The Iranian Times

Monday, December 7, 1998 / Azar 16, 1377, No. 620

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr

    Baba Taher

Cover story

Beyond words
Will there be a response to growing attacks against the press?

By Abdolkarim Soroush

In the last three months, Iran's judiciary has closed down more than a dozen moderate newspapers and magazines. Meanwhile a number of liberal journalists have died under mysterious circumstances or been imprisoned for their critical views.

Abdolkarim Soroush wrote the following letter to President Khatami after the closure of Toos newspaper and the imprisonment of its top editors some two months ago. Although the editors have since been released, Soroush says threats against other moderate newspapers promted him to make the letter public.

Excerpts from the letter were published by some Iranian newspapers last week. Here's the full text (in Persian) :... GO TO FEATURE


ART IN REVIEW: Shirin Neshat

The New York Times

Shirin Neshat 'Turbulent'
Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris
120 Park Avenue, at 42d Street Manhattan
Through Jan. 15

Shirin Neshat, born in Iran in 1957, is best known for self-portrait photographs in which she appears in a body-covering black chador, the female garb as dictated by Islamic tradition, with a gun barrel protruding from her robes. Gender politics is her subject; the repression of woman, whether through fundamentalism or cultural exoticizing, is her target.... FULL TEXT


Shah's Paykan for sale

"This car was a gift received by the Ceausescu family from the REZA PAHLAVI, Former Shah of Iran... " ... GO THERE

Forwarded by Payman Arabshahi

More Letters

* Where are the "strategic thinkers" now?

Roshanravan writes: The tragic murder of Dr. Daryoush Foruhar and Mrs. Parvaneh Foruhar did not get any reaction from all those highly-educated "strategic thinkers" who regularly post their opinions on various issues concerning "Democratic openings" under Khatami and his "Dovom-e Khordad Miracle"!...

Why? Because this is how you can play a double role in exile: you can play the role of a democrat who is for "dialogue" even with the likes of Assadollah Lajevardi; and at the same time, you can float in the heavens as a "strategist" who thinks in much bigger terms such as the "future of Iranian nation, of oil, of ping-pong diplomacy, of dialogue between civilizations" and a host of other such "khar rang kon" issues... FULL TEXT

* Art: Qajar symposium, New York

The Brooklyn Museum of Art and the New York University Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies are pleased to present:


New Research in the Study of 19th Century Iran

Friday, December 11, 1998 at NYU, 1 pm to 5:30 pm and Saturday, December 12, 1998 at Brooklyn Museum of Art, 9am to 5:30 pm

Expanding upon themes in the special exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, "Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch 1785-1925," the symposiumwill bring together scholars of art, history, and culture to discuss issues of representation, identity, revivalism, and modernity in Iranian visual imagery and culture. For a complete listing of locations, who will be presenting, and which specific topics will be presented, please visit:

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 of paradise.

Recent featured books


New! Bestsellers
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More news

Khatami asks for student patience on reform

TEHRAN, Dec 7 (Reuters) - President Mohammad Khatami on Monday told raucous students clamouring for decisive reform of Iran's Islamic system to be patient and tolerant in the face of mounting attacks by conservatives. Khatami, a scholarly Shi'ite cleric, was addressing a Students' Day gathering at Tehran's Sharif Technical University, fielding impassioned questions about his campaign to forge a pluralistic ``civil society'' under the rule of law ... FULL TEXT

Liberal opposition editor banned for one year

TEHRAN, Dec 7 (Reuters) - A court in Iran has banned a prominent liberal opposition editor from heading any publication for one year amid increased pressures against the moderate press, newspapers reported on Monday. The ruling against Ezzatollah Sahabi came as Faezeh Hashemi, editor of the moderate daily Zan (Woman) and daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, appeared in court to face charges of ``publishing lies ... FULL TEXT

Another writer disappears

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An Iranian writer left his home last week and has not been heard from since, adding to a recent spate of mysterious disappearances, a Tehran newspaper reported Monday. Mohammed Mokhtari, a poet and member of the Association of Iranian writers, left to go shopping Thursday in the residential suburb in northern Tehran, the Zan newspaper said. It said Mokhtari's family searched hospitals, morgues and police stations but could not find him... FULL TEXT

Rafsanjani's daughter cleared

LONDON, December 7, 1998, (BBC) - The daughter of Iran's former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been cleared of charges of publishing false news in her liberal newspaper. However, the jury at a press court in Tehran found Faezah Hashemi guilty of a lesser charge of insulting a senior police chief ... FULL TEXT

Iran cut from U.S. list of drug countries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said Monday it had removed Iran and Malaysia from its annual list of sources of illegal drugs, but said the two nations still bear watching. Iran's progress was welcomed by the White House as a ''positive'' step, but officials said the decision to remove it from the list was unrelated to a slow thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations under Iranian President Mohammad Khatami ... FULL TEXT

Reformists rally around Khatami - new party formed

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Supporters of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami have launched a broad counter-offensive against their conservative critics, seeking to regain the political momentum ahead of key polls early next year. After weeks of set-backs and outright embarrassment at the hands of the entrenched clerical establishment, pro-Khatami forces have rallied strongly in a bid to revitalise a popular reform movement launched with the president's surprise landslide victory in May, 1997 ... FULL TEXT... Also ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Iran's first gold

BANGKOK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Iran's first gold medal at the Asian Games in Bangko went to Seyed-Mahdi Panzvan who won the snatch title with a lift of 122.5 kg. Chinese weightlifter Liu Xiuhua fought off a bout of Thai flu on Monday to set a new world record and raise China's first gold medal at the Asian Games in Bangkok... FULL TEXT

Hard win over lowly Laos

BANGKOK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Iran, parading most of their World Cup team, also came out on top of their first round group with a 6-1 win over minnows Laos which was not as easy as the final scoreline suggested ... FULL TEXT

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Quote Unquote


Enough lovely words. Now is the time for brave action.

Abdolkarim Soroush
Letter to President Khatami
The Iranian
December 7, 1998

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Weightlifter wins gold

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