Accessibility links

The head of historical research at the Iranian Education Ministry has announced plans to eliminate monarchs and military leaders from the country's high-school textbooks in an effort to "civilize" them.

Yaghoub Tavakoli is quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency as saying that the likes of Genghis Khan, Mohammad Shah, and other rulers will be eliminated. Instead, more attention will be paid to figures like philosopher-scholars Avicennes and Zakaria Razi.

Tavakoli said it will take years to implement the new "cultural and pro-civilization" approach and change all historical texts.

An Iranian expert on education issues, Shirzad Abdollahi, described Tavakoli's comments as "strange" but said it's not the first time that officials from the Education Ministry have mentioned such plans. Abdollahi calls the approach unworkable.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at