April 12, 2018

Until recently, not much was known about the personal life of Hossein Shariatmadari, the managing editor of the hardline Tehran-based daily Kayhan. The public believed that he was drawing a modest salary as a journalist and led an ordinary lifestyle.

Hossein Shariatmadari

Mr. Shariatmadari has never disclosed the fact that he has been on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) payroll.

A staunch supporter of the regime, Shariatmadari never misses an opportunity to criticize anyone who speaks nostalgically about an event that predates the 1979 Islamic Revolution. His latest target is Parviz Parastoui, the veteran actor, and singer, who has celebrated the art of the iconic Iranian dancer of the 1960s and 70s, Jamileh (real name Fatemeh Sadeghi.) Shariatmadari has written an opinion piece dismissing Mr. Parastoui’s positive view of Ms. Jamileh’s impact on Iranian popular culture.


Shariatmadari’s attack on Parastoui and his detailed criticism of Jamileh’s work shows that he must have watched her films and dance performances. “Mr. Parastoui, you have celebrated Jamileh’s so-called art, saying that her fans are sad about her plight. You have blamed the revolution for forcing many artists to live in exile. You have also asserted that our society would have appreciated these artists were we to stop censorship. How many people do you think saw her perform at clubs?”,Shariatmadari has asked.

Shariatmadari is familiar with Jamileh’s work because he lists many notable films featuring her including “The Wild Wild Woman”, “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” and “The Mischievous Girl”. He must have watched these films when he was a young man.

It would appear that Shariatmadari is following in the footsteps of Hojatoleslam Ahmad Alamolhoda, Friday Prayer leader of Mashhad, who recently spoke about the 1960s Italian actress Sophia Loren, and Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the chairman of the Assembly of Experts who reminisced about his youth and the prevalence of miniskirts at the time.

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