By Fariba Adelkhah, Fondation nationale des sciences politiques. Centre d'études et de recherches internationales
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38. 2. 1 373 (1 994). 39. Ibid. 26 Being Modern in Iran It is difficult to interpret these divisions in strictly political or institutional terms. Often it is simply conflicts of interest, inherent in the world of factional conflict, that explain the position of this or that group, and those positions are not always obviously coherent. The Leader of the Revolution, who has taken the lead in the crusade against ' cuhural aggression ' since the summer of 1992, has never criticised Mr. Karbaschi. And the Mayor, who in theory comes under the Minister of the Interior, was until 1997 in open opposition to the policies of Mr.
P. Wamier, Le paradoxe de Ia marchandise authentique. lmaginaire et consommation de masse, Paris, L'Hannattan,1 994. 20 Being Modern in Iran Guards, they are places for meeting and flirting by the ever growing ranks of the young, who do not always submit to the austere moral code demanded by the regime. Of course this does not stop the district bassij from calling for collective prayers in the same parks. We should not see in these brief glimpses the expression of some Manichean confrontation between totalitarian authority and a frightened populace; for several years past the bassij have been ordered to act in a non-coercive way in this regard, and they compete above all with the mosque's space;29 in any case their intervention is not so frequent, and one can spend hours in the parks without seeing them appear.
Mr. Karbaschi is seen less as an administrator than as a hero, though maybe a technocratic hero, whose position on the national political chessboard is not well defined - although he is known to be backed by Hashemi Rafsanj ani and Mohammad Khatami - and who, while he holds a position of power, is no less close for that to the people for whom he is a mediator. The people using the parks declare, ' May God pardon his parents ' sins ! ' or ' May light shine upon the tomb of his parents ! ' - expressions that indicate familiarity and sympathy towards the person referred to.