The Iranian Times

Tuesday, February 22, 2000 / Esfand 3, 1378, No. 922

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So alike
Us and the Americans

By Laleh Khalili
February 22, 2000
The Iranian

What I want to write about is quite pedestrian: the universality of humanity as demonstrated by the absurdity and exhilaration of the game of politics. Elections are a vivid tableau in which a society is distilled and displayed; these particular elections so much more so...

What I want to say, based on this quick sketch of similarities, is simple. We are so much alike, we the Americans, and we the Iranians. Our governmental institutions may be vastly different; as our economies and our military capabilities are; but as a people, here and there, we are the same. We both play the politics of identity; religion and faith are so infinitely important to us >>> GO TO FEATURE


The road to victory
It won't be smooth

By Rasool Nafisi
February 22, 2000
The Iranian

The unprecedented surge of political participation of Iranians in the 1997 presidential election, which brought Mohammad Khatami to power, halted the gradual trend toward absolutism, at least temporarily. For the first time Iranians experienced a relatively free election. Although, it must be added that Iranians have tried their hand in 20 national elections so far, and they seem to be determined to win over despotism through rational rather than emotionally-charged political action...

So the reformists have won the majority of the Majlis. This stunning victory will not bring full-fledged democracy to Iran, but it will halt the advancement of the anti-democratic forces. What now? >>> GO TO FEATURE


Conspiracy at Desert One
A novel

By Bernace Charles
The Iranian

Chapter Fifteen >>> GO TO FEATURE


The young seek a freer, less clerical Iran

Scott Peterson
The Christian Science Monitor

DIZIN, IRAN -- When young Alireza Mahfouzian stops mid-schuss and bends his head to steal a kiss from his girlfriend, he quickly looks up - like a child caught stealing sweets - to see if anyone is watching.

Holding hands in public is rare enough, because it risks rebuke from watchful morality police. But open flirting in the Islamic Republic? Well, that's nearly revolutionary >>> FULL TEXT


Persian Golf

Tiger Woods should check this out >>> GO HERE

More Letters

* Jumping the gun

Jafar D. writes: It's true that recent events in Iran bring some sense of optimism, but to say that "democracy has finally arrived", is in my humble opinion premature and naive ["The ballot box"].

While 1,500 students still are in prisons and the people who threw them off the third floor of their dorms are running around free, while no one has yet truly been implicated for the serial murders of 1998 with the exception of some imaginary dude, Said Emami, while it was only weeks ago when we had a German guy in prison for the crime of having sex with somebody, while ancient allegations and rhetoric of CIA and FBI's relationships with Saeed Emami and his wife can be publicly mentioned by government officials, while those responsible for mass executions of thousands of Iranians and the destruction of Iranian economy still walk around freely, it's hard to truly speak about democracy.

Democracy's first rule, is a pluralistic government. Did anyone who officially rejected the notion of Velayate Faghih participate in this election? Did any party with the exception of those within the framework of Islamic Republic participate in this election? does democracy in Iran mean working within the frameworks of IRI? Isn't there anyone out there who could represent thousands of Iranians who are not per se religious? >>> FULL TEXT

* Ridle

James M. King, Jr. writes: Having just finnished reading The Physician, I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce Bahmani's review ["Adventures in old Persia"]. I also would highly recommend this book to those that have no fear for the truth. An ancient proverb states: "When the truth is inconvenient, Ignorance is considered a licence to sack, pillage & rape the community".

My recommendation of this book to a Jewish friend was framed as mystic referrence to page 600. I told her that if a Jewish Rabbi were to first read this page, then read the whole novel, a massive riddle would pop in their face.

After I read the book, I went back to page 600. From the text, I visualized a "Pet Octopus" named "Panda" -- dropped it into my mind to go fishing. When "Panda" rattled my cage to come out, I said: "OK Panda! Spit your ink out on the page! Let's see what you have to say: "A Riddle, 3 by 3 ..." was the distillation from this novel.

It should be understood that riddles have a very serious and profound purpose: To reason, not only on the short terms of a generation, but also on God's timeline. For we are their children! If you would like to recieve a copy of this riddle please respond by email.

Film: San Jose film fest

As some of you might know San Jose Film Festival, Cinequest, is scheduled for TH Feb 24 to SUN March 5th. They have couple of showing of an Iranian film "Don". It is a movie by Abolfazl Jalili. Show times are: 2/27, 4:30pm and 3/1, 7:15pm at AMC Saratoga 14, 700 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose, California. The complete film schedule is available in the METRO weekly newspaper or >>> GO TO


Books & Music from Iran

New books

* Collected articles on the Iranian President Khatami * The best of Shamlou's poetry * The best poems of Hooshang Ebtehaj, aka H.A. Sayeh * Novel based on the life of Molla Sadra * Soovashoon Simin Daneshvar >>> GO HERE

New music albums

* Taherzadeh, Manochehr: Aakharin barg * Eyvazi, Mohammad Reza. : Rangin kamaan * Banan.: Shaakh-e gol (2) * Ta'rif, Sadiq: Maah baanoo * Lachini, Fariborz: Paaeez-e talaaee ... >>> GO HERE

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Three hours of interviews, trainings, matches, Biographies, and fans of Iranian National Soccer Team, covering Iran's soccer history from 1978-2000. Premium quality. Produced by: Alireza AmirGhasemi & Behrouz Deravi.

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Triumphant reformers set out programme for more open Iran

TEHRAN, Feb 22 (AFP) - Hot on the heels of their landslide victory in parliamentary elections, Iran's reformers Tuesday set out their programme for a more open society, vowing to open up to the foreign media and even the long-hated United States. Emboldened by their capture of parliament, long a bastion of their conservative opponents, the reformers also pledged to end a five-year-old ban on satellite dishes aimed at shutting out the foreign media >>> FULL TEXT

Hardliner accepts defeat

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A top hard-line ideologue has accepted defeat in Iran's parliamentary elections, saying in a report today that his camp will have to reconsider its policies. An influential reformer, meanwhile, has said talks with the United States would not be a ``sin.'' Talks with the United States, a more liberal press and increased personal freedoms are expected to be among the issues discussed in the next Parliament, or Majlis, which will be seated in June >>> FULL TEXT

Post-election unrest leaves three more dead, two wounded

TEHRAN, Feb 22 (AFP) - Post-election unrest has left three more dead, including one child, and two injured, across Iran, the evening daily newspaper Kayhan said Tuesday. Two people were killed and two others injured in the first incident when a coach hired by supporters of one candidate passed through a village near the southern city of Lordeghan where the locals supported a rival candidate, the paper said >>> FULL TEXT

New deputies are men and women in a hurry

TEHRAN, Feb 22 (AFP) - Iran's new reformist deputies who will enter the next parliament en masse following their sweeping election victory are men and women in a hurry to change Iranian society, but not the fundamental principles of the Islamic republic. The main reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) and its allies are set to hold three-quarters of the 290 seats or more in the new assembly, having smashed the outgoing conservative majority >>> FULL TEXT

U.S. discusses way to reward Iran

WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration is weighing how to show its pleasure at the resounding defeat in Iran's parliamentary elections of candidates who demonized the United States. State Department spokesman James Rubin called the preliminary results, which gave reformers more than 70% of decided seats, ''historic'' and a triumph for those advocating ''openness and engagement with the rest of the world.'' >>> FULL TEXT

US weighs 'appropriate' responses to Iranian election

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (AFP) - The United States said Tuesday it was weighing "appropriate" responses to the overwhelming victory by reformers in Iran's parliamentary election last week. But State Department spokesman James Rubin cautioned that conciliatory steps would not come immediately as it would take time before reformers could make their presence felt and affect policy >>> FULL TEXT

Senate may sanction Iran suppliers

WASHINGTON (AP) - Brushing aside opposition from the administration, the Senate is moving to compel the president to be more aggressive in tracking Russia and other countries that supply weapons materiel to Iran. The bill, taken up by the Senate Tuesday, also could restrict payments to Russia in connection with the International Space Station. The bill is expected to win the Senate's overwhelming approval when it votes Thursday, much as similar legislation sailed through the House last September, 419-0 >>> FULL TEXT

Oil pressured as output rise seen likely

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Oil prices drifted sideways on Tuesday as nervous dealers weighed the prospect of OPEC capping a blistering year-long bull run by raising output in April. Benchmark Brent crude was five cents off at $25.88 a barrel in quiet trade following a week that has seen it slide 10 percent from a post-Gulf War peak of $28.78 hit on February 14 >>> FULL TEXT

Iranian nominated for Oscar

February 2000 (British Iranian Business News) -- Director Mehdi Norowzian's Killing Joe has been nominated for the Best Short Picture award at the Oscars. He said he felt proud when he was informed that he has joined a clutch of British talent at this year's ceremony, including American Beauty director Sam Mendes >>> FULL TEXT


Tehran (Hamshahri) - Tourists will soon be able to visit the 3,000-year-old ruins at Choghazanbil in Khuzestan Province at night: officials plan to set up proper lighting >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Film subjects

Tehran (Iran daily) - An interesting guide to the Iranian films at the Fajr film festival: What were the main topics of the films? >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


Tehran (Asr-e Azadegan) - Fajr film festival entrants will try to cash-in from the hype surrounding the festival for several weeks >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


Tehran (Iran Varzeshi) - Next Sunday's match between Esteqlal and Perseplis has added importance: it could determine the leaguge top team. Here's a review >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


Tehran (Iran Varzeshi) - Payan Rofat is a striker for Persepolis. He thinks Esteqlal's defense has weakened. So what does he think about next Sunday's match? >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


Tehran (Iran Varzeshi) - The chief nutritionist of the Scotish national soccer team has arrived in Tehran fpr an international sports conference >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


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Former Tehran mayor Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi has started his own newspaper -- a month after getting out of prison.

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Quote Unquote


Our societies [Iran and the U.S.] are also remarkably similar: seduced by ecstatic spiritualism, somewhat superstitious, with a sometimes-contentious coexistence between the vast number of ethnic groups that compose the nations. We both have an inflated sense of our own superiority as a chosen with a sense of mission, and we both believe that we are destined to affect the universe around us, to lead it, to change it, to irrevocably shape it in our own image.

-- Laleh Khalili
"So alike"
The Iranian
February 22, 2000

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