Visiting Iran

My friend Nihar is posting some really interesting stuff about his recent backpacking trip across Iran. Check out part one here and part two here. Looking forward to the next installment, Nihar!

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Iran’s Disputed Election – The Big Picture

Compelling photos from the Boston Herald: i29_19360635

A backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi helps evacuate an injured riot-police officer during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009. (OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images)

via Iran’s Disputed Election – The Big Picture – Boston.com.

Obama attacks Clinton over Iran

clintonBBC NEWS | Americas | Obama attacks Clinton over Iran

Speaking in Indiana, Mrs Clinton said she had no regrets about promising to “totally obliterate” Iran if it attacked Israel with nuclear weapons – a scenario that was put to her two weeks ago.

“Why would I have any regrets?” she asked on ABC television.

Oh good lord. Where’s my dark horse independent?

Vacationing in Kish

200px-dariushhotel1.jpgSo this guy started a small hotel empire in Iran, and now he wants to bring Disneyland there, too. Most of his biggest ventures are on the island of Kish (just off the southern coast of Iran). I had no idea this island was so much more liberal (a relative term, to be sure) than the rest of Iran – apparently no visas are needed to visit, and some of Iran’s strict social rules are more relaxed. There’s even a dolphin show with dance music:

Mr. Sabet’s 18 Ukrainian dolphins have become the island’s darlings. They perform with Persian dance music, even though dance music was declared un-Islamic, and illegal, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It is produced only by Iranian expatriates in Los Angeles, and Kish is the only place in Iran where it is heard.200px-falling_waters_club.jpg

Islamic law, it seems, was powerless before the charms of the dolphins. “Even local authorities love them,” said an employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job. “The island’s cleric comes and visits them every week to make sure they are O.K. He keeps complaining that the music is not jolly enough and they might get depressed.”

I’m all for his attitude of bringing more of old Persia into Iran. I think there’s a big popular sentiment towards this movement, and hopefully there can be a gradual, peaceful, cultural revolution in Iran, rather than another violent, bloody one.

This is why you don’t vote for these idiots

Because what we don’t need more of is ridiculous, chest-thumping rhetoric:

Asked whether the American commanders on the scene were right in not attacking the Iranian boats, Mr Huckabee said he backed their decisions, before warning Iran: “Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next thing you see will be the gates of Hell, because that is exactly what you will see after that.”

Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and Law & Order star who is banking all on victory in South Carolina to revive his campaign, said of the Iranian boat crews: “I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins that they’re looking forward to seeing.” The crowd cheered.