BĪṬARAF (The impartial), a news and political affairs journal published in Persian and French in Tehran (1913-14). Bīṭaraf began as a bilingual Tehran weekly at the beginning of 1331/January, 1913. It later was published two and finally three times weekly. After the publication of the sixtieth issue in Šaʿbān, 1332/July, 1914, its name was changed to Eṭṭelāʿāt, and it continued to be published with the same format under this name until 18 Šawwāl 1334/18 August 1916. Bīṭaraf’s managing editor was Mīrzā Ḥosayn Khan Yūsofzāda; its editor-in-chief was Mīrzā ʿAlī Khan Zanjānī. The French language section of the newspaper, called Impartial, which contained translations of the Persian articles with modifications, was under the general editorship of Mīšel Ḥājīān. Bīṭaraf was wholly devoted to news and only rarely took a political position. Despite this, signs of the newspaper’s leaning toward the foreign policies of Great Britain or Russia, which peaked during the time Eṭṭelāʿāt was in circulation, are already noticeable in Bīṭaraf. In sum, the newspaper was a successful imitation of French journals in which short and varied, internal and external news stories were stressed. Because of the profusion of its news items and of its bilingual format, Bīṭaraf was quoted often by the foreign press. It was published at first on four two-column, 21.5 x 35 cm pages and later on eight triple-­column pages measuring 30 x 42 cm and contained advertisements in proportion to its size and a limited number of photographs. A single issue cost four šāhīs, a yearly subscription in Tehran was 15 qerāns, outside of Tehran 20 qerāns, and abroad eleven French francs. Complete runs of the newspaper are found in major libraries in Iran; a file is also held in the Cambridge University Library.



M. Ṣadr-Hašemī, Tārīḵ-ejarāyed o majallāt-e Īrān, Isfahan, 1327-32 Š./1948-53, no. 319.

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 بیطرف bitaraf  betaraf beetaraf

(Nassereddin Parvin)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

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Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, p. 309