The Iranian Times

Thursday, December 10, 1998 / Azar 19, 1377, No. 623

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr

    Baba Taher

Persian Gulf

Tonban-e Abu Musa
Squeezing a laugh or two from the Iranian foreign ministry's secret files

By Guive Mirfendereski

In the summer 1976, I visited Tehran to begin research for my doctoral thesis on the legal status of Great Tonb, Little Tonb and Abu Musa, three islands located at the strategic entrance to the Persian Gulf and subject of a contentious debate first between Iran and Britain and since November 1971 between Iran and the emirates.

One very bright and very early morning, armed with a letter of authorization, I descended on the ministry with a great and purposeful appetite for information, with a hunger which had been whetted in part by the secrecy which the topic commanded at the time. The prospects of research soon turned into a process of begging for information ... GO TO FEATURE


    D-i-v-o-r-c-e, in I-r-a-n
    Film views Iranian wives desperatelyseeking freedom

    By John Anderson.
    New York Newsday

    DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE. (U) (three stars)

    Married women manhandled by Tehran's legal system get their day on the screen. Nakedly honest and illuminating glimpse at our emerging ally's lopsided legal system. Directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini. In Farsi with English subtitles. At Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., Manhattan.

    ROILING ACROSS the screen like a medieval "Jerry Springer Show," the nonfiction "Divorce Iranian Style" is easy to digest, once you grasp its most fundamental concept: Women under the kind of Islamic law practiced in Iran have no rights. After that, everything makes perfect sense ... FULL TEXT


No sheep

From "Man in Contemporary Poetry" by Mohammad Mokhtari who was confirmed dead December 9, one week after family members had notified police of his disappearance:

More Letters

* It should be remembered

D. Nikkhah writes: Although it is nice to see Mr. Soroush also joining the ranks of the disenchanted ["Beyond words"], it should be remembered that at the begining of the revolution he was one of its great advocates and tried to give it a respectable face. He mercilessly criticized people of other convictions in radio and television and held high office. How sad that we now forget and again give him room to speak on the same platform as those that he oppressed with his views.

* Finally!

Nana Farshad writes: I am so happy that finally somebody is explaining marriage laws in Iran to Iranian men abroad ["Tonboon-e faati"]. I don't think they have the right to criticize a mother who is thinking of nothing but her daughter's future. I wish there were more parents like that. As a wife and a mother, I thank you.

* School: Farsi school in Maryland

The Iranian-American Cultural Society of Maryland currently sponsors two Farsi schools in the Baltimore, MD areas of Columbia and Towson. More information, including sample homeworks from the children, is available at //

Reza Shadmehr

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

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New! Bestsellers
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More news

Another dissident author missing -- relatives

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - An Iranian dissident author has gone missing in the latest disappearance of secular opposition intellectuals, his relatives said on Thursday. They said Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, a 45-year-old translator and author, had gone missing after he left his Tehran office on Wednesday afternoon. ``We have contacted all relevant authorities, including police, hospitals, and the morgue, with no trace of him to be found,'' a relative told Reuters... FULL TEXT

Gloves come off in Iran's political struggle

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Iran's powerful conservatives have slammed President Mohammad Khatami for his staunch defence of his ``civil society'' programme, taking aim for the first time directly at the popular moderate leader. In a series of public statements and press commentaries, the conservatives blasted Khatami's question-and-answer session on December 7 before a university crowd hungry for social and political reform, accusing him of playing partisan politics and defaming the divine values of the Islamic Revolution... FULL TEXT... ALSO... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Iran resurrect hopes with 5-0 win

BANGKOK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Favourites Iran resurrected their hopes of a quarter-final place in the Asian Games soccer tournament on Thursday with a crushing 5-0 win over Tajikistan. Iran, stunned in their opening second round group match by a 4-2 defeat at the hands of tiny Oman despite bringing their World Cup squad to Bangkok, went for goals from the start against Tajikstan and were 3-0 up after only 17 minutes ... FULL TEXT

Iran navy launches missiles to end Gulf war games

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Iran's navy fired ballistic and cruise missiles in the Gulf on Thursday to end major war games involving 50,000 troops, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported. It said four Iranian-made Fajr-4 ballistic missiles were tested on the last day of the Vahdat-77 (Unity-77) exercises in which 160 naval vessels and 120 aircraft took part... FULL TEXT

Russia will curb missile exports to Iran if proven

MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Russia told the United States on Thursday it was willing to tighten controls on exports of missile technology to Iran if Washington provided proof of illicit transfers, Interfax news agency reported. The exchange on Iran came as a high-level U.S. team led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott met Russia's economic supremo at the start of two days of talks on where Moscow is headed under a new, more conservative government... FULL TEXT

Gorbachev to Visit Iran

TEHRAN (Dec. 10) XINHUA - Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev will pay a visit to Iran in January, 1999 to deliver lectures, the Iran Daily said on Thursday. Gorbachev will come to Tehran at the invitation of the International and Political Studies Center (IPSC) of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, a source at the IPSC said. He will deliver lectures, attend press conference and meet political experts and university scholars during his stay in Iran, the source said, while not giving the exact date of the visit.

Swedish award for Bani-etemad

TEHRAN, (Hamshahri) - A Swedish cultural organization will award filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-etamd for her exceptional work in the field of art and culture ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Afghani music

TEHRAN, (Hamshahri) - New music composed by the famous Afghan artist Abdolvahab Madadi has just been released in Iran ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

$ 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

Fresh breath

Though Rumi (1207-1273 A.D.) composed tens of thousands of ghazals (odes and quatrains) in Persian, his poetry is as fresh and immediate today as the sound of one's own breathing.

Graeme Revell and Roger Mason
Vision II: Spirit of Rumi.
The Iranian
December 10, 1998

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Mohammad Mokhtari

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