Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Feb 2000 to 5 Feb 2000

There are 9 messages totalling 519 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. A Test for Rafsanjani
2. Rafsanjani: Enemies at Work to Separate People From Distinct Honors
3. Kharrazi: Development, Stability, Theme of Iranian Society
4. No U.S. Pressure Over Ties With Iran, Moussa
5. Surinam President Praises OIC Policies of President Khatami
6. Spirit of Devotion Should Be Kept Alive in Society, Leader
7. Iranian Vetting Body Rejects 762 Candidates for Next Month's Polls
8. Officials on 6th Parliamentary Elections
9. An open call for indicating our Iranian origin

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:00:33 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: A Test for Rafsanjani


A Test for Rafsanjani

In recent interviews with Al-Jazireh T.V. network and Iran newspaper, Ali
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Council mentioned that
the major figures of the May 23rd Front (Khatami supporters) had insisted
that he nominate himself for the upcoming Islamic Consultative Assembly
(Majlis) elections. He also stated that he had decided to throw his hat in
the election ring at the behest of President Khatami. The pressing fact here
is that Mr. Khatami's firm adherence to his pre-election mottos and promises
makes a strong provision for equality of individuals in a civil society.

In Mr. Khatami's definition of a civil society no one, irrespective of his or
her position or the amount of power he or she wields, is permitted to
infringe upon the constitutional rights of citizens, including the right to
be elected for public office.

Beyond any reasonable doubt, Mr. Khatami would have insisted on the same
privilege for anyone else seeking to exercise the aforementioned natural
right of citizenship. The right to hold a public position is a fundamental
principle of the civil society. Meanwhile, Mr. Khatami's proposition of the
civil society entails the fact that the individuals' merits are tested by the
touchstone of public acceptability when ballots are cast. Mr. Khatami
submitted himself to the same test and came out with flying colors. There is
an open invitation by Mr. Khatami for every citizen of this country to assess
his/her claimed virtues in the arena of public acceptability.

The invitation, however, does not insinuate personal affinity or
advisability, nor any expediency. The invitation clearly solicits the
participation of those individuals to expose their own true worth to the test
of public opinion. The invitation should not be misconstrued to be a form of
partiality towards any specific politician or enhancing that individual's

All the same, Mr. Hashemi's participation in the upcoming elections would
entail two possible scenarios. He might flunk the test altogether.

This is, however, a highly improbable turn of events. Should the unimaginable
transpire, the repercussions would spell disaster for the political future of
Mr. Rafsanjani. This contingency is, in all likelihood, deemed to hardly
leave an impact on Mr. Khatami's glory. The second scenario provides for
Hashemi's securing the needed votes to ensconce him in the next Majlis. A
sweeping victory would permit him to comfortably allocate the seat of the
Speaker of the House to himself. Enthroned in this much coveted seat, Mr.
Rafsanjani would be able to wield the power needed to equalize the extreme
right and left, and effectively lighten the burden of Mr. Khatami. However,
Mr. Rafsanjani's ending up with just a passing grade in the time of
elections, would again leave him susceptible to being regarded as a failure
in the test. Naturally, there wouldn't be much stamina in his stepping into
the shoes of the speaker of the house, and the shoe may prove to be too big
for him anyway. Given credence to the latter contingency, Mr. Khatami would
still emerge unscathed. All said and done, the next 20 days would definitely
play a fateful part in Rafsanjani's future political life. His many
interviews may prove to defeat the purpose, which is to raise his popularity.
His advisors will do well to warn him of the latter danger lurking ahead,
otherwise, they have to shoulder part of the responsibility in spurring him
on in this test.

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:02:25 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Rafsanjani: Enemies at Work to Separate People From Distinct Honors

Rafsanjani: Enemies at Work to Separate People From Distinct Honors


TEHRAN - Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here
Friday warned against full-scale efforts launched by the enemies to separate
the people from their unprecedented honors.

Addressing a grand gathering of Friday Prayer leaders of Tehran Province,
Rafsanjani said the enemies have always attempted to distort the real nature
of the Islamic Revolution, and that despite the boost they receive on certain
occasions they always end up frustrated.

He termed the Islamic Revolution as an achievement of tremendous magnitude
which was realized under the leadership of Imam Khomeini (R.H.) with the
participation of the people and the clergy, and said it has no precedence
throughout the history of Islam.

The Expediency Council chairman further added that the Islamic Revolution has
stunned global observers in the East and the West, and their incapability in
analyzing it has been proved.

He said such an achievement is the fruit of the trust that binds the people,
the clergy and the leadership to each other, adding that the aim of the
Islamic Revolution is to forge closer relations among the people and to
further acquaint them with their divine blessings. Rafsanjani rejected any
use of violence or deceitful means, including false publicity, to gain the
people's trust, saying such practices are not compatible with Islam.

He stressed the importance of the different roles the people have played in
various stages of the Revolution, and said the general structure of the
Islamic Republic and the spirit of the Islamic Revolution have always had
their support.

Rafsanjani described Islam as a dynamic religion and said that through
careful practice developments of the time can be harmonized with Islamic
principles, adding that even steps can be taken in advance to preempt
deceitful moves of the enemies, IRNA reported.

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:03:09 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Kharrazi: Development, Stability, Theme of Iranian Society

Kharrazi: Development, Stability, Theme of Iranian Society

TEHRAN -- Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi said in Davos,
Switzerland yesterday that development and stability are the two key themes
of the Iranian society, IRNA reported.

Addressing a seminar on "Challenges Faced by the Iranian Society and Lessons
From the History", Kharrazi said the social and political development in the
contemporary Iran aimed at freedom, independence and campaign against
colonialism, an example of which was the Constitutional Revolution (in 1906).

The Constitutional Revolution took place in Iran in 1906 putting pressure on
the monarchical regime of Qajar dynasty to quit dictatorship and abide by the
legal framework formulated later on as the then Constitution on which
Mozaffareddin Shah from Qajar dynasty put signature.

Kharrazi said that social and political development continued in Iran with
nationalization of oil industry in Iran on March 19, 1951, the popular
uprising on June 5, 1963 and culminated in February 1979 with victory of the
Islamic Revolution.

Referring to the social and political development in Iran in the wake of the
1997 presidential elections in Iran, Kharrazi said at the end of the second
decade since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, the process
of social and political development continued in the Iranian society with
broad-based dynamism and innovation which have their roots in the civil
society in Iran.

He said national solidarity in Iran has been formed on three fundamental
principles of the Islamic Republic, freedom, independence and campaign
against colonialism.

Kharrazi said the Iranian society has now promoted law-abiding, authorized
freedoms, dialogue, pluralism, justice, coexistence, people's active
participation in social affairs and setting up institutions to reinforce
civil society.

He said the popular support and the Islamic commitment are the two
specifications of the Islamic Republic of Iran adding that Iran has developed
republicanism and Islam has encouraged democracy through its teachings to
which the government in Iran is committed.

In Iran's political structure, the three branches of government, the Cabinet
ministers and members of Parliament are directly or indirectly elected by the
public voting and according to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of
Iran, which has defined the political structure of Iran, no one is above the
law or even equal with law, he said.

Kharrazi said the diplomacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has focused on
detente, dialogue and cooperation to reinforce understanding, peace and
cooperation at the regional and international level.

He said the initiative put forward by President Mohammad Khatami of Iran and
welcomed by the international community is one spectrum of idea in modern
Iran concerning the international politics.

The Iranian foreign minister gave examples of improved relations with the
Persian Gulf littoral states, with the European countries, the friendly
relations with Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) and the Caucasian
states, the success made by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) and peace efforts made by Iran, the current chairman of the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Kosovo, Chechnya and
Afghanistan as indications of successful diplomacy of Iran in the past single

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:03:50 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: No U.S. Pressure Over Ties With Iran, Moussa

No U.S. Pressure Over Ties With Iran, Moussa

* Iran, Egypt Express Concern Over Chechen Crisis

* Kharrazi Meets U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and Counterpart

* Switzerland Welcomes Warmer Relations with Iran


TEHRAN - Egypt is under no pressure from the United States to go slow on
moves to normalize relations with Iran, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa
said in an interview published in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.

"There is no pressure or conditions," said Moussa adding, "There is a desire
among the two parties (Egypt and Iran) to move forward...Our economic
relations are continuing, as are political consultations."

Moussa was speaking after a meeting on Friday with Iranian Foreign Minister
Kamal Kharrazi on the sidelines of the six-day World Economic Forum in the
Swiss resort of Davos. Egypt and Iran view better relations as "necessary and
important", Moussa said, adding that they disagree on Iranian islands in the
Persian Gulf claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

"We hope that coming developments will end the disputes on the subject of the
Emirate islands and some other issues," Moussa said, quoted by Reuters. The
two foreign ministers also exchanged views over major regional issues,
including the situation in the Middle East.

Expressing regret over the deplorable situation of Muslims in Chechnya,
Kharrazi outlined the steps the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken as
chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in an effort to
put an end to the crisis through peaceful means. Kharrazi underlined the
grave concern of the Islamic World over the massacre of innocent Chechens.

Pointing to Middle East issues and the increasing threats of the Zionist
regime in the region, the Iranian foreign minister emphasized Iran's stance,
i.e., the restoration of the complete rights of the Palestinian people,
including the return of all homeless Palestinians to their homeland, and the
liberation of the Holy Qods. He also underlined the need for forging
coordination among OIC members on the subject of dialogue among
civilizations. Referring to the situation in the Middle East region, Moussa
pointed to the threats posed before the region by the expansion of the
Zionist regime's nuclear arms arsenals.

Meanwhile, Kharrazi in a meeting with Kazakh Premier Kasymzhomart Tokayev on
Friday, underlined the need for expert studies on Iran-Kazakhstan bilateral
cooperation in the area of laying oil and gas pipelines in the region.

Kharrazi stressed that no one can deny the advantages of Iran's route for
laying oil and gas pipelines in terms of economy, security and access to
major world markets.

Referring to Tehran-Astana relations, he said that the Islamic Republic of
Iran is engaged in several projects in different parts of Kazakhstan. Terming
Iran as an important country in the region, Tokayev said that his country
attaches great importance to its ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, IRNA

Referring to last year's visit to Tehran of the Kazakh president, Nursultan
Nazarbayev, he said the visit was very successful. The visit resulted in
further expansion of trade cooperation between the two states, he added.

Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss and his Iranian counterpart, Kharrazi,
have welcomed a steady improvement in relations between Berne and Tehran.

In another development, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, Ms. Sadako
Ogata, met yesterday Kharrazi on the sidelines of the 30th session of World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where she praised Iran's efforts in
assisting the refugees.

She also called Iran as among the countries with one of the largest
population of refugees adding, "Iran's ambassador to the U.N.'s Geneva
Headquarters has been selected as deputy director of Executive Committee of
the High Commission on Refugees and will take over as the director of the
committee next year."

Kharrazi also referred to the international role that Iran plays with regard
to hosting refugees and reiterated that other countries could also face up to
their international responsibilities.

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:05:05 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Surinam President Praises OIC Policies of President Khatami

Surinam President Praises OIC Policies of President Khatami


TEHRAN -- Jules Wijdenbosch, Surinamese president, said that the policies of
the Iranian President, Seyed Mohammad Khatami, within the Organization of the
Islamic Conference (OIC) have promoted cooperation and understanding among
Islamic countries, IRNA reported.

He made the remarks while receiving Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, Iran's
accredited ambassador to Surinam, in the capital city of Paramaribo Friday.

During the meeting the ambassador submitted a message from President Khatami,
currently the incumbent president of the OIC, to his Surinamese counterpart.

The Surinamese president thanked President Khatami for paying attention to
the needs of member states of the OIC, Surinam in particular, and called for
OIC assistance to solve his country's problems.

Referring to Iran's policy of boosting economic cooperation and trade among
OIC member states, the Iranian ambassador urged the Surinamese government to
pave the way for the export of Iranian goods to that country.

Meanwhile, the Iranian ambassador in a separate meeting with Surinamese Trade
Minister Sonny Kertowidjojo discussed ways of enhancing trade between the two

Keshavarz-Zadeh called on the Surinamese trade minister to facilitate
increased participation of Iranian merchants in Surinamese markets.

Surinam is the sole South American state which holds official membership in
the OIC.

Surinamese Muslims are in a favorable position, holding 16 important
portfolios eight of which are ministerial posts.

Surinamese people of eastern descent are familiar with the culture and
beliefs of the Iranian people.

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:16:01 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Spirit of Devotion Should Be Kept Alive in Society, Leader

Spirit of Devotion Should Be Kept Alive in Society, Leader


TEHRAN - The Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here
yesterday stressed the need to respect the bereaved families of martyrs and
keep alive the spirit and culture of devotion and martyrdom in society.

Addressing officials and directors general of the Martyrs Foundation of the
Islamic Republic (MFIR), the Leader said paying tribute to the families of
martyrs, whose beloved ones have sacrificed their lives for the survival of
the Islamic system, means appreciating the great job they have done.

If a nation does not appreciate and exalt the culture of self-sacrifice and
devotion, it will miss the chance of leading a decent life free from
humiliation, the Leader said.

Calling as "important" the MFIR's task, the Leader said the foundation's
success in fulfilling its duty in the best possible manner will elevate the
majesty and dignity of the Islamic system, IRNA reported.

Prior to the Leader's remarks, the audience performed their noon and
afternoon prayers under leadership of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:18:36 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iranian Vetting Body Rejects 762 Candidates for Next Month's Polls

Iranian Vetting Body Rejects 762 Candidates for Next Month's Polls

TEHRAN (AFP) -- A conservative-controlled vetting body announced yesterday
that it has barred 762 hopefuls from a final list of candidates deemed
eligible to stand in key parliamentary elections next month.

"In total, the candidacies of 762 hopefuls have been definitively rejected,"
said a statement from the Council of Guardian carried by state radio and

The council' plans to reject large numbers of candidates had been widely
reported in the Tehran press in recent weeks.

Reports that many of those disqualified were supporters of reformist
President Mohammad Khatami or members of the tolerated opposition sparked an
outcry from the reformers who had hoped to end the conservatives' control of
Parliament which has blocked the President's reforms.

The guardians said a total of 6,858 people had sought to stand in the
February 18 polls, nearly 200 more than the original figure given by the
Interior Ministry.

The vetting body said "25 percent of the 762 candidates rejected (or around
190) were disqualified because they were members of banned political groups."

The banned but tolerated Iran Freedom Movement said the guardians had
rejected all of its candidates.

"All our candidates in both Tehran and the provinces were declared
ineligible," said the liberal Islamic movement's leader Ibrahim Yazdi.

He said the movement would announce its reaction to the disqualifications on

A spokesman for the guardians said candidates have three days to lodge
appeals against their disqualification.

For the first time in this year's elections, the guardians are required to
justify their decision in writing to a rejected candidate if asked.

But Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier this month that
it was "incorrect behavior" to criticize the guardians and insisted their
rulings "must be accepted by everyone."

The Interior Ministry said a final list of candidates deemed eligible would
be published before the formal launch of the election campaign on February 9.

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:20:29 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Officials on 6th Parliamentary Elections

Officials on 6th Parliamentary Elections


TEHRAN -- Spokesman for an Iranian party told IRNA that if the May 23 Front
(grouping pro-President Khatami parties) wins the majority of seats in the
Sixth Majlis, the government's problems with the Legislative body would

Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, the spokesman of the coalition of the Followers of the
Imam and Leadership Path, further told IRNA that it is feared that if the May
23 Front wins the majority of seats at the Majlis, the problems between the
Majlis with President Khatami's administration would increase.

According to IRNA, he said some hardline elements of the front do not approve
of Mr. Khatami's political stances, even if the President deems it necessary
to defend Mr. (Akbar Hashemi) Rafsanjani (chairman of the Expediency Council)
on some occasions.

Bahonar said that in the Sixth Parliamentary Elections, Followers of the Imam
and Leadership Path and a number of groups affiliated to the May 23 Front
would put Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani's name atop their lists of candidates for
parliamentary elections.

However, he added, it seems that a very weak and small group of the May 23
Front is opposed to the inclusion of Rafsanjani's name in the list of
candidates, and for this reason they have concentrated their efforts on
disreputing Mr. Hashemi, he added.

Bahonar predicted that the majority of seats in the Sixth Majlis will be most
probably won by those holding the majority in the Fifth Majlis.

He ruled out the idea that the left wing or the May 23 Front executives would
gain the majority in the next Majlis.

Meanwhile, managing director of daily `Jahan-e Islam' and secretary-general
of the Assembly of the Forces Following the Imam's Path, Hojjatoleslam Hadi
Khamenei, told IRNA that the May 23 Front, including its moderate and
hardline members, would gain the majority of seats in the Sixth Majlis and
would move in concert with the programs of President Khatami's

He said the next Majlis would have a combined composition, representing all

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 20:15:44 EST
Subject: An open call for indicating our Iranian origin

For many Iranians, the time has come to openly emphasize their national
origin on the Web pages. There are thousands of doctors, engineers, and other
professionals who have come to western countries from Iran. These individuals
are among the most productive ethnic group(s) in western societies.

This is a call to remind all Iranians - your friends, colleagues, and other
associates who come from Iran - that they should utilize their national
origin in their Web sites and biographies. For example, the president of eBay
is an Iranian. However, many people do not know about his national origin. Or
as we all know that Andre Aggasi's father was one of the Iranian national
athletes. It is said that on the average most
universities in the United States have more than 15 Iranian Ph.D.s teaching,
conducting research, and/or holding administrative positions.

Mentioning Iran is very important. One could say simply Iranian,
American-Iranian, or French-Iranian, which will increase our visibility and
recognize Iranian contributions to the western societies.
We have been silent for a long time. Our contributions have been ignored or
not given proper credit. It is time to speak up and express our pride in who
we are and where we have come from.
Join Dr. Amir Javidinejad (who initiated this call), Dr. Mohammad Ala, Trita
Parsi, IIC and many others in promoting our national origin.

Please distribute this letter and its message to at least three of your
Iranian friends and colleagues. If you wish, you may e-mail the IIC so that
we can mention that you have followed the advice and have included your
national origin.

For more information, please visit
Best Regards,
Trita Parsi, President IIC

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Feb 2000 to 5 Feb 2000