Emily Johns and Milan Rai, 'Drawing-Paradise on the `Axis of Evil''

IssueDecember 2007 - January 2008
Review by Sue Wood

Originally produced as a catalogue to accompany an exhibition of prints which took place on artist Emily Johns' return from an Fellowship of Reconciliation peace delegation to Iran in May 2006, Drawing Paradise on the 'Axis of Evil' is ever more pertinent as the United States ratchets up its aggression and imposes more sanctions on Iran with UK backing.

Her pictures, exuding a calm stillness and beauty, are drawn with particular reference to the historical relationship between Britain, oil and Iran and are accompanied by informative notes, providing the historical context with which we can inform ourselves and others about the true nature of the relationships between Iran, Britain and the US.

The pictures are followed by four essays by Milan Rai. The first guides us through the uranium enrichment process in a detailed, yet clear, step by-step manner. It is written in such a way that a layperson has no difficulty in grasping how the process works, and also explains why it would be difficult for Iran to produce weapons-grade material using its own uranium ore.

The second essay deals with nuclear equality, the non-proliferation treaty and the differing attitudes towards Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran. The third takes us through negotiations, or lack thereof, concomitant with military threats.

The final essay provides us with the background to - and detailed information about - the CIA/MI6 - engineered coup in 1953, whereby the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, was toppled.

Taken together, the drawings, notes and essays are a mine of information on the cultural and political background of Iran and its relationships with the US and UK. References are given to support the information and all quotations are well-sourced.

All in all, an invaluable aid in helping to dispel the myths that have grown up around Iran and its nuclear intentions.

Topics: Iran
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