Friday, October 23, 1998 / Aban 1, 1377, No. 590
It's all a myth
By Asghar Massombagi
The much beleaguered Shahnameh of course was one of the cultural icons that the Pahlavis sought out in their nationalistic propaganda. And they weren't the only ones who saw in Ferdosi's Wagnerian (oops, Freudian slip) myth regeneration of a fertile ground for their nationalistic imagination. Intellectuals as varied as Hedayat, Chubak, and Akhavan Saales (especially his book Aakhar-e Shahnameh) associated anything corrupt, medieval and reactionary with Islam and Arabism, and sought a sort of pure untouched Iranian identity predating the invasion of Iran by the Arabs.
However as much as portions of Shahnameh may lend themselves to Farsi chauvinism, the idea of "we" not having forgiven Salm and Tur, but somehow seeing Alexander as a good conqueror doesn't quite work here. Alexander conquering Iran, in the larger context of Iran's history, was rather a passing affair and didn't really transform the country in any profound way. Arabs however brought Islam and stayed for several centuries. The Mongols and Turks ruled the land for hundreds of years and were deeply absorbed into the fabric of the Iranian society.
The fact is that any nation as traumatized and conquered as Iran has been in the past 2000 years by invaders from all directions will engender mythology to exert its existence.... GO TO FEATURE
Iran & Hizbollah: The Israeli view
The Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry
April 22, 1998
Since Khomeini's rise to power in 1979, Iran has maintained aspirations to lead the radical Islamic camp and continues to deepen its ties to extremist states and terrorist groups throughout the Middle East (Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and Gaza). At the same time Iran has engaged in a public relations campaign aimed at convincing the West, as well as its neighboring Gulf States of its benign intentions and fitness to be fully integrated into the community of nations.
The one realm where Iran has made no attempt to disguise its ideological fervor is with regard to its implacable hatred of Israel. Iran remains committed to the proposition that Israel has no right to exist and that its destruction is a desideratum. The following statements, coming from the highest levels of authority in Teheran, give evidence of the ideological obsession which Iran has with Israel's very existence... FULL TEXT
Cigars & the Peace Process
As Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the White House ceremony today marking the latest Israeli-Palestinain agreement, he made a light comment about the long, hard negotiations and thanked a member of the American delegation for being "the provider of cigars." He wasn't referring to President Clinton, but the audience sensed the bad timing and almost no one laughed.
* Scholarship: Student scholarship, northern California
Book of the Week
Translated by Haleh Pourafzal, Roger Montgomery
Khatami hits out at poll choices
TEHRAN, Oct 23 (Reuters) - President Mohammad Khatami urged Iranians to take part in Friday's polls for a clerical assembly but not before taking a swipe at the selection process that had barred many of his reformist allies from the race. Casting his ballot at the Jamaran Mosque once favoured by the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the president said the vetting of candidates had deprived voters of a broad range of choices... FULL TEXT
"Minimal" vote in key assembly
Friday, October 23, 1998, TEHRAN, Iran (AP)
- Iran's official media boasted about a huge turnout in elections Friday
for the council that oversees the country's supreme leader. But many polling
stations were nearly empty in Tehran, the capital and largest city and where
some voters complained that hard-line clerics had already decided the outcome.
State-controlled Tehran radio reported ``unprecedented and unique'' voting
levels for the 86-member Assembly of Experts. But correspondents who visited
a dozen polling stations around the capital found turnout to be minimal.
Only two polling stations had voters waiting in line ... FULL TEXT
Leftist on hunger strike in French prison
PARIS, Oct 23 (Reuters) - An Iranian leftist
exile jailed in France on common criminal charges has been on a life-threatening
hunger strike in a Paris jail for over a month, colleagues said on Friday.
The Organisation of Guerrillas of the Iranian People said in a statement
that Ahmad Fahimi, also known as Khosrow, was in ``a critical state of health,
might lose his sight and hearing and could be in danger of death in the
coming days.''... FULL TEXT
Iran slams U.N. criticism on rights as ``political''
TEHRAN, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Iran on Friday rejected
as ``political'' a U.N. report which said significant human rights violations
were continuing there even though many Iranian leaders wished to move towards
a more tolerant society. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi said
the report was ``incompatible with realities and current developments in
Iran'' after last year's election of reformist President Mohammad Khatami,
the Iranian news agency IRNA reported... FULL TEXT
Esteqlal defeats Iraqi rival
Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel:602-595-0777
The international edition of Ettela'at daily has been online for sometime. But the much more important domestic edition has just recently joined the growing number of Iranian media on the Web. In PDF format (need Acrobat Reader).
This "we" is the Los Angeles crowd of cheesy videos and blue
contact lenses and phony blond hair. None of this of course makes them un-Iranian
but I do not think they can represent all Iranians now living abroad.
Photo of the Day
Musician of the Week
Five songs from his greatest hits album.
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