Lunch with Khomeini
How a former SAVAK chief saved the ayatollah's life
Excerpts from Memoirs of Fatemeh Pakravan: Wife of General Hassan
Pakravan: Army Officer, Chief of the State Intelligence and Security Organization,
Cabinet Minister, and Diplomat, edited by Habib Ladjevardi (1998
Iranian Oral History Project, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard
My husband told me, "You know, I had lunch every week with the
ayatollah." I said, "Yes. I knew that but you never told me what
was the atmosphere of these meetings." He said, "Very good. Very
cordial. Very friendly. The ayatollah used to say in this very flowery
Eastern way, 'Timsar, I count the days until we reach the day of
our luncheon.'" I asked, "How was he?" My husband said,
"He was very handsome. And I'm sure he's not as old as they say. I'll
tell you why. He was very handsome. He had extraordinary presence, a power
of seduction. He had a great charisma." ... GO
Pipeline Dreams In the Caspian
By David J. Kramer
Thursday, December 3, 1998
The Washington Post
The region around the Caspian Sea has assumed a large role in the Clinton
administration's strategy toward Russia and the other new independent states
in the area, as well as Iran and Turkey.
The key to this strategy is promotion by the administration of a pipeline
from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Ceyhan, Turkey. This route, in bypassing both
Russia and Iran, would accomplish three U.S. foreign policy goals: strengthen
the independence of the Caspian states by reducing their dependence on
Russia for energy exports; exclude Iran from any possible windfalls; and
solidify ties with Turkey, a NATO member. (From Turkey's perspective, it
also would cut down on traffic through the crowded Bosporus Straits.)...
faati" -- the title of yesterday's feature -- refers to the issue
of dowry and why women and their parents in Iran insist upon it. It is
a play on the proverb: "een baraay-e faati tonboon nemeesheh,"
i.e. love is not enough to make a woman in Iran feel secure in accepting
marriage, because she has so much to lose if a man opts for divorce.
* Overdue self-critique
Guive Mirfendereski writes: Ali Reza-qoli's book ["Who's
next?"] is a timely and at the same time overdue beginning to
what may be a fruitful and constructive exploration of our self as a nation
and as an individual, enlightened self-critique and evlauation toward self-betterment
and improvment of our human environment as well ... FULL
* Lecture: Student leader in Berkeley
Manouchehr Mohammadi founder and leader of the Society of Intellectual
Students in Iran will be speaking at UC Berkeley.
Sponsered by Center of Near Eastern Studies and Radio Havaye Tazeh.
Saturday Dec 5 @ 7:00 PM , Room 145 Dowenell Hall. UC Berkeley info.(415)673
Book of the Week
The Assassin Legends : Myths of the Isma'Ilis
By Farhad Daftary
Since the twelfth century fantastical tales of the Assassins, their
mysterious leader and their remote mountain strongholds in Syria and northern
Iran have captured the European imagination. These legends first emerged
when European Crusaders in the Levant came into contact with the Syrian
branch of the Nizari Ismailis, who at the behest of their leader were sent
on dangerous missions to kill their enemies. Elaborated over the years,
the legends culminated in Marco Polo's account according to which the Nizari
leader, described as the 'Old Man of the Mountain', was said to have controlled
the behaviour of his devotees through the use of hashish and a secret garden
New! Books on Rumi
New reformist Iranian paper hits the streets
TEHRAN, Dec 3 (AFP) - The first edition of reformist newspaper
Khordad, run by a close associate of President Mohammad Khatami, hit Tehran's
news stands on Thursday. The paper takes its name from the date Khatami
was elected in May 1997. The 12-page colour newspaper is run by former interior
minister Abdollah Nuri, who was ousted in June after a censure motion by
the conservative dominated parliament amid a tense power struggle between
the regime's moderate and hardline factions ... FULL TEXT
Press watchdog says Iranian journalist
PARIS, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Paris-based media watchdog
Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) expressed deep concern
on Thursday about what it said was the disappearance of a journalist in
the Iranian capital Tehran. The group said in a letter to Iranian President
Mohammed Khatamai that Pirouz Davani, editor-in-chief of the moderate left-wing
publication Pirouz, had been missing since the end of August. IT said another
Iranian newspaper, Kar o Karagar, wrote on November 28 about rumours that
he had been executed. The press group asked Khatami, a relative moderate,
to investigate the matter.
Germany denies report of new Hermes loans
BONN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Germany denied reports on Thursday
that it was about to extend new loans to Iran through its export credit
guarantee agency, HERMES. A spokesman for the Economics Ministry in Bonn
said that Germany had not extended Iran HERMES loans nor were there plans
to supply new lending. "There are no credits for Iran and nothing is
planned," the spokesman said.
Lawmakers cite Iran drug problems
WASHINGTON, December 3, 1998 (AP) - Two Republican
lawmakers who monitor international drug issues are urging President Clinton
not to remove Iran from an official list of 30 drug problem countries.
Citing news reports that Iran will be dropped from the list, Sen. Charles
Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y., said there is no basis
for suggesting Iranian drug enforcement has been strengthened... FULL TEXT
Iran offers to help resolve row over Ocalan
ROME, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister
Kamal Kharrazi said on Thursday his country was willing to help resolve
the row between Italy and Turkey over what to do with Kurdish guerrilla
leader Abdullah Ocalan. ``As duty president of the Organisation of the
Islamic Conference (OIC), Iran is willing to collaborate in ending the crisis,''
Kharrazi told a news conference at the end of a two-day visit to Rome ...
Hamid Mossadegh's last words
Tehran, (Hamshahri) - A review of Hamid Mossadegh's
last book of poems ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
Next opponent: Laos
Tehran, (Hamshahri) - The Iranian national soccer
team will face Laos in the second round of the Asian Games. Many scoring
opportunities expected against this weak team ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
dollar now offered at up to 705-710 tomans
Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel: 602-595-0777
embassy in Japan
Not A LOT of info, but... (in English & Japanese)
"This whole thing was put together by me, Patrick Farley.
In truth, I probably don't have time to respond to your e-mail unless there's
money or a lawsuit involved."
My husband said to the shah, "You know, you're giving him the means.
You give him an international platform." The shah said, "No. No.
I think he promises that he will keep quiet."
On General Pakravan's opposition to Ayatollah Khomeini's exile to Turkey
"Lunch with Khomneini"
December 3, 1998
Photo of the Day
Musician of the Week
Washington, D.C.-based DJs and producers Ali "Dubfire"
Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi have one of the hottest house bands around.