Visitors: Shut up. In 2014, the head of judiciary power, a tyrant and law crushing ayatollah, Sadegh Larijani, had this hair-rising sentence: «Which country does allow a foreigner to meet with anyone freely?» .
In 2017 nothing has changed. Iran is the land of the deep-seated resistance to political and social changes.
In Iran there is a saying which loosely translates to “a guest, like a fish, it begins to smell after three days”, which essentially warns of guests overstaying their welcome. Many Iranians may be happy to welcome you into their home for three days or so without you beginning to cause a stink, however the Iranian government may not allow you so long, as Poland’s foreign minister and the EU’s foreign policy chief discovered earlier this year.
In February Poland’s chief foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski visited Iran to lay flowers at Polish grave sites in Iran. During the Second World War Iran had been very inviting to guests, hosting approximately two and a half thousand Polish orphans.
Since 1979 however Iran hasn’t been as open to foreigners or their thinking, as Mr Sikorski was to find out. When trying to gain access to an online Polish news site he was met with warnings that this site was blocked by the “Iranian Censorship Board”, clearly keen to keep Polish media coverage away from the Iranian people. Mr Sikorski was clearly shocked at the blocking of a legitimate news site and discussed this, together with other human rights issues with the Iranian Foreign minister. One would hope that the paranoid rulers would learn from this, that it should have been a cause for embarrassment and highlight a need for change in allowing the Iranian people freedom of speech and greater access of information, but clearly not.
The next month the Iranian government had another foreign guest. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visited Iran with the main aim of discussing how Iran and the European Union could have an important relationship together in the future that would benefit both parties. Other issues were also to be discussed, issues which Iran was perhaps not so keen to talk about, such as human rights issues and Iran’s continued attempts to develop a nuclear program.
As a highly regarded EU representative who had helped to broker a deal with Iran and West the previous year regarding their nuclear program, Ashton was sure to expect a welcoming reception from the Iranian government, one would think. However within days she was being hounded by the Iranian media, paranoid members of the Iranian Government publicly accused Ashton of meddling in Iran’s internal affairs and Iran’s foreign ministry began to complain that the visit was unsanctioned.
Visitors and Tourists: Admire Us but Shut up
The head of judiciary power, a tyrant and law crushing ayatollah, Sadegh Larijani, had this hair-rising sentence: «Which country does allow a foreigner to meet with anyone freely?» No comment.
The reason for all this hostility towards a foreign guest you ask? Well it was all due to Ashton taking the time to visit leading women’s rights activists in Tehran, together with other Iranians fighting humans rights issues, such as the mother of an Iranian blogger who died in police custody without access to a lawyer or his family.
Within two months Iran had two important European guests and in each case had succeeded in appearing paranoid and controlling, and in the case of Catherine Ashton went so far as to publicly accuse her of “meeting with criminals”. If the government treat high ranking political diplomats in this way one can only imagine the suspicion which they save for “regular” visitors and tourists. Remember Clotide Reiss?
After the collapse of Tunisian and Egyptian tourism in recent years, lately, visiting Persepolis seem a thrilling prospect and an act of heroism to the Western tourists. However, for submissive holidaymakers, the discovery of modern Iran is not a priority. Metaphorically: let’s close our eyes on the corpse hanging from a crane. Not our business.
From the southern shores of Mediterranean to the most eastern parts of Afghanistan, wars are raging. Every day a thousand or more civilians are killed. Hundreds of thousands families are rumbling on the roads looking for a place to respite. Iran, despite a safe haven facade, is tormented. Since 1979, the ayatollahs have sown hatred in the region and their nefarious activities have fuelled the fires that the cretinous policies of the West have largely contributed to kindle.
It is time to get rid of the Velayat-e Faqih and our Supreme Guide, if any humanity is left in us, and if we have the will power to build instead of wanting the annihilation of the enemies, real or imaginary. Too many Ifs…