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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 9 Mar 2000 to 10 Mar 2000

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There are 12 messages totalling 951 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Natural Born Killer"
2. Iranian Cleric Denounces Policies
3. Farhad Nazari Resisted to Name Those behind Ya Husein Ya Zahra Assault
4. NYMEX oil open seen 30-40 cts off on output talk
5. FOCUS-US praises Iran, Saudi support for more OPEC oil
6. Iran Seeks To End U.S. Trade Ban
7. Iranians Indicted for Spying
8. Press Release by the League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran
(LDDHI)Paris, France
9. Iranian workers protest over new labor law
10. Iraq accuses U.S., Turkey of 'illegally' meeting with Kurds
11. Iran tops list as biggest Canadian wheat buyer
12. Saudi Arabia, Iran Want Adequate, Timely Oil Supply


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 09:06:31 EST
Subject: Natural Born Killer"

Natural Born Killer"
By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek, February 22 - Ali Fallahian, perhaps the most feared mullah in
Iran, was laughing with a fat man's gusto. He sat on a carpet among his
supporters in his Isfahan campaign headquarters, confident he would win a
seat in Iran's parliament once results were tabulated from last Friday's
elections. From 1989 to 1997, this portly cleric was Iran's minister of
intelligence. French and German investigators allege that during that time he
was behind the savage murder of the Islamic regime's political opponents
abroad. American investigators say his intelligence operation may have been
linked to the 1996 bombing of the Khobar apartments in Saudi Arabia, which
cost 19 Americans their lives. And inside Iran, Fallahian's top deputy and
dozens of subordinates were arrested last year for the murder of four
intellectuals in the winter of 1998-1999, after Fallahian left office. The
Tehran press claims another 60 to 80 people were killed by Fallahian's people
while he was still in power.

Speaking through a translator, Fallahian, 50, met last week with Newsweek's
Christopher Dickey. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Just to clarify details, you were the minister of intelligence when
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was president. Is that right?

FALLAHIAN: [After a long pause] I was minister of intelligence during Mr.
Hashemi Rafsanjani's presidency. But I am not an intelligence personality. I
am a member of the leadership's Assembly of Experts. That's where the clerics
gather to choose the Supreme Leader.

NEWSWEEK: How did you learn your job?

FALLAHIAN: We were in constant struggle against the Shah's regime and after
the [1979] revolution we witnessed many turbulences. I learned expertise in
intelligence by experience. Management and intelligence work should be in
your blood.

NEWSWEEK: There were many incidents during your term as—

FALLAHIAN: No. I was not involved in these. And these people who allowed our
opposition into their country [France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey
were among the countries where members of the Iranian opposition were
murdered], who increased the range of the missiles and gave chemical weapons
to Saddam [a reference to the support some German companies gave Iraq during
its 1980-88 war with Iran], and who are strengthening the opponents of our
country and our nation—these were the people responsible.

NEWSWEEK: Who was doing the killing?

FALLAHIAN: In general we can say that these little [opposition] groups are
fighting with each other. These killings just give them the opportunity to
insult us a little more.

NEWSWEEK: What about the bombing of the Khobar apartments in Dhahran, Saudi
Arabia? American investigators have linked that to Iran.

FALLAHIAN: It's obvious that Iran didn't have anything to do with the killing
in Khobar.

NEWSWEEK: Do you have any idea who did?

FALLAHIAN: Give me the files and give me a lot of money and I will find out.
[Much laughter among the former minister's entourage.]

NEWSWEEK: How can the United States and Iran improve relations?

FALLAHIAN: The good moment is when you have no sanctions against us and you
recognize the Iranian peoples' rights. And when the Americans are willing to
talk to the Iranians on an equal basis.

NEWSWEEK: President Clinton said this week he hoped for "a constructive
partnership with Iran."

FALLAHIAN: Unfortunately his words are in contradiction with his deeds
because he signed the sanctions with seven or eight different pens.
Politicians's words are contrary to their deeds.

NEWSWEEK: That's not the case with you, of course.

FALLAHIAN: I am a cleric, and a cleric is honest.

NEWSWEEK: Will you be elected, and while we're at it, do you think your old
boss Rafsanjani will become speaker?

FALLAHIAN: I hope so—that I will be elected. And regarding Mr. Rafsanjani
being speaker, it depends on which fraction wins the majority in parliament.
He will be elected to the parliament.

NEWSWEEK: A senior official of the Intelligence Ministry, Said Emami—

FALLAHIAN: [In English] Return to killing. Return to killing. Why do you talk
about killing? [He laughs and his supporters laugh with him.]

NEWSWEEK: Emami, who reportedly committed suicide last summer, was implicated
in the murder of intellectuals here. Was he your deputy when you were

FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: Was he killing people when he was your deputy? Press reports say
there may have been 60 to 80 people murdered?

FALLAHIAN: No. It's a lie.

NEWSWEEK: What did happen?

FALLAHIAN: Some of these killings did not have anything to do with the
ministry of intelligence. It had to do with fighting between groups. And it
would not be between 60 and 80 killed, as they say.

NEWSWEEK: So who was responsible?

FALLAHIAN: Some people were killed and they say Said Emami was responsible.
We do not think that was the case. They say Said Emami was responsible for
the killings that took place a year and a half ago, after my tenure as
minister. They would like to make him responsible for killing during my

NEWSWEEK: Were you surprised by the revelations about Emami?

FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes] I was shocked by this news. But he was not a bad guy
and I don't think he did those killings. Correction, he was not a bad guy
during my ministry. I don't know what happened after that.

NEWSWEEK: Where did he come from? How did you come to hire him?

FALLAHIAN: When I became the minister he was one of the managers at the

NEWSWEEK: So he was already there.

FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: What was his background?

FALLAHIAN: He was an aeronautical engineer. He was studying in your country
[the United States].

NEWSWEEK: Was that before or after he was working for your service?

FALLAHIAN: He was young. He studied in your country before he was in the
intelligence service.

NEWSWEEK: About 30 other people at the ministry have been arrested for the
killings of the four intellectuals. Who were those people?

FALLAHIAN: These people who have killed, they have confessed. They have been
arrested. The accusation is that Said Emami directed these people.

NEWSWEEK: Did you know them when you were minister?

FALLAHIAN: I knew them, and you can read their names in the papers.

NEWSWEEK: So they worked for you.

FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: Were you surprised when they were arrested?

FALLAHIAN: [Nods yes]

NEWSWEEK: Some defenders of the ministry claim that Emami and his group were
agents of a foreign power, perhaps the United States or Israel. Do you think
that's true?

FALLAHIAN: That's one of the possibilities. But I cannot review the files
right now. I have had no relations with the ministry of intelligence for the
past two years.

NEWSWEEK PHOTOGRAPHER PETER TURNLEY: What kind of man becomes head of an
intelligence service?

FALLAHIAN: [His eyes narrowing] You are a photographer.

NEWSWEEK: A photographer can ask questions. What kind of man becomes an
intelligence chief?

FALLAHIAN: Someone who has done intelligence work in the disguise of a
reporter or photographer—and has done some management and studied more until
he advances. But that's just for a deputy intelligence chief. The minister of
intelligence is just a political person.

TURNLEY: What kind of man becomes the minister of intelligence in Iran?

FALLAHIAN: The minister should have enough political, legal and religious
knowledge to do the job.

TURNLEY: So you were never a photographer.

FALLAHIAN: [Does not smile. Shakes head no]

NEWSWEEK: Where do you go to find out if you have the religious authority to
do the kinds of things an Iranian intelligence minister does?

FALLAHIAN: I would ask myself. I am a religious authority myself. And someone
who is minister of intelligence and a member of the Assembly of Experts has
to be a religious authority. I am that.

NEWSWEEK: Aren't you tired of conflict with the United States?

FALLAHIAN: You started it.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 10:51:26 EST
Subject: Iranian Cleric Denounces Policies

Iranian Cleric Denounces Policies

.c The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A hard-line cleric lashed out at Iran's reformists today,
warning that the government's liberal cultural policies were more dangerous
to the nation than a military coup.

Ayatollah Mohammad Mesbah Yazdi, whose comments last month prompted a strong
media response, said criticism of religious teachings and prominent people in
the name of press freedom threatened Iran's Islamic system.

``This is a conspiracy, a creeping coup a thousand times more dangerous than
a military coup and a thousand times more sinful than killing a human
being,'' Yazdi told worshippers at Tehran University.

Though he named no one, his remarks were apparently directed at moderate
Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani and ministry policies under reformist
President Mohammad Khatami. Reformists supporting Khatami swept parliamentary
elections last month.

Yazdi became the target of newspaper criticism last month when he claimed
that a former unidentified CIA chief traveled to Iran with a case full of
dollars to finance newspapers.

When a cartoon in a reformist newspaper depicted Yazdi as a fat thug,
conservative clerics condemned the paper and Mohajerani, who is responsible
for press licensing. A number of clerics called for Mohajerani's execution.

Newspapers have been in the vanguard of the reformists' struggle for greater
democracy and fewer religious constraints. Since Khatami's 1997 election,
hard-liners have closed down several pro-reform newspapers.

Last year, they failed in an effort to impeach Mohajerani for allowing
reformist papers to flourish.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 08:56:41 EST
Subject: Farhad Nazari Resisted to Name Those behind Ya Husein Ya Zahra Assault

Farhad Nazari Resisted to Name Those behind Ya Husein Ya Zahra Assault

More than 1,500 students were detained for their part in the unrest, and at
least one person was sentenced to death

Tehran, March 10 (Par Daily) - Sardar Farhad Nazari, a 36 years old top
Islamic police official, on trial for a bloody raid on student dormitories
last year, blamed the incident on unnamed plainclothes vigilantes during his
testimony yesterday.

Farhad Nazari, Tehran's former police chief, resisted attempts by the
students' lawyer to force him to name those behind the July assault, in which
at least one person died and more than 200 were hurt.

"Their dossiers are now in revolutionary courts. They create problems for
police, and on that night they were present and organizing things," Nazari
told the court's fourth session.

Seven other police officers and 12 conscripts were also in the dock on
charges of illegally entering the Tehran University dormitories, assaulting
students and destroying their property. The students and their supporters
among Iran's pro-reform movement allege that the police played a secondary
role in the attack, which they blame on hardliner Islamic vigilantes backed
by powerful conservatives.

Witnesses earlier told the court the worst of the violence was carried out by
armed hardliners, abetted by police. Reformist deputies, elected to the next
parliament, have vowed to pursue the case against these so-called pressure
groups if the judiciary fails to act.

Nazari, denied ordering the attack on pro-democracy student demonstrators,
and suggested the defendants had been made scapegoats: "If I have been sacked
and am now unemployed, it is because I defended my personnel."

More than 1,500 students were detained for their part in the unrest, and at
least one person was sentenced to death.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 12:26:27 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: NYMEX oil open seen 30-40 cts off on output talk

Friday March 10, 10:39 am Eastern Time
NYMEX oil open seen 30-40 cts off on output talk
NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile
Exchange were called to open 30-40 cents lower Friday as traders said they
expected continued selling amid talk of a growing consensus among producers
of an output increase by April 1, traders said.

Gasoline futures were seen opening 50-75 cent lower while heating oil futures
were expected to start 1.00 cent off, they added.

But traders said that they still expected volatility to rule the day.
Short-covering ahead of the weekend as well as liquidation of weak longs
could see prices see-saw through the session, they said.

Price hawk Iran's position on output cuts appeared to have turned in favor of
an increase and Saudi Arabia has put its weight firmly towards that action.

But traders and other market watchers said the speculated volume of increase
-- 1.2 to 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) still seems inadequate to
rebalance the market.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), the West's energy
watchdog, said the world needs a big rise in oil output to prevent more price
volatility and problems with gasoline supply.

``This needs to happen quite soon, as the margin for error is fast
disappearing,'' IEA said in its Monthly Oil Market Report on Friday.

But dealers expect the OPEC cartel to agree to pump far less new crude than
the extra 2.4 million barrels per day the report suggested would restore oil
inventories to normal levels.

OPEC ministers meet on March 27 to formalize production policy.

On Thursday, NYMEX crude for April delivery settled at $31.69 a barrel,
bouncing 43 cents, recovering part of Wednesday's $2.87 loss, settlement

April gasoline finished at 98.80 cents a gallon, up 3.62 cents, amid a
renewed warning from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) of
precarious gasoline supplies this summer.

Rumors of trouble at Deer Park Refining near Houston, a joint venture
refinery between Shell and Mexico's state oil company, Pemex, also firmed up
gasoline in late trade.

The rumors focused on a cat cracker problem but overnight, trade sources said
they learned the problem was just a power outage that allowed the refinery to
quickly come back up.

April gasoline traded as low as 93.80 cents.

April heating oil ended at 76.46 cents, rising 1.15 cents, moving up along
with crude. It traded between 73.25/77.05 cents.

In overnight ACCESS trade NYMEX April crude fell 34 cents, heating oil
slipped 0.61 cent and gasoline dipped 1.00 cent.

In London, April Brent on the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) wa down
29 cents at $29.00 a barrel at 9:41 a.m. (1441 GMT)

Analysts said they expected NYMEX crude to drift lower initially but find
suppor tlater in pre-weekend book squaring after the week's volatile action.

They said there was little impetus for a break down through $30 or a retest
of $31, the area where a consolidation was expected.

They pegged resistance at $32.05, after April crude failed to break through
$31 on Thursday, and suport at $30.55, Thursday's low.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 12:28:19 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: FOCUS-US praises Iran, Saudi support for more OPEC oil

FOCUS-US praises Iran, Saudi support for more OPEC oil
By Tom Doggett

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - The Clinton administration said Thursday it
welcomed Iran's decision to work with OPEC rival Saudi Arabia in backing a
crude oil production increase that would replenish world supplies in hopes
the move will calm inflation fears and stabilize prices by the end of April.

Signs from oil producing countries appear to be pointing to a likely decision
later this month by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
to raise output, but it remains far from clear how much extra oil the cartel
will be willing to unleash.

U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said he would continue his energy
diplomacy efforts with OPEC and key non-OPEC members who have a say in
charting world production for the coming six months.

In New York, crude oil futures fell to $31 a barrel in late morning trading
after an eight percent drop on Wednesday. Traders attributed the further
decline to Mexico's announcement that it and Norway, both non-OPEC members,
would definitely step up production next month.

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday after Iran and Saudi Arabia, which
rarely see eye to eye on oil issues, issued an unusually cordial statement
expressing joint support for OPEC to boost production.

Iran, a price hawk, had previously indicated it wanted to delay any increase
for at least a few months.


Richardson called Iran's move a ``welcome step forward,'' but insisted
Washington was not promising Tehran anything in return. ``There is no quid
pro quo on our part,'' he said when questioned about oil issues during a
Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on atomic energy spending.

The Clinton administration has reportedly been considering easing some trade
sanctions against Iran as a goodwill gesture following the victory of
reformers in last month's parliamentary elections. The move would allow
Americans to import carpets, pistachios and caviar from Iran for the first
time since the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.

The biggest plum for American companies would be lifting the U.S. sanctions
against Iran's crucial oil sector, a move rejected by a State Department
official earlier this week.

The administration is likewise unwilling to consider any easing in sanctions
against another OPEC member, Iraq.

While the world oil market is in dire need of more supply, that is not a good
reason to end longstanding economic sanctions to punish Saddam Hussein's
government, Richardson said. ``We're not going to lift the sanctions based on
that,'' he said.

The U.S. energy chief also praised Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest member and a
traditional American ally which has prodded other cartel nations to consent
to a production increase. The Saudis have been the focus of repeated attacks
by U.S. lawmakers in recent days for not doing enough to pump more oil into
the market.


Richardson predicted crude oil and gasoline prices end their volatile
roller-coaster ride by the end of April.

``Our hope is there will be stability shortly after oil moves into the
market, we estimate about four weeks after the March 27 decision,''
Richardson said. ``By how much will depend on the level of production

The cartel is scheduled to meet on March 27 to map out its production plan
for the coming six months. One year ago OPEC adopted a nearly 4 million
barrel per day cut in output that succeeded in tripling crude oil prices and
using up excess stocks.

An Energy Department analyst repeated on Thursday that U.S. gasoline stocks
were precariously low for the peak summer driving season, and could drive
retail prices to an average $1.80 per gallon.

``Unplanned refinery outages, import delays or demand increases can create
price surges above levels shown in the Energy Information Administration
forecast,'' said John Cook, director of the EIA's petroleum division. He
testified before a House Commerce subcommittee on oil supplies and prices.

The EIA, the Energy Department's statistical agency, made similar projections
earlier in the week which ignited demands from Congress for the White House
to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The president has
repeatedly said he prefers to try energy diplomacy first before tapping crude
oil from the nation's emergency stockpile.

In recent weeks, world oil consumption has been outstripping production by an
estimated 2 million barrels per day, according to government figures.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 12:29:07 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran Seeks To End U.S. Trade Ban

Thursday March 9 11:30 AM ET
Iran Seeks To End U.S. Trade Ban
By AFSHIN VALINEJAD, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's foreign minister said today his government sought
better trade relations with the United States, particularly the removal of
bans on Iranian goods.

``We would welcome the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iranian goods and would
consider it as a positive move,'' Kamal Kharrazi told a Tehran news

He was responding to this week's Los Angeles Times report that Washington was
considering lifting its ban on Iranian carpets, pistachios and caviar - its
three biggest exports after oil and gas - following the victory of Iranian
reformists in last month's legislative polls. Many reformists welcome better
ties with the United States.

``We have always said that Iran is interested in trade with U.S. firms. When
the United States eased sanctions (last April) to allow sales of wheat and
medicines to Iran, we made that conditional on the opening of the U.S. market
to Iranian goods. Trade is a two-way street,'' Kharrazi said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman James P. Rubin told reporters
Wednesday that Iran has been trading with the United States.

``Iran has been purchasing U.S. agricultural and medical products since
(April),'' Rubin said.

Rubin declined to comment on the newspaper report, but said ``we're looking
at ways to engage Iran in a dialogue and to recognize the important changes
that are taking place there.''

Kharrazi said that if U.S. trade sanctions were to be lifted, ``it would be a
big victory'' for Iran.

The abolition of the ban would be a major step of reconciliation between the
United States and Iran. The two nations broke relations in April 1980, five
months after Iranian militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held
its occupants hostage.

Besides barring trade with Iran, the United States has legislation that
imposes sanctions on foreign companies that invest $20 million or more a year
in Iran's oil and gas sectors

The United States accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism, trying to sabotage
Middle East peacemaking and seeking to amass weapons of mass destruction.

Iran rejects the accusations. Its government says there can be no talks with
Washington until it treats Iran with respect and releases Iranian assets,
valued at $12 billion, frozen in American banks since the 1979 Islamic


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 13:50:15 EST
Subject: Iranians Indicted for Spying

Iranians Indicted for Spying

.c The Associated Press

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Eight Iranian Defense Ministry officials are under
federal indictment here for trying to obtain military secrets and smuggle
them out of the country in 1996, the U.S. Customs Service said.

Special agent Brian Buschini said the indictments, handed up in November 1996
and January 1997, remain sealed.

But he said in today's Great Falls Tribune that authorities decided to
release some information in the hope the public will identify at least one of
the eight who is known to travel extensively in the United States and Europe.

Buschini would not say what secrets the Iranians allegedly tried to obtain,
but said their success would have significantly compromised U.S. military
abilities in the Middle East and enhanced the Iranian military.

He said the Iranians - including at least one general and one colonel - live
in Tehran and operate under the name ``Engineering Consortium of Iran.'' They
were actively recruiting in the United States and Canada to try to get the
military items, Buschini said.

One person they contacted notified authorities, and Buschini then worked
undercover posing as a corrupt import/export businessman. He met face-to-face
with some of the accused, mostly in Calgary, Alberta, but a few times in
Montana. He would not say where.

Agents were about to arrest the Iranians, but they failed to show for one
final meeting, Buschini said.

Those named in the indictment are a Gen. Manavi, a Col. Najafi, Col. Hassan
Gholizadeh, Dawood Adabi-Harahani, Golamreza Mahrabdollahi, Mohanois Assi,
Haj Hamid Alami-Nia and Houshang Amir Bagheri.

It is Bagheri that the agency is seeking. Buschini said Bagheri's position in
the Iranian military is not known, but he lived in Washington, D.C., and
worked in the Iranian Embassy in the 1970s, when the United States and Iran,
under the shah's rule in the pre-revolution days, were on more friendly

Buschini said the eight are charged with violating the Arms Control Export
Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. They also are
charged with criminal conspiracy.

On the Net: Customs Service's Web site:


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 14:10:57 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Press Release by the League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran
(LDDHI)Paris, France

About Iran has translated the following Press Release by the Paris based
League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran [abbreviated in French as
LDDHI]. Dr. Abdol-Karim Lahiji, a prominent and veteran human rights lawyer
and activist, heads the league. For more information on this statement,
please contact the LDDHI at:

LDDHI, B.P. 2-75624 Paris Cedex 13, France
Fax: (00331) 46 31 21 60

For more information on this translation, please contact:
About Iran
P.O. Box 768
Morton Grove, IL 60053
Telephone: (847) 729-5925
Fax: (847) 729-5926
E-Mail: AboutIran@AOL.COM

(Please forward this Press Release as widely as possible)

February 29, 2000

Press Release by the League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
Paris, France

Today, after more than six months of illegal detention, branch #27 of the
Central Revolutionary Court convicted Mr. Khosrow Sayef, Mr. Bahram Namazi
and Mr. Farzin Mokhber [all leaders and activists of the Iran Nation Party].
Each has been sentenced to the following cumulative imprisonment terms: 8
years for forming an illegal party [Iran Nation Party], 1 year for promoting
anti-regime propaganda, and 4 years for engaging in activities against the
internal security of the Islamic Republic. Mr. Namazi has received an
additional 2 years for insulting the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic.
Therefore, Mr. Namazi was sentenced to a total of 15 years of imprisonment
and Mr. Sayef and Mr. Mokhber were each sentenced to 13 years of
imprisonment. It is [indeed] astonishing that the Islamic Republics justice
system engages in cumulative sentencing. This is unlike the justice system
under democratic countries where convicts only serve the sentence for their
highest crimes, not cumulative sentences for all of their crimes.

These sentences show that the cronies and accomplices of the agents of the
Intelligence Ministry, who brutally killed the leaders of the Iran Nation
Party, Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, continue to push forward their
suppression of freedom lovers and activists, including the remaining leaders
of the Iran Nation Party.

LDDHI condemns these sentences and demands the immediate and unconditional
release of Mr. Sayef, Mr. Namzi and Mr. Mokhber. In an unequivocal violation
of article #26 of the [Islamic Republic] Constitution, their trial took place
behind closed doors and was based on unfounded charges. These individuals
are prime examples of prisoners of conscience and, in reality, they are
paying [a heavy price] for daring to pursue the truth in the case of the
serial murders of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar and others [in November
1998]. LDDHI also calls attention to the prisoners old age and various

LDDHI, once again, calls on [the Islamic] President Khatami, as the enforcer
of the Constitution, to attend to the ongoing violations of human rights in
Iran. This is especially true in the large number of convictions of the
[pro-democracy] students who were arrested by illegal affiliate institutions
of the government following the July 1999 demonstrations in the Universities
of Tehran and Tabriz. LDDHI calls on President Khatami to urgently act in
order to stop the violations of constitutional laws by these illegal
government affiliated institutions, to arrest the violators, and to free and
give back the rights of all prisoners [of conscience].


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 18:18:35 EST
Subject: Iranian workers protest over new labor law

Iranian workers protest over new labor law
March 8, 2000
Web posted at: 4:59 AM EST (0959 GMT)

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Hundreds of Iranian workers demonstrated outside
parliament on Wednesday against a new labor law exempting small companies
from strict regulations, the official IRNA news agency said.

It said workers from across Iran gathered to demand the scrapping of the
measure, under which firms with up to five workers would be exempt from rules
that make it nearly impossible to fire workers and impose a wide range of
benefits, including mandatory bonuses and generous severance payments.

It was the second such protest in as many weeks.

The bill was passed last month as part of reforms to encourage investment in
small enterprises, which critics say is hampered by the high costs of doing
business under the existing labor law.

Iran introduced the earlier law after the 1979 Islamic revolution, reflecting
the socialist mood of the era and general support for the economic
underclass, whose cause the revolutionary government championed.

Already, several labor groups have threatened to go on strike if the new bill
is not revoked. Parliament suspended action, in the face of strong labor
opposition, on a similar bill last June.

Analysts say the newly elected parliament, to begin work in June, is likely
to be more sympathetic to organized labor, which helped elect many of the
successful candidates.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 18:19:43 EST
Subject: Iraq accuses U.S., Turkey of 'illegally' meeting with Kurds

Iraq accuses U.S., Turkey of 'illegally' meeting with Kurds

March 9, 2000
Web posted at: 10:48 p.m. EST (0348 GMT)

From staff and wire reports.

UNITED NATIONS -- Iraq accused U.S. and Turkish officials on Thursday of
entering Iraqi territory illegally last month to meet with Kurdish leaders.

As the largest ethnic group without their own country, most of the 25 million
Kurds worldwide live in an area straddling the borders of Iraq, Turkey, Iran,
Armenia, and Syria.

They have been subject to military attacks by the governments of Iraq and
Turkey in an effort to prevent Kurdish efforts to establish a homeland.

In letters to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U.N. Security Council
President Anwarul Karim Chowdry, Iraqi Foreign Minister Said al-Sahaf on
Thursday condemned the U.S.-Turkish visit, referring to "these irresponsible
actions by the United States and Turkey in the strongest terms."

Al-Sahaf called on the Security Council to "discharge its responsibilities"
and take the necessary measures to preserve Iraq's sovereignty.

The foreign minister lashed out at Turkish authorities for permitting the
"illegal entry" of a U.S. State Department delegation and Turkish Foreign
Ministry officials through the Iraq-Turkey border sometime between February 8
and 12, to visit Kurdish factions "and other elements involved in espionage
and sabotage."

Iraq's government has had little direct control over the northern part of the
country since the end of the 1991 Gulf War, when the Baghdad government began
a bloody campaign against the Kurds.

Since the end of the war, U.S. and British military forces have enforced a
"no-fly" zone over northern Iraq, a region dominated by two rival Kurdish
factions that govern under a September 1998 agreement brokered by the United
States. The restricted zone in northern Iraq was created to prevent Iraqi
attacks against the Kurds. A similar zone in the south is meant to protect
Shiite Muslims.

State Department spokesman James Rubin said Thursday that "we have, from time
to time, sent delegations ... to work with the Kurdish officials in northern
Iraq to promote reconciliation between the officials there" and to ensure
they comply with the 1998 agreement.

The accord is aimed at ending clashes between Massoud Barzani of the
Kurdistan Democratic Party and Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of

Rubin said he was aware that the Iraqi government did not support such
visits. "But we have made clear, while we recognize the territorial integrity
of Iraq, that we think it's important and appropriate for us to meet with ...
Kurdish officials in northern Iraq, and we will continue to do so as we see

The State Department has been involved in efforts to unite the Kurdish
factions, and to involve the Kurds in a unified opposition coalition against
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Iraq is one of seven countries designated by
the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The U.S. Congress has approved $100 million for the Clinton administration to
aid the Iraqi opposition.

Al-Sahaf said Iraq had previously drawn the Security Council's attention to
the "gravity of such outlaw practices" as those that occurred last month, but
had been met by "total silence."


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 18:22:44 EST
Subject: Iran tops list as biggest Canadian wheat buyer

Iran tops list as biggest Canadian wheat buyer

WINNIPEG (Reuters) - Iran became the largest buyer of Canadian wheat in the
last six months because of politics, a poor Iranian crop and a surplus of
average quality Canadian grain, traders and market analysts said Wednesday.
Recent Canadian Grain Commission figures show that Iran bought 1.7 million
tonnes of Canadian-grown wheat from August to January this year. The
second-biggest buyer was Japan at 711,700 tonnes.

"Poor crops in their own region have made them buy grain from a number of
different countries," said an agricultural commodities trader.

Canada, unlike the United States, has not imposed trade sanctions on Iran
and has been a steady seller of grain to Iran, a country of 66 million

The trader said Iran's election of a reformist government last month
signaled an internal spirit of change that was affecting grain buying.

"They've been a closed economy for a long time. There's a lot of pent-up
demand," the trader said. "They've got a very young population. It's an
amazing country in terms of what their demographics are," he said.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi said earlier Tehran would
start to buy U.S. wheat if Washington, as it is reported to be considering
doing, eased sanctions on exports of rugs, pistachios and caviar from Iran.

Jim Pietryk, spokesman for the Canadian Wheat Board, said Iran's demand for
wheat increased after its 1999 harvest was a poor 8 million tonnes compared
to 11 million tonnes the previous year.

"They need it and we have it," Pietryk said.

"Their production is variable. Like in North African regions, it's
weather-dependent," he said.

Iran has purchased a yearly average of 1.4 million tonnes of Canadian wheat
over the last 10 years, including 585,000 tonnes in 1998/99, 2.1 million
tonnes in 1997/98 and 2.6 million tonnes in 1996/97.

The wheat board is the state agency solely authorized to export wheat and
barley grown on Canada's Prairie provinces.

Canada's crop year begins August 1 each year.

A Winnipeg-based grain market analyst said Iran was generally a buyer of low
quality milling grades of wheat.

"This year's crop was of average quality, so there was a product fit. The
wheat board was an aggressive seller when it found it would be a lower
quality crop," the analyst said.

The wheat board has forecast Canada's wheat exports at 18.3 million tonnes
in 2000/01 compared to the 1994-98 average of 18.5 million tonnes.

"There are big vessels of 60,000-75,000 tonnes loading for Iran. It's been
pretty good shipping for us," the trader said.

Washington banned non-oil imports from Iran after the seizure of the U.S.
embassy in Tehran in 1979. President Bill Clinton barred U.S. companies from
purchasing Iranian oil and gas by executive order in 1995.


Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 18:23:26 EST
Subject: Saudi Arabia, Iran Want Adequate, Timely Oil Supply

Oil Debate Heats Up, Again
Saudi Arabia, Iran Want Adequate, Timely Oil Supply

By Fahd al-Frayyan

R I Y A D H, Saudi Arabia, March 8 — OPEC giants Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed
today that oil producers should pump adequate and timely supplies to
consumers to cool red-hot prices and continue exploring all output options.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and Iranian counterpart Bijan Zanganeh
said after meeting in Riyadh they agreed on a need to “balance the market in
order to reach sustainable price levels conducive to world economic growth
and market stability.”
But it was unclear from the joint statement if heavyweight Saudi Arabia
— the world’s biggest oil producer — succeeded in persuading its former OPEC
foe Iran to agree to raise output to calm the market.
$2 a Gallon for Gasoline?
Meanwhile in Washington, the White House said it expected oil producers to
act to stabilize soaring prices which might reach $1.80 a gallon for motor
fuel by summer.
“We expect when they meet later this month, they will move ahead with
their stated intentions to stabilize prices,” spokesman Joe Lockhart said in
reference to OPEC.
U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said sizeable additional OPEC
supplies were needed in a “timely fashion.”

Production Options Still on Table
Washington aside, OPEC sources say Saudi Arabia and Iran would continue to
consider all production options in discussions leading up to a key cartel
meeting on March 27.
The sources’ comments, made to Reuters hours after the meeting between
Iran’s Zanganeh and Saudi’s Naimi, may indicate that Iran could consider
abandoning its opposition to an output hike from April 1 providing it did not
trigger a sharp price fall.
One of the OPEC sources said Saudi Arabia and Iran had discussed the
timing and how many barrels could be released to an overheated market to
combat rising prices volatility.
Iran has been a vocal opponent of an immediate supply increase, a move
advocated by OPEC’s Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and non-OPEC Mexico, to cool
off a blistering supply rally that has raised anxiety in the vast U.S.

Just in Time for Driving Season
Raad Alkadiri, an analyst with U.S. consultancy the Petroleum Finance
Company, said he believed that in return for Iranian cooperation Iran wanted
a guarantee that the Saudis would seek a price range of $20-$25 a barrel in
the long term.
He also suggested Saudi Arabia’s relationship with its key U.S. customer
would prove to be resilient.
“Ultimately the Saudis will not damage their strategic relationship with
the United States,” he said.
Meanwhile, divisions in OPEC have helped drive up prices which were
still above $30 today.
Traders said that until the “adequate supplies” hit the market it was
unlikely overall price strength would dissipate.
And as OPEC price hawks and moderates discussed their options, U.S.
President Clinton and other Washington politicians are stepping up pressure
on the cartel to calm the market.
The production cuts — masterminded by Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico
— have severely drained oil inventories and created worries of a gasoline
supply shortage in the United States just ahead of the summer driving season.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 9 Mar 2000 to 10 Mar 2000