Roxana Saberi – Between Two Worlds

Roxana Saberi has written a book about her experience last year in Iran: Between Two Worlds. She was recently at the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to explain how she was arrested in Iran on trumped up charges of espionage.

In the short interview she mentions sharing a cell in Evin prison with two Baha’is. If you are in the US, you can watch the video (Canadians can see the clip here):

Saberi was also involved in the recently released film, No One Knows About Persian Cats. In the interview she struggles to try to explain why the Iranian authorities had detained her. This is a common mistake that is often made by outsiders who watch events in Iran.

Many times, if not almost always, things happen in Iran not because of an over-arching plan but because of a chaotic mix of conflicting interests. It is very difficult for those who live in a civilized and orderly society to understand this because we simply can not imagine a place like that.

But Iranian society is nothing more than a mish-mash of various groups and different layers of government, each with its own opaquely defined authority and sphere of influence. Not surprisingly they often are in conflict with each other and many innocent people are victimized amid this greater tumult.

Just to give you an idea of the various factions, you have the Mullahs, the Bazaris (merchant class), the Pasdaran, the Basiji, the police, the military, the Revolutionary Guards, various Intelligence forces, etc. Each one is stepping on various toes. For example, the Mullahs have billion dollar “foundations” or Bonyads. Using this as a facade they have muscled in on the economic activities which were once only the territory of the Bazaris.

So it is futile to seek out a logical rational for anything out of Iran. The whole place is a corrupt, benighted cesspool masquerading as a country.

  • peyamb

    “They seem to imprison the nicest people”… unfortunately SO true! :(

  • sonjavank

    thanks for this Baquia, yes, does seem to make no sense.

    A month ago filmmaker Jafar Panahi who made such movies as The White Balloon, and Mirror was thrown into jail. Ironically one of the Iranian filmmakers whose work, at face value, focuses on the sublime (in my view) to say something about human nature located in the day today.

    This article states that he was arrested for current work on a new anti-regime film but his movies are clearly much more skillful and beautiful than direct propaganda movies. They often are centred on things such as the movie about teenage girls who dress up as boys so they can watch soccer games. Audiences interpret for themselves what the movie is about.