The Iranian Times

Wednesday, March 17, 1999 / Esfand 26, 1377, No. 688

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr



    Fire with fire
    Tehranis hold their ground and celebrate charshanbeh suri

    By Laleh Khalili

    There was a fire burning in every street, there were home made fireworks flying all about, in the darker side streets, there were even completely unveiled women jumping over the fires and passing out pastries. The occasion calls for boldness and for joy, and both were in high supply... The air smelled the delicious smell of wood smoke, and I saw more bliss in one street in a couple of hours than I have in one and half months in all of Iran ... GO TO FEATURE


A smile, at last
The Komiteh joins the charshanbeh suri festivities

Photo by Siamak Namazi

These photographs were the taken during charshanbeh suri celebrations at the Behjatabat complex. The Komiteh "moral police" was actually fun to have around this year. (For the first time since the revolution they announced the celebration is not banned -- though it was carried out every year anyway). I even had the Komiteh guy below pose for me with a sparkler ... GO TO FEATURE


The kids are all right
Don't tell the clerics, but Iranian films sparkle with wisdom, ambiguity and movie magic

TIME magazine
MARCH 15, 1999

A child's arm stretches out, as far as it can, to pour water from a cup onto a scruffy potted plant. This, the first image in Samira Makhmalbaf's The Apple, introduces with poetic clarity the film's strange, true story: of 12-year-old twin girls imprisoned by their father in their Tehran home, away from sunlight, from the friendship of other kids, from the smallest ecstasies and exasperations of childhood. This wise, poignant film was made under unusual circumstances. The father and the girls were persuaded to play themselves, and Makhmalbaf was only 17 when she shot it. But extraordinary Iranian films have been almost...ordinary. Savvy cinephiles know that Iran is the place where movie miracles happen all the time ... FULL TEXT


Correction: PERSIAN Gulf

A few weeks ago many Iranians, instigated by an alert sent out by the Iranian American Republican Council, sent emails to the producers of a NOVA documentary complaining about the reference to "The Arabian Gulf". Here's today's reply from NOVA:

I am writing in response to your email regarding your unhappiness with our use of the term "Arabian Gulf" on NOVA's recent broadcast of "Battle Alert in the Gulf." Your letter and others like it drew our attention to this issue and I am pleased to report that we listened and responded.

First, I want to assure you that we did not refer to the Gulf as the Arabian Gulf for any political reasons. United States Naval officers in the program refer to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf and we continued to call it that in our narration for reasons of consistency only. We now understand that "Arabian Gulf" is not an internationally recognized name for the region. As a result, we have changed the narration in the program so that we refer to it only as "the Gulf" or "the Persian Gulf."

This change will occur before the program is duplicated for home video sales. NOVA will also send to PBS this revised program master prior to the next scheduled repeat broadcast.

More Letters

* Big difference

Nariman Neyshapouri writes: Realistically speaking, it is very unlikely that a Kurdistan will ever happen. There's not a chance in Jahanam that Syria, Iraq, Iran, and especially Turkey will ever relinquish territory. Ultimately, I think that Kurds need to wake up to reality and realize that this will never happen.

Most Iranian Kurds I know of, including my mother's side of my family, are both Kurdish and Iranian, and they're proud to be both. They are more than content to allow their Kurdish roots to simply be just another ethnicity in the rich melting pot of ethnicities that we have in Iran ... FULL TEXT

* Noruz: Noruz celebration in Seattle

Noruz is now recognized by Microsoft //

Sat. March 20th

Seattle University
Campion Tower Ballroom

Dinner, show, music, dance, Amoo Norooz brings gifts Come, have fun, dance, visit your friends...

Hurry! Seating is limited

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More news

Author Cyrus Tahbaz dies

Tehran, March 17, (IRNA) - The renown Iranian author and translator Cyrus Taahbaaz, passed away Tuesday night in Tehran due to a brain complication, at the age of 59. Funeral processions will be held starting 8:00 am this Friday from Tehran's Vahdat Hall. He is to be buried in the old house of Nima Yushij, father of modern Persian poetry, in the village of Yush in Mazandaran.

Elected councils members "not to be vetted"

Tehran, March 17, irna -- deputy minister for political and social affairs mostafa tajzadeh said here wednesday that all candidates for membership in the city and urban councils who were elected last month do not have to pass through any further vetting procedure. he said every rumour to the country emanating from whatsoever source is invalid and must not be heeded. tajzadeh said insofar as the interior ministry is concerned the issue of meeting qualification criteria by candidates is long since over and done with ... FULL TEXT

15 Held on Charges of Helping Alleged Terrorists Enter U.S.

March 17, 1999, (Los Angeles Times) - Federal authorities arrested 15 people Tuesday on charges of operating an immigration fraud ring that helped members of an alleged Iranian terrorist group, among others, enter the United States illegally. U.S. Atty. Alejandro N. Mayorkas and other law enforcement officials refused, however, to provide any details about infiltration of the country by Mujahedeen Khalq members ... FULL TEXT

Russia offers US deal to end its nuclear aid to Iran

WASHINGTON, March 17 (AFP) - Russia will offer to curtail its nuclear cooperation with Iran if United States lifts its sanctions on two Russian research facilities, The New York Times said Wednesday. The offer, revealed by Russian Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov during an interview, will be made during Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov's visit to Washington next week, the daily said ... FULL TEXT

It's business first for Iran at UAE arms fair despite island row

ABU DHABI, March 17 (AFP) - Under the motto of "business first," Iranian exhibitors have tried to attract potential buyers from around the world at the Abu Dhabi arms fair despite Tehran's islands dispute with their Emirati hosts. "It's been going fairly well. We are confident in the interest shown," said Hossein Shahbazi Jafari, an official of Iran's defence ministry overseeing Iran's participation ... FULL TEXT

Iran pins hopes on OPEC to meet budget forecasts

TEHRAN, March 17 (AFP) - Iran's central bank governor said Wednesday he expects promised OPEC cutbacks to enable the Islamic republic to meet its budget forecasts and bring a return to monetary stability. "Given the present trend in the world oil market there is a great possibility that figures stipulated in next year's state budget will be realised and the country's monetary situation will be stabilised," Mohsen Nurbakhsh told the official IRNA news agency ... FULL TEXT

Iran official says trade zones to get liberal laws

TEHRAN, March 17 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian official said on Wednesday he expected liberal laws fostering foreign investment in Iran's free trade zones to be passed despite the opposition of a top conservative body. ``The whole thing will be wrapped up in two months. I don't think we will have any problems with laws and regulations in the trade zones,'' said Morteza Alviri, the head of the trade zones ... FULL TEXT

Iran-U.S match in June

Tehran, (Iran daily) - The national soccer teams of Iran and the U.S. will likely play in a friendly match at RFK stadium in Washington DC on June 13 (this news item says RFK stadium in California) ... FULL PERSIAN IMAGE TEXT

"Omid" not in good shape - coach

Tehran, (Iran daily) - "Under present conditions, this team is not going to reach the olympics," says the German head coach of Iran's under-21 soccer team, aka "Omid". See interview ... FULL PERSIAN IMAGE TEXT

$ Rate

Updated March 15

The dollar now offered at 770-792 tomans in the U.S. and 805 tomans in Iran

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

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Quote Unquote

Fighting back

This is where you are going [My foreign friend] wanted to know today why the northern Tehranis did not hire their own thugs to protect their festivities [against the Ansar Hezbollah], and I guess when we know the answer to that one, we will see less of the disruptive fury of the Ansar targeted towards what is apparently a harmless event, but in substance, an act of resistance.

Laleh Khalili
"Fire with fire"
The Iranian
March 17, 1999

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Ajil charshanbeh suri

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