Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interview with South African Journalist

Kourosh Ziabari - Foreign Policy Journal: The Black Continent has long suffered identically from what the oil-rich countries such as Iran have undergone historically. The pervasiveness of energy resources, minerals, profuse water, oil and gas supplies, gemstones and other precious resources have been the ancient reason for Africa's subjugation and affliction.

The perennial rivalry of Colonial Powers to gain the ownership of more African lands and properties, their insatiable aptitude to take over tiny African realms and archipelagos and eventually the political failure of unmerited leaders all around the continent could be named the major factors which have been pushing 53 countries and 61 territories to the brink of poverty, conflict and disappointment over the past decades.

Africa is undisputedly an ancient, reputable and prestigious continent which should be taken seriously as a key role-player in international developments. It constitutes 6% of Earth's total surface, accounts for about 14.8% of the World's population and has been the passageway between Asia and Europe.

However, the distorted image of Africa as a downtrodden yet profitable and lucrative continent is portrayed by the mass media. The success stories of democratization in a number of African countries, the rise of hopes and aspirations among the youth generation of Africa and the promotion of numerous prominent figures from this advantageous soil are the neglected stories which should be reviewed.

We owe many of our progressions and improvements to the African figures whom we even sometimes forget the nationalities of; notable figures include Nelson Mandela, Fredrik Willem de Klerk, Kofi Annan, Wangari Mathaai, Naguib Mahfouz, and Mohammad ElBaradei.

Alex Matthews is a South African citizen journalist and blogger who has been working on the dossiers of Africa for quite a long time. He is affiliated with his country's most important newspaper, Mail and Guardian and writes in his blog Afrodissident.

In an interview with Foreign Policy Journal, Matthews talks about the current situation of some insurgent spots of the African continent, the prospect of economic development, the most important sports event of the continent in 2010 and the local failures of states in Zimbabwe and Sudan.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Interview with Pres. Ahmadinejad's Media Advisor

Kourosh Ziabari - TimeTurk: Some scattered news sources reported last week that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul will be traveling to Iran shortly for the first time during his tenure. This official journey would be responded by a second visit to Turkey by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The level of mutual ties of Iran and Turkey has been boosted under President Ahmadinejad and now Iran deems Turkey as its major ally in the region and a proper passageway toward the EU, as well.

The common presence of Iran and Turkey in the Economic Cooperation Organization, Organization of Islamic Conference and their close political approaches paved the ground for an increase of economic and political ties productively and the level of mutual trade deals now stands on $10bln a year.

In an exclusive interview with Time Turk, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a high-ranking media advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talked about his viewpoints on the prospect of Iran-Turkey relations, the cultural affinities of two nations and the common grounds of bilateral cooperation.

Javanfekr is among the rare governmental politicians who blog regularly. He updates his blog more than once a week and receives an average of 50 comments for each of his posts. The interesting fact is that he responds to all of the comments individually and many of the ordinary citizens have found this a brilliant opportunity to propound their personal messages to the president or their economic, financial and social problems to be pursued by the advisor.

What follows is the complete text of our interview with Mr. Javanfekr ...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Iran bans 'Gulf'-named vessels

Iran has decided to prevent vessels that carry the term 'Gulf' instead of 'Persian Gulf' in their name, from entering the country's waters.

"As certain countries have been making mischievous attempts to change the true name of the 'Persian Gulf ', we see the term 'Gulf' used in the name of a number of vessels," deputy head of a provincial ports and seafaring authority Ali-Reza Khojasteh, said according to a Monday report by the Iran daily.

"These vessels will be prevented from reaching the country's southern coasts from here onwards," he added.

During the past few years, some Arab countries that lie on the shores of the Persian Gulf have intensified their efforts to change the ancient designation of the water way, with the specific aim of removing the 'Persian' from the name and eventually replacing it with 'Arabian'.

Western powers have not refrained from aiding efforts to change the name, which has ordained world maps, atlases, and globes for many centuries.

In one of the latest cases, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown referred to the Persian Gulf in a June 26 public address as 'Gulf of Arabia', a move that was strongly condemned by Iran.

Despite attempts to create confusion and spread alternate use of the two terms, the United Nations Secretariat has repeatedly asked its staff to use only the full name of 'Persian Gulf' as the standard geographical term.

In 1994 and 1999, the UN Secretariat also issued two editorial directives, clarifying that only the term 'Persian Gulf' should be used in UN documents.

The International Hydrographic Organization also recognizes the name 'Persian Gulf', as outlined in the organization's reference S-23 (Limits of Oceans and Seas), section 41.

The IHO provides hydrographic information for international marine navigation and other purposes. The data provided by this organization is used as an official source for atlases, geographical information systems and scientific activities throughout the world.

According to British archaeologist Dr. Lloyd Weeks, the title of 'Persian Gulf' is deeply rooted in history and any attempt at changing it will be pointless.
"All historical texts have cited 'Persian Gulf' by the same name and world's reputed academic circles recognize it by the same title," Weeks says.