A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
If you go to the Netherlands
Visit The Hague Court of Justice
On a rainy night.
Linger at its closed gate
And look through the iron rods:
There, in that lighted building
Across the rain-laden trees,
An old man stood
More than half a century ago.
He came from our homeland
To speak out against the oil cartels
Before the whole world.
He did not hold anyone hostage
And took only a few steps
To reach the podium.
Even years after that bloody August
One can still hear his voice.
He speaks in beautiful French:
“Mesdames et Messieurs!
Ladies and Gentlemen!”
On August 19, 1953 Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882-1967), the Iranian Prime Minister, was overthrown in a coup d’etat orchestrated by the American and British intelligence services in collaboration with local factions. They gave absolute power to the Shah who had fled the country a few days earlier. In 1951, Mosaddegh had led the movement for nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which was under the control of the British, and in June 1952, he had traveled to the Hague to defend Iran’s case in the International Court of Justice.
Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son published by Red Hen.
Copyright 2005 Majid Naficy