Interviews

In Iran, Both Sides Seek to Carry Islam’s Banner

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, ended his prayer sermon in tears on Friday, invoking the name of a disappeared Shiite prophet to suggest that his government was besieged by forces of evil out to destroy a legitimate Islamic governmen The opposition leader, Mir Hussein Moussavi, in criticizing the government, demanded the kind of justice promised by the Koran and exhorted his followers to take to their rooftops at night to cry out, “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great.” In the battle to control Iran’s streets, both the government and the opposition are…
kadivarad33
2009/06/22
Interviews

A Cleric Steeped in Ways of Power

TEHRAN, Sept. 3 — As Iran defies the West over its nuclear program, the public face of the nation has become the outspoken president,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But it is the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who by most accounts has been the primary architect of Iran’s combative foreign policy, and the force behind the president’s own power. Cloaked in religious robes, with a black turban signaling that he is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, Ayatollah Khamenei delivers the same blistering anti-American, anti-British, anti-Israeli message as the president. His political evolution charts his own…
kadivarad33
2006/09/09
Interviews

New attitudes color Iranian society, culture

TEHRAN, Iran — In a city that only a few years ago was almost monochromatic — full of women draped head to toe in black — women and girls this winter are sporting pink coats, pink sweaters, pink head scarves, shoes and bags. Many Iranians are expressing their contempt for their government through clothing. By Barbara Slavin, USA TODAY Iran's Islamic rulers appear to have given up trying to make women observe more than the letter of the hijab, the Koran's admonition that Muslim women outside their homes should cover…
kadivarad33
2005/02/28
Interviews

Iran looks, again, to experienced captain

TEHRAN, Iran — Somehow, most of the tangled strands of the U.S.-Iran relationship have wound up in his hands.  By Behrouz Mehri, AFP   Unfreezing Iranian assets would be "the best positive sign" of U.S. goodwill towards Iran and initiating talks, Rafsanjani said. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 70, was Iran's president from 1989 to 1997. In 1985, he helped arrange a clandestine deal with the Reagan administration, a trade of U.S. arms for Iran's help in freeing Americans held hostage by Iranian-backed militants in Lebanon. A decade later, Rafsanjani brokered…
kadivarad33
2005/02/06
Interviews

Democratic Iraq may encourage change in Iran – cleric

A successful transition to democracy in Iraq would increase pressure for change in Iran, a leading Iranian clerical dissident said on Wednesday. Mohsen Kadivar, whose views have earned him time in jail, also urged Iraq not to follow the Iranian model of granting ultimate power to a senior cleric. "I think the Iraqis can make what we wanted to create but were unsuccessful: a real Islamic Republic," he said in an interview. "By that I mean a republic with Islamic values, democracy with Islamic values ... (where) the clergy has…
kadivarad33
2005/02/02
Interviews

Keeping Faith in Reform, and Islam, in Iran. As Secular Movement Crumbles, Defiant Cleric Spreads Blame With a Smile

TEHRAN -- Mohsen Kadivar is a lonely voice in Iran these days. A charismatic cleric with a salt-and-pepper beard and a spirited smile, Kadivar became a hero to Iranian youth during his 1999 trial for challenging Iran's rigid theocracy. But the once-robust reform movement he symbolized virtually evaporated this year. Its political groups are in disarray. The last of 110 dissident newspapers or magazines have been shut down. Democracy advocates in parliament were barred from running again in elections last February, and student activists have been jailed or harassed. These…
kadivarad33
2004/12/15
Interviews

Young Iranians demonstrate against president, give, conservatives an opening

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson TEHRAN, Iran - Bloody confrontations between freedom-seeking student protesters and hard-line vigilantes rocking the Islamic Republic this past week likely have delivered a fatal blow to the once wildly popular political and social reform movement of President Mohammed Khatami. Disillusioned young Iranians who used to cling to Khatami's vision of an Islamic democracy achieved by peaceful means are now calling for his resignation, chanting his name along with those of the right-wing clerical rulers they seek to depose. Khatami, on the other hand, whose picture students…
kadivarad33
2003/06/15