Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Jan 2000 - Special issue

There are 18 messages totalling 1213 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Mohammad Hashemi Asks Groups Not to Put His Brother's Name on Their Lists
2. Saudi, Iran to Hold Talks on Boosting Trade
3. Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri,
4. Facts on a New Party
5. Delegation's Visit Successful, German MP
6. KOFI ANNAN: 90 Iranian Soldiers Killed in Anti-Narcotics Campaign Last
7. At the Mercy of Foreign Investors
8. IRI Anthem was not played during US/Iran soccer match due to the planned
9. Ceremony to Honor Bazargan
10. It Is Iran-Egypt `Friendship', Not Enmity, Association
11. Iran Regrets Attack on Office of Iran-Egypt Friendship Society
12. Iran's Health, Education Have Improved, Report
13. Elegy on the Death of Forugh Farrokhzad
14. Hayat-e-No, meaning "new life" in Persian, is run by Hadi Khamenei,
15. ran-Saudi Cooperation Has Brought Good Atmosphere in Region, President
16. The More Voters the Better
17. OIC Delegation to Visit Russia
18. Remember the Flight, the Bird Dies

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 08:34:28 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Mohammad Hashemi Asks Groups Not to Put His Brother's Name on Their

Mohammad Hashemi Asks Groups Not to Put His Brother's Name on Their Lists


TEHRAN -- Mohammad Hashemi, a member of the Executives of Construction
Party's (ECP) Central Committee, here yesterday stressed that the leftist
Majma Rouhaniyoun Mobarez (MRM-Association of Combatant Clergy) and the
Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP) should refrain from putting Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani on their lists of candidates for the upcoming
parliamentary elections.

"People have confidence in him (Hashemi Rafsanjani) and this is not because
of his being associated with a particular group or party," IRNA quoted him as

A member of the MRM Central Committee, Rasoul Montajabnia, announced Saturday
there was a divergence of opinion in his camp as to whether include Hashemi
Rafsanjani on its list of candidates, adding that solving the issue seems

Hashemi Rafsanjani explicitly said he had not asked any group or party to put
his name on their candidates lists, his brother pointed out. Criticizing some
of the (reformist) groups associated with the May 23 Front for asking Hashemi
Rafsanjani to intervene on behalf of the candidates rejected by the Guardian
Council, Mohammad Hashemi said: "I'm surprised why some figures who claim to
be supportive of the rule of law are trying to ride on the coattails of

Hashemi said the division in the May 23 Front is in favor of its rivals and
it is astonishing to see that some figures of the front do not consider these

If some figures of the May 23 Front refrained from going to extremes, the
coalition of the groups supportive of this camp would pave the way for it to
achieve great victories in the upcoming Legislative, he noted.

Hashemi concluded by saying that competency is the main criterion for the ECP
to select its nominees.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:51:08 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Saudi, Iran to Hold Talks on Boosting Trade

Saudi, Iran to Hold Talks on Boosting Trade

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia and Iran started talks yesterday on boosting
trade between the two powerful and oil-rich regional countries, Saudi
newspapers reported.

They said Saudi Commerce Minister Osama al-Faqeeh and a large business
delegation would hold two days of talks in Tehran in the latest sign of
improved relations between two of the world's biggest oil producers.

Faqeeh told the official Saudi press agency on Sunday that the talks were
aimed at boosting trade and enhancing economic and investment cooperation
between the two countries.

He said the two countries would "study the best way to increase trade
exchanges, organizing trade fairs to identify investment opportunities and
facilitate the movement of trade...".

He said the value of trade between Iran and Saudi Arabia stood at 508 million
riyals ($135 million) in 1998, while the number of joint Saudi-Iranian
projects in the kingdom was 13 with combined capital of more than one billion

The often tense relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have seen marked
improvement since the 1997 election of moderate Iranian President Mohammad
Khatami, who visited the kingdom last year.

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 20:00:50 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri,


TEHRAN, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Iran's Press Court on Sunday summoned
representatives of leading pro-reform newspapers after they published
remarks of dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, witnesses said.
The newspapers published excerpts on Saturday of a transcript, provided by
Montazeri's office, of a joint interview the ayatollah gave earlier to
Reuters and a British newspaper, The Guardian.
Montazeri, a founding father of the Islamic Republic, used the written
interview to decry meddling by the religious establishment in Iran's
electoral process and to demand limits on the powers of Iran's supreme
clerical leader.
Editors of the dailies Fath, Asr-e Azadegan and Sobh-e Emrouz appeared at
the Press Court for a closed-door interrogation, the witnesses said. The
editor of Azad newspaper, who was not present, was also charged, they said.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, action the Press Court was
prepared to take but the panel has in the past closed a number of newspapers
and sentenced editors to fines or jail.
Montazeri has been under house arrest since November 1997 for challenging
the authority of supreme clerical leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his
comments and writings remain subject to a virtual ban in the Iranian press.
Last year pro-reform cleric Abdollah Nouri, a Montazeri protege, was
convicted of political and religious dissent and sentenced to five years in
jail, in part for publishing Montazeri's statements in his newspaper
The daily, the predecessor to Fath, was closed as a result.
A lawyer for one of the editors told reporters at the court that the four
dailies were charged by Mahmoud Alizadeh, head of the Tehran justice
department, with giving political publicity to Montazeri.
In his written response to questions which ran to 6,000 words, Montazeri
denounced what he called a ``monopolistic'' faction for seeking to deprive
Iranians of their right to choose their candidates for parliament.
He also said the supreme leader, appointed by a panel of senior clerics,
must be subject to the law of the land and restrict his authority to
questions of religious law and ethics.
His remarks came just weeks before parliamentary voting, set for February
18, which will pit the conservative establishment against reformers grouped
around President Mohammad Khatami.
Reformers have complained that many of their most prominent candidates,
including Nouri, were barred from the race on ideological grounds by
hardline oversight boards, damaging their chances in the upcoming polls.

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 05:38:16 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Facts on a New Party

Facts on a New Party

ENTEKHAB * It is said that after wide-scale consultations, the
newly-established party Chekad-e Azad Andishan (Liberals' Mount), finally
adopted a list of candidates for the upcoming Majlis elections. There are six
candidates on that list who are also supported by the rightist Jame-e
Rowhaniyat-e Mobarez (JRM), and two candidates endorsed by the May 23 Front.
Prospective candidates of the party include Abolqasem Sarhaddi-Zadeh [former
minister of labor], Jaleh Shadi-Talab, Behrouz Afkhami, Elaheh Rastgu,
Alireza Marandi, Mohsen Safai-Far, Mohammad Gharazi, Hassan Ghafuri-Fard,
Gholamali Afruz [former Tehran University chancellor] and Rajaie Khorassani
[former Iranian ambassador to the United Nations].

Founding members of the party are First Vice President Hassan Habibi,
Abolqasem Sarhaddi-Zadeh, Ali Akbar Velayati [former foreign minister] and
Abdullah Jasbi [Azad University chancellor].

Apologies to the Nation

FATH * This pro-Khatami daily quoted Mehdi Karrubi as saying that if the May
23, 1997 presidential elections hadn't occurred, the serial murders would
never be uncovered. "The nation should be aware of every fact regarding this
case, and the murders shouldn't be attributed simply to the left or the
right. Furthermore, the investigations should not be restricted to four
murders, and apologies should be made to the nation for the murders."

Council to Announce Reasons

JAVAN * This rightist daily quoted Reza Zavarei, member of the Guardian
Council, as saying that the reasons behind the disqualification of candidates
would be disclosed to them, but if they reacted to the issue in bad faith, "I
personally believe that the reasons should be made public."

He added, "Careful political calculations are behind a recent remark by
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who said the United States pinned all
its hopes on the Sixth Majlis."

Assembly Negotiations Should Be Made Public

IRAN * This IRNA-affiliated daily quoted MP Majid Ansari as saying that the
negotiations during the recent meeting of the Experts Assembly had been
announced as "confidential", but that this was against the rules for assembly
procedures, and that negotiations should be made public.

Karbaschi May Be Pardoned

JOMHOURI ESLAMI * This fundamentalist daily said efforts were under way for
the release of former Tehran Mayor Gholamhussein Karbaschi.

He had shown his willingness to receive a pardon during his leave from prison
last week.

Former Tehran Mayor Gholamhussein Karbaschi began serving a two-year jail
term in May following his conviction for corruption and mismanagement, in a
trial slammed by reformers as a political move by the conservative-controlled

The daily also reported that certain representatives of reformist newspapers
were to be interrogated in relation with the serial murders shortly.

A veteran politician, his wife, and a number of dissident writers died in a
spate of murders last year. It was found that renegade agents of the
Intelligence Ministry, led by former deputy minister Saeed Emami, were behind
the murders. Saeed Emami allegedly committed suicide in prison.

Japanese in Iranian Arms Trade

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD * This pro-Khatami daily quoted a Japanese news agency as
saying that two Japanese businessmen had been jailed on charges of an illegal
arms trade with Iran.

Pressure Groups Attack Lecturer

KHORASSAN * This daily, affiliated with the Martyrs Foundation of Khorassan
Province, reported that after a speech by religious intellectual Abdulkarim
Soroush in Mashhad, pressure groups attacked the participants in the
gathering, wounding some of them and breaking the window pane of a car
carrying Soroush. A member of the hardline Ansar-e Hizbollah denied any
involvement in the attack.

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 05:31:20 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Delegation's Visit Successful, German MP



Delegation's Visit Successful, German MP


TEHRAN - "The German taxpayer has never had to pay for a failed business with
Iran," chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the German Parliament
told IRAN NEWS last week.

Hans-Ulrich Klose said the $30m limit set by the German insurance company,
Hermes, is unrealistic, but added that the Hermes ceiling is not specifically
for Iran alone, "It is something that concerns a lot of countries. We have
had complaints about it because business people in Germany tell us if you are
making investments and creating a business structure even DM 600m is nothing.
And since the financing of big projects is the most difficult in the world,
this kind of Hermes ceiling doesn't really help."

On the other hand, the German MP said, you must consider the fact that we
have a guarantee for Hermes Insurance by the German government, which means
by German tax payers. "We already have a Hermes risk in our budget. Against
this argument we could say look at the different countries. If we look at
Iran, we have our profits. So the German taxpayer never had to pay for any
business that failed in Iran," Klose maintained.

He said the parliamentary delegation which visited Iran last week, "will have
a discussion with our people who are responsible for the economy as well as
the parliament and the government, and maybe have a chance to talk to the
head of the government about this question.

He (Gerhard Schroeder) is especially interested in economic questions and
should at least be informed about this problem."

The German parliamentarian rejected the suggestion that Hermes' low ceiling
has anything do with the human rights issue. He said: "Anyone, a German, an
Italian, a Briton or an American, if he makes a decision for investing, his
main consideration is `can I earn money by investing'?

Also, he would ask whether his money is secure?" The need for security and
comfortable living conditions (of foreign personnel) in another country also
play a major role in the process of investment, the former Frankfurt mayor
said: "If a company like Mercedes decides to come to Iran and invest and
produce a high quality car, a large number of its personnel would have to
live in Tehran for the first five to ten years before Iranians can take over
their jobs." Currently, due to certain factors, including lack of proper
information about life in Iran, young professionals in Germany prefer to live
in Europe rather than Iran, Klose said.

He said the decision by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) to lower Iran's trade status from 5 to 6 had nothing to do
with Germany or Hermes, but added that his delegation had decided to,
"Inquire why they did it, because sometimes we are told that there is a kind
of double standard in the EU. We just want to inquire whether there was an
arrangement behind it. I think that in trade relations there are sometimes
problems such as our principles, including the principle of our government
not to allow the export of goods that might have military use into areas of

Klose maintained that regional stability also matters to foreign investors,
and those who want to work in this region want to make sure that their safety
is guaranteed. He added: "I am rather optimistic now. I am very much
convinced that there will be an agreement between Syria and Israel in the
next three or four months and the whole region will be stabilized." If the
current negotiations (between Syria and Israel) are successful the whole
region will benefit, he said.

The Social Democrat MP said his cross party delegation discussed bilateral as
well as multilateral issues with Iranian officials: "Because none of us lives
a reclusive existence. We are all neighbors. We are all in a network of
global interest and conflict."

Several German delegations have visited Iran in the last few months, and
every time hopes were raised on both sides for better ties and for increasing
trade and other aspects of bilateral relations. However, nothing tangible has
happened so far.

Klose maintained that relations between the two countries are, "at a stage
further," and added: "When we received Dr. Rowhani's invitation we discussed
it with the Steering Group of the Foreign Affairs Committee and decided that
this is an invitation we should accept. It was a consensus decision since we
proposed that a cross-party group should come to Iran. One member from the
ruling Social Democrats and their coalition partners and one member from the
biggest opposition party, so that there is representation from the majority
of interested parties in parliament. We discussed the issue with the foreign
minister and with the government as a whole. We decided that we should make a
serious attempt to bring relations between Iran and Germany to what they used
to be years ago."

We were also very pleased with your president when he made the proposal of
making the year 2001 the year of Dialogue Amongst Civilizations, Klose said,
and added that President Khatami's article, published in Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung, was read by a lot of people and former German president,
Roman Herzog, responded positively to the proposal. "I am very much convinced
that this cultural dialogue is at least as important as our economic ties,"
the German politician said.

He maintained that in any two countries' relations image and emotional issues
play an important role, "so, we should change the images on both sides and
improve personal relations and create a solid basis of continuing trust and
confidence building."

Klose rejected the suggestion that the Green Party in Germany does not favor
close relations with Iran. He said two Green Party members from the Foreign
Affairs Commission, Dr. Lippelt and Mrs. Grieshaber, recently visited Tehran
and went back to Germany with a vivid impression of the situation here. "They
explained to us that maybe the idea that we have of Iran is not in line with
reality. They said that the reality was much more complex. I remember the
discussion on the issue was very fruitful," The German MP said.

German people are interested to know how the people in other countries feel
and whether the people are respected or not, Klose said, adding that it is,
therefore, "necessary to start this dialogue of cultures and politicians and
to discuss these issues. Because to some extent they are no longer internal
issues. Those times are gone when we could maintain that our sovereignty is
at stake and these are internal issues." Ruprecht Polenz, a Christian
Democrat MP maintained that the German free press, specially some TV
stations, portray their country in such a light that, "I could imagine what
people of other cultures feel when they see these kinds of programs. I can
understand the prejudice against what they call rotten Western culture. If
some Germans want to come to Iran for a year, they will be told that they
would have to be covered and dressed in a certain way. These are small
things, but the least that could be done would be to discuss and talk about
such issues."

Polenz was asked if German politicians have understood that there are basic
differences between the two countries which are mostly cultural and will have
to be discussed within the framework of the cultural dialogue in order for
the two sides to come to terms.

The former mayor of Munster said in the delegation's meeting with deputy
Majlis speaker, Dr. Hassan Rowhani, "we discussed precisely these issues. On
this basis, we can create much more mutual understanding and look for what we
have in common. Then we can explain our differences and ease the tensions
that now exist. This dialogue is on the agenda both here and in Germany."

The two members of the German parliamentary delegation agreed that the
outcome of their visit to Iran was very positive, but maintained that: "Much
more could be done to improve relations. We are convinced that there is a
very good chance of that."

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:49:04 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: KOFI ANNAN: 90 Iranian Soldiers Killed in Anti-Narcotics Campaign Last

KOFI ANNAN: 90 Iranian Soldiers Killed in Anti-Narcotics Campaign Last Year


TEHRAN -- Last year 90 soldiers in Iran lost their lives in fight against
drug traffickers and the country has spent millions of dollars in the
campaign, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his review of
the political, military and social conditions in Afghanistan in 1999.

In this report the secretary-general has expressed new viewpoints on
Afghanistan and drug campaign.

"Last year the cultivation and smuggling of narcotics was increased in
Afghanistan. This not only added to drug consumption in Afghanistan's
neighboring states but greatly undermined their security through rampant
crime," he stressed.

Meanwhile, "according to a report from the World Bank, the volume of illicit
drugs smuggled from Afghanistan into Pakistan was $2.5 billion a year which
made up 12 percent of Pakistan GDP," said the secretary-general, adding that
an international campaign against narcotics should most of all include
support for the countries that neighbor Afghanistan in order for them to more
effectively guard their borders.

Turning to Afghan refugees residing in Iran, he pointed out that "from
January to September 1999 over 82,000 Afghan refugees voluntarily returned to
Afghanistan with the assistance of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) in Iran and Pakistan. In addition, 70,000 refugees were also expelled
from Iran during the same period," he said adding that high tension between
Iran and Afghanistan has subsided.

However, he noted, the case of the assassinated Iranian diplomats and
journalist in Afghanistan is a pending question since Taliban has not yet
taken steps to seek and prosecute the killers.

Elsewhere in his annual report the secretary said foreign intervention and
Civil War are the root causes that among others have contributed to smuggling
of drugs, violation of human rights and religious extremisms in Afghanistan,
adding these matters called for the cooperation of the world community.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:51:39 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: At the Mercy of Foreign Investors

At the Mercy of Foreign Investors

FATH ** In an article the daily said, "Because of the country's poor finances
the government can not provide needed foreign exchange to develop the oil,
gas and petrochemical industries for at least the next 10 years. Therefore,
it is vital for the country to actively seek foreign investment to expand the
said industries. This is when Iran's rivals are upgrading their industries by
preparing suitable grounds for foreign investment in their countries."

Small Industrial Units Facing a Dire Situation

ENTEKHAB ** On the recent speech made by the Cooperatives Minister Morteza
Haji who had said that the government has forgotten the small industrial
units, the daily noted, "If this is true, How we can expect a 24-percent
growth in non-oil exports during the Third Five-Year Economic Development
Plan (starts March 2000). Should not this worry the owners of more than
310,000 industrial units?"

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 12:13:30 -0800
From: "M. Parvin" <unplan@USA.NET>
Subject: IRI Anthem was not played during US/Iran soccer match due to the
planned protest

The anthem of the Islamic Republic was not played during US/Iran soccer
match in order to counter the planned protest of those opposing the
Islamic regime's human rights violations, that they would remain seated

during the Islamic regime's anthem and that they would sing "Ey Iran"
after US National anthem is played. The following is part of the Los
Angeles Times report in the first page of the Metro Section on Jan. 17,
that reflects this:

".......While many in the crowd oppose the government of Iranian
President Mohammad Khatami, they were solidly behind the team. Some
Iranian fans had announced that they would show their opposition to the
regime by remaining seated during the Islamic Republic of Iran's
national anthem.

That planned silent protest was short circuited, however, when only the
U.S. national anthem was played before the game. Still, some fans wore
T-shirts with political messages, such as: "Freedom and Democracy for
Iran in the New Millennium."

At least five single-engine planes circled the stadium throughout the
match, trailing banners welcoming the Iranian team, promoting a
candidate for U.S. Congress and protesting alleged human rights abuses
in Iran, among other messages................ "

The following were the contents of the two banners regarding the human
rights violation in Iran:

"MEHR_IRAN Opposes the Human Rights Abuses By Islamic Regime"
"Help MEHR_IRAN to Prosecute Abusers"

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:45:09 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Ceremony to Honor Bazargan

Ceremony to Honor Bazargan

ENTEKHAB * This rightist daily reported that a ceremony to commemorate the
late Mehdi Bazargan, a founding member of the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI),
would be held on the fifth anniversary of his death in Husseiniyeh Ershad.

UCO Demands Justice for Students

SOBH-E EMROOZ * The leftist Unity Consolidation Office (UCO) in a letter to
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, called on him to pay attention
to the case of the students arrested in relation to the dormitory incident.
This leftist newspaper added that the UCO invited Shahroudi to take part in a
meeting to discuss yet unaddressed aspects of the case as well as and hidden
hands involved in the incident.

Pressure Groups Attack Daily

FATH * This pro-reform daily reported that a group of unknown people attacked
the Fath office in Qom at 1 a.m. Sunday and broke the newspaper's sign.

Iran-Egypt Friendship Office Attacked

SOBH-E EMROOZ * The offices of Iran and Egypt Friendship Group in Tehran was
attacked by unidentified groups on Friday. In the absence of the building's
janitor, the assailants stormed into the office by breaking the door and
windows and damaged the property.

Fact-Finding Mission

SOBH-E EMROOZ * President Khatami has commissioned a fact-finding group to
visit Tabriz and investigate July's events in Tabriz University.

It is said that the group has criticized the performances of the Islamic
Revolution's Guards Corps (IRGC) and East Azerbaijan governor in this regard.

New Agreements Between Council, President

SOBH-E EMROOZ * In a joint meeting between the President and Guardian Council
(GC) members, agreement has been reached by the two sides on the following
three points: 1. Allegations leveled against candidate by the Supervisory
Board would not be used as a criteria for assessing them, unless the
candidate had been convicted on the same charges in the past. 2. The two
investigators who used to vet the candidates, from now on, should not be
involved in the assessment process 3. GC should not disqualify the candidates
already approved by the Supervisory Board.

Resignation Threat by MP

ARYA * This pro-Khatami daily quoted Qorbanali Qandehari, MP from Gorgan and
a member of investigation committee, as saying that it should be clarified
under what kind of condition the video footage which shows the confessions of
serial killings have been prepared.

He said he would resign if there is no significant progress made in the case

A veteran politician, his wife and a number of dissident writers and died in
a grisly spate of murders last year. It was found that renegade agents of the
Intelligence Ministry, led by former deputy minister Saeed Emami, were behind
the murders. Saeed Emami committed suicide in prison.

Less Time in Jail for Students

ARYA * The defense lawyer, in the case of the campus journal Moj, said the
Appeal Court has sentenced the accused, Abbas Nemati and Mohammad-Reza
Namnamat, to one year in jail. He added that Hamed Ahangari and Aqaie, the
others who are accused, would be released on bail.

Ahangari and Aqaie had been sentenced by the Press Court to spend three years
and six months in jail respectively. The lawyer said he would demand further
reduction in their sentence based on Article 31.

A satirical play which was published in the little-known campus journal, Moj,
or the Wave, is perceived as an insult to 12th Imam of Shia Muslims.

The sketch has been universally condemned by clerics, ministers, MPs and
judges as an unforgivable insult to the Islamic sanctities.

Daily to Implement Karbaschi Plans

IRAN * An informed source told this IRNA-affiliated daily that Ham-Mihan
daily would be published as of next week by a group of people who founded
Hamshahri. The newspaper would attempt to put forward the cultural, economic
and political ideas and programs of the former Tehran Mayor Gholamhussein

Former Tehran Mayor Gholamhussein Karbaschi began serving a two-year jail
term in May following his conviction for corruption and mismanagement in a
trial slammed by reformers as a political move by the conservative-controlled

Neither Leftist Nor Rightist

HAMSHAHRI * This municipality-affiliated daily quoted Hojjatoleslam Hadi
Khamenei, presidential adviser, as saying that some who have just entered the
political scene believe that Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been inclined
toward one group while opposing the other. But the fact is that he has had
neither leftist nor rightist inclination.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:41:32 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: It Is Iran-Egypt `Friendship', Not Enmity, Association


It Is Iran-Egypt `Friendship', Not Enmity, Association

The office of Iran-Egypt Friendship Association (IEFA) was attacked by an
`unknown' group of people last Friday. The attackers entered the office by
breaking the lock and then proceeded to smash the windows before leaving.
There were, reportedly no furniture in the office and no one from the
association was present.

The association was established last month by a group of Iranians interested
in promoting good relations between two of the world's most ancient peoples
and cultures.

One can only hope that such outrageous and mindless acts won't create a
serious hindrance in the way of establishment of full relations between
Tehran and Cairo, and those who are endeavoring in earnest to create good
will won't give up.

There is absolutely no justification for this and other incidents like it.
This is a country that prides itself in having a civil and law-abiding
society. We keep lecturing others on equality before the law, in security of
citizens and their properties and in not tolerating acts that are against the
letter and the spirit of the law. How can we justify, or ignore, the actions
of fringe groups who openly and brazenly break the law of the land? The
attack on the office of the Iran-Egypt Friendship Association is totally
unacceptable, and as the association's spokesman Sabah Zanganeh said,
security and intelligence officials are duty bound to identify and arrest the
culprits and hand them over to the Judiciary for trial.

The attack on the IEFA office took place while the Islamic Republic is busy
preparing for several international seminars on promoting Dialogue Among
Civilizations and the United Nations has designated the year 2001 as the Year
of Dialogue Among Civilizations. This UN designation is considered to be one
of the high points of President Khatami's more than two and a half years in
office. The world will undoubtedly ask the question: "How can a country which
is unable to tolerate a friendship association in its territory undertake
such an immense task as promoting peace and understanding between other

The perpetrators of this heinous act are easy to identify.

They are the opponents of good relations between Tehran and Cairo.

It is true that at present there are no political relations between Tehran
and Cairo, but what the attackers fail to understand is that their target was
a non-governmental organization, and as such quite within its rights to
promote cultural relations between the two nations.

They also failed to realize that, as the name indicates, the association is
established to promote Iran-Egypt `Friendship', not enmity.

It is a foregone conclusion that if the culprits are not apprehended and
punished quickly, it would embolden others of the same ilk to try and chart
the course of Iran's foreign policy through intimidation and law breaking,
which will lead to the country's total isolation in the international

It is high time for President Khatami to personally take charge and confront
such groups, otherwise his political resolve will be brought under question.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:42:47 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran Regrets Attack on Office of Iran-Egypt Friendship Society

Iran Regrets Attack on Office of Iran-Egypt Friendship Society


TEHRAN -- Hamid Reza Asefi, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, here yesterday
expressed regret over the attack by some unidentified persons on the office
of the Iran-Egypt Friendship Society in Tehran, IRNA reported.

According to the Information and Press Department of the Foreign Ministry,
Asefi underlined that the office was active to bring closer the two nations
of Iran and Egypt.

"These types of violent acts which run counter to the laws of the country are
unacceptable," he said.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:59:43 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran's Health, Education Have Improved, Report

Iran's Health, Education Have Improved, Report


TEHRAN -- A report produced by the Plan and Budget Organization has revealed
that Iranians' health and education have improved significantly over the last

The national human development report, produced in cooperation with the
United National in Iran, describes the status of human development in the
country and makes extensive recommendations for change in all areas of
Iranian life.

The following in the summary of the report:

The concept of human development has evolved, and now is underpinned by the
goal of achieving a better life and the idea that an enabling social
environment has an important role in expanding human choices.

This concept lays the foundation for an analysis in national human
development reports of the impact of social change on human development.

The expansion of people's choices through higher incomes and better education
and health for all is a goal that is clearly expressed in the Constitution of
the Islamic Republic of Iran. The interaction between the two founding
principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islam and republicanism, paves
the way for the creation of an enabling social environment for human

The necessity of enlarging human choices is an idea shared by the human
development approach and the doctrine of spiritual evolution in Islamic

A profile of human development in Iran: From 1960 to 1995, Iran's human
development index values increased 0.452, moving the Islamic Republic of Iran
from the group of countries considered to have low human development to join
the ranks of those with medium human development.

In the past 10 years, Iran's human development index rose from 0.642 to

Increased life expectancy, higher rates of adult literacy and better combined
enrollment ratios were the primary factors in the country's human development

Analysis of the trend of human development in Iran indicates that if the
country had managed to achieve higher economic growth, it would have attained
an even higher level of human development. A rise in per capita income
coupled with sustained allocations to the social sector, particularly
education and health, are key to achieving high human development in the
coming years.

The human development index adjusted by income distribution has improved in
the last decade.

The fall in human poverty from 31 percent to 18 percent was the country's
most important human development achievement in the past 10 years.

In the past decade, the Human Development Index (HDI) adjusted by gender rose
from low to medium. This was largely attributable to the improvement in
women's literacy and education, which was more significant than their gains
in health and income.

There has been no remarkable change in the gender empowerment index over
recent years. Expansion of women's share in political, scientific and
technical positions could help improve this index.

There are considerable HDI disparities among the provinces. In 1996, Tehran
topped the list with an HDI of 0.842 while the Province of Sistan and
Baluchestan, with an HDI of 0.545, was at the bottom. Differences in gross
expenditure per capita were the most important cause of human development
gaps among the provinces.

Disparities in human poverty among the provinces are also significant,
ranging from 11.3 percent in Tehran Province to 39.5 percent in Sistan and
Baluchestan in 1996. Differences in the adult illiteracy rate, income
distribution and the percentage of the population without access to safe
water and sanitary toilets were the primary reasons for these gaps.

There are noteworthy disparities in the provinces' HDIs with respect to
women, primarily explained by differences in female literacy rates and the
number of women representing the provinces in the Majlis.

A comparison of the provinces' rankings on the gross expenditure per capita
index and the human development index reveals that higher economic growth
could lead to improved provincial HDIs, but that the most effective way of
improving the human poverty index and the gender-adjusted HDI in the
provinces would be to redistribute education and health services among them.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:53:38 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Elegy on the Death of Forugh Farrokhzad

Elegy on the Death of Forugh Farrokhzad

By Ahmad Shamloo

Translation by Saeed Saeedpoor

In search of you

I weep on the doorway of the mountains,

On the verge of the sea and weed.

In search of you

I weep in the passage of winds,

in the cross-road of seasons,

in the cracked casement of a window

That makes an olden frame

Out of the cloudy sky.

Awaiting your image

How long, oh how long

will this empty book

be leafed through?

To go where the wind blows

and to accept love -- the sister of death --

And immortality which Confided its secret in you.

Thus you turned into a treasure:

imperative and tempting

A treasure

That has hence

made pleasant

The ownership of lands and earth!

Thy name is a star at dawn

fleeting across the heavens' forehead.

Blessed be thy name!

And we go on as before

round the cycle of night and day - the cycle of yet ...

In the Cold Streets of Night

Forugh Farrokhzad

I have no regrets.

I think of this surrender, this painful surrender.

I kissed the cross of my destiny

Over the hills of my own slaughter.

In the cold streets of night

pairs fall apart constantly, hesitantly.

In the cold streets of night there is no sound but: "Good bye, good bye".

I have no regrets -

My heart seems aflow across time.

Life shall perpetuate my heart, and the dandelion riding on the wind's lakes,
even she shall perpetuate me.

Ah, you see how my skin is tearing apart?

How in the blue veins of my cold breasts milk is germinated?

How blood begins its cartilegous growth within my patient loin?

I am you, you -

One who loves,

One who suddenly regains within her a vague attachment

To a thousand unknown nostalgic things, and I am all the hot desire of the
earth that absorbs all the waters to fertilize all the fields.

Listen to my distant voice in the dense fog of morning incantations, and in
the silence of mirrors behold how

I touch again the dark depth of all dreams with the remnants of my hands, and
tattoo my heart like a stain of blood upon the innocent blisses of existence.

I have no regrets.

Speak of me, O darling,

To another me whom you shall regain with the same amorous eyes in the cold
streets of night, and remember me with her sad kiss on the tender lines below
your eyes.

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 19:59:51 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Hayat-e-No, meaning "new life" in Persian, is run by Hadi Khamenei,


TEHRAN, Iran ญญ A new reformist daily run by the brother of Iran's
anti-reform supreme leader appeared on newsstands Sunday.
Hayat-e-No, meaning "new life" in Persian, is run by Hadi Khamenei, a
younger brother of Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The younger Khamenei is allied with Iran's reformist President Mohammad
Khatami and is opposed to his elder brother. The ayatollah, whose position
is unelected, has used his absolute power to stall reforms.
"Our audience will be mainly intellectuals and students. We emphasize
freedom of thought and expression and religious tolerance," the paper's
editor in chief, Abbas Safaifar, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Hadi, the paper's director-general, previously headed the Jahan-e-Eslam
daily, which stopped publication several years ago, apparently for reasons
not related to politics.
A string of reformist newspapers in Iran have been pushing for greater
democracy, especially in the run-up to crucial legislative elections
scheduled for Feb. 18.
Hard-liners, alarmed at the growing popularity of the reformists and their
own waning support among Iranians, have taken a number of Khatami's closest
allies to court, arrested journalists and closed down several reformist
dailies over the past two years.
Reformists have launched new newspapers nearly every time one of their
dailies has been closed down.
Since his landslide election in 1997, Khatami has pushed for political
reform, calling for an easing of strict social codes and greater freedom of

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:44:06 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: ran-Saudi Cooperation Has Brought Good Atmosphere in Region, President

Iran-Saudi Cooperation Has Brought Good Atmosphere in Region, President


TEHRAN -- President Mohammad Khatami said yesterday cooperation between Iran
and Saudi Arabia serves to bring about a good atmosphere in the region.

In a meeting with Saudi Minister of Commerce Usama ibn Jaafar ibn Ibrahim
Faqih, the President said two destructive wars raged in the region in the
past decade and the regional countries are still suffering from their
consequences. He said the goodwill brought about between Iran and the Saudi
Arabia is a significant achievement, adding that Iran and Saudi Arabia
believe that their dignity and security depend on exchange of views,
cooperation and dialogue, IRNA reported.

The President referred to the agreements signed between Iran and Saudi Arabia
on economic, industrial and commercial cooperation and said the economic
cooperation serves as a guarantee for the cultural, political and security

Faqih conveyed the warm greetings of King Fahd, Crown Prince Abdullah to the
Iranian government and nation and said the two countries have deep-rooted and
brotherly relations.

He said Saudi Arabia is proud of having friendly relations with the Islamic
Republic of Iran and has taken practical steps to reinforce closer relations
with Iran. Iranian Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari was present in
the meeting.

The Saudi minister of commerce has come to Tehran to attend the second
meeting of Tehran-Riyadh Joint Economic Commission. Faqih said cooperation
between Iran and Saudi Arabia within the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
are examples of good cooperation.

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 08:28:41 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: The More Voters the Better


The More Voters the Better

Official figures show that out of the total of 6,860 registered candidates
for the 6th Majlis (parliament) qualifications of 758 were rejected, 403 of
them by the election's executive boards (interior ministry) and the rest by
the supervisory boards (Guardian Council) nationwide.

A number of well-known Khatami supporters were among those whose credentials
were not accepted by election officials. According to unconfirmed reports the
Guardian Council does not plan to reject any of the other candidates and will
go along with the judgment of its supervisory boards.

If this proves to be the case, then the number of rejected candidates will be
well below what the Leftists and other Khatami supporters had anticipated.

However, this is not necessarily good news for the Reformists, because if
they protest too loudly about their comrades who were rejected the electorate
may become discouraged and a large number may decide to abstain from voting.

A low turn-out at the polls will definitely be advantageous for the
Conservatives. The national mood during the elections will have an almost
negligible effect on the determined Conservative foot soldiers who will go to
the polls come rain or shine, whereas if the pro-Khatami voters are
discouraged and don't show up in large numbers the Reformists will lose a lot
of votes.

This theory was successfully tested during the last presidential elections
when 83% of eligible voters went to the polls in the largest mass
participation in the electoral process in the history of the Islamic

The section of the press that supports President Khatami and his programs
will do well to avoid discouraging the voters. The only way to guarantee
another Reformist landslide victory is through numbers. The more voters, the
greater the chance of success for reform programs.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:49:31 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: OIC Delegation to Visit Russia

OIC Delegation to Visit Russia

Australian Delegation Due in Tehran Today, Says Asefi


TEHRAN -- Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid-Reza Asefi, said here yesterday
that Australian minister of immigration and multicultural affairs, Phillip
Ruddock, is to arrive here today (Tuesday) at the head of a delegation.

He told reporters that during his three-day visit, the Australian minister is
to review further expansion of Tehran-Canberra ties with the Iranian
ministers of interior, Abdolvahed Musavi Lari, of culture and Islamic
guidance, Ataollah Mohajerani, and of agriculture, Issa Kalantari.

Promotion of bilateral cultural and economic cooperation as well as issues of
mutual interests will be top on the agenda of talks to be held between
Iranian officials and the Australian delegation, Asefi added.

Referring to the measures taken by the Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC) in settling Chechen crisis, he said that the deputy foreign minister in
charge of international affairs, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, left Tehran for Moscow
at the head of a delegation yesterday.

The delegation is composed of experts from Qatar, Turkey, Morocco, Burkina
Faso and the OIC secretariat, he added.

The visit is to take place following continuous consultations with Islamic
countries and the Russian government, he said, adding that the visit is aimed
at reviewing the latest developments regarding the Chechen crisis and
humanitarian aid to the homeless people of the region.

On the agenda of the OIC delegation's visit to Russia, Asefi said that the
delegation is to meet with senior Russian officials including Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov. The delegation will also brief the Russian officials on
stands of the OIC chairmanship for finding an appropriate, acceptable,
long-term and lasting solution to the Chechen problem, he added.

Practical settlement of the Chechen crisis with due attention to the OIC
statement issued during the previous visit to Moscow of the OIC delegation
will also be reviewed during the visit, Asefi noted.

The Chechen crisis has been given top priority in the Islamic Republic's
foreign policy, he said stressing that Iran will continue its efforts to
reach an acceptable conclusion.

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 21:52:42 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Remember the Flight, the Bird Dies

Remember the Flight, the Bird Dies

Review of a New Edition of Forugh Farrokhzad's Book of Poetry titled,
`Believe the Onset of the Cold Season'

By H. S. Zahedi

Forugh's poetry strikes one mostly because of its reflection of the poet's
natural, unaffected response to reality and existence. Her poetry is also
invigorated by an inner struggle to rise above the prevailing
intellectualized and stereotyped perceptions. Thus there is no doubt that she
would have reached a great degree of spiritual maturity, if her tragic if her
tragic death at an early age had not deprived the contemporary Iranian poetry
of an exceptional literary talent.

A new edition of Forugh Farrokhzad's book of poetry titled Believe the Onset
of the Cold Season has been given out by Morvarid Publications.

In a note of acknowledgment, the publisher thanks friends who found the final
section of the poem, Believe the Onset of the Cold Season and helped prepare
a complete version of the last poem in the collection which had formerly been
mixed up with another poem. Thus the new edition includes information and
poetry missing from previous editions.

The new edition also features three poems written on the tragic death of
Farrokhzad in a car accident. The poems are by renowned poets Ahmad Shamloo,
Siavash Kasrai, and Yazdanbakhsh Qahraman. (An English translation of
Shamloo's elegy on Forugh's death, as well as a translation of a poem by
Farrokhzad, rendered by Saeed Saeedpoor appears on this page.) From Forugh
Farrokhzad's own poetry, the volume includes the poems Believe the Onset of
the Cold Season, After You, The Window, I Feel Pity for the Garden, Someone
Who Is Unlike Anybody Else, Only the Sound Remains, The Bird Is Doomed to

A constant revision and evolution of her world view, and the tendency to
search for new interpretations of existence and life, are among the
outstanding aspects of Farrokhzad's poetry. In the poem Only the Sound
Remains she tries to incorporate into her poem concepts and experiences that
are unique to our scientific age:

All energies strive to unite

With the sun's illuminated principle,

And submerge with the intelligence of light.

Another poem, The Window, represents a yearning for the type of innocence
that is associated with the realms of imagination, or even with cartoons:

I come from the realm of the puppets,

From under the shadows of a paper tree

In the garden of an illustrated book.

From the dry seasons of barren experiences of friendship and love,

In the dusty lanes of innocence,

From the years of growth of the pale alphabet

At the consumptive school's desks

From the moment children could write the word "stone" on the blackboard,

And scare the starlings from the old tree.

A playful juxtaposition of the most serious and the most childish fantasies,
and a schoolgirlish mischievousness characterize the poem Someone Like No One
Else, in which Forugh appears as a poet of exceptional visionary insight:

I have had a dream of someone who will come

A dream of a red star...

Someone will come who is like no one else ...

Someone who is taller than the tallest tree ...

Someone whose heart is with us,

Someone who will distribute bread

And Pepsi ...

The slim volume of Forugh's verse is interspersed with the poet's original
manuscripts, creating a sense of greater intimacy with the poet and an
awareness of the conditions of the conception of the poems.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Jan 2000 - Special issue