Tuesday, September 11, 2018


A right royal Persian dress-up for fun, and to celebrate two birthdays, including our wonderful Intrepid tour leader Nadia (Centre).  


“Defy the U.S. sanctions, 
ignore the misinformation…

Everyone should visit Iran!”  


That is the overwhelming message from my two week Intrepid Iran Adventure holiday. Iran was amazing! Our excellent, small group of 6 travellers from Australia, UK and the USA included a professional travel writer who has so far been to more than 80 countries, and rated Iran in his top 5 destinations!

Our Intrepid tour leader, Nadia, was exceptional, sharing her vast knowledge of Iran’s rich history and culture, and introducing us to today’s Iran with passion and fun and ‘secret’ local interactions we would never have discovered on our own.

She was saddened by the reduced number of visitors this year, perhaps due to misinformation about Iran, which has had a negative impact on the local economy. The U.S. sanctions have made life harder for the people, but with the government subsidizing food and other services, Iran is actually a low-cost destination for foreign tourists.


Everywhere we went, the people were welcoming and helpful, curious to know where we were from, and what we thought of their country. Contrary to the misinformation, Iran is a safe place to travel.


We were all impressed by the friendliness and honesty of the people, the stunning beauty of the architecture and natural landscapes, and the rich history and culture of the past and present. Iran has a young population, with the hope of evolving and prospering in the future, if spared the ravages of war.

Walking around the stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites and bustling, modern cities, I kept thinking of the similar sites of Iran’s neighbours bombed into rubble by U.S.-led war maniacs, hoping Iran can be spared the same terrible fate.

My experience of visiting Iran was an emotionally-charged journey of discovery, greatly surpassing my expectations. Since returning, I read again what I had posted on my blog before going to Iran, and it is still all so relevant.

Now is the time to support and visit Iran!


CORRECTION: My apologies for an earlier mistake in the first paragraph, which has now been corrected to more than 80 countries. (Bruce)



My Intrepid 'Iran Adventure' tour group adding  to the clutter of the Azadegan Traditional Tea House, hidden somewhere in Imam Square, Esfahan, Iran. Wonderful Intrepid Tour leader, Ms. Nadia, is in the pink.




Thursday, August 23, 2018

Iran. . .



No, let’s NOT “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” (as U.S. Senator John McCain so heartlessly sang). Instead, let’s visit the country and see for ourselves what it’s like. That's just what I am doing!

Everyone who goes, gives it rave reviews, and finds it very different and much better than what they expected. Visitors are pleasantly impressed by the welcoming warmth and friendliness of the people, and the impressive history and culture of the country. The Iranian people are suffering financially from the criminal U.S. sanctions – a blatant act of war. All the more reason to support them, and call for sanctions against the real imperial warmongers instead.



Some recent stories about Iran posted on my Facebook:


BBC's HARDtalk

Stephen Sackur speaks to Iranian political analyst and erstwhile nuclear talks adviser Mohamed Marandi.  "...Iran is again facing US sanctions after President Trump walked away from the nuclear deal with Tehran. Is Iran on the brink of an economic and political crisis?..."







MEET THE FEMALE TOUR GUIDE CHALLENGING MISCONCEPTIONS OF IRAN

Nikki Vargas: “…Meet Nadia Badiee, a tour guide for Intrepid Travel’s new Women’s Expedition Tour to Iran, which leads women on a 12-day trip from Shiraz to Eghlid and beyond. Badiee—a progressive woman in her own right— aims to debunk the many assumptions that surround Iran and its women by leading a trip that takes travelers behind-the-scenes to meet some of Iran’s entrepreneurial and forward-thinking ladies… 

Tourists who think about visiting Iran should form their opinion by reading about other tourist’s experiences and watching some of the videos that these same tourists have made. This way, travelers will discover that the newspapers are too negative and pessimistic. Iran is a beautiful and peaceful country that welcomes foreigners of all kinds…”





Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard

By Pepe Escobar: "...The U.S. sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear deal, should be interpreted as an advance gambit in the New Great Game at whose center lies China’s New Silk Road – arguably the most important infrastructure project of the 21st century — and overall Eurasia integration….”






Russia and Iran among five coastal nations forging landmark Caspian Sea deal

Five countries with shores on the world’s largest inland body of water sign legal convention to share its resources

“Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani met on Sunday after a dramatic few days in which both were threatened with punishing economic sanctions by the US… The Russian and Iranian presidents were in the small Kazakh coastal city of Aktau to sign a legal convention on the Caspian Sea… A legally binding convention that prevents Caspian nations from opening their borders to third party aggressors – such as the US or NATO – or allowing any foreign military presence at all on Caspian waters is a triumph for Putin. 

For Rouhani, a strategic display of Russian support is more pressing… The best possible outcome for the Iranians will be to walk away with something tangible to take back to Tehran that says we’re doing just fine with or without US sanctions.”






Iran’s Long List of Grievances Against the United States

By Muhammad Sahimi, August 13, 2018

“…The US exit from the JCPOA is, however, illegal. When the JCPOA was signed in 2015, it was endorsed by the UN Security Council, which approved unanimously Resolution 2231 expressing its endorsement. The Resolution was filed in the framework of Chapter VII of UN Charter that deals with peace and stability in the world. 

According to the Charter, it is mandatory for all members of the UN to abide by the provisions of any Resolution filed under Chapter VII. Thus, not only has the US broken its promises to Iran and violated its commitment to the JCPOA, it is also in violation of its obligations toward the UN….

But, Iran’s grievances do not end with violations of the two treaties, and imposition of the economic sanctions. In addition to supporting the dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the US sided with Saddam Hussein’s regime during its war with Iran. The US destroyed two of Iran’s offshore oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in 1987; it attacked the Iranian navy in the same year, and shot down Iran’s passenger airliner over the Persian Gulf in July 1988, killing 290 people, including 63 children. 

Since 1995, the United States has prevented large-scale foreign investment in Iran’s oil and natural gas industries. The complete list of grievances is too long to be given here. As a UN member, the US is violating its obligations toward that organization and its charter by trying to topple Iran’s political system.

Ever since the 1979 Revolution, the image of Iran and its people that has been presented to the American public has been unreal and completely distorted.

Iran’s population of 83 million is young, educated [Iran’s rate of literacy is 93 percent], and very well connected to the rest of the world. While Iranian people want democracy, respect for human rights, economic prosperity, and friendly relations with the rest of the world, which the Islamic Republic has failed to a large extent to deliver, they also reject outside intervention in their internal affairs...

So, next time when you read about Iran, remember what the US has done to that nation for the past 65 years.”






US boycott of Iran risks being godsend for China and Russia

RYO NAKAMURA and HIDEMITSU KIBE, Nikkei staff writers
August 07, 2018

“China and Russia have indicated no plans to cooperate with U.S.-led efforts to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, with both positioned to pursue trade and enhance their influence in the Middle Eastern country…”

PHOTO: Tehran braces for so-called snapback sanctions triggered by Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.            © Reuters






Three Reasons Why 'Fire and Fury' Won’t Work With Iran

By Scott Ritter: “…The danger here is that Trump doesn’t realize he is playing a losing hand. His bluff will be called by Iran (indeed, based upon Rouhani’s words, it has been called), but Trump will continue to throw chips into the pot until compelled to either reverse course and rejoin the JCPOA (unlikely), or force the issue and watch the United States enter a war with Iran it will not lose—but cannot win.”




PHOTO: The crew of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado performs a live-fire demonstration of a Kongsberg missile off Southern California. (Naval Warriors / Flickr Creative Commons)



Hello, They Lied To You About Iran!


By Andre Vltchek:
  
“…I have just left Tehran, a city with a tremendous history and culture, overflowing with museums, theatres, wonderfully kept parks dotted with modern art sculptures. 

It is a city with modern and fully subsidized public transportation, consisting of high-tech metro, ecological bus ways, as well as suburban trains. A city of tall trees, and quiet squares, of elegant cafes, and extremely educated and kind people. 

A city that could easily be part of the ‘top ten’ cities on Earth, were it not the capital of a country that the West is trying to ruin, first with unjust and draconian sanctions, and then, who knows, even by a militarily invasion. 

What do most Westerners know about Iran; what were they told?... 

...You are also expected to remain ignorant about Iran’s social system, clearly socialist. Free education and medical care, greatly subsidized public transportation and culture, huge public spaces and to some extent, strong government and at least partially, central planning.

Despite those absolutely unjust, terrible sanctions imposed, with some interruptions, from Washington and its allies, Iran is standing tall, trying as much as it can to take care of its people. And despite the terrible ordeal Iranian people are being put through, they do not cheat and do not steal. 

The exchange rate collapsed after Washington imposed another round of bizarre sanctions, triggering frustration, even protests. But the majority of Iranians understands who the real culprit is. And it is no secret that the so-called opposition is often financed from the West… 

Iran is bleeding, suffering, but it is strong. Not everyone agrees with government policies here (although most of them do support their government), but everybody is determined to fight and defend his or her country, if it is attacked militarily or by other means… 


…Perhaps that is why the West wants to first ruin, and then to totally destroy this country… To ruin Iran will not be easy, I would even say: it could prove impossible. Its people are too smart and determined and strong. Iran is not alone; it has many friends and comrades…


Don’t take my word for all this. Just come and see. But do not preach: ask questions, and then, please sit, listen and learn! This country has more than 7,000 years of tremendous history. 

Instead of bombing it, read its poets, watch its films, and learn from its internationalist stand! And then, only then, decide, whether Iran is really your enemy, or a dear comrade and friend.”









I am travelling on the 


August 25 – September 7 



To keep up-to-date with alternative world news each day:
Information Clearing House
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

For articles on Iran and other subjects of interest: 
Facebook Bruce McPhie.

And for more details of my Intrepid Iran Adventure:






Uncover 
another world 

in Iran with Intrepid Travel

Snow-capped mountains, glorious mosques, smoky bazaars, the most fragrant of food…Iran is a treasure trove for the curious traveller. But it’s the warmth of the local people – people who’ll invite you into their home for a meal or stop you in the street just to say ‘welcome’ – that stays with you the most. On an Intrepid tour of Iran, our local leaders will show you the highlights – Esfahan’s immense Imam Square, the ancient ruins of Persepolis, the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence in Yazd – but they’ll also show you what it means to be a modern-day Iranian. From bustling Tehran to romantic Shiraz, join us to eat, cook, shop, learn and explore your way around this marvellous country. Small groups, big adventures – that’s what Intrepid’s all about.