Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Feb 2000 to 22 Feb 2000 - Special issue
There are 12 messages totalling 1275 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. Green Party of Iran Statement
2. Iran reformists must deliver
3. payvand: The Isfahan Referendum By Nader Fatoorechi
4. BBC: Print media triumphs in Iranian elections
5. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2
6. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2
7. IRNA: latest tehran election results
8. IRNA: daily elucidates reasons of rafsanjani's downfall
9. IRNA:nateq-nouri thanks nation for creating epics in february
10. Iran's reformist leaders look to U.S. for action
11. Iran cabbie held for parking ticket parade
12. Iranian Hardliner Accepts Defeat
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 06:53:15 EST
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Green Party of Iran Statement
Student's death sentence upheld in Iran
An Islamic court in Iran has upheld the death sentence for Mr. Akbar
accusing him of leading the student uprising in Iran last year.
The Green Party of Iran demands the immediate commutation of Mr. Mohammadi's
death sentence and calls on all Green Parties and human rights organizations
throughout the world to intervene and pressure the Islamic Republic to free
all imprisoned students. Also, the Green Party of Iran asks the United
human rights commissioner for immediate intervention.
The Green Party of Iran
Feb. 21, 2000
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 08:49:12 EST
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iran reformists must deliver
Iran reformists must deliver
(AP) - President Mohammad Khatami's reformist faction
hard-line opposition in historic legislative elections that
Iranians hope will
lead to more freedom and jobs in this fundamentalist Muslim
he has to deliver.
Iranians are looking for a cure for their stagnant economy
unemployment. Many also want continued expansion of social
It will be a new challenge for Khatami, who has pushed
reforms since 1997
but thus far has been restrained by hard-liners who
positions of power.
Seventy% of Iran's 62 million people are below 30 years of
Tired of the hard-line clergy that has ruled with an iron
overthrowing the U.S.-backed shah in the 1979 Islamic
people were behind Khatami's 1997 election victory and the
thrashing of the
hard-liners in Friday's voting for the Majlis, or
Though final returns are not yet in, the reformists have
won 137 of 191 seats
so far - 72% - and are leading in crucial races in Tehran.
Victories there will assure them a majority in the 290-seat
Until now, Iranians had blamed almost all of the nation's
ills on the
But after it consolidates its new power, Khatami's
pro-reform faction will
have to take direct responsibility for Iran's shortcomings.
Official figures put the unemployment rate at 20%, but
say the rate is much higher.
Nearly every family has young men and women who can't find
can't marry because they cannot afford housing.
A senior civil servant earns no more than the equivalent of
$300 per month -
just enough to make ends meet. In a country that is the
oil producer, many workers hold two or even three jobs just
Little is likely to change without first tackling the
bonyads - huge,
wide-ranging foundations that control millions in assets.
After the revolution, the enormous assets of the shah and
his cronies were
given to the bonyads to care for the needy. While they
still do that, their
focus has changed to acquiring wealth by controlling large
chunks of the
Conservative estimates say the dozen or so main bonyads
control at least a
quarter of the economy.
The largest, the Bonyad Mostazafan, cares for the poor and
veterans of the
1980-88 war with Iraq, but it also owns everything from
soft drink plants to
The bonyads are not audited and it is unknown if they even
Constitutionally, the bonyads stand above the law and are
to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the hard-line supreme leader
greatly outstrip those of the elected president. Khamenei,
who is unelected,
has veto power over virtually everything.
Khatami has until now avoided head-on confrontation with
clergy. But despite his new strength, he will have to find
ways to work with
The hard-line Guardian Council has veto power over all
bills passed by
parliament, and hard-liners still control the military and
Iran's press is one of the freest in the Middle East, and
launched by Khatami are likely to continue.
The ban on satellite dish antennas and Western music could
be lifted quickly
by a reformist Majlis.
But Khatami will face a strong hard-line backlash if he
tries to go so far as
to make the hijab - the Islamic covering women must wear in
public to hide
the shape of the female form - a matter of choice.
Economic recovery here also is hampered by Tehran's
relations with the
United States, which the hard-liners call the ''Great
Satan'' and consider
Washington severed diplomatic ties after Islamic militants
stormed the U.S.
Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for
Since then, Iran has been under a U.S. trade embargo.
Washington has indicated it would be more willing to deal
with an Iran
controlled by reformists.
Khatami is expected to move cautiously when it comes to the
only acting if Washington provides substantive gestures of
Those could include the freeing of billions in frozen
Iranian assets or
discontinuation of the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act when
it comes up for
renewal next year.
But Khatami may find it hard to move slowly: After more
than 20 years of
waiting, Iran's young want a quick fix.
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 10:45:08 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: payvand: The Isfahan Referendum By Nader Fatoorechi
02/21/00 The Isfahan Referendum By Nader Fatoorechi
Sobh-e Emrooz daily 21 February 2000
The elections to the 6th Majlis will undoubtedly increase the trend and
the level of the demands of the civil movement and makes the steps of
the 2nd of Khordad trend firmer and faster, opening a bright future in
Iran's horizon. But a more concentrated look at the results of the
elections about some candidates could shed light on some facts.
1. Ali Fallahian, in charge of the Intelligence Ministry in its
"cleanest period" was a candidate of the Majlis from Isfahan electorate.
But among the results of this electorate, his name-which caused the
bodies of many dissidents tremble in fear-is only one before the last
name on the list, with only 28,000 votes.
2. In an election campaign speech, Fallahian described his running for
the elections as a means to "warm up the furnace of the elections and
create livelihood", saying that the most important point was the
approval of his qualifications by Isfahan's Elections Executive Board.
Experts had also predicted that the reason for his candidacy was his
efforts to prove the "continuity of the system's trust in him".
Therefore, Fallahian felt that he had attained his desired result before
3. In the final results of the 6th Majlis for Isfahan, Ali Fallahian
ranked 12th, and with 5.6 percent of the total number of votes, he
failed to have any part in "warming up the furnace of the elections".
Rather, he was seeking to measure the system's trust in himself.
However, he had given no place to the importance of measuring the trust
of the public conscience in his calculations.
4. The very meager number of votes for the minister of the "cleanest
period of the Intelligence Ministry" can be regarded as a sign of the
extent of the public opinion's hatred and sensitivity towards the case
of the serial killings. Although he managed to obtain his desired answer
to the question of the system's trust in him, but he failed to obtain
5. The people's minimum number of votes for Fallahian can also have a
very important message for the authorities in charge of the case of the
serial killings. With saying "no" to an intelligence minister during
whose rule, many dissidents found the sky dark, the public conscience
stressed accelerating the progress of this case until the discovery of
"vertical layers" implicated in it. It showed the affair of the serial
killings-which is recalled when Fallahian's name is mentioned-is in the
focus of the public opinion's attention and expectation.
6. In the 3rd Expediency Council elections, Ali Fallahian won a seat
from Khuzestan electorate, but within 600 days of that time (summer of
1998, when the assassination and crime machine started to kill the
dissidents), Fallahian obtained his "documented, written and statistical
disqualification" from the court of the public opinion.
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 11:23:25 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: BBC: Print media triumphs in Iranian elections
(I think if Khomeini was alive, he could have named this, "piroozi-e qalam
bar tasvir :) /Farhad ) (sorry for the comment)
The success of reformist candidates in the Iranian polls also marks a
victory in the undeclared contest between Iran's often outspoken press
and its more tightly-controlled broadcast media counterparts.
Iran's TV and radio outlets are under the jurisdiction of the country's
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In recent years they have
remained determinedly conservative defenders of perceived Islamic
orthodoxy, despite the growing demands for change in Iranian society.
By contrast, Iran's flourishing newspapers come under the sway of the
government and, in particular, the present Culture Minister Ayatollah
Mohajerani. They have become a more accurate reflection of the mood of
the nation, enabling Iran's highly politicised electorate to keep
abreast of developments.
Despite the obvious great interest of the Iranian people in the
elections, the coverage by the broadcast media has been low-key, almost
to the point of invisibility.
In the weeks leading up to last Friday's election, the
conservative-dominated outgoing parliament passed legislation imposing
tight constraints on campaigning in general and banning it in the
Despite this, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and other
conservative figures were allowed regular appearances on radio and
television, leading to numerous cries of foul play from pro-reform
candidates and newspapers.
Some newspaper editorials forecast that the conservatives' monopoly of
the broadcast media could count against them as far as the electorate
was concerned because voters knew that anyone who appeared on radio and
television was favoured by the conservative power holders.
And when it came to announcing the results, it was left to the press to
make the running. The broadcast media confined itself to announcing
simple lists of successful candidates, with no televised election
specials to try to explain the results to the viewing, and voting,
Keeping it in the family
Personalities from the Iranian press who backed President Khatami
figured highly in the Tehran voters' favourites.
High on the provisional list of successful candidates in the capital's
30 parliamentary seats was Jamileh Kadivar, the culture minister's wife,
and the president's brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami, who is also the
managing director of one of Iran's newest and most successful dailies
Another winning brother in the provisional results for the constituency
of Tehran was Alireza Nouri, a previously unknown figure who was given
ample space to express his views in reformist newspapers in recent
He made it clear he was hoping to win the votes of his brother, Abdullah
Nouri, the managing director of the banned daily Khordad, who was jailed
for five years following a high profile trial by the conservative-held
Special Clerical Court last November.
Another leading vote winner in Tehran, according to the provisional
results, was Hadi Khamenei, who, by contrast with his brother, supreme
leader Ali Khamenei, stands squarely in the pro-reform camp.
He was the managing director of Jahan-e Eslam, a daily banned for
several years under Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's presidency.
Press attacks TV coverage
With the reformists taking a decisive lead in the polls, calls for
changes in the media look set to make a swift reappearance.
Even before the polls, the news that the head of Iranian radio and
television was planning to publish a newspaper in the near future
prompted the Iran News newspaper to publish a mocking cartoon, depicting
a sinking television set seeking help from a newspaper standing on a
In the same vein, an editorial in the English-language daily Iran News
on Monday was in self-congratulatory mood.
"Our people ... voiced their long overdue demand for an active and free
press when they went to polls the other day. To be sure, in the run-up
to this last election, the press showed off its competency so overtly
that it left lasting impacts on the public opinion in a big way.
"No-one can deny the negative role the Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting (IRIB) has so far played in leaving hardly any influence at
all on public opinion. This medium's lack of contribution to flesh out
the public zeal for their highly-active participation in the elections
came too late and with ill preparation.
"The political faction supporting the IRIB fared so poorly in this
popular election that it verged on being catastrophic."
The paper said it was high-time that the new government conducted a
"serious reappraisal" of the role of Iran's broadcast media.
"A non-government affiliated establishment may restore the lost
efficiency of this medium and bless it with the effectuality of printed
media," it said.
"Rumour has it that the reformists' shattering triumph in this ...
election was highly indebted to the right faction's aversion to the
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 21:33:44 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL IRAN REPORT
Vol. 3, No. 8, 21 February 2000
A Review of Developments in Iran Prepared by the Regional
Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team.
* LARGE TURNOUT IN THE ELECTION...
* ...BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
* ELECTION COVERAGE BY STATE BROADCASTING
* THE FINAL DAYS
* TEL AVIV BLAMES TEHRAN FOR HIZBALLAH ACTIONS
LARGE TURNOUT IN THE ELECTION...
The Interior Ministry announced that 80-83 percent of
Iran's approximately 39 million voters participated in the 18
February parliamentary election, but Mohammad Reza Abbasifard
of the Guardians Council said that 70-80 percent of the
electorate voted. Still, this is close to the 88 percent of
the 1997 presidential election and ahead of the 71 percent
turnout for the 1996 parliamentary race. Polling stations
were supposed to be open for a maximum of 12 hours, but the
Interior Ministry reported that turnout was so large that
voters who had arrived before the deadline were allowed to
The time it takes to get the results will vary from a
few hours in very small constituencies to three weeks in
Tehran, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported on 18
February. There may have been some confusion in Isfahan,
Semnan, and Mazandaran provinces, which held Assembly of
Experts by-elections. The Guardians Council rejected efforts
to computerize the counting system, so all votes must be
counted by hand.
As of 20 February, vote-counting was complete in 194
constituencies, according to state radio. Incumbents
apparently fared badly. The Islamic Iran Participation Party,
based on its own exit polls, announced that reformists
carried 60 percent of the seats. Reformist dailies, such as
"Arya," "Mosharekat," Akhbar-i Eqtesad," and "Aftab-i Imruz"
all claimed an overwhelming reformist victory. Hardline
publications had little to crow about, and they mainly
pointed at the large turnout as a victory for the Islamic
revolution. Conservative coalition spokesman Mohammad Reza
Bahonar said that conservatives had won 73 out of 150
provincial seats, but he admitted that things had not gone
well in Tehran.
Run-offs will be held in constituencies where none of
the candidates got 25 percent of the votes. These include:
Lahijan, Nour, and Mahmoudabad (Gilan Province); Dehloran
(Ilam); Kangavar (Kermanshah); Nahbandan, Andimeshk, and
Dezful (Khuzestan); Doroud and Azna (Luristan); Minudasht,
Gonbad Kavus, Ramyan, and Azadshahr (Golestan); and Garmsar
(Semnan). Other constituencies requiring run-offs are:
Samiram and Barkhuar Meymeh (Isfahan), Shabestar and Meshgin-
Shahr (East Azerbaijan), Razan (Hamedan), Boroujen (Chahar
Mahal-Bakhtiari), Dayyer and Kangan (Bushehr), Abadeh and
Bavanat (Fars), Miyandoab, Shahindej and Takab (West
Azerbaijan), and Qorveh (Kurdistan). The election
headquarters announced that the run-offs will be held in
late-April or early-May, state radio reported on 19 February.
Intelligence Minister Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesry.
Intelligence Minister Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesi told state
radio on Friday morning that "we have not received any
reports of any problems." There were, however, some problems
later. Interior Ministry Deputy Mustafa Tajzadeh, who heads
Iran's election headquarters, said that Guardians Council
supervisors never turned up at some of the polling stations
in Tehran and other cities, so polling was delayed by several
hours at these locales, "Sobh-i Imruz" reported on 19
February. And in some places, voters outnumbered ballot
papers. A mosque in western Tehran refused to open its doors
for the election officials, so the Interior Ministry had to
use mobile ballot boxes to collect ballots from voters,
"Sobh-i Imruz" reported on 19 February. Also, a candidate in
Firuzkuh and Damavand constituency was campaigning on
election day, and he ignored inspectors who told him this was
against the rules.
Hundreds rioted in Shush Danial, Khuzestan Province,
when the local winner was accused of buying votes, IRNA
reported on 19 February. Police fired into the air and used
tear gas to suppress the rioters, who set fires and threw
rocks at police. Some 15 people were injured. Similar
incidents occurred in the Khuzestan towns of Shadegan and
Dasht-i Azadegan, and there were protests in Izeh. (Bill
...BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The last session of the fifth parliament will occur on
22 February, and the new parliament, which will be sworn-in
in May, will face several outstanding issues. Among these are
vague press laws, restrictive electoral regulations, social
codes that are unevenly enforced, opening the economy to
greater foreign investment, privatization of state-owned
industries, and relations with the U.S.
But even if the new parliament seeks to cooperate with
the executive branch's plans, its ability to act is severely
limited. All legislation must be approved by the hardline
Guardians Council before it becomes law. State security
organizations, the military, and state broadcasting are under
the supervision of the Supreme Leader's office and are not
answerable to the executive or legislature. Press Courts and
the Special Court for the Clergy target regime critics. The
judiciary and other governmental bureaucracies, even when
headed by Khatami-appointees who are seen as reformists,
still have many employees who have their own personal and
ideological agendas. Influential and powerful personalities
who have direct financial interests in the state industries
and para-statal foundations will be very resistant to
anything that threatens their wealth and influence. And the
Supreme Leader has veto power over everything.
New representatives' political affiliations make
predicting how they will vote on legislation difficult. In
the previous parliament, the large block of independents did
not follow any consistent voting pattern. As of 20 February,
estimates indicated that independents won 36 seats. Many
candidates who were calling themselves independents were in
fact conservatives, according to observers, suggesting that
once in office they will vote against legislation favored by
reformists. Political analyst Khosro Abedi added,
furthermore, that there is not much difference between
candidates. The public has more choices, Abedi told AFP on 17
February, but this may not be translated into real changes
because "Iranian politics is a lot like a private club."
Compared to its neighbors, Iran had a relatively open
election, the high levels of participation, furthermore, may
represent an attempt by some to change the status quo through
legal means. But even here, there are question marks about
what really concerns voters. A series of interviews with
people in rural Shahriar, south of Tehran, pointed out that
the big issues described above have little relevance for many
Iranians. They are more concerned with basic issues, such as
fuel and telephones and especially jobs, Reuters reported on
18 February. (Bill Samii)
ELECTION COVERAGE BY STATE BROADCASTING.
Interior Minister Hojatoleslam Abdolvahed Musavi-Lari,
in a 14 February speech, urged Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting to be impartial in its coverage of the
parliamentary election. Apparently IRIB did not heed this
suggestion, because 2nd of Khordad movement spokesman Behzad
Nabavi and secretary of the Militant Clerics Association
(Majma-yi Ruhaniyun-i Mobarez) Hojatoleslam Mehdi Mahdavi-
Karrubi complained that in the run-up to the election, IRIB's
coverage was insufficient, "Fath" reported on 15 February.
This is nothing new, and IRIB is frequently criticized for
its biased coverage of domestic Iranian politics. IRIB
Director Ali Larijani, who is appointed by Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is seen by the 2nd of Khordad
movement as a hardliner.
Biased or not, IRIB did carry election-related programs
during the week of campaigning. State television had a
program entitled "The Best Election" that carried interviews
with average citizens who commented on the qualities they
look for in candidates. The program was interspersed with
Father of the Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's
comments on the importance of elections.
State radio carried live links with correspondents at
the Interior Ministry and the Guardians Council who described
the various election regulations. Correspondents at
provincial election headquarters provided reports, too. This
program also had interviews with average citizens, and it
described newspaper coverage of the election. A telephone
number was provided so listeners could call in their
comments. State broadcasting also carried election-related
speeches by state officials.
On polling day, state radio carried live election
coverage, interspersed with newscasts. The first item on
state television newscasts was President Mohammad Khatami's
statement thanking voters. State television's Network 1
carried intermittent election coverage, including a 20-minute
election special. Network 2 carried live coverage from 9:30
GMT onward. This coverage consisted of live links with
correspondents at polling places around the country. Also,
the broadcast of Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi's Friday Prayers
sermon was delayed. (Bill Samii)
TEHRAN DENIES JAMMING FOREIGN BROADCASTS.
Mr. Nemati, director of Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting's communications department, rejected recent
reports that foreign radio broadcasts are being jammed (see
"RFE/RL Iran Report," 14 February 2000). "Those who make such
allegations on the eve of the elections intend to create
tension and discord," he told the 17 February "Asr-i
Azadegan." (Bill Samii)
THE FINAL DAYS: CANDIDATES, PARTIES, AND RALLIES.
The week of campaigning, from 10-17 February, proceeded
much as it had begun, with candidates and parties expressing
their views and receiving endorsements, rallies, and
occasional violence (see the 14 February "RFE/RL Iran Report"
on the first few days of campaigning). Political figures and
state officials urged the public to vote. And the Guardians
Council found itself continuing to defend some of its
rejections of particular candidates.
Islamic Iran Participation Party candidate Ahmad
Burqani, for example, suggested that Iran and the U.S. should
resume communications, "Iran Vij" reported on 13 February.
Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization candidates,
such as Mohsen Armin, discussed current issues like the
serial killings of political dissidents, "Sobh-i Imruz"
reported on 14 February. Ayatollah Mohsen Musavi-Tabrizi, a
reformist candidate in the religious city of Qom, where 71
candidates are competing for three seats, said he favors
limits on judicial power and an opening of the economy, the
"New York Times" reported on 16 February.
Former Tehran mayor Gholamhussein Karbaschi reminded a
14 February news conference that, at the time of its
formation in 1996, the technocratic Executives of
Construction Party was taking a daring step, and it therefore
opened the doors for other non-religious organizations. In a
surprise move, the IIPP changed the order of its candidates
list, choosing the president's brother, Mohammad Reza
Khatami, as its top candidate. Khatami replaced Hojatoleslam
Mehdi Mahdavi-Karrubi, who was moved to 16th place on the
list. In a clever move, the IIPP also selected an Armenian
candidate, Artanus Baghumian, for its Isfahan list. He is one
of the only minority candidates to ever be on a mainstream
candidate list. Voters can either choose one minority
candidate or an entire list of regular candidates, but they
cannot do both.
The parties' campaign slogans shifted away from ideology
and revolutionary commitment. Two of the main conservative
bodies -- the Tehran Militant Clergy Association (Jameh-yi
Ruhaniyat-i Mobarez-i Tehran) and the Coalition of the Line
of the Imam and Leader ñ emphasized "understanding" in their
slogans. The ECP described "Security, Prosperity, and
Freedom" in its publicity. And the IIPP called for "Iran for
all Iranians." In Rasht, campaign literature was dropped from
aircraft, and t-shirts with candidates' pictures became
fashionable. Slogans promoting 29 Bahman (18 February) as
another 2 Khordad (the day President Mohammad Khatami was
elected) gained currency.
The reformist publications Fath, Asr-i Azadegan, Sobh-i
Imruz, Aftab-i Imruz, Azad, Arya, Akhbar-i Eqtesad, Bayan,
and Hayat-i No published their candidate endorsements on 13
February. They endorsed 30 candidates, including Burqani,
Khatami, Armin, Karrubi, and a number of other prominent
Initially, campaign rallies were not very well-attended,
possibly out of fear of violence. But a 13 February IIPP
rally attracted thousands, and they chanted against candidate
Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who may be the next speaker of
parliament. They also chanted against Isfahan candidate Ali
Akbar Fallahian, who served as Minister of Intelligence and
Security from 1989-1997. Fallahian has received a lot of
criticism in the reformist press for his tenure as MOIS
There were more violent incidents as well. A percussion
grenade went off near Fallahian's house, "Kayhan" reported on
14 February, after another one was thrown at his election
headquarters a week earlier. Hardliners attacked the election
headquarters of another candidate, former Interior Minister
Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, on 13 February. A man
was stabbed to death at a IIPP rally in the southern city of
Bandar Abbas, "Jomhuri-yi Islami" reported on 15 February.
A Tehran rally of the ECP was disrupted, "Kayhan"
reported on 16 February, when bystanders tore up posters of
Hashemi-Rafsanjani, destroyed some Iranian flags, and chanted
"Musaddiq, Mussadiq, we shall continue your path" (Prime
Minister Mohammad Mussadiq was ousted in a 1953 coup and is
still an icon of the nationalist movement). A meeting at
which nationalist figure Habibollah Payman, whose candidacy
was rejected, was speaking was disrupted when a brawl broke
out and lights were extinguished, "Fath" reported on 17
February. In Qazvin, nationalist journalist Fatimeh Govarai
was arrested, "Fath" reported on 17 February. (Bill Samii)
...PUBLIC URGED TO VOTE...
In the days before the election, senior Iranian
officials urged the public to vote. But statements to this
effect by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami were noteworthy.
Khamenei told prospective Hajj candidates on 15 February
that they should participate wholeheartedly in the election,
because "elections symbolize the people's participation and
restoration of their rights." Saying that voting is both a
right and a duty, he added that "it is important what
<< Continued to next message >>>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 21:34:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2
<< This message is part 2 of a previous message >>>
percentage of people who could vote take part in the
elections and vote." Khamenei went on to say there must be a
"tranquil and friendly atmosphere." He urged the public to
vote for candidates who are "able to stand up to coercion,
scare-mongering, excessiveness, and avarice of world powers,
and assess the problems of the country and the nation." He
closed by criticizing the U.S., foreign radios, and those who
are susceptible to propaganda.
Khatami urged women and the young, among his greatest
supporters, "to participate actively" in the elections in an
8 February speech. Khatami said that there has been progress
in womeKhatami said that there has been progress
in women's affairs, but much more remains to be done if women
are to have an active presence in economic, social, and
political arenas. At the same speech, Khatami apologized to
disqualified candidates. This part of the speech was not
cited by state broadcasting, which is criticized for its
hardline and anti-reformist tendencies. So, "Mosharekat"
daily reported it the next day.
Khatami again addressed electoral issues during his 11
February speech marking the revolution's anniversary. He
again addressed the young, saying "Our revolution is the
youths' revolution and they played an outstanding role in
this revolution... The revolution also belongs to today's
youth." And then he urged people to elect candidates that
will not oppose the executive branch's policies. Khatami said
that "The government will be able to take more confident
steps to serve you, if it were to enjoy the cooperation of a
qualified parliament and a parliament which carefully
scrutinizes the behavior and decisions of the executive
officials and the judicial authority."
Khatami's 16 February address to the nation urged
everybody to vote. He said: "Noble and great nation of Iran!
... Friday ... is a day for mapping your destiny."
Senior clerics, such as Sources of Emulation Ayatollah
Nasser Makarem-Shirazi, and Ayatollah Yusef Sanei urged
massive participation. So did State Prosecutor Ayatollah
Morteza Moqtadai. Interior Minister Hojatoleslam Abdolvahed
Musavi-Lari also urged massive participation, during a speech
in Rasht, because the "election is a manifestation of
republicanism of the system and an opportunity for the entire
community to play a role in the management of the country."
Dissident cleric Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri-Najafabadi
urged people to choose their candidates with care, because if
a parliamentarian pursues harmful policies, those who elected
him or her are considered accessories, "Sobh-i Imruz"
reported on 12 February. (Bill Samii)
...AND GUARDIANS COUNCIL SPEAKS OUT.
The Council of Guardians has been subjected to a steady
stream of criticism for rejecting candidates specifically and
for its power of "advisory supervision" over elections
generally. President Khatami apologized publicly to the
rejected candidates on 8 February (see above), and on 12
February, Interior Minister Musavi-Lari urged voters to
overcome the pessimism created by the rejections.
Musavi-Lari told the 14 February "Hamshahri" that the
Guardians Council was trying to disqualify ten more
candidates. But it was too late, and the Interior Ministry
announced on 16 February that there was a total of 6,083
candidates running for parliament.
Then 890 candidates withdrew, the national election
headquarters announced on 16 February, which would bring the
total to 5,193. The candidates presumably withdrew to avoid
splitting the reformist ticket.
The Guardians Council announced on 15 February that all
disqualified candidates were provided with written
explanations. Those who appealed got a fair hearing and were
shown the relevant documents, except in case where "this had
to be done for legal reasons and for the sake of safeguarding
the rights of third persons or the country's interests. (Bill
'IT WASN'T ME.'
Manuchehr Eliasi, parliamentary representative for
Iran's Jewish minority, said on 16 February that all 13 Jews
arrested last year on espionage charges would be released.
Three of them were released on bail in early-February. He
predicted that the charges against all of them "probably"
would be dropped, according to Reuters. Israel continues to
press for the release of the remaining 10 prisoners. Israel's
Deputy Foreign Minister Nawaf Musalihah asked Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic, the country's top Muslim
politician, to intercede with Iran on the prisoners' behalf,
Voice of Israel reported on 17 February.
Washington, meanwhile, urged Iran not to execute three
Bahais -- Cyrus Zabihi-Moghaddam, Hedayat Kashefi-Najafabadi,
and Manuchehr Khulusi. "In all three cases it is clear that
the individuals were arrested, charged, and sentenced to
death solely because of their religious beliefs," White House
spokesman Joe Lockhart said on 11 February, according to
Reuters. Iranian judicial official Esmail Asadi said none of
the three individuals had been sentenced to death, Iranian
state radio reported on 13 February. Asadi added that one of
three was arrested in the case of the 13 alleged spies.
Regarding the White House's expression of concern, Asadi said
that "We believe that, like in the past, they seek to
conspire against the course of the Islamic Republic of Iran
and interfere in our internal affairs."
Omid Teflin, in a comment on the Jewish prisoners
released on bail, said a misunderstanding led to the arrests.
"That's all it was with me, a mix-up," he told AFP on 13
February. (Bill Samii)
WHY COLOMBIAN BEEF?
Iran imported about 200,000 tons of beef annually, IRNA
reported on 10 February, but it will no longer need to do so.
The Construction Jihad Ministry's Deputy Minister for
Livestock Affairs, Ahmad Kabiri, said Iran "has attained
self-sufficiency in production of major animal products."
Kabiri added that Iran can now export its surplus cattle.
Which makes one ask why Iran was so keen to build a
slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant in Colombia (see
"RFE/RL Iran Report," 27 December 1999). A Colombian official
had said the project was intended to sell 20,000 tons of meat
per year to Iran, Santa Fe de Bogota's "Semana" reported last
November. (Bill Samii)
TEL AVIV BLAMES TEHRAN FOR HIZBALLAH ACTIONS.
As Hizballah struck against Israeli forces in Lebanon,
reports about extensive Iranian support for the organization
resurfaced. The implication of such claims, mainly from
Israeli sources, is that Iran is responsible for resistance
to the Israeli presence in Lebanon. Iran does not deny
supporting Hizballah, and it almost certainly does supply
Hizballah with weapons. But even without Iranian support,
Hizballah appears likely to be prepared to continue its
actions, because Israeli actions have alienated portions of
the Lebanese population.
The Israeli Defense Forces said in early January that
Tehran had ordered Hizballah to sabotage the Middle East
Peace Process, and that Iran had encouraged Hamas and the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad to cooperate with Hizballah. Soon
thereafter, a senior IDF intelligence officer gave the
Israeli parliament more detail on the Iranian encouragements,
which included the provision of more arms and training and
bonuses for successful attacks. In the first week of February
there was a report in Tel Aviv's "Haaretz" that Iran had
stepped up its supply of equipment, arms, and ammunition to
These reports, if accurate, may explain recent Hizballah
attacks in the southern Lebanon security zone, a 15
kilometer-wide strip patrolled by Israeli forces and the
South Lebanon Army. Five IDF soldiers were killed. Also, Akl
Hashem, second-in-command of the SLA, was assassinated.
Israel retaliated on the night of 7-8 February by
launching airstrikes against infrastructure targets in
Lebanon, such as electrical power stations. Seventeen
Lebanese civilians were wounded in these attacks. Israeli
Culture Minister and former Deputy Chief of Staff Matan
Vilnai explained that the airstrikes were a hint to the
Lebanese government that it should restrain Hizballah,
according to the "Mideast Mirror." Fearing retaliatory
Katyusha rocket attacks by Hizballah, civilians in northern
Israel took shelter, while Israeli Foreign Minister David
Levy warned that "the soil of Lebanon will burn" if Hizballah
fired any rockets.
Hizballah took the hint, but only partially. It
responded by killing members of the IDF and the SLA in the
security zone on 8 February, rather than launching Katyushas.
An IDF official explained that Hizballah's recent successes
were due to lookouts trained by and equipped with special
equipment from Iran, "Yediot Aharonot" reported on 8
February. IDF officials also claimed that Israeli outposts
were being hit by Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-
command-link (TOW) anti-tank missiles that Israel supplied to
Iran in the mid-1980s as part of the arms-for-hostages deal,
"Haaretz" reported on 10 February.
Retaliatory actions like Israel's recent ones have if
anything strengthened the resolve of its opponents, according
to a series of articles in the Lebanese media. An editorial
in the 8 February "As-Safir" said: "It is our destiny to
resist and to stand up to aggression. We must pay the price
for liberating our land. Our weapons are few: we have only
our blood, our will, and our spirit of martyrdom to sustain
us... We also enjoy some support from certain Arab and
international quartersa ..." "After its infrastructure is
destroyed, all of Lebanon will turn into a field for
resistance," "al-Qods al-Arabi" warned, because "the Lebanese
will have nothing to lose."
Israeli parliamentarian Rekhavem Zeevi recognized the
impact of Tel Aviv's actions. He wrote in the 9 February
"Maariv" that "The death of the SLA's No. 2, Col. Akl Hashem,
the bombs at the gates of our outposts, the continuous
shelling of our forces ñ all these bolster Hizballah's fallen
spirit and place the great and strong IDF in a ridiculous
This brings the discussion back to suggestions of
Iranian responsibility for Hizballah's recent actions. On 8
February, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi
reaffirmed Tehran's "support for the resistance shown by the
Lebanese government and nation." Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi said on 14 February that Israel should withdraw
unilaterally if it wants the attacks on its personnel to end.
He added that "It is the legitimate right of Hizballah and of
any Lebanese individual to resist against the occupiers, and
therefore we cannot deny Hizballah or the Lebanese government
this legitimate right." When asked about the alleged TOW
missiles, Kharrazi said the reports were baseless and Tehran
only supplies "humanitarian and political assistance."
Muhammad Funaysh, a Hizballah member of Lebanon's
National Assembly (parliament) described reports of Iranian-
instigated meetings between his party, Hamas, and the PIJ by
saying: "This is a pure lie. It is absolutely not true at
all." He went on to say that such reports are part of a
campaign "against our resistance and our people with a view
to covering up the enemy's terrorism and attacks against
civilians." Asked if there is any coordination between
Hizballah, Hamas, and the PIJ, Funaysh stated that "In the
course of resisting the occupation, we are not linked to any
other quarter other than the will of our people." (Bill
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:53:44 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA: latest tehran election results
latest tehran election results
tehran, feb. 22, irna -- according to the interior ministry,
1,492,809 votes have been counted from 1604 boxes in tehran until
13.45 (10.15 gmt). there were 3,111 boxes stationed in tehran.
the following are the latest election results:
name vote pc
1. seyed mohammad reza khatami 1013384 67.88
2. jamileh kadivar 776821 52.03
3. alireza nouri 767332 51.40
4. mohsen armin 707027 47.36
5. seyed hadi husseini khamenei 699801 46.87
6. mohsen mirdamadi najafabadi 678453 45.44
7. majid ansari 671312 44.96
8. ahmad bourqani farahani 651005 43.60
9. behzad nabavi 647491 43.37
10. soheila jelodarzadeh 633240 42.41
11. davoud soleymani 619031 41.46
12. ahmad pournejati 612020 40.99
13. ali shakouri-rad 599677 40.17
14. vahideh alaie taleqani 599572 40.16
15. seyed ali akbar mousavi khoeini 597723 40.04
16. elaheh koulaie 595133 39.86
17. mohsen safie farahani 591537 39.62
18. mohammad reza saidi 588130 39.39
19. fatemeh haqiqat-joo 565891 37.90
20. seyed shamseddin vahabi 560752 37.56
21. behrouz afkhami 555634 37.24
22. mohammad naimi-pour 535366 35.86
23. abolqasem sarhadizadeh 529158 35.44
24. fatemeh rakeie 511117 34.23
25. seyed mahmoud doaie 507547 33.99
26. mehdi karrubi 498466 33.38
27. rasoul montajabnia 439795 29.46
28. alireza rajaie 432274 28.95
29. akbar hashemi bahremani
(rafsanjani) 426162 28.54
30. elyas hazrati 419208 28.08
31. ali akbar rahmani 414357 27.75
32. seyed ali akbar mohtashami-pour 406903 27.75
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:54:59 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA: daily elucidates reasons of rafsanjani's downfall
daily elucidates reasons of rafsanjani's downfall
tehran, feb. 22, irna -- 'iran news' tuesday elucidated the reasons
why former president hashemi rafsanjani was defeated in the recent
election race and noted that besides this reason, prelimanary results
showed that not only the voting trend has changed in iran but also
that the people desired to have a proper house cleaning in parliament.
following the release of the preliminary results of the
parliamentary elections in tehran, rafsanjani has become the target of
severe criticism by not only the reformists, who reject his
unsuccessful economic, social and political policies but also the
rightists who blamed him for playing the role of a democratic
president and allowing mohammad khatami to run for presidency, noted
newspapers however hold that ''rafsanjani should not have entered
the race at all,'' since they claim that his ''defeat was caused by
the fact that, while in power, he ignored his revolutionary comrades
and colleagues and distanced himself from the people.''
however, despite rafsanjani's claim that he decided to stand for
parliament on account of president khatami's strong recommendation,
the paper recalled having published an editorial recently that
president khatami's encouraging rafsanjani to participate in the
elections was not so much because of the president's desire to have
him in the majlis.
it was on the contrary however, to ''drag him into competition
where the people would show their support or lack thereof for the
former president,'' added the daily.
president khatami was in fact, just ''being faithful to his own
principle of promoting a civil society when he invited rafsanjani to
throw his hat in the ring,'' conceded the daily adding that khatami
was very well conscious of the fact that the people would not back the
''president khatami could not compete in the traditionalists'
domain, so he lured his competitors and opponents into a fight on
his own turf and beat them easily,'' commended the paper.
''fighting on the president's turf needs special tools including
a knowledge of the press and their influence, proper use of
publicity campaigns and being down to earth and in touch with the
masses as well as utilizing modern and democratic tools instead of
outdated traditional methods,'' it pointed out.
rafsanjani ''did not recognize the value of these modern and
democratic tools'' and his advisers too failed to explain these
reasons to him either, remarked the daily.
therefore all the aforementioned developments worked against this
heavyweight politician and ultimately brought about his downfall,
wrote the paper in conclusion.
::irna 22/02/2000 13:55
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:56:09 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA:nateq-nouri thanks nation for creating epics in february
speaker thanks nation for creating epics in february
tehran, feb. 22, irna -- speaker of the islamic consultative
assembly (majlis) ali akbar nateq-nouri here tuesday thanked the
nation for creating great epics in february.
addressing the open session of the majlis, the speaker thanked
people or their enthusiastic participation in the february 11 rallies
(marking the revolution's anniversary) and for their unprecedented
presence in the february 18 parliamentary election.
he said guidelines and directives of the supreme leader were an
important factor in securing such a presence in addition to the
broader participation of the candidates.
moreover, he added, the proper attitude of the guardians council
further encouraged the candidates, parties, associations and their
thanking all the groups and people who played a role in securing
people's enthusiastic presence in the elections, nateq-nouri said
the ultimate victors are the leadership, people, system,
administration and the islamic revolution. those in the world who were
attempting to separate the people from the revolution are the
defeated side, he said.
the speaker further remarked that groups and their supporters
should henceforth be concerned about national interests and defense
for principles and values of the system which demands unity, amity
addressing himself to the candidates, nateq-nouri said those who
failed to gain the required votes are not defeated. rather, he
stressed, defeated are those who do not favor such a presence.
he also called on the press to prepare the ground for the unity
of expression and use their pens in this direction in order to
improve the atmosphere.
::irna 22/02/2000 13:29
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:55:23 EST
Subject: Iran's reformist leaders look to U.S. for action
Iran's reformist leaders look to U.S. for action
By Jonathan Lyons
TEHRAN, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Iran's reformers, triumphant in parliamentary
polls, said on Tuesday they were looking to the United States to make a clear
overture to improve relations with the Islamic republic.
At a news conference to mark their victory, they said their movement was a
domestic phenomenon and should not be seen as evidence Iran had set aside
revolutionary or Islamic principles to please the West -- in particular the
``In the past the United States supported one of the most repressive regimes
in history, which was the Shah's regime,'' said Mohammad Reza Khatami, leader
of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front and brother of the
``Now we still face hostile sanctions and allegations (of supporting
terrorism) against us that are unproven. There is a better tone but no
practical steps to pull down the wall of mistrust,'' said Khatami, top
vote-getter in the capital Tehran.
Washington, which broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 1980 after
the takeover of the U.S. embassy, has joined a chorus of Western approval for
Iran's elections, celebrating the polls as a historical vote for greater
openness and freedom.
``We hope the desires of the Iranian people can be translated by their
elected representatives and we hope this trend will be reflected in a new
approach to Iran's relationship with the outside world,'' U.S. State
Department spokesman James Rubin said at the weekend.
But the reform movement, closing in on control of parliament, was at pains to
tell the world it was a home-grown affair and not a stalking horse for
A DOMESTIC AFFAIR
``Our message (to the world) is they should understand there is an upheaval
taking place in Iran and not try to think what is happening in Iran coincides
with their own interests,'' said Rajabali Mazrouei, elected to parliament
That upheaval, Front leaders said, reflected demands for greater social and
political freedom and realisation of the true promise of the 1979 Islamic
revolution and its constitution.
To implement that mandate, they said, they will move quickly to guarantee
freedom of expression, protect citizens against state intrustion in their
private lives and implement fully the civic rights called for in the
For example, they pledged to overturn a ban on satellite dishes imposed by
conservatives to stamp out Western cultural influence and to change the press
laws to protect journalists from arbitrary prosecution by the special Press
They also promised to investigate fully the 1998 ``mystery murders'' of
secular dissidents by rogue agents in the security service.
The Front said it had so far captured 109 seats outright in the new
290-member parliament, due to convene in May, with another 28 pro-reform
allies also elected.
They were also poised to take almost all 30 seats in Tehran and were expected
to win the majority of about 65 run-offs, set for April.
The Front spurned the idea of a deal with former President Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani, who led the conservative ticket and was expected to make a strong
bid to be speaker of parliament.
Partial returns in Tehran had Rafsanjani in just 29th place and facing a
possible run-off, a result seen as dooming any bid for the speaker's chair.
Asked if the reform movement needed Rafsanjani, a pragmatic cleric and
veteran revolutionary, in parliament to accommodate the conservative
minority, Mazrouei said:
``Taking into account the parliament and how it stands now, we believe the
Front has enough power... I don't think we will need to create a balance
between left and right with Rafsanjani.''
Some pro-reform elders have privately voiced concerns that the poor showing
at the ballot box by the former president could humiliate the conservatives,
who still control many of the levers of administrative control in the Islamic
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:56:06 EST
Subject: Iran cabbie held for parking ticket parade
Iran cabbie held for parking ticket parade
TEHRAN, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Tehran taxi driver Saleh Mehdizadeh was so
incensed by tough traffic regulations that he walked around in a hat and
full-length dress made from 200 parking tickets.
But the protest did no good. The 54-year-old retired tailor told an Iranian
newspaper he was arrested and charged by police with spreading lies. He was
freed on bail
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:57:23 EST
Subject: Iranian Hardliner Accepts Defeat
Iranian Hardliner Accepts Defeat
By AFSHIN VALINEJAD
.c The Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's top parliamentary candidate said today that the
country needs concrete action from the United States to lower the wall of
mistrust between the two nations.
``We are waiting for practical steps from the United States more than nice
words,'' Mohammadreza Khatami said today in his first comment on the issue
since Friday's legislative elections.
Khatami, the younger brother of President Mohammad Khatami, heads the
country's largest and most influential reformist group, the Islamic Iran
In a statement Sunday, U.S. State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said
the Iranian elections were a historic event, with the Iranian people showing
they want policies that give them more freedom.
Talks with the United States, a more liberal press and increased personal
freedoms are expected to be among the issues discussed in the next
Parliament, or Majlis, which will be seated in June.
Moderates are poised to wrest the legislature from hard-line control for the
first time since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution ousted the U.S.-backed shah
and brought the Shiite Muslim clergy to power.
The election results are seen as a national endorsement of President
Khatami's program for cultural, social and political reforms. The results
also are a clear rejection of international isolation and the restrictive
rules imposed by the clergy in the name of Islam.
Mohammadreza Khatami said in the new Parliament the reformists will work
toward a freer press, more freedom of information and the lifting of a ban on
satellite dishes to allow people more access to information.
He also criticized the United States for maintaining U.S. sanctions against
``The United States supported the totalitarian regime of the shah,'' he told
reporters at a press conference. ``And now that Iran has become one of the
most free nations, it continues its policy of sanctions and continues its
baseless claims against Iran.''
U.S. relations with Iran broke off during the 1979 revolution, when
demonstrators seized the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans captive until
A U.S. law allows for sanctions on any company that invests more than $20
million in Iran's oil industry. Washington accuses Tehran of trying to
procure nuclear weapons and of opposing the Middle East peace process.
Khatami and other reformists have called for detente between Iran and the
The president also has called for people-to-people exchanges with the United
States, but has stopped short of calling for talks.
The conservative clergy considers the United States Iran's archenemy, making
the opening of contacts with Washington among the most sensitive of issues.
Most hard-liners have been silent about their stunning upset, but a top
hard-line ideologue has accepted defeat in the parliamentary elections,
saying in a report today that his camp will have to reconsider its policies.
``We will not change our principles and positions, but it is natural that we
should reconsider our policies and methods,'' Mohammadreza Bahonar, a
conservative lawmaker in the outgoing Parliament, was quoted as saying.
The independent Iran Vij daily quoted him today as saying that the reformist
coalition was ``more organized'' in the elections.
Bahonar's comments marked the hard-liners' first acknowledgment of defeat.
Their officials have refused to talk to reporters.
The hard-liners still wield power through key institutions such as the
Guardians Council, which must approve all legislation. It is not clear if
they will use those powers to block the reformists and risk angering a
majority of Iranians.
Vote-counting in the capital, Tehran, was finished today, but results will
not be announced for another two days, the official Islamic Republic News
Agency said. Mohammadreza Khatami said formal announcement is being delayed
due to bureaucratic glitches and to study complaints.
In Tehran, more than 55 percent of votes announced so far were for Khatami,
who was likely to win. The Islamic Iran Participation Front has 109 seats out
of the 195 decided so far. Reformists have 141 seats nationwide, only five
short of a simple majority in the 290-member house.
Conservatives have won 44 seats and independents 10. Another 65 seats are to
be decided in run-offs. Only the results for 30 seats in Tehran are
outstanding, and reformers are leading the vote count in nearly all of them,
state television said.
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Feb 2000 to 22 Feb 2000 - Special issue