Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Feb 2000

There are 15 messages totalling 1007 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Turkey sees more amenable Iran after poll
2. Iranian Reformers Get Plurality
3. Results of Iranian parliamentary polls at 1030 GMT
4. Iran vote is slap in the face for former president Rafsanjani
5. British FM praises elections in Iran, confirms visit
6. Rafsanjani out - president's brother number one in Tehran polls
7. Reformers win majority in parliament
8. Nuri hails landslide victory in Iran
9. European countries hail Iran election results
10. election-result-Tehran
11. Tehran joyous but calm as reformers romp to victory
12. IRNA: latest election results announced(16:45)
13. Triumph of reformers will have impact on Gulf region
14. Iran reformers cement grip on new parliament
15. Getting closer to the principles of democratic rule

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 11:16:29 EST
Subject: Turkey sees more amenable Iran after poll

Turkey sees more amenable Iran after poll

ANKARA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday the
apparent victory of reformers in the Iranian election would ease a number of
tense disputes between Turkey and its estranged eastern neighbour.

While final results of Friday's Iranian election are not expected for several
days, the trend shows reformist candidates sweeping most urban centres and
winning control of parliament, previously dominated by Islamic conservatives.

``I congratulate the Iranian people, particularly young people and women,''
Ecevit said. ``(Iranian President Mohammad) Khatami can now call on the
powerful support of parliament for his reformist policies.''

Relations between Turkey and Iran are often tense. Ankara accuses the Islamic
republic of fostering radical Islam inside officially secular Turkey. Tehran
denies the charges.

``It appears that Iran will no longer attempt to export its revolution to
other countries. Certain anti-secularist groups in Turkey will no longer see
the Iranian revolution as a source of inspiration,'' Ecevit said in remarks
broadcast on television.

Turkey also accuses Iran of allowing Kurdish separatist guerrillas to operate
over the border between the two countries.

``I hope the Iranian administration will behave with more determination
against the separatist raiders now,'' Ecevit said.

Turkey has been cultivating strategic economic ties that could benefit
further from a change in atmosphere in Tehran.

Ankara has agreed to buy natural gas from Iran in a 23-year, $23 billion gas
delivery and pipeline deal. The last hitches in the project have yet to be

07:16 02-21-00

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 11:21:29 EST
Subject: Iranian Reformers Get Plurality

Iranian Reformers Get Plurality

.c The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - In a clear endorsement of moderate President Mohammad
Khatami, voters rejected Iran's hard-liners, giving reformists the largest
number of seats in parliament.

With most results known, Friday's vote was likely to strengthen Khatami's
hand in pushing social, cultural and political reforms. Since coming to power
in 1997, the president has advocated dismantling many restrictions imposed by
the 21-year-old Islamic order.

About 83 percent of Iran's 38.7 million eligible voters turned out to cast
ballots on Friday.

As of today, reformists had won 137 of the 290 seats in parliament, easily
eclipsing their conservatives rivals, who won only 44 seats.

Independents took 10 seats, and 65 others were to be decided in run-offs.

Of the remaining 34 seats, 30 are in Tehran - considered among Iran's most
liberal regions - where counting has been slowest because of the massive 7
million electorate.

State television announced today that reformists were leading in 26 of the 30
seats in Tehran, according to partial results. The announcement was a large
indication that the reformists will have a majority in the next parliament.

Several high-profile candidates contested the Tehran seats, and reformists
were said to be leading in most places. The Interior Ministry, which is in
charge of the elections, will announce the final national results when they
become known later this week.

But already the reformists have won 72 percent of the seats, more than the 60
percent they had predicted.

``People who wanted changes, they voted for the reformists and they will
expect action,'' said Ahmed Borqani, a leading member of the Islamic Iran
Participation Front, a pro-Khatami group. ``We should have serious
discussions within the Front and with other reformist groups to reach
consensus on the way we have to work'' to fulfill people's expectations.

Iranians have come to expect major changes in the society since Khatami began
widening individual freedoms, freeing the press and reducing the clergy's
interference in the government, the judiciary and people's lives.

However, the parliament still faces domination by other government bodies
that remain in the hands of hard-liners.

The conservative Guardians Council must approve all legislation passed by
parliament, and Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has final say
in all matters. Conservatives also control the judiciary and other key
institutions including radio and television stations and the armed forces.

Yet those who lost in Friday's elections included Ali Fallahian, a former
intelligence minister whose agents were accused of killing political enemies.

Reformists have suggested that police question Fallahian about his possible
knowledge of rogue Intelligence Ministry agents who killed five dissidents in
1998. In 1997, a German court issued a warrant against Fallahian and said
that Iran's highest rulers ordered the 1992 assassination of an
Iranian-Kurdish opposition figure in Berlin.

Ali Zadsar, an outspoken hard-liner who was involved in the failed
impeachment bid against Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani, also lost his
seat in Jiroft in southern Iran.

Another losing conservative stalwart is Ahmed Rasouli-Nejad, an incumbent
from Damavand in northern Iran. Rasouli-Nejad was one of those behind both
the 1998 impeachment of Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri and last year's
effort to impeach Mohajerani. Both Nouri and Mohajerani support Khatami's

Nouri, who is serving a five-year jail sentence on charges that include
religious dissent, was allowed to go home for a four-day leave on Sunday.
Leaves are granted to Iranian prisoners to visit family.

Arriving home Sunday, Nouri was met by two dozen family, local journalists
and friends who crowded into his modest two-story home in an upscale
neighborhood. Among the well-wishers were a number of reformist candidates,
including Nouri's younger brother, Alireza.

The head of Khatami's office, Mohammad Abtahi, and Transportation Minister
Mahmoud Hojjati were also present.

Meanwhile, four provincial cities in southwestern Iran were reportedly calm
today after election-related violence on Saturday led to the deaths of eight
people, Kayhan newspaper reported.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 11:40:19 EST
Subject: Results of Iranian parliamentary polls at 1030 GMT

Results of Iranian parliamentary polls at 1030 GMT

TEHRAN, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Iranian election officials have announced winners
of 190 seats in the new, expanded 290-seat parliament. Fifty contests will
go to a run-off, expected in April.
A reformist coalition backing President Mohammad Khatami is bidding to wrest
control of the assembly from the conservatives and their allies among the

In the old 270-seat parliament, the rough breakdown was 120 conservatives,
80 reformers and 70 independents, but figures varied as alliances shifted.

Party and factional affiliations remain fluid in Iran. However, declared
affiliations show the following results as of 1030 GMT:

Reformist Coalition ..102

Conservatives .........43

Independents ..........37

Unknown affiliation ... 8

Run-off declared ......50

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 11:49:21 EST
Subject: Iran vote is slap in the face for former president Rafsanjani

Sunday, February 20 8:20 PM SGT

Iran vote is slap in the face for former president Rafsanjani
TEHRAN, Feb 20 (AFP) -
Iran's election results are a slap in the face for former president Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani, who seems to have misjudged the political mood in
allowing himself to be cast as a moderate conservative.

As results started coming in from Friday's polls pointing to a reformist
landslide nationwide, Rafsanjani could not even be certain he had won a seat
in the parliament he chaired as speaker for two terms at the start of the
Islamic revolution.

"Although moderate and pragmatic, Rafsanjani appears to be the victim of his
official link with the Islamist conservative right," analyst Daryush Abdali

Rafsanjani, 66, a veteran of Iranian politics, officially stood as an
independent but found himself propelled to the top of the list of candidates
favoured by the conservatives in Tehran, compromising his previous image as
an unbiased man of the centre.

He would have been a shoo-in for the speaker's post which helps forge the
legislative agenda and set the tone of political debate if conservatives had
won a majority.

His candidacy was openly criticised and denounced by leaders of the
reformists on the left, particularly by Mohammad-Reza Khatami, brother of
President Mohammad Khatami and head of the reformist ticket in Tehran.

In the absence of official results for the capital, speculation from within
Tehran's political circles abounded on Sunday.

The conservative press said that amid a significant difference between the
results in the reformist north and the conservative south of Tehran,
Rafsanjani was somewhere in the middle of the list of leading candidates.

Reformist sources claimed Rafsanjani was in 34th place for the capital's 30
seats and had therefore missed out.

But conservatives were more optimistic, at least in public, saying that the
former president had taken the 15th or the 17th available seat.

Whatever happens, Rafsanjani, who did his best to appear a "moderate
arbitrator" in the political battle between reformists close to Khatami and
conservatives faithful to the Islamic republic's spiritual leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, appears to be gambling with his political future.

Reformists, who benefitted from the strong and invaluable support of young
voters and students in particular, turned their noses up at his candidacy,
believing he had put his hat in the ring to serve the conservatives and above
all to prevent the reformists from taking control of parliament.

"Rafsanjani already belongs to the past and the young are looking for novelty
and this is why they love Mohammad-Reza Khatami," said a Tehran University
law student.

For many reformists, the name of Rafsanjani is linked in one way or another
to the series of murders of intellectuals and opposition figures in Iran at
the end of 1998.

On the eve of the count, reformist intellectual and journalist Akbar Ghanji
published an "autopsy" of Rafsanjani's role in the murders.

Rafsanjani's name provoked the bitter ire of several thousand leftist
students in the middle of the campaign last Sunday.

"The students have woken up", and "They hate Hashemi", students shouted as
they gathered in the Shirudi stadium in the centre of the Iranian capital, in
a gathering organised by the reformist Participation Front.

The conservative Islamic right's backing of Rafsanjani and the Executives of
Construction party which he was instrumental in founding during his
presidency was seen as a desperate attempt to survive.

But this moderate party put itself in a blatantly contradictory position, by
mobilising behind Rafsanjani but also backing reformist candidates.

"Rafsanjani risks being a victim of this contradiction," said Abdali, like
Rafsanjani a former opponent of the imperial regime in the 1970s.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 12:29:15 EST
Subject: British FM praises elections in Iran, confirms visit

British FM praises elections in Iran, confirms visit
United Kingdom - Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

LONDON, Feb 21 (AFP) - British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on Monday praised
Iran's parliamentary elections, saying the exercise justified London's policy
of dialogue with Tehran.

The Foreign Office said Monday that Cook planned to visit Tehran, probably in
May, following the landmark visit here in January of Iranian Foreign Minister
Kamal Kharazi. The exchange of visits is the first since the 1979 Islamic

Cook said last Friday's elections, in which reformists won a landslide
victory, was "a clear signal of the Iranian people's interest in
modernisation and welcome confirmation that our policy of dialogue with Iran
is correct."

The election results will unquestionably strengthen President Mohammad
Khatami and give him more room to maneuver as he works to implement reforms.
Nevertheless, the conservatives will continue to control the main
revolutionary institutions of the regime.

"Although the final results of these elections will not be settled for some
time, the signs are of a substantial vote of confidence in President
Khatemi's political and economic reforms," Cook said in a statement.

"The high turnout for the parliamentary elections is strong evidence of an
open and vigorous contest," he added.

"I very much look forward to continuing to work with the Iranian government
to take forward the process of engagement, including during my forthcoming
visit to Tehran," he said.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 12:36:02 EST
Subject: Rafsanjani out - president's brother number one in Tehran polls

Rafsanjani out - president's brother number one in Tehran polls
Iran - Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, Feb 21 (AFP) - The brother of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami took
the top spot from Tehran in parliamentary elections but former president
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani did not win in the first round, Tehran officials
announced Monday.

Pro-Khatami reformers swept all 26 of the spots announced, while Rafsanjani
could still be in the running for the four seats to be determined in the
second round, they said.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 12:45:33 EST
Subject: Reformers win majority in parliament

Reformers win majority in parliament
Iran - Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, Feb 21 (AFP) - Iran reformers backing President Mohammad Khatami have
won a majority in parliament, taking at least 152 out of 290 seats, according
to official interior ministry figures published Monday.

Pro-Khatami supporters ousted the longstanding conservative majority in
parliament, giving the president a sweeping mandate to enact his program of
social, political and economic reforms.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 12:49:47 EST
Subject: Nuri hails landslide victory in Iran

Nuri hails landslide victory in Iran
Iran - Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, Feb 21 (AFP) - The landslide victory of Iranian reformers in last
week's parliamentary elections will save the Islamic regime, their jailed
standard-bearer, former interior minister Abdollah Nuri, said Monday.

"These results guarantee the future of the regime and allow us to make
progress in realising the regime's objectives on a more solid footing," Nuri
told reporters outside his Tehran home where he is on prison leave.

"The election results are positive and satisfying and show that the people
want reforms," he said.

Nuri was the top vote-getter in Iran's first-ever municipal elections last
February and the reformers have consistently charged that his conviction by a
hardline court for anti-regime propaganda in his now banned daily Khordad was
a political move designed to stop him leading them in Friday's polls.

Nuri's brother Ali Reza, who was allowed to stand and was one of 26 reformers
whose victory in the capital was announced on Monday, said the people had
voted for democracy.

"The people have sent us a very important message through their vote -- they
are telling us they want more democracy," Ali-Reza Nuri said.

"I think the next speaker of parliament will be forced to move forwards on
the path of reforms."

The victorious candidate expressed little sympathy for the reformers'
erstwhile moderate ally, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose
decision to hitch his wagon to their conservative opponents in this campaign
received a resounding thumbs-down from the electors.

"Mr. Rafsanjani cannot be happy with the vote the people gave him," said
Ali-Reza Nuri.

The former president only managed 27th place in the capital and must wait for
a second round run-off to know if he will be returned to the parliament he
led as speaker from 1980-88.

On Sunday Abdollah Nuri said he hoped the reformers' victory might even lead
to his being released before the end of his five-year jail term.

"The result could change many things and even have an impact on my
liberation," he said.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 12:58:08 EST
Subject: European countries hail Iran election results

European countries hail Iran election results
Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

Feb 21 (AFP) - European countries Monday hailed the sweeping victory of
reformist candidates in elections to the Tehran parliament as a positive step
in Iran's development, but reactions from its Arab neighbours were
conspicuous by their absence.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, speaking on behalf of the European
Union, said: "There is of course still a long road ahead in Iran, but the
signals sent by Iranian voters clearly justify the reform path."

"This appears to us as a positive step in the direction of reforms," Gama
told reporters.

EU states would have the opportunity to discuss "the new situation in Iran"
when Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi visits Lisbon, Gama said. The
date of the visit has not been set.

The German government called the success of supporters of reformist President
Mohammad Khatami "encouraging", and said it was pushing ahead with plans for
Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to visit Tehran.

"It is an important signal and encouraging for the consolidation of democracy
in Iran," foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Michaelis told AFP.

He added that senior officials were now making "very concrete preparations"
for Fischer's visit, on a date which he said would be made public in the next
few days.

Hans-Ulrich Klose, head of the parliamentary foreign affairs commission who
recently visited Iran, said he expected a "normalisation" of relations
between Tehran and Berlin and was confident that the election result would
benefit Iran's links with western countries.

But speaking on Hessicher Rundfunk radio, he warned that the reformist
victory "did not mean that Iran would become a parliamentary democracy on the
west European model in the next five years." The reformists did not want to
change the system fundamentally, Klose said.

Relations between Iran and Germany were bedevilled for almost two years by
the case of German businessman Helmut Hofer, who was accused of having an
affair with an Iranian Muslim woman and at one time faced execution, but was
finally freed last month.

For the French foreign ministry, Anne Gazeau-Secret said the poll confirmed
the belief expressed by Khatami on his visit to France last year in the
desire for change among Iranian voters.

"We have attentively followed the first round of the legislative elections in
Iran, and it seems that a very large majority has chosen the direction
supported by President Khatami," she said.

"These results are all the more significant because of the very large

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, "We hope that the results
of the parliamentary elections will contribute to the further democratisation
of Iranian society,"

The statement also expressed Russian hopes that the results would lead to
"the free and independent development of respect for human rights, which
would allow Iran to play a greater role in world affairs."

In Iran's western neighbour Turkey, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit expressed
hope that Tehran would now give up its support for hardline Islamic movements
in other countries.

"We hope Iran will now abandon efforts to export the (Islamic) revolution,"
Ecevit told reporters.

"Anti-secularist circles in Turkey will not be able to see the Iranian regime
as a source of inspiration any more," he said.

Ecevit defined the victory of Iranian reformists as "a new era" and expressed
hope it would be beneficial not only for Iran, but for the whole Muslim world
and Turkey.

Khatami "can now rely on an efficient parliamentary support for his reformist
policies," he added.

In Iran's Gulf neighbours even press comment was sparse, although a newspaper
in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) predicted that the election would have an
impact on the entire region.

"The legislative elections in Iran were an important event not only for Iran
because they will have an impact on Iran's regional and international
relations," said Al-Bayan.

"The Gulf countries, more than any other party, must carry out a serious and
objective analysis of the changes taking place in the structure of the
political system of their large neighbour," it said.

Al-Bayan hoped "the latest developments in Iran will lead to stronger
relations between Iran and the Gulf Arab countries, and a settlement through
peaceful means of unresolved questions between the two sides."

Ties across the Gulf that were strained following the 1979 Islamic revolution
in Tehran have improved since Khatami's 1997 victory in Iran's presidential

But the UAE remains in dispute with Iran over three strategic islands in the
southern Gulf that are controlled by Tehran but also claimed by Abu Dhabi.

Another Emirati paper, Gulf News, warned that "The reformists will not have
it all their own way. The conservative bastion of the Council of Guardians
and supreme leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Khamenei both have to approve
legislation before it can be put into effect.

"Both will be anxious to prevent the reformist movement going too fast or
far," the English-language daily said.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 13:03:11 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: election-result-Tehran

thr 034
election-result (rpt to correct figure on boxes in 2nd line)
tehran election result
tehran, feb. 21, irna -- according to the interior ministry, 472,945
votes have been counted from 652 boxes in tehran. there were 3,111
boxes stationed in tehran.
the following are the latest election results.
1. seyed mohammad reza khatami 266909 56.43 pc
2. jamileh kadivar 183485 38.79
3. seyed hadi husseini khamenei 182857 38.66
4. mohsen armin 180745 38.21
5. alireza nouri 179110 37.87
6. majid ansar 175294 37.06
7. soheila jelodarzadeh 167285 35.37
8. ahmad bourqani farahani 163169 34.50
9. mohsen mirdamadi najafabadi 157651 33.33
10. ahmad pournejati 156042 32.99
11. behzad nabavi 153428 32.44
12. davoud soleimani 146761 31.03
13. mohsen safaie farahani 142149 30.05
14. vahideh alaie taleqani 141407 29.89
15. ali shakouri rad 141370 29.89
16. fatemeh haqiqat-joo 140866 29.78
17. behrooz afkhami 140652 29.73
18. seyed ali akbar musavi 138955 29.38
19. mohammad reza saeedi 138151 29.21
20. elaheh koulaie 135406 28.63
21. abolqasem sarhadizadeh 134160 28.36
22. seyed shamseddin vahabi 127320 26.92
23. seyed mahmoud doaie 126996 26.85
24. fatemeh rakeie 124727 26.37
25. mehdi karrubi 123791 26.17
26. mohammad naiemi-pour 121658 25.72
27. akbar hashemi bahremani
(rafsanjani) 112966 23.88
28. elias hazrati 106903 22.60
29. gholamali hadad adel 106396 22.49
30. alireza rajaie 106339 22.48
31. ali akbar rahmani 102944 21.76
32. rasoul montajab-nia 102573 21.68
33. seyed ali akbar
mohtashami-pour 96670 20.44
34. goharolsharia dastgheib 94613 20.00
35. mohsen rezaie mirqaed 84295 17.82
36. hassan rowhani 81040 17.13
37. hussein hashemian 77014 16.28
::irna 21/02/2000 14:16

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 13:05:14 EST
Subject: Tehran joyous but calm as reformers romp to victory

Tehran joyous but calm as reformers romp to victory
Iran - Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, Feb 21 (AFP) - By previous standards of celebration, Tehran residents
have been relatively subdued as Iranian reformers romped to victory at the
polls, but no less joyous.

When President Mohammad Khatami was elected in 1997, "it was so unexpected,
we danced. When Iran beat the United States (in the 1998 World Cup), there
was an explosion of fierce national pride. We were a reborn country," said
35-year-old draughtsman Iradj Tabei.

But with the results of legislative elections being announced in dribs and
drabs, there has as yet been no defining moment of celebration.

"It is an intense happiness. For me and my family, it is a second revolution.
We want to finish this chapter of our history and start a new era. Now it's
possible," Tabei said.

Like most of the capital's residents, he voted for the pro-reform Islamic
Iran Participation Front, the leading pro-Khatami party headed by the
president's brother Mohammad-Reza.

"All my customers are happy. Even the mullahs! It will be good for business,"
said Behrouz Assimi, who runs a little restaurant in Engelhab (Revolution)

Since Saturday, when the first indications surfaced that a reformist
landslide was in the offing, the atmosphere has been more one of quiet

A holiday atmosphere has dominated in both Tehran's poorer southern suburbs
and the more well-to-do north.

The official announcement of all results on Tuesday could translate into more
public outpourings of joy. But the warmth and emotion which greeted Khatami
on Monday morning, when he was mobbed by an adoring crowd as he inaugurated a
new link of the Tehran metro, expressed the euphoria of most Iranians.

"None of us could have predicted such a victory. It's better than 1997 -
everyone has won," said English literature student Fereshteh, 18, walking
with friends in north Tehran's Mellat Park.

She was three months too young to vote in the 1997 presidential elections. "I
want a future. I want to do the job that I choose - teaching - to be free and
relaxed and to be able to go out without the fear I'll be arrested under
whatever pretext," she said.

"It's true that it's been much better since Khatami's election. But the
anxieties remain. I want to live anxiety-free," she added.

Farnoush Nassir-Zadeh, 47, an accountant with two children, was working in
her office on Monday when the new parliament's majority was confirmed.

"We are so happy. With this parliament, the country will open itself up and
sort out the problems that have been held over since the revolution," she

"I took part in the revolution. I was a real believer. I voted 'yes' at the
1979 referendum (when Iranians voted for an Islamic republic) and I am in no
way against the principle of an Islamic republic.

"But rightly, Khatami has an open understanding of Islam, he wants dialogue
with (other) civilisations. That's what I have a passion for."

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 13:07:01 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA: latest election results announced(16:45)

thr 043
latest election results announced
tehran, feb. 21, irna -- initial results of vote counting in
tehran constituency shows that 26 out of a total of 866 candidates
from the constituency have won 25 percent of votes to find their ways
to majlis.
the results have been obtained from 472,945 votes counted so
far in 652 boxes.
some 3,111 ballot boxes were installed throughout tehran to
collect public votes.
the number of votes cast in tehran for the sixth majlis is
estimated to be three million.
according to the latest results, mohammad-reza khatami, the
brother of president mohammad khatami, has won more than 56 percent of
votes, thus insuring a seat for himself in the majlis.
six female candidates managed to capture sufficient votes to be
placed in the list of the first 30 nominees.
mohammad-reza khatami with 56.43 percent of votes, jamileh
kadivar (the wife of the culture and islamic guidance minister
ataollah mohajerani) with 38.79 percent, hadi khamenei (the brother
of the supreme leader of islamic revolution ayatollah ali khamenei)
with 38.66 percent, mohsen armin with 38.21 percent, ali-reza nouri
(the brother of ex-interior minister abdullah nouri) with 37.87
percent, majid ansari with 37.06 percent, soheila jelowdarzadeh
with 35.37 percent, ahmad bourqani (ex-deputy minister of culture and
islamic guidance) with 34.50 percent, mohsen mirdamadi with 33.33
percent, ahmad pournejati with 32.99 percent and behzad nabavi
with 32.44 percent have managed to win the necessary majority of
votes in the first phase of the election.
davood soleymani have so far won 31.03 percent of votes, mohsen
safaie farahani 30.05 percent, vahiden taleqani 29.89 percent, ali
shakurirad 29.89 percent, fatemeh haqiqatju 29.78 percent, behruz
afkhami 29.73 percent, ali-akbar musavi 29.38 percent, mohammad-reza
saeedi 29.21 percent, elaheh kulaie 28.63 percent, abolqasem
sarhadizadeh 28.36 percent, seyed shamseddin vahabi 26.92 percent,
mahmoud do'aie 26.85 percent, fatemeh rake'ie 26.37 percent, mehdi
karroubi (ex-speaker of majlis) 26.17 percent and mohammad na'imipour
25.72 percent.
based on the results obtained so far, among the 30 forerunners in
the list of candidates from tehran constituency, akbar hashemi
rafsanjani (the chairman of the expediency council), elyas hazrati,
gholam-ali haddad adel and ali-reza rajaie have so far won 23.88,
22.60, 22.49 and 22.48 percent of votes respectively.
to find their way to majlis, candidates are required to win 25
percent of votes.
::irna 21/02/2000 16:45

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 13:07:20 EST
Subject: Triumph of reformers will have impact on Gulf region

Triumph of reformers will have impact on Gulf region
UAE - Monday, 21 February 2000 - Agence France Presse

DUBAI, Feb 21 (AFP) - The election triumph of the reform movement in Iran
over Islamic conservatives will have an impact on the entire Gulf region, an
Emirati newspaper said Monday.

"The legislative elections in Iran were an important event not only for Iran
because they will have an impact on Iran's regional and international
relations," predicted Al-Bayan.

"The Gulf countries, more than any other party, must carry out a serious and
objective analysis of the changes taking place in the structure of the
political system of their large neighbour," it said.

Al-Bayan hoped "the latest developments in Iran will lead to stronger
relations between Iran and the Gulf Arab countries, and a settlement through
peaceful means of unresolved questions between the two sides."

Ties across the Gulf that were strained following the 1979 Islamic revolution
in Tehran have improved since the May 1997 victory of moderate cleric
Mohammad Khatami in Iranian presidential elections.

But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains in dispute with Iran over three
strategic islands in the southern Gulf that are controlled by Tehran but also
claimed by Abu Dhabi.

Another Emirati newspaper warned that Khatami's reform movement would still
face obstacles despite its sweeping victory in Friday's parliamentary polls.

"The reformists will not have it all their own way. The conservative bastion
of the Council of Guardians and supreme leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali
Khamenei both have to approve legislation before it can be put into effect,"
said Gulf News.

"Both will be anxious to prevent the reformist movement going too fast or
far," the English-language daily said.

Pro-Khatami supporters have ousted the longstanding conservative majority in
Iran's parliament, giving the president a sweeping mandate to enact his
programme of social, political and economic reforms.

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 21:08:08 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran reformers cement grip on new parliament

Monday February 21, 4:44 PM

Iran reformers cement grip on new parliament
By Mehrdad Balali

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's reformers have completed their sweep of major urban
centres in parliamentary polls, surging to an insurmountable lead in Tehran
and sealing their grip on the new assembly.

But the broad range of views within the reform coalition and institutional
weakness of the parliament itself were expected to complicate efforts to turn
the voters' mandate into concrete social and political change.

Preliminary results from the capital, which has 30 seats, showed reformers on
track to take some 28 of them, led by Mohammad Reza Khatami, leader of the
Islamic Iran Participation Front and brother of moderate state President
Mohammad Khatami.

With 15 percent of the Tehran ballot counted, Mohammad Reza, a
western-trained kidney specialist turned political superstar, had built a
commanding lead, leading the nearest competitor by 80,000 votes.

President Khatami's allies have already won more than 100 seats in the
provinces in Friday's polls for the 290-member assembly. Conservatives
trailed with about 43.

More than 50 seats have gone to independents, many of whom are claimed by
both reformists and conservatives. Some 60 races will go to runoffs.

Most of the conservatives elected to the new parliament, to convene in May,
are of moderate leanings, with many hardline incumbents thrown out of office
by angry voters.

The elections were widely seen as a test of popular support for Khatami's
liberal reforms, which have in the past two years faced strong resistance
from hardline conservatives.

A solid pro-reform majority could boost his efforts to create a civil society
within Iran's Islamic system and to accelerate his policy of detente with the
West, something even conservatives were prepared to concede.

"In effect people voted to pave the way for Mr Khatami to fulfil his promises
and slogans," Assadollah Badamchian, a leader of a rightist faction, told the
Resalat daily.

However, the incoming reformers are united in only the most general terms,
and there are deep divisions over such volatile issues as civil liberties and
personal freedom -- issues that voters appeared to care about most.

The first test of the new assembly will be the election of speaker.

The poor performance of the conservatives' main champion, former President
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, appears to have damaged his prospects for the top
parliamentary job. Early returns in Tehran out him in 27th place, facing a
likely runoff.

That could open the way to a divisive struggle among the reformers, who had
fully expected Rafsanjani to capture a Tehran seat with ease and then breeze
into the speaker's post he last held in the early years of the revolution.

Reformist candidates had earlier swept to victory in the major cities,
including Mashhad, home to Iran's holiest shrine and long seen as a
conservative stronghold.

They took all five seats in Isfahan, Iran's most polarised city, and three of
four in the southern city of Shiraz, with the final race going to a runoff
between reformers.

In Tehran, Iran's political showcase, the size of the reformists' emerging
victory exceeded even their most confident predictions.

Only Rafsanjani and one other conservative have managed to crack the top 30
so far, although millions of ballots remained to be counted.

In second place behind Mohammad Reza Khatami was Jamileh Kadivar, top woman
vote- getter in last year's Tehran city council race and sister of jailed
clerical dissident Mohsen Kadivar.

Alireza Nouri, brother of another jailed cleric, was in fifth.

Final results for Tehran were not expected for several days, adding to the
pressure on election officials amid rumours of ballot-rigging in some

But Ebrahim Rezaei-Babadi, head of Tehran's election headquarters, denied any
irregularities: "We are closely guarding the votes and will not allow even
one ballot to be replaced."

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 22:34:55 EST
Subject: Getting closer to the principles of democratic rule

From: Iran Daneshjoo Organization News Service -

Getting closer to the principles of democratic rule

SMCCDI Political Committee
February 21, 2000

Mohammad Yazdi, a most staunch hard-liner said in the Friday prayer at
Tehran University that the Iranian people will not allow anyone to meddle
in their own affairs or decide for them!...
Precisely, for that reason, on Friday, Iranians went to the polls to say "
No " to the clerics who have meddled for twenty-one years in their affairs.

On Friday Feb. 18, Iranians, men and women went to the polls again to vote
for reform. In Tehran alone, more than 4 million people many young and
even elderly on wheel chairs turned out for what would be the largest mass
vote in Iran's history. The choices were not great, as the clerical elite
and the Guardian Council had rejected many of the people's candidates who
were not committed enough to the principles of Velayat e Faghih
(Governance of Jurisprudence).

Yet, as in the May 1997 Presidential election, the people voted
wholeheartedly not for the best choice but a better choice as they saw a
glimmer of hope in the smiling clergy, Hojatoleslam Khatami and his
allies. But so far, Mr.Khatami has proven to be a powerless President
whose the first two years of ruling has witnessed the most tremulous
period in the dark history of the Islamic Republic.

The serial murders of 1998 without any hope of trials or opening of the
Investigation files, arrest and torture of hundreds of students in the
aftermath of July 1999 student uprisings, banning of numerous independent
newspapers and arrest of their editors, crushing of social protests in
many cities and finally the arrest and labeling of religious minorities as
spies has been the major events of Khatami's era.

The people, the young especially, who comprise more than 60 percent of the
population are making their point. They have voiced their anger and total
dissatisfaction of the rule of theocracy and their hope for a free and
open society. "The young people complain that 21 years of Islamic rule by
Khomeini's followers and successors have failed to bear the promised
fruit: jobs and prosperity....The young people have needs, but they get
nothing. It means they are angry with everybody."

Although, most candidates were hand picked by the hard-liners, and those
with the slightest views of freedom were rejected, Iranians once again,
as in the 1997 Presidential elections participated en masse, with the hope
of making a change. "Turn out was the heaviest of any parliamentary
elections, comparable only in the number and in people's enthusiasm with
that of the last presidential race. People have realized that each vote
counts for their participation in shaping their destiny as a voter said.".

The road to democracy has slowly but surely begun and the young generation
are its vanguard. The students whose voices for freedom were brutally met
with the bullets of the Islamic vigilantes, have begun this struggle.
Analysts say any change will have to flow from the youth and the students
are expecting changes to take place this timeā€¦

Mr. Khatami, in a speech on Friday, said it is the young generation that
must vote since they are the true defenders of freedom. Mr. Khatami has
not proven himself to be worthy of the vote of the young people two years
ago while expressing only excuses and promises. As said in a newspaper
editorial, "This is really a test of Khatami of the kind of system he

". At pre-election rallies this week, students have been saying that this
election is Mr. Khatami's last chance. If a reformist parliament is voted
in, they will expect him to introduce fundamental change. If not, they
will take matters into their own hands. The young and impatient are
growing increasingly intolerant not only of clerical rule, but of clerical
prudence too..."

Mr. Khamenei and Mr. Khatami representing the two poles within the regime
are fully aware that in a near future, it is the people who will make the
final decision as for the future of a democratic Iran. Thus, those
elected to the parliament today, are only tools necessary in the road to
obtaining the desired democratic ideals.

The rule of theocratic authoritarianism is nearing an end. In the final
analysis, the people shall set a new agenda for the true representation of
the rule of the people by the people and for the people.

"As like as the riots of 1996 and 1997 and the July's uprising in 1999,
the violent riots of Shoush and Shadegan on February 19, 2000 resulting
in 8 deaths against incumbent MP's elected to the Majlis are the best
proves of these claims; And that the Iranians will push toward the front
the ruling administration as soon as they forget where they need to
go..."as reported by the London Economist of 2/15 titled: " The people
against the mullahs "

Iranians will achieve freedom, from every walk of life from every part of
this vast country where for twenty-one years, every voice of dissent,
every small cry for human rights has been brutally silenced by the
inquisitionists of our century. Freedom has a great price and in these
elections as in the past years, Iranians have shown the world that they
will pay the price at any cost to be members of the world community, which
upholds the banner of democracy.

This has been a test for all, a test everyone must pass, as Iranians will
attempt to become a free and secular nation in the 21st century. "We must
understand the spirit of our times. The people of Iran showed on 23rd of
May 1997 and February 18, 2000 that when they have the opportunity, they
will move forward to show the spirit of our times." Asr-e-Azadegan,
Tehran, Iran, Feb. 19, year 2000.

Until now, the Khatami government has claimed of having its hands tied by
the hard-liners as they were holding the majority in the parliament.
However, with the results of the Feb elections, Iranians are giving Mr.
Khatami another chance, to raise their voice and implement their wishes.

The people have invested with all their might. This time, it is the
government's turn to reciprocate.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 21 Feb 2000