The Iranian Times

Friday, May 5, 2000 / Ordibehesht 16, 1379, No. 975


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Deaf & blind
Muzzling the press -- the eyes and ears of the people

By Hossein Bagher Zadeh
May 5, 2000
The Iranian

A major clampdown has started against the press in Iran. Just over a week ago, sixteen publications, including twelve national dailies, were shut down by the authorities. These include almost all the reformist press, which started publication in the last three years. As a result, the whole reform movement has been muzzled. More than 1,500 journalists and press workers have been made jobless and newspaper circulation has been cut by almost half...

As with any other act of political oppression, the free press is the first to fall victim. And in a society like Iran where independent political parties are virtually non-existent, the press has to take the major brunt of the attack. Political oppression may only succeed if the society is kept unaware of the words and deeds of the rulers >>> GO TO FEATURE


Expectations High for Iran Run-Offs

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's pro-democracy allies were expected to make a strong showing in Friday's parliamentary run-off, despite a crackdown by hard-liners determined to clingto power.

Most voters randomly interviewed Friday in several constituencies said they were voting for the moderates - bad news for hard-liners trying to mitigate a humiliating defeat in the Feb. 18 first round. In that balloting, reformists won some 70 percent of races for the 290-seat parliament, or Majlis >>> FULL TEXT

    Left hook

    May Day rallies in Iran

    Communist Workers Party of Iran reports on May Day rallies in Tehran, Ahvaz and Dasht-e Moghan FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN



Accra, GHANA - The road, which descends from the Overhead Bridge towards Accra, is lined on both sides with residential buildings and shops. One of the buildings on the right hand side has terrazzo walls and is the most beautiful and also the tallest on the line. But for the Iran Clinic inscribed on it, one would have taken it for one of the many modern office buildings in the city. This is the new-look Iran Clinic, which was temporarily closed down for a face-lift >>> FULL TEXT

Thanks to Anoosh Hosseini

More Letters

* Free expression, without getting beaten

Maziar Shirazi writes in response to Murtaza Sarwary:

It is so easy for you, living in Canada, halfway around the world from Iran, to tell Iranians in Iran and worldwide that a bunch of insolent students are trying to destroy all of what Khomeini and his regime fought for in the Iran/Iraq war and in the struggle to put Islam in government. Maybe it's because you never had a bit of exposure with the war and what went on that you see things the way you do.

First of all, besides the fact that most Iranians only consider themselves Muslims and don't really practice that much and that many Iranians are also of different faiths, which makes a single-religion government totally unrepresentative of the people, you forget that these newspapers are not trying to destroy Islam; they focus instead on gaining the right to speak out without getting beaten, being able to express ourselves freely in any form, as our poets continued to do even after Islam >>> FULL TEXT

* Filmmakers as role models

Faramarz Kaviani writes in response to Banafsheh Zand:

Thank you for your response and your respect to an Iranian artist which was my general idea too. But needless to say, I have to diagree...

When somone rights a book or makes a movie, we are dealing with direct ideas presented by the composer. How can the artist be exempt from ideas that he himself is more or less presenting?

To make my point clearer, let's forget about Mehrjoui, whom I still respect a lot, and consider another example. Let's consider a teacher who is telling children in school to be honest, peaceful and not to be jealous. Do you expect that teacher to follow his own words or not? Is this too much ask? I don't think so >>> FULL TEXT

TV: Iran on Travel Channel

Travel Channel in the U.S. will present its second special on Iran in a program called "Journeys to the End of the Earth". The program is called The People of the Flame. It premiers on the Travel Channel on Tuesday, May 9th at 9:00 p.m. E/P time >>> DETAILS HERE

Books & Music from Iran

Check our fourteen new books from Iran including an authoritative history of the Achamenid empire, writings by leading reformists, Forough Farrokhzad's complete works, exquisite books of classical poetry with miniatures, Manichaean psalms and more! >>> 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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NEW: Champions: Iranian national soccer team

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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Translation of today's poem by Zara Houshmand:

At first, with countless kindnesses, he played his song upon me.
Then he roasted me over a thousand sorrows' flames.
At the lash of his kindness, the spur of his love, I galloped.
When I became entirely him, he tossed me to the ground.
-- Rumi

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More news

Run-off elections go ahead

Tehran, (BBC) -- Iranians have cast their votes in a crucial run-off ballot for 66 seats which remained undecided after February's general election. Reporters said the turn-out appeared low, but this was less important than the fact that the second stage was being held at all >>> FULL TEXT

Voting overshadowed by disputes

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Voter turnout was active across Iran Friday for runoff parliamentary polls overshadowed by disputes about first round results and press freedom. Reformists backing President Mohammad Khatami won more than 100 seats in February but were caught up in a series of annulments and a wrangle with conservatives over the count in Tehran >>> FULL TEXT

Activists and Intellectuals Detained in Iran for Participating in a Conference

(Washington, DC, May 3, 2000) -- Human Rights Watch today condemned the April 30 arrest of six prominent Iranian activists for participating in a conference on the future of Iran. The conference was held in Berlin on April, 7-8, 2000. The detainees, all prominent Iranian intellectuals, included Mehrangiz Kar, a women's rights advocate; Shahla Lahiji, publisher of women's books; Akhbar Ganji, a journalist; and Ali Afshari, a student leader. Ezzatollah Sahabi, a former minister, and Hamid-Reza Jalai-Pur, an editor, were arrested and later released on bail. The six are charged with "acting against the internal security of the state and disparaging the holy order of the Islamic Republic." >>> FULL TEXT

Scholars urge release of detainees

As concerned scholars and human rights advocates, we feel compelled to express our concern about the recent crackdown on the pro-democracy and reform movement in Iran. We appeal to the world community and call on all international human rights organizations, non-governmental as well as governmental bodies, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as individuals who are supportive of democracy, human rights, and civil society to protest the most recent repression of reform and reformers in Iran >>> FULL TEXT

Israel cautiously opposes Iran trial

JERUSALEM (AP) - The mother of a Jew accused of spying and on trial in Iran pressed her hand on one of the massive stone blocks of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, and prayed. The woman came Thursday to a prayer vigil here for her son, Dani Tefilin. She sobbed loudly as his name was read aloud >>> FULL TEXT

Improved US-Iran ties face hurdles

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's quest for improved relations with Iran is being complicated by congressional moves to make Iran pay for alleged involvement in terrorist activities against Americans. Legislation under consideration would make it easier for terrorist victims to collect multimillion-dollar judgments by seizing assets from the nations that sponsored the activity >>> FULL TEXT

French bank signs credit deal for Tehran to buy Alstom locomotives

TEHRAN, May 5 (AFP) - French bank Credit Agricole Indosuez has signed a credit agreement with Melli Bank, Iran's national bank, to finance the purchase by Tehran of 100 Alstom locomotives for 192 million euros (171 million dollars), a statement by the French bank here said. The credit line was signed by Credit Agricole Indosuez and Melli Bank on April 29, with the French COFACE export credit agency firm acting as guarantor >>> FULL TEXT

Iranian architechture: Pradise

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Architectural historian Mohsen Habibi talks about major concepts in Iranian architecture, namely that it is an effort to recreate paradise on earth >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

World Theater Day in Tehran

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Some interesting observations from World Theater Day celebratios in Tehran (towards bottom of report) >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

First Iranian video film fest in North America

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Plans are underway to hold the first Iranian video-film festivals in Canada and the U.S. this year. If you would like your film to be show you apply soon >>> FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Under 17: Iran's rising stars

(Iran Sports Press) - Video clips of goals from matches between Iran's under-17 soccer team and Brazil, Italy and Ghana >>> FULL TEXT

International matches in Tehran

(Iran Sports Press) - The national soccer teams of Macedonia, South Korea and Egypt will take part in a friendly tournament in Tehran next month >>> FULL TEXT

Esteghlal topple Pass 3-0

(Iran Sports Press) - With video clip: Esteghlal played well today, especially in the 1st half. The match kick off to a high speed game, with Esteghlal taking the upper hand early in the match with several attempts on goal >>> FULL TEXT


Election results in Tehran

In the Friday Prayer sermon today, May 5 2000, Ayatollah Yazdi, a member of the Guardian Council talked about the reasons behind the delay in announcing the final results of the Tehran constituencies election and when they are expected to be announced. Saeed Yekta speaks to Ghasem Sholesadi, former MP >>> LISTEN HERE

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Quote Unquote

Deaf & blind

In order to subjugate a society, it has to be made deaf and blind. It has to be denied of its free and independent press.

-- Hossein Bagher Zadeh
"Deaf & blind"
The Iranian
May 5, 2000

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