Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs

by Fred Halliday
published in MER141


Ryszard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1985).


Major Kurdish Organizations in Iran

by Martin Van Bruinessen
published in MER141

Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI)

An "Electoral Uprising" in Iran

by Kevan Harris | published July 19, 2013

“Last night I sat in traffic with my wife and daughters for three hours,” a Tehran office manager recounted, “and the car did not move one meter.” The day before, Iranians had chosen Hassan Rouhani as the Islamic Republic’s seventh president. “All the cars honked their horns, and people danced and celebrated next to us in the streets.” The last time the manager had beheld such a scene was in June of 2009. “Four years ago I was also in my car with my wife and daughters, and traffic did not move, and cars were honking. But that time security men on motorbikes rode through the street smashing windows with their batons.” The contentious events of 2009 not only ensured four more years for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the president’s office but were also heralded as signaling the death of reformist politics in Iran. Yet as another presidential election approached, the three-decade political improvisation called the Islamic Republic once again went off script.

Images of Iran

by Fred Halliday
published in MER143

Roy Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet: Learning and Power in Modern Iran (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1985).

Donne Raffat, The Prison Papers of Bozorg Alavi: A Literary Odyssey (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1985).

Haleh Afshar, editor, Iran: A Revolution in Turmoil (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1985).

Barry M. Rosen, editor, Iran Since the Revolution: Internal Dynamics, Regional Conflict and the Superpowers (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985).


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From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER143

Top Reagan aides from the National Security Council and the CIA fly secretly to Iran atop crates of missiles, Bible in one hand and cake in the other. The image aptly captures the bizarre and dangerous character of Washington’s policies in the Middle East and Central America. Two of the men on the Tehran mission -- Robert McFarlane and Oliver North -- played central roles in earlier military interventions in both regions. McFarlane was the chief strategist on the ground in Beirut in September 1983, calling in the big guns of the USS New Jersey to save the beleaguered Phalange regime of Amin Gemayel Some 241 US Marines paid for McFarlane’s swagger with their lives a month later when a Lebanese suicide attack demolished their barracks. Fellow Marine Lt.Col.

Bakhash, Reign of the Ayatollahs

by Annabelle Sreberny
published in MER138

Shaul Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 1984).

After the plethora of books seeking to account for the Iranian revolution, it is refreshing to find a volume which dares to tackle the complexities of the immediate post-revolutionary years and the new institutions and policies of the Islamic Republic.

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Political Roles of Iranian Village Women

by Mary Hegland
published in MER138

Masses of Iranian women, many of them “traditional,” relatively uneducated and from the lower classes, were politically quite active in the Iranian revolution. Many observers assume this to be without precedent. There is, however, a tradition of political participation and struggle in community politics by women, as the case of the village of Aliabad illustrates. Women’s activities, roles and characteristics in local politics were similar to those they exhibited in the Iranian revolution. These village women were not radically departing from their usual behavior by supporting the revolution and joining marches in the nearby city of Shiraz.

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Iran and the Reagan Doctrine

by Fred Halliday
published in MER140

Gary Sick, All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter with Iran (New York: Random House, 1985).

Warren Christopher et al, American Hostages in Iran: The Conduct of a Crisis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985).

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Books on Women in Iran

by Mary Hegland
published in MER142

Guity Nashat, ed., Women and Revolution in Iran (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1983).

Farah Azari, ed., Women of Iran: The Conflict with Fundamentalist Islam (London: Ithaca Press, 1983).

Azar Tabari and Nahid Yeganeh, eds., In the Shadow of Islam: The Women’s Movement in Iran (London: Zed Books, 1982).

A unique aspect of the Iranian Revolution was the dramatic presence of women. Masses of Iranian women participated in national level politics. Ironically, most women were emboldened in this new political role by the teachings of Shi‘i thinkers and leaders, those same religious figures who supposedly believe the Muslim woman’s place is at home with her children.

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Cover-up and Blowback

What Congress Left Out of the Iran-Contra Report

by Jonathan Marshall
published in MER151

The House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran and Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition. Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair. (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1987.)

Of the millions of Americans who watched some or all of the televised hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal during the summer of 1987, only a handful will slog through the 690 pages of fine print that make up the final report of the congressional investigating committees. That’s a shame, because the report succeeds in many areas where the hearings failed dismally.