Iran's victory of 1-0 over N. Korea's soccer team has resulted in a mass celebration, expression of joy and unrest despite all official injunctions and massive security presence.
Clashes happened at the end of the game at Azadi ('Freedom') Stadium as militiamen intended to stop happy fans from expressing joy. Orders were given that fans should avoid being joyful as it's the anniversary of the death of the regime's founder.
Other reports are stating about sporadic clashes in several areas of the Capital as thousands of Iranians are getting into streets and main squares, such as, Haft-Hoze, Tajrish, Toopkhaneh and Madar. Teharns' suburbs of Karaj, Rey and Eslamshahr are also scenes of early joy and sporadic unrests.
In most cases the clashes are happening as militiamen intend to stop mass celebration.
Girls have been seen taking off their mandatory veil and dancing.
Heavy traffic jam are forming in Capital's main avenues which will create serious complication for regime agents to control the crowd.
Sporadic clashes have also been reported from cities, such as, Esfahan, Shiraz, Hamdean and Oroomiah (former Reza-ie).
The night will be long and is just beginning.
Update: The mainstream media appears to be ignoring the anti-regime demonstrations following the win by Iran in its soccer match with North Korea. When will the mainstream media risk offending the regime and report the news?
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A group of passengers of Iranian origin refused to disembark from a plane at Brussels airport on Thursday in a protest against the government in Tehran.
The 59 unarmed passengers were talking to the authorities, police spokeswoman Els Cleemput said, after other passengers and crew left the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt and the pilot disabled the plane.
"We want the European Union to remove the Islamic leaders from Iran. We want to remove the mullahs from power," Armin Atshgar, a protester on the flight, told Reuters by mobile phone from the aircraft.
Atshgar, who said he held a Belgian passport, added that he and his fellow protesters would not leave the aircraft until they had spoken to a member of the European parliament. He added that there were children and pregnant women on the aircraft but said there were no weapons and the mood was calm and safe.
Belgium's RTL television said the group were Iranian monarchists and had handed a statement to police protesting about European Union relations with the Islamic Republic.
The EU is negotiating to try to persuade Tehran to curtail sensitive nuclear work which could help it produce a bomb, in return for trade and security benefits.
"They have all got European passports but they are probably all of Iranian origin," Cleemput said. "They have definitely got political motives."
A Lufthansa spokesman said the plane, a Boeing 737, had landed in Brussels's Zaventem airport at 2 p.m. on schedule with 103 passengers and crew.
Police said the protesters had refused food.
Air traffic continued as normal at Brussels National Airport and another plane was allowed to dock in the next bay, indicating the authorities saw no threat from the protesters.
(Additional reporting by Quentin Webb in Brussels and Phil Blenkinsop in Berlin)
An article in the Washington Post about the cancellation of a party of the Islamic Republic in -of all places- the USA (!?!).
Thanks to the Iran of Tomorrow Movement (www.sosiran.com), an organization of freedom loving Iranians from around the planet, in and out, directed by Dr. Iman Foroutan. Within four days they got the right information to the right people at the right time: truely a mission impossible succeeded! Without shedding even a drop of blood, clean cut!
By Tim Craig Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 4, 2005; Page A05
A celebration scheduled for this weekend at Montgomery County's new hotel and conference center, marking the 26th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, was canceled after the hotel's operator learned that it would violate federal law.
The Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, which opened in December, was to play host to 1,000 guests at a reception thrown by Ali Jazini, director of the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
John Wolf, a Marriott spokesman, said yesterday that the hotel canceled the event after realizing it is illegal to do business with Iran. He said Marriott officials will "be taking steps" to prevent similar bookings in the future.
Announcement of the event raised an outcry from Iranian opponents of the country's regime who live in the United States. They organized a campaign calling on Marriott to cancel.
"For them to come celebrate the anniversary of their glorious revolution in the United States is just wrong," said Iman Foroutan, director of the Iran of Tomorrow Movement, an American-based organization working to oust Iran's fundamentalist regime. "If they allowed this, I would not be surprised if al Qaeda celebrated their next anniversary in the heart of New York."
In a letter sent this week to Marriott officials and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Foroutan cited an order from then-President Bill Clinton designating Iran as "an extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy" of the United States. The letter went on to say that it is illegal for Iran to do business within the borders of the United States.
Foroutan, whose Los Angeles-based group operates a satellite television station, said Iranian dissidents were planning to picket outside the conference center.
Feb. 11 is an Iranian holiday marking the fall of the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979. In November of that year, militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking hostages and triggering a 444-day crisis for President Jimmy Carter, during which he severed diplomatic ties with Iran. The ordeal ended when President Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981.
In his State of the Union address Wednesday, President Bush said Iran "remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror -- pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve."
Iran maintains a presence in the United States by operating an office from the Pakistani Embassy. Calls to the Iranian Interest Section were not returned yesterday.
The $80 million Marriott conference center is a signature initiative of Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D), designed as a place where civic organizations and businesses can meet.
Although $40 million in state and county money was used to construct it, Marriott books all the events, said David Weaver, a Duncan spokesman.
"We are not in the booking business," Weaver said.
Monkeys are known for their ability to imitate. We have seen monkeys smoking, monkeys painting, monkeys cycling, monkeys mothering and what not. You show a monkey some act, and with a little persistance, it will copy you in moments.
From monkeys to humans requires only a very small step. We know that 98% of the DNA of humans and monkeys is exactly the same, but does that make humans monkeys, or vice versa? No, of course not, it is the 2 % that is crucial in making the difference. And what could it exactly be, this 2% that makes this difference? It must be the ability of humans to communicate on an eleaborate scale, the ability to make abstractions -have you ever seen a monkey writing a book that made sense?
So there are differences, at least most of the time. Do I say most of the time? Yes, that's right most of the time, because there are always human lookalikes that even try to outbid monkeys in their imitation act. What is the case: the Iranian democratic forces within and outside the country have expressed their wish for a referendum on the political future of Iran, to be held after the current gang has disappeared from the (crime-)scene.
In yet another effort to confuse each and everyone -since confusion is the breeding ground for the abhorrent logic of Darkness- some of their monkeys have presented their immitation act and announced their 60 million initiative, that calls for a referendum under the current regime of the IRI.
Closer scrutiny revealed the human lookalikeness of at least some of those that put their name under this initiative. Others most possibly were too sleepy to even notice. The office of the royal family quickly responded with a message that they have nothing to do with this act. King Reza Pahlavi Diba in his book 'Winds of Change' makes it clear that we have to get rid of this regime first, and then organize a referendum under international monitoring.
So, no wonder a storm of protest rose when their '60' plan was announced. Some quickly came up with a more close estimation of the situation: www.70000000.com has the word!
So, now let's all resign and see if monkeys will be monkeys ...
What could have been the next stage in the plot of the time turned into an anti-climax. Those of us who had expected some firework at the IAEA meeting last weekend, can only be disappointed with the outcome. The waiting game continues.
That the Iranians -notably as a founding member of the IAEA- have thought it necessary to build up their atomic project in secrecy, is something that cannot be easily overlooked and forgiven. It certainly gives a hint about the nature of this regime and one can only wonder what to expect from this regime when it really gets under pressure.
As a founding member of the IAEA, the IRI should be forced to declare all its nuclear sites, then -in cooperation with the IAEA and its member states- all nuclear material should be cleared and cleaned. If, and only if, all conditions are met, the world community may in the future consider assisting Iran with setting up a new nuclear industry. Of course, only long after this regime with its secret programs and horrific reputation on Human Rights has been removed. One does not trust a criminal and hand him a gun.
All the more questionable is the position of the European Union. For seven years we now have this dialogue with the Iranians and every now and then we produce a report on the Human Rights situation to the IRI but in the mean time they get away with what they want and atomic espionage and other criminal activity is not being brought to justice.
One wonders what can be the exact motives for the 'European three' to get fooled like this: or could it be that there are points on the agenda that the public doesn't know? Just why are France and Germany so eager to trust the untrustables? It cannot be that they are satisfied only with the smiles that they receive from the designer Beards, whenever these feel the need for showing their teeth in a friendly manner. Could it have anything to do with lucrative oil deals that the IRI is known to have given to these European nations? These deals that supply the Europeans with cheap oil and the mollah with cash?
And what is the role played by Great Britain? How much stretch does one need to have to be able to on the one hand be part of the 'invading enemy forces' in Irak and on the other hand sit at the dinner table in Tehran, holding hands with Mr. Rowhani? What is the purpose of this policy? Can it really only be the cheap oil? Are there maybe other policies at work, for example to prevent too much political leverage of the US in the region? A well calculated gamble in a global power game? When is the European public going to hear their politicians pay their reponsability for the policies that were opted for in the Iran Nuclear Scandal?
Do we really need a A-bomb to wake up and see that now is not a time for gambling? I remember a film clip of Adolf Hitler after the Munich talks with Chamberlain, the then Foreign Secretary. When, in front of an audience of party members, Hitler was commenting on the Munich talks, he took out a piece of paper and then tore it to pieces while saying: Tear to pieces this little paper!
The Iranians, with their rich history, culture and literature, should know better than to opt for a nuclear deterrent in this whole story. There is a story in the Mathnawi, one of the great works of the Farsi literature in which a derwish warns a man by the road side not to put trust in the bear next to him that this man considers as his friend. 'I know it is a bear but it is also my best friend' he exclaims. A while later the same derwish sees the bear again by the road side, next to him lays the man, dead. It turns out that the bear saw a fly on the nose of his sleeping friend, and picked up a stone in order to kill it. In that act he also cracked the skull of his friend. Now who is who in this story? Who is the man, who is the bear and what about the stone?
One of the great masters of self uplifting from Persia is Farid Ud-Din Attar. Conference of the Birds is the English title of this part of the collection Haft Shahre Eshgh ( The seven Cities of Love ). It is available in the Penguin Classics Series, translated by Afkham Darandi and Dick Davis. They succeeded in giving the English text rhythm and a surprising openness and actuality. Of course all credits go to the master Attar himself too, for enriching the world with songs of such a great depth and vision.
The faithless Moslem and the faithful infidel
A Moslem fought an infidel one day
And as they fought requested time to pray.
He prayed and fought again - the infidel
Then asked for time to say his prayers as well;
He went aside to find a cleaner place
And there before his idol bowed his face.
The Moslem, when he saw hime kneel and bow,
Said: "Victory is mine if I strike now."
But as he raised his sword for that last stroke,
A warning voice from highhest heaven spoke:
"O vicious wretch - from head to foot deceit -
What promises are these, you faithless cheat?
His blade was sheathed when you asked him for time;
For you to strike him now would be a crime -
Have you not read in Our Koran the verse
'Fulfil your promises'? And will you curse
The word you gave? The infidel was true;
He kept his promises, and so should you.
You offer evil in return for good -
With others act as to yourself you would!
The infidel kept faith with you, and where
Is your fidelity, for all your prayer?
You are a Moslem, but false piety
Is less than this poor pagan's loyalty."
The Moslem heard this speech and went apart;
Sweat poured from him, remorse accused his heart.
The pagan saw him as if spellbound stand,
Tears in his eyes, his sword still in his hand,
And asked: "Why do you weep?" The man replied:
"My shame is not a matter that I can hide" -
He told him of the voice that he had heard
Reproaching him when he would break his word,
And ending said: "My tears anticipate
The fury of your vengeance and your hate."
But when the infidel had heard this tale,
His eyes were filled with tears, his face turned pale -
"God censures you for your disloyalty
And guides the life of His sworn enemy -
Can I continue to be faithless now?
I will burn my Gods, to Allah I will bow,
Expound His law! Too long my heart has lain
In darkness bound by superstition's chain."
What infidelity you give for love!
But I shall wait until the heavens above
Confront you with the actions you have done
And numbers them before you, one by one.
He said: 'Who is at the door?' Said I: 'Thy humble slave.'
He said: 'What business have you?' Said I: 'Lord, to greet thee.'
He said: 'How long will you push?' Said I: 'Till thou call.'
He said: 'How long will you glow?' Said I: 'Till resurrection.'
I laid claim to love, I took oaths
That for love I had lost sovereignty and power.
He said: 'A judge demands witness as regards a claim.'
Said I: 'Tears are my witness, paleness of face my evidence.'
He said: 'The witness is not valid; your eye is corrupt.'
Said I: 'By the majesty of thy justice they are just and clear of sin.'
He said: 'What do you intend?' Said I: 'Constancy and friendship.'
He said: 'What do you want of me?' Said I: 'Thy universal grace.'
He said: 'Who was your companion?' Said I: 'Thought of thee, O King.'
He said: 'Who called you here?' Said I: 'The odour of thy cup.'
He said: 'Where is it pleasantest?' Said I: 'The Emperor's palace.'
He said: 'What saw you there?' Said I: 'A hundred miracles.'
He said: 'Why is it desolate?' Said I: 'From fear of the brigand.'
He said: 'Who is the brigand?' Said I: 'This blame.'
He said: 'Where is it safe?' Said I: 'In abstinence and piety.'
He said: 'What is abstinence?' Said I: 'The path of salvation.'
He said: 'Where is calamity?' Said I: 'In the neighbourhood of thy love.'
He said: 'How fare you there?' Said I: 'In steadfastness.'
I gave you a long trial, but it availed me nothing; Repentance lights on him who tests one tested already.
Peace! if I should utter forth his mystic sayings,
You would go beside yourself, neither door nor roof would restrain you.
A song from 'Selected Poems from The Divan~a~Shams~a Tabrizi of Jalaluddin Rumi' translated by R.A.Nicholson. This book is a re-issue by Ibex publishers (www.ibexpub.com) of the original publication about 100 years ago in 1898. It has 48 songs in it in English as well as Persian, and an extended collection of notes by the author that proove interesting reading.
Nicholson, also translated another great work by Jalalluddin Rumi: the Mathnawi. It took the English scholar a lifetime to translate it. He translated quite some Arabic literature too, but admitted that he was always drawn towards the continuation of translating the Mathnawi. Nicholson's translation of the Mathnawi is considered a standard. It was the first complete translation into English, and Nicholson is known for the depth he reached when diving into this ocean called Mathnawi. His writing captivates the reader's attention, even though we are reading the English translation, and not the original in Parsi. Not bad at all for an Englishman that never left Europe to visit Persia or the Middle East, to strike such a cord with such a collection of deep songs.
For more songs by Rumi in English translation, visit www.rumionfire.com or try to get a book by Nader Khalili, space architect and translator of the Songs of Rumi. (www.calearth.org)