Thursday, December 30, 2004

Mullahs Hate Iran's Ancient Heritage!

John Vidal Thursday December 23, 2004 The Guardian The tomb of Cyrus the Great, at Pasargadae. Photo: bestirantravel.com Dam is threat to Iran's heritage Unesco appeals for help as ancient sites face being flooded More than 100 of Iran's potentially most important but least examined archaeological sites, including fringes of Pasargadae, the city built by King Cyrus the Great, will be flooded in the next two years according to the UN, which appealed yesterday to international scientists to try to record what they can. The flooding of the eight-mile Tang-e-Bolaghi gorge because of the construction of a dam will destroy ancient Persia's imperial road which ran from Persepolis to Pasargadae. The Sivand dam has been planned for 10 years as part of a project to provide irrigation water for farmers in the parched south of the country. But the speed of its construction and the scale of what will be lost have surprised scientists and the UN. Iranian archaeologists have pinpointed 129 sites of interest in the gorge, ranging from prehistoric finds to remains of the Qajar monarchy which fell in 1925. Stretches of the cobbled road have already been unearthed but caves, ancient paths, burial mounds, canals and other sites which have never been excavated will also be lost. There are also legends of a long underground "king's passage". Unesco said yesterday it was hopeful that the world heritage site of Pasargadae, Cyrus's capital city, renowned for its palaces, gardens and the tomb of the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, would be only marginally affected. The city, which was included in Unesco's world heritage site list last year, is less than three miles from the end of the gorge. It was built on the site where Cyrus defeated Astyages, the leader of the Medes, in 550BC. It has added importance today because it is believed to be the capital of the first Asian empire which respected the cultural diversity of its people."We understand that only the buffer zone will be affected by the flooding. There is no immediate physical risk but the site's potential [heritage] value will be shrouded in mystery for ever", said Junko Taniguchi, a Unesco officer in Tehran. Unesco and Iran have called on international archaeologists to go to the sites and eight teams of Iranian, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish and others are expected to arrive next month. "But they will only be able to do initial research. It is unfortunate but the work is very urgent," said Ms Taniguchi. Mohammad Hassan Talebian, the Iranian director of the group conducting the "rescue archaeology", said the sites held a wealth of information on Iran's past. "One clearly sees the unspoken thoughts of past peoples in Tang-e Bolaghi. We are not in a position to say 'don't do that project', but we can delay the construction process," he said. The dam's opening was planned for next March but the Iranian energy ministry has delayed it to early 2006 to give the archaeologists more time to examine the sites. Masoud Azarnoush, director of archaeological research at the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organisation in Tehran, was stoical about the flooding of the valley. "We are losing irreplaceable human heritage here but we have to take into account the fate of the country and people as well," he said.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Some Nationalistic Stuff Sent by Fellow Iranians

Please reject National Geographic's shameful proposal Dear Iranians, Please contact NIAC or write to "Trita Parsi" directly to let them know that they should not accept this shameful proposal by NG on behalf of the Iranians. This is another "Treaty of turkmenchai", which we should reject outright. Once this new proposal is accepted, we no longer can change it.Read the whole proposal for yourself. You have only few hours to express your opinion. Email NIAC: persiangulf@niacouncil.org Trita Parsi: tparsi@jhu.eduPresident and co-founder, National Iranian American Council (NIAC)http://www.geocities.com/tritaparsihttp://www.niacouncil.org/board.aspPROPOSAL ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAPS CONSIDERED BY NIAC MEMBERSHIPhttp://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press232.asp

Monday, December 20, 2004

The best -- misrepresentation of history

On Oliver Stone's "Alexander"
M.A.R.November 29, 2004iranian.com
When I heard that Oliver Stone had directed a movie about the life of Alexander, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to watch it. In fact, I went to the very first screening in Canada, last Wednesday.
The first hour was fairly boring. Eventually after about an hour and a half we see the most important and historic battle of Alexander with the Persians. Interestingly enough, as usual in Hollywood, the Iranians spoke Arabic, and they were all shorter than the average human being.
After watching the Iranians fight with their Arab swords in Arab garb, and loosing the war to the heroic Greeks, who were obviously fighting for the freedom of the Persian people, I was fascinated to see inhabitants of Babylon in the streets cheering their loss to the Greeks, and happily welcoming their enemy.
In Oliver Stone's eyes, Westerners own the whole world and if you're not one of them, then you're too dumb to tell the difference between your king and some other guy who doesn't even look like him. Even if you do realize the difference, you're still happy to welcome the new guy, because the Persian king was definitely a cruel leader, as oppose to Alexander who was the nicest king ever.
It's funny how Americans seem to portray the world of 323 B.C. like today's. They wonder why the majority of the world's population is not really in favor of them and blame Islamic fundamentalism, jealousy and "stupid European snobs" for their unpopularity.
I'm no fan of Islamic fundamentalism or Europeans, but I can see why the people of the world aren't very fond of Americans. They showed Persians, the ancestors of today's Iranians, as violent, backward, and primitive people
Just because Iran is being led by a bunch of backward, primitive radical Muslims today, that doesn't mean that this ancient country has always been led by primitive people. The Persian culture is richer than that of any Western country and it rivals the most ancient civilizations such as China and Egypt.
After the loss of the Persian army, as the great historians of east and west tell us, Alexander went to Susa and Persepolis and conquered and looted those cities. The burnt remains of Persepolis still stand in the Fars desert in south-central Iran. None of those facts were mentioned in the movie.
At the end of the day, the movie to some extent, harmed the credibility and greatness of Alexander; for if the Persians were a bunch of foolish, evil, disorganized barbarians, almost anybody could've defeated them.
Everything said, the best part of the movie was Alexander's marriage to a Persian. According to Stone, Alexander's wife comes from somewhere in today's Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan, and yet she was played by a black woman. Funny or tragic, I don't know, you be the judge. Blacks have never lived in that area, but historical and geographical facts did not interest Stone.
As one of my friends said, this movie was a typical Hollywood movie, and the main goal was to get a hot actress and actor on the screen and do injustice to history right and left. Stone probably thought that since Americans are clueless about history and the world, there's no need to reflect the truth.
I found Alexander to be a very confusing movie. It was blurry about many historic events, and it left many stories untold. This movie is very insulting to me and to those who have a brain, read history, and separate fact from fiction.
adapted by courtesy from: www.persiancultures.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Wife of Iran's Late King Interviews BBC


FARAH PAHLAVI: ...Iranians I think which are really desperate for change, desperate for freedom and democracy. And I am sure with the help of the Iranians inside and outside of Iran, and with the help and the moral help of the freedom-loving people of the world, Iranian people will reach democracy and freedom. DAVID FROST: It's now 25 years since the Shah of Iran was deposed in one of the most dramatic overthrows of power of the 20th century. Before he was forced to relinquish the Peacock throne I interviewed him at Persepolis the ancient symbol of Persian kingship and I asked him what was the common bond that united the Iranian people (TAPE INSERT) With months the Islamic revolution headed by Ayatollah Khomema changed everything and the Shah and his family were forced to flee Iran, never to return, never yet to return anyway. I interviewed the Shah again in exile in Panama in January 1980 and he died six months later in Egypt. At his side throughout the whole of the last 21 years of his life was his Empress, Farah Pahlavi. Ma'am, welcome. Very good to have you here. FARAH PAHLAVI: Good morning, thank you for inviting me. DAVID FROST: And seeing your husband, your late husband there. When you met him, how long was it between ... was it love at first sight? FARAH PAHLAVI: Well I must say that of course I always loved the King as a citizen, the loyal citizen to her King. But after many meetings of course this love turned from a person to his king to a love of a woman to a man. DAVID FROST: And I suppose perhaps one of the happiest moments of your whole time together was when you were able to give birth to your first child who was a son, the son and heir that he so hoped for. That must have been a moment of ecstasy? FARAH PAHLAVI: Yes, it was. It was a wonderful moment, not only for us but also for all our compatriots. And also so many moments of other happiness with my other children. And whatever happened positive for our country. DAVID FROST: And when we were talking in that clip, I think probably looking back on it now, the Shah probably overestimated the power that the King had over the people and probably underestimated the power that the Mullahs had? FARAH PAHLAVI: Well not being where we are now today, of course we think back and in spite of what has happened in Iran and the revolution and the 25 years, now we're looking back and with hindsight of course we could have seen the problems better, we maybe could have managed, the problems better ... And also it was a mistake from our part and also in the government and I guess the mistake of the people in the streets and many of the opposition that thought that Khomeni who had promised them paradise, will give them paradise. But unfortunately he opened the door to hell. DAVID FROST: And at the same time, I mean, I suppose the two things people quoted a lot about that time were of course the activities of SAVAK and of corruption and so on. But do you think the real problem, because this is something I ask prime ministers about, how do you keep in touch with what people are thinking and so on? And the answer is that they try, but with an absolute monarch, presumably people apart from you, tell a Shah what they think he wants to hear? FARAH PAHLAVI: It's possible that around every power there are people who want to only give the good news. But we have to consider Iran in the context of that period. We had our big neighbour, the Soviet Union, who always dreamt to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. We had religious fanatics and seeing the result now, we see that we didn't see some of the dissatisfactions. But, having said that, when you look back in the last 25 years I can not stop myself comparing what was the situation of the Iranians 25 years ago and what was the situation of Iran, and also in the Middle East, and what would have happened if the revolution didn't happen. And I think really that with all the shortcomings we had, like any other country or any other regime, we didn't need such a horrible revolution. DAVID FROST: Did you feel betrayed in that last year, year and a half, when you had been ousted from Iran and the United States' President Carter and others didn't really give you the support that you thought you'd earned? FARAH PAHLAVI: Well Sir David, you know it was a very difficult time. And sometimes unbearable. But we had to survive, I had to survive for my husband, for my children, for my own dignity. And you know, for foreign politics and power you can understand they are after what they think is their national interest. And after all a government had changed. But we at the same time received many letters and many supporting words from simple people, and that kept us going on. And I can consider that life is a struggle for all of us, no matter in what position we are relative to opposition. DAVID FROST: Talking of struggle and so on, when I was doing the interview with the Shah in exile the Khomeni regime were announcing to the world that you as a family, and the Shah, had left Iran with 176 billion dollars. I presume that was not true? FARAH PAHLAVI: Of course it's not true. It's all the propaganda of the regime and also all the opposition. The King was a patriot. He loved his country above all, and its people. And I must assure you now people realise that that was all propaganda and I hope today the same people who wrote or said about this supposedly billions, think of the corruption which exists today in Iran. DAVID FROST: And finally, would you like George Bush, President Bush, would you like him to do in Iran what he's done in Iraq, and go in and have a regime change? FARAH PAHLAVI: This is the most undesirable thing to happen. Iranians I think which are really desperate for change, desperate for freedom and democracy. And I am sure with the help of the Iranians inside and outside of Iran, and with the help and the moral help of the freedom-loving people of the world, Iranian people will reach democracy and freedom.


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Liberal But Nationalist And Pro Bush?

A reader, apparently an Iranian one, questioned our being liberal but simultaneously being nationalist and pro Bush. A bout nationalism, I think no political behavior has meaning without being nationalist. What is a moral aim for political activity, if not nationalism? Don’t tell me internationalism and believing in building a better world for all the people on earth is better than nationalism, because if you say so, I would quote Popper (am I right with the spelling?) that anyone who tried to build a heaven or utopia on earth, actually have built hell instead of that. This perfectionists and internationalists are of either 2 major groups: Communists and Islamists, both of whom have committed most brutal atrocities. Internationalism is doomed to lead to something like that and convert to a means of tricking and slaving the masses. Both Communism and Islamism have bean nothing more than a justification for dictatorship. Since 2 only practical types of internationalism deal with dictatorship and slavery instead of liberty, so as a liberal, I see no reason to waste life with either of them.
The same person questioned how is it possible to be liberal but be pro Bush. Being liberal doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning it has in the US. Liberal to us means believing in the value of liberty and democracy, the same thing Iran’s leader, Khamenei, hates and denounces most. There are some values in liberalism that both liberals and conservatives of America agree upon, like freedom of thought and speech and vote and etc. we, Iranian youth seeking to contemplate the meaning of liberal-democracy, can hardly go any further than these basic creeds. What we know about it for sure is that it is a good thing, because the worst person on earth, dictator Khamenei, denounces it. It surely has something to do with equal rights for people of different genders, beliefs, races, languages, religions etc. , the right for the people to choose and criticize rulers, and these basic commodities from which Iranians are deprived of.
Being Iranian, nationalist and liberal, will naturally lead to welcoming bush’s reelection. Maybe his reelection has some bad consequences for American interests, only in the short term and only in the fields of economy, but it absolutely is good for liberals in Iran and all the middle east. The best reason for that is Iran’s totalitarian government supporting and financially aiding his opponent. So the same thing which is unwelcome for American liberals, can be enthusiastically welcomed by Iranian liberals because before being liberal, both of them are nationalist and think of the prophet of their own nation.
Now lets say a little about how and why we, Iranian nationalists claim that Persian gulf should remain Persian. There has been many things told about this matter in all Iranian tribunes, both fascist and liberal, but I want to illustrate the matter with some maps of Iranian empire at different historical eras. In all these maps, Persian gulf have been a portion of Persian/Iran empire but due to week dictators and kings, little by little we lost soil. The last portion of these lost pieces of soil was current Bahrain which declared autonomy by British conspiracy in the era of late king, Mohammad Reza Shah and the next seams to be some Persian gulf islands, Abumusa, Greater Tonb and Lesser Tonb, claimed by UAE.






Maps of ancient Iran in different dynasties. Note that in all maps, Persian gulf is completely surrounded by Iranian territory.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

No Real Muslim Left In Iran

Iran’s government, is the last theocracy left in the world. Our mullah leaders claim to lead the whole Shite(A minority branch of Islam in which Muslims of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon believe) world, if not the whole Islam world. Many of their followers believe that Imam Mahdi (Shite’s holly last imam believed to have apparition near the apocalypse) is based in Iran. Some even call Iran, imam Mahdi’s territory. The basic creed of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of Islamic republic was that ruling is the right of god and no human being, elected or unelected, has the right to own it, except he is selected by Allah. This divine selection can be direct (as in the case of the prophets) or in direct (as in the case of imams and leaders of Islamic republic). With this creed, Khomeini discredited all ruling systems in the world, except his own Walaiah, calling them Taghout(الطاغوت), a Koran-derived word meaning a satanic ruling system.

Not only Iran is now the only country ruled by a medieval theocracy, having clergy members as authorities, but also it is the only place Islamic rules like Hijab and Islamic brutal punishments like flogging, dismembering and stone-throwing are enforced on people. Don’t tell me Arabia has the same circumstance because there are basic differences between Arabia and Iran, which are the subject of this article. Arabia is a country with uneducated, prejudiced and misogynist people, mostly having jobs of commerce and trade. Due to great money they earn from oil and Haj (Muslims’ pilgrimage in Mecca), those people don’t need to work hard in order to have the most comfortable lives in the Muslim world. Men do trade and practice polygamy, the only fun allowed in radical Islam and women, don’t have any right or requirement to get educated more than a certain limit and have jobs. Almost all Arabia women are housewives, doing nothing more than serving husband and producing and average number of about 5 kids in life. The government is pro-western and interested in reforming the big traditional defects in Arabia society but it cannot face the harsh bias of the people over their tradition, the nation whose majority are supporters and worshippers of Usama Bin Ladin. All this doesn’t make Arabia’s government a theocracy. Although Saudi leadership is definitely a dictatorship, but it is a secular one, ruling the country based on what people believe not based on what is written in Koran. however, these two ways coincide in Arabia.

But situation inn Iran is totally different. Islam has no place in the hearts of people, especially young ones born after 1979 revolution. Our government is a dictatorship theocracy which enforces Islamic rules by means of oppression and menace. Just have a look at Tehran’s streets and you will notice most of the girls wear their obligatory scarves in such a reluctant way, covering the smallest portion of their heads. Even the force of fathers and brothers is no more enough for obliging girls to wear Hijab, many of them don’t believe in it either. Although premarital sex is still highly denounced by Iranian society, especially women, but few girls comply this rule. Most of the girls have sex in the form of sodomy, in order to prevent loss of virginity, and the others who are wealthier, just do what they like and when found a good rich guy for marriage, perform a vaginal surgery reviving virginity. This specific surgery is banned in Iran but it is performed in underground market and is a simple, lucrative business for surgeons not believing in Islam themselves. The exact same thing applies to abortion. Many women die or get severely injured each year because of trying unhealthy abortion techniques, for not being able to afford the underground medical abortion.

In Iran, you can get anything you want, including wine, porn movies, extramarital sex, even gay relationship but you have to accept the high costs and risks. The risk is not always being caught by the government and being flogged, dismembered or stoned, according to the type of the committed sin, but it can be getting in trouble with the bands who distribute these un-Islamic things. A while ago many youngsters in Shiraz, lost either their life or their vision for drinking unhealthy, home made wine. Any educated person knows that wine’s main constituent is ethanol, which is an edible alcohol and if wine contains some wood alcohol, methanol, can result in death or blindness for the drinker. Since Iranian youth mostly don’t have enough money to pay for the super expensive foreign made whisky and vodka, many try to make wine on their own and the result can be death and blindness for the drinkers. Note that Shiraz, a touristy major city in south Iran, once had the best wine of the middle east and in Iran’s ancient poetry and literature, there are many references to the Wine of Shiraz.

I say all this to conclude unlike what mullahs claim, Iran is the most infidel full Islamic country. The face which our leaders have shown from Islam, is so horrible that most of the young people either don’t believe in Islam or don’t believe in any divine stuff at all. A good measure for the strength of the faith between people is the population of mosques in prayer times. A good mullah, one who believed in separation of religion and estate, once told in a speech in our university that mosques of Istanbul are much more populated than the mosques of Iran, “because in that country Islam have not been tainted by politics and people still believe in it”.

A survey recently performed by national youth organization of Iran, revealed that the more educated the youngsters get in Iran, the less they care about prayer, Islam’s most important daily rituals. Results of these kind’s of surveys are not easy to publish in Iran and this one’s publication was due to Khatami’s reformist government.

A few days ago, it was Ramadan, Muslims’ holy month of fasting. In previous years, when Ramadan, it was harshly prohibited to eat in the public before the dawn and could result in harsh reaction of the people most of whom where fast. But this year, it was totally different as if the majority are not fast now. I ate in the public several times and nobody even looked at me in a bad way. In the college, other guys and galls also explicitly drank water, ate snacks, smocked cigarettes, flirted together (things banned in fasting) as is something called Ramadan and Islamic values never existed. Even sandwich shops did not bother to cover their walls, a rule which even cops don’t have motivation to enforce it.

No matter how much mullahs try to pretend Iranian people have faith on Islam, I , having seen many other Islamic nations in which there is no obligatory Hijab or fasting or low against drinking alcohol or…, but there are a lot more real Muslims than Iran. Iranian people obey Islamic rules only fearing the government. As the case of the girls, this fear can be imparted by their male family members, should they have a conventional family. I have recently had a girlfriend who wore chador, the most radical form of Hijab. She did it not for believing in Islam but because of the pressure enforced on her by her family. I say that because I went to a movie theatre with her and at that dark place, we did every thing except seeing the movie, i.e. sexually oriented things. Later I found out that most girls and boys use movie theaters for the same reason, to have erotic massage! A chador-wearing girl from a very religious family being so much obsessed with extramarital sex that she touched me at our first visit, means a lot to me, that nobody the majority of Iranian youth, especially the ones having academic education, have such a weak faith for Islam that they don’t even bother to abstain biggest sins as liaison. So one can say there is no religion or faith in Iran. All that exists in some of Iranians is pretence to religion and pretence to faith.

This might be in contrary with what pretended with Iranian media. Because media in Iran is controlled by the theocratic government, it tries it’s best to anoint Iranian youth as the most innocent and faithful to Islam. Both because one of the Islamic creeds is that presentation of the sins leads to development of them throughout the society, thus it is better to conceal sins and defects of the society so that more people are not motivated to surrendering temptation to that particular sin. This is enough in contrary with freedom of press, but another motivation for this pretence is that people’s being faithful to Islam means their being faithful to mullahs and it sends a message to the west, particularly American leading liberator coalition, not to think about democratizing Iran. So when the government controlled media tries to show Iranian girls, if it is TV, they use their best tricks to find girls with complete Hijab, existing 1 in thousand in Iranian streets. If the pres is a magazine or still image, the Hijab can be created for the women present in the image with Adobe Photoshop. Recently i had a letter from a news photographer working for Iranian media, telling that he had never been able to show the true face of Iran’s streets in his photos because if the Hijab of women in the pictures is not completed with Photoshop or other photo handling means, the images are not allowed to be published. The girls you see in Iranian official TV or in magazines are not the girls you see in the streets. Some websites published photos taken with mobile phones from the real style of dressing of Iranian girls but during the latest wave of police attacks to ISPs and webmasters, all of them got effaced.

So aye American troops! You are very welcomed here because nobody believes in Islamic stuff which would lead to giving up his life for killing you.

Happy Christmas after all!

Shemshad(12/9/2004)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

arabian gulf?