I have no doubt that [Chávez] will return alongside Jesus Christ…to establish peace and justice in the world.
Map of the Muslim world centered on Mecca. Iran, 17th century.
The 2,600 year old Cyrus Cylinder, a promise of tolerance from the ancient Persian King, is heading to the US for the first time.
The ancient Cyrus Cylinder is surrounded by cameras at a send-off ceremony to see it travel for the first time to the United States from the British Museum in London on February 19, 2013. One of the most iconic objects of the ancient world and sometimes called the world’s first human rights charter, the baked-clay cylinder with cuneiform script is the declaration by the Persian King Cyrus the Great about his peaceful capture of Bablyon, and his order that all peoples should be free to return to their lands and worship as they pleased.
In the waning stages of his career, Gore Vidal nicknamed America the “United States of Amnesia.” Although he was much derided for speculating on U.S. involvement in 9/11, and in interviews was prone to exchange factual analysis for comic mimicry of George W. Bush, his play on words was precise and accurate. There are few more salient examples of this self-imposed forgetfulness than America’s attitude toward Iran. Without delving into the sordid history of our relationship with the Persian giant at the heart of the Middle East, a glance is enough to confirm that we’ve trespassed ceaselessly in a country both blessed and cursed by its geographic patrimony. Sitting atop a wealth of petroleum and natural gas, positioned at the delta of the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf—that great liquid highway by which ravenous Western powers have extracted black gold for decades—the Iranian people must be exhausted by the hectoring and rebarbative attentions paid them by our colonial legates. Nor is it any consolation for Iranians that their nearest neighbors are also tirelessly plagued by imperial interventions.
Time was, a country claimed to have launched a monkey into space and successfully retrieved it, you’d be able to believe that country.
If Iran has lied to us about this monkey, how can we ever believe Iran again about anything?
I just don’t know how we’ll be able to live in a world where the word of the government of Iran is no longer synonymous with forthrightness.
The Times has much more on IranSpaceMonkeyGate here: Iran’s space monkey triumph exposed as a fake
Hard journalism up in here.
Sacha Baron Cohen, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, and Isla Fisher attend the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Rumours that Baron Cohen and Affleck have teamed up to shoot The Dictator 2 in Iran are yet to be started. So … don’t tell anyone, but we hear Baron Cohen and Affleck have teamed up to shoot The Dictator 2 in Iran. (They haven’t).
A few weeks ago, Tehran’s morality police and security authorities told the café’s proprietors to install a minimum of four surveillance cameras on the premises as part of state efforts to tighten civic monitoring and security. The owners decided they would not do so. Recognising that this would result in further harassment and eventual closure, they shut down the cafe themselves to protest against the new surveillance measures.
“We always knew this day would come and, in the midst of Tehran’s grimy winter, our end has finally arrived in spite of our many attempts to stay afloat,” read a statement posted on the Café Prague Facebook page.
“But as much as it pains us and as much as we will miss our friends and all of you who stood by our side in the past four years, we take comfort in knowing that we at least didn’t let Big Brother’s glass eyes scan and record our every step, minute and memory from dawn till dusk.”
The café’s closure is a significant loss for Tehran’s academic and cultural life. During its short existence, Café Prague offered much more than just coffee and free wi-fi; it played host to a number of social and political events, from photo exhibitions supporting local artists to music performances and vibrant left-leaning discussions on workers’ rights.