I was thinking of this in May days, when, by the will of the destiny, embodied in support of the Union of Writers of Russia (for what I am very grateful to this organization!) I visited fantastically interesting country – Iran, about which today it's known a little both in Russia and around the world. If to express the general feeling of this trip, it can be put into words - I visited the fairy tale, both ancient, and modern at the same time. It was not tourism with its banal hotel and excursion formats. I was lucky to visit the 29th Teheran International Book Fair, where I submitted "Caravan of eternity: free translations of Sufi poetry of VIII-XXth centuries", a book of my father, Yury Klyuchnikov, a poet, an essayist and a translator. I have to tell at once that the book caused a great interest, the reading public was especially impressed by the scale of the work done – the translations cover the whole twelve centuries! The Sufism is a special mystical movement in Islam, divided into a plurality of orders and having rich spiritual practice. The Sufi poetry makes gold fund of the Persian literature, and people liked the metaphor made by my father in the preface: it united all Sufi poets in a special spiritual order – poetic tariqa, because all true poets, especially poets spiritual, have very much in common.
People among whom there were many students learning Russian listened to the translations, asked questions, applauded much. I told many times, that Sufism not in the form of a certain order philosophy, but as a cultural phenomenon, dressed in a poetic form and causing admiration around the world, has special value for Russia not only in its historical past, but also in the future. Really, with what are we going to spiritualize customs and to cool hotheads in the North Caucasus, but the high humanistic philosophy of Islam and Sufism, the high samples of the Persian and Arab poetry, Sufi in its deep basis? Iranians agreed with me.
The Book Fair in Tehran has a long history and is considered very prestigious one. Really, more than 1600 publishing houses from around the world, exposing on book stands about 220 thousand names of books, which are looked through by more than one million people. In order to cope with a flow of such number of readers and buyers of books, the Iranian authorities built in this years the whole town of book pavilions on departure from Tehran, where we came every day for making reports. About 30 countries took part in work of Fair, among which - representatives of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Belgium, Venezuela, Germany, India, Spain, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Kuwait, Mexico, Oman, Poland, Russia, the USA, Turkmenistan, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, etc.
This year Russia was in the status of the Guest of honor at the Fair and presented the most different directions of its life through a book publishing prism - culture, science, education, art, architecture, tourism, space branch and, of course, fiction. The organizers of the Russian national stand "Books of Russia", at which 1200 books from 50 publishing houses were submitted, were the Russian Book Union and General Management of the international Book Exhibitions and Fairs, led by Sergey Kaykin, supported by Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications. Everything was well organized, and we have managed to do much during those days.
In total, the Russian delegation consisted of 35 people, among them there were well-known, having many books and literaure awards, such writers as Alexey Varlamov, Sergey Dmitriyev, Kant Ibragimov, Farid Nagimov, Guzel Yakhina, Elena Usachyova, Alyona Karimova. We made speeches near Fair stands, during "round tables" and in Universities of Tehran, where they discussed the most different subjects - problems of mutual translation in Russia and in Iran, development of book publishing in both countries, common historical, cultural-spiritu al roots of two states and peoples, Russian and Iranian Persian classical literatures and many other things. I was personally impressed by serious and very friendly attitude of the Iranian side to Russia and Russian culture. The Iranians are actively translating our classics, which are translated virtually all, last thing they translated into Farsi was seven-volume collected works of Mikhail Bulgakov.
During our joint performance with S. Dmitriyev, the researcher of creativity of Griboyedov and the editor-in-chief of "Veche" publishing house, which passed in the Teheran University at faculty of research of civilizations, there were serious officials at the level of heads of departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were simply filled up with the most different, sometimes not on a rank, global questions, and, most of all Iranians were concerned, how serious and definitive Russia turned to the East, and how the State, not just enthusiasts of public organizations, was involved in the interest of the Iranian culture. We tried as we could to reassure the Iranian side, pointing out that, in our view, the turn was serious, although both Russian policy, and Iranian, indeed, at the present stage, remain multi-vector, and we do not interrupt our contacts with Europe, and Iran in the East is one of the most friendly and priorities for the Russian partners. We tried to encourage the Iranian party, emphasizing that, in our opinion, the turn was serious, though the Russian policy as, actually, Iranian at the present stage, remained multi-vector; and we do not interrupt our contacts with Europe, and Iran in the East is one of the most friendly and priority partners for Russia.
I even dared to tell that many experts in Russia claimed: such countries, as Iran, should be included in the Eurasian Union. And now, at the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg from a high tribune it was announced geopolitical and economic megaproject of Great Eurasia, which Iran had to enter along with India and China. Truly, when ideas are in the air, they will be sooner or later materialized. From geopolitical point of view, Russia's alliance with Iran is very profitable, therefore it was always actively opposed by our "bewitched friends" over the ocean. Moscow-Tehran axis is the southern axis of the great Eurasian project, which realization will be a serious step in the development of our countries.
What are common Eurasian interests of Iran and Russia?
In the field of economy, they are connected with a geographical factor: Iran and Russia have the general water basin – the Caspian Sea. The idea of division of the Caspian Sea promoted by the other Caspian states - Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan - is not favorable to either Iran, or Russia, that pulls together positions of two states. Iran, which economy after sanctions is being opened to the world, is interesting to Russia, as an extensive market for industrial goods and to export of the Russian weaponry. If to determine a circle of mutually advantageous positions, it is necessary to tell, that joint projects in nuclear power, transport sphere, development of oil and gas fields are interesting for both economies, and export of mineral fertilizers from Russia is perspective. In its turn, Iran is interested in an entry into the Russian market for sale of food, seafood, leather products and textiles.
From the point of view of geopolitics, we are united by upholding of our interests in the face of the general civilization opponent – America, whose strategy is destructive both for Iran, and for Russia; fight against terrorism and radical Islam, opposition to a world drug mafia, and also support of balance and stability in the Middle East. Iran is the nearest and very friendly ally for Syria, which Russia actively supports during the last years. Strong Iran constrains both Turkey and Saudi Arabia - the countries, with which Russia always had very difficult relations.
Another major factor, which is pulling together our positions, is Transcaucasian and Central Asian regions, where positions of Iran and Russia are rather close. They consider our countries similarly treat the real and potential conflicts in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and oppose policy of Turkey and Afghanistan.
From the point of view of cooperation in culture and spiritual sphere, Iran and Russia are natural allies. Focus on traditional values, an exchange of achievements in the field of culture, literatures, arts, folklore, spiritual philosophy are also extremely important for successful cooperation and development of our countries in the XXI century.
What is Iran? It is a regional giant, with a total area of 1648 thousand sq. km. Iran is the biggest state in the Middle East by the size (twice larger than Turkey), one third of the borders of which is sea borders, the 17th country of the world by the territory, where 78, 5 million of people live, generally in the cities. The country is ethnically motley, where, apart from the Persian majority, there are also live Azerbaijanians, Kurds, Gilyanets, Arabs, Armenians and other nationalities. This diversity is fastened with the Persian language and the absolute Muslim majority (98, 8%), and the remained 1,2% will be distributed between Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians. According to the type of government, this is a republic headed by the Supreme leader of the country ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who replaced the founder of Islamic revolution ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. The Chief executive is the President of the Islamic Republic Hassan Rouhani elected for 4 years and who replaced Ahmadinejad not so long ago. He is considered more flexible politician, who managed to achieve cancellation of considerable part of sanctions, but thus completely kept the sovereignty of the country and its proud national spirit.
But this is a general reference information and, if to speak about personal impressions concerning huge 13-million Tehran (the megalopolis is bigger than Moscow, 600 sq.km, and to get lost in it is much simple than soared turnip), of course, impressions are the brightest ones. In general, Iran made a big impression on me, as a certain large civilization, alternative in the basis both to consumer West, and radical East. It applies also to the capital of the state not similar to any Eastern capital. It's impossible to tell that the city is shining as perfectly decorated (it's affected by 37 years of sanctions), but it is absolutely self-sufficient Eastern city not similar to any other city of the world. Long streets, palaces, mosques, benches, a tremendous central market where it is possible to buy, probably, everything that is available in the world (carpets are especially magnificent in the variety!), streams of cars of the 70th, which are going by the rules, far from habitual to us. And, though there is more regulation in Iran, than in Russia, it is obvious less on the road space, and traffic police is not visible in principle. But it is surprising, there is not a lot of accidents in this self-regulating chaos, in any case we practically did not meet them though it was necessary to walk along the city every day. Probably, it is all about the benevolent installation and respect of Iranians to each other.
From the Iranian architecture, the greatest impression was made personally on me by the Palace complex Gulistan 450-years old, which started being built during Safavid dinasty era. The Palace was stretched on a distance with a total area of 4,5 hectares. Shining with mirrors and decorated with the Persian miniatures and lists, it makes absolutely indelible impression. There is also a great impression from the famous pedestrian bridge Tabiyyat ("Bridge of Nature"), which was built not so long ago by the young (only 25 years!) architect Leyla Aragiyan, awarded by prestigious awards for architectural innovations and environmental design. We were in the evening, and this multilevel bridge shining with fires was the bright symbol of connection of times showing that Iran was not only well kept culture of antiquity, but a future. Magnificence of this ultramodern bridge, from which the fascinating view of all Tehran was opened, could argue with impression of any bridge in any European capital. The Rock concert, which was taking place in this park, showed that there was no suppression of any violence or suppression of the western mass culture in the country : it is permitted, but takes its own place, there is no its persuasive domination.
The economy of Iran adapted for difficulties, and the country learned to make absolutely everything by itself. The problem of import substitution has been solved. There are many shops in the central streets, and, leather clothes and products look at the level of quite advanced western standards, though all this are local goods. Yes, there is not enough of summer street cafes in the city and of that show business industry, which we got used to. But that will come.
Traditional Persian music, gentle, deeply emotional and spiritually pure, sounds much more often in restaurants and taxis. What Iranians are singing about? About love, more about unrequited one, and it is surprising that it's rather a man's cry about his darling left him. In general, I will not remember a country where the culture of admiration of a woman was raised to such a height and was so fine. The woman is a deity, who even impossible to touch. Tactile contacts between people of opposite sexes in the streets are perceived disapprovingly, and the public moral allow them only between spouses. It can seem to us and especially to Europeans as absence of freedom, but Iranians actually support this atmosphere of purity and severity absolutely voluntary.
One more thing, which impressed me up to the soul depth - the Iranian relation to the reading and a book. They showed us in Tehran the biggest street in the world by number of bookstores – there are hundreds of them. Having walked on them, I can tell it really impresses. But what surprises even more, that there are books of our great Russian writers and poets, translated to Farsi, both in these shops and street book bazaars, – Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Pushkin, Gorkiy. Bunin, Leskov, Kuprin, Pasternak are translated into Farsi, recently seven-volume collected works of Mikhail Bulgakov were published in Farsi . There are researches of the Russian poetry of Gold and Silver centuries. The Russian literature in Iran is being read not only by intellectuals, but also by the mass reader. And the Iranian philologists actively peer at a face of modern Russian literature and are surprised, why for the translation and participation in Book Fairs the Russian side already some seasons offers the same set of authors - Ulitskaya, Petrushevskaya, Akunin, Bykov, and other modern writers and poets are almost not known just because they are not offered by the Russian side. We were also surprised with it and discussed, why gold fund of modern Russian literature - Lichutin, Polyakov, Prilepin, Segen and other talented authors were not known in Iran. However, there was a certain break at this Fair, and, at last, there was already other structure of participants
During performances of members of the Russian delegation at the stand the curious and benevolent public was interested in our opinion in the most different occasions - from what Persian poets we love most of all (one of my performances was just devoted to influence of the Persian poetry on the Russian poets) to prospects of temporary employment in Moscow as Farsi interpreter. By the way, the idea of young people to live in Moscow (but not in New York, they do not want to hear about this alternative!) a year or another and to work as an interpreter of Farsi is very widespread among youth, especially at university.
In general, Iranians are surprisingly inquisitive and friendly people, they ask about Russia, very much highly appreciate a figure of our President, how people in our country live, how we cope with the West pressure, what is going on in the Crimea. They are more law-abiding, than us, and the state influences their life, perhaps, more strongly, than it seemed to us. They respect their State, understand its value and support it, and in spite of the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a democratic state and there are parties of different views, more conservative and more liberal, none of these parties confesses anti-state views, as it pretty often occurs among the Russian liberals, including entering into opposition parties. And this solidity appeared to be that granite, about which attempts of the USA to arrange orange revolution in the country were broken. There were some disorders in the youth environment in general, but no more than that. The strength of the Iranian state is provided not only by the strict laws obligatory to execution, but also by the things that lie outside jurisdiction and related to the area of spirit, soul, culture, tradition.
The subject of public administration itself is a subject of interest of all minded people of the country. At the Teheran University seminar we listened to the report devoted to how our languages, Russian and Farsi, differently reflect a state power subject. The difference in approaches, according to the scientist, consisted that in the Persian language culture - the head means a responsible leader (I do not know, what word in Farsi replaced this western concept, but they translated it as it was), who leads the people or a team and observes justice, while in Russian the power is a concept,
more sacral and connected with possession of the world.
Iranians are very much proud of antiquity of their civilization and quite organically perceive their Aryan origin. With a great interest they listened to my story about the time of the reign of the Prince Vladimir before adoption of Christianity, when he introduced two Gods of the Iranian origin into Russian pagan pantheon for geopolitical reasons. When I added to this fact one more linguistic evidence of the protoiranian origin of a number of the Russian words (a bowl, a star, God, the sky, a caravan, etc.), the audience burst into applause. The idea of an ancient all-Slavic and protoiranian historical community is very close to Iranians. It gives them feeling of support and hope for the better future. In general, the Iranian civilization, despite the deep honoring of antiquity, does not make feeling of the retro-state, as it is felt in some countries of Europe. It is aimed at progress, at development of new technologies, at economic jump, at cooperation with the whole world - both with the East, and with the West. There is also an accurate development plan both of the country and the market (after all Persia is the most ancient trade state with the richest traditions and color).
But they do not only trade in Iran, but also pray much. Islam is the state religion, and, among Muslims Shiites prevail absolutely. Apart from not really big number of Sunnites (9%), it is possible to meet Christians, Jews, Hindus, Yazidi and Zoroastrians among the people inhabiting Iran. Influence of religion is pervasive, but, if it is possible to say so, by the first impression, Iranians trust without fanaticism - sincerely, but quiet, with observance of the principles of toleration that makes radicalization of religion impossible. Surprisingly, but in the Parliament of the country there is a follower of Zoroastrian religion expressing interests of the brothers in faith. And sanctuaries of fire worshippers are kept - the center of pilgrimage, the city of Yazd with the main temple of "Ateshkade" and the Zoroastrian mountain temple in the settlement Chak-chak accept annually thousands of followers from the different countries of the world.
And at the same time the Islamic morals penetrate all fabric of national life - from the Prohibition of alcohol law to a ban on loan percent and the special principles of the organization of a financial system, excluding a layer of gluttonous financial brokers and helping strengthening of the sovereignty of the country. The similar atmosphere together with powerful development of theological thought exclude emergence of the terrorist organizations. The writer Alexander Prokhanov who visited Iran not once, wrote on pages of "Zavtra" newspaper that hundreds of highly educated theologians and preachers of this country were working on breaking terrorism at the level of ideas and disproval of idea of shahids' sanctity who for the explosions, allegedly, got to paradise.
It is possible to note, that fiction, prose and poetry in Iran, which is translated in Russia today (unfortunately, too little), painting are actively being developed, the Iranian cinema takes the first steps (and, rather successful): his representatives - Rasul Sadr Amelie, Jafar Panakhi, Asgar Farkhadi receive awards at the most different international film festivals. But they know about all these most interesting art searches very little in Russia. We also practically know nothing about unique experience of the proud country, during more than three tens of years resisting alone to the western sanctions. How Iran managed it, how it turned out to beat off from information attacks and to stand in economic blockade, lasting more than a third of century? What economic methods had to be applied for the economy to work, to wake up motivation of the people for work and vigorous activity?
For Russia this experience is invaluable, after all we should live and develop national economy in the conditions of tough sanctions, and what is the time they will last, nobody knows. Therefore it is necessary to increase a cultural exchange and to carry out joint cultural events, it is necessary to write about each other, it is necessary to publish the most different art and scientific books of mutual interest, it is necessary to communicate simply more often at the most different levels, because public diplomacy is not less important in any way, than diplomacy official. In this sense examples of Alexander Prokhanov, who regularly goes to Iran and who made a lot or strengthening of friendship between our people and states, of the editor-in-chief of "Veche" publishing house Sergey Dmitriyev, who visited Iran already five times and published a number of the personal and other books devoted to the Persian subject, are much indicative.
During one of the performances, telling about the book of the translations of the Sufi poetry, made by my father, I read his poem devoted to our general Aryan history with Iran. And though the translator, worrying to miss something, translated the poem, having simplified its sense as much as possible (I simply felt it), I saw that listeners, having fascinated by a melodic sound of the Russian language, as if got together with the poet through thickness of centuries and listened to the text from there. Really, if we had such a great general past, does it give us an additional chance to be close to each other in the future? Isn't it time to turn actually seriously to the blue flowers of Tehran radiating delicate aroma of beauty and hope, that we will overcome together all today's difficulties and miseries?
К ВОПРОСУ О ВОССТАНОВЛЕНИИ ИСТОРИИ
Над нами свет полночный звёздный реял
И освещал дорогу впереди,
Когда арийцы шли с Гипербореи
по мирному сибирскому пути.
Дорогу нам пересекали мамонты
и реки, и болота, и холмы
и оседали именами в памяти,
доныне их храним на карте мы
в словах санскрита – золотого дара
богов, что нам вручили новый дом.
Теперь здесь протекает речка Тара,
Простёрся город с вечным корнем Ом.
Арийцы растеклись по разным странам
Ждут часа возродить свои следы -
От Ладоги до Индии с Ираном.
Построить мир без смут и без вражды
Всевышний в нас мечту о том посеял,
Его повсюду называли Ра.
И терпеливо ждёт страна Ра-сея,
когда придёт желанная пора. Sergey Klyuchnikov,
Candidate of philosophical sciences, Co-a chairman of the Euroasian office of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, member of the Union of Writers of Russia, Director of the Department of BRICS Alliance.