I hope this window opens on a happy day for you. News of a possible war and new draconian sanctions on Iran clutter our screens once more. Kind friends ask if I have any relatives in Iran, I say “Yes, 70 million!” But actually, a military campaign of any sort on Iran would mean a major world crisis much larger than what we have seen with Iraq and Afghanistan. It would mean disaster for a larger body of our relatives across the globe, nearly seven billion.
And broader sanctions will tear the fabric of life. Take a look at this short slide show called “life in Tehran.” This is what will suffer not the governmental officials. The slide show has been produced by Iran Review which describes itself as the leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website – organization representing scientific and professional approaches towards Iran’s political, economic, social, religious, and cultural affairs, its foreign policy, and regional and international issues within the framework of analysis and articles, enjoy!
The Story of Simorgh Put to Music for Homayoun Shajarian
Before we get deeper into politics, I would love to share a work of art with you fresh from Iran, a new composition. This is the story of Zal, father of Rostam the Hero of the Persian epic The Shahnameh “Book of Kings.” According to the myths preserved in the Shahnameh, Zal was brought up by the legendary bird Simorgh. What makes this composition more special is that Hamid Motabassem, the composer wrote it specially for Homayoun Shajarian, son of the celebrated Iranian vocalist Mohammad Reza Shajarian. Homayoun who was first a curiosity because of his father is quickly establishing himself as master vocalist and Tomback player. Here is a short you-tube clip which sets about seven minutes of the piece on a slide show:
For the full performance on the stage in the Netherlands watch the video click on this link.
Sorry, but we have to return to the New Sanctions Now!
Yesterday, the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) offered an amendment that would impose draconian sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank, effectively making it illegal for any country or company to do any business with Iran. Senator Kirk has stated that his goal is to “collapse the Iranian economy,” turning Iran into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Kirk says that his plan is to cause so much suffering among ordinary Iranians that they will be forced to rise up against the regime. And if that doesn’t work, then we will go to war with Iran. I wonder if these two Senator’s definition of ordinary Iranians includes the old, the sick, and the children. This is the policy we applied to Iraq. And a decade of suffocating sanctions failed to displace the dictator leading us ultimately to a devastating war.
Please investigate this topic for yourself, through any sources you trust most and use your voice to stop another global disaster. This amendment will be voted on within the next 10 days. There is still time to tell your elected officials you oppose these indiscriminate sanctions and oppose war with Iran.
Iran is Taking the War Threat Seriously
The headlines in the Iranian public media quoting various authorities, including the Supreme Leader, suggest that the possibility of military threat from the west is being taken seriously. Mr. Khamenei declared any action against Iran will unite all fronts against the aggressors. Mr. Ali Larijani, Speaker of the parliament, also suggested to the U.S. and Israel to “lower their voice,” tone down their rhetoric against Iran and watch their actions or they will regret their them. In particular, he emphasized that a “hit-and-run” strategy is not going to work because, Iran will pursue the aggressors. Sardar Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Iranian Air force added his voice to those of many others reminding the U.S. authorities that their high ranking officers, and other army members and citizens are very close by in Iraq and Afghanistan and therefore accessible to the Iranian military. For the fuller range of headlines in Persian please click here.
In the Meantime, a major explosion shook one of the Revolutionary Guard’s military bases outside Tehran in which seventeen of the official personnel of the Guard were killed and an almost equal number injured. Among the dead was the founder of the Iranian Missile program, Commander Hassan Moghaddam. Iran has so far not accused anyone and explained the explosion as an accident, here. Days after the accident, the Iranian central computer systems seeme to have been attacked by a deadly virus. Read about it here in Persian.
Free Mousavi and Karrubi from House Arrest!
Mr. Mousavi and Karrubi, the two candidates who disputed the 2009 election continue to be in a form of house arrest which in fact – according to members of their campaigns – resembles full incarceration. That is to say, all furniture has been removed, the doors and windows blocked, and their contact with the outside world – except for sporadic short phone calls – completely cut off. Last Saturday, three reformist authorities, Ayatollahs Dastghayb and Sane’i and Sayyed Mohammad Khatami, Iranian ex-president repeated their pleas to the government once more to free them. Read here.
Baroon, a Song from Lorestan
Iran houses a rainbow of different ethnic groups with languages, art forms, and traditions of their own. One such ethnic group is that of the Lors who leave in the historic Lorestan Province in Western Iran. I’d like to close this window with a lively song from Lorestan by a group of young Iranian musicians, called Rastak, which has built itself a reputation for excellence in folk music. From the group Rastak, below, listen to the Lorie song Baroon “rain.”
Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!