MINAB, TEHRAN – Scores of government officials, parliamentarians and politicians condemned the town and administration of Minab in south Iran, for not displaying images of fallen martyrs from the Iraq-Iran war anywhere in the city.
The town has been without any portraits, images, posters or murals featuring Iraq-Iran war martyrs for more than two days, causing outrage in Tehran, mass protests in Qom and oil checks on hydraulic cranes across the country.
“These enemies of Allah would like us to descend to the abominable level of not even being confronted by a picture of a single dead martyr child from the war 38 years ago!” said Ahmad Jannati, prominent conservative cleric and the chairman of the Guardian Council, the government body responsible for safeguarding democracy in the country. “Are we to just not think about a war from four decades ago every day now!? Is that the hidden motive of these apostates from Minab? If they don’t want to be reminded of our martyrs every moment, then I as an esteemed scholar of Shia Islam can only conclude that they also hate the martyrdom of all our beloved imams, and of imam Hussein especially! I watched that donkey mayor of Minab during last year’s Ashura when he came to Qom, and I counted the times he hit his chest with his fist in grief, and I can tell you that it was 40% less than the average believer (and yes, I do keep statistics and records on such important matters of faith), and I have never seen him whip himself at all! I have already talked to the Rahbar about sending new construction equipment to Minab to address this grave problem. ”
Another conservative cleric and politician, Mohammad-Taqi Mezbah-Yazdi, said that punishing town officials themselves might be a step too much, but that surely the ones responsible in Minab must have sons and daughters who engage in pre-marital sex and adulterous hand-holding, and that punitive action against town officials for the lack of martyrdom-display should focus on that instead. He said that the conservative militia Ansar-e Hezbollah should deal with the issue due to its prior experience with such cases, namely in Kerman province.
“I’ve sent a message to Minab administration telling them to reinstate martyr-decorations at once, and that it would be a shame if the mayor’s daughter was found in a ditch somewhere for holding hands with a man before marriage. I said it doesn’t have to be much for start, just portraits of dead martyrs by the side of the road for a kilometer or two at an interval of one per every two meters, you know, the usual”, Mezbah-Yazdi said.
Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that seeing pictures of young people who probably died horrific deaths in the war displayed on the street makes him and every true Iranian feel better every morning. He also blamed Mossad for the situation in Minab and promised to turn Israel into a parking lot, but then got confused whether he actually said that or if it was made up by MEMRI.
On the other hand, another former president, the reformist Mohammad Khatami, said Minab’s decision is a step in the right direction against Iran’s “culture of death”, but his statement was blocked in the Majilis (parliament), so he didn’t say that after all.
Reformist politician Mir-Hossein Moussavi also said something, but nobody heard it from within the confines of his house arrest.
One of Iran’s most prominent politicians, Ahmad Hashemi Rasfanjani, declined to comment the situation, his office only saying that he will have a statement when he sees which way the wind is blowing.
UPDATE: Minab town administration has apologised for the incident and blamed opium in the water supply, a common problem in eastern Iran, for their lapse in judgement. They have promised to make Minab the most martyr-decorated town in Iran, so that its people can think happy thoughts every day.