud of it."
Yes, that's something to be proud of.
Of course that was the condition during the previous leadership.
Who says that the next Supreme Leader should have no cheese when he has a guest?
Why should he have to beg the neighbors for cheese?
Wouldn't it be shameful that people might say that the Supreme Leader hasn't got any cheese
but we have missiles to break the bones of these Zionists?
At this point we found the answer for the next leader.
In fact it happens that they also have cheese in their home.
Mr. Mahdavi Kani:
"In his memoirs Mr. Rafsanjani mentions that he went to the house
"and saw there's bread and cheese."
Can you repeat that for the people?
"In his memoirs Mr. Rafsanjani mentions that he went to the house
"and saw there's bread and cheese."
At this point in time, Mr. Rafsanjani's qualifies for the leadership
in just one aspect: He has cheese in his fridge.
Crowd: What do you think?
Crowd;: Who do you think should become leader?
Since you insist on knowing our view,
we say that the future leader should be someone
who can hand over this regime to its actual owner, who happens to appear on Fridays.
Song: "Every Friday, he become a naughty boy..."
That's enough! Don't be silly. We are trying to pick a leader for the country!
A suitable leader is a person who can manage all seven days of the week.
Someone who can start from Saturday and get us to Friday.
Presently that person is Dr. Iraj Malakpour
who has been very successful for many years.
Mr. Malakpour, I have lots of respect for.
He is the head of the Solar Physics Department
at the Geophysics Institute in Tehran University.
What he does is to set the annual calendar.
If you check all his calendars, you will see that every day has appeared in order.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and again Friday
have come one after the other year after year.
For this reason we propose Dr. Malakpour as the next Supreme Leader.
Crowd: No! Who is he? Why him?
They say he's not the right person.
Well, a suitable candidate that could fill the void as the next leader is...
The cactus! I introduce the cactus to you.
This very plant that you see here.
If they plant a cactus in the leader's garden when Mr. Khamenei is gone
it can not only resist very well against dastardly enemy acts
but it can also survive a long time in the dry desert with very little water.
This plant also has a lot more thorns than the current leader
and it can stand strong against regional storms.
It has a thousand more benefits as well.
So if the cactus does not make holes with its thorns, it could be a great captain for the regime's ship.
"That's no good!"
"You can't force this on us!"
What can't I do?
"You can't force this on us!"
They have a point.
They say you can't force it.
It's better if the next Supreme Leader isn't forced on people.
Our Supreme Leader himself, the poor guy didn't even want to become leader.
He was against it. Watch:
Control Room! Roll it!
Khamenei: "Listen! In this debate... [about me becoming leader], I'm opposed."
Thank God he was against becoming leader or else you couldn't tell by the way he's holding on to power.
Someone has to become who is in favor of himself becoming leader.
Then we will feel comfortable that this path will continue for 300, 400 years
Crowd: "Who? Who are you referring to?"
Let me give you an example.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.
Crowd: "What? He's no good for this."
Let me explain.
If Mr. Ahmad Jannati becomes leader, there will be no one alive after him
and we won't have to worry about the leader after him.
Simple! Very simple!
Liste to me.
Keep the kids quiet.
Listen to me.
If Jannati becomes leader, first of all he will be lots of fun.
Other than that, the Supreme Leader
should not be someone who gets kicked into the role by a horse.
Do you think I'm a rude person?
Did I say something bad against clerics?
Show them the news.
"Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani said in his speech in criticism of the leader's religious authority that
"things have gotten so out of hand that some simply throw a kick like a ***
"and become a grand ayatollah."
That's what he said. I'm not going to repeat it.
You can read the rest.
I personally apologize for the insulting words used in this report.
Show us the polite version of that report.
Montazeri: "Here we should say to Mr. Khamenei that you're not an expert in this field.
"There are not just two or three examples.
"I've collected twelve of them here.
"Besides that, you have to act.
"You have to think about it.
"Think about how to act on it.
"Beyond all that, what about religious authority?
"You are not on a level to have religious authority."
That was the late Mr. Montazeri, who was a respectable person.
He said you aren't on a level to have religious authority.
We didn't say that.
The situation is such that they are not allowing just anyone become leader.
It has to be someone who when he was being born he said, "Ya Ali!"
Hojatoleslami Saidi: "When this man, the great leader [Khamenei] was about to
"come out of the body of his mother, he said, Ya Ali!"
Crowd: May Ali be with you!
May Ali be with you, too!
In any case, the parents of our leader wanted him to become an engineer.
But it just happened that he became a leader.
To make his family's wish come true, the leader did some engineering work.
For instance the leader now engineers elections.
And to select the next leader, Mr. Dorri-Najafabadi is engineering the whole thing from right now.
Then Mr. Mesbah Yazdi comes and says the Supreme Leader was sent by God
and then we discovered him.
Here's the diagram that shows how the Supreme Leader was chosen.
As you see the Supreme Leader gives legitimacy to...? the Council of Guardians
who give legitimacy to the Council of Experts who give legitimacy tooooooo ....
the Supreme Leader again.
Round and round they go.
These guys are generally very good at planting a new leader.
Four years from now craft trainting textbooks in schools
will include a chapter on the steps for choosing a leader:
1) Plant, 2) Nurture, 3) Harvest
Crowd: 1) Plant, 2) Nurture, 3) Harvest
Let's get out of town.
Poletik: A program from the dugout for the Hasan Rouhani Generation!
Hosted by Kambiz Hosseini
Friday nights at 10, Tehran time.
Your guest this week is Reza Farahan.
Mr. Farahan is a TV personality in the Shah's of Sunset reality series.
Reza Farahan, 39, was born in Tehran. He emigrated to the U.S. at a young age.
He is one of the personalities on the Shah's of Sunset series which airs on Bravo.
Shah's of Sunset is the first show to depict the lives of a group of Iranians for millions of viewers.
After three successful seasons, Shah's of Sunset is currently being filmed for its fourth season.
Reza Farahan is a successful real estate agent in Los Angeles.
Reza Farahan, welcome to our show, Poletik.
Reza: Thank you very much.
Kambiz: For those who don't know you and are watching this program...
Reza: There are people who don't know me?!
Kambiz: There's a possibility that some...
Reza: How is that possible?
Kambiz: There's a very a small group that's watching this show that doesn't know you.
Can you please tell us what you do?
Reza: I sell real estate in Beverly Hills and I am in a show on the Bravo channel
called the Shah's of Sunset that shows the lives of myself and five of my friends.
Cameras follow us and film us doing ordinary things, going on trips, family get togethers,
and show it on TV.
Americans like it a lot.
Kambiz: Do you know how many millions watch it every week?
Reza: About 1 million to 3 million watch each episode every week.
Kambiz: Which is a lot.
Reza: It is a lot.
Kambiz: There are a lot of Iranians, that I know, who don't like this show. Why is that?
Reza: Iranians like everything to be neat and clean inside a box.
We are not open amongst ourselves to talk about difficult or ugly things in our lives.
We don't like to talk about those things.
They say if you talk about such things, your sister won't be able to marry, or your father's business might suffer.
Iranians like everything to be neat.
But in our show we talk about very controversial things.
For Iranians it's difficult for them to watch this.
This is a first. They have never seen Iranians on American TV before.
It didn't exist until now.
It's hard for them. They have to get used to it.
Kambiz: You're the most popular person on the show. Why?
Reza: What I decided to be was different from my friends.
They wanted to come on the show and have a good time and show their lives to the people.
But whenever I talked to the producers and my family
I told them I want young people in Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and other places like Egypt
to watch me and say, "He's gay. A homosexual."
His family loves him, his friends accept him, he's successful, he hasn't committed suicide,
he's not hiding in his house, he does everything and he's satisfied with himself.
And everybody accepts him.
And if someone in another country, in another situation, sees me and my life
and can have a bit of a better life, that would be enough for me.
I did not expect this show to go on for years
or that Americans would like the story of Iranians living in America so much.
I was not thinking about those things.
I had my own job, my own life.
I did this only because I wanted to help young homosexuals.
That's why I decided to be in Shah's of Sunset.
Kambiz: How do you help them? What do you do that helps them?
Reza: I don't have to do anything.
Nobody in our community has been able to come and say:
'This is the way I am. And I don't care. You don't like me? I don't care.
'I want to live my own life. If you don't accept me, if my parents didn't accept me,
and all my friends rejected me, I would have gone and found some people
who accepted me, so that I could live the kind of life I want to live.
The kind of life that's right for me.
That's the kind of life I want.
I don't want to live a lie.
I don't want to marry a woman and make her life miserable.
I don't want to live a lie and die and not do anything.
I don't want to die knowing that this lie was inside me.
Kambiz: How successful have you been in your mission?
Reza: From day one when I started this, people have sent me messages
to my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts from around the world.
Those in Iran and counties lke Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt sent me messages.
They told me that because of my role in this TV show, and because I am so open about my life
it opened a way for us to talk about this subject when we are sitting around dinner.
They said their brother had come out of the closet,
Their cousin had come out of the closet.
They said they had not committed suicide because of watching the show.
Kambiz: The question I have, Reza, is what gave you the strength...
I know your family has been very supportive,
what gave you the strength, the first time you knew and accepted you were gay,
what gave you the determination to come out and freely announce to everyone you're gay.
Where did that strength come from? When did it happen? How old were you?
Reza: Since childhood.
I'm a type of person that when I think of something, if I like you or don't, if something makes me happy or sad
I openly express myself.
I'm not a liar. I'm not a person who looks at you and laughs with you,
but says all sorts of bad things behind your back when you leave the room.
If I don't like you, I'm open and honest about it.
Kambiz: How old were you when you found out?
I ask this because there may be some people watching
who might be in the same situatuon you were many years ago.
Reza: When I was 18 my mother called me over and I sat in the kitchen, just like me and you sitting here.
She looked at me and said: "Reza, are you a gay?"
Just like that. Just like that my mother asked me.
In that moment I thought either I will tell my mother the truth and deal with all the consequences later
or I will tell a lie and my whole life I would have to shut my mouth.
In the situation I found the strength inside me to tell the truth to my mother.
I couldn't lie.
I told her I'm gay.
My mother became very upset.
She started to cry.
But there was a clock behind her on the wall.
It was as if someone was timing her.
Within the space of three minutes, my mother started crying and telling me that I've been deceived
and that my father wasn't around and was out of the house a lot of times when I was growing up.
She said she had seen an episode of Oprah where gays had found Jesus Christ to help them stop being gay.
Then as if someone had said the three minutes was up, she sat on the chair, wiped her eyes,
and she looked at me and said, "I'm your mother, I love you, and as long as I'm alive I'll support you."
"And if someone says something bad to you, they'll have to deal with me."
"You're my son, I love you and that's that."
Since that day until this moment, 22 years has gone by and every day it has become better.
Kambiz: You live in a city outside Iran where there are many Iranians.
I'm sure you've had contact with other Iranians.
You said your family support you.
But what was the feeling you had being a part of the community?
How have Iranians treated you? Have they been accepting? Has it been a comfortable experience?
Reza: Iranians think everybody ... they think I want to know their opinion.
I don't want to know.
If you think I'm ugly, or fat, or an unfortunate ***, I don't care. Keep your mouth shut and move away from me.
I don't care.
If everybody disliked me it would make no difference to me.
Iranians think everybody want to know their opinion.
Instead of talking so much, Iranians should go home and look in the mirror
and deal with the issues inside themselves, the world would become a much better place.
And I think Iran would become a better place.
Those who constantly want to talk about others but don't want to deal with their own issues
those people are the ones who have problems. Not me. And not the young gay people in Iran.
Young gays in Iran have a very difficult journey ahead of them.
I hope the situation in Iran improves every day
so that they too, like us in this country, can have freedom.
I'm not saying that everyone should accept gays. If you don't accept them, no problem.
Keep your mouth shut and deal with those you want to deal with.
But don't go around pointing figures saying you're like this, you have to do this or that.
I don't care.
Who the hell wants to be in a place where everybody is exactly the same?
That would be hell for me.
Kambiz: Thank you Reza. I'm very glad you came to the show.
Our show ends here. We thank you for watching.
Before we go, I wanted to say something briefly.
There was something interesting that happened this week.
Do we have time?
Ali Motahhari, a member of parliament, said he wants to combat women who don't wear the hijab properly.
He said society must have an acceptable appearance.
He added that he did not want to see inspections of how people dress at home
or whether they wear the hijab or not when they are traveling abroad.
"That's none of our business."
The second part of Mr. Motahhari's comments made sense.
It's really not the state's business how people dress or what they do when they go abroad.
Compulsory hijab is one of the limitations imposed by the government in Iran.
When Iranian women leave the country, those rules don't apply and they need not obey.
Specifically when Iranian artists attend foreign festivals, they are legally free to wear anything they want.
They aren't wrestlers representing Iran.
They are individuals who have been invited to participate in a festival.
They invited them, not the country of Iran.
Telling people that they should only wear something abroad that's acceptable to the state
that's a bit too much to ask.
And to be attacked for not obeying to wear this kind of pants or that kind of dress
or for wearing an open collar, or showing your legs in a certain way,
that's against the basic rights of citizens.
People have the right to decide how they want to live, and choosing what to wear is the most basic right.
The laws of the Islamic Republic, and indeed of all countries,
are only valid within their own borders.
That's a very simple and understandable concept.
There's nothing strange or weird about it.
Why make a fuss over an artist who may have not worn the hijab in some European city?
You cannot accuse her of breaking the law.
I thought about this issue after seeing Leila Hatami's photos at the Cannes festival
and the subsequent comments by the MP Ali Motahhari, and the same odd reactions from radicals in Iran.
If this subject is also interesting to you, send me an email
or come to my Twitter and Facebook pages to discuss it further.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm Kambiz Hosseini
You've been watching Poletik.
Until next week at 10 pm Tehran time,
watch out for the person next to you.