The Iranian Times

Monday, March 22, 1999 / Farvardin 2, 1378, No. 690

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr


Iranian of the Year

Shadow of hope
Mohammad Khatami is the people's choice for the second year in a row

Last month eamils were sent to more than 11,000 people on The Iranian mailing list asking them to send in their choice as the Iranian of the Year. For the second year in a row, President Khatami became the top choice. He received 34 percent of the vote ... GO TO FEATURE


Iranian hard-liners shut down new year's festival

March 22, 1999 TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Revelers heading to a Persian new year's festival said they were turned away Monday, apparently because Iranian hard-liners believe the celebration evokes the country's pre-Islamic past.

Nowruz, or new year, festivities at Takht-e-Jamshid attracted about 3,000 people when they opened Sunday, the start of the new year.

Takht-e-Jamshid, about 640 kilometers (400 miles) south of the capital Tehran, is the site of ruins from the 6th century capital of Persepolis ... FULL TEXT

Taliban beat people who mark Persian new year

March 21, 1999 , KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban soldiers whipped several residents of the capital with steel wires Sunday after they defied a ban on new year's celebrations, witnesses said.

The centuries-old festival, based on the Persian calendar, marks the end of winter.

It is widely celebrated in neighboring Iran and until last year was marked also in Afghanistan. However, the Taliban religious army which controls most of the country banned the festival, saying it violates the tenets of Islam ... FULL TEXT


Is this HIM? ... FULL TEXT

More Letters

* One more "seen"

Houman M. writes: Here is on more "seen" for your haft-seen: Satl-e-aashghaal (trash can) ["THE IRANIAN haft-seen"].

* Where were you in 1979?

Boroumand writes: I would love to stand up for Kadivar, despite the fact that he is a molla ["Molla or not"]. But where were you and the rest of the Iranian nation as people like my family were being slandered, and looted, and unjustly tried, and murdered in and after 1979? Your silence/inactivity (and perhaps even complicity) at that time is what has emboldened and enabled these people to do what they are doing now without fear of accountability.

* Iranian Academic Association conference, New York

Dear colleague:

It is a great pleasure to invite you to submit papers for the 4th IAA (Iranian Academic Association) Annual Conference. The meeting will convene at the City University of New York, New York City, on September 18-19, 1999. The theme of this scientific gathering has been chosen as: Oil, Petrochemicals, Energy and the Environment ... DETAILS HERE

* Noruz: New Year celebrations in Sunnyvale

On Sunday, March 21st, 1999, Bonyad-e-Towhid i proudly presents a festive celebration of Persian New Year in honoring the ancient Persian heritage of Noruz in a series of cultural enrichment programs for the Iranian Community in Northern California's Bay area ... DETAILS HERE

Book of the Week

English-Persian Dictionary
By S. Haim

Persian Alphabet for Children
By Nancy Nazanin Bijan

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Former Beirut hostage sues Iran for $100 Million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Beirut hostage Terry Anderson filed a $100 million lawsuit against Iran Monday, accusing it of being responsible for sponsoring his kidnapping by a militant Islamic group 14 years ago. Anderson's lawyer, Stuart Newberger, said the suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington and would be translated into Farsi before being sent via diplomatic channels to the Iranian government ... FULL TEXT

Iran sharply hikes petrol prices

TEHRAN, March 21 (Reuters) - Prices of petrol and other fuels rose sharply on the first day of the Iranian New Year on Sunday as part of a government plan to reduce consumption. The petrol price jumped 75 percent, from 200 rials to 350 rials (11.7 cents) per litre (53 cents per gallon). Motorists lined up at petrol stations on Saturday night to fill their tanks in anticipation of the rise. Prices of other fuels, such as gasoil and kerosene, also rose considerably ... FULL TEXT

Iran's leaders regret economic woes, hope for better

TEHRAN, March 21 (Reuters) - Iran's leaders said they regretted the economic hardships of the past year and hoped for better in the Iranian new year which started on Sunday. ``The year we left behind was as usual full of sweet and bitter events. What was bitter for us was the hard economic conditions of people, price hikes and hardships,'' official media quoted spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying ... FULL TEXT

Saudis see no trouble from Iranian pilgrims at Mecca

RIYADH, March 21 (AFP) - Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it does not expect trouble from the tens of thousands of Iranians at the annual Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca that starts this week. "Nothing will happen," said Interior Minister Prince Nayef ibn Abdel Aziz, quoted in Saudi newspapers. "I don't think our Iranian brothers will do anything that could endanger the pilgrimage." ... FULL TEXT

Khatami says to visit Saudi after the Haj-TV

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - Iranian President Mohammed Khatami has told Saudi Arabian King Fahd that he planned to visit Saudi Arabia after the end of the Moslem Haj season, Iranian television reported on Monday. The report, monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation in London, said the news was conveyed to the Saudi Monarch in a letter from Khatami delivered by Iran's ambassador to Riyadh ... FULL TEXT

Iran opposition report attack on paramilitary HQ

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - The Iranian opposition group Mujahideen Khalq said on Monday its members had attacked the headquarters of the paramilitary Basij forces in Tehran with mortars last week. A Mujahideen statement said its ``operational units launched a major mortar attack...on Thursday, March 18, against the command headquarters of...Basij in Tehran's Afsarieh district.'' ... FULL TEXT

Israeli company in industrial deal with sworn enemy Iran: report

JERUSALEM, March 21 (AFP) - An Israeli firm signed contracts for the sale of industrial material to arch-foe Iran at an international trade fair in Germany last week, a newspaper here reported on Sunday. Amnon Shoham, managing director of the Israeli company Gamal, said the deals were signed at the Israeli pavillion at the Cologne fair, adding that the Iranians believed Tehran would soon permit direct trade with the Jewish state ... FULL TEXT

Left out: Asia's player of the month

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Siroos Dinmohammadi, Asia Player of the Month, has not been asked to join the national team. Why? ... 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

Positive drection

His presence has given all of us Iranians around the world a shadow of a hope that maybe, after 20 years of injustice and corruption, Iran is moving in a positive direction. I realize times might get harder before we actaully see any positive effects, but I believe the right steps are being taken.

A comment on why President Khatami should be the Iranian of the Year
"Shadow of hope"
The Iranian
March 22, 1999

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Ex-hostage sues Iran

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