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Monday, October 29, 2012

IRIB's Weird-Ass QSL Propaganda Jamboree

On August 11, 2012, at 0340 UTC, I heard the Islamic Republic of
Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) English language broadcast, Voice of Justice
on 13650 khz. E.W., of the blog Cobalt Pet suggested I email them
a QSL request, because they normally send out some pretty interesting
stuff. I emailed them at, and within a few days,
received an acknowledgement by email, with an IRIB shortwave schedule
attached, letting me know my QSL would be mailed soon. So, in early
October, I find a large, heavy envelope from Iran stuffed into my mailbox.
It looked like it may have been opened and re-sealed (USPS? Homeland
Security?). Inside I found a pretty crazy array of Iranian propaganda.

Besides  my QSL card, there was a 2012 calendar, a copy of "Islamic
Awakening" magazine, a copy of "ZamZam" (seemingly a children's
magazine), a thank you letter, a copy of IRIB's radio schedules and two
books, one of them titled "Islam, The West and Human Rights". I've
read a couple of dozen pages of the book, as well as some of "Islamic
Awakening".  No big surprises as far as the content. The main theme
seems to be that human rights do best under Islam, and that all people
should have all kinds of freedoms...but only within the confines of
presumably fundamentalist Islam. Oh, and the West is imperialist.
While I acknowledge that theUSA has a very bad track record with
Iran (we've helped overthrow their government at least once, and
supported the tyrannical Shah, among other blunders), the tone of
propaganda like this (and Radio Habana Cuba's) seldom ceases to
amuse me.

This book also has a full color, page-sized photo of the late Ayatollah
Khomeini a few pages into it. Creepy. The other book is called
"Spirituality and Politics From Imam Khomeini's Viewpoint". I haven't
done more than skim through this one, but I don't expect the content
to be much different. All in all, a fairly impressive QSL package, even
if I find myself largely disagreeing with the ideas it is trying to promote.


  1. For sure. I was a little startled when I saw, and then opened, the envelope. But hey, free books!!1

  2. I got one of those packages too. I was also offered on on-air mini interview, which I accepted (why not? How many folks get a phone call from Iran..?) I didn't think the QSL package was "weird" nor "propaganda" what makes you think it was propaganda?? It was another nation nicely sending you gifts, you are incredibly rude.

    1. I'm grateful for the propaganda, but it's still government propaganda.

  3. one mans propaganda is another mans "patriotic literature". If you were an Iranian QSL'ing VOA you would get similar stuff..maybe a 'creepy' picture of George Washington. Radio China International & Radio Havana do the same thing. I was on RCI's mailing list for about 12 years after a recepyion report in 1998. They sent cool gifts at new years & a bi-monthly glossy newsletter. Cuba would send copies of the communist party newspaper. I stopped getting stuff from Cuba after I tried to QSL a radio havana english language program that was cut off & replaced with the "atencion" spy numbers station. They wanted no part of that & just quit sending me stuff.

    1. I agree that propaganda from nearly any side is always going to be somewhat absurd, and America's in particular is often regarded as a joke in most places. Thanks for sharing the tidbit about Cuba, btw.