Sunday, May 30, 2004

An American Goes to Iran

An American Goes to Iran:

"Iranians have a lot in common with Americans. We both tend to be generous, open to strangers, and proud of our respective histories. We in the U.S. are aware of accomplishments and strengths that do not appear to have attracted the attention of our Iranian friends. On the other hand, Iran's cultural pride encompasses a period of over twenty-five hundred years, including extraordinary waves of creativity about which Americans know virtually nothing. Iranians who have not lived in the United States surely can not see all of our better qualities, in part because of their exposure to aspects of American culture that do not put our best foot forward. They see us through our films, which appear to exploit women in frivolous, disrespectful ways. They see lavishly produced American television, but the programming strikes them as fundamentally pointless. Are they wrong? Is their government wrong in limiting access to these 'accomplishments' of the West?"

Karoubi gets seat on the Expediency Council

: "The former reformist speaker of the Iranian parliament, Mehdi Karoubi, has been given new posts as advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and member of a top political oversight body, state media said Sunday.

The reports cited Karoubi's 'performance and achievements' as head of the rowdy reformist parliament, which was handed to conservatives after most pro-reform candidates were barred from contesting February elections.

Karoubi, although approved to stand, lost his seat in polls that saw allies of embattled reformist President Mohammad Khatami routed from the legislature.

In addition to being named an advisor to Khamenei, Karoubi was also named as a member of the Expediency Council -- a body designed to arbitrate between the parliament and the unelected 12-member Guardians' Council, a powerful hardline-run vetting body.

The Expediency Council, which has close to 40 members, is headed by former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Karoubi had previously sat on the Expediency Council as head of the parliament."