Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Better reporting would help Westerners understand Iran

Regarding the March 9 article, "Iran's successful blend: charity, ideology": Thank you for enlightening me about the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation. I have often wondered about this charity.

When I travel to Iran every year, I poke around to learn about aspects of life that many of my prosperous fellow expatriates in the West do not like to discuss, including the generous welfare-state programs that explain the reason, for example, that, on average, more women than men support the government in Iran.

I find that because Iran's liberal opposition is largely against state subsidies and favors deregulation, the concepts of political "left" and "right" are unhelpful in analyzing the country's governing structure.

If more Americans had regular access to straightforward news articles such as this one, fewer would have been surprised about the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and President Ahmadinejad's election in 2005. But I am saddened that the so-called crisis about Iran's nuclear program and the legitimate concerns about women's rights and press freedom are deflecting attention from the creeping privatization of industries and social services in Iran.Rostam PourzalWashington

The integrity of Russia Profile magazine

In response to Fred Weir's March 8 article, "Russian bid to counter Western criticism": I have to stand up to the allegation that the magazine Russia Profile carries "offerings on the good job [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is doing in the world and next to nothing on things like the conflict in Chechnya or the murder of government critics." Unfortunately, the facts have been tweaked in an apparent attempt to simplify the story for readers.

We have never hidden our connection with state-owned RIA-Novosti news and features agency, and I consider foreign-oriented media to be one of the few areas of media activity where government funding is justified.

But due to the integrity of Russia Profile journalists and the buffer between us and the government, we have enjoyed full editorial independence. …

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