Iran opposition websites called for a rally on Feb20

February 18, 2011

After Monday (Feb14th)’s protest rally, another demonstration has been announced by Iranian green movement’s websites. In spite of two honorable martyrs and many detained people, our young generation is bravely continuing the way to obtain freedom.

All eyes on our brave youngsters. Support them…


February 14, 2011

Today (14Feb and 25Bahman in Persian calender) is not just a simple “lovers day” in Iran! Iranians want to hug freedom as well as their lovers during a protest rally in most of the big cities.

After Egyptians, it is Iranians turn to obtain their basic rights and tell the world that: “Dictators era is over!”

I request all of journalist colleagus to focus on Iran’s events and support us in our most sensitive days.

these days I can’t update my blog regularly but you can follow me on twitter and facebook with the AZADMARDOMAN id.

Wikileaks: Arabs requested US to attack Iran

November 29, 2010

It seems Ahmadinejad’s foreign diplomacy was not successful even among Iran’s neigbors in Persian Gulf. Arab countries do not trust Iran and do not feel shame to motivate United States to attack Iran!

Did they request US to attack Iran?

Among the thousands of documents published by wikileaks, there were some conversation reports between Persian Gulf’s arab countries, especially Saudi politicians and US faces that indicates Arabs requested US to attack Iran and try to stop Iranian’s nuclear program in any cost.

One of the documents shows that the former Saudi Ambassador to the US Adel Al-Jubairi  recalling, “the King’s frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. ‘He told you to cut off the head of the snake,’ he recalled to the Charge, adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government.”

The document says that the Saudi foreign minister called for “severe US and international sanctions on Iran, including a travel ban and further restrictions on bank lending.” It added that, “the foreign minister also stated that the use of military pressure against Iran should not be ruled out.”

Why Gambia has severed all ties?

November 23, 2010

Gambia announced on Monday it was severing all economic, political and diplomatic ties with Iran and gave Iranian government personnel 48 hours to leave the country. This action has no announced reason but the reasons are guessable…

Gambia, this small western African country had a good relationship with Iran during president Ahmadinejad’s leadership, especially from last year till last week which Nigeria seized Iranian arms in a French ship.

At first nobody knew that where is the arms destination. Israel told it was shipping to Ghaza, handing over to Hamas, Nigeria suspected Nigerian rebels as the buyers of those weapons, but after some days this news title came to media:

The seized arms destination was Gambia!

Why Gambia? while this country had powerful ties with Iran! we may need some more time to answer this question…


Jafar Panahi’s defense presented to the court

November 15, 2010

From: Roozonline

Jafar Panahi

Note: Jafar Panahi is a prominent Iranian film maker who had been arrested after Iranian presidential election. He is the winner of many international festivals.

Your Honor, I would like to present my defense in two parts.

Part 1:  What they say

In the past few days I have been watching my favorite films again, though I did not have access to some of them, which are among the greatest films of the history of cinema. My house was raided on the night of March 1st, 2010 while my colleague Mr. Rasoulof and I were in the process of shooting what we intended to be a socially conscious art house film. The people, who identified themselves as agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, arrested us along with other crew members without presenting any warrants. They confiscated my collection of films as well and never returned them to me.  Subsequently, the only reference made to those films was by the prosecutor in charge of my case, who asked me: “What are these obscene films you’re collecting?”

I have learned how to make films inspired by those outstanding films that the prosecutor deemed obscene. Believe me I have just as much difficulty understanding how they could be called obscene as I do comprehending how the activity for which I was arrested could be seen as a crime? My case is a perfect example of being punished before committing a crime. You are putting me on trial for making a film that at the time of our arrest was only thirty per cent shot.  You must have heard that the famous creed “There is no god, except Allah”, turns into blasphemy if you only say the first part and omit the second part.  In the same vain, how can you establish that a crime has been committed by looking at 30% of rushes for a film that have not been edited yet?

I do not comprehend the charge of obscenity directed at the classics of the film history, nor do I understand the crime I am accused of.  If these charges are true, you are putting not only us on trial but the socially conscious, humanistic, and artistic Iranian cinema as well, a cinema which tries to stay beyond good and evil, a cinema that does not judge nor surrender to power or money but tries to honestly reflect a realistic image of the society.

One of the charges against me is attempting to encourage demonstrations and incite protests with this film.  All through my career I have emphasized that I am a socially committed filmmaker not a political one.  My main concerns are social issues; therefore my films are social dramas not political statements. I never wanted to act as a judge or a prosecutor. I am not a film maker who judges but one that invites other to see. I don’t get to decide for others or to write any kind of manual for any body; please allow me to repeat my pretension to place my cinema beyond good and evil.  This kind of belief has caused my colleagues and my self a lot of trouble; many of my films have been banned, along with the films of other filmmakers like me.  But it is unprecedented in Iranian cinema to arrest and imprison a filmmaker for making a film, and harass his family while he is in prison. This is a new development in the history of Iranian cinema that will be remembered for a long time.

I have been accused of participating in demonstrations. No Iranian filmmaker was allowed to use his camera to capture the events but you can not forbid an artist to observe! As an artist it is my responsibility to observes in order to get inspired and create.  I was an observer, and it was my right to observe.

I have been accused of making a film without permission. Is it really necessary to point out here that no law has been passed by the parliament regarding the need for a permit to make a film? There are only some internal memos which are going through changes each time the deputy minister is changed.
I have been accused of not giving a script to the actors.

In our film making genre where we work mostly with non professional actors this is a very routine way of film making practiced by myself and many of my colleagues; the cast mostly consists of non-actors.  Therefore, the director does not find it necessary to give them a script. This accusation sounds more like a joke that has no place in the judiciary system.

I have been accused of having signed a declaration.  I have singed one; an open letter signed by 37 prominent film makers, in order to express their concern about the turn of the actual events in the country. I was one of them.  Unfortunately, instead of listening to the concerns we were accused of treachery. However, these filmmakers are the very same people who have expressed their concerns in the past about injustices around the world.  How can you expect them to remain indifferent to the fate of their own country

I have been accused of organizing demonstrations at the opening of Montreal Film Festival.  At least some truth and fairness should back up any accusations.   I was the chair of the jury in Montreal and arrived only a few hours before the opening.  How could I have organized a demonstration in a place where I hardly knew anyone?  Let’s not forget that in those days the Iranian Diaspora would gather at any relevant event around the world to voice their demands;
I have been accused of giving interviews to Persian speaking media abroad.  I know for fact that there are no laws forbidding us from giving interviews?

Second part: What I say

History testifies that an artist’s mind is the analytical mind of his society.  By learning about the culture and history of his country, by observing the events that occur in his surroundings, he sees, analyzes and presents issues of the day through his art form to the society.

How can anyone be accused of any crime because of his mind and what passes through the mind?

The assassination of ideas and sterilizing artists of a society has only one result: killing the roots of art and creativity.  Arresting my colleagues and I while shooting an unfinished film is nothing but an attack by those in power on all the artists of this land. It drives this crystal clear however sad message home: “You will repent if you don’t think like us”

I would like to remind the court of yet an other ironic fact about my imprisonment: the space given to Jafar Panahi’s festival awards in Tehran’s Museum of Cinema is much larger than his cell in prison?

All  said, despite all the injustice done to me, I, Jafar Panahi, declare once again that I am an Iranian, I am staying in my country and I like to work in my own country. I love my country, I have paid a price for this love too, and I am willing to pay again if necessary.  I have yet an other declaration to add to the first one. As shown in my films , I declare that I believe in the right of “the other” to be different, I believe in mutual understanding and respect, as well as in tolerance; the tolerance that forbid me from judgment and hatred.  I don’t hate anybody, not even my interrogators.

I recognize my responsibilities towards the future generations that will inherit this country from us.

History is patient. Insignificant stories happen without even acknowledging their insignificance. I, myself I am worried about the future generations.

Our country is quite vulnerable; it is only through the instauration of the state of law for all, regardless of any ethnic, religious or politic consideration that we can avoid the very real danger of a chaotic and fatal future.  I truly believe that tolerance represents the only realistic and honorable solution to this imminent danger.

Jafar Panahi
An Iranian filmmaker



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.