Window on Iran - 20
Posted Feb 22, 2007

Window on Iran - Part 20

Fatemeh Kashevarz

Current Issues:

The American public is not ready for a confrontation with Iran. The hawks in the administarion are feeling the pressure. Article after article point to the fact that the attempt to demonize Iran - as the source of American deaths in Iraq - is not working. This theory was introduced to replace the scenario “Iran, a nuclear threat to the world” because that was not working either. The conflict no longer feels inevitable. Americans do not want another war. The war machine works by presenting the war as inevitable. But that is not what Americans are saying. Just take a look at the following articles, and PLEASE circulate. In a democracy like U.S., the will of the people is the most vibrant source of hope.

Here is the most critical piece concerning the credibility of the US claim that Iran supplies the Iraqi resurgency with weapons. I share this piece with you courtesy of my husband Ahmet Karamustafa.

So, we do pull out. What happens? A very interesting article by the independent journalist Robert Dreyfuss, sent to me by my friend Frank Flinn, discusses the various scenarios of an Iraq after an American pull out and argues that the fear of a disaster in the absence of US is not justified

Many specialists think that there is room for peaceful exchange with Iran. The leading IR theorist Fukuyama is among them. He proposes Serious Iran Diplomatic Incentives.

The American poeple’s skepticism is not misplaced. Despite the administrations insistence that things are different this time, the exact same line of thought is being pursued. Watch for yourself:  Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967)

It is a long time since we have had the time to open these windows on Persian literary and artistic figures. Last week, however, was a very special time. On February 13, many Iranians commemorated the 40th anniversary of the death of Forough Farroukhzad, one of the most vibrant, contraversial, and loved poets of contemporary Iran. Farrokhzad wrote with courage about herself as a woman, but her work did more than fight for gender issues. It gave Iran some of its most lyrical and complex poetry in recent times. In addition to composing poetry, Farrokhzad tried her talent at writing film scripts, directing, and making documentaries. On February 13, 1967 she died in a car accident. Iranians refer to her affectionately as javdaneh Forough “The Eternal Forough.” Her collections of poems sell thousands (her last collection called Another Birth has been translated into English). I wish I had the time to gift you a translation of one of her long poems. As it is, we have to make do with an excerpt. I attach a stanza from a beautifully crafted poem called “Let us have faith in the beginning of the cold season.”

Fatemeh Keshavarz is Professor and Chair, Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, Washington University in St. Louis