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Old 23 May 2018, 10:36 PM
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United States Iran pushes app with 'Death to America' emoji

Iran is promoting a domestically-produced mobile messaging app, complete with a "Death to America" emoji, in an attempt to get millions of Iranians to abandon the popular Telegram service, which it blames for promoting unrest in the country.

Among the features on new app Soroush are a series of emojis featuring a chador-clad woman clutching a picture of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and placards wishing death to Israel, America and Freemasons.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-f...where-43891478
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Old 23 May 2018, 10:41 PM
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By the way I was a bit skeptical when I saw this story on TV, because they said the placards held by the cute little figure read "Death to America" in Arabic. One presumes that in Iran, it would be more likely to be Farsi. (If anyone is familiar enough with either/both to tell for sure from the pictures, that would be helpful.) I suspect this may have been an error by the news station, though. I found several articles online with the story, none of which specified the language.

Also....Freemasons????
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Old 24 May 2018, 11:34 AM
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My Iranian friend says that the translations are correct and the images in the article say "Death to America" and (possibly) "Death to Freemasonry" in Farsi.

Although she says that the "Death to Freemasonry" bit is "not really clear" in Farsi... apparently they've stuck a "y" (or equivalent) on the end of the word for "freemason" so it refers to the organisation rather than to a person or persons, but it sounds like that's not a standard way to put it. (eta - or she might just mean that she didn't know how to translate it into English herself until I clarified the difference between "freemason" and "freemasonry").

(eta - She also says she's looking at some of the other icons and the translation is wrong for those... will say which ones when she clarifies!)

(eta again) The ones she thinks are wrong aren't from this article, but from other articles about the topic (Soroush emojis):

Quote:
"Death to influencer, we reject misery, death to arrogance"

I don’t think they should translate like that as they are political statement but the translate doesn’t really reflect that

Last edited by Richard W; 24 May 2018 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 24 May 2018, 09:12 PM
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I am reminded of a tale told by Linda Ellerbe in her marvelous book And So It Goes, about television news and her particular career in it. During the Iranian hostage crisis, a group of reporters in Tehran were watching the crowds of chanting students. The chants were in English of course, since the main point was to play to the TV cameras. They went through "Death to America!" and "Death to Carter!" but, understandably, faltered when they tried "Death to the Imperialist Cabinet of the United States."

One of the reporters watching offered a helpful suggestion of something shorter and simpler...which is why the news that night included tape of angry Iranians chanting "Death to IRS!"

Probably apocryphal, but hey, what isn't these days?
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Old 25 May 2018, 01:11 AM
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Well, quite. As I'm sure you know, Iran was (a few decades ago, before the CIA-sponsored coup against the elected leadership which had the audacity to stand up to Iran's own interests against those of the USA) a pretty liberal country by middle-eastern standards, and well on its way to what we would call "freedom" and "western democracy". The Iranians I've known - as, probably, the Iranians you've known - have reflected that, in that they've been generally liberal and also have got out of the country at least partly because of the repercussions arising from the coup in the 1970s and subsequent developments.

Have a look at Marjane Satrapi's various comic books...

(eta) Sorry about the unclearness of my first post in this thread. I'd been rushing to post it so that I'd get in before all the other people who were about to post with their expertise on Farsi and Iranian affairs, so I was trying to summarise a conversation on the fly. I hope it still makes sense.

Last edited by Richard W; 25 May 2018 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 25 May 2018, 01:51 AM
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... And yes, I know none of that was directly relevant to your original post. I have recently been annoyed by Trump's attitude to Iran - which (because it would be unfair to blame Trump in this situation; I doubt he either knew or cared about Iran before he became president) also reflects a certain strand of US policy towards Iran. He seems to be deliberately picking a fight without provocation because he knows he's going for an easy target as far as a substantial portion of US voters are concerned.

... So under those circumstances, some of it was relevant, I think.

More directly, the conversation I had with my friend clarified that "Death to freemasonry" was referring to the concept or idea of freemasonry, rather than to freemasons as people. So, "Death to America" also applies to the concept or idea of America, as opposed to any American people. You could theoretically kill the idea of "America" without killing anybody at all. This is the concept or idea of America as perceived by the people the current Iranian government is trying to talk to, of course, and that government is not at all representative of the people. But I can understand how they may be against the concept of "America", as they might see it.

I realised while thinking about this earlier that there are some groups in the USA who might as well also have "Death to America" as their slogan - some of the politicians who reject federal government, perhaps. In some ways, even Trump himself could use "Death to America" as a slogan, and a lot of his supporters might agree. Although he would probably have to change the wording...
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Old 25 May 2018, 06:06 AM
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I recall reading somewhere -- unfortunately I don't remember where -- that one of the bigger mistakes made by the Bush administration (and they made a lot of big ones) was Bush's famous "Axis of Evil" speech. Bearing in mind that al Qaeda is a radical Sunni Muslim group, while Iran is predominantly Shia, there was actually quite a lot of sympathy in Iran for the US after the 9/11 attacks. There was perhaps an opportunity to seize there -- but instead, Bush made his speech describing Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the "Axis of Evil" (as though Iran and Iraq were allied? Let alone with North Korea, although I believe the latter may have or have had some weapons dealings with Iran), and most of that sympathy went away.

I also can't help but thinking that adopting a belligerent attitude towards Iran, and Trump's dumping of the nuclear deal in particular, can only strengthen the hard-line factions there and weaken the more conciliatory moderates. (I think our Cuba policy of most of the past 60 years is a good demonstration of that. I don't see how it's benefited us, but it surely helped keep Castro firmly in power.)

I've also heard that many Iranians may dislike what our government does, but love many other aspects of our culture. I remember Al Franken, back when he had his radio show, saying that on one of his USO tours, he asked a general what he thought the best thing to do with respect to Iran would be. "Send Arnold Schwarzenegger as an envoy," the general said in all seriousness. "They love him over there." Heck, since Arnold gained some political cred by being governor of California, it's not necessarily as silly as it sounds. (But he and Trump don't get along so well these days, so I wouldn't hold my breath.)
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