Noroozetan Pirooz

Iran 2011 from Cyrus Dowlatshahi on Vimeo.

 

1390 begins tomorrow. Happy Norooz to you and yours.

This video of beautiful images from Iran was created by Cyrus Dowlatshahi.

(Thanks, Cyrus!)

Tehran WikiLeaks – 1979 Cable

Some “Special Features of Conducting Business in the Persian Environment,” from a 1979 cable sent by U.S. diplomats at the Tehran embassy… (and recently released by WikiLeaks):

THERE ARE SEVERAL LESSONS FOR THOSE WHO WOULD NEGOTIATE WITH PERSIANS IN ALL THIS:

- –FIRST, ONE SHOULD NEVER ASSUME THAT HIS SIDE OF THE ISSUE WILL BE RECOGNIZED, LET ALONE THAT IT WILL BE CONCEDED TO HAVE MERITS. PERSIAN PREOCCUPATION WITH SELF PRECLUDES THIS. A NEGOTIATOR MUST FORCE RECOGNITION OF HIS POSITION UPON HIS PERSIAN OPPOSITE NUMBER.

- –SECOND, ONE SHOULD NOT EXPECT AN IRANIAN READILY TO PERCEIVE THE ADVANTAGES OF A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP BASED ON TRUST. HE WILL ASSUME THAT HIS OPPOSITE NUMBER IS ESSENTIALLY AN ADVERSARY. IN DEALING WITH HIM HE WILL ATTEMPT TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS TO HIMSELF THAT ARE IMMEDIATELY OBTAINABLE. HE WILL BE PREPARED TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL, INCLUDING RUNNING THE RISK OF SO ALIENATING WHOEVER HE IS DEALING WITH THAT FUTURE BUSINESS WOULD BE UNTHINKABLE, AT LEAST TO THE LATTER.

- –THIRD, INTERLOCKING RELATIONSHIPS OF ALL ASPECTS OF AN ISSUE MUST BE PAINSTAKINGLY, FORECEFULLY AND REPEATEDLY DEVELOPED. LINKAGES WILL BE NEITHER READILY COMPREHENDED NOR ACCEPTED BY PERSIAN NEGOTIATORS.

- –FOURTH, ONE SHOULD INSIST ON PERFORMANCE AS THE SINE QUA NON AT ESH STAGE OF NEGOTIATIONS. STATEMENTS OF INTENTION COUNT FOR ALMOST NOTHING.

- –FIFTH, CULTIVATION OF GOODWILL FOR GOODWILL’S SAKE IS A WASTE OF EFFORT. THE OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE AT ALL TIMES SHOULD BE IMPRESSING UPON THE PERSIAN ACROSS THE TABLE THE MUTUALITY OF THE PROPOSED UNDERTAKINGS, HE MUST BE MADE TO KNOW THAT A QUID PRO QUO IS INVOLVED ON BOTH SIDES.

- –FINALLY, ONE SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR THE THREAT OF BREAKDOWN IN NEGOTIATIONS AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT AND NOT BE COWED BY THE POSSIBLITY. GIVEN THE PERSIAN NEGOTIATOR’S CULTURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS, HE IS GOING TO RESIST THE VERY CONCEPT OF A RATIONAL (FROM THE WESTERN POINT OF VIEW) NEGOTIATING PROCESS.

via: Belog » Total Persian Preoccupation With Self 1979

So much of this resonates. Although the phrase “cultural and psychological limitations” has just the slightest whiff of xenophobia, no? Perhaps “differences” would have been a better choice than “limitations”?

Blog Action Day: Tehran Smog

Today is Blog Action Day, when thousands blogs have committed to posting about the environment; according to a Global Voices translation, 500 of these are Iranian blogs.

Hopefully some of them are writing first-hand accounts of Tehran smog, which, according to an AFP report from January, kills 3,600 a month. That’s 120 people dying every day from respiratory problems caused by smog. 120 a day! The city is surrounded by mountains, which trap smog on days that aren’t windy, and its 3 million cars are to blame for high amounts of carbon monoxide in the air.

The Iranian government has daily air quality updates online… any word from the inside on how accurate this is?

[Photo: amirsnaps]

Arash Shiva’s Iran Photos

Arash Shiva Tehran photo

Seattle-based designer/photographer Arash Shiva just sent a link to photos he took in Iran within the last month (see Iran one and Iran two on his site). I apologize because I cropped the one above to better fit this page; the original is here, on his photoblog Gentle Sea. The haze over the city makes it look like a very intricate drawing. My favorite of Shiva’s photos is the one below (also cropped, sorry!), of a little boy selling fruit – I love the expression on his face, and the odd position of his legs, and the fact that his hand is up his shirt. It reminds me of this photo by Diane Arbus.

Boy Selling Fruit by Arash Shiva