We sat from 9:30 until about 14:15 in the embassy, a delay which we were completely unprepared for. We should have brought enough reading material, and I didn't even have my laptop because they had seized it at the entrance.
The visa officer who finally met us on 14:15 was very uneasy about us. Our case apparently wasn't straight-forward at all. It was also hard for her to understand what is it that we do exactly in FarsiWeb, and when she finally got it, she asked "So it's something like Persian-enabled Windows that you do?". I believe she very probably worded it that way on her terminal, very possibly using Farsisch instead of Persisch. At the end, she finally told me the consular section can't decide about the case, and they will pass it to the cultural section, since the cultural section is more experienced with things like research groups and universities. I am very hopeful about this, because it was the involvement of the cultural section that gave us a visa in nine days in 2001, without even an invitation letter (we were planning to apply for a US visa in Frankfurt, and all we had was a printout of an email from the American visa officer in Frankfurt).
I am supposed to get a hotel reservation confirmation to them until Monday, which MUST be "a fax with the letterhead of the hotel" (I just emailed Tim and asked for guidance). And they are supposed to tell us about the rejection or the approval of visa request on May 25 (and possibly give us the visa), about 16 hours before our flight (which will be 05:30 in the morning). The travel agency will have something like two or three hours at most, to reconfirm or cancel our reservation. I really enjoy this!
Behnam wasn't able to come to the emabssy because his exit visa (and hence his passport) is not ready yet. He will need to apply on May 17 unfortunately, which may be very late.