A Media Artist's Response To Failing Diplomacy

When BriAnna Olson's pacifist views were confronted by an adamant American couple, she decided to heed their challenge and head to Tehran-- the epicenter of the Axis of Evil nation.

Amongst a landscape of failed diplomacy and media smear campaigns, she and fellow artist Michael Pope found a society far more alive and hospitable than they'd ever been led to believe.

Like jesters of a modern-day Magellan, they've returned with stories and insights to a culture few American's have seen first hand.

Monday, March 26, 2007

briBlog | UN Vote

Yesterday I created my first real video blog. I felt sort of silly, but maybe I'll get the hang of it. Talking to a machine? Silly. But alas, I think it will be good for me.

So, quite a bit happening on the Iran front. I went to the UN on Saturday while the UN Security Council was voting on new sanctions for Iran for refusing to suspend its enrichment program. The vote for another round of sanctions passed unanimously.

The five primary members of the council are: The United States, The United Kingdom, Russia, France and China. [These members all own Nuclear Weapons- precisely what they don't want Iran to have- but only the United States has used one in an act of aggression.]

CNN reported Dumisani Kumalo, the South African ambassador to the United Nations and current president of the Security Council, said he felt steamrollered into a Saturday vote on a resolution on sanctions against Iran.

Friday was quite a day for US/Iran relations.

For starters, the date and time for the UNSC vote was set to be held within 24 hours.

Also, the 78 visas that the Iranian Mission to the UN had been trying to get for their President and his entourage since Thursday March 15, finally arrived in Berne, Switzerland. Only they came in batches and the second set didn't arrive until 5:45p, which gave them less than 24 hours to get to New York City. It takes 5 hours to fly from Berne to Tehran and 12 hours to fly from Tehran to New York City. Ahmadinejad cancelled. I probably wouldn't have cancelled, but maybe I would have made a scene when I arrived late.

According to Mohammad Mohammadi, Russia and China were trying to postpone the meeting until Monday in order for President Ahmadinejad to address the Security Council. That didn't happen.

The Iranian ambassador, Dr. Javad Zarif, was quoted as saying "There was no time for the visas to be sent to Tehran in time for the president to be able to fly to New York." and the US spokeman Bob Grenell countered "Too late for what? The meeting hasn't even been scheduled yet. How can they say they are too late to come if the Security Council has not given a date and time for the event?"

The 3pm vote on Saturday. Duh, Mr. Grenell. Maybe Zarif is psychic or maybe Grenell is kept in the dark. Or, more likely, he's paid to act like that.

The other news is that 15 British soldiers were on patrol in the Persian Gulf and finishing the inspection of a cargo ship when they were arrested by the Revolutionary Guard for trespassing. Iran insists that the soldiers were on Iranian territory.

It is highly unlikely that Iran will comply with the new resolution.

Then what you ask? If I were to guess... more chest puffing, more media sensation, more opinions.

I must say that the visa thing really annoyed me. That could have been really easy to figure out, if the United States really wanted to be diplomatic about it.

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