Iran: Looking Towards a Bright Future?


True, every picture tells a story. But which one?

The front-page photo in Monday's Wall Street Journal gave me a chill. Did Iran detonate a nuclear device? The Cold War era image of stern men donning protective glasses shielding them from an atomic blaze came to mind.

The headline read "Iran Points Up Its Nuclear Challenge to the West." However, given this bizarre picture any of the following headlines could have, at first glance, been a viable alternative:

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Studies Avatar for Secret Weapons Program"

"A-jad's Debut Hip Hop Album, Plutonium Goes Platinum"

"Defiant Iranian Swim Team Holds Press Conference Stating 'We're Number One!'"

"Top Iranian Officials Patiently Await Next Solar Eclipse"

"New Karim Rashid Eyewear is All the Rage in Tehran!"

The photo caption actually read "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, touring a laser-technology exhibit in Tehran ordered Iran's nuclear agency to start enriching uranium for a research reactor ratcheting up his defiance of the West."

The image was designed to send a threat. Iran means business. Ahmadinejad, shot from below to increase his stature sports a double-breasted Mafioso jacket. His right index finger is aimed at the temple of the man to his left. If his thumb was cocked, pistol like, it might have enhanced his intended message of resolve.

Photographically, these four Men of the Apocalypse, set against radioactive green backdrop are meant to look deadly serious. In turn, they look seriously hilarious, proving that photography continues to be a weapon of mass deception.

[Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images]

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Ken Carbone is among America's most respected graphic designers, whose work is renowned for its clarity and intelligence. He has built an international reputation creating outstanding programs for world-class clients, including Tiffany & Co., W.L Gore, Herman Miller, PBS, Christie's, Nonesuch Records, the W Hotel Group, and The Taubman Company. His clients also include celebrated cultural institutions such as the Museé du Louvre, The Museum of Modern Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the High Museum of Art.

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  • Rajesh Gandhy

    It looks like the World War 3 – Iran v/s Rest of the World has started at the UN conference.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entered into a war of words, calling the other nation’s nuclear capability as the principal threat to international stability.

    Ahmadinejad fired the first salvo at a special UN conference on the global nuclear non-proliferation regime Monday, accusing the US of leading a skewed international system that seeks to deny peaceful nuclear power to developing nations while allowing allies such as Israel to stockpile atomic arms.

    Demanding that the world’s nuclear-weapons states agree to a clear timetable for the disbandment of their arsenals, Ahmadinejad said: “The possession of nuclear bombs isn’t a source of pride; it is disgusting and rather shameful.”

    “And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons, which isn’t even comparable to any crime committed throughout the history.”

    Sadly rather than confronting him with a suitable reply, the leaders walked out.


    What he said is a fact, that he made explicit to the UN & the world. US may be a superpower and maybe the other nations lookup to it for something. But the fact remains that the US has the largest stockpile of Nuclear War heads and is strategically supporting Israel (who has some nuclear warheads and is the main bone of contention in the Middle East peace process).

    It is a great opportunity for brokering world peace, given the initiative taken by Ahmadinejad to come to the UN Nuke meet and clarify Iran’s stand on nuclear power vis-a-vis the world.

    Rather than grabbing the opportunity to break the ice and arrive at a consensus on nuclear weapons and energy, it is very much shameful, that the world leader, walked out on him, rather than putting their defense.

    It this opportunity is lost, the nuclear issue across the world will be pushed back into troubled waters, with Iran carrying back bitter memories of the UN meet.

    Is it that the leaders are bribed by Arms Lobby into derailing the UN Nuke meet, so that their business does not suffer?

    Well what ever the reasons, I think President Obama should attend the meet and shake hands with Ahmednijad & understand Iran’s stand negotiate peace. Afterall, he has always said that “Dialogues are better ice-breakers, rather than swords”.

    The world is going to blame the world leaders for walking out rather than coming to a table to arrive at a consensus which can foster world peace.

    Lord, GOD, Allah – give the world leaders sense to make the world a peaceful playground, as YOU had intended.


  • Aly-Khan Satchu

    Is it too much to think this Fellow has a Wicked Sense of Humour ? Sending Worms into Space and this Iconic Photography makes me laugh.

    Aly-Khan Satchu

  • . Milani5

    "four Men of the Apocalypse"? No Ken. It's just Ahmadinejad (like most egomaniac politicians) suffers from severe delusions of grandeur. He requires a cure for megalomania. Please don't fuel his weak flame anymore, it discredits this wonderful site.
    The Iranians are smart and vibrant people who need to be close friends of western scientists everywhere.

  • Stefan Bucher

    They are not men, they are DEVO. I would like to see a Colbert-style green screen contest to reveal (in the reflections in their glasses or in a zoom-out) what's actually going on here.)