I hope you are all well. The events related to the invasion of the British Embassy in Iran keeping us in the headlines. As we are going to dive right into not-so-pretty political discussions and pictures, I want to open this window with a view of the ordinary non-political people and natural scenes from North of Iran. Just visit this site, scroll down, look at the pictures, read and enjoy, here. I do think we need sites like this because our visual vocabulary has become so limited to guns, demonstrations, and rows of prayer — which exist, no doubt. However, they should not mask peaceful cities and their ordinary people.
Invasion of the British Embassy by “Students”
Now you can watch the not-so-pretty scene of invading the British embassy. If you have any doubts that the crowd is small and mobilized by the government, ask two simple questions: why do the cameras not show us a long shot of the crowd, and why is there such a heavy presence of the official media in the first place, here.
The event of invading the British embassy, and its residential garden, is still hard to understand. As pieces of information surface gradually, it becomes clear that the heavily publicized release of the IAEA report on the Iranian nuclear situation in early November triggered a series of events which seem to have got us where we are now. The release of the report was followed by talk of further sanctions, even possibility of military action by western officials. See the chronology of some of the important events here. Weeks later a major explosion shook a military base near Tehran and killed 27 people including the founder of the Iranian missile program. Now it seems the explosion has been more extensive than initially thought, here. Amidst all of this, the British government declared a special sanction on the Iranian Central Bank, a move truly devastating to Iranian economy particularly the small businesses.
If you add to the above picture that the British government has been extremely unpopular and held responsible for historical disasters such as the 1953 coup that toppled the democratically elected and popular Prime Minister of Iran Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, it is not hard to see why the Iranian authorities could even hope for sympathy in targeting the British. If you are interested in reading a superbly researched and highly readable account of the toppling of Dr. Mosaddegh, I refer you to Stephen Kinzer’s: However, as I said, the majority view inside and outside Iran is that the event was staged by the segment of the government taking orders from the Supreme Leader Mr. Ali Khamenei. Here is an interview with Mr. Hussein Alizadeh, a defecting Iranian diplomat on the subject.
Deepening of the Rift?
Interestingly enough, while the reactions in the official media range from adamant to hostile, the Iranian Foreign Office has twice expressed regret about the incident, here. Furthermore, the invasion of the British Embassy took place shortly after the Iranian President, Mr. Ahmadinejad had declared he is ready to speak with European officials about the nuclear issue. Whatever may or may not have emerged for such talks, the invasion incident indicates the deepening of the rift between the President and the Supreme Leader.
An even more visible rift is one that gets deeper everyday between the Iranian (particularly young) people and regime. The shocking effect of the attack on the British Embassy in Iran has left many Iranians sad and confused. The general feeling among the general populations in Iran is “We do not want to return to where we were almost thirty years ago with the American Embassy.” Nothing can illustrate the rift better than the picture I post below. Each Friday, a group of young Iranian are brought to the Friday prayer in which a political sermon is delivered. I don’t think the picture needs a caption just compare the generations:
What if Iran does not Use its Bomb?
I have so far been focusing on the actions and reactions inside Iran. There are interesting developments at our end as well, including politicians worrying about the fact that the main disaster is if Iran makes a bomb but does not use it!! This is not a joke. Watch it for yourself:
Hope We are not Heading for another War
With the kind of diplomatic thinking reflected in the above video, let us hope we are not heading for another war. On that note, I wrote a poem called “Giggling in Fallujah” a few years ago when the Iraq war was in its most destructive faze in Fallujah. I dedicated the poem to all young war-stricken boys and marines maimed for life. Last week I published the poem on the Huffington Post in the hope that some of us think about preventing another Fallujah from happening. You can read it here.
Music From North of Iran
I opened this window with beautiful scenes from Northern Iran. This is the region on the coast of the Caspian Sea south of the Alborz mountain. The Alborz mountain traps a lot of moisture from the sea and the rain turns the region green. The folk music from this area reflects its natural liveliness: fast tempo love songs and group dances. Here is one such song to close our window:
Okay, time to close this window. Hope you all have a great rest of the week.