Roger L. Simon

Iran was on my mind today ...

It’s never that far off. I think most would agree that the Persian nation is at the heart of the world conflict. Yesterday, I received some email out of the blue, asking if Pajamas might be interested in some clandestine video of an Iranian dissident, Zahra Kamalfar, trapped in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyvo Airport for 73 days. 73 days, I thought. I can remember being trapped in Sheremetyvo for about six hours during the communist era and getting crazy paranoid. 73 days? It was and is hard to wrap your mind around.

So I made friends with a mysterious Iranian-American director named Ardeshir Arian, who turned out not to be so mysterious but a fine fellow, and spent the usual hours on the phone and IM with my trusty partner in crime Andrew Marcus and the results are now up on Pajamas. I hope in our little way we have helped with the fate of Ms. Kamalfar and that she will not be heading back to Tehran on Monday. Another Zahra – Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist – did not fare very well on her visit to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. I always have to laugh in a bitter way when I read these stories out of Iran and think how little time our media devotes to them and how much to the far less threatening tales of supposed American torture. Sometjmes I think if Pajamas works to correct that imbalance … and that is all we do … we have accomplished more than enough. Check out the video. There are some things I cannot say about the circumstances of the video and how it got here, because people would be endangered. Maybe after the Mullahs are overthrown. In the words of another friend of mine, “Faster, please!”