www.persianweekly.co.uk - At the news agency £1.00
No. 150, Friday 4 June 2010
Iran’s Central Bank Selling
Euros For Dollars, Gold
- Iran’s central bank will sell 45 billion euros from reserves to buy
dollars and gold, state-owned media said on Wednesday, signalling
a u-turn on a long-standing policy to limit exposure to the currency
of its most powerful enemy.
The website of broadcaster Press TV quoted a report in Jam-e Jam
newspaper, in which unnamed “reliable sources” said the decision,
to be implemented by late September, had been taken in response
to the euro zone’s debt crisis.
The euro was little changed after the reports, easing slightly from
$1.2227 to fluctuate around $1.2200 as some market players con-
cluded Iran might struggle to buy such a large quantity of dollars.
“Central bank foreign currency experts ... believe that this econom-
ic crisis in Europe is getting worse and will lead to a further fall in
the value of the euro and will increase the value of the dollar,” the
paper said in its Monday edition. >> Page 3
US seeks UN vote on Iran sanctions by
The United States said Thursday it hopes for a UN Security Council vote
by June 21 on tough new sanctions against Iran over what it calls its con-
tinued failure to curb its nuclear ambitions. >>Page3
Iran retains AFC Futsal Championship title
Iran claimed the title for the tenth time at the 11th AFC Futsal Champi-
onship by beating host Uzbekistan on Sunday.
The Iranians rallied from a 0-2 deficit to beat Uzbekistan 8-3 at the Uz-
bekistan Sports Complex. >>Page9
Iranian and Indian
musicians team up for fusion album
Iranian musician Tahmures Purnazeri and renowned Indian composer and
Iran sets up Rumi
sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan are collaborating on a joint album.
. >>Page 6
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Persian Weekly | Friday 4 July 2010 3
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NEWS you think
Iran’s Central Bank Selling US seeks UN
Euros For Dollars, Gold vote on Iran
We are a group of interested individual
Iranian who would like to inform and
educate the Iranian community about
The United States said Thursday it hopes for a
life and living in the United Kingdom in
UN Security Council vote by June 21 on tough
order to help integration into their new
new sanctions against Iran over what it calls
country of residence through culture, art,
its continued failure to curb its nuclear ambi-
entertainment, articles and personal sto-
The purpose of our weekly publication is
“We are going to put forward this resolu-
to promote the Iranian culture by expos-
tion in the coming days. And we expect all
ing the readers to rich traditions in Per-
responsible members of the international
sian celebration, literature, cinemas, art,
- Iran’s central bank will sell 45 bil- madinejad told reporters at that time community... to support the resolution,” State
poetry, music, etc.
lion euros from reserves to buy dollars the dollar was a “worthless piece of Department spokesman Philip Crowley told
In addition, we provide a common web- and gold, state-owned media said on paper”. reporters.
site for over 3 million Iranian profes- Wednesday, signalling a u-turn on a t recently as last November, central
sionals and readers outside of Iran and long-standing policy to limit exposure bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani “The president (Barack Obama) has indicated
to enable them and other nationalities to the currency of its most powerful said Iran’s then policy of moving away he wants to see this accomplished by the end
throughout the world to view this pub- enemy. from the dollar, both in its reserves of spring,” he said, later clarifying that he
lication. The website of broadcaster Press TV and in the currency it received for its meant a vote on the resolution by June 20 or
quoted a report in Jam-e Jam news- oil exports had been beneficial. Press June 21.
Persian Weekly is a non-political, non- paper, in which unnamed “reliable TV reported at the time that since late
religious publication that encourages sources” said the decision, to be imple- 2007, 85 percent of Iran’s oil income
A senior State Department official later told
everyone who is interested in Persian mented by late September, had been had been in currencies other than the
reporters on the condition of anonymity that
culture to contribute to this paper. We taken in response to the euro zone’s dollar and that it aimed to increase that
debt crisis. to 100 percent. “sometime between now and June 20 I expect
welcome any articles, opinion, photo-
The euro was little changed after the Jam-e Jam said the central bank would that this issue will come to a vote before the
graphs and ideas you might have.
reports, easing slightly from $1.2227 now “encourage” a complete reversal Security Council.”
to fluctuate around $1.2200 as some of that policy. He said a report Monday by the International
Editor-in-Chief: A.Najafi (07811000455) market players concluded Iran might “For those organisations which re- Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nu-
Designers: Alireza Ryahi, Aref struggle to buy such a large quantity ceive the most foreign currency, it is clear watchdog, underscores what he called
Writers: Dr Bijan Kimiachi, Saba Irani of dollars. strongly recommended to minimise Iran’s continued failure to comply with its
“Central bank foreign currency experts their trades in euros,” it said. “The international obligations over its disputed
... believe that this economic crisis in most vivid example of this issue is the atomic program.
Website: www.persianweekly.co.uk Europe is getting worse and will lead significant reduction in the acceptance Last month the United States introduced a
Email: email@example.com to a further fall in the value of the euro of euros for the sale of Iran’s oil.” draft resolution to impose tough new sanc-
and will increase the value of the dol- Traders said the news was having tions on Iran, saying it had the support of the
lar,” the paper said in its Monday edi- limited impact on the euro, and some four other permanent veto-wielding Security
tion. in the market were sceptical about Council members: Russia, China, Britain and
Persian Weekly “This plan aims, gradually, during the whether Tehran would be able to buy France.
P.O. BOX 57783 next four months, to convert around significant amounts of dollars, given
The draft would expand an arms embargo and
London, NW11 1GX 45 billion euros into dollars.” that U.S. depository institutions are
measures against Iran’s banking sector and
Tel/fax: 020 84554203 The report said it “seemed that” the banned from processing transfers in-
ban Tehran from sensitive overseas activities
first of three phases, a sale of 15 bil- volving the country.
Special Thanks to: lion euros, started “at the beginning of A new draft of Iranian sanctions under like uranium mining and developing ballistic
Dr. Bijan Kimiachi; Dr Ala Amirshahi this (Iranian) month”, which began on discussion at the U.N. Security Council missiles.
NUJ (National Union Journalist) May 22. The operation would be com- cites the central bank in a paragraph Senior US officials said Friday they were forg-
Avesta Iranian School, plete by the end of summer, it said. In calling on U.N. member states to be ing ahead with a resolution without Brazil and
Finchley Print Centre, Mahan Food Ltd Iran that is considered to be Sept. 22. vigilant in all transactions with Iranian Turkey, two non-permanent Security Council
Officials at the Central Bank of the Is- banks to ensure they are not linked to members that brokered a nuclear fuel swap
lamic Republic of Iran declined com- Tehran’s nuclear or missile programs. deal with Iran aimed at forestalling sanctions.
ment. The bank usually does not an- But the new sanctions would not Western powers fear Iran’s atomic program is
nounce such decisions. blacklist the central bank completely a cover for a nuclear weapons drive. Tehran
Iran also does not usually disclose the -- a proposal that was rejected by Rus- denies this, saying it is aimed at peaceful en-
value of its reserves, though state tel- sia, China and Germany, who feared ergy use, which it insists it has the right to
evision reported last December they it would make it impossible to do any pursue.
exceeded $80 billion. Jam-e Jam said business with Iran. Iran is already subject to three sets of UN
the new policy move would reduce Bahmani made a first hint that Iran sanctions for its refusal to suspend uranium
the proportion of euros in Iran’s total would move away from the euro last enrichment, one of the crucial steps towards
Web Print UK Ltd.
reserves to between 20 and 25 percent month.
the production of nuclear energy for civil or
from a previous 55 percent. “Considering that the value of the euro
DON’T FORGET military use.
Help to keep public area clean and tidy for everyone by “WORTHLESS” is plummeting and that of the dollar is
In a restricted report revealed on Monday,
taking your copy of Persian Weekly Newspaper with you, Appearing to give precedence to increasing, we will be examining the
when you leave economic factors over ideology, the issue of changing the composition of the IAEA said Iran is pressing ahead with its
switch would be a major policy revers- Iran’s hard currency basket,” he was controversial atomic program, producing en-
When you have finished with this al for Tehran, which for many years quoted as saying in the May 18 edition riched uranium at higher levels of purification
magazine please recycle it. has shunned the dollar as part of its of Hezbollah daily. and installing more machinery.
opposition to Washington. Wednesday’s report on the sale broke The atomic watchdog said Iran had produced
At a 2007 OPEC summit, Iran -- the after official sources told Reuters that at least 5.7 kilos (12.5 pounds) of higher-en-
world’s fifth-largest oil exporter -- sug- some of the world’s richest central riched uranium, adding that it remained con-
gested oil should be priced in a basket banks would continue investing in Eu- cerned about the true nature of the nuclear
of currencies rather than dollars, but it rope’s ailing single currency, support- activities.
failed to win over other member states ing its reserve status despite the sov-
except Venezuela. ereign debt crisis plaguing the region.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ah-
4 Persian Weekly | Friday 28 May 2010
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Iran says sanctions will Iran court confirms jail,
ruin opportunities lashes for film maker
The Iranian foreign minister says the smuggling.
efforts to approve new UN sanctions as authorities prepare for the first anni-
on Iran are confrontational and de- They highlighted the fact that Europe versary, on June 12, of the disputed pres-
structive and will ruin opportunities. can play a more active role in resolving idential election which brought millions
Manouchehr Mottaki made the re- regional and international crises. of people to the streets in protest amid
marks during a meeting with Belgian concerns about vote rigging.
Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere in Iran seeking peaceful use of nuclear
Brussels on Tuesday. technology Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadine-
jad’s government says the vote was fair
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mottaki attended a and blamed foreign powers for stirring
Mottaki also warned that governments breakfast reception at the European unrest.
backing sanctions could scupper Te- Policy Centre in Brussels on Wednes-
hran’s proposal to export its low-en- day for a policy briefing. In a sign the government is clamping
riched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear down on dissent ahead of likely anni-
fuel swap deal. Commenting on Iran’s nuclear activi- versary protests, two journalists working
ties, Mottaki said Iran is only trying to for moderate newspapers were arrested
“We believe that moving the resolu- defend its right to access nuclear tech- on Monday night and taken to Evin jail,
tion through the Security Council is nology meant for peaceful purposes. Sharq newspaper reported.
a basis for confrontation. It’s not our
preferred option, but that’s up to the But he warned that new sanctions No immediate reason was given for their
other parties,” Mottaki stated. against Iran could lead to confronta- detention.
tion. “There are two options,” to re- An Iranian court has confirmed a sen-
He advised the United States and its solve the problem, he stated. tence of three-and-a-half years in jail Last week acclaimed film maker Jafar
European allies not to torpedo the ini- “The first is based on cooperation, the and 50 lashes for a journalist and film Panahi, a supporter of opposition leader
tiative signed by the foreign ministers other is based on confrontation.” maker found guilty of anti-state propa- Mirhossein Mousavim was released from
of Iran, Turkey, and Brazil in Tehran According to the NPT, Iran has the ganda and insulting the supreme leader, jail on bail after a week on hunger strike.
on May 17. right to conduct nuclear activities media reported.
meant for peaceful purposes, he noted. Panahi, whose case was raised by movie
According to the declaration, Iran Mohammad Nourizad was arrested late stars at the Cannes film festival, was held
would ship 1200 kilograms of its low- He said Iran is opposed to the prolif- last year after he published on his blog for 88 days. Authorities suspected him of
enriched uranium to Turkey to be eration of nuclear weapons and the letters deemed disrespectful to Iran’s planning to make an anti-government
exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolu- highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khame- film but he has not yet been formally
percent enriched nuclear fuel rods to tion sent a message to the nuclear sum- nei, and other senior officials. charged.
power the Tehran research reactor, mit in Tehran in April declaring the Thousands of opposition supporters were
which produces radioisotopes for can- production and use of nuclear weapons Opposition blogs say he has been beaten detained after last year’s election. Most
cer treatment. to be haram, which means prohibited while in detention in Tehran’s Evin jail have since been freed but more than
in Islam. where he has begun a hunger strike. 80 people have been jailed for up to 15
Cooperation is the best approach He also noted that the U.S. provided years. Two people put on trial after the
fuel for the Tehran nuclear research The confirmation of his sentence comes election have been executed.
Mottaki briefed Vanackere on Iran’s reactor before the Islamic Revolution.
nuclear activities and called on all
countries, and particularly European However, after the revolution, the U.S.
Iran opposition asks 12 presidential election.
The request indicates the opposition plans
nations, to support an approach based stopped selling nuclear fuel to Iran, for anniversary rally to go ahead with the gathering despite
on cooperation. and the Islamic Republic had to ask
Argentina to provide fuel for the reac- permit earlier warnings by police they will con-
front any illegal demonstration on that
He said cooperation can help resolve tor, he added. date.
issues pertaining to nuclear activities Website Sahamanews on Monday said
and can provide the ground for greater Iran informed the IAEA that it needed opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi
nuclear cooperation among independ- nuclear fuel for the reactor in 2009, but and Mahdi Karroubi sent a joint letter to
ent countries. so far no country has offered to provide the Tehran provincial governor asking for
Cooperation also promotes the idea of the fuel, he said. the permit.
respecting the rights of signatories to He went on to say that Iran agreed
the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to exchange some of its low-enriched The two ran in the 2009 balloting, which
he stated. uranium for 20 percent enriched fuel the opposition says President Mahmoud
in a declaration signed by Iran, Turkey, Ahmadinejad won through fraud and that
The two foreign ministers also dis- and Brazil on May 17. Mousavi was the rightful winner. It says
cussed issues of mutual interest as well Mottaki said that he had a long tel- 80 demonstrators have died so far in the
as regional and international matters ephone conversation with his Russian An Iranian reformist website says the
government crackdown on opposition
and said they were ready to hold talks counterpart on May 27 during which country’s opposition has formally asked
on human rights, democracy, and the the Russian foreign minister expressed authorities for permission to hold a rally
campaigns against terrorism and drug support for the Tehran declaration. on the anniversary of the disputed June
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6 Persian Weekly | Friday 04 June 2010
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Iranian and Indian Iranian art should shout Persian to
musicians team up for steal the limelight: Italian expert
Italian gallery owner and painter Živa Kraus
believes that Iranian art should convey a “I believe that if public opinion polls show
strong Persian identity in order to enjoy Europeans and Americans do not know Ira-
global acclaim. nian art very well, that is because Iranians
have not introduced their art to them prop-
Kraus founded Ikona Photo Gallery in Ven- erly,” she added.
ice in 1979 and has directed it ever since. Iranian artists and galleries are not well
She was invited to Iran by the newly estab- connected to European art managers and
lished Iranian Sareban Gallery in Tehran. authentic art magazines do not publish
“I saw artwork at the exhibits in the Sareban many articles on Iranian art, She added.
gallery that contains oriental symbolism as She expressed her hope to extend her coop-
well as some possessing a global appeal, eration with the Sareban Gallery to intro-
especially among the calligraphy painting duce talented Iranian artists to authentic
artwork,” she mentioned in a press release Venetian galleries.
published by the Sareban Gallery. The exhibit will run until June 21 at the
Iranian musician Tahmures less Iranian percussion in the in-
gallery located at No.8, Mehmandust St., off
Purnazeri and renowned Indian strumentation for the work.
An exhibition of the gallery’s stores, which ShahidBeheshti Ave.
composer and sitar player Shu-
includes artwork by renowned Iranian art-
jaat Husain Khan are collaborat- A virtuoso tar, setar, and barbat
ists Ehsaii, Taha Behbahani and Marco Photo: Živa Kraus visits an exhibition at Te-
ing on a joint album. player Purnazeri has previously
Garigurian, is currently underway at the hran’s Sareban Gallery in an undated photo.
performed concerts and record-
“Master Shujaat Husain Khan ed many albums with the Shams
is an Indian sitar virtuoso and Ensemble, which is led by his
“A documentary film gives a true image of
this partnership will provide a father Keikhosro. Iranian filmmakers criti- events. Do we want to escape from the truth?”
profound opportunity for mu-
sic,” U.S.-based Iranian musi- In April, Purnazeri and Shams
cize Culture Ministry for she lamented.
cian Tahmures Purnazeri told singer Farshad Jamali performed new censorship rules
the Tehran Times in an internet concerts apart from the ensem- “In a world where people are dismantling all
interview. ble at Tehran’s Milad Tower. barriers to the dissemination of information,
Three Iranian documentary filmmakers
such restrictions won’t be practicable,” docu-
criticized the Ministry of Culture and Islamic
Purnazeri said that he is inter- The collaboration on the unti- mentarian Nasser Saffarian said.
Guidance for its plan to establish a council to
ested in experiencing something tled album began following Pur- exercise control over the foreign premiere of
new in music and he considers nazeri’s proposal of the concept Due to the lack of venues for screening short
Iranian short and documentary films.
his collaboration with Shujaat to Shujaat Husain Khan. and documentary films in Iran, another Irani-
On Saturday, Deputy Culture Minister for
Husain Khan as such. an filmmaker Hadi Afrideh said, “Even when
Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari assigned
Purnazeri said that Husain Khan all doors are closed here, directors of these
Iran’s Experimental and Documentary Film
The album will feature a fusion was previously acquainted with productions still want their work eventually
Center (EDFC) the task of establishing the
of Iranian and Indian improvi- his works. to be shown somewhere in the world.”
council as soon as possible.
sations. Iranian feature-length filmmakers also have
“When he heard about my in- to obtain approval from a council, which was
Those films that can obtain approval from
They are currently rehearsing tention to begin work on this recently established by Shamaqdari, to pre-
the council would be allowed to participate
for the album, which will be re- project, he accepted my offer miere their films in foreign events.
in foreign markets and festivals, Shamaqdari
corded in a collaborative effort to join in on it because of his said in letter sent to EDFC director.
by Fantasy Studios in California previous acquaintance with my Iranian films selected for foreign premieres
“It’s an astonishing decision for me as a film-
and Mystic World Music, the works,” he said. should not tarnish our national image,
maker,” Mahnaz Afzali told the persian serv-
organizer of Purnazeri’s con- Iranian kamanche virtuoso Key- Shamaqdari previously said.
ice of ISNA on Sunday.
certs. han Kalhor and Husain Khan
Purnazeri said that Iranian and have previously worked togeth- As a result of this policy, several Iranian films
Her documentary, “The Red Card”, has been
Indian vocalists are scheduled er on the four albums “Ghazal including Abdorreza Kahani’s “Nothing”, a
screened at several foreign festivals.
to sing for the album. However 1”, “Ghazal 2”, “Ghazal 3”, and social drama on a deprived family, were re-
Any decision to restrict partial freedom of
he declined to name the specific “The Rain”. fused permission to participate by the council
Iranian short and documentary filmmakers
singers. in the Cannes Film Market, which ended last
won’t produce desirable outcomes, she said.
He said that perhaps he will use
Persian Weekly | Friday 04 June 2010 7
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Iran sets up Rumi Veteran translator Najaf
Veteran Iranian translator Najaf Dar- stories, which had been translated by
yabandari, who has rendered works of Daryabandari.
A center to do research on Persian mys- “The center is currently working on a some of the world’s greatest authors into
tic and poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi book that should make valuable contri- Persian, has been hospitalized in Tehran He has also translated several world-
has recently been established in Tehran. butions to society towards a proper un- because of a stroke. renowned works including William
The center has been founded by the In- derstanding of Rumi and add to scientific Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” and “As I
stitute of Wisdom and Philosophy of Iran knowledge about him,” he added. He was admitted to the Iranmehr Hospi- Lay Dying”, Bertrand Russell’s “A Histo-
(IWPI), the Persian service of the Fars The 800th birth anniversary of Rumi was tal Sunday and has been in the ICU since ry of Western Philosophy” and “Power”,
News Agency reported on Tuesday. celebrated by UNESCO in September then, his nurse told the Persian service Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”,
“We are consulting on selecting a di- 2007.
of the Mehr News Agency on Wednes- Edgar Lawrence Doctorow’s “Billy Bath-
rector for the center,” IWPI director Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273)
day. gate” and “Ragtime”, and Mark Twain’s
Gholamreza Avani said. left Masnavi-ye Manavi, Divan of Shams,
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.
The Rumi Studies Center has been as- and Fihi ma fih.
signed the task of doing research on mys- Photo: Turkish dervishes perform sama The nurse described his condition as
tic literature and religious art as well, he at the courtyard of the tomb of Rumi in satisfactory and said that he will most In addition, Daryabandari has also au-
stated. Konya. likely be transferred to the ward within thored several books in Persian includ-
a few hours. ing “From Garlic to Onion”, a cookbook
that he authored with the help of his
“Golden Autumn” other credits. Daryabandari, 81, has rendered Hem-
ingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” and “The
veteran dubber and actress wife, Fa-
pianist Arzooma- He had composed music for several
films including “Razor and Silk” by
Old Man and the Sea” into Persian.
This book was among the favorites of
nian dies at 56 Masud Kimiaii, and “Fish” by Kam- In 2005, the Karnameh publishing com- Iranian children’s writer Mehdi Azar
buzia Partovi. pany released a two-volume book con- Yazdi.
“Golden Autumn” pianist Andrea Ar- taining a number of Hemingway’s short
zoomanian died on Monday follow-
ing a long battle with cancer. He was
56. to be approved by a council, which was
recently established by Shamaqdari, to
Arzoomanian, who was suffering
from a rare form of cancer in his
Council to filter Ira- premiere in foreign events.
back, died in Tehran’s Milad Hospi- nian shorts and docs
tal after lengthy period of treatment. Iranian films selected for foreign pre-
He underwent surgery three times af- for foreign events mieres should not tarnish our national
ter which he lost his ability to walk, image, Shamaqdari has previously said.
causing much grief for the artist. A special council will sort out Iranian
He had plans to accomplish two large short and documentary films for inter- “Our filmmakers are allowed to dialogue
projects this year; to collaborate with national festivals and markets from now with our people through their films, but
the National Chamber Orchestra of on. it would be against our national inter-
Armenia, and a joint project with ests if they wanted to communicate
Iranian-Armenian composer Loris The Ministry of Culture and Islamic with foreigners on sensitive topics and
Tjeknavorian both of which were left Guidance assigned Iran’s Experimental we must change this situation,” he not-
undone. and Documentary Film Center (EDFC) ed.
Andrea was born in 1954 in Tehran. “His sweet performance added deli- the task of establishing the council as
He is remembered for the music hit cacy to his music,” said musician En- soon as possible. “Our people are able to hold a confi-
“Golden Autumn” composed by Fari- tezami expressing a great sigh upon dence but foreigners cannot always be
borz Lachini, and music for the films hearing of the death of the pianist. “It is obvious that only those films that depended upon to do so,” he stated.
“From Karkheh to Rhine” and “The can obtain approval from the council
Scent of Joseph’s Shirt” by Ebrahim “This is a great loss and it is a pity that would allowed to participate in foreign Due to this policy, several Iranian films
Hatamikia. no individual like him will appear on markets and festivals,” Deputy Culture including Abdorreza Kahani’s “Noth-
stage again,” pianist Saman Ehtesha- Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad ing”, a social drama on a deprived fam-
Playing in the Symphony of Sacrifice mi lamented, “He was such a magnifi- Shamaqdari said in a press release on ily, were rejected by the council to be
composed by Majid Entezami for the cent man with his individual style of Saturday. allowed to participate in the Cannes
great anniversary of the liberation performance. His piano artistry was Film Market, which ended last week.
of Khorramshahr is also among his easily recognizable in every song.” Iranian feature-length films also have
8 Persian Weekly | Friday 04 June 2010
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thereafter, there is no historical indication about the
New Discoveries at Alamut
fate of Alamut following the death of Ibn Musafar in
When Hassan bin Sabbah arrived in Iran from Egypt,
the fortress of Alamut was in the possession of an
Alid, called Hussein Mehdi, who had it as a fief from
Iranian archeologists have discovered decorative tiles called it aqab amukhat (the teaching of eagle). Thus, the Seljuk sultan Malikshah.
and ornamental brickwork in Alamut Fortress near the term aluh amut (or oqab amukhat) later on became Hassan Mehdi was a descendant of Hassan bin Ali Al-
Utrush (d. 304/916), one of the Alid rulers of Tabar-
estan, also known as Al-Nasir Li’l-Haq, who had estab-
lished a separate Zaidi community. It is related that an
Ismaili religious leader Hussein Qaeni, working under
Hassan bin Sabbah established friendship with Hus-
The Ismaili leaders also converted a bulk of the peo-
ple around the territory, and became powerful to
some extent. These Ismailis also began to come into
the fortress. Knowing this, Hussein Mehdi expelled
them and closed its doors. Finally, Hussein Mehdi was
compelled to open the doors owing to the multitude of
Ismailis in the vicinity.
Hassan bin Sabbah moved to Ashkawar and then An-
jirud, adjacent to Alamut, and on September 4, 1090,
he stealthily entered the castle of Alamut. He lodged
there for a while in disguise, calling himself Dehkhoda
and did not reveal his identity to Hussein Mehdi. But
as the days rolled by, the latter noticed that he was
no longer obeyed, that there was another master in
The bulk of Alamut’s garrison and a large number of
the inhabitants had embraced Ismailism. Feeling pow-
erless to defend himself or expel them, Hussein Mehdi
eventually left the fortress. Thus, Alamut was occu-
pied without any massacre and came to be known as
the city of Qazvin. known as Alamut. Darul Hijra (place of refuge) for the Ismailis in a con-
“The team found turquoise, azure and golden tiles, Iranian historians have drawn attention to the curious genial atmosphere.
which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries,” Ha- fact that, if one gives to each letter in the full name
mideh Choubak, archeologist and head of Alamut Re- Towering Location
search Center, told CHTN. Ata Malik Juvaini (1226-1283) writes in “Tarikh-e
“The turquoise and azure tiles are polygonal, rectan- Jahangusha”, “Alamut is a mountain that resembles a
gular and star-shaped bearing animal, alphabets, petals kneeling camel with its neck resting on the ground.”
and arabesque patterns,” she added. It was situated in Deylam about 35 km northwest of
According to Choubak, the golden tiles mostly bear Qazvin in the region of Roudbar.
Persian poems and Tuluth scripts dating to the 12th It was physically a large towering rock, with steep
century. slopes hardly negotiable on most sides, but with a con-
Archeologists also found glazed and clay earthenware. siderable expanse at its top where extensive construc-
Alamut Castle was a mountain fortress located in the tion could be undertaken.
central Alborz mountain range south of the Caspian Situated in a mountainous terrain, its approaches could
Sea, about 100 km from where the Iranian capital be guarded with relative ease. Its present location lies
stands today. about 100 km northwest of Tehran in the high peak of
Among suggested etymologies for Alamut are “Eagle’s Alborz mountain range, dividing the high plateau of
Nest” (according to Sargozasht-e Sayyedena) and “Ea- Iran from the lowlands of Caspian Sea.
gle’s Teaching” (according to “Kamil Fi’t-Tarikh” of The original Iranian word Alborz is derived from two
Ibn Athir). Zand words, signifying a high mountain. The fortress
of Alamut is 600 feet high, 450 feet long and 30 to 125
Origin feet wide and is partly encompassed by the towering
The Justanid Dynasty of Deylam was founded in Alburz range. The rock of Alamut is known at present
189/805, and one of its rulers, called Wahsudan bin as Qal’e-ye Guzur Khan.
Marzuban (d. 251/865) is reported to have built the Hassan bin Sabbah’s immediate concerns, however,
fortress of Alamut in 246/860. The tradition in this were to refortify Alamut, ensure food and water sup-
context has it that once the ruler, while on hunting ply, construct cisterns and storerooms for provisions,
had followed an eagle that alighted on the rock. irrigate the field in the valley, acquire adjacent castles,
The king saw the strategic value of the location and erect forts at strategic points, institute economic and
built a fort on top of a high piercing rock. It was named social reforms, unite the Ismailis through bonds of fra-
aluh amut which, in the Deylami dialect, derives from ternity, and make every Ismaili feel responsible for the
aluh (eagle) and amut (nest), meaning “eagle’s nest”, as of Aluh Amut, its numerical value in Arabic, the sum community and inseparable from it.
the eagle, instead of following the birds, had built its total amounts to 483, which represents the year in The fortress was destroyed on December 15, 1256, by
nest on that location. which Hassan bin Sabbah took control of Alamut. Halaku Khan as part of the Mongol offensive on Is-
According to “Sargozasht-i Sayyedena”, the term lamic southwest Asia. The fortress itself was impreg-
“Alamut” is aluh amut, meaning the eagle’s nest, as an Ruling Dynasties nable, but Ruknuddin Khurshah surrendered it with-
eagle had its nest there. Ibn Athir (d. 630/1234) relates Afterwards, the Musafarid Dynasty, also known as out a real fight, in the vain hope that Halaku would be
another tradition in his “Kamil Fi’t-Tarikh” that the Sallarids or Kangarids (304-483/916-1090) founded merciful.
eagle had taught and guided the king to this location, by Mohammad bin Musafar (304-330/916- 941), who In 2004, an earthquake further damaged the already
therefore it was named Talim Al-Oqab (the teaching ruled from the fortress of Shamiran in the district of crumbling walls of the fort.
or guidance of an eagle), whose rendering into Dey- Tarom at Deylam and Azarbaijan. Today, only ruins of the unique structure remain.
lami dialect is aluh amut. Later on, Mehdi bin Khusaro Firuz, known as Siyah-
The word aluh means ‘eagle’ and amutis derived from chashm, occupied Alamut. He was, however, defeated
amukhat means ‘teaching’. The people of Qazvin by the Musafarid ruler, Ibn Musafar in 316/928 and
Persian Weekly | Friday 04 June 2010 9
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SPORT you think
Iran retains AFC Futsal I want to win Olympic
gold, Sourian says
Iran claimed the title for the tenth time at the the visiting team soon after.
11th AFC Futsal Championship by beating host
Uzbekistan on Sunday. Uzbekistan leveled the match in the begin-
ning of the second half, but Masoud Danesh- Iran’s Sajad Moradi claimed the gold medal in the Asian
The Iranians rallied from a 0-2 deficit to beat Uz- var (two goals), Majid Raeisi and Ali-Asghar Grand Prix Men’s 800 meters on Tuesday.
bekistan 8-3 at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex. Hassanzadeh(two goals) poured cold water on On a rainy day Sajad Moradi came first clocking 1:47.70 in
the host’s hopes sealing an easy victory for Iran. the competition that is underway in Pune, India, with 350
Irsaliev Dilshod and Nadir Elibaev stunned the athletes from 21 countries.
Asian champion scoring early goals. Iran’s Mohammad Taheri was named as the best Prakash Verma from India finished second with a time of
player and scorer of the competition. He scored 1:47.90 and another Indian Pankaj Dimri who clocked
However, the Persian Kings put Uzbekistan un- 13 goals in the event. 1:48.20 finished third.
der pressure and equalized the match with two The next two legs will be held in Bangalore (June 5) and
goals from Javad Asgharimoghadddam and Hos- Japan came third after defeating China 6-1 be- Chennai (June 9)
sein Soltani. Mohammad Taheri gave the lead to fore the final match
Iran drawn with
Peter Pieters named Iran finishes last in
Iran’s cycling coach FINA World League Argentina and Cuba
Iran volleyball team has been drawn in Pool B of the First
Singapore Youth Olympic Games on Tuesday.
Iran was drawn in Pool B alongside Argentina and Cuba,
and teams of Serbia, Democratic Republic of Congo and
Russia are in Pool A.
“Iran is one of the most powerful team in the world and
the other teams should be afraid of us. We are going to
win the championship in Singapore,” Iran coach Naser
Iran narrowly lost to New Zealand in the second The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (Singapore
leg of the Asia-Oceania zone FINA Water Polo 2010) Volleyball competition will comprise Men’s and
World League competitions on Sunday. Women’s events. The six teams per event will play in two
Peter Pieters was chosen as Iran’s track cycling Iran, who was also beaten by China, Kazakhstan, pools of three teams during the preliminaries. Each team
coach on Sunday. The 48-year-old Dutch coach will Japan and Australia, lost to New Zealand 10-9 in plays every other team in the pool (single round-robin).
take charge of the team starting June 5. “Pieters will Tianjin, China.
head Iran cycling track team at Guangzhou Asian In the men’s games, Australia, China, Kazakhstan, The first match of the Singapore 2010 Volleyball competi-
Games. His monthly salary is $6000,” Iran Cycling New Zealand, Iran and Japan, with about 90 play- tion will take place on 21 August between the Men’s Vol-
Federation President Ali Zangi-Abadi said. The 1991 ers, took part in the competition. Australia finished leyball teams of Serbia and Democratic Republic of Congo
World Championship bronze medalist replaced Ger- first and qualified for FINA Water Polo World
man Otto Altok League 2010 Super Final