Today was officially my first day as an Ambassador (of Love).
I met with the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations' Press Secretary (try saying that 10x fast) Mohammad Mohammadi in New York City. We discussed the history of Iran and my upcoming trip. He was extremely humble, and very much loved Iran. I could tell it was very disappointing, albeit routine, for him to see his country demonized by another and on the brink of (question mark, question mark, question mark).
Today, Dr. Javad Zarif (their UN Representative) was in the process of trying to arrange for visas for President Ahmadinejad (and company) to address the UN Security Council, and it seemed that the U.S. was giving them the run-around.
I found an article HERE.
Regarding the last line, it was the US Representative to the UN, John Bolton, that claimed there was "no such thing as the United Nations".
Did You know that anyone traveling to the United Nations must be given a United States visa??
I did not. That sounds less like the United Nations and more like "The United States Presents: The United Nations" Maybe that's what John Bolton meant.
P.S. As an American I'm very used to being able to travel anywhere I want (except Cuba, where half of my bloodline is). And it is actually hard to imagine not being able to go somewhere (save not having enough money, another unneccesary barricade).
All in all a great meeting.
Dr. Zarif on Charlie Rose HERE
Dr. Zarif on NPR HERE
I find the media fascinating. It's amazing how an interviewer's personal perception of the world (or what s/he has been taught about it) shapes the entire piece.
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.