Friday, September 23, 2005

Iran News - Translation contest for Iran's Sa'di poem

Iran News - Translation contest for Iran's Sa?di poem: "conTranslation contest for Iran's Sa?di poem

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - ©2005

LONDON, September 21 (IranMania) - A translation contest for a Sa?di poem is to be held across the country on the occasion of Dialogue Among Civilizations Day (September 21), the Iran Bayan Association announced, said MNA.

The contest will first be held in Iran and then selected works will later compete at an international venue.

The piece that is to be translated is the famous poem of Sa?di which is inscribed (in English) at the entrance of the UN Headquarters in New York.

The submissions must be new translations from Persian into English, French, German, and/or Spanish. No imitations will be accepted. The translations will be judged by experts and selected works will be awarded.

Applicants should submit their translations to the association, which is located on Varsho St., off of Nejatollahi Ave., or e-mail them to by October 22.

Following is one of the English versions of the Sa'di poem:

?Of one Essence is the human race,

Thusly has Creation put the Base;

One Limb impacted is sufficient,

For all Others to feel the Mace." "

Terrorist Hedayat Mostowfi Stages Small Protest at UN Time to Support the Iranian people and their Resistance Movement: "Time to Support the Iranian people and their Resistance Movement
by Hedayat Mostowfi
23 September 2005

On Wednesday, September 14th, more than 20,000 Iranians along with Americans from forty states across the country rallied outside UN Headquarters to condemn the presence of Iran's terrorist president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN and to demand his expulsion.

Who could have guessed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be the one to hammer the last nail into the appeasement policy’s coffin? Ahmadinejad had promised five weeks ago that his speech would bring a solution and new approaches to Iran’s nuclear problem. However, in his speech Ahmadinejad announced that the mullahs’ regime would never give up its nuclear enrichment program. He also threatened the world of grave consequences should Iran’s case be referred to the Security Council, which convinced the audience of Iran’s intentions to build nuclear weapons. All this is in addition to his previous threat that Iran would share nuclear technology with other Islamic nations.

For years Iran has supported international terrorism. Many Iraqi people as well as Iraqi and coalition soldiers die every day as a result of the Iranian-fueled insurgency. Terrorist groups have a yearly meeting in Tehran. Suicide bombers register openly to blow up themselves wherever the mullahs tell them. 120,000 Iranians have been executed by the mullah regime. 450 have been assassinated abroad. Many Americans and Europeans were taken hostage or died during terrorist attacks organized by Iran. However, the West, in particular the three European countries, France, Germany and England, have shrugged off Iran’s terrorist activities and decided to appease the mullahs by offering them incentives, including blacklisting Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, hoping that the mullahs would not bite their hands.

Confusion in policy towards Iran only buys time for the mullahs to carry out their evil missions in Iraq and to go on with their nuclear weapons program. It is time now for a regime change in Iran. The West needs to realize clearly that to bring back peace and stability to the Middle East and the world, the regime in Tehran must be changed to a secular democracy. It is important to understand that the Iranian people have the capability of changing the regime.

Contrary to the Europeans, the Iranian people have never had illusions about the tyrannical mullahs. On Wednesday, September 14th, more than 20,000 Iranians along with Americans from forty states across the country rallied outside the United Nations Headquarters to condemn the presence of Iran's terrorist president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN and to demand his expulsion. They ruled out a military solution in Iran and declared support for a democratic regime change in Iran instituted by the Iranian people.

Last December Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, stated in her speech to the European Parliament: “We do not want money or weapons from West. We only want them to recognize our right to fight for a free, secular Iran.” She proposed a third option on Iranian policy: “No appeasement, no military action, but regime change in Iran by Iranian people and their organized resistance.”

On September 14th, in a televised broadcast to the crowd gathered in front of the United Nations, Mrs. Rajavi said: “... The terror label against the Iranian Resistance movement is the hallmark of the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs' regime. Now that the policy of strengthening the bogus moderates within the regime has failed miserably this label has to be removed."

The appeasement policy and in particular, the blacklisting of the Iranian resistance, only served to embolden the mullahs in their nuclear quest and their terrorist ambitions in Iraq and the Middle East, causing the loss of many innocent lives.

A democratic change in Iran cannot exclude the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement. One can only imagine the capacity and potential of a resistance that while restricted, can gather 20,000 Iranians and attract support from US Senators and Representatives, European parliamentarians and religious figures and families of the victims of Iran’s terrorism.

The policy on Iran is now in its next phase. A regime change is inevitable. For that, we need to stop siding with the mullahs, and start siding with the Iranian people, by removing the restrictions on the Iranian Resistance, the PMOI.

If President Bush’s January 2005 pledge to the Iranian people to support their quest for democracy and freedom was more than just a political slogan and a good “sound bite,” then it’s time to take some action. Taking the PMOI and the NCRI off of the list will send a clear message to the mullahs, and to the Iranian people. As the say down in Texas: “A little less talk and a lot more action, please!”

Hedayat Mostowfi is the Executive Director for nationwide Committee in Support of Referendum in Iran."

Iran News - Iran's pilgrimage rights discussed with Saudi

Iran News - Iran's pilgrimage rights discussed with Saudi: "Iran's pilgrimage rights discussed with Saudi

Friday, September 23, 2005 - ©2005

LONDON, September 23 (IranMania) - Saudi Arabia?s King Abdullah has pledged to facilitate the visit of Iranian pilgrims, especially women, to Baqi Cemetery in Medina.

Head of State Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also told IRNA that during bilateral talks, King Abdullah revealed that he is opposed to discrimination of any sort against pilgrims and will try to get rid of possible inequities, provided that it causes no problems with security and the rule of law.

?King Abdullah has a favorable view with regard to Shiites,? he said.

Rafsanjani added that the recent policy tactics of the 'Zionist regime' for expanding diplomatic relations with the West was among main issues discussed in meetings with the top Saudi authorities, during which the two sides expressed concern about movements that harm Muslim unity and undermine the status of Muslim world."

An American in Iran Part II: The Culture by Janet Larsen - The Globalist > > Global Culture

An American in Iran Part II: The Culture by Janet Larsen - The Globalist > > Global Culture: "Global Diary > Global Culture
An American in Iran Part II: The Culture

By Janet Larsen | Friday, September 23, 2005

Images of crowds chanting "death to America" have engrained within Americans the notion that Iranians do not like them. But on a recent trip to Tehran for an international environmental conference, Janet Larsen found that this was not always the case. While there is no love lost between their governments, the Iranian and U.S. people have much more in common than they know.

fter the close of the United Nations Environmental Programme conference, several other participants and I piled into a taxi to go to the southern part of the city.

People passing by the U.S. embassy in Iran cannot possibly overlook the brightly colored murals painted high on the walls around the complex.

The taxi sped in and out of the harrowing traffic, passing ornate gates partially hiding manicured gardens on one block and rundown houses on the next, a strip of shops bursting with bicycles, an old railroad station, public parks with flowers and fountains and many a tall building adorned with murals of the country’s supreme religious leaders.

From the diverse storefronts, I got the impression that one can easily buy almost anything in Tehran, except perhaps, alcohol.

One shop even showcased glamorous sleeveless Western-style white wedding dresses, though it wasn’t clear where one would be able to wear such a revealing ensemble.

Dining in Iran

Our final destination was a traditional Iranian restaurant. We were ushered in to the beautifully appointed dining room replete with hanging plants, paintings, musical instruments and platters piled high with fresh fruits and vegetables.

We removed our shoes and sat cross-legged on a raised seated area covered with an elegant Persian carpet. One of the servers brought tea, dates, and almond cookies and offered around a yogurt-based drink called doogh, an Iranian favorite.

No dancing

I graciously tried the salty yeasty concoction, but found its taste to be one that neither I nor most of the other Westerners had acquired.

The former U.S. Embassy was the site of the CIA-engineered 1953 coup d’état that toppled the Mohammad Mossadegh government.

While we waited for our main course, a band played traditional folk music. Drawn into the energy of the lively tunes, one of the patrons up front bobbed up and down to the beat until a member of the restaurant staff came up behind him and rested his hands on the gentleman’s shoulders, an apologetic expression on his face.

Not a word was exchanged, but the message was clear. One of my dinner partners, an American who had been living in Tehran for half a year, also caught the interaction and explained that the owner most likely did not mind dancing himself, but that having patrons dance could bring trouble to his establishment.

He thought that forbidding Iranians to dance was tantamount to stopping them from breathing. Apparently, private parties now served as the outlet for those without the constitution to stay still.

Before the revolution

My visit the next day to the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi’s summer residence, now a museum complex, reminded me of a time when dancing was more in political favor.

Inside his White and Green Palaces were finely carpeted rooms and mirrored halls. Outside the White Palace, however, two giant bronze boots were all that remained of an immense statue of the Shah himself that was severed after the revolution.

The former U.S. Embassy

The grounds around the palaces were immaculately kept, complete with narrow tree-lined drives and aquamarine peacocks. Replicas of dams, canals and water wells used for irrigation — very important for this partly arid country — were displayed outside the museum of water works.

There was a portrayal of the Statue of Liberty with a skull in place of her face and a gun painted with the red, white and blue of the American flag.

The military museum showcased tools of war, ranging from a primitive wooden warship to a cannon inscribed in both Persian and Greek script to propeller planes and camouflaged tanks. Iranian soldiers patrolling the grounds with their machine guns made the experience all the more authentic.

It wasn’t the last I would see of the soldiers. On my final day in Tehran I paid a visit to the old U.S. Embassy, now affectionately called the U.S. Den of Espionage. This complex was the site of the CIA-engineered 1953 coup d’état that toppled the Mohammad Mossadegh government — and, for the 25 years following it, was the base of U.S. support for the last Shah.

Then starting in November of 1979, after the March election of Ayatollah Khomeini as the Supreme Leader of the world’s first Islamic Republic, the Embassy became the holding center for the 52 American hostages kept for 444 days. The building now houses the Sepah, hard-line revolutionary guards.

The murals

What they see on entering and leaving the complex, and what people passing by cannot possibly overlook, are the brightly colored murals painted on the high walls around the former U.S. Embassy.

Many Iranians seemed embarrassed by the paintings that displayed in no uncertain terms distaste for the United States.

A contradicting sight

There was a portrayal of the Statue of Liberty with a skull in place of her face, a gun painted with the red, white, and blue of the American flag and epithets wishing death to America in both English and Farsi.

Many Iranians seemed embarrassed by the paintings that displayed in no uncertain terms distaste for the United States.

The old U.S. seal that had once been proudly displayed at the gate was sanded down until practically illegible. Though I had been warned against taking photos in the area as it was one of the few places where visitors had had cameras confiscated, I didn’t need film to record the sight to memory — a sight that contrasted so sharply with the gracious welcome I had received from all I met.

On my last evening in Tehran, I met with Mrs. Mallah, the founder of one of Iran’s largest environmental non-governmental organizations, the Women’s Society Against Environmental Pollution (WSAEP).

At 85 years old, Mrs. Mallah is still leading tree-planting expeditions into the hills. She and her husband, Mr. Abolhassani, welcomed me into their lovely home on a winding narrow street away from the bustle of the major thoroughfares of northern Tehran.


I sipped tea and nibbled on pistachios and gaz, a nougaty treat from the city of Esfahan, while they displayed photos from WSAEP events. Mrs. Mallah humbly shared some of the successes of her organization’s environmental education outreach to children, teens, and adults.

Mr. Abolhassani was less tentative about singing praises of his wife and her work. We talked of the environment, politics, literature, history, and gardening. By half past ten at night we were seated around the dining table laden with homemade soup, yogurt, meat, delicious thin flatbread, and a plate piled with radishes and fresh green herbs.

South to Esfahan

After more inspiring conversation, I thanked the wonderful couple for a lovely evening, tied on my headscarf and slipped on my shoes to head back to the hotel.

I caught two hours of sleep before I was to make my way by plane about 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Tehran, to the ancient city of Esfahan."