The Iranian Times

Wednesday, February 24, 1999/ Esfand 5, 1377, No. 673

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr



Waking the friendly giant
Why is our tourism industry so dead?

    By Khodadad Rezakhani

    Economic issues have always been a big subject of controversy in Iranian circles. Time and again we have been told that oil reserves will dry up one day and we will become dirt poor. Family "economists", aka grownups around the sofreh on lazy Friday afternoons, always had all sorts of opinions. The most popular was: If this country is to get anywhere, we better close the oil wells (dar-e chaahe nafto bebandim). Sounds good, but how? There have been countless commentaries by economists and experts, both in support and against this idea. I am neither supporting nor opposing, just offering a possible alternative.

    I know that many people talk about Iran and tourism, almost as often as they talk about oil. We have beautiful beaches, amazing art, and ancient buildings. And everybody wonders why we don't even have a fraction of the tourists other countries attract every year ... GO TO FEATURE


Oil & foreign policy
Short-term need for cash prompt excuses

By Guive Mirfendereski

The ultimate objective in penning "Just pretend we have no oil" was to provoke debate about the debilitating nature of Iran's dependence on revenues from international sale of oil. The essay elicited a range of feedback, some brutally unkind, but most raised issues which are worth exploring further on this occasion.

In an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion, the government seems to favor a "pump it or lose it" policy because of its short-term need for cash and excuses the "pump it" policy anyway on ambiguous geological grounds. In effect, the failure of the government to foster good neighborly relations impedes mutually beneficial exploitation of a shared reserve. The "pump it" oil policy therefore perpetuates, encourages, subsidizes and finances failures in foreign policy. This observation holds true and applies equally to Iran and any other neighboring country seized by its peculiar brand of myopia ... GO TO FEATURE


Cancellation threat hangs over landmark Tehran poll on last day of campaign

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Candidates in Tehran's first-ever municipal elections spent the last official day of campaigning Wednesday unsure whether the landmark vote would go ahead as the conservative-dominated election Supervision Council threatened to declare it null and void.

A dozen supporters of moderate President Mohammed Khatami, including the head of the main reformist list of candidates, Vice President Abdullah Nuri, continued to present themselves despite an order from the Supervision Council's head, conservative MP Ali Movahedi-Savoji, barring them from standing.

The reformist-controlled interior ministry continued to include the disqualified candidates in lists of hopefuls to be displayed at polling stations around the capital ... FULL TEX

Thanks to Payman Arabshahi


Royal snapshots

My name is Kevin Rafik Ghazarians, son of the late Rafik Ghazarians -- portrait photographer to his Majesty (The Shah Of Iran) and the Royal family.

I have a collection of photographic (original negatives) portraits of his Majesty and the Royal Family, including His Majesty Reza Shah II. Over the years, I have had several inquiries to the sale of these negatives. However, I have not pursued any of these inquiries until now.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these original photographic negatives, please contact me at this e-mail address <> or call me [in the U.S.] at 213.422.9013 or 818.766.0252.

Kevin Ghazarians

PS. These photo's are the last portraits taken of the SHAH, the Royal Family, and Prime Minister's . I believe the majority of original signed portraits done by my father have been destroyed as a result of the revolution.

More Letters

* Suspicions confirmed

Stephen A. Fuqua writes: I am not an Iranian, but I am a Baha'i and I am always concerned for my brothers and sisters in faith that live there. Thus I find it quite refreshing and inspiring that your magazine is willing to publish the recent articles on the Baha'i Faith. Thank you. It goes to show that Iranians are the good people I've always suspected them to be.

* Poetry: Hafez class in Walnut Creek

Mr. Nooh will teach a Hafez poetry class in Walnut Creek, in California's Bay Area. It will be on Monday nights from 7PM to 9PM starting March 1st.

Please contact Camelia for more information:

Book of the Week

Life and Work of the Forerunner in Persia

Not really a collection of sacred texts, yet crucial to an understanding of one of the world's great religious traditions, is Zoroaster: Life and Work of the Forerunner in Persia.

Designed for a general audience, this biography of Zoroastrianism's prophet is sure to generate interest in the early religion of Persia from which Judaism and Christianity drew so much. -- Publisher's Weekly

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More news

Violence ahead of elections

February 24, TEHRAN, (AP) -- A gunman opened fire on a moderate party's election headquarters Wednesday as reformers and hard-liners bickered over candidates in Iran's first local elections in 20 years. Witnesses said there were no casualties in the attack, in which a passenger on a motor scooter sprayed bullets at the Servants of Construction offices in Tehran. Dozens of volunteers were inside at the time. The gunman and driver escaped ... FULL TEXT

New intelligence chief approved by parliament

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - The Iranian parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Ali Yunesi, a 43-year-old conservative cleric, to head the scandal-tainted intelligence ministry. A total of 197 members of the conservative-dominated parliament, the Majlis, voted in favor of Yunesi following two hours of debate while nine opposed his nomination and 18 abstained ... FULL TEXT

Khatami speech for Yunesi

Tehran (Iran daily) - Here is a report in Persian on President Khatami's speech in the Majlis today in support of Yunesi's nomination as the intelligence minister ... IMAGE TEXT IN PERSIAN

Three killed in protests in Iranian Kurdistan: Tehran Times

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Three people were killed on Monday during protests in Sanandaj, the main city in Iranian Kurdistan, a newspaper said Wednesday, as a Kurdish MP criticized the handling of the demonstrations. The English-language Tehran Times did not provide any details on the deaths, but quoted a member of parliament from the region as criticizing the handling of the protests by the provincial authorities ... FULL TEXT

Oil markets fixed on Saudi, Iran mystery

DUBAI, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Depressed world oil markets are asking the big question -- are OPEC titans Saudi Arabia and Iran negotiating a secret deal or does the silence in the Gulf mean that bad times are about to get worse? Central to the mystery is Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's travel plans, which could prove decisive in whether the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries resolves the dispute over the baseline from which Iran cuts its oil output under a cartel pact ... FULL TEXT

Pro-Ocalan demonstrations turn violent in Iran

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Demonstrations in Iran in support of captured Kurdish guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan turned to violence on Monday with protesters attacking government buildings and burning cars, Iranian newspapers said on Tuesday. In Iran's biggest Kurdish town, Sanandaj, police fired shots in the air to disperse demonstrators who had gathered in violation of the governor's orders, the newspaper Arya reported ... FULL TEXT

Pourheydari looking for a new goalie

Tehran (Iran daily) - Iranian national soccer team's head coach is looking to replace Gholampour as goalie ... IMAGE TEXT IN PERSIAN

Omid team going to China

Tehran (Iran daily) - The under 21 national soccer team will go to China in early March to play in a couple of friendlies ... IMAGE TEXT IN PERSIAN

$ Rate

Updated Feb 24

The dollar now offered at up to 825-835 tomans

Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel: 602-595-0777

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Quote Unquote

Who's who

In Iran's political arena we regard diplomats as spies, intellectuals as mercenaries, leftists as instigators of coup d'etats or trouble-makers, rogues as revolutionary elements, young people as corrupts, women as symbols of satanic thoughts, and any person who wears a tie, as a monarchist.

Khordad newspaper's
critical commentary
Week of February 22, 1999

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