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Saturday, June 04, 2005
Reza Pahlavi's Press Conference in Paris
June 04, 2005
Iran va Jahan
Translation of Reza Pahlavi's speech (Audio)
Two weeks from now the Islamic Republic of Iran holds its 9th presidential elections. Across the political spectrum, virtually every group, party and persuasion has declared their intent to boycott, not wanting to take part in the elections, realizing that in a theocracy elections are meaningless.
True, there are many countries that cheat in elections, disrespect their own laws and systematically violate rights of their citizens. But there is only one in the entire world whose written constitution, specifically denies that sovereignty belongs to its citizens, instead it awards it to representatives of “God on Earth” who can do with their people and on behalf of their people what ever they please – oppression at home and terrorism abroad. That is why today in Iran, inspite of the aspiration it 50 million youth, the clerical leadership talks about the actual use of a nuclear weapon against another country while its economy nose-dives and social indicators enter the zone of utter desperation.
But, as a Persian proverb says, “There is light at the end of the dark nigh.” (Payane shabe siyah sepideh ast.)
Since the massive disqualification of “reformist” candidates from the 7th Islamic Majles, some 15 months ago, there has been a gathering of political forces, from republicans to constitutional monarchists, from the “left” to the “right” of the Iranian political spectrum to agree on the process whereby Iran can transition from Theocracy to Democracy, from a threat to international peace and security to a contributing partner of free nations.
We will succeed because it is the will of the Iranian people.
However, our request from you, the people of the free world is not to ignore our cry for freedom as you sit down at the negotiating table with our brutal oppressors. We are anxious to see whether, true to your ideals, you emphasize human rights and democracy in Iran or you are content to down grade those ideals as you cut deals on arms and trade.
We will watch, learn and remember.
Akbar Ganji goes on hunger strike : "No one should be imprisoned - not
even for a second - for expressing an opinion."
Journalist Akbar Ganji announced yesterday in a statement issued through
his lawyer, Youssef Molai, that he has begun "an unlimited hunger
strike" to protest against his imprisonment, the Iranian Students' News
Agency (ISNA) reported.
Reporters Without Borders reacted by warning the Iranian authorities
that they will held responsible for any deterioration in his already
poor state of health.
"It is insane that a hunger strike is the only recourse for imprisoned
journalists who are trying to obtain their rights as detainees,
including the right to make phone calls or to be let out of the prison
for short periods," the press freedom organization said. "Ganji's case
is serious because he has not even been able to have the treatment which
is required by his condition and which has been recommended by his doctors."
Ganji said in his statement : "I protest against my illegal and unjust
imprisonment, all the more so because I cannot even pursue my treatment
outside Evin prison. I am beginning an unlimited hunger strike this
evening. No one should be imprisoned - not even for a second - for
expressing an opinion."
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It is a subject also of additional interest to the author that this
story was begun in the majestic region where the scene is principally
laid, and in society which cannot cease to be regretted. I passed the
summer of 1816 in the environs of Geneva. The season was cold and rainy,
and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire, and
occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts, which
happened to fall into our hands. These tales excited in us a playful
desire of imitation. Two other friends (a tale from the pen of one of
whom would be far more acceptable to the public than anything I can ever
hope to produce) and myself agreed to write each a story founded on some
The weather, however, suddenly became serene; and my two friends left me
on a journey among the Alps, and lost, in the magnificent scenes which
they present, all memory of their ghostly visions. The following tale is
the only one which has been completed.
Do YOU know why the outlet pipe of your toilet has an S-curve?
I couldn't agree more.