14 February 2017

Iran in pictures

If the Republican Minority-Rule Regime drags us into another war, it's quite likely that Iran would be the target, given that country's status as the wingnuts' current bogeyman and major object of Trump's blunderingly belligerent rhetoric.  Herewith, some images of the country they'd be taking us to war against (click for bigger versions).

Tehran, the capital city:

Tehran's metro-area population is 16 million, larger than any US metro area except New York.


Maydan-e Shâh (Royal Square), Isfahan:

Traditional dresses (this is a Persian New Year celebration):

Protester helping injured police officer during the 2009 anti-regime demonstrations:

Satellite dishes (to access foreign TV) are a common sight in Iran:

Children's play area, shopping mall, Shiraz:

Borj-e Âzâdî (Persian history monument), Tehran:

Ruins of Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshîd), the imperial capital founded by King Darius I around 515 BC:
The Iranian sense of national identity is very deep-rooted, reaching back to the coronation of Cyrus the Great in 559 BC, more than 300 years before China first became a unified state.

This is Mohammed Mosaddegh, Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953:
Mosaddegh led the first serious attempt to bring real democracy to Iran and expel foreign domination, only to be overthrown by the US/British-backed coup of 1953 which restored the rule of the Shah.  Most Americans have barely heard of him, but this history is well-known in Iran.

Iraq-Iran geographical size comparison:
Iraq at the time of the 2003 US invasion had a population of about 18 million.  Iran's current population is 83 million, about equal to Germany, or more than one-fourth the population of the US.

And of course one cannot ignore pictures like this:
The struggle against the brutal theocratic regime is an ongoing one.  The 2009 demonstrations were the largest protest marches in the history of the world, drawing crowds in the millions.  The current President, Hassan Rouhani, is a reformist who has made some substantial changes, but Islamist hard-liners control much of the government and often retain the upper hand.  It is very unlikely that an attack by a foreign power, especially one still resented for the 1953 coup, would improve the situation.


Blogger One Fly said...

Chances are high Trumper knows little or none of this.

14 February, 2017 06:37  
Blogger Tommykey said...

I believe part of the thinking behind the nuclear deal with Iran was to help buy time for reformist elements in Iran to gain strength and lead to better relations with the world. Whether it will happen remains to be seen. But I remember growing up in the 1980's, when WWIII with the Soviet Union was everyone's fear (remember The Day After Tomorrow?) and yet within a decade the Soviet Union was gone and the Cold War was over.

14 February, 2017 07:23  
Blogger Kevin Robbins said...

One warmonger down anyway. When will the Congress start investigating Flynn? I'm kidding, of course. My representative is on the House Intelligence Committee. Maybe that's worth rattling her chain over, if I wasn't focused on ACA. Lack of oversight is another good reason to clean House in 2018.

14 February, 2017 09:42  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

One: I'm sure that's true -- and he won't listen to anyone who could enlighten him, either. If he tries to start a war, it will be up to the pussyhat legions and the rest of us to scare Congress into discouraging him. I'm just trying to give a sense of what's at stake.

Tommy: Very likely -- remember that the deal was as much Rouhani's doing as Obama's. Trump is not helping the reformist cause, of course -- he's giving the anti-Western hard-liners rhetorical ammunition.

Kevin: Happiness is a warm onger (down).

14 February, 2017 19:20  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Some nice pictures there (one of them's now serving as my current desktop display!). I'm worried about a war with Iran myself, in large part because I know if that if the current Republican administration are stupid enough to start one, my country's government will no doubt be falling all over themselves to sycophantically support them 100% (just as they did with George Dubya's ill-conceived Iraqi adventure). Sometimes I wish our leaders here were capable of independent thought when it comes to foreign policy. It'd make a nice change.

As I've probably said here before, I've been fortunate to have met quite a few Iranians over the years, and they've proved a diverse bunch of individuals indeed. One is a young Tehrani woman at my workplace who's about the only one who really fits the stereotypical image I had of Iranians. Another workmate (who sadly seems to have left) was a woman from that part of the country near the border with Azerbaijan, who I initially thought was Eastern European when I first met her (judging from her accent, and the fact she didn't wear a headscarf). There was also a young family living in my block of flats who originally hailed from Mashhad, near the border with Turkmenistan (and who I initially thought were from the latter country given they looked as if they hailed from somewhere in Central Asia). Sadly I don't see them any more either, as they moved out some time ago. But, yeah, meeting people from the country has given me another reason to hope we don't go to war with it.

16 February, 2017 08:44  
Anonymous Mike753 said...

Visited Iran last September, thanks to Obama and the Nuclear deal with west. Fantastic history, people, religious nutjob of a government just like the USA.

16 February, 2017 12:23  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: I hope Prime Minister Turnbull's recent bizarre phone conversation with Trump has impressed on him that Trump is not someone to take guidance from. The man is simply a clown who was put in this position by a freak combination of bizarre circumstances, and certainly no other country should let itself be implicated in his blundering.

I'm curious which picture impressed you enough to make it a desktop?

Iran is very diverse internally -- Mashhad, for example, has a reputation as an especially religious place. I get the impression most women there only wear the headscarves because of the religious law, and wouldn't do so if it weren't mandatory.

Mike: It's an analogy which has occurred to me too.

17 February, 2017 04:16  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Yes, Turnbull's strange phone conversation with Trump made all the headlines here when it happened, though I'm not sure even that will stop our illustrious PM from trying to suck up to him. Interestingly enough, our current political situation is sort of the reverse of yours. Whereas you guys have a complete nutter in charge with a bunch of (somewhat) saner members of his party trying to rein him in, our current PM is a political moderate who's beholden to the lunatic fringe of his party. It's quite sad, actually. When he took over from Tony Abbott, a lot of us had high hopes for him, as he was apparently quite progressive on a lot of issues, but he's since shown himself to be completely spineless, unwilling to do anything that might upset his party's wealthy donors or more unhinged members.

The picture I used for a desktop image was the one of the women celebrating Persian New Year. Nice and colourful, and the second woman from the left is quite the looker! I can see myself using some of the others too. Over the years, I've used pictures of many interesting places from around the world as desktop backgrounds (one of my earlier ones was also of somewhere in Iran, more specifically a rainforest in that country).

Interestingly, only one of the Iranian women I've met here - the one from Tehran - wears a headscarf. I actually think the headscarf can be quite an attractive garment, but unfortunately, the fact that it's often worn under duress makes it a problematic piece of clothing, to say the least. I'm guessing the ones I met who didn't wear it were only too happy to avail themselves of the freedom they have here to make that choice.

17 February, 2017 05:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: Sorry to hear that about Turnbull. This is a time that calls for leaders with tough spines, both here and in other countries. Most of our "saner" Republicans are cowards, otherwise Trump would never have been allowed to reach his current position.

Agreed about the photo. As for the rainforest, it was probably in Mâzandarân (on the Caspian coast) -- I think that's the only place in the Middle East that has rainforest environment.

17 February, 2017 18:35  
Anonymous NickM said...

What I utterly fail on here is the whole idea that Iran is Mordor but Saudi Arabia is "A key ally in 'The Great War on Terrorism'". 15 out of the 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Citizens. Yet Britain, the USA, France etc are perfectly happy to sell a country that beheads people for the "crimes" such as "witchcraft" advanced weapons with which they are bombing Yemen (also a theological shit-hole) even further back into the stone-age. I despair.

18 February, 2017 06:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Well, Saudi Arabia isn't quite Mordor either, but its regime is trying a lot harder than Iran's. It's hard to avoid noticing the resemblances between the Saudi regime and Dâ'ish (ISIL).

18 February, 2017 07:34  
Anonymous NickM said...

C'mon, the Saudis are everything you and despise: autocratic, misogynist, homophobic, xenophopbic, slave-owning theocrats. And they almost certainly fund ISIL one way or another. Why? Penance. They spend a lot of time in London and Paris with grand an hookers drinking cocktails and staying at 5* hotels when they aren't racing Ferraris in the street. All of these antics are not exactly Islamic so they over-compensate back home. I have met some and they are weird. They regard Europe as Disneyland where they can indulge the vice they never could openly at home. Although the occasional rape of an Indonesian maid (on slave wages) they can get away with.

19 February, 2017 02:54  

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