29 Jan 2009 roozbeh   » (Master)

These Iranian government officials: I can’t stop laughing.

I was just reading an article (in Persian) about the registration of the 100,000th domain in “.ir”. There’s been an event, with a long list of speakers that includes quite a few Iranian politicians involved in linguistic or Information Technology issues.

The best quote ever is from the highest ranking government official in charge of IT issues: “Engineer Rezaee, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Information Technology, [...] expressed his gratitude toward the people responsible in the institute [in charge of .ir] for their vigilance in in selecting the domain name .ir for Iran, and added that if the choice had not happened in time, other countries like Ireland or Iraq may have chosen it for themselves”. That’s all that is quoted from him, which tells the rest of his speech has probably been worse...

The poor guy probably doesn’t know about standards, and I’m quite sure no one corrected him, pointing to ISO 3166, first published in 1974, years before the founding of the institute in 1989. Even those codes were based on the codes introduced in the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. When “IR” was first internationally introduced for Iran, Siavash Shahshahani, the gentleman in charge of .ir’s growth, had been seven years old!

Update: According to this Wikipedia page, “IR” has been in use for Iranian cars since 1936 (interesting date, since until early 1935, Iran was internationally called “Persia”). But the article does not cite its sources, so I can’t really confirm it. Still, even if it came into use in 1936, it was definitely not standardized internationally until 1949.

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