The Iranian Times

Monday, August 14, 2000 / Mordad 24, 1379, No. 1042


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Cover story

The beauty of nothing
Bronze sculptures

By Parviz Tanavoli
August 14, 2000
The Iranian

My 1965 sculpture exhibition at the Borghese Gallery in Tehran generated nothing but criticism and hostility, but one item endured and went on to earn recognition, proving to be the beginning of a new phase for me. In the upper part of this composition was a plastic circle enclosing the word heech (nothing) also in plastic and shaped in beautiful Persian script. Below were hands, executed in plaster, grasping a copper grille.

I cannot say what it was the impelled me to create this piece -- whether I was anxious about having reached a point of nothingness and was trying to ward off the tendency, or whether I wanted to succumb to it and bring it to realization as a creative source >>> GO TO FEATURE


A ten-letter African country
Short story

By Mehdi Nasrin
August 14, 2000
The Iranian

One of my college courses was "philosophy of biology". I could never overcome the urge to skip it. I did not attend even once. At the end of the term, half an hour before the last class, I was sitting in my room trying to find a ten-letter African country whose fifth letter was G, when somebody knocked on my window. I drew the curtain aside and saw my Arab friend, Ahmed, standing behind the window on the emergency exit stairs. I opened the window for him.

"Don't you want to get your door bell repaired?" asked Ahmed >>> GO TO FEATURE


Banned papers to resume publication?

BBC Persian Service

Hadi Marvi, deputy head of the judiciary has indicated that the ban on a number of reformist newspapers may soon be lifted. He said there was no consensus among judges to ban the papers in the first place. Is Mr Marvi's comment an indication of the judiciary's change of policy? Daryoush Homai put this question to Nemat Ahmadi >>> LISTEN HERE

Reformers Renew Claim to Mantle of Change

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's reformist majority in parliament, under counter-attack from clerical conservatives, issued an open letter to the nation Sunday reaffirming its claim to the mantle of political and social change.

A week after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei intervened to kill debate on a proposed relaxation of press curbs, centerpiece of the reform agenda in the new parliament, 148 deputies signed a pledge to pursue their program >>> FULL TEXT

Opposition movement calls on leader to repeal press decree

TEHRAN, Aug 13 (AFP) - An Iranian opposition movement on Sunday called on supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to reconsider his decree banning the new pro-reform parliament from rolling back tough curbs on the press.

The banned but tolerated Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), in an open letter to Khamenei, blasted his "interference in the affairs of the elected parliament.">>> FULL TEXT

List of journalists and politicians jailed or facing charges

TEHRAN, Aug 13 (AFP) - The arrest Sunday of two pro-reform Iranian journalists is the latest in a series of legal measures against top writers and politicians in the Islamic republic. Herewith is a partial list of others already in jail or facing charges >>> FULL TEXT


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A plane bringing tourists to the Persian Gulf island of Kish was slightly damaged Sunday when it struck a herd of gazelles on the runway, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported >>> SEE HERE

More Letters

* War heroes deserve respect

K. Husseini writes: Najmeh Fakhraie's latest scribbling ["At war with your people"] leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, for the very reason that her mocking tone should not go unchallenged.

Unlike some readers, I do not dismiss her writings as childish rants, because they open a helpful window into the mind of young Iranians inside Iran, who have the country's destiny in their hands.

But her tendency to heap scorn on the memory of the revolution and the war are insulting for anyone, like my family, who lost loved ones, giving them often willingly, to preserve the sovereignty of Iran >>> FULL TEXT

* Perfect

Shahpan writes: I very much appreciate your great online magazine. I will appreciate it even more if you tell Javad Montazeri that his photos were perfect ["Cheers & fears"]. They show that he is a real photojournalist. Can we see more of his work?

* True stereotypes

Mandana Asadi Tadayon writes: While reading your article "Get real real", I realized that most of my STEREOTYPICAL friends would not read it at all. Unfortunately Iranians are one of the nations that nagative stereotyping about them is absoulutely true. I can not give you reasons, but everyone knows it.

The last extreme transformations in our society, specially among youngsters in Iran, are the fruits of this negative stereotyping. You may see fewer dAyi Hamids among them and more Poopak Taatis because negative things force them to study their unpleasant situations and cope with them (that was a joke :-)

Theater: Sex & suspense: play in Berkeley

Darvag, the Berkeley-based Iranian theatre company, pushes the limits with a bilingual production of Mario Fratti's VICTIM, with the same cast playing alternate nights in English and Persian.

A rapid-fire drama of sex and betrayal, VICTIM is Italian playwright Fratti at his best--urbane, sardonic, edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Directed by Bella Warda, with newcomer Firouzeh Farah in the role of Diana, and Ali Dadgar and Hossein Khoshrowjah as the other two corners of this deadly triangle. Opening September 1, through September 17, with performances in English on Fridays, and in Persian on Saturdays and Sundays >>> DETAILS HERE




Rebels With a Cause
The Failure of the Left in Iran, by Maziar Behrooz


Safar beh khaaneh-ye aazaad shodeh
Satirist Ibrahim Nabavi's award-winning book

Music store


Translation of today's poem by Zara Houshmand:

When I'm with you, your kindness keeps me awake.

When I'm not, I can't sleep for weeping.

Good God... I'm up all night both nights, awake,

But what a difference just your presence makes.
-- Rumi
Previous translations

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More news

Courts may let some banned newspapers re-open

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - The conservative courts will allow several newspapers closed in the recent press crackdown to begin publishing again, the nation's number two judge said on Monday. "Following talks with the chief justice, some papers whose preliminary investigations have been completed will be authorised to resume their activities," deputy chief justice Hadi Marvi said, cited by the official IRNA news agency >>> FULL TEXT

Judge bans reformist book

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A hard-line judge has banned the sale of a book that implicates former government officials in the 1998 murders of five dissidents, the author's wife and publisher said Saturday >>> FULL TEXT

Iran appeals court to issue Jewish spy ruling in early September

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - An Iranian appeals court will deliver a ruling early next month in the case of 10 Iranian Jews sentenced to prison on charges of spying for Israel, a judicial official told AFP on Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Interior minister warns against illegal demonstrations

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - Iran's Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari warned conservative opponents of reformist President Mohammad Khatami on Monday that all demonstrations required permission from his ministry, the official IRNA news agency reported >>> FULL TEXT

Thousands attend funeral of Iranian soldiers killed in Iran/Iraq war

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - President Mohammad Khatami was among thousands of mourners before parliament Monday for the official funeral of 300 soldiers killed in Iran's eight-year war with neighbouring Iraq >>> FULL TEXT

MPs call for Afghan refugees to leave the country

TEHRAN, Aug 13 (AFP) - Iranian MPs in a highly unusual step have written to President Mohammad Khatami, asking him to order preparations to be made to get rid of Afghan refugees, whom they accuse of "creating problems," the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday >>> FULL TEXT

N. Korea admits missile sales

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted that his country has been selling missiles to Iran and Syria, according to South Korean newspaper reports Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Tehran meeting on "Palestine" postponed: Iran radio

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has postponed its "Palestine" meeting planned for next Sunday, Iranian state radio said Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Major gas find worth 4.7 billion dollars

TEHRAN, Aug 13 (AFP) - Iran has discovered a major gas field in the south of the country with estimated reserves worth 4.7 billion dollars, the official IRNA news agency said Sunday >>> FULL TEXT

Parliament speaker defends Khatami's economic record

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - Iranian Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karubi on Monday defended the economic record of President Mohammad Khatami, who has come under attack for neglecting the country's economic woes >>> FULL TEXT

Government merges four key economic ministries into two

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - Iran has approved the merging of four key economic ministries into two to make them more efficient and streamline bureaucracy, the centrist Entekhab newspaper reported Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Newspaper folds because of financial difficulties

TEHRAN, Aug 14 (AFP) - A newspaper geared towards housewives has stopped publishing because of financial problems, the state news agency IRNA said Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Hossein Zaman: Pop singer

Tehran (Iran daily) -- Hossein Zaman has joined the ranks of Iran's Pop singers in recent years. He has performed in political events too, for the reformists, of course. Here's an interview >>> FULL PERSIAN TEXT

Book: Driven by fate

Tehran (Hamshahri) -- "Jaa-ye paa-ye zarvan" is a book by Houshang Dolatabadi on an old religious sect in Iran who believed that everything you do in life is pre-determined >>> FULL PERSIAN TEXT

Digging up the past

Tehran (Hamshahri) -- Archaeologists are back in the Qalichi Kurdish region near Boukan to excavate more remains from a 2,700-year-old civilization >>> FULL PERSIAN TEXT

Persepolis defeat Paykan

TEHRAN, August 11 (Iran Sports Press) -- With video: Persepolis defeated Paykan 2-0 in Azadi Stadium on Friday to edge closer to the top of the league in the second week of games. The first 63 minutes of the game produced few chances for either side as the ball was played mostly in center field >>> FULL TEXT

Basketball: Close match with Russians

TEHRAN, August 13 (Iran Sports Press) -- The Iranian National Basketball Team suffered a 88-81 defeat on Sunday at the hands of Russia's powerhouse club side Oral Gray in the 2nd International Nations Cup. In an impressive and powerful performance, the Iranian team maintained the lead for much of the first period and mid way second period >>> FULL TEXT

Azizi scores, team loses

SAN JOSE, August 12 (Iran Sports Press) -- Tampa Bay Mutiny defeated San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in a game that saw the Quakes out-shot his opponent by a margin of 23 to 8. Tampa went ahead in the 9th minute as MLS leading scorer, Mamadu Diallo headed in an accurate cross by Eric Quill >>> FULL TEXT


Serial killings

Deputy head of the judiciary, Hadi Marvi has said that the case of serial political killing of winter 98 is to go to trial soon. He said the case has gone through three contradictory stages. Naser Zarafshan, the lawyer who represent some of the victim's families disputes this. Daryoush Homai spoke to him >>> LISTEN HERE

BBC Persian Service

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Business news

The Web


Republican Nationalists of Iran

There all sorts of opposition groups. You have monarchists, communists, nationalists AND nationalist republicans.

Beyond Iran

Eyewitness Encyclopedia

The arrival of the Eyewitness Guides to the Web is just cause for celebration. For those of you familiar with the books, you can now scan and search through their entire contents online.

More web sites

Quote Unquote

Faith in reform

We, your representatives, are absolutely sure that the recent commotion will not have any adverse effect in your will for reform... As your representatives we warn the reactionary and opportunist currents to cease their unsuccessful attempts to make the nation lose faith in reform.

-- Letter from Majlis MPs to the people
August 13, 2000

Photo of the Day

Ebrahim Nabavi arrested



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