Folks, meet the chakhanest of the chakhan on Islamic Republic of Iran’s cultural and political scene. The culprit is no other than Mehdi Kalhor, a close friend of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has secured himself a post as "Advisor To The President" for the past four years.
During the 2005 presidential elections, it wasn’t only Mahmoud making the rounds and serving bushels of chakhan and empty promises to Iranians to secure votes for himself. Yes, he was the one who promised “taking the oil money to Iranian people’s spread,” and yes, he is the one who promised he would fight (and win) poverty, corruption, and discrimination in Iran. Those promises secured him several million votes, but, his promise to leave people alone when it came to their appearance, and what this guy, Mehdi Kalhor, had to say was what won him the votes of Iranian youth.
In 2005, Mehdi Kalhor said in a satellite TV interview that Mr. Ahmadinejad was a patron of arts and culture and if he is elected, he will leave artists to their artistic creativity and censorship, as a long standing (and sacred!) practice of the regime, will be curtailed. He got carried away in his promises, going as far as saying in the same interview that even Los Angeles based Iranian artists would be permitted to return to Iran and work!
In fact during the Ahmadinejad era, not only artists, but journalists, authors, filmmakers and activists alike, have all experienced crackdowns and censorship the likes of which they had not experienced in the decades prior. Let’s not even discuss what has happened to university students and NGO’s.
In a recent interview, Mehdi Kalhor has again said words which if they didn’t make us cry so hard, they would actually make us laugh. He has talked about 30 years of darkness over the Iranian cultural scene. He has said “cultural management” of IRI has been extremely poor and “instead of culture affecting politics, it is politics which has affected culture in Iran.” Duh! He has gone on to criticize Saffar Harandi’s lack of interest in...culture! It seems in appointing Mr. Saffar Harandi to head the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mr. Kalhor’s best buddy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had been unaware of the man’s extremely cruel and mafia style union with Hossein Shariatmadari of Keyhan, bringing nothing but a complete police state over the Iranian culture scene over the past four years. Not!
Will Iranians fall for Mehdi Chakhan’s empty promises and fake posturing again?
Source: Roozonline //www.roozonline.com/archives/2009/02/post_11406.php
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