Friday, 25 May 2007
Report from Iran
I've wanted to go to Isfahan for decades, ever since I first saw pictures of its architectural masterpieces, long before I'd ever set foot outside North America. As I've gotten to other places, Isfahan has been left near the top of my personal lifetime travel "wish list".
Today I got a message about my dear friend John Lindsay-Poland (author of Emperors In the Jungle and much other fine writing), who is travelling in Iran:
I spoke a short while ago with John and his co-leader of FOR's fourth delegation to Iran , Leila Zand. They are well and John asked me to send warm greetings to all his contacts.... Currently, the delegation is in the city of Yazd. John, who as you know has traveled widely, described it as one of the most beautiful places he's ever been.
If you are interested in what it's like to be an American in Iran right now, in the midst of American government sabre-rattling, reports from the FOR delegation are being posted here .
I'm jealous of John, although perhaps not quite as much as I am of another writer friend, Jeff Greenwald , who was in Isfahan during the total eclipse of the sun in 1999. Jeff wrote more about his trip to Iran in his book, "Scratching the Surface", and sometimes includes stories about it in his stage performance, "Strange Travel Suggestions". You can hear him read an excerpt in this segment from NPR's "The Savvy Traveler". The warm and generous welcome Jeff received from ordinary Iranians is actually typical of what I've heard from many other American visitors over the last 15 years.
Next month I'm leaving on a year-long trip around the world with my partner, who will be on sabbatical from her teaching job. Parts of our itinerary are more certain than others: We've rented an apartment in Buenos Aires for the first couple of months, but we're waiting to decide whether to go to Iran until we get closer to the time and place.
In the meantime, I'll be doing what I can to try to keep the government of the USA from invading or bombing Iran in my name. When we travel, we confront the past, present, and future of war. I've seen what American bombs did to the historically and culturally significant monuments of Hue, Vietnam, for example. I don't want that to happen to Isfahan, Tehran, or anywhere else. And it's as important for Iranians to know that Americans (if not the American government) are their friends as it is for Americans to know about the friendship Iranians have for us.
Posted by Edward on Friday, 25 May 2007, 14:24 ( 2:24 PM)
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I have also wanted to visit Iran for some time, but due to my religion it is not such a simple matter: I am Baha'i. Among the places I would like to visit are some special and historical places for Baha'is that have been systematically and deliberately destroyed. Since you are there, ask to visit the House of the Bab in Shiraz, as a historical site (where the Baha'i faith began 164 yrs ago) and not for religious reasons. Or ask to visit the house of Mirza Abbas Nuri in Tehran as a noted example of architecture of the 18th century ( news.bahai.org/story/323 ), not because of its connection with the Baha'is. One could go on, right down to tombs and cemeteries desecrated. And that is just the material side, that a foreign visitor might perchance want to see if he knew about them. But even as a foreigner who is not Baha'i you cannot visit those places - they have been destroyed.
More info on the human side of the persecution of the Baha'is of Iran is at www.bahai.org/persecution/iran and question.bahai.org
Iran is a beautiful and special country, and there are many wonderful people there. But please do not forget that there is also a concealed sinister side, and many Iranian Baha'is who suffer daily, as well as Baha'is from other countries who cannot visit in the way that you can.
24th June 2008
I am readdressing with humble concern the report on the subject of the heaviest issue.
There is a necessity of immediate attention, accuracy, consideration and examinations of the conditions heretofore exposed.
On the fifty-fifth session, 7th September 2001, 11th plenary meeting, the UN General Assembly adopted the Resolution 55/282.
The General Assembly proclaimed the 21st of September of each year as the International Day of Peace.
The General Assembly also addressed the subsequent statement embodied in paragraph 3 of the aforementioned Resolution;
3. Invites all Member States, organisations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organisations and individuals to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness to co-operate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire.
Considering the Provision of the UN Charter and taking into account the role of the above mentioned relevant resolution adopted by the competent organs of the United Nations, each State has the duty to comply in full and in good faith with its international obligations under the principles of International Law.
Non-violence, non-proliferation and global disarmament are of primary importance and essential conditions to ensure order and education within the International Community.
Bearing in mind the paramount importance that the faithful observance of international law subsume and considering in consequence that the prosperity and peace of the International Community are to a remarkable extent endangered, each State has the duty to co-operate with one another, irrespective of their differences in their political, economic and social systems, in the various spheres of international relations, in order to maintain international peace and security and to promote international stability and progress, the welfare of nations and international co-operation free from discrimination based on such differences.
Desiring to draw diligence and respect to the aforesaid objective and therefore to adopt and maintain collective effective measures for the prevention and removal of breaches and threats to the peace and to bring adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations, I have humbly requested the attention of national and international institutions or bodies disclosed into the present report, addressing the necessity to comply with the requirements that the resolution referred to above entails.
The institutions or bodies I do now raise objections to are heretofore reported.
o UN Security Council;
o UN General Assembly;
o UN Peace Building Commission;
o UN Non-Proliferation and Disarmament departments;
o UN Secretary General;
o UN Security Council Presidents;
o UN 193 Permanent Mission Representatives to the United Nations;
o The Vatican City in Rome;
o UN Spiritual Foundation;
o International Court of Justice;
o Court of Justice of the European Communities;
o The Council of the European Union;
o European Court of Human Rights;
o European Commission;
o Inter Parliamentary Union;
o Association of Secretary General of Parliaments;
o National Parliaments;
o World Embassies;
o Amnesty International Worldwide;
o Fundamental Rights Agency;
o NHS Mental Health Departments Worldwide;
o The White House, the President of the United States of America;
o The President of the United Kingdom;
o The President of the European Commission;
o The President of Zimbabwe;
o Russian Politician, Founder and Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
o Committee of the Regions of the European Union;
o European Social Committee;
o Office for Official Publication of the European Communities;
o The World Council of Religious Leaders;
o European Ombudsman;
o United Kingdom Ombudsman;
o His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales;
o Her Majesty the Queen Elisabeth the ii;
o UK Royal Court of Justice, 16 Judges informed;
o UK Inspectorate of Court Administration;
o UK House of Lords;
o UK House of Common;
o UK Ministry of Justice;
o UK Ministry of Defence;
o UK Her Majesty Stationery Office;
o UK Government Offices;
o UK London Government Communication Headquarters;
o UK London Local Government Association;
o UK Greater London Authority;
o UK London Foreign and Commonwealth Office;
o UK London Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration;
o UK London Improvement and Development Agency;
o UK London Cabinet Office;
o UK Security Service MI5;
o UK London Secret Intelligence Service;
o UK London Government Human Rights Unit;
o UK London Metropolitan Police Forces, Working for a Safer London;
o BBC News;
o First Minister and Deputy First Minister, UK, Belfast;
o Youth Justice board for England and Wales;
It is discernible that the institutions or bodies reported have neglected to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of national and international law can be maintained.
The cessation of violence and of any other form of abuse, corruption, maladministration and the eradication of conflict within the International Community are relevant factors consequently unattended.
Notwithstanding the fact that concrete and heavy situations are pressing upon the people of all States, political and religious conditions remain unchanged.
I do object contemporary arrangements.
A war of aggression constitutes a crime against the peace, for which there is responsibility under international law.
States shall settle their international disputes by non-violent means in such a manner that international peace, security and justice are not endangered.
All States shall pursue in good faith negotiations for the conclusion of a universal treaty on general and complete disarmament and strive to adopt appropriate measures to reduce and eradicate tensions and strengthen confidence among States.
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breaches of the peace or act of aggression and shall make recommendation to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Notwithstanding the fact that the situations resulting from a violation of international law, also situations in which co-operation in the economic, political, social, cultural, educational and health fields is deprived of at the national and international scale, the disregard and contempt for human rights and fundamental freedoms and malfunction of the promotion and maintenance of the essential development of friendly relations between nations all do imply a violation of moral obligations, the establishment of the global ceasefire is to date by States neglected.
I do raise objections to States armaments.
To my Sons and Daughters: RISE UP, BE STRONG AND STAND IN PATIENT ENDURANCE!