Women & Reform in Iran by Donna Hughes

(The following publications and the opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Women’s Freedom Forum, Inc. )

Women & Reform in Iran 
By Donna M. Hughes – February 2000
There is a popular notion that Iran is undergoing reform under the leadership of President Mohammed Khatami and women are among the beneficiaries of a more tolerant, less harsh society, where there is more personal freedoms and freedom of expression.

Certainly, women want change. Since the religious fundamentalist takeover, many women have resisted oppression under the mullahs in many ways—small and large. Now, twenty-one years after the revolution, 60 percent of the population is under age 25 with no memory of pre-revolutionary times. Women, and many others, are craving more freedom, opportunity and dignity than the restrictive theocracy allows.

Khatami has been President for almost three years. Have the rights of women and their status in Iran improved, or on the verge of improving, under this so-called reformist leader? What does he and his reformist colleagues say about women, their rights and their role in society? What might women expect from Khatami in the future?

Women Under Fundamentalist Rule

To understand the status of women in Iran for the past twenty-one years and the possibilities of reform today, it is necessary to understand the fundamentalist’s view of women and the unique structure of government in Iran.[i] Iran is a theocracy based on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s theory of religious dictatorship called velayat-e faqih, which gives the Supreme Leader the role of guardian over the nation with responsibilities and power as an adult guardian has over children.[ii] Khomeini wrote that this religious rule superseded all minor religious laws and the ruling power could unilaterally cancel any agreement he had made previously.[iii] Under this system of rule, the Supreme Leader is more powerful than the President and even determines how much decision-making power the President has.

The fundamentalists’ theocracy is built on their beliefs about the nature of women and men and their roles in society. In their view, women are physically, intellectually and morally inferior to men. This assumption meant that women could not participate equally in any area of social or political activity. Ideas of biological determinism prescribe women’s primary role and duties to child bearing and care taking, and to providing comfort and satisfaction to husbands. Women are viewed as the embodiment of sexual seduction and vice, thereby necessitating strict control on women’s interactions with men and the visibility of their bodies. After Khomeini got power, he abolished minimal social rights of women in the family and public life. The fundamentalist mullahs implemented their system of gender apartheid through segregation of the sexes, suppression of women’s activities and visibility in public, and increased control of women by men in the family.

The woman-hating principles of Khomeini and his followers were turned into laws and policies that are still in effect. To hide the purported seductiveness of women’s bodies, the hejab, or dress code, must be followed for all women in public places. Women must cover their hair and body except for their face and hands and cosmetics are prohibited. Smiling in the street is prohibited. Women are banned from pursuing higher education in 91 of 169 fields of study and must be taught in segregated classrooms. A woman may work with her husband’s permission, although many occupations are forbidden to women. To protect the sexual morality of society, women have to be covered and are prohibited from engaging in “immodest” activity.[iv] Punishments range from a verbal reprimand to 74 lashes with a whip to imprisonment for one month to a year. Stoning to death is a legal form of punishment for sexual misconduct. This form of torturous killing was initiated by fundamentalists when they came to power after the Islamic Revolution. Law specifies the size of the stones and the method of burying a person to be stoned. The purpose is to inflict great pain and suffering before death occurs.

The legal age at which girls can be married is 9 lunar years (8 years, 9 months on the solar calendar). Polygamy is legal, with men permitted to have four wives and unlimited number of temporary wives. Men have the power to make all family decisions, including the movement of women and custody of the children. “Your wife, who is your possession, is in fact, your slave,” is the mullah’s legal view of women’s status.[v[

Women are not permitted to travel or acquire a passport without their father or husband’s written permission. A woman is not permitted to be in the company of a man who is not her husband or a male relative. Public activities are segregated. Women are not allowed to engage in sports in which they will be seen by men, or permitted to watch men’s sports in which men’s legs are not fully covered.

Status of Women in Iran

Draconian laws and discrimination stifle the women of Iran. New laws strengthening gender apartheid and repression of women are not a thing of the past. According to Human Rights Watch’s 1999 Report “New laws were passed discriminating against women and aimed at restricting debate about women’s rights.”[vi] Since Khatami became President in 1997, new restrictive laws and policies have been implemented to segregate women and men in education and health care. Parliament and other religious leaders continue to propose and enact a number of laws or policies that will adversely affect the health, education, and well-being of women and girls in Iran.

Women’s public clothing continues to obsess the mullahs. In 1997, the Martyr Ghodusi Judicial Center, a main branch of the judiciary, issued a stricter hejab, or dress code. The new guidelines call for prison terms from three months to one year or fines and up to 74 lashes with a whip for wearing “modish outfits, such as suits and skirt without a long overcoat on top.” The regulations ban any mini or short-sleeved overcoat, and the wearing of any “depraved, showy and glittery object on hats, necklaces, earring, belts, bracelets, glasses, headbands, rings, neck scarfs and ties.”[vii[

Women continue to be arrested for improper veiling. Women who fail to conform to the strict dress code are arrested, boarded on minibuses and taken to a center for fighting “social corruption.”[viii] In November 1997, an Agence France Presse correspondent in Tehran witnessed ten young women being arrested and placed into a patrol car for improper veiling or wearing clothing that did not conform to Islamic regulations. The women were wearing colorful headscarves and light make-up.[ix] In June 1998, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told senior officials that it was time “to crack down on wanton behavior by women.”[x] By mid-August, 1,800 women and men had been arrested for “mal-veiling and lewd conduct.” Most of the women were wearing makeup or in the company of young men who were not related to them. In January 2000, Agence France Presse reported that 10 young women were arrested in one incident for wearing make-up and wearing veils that did not entirely conceal their hair.[xi[

Gender segregation in education continues to grow. In 1997, Parliamentary deputies submitted a plan to make girls’ schools a “no-male zone,” which will require all teachers and staff to be women.[xii] This requirement will make education for girls even more inaccessible and difficult. In September 1999, women teachers were forbidden to enter the classrooms of 10 year-old boys and men teachers were banned from entering girls’ classes.[xiii[

Many girls do not have the opportunity to get an education. Official statistics reveal that 90 percent of girls in rural districts drop out of school.[xiv] One cause of the drop-out rate is the young age at which any girls can be married under the laws of the fundamentalists. Fatemeh Tondgouyan, an advisor on women’s issues to the Minister of Education confirmed that one cause of illiteracy among young women was early marriage: In 1999, there were 52,473 married girl students between the ages of 10 and 14, and 617,920 between 15 and 19.”[xv[

Segregation and discrimination against women and girls adversely affect the health of women. In April 1997, Parliament approved a new law requiring hospitals to segregate by sex all health care services. At this time, there are not enough trained women physicians and health care professionals to meet the needs of all the women and girls in Iran, resulting in poorer quality health care.[xvi] As part of the implementation plan of this apartheid system of health care, the Fatemieh Medical School in Qom set up a pilot program for segregated medical education. All of the male staff was fired in order to comply with the new law and to limit contact between women and men.[xvii] In January 2000, the women students went on strike, refusing to work in a hospital affiliated with the university program, to protest the poor education.[xviii[

There are other signs of the deteriorated life circumstances of women in Iran. In 1999, government officials reported that the suicide rate among young women is rising sharply. Shojaii Zand, Head of the Office of Social Affairs in the Interior Ministry reported a 109 percent increase in the number of suicides.[xix] Most were under age 31, with many between the ages of 15 and 19. No interviews were carried out with survivors of suicide attempts or friends and relatives of victims. Researchers speculated that the cause was women’s feelings of powerlessness and the everyday environment that tells women they are inferior. Forced marriages and harassment were also cited as causes of tremendous stress in women’s lives.[xx[

Women lobbied for increased control of their lives within the family. In 1997, women made a small gain by getting Parliament to pass a law that granted women some custody rights to children after a divorce, but only if the father was determined to be a drug addict, an alcoholic or “morally corrupt.”[xxi] These were modest, but important improvements for women’s rights. As a result of the slight improvement in custody and divorce rights, by 1999, the number of divorces was rising. The exact number of petitions and resulting divorces varied depending on the source, but seemed to be about a 15 percent increase.[xxii] [xxiii] Women’s campaign for equal inheritance rights was not so successful. Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the bill saying the proposal for equal inheritance was contrary to Islamic law, which stipulates that a woman’s share may only be one half that of a man’s.[xxiv[

There are few employment opportunities for women. According the Iranian Education Minister Hossein Mozaffar, the employment rate for women was nine percent and 72 percent of that was in the education sector.[xxv] According to the President Khatami’s advisor on women’s issues, there are only three women in every 10,000 senior managers—the rest are men.[xxvi] An international study comparing workforce conditions for women around the world ranked Iran 108th out of 110.[xxvii] In urban areas women make up only 9.5 percent of the workforce, and in rural areas the percent is 8.8 percent.[xxviii] Even Khatami’s advisor on women’s affairs acknowledged that there is discrimination in employment and promotion against women in government offices: “Some officials are of the opinion that men have more of a role in running the family, so they favor the men.”[xxix[

Under fundamentalist’s interpretation of Islamic texts, women are banned from being judges because they are not considered capable of making important decisions. One of the purported signs of moderation in Iran is the appointment of women as judges, but in actuality no women are allowed this rank. Judiciary Chief Yazdi made the issue clear in his Friday prayers sermon: “The women judges I mentioned hold positions in the judiciary, they receive salaries, they attend trials, they provide counsel, but they do not preside over trials and or issue verdicts.”[xxx[

Iran continues to have one of the worst human rights records in the world. In 1999, Human Rights Watch opened their report on Iran by stating, “Human rights failed to improve, and in some areas deteriorated…”[xxxi] A representative of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has not been permitted to visit Iran since February 1996.[xxxii] Concerning the human rights of women, the UN Representative concluded that, “..there is virtually no progress towards the improvement of [women’s] legal status. Government is not addressing the removal of these discriminatory laws and practices which remain the cause of the unequal treatment faced by women in Iran.”[xxxiii] In response to criticisms on women’s rights in Iran, Jolodar Zadeh, one of the few women Parliamentary deputies defended Iran’s policies on women by saying that differences in rights for men and women did not mean discrimination in their rights.[xxxiv[

One of the worst human rights violations, stoning to death continues. In October 1999, a woman was stoned to death—the thirteenth person killed by stoning since Khatami took office.[xxxv] Iran also has one of the highest execution rates of any nation in the world. In late January 2000, two women were hanged, bringing the number of executions under Khatami to 545.[xxxvi[

According to Human Rights Watch’s 1999 Report on Iran, “Executions after unfair trials proliferated” and “torture was widespread during interrogation.”[xxxvii] Evidence of how common torture is came to light recently when Tehran city officials who had been detained for questioning in the corruption case against the mayor of Tehran, revealed that they had been tortured by beatings, floggings with whips, sleep deprivation, exposure to loud noises, lack of food and threats to relatives to produce confessions or to incriminate others.[xxxviii] One can imagine, if prison integrators are willing to torture government employees how they treat political prisoners. In December 1999 a number of Revolutionary Guards admitted for the first time to the existence of the “cage”—a 70 by 80 by 80 cm (or smaller) cubicle—in which political prisoners were kept for weeks or months to break them.[xxxix] According to the testimony of one woman held in such a cage for almost nine months, there was an entire ward of cages. “They were so small that we could not sit in them cross-legged. So we had to sit in squatting position. We were blindfolded and…. had to sit in that position from dawn to dusk. After some time, the physical strain on us began to show. I could not walk myself. Every time I got up, I would get dizzy and fall.”[xl[

Minors continue to be executed in Iran. In reaction to protests, Senior Mullah Hosseini Kooh-Kamarei ruled that “anyone who reaches the age of puberty can be subjected to any penal sentence. There is no difference between an adolescent who has reached the age of puberty and a 50-year-old individual as far as conviction and sentencing are concerned.”[xli] The official age of puberty for girls is 9 lunar years (8 years in the solar calendar) and 15 for boys (14 in the solar calendar). So by law, 8 year old girls and 14 year old boys can be executed.

This evidence shows that human rights and the status of women have not improved markedly during Khatami’s three years as President. Some people claim that Khatami does have reformist intentions, but conservatives have thwarted him. We can look at Khatami’s own words and the words of his appointees to determine if they really support reform.

Khatami and the Reformists—Words and Actions

There is a widely held view that Khatami supports the rights of women, but his statements and appointments speak differently. Prior to his election in 1997 Khatami said, “One of the West’s most serious mistakes was the emancipation of women, which led to the disintegration of families. Staying at home does not mean marginalization. Being a housewife does not prevent a woman from having a role in the destiny of her people. We should not think that social activity means working outside the home. Housekeeping is among one of the most important jobs.”[xlii] Almost three years later, Khatami’s view is unchanged. In October 1999, he commented on the status of women and their participation in society and noted problems in other parts of the world: “We should not go through the same bitter experience of today’s world regarding the society and woman which has led to the disintegration of all bonds” and “undermined the foundations of the family.” He added, “The family forms the main pillar and nucleus of society, and if this is undermined, the society will be undermined—this is one of the major problems of Western society.”[xliii[

In even the most extreme form of inhumane treatment—death by stoning—Khatami has been silent. One of his “reformist” colleagues suggested that if this form of execution was disturbing to the world community, they should conduct the stoning out of public view.[xliv[

Under Khatami’s leadership the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution decided not to sign the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the most important international agreement on the rights of women.[xlv[

Even the women Khatami has appointed support the fundamentalist attitude and policies towards women. Khatami’s advisor on women’s affairs, Zahra Shoja’l, says she is an advocate of women’s rights, but within an Islamic fundamentalist context. She calls the restrictive and symbolically oppressive hejab, the chador “the superior national dress of the women of Iran.”[xlvi] In October 1999, she stated, “The state and government does not want the women’s participation in social affairs at the price of the family’s disintegration. Women should play their role in the family to bring comfort and warmth to the family and be the first and main educator of children. This is of greatest importance.”[xlvii] When questioned about a law that does not permit women to leave the country on their own to study abroad, Ms. Shoja’l replied that the woman would then have to take up her studies at a university at home.[xlviii[

Khatami’s highly publicized woman appointment is Massoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President for Environmental Protection. She has a long association with the fundamentalists: after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 she was spokesperson for the hostage takers who captured the U.S. embassy in Tehran. She does not favor loosening restrictions on women that would give them more personal freedom or stop the most barbaric institutionalized violence against women. She supports the law that requires women to get their husband’s permission to travel. She justifies this law by saying, “Man is responsible for the financial affairs and safety of the family. Thus, a woman needs her husband’s permission to make a trip. Otherwise problems will arise and lead to quarrels between them.”[xlix] She also defends stoning women to death by saying, “One should take psychological and legal affairs of the society into consideration as well. If the regular rules of family are broken, it would result in many complicated and grave consequences for all of the society.”[l[

Khatami and his appointees maintain the same theoretical view of women as set out by Khomeini decades ago. They sometimes use the words of women’s rights, but hold the same fundamentalist views on veiling, women’s participation in society, and their role in the family. Even sadistic stoning to death is defended.

One of the areas in which Khatami has been praised as a reformist is in freedom of expression. Khatami is credited with giving new freedoms to the press. After Khatami’s election as President, there was an increase in the number of publications. A closer look revealed that the only newspapers or magazines that received permits were Khatami supporters. Also, an investigation of the backgrounds of the editors of the new publications found that many were Revolutionary Guards commanders, religious judges, members of secret police and some had even been involved in the torture and execution of political prisoners.[li] Not the kind of activities usually associated with “reformists.”

The new publications became the site of a power struggle between Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, and Khatami, the President, as publications were closed down and editors arrested. In February 1998, the newspaper Jameah started to publish articles somewhat critical of the government, color photographs of smiling women harvesting wheat, and an interview with a former prisoner. By June a court revoked their license.[lii] Also, police filed charges against Zanan, a monthly women’s magazine, for “insulting” the police force by publishing an article on the problems women face with the authorities on Iranian beaches, which are segregated by sex.[liii] In 1998, a new law approved by Parliament imposes more restrictions on the photographs of women that can be published in newspapers and magazines.[liv] The Iranian state television announced in August 1998 a decision by the Justice Department in Tehran to shut down a newspaper and put its proprietor on trial. One of the charges leveled against the publication, Khaneh, was that it had published “obscene” photographs of women playing football.[lv[

As women inside Iran pressed for more rights, their freedom of expression was completely curtailed. The Parliament approved a law prohibiting the discussion of women’s issues or rights outside the interpretation of Shari’a (Islamic law) established by the ruling mullahs.[lvi] In a further effort to repress all discussion of women’s rights, in August 1998, the Parliament passed a bill prohibiting the publication of material in the media that defended women’s rights in a way that would create conflict between the genders. Advocates of women’s rights are subject to imprisonment and lashing for violations.[lvii[

As Parliamentary elections approached in February 2000, there were more and more words of reform. Interviews with “reformists” revealed the emptiness of their words. When questioned about women’s rights, Mahmoud Shams, Editor of the “reformist” paper Asr-E-Azadegan (Era of the Free) commented, “In what country in the world does a woman get half of everything in a divorce? Women have had their fair share of rights given to them in the past 20 years.”

These views are consistent with Khatami’s current position and with his previous political career. Khatami first entered politics after the 1979 Revolution. He was a member of the Line of Imam, the dominant group aligned with Ayatollah Khomeini, which opposed individual and social freedoms. From the earliest days he was an active support of the velayat-e faqih structure of government. Under Khomeini’s rule he was appointed the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance. From 1982 to 1992, he was the fundamentalist’s chief censor of the media, the arts and culture. He shut down all independent publications and approved the new restrictions on women actors and the requirement that girls wear the hejab in films. [lviii] After Khomeini’s death in 1989, the Line of Imam faction weakened and eventually lost power to Rafsanjani’s faction. Khatami was moved to the job of Librarian of the National Library. At that time the shift in power to Rafsanjani’s faction was widely thought to be a sign of moderation in Iran. In 1997, Khatami asked to be allowed to run for President. His candidacy was one of only four approved by the Guardians Council, which evaluates the suitability and loyalty of each candidate to the regime; 234 candidates were rejected. Khatami belongs to a different faction than the so-called conservatives, but he is an insider and considered loyal to the principle of velayat-e faqih. Khatami continues to voice his loyalty to the Supreme Leader and the system of velayat-e faqih. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei’s opinion of women and their place in society is the same as his predecessor Ayatollah Khomeini’s—women should be wives and mothers. He has stated: “The real value of a woman is measured by how much she makes the family environment for her husband and children like a paradise.”[lix] In July 1997 Ayatollah Khamenei said that the idea of women’s equal participation in society was “negative, primitive and childish.”[lx[

Khatami says all the right words of reform, such as “civil society,” “freedom of expression,” and “rule of law.” But when pressed, he explains that these ideas would be implemented within the structure of velayat-e faqih. After becoming President, he said, “In the Islamic Republic, defending the law means defending the velayat-e faqih.”[lxi] As Khatami continues to use the words of reform, the word Islamic becomes inserted before each reformist principle, creating “Islamic civil society,” “Islamic human rights,” “Islamic women’s rights,” and the “rule of law under velayat-e faqih.” What these fundamentalist concepts mean in practice have nothing to do with universal standards by which other nations and international bodies use those terms and it means little or no change at all in Iran. In the United Nations Human Rights Report, Maurice Copithornce reported that Iran had made no movement towards rule of law. He said, “…certainly, little to this end has been achieved to date.”[lxii[

Women Deserve Real Change

The women of Iran deserve real change. Women in Iran deserve equality, respect and the right to participate in all social, political and economic activities. They are entitled to live their lives productively and with dignity.

Throughout the 20th Century, Iranian women have organized and fought for human and political rights, from the Constitutional Revolution at the turn of the century to the democratic movement that overthrew the Shah of Iran. [lxiii] Following the overthrow of the monarchy, the fundamentalists, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, seized control of the revolution and betrayed the women who assisted with the revolution. After 1979, the measure of the success of the Islamic Revolution was the depth of the suppression of women’s rights and activities.

From the time the mullahs moved to take power, women as supporters of democracy have opposed fundamentalism and theocracy in Iran. When democratic protest became impossible in Iran, they joined the Resistance and became incomparable leaders.

Inside Iran, in July 1999, women were active participants in the demonstrations in Tehran and Tabriz that started as student demonstrations against the violent crackdown by police and vigilantes on students and quickly spread to the general public. A number of women were reported arrested, wounded or killed, although the exact number varied depending on the reports.[lxiv] [lxv] [lxvi] Women are fighting for change at every opportunity.

Women need to beware of the “reformists,” as they offer little or no more than the “conservatives” do, and are as likely to betray the women who support them. There is no evidence that “reformists” are truly interested in improving the rights and lives of women in Iran.

The true route to change for women in Iran is the overthrow of the system of velayat-e faqih and oust the mullahs from power.

Endnotes:

]i] Not all mullahs supported this structure of government and protested that the Quran did not support many of the claims of the fundamentalists, especially those concerning women.

]ii] “Women under mullah’s rule‑Two decades of suppression, discrimination and resistance,” Unpublished paper. ]iii] Ibid

]iv] The Subjection of Women, Parliamentary Human Rights Group, United Kingdom, November 1994.

]v] Judiciary Chief Mohammad Yazdi, Ressalat, 15 December 1986.

]vi] Human Rights Watch, Iran, 1999, http://www.hrw.org/hrw/worldreport99/mideast/iran.htm.

]vii] Agence France Presse, 20 February 1998 ]viii] Agence France Presse, 26 July 1998.

]ix] Agence France Presse, 30 November 1997

]x] U.S. News and World Report, 17 August 1998

]xi] Agence France Presse, 22 January 2000.

]xii] Iran Daily, 6 October 1997

]xiii] Zanan Magazine, September 1999.

]xiv] Jomhouri Islami, Tehran, 14 August 1998

 ]xv] Ettela’at Daily, 27 May 1999.

]xvi] Laila al-Marayati, “Discourse needed on Islam interpretation of rights,” Los Angeles Times, 16 May 1998.

 ]xvii] “Women medical students protest poor education,” Reuters, 13 January 2000.

]xviii] Washington Post, 14 January 2000.

 ]xix] State television, 27 December 1999, Unpublished written source.

]xx] Khordad, 8 September 1999.

 ]xxi] Associated Press, 2 November 1997.

]xxii] Jomhouri Islami, 31 October 1999.

 ]xxiii] IRNA, 24 August 1999.

]xxiv] BBC World Service, 5 January 1998.

 ]xxv] Jomhouri-Islami, 12 May 1999.

]xxvi] Salam Daily, 26 May 1999.

 ]xxvii] Internatinal Labor Organization, quoted in Bergens Tidende, 12 July 1997.

]xxviii] Abrar, 2 December 1997.

 ]xxix] IRNA, 8 May 1998

]xxx] Tehran radio, 31 July 1998.

 ]xxxi] Human Rights Watch, Iran, 1999, http://www.hrw.org/hrw/worldreport99/mideast/iran.htm.

]xxxii] Maurice Copithorne, Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights, “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 21 September 1999, p. 4.

 ]xxxiii] Ibid

]xxxiv] Jomhuri Eslami Daily, 12 May 1999.

 ]xxxv] Reuters, 17 October 1999.

]xxxvi] Reuters, 27 January 2000.

 ]xxxvii] Human Rights Watch, Iran, 1999, http://www.hrw.org/hrw/worldreport99/mideast/iran.htm.

]xxxviii] Amnesty International Report, Iran 1999.

 ]xxxix] Payam-Azadi, 29 December 1999.

]xl] Unpublished testimony of woman imprisoned for five years of political activities.

 ]xli] “Mullahs’ regime declares execution ‘legal’ for girls over 8 and boys over 14,” Press Release, National Council of Resistance of Iran, 24 December 1999.

]xlii] The Daily Salaam, 11 May 1997

 ]xliii] IRNA, 3 October 1999.

]xliv] Mohammed Mohaddessin, “Iran election, 2000,” Washington Times, 17 February 2000.  ]xlv] Iran Zamin News, 7 February 1998

]xlvi] IRNA, 8 May 1998.

]xlvii] IRNA, 10 October 1999.

]xlviii] Jaam-e Jam State Television, 8 October 1998, cited in unpublished source.

]xlix] Die Tageszeitung, 18 October 1997

]l] Ibid

]li] Farzin Hashemi, Khatami’s Political Allies in The Myth of Moderation—Iran Under Khatami, Foreign Affairs Committee, National Council of Resistance of Iran, 1998, p. 29.

]lii] Elaine Sciolino, “New Iran’s Alternative Voices Demand to Be Heard,” New York Times, 20 July 1998.

]liii] “Hardliners Step Up Pressure on Press,” Agence France Presse, 26 May 1998.

][liv] “Iran law sets tough rules on press photos of women,” Reuters, 13 April 1998.

]lv]. Iranian state television, 1 August 1998.

]lvi] Laila al-Marayati, “Discourse needed on Islam interpretation of rights,” Los Angeles Times, 16 May 1998.

]lvii] Iran Zamin News Agency, 13 August 1998.

]lviii] Ali Safavi, Who is Mohammed Khatami? In The Myth of Moderation‑Iran under Khatami, Foreign Affairs, Committee, National Council of Resistance of Iran, 1998, p.12.

]lix] Iranian state television, 18 February 1998.

]lx] Tehran radio, 21 July 1997.

]lxi] State television, 18 November 1997, as cited in Who is Mohammed Khatami? p. 18.

]lxii] Maurice Copithorne, p. 8. ]lxiii] Associations of Iranian Women, Iranian Women: A Century of Struggle for Equality, February 1996.

] Radio France International, 11 July 1999. ]lxv] Agence France Presse, 17 July 1999. ]lxvi] Aftab Daily, 9 September 1999.

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