By Roger Shanahan, The Australian, May 9, 2015
“”In one Middle Eastern country, the practice of any religion other than Islam is banned, women are not allowed to drive, the screening of films is forbidden, there are no elections and last year 87 people were publicly beheaded.
In the other, religious minorities have seats reserved in parliament, and churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian temples to pray in, there are three female vice-presidents in the government, the country’s film directors have a worldwide reputation and one of its films won an Oscar in 2012, parliamentary and presidential elections take place, and the state does not behead people.
Yet the former country is a close ally of the West while in the past the latter has been labelled part of the “axis of evil” by the US.” Read the Full Article Here.
Any first time visitor to Tehran will notice how much the city has been changed not only in physical / environmental sense, but the increasing divide one sees between the rich and poor classes of Iranians. As Behrouz Mina poignantly brings to our attention in his perceptive article Rich Kids of the Revolution, one does not need the Instagram of Rich Kids of Tehran to remind residents how “conspicuous consumption and over the top luxury have become hallmarks of Iranian society in the fourth decade of the Islamic Revolution, a revolution that started by promising justice and free bread for all….“The class divide in Iran is a direct result of state monopolies,” Javad, a professor at Tehran University, tells IranWire. He believes that contrary to popular belief, the roots of a phenomenon like Tehran Rich Kids is found in the feverish day of the revolution. “Nationalizing the Iranian economy in the early days of the revolution had no other result other than creating numerous economic monopolies for the revolutionaries and their dependents.”