Date: Aug 21, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Aug 1999 to 20 Aug 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Aug 1999 to 20 Aug 1999
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There are 3 messages totalling 236 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Lipstick Politics in Iran
2. Conservatives Reassert Hold on Judiciary
3. Iranian conservatives reassert hold on nation's courts

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 16:52:01 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Lipstick Politics in Iran

Lipstick Politics in Iran
New York Times
August 19, 1999

Lipstick Politics in Iran
By FARZANEH MILANI
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- In Iran, nothing is what it seems to be. There are
layers upon layers of meaning attached to every word, to every gesture, to
every action.

Take makeup. It is as fraught with political meanings and intentions as it has
ever been. Women use it to signal their political ideology or to defy
authority. I learned this lesson in July on a visit to Iran, when I found
myself caught in the midst of riots in Teheran.

Accompanied by my friend Mariam, I had gone to the main bazaar to purchase a
rug. After we finished our shopping, we decided to have a kebab at an old and
established restaurant in the heart of the bazaar. We had not even touched our
food when the restaurant's owner suddenly snapped off the lights and locked
the
door. A sense of horror filled the air. The walls of the restaurant were
shaking as if there were an earthquake.

"The vigilantes have come to the bazaar; they're here," screamed one woman.
Immediately I knew that the self-appointed morals police, ever so obsessed
with
the dress code for women, had attacked the bazaar.

While I sat paralyzed with fear, Mariam was deftly wiping off her lipstick
with
a paper napkin. One woman was covering her painted nails with thick, dark
gloves. Another was covering her colorful head scarf with a black one she
pulled out of her handbag.

A young woman next to me was putting on knee-length socks to hide her
impeccably colored toenails, which showed through her sandals. Another
middle-aged woman, with highlighted hair showing through her scarf, yelled: "I
am sick and tired of all this. We have to free ourselves or die."

At the same time, a fight between supporters of the hard-liners and supporters
of the reformers broke out in the men's section of the segregated
restaurant. I
felt trapped and terrified. Leaving the rug behind, we rushed to the door and
persuaded the owner to let us out.

All the shops had closed, turning the beautiful bazaar into a wicked maze.
After what seemed like an eternity, we reached a major street, hailed a cab
and
offered the driver an exorbitant fee.

In the heat of that summer day, covered head to toe in my Islamic garb and
drenched in sweat and panic, I found the locked, unair-conditioned cab a safe
haven. Once we broke through the traffic gridlock and the bazaar district
receded into the background, I sighed with relief and looked over my shoulder
at Mariam.

I could not believe my eyes. She was reapplying her lipstick. Only half an
hour
ago she had frantically wiped off all traces of it. The skill and speed with
which she had removed her lipstick and her haste and zeal now in reapplying it
were astounding.

"Lipstick is not just lipstick in Iran," Mariam explained. "It transmits
political messages. It is a weapon."

My friend was right. In the political history of modern Iran, doubts about
modernity, about change, about relations with the West have always been
projected upon a woman's body. In 1936, the Shah forced women to unveil
themselves, and this was considered a mark of progress. In 1983, the Islamic
Republic veiled women, and this signaled the reconstruction of an Islamic-
Iranian identity.

Today, women still have to cover themselves, but they have become a vibrant
political force. More and more of them are behind steering wheels, on
motorcycles, in universities, in mosques, ascending the rungs of government.
Their pictures are in newspapers and on television. Their participation in the
artistic and literary arena is unprecedented.

Iranian women have successfully invaded male territories, although a a dab of
lipstick can still land them in jail. Perhaps the next victory will be
ownership of their own bodies.

Farzaneh Milani is an associate professor of Persian and women's studies at
the
University of Virginia.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 14:03:05 -0700
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi@US.ORACLE.COM>
Subject: Conservatives Reassert Hold on Judiciary

Iranian conservatives reassert hold on nation's courts

TEHRAN, Aug 20 (AFP) - Iran's new top judge has reasserted
conservative control over the nation's courts just days
after taking office with a pledge to keep the judiciary
free of political and factional disputes.

Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi kept leading
conservatives in their posts as prosecutor general and
supreme court president, and re-shuffled other members of
Iran's conservative-dominated judiciary to key deputy
positions.

The appointments, announced on state radio Thursday, came
amid reformist hopes of a change in the political tenor of
the judiciary as Hashemi-Shahrudi replaced Ayatollah
Mohammad Yazdi after 10 years in office.

But the new judiciary chief kept Yazdi's prosecutor
general, Ayatollah Morteza Moqtadai, and supreme court
chief, Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi-Ghilani, bolstering
their presence with several conservatives close to supreme
leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He shifted noted conservative Ali Razini from head of the
Tehran judiciary to the number two slot on the supreme
court, where he will be the liaison to Iran's hardline
Special Court for Clergy.

Ayatollah Ismail Ferdossi-Pour, who survived the deadly
1981 bomb attack on the headquarters of the Islamic
Republican Party -- what was then in effect the party of
the Islamic republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
-- was chosen as substitute prosecutor at the supreme
court.

The new judiciary chief also created a deputy post for Hadi
Marvi, considered close to both the supreme leader and
reformist President Mohammad Khatami, and named Abassali
Alizadeh to take over from Razini at the Tehran judiciary.

Under Yazdi, a frequent critic of President Mohammad
Khatami's reforms, the judiciary jailed moderate
journalists and closed pro-reform newspapers such as Salam,
whose banning last month set off six days of bloody riots.

Earlier this month it also drafted a draconian political
crimes bill, yet to be approved by parliament or Khatami's
cabinet, that could make many forms of free speech subject
to prosecution as a crime against the state.

Reformers hope the courts under Hashemi-Shahrudi will mount
less of an obstacle to Khatami's ambitious reform
programme, particularly after he took office this week with
a pledge to avoid political wrangling.

He said the judiciary "will not enter into any political
factions" and vowed to carry out substantial reforms in the
courts, as called for by Khatami, in order to root out
"corruption and bribery."

Khatami said Wednesday he was "cheered" by the appointment
of Hashemi-Shahrudi, whom he said wanted to "reform and
serve judicial authority."

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 16:53:12 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iranian conservatives reassert hold on nation's courts

Iranian conservatives reassert hold on nation's courts

TEHRAN, Aug 20 (AFP) - Iran's new top judge has reasserted conservative
control
over the nation's courts just days after taking office with a pledge to keep
the judiciary free of political and factional disputes.

Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi kept leading conservatives in their posts as
prosecutor general and supreme court president, and re-shuffled other members
of Iran's conservative-dominated judiciary to key deputy positions.

The appointments, announced on state radio Thursday, came amid reformist hopes
of a change in the political tenor of the judiciary as Hashemi-Shahrudi
replaced Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi after 10 years in office.

But the new judiciary chief kept Yazdi's prosecutor general, Ayatollah Morteza
Moqtadai, and supreme court chief, Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi-Ghilani,
bolstering their presence with several conservatives close to supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He shifted noted conservative Ali Razini from head of the Tehran judiciary to
the number two slot on the supreme court, where he will be the liaison to
Iran's hardline Special Court for Clergy.

Ayatollah Ismail Ferdossi-Pour, who survived the deadly 1981 bomb attack on
the
headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party -- what was then in effect the
party of the Islamic republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- was
chosen as substitute prosecutor at the supreme court.

The new judiciary chief also created a deputy post for Hadi Marvi, considered
close to both the supreme leader and reformist President Mohammad Khatami, and
named Abassali Alizadeh to take over from Razini at the Tehran judiciary.

Under Yazdi, a frequent critic of President Mohammad Khatami's reforms, the
judiciary jailed moderate journalists and closed pro-reform newspapers such as
Salam, whose banning last month set off six days of bloody riots.

Earlier this month it also drafted a draconian political crimes bill, yet
to be
approved by parliament or Khatami's cabinet, that could make many forms of
free
speech subject to prosecution as a crime against the state.

Reformers hope the courts under Hashemi-Shahrudi will mount less of an
obstacle
to Khatami's ambitious reform programme, particularly after he took office
this
week with a pledge to avoid political wrangling.

He said the judiciary "will not enter into any political factions" and
vowed to
carry out substantial reforms in the courts, as called for by Khatami, in
order
to root out "corruption and bribery."

Khatami said Wednesday he was "cheered" by the appointment of
Hashemi-Shahrudi,
whom he said wanted to "reform and serve judicial authority."

------------------------------

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Aug 1999 to 20 Aug 1999
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