Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 14 Jan 2000 to 15 Jan 2000 - Special issue

There are 21 messages totalling 1237 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. unsubscribe me please!!!!!
2. "Butcher" of Iranian revolution rallies to reformist president
3. Can soccer do what diplomats can't for US and Iran?
4. USA-Iran cause for celebration
5. Beer ads to stay for Iran game - U.S. soccer body
6. U.S. team expected to be 'visitor' again in Rose Bowl
7. Soccer mania in the Iranian community in Los Angeles
8. BBC-Iran bars election candidates
9. Iran Students Attacked After Talk
10. U.S., Iranian Soccer Teams to Clash Again Sunday
11. Press release by Iran's mission to UN on upcoming Iran-US soccer match
12. Iran hangs teenager for raping toddler
13. Members of Expert Assembly meet with president Khatami
14. Peugeot engines to be produced in Qeshm Qeshm
15. Interesting articles to read
16. Russia, Iran reaffirm military, energy ties
17. President calls on Information Ministry to revise strategies
18. U.S. and Iran Soccer Match Encouraging to Humanitarian Efforts
19. AP-Iran 2, Ecuador 1
20. BBC-New attack on Iran leadership
21. Iranian clerics reaffirm absolute powers of leader

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 12:56:49 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Re: unsubscribe me please!!!!!

Mister Hosseiny,
You are not a member of our list under the e-mail address you have sent
this message, if you do not want to be on this list, then you have to sent
us a message with the e-mail address on which you where subscribed to this
list.

We have no possibility to "gues" the e-mail address of our members.

bA ehterAm,
Farhad A.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:40:17 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: "Butcher" of Iranian revolution rallies to reformist president

PARIS, Jan 14 (AFP) - The man responsible for hundreds of executions after
Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali, told a French
newspaper Friday that he was returning to politics on the side of
reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

Khalkhali, notorious as a ruthless hanging judge in the early years of the
revolution, said he had been sick with heart problems, but now at the age
of 73 he was putting his weight behind Khatami's Association of Combatant
Clerics.

"I do not like reformers who just sow trouble. But I am in complete
agreement with the president," Khalkhali told Le Figaro in an interview in
the holy city of Qom.

"I very much like his idea of a dialogue between civilisations, and also
of the development of civil society."

Asked whether his support for reformers did not represent a remarkable
turn-around, Khalkhali said: "I have never changed my point of view. I
have never been an extremist ... All those I condemned to death were
killed according to Islamic law."

Khalkhali said he could not recall how many death sentences he had signed,
but it was "definitely less than a thousand."

Khalkhali won himself a fearsome name after the overthrow of the shah in
1979 for his bloodthirsty interpretation of Islamic law, condemning
hundreds of opponents of the new government to death, often without trial.

He was famously filmed picking with a stick through the remains of
American soldiers who were killed in an abortive mission to rescue
hostages held at the US embassy in Teheran.

He told Le Figaro he regretted nothing: "if my victims came back down to
earth again, I would execute them all once more, without exception."

Given his past, Khalkhali's support was likely to come as an embarrassment
to Khatami, who is preparing for parliamentary elections next month.

The president wants to overturn the grip of hardliners on the country's
legislature, which they have used to block his programme of reforms.

Le Figaro's correspondent said Khalkhali has Parkinson's disease and his
hands and feet occasionally trembled during the interview.

The correspondent put it to Khalkhali that an international law court was
now pursuing those responsible for massacres in Bosnia and Kosovo, at
which the ayatollah appeared to succumb to a sudden moment of doubt.

"Do you mean that I could be sent to the international war crimes tribunal?

"No, it is not possible. If I did anything wrong, Ayatollah (Ruhollah)
Khomeini (leader of the revolution) would have told me. I only ever did
what he asked."

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:41:18 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Can soccer do what diplomats can't for US and Iran?

Can soccer do what diplomats can't for US and Iran?
The Christian Science Monitor
By James Blair

In southern California, home to a huge ethnic-Iranian community, a soccer
match Sunday could help thaw a long-strained relationship.

January 14, 2000

With China, it was ping-pong diplomacy. With Cuba, baseball.

Now soccer may become the ice-breaker between the United States and Iran
when their respective men's national teams meet Sunday afternoon at
Pasadena's venerable Rose Bowl.

The game has riveted the attention of southern California's huge Iranian
community (at 500,000 to 1 million, it's the largest outside Iran itself)
as much because it may lead to rapprochement between the two countries as
because soccer is their favorite sport.

"This is not just a game," says Nayereh Tohidi, a sociologist at
California State University, Northridge. "It's the start of something
positive."

The stage was set by a match between the two countries in Lyon, France,
during 1998 World Cup competition when, despite a hard-fought 2-1 Iranian
victory, the sportsmanship, respect, and evident good feeling between the
teams had an electric effect even on nonfans in both nations.

In what came to be called "the football revolution," thousands of young
Iranians poured into Tehran's streets to celebrate their team's return
with an open joyfulness that challenged the cultural strictures of the
nation's conservative clerics.

And Americans got to see Iranians as ordinary human beings rather than
slogan-shouting terrorists.

Many hope that Sunday's game, the first toe-to-toe matchup in the US since
the 1979 hostage crisis, will build on that foundation.

In Iran, where 60 percent of the population is under 20, youthful soccer
fans could become a powerful force for social change. Last July, student
protesters clashed with Islamic hard-liners, symbolizing political
tensions that persist today with parliamentary elections near.

The soccer match comes at a time when the two nations lack diplomatic
relations. And Mohamad Khatami, the moderate Iranian president elected in
1997, would like to see the US lift economic sanctions before mending
diplomatic fences.

But if official ties remain frosty, many ethnic Iranians in the
sun-drenched southland maintain close ties with friends and relatives in
Iran.

And their enthusiasm about Sunday's match provides a glimpse into one of
the most dynamic and diverse immigrant groups in Greater Los Angeles.

Iranian families and college students have lived in Los Angeles for years,
drawn by economic opportunity and a familiar climate. But their numbers
were relatively small prior to the Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s.

The overthrow of the Shah brought the first of two major waves of
immigrants, says Ms. Tohidi, a contributor to the landmark 1993 study
"Irangeles: Iranians in Los Angeles."

Many of the new arrivals were from the upper classes that had supported
the old regime. A second wave, including professionals and intellectuals
fearing religious or political persecution, came in the early 1980s. They
defied the easy stereotyping that often plagues immigrant groups.

Most were highly educated and reflected Iran's religious diversity beyond
Islam and its ethnic diversity.

Settling principally in the San Fernando Valley, the west side of Los
Angeles, Orange County, and to some extent farther south in San Diego,
many of the new arrivals established businesses and moved into professions
such as law, medicine, education, and technology.

They also became involved in politics. Democrat Maziar Mafi of Laguna
Beach, for example, is challenging the 47th District's powerful Republican
congressional representative, Christopher Cox.

"[Iranians] tend to become involved in their society," says Shamil
Erfanian, who immigrated as a teenager 20 years ago, "They do not seclude
themselves."

But success has not come without cost. Men used to wealth and power
arrived in America with nothing and faced downward mobility. Women, some
of whom had never worked outside the house in their more socially
conservative homeland, often had to help support their families. Many
established businesses, implicitly challenging traditional gender-based
hierarchy. Divorces, many initiated by women, increased.

The soccer match Sunday has meaning for all.

For young ethnic Iranians in America, it could solidify ties to their
cultural roots. "It reminds everyone that the youth haven't forgotten
their culture," says UCLA student Nikoo Nikoomanesh. For those in Iran, it
may boost reform candidates in the coming elections. For the US and Iran,
says Tohidi, "It is a process of healing the wounds between these two
nations."

And for soccer fans, it just might be a great game.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:41:49 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: USA-Iran cause for celebration

USA-Iran cause for celebration
USA Today
By Peter Brewington

Non-political World Cup rematch electrifies Iranian-Americans
January 14, 2000
The name Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini probably sends chills down the spine
of any American who lived through the turmoil of Iran's 1979 Islamic
revolution.

American hostages were held for 444 days in Tehran. American flags burned
on the evening news. Twenty years of chilled relations. Even today the
former U.S. embassy in Tehran is home to anti-U.S. exhibits.

That's why this Sunday in Pasadena, Calif., should be so remarkable.
Thousands of Iranian-Americans, some waving flags, others with giant "I"s
painted on their chests, will crowd the Rose Bowl when the USA hosts the
Iranian soccer team in a rematch of Iran's 1998 World Cup win.

"To see your own country, you get hyped up to be an Iranian," says Keyvan
Shakeri, 18, who moved to the USA from Tehran when he was a year old.

Like an enthusiastic fan at NFL playoff games, the freshman criminology
major at UC-Irvine is one of those planning to stain a big I on his chest.
He will get three Iranian friends to complete the lettering.

"I am rooting for my homeboys," says Sahel Alemansour, 32, of Woodland
Hills, Calif., a counselor of autistic kids. "But mostly, I just want a
good game," she says.

The game (5 p.m. ET, ESPN) will be broadcast to Iran, a country of 68
million, where bleary-eyed fans can watch live at 1:30 a.m.

"I think 60 million will watch," says Manook Khodabakhshian, an Iranian
radio personality in Los Angeles likened to ESPN's Chris Berman.

A different ayatollah now leads Iran, and "people-to-people" exchanges
involving sports teams, scholars and the like are being encouraged by U.S.
and Iranian officials as a way to warm long-strained relations.

The U.S. players of course, want to avenge their loss but promise another
clean game.

"We're both clean teams, not dirty," U.S. forward Brian McBride says.

"This game doesn't surprise me," former hostage Moorhead Kennedy says. "We
may have political differences, but there's no reason there should be
soccer differences."

Honoring their team

The 600,000-strong Iranian-American community in southern California is
electrified by the team's three-game tour. (They lost to Mexico 2-1 and
beat Ecuador 2-1.) Fans have greeted them at hotels . "We don't feel alone
here because there are so many Iranians," says Jalal Talebi, team
technical director.

Posters of national superstar Ali Daei -- known for saying "We will not
let you down" -- and T-shirts with the flags of both nations are selling
briskly at the Music Gallery, a Santa Monica shop devoted to Persian music
and videos.

"Tehran-geles," as it is sometimes called casually, is the capital of the
largest community of Iranians outside Iran. Many fled after the shah was
ousted, forming one of the most successful and well-educated U.S.
immigrant groups. Most are pulling for continued reforms under President
Mohammad Khatami and are closely watching parliamentary elections next
month.

They describe a new sense of national pride awakened by the soccer team.
"The team is called the people's team. It does not belong to the
government or the Islamic republic," Khodabakhshian says.

Iran qualified for the '98 World Cup with a road tie against Australia,
then returned to Tehran for a celebration in the national stadium.
Although women were not invited, thousands pushed their way in.

A similar celebration followed the team's 2-1 win against the USA in
France.

The Americans remember the sting of that loss clearly. They felt they
would win. Iran sat back and counterattacked to victory.

"We have to be smarter this time," says McBride, who scored the lone U.S.
goal.

The U.S. team opens 2000 with high hopes.

"This is a very important soccer game. We are not politicians," says
hard-driving coach Bruce Arena, pushing to get ready for World Cup
qualifying in 2002.

Sports, not politics

The son of the shah, Reza Pahlavi, 39, says he will not attend the game to
avoid creating a political statement that would anger hard-line religious
conservatives at home.

"I believe sports should be totally separate from politics," says the
exiled would-be crown prince, who will watch from his home in Maryland.

Although some Iranian groups were expected to bring political banners,
officials say they expect warm vibes.

This was a sensitive trip to arrange because the countries have no
diplomatic relations. Last November the USA proposed sending a consular
official to Iran to facilitate visa transactions. Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei said no, accusing the USA of wanting to set up a spy center.

One major point was a U.S. waiver of fingerprinting and photographing, an
anti-terrorist procedure established for nationals of Iran and other
countries alleged to be supporters of terrorism. The 30-member delegation
quickly cleared U.S. immigration upon arriving.

The U.S. Soccer Federation paid $30,000 in airfare and is paying most
expenses. It's providing players with Islamic hallal meat (meat killed
under Islamic law). The FBI is providing security.

Hungry to promote reconciliation, Iranian-Americans are telling each other
to pull equally for both teams.

Says Keyvan's father, Ali, a mortgage banker: "If this is a political
game, I don't argue. But let's not lose the opportunity to respect and
congratulate this game between two great nations."

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:40:48 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Beer ads to stay for Iran game - U.S. soccer body

Beer ads to stay for Iran game - U.S. soccer body
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES, Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. soccer officials on Thursday refused
to bow to Muslim sensibilities and remove Budweiser beer advertisements
from the stadium and programs for a groundbreaking Iranian-U.S. game.

Responding to a complaint from what officials called an ``Iranian
extremist group'' that the beer ads were offensive to Muslims, the U.S.
soccer federation appealed for the exhibition game to be played in a
``spirit of friendship and sportsmanship.''

Iran's national soccer squad is making its first trip to the United States
since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Sunday's game will be the first between
the two nations since a 1998 World Cup encounter in which Iran beat ``the
great Satan'' 2-1.

Budweiser, America's bestselling beer, is one of eight sponsors of the
U.S. soccer federation and advertises heavily on billboards around fields
and in programs.

The goodwill surrounding the current trip was shattered when an Iranian
group called for the Budweiser ads to be removed from the Rose Bowl in
Pasadena, near Los Angeles, for the game.

The U.S. soccer federation in a statement expressed ``tremendous respect
for Islamic traditions'' and said it understood ``that abstinence is an
Islamic custom.''

``However, as the game is played in the United States -- a country that
sanctions the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages -- Budweiser
will remain one of several event sponsors,'' it said.

``When Budweiser was a sponsor of the 1994 World Cup (in the United
States), cultures from around the world met in a spirit of friendship and
sportsmanship in competition despite our differences,'' the federation
continued.

``On the occasion of this groundbreaking exchange, we are confident that
history will repeat itself.''

U.S. soccer officials said the complaint had not come from the Iranian
soccer federation. They declined to give details and were unable to say
whether the complaining group was based in the United States or Iran.

In an attempt to welcome the Iranian team, the United States relaxed some
immigration controls normally imposed on visiting Iranians, allowing the
players and coaches an exemption from being fingerprinted when they
arrived on Jan. 5.

Iranian players have said they have no wish to be affected by politics
before the game, for which more than 35,000 tickets have been sold.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:42:05 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: U.S. team expected to be 'visitor' again in Rose Bowl

CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) Jan 14 -- When the U.S. soccer team plays in the
Los Angeles area, players usually hear jeers, not cheers.

For Sunday's exhibition game against Iran at the Rose Bowl, the
predominant flag is expected to be green, white and red, not red, white
and blue.

"Welcome to Southern California," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said, shaking his
head and smiling.

The Americans seem like the visitors when they play Mexico and other Latin
teams, although they were cheered during their 1994 World Cup upset of
Colombia at the Rose Bowl.

There are as many as 600,000 Iranian-Americans living in and around Los
Angeles, and for many of them, Sunday's game will be their first chance to
see Iran's national team, which this month is playing its first three
games in the United States.

"I have many relatives flying in from San Francisco, Texas, New Mexico,
and Washington, D.C.," said Ali Ghalambor, a native of Iran who came to
the United States in 1984. "We are very excited about it. I went to games
in Iran and have watched the team on TV, but this is my first chance see
them in many years."

Ghalambor is taking his 7-year-old son, Moji.

"I'm sure it will be something for him to remember," Ghalambor said.

U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna said he and his teammates are accustomed to
fan opposition.

"I've been around it so many times, so I'm used to it and I think
everybody knows it's going to be like that again," Reyna said. "In
California, where you have so many ethnic people from different countries,
when their national team comes to play, they'll travel for 10 hours for a
game because it's their only chance to watch them play."

Goalkeeper Tony Meola, the starter at the 1990 and '94 World Cups, thinks
the U.S. team still will have lots of support.

"We've been lucky with our fans the last five or six years, as far as
pro-American crowds," he said. "It might be a pro-Iranian crowd. I'm sure
any part of the Iranian population here would want to see their national
team. I'm certain there's a lot of pride in the people that are from Iran
and living in America."

A crowd of about 50,000 is expected at the Rose Bowl for a rematch of the
1998 World Cup game, when Iran shocked the United States 2-1 at Lyon,
France. The Americans then lost to Yugoslavia and finished last in the
32-nation field.

Not all those cheering for Iran will be doing it in that country's
language, and some in the crowd are likely to have the flags of both
nations painted on their cheeks.

"A lot of them will be American-born Iranians, like my kids," said Reza
Ghalambor. "Most of them don't even speak Farsi."

Whether they're yelling in Farsi or English, Reyna thinks the crowd will
be lively.

"It makes a great atmosphere. It's good for us and it makes the game fun
on the field when you have fans that are into it," he said. "And they are
going to be into it."

Reyna hopes that spirit will rub off on American fans.

"It shows the passion that these fans have in other parts of the world and
hopefully it makes people here realize how important soccer is in other
countries," he said.

Arena wishes soccer moms and pops would pack their kids into minivans and
head to Pasadena.

"California has one of the biggest youth soccer populations in the country
and we'd love to have some of their support," he said. "The time has come
that our country has to get behind our national team if we're going to be
successful.
Sunday would be a nice day to get some of those people out."

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:45:05 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Soccer mania in the Iranian community in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Jan. 15, IRNA -- The Iranian resident of southern
California these days are closely following the latest developments
regarding the Iranian national soccer team and team's trip to California
has revived the sense of patriotism among the Iranian community in the
region.

Presense of the Iranian soccer team in Los Angeles has significantly
strengthened the sense of solidarity between Iranians living here to an
extent that almost all of them admit that they have never witnessed such
manifestation of unity and friendship in their community.

"The team's trip to Los Angeles has brought us memories back from Iran"
said Hamid, an Iranian who works in Ali street in southern Los Angeles,
"those Iranians who had forgotten their traditions in the labirent of
western culture are remembering the old good days ..." he added.

"Why should Iran forget us?" said another Iranian, "why in the last 20
years no other Iranian team has ever traveled to California?" he
complained, "with our players here we can prove to Americans that Iran
is the land of champions, land of civilization with a long history".

"We would do everything in our power to raise the sense of nationality,
the sense of being Iranian in our children who belong to second
generation of Iranian immigrants," said another Iranian and added "we
would do our best to strengthen the new solidarity found in the Iranian
community."

Most iranians here voiced out that the best way to bring the Iranian
community out of its apparent recession is through further trips by
various sports delegations from their motherland, to unify shattered and
difference-striken community of Iranians here.

Homayoon, a 12-year-old boy holding a soccer ball, waiting anxiously to
meet Iranian soccer players told IRNA with a broken Persian "I have
collected 15 autographs on my soccer ball" and added enthusiastically "I
need four more, Khodadad Azizi, Ali Mosavi, ...".

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:46:11 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: BBC-Iran bars election candidates

Among those rejected are associates of President Khatami

By Jim Muir in Tehran

More than 750 candidates in Iran's crucial general elections next month
have been disqualified by vetting committees.

Over half of the 758 disqualifications were decided by the Council of
Guardians - a conservative-dominated body that has been accused by
reformists of discounting their candidates for factional reasons. More
than 6,000 candidates remain in the field.

Committees belonging to the Interior Ministry rejected nearly half of
the disqualified candidates in a first scrutiny. The ministry is
regarded as being under the influence of the reformists.

Many of those rejected, according to the ministry's election
headquarters, fell by the wayside because they lacked the necessary
qualifications or had failed to fulfil certain technical conditions.

But in later scrutiny by committees controlled by the Council of
Guardians, some 400 others were disqualified on grounds that the
reformists argue were very much more politically orientated.

Complaints

The reasons generally given were that they had failed to demonstrate
sufficient commitment to Islam and the Islamic system, or that they were
affiliated to banned political organisations.

Many of the disqualifications - and most of them are of reformist
candidates - had already been made known, causing a chorus of complaints
from the moderate circles.

However, there are still more than two weeks of appeals procedures to be
gone through. The final list will only be drawn up shortly before the
week-long election campaign begins next month.

Disqualifications down

The disqualifications have not been as radical as some had feared.

Although there are 1,500 more candidates this time than in the last
general elections, there are only about half the number of
disqualifications.

One factor in that may have been that the intelligence ministry, which
last time ruled out around 12% of the hopefuls, has been much more
restrained on this occasion.

The ministry is under new management following the resignation of the
previous minister a year ago after it was revealed that senior officials
had been involved in a chain of murders of intellectuals and writers.

However, the reformist President, Mohammed Khatami, has said that the
intelligence services still need to be restructured and reformed.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:45:33 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran Students Attacked After Talk

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Vigilantes assaulted students, injuring several, as
they left a rare public lecture by a controversial Islamic thinker who
has questioned religious rule by hard-line clerics, newspapers reported
Saturday.

The lecturer, Abdolkarim Soroush of Tehran University, escaped unhurt in
the attack Thursday in the northeastern city of Mashhad, but the
vigilantes smashed the windscreen of his car as he was being driven
away, the daily Asr-e-Azadegan reported.

The vigilantes waited outside the university lecture hall where Soroush
spoke and attacked students as they left, the paper said.

Asr-e-Azadegan did not give a precise figure for the number of students
assaulted nor did it say how severe were their injuries.

The paper described the vigilantes as ``members of pressure groups.''

The British-educated Soroush has angered the hard-line clerics in Iran's
government by questioning their use of religion to deny freedom and
democracy. He stopped speaking in public about two years ago after
several of his speeches were broken up by Muslim vigilantes who called
themselves Ansar-e-Hezbollah, or Partisans of God, and who supported the
hard-liners.

``Freedom is not limited by anything, save justice,'' he said at
Thursday's lecture. Many hard-liners would say that freedom is defined
by religion.

His views have made him a frequent target of attack in Iran, but have
triggered serious debates in the Muslim world.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:47:11 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: U.S., Iranian Soccer Teams to Clash Again Sunday

U.S., Iranian Soccer Teams to Clash Again Sunday
By Chris Cowles

PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - The U.S. national soccer team opens its
2000 campaign with a friendly against Iran in an emotional rematch with
the very team that sent the Americans packing from the 1998 World Cup
finals.

Sunday's match at the Rose Bowl is only the second meeting between the
two sides and comes during the Iranian team's first visit to the United
States since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

As emotionally charged as the game will be, it will not compare to the
squad's first meeting, a must-win situation for both teams on June 21,
1998 in Lyon, France.

After a patriotic run-up in both countries, Iran won the day 2-1 in one
of the most thrilling matches of the tournament. The Americans hit the
crossbar and two posts, and finally could manage only an 87th-minute
consolation goal.

Despite the bitter political backdrop of the Islamic revolution's
overthrow of the U.S.-backed Shah and the taking of American hostages in
Tehran, the World Cup encounter was played with remarkable sportsmanship
which earned the two nations FIFA's Fair Play Award.

The United States finished last in the 32-nation World Cup field. The
Iranians, who also failed to advance, were 20th, but went home heroes to
their countrymen. The U.S. team, its coach Steve Sampson summarily
sacked, was relegated to second-class status.

The tide turned for the Americans last year. Under new coach Bruce
Arena, the U.S. side shrugged off its wretched performance in France and
finished the 1999 campaign with a 7-4-2 record, including a pair of
shock victories against Germany, one against Argentina and a third-place
finish in the Confederations Cup in Mexico.

Arena has stressed the need for his players to pressure opponents, to
force errors and to utilize strong, overlapping runs by defenders to get
involved in the attack.

The U.S. coaching staff watched Iran defeat Ecuador's under-23 team 2-1
on Wednesday night and Arena made it clear to his team that Iran plays
``patient, conservative and smart.''

Midfielder Chris Armas, who will be busy in his dual role as first line
of defense and frequent initiator of attacks, is not taking the Iranians
lightly.

``They will have a good, tough road mentality,'' said Armas, who watched
the U.S.-Iran World Cup match on television. ''They're a smart team, but
I know our guys are going to come out hungry. There are some guys from
the World Cup team and I think they might be looking for a little
payback.'' Iran, which opened its three-game tour with a 2-1 loss to
Mexico last weekend in Oakland, returns a number of players from its
France '98 team including its goal scorers from the showdown in Lyon,
Hamid Estili and Mehdi Mahdavikia, along with veteran forward Ali Daei.

Daei has 39 goals in 60 appearances and has scored in his last two
outings. In defense, Mohammed Khakpour and Javad Zarincheh have nearly
130 caps between them.

``We've got to watch their No. 10 (Ali Daei), who is their most
dangerous player,'' said Arena. ``We also have to be very attentive in
the first 20 minutes of the game when we can expect them to apply
pressure.''

Missing is the squad's midfield leader Karim Bagheri, who remained in
Iran due to personal problems, according to Iran's technical director
Jamal Talebi, who coached the team in France.

``We have to be smarter and we have to keep our composure,'' says Brian
McBride, who headed in the only U.S. goal against Iran in France.

``They are a very smart team. We put ourselves in some bad positions
against them in France and got caught in some counterattacks. This time,
we have to defend well together and use the space on the field.''

McBride, who has nine goals in 35 appearances, will be the lone striker
for the United States. The responsibility of directing the attack will
rest on the shoulders of central midfielder Claudio Reyna, who has made
19 appearances and scored five goals for Rangers in Scottish League and
European fixtures this season.

``Claudio's touch is very on right now, but we need to give him space to
play and support,'' says McBride. ``His mind is quicker than most of us
because he is in the middle of his club season now, but we're hoping he
transfers some of that (sharpness) onto the rest of us.''

The match is expected to draw nearly 50,000 people and will be followed
by a friendly between Armenia and the U.S. under-23 team.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:50:48 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Press release by Iran's mission to UN on upcoming Iran-US soccer match

Los Angeles, jan. 15, IRNA -- Following concerns regarding involvement
of an alcoholic beverage company in sponsporing the upcoming Iran-US
soccer match, the permanent mission of the Islamic republic of Iran on
Friday announced that inquiry into the problem has revealed that no
maker of alcoholic beverages has "a specific arrangement for sponsorship
of the upcoming Iran-US match".

A press release by the Iranian mission to the United Nations indicate
that investigation by Iranian soccer federation to determine the facts
of the matter, reveals that the alcoholic company in question along
with, Chevrolet, Gatorade, Quacker Oats, Mortin, Nike, Allstate and
Texaco "have a general and outstanding agreement with US soccer
federation for advertisement" and none is specifically involved in
Sunday's Iran-US match.

Quoting a related news release by the US Soccer Federation, the press
release stressed that IRI has been given assurances that the alcoholic
beverage company in question "has not undertaken any financial,
logistical and staging aspects" of the match.

Iran's mission to the UN also emphasizes "the IRI rejects any and all
types of promoting alcoholic beverages and companies producing them" and
reconfirms that participation of Iranian sports team at international
level "shall not be construed as endorsing the advertising arrangements
by the host".

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:53:01 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iran hangs teenager for raping toddler

TEHRAN, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Iran has publicly hanged a teenager for
raping an 18-month-old child, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami said Jasem Ebrahimi, 17, was hanged in
Gonaveh, in southern Iran, on Friday after his death sentence was
confirmed by the supreme court. Rape carries a death sentence under
Iran's Islamic laws.

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication and
redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the
prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any
errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance
thereon. Other top stories

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:52:28 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Members of Expert Assembly meet with president Khatami

01/14/00 Members of Expert Assembly meet with president Khatami Tehran,
Jan 14, IRNA -- Members of the assembly of experts met with president
Seyed Mohammad Khatami on Thursday.

Ayatollah Ali Meshkini, the head of the Expert Assembly, in the meeting
reciting a narration (hadith) from the first infallible imam of the
prophet's household Imam Ali called upon the officials to render further
services to the public and focus on solving problems facing the people
and reinforce the unity and solidarity among them.

Ayatollah Meshkini paid homage to the government and the president for
his effective policies at the national and international arenas and his
being in touch with the leader of the revolution.

The ayatollah criticized "the press" and requested it to respect Islam,
martyrdom culture and clergy.

President Khatami in the meeting, elaborating on the important status of
the Expert Assembly in the Islamic system and the impact of the Islamic
scholars performance on the fate of the religion, said the Expert
Assembly has a key and logical role and is of prime importance in the
Islamic system.

President Khatami pointed out that "we should prevent Islam, the clergy,
the leadership and the Majlis from becoming bodies just in the service
of the interests of special groups or camps."

The president also thanked the Expert Assembly for its good performance
in the past and remarked that the major duty of the assembly of experts
is analytically and methodically defending the leaderhsip and the
Islamic system vis-a-vis other opinions and points of view in this
regard.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:51:57 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Peugeot engines to be produced in Qeshm Qeshm

Hormuzgan prov., jan. 15, IRNA -- Managing director of Qeshm free trade
zone (FTZ) Behrouz Bushehri said here Saturday that the machinery to
manufacture Peugeot engines have been imported to the country and engines
will soon be
produced on the island.

He told IRNA that engines will be reexported to the Peugeot factories in
France.

Bushehri said that negotiations are also proceeding with a European
truck manufacturing company, to produce trucks if economically feasible,
adding, "two groups of domestic and foreign investors are financing the
Peugeot project."

He said the financing has been arranged at the time of foreign minister
Kamal Kharrazi's visit to London.

The official further stated that over 3,000 Iranians residing in Dubai
and foreign tourists have visited Qeshm in the Iranian month of Azar
(November 22-December 21) to be informed of the progress made in the FTZ
over the past eight years.

A number of the Iranian investors have expressed interest in investment
ventures in the Qeshm FTZ, Bushehri said.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:57:16 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Interesting articles to read

Hi,
Visit these links, they are interesting articles about Iran/US relationship
Living in the Past
http://www.intellectualcapital.com/issues/issue337/item7872.asp
Entering the 21st Century on its Own Terms
http://www.intellectualcapital.com/issues/issue330/item7625.asp
/Farhad

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:59:13 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Russia, Iran reaffirm military, energy ties

Russia, Iran reaffirm military, energy ties 08:58 a.m. Jan 14, 2000
Eastern

MOSCOW, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Russia's defence minister held talks on
Friday with a top Iranian security official and pledged to maintain
Moscow's military ties with Tehran, Interfax news agency said.

Russia is engaged in several ventures with Iran, including the
construction of a nuclear power station. The United States, which
classes Iran a ``rogue state,'' has criticised the project and fears
Tehran may be trying to acquire nuclear weapons.

``Russia intends to maintain the dynamics of its bilateral ties with
Iran in the military, military-technical, scientific-technical and
energy fields,'' Interfax quoted Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev as
saying.

Sergeyev held talks with Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme
National Security Council, Iran's top security body. Interfax quoted
Sergeyev as saying Moscow ``intends to fulfill its obligations under
agreements made (between Iran and Russia) in 1989-1990.''

A ministry spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

On Thursday Rowhani met Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and both
men affirmed their support for a 'multipolar' world -- diplomatic code
for resisting what they see as U.S. domination of the post-Cold War
world order.

Russia is helping to build the Bushehr power plant in southwest Iran in
a deal worth $800 million and has given approval for talks with Tehran
on building three other nuclear power plants.

Russian nuclear cooperation with Iran unsettles the United States, which
cites Iran as one of the countries that has led it to seek amendment of
the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty (ABM) -- a move fiercely opposed
by Moscow.

Washington wants to amend the ABM so that it can build a nuclear
umbrella in the form of missiles able to knock enemy warheads out of the
sky before they hit their targets.

Russia has said any change to the ABM treaty would endanger all nuclear
disarmament agreements.

Iran says it has the right to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful
purposes.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:51:23 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: President calls on Information Ministry to revise strategies

Tehran, Jan. 15, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami here on Saturday urged
the information ministry to revise its policies and strategies in conformity
with the present and future needs of the country.

The president also called on the information ministry to offer a
specialized definition of national security, security preferences, and
threats.

In a meeting with security officials of 80 cities, the president said
popular strength is different from absolute power, adding that a popular
and legitimate government is the one which the people accept it
wholeheartedly.

President Khatami said if the people wanted a government with respect
and national will, a popular strength would come to form which will
bring security to the country, whereas if a government took shape on the
foundation of absolute power, then the relationship between the people
and government would be based on fears and not mutual respect.

Referring to the upcoming parliamentary elections (to be held on
February 18) president Khatami said the extent of popular turnout in the
elections would indicate the popular strength and the security in the
country as well as the stability of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

If the people saw that they enjoy wider choice of candidates, they would
have higher turnout and the elections would be magnificent.

Prior to the president's speech, minister of information hojatoleslam
Ali yunesi gave a report on performance of his ministry.

He said security is related to the political, military, cultural and
economic specifications and a durable security requires sustainable
development and vice versa.

Yunesi said, "in order to reach a durable security, we should leave
behind the challenges of intelligent enemies and the ignorant friends."

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:58:48 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: U.S. and Iran Soccer Match Encouraging to Humanitarian Efforts

Holy Land Trust Envisions Similar Match in the Middle East to Launch
'Journey of the Magi'

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second time in recent
history, and the first time on American soil, the U.S. and Iranian
soccer teams are about to take the field together in what Robin
Wainwright views as a symbolic step toward furthering humanitarian
efforts in the Middle East.

Wainwright is president of Holy Land Trust-USA, a nonprofit organization
which supports humanitarian operations throughout the Middle East. His
group would like to see the upcoming match, scheduled for January 16 at
Pasadena's Rose Bowl, duplicated later this year in Iran.

``This soccer game represents a combined vision of peace and membership
in a global community,'' Wainwright said. ``With sporting events like
these as a gateway, we can continue to break down stereotypes and pave a
broader path for helping those in need. The city of Pasadena is to be
commended for its role in hosting this game and what it represents.''

``This is certainly among the few positive news stories about our two
countries to emerge in the last twenty years,'' said Pasadena Mayor Bill
Bogaard. ``It's an honor to welcome the Iranian team here in Pasadena to
play the U.S. We are proud to host this important event.''

The Iranian soccer team's visit is the second time a sports team from
Iran has visited the U.S. In 1998, an Iranian boxing team visited the
United States after a U.S. boxing team participated in a tournament in
Iran.

In similar fashion, Wainwright and his group have been encouraging the
Iranian Sports Ministry to consider hosting another match between U.S.
and Iranian teams in Tehran later this year. His hope is that a second
game will foster continued opportunities for nations to work together as
part of a global community.

``We've been asking the Sports Ministry to consider holding another
match on September 15, the International Day of Peace,'' Wainwright
said. ``It's a perfect occasion, and would also serve as an excellent
launch pad for the Journey of the Magi, a pilgrimage for peace, which
will depart two days later from the Iranian city of Hamadan.''

``Journey of the Magi - A Pilgrimage for Peace'' -- a program of the
Holy Land Trust -- will be a 1,200-mile re-creation of the fabled
journey of the three wise men who followed a bright star in the sky to
present gifts to the baby Jesus. Beginning on September 17, 2000, modern
pilgrims will travel by horse and camel as the ancients did and follow
the first-century caravan routes through Iran, Syria, Jordan, Israel and
Palestine, arriving in Bethlehem on Christmas Day.

Each day of the three-month journey will be dedicated to the fulfillment
of humanitarian projects, ``The Gifts of the Magi,'' intended to improve
the quality of life for suffering people throughout the lands of the
Bible.

Holy Land Trust is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization established in
1996 and endorsed by the Middle East Council of Churches. The
organization's goal is to strengthen and improve the lives of children,
families and communities throughout the Middle East.

More information on Holy Land Trust can be found at
www.holylandtrust.org.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 19:02:23 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AP-Iran 2, Ecuador 1

By KEN PETERS AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An hour after the game, there were singing, joyful
fans lingering in the Coliseum tunnel outside the Iranian locker room.

For many of the Iranian-Americans, it was perhaps their first time to
see the soccer team from their native country.

They also had reason to celebrate - Iran's national team beat Ecuador
2-1 Wednesday night before an appreciative crowd, with their supporters
constituting some 25,000 of the estimated crowd of 35,000.

Now 1-1 on their U.S. tour, the Iranian players move on to their highly
anticipated rematch against the Americans on Sunday at the Rose Bowl.

Iran surprised the United States 2-1 in France in the 1998 World Cup, a
forgettable tournament for the Americans.

Cheered by the large, loud contingent of fans at the Coliseum, many
wearing green, white and red face paint and waving Iranian flags, Iran
took a 1-0 lead in the first half against Ecuador, built a 2-0 lead in
the second, and limited Ecuador to a late goal.

Iran began its U.S. tour last weekend in San Jose, Calif., losing its
first match 2-1 to Mexico.

Against Ecuador, Iran held on to win after Ecuador's Moises Candelario
scored off an indirect kick in the box in the 88th minute.

Ali Daei, who also had Iran's lone goal against Mexico, opened the
scoring against Ecuador in the 27th minute. Ali Mosavi extended the lead
with his goal in the 68th minute.

After Iran had two apparent goals wiped out by offside calls, Daei
knocked in a header.

Mosavi's goal came when, timing his charge to the goal so he was not
offside, he got a step on the defense, trapped a long free kick in the
box and beat the goalie with a left-footed drive.

Iran's soccer team is the second sports team from that nation to tour
the United States since the Iranian hostage crisis that began in 1979,
when militants seized the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans for 444
days. An Iranian wrestling team visited the United States in 1998.

In the first match of a doubleheader at the Coliseum on Wednesday,
Daniel Osorno scored in the 52nd minute as Mexico's Under-23 team tied
Guatemala's national team 1-1. Juan Carlos Plata scored for Guatemala in
the 16th minute.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 19:03:34 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: BBC-New attack on Iran leadership

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_602000/602118.stm
Ayatollah Khamenei - not above the law, says banned cleric

One of the most influential clerics in Iran who was once the designated
successor of Ayatollah Khomeini has denounced the way that Iran is being
run.

Ayatollah Ali Hossein Montazeri, who is under house arrest in the holy
city of Qom, accused Iran's conservatives of trying to monopolise power.

In press interviews, he specifically criticised the current supreme
leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is backed by prominent
conservatives.

Not above the law

Ayatollah Montazeri, a founding father of the Islamic Republic, said the
supreme leader could never be above the law.

He criticised the concentration of power held by Ayatollah Khamenei's
office, saying his authority should extend only to areas of expertise in
religious jurisprudence and not to all matters of state.

"He can never be above the law, and he cannot interfere in all the
affairs, particularly the affairs that fall outside his area of
expertise, such as complex economic issues, or issues of foreign policy
and international relations," Ayatollah Montazeri said.

Timely comments

"And since the supreme leader... is not infallible, he should naturally
remain open to public criticism and be held accountable with respect to
his responsibilities."

The BBC's Tehran correspondent, Jim Muir says the Ayatollah's criticisms
are timely as Iran prepares for general elections next month, in which
reformists are hoping to win control of parliament.

Although he did not specifically address the polls, the Ayatollah said
the use by the Council of Guardians - an elections supervisory body
controlled by conservative clerics - of its screening powers to ban
candidates on ideological grounds threatens the legitimacy of Iran's
Islamic system.

Reformist struggle

In a faxed interview to Reuters news agency, Ayatollah Montazeri said:
"The constitution is explicit that the supervisory role of the Guardian
Council pertains to 'supervision over elections" not to 'supervision
over the candidates'."

"If such monopolistic tendencies continue, I am afraid the revolution
will naturally lose its popular support and, God forbid, will suffer
defeat."

Last week dozens of pro-reform candidates were barred from running in
the crucial parliamentary elections, which are expected to be a
significant test of the reform programme instigated by President
Mohammad Khatami.

Correspondents say reformers swept to power in municipal elections in
Iran last year but need control of the conservative-dominated parliament
in order to push through President Khatami's reform agenda.

'Distorting democracy'

On Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei's own brother added his voice to
criticism by leading reformist clerics of the disqualification of the
candidates.

Addressing students at a Tehran university, Hadi Khamenei said the
disqualifications were distorting the nation's vote and Iranian
democracy.

This came days after Ayatollah Khamenei rebuked people who had publicly
criticised the election vetting process.

Ayatollah Montazeri, one of the prime architects of Iran's constitution,
was designated by Ayatollah Khomeini as his successor but fell from
favour in 1989 after criticising Iran's treatment of political
prisoners.

He was put under house arrest in 1997, and, although his books are
banned, they are said to be read clandestinely by thousands of his
disciples, the seminarians.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 19:04:12 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Iranian clerics reaffirm absolute powers of leader

Iranian clerics reaffirm absolute powers of leader 09:44 a.m. Jan 13,
2000 Eastern

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The Assembly of Experts, an elected body of
senior Moslem theologians, has reafirmed the absolute power of Iran's
supreme clerical leader, the official IRNA news agency reported on
Thursday.

``The word of the leader is final and it ends all disputes. This is a
fundamental tenet of Islam,'' IRNA quoted the 86-member assembly saying
in a resolution at its semi-annual meeting in the holy Shi'ite Moslem
city of Qom.

``The principle of supreme clerical rule is the backbone of the Islamic
regime and cannot be disputed,'' said the conservative-led assembly
formally charged with supervising the performance of the leader and
appointing a new one if required.

The role of Supreme Leader is currently held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran's constitution accords the supreme leader powers, including control
over the armed forces and the judiciary, which dwarf those of the
elected president. His authority extends to almost all walks of Iranian
life.

Reformers have sought to roll back the powers of the leader, citing
political and religious justification for a more restrictive reading of
his role within Iran's Islamic political system.

A number of pro-reform figures have also charged the Assembly of Experts
with failing to exercise its oversight powers in any meaningful way.
Others have challenged elections to the body as un-democratic.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 14 Jan 2000 to 15 Jan 2000 - Special issue