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Report from Iran

08/01/05 12:00AM By Steve Zind

Last year in his five-part "Iran Journal" report, Steve Zind took VPR listeners on a personal journey through Iran: from the teeming streets of Tehran to the mountain village that was the ancestral home of his grandfather's family. Now, he returns to delve further into Iranian politics, culture and modern life, with a series of reports and follow-up stories from Iran about the tension between modernity and tradition, the economic challenges Iranians face, their views of the outside world and their hopes and fears under the new administration of conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Cultural heritage and modernity
At the end of his two-week trip to Iran, Steve Zind tells VPR's Steve Delaney he is left with the impression that the country of his ancestors is a land in which cultural heritage is often in conflict with modernity.

Morality Police
Today, Steve Zind talks with Steve Delaney about Iran's Morality Police, a group of paralegal men who have been accused of harrassing people in the past. Today they are trying to reinvent themselves.

Cholera in Iran
An outbreak of cholera in Iran has the country's attention and officials fear it could get worse in the fall.

Nuclear Capacity
An influential professor advocates for a different strategy in nuclear negotiations.

Journalism in Iran
A journalist is viewed differently than a tourist.

Politics and prayer services
Politics make a small appearance in a Friday prayer service.

A new administration
A new conservative administration creates a "nation in waiting."

Reporter's Notebook
A reporter's notes on his experiences in Iran.

September 7, 2005: Goodbye from Iran

September 5, 2005: Freedom and the law

September 2, 2005: A separate reality

September 1, 2005: Brain Drain and a freer society

August 29, 2005: Harmonizing with modernity and taxis

August 24, 2005: Credentials, censorship and protest

August 25, 2005: Politeness and humble phrases


Photo Album
See Steve Zind's pictures of the people and places he describes in the series.



References on Iran

Online Resources:

Tehran Times - English language daily newspaper
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

John Malcolm on Karim Khan Zand:
"The happy reign of this excellent prince, as contrasted with those who preceeded and followed him, affords the historian of Persia that kind of mixed pleasure and repose, which a traveler enjoys on arriving in a beautiful and fertile valley during an arduous journey over barren and rugged wastes. It is pleasing to recount the actions of a chief who, though born of an inferior rank, obtained power without crime, and who exercised it with a moderation that, for the times in which he lived, was as singular as his humanity and justice." (The History of Persia, 1829)

Books on Iran:

  • Sandra Mackey, The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation (Plume Books, 1998)
  • Elaine Sciolino, Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran (Free Press, 2000)
  • 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)
  • Related Links

    Iran Today Iran Journal
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