The Confessions of Dolgoruki was a 1930s political-spy fiction that was taken as history. It was the purported memoirs or political confessions of Dimitriy Ivanovich Dolgorukov (d. 1867), the Russian minister in Iran from 1845 to 1854. According to these confessions, Dolgoruki was commissioned as a translator to the Russian embassy Iran in the 1830s with a secret mission. He converted to Islam, and disguised in the garb of a cleric, employed a number of people as spies, not least of whom was the future founder of the Baha’i religion.
The Iranian clergy in contemporary Iran little, if any, similarity with its traditional counterpart known as “Ulama.” The financial resources, social authority and networking, organizational features, and political status of the two are world apart. This article attempts to provide a historical explanation of the clergy’s new order and its transformation from a traditional institution to a rationalized, modernized and bureaucratized organization under the political rule of the “Supreme Shiite jurist”.
Depite its gigantic energy reserves and its privileged position in the region, the Islamic republic is not in an enviable position. The country’s economy is woefully mismanaged; it is not only fraught with thorny problems of double-digit inflation, high unemployment, and sub-par growth, but also vulnerable to unpredictable oil price downfalls and serious universal sanctions. Ironically enough, its future self-sufficiency in either fuel products or natural gas is questionable. Iran still needs the world markets much more than the latter needs Iran’s oil and gas.
In the year 2000, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) established eight goals in relation to—poverty and hunger, education, women’s rights and empowerment, maternal and child mortality, reproductive health, HIV and addiction, and participation in the world effort to secure sustainable development-- to be achieved by the year 2015 as signposts to gauge economic, social and political development across the world, especially in the developing countries.