Contrasting Iran: cultural issues on frontline of conflicts

Contrasting Iran: cultural issues on frontline of conflicts

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 14

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Welcome to Iran, the country of contrasts. It is hard to believe but some senior clerics in Iran still insist on boycotting the Islamic Republic's State TV channels for broadcasting music. They believe the channels are violating Islamic rules.

According to official statistics, more than 70 percent of Tehran population are not satisfied with State channels and prefer to watch banned satellite stations.

It is also hard to believe that in post-revolutionary Iran, once a day enforcement officials break music instruments of traditional singers-Ashiqs- in Iranian Azerbaijani villages, arguing that playing music is against Islamic rules.

Today, after less than some three decades, Iran holds music festivals for Ashiqs and the winners are granted awards and medals. However showing music instruments on Iranian TV channels remains banned.

This is Iran, the country of the contrasts.

Iranian culture minister, Ali Jannai defends solo singing of women and says bans that were made in the first years of the Islamic Revolution are "ridiculous." The humor is that his father, 87-years old chairman of the Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati is one of the famous leaders of the hardliners. They harshly criticize Ali Jannati, accusing him of showing tolerance toward insulting religious sanctities and for not being strict enough regarding religious principles.

While the father Jannati and his colleagues cannot be reconciled with the Internet and call it a "guilty tool," the son seriously defends lifting the official ban against social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The father and son symbolize the current political-cultural arena in Iran: the godfathers who control conservative appointive entities and the reformist sons who struggle in semi-elective entities under their heavy shadow.

While both conservatives and reformists agree on restoring Iran's collapsed economy, the cultural arena has become once again the frontline of the conflict. Even the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, who tacitly supports President Hassan Rouhani`s foreign and economic policies, expressed concerns on cultural issues.

Actually the Rouhani`s administration is experiencing the third round of reformist-conservative conflicts in Iran. Earlier during the Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997) and Mohammad Khatami(1997-2005) presidencies, reformists` efforts lead to no significant or persistent development or evolution in cultural and social areas.

Rafsanjani even gave up the culture ministry to conservatives after the protest resignation of Mohammad Khatami from the ministry and mobilized his efforts on economic development.

The resigned minister took office as president in 1997 when he captured almost 70 percent of the votes, which was a huge political victory for reformists. But despite the massive public support, cultural entities remained almost unchanged when Khatami left the office.

Rouhani, who some analysts call a second Hashemi, has not yet taken significant steps on cultural issues, but there are also some signs that his government of "prudence and hope" maybe different from his predecessors.

Commenting on Khamenei's concerns about cultural issues, Rouhani said that it has been 35 years since the revolution in Iran, and yet there remain concerns about social and cultural issues.

Rouhani remarked that if pressure was effective for resolving the problem, "we would not be concerned about the cultural issues today."

He also said that "If we break the pens and shut the mouths, public trust will be deeply harmed," which was an unprecedented statement in the Islamic Republic.

However despite these epic words, Rouhani has failed so far to fulfill campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression, as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said this week.

It is hard to forecast if Rouhani will be able to realize his slogans, or will return to the pragmatist spiritual father, Rafsanjani`s period giving up in the cultural-social arena and striving to resolve foreign policy and economic problems.

Yes, the country of contrasts, Iran is still suffering from a lack of a single satisfactory policy on cultural-social issues 35 years after Islamic revolution.

Israeli private tech firms raised $2.5 billion in second quarter
Israeli private tech firms raised $2.5 billion in second quarter
Israel central bank's Abir says buying corporate bonds to prevent layoffs
Israel central bank's Abir says buying corporate bonds to prevent layoffs
Israeli MASHAV program expands in Georgia
Israeli MASHAV program expands in Georgia
Loading Bars
Iran announces number of enterprises to be commissioned in Isfahan Province
Turkey's export of leather products abroad in 1H2020 down
Kazakhstan’s president declares national mourning day for COVID-19 victims
Azerbaijan, Ukraine to hold meeting of intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation (PHOTO)
Turkish Trade Center may be established in Kazakhstan
Two plants to be put into operation in Iran's Fars Province
Turkmenbashi Oil Refineries Complex to create e-document management system via tender
Azerbaijan confirms 542 new COVID-19 cases
Turkey's five-month export to BSEC countries drops
Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Textile opens tender for purchase of server equipment
Uzbekistan’s Central Bank integrating HumoCard and UzCard payment systems
Azerbaijan’s Gabala Canning Factory reveals export plans for this year
Iran discloses number of airport facilities to be commissioned
Georgia continues construction of Grigoleti-Kobuleti bypass road
Philippines confirms 2,539 new coronavirus cases, biggest single-day increase
Germany's Merkel says EU must prepare for no-deal Brexit
Export from Turkey to OIC member countries drops
Capital of Iran's Khorasan Steel Company increases
Georgia negotiating resuming flights with AirBaltic, Air France
Iran names number of licensed enterprises in Bushehr Province
Kazakhstan’s pasta producing company eyes expanding product line
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rises in Iran
Baku Stock Exchange records jump in corporate securities transactions
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale July 11
AZAL, Belavia to perform codeshare flights on Baku-Minsk route
Newly-appointed WB's Uzbekistan country manager begins work
EBRD unveils proposal to be majority green bank by 2025
Georgia purchases more rapid COVID-19 tests under WB project
Azerbaijan sees growth in average monthly pension in 1H2020
Iran seeks to develop Sistan & Balouchestan province infrastructure
Data on cargo transshipment from Egypt via ports of Turkey since early 2020 revealed
Azerbaijan Railways increases freight transportation
Kazakhstan’s KAZAKH INVEST, AEB define main cooperation areas
Israeli private tech firms raised $2.5 billion in second quarter
Russia's central bank says non-performing loans growth to fall in June
UK raises threshold on property purchase tax to boost housing market after COVID
New Istanbul Airport reveals data on passenger traffic
Transshipment of goods from Spain via Turkish ports revealed
Turkmenistan, Russia's St.Petersburg share proposals for new exports
Kazakhstan’s Oil Construction Company to buy pipes via tender
Azerbaijan raises subsidies for spring sowing of crops
Ireland may cut tax on business in stimulus plan
Apple expands independent repair shop program to Europe, Canada
Turkey unveils five-month volume of cargo transshipment via BOTAS port
Spanish Ibertest to modernize Turkmen Railways
Two policemen killed in roadside blast in Mogadishu
Volume of loaded, unloaded cargo at Iran’s Eastern railway stations increases
IMF head urges pandemic response that tackles climate crisis
Huawei: U.S. sanctions have no immediate impact on UK 5G supplies
Azerbaijan’s Azerenergy implementing reactive power compensation project
Gazelle Fund LP continues to invest in Georgian SMEs with high growth potential
Spanish Ibertest interested in expanding co-op with Turkmenistan
Baku textile factory increases production volumes of women's clothing
Official talks COVID-19 possibly affecting Kazakhstan's Tengiz field operations
Israel central bank's Abir says buying corporate bonds to prevent layoffs
Prevent infection by means of “e-Tabib”!
Volume of five-month cargo transshipment via Turkey's Cesme port disclosed
Iran's Shazand Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy various equipment
Iran announces number of enterprises launched in West Azerbaijan Province
Azerbaijan getting closer to achieving goals of Fourth Industrial Revolution
Turkmenistan’s oil output to rise in 2020, says EIA
Georgian citizens returning from EU to undergo mandatory quarantine
Enrollees choosing UNEC will be able to get two diplomas in 4 years
Day record takes Romania's coronavirus cases over 30,000
Turkey announces volume of cargo transshipment from Georgia via its ports
Turkmenistan supports OSCE recommendations on national minorities affairs
Iran discloses value of exports via Arvand Free Trade Zone
Georgia eyes producing Kombucha natural drink
Iran's COVID-19 deathtoll surpasses 12,000
Kazakhstan to apply innovative technology in Karaganda's coal industry
Teams participating in EuroCups allowed to train in Azerbaijani districts upon certain rules
Uzbekistan renews WTO accession negotiations after long-year suspension
Kazakhstan working to resume flights on more int'l routes
Iran reveals info on manufactured equipment spare parts for oil, gas sector
German exports to fall by 15% in 2020
Tesla China sold 14,954 Model 3 vehicles in June, up 35% on the month
Georgia to open its borders to 5 countries
Georgians allowed to enter Montenegro without restrictions
Kazakh coal extracting venture to buy spare parts for equipment via tender
Kazakhstan's export to Israel down twofold
Iran's decision to ban mobile phone imports affects local market
Nokia shares fall on concerns over potential loss of Verizon business
Capacity of Chabahar Port in Iran increases
Thailand expects to delay plans for 'travel bubble' on virus worries
Azerbaijani president makes phone call to UN secretary-general
Prices on Azerbaijani oil increase
Price of gold grows in Azerbaijan on July 8
UAE significantly raises import of Kazakh-made goods
Amount of funds trading at NIMA exchange rate in Iran announced
Amazon India's unit gets $308 million in fresh funds from parent
Iran discloses volume of investments in ports of Mazandaran Province
Azerbaijani currency rates for July 8
Uzbek public procurement winners to be obliged to name their owners, beneficiaries
EIA: Kazakhstan's actual oil output volume exceeds forecast
Iran reveals number of metal products’ manufacturing volume
Global oil demand to exceed supply in second half of 2020
Georgia detects 5 new cases of COVID-19
Kazakh coal extracting venture to buy pipes via tender
OPEC’s output may drop to lowest level since November 1991
French economy seen rebounding 19% in third quarter, 3% in fourth quarter
All news