"Tilt but Don't Spill"

Iran's Development and Reconstruction Dilemma

by Kaveh Ehsani
published in MER191

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Squatters and the State

Back Street Politics in the Islamic Republic

by Asef Bayat
published in MER191

The early 1990s saw a period of renewed urban popular uprisings in Iran, unprecedented since the 1979 revolution. From August 1991 to August 1994, six major upheavals took place in Tehran, Shiraz, Arak, Mashhad, Ghazvin and Tabriz, and there were frequent minor clashes in many other urban centers. Most of these incidents involved urban squatters concerned with the destruction in their communities. This was the case in Tehran, Shiraz, Arak, Mashhad and Khorramabad.

An Open Letter to a Jailed Iranian Writer

by Andrew Whitley
published in MER191

Dear Dr. Saidi Sirjani:

For almost 20 years now, I have known and admired you and your writings. Whatever your detractors may say, Ali Akbar Saidi Sirjani cannot justly be accused of partisanship. I have known you as a fierce critic of Mohammad Reza Shah’s insufferable pretensions and intolerance of dissent, and later as an equally sharp thorn in the side of the Islamic government. May the nib of your pen never be blunted!

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Iran's Revolutionary Impasse

by Ali Banuazizi
published in MER191

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From the Editors

published in MER191

This issue looks at the economic and social crises that beset Iran more than 15 years after the Islamic Revolution. While the articles presented here share a critical perspective toward the present government, the authors allow us to see aspects of a society that both endures and challenges the inept, contradictory and impoverishing policies of the state. As was the case on the eve of the anti-Shah revolution, the most salient issues are corruption, legitimacy and competence.

Ideology and Revolution in Iran

by Misagh Parsa
published in MER196

Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993).

Hamid Dabashi, Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran (New York: New York University Press, 1993).

John Foran, Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993).

Middle East Watch, Guardians of Thought: Limits on Freedom of Expression in Iran (New York, 1993).

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Iran and the Virtual Reality of US War Games

by William M. Arkin
published in MER197

The year is 2002. Saddam Hussein has been assassinated, and Shi‘i forces in Basra have declared their independence from Baghdad. Iran, the dominant regional power, invades Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to gain regional hegemony, control the price of oil, finance its military buildup “and ameliorate its social problem.” Tehran threatens to use nuclear weapons if the United States intervenes to defend its Gulf allies.

Women and Personal Status Law in Iran

An Interview with Mehranguiz Kar

by Homa Hoodfar
published in MER198

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Tensions in Iran

The Future of the Islamic Revolution

by Olivier Roy
published in MER207

The May 1997 election of Mohammad Khatami as president of Iran was a watershed event in the history of the almost 20-year-old Islamic Revolution. While the current on-the-ground situation in Iran remains confusing, it is not for lack of information. During the last year, the press has blossomed with a variety of daily newspapers printing real news, including murders, scandals, police misconduct, public protest and opinion, public appeals to rulers and polemical debates between Iran’s different factions. With the exception of attacks on the concept of velayat-e faqih (regency of the jurisconsulate) and the role of the Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, many previously forbidden things have now been printed.

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The Containment Myth

US Middle East Policy in Theory and Practice

by Stephen Hubbell
published in MER208

Among those who direct American foreign policy, there is near unanimity that the collapse of communism represents a kind of zero hour. The end of the Cold War so transformed the geopolitical landscape as to render the present era historically discontinuous from the epoch that preceded it. Policy makers contend that America’s mission abroad has had to change to keep pace with these new circumstances.