The Iranian Times

Monday December 18, 2000 / Azar 28, 1379, No. 1128


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Cover story

People of Oraman
Weathered by more than the elements

Written and photographed by Rasool Nafisi
December 18, 2000
The Iranian
Photos here

We were at the tail end of our journey in a hundred-mile-long valley stretched along Iran-Iraq border. We were not a very good mood. Our driver , a crossed-eyed man, silent like the valley itself, speaking little Farsi, preferred driving on the left side of the road, which not only faced oncoming traffic, but also edged the abyss. Once I asked him if he had learned driving in England. "No," he grunted, and continued to drive on the left side.>>> GO TO FEATURE


His red-robed highness
Exposing Iran's dirty secrets

By Akbar Ganji
The Iranian

The appeal in the trial of a revisionist


Election date set

BBC Persian Service

Presidential elections in Iran have been set for June 8th next year. In the last presidential elections in May 1997, President Mohammad Khatami clinched a surprising victory on a platform of cultural and political reforms. But as his attempts to liberalise Iran have been constantly resisted by the country's powerful conservative establishment, it is not yet clear whether he will stand for re-election. BBC Iranian affairs reporter Sadeq Saba looks at Mr Khatami's options >>> LISTEN

Iran's reforms in grip of hardline foes

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - President Mohammad Khatami has all but abandoned his fight for free expression and the rule of law, bringing down the curtain on the most ambitious attempt ever to reform Iran's Islamic system.

In a humiliating defeat, Khatami was forced late last week to jettison Minister of Culture Ataollah Mohajerani, architect of his sweeping cultural reform, effectively ceding control over the media and the arts to conservatives >>> FULL TEXT

Khatami weakened ahead of polls by loss of allies

The last to go was Ataollah Mohajerani, whose resignation finally took effect Sunday after a long battle with conservatives who reacted to the freedom he had given the press by closing down virtually every pro-reform daily through their control of the courts.

Before that Khatami saw Abdollah Nuri, 51, jailed for five years at the end of November last year by the ultra-conservative Special Court for Clergy, a tribunal he refused to recognise >>> FULL TEXT


All in the family

I wish I had a dozen kids and grandkids who could be on the team. Just like this guy >>> SEE HERE

More Letters

* Example for all

Parisa Sarraf writes: You are a beautiful couple ["Maryam & Daryl"]. Let no one ever interfer in your lives and may you have a wonderful life together. If only more people were like you and open-minded about the unity of mankind, there would be a lot less violence in the world. May you be an example for all of us.


* Have we become spinelss?

S Mashadi writes: "... haghighat dar zendaan enferaadi voojood nadaarad."

This is Akbar Ganji writing about the serial murders suspects held in solitary confinment. Did he know that he himself would be in solitary confinement when he wrote this? Is anybody reading his book ["His red-robed highness"]? How come no one ever comments? Are people scared to engage in political discourse? Have we lost all our political spine? >>> FULL TEXT

    * The chimp might not agree

Farshad Zarrabian writes: I was highly amused by your satirical depiction juxtaposing George W. Bush and a chimpanzee. It was creative and quite funny, albeit the chimpanzee might not agree ...

What ill will does George Bush (the son) have toward our nation? Well, we have at least four years to find out! >>> FULL TEXT

* I have an idea

Nastaran writes: My name is Nastaran. I am 13-years old. I was born in Iran. When I was eight, I went to Australia, and when I became 13, I came to Texas!

I really like your stories ["Sadaf Kiani"]. I wish I could write like you. I've got an idea: make your own site and every week add one or two new things >>> FULL TEXT

Event: New Year part in DC

Celebrate the NEW YEAR with us! The Iranian-American Cultural Association invites you to celebrate the New Year! Join us for the festivities >>> DETAILS




The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam
From the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi
By Jerome W. Clinton



Naabegheh yaa divaaneh
On Sadegh Hedayat
By Mahmoud Tolouie

Music store


    Translation of today's poem by Zara Houshmand:

    That Turk, who gladdens my heart with her laugh,

    Drives me to anguish with her flying hair.

    She made me write the words that set her free,

    And wrote those words herself that enslaved me.

    * Also see more Rumi translations

    Rumi book

Rumi: The Life Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi
By Frankin D. Lewis

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More news

June 8, 2001 set for presidential election

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council, Sunday set June 8, 2001 as the date for presidential elections, the official IRNA news agency said. With just under six months left before the polls, it is not yet clear whether incumbent President Mohammad Khatami will stand for re-election. He had announced he would run for a second term in office, but later said he was still considering whether to do so >>> FULL TEXT

Reformist in court over impeachment allegations

TEHRAN, Dec 16 (AFP) - A reformist who claimed conservatives were trying to impeach President Mohammad Khatami was in court briefly Saturday to answer questions over the allegation. Mohammad Salamati, after a brief interview with the judge, was told a formal hearing would be held within the next three weeks so that he would have time to prepare his defence >>> FULL TEXT

Two dissidents arrested

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Two leading Iranian dissidents were arrested Sunday on charges of insulting Iran's supreme leader. Ezatollah Sahabi, a member of the dissident Freedom Movement that opposes Iran's clerical rule, was interrogated and arrested on the orders of the hard-line Tehran Revolutionary Court, said Reza Alijani, an editor of the now banned Iran-e-Farda magazine >>> FULL TEXT

Reformist student leader arrested

TEHRAN, Dec 17 (AFP) - The reformist student leader Ali Afshari was arrested Sunday by order of a revolutionary court, a judicial source said >>> FULL TEXT

Pro-reform journalist freed on bail

TEHRAN, Dec 16 (AFP) - Veteran pro-reform Iranian journalist Massud Behnud, facing a battery of serious charges including harming national security, was freed on bail Saturday, his lawyer said. Behnud was released after putting up his house as collateral, lawyer Amir Hossein Abadi told the state IRNA news agency >>> FULL TEXT

Japan trading houses to join Iran oil deal-MITI

TOKYO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Major Japanese trading houses will lend $3 billion to Iran to secure rights to explore and develop a portion of the giant Azadegan oil field, capable of producing an estimated 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day. That is more than 80 percent of the amount of crude that Japan now imports from Iran, its third-largest oil supplier >>> FULL TEXT

Iran says OPEC must cut output

DUBAI (Reuters) - OPEC (news - web sites) must cut output by at least one million barrels per day when it meets in January in order to rectify a growing global supply/demand imbalance, Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Monday >>> FULL TEXT

New managers appointed for free-trade zones

TEHRAN, Dec 18 (AFP) - The Iranian government appointed three new managers for the country's free-trade zones, replacing the reformist director of the Persian Gulf's Kish zone, the official IRNA news agency said Monday >>> FULL TEXT

Reformist film official ready to quit

Tehran (Dowran-e No) -- Following the resignation of Ataollah Mohajerani as culture minister, his deputy, Seyfollah Dad, who is in charge of the film industry, is also ready to call it quits >>> FULL PERSIAN TEXT

Writers in Paris

Tehran (Dowran-e No) -- Iranian writers and poets recently took part in an international cultural festival in Paris. One of them, Bijan Rohani, talks about the experience >>> FULL PERSIAN TEXT

Writers: Gathering place

Tehran (Dowran-e No) -- Writers need a gathering place. There is one. But no one uses it -- yet >>> FULL PERSIAN TEXT

Bagheri makes Charlton's squad

London - December 15 (Iran Sports Press) -- The Iranian International midfielder, Karim Bagheri, has managed to force his way into the 19 man squad who traveled to Leicester today, for their premiership game on Saturday. Karim who has been disappointedly left out of the Charlton squad since Iran's World cup qualifiers in Tehran a few weeks ago, has got a chance to show manager Alan Curbishley why who should become a regular in the Charlton's team >>> FULL TEXT


Reformists arrested

The revolutionary court in Tehran has ordered the arrest of two leading pro-reform figures: a leading dissident, Ezatollah Sahabi, and a student leader, Ali Afshari. Both face charges of insulting the Islamic system at a student meeting in Tehran last month. At the meeting, Mr Sahabi said that a system based on repression couldn't last for long. Mehdi Sharif asked Reza Alijani, a journalist in Tehran, about the details of Mr. Sahabi's arrest >>> LISTEN HERE

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