Posts Tagged ‘Iran’
The release of ‘The Stoning of Soraya M.’ in theaters today can be referred to as both ironic and coincidental.
Set in a small Iranian village shortly after the fall of the Shah, “The Stoning of Soroya M.” opens on Freidoune (Jim Caviezel), a French-Iranian journalist whose car has broken down and who has some time to kill while it is repaired. He encounters Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who tells him there is a story he, and the world, must know. The film, in Farsi and English, was inspired by the 1994 best seller by French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam. The Stoning of Soraya M. is based on a real-life event where Soraya is charged with adultery by her husband Ali. Ali wants to divorce Soraya and marry a 14-year girl. Soraya’s objections lead to her tragic death. Soraya is stoned to death in front of her children and cheering villagers. Ali and their sons, as well as her father, participate in her killing.
Stoning had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was the runner-up for the Audience Choice Award and was the second runner-up for the Cadillac People’s Choice. According to the WSJ ‘This is classic tragedy in semi-modern dress that means to horrify, and does so more successfully than any film in recent memory. The Stoning gives us an alternate, non-political, perspective on Iran.
Following the developments in Iran in wake of the Presidential elections I came across an interesting report. The subtitle of the report caught my attention: Iran’s Michelle Obama. It’s about Zahra Rahnavard, wife of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousav. Zahra’s credentials are not merely defined through her husband’s identity; she has served as the chancellor of the Alzahra University in Tehran and as a political adviser to former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami. Zahra has been actively campaigning for her husband and appears on several campaign posters with Hossein. Though this may not be spectacular for the westerners, it’s stunning by the Iranian standards. Never before has a female in Iran voiced political opinions so openly. Moreover, the fact that Zahra is highly educated (she has a Ph.D. in political Science) and conveniently handles questions on Iran’s political and social policies, counters the perceptions that she is merely a shadow figure for Hossein. Her mannerisms and dressing style reflects her reformist approach to Islamic traditions. Here is how the crowd, mostly younger voters, has responded to here campaign rallies.
No matter who wins the Presidential contest, Zahra Rahnavard’s contribution to Iranian politics would be everlasting.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is just days away from choosing the next President of the country. The Presidential elections are being closely watched across the Western world, particularly the U.S. According to some analysts, the choice made by the Iranian people during the 12 June elections would greatly influence the Iran’s international image and politics for the coming years. In the midst of international anxiety over Iran’s future political leadership, certain intriguing aspects of the country’s domestic politics have escaped popular attention. A closer scrutiny of Iran’s national politics reveals that these are neither elections as democratic nor as groundbreaking as the Western world expects.
The case of Roxana Saberi has dominated international news during the past week. After being arrested for purchasing a bottle of wine in January this year, Roxana Saberi has been charged for spying by Iran and sentenced for eight years imprisonment. Saberi’s fate is being viewed as determining the future course of U.S. - Iranian relations. Critics of President Obama’s goodwill policy have raised Saberi’s issue as a vindication of the previous aggressive and non-conciliatory policy vis-à-vis Iran. While President Obama is gravely concerned about the safety of Saberi, he has continued to assert the value of diplomacy in resolving the issue and the Administration has not issued any threatening statements.
The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has personally intervened in the matter and asked the chief prosecutor to ensure that Saberi is provided with full rights to defend herself, including a fair trial. The Iranian Judiciary has been quick to respond to the President’s appeal by expressing willingness for a careful, quick and fair consideration of an appeal against the earlier court ruling. Saberi’s lawyer has twenty days to file an appeal. So the issue will dominate media headlines and official discussions in the days ahead.
Is the Saberi issue a diplomatic challenge or a diplomatic illusion? Is Saberi being used as a smokescreen by President Obama and President Ahmadinejad to initiate diplomatic measures opposed by neo-cons and hardliners in the U.S. and Iran? The unfolding of the diplomatic and political drama indicates that this contention could be possible. Click to continue…
Reformulation of the international approach to manage the Afghanistan crisis is currently dominating political dialogue in most Capitals and strategic headquarters. A host of international conferences scheduled for the next fortnight are expected to explore the best possible alternatives for dealing with the multifaceted challenges in Afghanistan. The Obama Administration has undertaken a comprehensive review of the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan. Suggestions and proposals on the issue are pouring from all quarters and it appears that Afghanistan is poised for a grand moment in history. Will the Afghanistan challenge emerge as the Noah’s Ark – a common platform for global cooperation sheltered from the vagaries of divergent ideologies, political ambitions and nationalistic aspirations? In an atmosphere where power politics of the Realist School is dominating international relations, can Afghanistan serve as a common cause for which ideological differences will be shed and new forms of global engagement will emerge? Click to continue…
The Godfather is a classic American movie centered on the rise, confrontations and adaptations of the Corleone family. The Godfather Doctrine is a book by John C. Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell to communicate, through the plot of the movie, the current state of U.S. foreign policy. Rather than attempting to explain the U.S. foreign policy through the complex theories of the disciple of International Relations, Hulsman and Mitchell use the analogy of The Godfather to connect to a wider audience. The reader may choose to agree or disagree with the authors, but this experiment at presenting a foreign policy parable is commendable.