Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Iranian Government’s Ministry of Flatulence

Iranian Government’s Ministry of Flatulence

By Mohammad Reza Razavi

Living in exile is never pleasant or easy, especially if one’s legal status in the host country is unclear. If one is not confined to concentration camps, like the ones in Australia, one is left with lots of time and very little money. This combination provides the individual with the perfect opportunity to read lots of newspapers, walk in the parks, visit local libraries, museums and other interesting places that do not require spending any money.

These places are also quite large and usually not crowded at all, giving one the opportunity to expel excess gas without offending too many people or attracting undue attention to oneself. You see beans on toast is a very cheap and healthy diet, and is therefore vigorously promoted by the department of social services. The only side effect of this diet is the excess gas, which although contributes to the greenhouse gasses is deemed not a serious concern by the environmentalists. On the social side, breaking wind is not considered that much of a taboo either.

Now, breaking wind in Iran is considered a big social taboo. If you are in a party and happen to let one go people will consider it quite offensive. In addition, if one farts during praying, which is obligatory for Muslims (3-5 times per day) one has to start all over again. That is why “Dr.” Ahmadinejad, the beloved president of Iran is creating the Ministry of Flatulence to put an end to this unsocial behaviour.

In Persian (Farsi) the ministry is named the Ministry of “encouraging good deeds and preventing bad deeds” or EGDAPBD (وزارت امر به معروف و نهی از منکر), which cannot be properly translated into English, simply because it doesn’t make much sense in Persian. But according to my sources in Iran (intelligence services), this name was chosen precisely because it is difficult for anyone to determine the actual areas of responsibilities for this ministry. According to these sources, a clear name would naturally limit the areas within which this ministry could function. For example, ministry of transportation cannot interfere in areas that naturally fall under ministry of justice or foreign affair. But this ministry’s name is so confusing that it will allow it to interfere in everything.

But perhaps, this ministry will bring some stability and peace of mind to the people of Iran. Until now the dress code has been a big, confusing and irritating problem. One day you are stopped because you are wearing a short sleeve T-shirt, the next day it is OK. One day it is ok to wear a tie, and the next day it is not. So far the safest way to dress has been to wear something that covers as much as possible (preferably a tent). As far as the colours go, the safest colours have been grey, dark brown, dark blue, black or any colour that makes you wish you were either dead or in a funeral. Hair is also regulated. For women it should not be seen unless it is on their lips and for men the best style is short on the head and long on the face.

Sometimes I think that Dr. Ahmadinejad secretly admires the Saudi Arabia’s dress code and is trying hard to duplicate it in Iran. In Saudi Arabia, men are encouraged to wear a long white robe (sometimes see-through without underpants) along with a head-dress. Men also “try” to grow a beard (many unsuccessfully); although not all are required to do this. The Royal family (god bless all 8000 of them) is exempt from this. Currently goatee is in fashion among the princes (it makes them look intellectual, especially if it is combined with a pair of glasses, like King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia). If women are to venture outside they should try their best to dress like a blob of black ink accompanied by a male relative.

The new ministry’s work of course is not confined to the dress code alone. The ministry has to address such social problems as breaking wind, not fasting when you should, burping, not washing your hands after going to the toilet and picking your nose in public, just to name a few. In addition, the policy of separating sexes has led to the big social and medical problem of “continuous erection syndrome” among young males. My sources tell me that the ministry has already ordered one million coat hangers to distribute among its inspectors to limit the visibility of this problem in the public. The test is this: if you can hang a coat hanger on it, the person is showing the classical symptom and has to be immediately arrested and given a cold shower (after a beating of course).

All in all, I don’t think this new ministry is going to make any difference except making life a little more difficult for the people. My sources tell me that the real “real” reason behind the creation of this ministry is to provide more money to the Bassij (also known as ass-bandits) forces. Ahmadinejad is consolidating his power through the Bassij and is using them to keep himself and his associates in power. He has already quietly decapitated the top echelon of the Revolutionary Guards, removing any challenge from that side. With increasingly powerful bassij forces on his side, he may see the opportunity to control the next election and eventually bring his mentors to real power: the supreme leader position.

As for me, I am just glad that I can wear whatever I want and break wind at will without worrying. Sometimes small things can mean a lot to a person. As for Dr. Ahmadinejad, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him creating another ministry soon. This one I suppose he will call the Ministry of Foreskin. Under this president anything is possible.

Well I think my one hour limit on this computer is up. The librarian is pointing at his watch. Now I have to go and eat my baked beans and have a walk in the park. Peace.


About the author
He is a well educated young man with considerable experience in management, finance, marketing and PR. He has worked with such recognised companies as CIA, FSB, SAVAK, SAMVA, MOSSAD, MI6, MI7 and MI8 (although only for a short time because of fear of high numbers). He is currently conducting research into "how to survive on minimum wage". His earlier researches includes " how to leave home without being arrested" and "how to speak your mind and stay alive". He is also writing a book on "The road to the inner circle: how to use beard and sandals to your advantage". He can be contacted by email: razavi1970-press @

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news