Iran confronts the outside world over its efforts to develop nuclear technology
and the strident rhetoric of its President, the people of Iran confront domestic
issues like joblessness, poverty, women’s rights and freedom of expression.
VPR’s Steve Zind recently returned to Iran to talk with people about the challenges
of daily life there. He brings these issues into focus in "Iran Today",
a series of five reports.
One – Making Ends Meet
Poverty and unemployment are taking their toll on every from medical school graduates
to those with little education.
Two – Beyond the Veil
Women’s lives in Iran defy stereotypes. Women are caught between modernity and
tradition, and their rights under Iranian law reflect these paradoxes.
Part Three – The Power of the Word
In Iran writers, especially poets, enjoy pop-star status. Despite the dangers
poet Simin Behbehani has used her
work to speak out for human rights in Iran.
Four, The Morals Police
The para-military organization known as Basij has attracted an army of devout
young men dedicated to fundamentalist Islamic principals. Their job is to prevent "moral
if need be, defend Iran from outside forces.
Part Five, Press Freedoms
Domestic problems are widely covered
in Iran’s newspapers, but there are some "red lines" journalists
are warned not to cross. The red lines aren’t lines, aren’t always clear
and many journalists have been jailed or worse.
References on Iran
Tehran Times – English language daily
Payvand – Roundup of Iran news coverage
in world wide media.
Iran Chamber Society – information
on art, culture and history
Mage – Listing of links to Web sites
with Persian content
Karim Khan Zand –
Information from the Iran Chamber
Books on Iran:
- Sandra Mackey, The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation (Plume
- Elaine Sciolino, Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran (Free
- Christiane Bird, Neither East Nor West: One Woman’s Journey Through
the Islamic Republic of Iran (Washington Square Press, 2002)
- John R. Perry, Karim Khan Zand: A History of Iran 1747-1779 (University
of Chicago Press, 1979)