Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Jan 2000 to 6 Jan 2000

There are 14 messages totalling 744 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. London Times article sparks protests in Iran
4. Iran Vs. US on ESPN
5. Getting Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
7. Bribery in LEF?
8. Islamic Human Rights Commission to Review Judiciary's Performance
9. Times Asked to Redress Slur Against Imam Khomeini
10. Elections, People's Expectations
11. World Music Concert - Berkeley Jan 22, 2000, 8PM
12. Fwd: Note on the Riots
13. Mosharekat Daily Hits Newsstands
14. Problem with DNI lists

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 12:40:40 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: London Times article sparks protests in Iran

TEHRAN, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned Britain's charge
d'affairs in Tehran on Tuesday to protest against a recent article in the
London Times deemed insulting to the Islamic republic.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA said Foreign Ministry official Morteza
Ramandi met diplomat Neil Crompton to convey the ``strongest protests over the
affront to the Iranian nation'' by the depiction of Iran's late revolutionary
leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a Times article.

``The Iranian nation and government are sensitive about desecration of Islamic
values. The London daily's affront has aroused public hatred and disgust,''
Ramandi said.

The Times said in a January 1 article that ``Khomeini's rule was, in all
significant respects, a disaster.''

``For Iran it was comparable to the Mongolian invasion of the 13th century.
neighbouring Islamic nations his effect was to frighten moderate leadership
paralyse reform. For the rest of the world he bears...a disastrous
responsibility for inspiring and sanctioning state terrorism,'' the article

Hardline Iranian students held a protest rally in front of the British embassy
on Monday, demanding an apology from London, and threatened to stage further

Ties between Britain and Iran only recently recovered from a decade of tension
after Tehran pledged a year ago not to carry out a death edict against British
author Salman Rushdie accused of blasphemy against Islam.

The two countries in September agreed to exchange ministerial visits for the
first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi is due to travel to Britain in


Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 12:38:49 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>

January 4, 2000

TEHRAN-PARIS 4TH Jan (IPS) Amid the silence of the authorities, special
anti-riot units of the Islamic Revolution Guards Forces clashed
Wednesday for the second straight day with the population of one of Tehran
poorest suburbs, leaving an undisclosed number of wounded that includes
some of the revolutionary guard's men, according to information from the

The protest movement in Chahar Dangueh, a district of Eslam Shar, a
shanty town situated south-east of the capital started Tuesday with the
population, numbering at around 200.000, demanding their town to be
included in the greater Tehran rather than Eslam Shahr, itself a huge
shantytown that was the scene of unprecedented anti-regime demonstrations
four years ago.

Deprived of any urban services like drinking water, electricity and gas
or public transport, the protesters closed for several hours the
Tehran-Saveh highway with burning tires and clashed with the local security
and law enforcement forces, attacking some public buildings, before the
of the heavily armed special anti-riot units, eyewitnesses told Iran Press

Describing the angry rioters as "hooligans", the regime's official news
agency IRNA said in it's Persian service that the unrest ended
peacefully after anti-riot forces had encircled the "law breaker thugs",
but eyewitnesses reported "heavy clashes" between the protesters and the
revolutionary guards.

Hospital and local sources confirmed these reports, saying however that
most of the wounded had slight injuries.

IRNA did not reported the riots in it's English service and there was
no news in the State-run Radio network that is under the direct control
of ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic regime, but the
Mayor of Eslam Shahr said the protests were the "direct result of
indifference and inattention of the central authorities to mounting
difficulties of the deprived population".

Like the inhabitants of Eslam Shahr, those living in Chahar Dangeh are
mostly peasants who have left their villages for Tehran or
homelessness, unemployed, former prisoners, drug traffickers and smugglers,
folks described in the Islamic Republic's terminology as "mostaz'afin", or
deprived people to whom grand ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of
the Islamic regime had promised prosperity.

Eslam Shar, a tiny village before the revolution that saw it's
population increasing more than ten times erupted in a violent riot
four years ago over exactly the same issues.

Tens of thousands angry demonstrators made of the poorest among the
poor set fire to public buildings and shouted slogans against the
clerical leaders after revolutionary guards that had stormed the huge
shantytown from air and land attacked them, using tanks and helicopters,
killing and wounding tens of people.

Under the presidency of ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the
self-proclaimed "Commander of Reconstruction", similar riots took place
in various Iranian cities, the worst reported one was in Ghazvin, 150
kilometres west of Tehran.

Like the people of Chahar Dangeh, the Ghazvinis were demonstrating
against their city, a relatively prosperous industrial town, being
attached to the province of Zanjan instead of Tehran, as they had been

Like in Eslam Shahr, the revolutionary guards dispatched from the
capital put down the riots ruthlessly after the commander of the
regular Armed Forces garrison refused orders to attack the demonstrators.

With some ten million people jobless, most of them people who have
deserted their villages, the shantytowns that mushroomed around big
cities after the Islamic revolution of 1979 are without any basic urban
services and turned into "natural hotbed" presenting potential danger for
the regime.

"Even though that at the start the motive of the rioters is not
political but of social order, but it is evident that in the context of
undemocratic, authoritarian systems like that of the Islamic Republic,
demonstrations quickly take a political colour, particularly when the
government does not control all the economic factors and a generalised
corruption penalizes the poor", explained one Tehran sociologist talking
over the phone with IPS.

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 13:39:00 EST

International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
Press Release
Condemn the UNHCR's Policies and Practices
January 6, 2000

On January 3, 2000, Reza Afshar, a fifty-year-old Iranian asylum seeker,
committed suicide in protest to the policies of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Islamabad, Pakistan. Afshar who had
struggled for so long to save his life took it with his own hands and became
yet another victim of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the new world order's
inhuman refugee policies. Today, other refugees and the International
Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) Branch in Pakistan organized and paid
for his burial.

Afshar had told the IFIR-Branch in Pakistan that four years ago, the UNHCR
had rejected him after asking only two non-biographical questions pertaining
to his claim. When he returned to the UNHCR on an appointed date to obtain
their decision on his claim, the agency seized his UN letter and closed his
casefile. The Pakistani authorities then imprisoned him for 40 months. When
the government finally released him recently, Afshar returned to seek
assistance from the UNHCR. He was sleeping in front of that office (located
across from the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran) for lack of
accommodations. After presenting several letters requesting assistance, the
UNHCR gave him a notice that his case remained closed. Distraught and
unwilling to return to Iran, Afshar took his own life with sleeping pills.

IFIR condemns the UNHCR's utter disregard for refugee lives and holds that
agency directly responsible for Afshar's death. The UNHCR's bureaucracy,
lengthy determination procedures, interrogatory interviews, lack of a
satisfactory appeals process, and withholding of reasons for rejection are
responsible for Afshar's death. The UNHCR's non-provision of any financial
and living assistance to asylum seekers, and its failure to provide adequate
protection and resettlement opportunities are responsible for innumerable
such acts of desperation and lost lives in Pakistan and elsewhere.

IFIR calls on all to condemn the UNHCR Pakistan's violations of Reza Afshar's
(case number I-16056) human rights by sending protest letter to the UNHCR in
Pakistan (e-mail: or fax: +92-5127-9455) and the UNHCR in
Geneva (e-mail:, +41-22-739-7353).

For more information: contact Maryam Namazie, IFIR, GPO, PO Box 7051, New
York, NY 10116. Tel: 212-747-1046. Fax: 212-425-7260. E-mail: Website:

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 15:36:59 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran Vs. US on ESPN

Sun Jan 16 02:00PM Pacific
Sun Jan 16 03:00PM Mountain
Sun Jan 16 04:00PM Central
Sun Jan 16 05:00PM Eastern
Length: 2 hr LIVE
International Friendly
United States vs Iran
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:32:55 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Getting Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place


Getting Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Third 5-Year national Economic Development Plan (March 2000-5)
meliminates payment of floating foreign exchange rate of 3,000 rials per
dollar for imports, effective March 21. Only a rate of 1,750 rials per dollar
in addition to export proceeds settlement payments (around 8,500 rials a
dollar) are to be left standing.

Such a measure is apparently aimed to render the economy transparent.
Although a first step toward economy liberation , the elimination of the
floating rates will lead to many problems for the local industries and
manufacturing units at a time they already suffer from acute shortage of
foreign exchange.

Many factories have failed to meet their exchange requirements even on the
basis of 3,000 rials a dollar; then how can they adapt themselves with a rate
which could soon exceed way above 8,500 rials a dollar?

In the short run, such a step will surely hurt people and should factories
and producers fail to adapt themselves to the export proceeds setllement
rates, they will either have to cut production or shut down. This would
undoubtedly further reduce domestic production, increases unemployment and
invites higher prices.

On the other hand, if under the pretext of higher exchange rates domestic
factories raise the price of their goods, we will again witness a far higher
inflation next year. It goes without saying that such problems are the fruit
of a flawed economic structure badly in need of repair.

Therefore, it seems appropriate for the government to pay foreign exchange
loans to producers or receive rials payment against foreign exchange in
installments in order to avoid a sharp rise in inflation in the coming years
and at the same time lift a heavy burden from the already sinking shoulders
of producers. Certainly with such steps and after a lapse of two or three
years, competitive factories will survive and those who remain defeated in
the race will gradually disappear. Of course this step should have been taken
several years ago and before issuing license for establishment of factories.
Nevertheless, in the short term, by taking proper steps and by solving the
producers' problems the government can avoid giving a pretext to producers
who may wish to raise prices and a 50-percent inflation rate in the coming

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:34:29 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM



Mohsen Armin, Abbas Abdi, Behzad Nabavi, Hashem Aghajari, Hamid-Reza
Jalaiepour, Hadi Khamenei and many nationalist-religious figures have been
disqualified for the February Majlis elections by the Guardian Council.

IRNA-affiliated daily Iran quoted Mohsen Rezaie, former commander of the
IRGC, as saying that he would not be "bought off" at any price by any
political faction. I am going to run for the Parliament as an independent,
while respecting "all lawful parties," he added.

Abbas Abdi, member of the reformist Islamic Iran Partnership Party (IIPP),
said Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani would not be supported by the IIPP in the
parliamentary polls. The vote he receives this time is different from his
vote in 1993 elections. The "quality" of votes Rafsanjani would receive is of
much significance, he said.

Daily Mosharekat which is affiliated to the IIPP reported that in some
mosques of Ahwaz city, a form -- entitled "Local Survey" -- was distributed
among worshipers calling for the readers' opinion about the city's candidates
for the Parliament, in a bid to disqualify reformist candidates.

Rightist daily Entekhab reported that the courts have been required by the
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi to set up a special
branch for dealing with offenses during the Majlis elections

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:37:42 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Bribery in LEF?

Bribery in LEF?

HAMSHAHRI * This Municipality-affiliated daily quoted Majlis deputy from
Minab, Seyed Ali Mirkhalili, as saying that the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF)
in Minab have put the city's people under heavy pressure, beat them and kill
them in the name of fighting drug trafficking. Further, the LEF are taking
bribes, while people, who suffer from hunger and poverty, are accused of
illicit drug trade.

Don't Lie in Your Articles!

HAMSHAHRI * Dr. Manouchehr Keramat, who wrote an article in the now-banned
daily Salaam, has been indicted for spreading lies. He was sentenced in the
absence of a jury, to six months in jail and 40 lashes. In his article,
Keramat criticized the Municipality and Governor General of Shushtar for a
project to broaden a street, during which some houses were destroyed.

Under the Press Law, managing director of newspapers are responsible for the
material published in their papers. In case of committing an offense, they
should stand trial in a court in the presence of a jury.

Former Intelligence Ministers to Be Questioned?

IRAN * Ali Saleh Abadi, member of the Present and Past Majlis Deputies
Organization, said in the new round of investigations on the serial murders,
former intelligence ministers, Ali Fallahian and Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi,
would be questioned in this regard. "Isfahani people would give a proper
response to Fallahian in the elections," he said. Fallahian is a candidate
from Isfahan constituency for the next Majlis elections.

Sit-in by Girl Students

SOBH-E EMROOZ * A group of girl students staged a sit-in at Dr. Shariati
Teacher Training University for three days, in protest at the performance of
university officials and lack of facilities, while the officials "labeled the
gathering as political and insulted the students," one student said. The
gathering turned into violence after police forces cast the students into the

Montazeri Impatient Not Suited to Be Leader!

ASR-E AZADEGAN * Hussein Musavi Tabrizi, member of the Present and Past
Deputies Organization, said since Ayatollah Husseinali Montazeri was not
overly patient, Imam Khomeini dismissed him as his successor.

Committee Member Threatens to Resign

ASR-E AZADEGAN * Qorbanali Qandehari, member of the Serial Murders
Investigation Committee, threatened that he would resign from his committee
membership if the investigations into the murders is not formally launched
until the following days.

Hue and Cry Over Disqualifications

JOMHOURI ESLAMI * This fundamentalist daily quoted Mohammad Hashemi,
presidential adviser, as saying that a certain group which are not qualified
to express opinions about Islamic issues, raise hue and cry when are dealt
with. They claim the freedoms are curbed. Some candidates who very well knew
that they were not qualified staged a propaganda campaign after they were
disqualified by the Guardian Council. The policies of Ataollah Mohajerani is
not approved by the Executives of Construction Party, he further stated.

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:47:10 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Islamic Human Rights Commission to Review Judiciary's Performance

Islamic Human Rights Commission to Review Judiciary's Performance


TEHRAN -- Islamic Human Rights Commission in a bulletin released yesterday
announced holding of a review session here on Jan. 12 to evaluate the
Judciary's performance in the area of "progress and support of human rights".

The session which will be attended by experts and representatives of the
three branches of government is scheduled to review topics covering
political, judicial rights of citizens, media rights and women and family

Other topics on the agenda will include, assessment of the fifth Parliament's
supervisory role in strengthening the public's rights, evaluating policies
regarding abuse of human rights and its (Parliament) performance vis-a-vis
international standards of human rights, IRNA reported.

The commission has already evaluated the Judicary's performance in connection
to human rights in its expert sessions held annually.

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:49:20 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Times Asked to Redress Slur Against Imam Khomeini

Times Asked to Redress Slur Against Imam Khomeini


TEHRAN -- Iran has strongly advised the Times of London to rectify an
offensive obituary about Imam Khomeini (R.H.), published in a special
millennium edition that is seen as trying to rewrite history.

In a letter to the newspaper, owned by the Australian-American press tycoon
Rupert Murdoch, the Iranian Embassy in London charged the Times with
presenting a "completely distorted and false view" of the late Leader of the
Islamic Revolution.

"The impression conveyed by the article in your newspaper about the legacy of
Imam Khomeini for Islamic countries is absolutely contrary to the realities,"
it said, referring to his struggle against dictatorship and the beneficial
consequences of democracy.

"This embassy very much regrets that on the very first day of the new
century, when we should all be striving to turn the new century into one of
understanding, dialogue and peace, your newspaper insulted one of the eminent
figures of the 20th century," Ataollah Mobarhani said.

His letter reminded the Times that insulting the holy and respected
personalities of any nation was "tantamount to offending every single member
of that nation" and advised the daily to "correct its mistake."

Iran's Foreign Ministry formally protested to the British government on
Tuesday by summoning its Charge d'Affaires Neil Crompton about the "affront
to the Iranian nation."

The Times has become infamous in Britain for its animosity toward Islam and
Muslim nations. During the Islamic Revolution, it had one of the most
notorious records for supporting the Shah.

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:51:21 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Elections, People's Expectations


Elections, People's Expectations


TEHRAN -- Yesterday, 22 leading figures of the May 23 Front warned President
Khatami against possible actions on the part of the Guardian Council in the
run-up to the next parliamentary polls.

Ali Mohaqqar, deputy interior minister for parliamentary affairs, said the
only way to block the motion requiring the ballot sheets to be divided into
three parts is for the President to issue warnings, as he is entitled to do
by the Constitution. The President is responsible for implementing the
Constitution, and the law under discussion indeed violates Article 64.

According to a statute approved recently by the GC to examine the
qualification of candidates, the disqualified participants would be
nonetheless allowed to run should they obtain the approval of two top
religious figures. The Interior Ministry opposes this statute, saying that
any certificate approving or rejecting of candidates should be supported by
legal documents.

Political analysts believe that, since the right-wing faction failed to
implement its programs so far, it is now trying to minimize its impending
defeat by passing new laws and regulations, and by utilizing the supervision
lever of the GC.

The rightists (conservative MPs and other well-known headliners) have made
great efforts to defend themselves from public criticism by means of moves
such as the impeachment of minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Ataollah
Mohajerani (a true advocate of the reformist press), the reform postponement
of the Press Law by three months, the trial and imprisonment of journalists
and the banning of leading reformist newspapers such as Khordad or Salaam and
finally, by amending the Elections Law.

These efforts did not, however, bring about positive results, and were
sometimes counter- productive.

A question raised by political observers is just why the right faction
behaves this way, does it really pay attention to existing conditions within
the country? Analysts further believe the right wing has diminished its
chances of winning the elections by regularly repeating statements from
leading headliners.

Reformers or leftists term the headliners "traditionalists". This can be
justified to a great extent. Anyone who examines the ideas and standpoints of
the rightists can clearly see they've always based their functions on their
so-called religious commitment, and even their behavior toward their rivals
arises from their traditionalistic conception of religion.

The conservatives think their recent moves to restrict the leftists and other
rival camps amount to fighting for the path of God, and to implementing His
instructions, even though they result in failure. Seeing as the rightists are
clearly older than the leftists, it would have been surprising had they
thought otherwise. Although generally, the backers of both factions base
their actions on their spiritual commitments.

Judging by the powers of the GC to confirm or reject candidates and
manipulate the elections process, two possible attitudes can emerge during
the elections:

A) If the GC insists on the disqualification of reformist candidates, there
won't be a massive turnout, as there was in the previous voting process.
Naturally, pressure from the public opinion would increase.

B) If it is lenient enough to qualify the reformist contestants, the people
will go to the polls en masse. If the first scenario occurs, a specific
situation will emerge, whose consequences might be studied should the
opportunity arise some day. Should the second one occur, the results will be
surprising to many. The experience gained since the Fifth Majlis has proven
that people settle their accounts with the political camps during elections.
For instance, in the Fifth Parliamentary Elections, 70 percent of the
candidates entered the Majlis for the first time, and in the May 23, 1997
presidential polls, Khatami managed to secure 20 million votes, while
Nateq-Nouri secured only 7 million.

Taking into consideration the events of the past two years, the expectations
of the public and the moves by the rightist camp, one should indeed expect
another settling of accounts. Even if certain strata of the population
refrain from going to the polls as a result of what they have come to expect
from the state, this should be considered a statement of political dissent.
And it should be seen as a democratic event that is rare in Iran.

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 21:24:37 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: World Music Concert - Berkeley Jan 22, 2000, 8PM

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Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 21:49:37 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Fwd: Note on the Riots

Iran National Salvation Front

With some ten million people jobless, most of them people who have
deserted their villages, the shantytowns that mushroomed around big
cities after the Islamic revolution of 1979 are without any basic urban
services and turned into "natural hotbeds" presenting potential danger for
the regime.

Even though that at the start the motive of the rioters is not
political but of social order, but it is evident that in the context of
undemocratic, authoritarian systems like that of the Islamic Republic,
demonstrations quickly take a political colour, particularly when the
government does not control all the economic factors and a generalised
corruption penalizes the poor.

Amir-Reza Oveissi
Iran NSF

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 22:20:33 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Re: Mosharekat Daily Hits Newsstands

Just for the information of those who wants to read this newspaper online,
this newspapers is now available on:

bA ehterAm,
Farhad A.

Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 22:30:46 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Problem with DNI lists

Hello everyone,
I have to work to install a new version of DNI list server program this
weekend. It seems that the version of the program that we are using (18.c)
is kind of old and have problem with some of the messages we receive from
our members, and it just ignores them (some of you have received messages
that no one else has and odd things like that).

It may cause some problem with you guys, you may receive some garbage
messages in the next 2 days, and I have to oppologize for that, I am not so
good at administrating list server programs, and it was almost 2 years ago
when I installed that program, so it may take a while before I figure out
how to solve all these problems and get back into the same level as we are

At the same time, I will add some new functions to our lists such as:
- Automatic archiving our news into HTML format
- Automatic removal of spammers (already active)
- Stopping double copy off messages (already active)

And try to make the subscription/unsubscription into semi/automatic so we
do not need my personal intereference everytime somone wants to become a
member or leave us.

I hope that you guys have understanding for this, and try to make this
transition as smooth as possible without causing any problem for you.

bA ehterAm,
Farhad A.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Jan 2000 to 6 Jan 2000