As the political unrest in Iran enters its sixth week, marked by continued protests, marches, and shouting matches between government and opposition forces, Turkmenistan, which shares its southwestern border with Iran, has publicly requested through its United Nations ambassador that Iran "pipe down over there already." In a brief statement to reporters, Turkmenistan's ambassador, Dr. Aksoltan Ataeva, went on to say, "Seriously guys, this is getting ridiculous."
Iran's political landscape has been enmeshed in confusion and turmoil since the disputed June 12 election which gave controversial president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory over reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, with angry protests, largely composed of young people, being met by violent crackdowns on the part of the country's law enforcement apparatus. Rallies attended by tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iranians have been common, as well. The government in Tehran has banned Western reporters from covering the unrest, which has allegedly involved numerous human rights abuses on the part of the police. "I know that global audiences aren't aware of what's going on because of the news blackout, but trust me - Iran is really loud right now," said Ataeva. "You try having a barbecue in your backyard or watching a movie in the living room, and all you hear is Iran losing its shit day in, day out. I think we're entitled to some peace and quiet once in a while."
Observers consider it unlikely that Turkmenistan will get its wish anytime soon. "The situation in Iran is volatile and constantly evolving, and the government's resort to violence to quell protests has only inflamed public sentiment," remarked Abigail Tyndall, a fellow at The Compass Institute, an international think tank in Washington, D.C. "Plus I read a report today that some protestors just bought [heavy metal band] Megadeth's old P.A. system, so you know that the bass is going to be running straight through the ground. I think Turkmenistan just needs to know when to give it up and buy a few million good pairs of earplugs."
Upon hearing of Turkmenistan's plea for calm and quiet from Iran, Israel immediately offered to "take care of it" if nobody in the international community had any objection and promised not to watch the news for a few days.