Date: Mar 13, 2000 [ 16: 43: 38]
Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Mar 2000 to 13 Mar 2000 - Special issue
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Mar 2000 to 13 Mar 2000 - Special issue
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There are 10 messages totalling 1243 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2
2. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2
4. IIFP - Hajjarian's Assassination
5. ATTEMPT TO MURDER SA'ID HAJJARIAN SHOCKED IRANIANS
6. Iran Reformers Rally Behind Stricken Leader
7. CG Void Election in Three Southern Cities
8. hajjarian unconscious at sina hospital as groups voice
9. Iranian Reformer Had Death Threats
10. Clinton extends 1995 sanctions against Iran oil
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 20:45:40 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. 11, 13 March 2000
A Review of Developments in Iran Prepared by the Regional
Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team.
* DIALOGUE IN 2001
* BELGIAN COURT CONSIDERS CHARGES AGAINST RAFSANJANI
* DESPITE BUSHEHR, CZECHS WANT MORE TRADE WITH IRAN
* INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY IN IRAN
* STUDENT ACTIVISM CONTINUES DURING TRIAL
* TEHRAN RECOUNT CONCLUDED, PROVINCIAL RESULTS ANNULLED
* INDIVIDUAL OWNERSHIP OBSTRUCTED
DIALOGUE IN 2001.
The White House has made its desire to engage in
dialogue with Iran, particularly after the February
parliamentary election, very clear. The U.S. presidential
campaign, with its appeals to various domestic
constituencies, however, has led to some mixed messages from
Washington. And for that reason among others, at least one
American analyst believes that Tehran will not engage in any
dialogue with the U.S. until the Clinton administration
Congressional Research Service analyst Ken Katzman told
RFE/RL that he believes a dialogue with Iran is something the
White House wants as part of its foreign policy legacy. "I
think it is very much like the Arab-Israeli peace process,
it's something that the Clinton administration still holds
out hope that it can finish before it leaves office. One
would have been an Israeli-Syrian treaty, I think they still
hold out some hope for that, an Israeli-Palestinian final
treaty, I think they still hold out hope for that, and the
beginning of U.S.-Iranian dialogue, and I still think they
hold out hope for that, too. These are three things in the
Middle East that I think they would like to get accomplished
before Clinton leaves office."
U.S. President Bill Clinton's comments to an audience
containing many Americans of Iranian descent reflected this
approach--particularly when he described Iran as "one of the
most wonderful places in all of human history, one of the
most important places culturally in all of human history."
Speaking at a $2,500-per-person Democratic Party fundraiser
on 5 March, the president said that he hoped "someday all of
you may be able to go home to visit and have two homes,
complete and open and free," Reuters reported.
Another perspective came from Vice President Al Gore
when he addressed the Conference of Presidents of Major
Jewish Organizations on 6 March, the day before the New York
primary. He said that American and Israeli military and
intelligence officials have "complete cooperation" on the
transfer of Weapons of Mass Destruction technology to Iran by
other countries. He added that "There is nothing that we know
about this that Israel does not now know." Gore said he
considers the issue "a question that potentially involves the
survival of Israel and when survival of a friend is
potentially at stake everything else is secondary," AP
reported. Gore said that sanctions would continue against
Iran because "we have not seen the kinds of changes in
fundamental policy that we need to see before these sanctions
can be removed."
An unnamed U.S. government official, however, told the 7
March "Los Angeles Times" that the Clinton administration is
close to making a decision on removing sanctions against the
sale of pistachios, caviar, and carpets. This is because "We
clearly view the parliamentary elections as an important
step, and we want to make clear our attitude, that we think
it would be very desirable to have better channels of
Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi responded to
this news by saying that "We do see the translation of words
into action of the United States as a positive step. In
response, we are going to buy wheat and other products like
medicine," Reuters reported on 8 March. It is rumored in
Tehran that Clinton will announce the easing of sanctions in
a new year's message to Iran, "Asr-i Azadegan" reported on 9
Lifting sanctions against items like caviar, carpets,
and pistachios, however, may not go far enough, because Iran
may still have trouble buying American wheat if export
credits are not provided by the U.S. government. Moreover,
Katzman told RFE/RL that Tehran may be reluctant to engage in
a dialogue with the Clinton administration.
"I think the Iranian leadership may be waiting for the
next [U.S.] administration to come in before they take any
dramatic steps toward the United States. To some extent, some
in the Iranian leadership may feel that President Clinton was
the one who imposed the trade ban on Iran, was the one who
signed the Iran-Libya sanctions act, Radio Free Iran was
instituted under his administration, although that wasn't his
idea but still it was ginned up [initiated] while he was in
office. ... [Also,] the Patterns of Global Terrorism Report
every year during the Clinton administration has been very,
very hard on Iran, calling it the world's most dangerous
sponsor of terrorism [although that language was dropped last
year]. I think the Iranian leadership probably feels there is
too much baggage from the Clinton administration and would
prefer to wait for another 10 or 11 months for the next crew
to come in [in January 2001]."
Katzman's opinion was corroborated by Iran's ambassador
to Kazakhstan, Hassan Qashqavi. He told a 7 March press
conference in Almaty that the Iranian leadership hoped that
the new administration of the United States would be able to
understand that the "economic embargo put on Iran should be
lifted." (Bill Samii)
BELGIAN COURT CONSIDERS CHARGES AGAINST RAFSANJANI.
The announcement in the first week of March that a
Belgian judge was preparing a case against former Iranian
President Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani for human rights
abuses has provoked an angry reception in Iran. Some
observers there argue that the whole affair was timed to
hinder or bolster Rafsanjani's lagging popularity, while
otherster Rafsanjani's lagging popularity, while
others argue that the case actually harms efforts to improve
human rights in Iran. And Tehran has warned of possible
economic retaliation against Brussels.
The case was brought before Judge Damien Vandermeersch,
a specialist in human rights, on 17 February. The suit is
being brought under a Belgian law which recognizes the right
of Belgian courts to investigate and to try crimes against
humanity wherever they occur. Should the case go to trial and
Rafsanjani is found guilty, an international arrest warrant
against him could be issued.
The plaintiff in the case is a male Belgian citizen of
Iranian origin who claims he was an activist for the
communist Tudeh party in Iran in the early 1980s and was
arrested in 1983. He says that he spent two years in prison
before his trial. After what he calls a speedy judicial
process in which he was not allowed to defend himself, the
man was sentenced to seven years in prison. In 1989 he
benefited from an amnesty but was forbidden to leave Iran
until 1997, when he reached Belgium. He has been a Belgian
citizen since the 1970s.
Marc Libert, the plaintiff's lawyer, told RFE/RL that
the suit was brought against Rafsanjani because "My client
says that Mr. Rafsanjani is a person who took a key, historic
role in the Iranian revolution. He is one of the pillars of
the revolution. Mr. Rafsanjani has always been at the center
of power, whether as speaker of the parliament, president of
the republic, or religious authority. Mr. Rafsanjani
controlled directly or indirectly the justice system, the
revolutionary Islamic tribunals and, also, the Iranian
security services. And that is why Mr. Rafsanjani is, more
effectively than anyone else, the greatest symbol in Iran
today of the Iran of yesterday [when these actions took
place]. And that is why he is targeted by this suit."
Announcement of the suit elicited a loud reaction from
Iran. President Mohammad Khatami said, IRNA reported on 5
March, that the case "was the reaction of the enemies of the
Iranian nation as well as enemies of peace and international
security, who showed their anger towards the strength of the
Iranian nation." Khatami's cabinet, the Supreme National
Security Council, and the Foreign Ministry also condemned the
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told his Belgian
counterpart, Louis Michel, that the charges were "insulting,
unjustifiable, and contrary to international norms and
regulations," IRNA reported. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid
Reza Assefi explained that "certain parties, who are unhappy
about the expansion of Iran's relations with the outside
world, including European countries, are resorting to
sabotage and want to destroy our relations with some European
countries," state television reported on 6 March. The Belgian
ambassador to Tehran was summoned by the Foreign Ministry
twice to hear the Iranian government's objections.
The Guardians Council stated that the charges are "in
line with ominous objectives of the U.S. and Zionist regime
[and are] both an insult to a prominent personality of the
Islamic Republic of Iran and the noble Iranian nation," IRNA
reported on 6 March. The Assembly of Experts issued a
statement that "described the Belgian court's decision as
unwise and provocative, calling it the latest conspiracy in a
series of conspiracies directed against the Islamic Republic
of Iran during the last two decades," according to IRNA.
Isfahan parliamentarian-elect Rajabali Mazrui of the
reformist Islamic Iran Participation Party rejected the
interference of foreigners in Iran's internal affairs. The
Islamic Propagation Organization and the Central Bureau of
the Islamic Students Association issued similar statements.
And Ayatollah Hassan Sanei, leader of the 15th of Khordad
Foundation which is offering a bounty for British author
Salman Rushdie, threatened to take concrete action unless the
Belgian government apologizes, "Jomhuri-yi Islami" reported
on 6 March.
Former Iranian parliamentarian Ahmad Salamatian told the
Paris-based Iran Press Service on 6 March that the timing of
the affair is suspicious. He believes that the news was
leaked just when votes for Rafsanjani were being recounted in
Tehran, either to make Rafsanjani look bad or so political
figures would rally around Rafsanjani. Hojatoleslam Mehdi
Mahdavi-Karrubi, secretary of the relatively moderate
Militant Clerics Association (Majma-yi Ruhaniyun-i Mobarez)
urged political factions not to use the case as a pretext for
attacking each other, IRNA reported on 7 March.
Indeed, the uniformity of reactions suggests that
Iranians have united in this case. A 6 March analysis by
Reuters, however, warned that the case "may not help Iran's
reformers in their efforts to clean up the country's human
An anonymous Iranian Foreign Ministry source told the 7
March "Tehran Times" that Iran may freeze its economic
relations with Belgium. This is the same threat Tehran made
when RFE/RL's Persian Service began broadcasting from Prague
in October 1998. But trade between the two countries
increased sharply in 1999 (see below). (Bill Samii)
DESPITE BUSHEHR DEBATE, CZECHS WANT MORE TRADE WITH IRAN.
Controversy about the possible supply of equipment for
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor by a Czech company and the
Czech government's efforts to block the deal has not lessened
Prague's interest in pursuing other avenues of cooperation.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hynek Kmonicek is scheduled to visit
Tehran in April, and the Czech Foreign Ministry stressed its
"permanent interest in developing relations and mutually
advantageous cooperation" between the two countries, CTK
reported on 28 February. "The Czech side esteems Iran's
pragmatic attitude to cooperation in the trade-economic
sphere and believes that the existing potential and
possibilities will be tapped much more than up to now," the
Foreign Ministry added.
Tehran's charge d'affaires in Prague, Mohsen Sharif-
Khodai, told Prague's "Pravo" on 6 March that the presence in
Prague of RFE/RL's Persian Service has had an impact on
Iranian-Czech relations. So far, the impact has been
positive. Czech exports to Iran increased by 43 percent last
year, and imports from Iran nearly doubled, CTK reported on 1
March. The Czech Republic sold Iran antibiotics, iron, steel,
textiles, and machine-tool components. Iran exported mostly
foodstuffs, including raisins, nuts, seeds, pistachios, and
apple juice, to the Czech Republic.
The possibility that the Czech firm ZVVZ Milevsko may
provide air-conditioning equipment for Bushehr has led to
threats of sanctions by the U.S. and Great Britain. The Czech
government approved a bill on 23 February banning the deal,
and a state of legislative emergency was declared to hasten
the bill's approval. But then Communist deputies used
parliamentary rules to block putting the legislation on the
agenda right away. Additional legislative blockages came from
the ruling Social Democrat party.
The Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which is the largest
opposition party in parliament, supported legislation against
the deal. But ODS leader Vaclav Klaus said ZVVZ Milevsko
should be compensated if the deal is blocked. This may be
because Livia Klausova, Klaus's wife, has been deputy
chairwoman of Milevsko's supervisory board "for years,"
"Lidove Noviny" reported on 28 February. This effectively
makes her "number two" in the company.
Iranian charge Sharif-Khodai said that "We regard the
campaign around Bushehr...a present for the U.S. minister
Madeline Albright in connection with her trip to the Czech
Republic." Indeed, President Vaclav Havel reassured visiting
U.S. Secretary of State Albright that the deal would not go
ahead. Havel said that "I have assured Albright that the
Czech Republic will of course act in solidarity with the
international democratic community and will not allow the
export to Iran of components which might be used to the
benefit of nuclear arms industry," CTK reported on 5 March.
Jan Sula, former head of Czech economic
counterintelligence, said it was not in Havel's remit to make
such promises. He added, CTK reported on 6 March, that the
Czech intelligence services do not have any information
indicating that the equipment might be abused for the
production of nuclear weapons. Sula complained that Prague is
giving into political pressure from abroad, and it should
demand compensation from the U.S.
The Czech Chamber of Deputies passed the relevant bill
on 8 March. It "bans Czech exporters from exporting goods, or
providing services, blueprints or information in connection
with the nuclear plant in Bushehr. The violation of the law
is punishable with a fine of up to 20 million crowns [about
<< Continued to next message >>>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 20:46:30 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 >>>
$560,000] and confiscation of the delivery," according to
CTK. Foreign Minister Jan Kavan said ZVVZ Milevsko will be
compensated and "not a single man will be laid off." The
compensation will consist of a debt-for-equity swap and
alternate orders, "Pravo" reported on 8 March. Before
becoming law, the bill must be approved by the Senate and
signed by the president. (Bill Samii)
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY IN IRAN.
International Women's Day was commemorated across the
world on 8 March. Amnesty International noted in a statement
that there have been few improvements in women's rights and
protection in Iran and many other countries, despite promises
made five years ago in Beijing at the Fourth World Conference
Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi told RFE/RL's Persian
Service that "In Iran we are witnesses to inequalities in the
law." She explained: "We have a law that does not recognize a
woman as a complete individual with fewer rights, but we must
understand where this law came from." Ebadi said defenders of
such legal inequalities cite Islam as a justification. But
she explained that Father of the Revolution Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini said in the early years of the Islamic
revolution, and Source of Emulation Ayatollah Yusef Sanei
said last year, that "woman and man in the eyes of Islam are
equal" and any laws makine
equal" and any laws making them unequal are unacceptable
Ebadi described her expectation of the newly-elected
parliament. "The elected officials should know that if women
didnít participate this result would not have been realized
and maybe a different result and different people would've
been elected. Therefore, the desire of women, which is
improving the laws and realization of their rights, should be
paid attention to. ... We are not saying give rights to
women, we are saying that woman and man are creations of God
and the law for them must be identical."
Just a day earlier a controversy had emerged about what
newly-elected female representatives' parliamentary apparel.
Shiraz's Tahereh Rezazadeh and Tehran's Elahe Kulayi said
they would wear the manteau and a scarf, covering just the
upper body and the head, rather than the chador, which covers
the entire body.
Losing incumbent Marzieh Dabbagh told RFE/RL's Persian
Service that she was not surprised to hear such statements
from women who did nothing for the revolution and who do not
have the right values: "it is natural for them to say such
things." Dabbagh predicted that "our people will not be
silent" and the two new parliamentarians will take note.
"Entekhab" reported on International Women's Day that
three times more women that men attempt suicide in Iran. Last
year, 2,557 people killed themselves, which is a 109 percent
increase from the year before.
Azadeh Kian-Thiebaut of the CNRS in Paris told RFE/RL's
Persian Service that the main thing that drives Iranian women
to suicide is physical violence by their husbands, fathers,
or brothers. Kian also believes that mental abuse, brought
about women's weak legal rights vis-a-vis their husbands, is
another cause of suicide. Other contributory factors are a
husband's right to take a second wife, child custody laws,
and the impossibility of leaving the country or working
without the husband's permission. As a result, Kian said,
women reach a point where "they have little choice but
Another factor that contributes to women's despondency
was described at a Tehran conference marking International
Women's Day. Zeinab Darai, a municipal councilor from Salakh,
pointed out that the employment rate for Iranian women is
only 10 percent, while it stands at 42 percent in developed
countries and 32 percent in Latin America, according to IRNA.
STUDENT ACTIVISM CONTINUES DURING TRIAL.
The trial of about 20 law enforcement officers for
raiding a Tehran University hostel in July 1999 continued,
with its third session on 7 March, the fourth session on 9
March, and fifth session three days later. Nasser Kuhi,
director of the Tehran University dormitory, told the court
that the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) disregarded his request
to stay out of the dormitory while he tried to defuse the
Then, former Tehran LEF chief Farhad Nazari explained
that he did not instruct the LEF to enter the dormitory and
anybody who did so disobeyed him. Nazari then said that some
of the plaintiffs are not students and are actually
responsible for the violence and destruction. "Some of the
plaintiffs have confessed that they took part in destroying
buildings, attacking the police and disturbing law and order.
These plaintiffs were condemned by the Revolution Court
before, and confessed that their actions were premeditated.
Some of them were carrying hand-grenades and personal
weapons. Even on the subsequent days, the rioters captured
some of the weapons of the law-enforcement officers."
Nazari also blamed Kuhi, saying that "The clashes
started when the director of the dormitory began quarrelling
with the deputy law-enforcement commander of central Tehran."
But deputy-commander Amir-Ahmadi told the court that "I never
talked with Kuhi ... Kuhi may have talked with a colleague."
Attorney Hojatoleslam Mohsen Rahami questioned Nazari's
competence for running security in Tehran, because "he had
been police commander of a small province before undertaking
such a grave duty in Tehran, despite the fact that even in
that small province he had not acted successfully," IRNA
reported on 9 March. An LEF official defended Nazari's
record, and he said that the LEF, through counterintelligence
chief Brigadier-General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, will proffer
charges against Rahami for defaming Nazari. (Naqdi's eight-
month sentence for torturing suspects was confirmed in
The July incident can be traced to the LEF's lack of
accountability, "Sobh-i Imruz" suggested on 8 March. Such
incidents could be avoided if there was greater unity between
the various student groups, a recent discussion of the
student movement in Iran concluded, according to the 9 March
Meanwhile, Mehdi Aminzadeh, head of Shahid Rajai
University's Islamic Association, received a summons for
insulting the LEF by demanding the dismissal of the LEF
commander, "Fath" reported on 7 March. Students at Gorgan's
Azad University started a protest action, accusing the
administration of permitting government harassment of
students, the Student Movement Coordination Committee for
Democracy in Iran reported on 8 March. Classes at Shahr-i
Rey's Azad University were suspended, "Bayan" reported on 9
March, to avoid a threatened student protest over poor
instruction and facilities. And students at Ahvaz's Oil
Industry University refused to attend classes to protest poor
management, "Iran" reported on 2 March. (Bill Samii)
TEHRAN RECOUNT CONCLUDED, PROVINCIAL RESULTS ANNULLED.
The recounting of votes in Tehran to dispel complaints
about fraud in the 18 February parliamentary election is
approaching its end. Deputy Interior Minister for
Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohaqar said ballots in 540 boxes
had been recounted with no change, and the recount would be
concluded "early next week," IRNA reported on 8 March. The
same day, Hojatoleslam Qorban-Ali Dori-Najafabadi of the
Central Monitoring Board said it is not necessary to continue
the recount, because the few changes after counting the first
500 boxes were insignificant, IRNA and state television
Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani urged that the recount
continue to eliminate any ambiguities, IRNA reported on 11
March. And Deputy Interior Minister Ali Mohaqar said that the
recount revealed changes at the bottom of the list, according
Meanwhile, the Guardians Council has annulled the
results in Bandar Abbas and Minab (Hormozgan Province) and
Gachsaran (Boir Ahmadi va Kohkiluyeh Province). Interior
Ministry Deputy Mustafa Tajzadeh, who heads Iran's election
headquarters, said the Guardians Council has not offered any
evidence for doing this, IRNA reported on 11 March. He added
that some of the council's inspectors were not impartial.
The Tehran City Council has filed a libel complaint
against parliamentarian Ahmad Rasulinezhad for his claims of
electoral fraud, "Hamshahri" reported on 28 February. And the
31st Ashura Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps
is going to file a complaint against the governor of
Shabestar, who claimed soldiers at the garrison were told who
to vote for, "Kayhan" reported on 9 March.
The runoff for 65 undecided seats will be held on 21
April. In preparation for this, the Islamic Iran
Participation Party is waging "an intensive wave of
psychological war" against the governor-general and its
rivals in Khuzestan Province, where it fared poorly, the
conservative "Jomhuri-yi Islami" claimed on 1 March. (Bill
INDIVIDUAL OWNERSHIP OBSTRUCTED.
The Guardians Council blocked aspects of the 3rd Five
Year Development Plan that focus on ending state domination
of several industries. Government control of banks and
insurance companies will continue, although the establishment
of private banks will be permitted and state banks can sell
49 percent of their shares. The state's monopoly in air,
rail, and other forms of transport will be maintained.
Privatization in the telecommunications, power, and water
industries was blocked, too, although private mining may be
The sale of 85 percent of Pars Khodro, Iran's third
largest automobile manufacturer, on the Tehran stock market
seems, at first glance, like a sign of greater privatization.
But the purchasers were the state Social Security Investment
Company and the second-largest automobile company, Saipa, in
which the government holds 48 percent of the shares. The
other main shareholders in Saipa are government funds,
London's "Financial Times" reported on 6 March.
Foreign investors are very interested in the Iranian
automobile market, according to the "Financial Times."
France's PSA group (Peugeot and Citroen) lead the way, with
Peugeots being assembled in Iran under a licensing agreement
with Iran Khodro. Saipa assembles Citroens and South Korean
Kias, and it is in negotiations with Iveco, Renault, and
Volvo. Reports that Fiat intends to buy Iran Khodro, however,
were denied by the Iranian firm's public relations office,
according to the 6 March "Tehran Times." (Bill Samii)
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 22:48:22 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
sounds of explosions heard in north tehran
tehran, march 13, irna -- sounds of several explosions were heard
minutes ago near mellat park in north of tehran.
the area houses a large park, together with many residential
quarters and a military headquarters.
more details will follow.
::irna 13/03/2000 14:01
five mortar shells fired at a residential complex in tehran
tehran, march 13, irna -- four civilians were wounded here on monday
in a mortar attack on nour residential complex, west of mellat park
in northern tehran, an official told irna.
in the attack, which took place at 1330 hrs local time (1000 gmt),
five mortal shells were fired at nour residential complex, he said.
shortly after the attack, police and security forces rushed to the
scene and took control of the situation, he said.
the four wounded were immediately sent to the hospital for
treatment, he said.
he said that 18 vehicles were damaged in the attack.
::irna 13/03/2000 16:19
terrorist mko claims responsibility for mortar attack in tehran
tehran, march 13, irna -- terrorist mujahedin khalq organization (mko)
on monday claimed responsibility for launching a mortar attack on
'noor residential complex' iortar attack on
'noor residential complex' in northern tehran.
the mko spokesman told agence france presse (afp) in nicosia that
the terrorist organization had targeted the garrison of the islamic
revolution guards corps (irgc) and no civilian casualty is possible.
pieces of mortar's shrapnel landed on the residential area on
13:30 hours local time (10:00 gmt) wounded four people including a
teenage girl in the eye and a man in the foot.
the mortar shells also destroyed 18 cars.
::irna 13/03/2000 17:35
Monday March 13 9:21 AM ET
Rebels Claim Mortar Attack on Tehran
By Ali Raiss-Tousi
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Mortar bombs slammed into a Tehran residential
district Monday near a base of the hard-line Revolutionary Guards in
Iran's second act of political violence in as many days.
Witnesses said a row of automobiles took the brunt of the blasts, with
shrapnel radiating into the nearby Nour housing complex, whose residents
include five members of parliament.
A gardener at the guards' Sarallah base across the road had his legs
blown off, the witnesses said. A young woman was hit in the face by
shrapnel, and two others suffered minor injuries.
``It started about 1:30 and in a span of 10 minutes, five to seven
rounds were fired,'' Mohammad Mojarab, the caretaker at the residential
complex, told Reuters.
A Revolutionary Guard said deputies lived in the building, one of whom
was home at the time. He later emerged unhurt.
The attack follows the attempted assassination Sunday of Saeed
Hajjarian, a leading reformer and close ally of President Mohammad
Hajjarian had drawn the wrath of Iran's hard-liners both for his central
role in last month's reformist victory at the polls and for revelations
in his newspaper that linked right-wing extremists to the serial murders
He remains unconscious in the intensive care unit of a Tehran hospital,
fighting for his life.
Friends said Hajjarian had received written threats but the shooting
remains a mystery, although some of Hajjarian's reformist allies pointed
the finger squarely at the conservatives, big losers in the February 18
``The terrorist attack on Hajjarian is a declaration of war on the
nation. Why don't you try to accommodate the people, why don't you
accept their vote?'' said Ayatollah Yusef Sanei, a progressive
By contrast, there appeared little doubt that the Mujahideen Khalq, the
Iraq-based armed opposition, was responsible for Monday's attack.
Mujahideen spokesman Ali Safavi, speaking to Reuters in Dubai by
telephone from Paris, said the group's forces inside Iran had attacked
the guards complex.
The same group carried out a similar assault on the presidential palace
and nearby government buildings in early February, killing one person
and injuring several others. President Khatami escaped unhurt.
A guards officer at the scene of Monday's blasts told Reuters the weapon
used in the latest attack was a portable mortar similar to the one used
against the presidential office.
He said the guards' base was too large a target to miss and suggested
the attackers were instead seeking to sow panic among Tehran's civilian
Police and Revolutionary Guards cordoned off the area, backed by fire
crews, with investigators at the scene.
The Sarallah Guards base is responsible for security for the whole of
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 22:48:44 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: IIFP - Hajjarian's Assassination
iipf accuse rivals of involvement in hajjarian's assassination
tehran, march 13, irna -- three leading members of the islamic iran
participation front (iipf) on sunday accused their defeated rivals
of being behind the assassination attempt against iipf theoretician
saeed hajjarian on sunday.
hajjarian, an advisor to president mohammad khatami and director
in charge of sobhe emrouz daily, was shot in the face at close range
by two yet unidentified gunmen in tehran. the former deputy
information minister and current member of tehran city council is now
unconscious and fighting for his life in a tehran hospital.
one of the three iipf members, mohsen mirdamadi said it would not
be difficult to arrest those behind the assassination attempt should
the security forces show enough determination.
mirdamadi, together with abbas abdi and safaie farahani
participated in a press conference attended by domestic and foreign
journalists here sunday evening.
"such measures - which is the last attempt of the defeated forces
- would not slow down the trend of the reforms but rather accelerate
them," said mirdamadi.
pro-khatami reformists bitterly defeated their right wing rivals
and won most of the majlis seats in last month's parliamentary
"the assailants fled away on a honda-1000 motor bike whose number
in the country is very limited," mirdamadi said.
::irna 13/03/2000 13:39
he added that there was another assassination attempt against
hajjarian by the terrorist mujahedin khalq organization (mko) in
1983 which failed thanks to his timely reaction. in the case of the
serial murders too, mirdamadai said, one of the main objectives of
the masterminds of the killings, was to assassinate hajjarian which
was foiled after the whole conspiracy was disclosed and the
perpetrators were arrested.
abdi said support for the rule of law and security was among the
programs declared by the iipf, adding: "regarding the economy, we
believed that as long as full security is not provided, it would be
futile to talk about investment security and economic growth. with
the sixth majlis elections, this security would have materialized to
a large extent. the terrorists have paid attention to the most
important slogan of the iipf and by attacking the prominent figures of
the reformist movement in iran, want to create tension and
he said assassination was the last step of violence the opponents
of reform could climb on but they should know that the end of the
road is closed to them.
safaei farahani said the people want immediate action be taken
by the responsible officials to arrest the culprits. "this kind of
vehicle (honda-1000cc) is not owned by everyone. there are a few
people who can use this. the terrorists are among 400 to 500 people
that can be easily identified," he noted.
::irna 13/03/2000 14:39
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 22:49:38 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: ATTEMPT TO MURDER SA'ID HAJJARIAN SHOCKED IRANIANS
ATTEMPT TO MURDER SA'ID HAJJARIAN SHOCKED IRANIANS
By Safa Haeri, IPS Editor
TEHRAN 12th March (IPS) Iranians were shocked Sunday after Mr. Sa'id
Hajjarian, one of the nation's leading politicians, journalist and
reformer close to President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami was shot at
close range and seriously wounded by an unidentified professional
gunman who fled on the back of a powerful motorbike.
A former senior official at the Intelligence Ministry turned
reformist, Mr. Hajjarian, 47, was both the deputy Head of the Tehran
City Council and the Executive Committee of the Islamic Iran
Participation Front (IIPF) that won a landslide victory in last
month's Majles (parliament) elections.
"He was hit once in the face with a revolver equipped with a silencer
at 8.40 in the morning as he came out of his car in front of the City
Council, talking with some people outside", deputy Law Enforcement
Forces (LEF) revolutionary guard general Ansari told Tehran Radio.
Quoting a spokesman for the medical team that attends the wounded
publisher of the outspoken "Sobhe Emrouz" reformist daily, Tehran
Radio reported in its evening news bulletin that Mr. Hajjarian was
still in coma, but his brain is responding and he is breathing without
the help of artificial machine.
Sources in Tehran told Iran Press Service that the killers, riding on
a powerful 1000 CC motorcycle, were following Mr. Hajjarian's car.
This size of the engine is outlawed in Iran except for use by police,
LEF, security and Information Ministry personnel, they observed.
In their first reaction as to who may have hired the killers, informed
sources pointed out to the direction of former Intelligence Minister
Ali Fallahian, the man nicknamed by Iranian investigative journalists
as the "Master Key" that masterminded the murder of more than eighty
dissidents Iranian political, intellectual and journalists during the
eight years of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's prsidency.
The former president who did very poorly in the last Majles elections,
being "pushed" into the house thanks to vote rigging in his favour,
has adamantly refused to endorse accusations in the press against Mr.
As all reformist organisations and parties strongly condemned the
assassination attempt and President Khatami wowed to use all means at
his disposal to identify the murderers.
Other analysts said the attempt could be also the work of the remnant
of the same gang of the Information Ministry's high ranking officials
who eliminated prominent dissidents inside and outside Iran.
Mr. Ahmad Salamatian, a Paris-based political analyst did not ruled
out "intelligence" between the lone killer with some officials
"sitting high above".
"For some people, Mr. Hajjarian was seen as the man responsible for
the transfer of the nations' political centre of gravity from the
Expediency Council (which is chaired by Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani) to the
new Majles majority fraction held by the pro-Khatami IIPF", he
Asked by reporters to comment on the identity of the killers, Mr.
Abbas Abdi, former deputy Editor of the veteran reformist daily
"Salam" said he and his colleagues shared the feeling that certain
people were still feeling disgruntled about the result of the February
18 parliamentary polls in Iran, and because they could not reverse the
course of the political developments in Iran, they now chose to
assassinate people and personalities.
"Those who had designed and engineered the attempt against the life of
Hajjarian probably, and obviously rightly, believed that he had been
the leading theoretician of the present reformation in Iran", IRNA
quoted him as having said.
The assassination attempt on the life of Mr. Hajjarian provoked
nation-wide condemnation by personalities, groups, associations and
political parties except the Leader, tenors of the conservative
institutions as well as the Chairman of the Expediency Council, most
of them saying that the attempt had been designed and engineered by
people who are opposed to national reformation movement in iran, many
of them saying that the plot had been designed by people who had
suffered a set-back in iran's parliamentary elections february 18.
On visit to his hometown of Yazd known for its Zoroastrian temples,
President Mohammad Khatami strongly condemned the terrorist attempt on
the life of his adviser for political and strategic affair, describing
the failed assassination as an "ugly phenomenon".
Speaking in Meybod, near Yazd, Mr. Khatami, visibly shocked at the
news, said the terrorists who resort to such acts have no place among
the people. "They know well that people hate them and by committing
such acts, they will be even more hated", the President said.
Some analysts and journalists including Hojatoleslam Ali Hekmat,
Editor of the reformist daily "Fath" said if Mr. Khatami would have
dealt more vigorously with the gang of Intelligence Ministry that
murdered on November 1998 six leading Iranian politicdered on November
1998 six leading Iranian politicians and
intellectuals he could have prevented the assassination plot on the
life of Mr. Hajjarian.
However, Mr. Khatami promised that his government has strong
determination to fight and to uproot terrorism, violence and murder.
"Enemies of freedom and independence do not want to see progress of
the Iranian nation", he went on.
"Today a criminal hand is at work and displayed its ugly face by
gunning down a dear human being. Today the representative of Tehran
people to the city council was shot and critically wounded. The
enemies of freedom and pride of the nation think that with
assassination of a faithful, thinker and servant of the people and the
Islamic revolution they would reach their goals,"
"We are men of logic and seek the independence, freedom and progress
of the country", Mr. Khatami said in a veiled hint to the hard liners
who, under the leadership of Mr. Khameneh'i opposes reforms and
modernisation of politics in Iran.
"Terrorism is a means for those who lack logic so that they resort to
violence. Terrorism is a means for those who have no place among the
people. They resort to terrorism in order to damage the solidarity
among the various groups in the society that have driven the illogical
terrorists from society," the Pesident said.
Mr. Hajjarian, an outspoken political activist was reported to be on a
"death list" prepared by gangs belonging to the Information Ministry.
The list includes the names of other prominent journalists,
politicians and intellectuals, like Hojatoleslam Abdollah Nouri,
former Interior Minister who was sentenced to five years of
imprisonment on charges of insulting Islam and offending the Leader,
ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, Mr. Akbar Ganji, the most well known
investigative journalist author of the "Dungeon of Phantoms" and some
of his colleagues.
Though Hojatoleslam Hejazi from the Office of the Leader paid visit to
Mr. Hajjarian in the hospital and that the pro-Rafsanjani Servants of
Reconstruction Party (SRP) condemned the assassination attempt, yet
observers noted that both Ayatollah Khameneh'i and Ayatollah Hashemi
Rafsanjani remained dead silent on the tragic issue.
Intelligence Minister Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesi told official Iranian
news agency IRNA that based on information obtained from people and
eyewitnesses, the Ministry had obtained some clues. He did not
Mr. Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabataba'i, also a TCC member who was near Mr.
Hajjarian at the time of the shooting said LEF officers in charge of
the security of the Office were on the spot with an automatic rifle
but did not react to the attack
A few hours after the assassination attempt, members of the Islamic
Co-operation Front (ICF) Abbass Abdi, Mohssen Mirdamadi and Mohssen
Safa'i Farahani assured a large group of local and foreign reporters
that the bloody incident would not slow down the tempo of the march to
Noting that the killers of Mr. Hajjarian had fled the scene on a brand
of Honda motorcycle of which there are only a few in Iran, Mr.
Mirdamadi said the identification and arrest of the murderers should
not be too difficult for the security forces.
He confirmed that Mr. Hajjarian had also been in the hit list of chain
murderers of the Intelligence Ministry, adding that he, too, would
have been assassinated by the murderers if the serial murders had not
Asked if the Co-operation Front suspected any person or group to be
behind the assassination attempt, Mr. Safa'i Farhani said all those
who are opposed to reformation now in progress in Iran are behind the
terrorist operation assassination attempt whether in Iran or abroad.
"They were the number one suspects in Hajjarian's slaying", he said.
The attempt on the life of Mr. Hajjarian took place less than 24 hours
after reformists journalists and newspapers expressed concern for the
life of Mr. Akbar Ganji and other investigative journalists engaged in
disclosing horrendous details of the crimes committed by the Iranian
Intelligence Ministry under the former president.
One day before, the offices of "Sobhe Emrouz" in the northwestern city
of Orumyeh were set ablaze by unidentified arsonists.
The daily "Fath" that replaced "Khordad" wrote Saturday that pressures
from the conservatives on the Intelligence Ministry to have Mr. Ganji
arrested and silenced had increased to dangerous levels, adding that
there are plans to have him killed. ENDS HAJJARIAN 12300
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 22:50:04 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: Iran Reformers Rally Behind Stricken Leader
Iran Reformers Rally Behind Stricken Leader
Monday March 13 4:59 AM ET
By Jonathan Lyons
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's broad reformist movement vowed on Monday to
press on with its campaign for h its campaign for change, undeterred by
bullet that left one of its leading lights fighting for his life in a
In an outpouring of support for Saeed Hajjarian, one of the architects
of the movement and a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami,
politicians, clerics and newspaper editors said the shooting
represented the cost of reforming the Islamic system.
``The calamity of the assassination attempt on our intellectual
brother Hajjarian was one of the prices that the reformist current
must pay,'' newspapers quoted Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the president's
chief of staff, as saying.
``Firing on reform,'' read a headline in the moderate daily Ham-Mihan.
``Hajjarian lives forever, the reforms will not be stopped,'' said
Hajjarian was shot in the face at close range on Sunday by unknown
assailants. He remained unconscious in intensive care, although
doctors reported some improved neurological response.
Doctors said he was likely to be unconscious for days. It was too
early to tell the full extent of any brain damage, mostly from lack of
oxygen in the minutes after the attack.
Appeals For Calm
The shooting of Hajjarian, prime strategist behind the reformists'
strong showing in last month's parliamentary elections, stunned the
Islamic Republic and threatened to push the simmering factional
struggle toward open conflict.
Cabinet ministers, clerics and other allies flocked to the hospital to
express their concern. Many appealed for calm.
In an emergency meeting late on Sunday, the Supreme National Security
Council pledged to mobilise all resources in the hunt for the gunmen,
who fled on the kind of high-powered motorcycle reserved exclusively
for police and security personnel.
The council, meeting without President Khatami who was on a visit to
his native province, also promised to keep the public informed of all
developments surrounding the attempt on Hajjarian, a former senior
``It was agreed that swift and vast diverse measures would be taken
both in the security and police fields so that the perpetrators of
this plot would be identified and eliminated,'' the council said in a
From his house arrest in the holy city Qom, Iran's top dissident
demanded an immediate end to political violence, which the reformers
say has the discreet backing of the conservative establishment.
``If the government cannot stop such terrorist acts and barbaric
attacks by the 'pressure groups', it is only contributing to its own
decline and demise,'' Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said in a
``It is incumbent on all authorities to take action quickly against
the 'pressure groups' and such unlawful and un-Islamic acts,'' he
Another leading reformist theologian singled out the conservatives,
big losers in the recent elections, for blame.
``The terrorist attack on Hajjarian is a declaration of war on the
nation. Why don't you try to accommodate the people, why don't you
accept their vote?'' said Yusef Sanei.
Mindful of mounting public distrust for security forces apparently
unable to halt political violence, the authorities were scrambling to
apprehend the culprits.
Police detectives said witnesses had helped them create a composite
portrait of the gunman and his accomplice who drove the getaway 1000-
Iranian law bars such powerful bikes, once the favorite vehicle in
political killings, for general use.
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 16:46:51 EST
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: CG Void Election in Three Southern Cities
The Council of Guardians, has cancelled without explanation results of last
month's poll giving reformers victory in five seats, the main reformist party
Tehran, March 11 (Par Daily) - The Council of Guardians, has cancelled
without explanation results of last month's poll giving reformers victory in
five seats, the main reformist party said today.
The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) confirmed a report in the
reformist daily Sobh-e Emruz that the results had been declared invalid in
the southern cities of Bandar Abbas, Minab, and Gachsaaraan.
The reformists headed by the IIPF were credited with 226 of the 290 seats in
Majles after the first round of the elections on February 18. Sixty-four
remain to be contested in the run-off second round on April 21.
A recount of votes cast for the 30 seats in Tehran was held last week but
suddenly stopped without any explanation. Reformists were allotted 29 of them
but a dispute arose as to whether former president Akbar Rafsanjani, had just
Before the elections the Council of Guardians eliminated a large number of
candidates, mostly reformists, on the grounds that they were not committed to
âVelayat-e Faghih,â an invented principles by Islamic republic.
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 16:48:48 EST
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: hajjarian unconscious at sina hospital as groups voice
hajjarian unconscious at sina hospital as groups voice shock
tehran, march 13, irna -- publisher of persian daily sobh-e emrouz an
vice-chairman of islamic council of tehran saeed hajjarian who was
shot by a yet unidentified gunman in front of the city council sunday
morning is now in a state of coma, but according to hospital reports
his vital signs seem all right.
personalities, political parties, cabinet ministers and clerics
alike have voiced shock and dismay at the attempt against hajjarian's
life, and have in separate communiques officially condemned the
attempt against his life.
many of them have said in their communiques that terrorist
operations are unmistakably the designs of the enemies of the
islamic republic for pushing the iranian society into a state of
instability and pitting people and groups against each other in a
on sunday afternoon and evening a large number of personalities
visited the injured iranian official at sina hospital in tehran in a
gesture of solidarity and sympathy, and the jebhe mosharekat
(participation front) said in a communique sunday evening that the
bullet that had been resting in hajjarian's neck had not hit
extremely vital parts but that it had partially damaged his brain.
the communique by the participation front said due to the general
condition of hajjarian his doctors did not now consider an early
operation for removing the bullet. instead, he said, they were mainly
rying to maintain and improve upon his vital signs in the hope of his
gaining consciousness later on.
on sunday evening the iranian cabinet convened upon schedule, and
cabinet ministers condemned the terrorist attack and agreed to press
all responsible authorities for identifying and arresting the persons
responsible for the attempt against the life of hajjarian.
public education minister hossein mozaffar, too, condemned the
attack saying behind the assassination attempt there was "enmity,
hostility" and absence of good judgment. he called on teachers
nationally, to rear people equipped with knowledge, wisdom and
in separate communiques later sunday afternoon, the association
of the struggling ulema, and the islamic coalition condemned the
attempt against the life of hajjarian.
the associations that are separate groupings of leading muslim
clerics said in their communiques that the print media owed it to a
mature national readership at the national level that allowed and
encouraged presentation of different political thinking in the press.
they said the killing of one personalities would certainly not be able
to bridle a "dynamic thinking" on the part of the iranian society.
the association of the struggling ulema said the scheme to
physically eliminate one thinking personality would certainly bear
opposite results, and would "help the growth of hundreds of new buds,
and would strengthen the foundations of freedom." it said such schemes
would never be able to suppress the print media and would not be able
to re-impose on them the dictates of a press law that prevailed only
until may 23, 1987.
the struggling ulema said the wave of recent assassinations in iran
was a scheme of the enemies of the islamic republic whereby to pit
people and groups against each other and thereby suggest instability,
and unrest at the national level.
the ulema called on law enforcement authority of iran to try
hard and identify the slayer of hajjarian and prevent hostile schemes
that sought to suggest domestic instability in iran.
in a communique sunday evening, the islamic council of tehran
city, too, condemned the terror, saying it had been designed and
engineered "by the enemies of civil freedoms." it added the people
who resented the present national atmosphere of civil liberties would
certainly seek to indulge in similar terrorist operations in the
future in a bid to pit the nation into unrest and disquiet.
among other groups and associations that condemned the terrorist
act sunday were a large number of muslim students associations
nationwide, the islamic association of iranian teachers, the college
students bassij, the youth party of islamic iran, bonyad mostazafan,
print media representatives, and scores of professional associations.
member of the central council of 'iran participation front party'
and of tehran city council saeed hajjarian was shot and seriously
wounded by a gunman who used a muffled handgun at 08:40 hours sunday
morning as he was about to enter the building of tehran city council
at behesht street, on the southern side of the city park in downtown
his assailant who wore a helmet immediately jumped on a high-power
honda and fled the scene escorted by another accomplice of his.
hajjarian was rushed to nearby sina hospital, but has since been in a
state of coma with generally satisfactory vital signs.
scores of personalities and officials visited hajjarian at sina
hospital sunday. among them were cabinet ministers and their deputies,
majlis deputies, spokesman of iran's foreign ministry hamidreza
assefi, and head of presidential office mohammad-ali abtahi.
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 19:31:50 EST
Subject: Iranian Reformer Had Death Threats
Iranian Reformer Had Death Threats
By ANWAR FARUQI
.c The Associated Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - An Iranian reformer gravely wounded in an
assassination attempt had received death threats since he began probing the
slayings of five dissidents by the Intelligence Ministry, a colleague said
Saeed Hajjarian, who remains in a coma after being shot Sunday by an
unidentified gunman, knew much about Iran's shady Intelligence Ministry,
which he had helped found after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Journalist Akbar Ganji said he and Hajjarian - who runs the Sobh-e-Emrouz
daily newspaper - had called for answers about the killings of the five
political dissidents in 1998. Using his contacts at the ministry, Hajjarian
is believed to have been the source for exposes that Ganji wrote about the
killings, although Hajjarian once denied that he had leaked the information.
``Hajjarian played a big role in exposing those behind the serial killings,
and for that he had received many, many death threats in recent months,''
Ganji said after visiting Tehran's Sina Hospital, where Hajjarian was in
intensive care. His doctor said his condition had improved slightly, but
friends said he was fighting for his life.
In a Sobh-e-Emrouz article Monday, Ganji wrote that ``His Gray Eminence'' -
believed to be a veiled reference to former Intelligence Minister Ali
Fallahian - had never forgiven Hajjarian for attempting to find out who was
behind the dissidents' killings.
In early 1999, the Intelligence Ministry admitted the killings of five
writers and intellectuals associated with the opposition had been carried out
by ``rogue'' ministry agents. President Mohammad Khatami subsequently
overhauled the ministry.
Hajjarian angered the hard-liners by making what they considered to be
provocative statements during last month's parliamentary elections, which the
hard-liners lost for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution brought
the Shiite Muslim clergy to power.
Once a hard-liner himself, Hajjarian began to speak out for freedom of
expression and greater political plurality after being silenced for opposing
the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani, who stepped down in 1997. Hajjarian
later became an adviser to Khatami.
On Sunday, witnesses said two men on a motorcycle approached Hajjarian, who
was a city councilor, outside the municipal council offices in central
Tehran. One aimed a handgun at Hajjarian and fired two shots from less than
three feet away. One of the bullets hit Hajjarian in the face, then lodged at
the back of his neck.
Khatami visited Hajjarian in the hospital Monday night, following a visit by
U.S.-based neurosurgeon Jamshid Ghajar. Iran had asked Ghajar to return to
the country to treat Hajjarian.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but pro-reform newspapers and
Hajjarian's reformer allies blamed hard-liners. The motorbike had a
high-capacity engine that only security forces and police can use.
Meanwhile, in northern Tehran on Monday, several mortar rounds hit an
apartment complex, injuring two people. An opposition group trying to
overthrow the Islamic government claimed responsibility for the attack, which
appeared unrelated to the one on Hajjarian.
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 19:32:48 EST
Subject: Clinton extends 1995 sanctions against Iran oil
Clinton extends 1995 sanctions against Iran oil
WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) - President Bill Clinton on Monday extended an
executive order banning oil development contracts with Iran, accusing Tehran
of continuing to support ``international terrorism'' and undermine the Middle
East peace process.
Clinton said in a statement he was extending the ban he first signed in March
1995 ``because the actions and policies of the government of Iran continue to
threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the United States was
considering scrapping trade sanctions on Iran's three main non-energy exports
-- caviar, carpets and pistachio nuts -- in a bid to improve relations with
The paper quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the move was one of several
gestures of goodwill being considered in light of progress toward economic
and political reform in Iran.
Clinton, who must decide annually whether to extend the 1995 order or have it
automatically lapse, said the factors that led him to sign the order had not
In a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, Clinton
cited ``the actions and policies of the government of Iran, including support
for international terrorism, its efforts to undermine the Middle East peace
process, and its acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to
The 1995 measure prohibits U.S. citizens from entering into contracts for the
financing of or the overall management or supervision of the development of
petroleum resources in Iran.
Washington banned non-oil imports from Iran after the seizure of the U.S.
embassy in Tehran in 1979.
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Mar 2000 to 13 Mar 2000 - Special issue