JĀRČI-E MELLAT, a weekly satirical paper published in Tehran with long interruptions between 12 Šawwāl 1328/16 October 1910 and 8 Ḵordād 1307 Š./29 May 1928. It was suspended on numerous occasions, and the two papers, Jārči-e asrār (2 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1329/23 Nov. 1911) and Jāsus (22 Rabiʿ I 1332/18 Feb. 1914; Ṣadr Hāšemi, II, p. 161), that were published as replacements were immediately banned. In the fourth year, and between the ninth and the twelfth year of publication, the paper appeared twice a week before reverting to once a week publication.
The founder, director, and editor-in-chief of Jārči-e mellat was Sayyed Ḥosayn Tajriši (Ebrāhimzāda). From the fourteenth issue in the fourth year of publication (29 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1332/18 Nov. 1914), the name of ʿAli Ḥosaynzāda (Nedāʾi), started to appear on the paper as the license-holder. Ḥosaynzāda had been formerly in charge of distribution of Tehran newspapers and had published in 1911 a similar satirical paper called Jangal-e mawlā (Bayāt and Kuhestāni-nežād, eds., p. 398; Ṣadr Ḥāšemi, II, pp. 172-74). Its managing director in the fifth year was Ḥasan Monšizāda Tabrizi, who had previously worked in the same position for a while for the newspaper Ḥayāt-e Irān (Ṣadr Hāšemi, II, p. 236). In 1917, the paper was incorporated with the establishment of a company (Šerkat-e Ruz-nāma-ye jārči-e mellat) in its name.
Jārči-e mellat was a socio-political newspaper but it also contained serialized fictions and non-fictions. In its early days, it was regarded as being affiliated to the Democrat Party (Ḥezb-e demokrāt), but this was officially denied by the party (“Jārči-e melat,” Irān-e now 3/1, 24 Rabiʿ I, 1329/25 March 1911). It supported Aḥmad Qawām (Qawām-al-Salṭana) for a while during the his premiership, but it was a steadfast partisan of Reżā Khan Sardar-e Sepah (the future Reżā Shah), who, during his own tenure as prime minister, arranged for secret cash payments to the paper (“Nāma-ye ʿAli Nedāʾi,” p. 850). Jārči-e mellat, being a satirical paper, contained texts and cartoons vilifying influential people, which led to its numerous suspensions by the government; it, however, faced no such problems during the reign of Reżā Shah (r. 1925-41). From the tenth year of publication, it turned into a paper featuring various kinds of news.
Up to issue 26 in the fourth year of publication, Jārči-e mellat was lithographed in the pen of the calligrapher Solṭān-al-Kottāb at Mirzā ʿAli Aṣḡar/Marvi printing house. Afterwards, one half (pp. 1 and 4) continued to be lithographed in the same print shop and the other half was typeset first in the state’s printing house (Maṭbaʿa-ye dawlati) and then at those of Bāqerzāda brothers and Kalimiān. Eventually the whole newspaper was produced completely in typeset at Bāqerzāda brothers printing house and, for brief periods, at those of Nahżat-e šarq (1921) and Ṭehrān (1923). According to a report by the German embassy in Tehran, in the years prior to the coup d’etat of 1921 (q.v.), Jārči-e mellat had a print run of 1,500 (apud Mehrad, p. 73).
The cartoons and sketches that Jārči-e mellat carried were quite popular in those days (ʿAyn-al-Salṭana, p. 3547). They were sometimes in color and in the early years of publication were the work of a certain ʿAli-Reżā. Starting in its tenth year, when it turned into a solely news-reporting paper, Jārči-e mellat had no illustrations, except for the last few years when it occasionally carried Reżā Shah’s picture.
Jārči-e mellat was printed in four double-column pages of approximately 22 x 35 cm, but the appearance changed a number of times. Some issues, in particular after year fourteen, had only two pages. The annual subscription rate for Tehran was initially six krans and finally fifty krans in the last year. Incomplete sets of Jārči-e mellat are kept in major Iranian libraries, and outside Persia at Cambridge University Library, Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and the Institute of Manuscripts of Academy of Science in Baku.
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Hyacinth Louis Rabino, Ṣūrat-e jarāyed-e Irān wa jarāyed-i ke dar ḵārej az Irān ba zabān-e fārsi čāp šoda ast, Rašt, 1911, no. 68.
Moh.ammad Ṣadr Hāšemi, Tāriḵ-e jarāʾed o majallāt Irān, 4 vols., Isfahan, 1948-53, II, pp. 158-60.
Bižan Sartipzāda and Kobrā Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli, Tehran, 1977, no. 165.
Ursula Sims-Williams, Union Catalogue of Persian Serials and Newspapers in British Libraries, London, 1985, no. 265.
Giti Šokri, “Fehrest-e majallahā-ye ketāb-ḵāna-ye Moʾassasa-ye āsiāʾi-e Dānešgāh-e Širāz,” FIZ 27, 1987, p. 353.
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Originally Published: December 15, 2008
Last Updated: April 13, 2012
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Vol. XIV, Fasc. 6, pp. 581-582