Newsletter 31

Holding the Second Meeting of “Iranology Mondays”

Newsletter 31

The second weekly meeting of “Iranology Mondays” was held in the Iranology Foundation on 22 October 2018. The theme of this meeting was “Chronology of Central Plateau of Iran”. The speakers of this event included Hassan Fazeli (PhD), faculty member at the Archeology Department, University of Tehran; Forouzan Eslami, PhD candidate of Archeology, University of Tehran, and Hadi Davoodi, PhD in Archeology from University of Tehran.

According to Professor Fazeli, there is a period in archeology called Renaissance, during which the world society and Iranian society became familiar with the values of cultural heritage and archeology and, through their archeological excavations, learnt about certain historical points which had been unknown to them previously. During the early Pahlavi period, the French lost their permission for archeological excavations in Susa, which resulted in the internationalization of archeology in Iran. Following this, archeologists from other countries, such as America and Germany, started their explorations in certain regions such as Cheshmeh-Ali, Ray, Tepe Sialk in Kashan, and northeast Iran. The study of these several-thousand-year old sites reveals their process of cultural and social development from the Neolithic Age to the Akaemenid period. Such studies are of great importance because, prior to them, western researchers did not pay much attention to Iran and mainly focused on and explored Mesopotamia.

Next, Dr. Eslami provided a specialized analysis of the chronology of Central Plateau of Iran from the beginning to the end of the Neolithic Age, extending from 5000 to 6000 BC. She stated that there is not much data available from the Epipalaeolithic and pre-pottery Neolithic ages; hence, we cannot discuss the process by which it arrived in the Central Plateau.

Dr. Davoodi also provided a technical analysis of the chronology of the Bronze and Iron ages. He maintained that there are some reliable proofs regarding the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age I; however, more research is required into the Early and Middle Bronze ages.

According to Professor Fazeli, his speech covered the findings of about 90 years of archeological excavations in this area.At the end of this meeting, the speakers responded to the questions of other participants.

Conference of “Qumis Studies” in Semnan

Newsletter 31

The Iranology Foundation, Semnan Branch, held the 4th Conference of “Qumis Studies” on 27 December 2018 in Qumis Culture House in Semnan with the cooperation of the Research Council of the Department of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Semnan Province. The main themes of the Conference were as follows:

  • • History, Historical Geography, Archeology
  • • Literature and Dialects
  • • Nature and Tourism
  • • Eminent Figures and Famous People
  • • Philosophy and Gnosis
  • • Civil Engineering, Architecture, Urban Development
  • • Social and Cultural Sciences
  • • Jobs and Professions

Holding the 3rd Meeting of “Iranology Mondays”

Newsletter 31

The 3rd edition of the weekly meetings of “Iranology Mondays” was held in the Iranology Foundation on 29 September 2018. The speaker of this meeting, which was entitled “A Deliberationon the Concept of Geopolitics of Shi’ism (Iran and its Neighbors)”, was Seyyed Abbas Ahmadi, Assistant Professor of Political Geography, University of Tehran.

The speaker stated that the term “geopolitics” was used for the first time by a French scientist called François Thual. He maintained that, because of their residence in a particular region, the Shi’ites influence international relationships. Shi’ite societies mainly exist in regions which abound in energy sources, particularly, in the Persian Gulf. Thual considers the Persian Gulf to be a Shi’ite region.

Professor Ahmadi added that Iran is, in a way, the center of Shi’ism not only because of its vast Shi’ite population and their advocacy of Shi’i teachings but also because, after the Islamic Revolution, the first government based on the guardianship of the jurisconsult was established there. He emphasized that some experts believe the Shi’ite geopolitics is the same as the Shi’ite Crescent, which is a mistake, and the two must be distinguished from each other.

At the beginning of the 3rd millennium, when Iraq was moving towards civil wars, Abdullah II of Jordan believed that the main outcome of such wars in Iraq was the formation of a Shi’ite Crescent dominated by Iran. He also argued that, if there were any changes in the government of Iraq, this country will fall under the influence of Iran. This prompted the Sunnite political-security organizations of the region to become concerned about the increase of the power and influence of Shi’ites, particularly Iran, and the development of a kind of Shi’ite Crescent in the region and unanimously protested against this phenomenon alongside the West.

As stated by Professor Ahmadi, geopolitics rests upon three pillars: geography, politics, and power. Shi’ite civilizations enjoy consistency, and almost all Shi’ites reside in the same geographical region. One of the other geographical features of Shi’ism is possessing a center-circumference structure. In other words, Iran is the center, and other Shi’i societies are located around it, which naturally highlights the significant role of the center in its circumference. In fact, the Islamic Revolution returned power to Shi’ism. This is because, when Shi’ism managed to establish a government in its process of politicization, it was presented as an official player in international domains. Upon the Shi’a’s coming to power and establishing a government in Iran, it entered power relationships, and the combination of geography, politics, and power resulted in the formation of Shi’ite geopolitics.

Regarding the internal dimension, Shi’ites went through three stages in the political structure of countries: 1. Self-identification and self-awareness; 2. Establishment of political parties and organizations; 3. Affecting the political structure of countries. At the international level, they also contributed to the fall of bipolarity in the world. The geopolitics of Shi’ism consists of combining the geographical potentials of the Shi’ite-residing regions with the existing ideals and theorems of the Shi’ite political culture. This resulted in empowering the Shi’ite geopolitics and contributed to the establishment of center-circumference relationships and interactions so that both Iran, as the center, and its surrounding Shi’ite minorities could influence each other.

Prior to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Shi’ism existed as a religion and school there; however, after the Revolution, it turned into a geopolitical phenomenon and its influence extended from a national level to an international one. Professor Ahmadi continued his speech with a discussion of the rivals’ opposition to Shi’ite geopolitics through the publication of anti-Shi’a books; creation of ISIS, Taliban, and al-Qaeda; assassination of Shi’ite leaders; vast activities in virtual space, and hacking Shi’i websites.

Finally, he stated that in contrast to the existing negative propaganda, Iran, more than any other country, has contributed to the unity of Muslims through some activities such as establishing The World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought. Geopolitics of Shi’a does not mean the geopolitical extension of Shi’ites outside Iran; nor does it mean the Shi’a Crescent, nor is it limited to a particular historical period. Rather, the Shi’ite geopolitics is a scientific concept.

At the end of this meeting, some questions were asked and answered.

Holding the National Conference of “ThePersian Gulf for the Persian Gulf Nations” by the Iranology Foundation

Newsletter 31

The Iranology Foundation will hold the National Conference of “The Persian Gulf for the Persian Gulf Nations” on 3rd December 2018. One of the main purposes of this Conference is to explore the various aspects of the problems of this geographical region in relation to the past, present, and future of the nations residing there. The dominant approach here is based on the idea that this important region must be controlled by its own nations free from the influence of cross-regional powers.

The main themes of the Conference are as follows:

Historical

  • - Analytic-comparative views of Persian Gulf studies (regional studies)
  • - Sources, themes, and documents related to the Persian Gulf
  • - Recent valid historical narrations and documents
  • - Islands in the Persian Gulf: Iranian sovereignty and ownership
  • - Historical roads and ports within the realm of commercial and economic activities in the Persian Gulf

Political

  • - Bilateral effects of regional and Iranian policies on each other
  • - Roots, reasons, outcomes, and consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971
  • - The role of regional security of the Persian Gulf in developing the goals of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • - Genealogy and investigation of the consequences of extremism in the Persian Gulf
  • - Bahrain: Political challenges, historical ties with Iran, Shi’ites
  • - Effects of colonization on the regional legacy of the Persian Gulf

Cultural

  • - Emigration and movement of different ethnic groups in the Persian Gulf with an emphasis on native Iranian residents of the southern coasts of the Persian Gulf
  • - Society and culture: Women’s roles in the Persian Gulf
  • - Study of cultural-civilizational elements and capabilities in the Persian Gulf and clarifying their place in cultural developments in the Persian Gulf
  • - Iranian art and architecture in the Persian Gulf
  • - Dialects and literature in the Persian Gulf
  • - Perspective of the elements of cultural development and the related approaches in the Persian Gulf region
  • - Inter-cultural relationships among the inhabitants of the Persian Gulf

Legal

  • - Cultural, political, and civil rights of the native Iranian residents of the Persian Gulf based on their historical and present residence in the region
  • - International law and international relationships with an emphasis on Iran’s historical-legal rights in the region
  • - Study of Iran’s legal heritage and land ownership in the Persian Gulf region
  • - Legal and international conventions and regimes in the Persian Gulf

Tourism

  • - Nature of the Persian Gulf: Tourism opportunities and environmental damages
  • - Place of the Persian Gulf in world tourism environment

The selected papers of this Conference will be published in the scientific-research Quarterly of Persian Gulf Studies. Moreover, they will be indexed in the Publications Data Bank of Iran (Magiran), Noor Specialized Magazines (Noormags), and the website of the Iranology Foundation.

Newsletter 31

The tallest adobe wind catcher of the world in Dolatabad Garden in Yazd

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