Ali Akbar Abdolrashidi

TV Interviews

------------------------------

Dr Hasan Rouhani

Assuming his presidency as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in September 2014, Dr Hasan Rouhani, initiated his first TV nationwide interview. His office invited Ali Akbar Abdolrashidi to run this exclusive interview. The interview sparked a huge wave of reaction in the Iranian media world. The fourth interview was also run by Abdolrashidi together with another TV anchorwoman.

 


S. Mohammad Khatami

I interviewed President S. M. Khatami of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1997-2005) twice in his two terms of presidency. The fist interview was conducted few weeks after his victory in the first elections more on his plans and strategy. The second interview focused more on his economic performance.



Fidel Castro
President Fidel Castro of Cuba warmly agreed to be interviewed in 1986 in Harare, Zimbabwe during the 8th Non-Aligned Summit.
In this 20 min. interview President Castro extensively elaborated on his and his country's position and that of the NAM on international issues and on the economic issues of the under-developed countries.

Russian Astronauts, MIR Space Station, Star City, Moscow

MIR Space Station in the Moscow Star City was visited in 1989 a few months before its launch. The Russian astronauts were present in this visit who gave a detailed account of the MIR mission. MIR was taken back to Earth after its mission when it was exploded and burnt.

MIR was a highly successful SovietRussian) orbital station. It was humanity's first consistently inhabited long-term research station in space. Through a number of collaborations, it was made internationally accessible to cosmonauts and astronauts of many different countries. Mir was assembled in orbit by successively connecting several modules, each launched separately from February 19, 1986 to 1996. The station existed until March 23, 2001, at which point it was deliberately de-orbited, and broke apart during atmospheric re-entry.


Sir Norman Wisdom

Yes, this is the happy Norman. The British well-known comedian who came to my office in London in 1986. He was too happy to control himself not joking and not laughing. It is a unique experience for a journalist to interview a famous comedian among many serious and bitter political ones, isn't it?


Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani

Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani was the most famous oil-man of the 1970s. He was famous for his role in the oil policies including the 1974 oil embargo as well as for his open and charming company. I had interviewed Sheikh Yamani in 1980 in Vienna. But I asked him for another 60 min. interview in 2003, he accepted and received me in his enormous house in Ascot.


Rajiv Gandhi

I had the chance of meeting and interviewing the late Rajiv Gandhi three times: the first time when he was the Minister of Information in his mother (Indira Gandhi)'s cabinet in 1983 during the 7th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in New Delhi; the second time in Harare, Zimbabwe during the 8th Non-Aligned Movement Summit (above Photo) and the third time in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1989 during the 9th NAM Summit. He was too polite and charming with an excellent Public Relations ability to treat journalist.


Javier Pres de Quillar

De Quillar was the famous international face of the 1980s. He became more famous when bravely and brilliantly declared Saddam Hussain's Iraq as the initiator of the 8-year-old military aggression against Iran, first ever. His declaration just months before his term of office ends, opened the way for the UN Resolution 598 and the end of the war. I interviewd him several times during the meetings of the UN Security Council and particularly during the Iran-Iraq talks on the implementation of the UN Resolution 598 in Geneva.


John Fredrick Demartini 

John Fredrick Demartini  (born November 25, 1954), is a former chiropractor, and current American researcher, best-selling author, international educator and public speaker in human behavior.

He founded the Demartini Institute and has trademarked certain methodologies in human development: the primary two being the Demartini Method and the Demartini Value Determination Process and the applications of these processes in seven areas of life: financial, physical, mental, vocational, spiritual, family and social. He has completed numerous interviews and appears in other media.

Demartini has also appeared in several movies, the most popular being The Secret in 2006 with Rhonda Byrne alongside John GrayJack Canfield and Michael Beckwithamongst others. 

He is the author of nine internationally best-selling published titles translated into 28 different languages. -Wikipedia


Butrus Ghali

Te late Dr. Butrus Butrus Ghali, the Egyptian politician and the former UN Secretary General, received me and my crew in his office in the UN Headquarters in NY in 1994. He was very flexible. We discussed major topics of the day. He believed then that the major UN problem was the UN itself. In the 1970s Ghali was famous for his brokering of the Middle East peace process particularly during the period of Anwar Sadat and Camp David Treaty.


Roland Dumas 

Roland Dumas  (born 23 August 1922 in Limoges, Haute-Vienne) is a lawyer and French Socialist politician who served notably as Foreign Minister under PresidentFrançois Mitterrand from 1984 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1993. He was also President of the Constitutional Council from 1995 to 1999.


Mario Soares

Dr Mario Soares was the very able and famous Portuguese politician during the military regime in Lisbon before 1985. He was able to win the first democratic presidential elections in Portugal after the end of the military rule in this country. I was able to meet him in his small but clean and beautiful apartment to discuss his presidential civilian strategy hours after his victory.


Tony Benn

The late Tony Benn is one of the oldest living British politicians who once during the Labour government of Harold Wilson administered the position of Energy Secretary. He is certainly one of the most famous politicians in Britain for his recent and current anti-tory and even anti-labour controversial comments and positions. After retirement form Parliament he continued his engagement in politics and secured the position of peace campaign leader in Britain and sometimes in other parts of the world. He is against any war and fights for peace. I met him several times in his flat in Holland Park, London.


Edward Shevardnadze

 Anatoly Ivanovich Lukianov

In the summer of 1989, months before the final collapse of the USSR, E. Shveardnadze was still the Soviet Foreign Minister. After the collapse of the Red Empire, he moved to Georgia and became the President of this former Soviet Repoublic. I met and interviewed him several times including the last one above in Moscow in 1989. In this year, A. Lukianov was President Gorbachev's Deputy and Vice President. He was the one who collaborated with the organizers of the Coup against Gorbachev and betrayed his boss in the last stage of the Soviet power struggle. He was in the scene of this last interview too and I had the chance of talking to him.


Brian Tracy

He is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. He describes himself and says: "My goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. Follow me for regular updates about personal development, sales training, business success, blog articles, free webinars, and more. I have consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada and 67 other countries worldwide. As a Keynote speaker and seminar leader, I have address more than 250,000 people each year."

 



Colonel Moamar Qadafi

The overthrown Lybian leader, Moamar Qadafi was a very difficult personality to be caught in front of a TV camera. I was successful in 1986 just months after the US bombardment of Lybia during which Qadafi had lost his wife and friends, to interview him. This interview was, in fact, the first such interview after that incident. He was very unpredictable and confused. His Arabic accent was a Bedwine one as such that few Arab journalist in scene could accurately translate it for me.

President Yuveri Mossevini

To interview President of Uganda you do not have any problem of putting your questions in English. His Ugandan-English is very fluent. Mossevini did not hesitate to capitalize on his revolutionary background during which he fought then Kampala government from the bushes and forests. He is quite different from the former Ugandan President Amin. However, similarly he is very nationalist and fond of his country. He invited me to visit Kampala for which I could not spare some time so far.


President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos

In 1989, he was a Marxist-Leninist, as I do not know whether he is still one. But he was more than that. Marxists love Karl Marx. Some of them love Lenin as well. Some others Like F. Angels too. But Jose Eduardo loved Cuban Fidel Castro and Vietnamese Hoshi Minh as well. Large posters of all these people were hanging from the walls, trees and a few tall buildings in Luanda, Angola. However, he was respected by his people.


Professor Akbar Ahmad

Professor Akbar Ahmad was the Professor of Ibn Khaldoon Seat in the University of Washington as of 2005. Prior to that, he was the Professor of Iqbal Lahori Seat in the University of Cambridge. He produced, among others, the most important documentary series for the BBC about Islam in the late 1980s. He has composed many books on Islam including the book "Islam under Siege". I visited him in 2004 when he was launching this last book.


Anthony Smith, Explorer and Iranolognist
 (30 March 1926 – 7 July 2014)
 The Blind White Fish in Persia
Anthny was one of my best friends. He was considering Kerman, my home town, as his second birth place. He believed that Kerman and his visit to Joopar, a village near Kerman, enlightened his successful future and showed him his way. It was his first visit outside Britain in 1950. However this visit took him to thirty countries of the world, to the north and south poles and throughout Africa in search of a white blind fish that he had not find in Kerman. Finally he found the fish in Iran, Tang-e Haft, Zagros mountains. The fish was  registered after his name Smithsus. His book, The Blind White Fish n Persian, is my second favourite book I have ever read.

Franz Vranitzky

Austrian Chancellor Vranitzky (1986-1997) was a typical Austria politician, clever, frank and straight forward. He respected me as a journalist no matter whether I was an Iranian or anybody else. He took my questions too serious and answered them very carefully. He was insisting on his policy of supporting the developing and nuder-developed countries to elevate the level of welfare of their people in a way not to bother migrating to the West. He believed that the source of terrorism , unemployment and immigration problems in the West rests in the poverty and illiteracy of the people of the developing and under-developed countries.

Sir Edward MacMillan Taylor (Teddy Taylor)

Former Conservative MP for Rochford & Southend East, Sir Teddy is always nice and frank. If you call him he would immediately give you and appointment. His clever and efficient secretary always recognizes your voice if you call again. Sir Teddy is a very realistic and pragmatic politician in Westminster, London. He expresses what he believes and never gives up what he really accepts as reality. I met him several times and interviewed him three times. Each time his interview brought the widespread attention of the audience.


 Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa

" Emir of Bahrain, Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa has never appeared on TV to be interviewed by a journalist". This is what he and his advisors told me. When I met him in his residence and asked him for a brief chat, he promised me that I would be the first journalist to interview him if he decides to give audience to journalists. However, he spoke a brilliant and fluent English and warmly answered my questions, off-record. The interesting thing was that he was touching his dagger by his left hand all the time he was shaking hand and talking to me. Later on I found that this was a show of his royal habit and not his fear.

Professor Frederick (Fred) Halliday

The late Fred Halliday was a well-known and authoritative scholar on Middle Eastern affairs and a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. He was always open and energetic to talk to you. He took any question you put to him serious and deserving to be contemplated and answered. He is the first and only scholar who believes that the Third World War had began in 1945 and finished in 1999. Ironically he believes that this War started in northern Iran when Russian Stalinist forces occupied Iran and finished at the end of another war when the Iraqis had occupied a part of Iranian land in southern Iran. I meet him every time I visited London.


Daniel Ortega

Ortega was the most Latin American attractive personality of the 1980s in the international gatherings. He was, after all, a revolutionary figure who lead the collapse of a US-supported regime in Nicaragua. He was young, wearing military brass-less uniform and resembled Cuban revolutionary figures. He could understand English but replied in Spanish. I met and interviewed him three times. Ortega became the second term president of his country in November 2006.
 

Balkans Islamic Leaders

 

Zagreb Mosque

These are the two major and famous Islamic leaders of former Yugoslavia. By 1990s and before the Balkan civil war and disintegration of Yugoslavia they were representing the entire Islamic community of Yugoslavia. When I met them in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1989 they warned the crawling civil war in the Balkans. They were convinced that due to the suppression of Muslims in Yugoslavia by the Serbs the civil war and disintegration was inevitable I am happy that I believed them and reported this warning long before any other journalist believe it.


Farooq Al Sharaa

Syrian Current Vice-President and former Foreign Minister, Farooq Al-Sharaa was always busy and seems confused. He prefered not to give interview to journalist unless he is obliged to. I could catch him in front of Harare Sheraton Hotel in Zimbabwe where and when he did not refuse to talk to me. He is very clever not to tell you anything to be utilized alternatively. Therefore all his answers to your questions seem useless and full of formalities and complications.

Neil McGregor

Director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor is a charming and humble man. I met him in the British Museum in 2005 when he had organized a special Persian Gallery. This gallery was full of Persian ancient artifacts brought together from Iranian, French and British museums. He was very keen to promote Iranian culture and the title of the gallery proved it as "The Forgotten Civilization". I remember the famous American Persianist, Arthur Pope, who believes in his outstanding encyclopedia, "History of Persian Art", that the Iranian contribution to the Civilization of the Mankind has never been truly and fully told.  

Source of additional information: Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia