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Deep investigation on Marjane Satrapi’s identity
20.09.2007

Do you know Caroline Andrieu ? We do not. She writes in Le Parisien newspaper. She writes well, but she has produced a weird article about Persepolis. This journalist did not ask herself if information provided by Satrapi were true, in the way of all the other so-called journalists or TV presenters are contenting with producing a good paper with emotions. Nevertheless information exists and we are going to reveal more about Marjane Satrapi.



The «Red princess» that nobody knows

Marjane Satrapi repeats to who wants to hear that she is a “red princess” : a descendant of Qadjar and with parents who were member of Iranian communist party : Toudeh. First of all, we need to point out that Toudeh tried to give Iran over to soviet troops which invaded the country. Toudeh and its partisans dreamed of an Iran divided in multitude of soviet republics to give to Stalin an access to the Persian Gulf and its wealthy oil resources.

Nowadays, there is no Iranian to assert that his parents were members of this party that were not against an invasion and an occupation of Iran, like pro-Nazis during WWII who rejoiced by looking at Reich troops trampling the French ground.

But the French people are unaware of this aspect of the Iranian history and they have never heard the word Toudeh, picturing Satrapi as a simple leftist woman. Her belonging to a family from Toudeh party is for them a positive sign.

The problem is that her parents are unknown from the 2 old members of the Toudeh who are living in France. According the civil status she provided to the French authorities, the name of Marjane Satrapi is in reality Marjane Ebrahimi. She uses the maiden name of her mother as pen-name. But the 2 members of the Toudeh we interviewed do not know neither her father Ebrahim Ebrahimi, nor her uncle Houshang Ebrahimi (whose age does not match with the biographical elements provided by the comic strip).

The only person bearing this family name and also member of Toudeh was Ali Ebrahimi who died some years ago. In the same way, there was no Satrapi who was member of the Toudeh party. And Marjane Satrapi never tried to contact the two eminent members of Toudeh, nor with any other representing of this party in France, so that for the latter, “Marjane Satrapi” is a romantic creation sent in France to gain the attention of a public from the left wing.

The Qajar princess

The other element of the Satrapi’s identity would be her royal ancestors tied to the Qajar dynasty, a dynasty that totally ruined Iran and sold the totality of mineral and oil resources to Britain.

We can only affirm that there was a red princess in Iran: She was named Myriam Firouz, born in 1907. She was the mate of Noureddine Kianouri, Khomeini’s nephew and general secretary of Toudeh. She stayed until her death an ardent pro-Khomeini supporter.

The Kings of the Qajar dynasty had sometimes nearly 1000 spouses or concubines, and we cannot compare all their progenies to prices or princess: a lot of children are born from overnight relations, and it is sure that neither Satrapi nor Ebrahimi were among them.

Details | the last Qajar king was Ahmad Shah (احمد شاه قاجار). He came to the throne when he was only 11 in 1909 and stayed until 1925. He had 3 spouses during his life and his descendants are know, that is why Marjane Satrapi does not claim to belong to this line of descents.

She ties herself to the father of this one: Mahammad Ali Shah Qajar (محمدعلی شاه قاجار) who was king from January 8th 1907 to July 16th 1909. He was opposed to the constitution ratified during his father’s reign, Mozaffaredin Shah.

Supported by Russia, Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar shelled the Assembly, dismissed it and ended up abdicating and running away to Russia. He passed away in exile in Italy.

In any case, the investigation on the website of Qajar dynasty descendants shows there is neither Satrapi, nor Ebrahimi belonging to Ahmad Shah, Mahammad Ali Shah and Nasser Eddin Shah descendants. We can find only a look liking homonymy between Satrapi’s father (Ebrahimi) and a far away branch related to Qajars : Amir-Ebrahimi. But this is not from her father side that our Anastasia is a princess, this is from her mother side.

Privileged background, French studies and spoiled child !

As a consequence of her royal blood, Satrapi affirms also that she belongs to a well-off family. Her family is unknown and without the reputation of a rich family. During the Shah period, the French college of Teheran, in spite of its exceptional rate of success for exams, was far from being the most demanded college regarding its level of preparation for the admission exams to the Iranian universities. Some other Iranian school were specialised in these exams preparation.

There were many colleges with good education and parents who enrolled their children in the French-Iranian college (Razi High School- دبیرستان رازی - Lycee Razi) were fond of French language, they saw a kind of prestige or intended their children for the French universities because at this time the Iranian baccalaureate had a level of equivalence with the French one (famous for its excellence at the time). The registration fees to enrol the French college of Teheran were very accessible for the middle class (less than 250 dollars per year). To be a former student of this college is not synonymous with royal blood or richness.

This creation of a romantic identity of rich person princess from a left wing was necessary to justify the remarks made by Marji as a privileged child different from the other Iranian women of her age.

And it is the problem there: in all the reports concerning executions of minors in Iran, it is specified that the age of the majority is 9 years old for the girls. The heroin of Persépolis is precisely 9 years old. But her life and her destiny differ from the martyrdom of the 9 year old girls.

As she did not want to approach the de-penalisation of the paedophilia by the mullahs’ regime, she invented a fictitious character spoiled by the life. She thus substituted Marji for the traditional Iranian woman who becomes an adult at 9 years old and as such, she will be married to 9 or 13 years to have her sexual relation without being able to protest because in Islam the woman does not have the right to refuse sexuality to her husband.

But the comic strip and the film do not speak about it and each time we pointed out this silence on this serious subject: the defenders of Satrapi evoke that her comic strip is a personal experience of a small rich girl. And this while they did not check the information because she has never been neither communist, neither princess, nor rich person and nobody in the left circles knows from where she comes and who she is.

Father’s job ?

Idem for her father Ebrahim Ebrahimi who is, according to his daughter, the owner of a gas distribution company in Iran. We carried out another investigation near an important gas distributor whose company was confiscated after the revolution by the persons closed to the regime like the Satrapi’s father.

According to this man, there was no Satrapi or Ebrahimi in his professional relations, the companies that were in working order were: Parsia Gas (owned by a Lebanese named Azrapour), Danish Iran Gas, Buthan (owned by M.Khalili), Pasargad Gas (Mr. Dehlavi), Alvand Gas (Mr. Dadress), Butted Gas (Kalhor), Orsa Gaz (Misters Ghobadian & Naraghi) and Leave Gas (Nik Akhtar). The father of Satrapi is a fuzzy character of whom we know nothing.

Satrapi’s Iranian passport until 2006

One of the characteristics of Iran-Resist website is that we always verify all information published in the Press and we make a comparison with previous declarations of their authors. In the Satrapi’s case, the origins are not only false but dates are also very unclear and information is shortened.

In this way, she asserts that she was a former student of the French college of Teheran with a coeducational environment. This is partially true: this uncommon college with a high rate of success, a college where all the subjects were taught in French was coeducational until the revolution, but since 1980, it was nor secular, nor coeducational, neither French. Satrapi’s schooling taught in French language lasted from the year 1977 to 1979 (two years). In addition, its name is not reproduced on the site of former students of Razi College (neither Satrapi, nor Ebrahimi).

Later on, according to her narratives (comic strip or interviews) she would be sent in 1982 or 1983 or 1984 to Vienna and she came back in 1986 or 1988. This college is very expansive (7000 USD per year) and only closed members of the regime are allowed to send their children abroad and at this price. We have found her name on a document containing former students’ names: her French course lasted approximately 4 years and according to this document she passed her exams in 1988. She asserts she arrived in France in 1994 and until very recently she said that she got her French identity between 1994 and 1997 whereas in an interview with Figaro Madame, she confesses that Jack Lang provided to her the French naturalization in 2006. It is probably the most important thing of our investigation.

The importance of her Iranian passport

Satrapi is also an ambassadress of the human rights for the FIDH. The vice-president of FIDH (A. Lahidji) is Iranian and an ex-member of the islamo-Marxist movement of the people moujahidin of Iran (MeK/MKO). The vice-president of the FIDH took part in the Islamic revolution and he even co-wrote the Koranic constitution of the Islamic republic.

This vice-president of FIDH (A. Lahidji) named Satrapi, ambassadress of the human rights whereas she trotted on the planet to promote her story with a passport delivered by the Islamic republic in her pocket! From 2000 to 2006, date of her naturalization, the mullahs’ regime delivered tens or hundreds visas to Satrapi for the promotion of her works (which supposed being “anti Islamic” and hostile to mullahs’ regime).

But just at the time of the projection of film in Cannes, the mullahs protested shyly and since this synchronized action, everyone affirms that her comic strip and the film are hostile to the mullahs. Moreover Caroline Andrieu titled her article: “Marjane Satrapi, the nightmare of the ayatollahs”.

We wonder why they delivered visas to her when everybody knows the difficulty that the journalists have to obtain a visa for Iran where moreover they are followed permanently by a smiley guide who keeps an eye on them.

Satrapi the exiled

We read the press and we compare the contradictory declarations of Satrapi, but also her confidences, real defect of chatterers. Thus it is by chance that we intended to speak about this late naturalization. The Iranian passport of Satrapi is an exhausting proof.

The Iranian passport of Satrapi takes importance within the context of a confidence made by Satrapi in the “la Bande à Bonnaud” show on Monday June 25, 2007. In the extract that we recorded, to the question of knowing how the story had been perceived by the Iranian regime, Satrapi says that it was the attraction of the parties which took place in the “embassies”.

As she was Iranian at that time, we understand that it must be the Iranian embassies in various countries, but finally it does not matter. To go to these places in the world, she needed a passport and this passport was Iranian, from the mullahs’ regime.

When Satrapi visited the United States to speak about her book, she travelled there with a passport provided by the mullahs’ regime: at this time the mullahs’ regime was not embarrassed by the islamophobia of her work and this for the good reason that the comic strip leads the readers to believe that Iranian women can act as super hero and stand up to Pasdaran and mullahs.

That is completely false considering they become women at 9 years old but they must obtain the authorization of a father, a husband or a tutor, to undertake studies, to work and travel. She thus travelled all around the world with a visa, an authorization and a passport delivered by the mullahs to spread her version of the Islamic revolution and her very sweeten version of the female condition.

The Mullahs contributed to promote the film while protesting against an author whose they had facilitated travels during 6 years. In parallel Satrapi was an ambassadress of the human rights while remaining tributary of the mullahs’ passport. What a masquerade, really!

Is she read by Iranians ?

It should be specified that according to herself all that is seen in the West is translated and distributed in Iran on the black market (under the coat like she often says it): it is the regime which takes care of dubbing and translations thus it receives the benefit without paying royalties. But in the case of Satrapi, the book is not translated into Iranian because her story is the mullahs’ version and that could alert Iranian.

Moreover there exists in Los Angeles an Iranian editor who translates all the books into Persian for the Iranian expatriates of a certain age who are uncomfortable to read in English. This agency did not seek to translate this work and on her side, Satrapi did not require a translation from them whereas there are hundreds of thousands Iranian readers in the United States.

In fact the contents of the book could even dishearten the expatriates who do not have a precise political opinion. Persepolis is not intended for Iranian expatriates who knew the contemporary Iranian history and who could speak in the United States to refute the historical version of Satrapi.

This comic strip and this film are not intended for Iranian but for those who do not know anything of Iran. She misleads them, by giving the image of a regime which evolves gently in the good direction. Her objective is to kill the urgencies and divert the young readers of the horrible reality that exiled tell about Iran.

The article from «Le Parisien»

In an interview with le Parisien (a French newspaper), she said that she cannot speak about Iran because she cannot go there anymore and she does not know the situation: But her parents are living in Iran and she should have at least phone conversation with them. Her remarks imply that the exiled opponents are not qualified to speak about a country they left: After her definition of secularity, here is her version of resistance.

In fact, she speaks about nothing, she backs out on all the subjects, her identity is false, her parents are not known among the left circles, and her passport was delivered by the mullahs’ regime.

Without being in a position to investigate Satrapi’s invented identity, the journalist of Le Parisien could at least investigate on the Iranian passport of this fake opponent. Not only, she did not do anything, but she also was unaware of our warnings on the ambiguous Satrapi’s communication.

She also convinced two witnesses, one for Satrapi and the other against her work. One is a friend of Satrapi (Joann Sfar) and the other (Armin Arefi) is a journalist close to the mullahs’ regime whom we already devoted an article. Sfar says that she brings us closer the Iranians and Arefi who is supposed to criticize her work appears in fact very tender with the author while fearing that inadvertently she diabolises Iran.

In reality, he fears that Persepolis diabolises the Islamic republic of Iran. The case of Arefi is a kind of stonewalling for the journalists tied to the mullahs’ regime. But the most alarming case is the one of Joann Sfar.

However when we wrote to Sfar to explain that Satrapi had given an unreal image of Iran and her version of the human condition in Iran was completely false by speaking to him about the laws in force in Iran, he had refused our offer to use his notoriety to speak about the situation.

Sfar is an ambitious person who dreams to be produced and distributed by the friends of Satrapi. There are big money stories, and none of the participants will do something to denounce the film.

We had addressed an email to Joann Sfar on May 24th, more than one month ago. This month, he did not do anything to alert the opinion on the situation of the unpunished paedophilia, but Joann Sfar remains in his hazy speeches like Catherine Deneuve to whom we wrote via her agent.

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All our articles in English...

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The french version :
- Iran : Enquête détaillée sur l’identité de Marjane Satrapi
- (04 Juillet 2007)

| Mots Clefs | Auteurs & Textes : Marjane Satrapi, auteur de Persépolis |