Tehran’s Universal Studios
A political history of Iranian film, tracing the origin of its plural genres through New Wave minimalism, war documentaries and cosmopolitan montage. In a society often caricatured as closed and backward, censorship and market pressures have unintentionally produced a world-class film culture—but how will it fare under the us sanctions regime?
Making and Unmaking of the Greater Middle East
What longer-run dynamics underlie present realities in the Middle East? Kevan Harris traces changing state formations and social compacts, from decaying Ottoman and Safavid empires, through colonization and postwar corporatism to infitah, authoritarian retrenchment and military intervention.
Tehran: Paradox City
Walled citadel of the Shahs, hub of petro-modernity, post-Islamist metropolis: Asef Bayat on the history of struggles to define Iran’s capital, and the successive contests between elite projects and popular resistance that have shaped its spatial pattern.
Khomeini: Fundamentalist or Populist
“‘How did Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini become an Imam? Much like the Holy Prophet Abraham. He carried out God’s Will, smashed idols, was willing to sacrifice his own son, rose up against tyrants, and led the mostazafin [oppressed] against their mostakberin [oppressors].’” read more
Socialism or Anti-Imperialism? The Left and Revolution in Iran
“A spectre is haunting the Iranian Left—the assembled ghosts of orthodox Communism, Maoism and populism. Together these had converged, on the eve of the Revolution, to construct a Third Worldist discourse and practice that stressed the evils of dependent capitalism and imperialism. Agribusiness, transnational corporations, military expenditures, the . . .” read more
The Iranian Revolution and Its Implications
“In late 1978, just prior to the fall of the Pahlavi regime, you published your book Iran: Dictatorship and Development. Much has happened since then to challenge and modify your analysis. How would you assess subsequent political and economic developments in Iran?” read more
A Persian Tale--Mr Rezai’s Family
“The family of Khalilullah Rezai occupies a special place in the tormented annals of Iran’s revolution. During the reign of the Shah, Mr Rezai’s children were actively involved in supporting the Mojahidin guerrillas and four of them—three sons and a daughter—were slain by government forces. He himself was . . .” read more
A Letter from Iran
“For many months now, the dominant subject of discussion in Iranian Government circles and in the Government-controlled mass media has been the Shah’s coronation, which took place on October 26th Huge sums of money, reaching tens of millions of pounds, have been spent to decorate the cities, . . .” read more
Guilt by Association
“For many years, the Iranian Secret Police have been angered by vocal opposition to the régime on the part of students in Europe. Recently, a golden opportunity came their way to intimidate dissident students by threatening them with the firing squad when they returned home. In April last . . .” read more
Persia in Perspective (Part II)
“Persia has often been described as a semi-colony. This term, familiar as an operational concept from the works of Lenin and Mao, has usefully drawn attention to the special conditions of imperialist penetration in countries which, throughout the period of brutal imperialist expansion, preserved their juridical independence. The . . .” read more
Persia in Perspective (Part I)
“Persia is a vast, desolate country. Its area of 630,000 square miles, about half the size of India, supports a population of only twenty million (India four hundred million; France nearly fifty million). The relief and climate, though varied, is for the most part unremittingly hostile. A table . . .” read more