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” on Saturday on NIBM Road in Kondhwa. As many as 15 Iran nationals, some of whom are refugees and others who are in India on different visas, were present for the program, 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.”
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On the occasion, the Iranians observed one-minute silence, keeping photo of “Cyrus the Great” in the middle along with the flag of Iran before the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Bezad Amiri (65), the 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 Achaemenid Empire. He created the largest empire the world had yet seen. But he respected 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 that the Unity Day.”
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Amiri said that NAMIR is a broad based coalition of Iranian people, inside and outside the country, who are working “for the end of 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 military and in a special group of 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.
Among others who were present, Feferdoun Bahamany (61) said, “I am 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.
A friend of NAMIR, Omid Minu-Spehr (56) said, “I also left Iran after 1979 revolution as there was threat to life. I shifted to USA and then to Pune about 20 years ago. We believe in humanity and do not support any discrimination based on religion, caste and creed.”
Sharing information about the incidents of alleged human rights violations, discrimination and violence in Iran, Amiri said, “NAMIR has about 15 supporters in Pune. There are more Iranians in India who support NAMIR. But they do not say it openly because it may cause problems for them.