The Iranian Times

Wednesday, December 9, 1998 / Azar 18, 1377, No. 622


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr

    Baba Taher


Cyber clash
Conversations with Iranians in cyberspace on the clash of civilizations

By Dokhi Fassihian

Almost twenty years later, the world is witnessing a thaw in the Islamic Republic's propaganda machine, not because the regime has lost interest in maintaining the status quo, but rather, because the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic, its value system and its practical success, have failed to attract Iran's newest generation-the 75% of the population which consists of the country's youth, aged 25 and under. This is an alarming demographic statistic for any government and even more so for the Iranian leadership, which for all effective purposes wants to remain in power and must appease this large constituency to do so. It is precisely this generation of Iranians, which will determine the political future of Iran. The success to which their demands are met and they, themselves, are integrated into the system will decide the political future of this regime and of the country as a whole.

I was encouraged to learn that a group of university students in Iran today have access to the Internet and often join the various chat rooms associated with the Internet. I actively sought to become acquainted with some of these students and bought computer software that is used in Iran to chat with people abroad. In a chat room simply called "Iran," I met eight students who were connecting directly from Iran. My initial interest was to get to know them, gain their trust, and become more familiar with their ideas ... GO TO FEATURE


Tehran's first cybercafe: where East meets Web

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (AFP) - It may be the only cybercafe that requires women to wear a veil, but at Tehran's aptly named "Way of the Future", the Islamic revolution is coming head to head -- or at least head to monitor -- with the brave new world of the Internet.

"It's alright to serve coffee or tea here but no gin and tonic," jokes Kulak Amanpour, who got the idea to open Iran's first Internet cafe from his years on the decidedly more relaxed French Riviera.

Amanpour and friends opened the Way of the Future in November, and while recognising the importance of the youth market -- the cafe, with its bright modern interior, is located close to Tehran University -- they also try to avoid unwelcome visits from the authorities ... FULL TEXT


Poor baby

Pinochet faces extradition bid

British Home Secretary Jack Straw agrees to allow General Pinochet's extradition case to go ahead. Here's a complete report from the BBC... CLICK HERE

More Letters

* I wish I could go

Tom Kenney writes: Thanks very much for sharing those beautiful pictures from Kerman! I now wish I could afford (both time and money) to visit Iran. I have always heard interresting things about the mountains there.

If you'd like to look, I have some pictures from my home state of California (USA) on my web page.

* Film: Divorce Iranian Style, In New York

Directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini
80 MINS.

One woman tells the judge her husband is crazy: in 30 years he has refused to let her answer the phone. (In Iran "craziness" is one of the few acceptable grounds for divorce when proceedings are brought by a woman; for men, divorce is granted upon request.) A 16-year-old, married at age 14 to a man 2 1/2 times her age, explains that she desperately wants a divorce to go back to school. Another pleads for custody of her 4-year-old daughter, having already lost custody of the older child. "You're poisoning my tea," mutters the judge to a woman who insists he find her misplaced file within the hour (he had suggested she return in a week). Inside an Iranian divorce court, a stream of veiled women (some only teenager others elderly) make use of reason, wit, charm, and chicanery to get what they want above all else: a divorce. Daily: 2, 3:40, 5:20, 7, 8:40, 10:20

Book of the Week

I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz

Edited by Henry S. Mindlin

Though he lived seven hundred years ago, Hafiz is still the most popular poet of Persia, and one of the greatest love poets who ever lived. This little book is perhaps the best introduction to his life and work. The poems of Hafiz overflow with a profound appreciation of the beauty and richness of life when seen through the eyes of love. -- The publisher, Sufism Reoriented

Recent featured books


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More news

Another missing Iranian writer dead under suspicious circumstances

New York, December 9, 1998 (Human Rights Watch) - Human Rights Watch urged the Iranian government to investigate the recent death of an Iranian writer under suspicious circumstances. The body of Iranian poet, writer, and free expression advocate Mohammad Makhtari was found today in a Tehran city morgue, Human Rights Watch said. Marks on his head and neck made it appear that he had been murdered, possibly by strangulation, although no autopsy has yet been carried out ... FULL TEXT

German court rejects appeal over Iran verdict

KARLSRUHE, Germany, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Germany's highest criminal court rejected on Wednesday an appeal against a 1997 verdict which concluded that Iranian intelligence had ordered the assassination of Kurdish dissidents in Berlin. The ruling by the Federal Court of Justice means the verdicts in the trial, which prompted a diplomatic rift between the European Union and Iran for several months, are legally binding ... FULL TEXT

Parliament puts off petrol price debate

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Iran's parliament on Wednesday postponed debating a bill to limit a government-proposed increase in the price of petrol. The bill requires the government to restrict petrol price rises to about 20 percent in the next Iranian year starting in March. The government, facing huge costs for fuel subsidies, has proposed keeping petrol prices at 200 rials (6.7 U.S. cents) a litre for the first 45 litres bought each month and charging consumers 750 rials a litre for additional quantities ... FULL TEXT

Russia hails nuclear deal with Iran

MOSCOW (AP) -- Dismissing U.S. concerns, Russia's top nuclear official said Wednesday that Moscow would go ahead with a project to build a nuclear reactor in Iran, but won't hand over weapons technology. Russia signed an $800 million deal with Iran in 1995 to help build a 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor at the country's Bushehr power plant. Last month, Iranian officials asked Moscow to conduct a feasibility study for building another three reactors at the same site ... FULL TEXT

U.S. may cut Russia aid over Iran missile-Albright

BRUSSELS, Dec 9 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned Russia on Wednesday it could lose millions of dollars in American aid if it did not curb its assistance to Iran's missile programme, a U.S. official said. She made the threat at a meeting with new Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov at which the two also discussed the agenda for high-level talks in Moscow this week on Russia's faltering economic reform programme, the senior official told Reuters ... FULL TEXT

Iranian firms in oil price slump

DUBAI, December 9, 1998 (BBC) - With a barrel of oil fetching less than half of what it did at its peak last year, Iran's economy has been devastated. But the knock-on effects of the economic crisis caused by historically low oil prices have reached out across the Gulf to hurt Dubai's Iranian business community. According to the spokesman for the Iranian Business Council in Dubai, Mohammed Massinaei, turnover amongst Iranian companies here has slumped to just half what it was a year ago ... FULL TEXT

$ Rate

The dollar now offered at up to 705-710 tomans

Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel: 602-595-0777

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Quote Unquote

The frog

Dar hozi keh maahi neest, qoorbaagheh sepahsaalaar ast.

(The frog rules in a pond with no fish.)

From Simin Habibian's "1001 Persian-English Proverbs)

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Gold medal in taekwando

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