Sunday, September 30, 2007

Next?

There was indeed much of a hullabaloo at the visit of our President, but after all, it can be summed up in one word: denial. We knew about his first denial, now at Columbia he informed us that there are no homosexuals in Iran, and during his UN press conference he enlightened us with the fact that the Baha'is don't have a Prophet.

Clearly, after all that everyone will believe him when he says that Iran is not trying to get the bomb.

Above and beyond Mr. Ahmadinejad's gesticulations, the issue remains what is going to happen to our country. Initially, Mr. Abdi's recent interview made me quite depressed, then today I read Abbas Milani's excellent piece -- remarkably, they are saying the same thing.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An unhealthy (re)visit

A couple of weeks ago, Ms. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was in Tehran, attending a Conference organized by the Non-Aligned Movement on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. Those poor diplomats who fought tooth and nail nearly 15 years ago to maintain the universality and indivisibility of human rights at the Vienna Conference, against an Iranian proposal led by no less than Mr. Zarif himself, must really feel let down. One wonders who advises Ms. Arbour. She should know better than allowing herself to be manipulated into what is no small victory for Iran and its likes.

Moreover, I have a question: Did the High Commissioner take this opportunity to condemn the violations in Iran? Well, publicly, she couldn’t really; it would have upset her hosts... However, in her report at the Human Rights Council last Thursday, she indicated that she had raised a few points with her Iranian counterparts (she met with Mr. Mottaki, it seems).

At least the EU (through its Portuguese Presidency) and Canada used the opportunity to say that they were worried about the human rights situation in Iran. Don’t know why it was only the latter who got the brunt of Iran’s response.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Just an ordinary president

When I first started reading Ray Takeyh's Op-Ed, I thought he had learned from Haleh Esfandiari's lessons but no, he remains consistent in advocating D├ętente with Iran.

However, I was really glad that
finally someone was openly saying (to the West) what we all knew: the Islamic Republic of Iran's policy is consistent, whether we have a Rafsanjani, a Khatami or an Ahmadinejad as president.

So I will slightly change Takeyh's conclusion and suggest that rather than raising the spectre of a dangerous and uncontrolled man perhaps one should look at the quite systematic policy of the country's rulers.

PS: for those interested, the text of the poem chanted by Shajarian in my previous post can be found at the end of this article