The Iranian Times

Friday, January 22, 1999/ Bahman 2, 1377, No. 650

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr



The Sohrab Syndrome
Iran's children today aren't faring much better

From Jerome W. Clinton's introduction to The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam. Mage Publishers will also be publishing Clinton's translation of Rostam and Esfandiyar, another portion of Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh, in the near future.

    The death of Sohrab at his father's hands seems especially wrong to those of us raised in the West because we have grown up thinking that the normal order of things is for sons to kill fathers, either symbolically or in fact. Since Freud and Frazer's The Golden Bough, we have even developed a certain soft spot in our hearts for patricides. However frightening and appalling patricide is, it has the sanction of natural process. The story of Sohrab fascinates us in part at least because it violates our sense of the natural order of things and adds a nightmarish element to a confrontation that is already heavily freighted with meaning... GO TO FEATURE


'The Children of Heaven': For a Pair of Sneakers, Longing, Lies and a Plan

The New York Times
January 22, 1999

The young hero of Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven" is played by Mir Farrokh Hashemian, a desolate-looking boy with huge brown eyes and a way of sending tears suddenly rolling down his cheeks. Those tears well up with some regularity during this film about 9-year-old Ali, his younger sister Zahra (Bahareh Seddiqui) and their scheme for sharing a pair of his tattered sneakers. The children want to hide the fact that Zahra's shoes have been lost because this will be a hardship for their parents.

The family's carefully detailed poverty, which reflects the filmmaker's own childhood experience, colors everything that happens in this story.

Events in the film are seen through the children's ingenuous eyes, as is so often and artfully the case in Iranian films. (A child's-eye view is, among other things, helpful in circumventing government censors.) ... FULL TEXT


Jannati warns of Internet threat

TEHRAN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - A top Iranian cleric warned on Friday against the ``threat'' of the Internet and satellite television to Iranian society and called for counteracting such influence with films on the history of Islam.

``The danger of the Internet and satellites that broadcast from a close range threatens us...They broadcast disgraceful, immoral pictures and threaten all humanity and morality and chastity,'' said Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the secretary of the powerful Guardian Council.

Speaking at a Friday prayers gathering at the Tehran University campus, the conservative cleric said it would not be enough to tell people not to tune in to foreign media, and that active reaction was necessary ... FULL TEXT

More Letters

* Not Without My Daughter II

Ataollah Togha writes: It seems like the pictures you choose for the cover of The Iranian ["Two-colored lollipop"] do not necessarily tell something about your favors for or against the subject of the picture, but they have more to do with being somehow related to Iran.

Therefore, let me suggest that you have a photo of Betty Mahmoody ready for the next cover; I think she, too, has once written something about Iran.

* Film: "Children of Heaven" in U.S.

Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven" opens January 22 in select theatres across the U.S. A video clip in Quicktime or AVI is available for download at the Miramax site: //

Thanks to Payman Arabshahi

Book of the Week

The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam
From the Persian National Epic, the Shahname of Ferdowsi

By Jerome W. Clinton (Translator)

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U.S. senator calls for end to food embargo on Iran

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee has called on President Bill Clinton to approve a possible sale of more than $500 million of U.S. farm goods to Iran and to end a unilateral U.S. food embargo on that country. ``Lifting or modifying the prohibition'' on U.S. food sales to Iran could encourage leaders in that country ``to respond by modifying its international behaviour in ways more compatible with our interests,'' said Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, in a letter to National Security Advisor Sandy Berger ... FULL TEXT

Albright: Iran should not be in isolation forever

WASHINGTON, January 22 (Itar-Tass) - US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright believes that such a country as Iran should not be in isolation forever. She said this in a speech to the Centre for National Policy on Thursday, motivating this view by Iran's size, importance and geographic position ... FULL TEXT

US: Caspian oil pipeline deal near

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Negotiations involving Azerbaijan, Turkey and major oil companies on building a pipeline to carry Caspian Sea oil to the West are progressing and may soon bear fruit, a senior U.S. official said Thursday. Richard Morningstar, the Clinton administration's special adviser on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy, also said that despite a growing number of dry wells drilled in the Caspian, he believed there was sufficient oil to make it a productive region ... FULL TEXT

Russia to continue Iran cooperation, minister says

MOSCOW, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on Friday that Russia would continue to cooperate with Iran in peaceful areas despite U.S. concerns that Moscow is helping Tehran's missile and nuclear programmes. ``We will develop cooperation with Iran in all peaceful spheres, while strictly maintaining a policy of non-proliferation,'' Ivanov told a news conference ... FULL TEXT

Parvin's advice on youth soccer team

Tehran (Iran) - Ali Parvin lends his two rials on the under 21 (Omid) olympic soccer team and gives some advice to the new German headcoach ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

$ Rate

Updated Jan 22

The dollar now offered at up to 720-722 tomans

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

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Quote Unquote

(Few) good kings

The list of bad kings in the Shahnameh is a very long one, and that of good kings is depressingly short. What Ferdowsi knew was that the alternative to absolute rule by a divinely chosen shahanshah was not, of course, some better system, but the endless conflict of lesser rulers.

Jerome W. Clinton
"The Sohrab Syndrome"
The Iranian
January 22, 1999

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