A GROUP of Iranian nationals in Pune, who are supporters of the National Movement of the Iranian Resistance (NAMIR), marked the ‘International Day of Cyrus the Great’ at NIBM Road in Kondhwa on Saturday.
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As many as 15 Iran nationals, some of whom are refugees and others in India on different visas, were present for the programme, where they remembered ‘Cyrus the Great’, the King of Persia, who they said had “declared the first charter of human rights in the world, also known as ‘Cyrus Cylinder’.”
On the occasion, the Iranians observed a one-minute silence, surrounding a photo of ‘Cyrus the Great’ along with the flag of Iran before the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Bezad Amiri (65), in-charge of NAMIR’s India branch, who is resident of the Bramha Majestic on NIBM Road, said, “Iranians believe October 29 (7th of Aban) is the anniversary of the entrance of Cyrus into Babylon. Cyrus was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. He created the largest empire the world had yet seen. But he respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. He is well respected for his achievements in human rights, politics and military strategy. We Iranians want October 29 to be called the Unity Day.”
Amiri said that NAMIR is a broad based coalition of Iranian people around the world who are working “for the end of the Islamic Cleric’s tyrannical, theocratic regime and its replacement by a democratic government, which will protect human and minority rights.” “NAMIR was founded by Dr Shapour Bakhtiar who in 1979 was Prime Minister of the first democratic government in Iran for more than a quarter of a century,” he said.
Amiri said that he left Iran in 1979 and shifted to Pune. “I was in the military and in a special group protecting the King of Iran. I am blacklisted by the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979,” he said. Amiri got married to an Indian woman and is now settled in Pune with his two children.
Another Iran national, Feferdoun Bahamany (61) said, “I am a Zoroastrian from Iran. I left Iran in 2000 with family because of religious discrimination.” Both Amiri and Bahamany are refugees and thanked the Indian government for giving them shelter.