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The Iranian Features
Oct 26-30, 1998 / Aban 4-8, 1377


* Media: Practice makes perfect


* Opinion: Lost at sea
* Hamid Taghavi: War, Iranian style
* Ideas: Let the occasional chalice break
* Cover Story: Laid back

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

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Oct 30, 1998


Practice makes perfect
Iranian gets a break in American TV drama? Deegeh chi?

By Bruce Bahmani

Recently I have found myself looking forward to Sundays. I've become hooked on a TV drama called "The Practice" (9:00 pm Sundays on ABC). This past weekend in fact, I became a hardcore fan.

Last Sunday's episode ("The Battlefield") involved an Iranian woman who had sued her former boss. She had been fired from her position as manager of a dry cleaning shop. (Maybe it seems unlikely to you engineers and computer geeks out there that an Iranian would be a dry cleaning manager, but I have a very good friend in Wisconsin who gave up a career at Sun Microsystems to do just that.)

She was let go simply and outrightly for being Iranian? I was outraged. I began pacing back and forth not knowing whether to turn the TV off or to watch. I mean, this was yet another clear case of Iranian-bashing ... GO TO FEATURE

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Oct 29, 1998


Lost at sea
Iran's revolving legal position in the Caspian Sea

By Guive Mirfendereski

    Iran's legal position in the Caspian Sea may be summarized as follows: (a) the division of the Caspian into bands of territorial waters in which each state would have exclusive sovereignty over the water, seabed, subsoil and air space, and (b) equitable (no longer necessarily equal) apportionment of the outer seabed and subsoil into national sectors for the purpose of exploitation of oil and gas resources. Iran continues to insist, as before, on the freedom of navigation and fisheries in waters situated outside of a state's territorial waters. Because of the recent flexibility shown in Iran's position, the issue of Caspian's future legal regime appears much closer to resolution that one might expect.

    The documents which historically have addressed the issue of Iran's territorial sovereignty in the Caspian consist of the 1723 Treaty of Alliance between Iran and Russia and the August 1962 Iran-Soviet memorandum signed by Iranian foreign minister, Abbas Aram, and Soviet ambassador at Tehran, Nikolai Pegov. In the first document, Iran ceded to Russia the length of the Caspian Sea. The treaties that later in 1725, 1732, 1813, 1828, 1881, 1893, 1921, 1954, and 1957 established the Iran-Russian and Iran-Soviet land boundaries would refer to the Caspian only in terms of where the land boundary in the west ended and the land frontier in the east began. No treaty restored to Iran any part of the Caspian Sea until the Aram-Pegov memorandum in 1962.... GO TO FEATURE

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Oct 28, 1998

Hamid Taghavi

War, Iranian Style
Ta'rof is, in fact, prepartation for major battle

The age-old Iranian tradition of ta'rof can be loosely likened to the various stages of a war.

Greetings start with the inevitable exchange of an array of compliments and the ensuing battle to convince the other party of their relative higher status. This is similar to diplomatic efforts preceding a war.

"Hi. How are you?"

"I'm barely alive. How are you?"

"Not terribly bad. How's your mother? How's your father? How's your dog? How's your spare tire?"

"Fine, all thanks to you. May your shadow not be reduced. How about you? How are your distant relatives? How's the brother of your regular bus driver? How's the tombstone on the grave of your great grandpa? How's the vegetable garden? How's your dog's tape worm situation?" ... GO TO FEATURE

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Oct 27, 1998


Let the occasional chalice break
Abdolkarim Soroush and Islamic liberation theology

Ahmad Sadri and Mahmoud Sadri's introduction to a volume of articles by Abdolkarim Soroush -- Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam -- to be published by Oxford University Press in the summer of 1999.

Soroush belongs to the genre of the "religious intellectuals." The Charisma of the first generation of post coup d'etat super-intellectuals like Mehdi Bazargan and Yadollah Sahabi emanated from their mastery of modern exact sciences while maintaining and revising their lay piety in the light of modern science. "Yes," they would aver in words and deeds "it is possible to be religious, modern, and nationalistic all at once."...

Soroush's magnum opus, is a tome entitled The Hermeneutical Expansion and Contraction of the Theory of Shari'a. It ... poses such question as, "What can we as mortals hope to know about the mind of God, and to what extent ought we take the edicts deduced by Islamic Juristconsults as literal and immediate divine commandments?" The clergy who have posed similar quandaries, do not object to these discussions as such. They are, however, outraged by Soroush's recklessness for exposing the laity to such sensitive subjects... GO TO FEATURE

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Oct 19, 1998

    Cover story

    Laid back
    She was a woman. And life was good

    What makes these photos special is not that they were taken at a time when women did not have to wear the hijab in public. The social and political messages here are secondary. What makes them so amazing is the woman herself -- the individual in each photo speaking to the viewer. More than a time or a certain kind of woman, she represents herself.

    All these photos, except for one, were taken in Iran in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. Click on the links below to see them:... GO TO FEATURE

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 Cover Story

Laid back
She was a woman. And life was good

 Gol Aqa



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