Don’t Rush to Judgements!

These pictures are quite popular in the West: Iranian women covered by a black veil, “chador,” as they call it, from head to feet, with only the noses visible and a glimpse of their faces and eyes. And the “burka” in Afghanistan:  usually in blue, but covering even those facial parts, leaving something like a grid …

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“Banu, Our Lady…”

Simin Behbahani, prominent Iranian poetess and women’s rights activist, received the “Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom” in Paris on January 21. The prize recognizes the work and actions of individuals who contribute to the freedom of women around the world. At the Paris gathering, Mrs. Behbahani was representing Iran’s “One Million Signatures-Campaign” that …

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Past And Future And Our Region

“The Gaza conflict is a fitting end to the Bush presidency,” said Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History, to Financial Times. “Israel is applying the original Bush doctrine in Gaza, which says that politics can be changed on the ground through military means.” Military action may (or may not) change regimes on the …

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Iranian Small Business Squeezed By Ahmadinejad’s Policies

Even as the latest UN, U.S., and European Union sanctions against Iran create new hardships for the country’s economy, most Iranians outside the government seem to place the blame for the situation on President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s uncompromising policies. At the same time, officials are trying mightily to ignore or downplay the effects of the sanctions. …

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Turkey Doesn’t Deserve This

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s fiery exchange with Israeli President Shimon Peres on January 29 at the World Economic Forum in Davos may earn him votes in Turkey’s next municipal elections in March this year or sympathy on Arab streets. But it is hard to expect that it would not harm Turkey’s role as …

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Distributing Iran’s Oil Wealth?

In 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected Iran’s president on the promise to distribute the country’s oil wealth among the poor. After his election, he approved grants and subsidies, disregarded advice by state budget office, and ordered the central bank to print more and more money. In one year, liquidity increased by 40%. Lacking incentives to invest, Iranians …

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30 Years of Islamic Revolution

Iran’s Islamic Revolution didn’t exactly start 30 years ago on February 1 when the Shah left Iran and exiled Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini returned home from Paris. Nor exactly on February 10, Bahman 22, when the Shah regime was declared overthrown and the provisional government of Mehdi Bazargan took over. It started at least a year …

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