Friday, March 14, 2008


I received an email from a high school friend from London last night who I have not been in contact with for over 15 years. She said that she was going to be in the New Orleans area and would like to meet up with me. As we continued to “chat” she told me that she converted to Islam a year ago because she is dating an Iranian man who is working on his doctorate at Cambridge. She then went on to say that when he finishes his courses they are going to travel though out the US (hence the trip to New Orleans) and then they are going to move back to Iran and get married.

I was glad that this was all done via email as my mouth dropped open. It is of course none of my business, and I know that no good comes of giving an honest unsolicited opinion when discussing “matters of the heart”, but I really felt like asking her if she was f’ng crazed?

It just so happens that yesterday my ex- husband was discussing a business opportunity that he had in Saudi Arabia. When I asked him if he was going to go, he said “F no”. Then directed me to a website that listed all the medications that are banned in Saudi Arabia; possession punishable by imprisonment or public flogging. He is bi- polar and as you might note from this LIST the Saudi’s don’t want anybody that has a cold, a headache and definitely do not want anyone that is dependant on any sort of “psychotic” drugs. Evidently horny old men or takers of Viagra are also on the no no list.

Well I digress from the story about my friend. It is just a coincidence that after my ex and I were discussing Saudi Arabia that I looked up “warnings” from the State Department and came across the following nugget of information which is really scary:
Non-Iranian-national women who marry Iranian citizens gain Iranian nationality upon marriage. If the marriage takes place in Iran, the woman’s U.S. passport will be confiscated by Iranian authorities. They likewise must have the consent of their husbands to leave Iran or, in his absence, must gain the permission of the local prosecutor. Because of Islamic law, compounded by the lack of diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran, the U.S. Interests Section in Tehran can provide only very limited assistance if an American woman married to an Iranian man has marital difficulties and/or encounters difficulty in leaving Iran.
After divorce or death of the husband, a woman has the choice to renounce her Iranian citizenship but any of the couple’s children will automatically be Iranian citizens and their citizenship irrevocable. They will be required to enter and depart Iran on Iranian passports. For a divorce to be recognized it should be carried out in Iran or, if outside Iran, in accordance with Sharia law. Upon divorce, custody of the children normally goes to the mother until the child reaches age 7, at which point custody is automatically transferred to the father. However, if the courts determine that the father is unsuitable to raise the children, they may grant custody to the paternal grandfather or to the mother, if the mother has not renounced her Iranian citizenship and is normally resident in Iran. If the courts grant custody to the mother, she will need permission from the paternal grandfather or the courts to obtain exit visas for the minor children (under age 18) to leave the country. Iran is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. Please see the Department of state’s International Parental Child Abduction flyer on Iran for further information.

I guess the point of the post is should I tell my friend about this when she comes in? It seems like it would be mean spirited to say anything negative, but then again perhaps there was some reason that I read this 5 hours before she contacted me. Just wondering what you would do in my situation?


wishin said...

I think she is out her fucking mind!!!! HELLO?? I think she might be brainwashed. What woman in her right mind would do this? I would definately have to say something about it. What do you have to lose? I'm sure once she moves there you will never hear from her again b/c HE will have all the control.

Raspootin said...

That is what I think too. She is an American Citizen residing in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Iran is a pretty place with an ancient civilization that highly influenced ours, which has good snow for skiing, and actually many Americans visit Iran as tourists, and Iranians are warm and welcoming towards them. You're making the mistake of letting your stereotypes (and the politically-biased State Department) do your thinking for you. See, for example, Saudi Arabia is not Iran, and most Iranians would be highly insulted if you confused the two.

Here's a blog of one American in Iran:

Anonymous said...

Here's tour for you to go on - expand your horizons a bit:

ANd here's more travel info from the NY Times:

wishin said...

I don't doubt visiting would be nice but to allow a MAN to have control over you and your family is just insane. I'm sorry if I offended you but I strongly believe woman are to be independent and not controled. Visiting and moving there are two very different things.

Anonymous said...

Ummm..Iranian women RULE their men.

French actress Juliette Binoche says:

"I recently took a year off from making movies and it was great. I went to Peru to walk in the mountains. I met some fantastic people in Iran. The Iranian women are like Italian women: they rule the house. Iran is full of life and the history is very rich - we have to learn from them. They influenced all the philosophers when they first came to Europe hundreds of years ago."§ion=citytimes&col=

Raspootin said...

The bottom line is that if something should go wrong with my friend's marriage and she has children it is going to be very hard for her to ever gain custody.

That is not to say that anything bad will happen to her marriage, I am simply concerned about her welfare. Love can be blind. However I will wait until she visits and see how I feel about her finance.

It is not about Iran it really comes down to the character of her husband to be.

Doralong said...

Perhaps meet the guy first and then decide to broach the subject? I'm trying not to be over the top, but I had a good friend that had a marriage gone awry to an Iranian national and the entire thing was an absolute nightmare for her to get home with her daughter, who actually was not even his I might add- she was widowed quite young.

Sorry, I simply shudder to think about living under such restrictive conditions- true love or not, I'm pretty sure I couldn't tolerate it.

Raspootin said...


Thanks for the input. This woman is 10 years younger than me, kind of like a little sister who I lost touch with. I could never live under the restrictions either. Of course I also would never convert to Islam for the same reasons.

billy pilgrim said...

i had iranian neighbours years ago. i remember the husband washing his coup deville in a speedo while his wife wore a heavy black sack of some sort in the heat.

i would not be happy as a clam if my daughter married a muslim of any ilk. that also applies to most orthodox religions.

the daughter a co-worker married an orthodox jew. he did not turn out to be prince charming.

Woozie said... this guy she's marrying a moderate Muslim, a Fundy, or somewhere in between?

Raspootin said...

I dont know because I have never met him.

When they show up I will do a supplemental post.

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