Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Timeless Message of Hussein: A Time for Contemplation

The timeless message of Imam Hussein the younger grandson of the Prophet, is now a dynamic source of inspiration for many. Ashura has become an opportunity for contemplation on the plight of humanity. 
Sixty years after the advent of Islam and the Hejira, fearing a serious deviation from the authentic teachings of  Islam ,Imam Hussein did not pledge allegience to the tyrant of his time. Being a charismatic and popular figure, Hussein was under tremendous pressure to approve thetreacherous  policies of Yazid .Branded as a rebell by the regime and based on the invitation of thousands of Kufan residents he departed from  Mecca before Hajj. Along with his companions and household, he faced a full army prepared for war in Karbala. He attempted to prevent war and bloodshed but the enmy was relentless. He was martyred along with his sons and companions leaving his sister Zainab and the children to pass on the message of Karbala.
  His was a life of love and inviting all humans to embrace the qualities of virtue.  The account of his legendary life and Ashura as the climax of his campaign for justice, is laden with references to his compassion and love for all. His endeavors to bring the adversaries to reverse their policy and leave him alone and abandone the battle field are a clear testimony to the ethical nature of his cause. In stark contrast with the message of contemporary reactionary terrorists who try to portray a very violent and ruthless image of Islam, Hussein's mesage was one of abiding to principles of human dignity, even in the battle field Imam orders his warriors not to shut off water from the enemy. He invites them to change course and save themselves,but they have been promised reign and wealth in return for killing Imam and silencing his campaign for justice.
Fourteen centuries later, the voice of Hussein is loud and clear as he calls " life with oppressors is loss,and death becomes salvation" or as he said "my revolution is to invite people to enjoin in what is right and avoid what is wrong". Hussein stand as a beacon of light in the dark times we experience today, the philosophy of Hussein stands as a ship of salvation for a humanity shaken by stormy waters of war, violence and dangers for the future of our planet earth.
More and more we see people from different walks of life, from different religions and nationalities embracing the cause of Hussein, striving for a life of dignity in a world torn apart by poverty, war, injustices and environmental degradation.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Iranian Wonderland

The Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majlis as we call it, witnessed fierce debates on the Nuclear Agreement. The supporters of Paydari Faction,  who stood firmly behind the former President Ahmadinejad During his term, are staunch adversaries of the agreement. They went as far as threatening Drs. Zarif and Salehi ,the Foreign Minister and the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization. Yet ultimately since the majority were convinced, in spite of the  very  heavy lobby  of the opponent and the very negative report of the special commmittee in charge, the agreement was appproved by the Majlis and endorsed by the Council of Guardians. Thus, one of the major vows of President Rouhani during his election campaign has neared fulfilment. While the Supreme Leader has given the green light for the 5+1 Agreement from the star,he has stressed on containment of political relations with the US considering the continued expansionist and militaristic policies of that government in the region.
During the past months we are witnessing a rising flurry of diplomatic and business delgations, including a evident willingness on behalf of American corporations who feel they are falling behind in the competition. European and Asian, political and economic sectors have arrived but we have also seen a surge in journalists and tourists arriving in the Iranian Wonderland.
Journalists are asking for interviews many of which I simply cannot accomodate, but those which I do, are keen on asking about the future of our relations with the west about my views as a member of the revolutionary student group in 1979, on the prospects of the new deal for the region and the world .
I believe that the Moderation Government of Dr. Rouhani has taken great economic, social, political ,environmental and international strides in the past 25 months, yet we still have a long way ahead. In light of the very volatile situation of the middle east Iran has been playing a more proactive role to create more trust and confidence and sort out the differences created by a fabricated wave of Iranophobia among Arab states. We also have much to do in terms of creating grounds for a full integration of political groups loyal to the Constitution in the upcomming Majlis elections.
We also have a very challenging course ahead in terms of integrating environmental concerns in the country's development processes.
Hope and Prudence have been the key motivating factors in this path; we trust in God to guide us through these troubled waters.

Friday, October 2, 2015

GreenTech Helsinki

I visited Helsiniki this month based on the invitation of the Finnish Minister of Economy to speak at an international event on Green Technologies. In addition to taking part in that session I met several dignitaries including, the President of Finland, the speaker of the Parliament, the Minister of Trade, the Minister of Environment, and the Committee on Foreign affairs.

The cordial and positive atmosphere in all the meetings was indicative of a general resolve to upgrade bilateral relationships. Many Finnish corporations had a long history of successful dealings with Iran until of course the sanctions. 

On the second day of my visit I also had the opportunity to meet with the Confederation of Finnish Industries and several top business leaders who were very keen to find ways to return or to begin investment in Iran. I explained the environmental challenges we face in Iran and proposed a joint effort to invest in green technologies such as solar energy.

Several interviews with local and international media were convened including one with Euronews. Journalists were mostly inquisitive about the post[-]sanctions plans and the future relationships between Iran and the West.

In these deliberations I emphasized on the emerging role of Iran in promoting peace and security in the region. I also mentioned that environmental issues are of a global and human nature and that we are all passengers of one ship and have a common but differentiated responsibility in this regard.

Meanwhile, duringthe previous visit I had two months ago in Norway we had decided to convene technical workshops on renewable energies and environmental standards in petroleum industries. These workshops will be held in Bushehr and Tehran next month marking the start of our practical cooperation .