The Iranian Times

Thursday, November 12, 1998 / Aban 21, 1377, No. 604

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr


    Baba Taher


Giving all a piece of the pie
The political risks of various pipeline routes in the Caspian basin

A lecture presented by Hooshang Amirahmadi at the Conference on Energy for Europe: Perspectives and Problems of Crude Oil Exports from the Caspian Sea to Europe Technische Universitat Braunschweig, Germany, October 19, 1998.

Geopolitics of pipelines from the Central Asia and Caucasus to markets in Europe, Asia and elsewhere have become a major foreign policy issue for the U.S. in the last few year. Countries like Iran, Turkey and Russia are competing to gain a piece of the great pie. However, Washington favors Turkey for political reasons and against the will of its business community. At stake for Iran is strategic, not just economic, gains or loss. No wonder the U.S. is not letting the business executives and the states in the Caspian region play the pipeline game among themselves. The winners of the game will reap strategic benefits while losers will become marginalized for sometime to come. It is in this context that I assess the political risks of various pipeline routes and suggest an alternative.

In what follows, I shall first provide a description of various routes and their advocates and then give an outline of the major risk factors involved including the extent they are ignored or accounted for in the positions held by the regional players. I shall conclude by proposing that decisions concerning oil and gas pipelines should recognize the need for multiple routes as dictated by political, economic, technical and strategic realities, and that a grand cooperative and win-win strategy is preferred over the current alliance-making and win-lose games. Yet, the most important preconditions for a sustainable transport of Caspian energy are national political and economic developments. The proposed framework is based on the assumption that the long-term prospect for every player is much richer than what it can achieve by maximizing its short-term gains... GO TO FEATURE


The Big Game

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - Historic rivals Piruzi and Esteqlal will face off in Azadi stadium on Friday Nov 13.... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


Iran's budding revolutionaries quizzed on the Great Satan

By Christophe de Roquefeuil

TEHRAN, Nov 12 (AFP) - Budding Iranian revolutionaries are in line for major quiz prizes if they can answer questions about the "dark side" of US history and provide suggestions on how best to give the "Great Satan" a "big slap in the face."

A revolutionary group is offering unspecified "valuable prizes" to anyone giving the correct answers to 40 questions about Iran's great enemy, the United States, especially in its relations with the Islamic Republic.

The quiz -- "What is the US thinking?" -- has been compiled by the Islamic Propagation Organisation and published in three of the country's more conservative newspapers to test Iranians on their knowlege of America's historical misdeeds... FULL TEXT

More Letters

* What the heck is a "Rahbar"?

A. P. writes: Many of you may have already received the first "Iran Report" from the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty by A. William Samii in Prague at However what I cannot understand is why they insist in using Persian words, while they are reporting in English. If it is aimed at an Iranian audience, then why not write in Persian using the English alphabet? And if it is aimed for all, then why use words such as "Rahbar"? ... none of my foreign friends understood who the hell was a Rahbar... FULL TEXT

* Guy de-you-know-who

Figaretti writes: Regarding Guive Mirfendereski's "Giving Batul a chance":

Guy de-somebody? It's Guy de Maupassant, who wrote "The Necklace"!!

* Film: Ramin Naimi's film in San Francisco

There is a movie by Ramin Niami named "Somewhere in the City" which will be playing at the Opera Plaza, San Francisco. Show times: 4:20 , 7 and 9:15 Friday Nov 13 - Thursday Nov 19 2, 4:20 , 7 and 9:15 Sat& Sunady. Opera Plaza: 415-352-0810

Thanks to Hamid Asayesh

Book of the Week

A Persian Requiem

By Simin Daneshvar
Translated by Roxane Zand

The first published novel by an Iranian woman and one of the most widely read novels in Iran.

Click here to read about this book

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More news

British energy industry delegation due in Iran

TEHRAN, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A delegation from the British energy industry arrives in Tehran on Friday for a series of talks on potential oil and gas projects, a British official said on Thursday. Several days of talks were scheduled with representatives of Iran's state energy complex and the private sector, the official said ... FULL TEXT

Smuggling blamed for currency freefall

TEHRAN, Nov 12 (AFP) - An Iranian finance ministry official on Thursday blamed illegal imports of goods for the dramatic fall in the value of the national currency, the rial. Deputy Finance Minister Morteza Qarah-Baqian said up to 1.6 billion dollars of goods were being smuggled into the country each year. "This helps create a currency black market and contributes to the instability in the exchange market," he said, quoted by newspapers. He called on the government to eliminate the underground economy, which he estimated represented between 15 percent to 30 percent of the total economy... FULL TEXT

Women bring Iranian cinema to the U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC (Search for Common Ground) - Six of Iran's foremost women film-makers will visit the U.S. in November as part of a continuing effort to foster greater American-Iranian understanding. The visit is being organized by Search for Common Ground (SCG), a Washington-based conflict resolution organization, and Khaneh Cinema, a professional association for film-makers in Iran, in close cooperation with the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and the Film Society at Lincoln Center in New York... FULL TEXT

Women take off their hijab? In a theater?

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani has denied an accusation by a member of the Majlis that 30 women took off their scarves in a movie theater in Tehran ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

University basij units get broader powers

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - Hardline students have gotten new powers from the Majlis in dealing with moderate forces in universities ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Bad Bach

Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - Musicians at the Niavaran Culural Center have delivered a poor performance of some of the great works of classical music, including those by Bach ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Iranian offers vineyard for Rushdie's death-paper

TEHRAN, Nov 12 (Reuters) - An Iranian grape grower has offered a vineyard as a new bounty on the head of British author Salman Rushdie, a newspaper reported on Thursday. Ebrahim Qassemi told the hardline daily Kayhan he was making the offer because it was his ``ardent desire that a proud and noble Moslem would one day end Salman Rushdie's life.'' ... FULL TEXT

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

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Zamaaneh baa to nasaazad; to baa zamaaneh besaaz.

(If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.)

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

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