Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Jan 2000 to 22 Jan 2000

There are 5 messages totalling 354 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Inequitable Electioneering
3. Kharrazi Ends Turkey Visit, Returns Home
4. Countdown to Final Ballot
5. Islamic Republic Most Independent System in World, Khatami

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 20:56:08 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Inequitable Electioneering


Inequitable Electioneering

The countdown for the election campaigns of candidates for the Sixth Islamic
Consultative Assembly (Majlis) has already started. The candidates themselves
are all geared up as the time for the actual ballyhoo draws in ever faster.

In a recent motion, the Majlis has determined the size of the election
campaign tracts not to exceed 15X20 square centimeters. In addition, they are
also prohibited from making use of placards, posters, mural inscriptions,
electioneering processions or mobile public addresses.

Should this motion pass, the upshot would be affording the well known
candidates a vantage point, while the lesser-known would suffer the
consequences of possessing limited means of publicity at their disposal.

This discriminatory practice in favor of individuals with high political
profile, works against the younger, and for that matter, the lesser-known,

The justification for this motion is to economize on electioneering
activities. However, the unfair practice is deemed all but discriminatory
against those candidates who have so far remained hidden from the public eye.
Those candidates on the election lists who have managed to make a name for
themselves during the past and recent years are in no immediate need to draw
the public attention to themselves. Their mere names having already been
jotted down in different partisan lists gives them good enough publicity.

There are still other forms of highly discriminatory practices, such as
having the privilege of addressing the masses through the unique media of the
government-run radio and television. Time and again, the podium of the Friday
Prayer Sermon has been misappropriated to further familiarize the public with
some well-known personalities' points of view or grand designs for the
future. There are yet numerous other instances of subliminal publicity used
by these celebrated personalities through various public media.

In view of the above inequitable exercises, it is highly recommended that the
present Majlis try to dispense with those hindrances created for the new
faces so that they may be afforded a fair chance to familiarize the public
with their own merits. Better yet, the well- known faces and personalities
should be stripped of the privilege of using the podium of the Friday Prayer
Sermon or radio and television favorable broadcast, since an indiscriminate
injustice is tantamount to justice itself.

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 20:57:44 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM


Gov't Cannot Ignore the Public

IRAN * This IRNA-affiliated daily quoted Mohammad Reza Khatami, secretary of
the Islamic Iran Partnership Party (IIPP), as saying that the governments
should be held accountable. Not even those governments which claim divine
origins are exception to this rule as Imam Khomeini himself believed that the
masses are the deciding factor and the governments should respect what the
people have to say.

Rafsanjani Is Not Decisive

IRAN * Hojjatoleslam Hadi Ghaffari, who has been an MP for three terms, said
the Guardian Council should be held responsible for the disqualifications,
some of which not based on valid reasons. On the legality of the Special
Court for Clergy (SCC), he said it is not right to do something just because
the late Imam did the same. Elsewhere referring to Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani, he said the Expediency Council chief is a highly-esteemed
politician who no longer takes a clear stance on important national issues.

Hadi Ghaffari, a hardline figure of the years after the Islamic Revolution,
has not been a focus in press reports for the past years.

Good News for Former Intelligence Minister

IRAN * Some MPs said a new video footage which shows the confessions of the
accused tied to the infamous serial killings has been prepared.

The MPs insistence on broadcasting the film is said to because the
confessions seem to nullify the role of the former intelligence minister,
Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, in the murders.

A veteran politician, his wife and a number of dissident writers were killed
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.

Final Defense of Students

SOBH-E EMROOZ * This leftist daily reported that Abolfazl Pasbani, former
member of Islamic Association of Tehran University, who was arrested for
involvement in July's student demonstrations, was summoned again by the
revolutionary court.

Following the closure of moderate daily Salaam by the Press Court, university
students held a rally in protest against the closure after which the Law
Enforcement Forces (LEF) attacked Tehran University hostel on July 9. This
provoked the country's worst social unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution
which lasted for four days.

Newspapers reported recently that the Supreme Court has approved the court
ruling for Akbar Mohammadi and Ahmad Batebi, who have been accused of
involvement in the last year's student demonstrations. Mohammadi is sentenced
to death, and Batebi to 10 years in jail in a closed-door court session.
Batebi's major offense is that he showed the bloody shirt of a student to

Nouri's Lawyer Barred From Seeing Client?

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Judiciary authorities, the daily said, do not allow Mohsen
Rahami to meet his client, Abdullah Nouri, under different pretexts, mainly
because of Rahami's interview with the press during the past weeks.

Abdullah Nouri, one of the closest allies of President Khatami, a member of
Expediency Council and managing director of pro-reform Khordad daily, was
sentenced by the conservative Special Court for the Clergy to spend five
years in prison on charges that included political and religious dissent.
Khordad was also ordered closed by the clerical court.

Shahroudi Is Serious About Reforms

SOBH-E EMROOZ * Hojjatoleslam Abolreza Izadpanah, an adviser to the chief of
the Judiciary, said Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi is very determined to
implement reforms in the Judiciary and to dismiss anyone who create obstacles
in the way of reforms. Sahhroudi is also conducting efforts to reduce the
sentence of two students arrested in relation to dormitory incident, Ahmad
Batebi and Akbar Mohammadi. The Supreme Leader is also of the opinion that
the two students should be pardoned.

Watch out for Treacherous Writers!

FAT'H * This pro-Khatami daily quoted Abolfazl Razavi Ardakani, rightist MP,
as saying, "Some mercenary writers have received a license to publish
newspapers although they have scandalous backgrounds, including collaboration
with (working for) spying agencies, including SAVAK.

The mission pursued by these people is to create tension, disturb pubic
opinion and, finally, topple the Islamic System."

More Delays in Serial Killings Investigations

FAT'H * MP from Tehran, Ali Movahedi Savoji, said Majlis speaker, Ali Akbar
Nateq-Nouri, has delayed the Majlis investigation into the serial killings
for one month by refraining from issuing the order to launch the work. The
reason for his action is not clear however.

Guardian Council Behaved Better This Time

AKHBAR-E EQTESAD * This pro-reform daily quoted Ahmad Bourqani, former deputy
of culture minister and candidate for upcoming Majlis elections,as saying
that while reformers have objected to the announced disqualifications, they
are satisfied because this time the number of disqualifications has been far
less than for the previous elections. This shows that the Guardian Council
cannot act against the wish of the people. Also, it seems like that the
influence of conservative clerics in the council has somewhat been reduced.

Karbaschi's Release Is Welcome!

ARYA * This pro-reform daily quoted Mohammad Atriayanfar, member of the
Executives of Construction Party (ECP), as saying that Gholamhussein
Karbaschi has not submitted his request for pardon, and what has been rumored
about his release is baseless, "but we would welcome such a ruling on him."

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

Montazeri Hoped for Political Turmoil!

JOMHOURI ESLAMI * This fundamentalist daily reported that the people close to
the dissident cleric Husseinali Montazeri have expressed their dismay at the
fact that his recent interview with Reuters and The Guardian had not raised
the level of tension in the society, ahead of next month's Majlis election.

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 20:58:22 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Kharrazi Ends Turkey Visit, Returns Home

Kharrazi Ends Turkey Visit, Returns Home


TEHRAN -- Kamal Kharrazi, the Iranian foreign minister, arrived here Thursday
at the end of his visit to Turkey where he held "highly constructive and
positive" talks with Turkish officials, IRNA reported.

Speaking to reporters upon his arrival here, Kharrazi termed his talks with
Turkish officials as a new era in Tehran-Ankara ties and a "new chapter" in
bilateral relations.

He expressed hope that bilateral relations will further expand through
efforts of officials of the two countries.

He said Iran and Turkey as the two major neighbors play important role in the
region, adding that the Ankara talks put further emphasis on communalities of
bilateral interests.

Kharrazi further added that in his meeting in Istanbul with Turkish
industrialists and entrepreneurs as well as Iranian businessmen residing in
Turkey, in addition to exploring grounds for further expansion of trade
relations, current affairs and impediments were also discussed.

He said that such meeting provide a good opportunity for discussing important

Kharrazi also termed presence of the Zionist regime in the region as one of
Tehran's concerns and said such a presence has "direct impact on our national
security and security of the entire region," adding that Iran has
emphatically raised such concerns.

The Iranian foreign minister strongly rejected any presence of PKK forces in
the Iranian territory and said according to the agreement reached between the
two sides and the joint security commission, the Islamic Republic of Iran
will not allow entry of PKK forces into its soil.

Leading an Iranian delegation, Kharrazi during the visit had separate talks
with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit and
Speaker of the Turkey's Parliament Yildirim Akbulut. He also held two rounds
of talks with his counterpart Ismail Cem.

During the visit, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for
cooperation in political, economic, cultural and security affairs.

The Iranian foreign minister also visited some historical and cultural sites
in Turkey and attended with Turkish foreign minister the opening ceremony of
the First Iranian Cultural Festival in Turkey during his stay in the
neighboring country.

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 21:00:01 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Countdown to Final Ballot

Countdown to Final Ballot

Rajabali Mazrouie, member of the Islamic Iran Partnership Party (IIPP), said
that the public should vote for candidates who would not tell lies or make
false promises, adding further that IIPP would not support Rafsanjani, simply
because it does not intend to name the candidates who are also on the
right-wing's list, Sobh-e Emrooz daily said.

Amir Hussein Baqernejad, a candidate for the parliamentary elections, said
that the motions approved on electioneering only benefits the sitting MPs,
while they limit the challengers' ability to publicize their own merits.
Although these measures have been adopted in the name of cost-savings, in big
cities, for example Tehran, the candidates have rent advertising boards and
even balloons, increasing the overall advertising costs much more than in the
past, Javan daily reported.

Khorassan daily reported that on a budget of 20 billion rials a news daily
with circulation running into millions is to be published nationwide and
given away during the parliamentary elections.

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 21:02:39 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Islamic Republic Most Independent System in World, Khatami

Islamic Republic Most Independent System in World, Khatami

* President: Iran Most Serious Country in Anti-Drug Fight


TEHRAN -- President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, in a gathering at the port city
of Jask in the southern Province of Hormuzgan, said on Thursday that the
Islamic Republic is the most independent system in the world and that should
be appreciated by the people, IRNA reported.

On the third day of his visit to the province, he referred to the "deprived
people of Jask, especially the women" adding that "while women should
preserve their Iranian cultural identity and personality, they should not be
regarded as inferior gender."

On another topic, Khatami said that by providing suitable facilities for
shrimp farming in the provincial ports and specially in Jask, a good source
of non-oil revenues will be created for the country.

He also praised the exemplary solidarity of Sunni and Shia Muslims in the
port city as an indication of the superior culture and deep understanding of
the region.

"Conflicts have existed throughout history but the important fact is that we
are all Iranians and Muslims," Khatami stated.

Later on Thursday President Khatami termed Iran as the most serious country
in its fight against the "ugly phenomenon" of narcotic drugs smuggling.

Addressing a large gathering of local people in the city of Roudan on the
third day of his tour of this Persian Gulf province, the President said today
the world has accepted that the Islamic Republic of Iran by giving tens of
martyrs annually in its anti-drug effort, is a big obstacle on the way of
drugs transit to the West.

The President who is also head of the Supreme National Security Council said
today, in the absence of a popular and accountable government in Afghanistan,
the highest amount of drugs is being produced in the country which has turned
it into a major center for production and smuggling of illicit drugs.

He said given its geographical location, the city of Roudan is vulnerable and
exposed to drug trafficking, calling on the local people and officials to
take serious steps in this connection.

Expressing regret over deprivation of the city and absence of centers of
higher education there, the President said opening of higher education
institutes will pave the way to the development of the area.

Underlining the need for greater investment in the city, Khatami said given
its agricultural potentials and climatic advantages, the region can be turned
into a tourist zone for provincial tourists.

He pointed to growing palm trees and shrimp culture as other potentials of
Roudan and expressed hope that facilities will be provided in those areas.

The President also called on local people to provide further facilities for
stronger presence of the female members of their family in various academic,
social and economic fields.

He said keeping an outstanding portion of the society away from progress due
to wrong past traditions is a great cruelty, adding that Iranian women in the
light of the Islamic Revolution are actively present in various scenes while
preserving ethical, religious and national criteria.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Jan 2000 to 22 Jan 2000