Just as Wall Street is the embodiment of America’s financial industry, “the bazaar” stands for the mercantile and commercial interests that form a core constituency in Iran.
On Sunday, Iran’s state TV broadcast a wrenching and stunning 20-minute confession from a well-known public figure. But former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a reformist cleric, was clearly not himself. For one, he was not allowed to wear his clerical robe, and he had lost visible weight
The fate of Iran’s Islamic revolution now rests in the hands of an enigmatic cleric who is little understood at home, let alone by the outside world. For the past 20 years, pictures of Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, with his oversize glasses, black turban and untrimmed white beard, have adorned shops, government offices and living-room walls throughout Iran. His modest childhood home in Mashhad has become a virtual shrine, his edicts are binding and his powers absolute
Friday’s weekly Friday prayer service at Tehran University will do a lot more than honor the onset of the Muslim sabbath. The country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, plans to lead the service himself and he has publicly requested the attendance of all the main players in the political drama that has roiled Iran since last Friday’s disputed election. Reports on Thursday suggested that opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi encouraged his supporters to attend the event, but overnight word circulated that he and reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi had urged their followers to stay away, although the authenticity of those claims could not be verified.
Before we go too far down the road cheering the forces of Iranian democracy, let’s not forget that its public face, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, has American blood on his hands. He was Iran’s Prime Minister during most of the 1980s, a time when the country was waging a terrorist campaign against the U.S
The history of sport is littered with symbolic political gestures, but few have been as brave as the stand taken by some players on Iran’s national soccer team on June 17. In a World Cup qualifying match in South Korea, at least eight Iranian players wore green wristbands in a defiant show of support for opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, including team captain Mohammed Ali Karimi. Green, the campaign color of Mousavi, has been worn by his supporters during rallies in Tehran both before and after last week’s presidential election.
Iraq and Iran have rarely had the luxury of ignoring each other; in the 1980s, the two fought a bitter eight-year war, and more recently, since the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iran has taken an active and some would argue malign interest in its neighbor to the west.
Move Along, There’s Nothing to See Here, June 16, 9:12 p.m. IRT The Financial Times reports that “Iran on Tuesday banned journalists working for foreign media from leaving their offices to cover protests in the capital.” Wire services also announced that due to the ban on their photographers covering the demonstrations, they were forced to relay only images from official Iranian sources.
In an unprecedented move in Iranian politics, a reformist presidential candidate accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of tainting the country’s image by questioning the Holocaust and by wielding a reckless leadership style.