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Society & Culture

Iranian Provinces

July 28, 2013
Sety Sadri
4 min read
Iranian Provinces
Iranian Provinces

This week in Iran, a Revolutionary Guards commander says those who don't fast during Ramadan should be lashed, one of Iran's most significant ancient landmarks is effectively ruined by state-imposed ugliness, Bushehr deals with a corruption crisis at its port, negotiations stall over the future of 235 laid-off steel workers, and a local snake charmer's two children break an odd world record.


Electricity Polls Visually Assault Ancient Landmark

The ancient edifice Naghshe Rostam, which encases the tombs of four Achaemenid kings with elaborate reliefs dating back to 1,000 B.C., is now caged in by utility polls that inhibit its access and ruin its field of vision. The President of the Admirers of Fars Province Legacy and Heritage told Mehr News: “Electric polls have destroyed the [visual] perspective of one of the most important ancient landmarks and tourist attractions of the country.”

Masood Manyati cautioned that the environment surrounding the ancient landmarks of Persepolis and Nakhshe Rostam are off limits to any type of utility installation that would destroy or damage Iran's antiquities. The Organization of Heritage and Culture has also protested the installation of the unsightly utility polls at such close proximity to Naghshe Rostam.  Mr. Manyati offered alternative location for the placement of the electric rods and wiring, such as an underground position or channels for the transfer of electricity. Naghshe Rostam is located 12 kilometers northeast of the citadel of Persepolis which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.


Lashings For Ramadan's Non-Fasters

During a commencement ceremony in celebration of the holy month of Ramadan on 20 July, Hamedan's Chief of the Revolutionary Guards Abu Hamzeh said he approved the punishment of lashings for those Iranians who do not fast. He also expressed his support for using harsher tactics and punishment to combat criminals and alleged enemies of Islam, according to Sobhe Alvand News. In reference to the popularity of new age mysticism, satellite television, Internet use, and inappropriate clothing, he said “people and the establishment should be weary of the influence of these factors and take their consequences seriously.” He also advised using harsher disciplinary action against those who break the Islamic dress code, distribute illegal CDs and traffic narcotics. 


Authorities Investigate Embezzlement in Bushehr

Iran's customs authorities are investigating charges that officials at Bushehr's Department of Customs have embezzled the equivalent of millions of dollars, Nassem Jonoob News reports. The charges are supported by evidence suggesting the custom's staff collaborated with individuals importing goods through Bushehr's naval port, conducting fraudulent banking transaction through the repeated use of depository slips used in processing customs declarations.  Bushehr's bank deposit slips are meant to be used once per transaction, and documentation shows that the individuals who took part in this fraudulent activity, abused their authority by enabling their repetitive use.


Rasht PM Calls Ahmadinejad a Liar on Unemployment

An MP from the northern province of Rasht has strongly criticized Iran's president stating that in the past eight years, lies were institutionalized by Ahmadinejad's administration. During a breakfast banquet at an orphanage in Rasht, Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh chastised President Ahmadinejad for staggering unemployment rates and the dire statge of Iran's economy, Shahed Shomal News reported. “The expectations for the new presidency is growing every day.  But the truth is that no one can grasp the tragic depth [of the state of the economy] left behind by the previous government,” Jafarzadeh said. “Unfortunately, lies have been institutionalized in the past eight years, and if it has been said that several million jobs were provided, this information is a lie as per the latest unemployment statistics, four million people are unemployed in the country.”


Steel Factory Owner Refuses to Hire Back Laid-off  Workers

The ongoing negotiations over the layoff of 235 Zagros Steel and Mining Company's factory workers has suffered a set back.  In an interview with IBNA, the union representative Zahed Rabini said that talks with Iran's Labor and Employment Committee and Zargos' CFO resulted in an agreement on July 22 to reinstatement all 235 workers.  Mr. Rabini has also said that the employer does not have the authority to lay off the plant workers from their jobs. However, Zagros' CEO Ebrahim Malabeegi contradicted Mr. Rabini's statements. “During the meeting with Iran's Labor and Employment Committee we did not approve the return of the factory workers, but decided to have them report to the factory's office for the receipt of unemployment benefits,” Malabeegi told IBNA. Mr. Malabeegi stated that the reinstatement of the factory workers is contingent on additional financial investment into the company and that upon laying the foundation for newly funded production, the factory workers may return to work.


Snake Charmer's Children Break Guinness Record

The children of a local snake charmer in the province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari have broken the world record for staying in an aquarium for 12 hours with 30 poisonous snakes.  Faezeh Gholami and Gholamreza Gholami who played with the venomous snakes have set the Guinness World Record. 




Blocking Internet Access is Neither Possible Nor Useful: A Conversation with Ahmad Pournejati

July 22, 2013
Omid Memarian
14 min read
Blocking Internet Access is Neither Possible Nor Useful: A Conversation with Ahmad Pournejati