IRĀN-E MĀ, a political newspaper published in Tehran, with long interruptions, from 21 Ḵordād 1322 to 23 Ābān 1339 Š./11 June 1943-14 November 1960. Its founder and chief editor was Jahāngir Tafażżoli (1914-90), but, starting in the sixth year, the ownership was transferred to Fāṭema Tafażżoli, since Jahāngir, then being a state officer, was not allowed to publish a paper.
Irān-e mā was an influential liberal paper with nationalistic orientations. It enjoyed the cooperation of some of the most eminent writers, journalists, and political activists of the time, including Ḥasan Arsanjāni, Ḵosrow Eqbāl, Esmāʿil Purwāli, Jahāngir Afḵami, Moḥammad Masʿud, Fereydun Tavallali, Jawād Fāżel, Ḏabiḥ-Allāh Manṣuri, Nāṣer Ḵodāyār, Jawād Šayḵ-al-eslāmi, Noṣrat-Allāh Moʿiniān, for some of whom (e.g., Arsanjāni, Moʿiniān, Tafażżoli) the paper paved the way for reaching high political positions.
Irān-e mā was a daily morning paper until 1327 Š./1948, when it turned into a weekly journal with Nāṣer Ḵodāyār as chief editor, often publishing verses of the outstanding poets of the period, most of whom were affiliated to the communist Tudeh Party. During the period (1954-60) that Tafażżoli was in Europe as a government delegate to supervise the progress of Persian students there and later on as Persia’s representative at UNESCO, Taqi Tafażżoli took over the management of the paper, and Naṣr-Allāh Šifta served as its chief editor. Nevertheless, upon Jahāngir Tafażżoli’s return to Tehran, Irān-e mā ceased publication.
Irān-e mā became the official organ of the Peykār political party as the substitute of the paper Nabard (published by Ḵosrow Eqbāl with Tafażżoli as chief editor), which had been banned by the government; and it remained so until Ḵordād 1323 Š./May-June 1944, often changing its political orientation to suit the general policy of the party (Behzādi, p. 162). During this period, it showed nationalistic tendencies, and, while denouncing the reign of Reza Shah (1924-41), it condemned the presence of the Allies in Persia and even showed inclinations in favor of Nazi Germany. An article by Moḥammad Masʿud criticizing the Majles deputies resulted in a four-day suspension of the second issue. In the third month of the publication, Tafażżoli and Eqbāl (a leader of the Peykār Party) were accused of cooperating with the Nazis and arrested by Allied forces and sent to prison in Arāk (Tafażżoli was later transferred to a prison in Rašt). Nonetheless, the journal continued publication under the editorship of Esmāʿil Purwāli with a growing interest in leftist politics. During this period, it was suspended twice when the Turkish embassy lodged complaints against it. After the release of the incarcerated leaders of the party, Irān-e mā became a controversial publication, criticizing the cabinet and the minority faction in the Majles as well as the clergy; in the winter of 1943, it was charged with slandering the government and was banned for a period of five months until 24 Ordibehešt 1323 Š. (15 May 1944). It continued as the organ of the Peykār Party for thirty-two issues, before the party disbanded itself and joined with two other political parties, Esteqlāl and Mihanparastān, to form a triumvirate called the Mihan Party (Sanjābi, pp. 68-69). Thereafter, Irān-e mā remained a rather independent publication, while it still supported the Mihan Party (see “Aḥzāb-e melli eʾtelāf kardand,” Irān-e mā, 30 Ḵordād 1323, no. 152). Throughout its numerous suspensions, it reappeared under such sobriquets as Aras, Tehrān-e moṣawwar, Donyā-ye emruz, Ragbār, Šahbāz, ʿAli Bābā, Mazdā, Nabard, Wafā, and Yaḡmā (Barzin, p. 71).
In the summer of 1945, Irān-e mā proclaimed itself a member of the Jebha-ye Āzādi (Freedom Front), which had been formed by the coalition of a number of leftist and centrist newspapers. Soon after, charged with disseminating false news in favor of the so-called autonomous government of the Democrat Party (Ferqa-ye Demokrāt) in Azerbaijan, which was being supported by the Soviet Union, it was again banned for three months. In the winter of the same year, the journal began campaigning in support of the new Prime Minister Aḥmad Qawām (Qawām-al-Salṭana) and his government, and consequently Tafażżoli was included in the delegation headed by the prime minister in the latter’s historic trip to Moscow to negotiate the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Persia. Upon the return of the delegation, Tafażżoli, who had left for Paris on an official assignment in Europe, turned over the management of the paper to his brother, Maḥmud Tafażµżoli (Behzādi, pp. 163-64). Thereupon, in its fourth year and under the new management, Irān-e mā drifted towards the left, often bearing resemblance to the publications of the Communist Tudeh Party. Remarkably enough (for a journal to form a coalition with political parties), it joined with the Tudeh and the Irān parties as a triumvir in July-August 1946. Nevertheless, after the return of Tafażżoli from Europe and the fall of Jaʿfar Pišavari’s communist government in Azerbaijan on 21 Āḏar 1325 Š./13 December 1946, Irān-e mā thoroughly dissociated itself from the communists and began supporting Ebrāhim Ḥakimi’s government. In its heyday in 1948, the newspaper’s harsh criticisms of ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Hažir’s administration generated a great deal of popularity for it, but, upon the unexpected appointment of Tafażżoli as the deputy prime minister under Hažir, the newspaper deviated from its prior policies and discontinued publication for one year (Behzādi, pp. 164-66). During the prime ministry of Moḥammad Moṣaddeq, Irān-e mā was close to the supporters of Ayatollah Abu’l-Qāsem Kā-šāni, but it gradually lost its relevance and came to a halt.
The distinctive sections of Irān-e mā were its editorials (mostly by Jahāngir Tafażżoli, under pen names M. Fażilat, Gorsna) and articles dealing with socio-political questions. It also covered the current news, besides treating a variety of other subjects, particularly literature. The paper, however, never followed an overall, steadfast policy concerning the types of material it covered or the manner of their presentation. The distinctive popularity of Irān-e mā in the early stages of its life was mainly due to the articles addressing political and social issues from the pen of Ḥasan Arsanjāni, who used the pen names Ḥasan Maḥallāti and Dr. Dāryā, and to the news reports of Esmāʿil Purwāli under the pen name Bāmšād.
According to the press law of the time, Irān-e mā enjoyed the right to publish a monthly journal as well without seeking a new license. The periodicals so published were Niru wa rāsti (1943, a sports magazine) and two political journals Našriya-ye nāsionālisthā (1949-50) and Nāsionālist (1955), run by Manučehr Mehrān, Mahdi Tājvar, and Amir-Šapur Zandniā, respectively.
Irān-e mā was printed in eight different printing houses in four five-column pages, except for a short period (from Āḏar 1322 Š./December 1943), when it appeared in six-column format with a new logogram before returning to its prior layout. Starting from 1325 Š./1946, it was once again printed in large format. Irān-e mā had a sizeable print run of about 2,000 copies despite the relatively expensive price of a single issue (2.5 and 3.00 rials; see Rustāʾi and Salāmi, ed., pp. 51-55, 70). Incomplete sets of Irān-e mā are available in many libraries in Persia and at the Library of Congress and the libraries of the Princeton University and the Science Academy of Azerbaijan.
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Masʿud Barzin, Šenās-nāma-ye maṭbuʿāt-e Irān az 1215 tā 1275 Š., Tehran, 1992, pp. 71-72.
Touraj Atabaki and Solmaz Rustamova-Towhidi, Baku Documents: Union Catalogue of Persian, Azerbaijani, Ottoman Turkish and Arabic Serials and Newspapers in the Libraries of Republic of Azerbaijan, London and New York, 1995, no. 404.
ʿAli Behzādi, Šebh-e ḵāṭerāt I, Tehran, 1996, pp. 18-19, 158-67.
Ḵosrow Eqbāl, “Gozāreš-e āqā-ye Ḵosrow Eqbāl ba monāsabat-e dovvomin sāl-e entešār-e Irān-e mā,” Irān-e mā, nos. 146-48, Ḵordād 1323 Š./May-June 1944.
Rudolf Mach and Robert D. McChesney, “A List of Persian Serials in the Princeton University Library,” unpublished monograph, Princeton, 1971.
Ḵalil Maleki, Ḵāṭerāt-e siāsi-e Ḵalil Maleki, Tehran, 1989, pp. 326, 434-35.
Ḵalil Moqaddam, Fehrest-e ruznāmahā-ye mawjud dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi-e Fārs . . . , Shiraz, 1998, no. 57.
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Esmāʿil Purqučāni, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi-e Āstān-e qods, Mashad, 1985, no. 72.
Esmāʿil Purwāli, “Qeṣṣa-ye por ḡoṣṣa-ye man wa Irān-e man,” Ruzgār-e now (Paris) 1-3, 1982-84.
Moḥsen Rustāʾi and Ḡolām-Reżā Salāmi, eds., Asnād-e maṭbuʿāt-e Irān 1320-1332 Š., 4 vols., Tehran, 1995-98, I, pp. 51-54, 60, 86; II, pp. 218-24.
Walimorād Ṣādeqi-nasab, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye fārsi sāl-e 1320-1332, Tehran, 1981, no. 174.
Ḥasan Šahbāz, “Marg-e yak ruz-nāmanegār-e mašhur, Jahāngir Tafażżoli (1293-1369 Ḵoršidi),” Rahāvard, no. 29, 1972, p. 316.
Karim Sanjābi, Omidhā wa nā-omidihā: Ḵāṭerāt-e Doktor Karim Sanjābi, London, 1989.
Bižan Sartipzāda and Kobrā Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli, Tehran, 1977, no. 93.
L. P. Elwell-Sutton, “The Iranian Press 1941-1947,” Iran 6, 1968, no. 89.
Jahāngir Tafażµoli, Ḵāṭerāt-e Jahāngir Tafażżµµoli, ed. Yaʿqub Tawakkoli, Tehran, 1977, pp. 545-53, 64-67, 89, 135, 138-39, 142-43, 171-73.
Originally Published: December 15, 2006
Last Updated: March 30, 2012
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