The Iranian History 2001 AD


Homecoming For Googoosh

Mar, 21, 2001 AD

Famous Iranian singer Googoosh performing abroad live on stage after years of banIran's most famous female pop star made her first appearance in Dubai after more than 20 years. About 30,000 people, most flying in from Iran attended the concert. Googoosh had been banned from performing in her home country since the Iranian revolution in 1979. She could not leave the country either due to a travel restriction.
The news came as a surprise for many Iranian fans around the world who know most of her songs by heart. A backward interpretation of Islam bans females from singing. The Sharia laws that went into effect after the 1979 revolution put many other restrictions on music and other sorts of arts. Many artists had to flee the country together with millions of other Iranians who could not get used to the strict rules. The Iranian music which has a very rich historical background and has been the source of many genres of music, thus reached a dead end for some decades. After constant efforts by Iranian individuals, the regime gradually gave restricted permissions to some male artists to perform pop songs, however there's always the risk of not obtaining necessary permissions to be published and distributed. This incredible fact has given birth to two types of Iranian music: legal and illegal.
Born on Feb, 7, 1851 in Tehran as Faegheh Atashin, her Azeri parents called her Googoosh, an Armenian name. Her father sent her on stage when she was 3 and she soon started making enough money to support her whole family. She barely finished primary school and could not continue studying, however because of her talent she learned English well. She started performing on silver screen at the age of seven and performed as the lead actress in 31 movies, two of which were never completed. At the age of 15, she made her first album and at 16 she took off on her first world tour including US and UK. She got married on Feb, 7, 1967 on her 17th birthday.
During the revolution of 1979, Googoosh was in the US but she decided to return home despite the fact that famous artists were being prosecuted and their properties confiscated. She was interrogated several times and spent a month in prison but one of her works during the revolution, a famous song named Agha praising Ayatollah Khomeini somehow saved her life.
Googoosh married two more times and is currently continuing her performances all around the world. She lives in the US. To Iranians young and old, the diva is a living legend. Despite a 150 kilometers distance between UAE and the southern coasts of Iran, Googoosh considered Dubai concerts as a homecoming.
Live pop music was heard in Tehran for the first time since the Iranian revolution on Feb, 7, 1999 during celebrations of the Iranian revolution. An Iranian band playing electric guitars and keyboards entertained several hundred female and male spectators as part of official celebrations. (Updated: Mar, 24, 2009)

Red Carpet For Fidel Castro

May, 8, 2001 AD

Collection of several images from the legendary, anti-imperialist, revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro from 1947 till 2008The iconic Cuban President Fidel Castro was warmly received in Tehran by his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Khatami. Castro was welcomed in grand style with a guard of honor at the former imperial palace, before the two leaders started their first round of talks. The 74 year old Castro flew in from Algeria. The meeting was focused on the G-77 group of developing nations headed by Iran at the time. During Khatami's presidency, Iran had gained some of her lost prestige worldwide after Khatami presented his famous Dialogue Among Civilizations at the United Nations.
The Cuban leader underlined that his visit was political and cultural rather than commercial and praised Iran for standing up to the US. Both Cuba and Iran have been under US trade embargoes and listed by the superpower as sponsors of state terrorism. The trip followed President Khatami's official visit to Havana after the OPEC summit in Venezuela in September, 2000.
The following day, Mr. Castro joked that he slept better his first night in Iran than ever before. He had good reason to feel at home as both nations have little tolerance for U.S. sanctions and efforts to brand them as outcasts. Medical and construction technology exchanges and economic issues were also discussed as state television reported. Before leaving Iran, Fidel Castro met with Ayatollah Khamenei and discussed international politics, particularly the US hegemony. (Updated: Mar, 24, 2009)

TabrizAnkara Pipeline Operational

Jul, 26, 2001 AD

Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan (died 27 February 2011 aged 84 PBUH) came to Tehran in 1996 and signed a gas deal against US pressures. His stand is remarkable as he gave priority to the Turkish national interests over those of the US.(Wikipedia) - The TabrizAnkara Pipeline officially started operating on July, 26, 2001 but the project was not easy one facing both economic and political obstacles.
Construction of the pipeline started in 1996 after signing a gas deal between Turkish and Iranian governments in Turkey on August, 30 1996; sealed during a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to Tehran.
On Aug, 11, 1996, Erbakan was met by First Vice-President Hassan Habibi and other Iranian officials including Oil Minister Gholamreza Aghazadeh at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.
"Turkey rebuffed the U.S.," said the Tehran Times in an editorial. "This stand is commendable, for it gives priority to the Turkish national interests over those of the United States."
A U.S. Senator named Alfonse D'Amato urged the Clinton administration to press Turkey to abandon the gas deal which would involve building a pipeline.
Whatever the consequences, both nations were determined and the pipeline was commissioned on July, 26 2001. Erbakan was quoted, "Iran and Turkey have a longer relationship than the American history"
Imposed sanctions, sabotage, obstacles and covert actions:
The Iran-Turkey pipeline has been blown up several times by US-backed PKK and PJAK terrorists.
On January, 1 2008 Iran reduced gas supplies to Turkey and on January, 7 2008 gas supplies were stopped because supplies from Turkmenistan were cut-off. The supplies were restored on January, 27 2008. The supply was cut-off again in February 2008 because of bad weather conditions. Moreover, according to studies, current pipeline capacity needs to be increased.
Technical features
The Turkish section, operated by BOTASH, cost $600 million. The Turkish annual import is around 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
In Erzurum, the South Caucasus Pipeline is linked to the Iran-Turkey pipeline.
Originally designed as IranTurkeyEurope pipeline, the project was partly completed despite US pressures. Due to similar US hostilities, Iran's neighboring Pakistani citizens are deprived of merits of natural gas, a reliable, cheap and clean source of energy.
The natural gas of Iran and Turkmenistan is aimed to be transferred to Europe through Turkey via Iran Turkey Europe Natural Gas Pipeline Project. Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the date of 17th of November, 2008 between The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkish Republic and The Ministry of Oil of Islamic Republic of Iran for the transit pass of Iran natural gas over Turkey.
Under scope of the project Turkey can get the natural gas from the pipeline in case of need. Approximate length of the project is around 5.000 km in total. The length of the pipeline in Turkey is around 1750 km. Target annual gas quantity that will be transferred to Europe over Turkey is stated as 35 billion m3.
After the Iran-Turkey gas deal, the Turkish military gradually increased the harshness and frequency of its public warnings to Erbakan's government. After the infamous February, 28 1997 National Security Council meeting orchestrated by the Turkish military, Erbakan was forced to step down. This was sort of a postmodern coup,
Erbakan was banned from political activities until he died on February, 27 2011. (Updated: Jul, 26, 2012)

Khatami Sworn As President Again

Aug, 8, 2001 AD

Mohammad Khatami kissing his daughter while holding his son's handMohammad Khatami begins his second term in office as the president. The ceremony was delayed for several days because of a power struggle between religious conservatives and reformers for seats in the Guardian Council, The body consisting of 12 members half of which are appointed by the Supreme Leader. The other six are chosen by votes at the parliament. But four nominees could not reach the absolute majority and the regulations had to be changed to ensure that the top two candidates in a second vote were accepted.
Khatami's promises of reforms earned him strong support for his second term. 35 candidates, among them the first woman to stand for Iranian president registered for the election on June 8. However, most candidates were disqualified by the Guardian Council and nine candidates were chosen to face Mr. Khatami who swept to a second term in June elections with 77% of the vote.
Iranian president vowed to enact reforms in his second term despite tremendous opposition from hard-liners. He insisted that Iran must have democracy. Iranians voted overwhelmingly in favor of reform and democracy but the outcome of Khatami's second term was nothing like expected, Political freedom and civil liberties has always been a dream for Iranians who keep on pushing the rock up the hill knowing that it will never reach the top. After four years, it turned out that the whole scene had a hidden scenario and Iranian freedom seekers needed to think more realistically rather than hoping that a cleric approved by the system will have the will and power to change the theocratic establishment. (Updated: Mar, 24, 2009)

Iran Allies With US Against Taliban

Oct, 26, 2001 AD

Sarcastic photo depicting lack of discipline among commanders of Iranian armed forces shown during a paradeWhen the U.S. declared war on the Taliban in Oct, 2001, she was pleasantly surprised to find a silent ally in Tehran. Diplomats speak of a commonality of interests. It was believed that the two neighboring theocracies would have a world in common but Iran's Shiite clergies never got along with Taliban, For years, Iran complained that Afghanistan's %15 Shiite minority had been persecuted by the Taliban. The two countries almost went to war in 1998 when nine Iranian diplomats and a journalist were found murdered in Afghanistan.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami promptly offered his condolences after the September, 11 attacks, but Iran's Supreme Leader ruled out Iranian help in any US led attack on neighboring Afghanistan. Iran sent 30,000 extra police and troops to seal its border with Afghanistan in order to prevent a massive tide of refugees from streaming across in case of an attack. There were an estimated 2,000,000 Afghan refugees already in Iran.
Iran later vowed to rescue US pilots who crashed on Its soil and played a significant role in easing the war for the US troops by supporting the Northern Alliance. Iran also assured the United States through Swiss intermediaries that it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found, Iran was somehow flirting with the U.S. and showing an olive branch as part of Khatami's softened approach towards the international community. However, the US missed the opportunity and president George Bush's branding of Iran as a member of the axis of evil during a speech in 2002 came as a shock in international community; a major reason for US failure to gain international support after occupation of Iraq.
On the other hand, Iran lost little time in asserting her influence in Afghanistan, especially in the west of the country. (Updated: Mar, 24, 2009)

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