Ten Days in Tehran – The Last Night

Arzu‘s final thoughts in her recent visit to Iran

I am posting this some 3 months after my return from Tehran.  Yesterday, the USA introduced another raft of sanctions against Iran which will now mean that any country IR Iran sells oil to will be boycotted by the US.  We know what sanctions did to Iraq before the invasion, but did we learn any lessons from it, or the various sanctions regimes introduced in peacetime against so many independent states?

My last night in Tehran was spent with the family at a chic Italian restaurant.  The crash in the currency made the meal a ridiculous price.  It was embarrassing to get the bill and all your enjoyment disappears in the realisation that your great bargain is in fact at the expense of ordinary hardworking people and their choice of political independence.

The discussion around sanctions, whether against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any other nation needs serious revision.  It is a form of collective punishment, there isn’t any other way around it.  Collective punishment can’t be criminalised under the Geneva Conventions during times of war and occupation, but be allowed to go unremarked during peacetime.

There are serious questions to be asked here, but again a Muslim response is lacking.  Instead we are greeted with news that US Drone bases exist in Saudi Arabia from whence sorties that kill children are launched by the provider of supposedly Islamic succour to the global Muslim masses.  Meanwhile, Muslim Facebook opinion laments the existence of Muslim diversity.  A thread I recently saw on Facebook that lamented the existence of ‘Shias’ in Indonesia.  ‘Genocide all the way’ he declared whilst applauding the decision of local authorities in Sampang to stop food and water supplies to a number of internally displaced villagers who were attacked by fellow villagers for being ‘Shia’.  As a justification for his comment this concerned member of the ummah stated, ‘Now you know what it is like being a Sunni in Iran.’  It escapes everyone’s attention that even if this were true, persecuting in return is not acceptable.

This was first published on the IHRC website here.




Photo: Tehran City of Lights by Arash Razzagh Karimi CC 2.0