I was able to go back to Iran in 1999 after fifteen years in the United States. I had just finished my Ph.D. from UCLA and was very much interested to know what is going on in my filed in Iran. There are many great people there working on ancient Persia, but I was saddened that there was not one journal dedicated to the filed of Ancient Persian Studies. It was then and there that I decided to start a journal. I spoke first with my friend Abolfazl Khatibi who was at The Academy of Persian Language and Literature. He agreed with me that such an endeavor was worthy. The journal was meant to be an outlet for Iranians scholars to publish their work as well as Iranian students having access to the latest research and scholars outside of Iran. The journal was to be published by Iran University Press, then, headed by Dr. Pourjavady, managed by Khatibi in Iran. I would bring together an editorial committee from Iran, Europe and the United States, get the articles and do the editing from the United States.
I called Dr. Djalal Khaleghi-Motlagh in Germany and talked to him about this journal and he suggested that I name the journal Nāme-ye Irān-e Bāstān and I agreed. I managed to get a good number of people involved and my university, California State University, Fullerton which had just hired me agreed to help out with the cost. Volume 1 came out 2000-2001 and we just published volume 6 at the end of 2004.
When the first volume came out, I was attacked by various political and semi-political groups for starting a journal. They did not care that this journal was a place of exchange of ideas between the students in Iran who are not able to afford European and American journals dedicated to this field. They did not care that this was the first academic style journal in Iran dedicated to ancient Iran which finally was run by the experts in the field. One of the newspapers in Iran which shall remain nameless, called me a “a known Freemason, anti-revolutionary… who is dedicated to fight against our Islamic culture and heritage.” Another “expert” in Iran mentioned that the articles in English is full of mistakes, which was the funniest comment I have gotten so far. In the US, some of the expatriates said I was collaborating with the Islamic Republic of Iran and an agent! Another said, the journal begins with the name of God in Arabic and so it should be boycotted. They have not been in Iran recently and do not know about rules and regulation which stipulates one should have the name of God mentioned. I should say that I would place the name of anyone or anything on top of the page as long as I get the journal published and bring information to the students in Iran who are cut off from outside and are the countries future. From Europe I received an e-mail that I was making fun of our ancient culture and I am lucky that I am not being sued and that I was not an “Aryan,” but a Semite!!! Ok!!!
Luckily, with all of these attacks and attempts to shut down our journal we have been able continue our work which takes a lot of effort. The Iranian Cultural Community of Orange County (ICCOC) has helped out our journal which must be thanked.
We have a very capable and dedicated team who have made this publication possible, from the editorial board to the technical experts. I receive the articles, send two copies to anonymous reviewers and the ones accepted are sent for typesetting. Then proofs of the articles are sent to the authors and once corrections made the journal is published in Iran. Each author receives a volume along with 25 offprints. You can imagine the work that goes through in making this possible on three continents.