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Time Capsule

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


It appears that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has found a way to travel in time – the problem is, not everybody is on board with it.  And this is where patriotism becomes a double-edged sword.


In many scientific fields, Iran has led the way into the 21st century, among them, cloning and HIV research.  Sanctions and the threat of war have not prevented it from developing its civilian nuclear technology.   Equally importantly, it has demonstrated that a country can overcome the bondages of the colonizers and fight for independence.  With these accomplishments and much more under its belt, it is paradoxical that it should take extreme measures to set the pace and psyche of the country back centuries, and discourage the nationalist fervor of those individuals who rise to defend Iran’s interests.


Under the present government, not only are teachers being penalized, the passion and demand of women’s rights forcefully rejected, but most horrifying of all, reminiscent of pre-Islamic times, savagery of all kinds are being permitted in Iran’s society.  In a time-clash, ‘modern’ man is permitted to stone to death, bury alive, and allow wild beasts of the desert to eat fellow human beings[i].  Adding to this confusion, in the wake of the Virginia State university shootings which took 33 lives and wounded several more, the  Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini condemned the acts and declared: "Killing innocent people, irrespective of their race and nationality, is contrary to divine and human values no matter which group or person carries out such an act under any name,"[ii]. 

Regardless of religion and its diverse interpretations, given the Islamic Republic’s push for modernization, its appeal to humanity and God, and condemnation of violence elsewhere, how can it mock compassion and ask the Iranian people to abide by interpretations of Islamic rule asking the nation to face sanctions and possible war to achieve modernity and independence?  Furthermore, the patriots who speak in defense of their motherland, unable to step in the IRI’s  time capsule, find this ideological/behavioral dichotomy indefensible and are left are in a dilemma.


It is the Iranian pride that has 75-80% of the people support the IRI in its quest for nuclear energy, including the full fuel cycle (Takyeh[iii]).  At the same time, the Islamic Regime expects the people to tolerate the archaic laws being imposed on them.    This is causing a dilemma for those nationalists who want to defend their country from foreign occupation, but are unable to comprehend the ruling of the Supreme Court, feeling that patriotism is a double-edged sword; for their silence seems to strengthen the unacceptable actions of the government. 


The single most important asset of any nation is its people.  In taking the people back and forth in time, the children of Iran may be lost in time and space.  A scattered nation will hardly be one that can defend a country as worthy as Iran.    

[iii] Takyeh, Ray.  Interview with Steve Inskeep. National Public Radio Morning. Morning Edition. 25 Nov. 2004


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