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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Mar 2000 - Special issue
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Mar 2000 - Special issue
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There are 8 messages totalling 1354 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. Happy Nourooz
2. Mrs. Hajjarian Appreciates Leader's Message of Sympathy
3. Albright Asks for Forgetting U.S. Past Policy Toward Iran
4. MKO Agents Responsible for Mortar Attack Identified
5. Plan Under Study to Replace Prison Term With Other Penalties
6. This is not The End of The Game:
7. Kurdestan, A Noble Branch of Old Tree of Iranian Race
8. The Conservatives, The Reformists and The Future
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 18:06:03 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Happy Nourooz
Dear DNI-news subscriber, another year has pased, and our people took
another giant step toward freedom, soon we will see a free and democratic
Iran taking shape, and hopefully this transition will not be a bloody one.
Let me wish you all a happy nourooz and hope that the new year will be ful
of good news from our country.
Lets not forget the imprisoned Iranian students, and the leaders of Hezbe
Mellate Iran, and all the other political prisoners in our country and
remind yourself that Iran can not be called a free country as far as it's
children are sitting in jail just because they do care and love their
mother land. Lets wish that we see those imprisoned friends free and in
good health in the new year that comes.
be omide-e azAdi-e IrAn va IrAniAn,
Happy new year,
sAl-e Nou bar hamey-e doostan mobArak bAd,
Ps. For those of you who do not know the exact time of the "sal-e tahvil",
the new year starts at 11:05:11 IR time, 8:35:11 CET time, 2:35:11 NY time
and 23:35:11 LA time.
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:19:10 EST
Subject: Mrs. Hajjarian Appreciates Leader's Message of Sympathy
Mrs. Hajjarian Appreciates Leader's Message of Sympathy
TEHRAN Mrs. Vajiheh Marsoussi, wife of Saeid Hajjarian, a member of Tehran
City Council who was wounded in an assassination attempt Sunday, in a
statement Thursday thanked the Leader of revolution for his message of
She also thanked the president and other officials for their sympathy.
She appreciated the "noble Iranian people who in the past decades have
demonstrated bravery and devotion for the establishment of the Islamic
Republic and frustrated enemies of the country." Mrs. Marsoussi said she was
certain that this time again the noble Iranian nation by practicing vigilance
will foil the plots of the internal and alien agents of global arrogance and
Zionism who have openly targeted national security and unity of the nation.
Hajjarian was shot by two yet unidentified assailants in front of the Tehran
City Council, Sunday morning.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday evening issued a
statement on the recent assassination bid against Hajjarian.
The statement said: "The dastardly assassination attempt against the deputy
head of the Tehran City Council a few days ago was a part of a dangerous plot
which might endanger the interests of the country, the people and the Islamic
system. "Creating tensions and an atmosphere of terror in is among the major
aims pursued by the plotters and the enemies of the Islamic Iran. In fact,
the recent terrorist attack on Hajjarian which took place a short while after
the key parliamentary polls and on the eve of Iran's New Year is in line with
the satanic objectives followed by the enemies.
"I call upon all the competent agencies to investigate the case of this
organized conspiracy which targets the national stability and the system."
The greatest service rendered to criminals and enemies is to instigate the
public opinion and to trouble the national security and create an atmosphere
of suspicion, misgivings and disturbance to make it difficult for the law
enforcement officers to follow up the case instead of identifying the
plotters, the message said. "The mortar attack on some residential blocks in
northern Tehran which occurred simultaneously with the assassination bid on
Hajjarian should serve as a notice to the alert public that the enemy is
seeking nothing but to disturb the national security of Iran," the message
Those who instigate the public opinion and target the political camps and, by
doing so, create an atmosphere of anxiety and terror in the society are,
consciously or unconsciously, helping the enemies. "Deeply concerned with the
attempt on the deputy head of the Tehran City Council, I express sympathy
with Hajjarian's distinguished and devoted family and stress that the
security and law enforcement agencies should take urgent and rapid measures
to apprehend the agents behind the crime and restore calm to the presently
tense atmosphere which is favorable for the foreign enemies and is as
detrimental as the poison to the national security," the message said.
In a letter to chief of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC),
members of Tehran City Council expressed their concern about the continued
threat against the life of Hajjarian and also other intellectuals.
"Considering the current sensitive situation, members of Tehran City Council
express their concern over attempts to sabotage Iran's security, and
traitors' mischievous plans against the national interests as well as the
recurrence of the recent incidents'', reads the letter.
The members of Tehran City Council in their letter have asked the SNSC to
make necessary arrangements for protecting the lives of Hajjarian and other
Mohsen Hajjarian, son of Saeid Hajjarian, said Friday that there were signs
of hope in his father's condition.
Hajjarian told reporters at Tehran's Sina Hospital that about 90 percent of
signs pointing to consciousness in his father have been observed.
He said that his father briefly opened his eyes about 0030 hours local time
Friday (2100 GMT Thursday) and responded positively as his close relatives
talked to him.
Also Masoud Hajjarian, brother of Saeid Hajjarian, said in an interview with
IRIB Thursday night, said that he believed that the assassination attempt was
connected to the recent article Saeid wrote in the Sobh-e Emrouz daily
against the Zionist regime and their role in different issues. "Saeid was a
progeny of the revolution and measures are b taken to omit these progenies,"
Meanwhile, in an interview with IRNA, Health Minister Mohammad Farhadi
confirmed all measures taken by the medical team since Hajjarian was taken to
hospital and said that the treatment has yielded favorable results.
He said that expatriate Iranian professors and specialists, who are in Iran
to assist the medical team, have termed the measures taken in treating
Hajjarian as being based on the latest medical techniques.
Hajjarian still continues in coma, though his vital signs show gradual but
steady improvement, according to his doctors at Sina Hospital of Tehran.
Doctors say upon admission at hospital Sunday morning he had extreme cerebral
hypoxia, and breathing problems but that since Tuesday those problems have
been controlled and that his kidneys and his heart are now functioning
normally with perfectly normal blood pressure and improved response to
Cerebral hypoxia is a condition marked by a deficiency of oxygen reaching
A bullet that was fired from a muffled pistol by a gunman in downtown Tehran
Sunday morning hit his face in point blank range and has since lodged in his
neck near his spinal cord, and its surgical removal is not for the time being
His doctors, though are cautiously optimistic about the chances of his
pulling through, and say after the expiry of the crisis period following the
injury, he has shown slow but steady improvement.
They say his poor response to stimuli at the left side of his extremities is
due to the continuing pressure on his spinal cord because of the presence
there of the bullet.
Doctors say his electroencephalography is now perfect, and add that he has
not had any uncontrollable infection since the moment he was admitted to
Iranian neurosurgeon Dr. Omidvar Rezaei, however said Thursday afternoon that
a definite prognosis would be possible only after he shows improved
Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) said on Friday that Saeid Hajjarian
showed signs of consciousness in the early hours of Friday, marking
Eid-ul-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), by opening his eyes and moving his toes for
a few minutes.
Hajjarian, the deputy chairman of Tehran City Council (TCC) and managing
editor of daily Sobh-e Emrouz', was shot and injured in front of the TCC
premises on Sunday, March 12, by two yet unidentified gunmen on a motorbike.
The IIPF, in a statement issued here Friday on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha,
said Hajjarian's reactions greatly relieved the concerns over the disruption
of the link between the nerves of the cerebrum and spinal cord and increased
hope for the restoration of cerebral and spinal activities.
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:20:43 EST
Subject: Albright Asks for Forgetting U.S. Past Policy Toward Iran
Albright Asks for Forgetting U.S. Past Policy Toward Iran
TEHRAN TIMES POLITICAL DESK
TEHRAN The U.S. yesterday eased sanctions on Iran in renewed bid for dialog
and former deputy foreign minister Abbas Maleki while welcoming the easing of
the sanctions said the main body of sanctions is still in place.
An official at the Foreign Ministry said, "A thorough study and analysis are
needed about what Secretary of State Madeleine Albright offered to Iran."
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamidreza Asefi in response to the offer made by
Albright said that considering the length of the speech, the Iranian Foreign
Ministry would study and analyze the content of the speech and respond in due
Talking to the TEHRAN TIMES, Maleki who is currently director of
International Institute for Caspian Studies, said, "Albright's message is
positive for two reasons: First, the U.S. through this message admitted that
Washington engineered a coup in 1953 in Iran which was against the interests
of the Iranian nation.
And secondly, the U.S. admitted that it sided with the opponents of Iran
during the Iran-Iraq war." The first point confirms the attempts of all
Iranians belonging to my father's generation who from 1945 to 1979 believed
that the Oil Nationalization Movement was an independent movement negating
the interests of the East and West.
The second point U.S. support of Iraq is an acknowledgment of the attempts of
my generation who have lost their brothers in Iran-Iraq war due to the U.S.
technical and intelligence assistance to Iraq, he said.
On the negative points of Albright's message, Maleki said, Albright's support
of the reformists in Iran and her criticism of the conservatives is as much
humorous as that of an Iranian official's support of the Americans living in
the south vis-a-vis those in the north.
Her support of the reformists and criticism of conservatives is not in the
interests of the reformists at home and they will definitely react to it,
Maleki added. "It is clear that the U.S. policy toward Iran is always accomp
with a delay, for at a time when the European Union was welcoming Iran,
Clinton extended sanctions against Iran (March 15) and today U.S. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright speaks of easing the sanction," the director of
the Institute for Caspian Studies said.
Welcoming the easing of the sanctions, Maleki said, "The main body of
sanctions are still in place. The easing of sanctions gives rise to a
rational question: Why should the sanctions be imposed? Still the American
companies which are very much interested in investing in Iran are deprived of
this opportunity. For instance, Maleki said, the Exxon Mobil has been waiting
for the past 18 months to receive a permission from the Trilateral Committee
to swap Kazakhstan oil," he said.
The Iranian nation will not forget that the U.S. spared no effort to prevent
Iran's economic prosperity by blocking the activities of oil companies in
their country, he added.
About 14 enactments by the Congress, court rulings or presidential orders
(amounting to 2 billion dollars) have been issued against Iran during the
recent years particularly after the election of President Mohammad Khatami,
he said, adding this all-out U.S.
animosity against Iran is difficult to understand in Iran.
From the establishment of ties between Iran and U.S. until 1953, the Iranian
nation and government considered the U.S. as a democratic country and a
supporter of the oppressed of the world.
Between 1953 and 1979 the U.S. attitude toward Iranian government was
positive while its attitude toward the Iranian nation was negative, he said
adding, this attitude has changed since 1979, that is, the U.S. attitude
toward the Iranian nation and government has become negative. I hope this
will be corrected, he concluded.
Meanwhile Asefi said, "Iran welcomes and terms as positive the export of
Iranian pistachio, carpets and caviar to the U.S. and now it (U.S.) can
export medicine and cereals to Iran." Touching on Albright's speech, Asefi
said that there are positive and negative points in the speech.
"On the one hand the secretary of state repeats its past accusations against
the Islamic Republic and on the other, she accepts the past mistakes of her
country toward Iran and tries to insinuate a new and different outlook toward
the Islamic Republic," The official said.
A report of the AFP from Washington said the United States eased sanctions
against Iran yesterday and moved toward returning Iranian assets frozen here
since 1979 in a renewed bid for dialogue with Islamic Republic.
In a major policy address, Albright announced a lifting of import bans on
Iranian caviar, carpets, nuts and dried fruits and took the unusual step of
acknowledging past U.S. interference the country's internal affairs.
"The points I have made and the concrete measures I have announced today
reflect our desire to advance our common interests through improved relations
with Iran," she said, adding however that Washington remained realistic about
those prospects. "We have no illusions that the United States an able to
overcome decades of estrangement overnight," Albright told a conference on
U.S.-Iran relations sponsored by the American-Iranian Council. "We can't
build a mature relationship on carpets and grain alone, but the direction of
our relations is more important than the pace.
The United States is willing either to proceed patiently on a step-by-step
basis or to move very rapidly if Iran indicates a desire and commitment to do
so." The easing of sanctions does not cover 1995 restrictions extended
earlier this week on Iran's top exports, oil and gas, which provide Tehran
with 85 percent of its foreign exchange, U.S. officials said.
The extension of those sanctions drew angry responses from Iranian officials
who have demanded concrete changes in U.S. policy toward their country if a
dialog is to begin.
U.S. officials believed more than just an easing of sanctions on luxury goods
was necessary, hence Albright's remarks on the frozen assets and implicit
apologies for Washington's past behavior.
In particular, she noted the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in
toppling Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953, acknowledged
repression under the U.S.-backed regime of the Shah.
She also expressed regret for support Iraq during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.
"Neither Iran nor we can forget the past, it has scarred us both," Albright
On the monetary front, the secretary said Washington was willing to resolve
outstanding legal claims, most of which stem from assets and property frozen
by Washington after it severed diplomatic relations with Tehran in 1980. "Our
goal now is to settle the relatively few, but very substantial, claims that
are still outstanding ... and by doing so put this issue behind us once and
for all," she said. "We want to work together with Iran to bring down what
(Mohammad) Khatami refers to as the wall of mistrust.
'" she added: "The possibility of a more normal and mutually productive
relationship is there. But it will not happen unless Iran continues to
broaden its perspective of America, just as we continue to broaden our view
of Iran." On the Iranian assets she said Albright said nearly all of the
private claims had been resolved in The Hague. "Our goal now is to settle the
relatively few but very substantial claims that are still outstanding between
our two governments at The Hague and by so doing put this issue behind us
once and for all," she said, without indicating the extent of the assets
Under the Iranian assets control regulations in 1979, billions in Iranian
government bank deposits, gold and other properties were frozen but much of
this has subsequently been released.
Albright said the administration has no illusions'' that the United States
and Iran will be able to overcome their hostility overnight. In fact, in her
speech, Albright reiterated U.S. allegations that Iran sponsors terrorism,
seeks weapons of mass destruction and persecutes religious minorities.
Iran is an independent country and Albright should note it that the Iranian
will never tolerate any meddling in their internal affairs by any country or
Albright also raised the issue of Jews arrested on charges of spying. She
should know that the dates of their trial has been fixed and the Judiciary
also said the trial will be open. "It's too early to know precisely where th
will lead,'' Albright said of a recent parliamentary election in which
moderates scored heavily and other moves in Tehran.
But, she said: "We have concluded the time is ripe to broaden our
perspective.'' She wished the Iranian people a happy New Year and added:
"Surely, the time has come for America and Iran to enter a new season in
which mutual trust may grow and the quality of warmth supplant the long cold
winter of our mutual discontent.''
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:21:26 EST
Subject: MKO Agents Responsible for Mortar Attack Identified
MKO Agents Responsible for Mortar Attack Identified
TEHRAN The identities of two criminals of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq
Organization (MKO), who were responsible for the recent attack on a
residential complex, has been established, according to deputy head of the
Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) for information affairs Agency.
Reports broadcast by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) over
the past 24 hours further quoted the Law Enforcement official as saying that
the MKO criminals, angry at the epic February 18 Sixth Majlis election, had
resorted to this heinous crime in line with the policies of their masters.
The MKO affiliates, operating under the pseudonym of Rassoul Hemmatian and
Habib Hedayat, had infiltrated Iranian territory through border with the
support of the Iraqi intelligence organization.
They were accommodated at a public place in Tehran the night before the
operations and conducted the terrorist operation after purchasing a
According to the report, the MKO terrorists had fired five mortar shells on a
residential complex in northern Tehran, injuring a number of civilians.
The LEF official said the issue is being seriously pursued by the LEF in
cooperation with the intelligence, security and disciplinary officials and
will continue until all MKO criminals have been brought to book.
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:23:38 EST
Subject: Plan Under Study to Replace Prison Term With Other Penalties
Plan Under Study to Replace Prison Term With Other Penalties
BANDAR ABBAS, Hormozgan Province A plan is under study according to which
imprisonment will be substituted with other forms of penalty, said Head of
Prisons Organization Seyed Morteza Bakhtiari.
Speaking at a session for introducing the new director general of Prisons
Department of Hormozgan Province on Wednesday, Bakhtiari said the plan aims
to revise penal codes in an effort to further correct wrongdoers.
With no mention of other alternatives, he said, however, there are other
forms of penalty which could substitute imprisonment, adding that prison
confinement should be the last option.
He said since February 11 this year (marking triumph anniversary of the 1979
Islamic Revolution) so far 24,000 inmates have been released upon Leader's
pardon while sentences of 26,000 others were commuted.
He said those pardoned were in prison for charges other than armed robbery,
drug trafficking, kidnapping, graft and embezzlement of more than Rls.15
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:32:29 EST
Subject: This is not The End of The Game:
This is not The End of The Game: A Technical Review of Political Factions in
Payame Emrouz; Economic, Social & Cultural (Monthly)
Mar. 2000, No. 37
By: Ali Farahi
Pages: 26 - 27
Word Count: 2346
Summary: By reviewing the present political factions in Iran we will realize
that the modern right faction (the Executives), in an attempt to maintain
their power, have reached a coalition with the traditional right wing. Among
the stated goals of the modern right are attempts to strengthen the right
factions in general, to absorb the most right forces of the May 23 Front, and
to isolate the radical forces in both factions, as well as create a rift in
the rank of the May 23 Front.
Text: There are many inevitable developments that wait for some sort of small
or big accidents to become an excuse for them to take place. Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani's decision to run in the 6th Majlis elections was one such excuse.
Unavoidable developments are usually the outcome of a challenge between two
opposing tendencies, such as a move for a change and resistance to that
change; or still the challenge between utopianism and pragmatism. The
proponents of each of these tendencies may be scattered in a spectrum of
extremism and moderation. The slowest members of each group are usually the
ones who display a tendency for cooperation and compromise with the other. Of
course, there is always the likelihood of a split, separation and other
clashes among each of the spectrums.
Nowadays in Iran, the change in question is the distribution of power between
the state and the non-state, whose present key word is the "civil society".
The proponents of the civil society are in favor of creating this change and
are called the left faction. This may not be the most precise wording, and
the opposing camp are called the right faction, which is not a precise
expression either. However, both of these phrases have found their way in
everyday usage and are of daily conversational use to us.
In the present Majlis (Fifth Majlis) the majority is in the hand of the right
faction called the traditional right. The most important issue of the Sixth
Majlis election, is the probability of this faction's weakening. The strong
probability is that the seats this faction loses will not go to the left
faction. The probability is that these seats would be divided between the
modern right and the left.
Both these latter groups have assumed the applicable title the May 23rd
Front. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's announcement of his candidacy for the
election was the solution forwarded by the right faction (Modern and
Traditional) to make sure that the left faction would be unable to end with
the majority in the Sixth Majlis.
A month before Hashemi Rafsanjani's announcement of his candidacy, his
daughter Faezeh Hashemi, who was among the individuals related to the May
23rd Front, protested against a tape recording made of one of her speeches
through Sobhe Emrouz daily, a Front's publication. She did not receive a very
friendly reaction from the left faction.
This was the first sign of lack of uniformity among the modern right and
modern left factions. A little after Hashemi Rafsanjani's candidacy, his
brother Mohammad also made a protest against the discussions made regarding
inclusion or exclusion of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani's name in election lists of
some May 23rd groups. The radical Left made even an angrier reaction to his
protest, but the moderate left sat on the fence. These two events created a
rift first in May 23rd lines and then among the moderate Left.
Undoubtedly, these events were probable or even inevitable. These rifts
became more obvious in some criticisms made against Hashemi Rafsanjani in the
press. The moderate left not only refused to join in but protested against it
too. On the other hand, the apparently unexpected meandering gave the right
faction the opportunity while they were lying in wait for it.
This faction managed to speedily mend the rifts in their views and
operational methods through some reforms and make their positions more
uniform and logical through their reliance on Hashemi Rafsanjani's position.
Up to this time, the right faction's activities in their drive against the
left faction (those in favor of changes) were mainly in the control of the
traditional right and their operations were mainly featured in its guerilla
tactics, against group meetings (or fighting against group meetings),
inflicting blows and shocks against the press, their use of seditious
speeches to incite violence, and individually targeted reactions.
Other forms of guerilla tactics are as such: nervousness, quickness
(sometimes hurriedly), sharpness, shock inflicting, regard for psychological
results, monopolistic and uncompromising, reluctance of temporary coalition,
reliance on ad lib techniques, individual initiative, and wide use of
seasonal active members. With the approach of the election, there was no
doubt that guerilla tactics had lost their effectiveness. There were rumors
to the effect that the right faction would resort to harsher shock
inflictions, which were later on proved to be negative. As a result, the
right faction instead of relying on guerilla tactics put its hopes in frontal
Such features are highly necessary for the latter techniques: Reliance on
extensive long term programs instead of ad lib ones, relegation of shock
infliction and incitements operations, readiness for temporary coalition and
alliance, backing down on monopolistic desires, softness in some deals,
preference for physical, executive and cool obeisance of the executive and
duty-bound individuals regarding emotional and spiritual alliance, reliance
on full time professional active members instead of seasonal militia,
continual and step by step progress instead of eye-catching wars of attrition
and patience. As a matter of fact the traditional right faction was forced to
give up opposition to modern right. The May 23rd Front had succeeded in
neutralizing guerilla tactics and taking advantage of every blow inflicted on
them while at the same time embark on a counter-offensive. The
counter-offensives were proved to be a lot more efficient.
In this manner, the traditional right found itself helpless and decided to
turn to experienced veterans of frontal operations. They laid off the
majority of the guerillas as well. The commanders of the frontal operations
gradually took over the control. Hashemi Rafsanjani's entering the scene
highly encouraged them and they were overjoyed. Hashemi Rafsanjani was the
leader's representative and was the pivot of a movement which was christened
the modern right a few years ago.
As a rule of thumb the modern right would find itself in theoretical and
executive confrontation with the modern left, but the confrontation with the
traditional right was of high priority for them. This priority was revealed
four years ago during the presidency of Hashemi Rafsanjani with the issuance
of a statement with six signatures (the Executives).
When the statement came into the open the split in the right was officialized
and the traditional right and modern right came into being. A part of the
modern right under the name of Executives of Construction declared its
existence. They were quickly drawn into a war with the traditional right,
which was not exactly what they were after and was in fact imposed on them.
The statement caused Hashemi Rafsanjani to put a distance between himself and
the Militant Clergy Association (Jame-e Rouhaniat-e Mobarez), which was the
most influential right faction organization. The traditional right started to
make scathing attacks on Hashemi Rafsanjani's government.
A year and a half later after the issuance of Executives of Construction (EC)
statement, the modern right threw all its weight and efforts behind Mohammad
Khatami, who was the selected individual by the left (those wanting
distribution of power between the state and the non-state) while availing
itself of its executive skills displayed by members such as Gholamhussein
Karbaschi, who was the mayor of Tehran at that time. They afforded Khatami a
decisive support in his bid for presidency. Just before the presidential
election, Hashemi Rafsanjani himself visited the balloting districts and
during a Friday prayer sermon secured the correctness of the election which
in reality translated into Khatami's victory. In this struggle the modern
right inflicted a blow on the traditional right while at the same time paved
the way for the reconciliation of the rightist camps.
However, the real reconciliation was in need of more clashes such as
imprisoning of Karbaschi. It seems as though now that the left has come to
power, the modern right has made the traditional right faction accept the
modern right's positions grudgingly. Freedom of Karbaschi from prison is
actually the freedom of an individual who is well versed in creating fronts
and puts him at the disposal of the collective right faction.
Anybody wishing to put things back together (control of the movement which
came out after May 23rd and demands a change in the distribution of power
between the state and non-state) is in dire need of Mr. Karbaschi's
specialization. What the modern right has put on the table for the
traditional right to agree with and they have given their approval to some
extent can be a collection of the following:
Creation of a rift among the left faction (those wanting change)
Absorption of the most rightist minded members of the May 23rd Front
Isolation of the most radical members of the left faction
Isolation of the most radical members of the traditional right (those active
in guerilla tactics)
Initiation of favorable reforms according to the modern right views
Leading the future Majlis in a direction so as to block the government
affiliated extremists. This lack of coordination can come either from the
right or from May 23rd members more radical than the government
Leading the society away from utopianism and toward pragmatism
Paving the way for free operation of capital and making the economy
Adjustment of the affairs with foreign countries based on politics and
economics and not on the basis of culture which is wanted by some May 23rd
Giving precedence to those matters that are apart from the topic of changing
the balance of power between the state and the non-state
Security of the present balance of power between the state and the non-state
Continuation of the construction projects
Entrusting the technocrats with the executive affairs
Stopping the political clamor mongering in the press
The press's bitter attacks against Hashemi Rafsanjani and the continuation of
the widening rift among the left faction was the best gift for the new right
formation and the continuation of creating a rift in the left faction. Let's
assume you are asked to create a rift among a group, the way to do this to
say something that makes some of those people in the group to agree with you
and at the same time the others disagree.
Kissinger says in his memoirs of the Middle East negotiations after the
Ramadhan War, the most difficult job for him and his assistants was not to
find a peace solution. It was the drawing up of a proposal that contained one
or more paragraphs that would have the full support of Egypt and at the same
time full refusal of Syria. The result of the press attacks on Hashemi
Rafsanjani was this that we should not say the attacks were on purpose and
they were the result of a conspiracy. But the right was lying in wait for
that. This won't be the last gift since the active members of left wing of
the May 23rd Front can only resort to guerilla warfare. Collective exercise
among them consists of weak frontal campaigns. The only skill tools which
acted for them on May 23rd, 1997 were in the hands of Karbaschi and his
In order to understand the prescription that the right faction has on its
agenda to push the society from utopianism towards pragmatism, we pay
attention to two interviews. The first interview was with Dr. Hassan Rowhani,
the vice speaker of the Majlis, with IRNA. In this interview he said some
very important things:
The first Majlis was more radical and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani controlled it,
so controlling the Sixth Majlis won't be difficult for him.
The Fifth Majlis heard people's message on May 23rd, 1997 that was why they
chose to cooperate with Khatami and to respect him. The modern right did not
cooperate with Hashemi Rafsanjani this much.
Nevertheless the Fifth Majlis did not show much understanding in its
cooperation with Khatami.
A day later Mohammad Reza Bahonar, a member of the traditional right, who
seems to have agreed to entrust the jobs with the modern right, in another
interview with the same agency (IRNA) predicted that in case the May 23rd
Front people win in the election the opposition to Khatami government's would
increase. In fact the traditional right was forced to give up its opposition
to the modern right.
Assuming this scenario comes true, this won't be the end of the game. The
wish for change and the resistance to this wish would both continue. The
movement in our era, in a part of the world which is thirsty for freedom, is
towards a revision in the balance of power between the state and the
non-state, the same foundations that the civil society is resting on. But the
victory of those seeking change won't be the end of the game either. During
the last century, we found out the freedom of an individual before the state
does not necessarily translate into his freedom before non-state centralized
powers, (specially in economic fields). We also found out that the justice
system does not always come together with freedom system. The justice system,
in spite of the accidents which took place against it in the last decade of
the last century will start fighting the freedom system in case it is the
working capital of the preferred class. Apparently today in Iran, under the
global atmosphere the wish for freedom is stronger than the wish for justice.
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:37:27 EST
Subject: Kurdestan, A Noble Branch of Old Tree of Iranian Race
Kurdestan, A Noble Branch of Old Tree of Iranian Race
San'ate Hamlo Naql; Scientific, Technical, Economic (Monthly)
Winter 1999, No. 15
Pages: 19 - 22
Word Count: 2868
Summary: Having a population of 1,346,383 and covering an area of about
28,203 sq. km, Kurdestan Province is located west of Iran and is a
mountainous and cold province. The Assyrian tablets refer to Kurdestan or
Medes as Karda or Namri and its inhabitants are called Kurtiks or Kurts. The
oldest reference to the Kurds' ancestors is made in Xenophon's valid
chronicle entitled "The Return of 10,000 Greeks" which happened during years
400 or 401 B.C. In that book Xenophon refers to Kordukhis and Korduks who
dwelt in the present Kurdestan that stretched to the Black Sea at the time.
Surely these Korduks are the ancestors of the present Kurds. Sanandaj is the
capital city and its important cities are: Saqez, Marivan, Oraman, Kamiaran,
Baneh, Bijar, Garus, Divandareh, and Qorveh.
Text: A delightful climate, beautiful and rare natural landscapes at various
regions, a charming Zarivar Lake made of gushing springs, Esfandabad and
Qorveh fertile and fruitful plains, the green jungles of Baneh and Marivan,
rare tourist attractions in Ormanat, the rich and genuine culture of the
Kurds and many unexplored charms, present a very beautiful panorama of
Kurdestan Province. Meanwhile precious ancient monuments such as Assyrian
tablets at Tangivar, Tappeh Zivieh, Karaftu Cave, Qomchaqa Cave and other
ancient hills, prove the ancient history of Kurdestan.
Sacred shrines specially that of the tomb of Hajereh Khatoon, Imam Reza's
sister in Sanandaj, is a popular pilgrimage site for lovers of the Household
of the Prophet.
Covering an area of about 28,203 sq. km, Kurdestan Province is located west
of Iran and is a mountainous and cold province. Kurdestan neighbors West
Azerbaijan and part of Zanjan provinces in the north, Kermanshah Province in
the south, Hamedan Province in the east and Iraq in the west.
Due to many mountainous elevations and valleys Kurdestan is enriched with
many rivers which after feeding a small part of farms in the region join
Sirvan, Qezelozun and Zarinehrud rivers and exit the province. In the
meantime due to high elevations and abundant rainfalls, Kurdestan is rated as
a cold region in the country. But the climate differs here and there
according to the height and depth of mountains and valleys.
From the point of view of state classification, Kurdestan possesses eight
towns, 23 districts, 79 big villages and 1968 small villages. The capital of
Kurdestan Province is Sanandaj and its other important cities include Saqez,
Baneh, Marivan, Bijar, Qorveh, Kamiaran and Divandareh.
The inhabitants in Kurdestan are Muslims and the majority are followers of
the Shafei Sunni faith. Their language is Kurdish and each region enjoys its
own dialect. Kermanji dialect is employed by residents around Urmia; Surani
is the dialect in Sanandaj, Saqez, Baneh, Marivan, Mahabad, Bukan and
Sardasht; and Horami is the language of Ormanat, Zhavrud, Gavrud and Lahon.
From this dialect other small branches known as Kermanshahi, Sonqor, Koliyai,
Bijari, Mian Darbandi, Kandullehi, Sanjabi, Kalhori, Goorani, Dinvari, Fili
and Laki are derived.
Kurdish is a branch of Indo-European language and is one of the most ancient
languages in the country. Some researchers believe that the Kurdish language
is one of the branches of the Iranian language that has survived from the
All researchers and scholars who have studied Kurdestan's history maintain
that the Kurds are one of the famous Aryan branches and solidly linked with
the Iranian nation. The Kurds have always led a respectable and dignified
life and have had strong link with other branches of the Iranian nation.
The Assyrian tablets refer to Kurdestan or Medes as Karda or Namri and its
inhabitants are called Kurtiks or Kurts. The oldest reference to the Kurds'
ancestors is made in Xenophon's valid chronicle entitled "The Return of
10,000 Greeks" which happened during the years 400 or 401 B.C. In that book
Xenophon refers to Kordukhis and Korduks who dwelt in the present Kurdestan
that stretched to the Black Sea at the time. Surely these Korduks are the
ancestors of the present Kurds.
Strabo, a Greek geographer, refers to inhabitants in this region as Kurti
tribesmen who were living in the vast Median empire.
After the victory of Islam and until the fifth century A.H. (11th century
A.D.), no reference is made to Kurdestan in the historical records. During
the fifth century A.H. Sultan Sanjar, the Seljuk king, separated Kurdestan
from Jabal territory and after that the term "Kurdestan" was recorded in
state ledgers. Kurdestan's original capital was Bahar, in Hamedan Province,
which lost its importance during the Mongol rule and was shifted to
Sultanabad Chamchal, near Bisotoon, Kermanshah. After that governing of
Kurdestan was assigned to the Ardalan family whose capital was Zur and later
on Hassanabad, six kilometers south of Sanandaj. The Ardalans ruled this
region nearly six centuries.
Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdestan Province, is located 512 km southwest of
Tehran and its elevation from the sea level is 1480 meters.
Seneh or Seneh Dejh or Sanandaj is a new city which was built by Soleyman
Khan Ardalan during the Safavid period in the year 1046 lunar hejira (16th
century A.D.) upon the instruction of Shah Safi. Soleyman Khan first built a
strong castle near the Seneh village which became known as Seneh Dejh. Then
at the eastern side of the castle he laid the foundation of a city which was
later christened Sanandaj. However, in local dialect Sanandaj is still called
Seneh. Until the end of Naseruddin Shah's rule, Sanandaj was the seat of the
governor of Kurdestan Province.
In the past Sanandaj was divided into governor's quarter, residential quarter
and economic quarter and its first structure retains a combination of ancient
Iranian and specially Islamic architecture in which the builders imitated the
architecture used in Isfahan. Because of being a the center of Kurdestan
Province, Sanandaj possesses a bazaar, many state buildings and mosques and
used to be an important economic hub in Kurdestan. The city bazaar used to
incorporate all production and economic branches and it served the city and
In not distant past when rapid change of communication had not changed
Sanandaj's traditional web, compared to other regions Sanandaj used to export
important goods and possessed many wealthy merchants and families. The
buildings surviving from these wealthy merchants and families point to the
city's affluence in the past.
Of important historical monuments in Sanandaj which have survived from the
Safavid and Qajar periods, one may refer to the roofed bazaar, Darolehsan
Mosque, Khosrowabad Building, Vakil Building, Moshir's Building, Asef
Building, Qeshlaq Bridge and several baths. Besides their outwards beauty,
these buildings which resemble central Iranian architecture, have profited
from native architecture and building material which gives them special
identity in their structure, outward facing and inside ornaments specially
the sash windows and plaster work which is exceptional.
Handicrafts in Kurdestan include carpet, tapestry, bedclothes, woolen
fabrics, prayer clothe, Jajim, needleworks, Giveh weaving, socks, stockings,
hat weaving and earthenware.
Kurdestan's carpets are 2 or 1.5 Zar' (a little longer than a meter) in size
and the Kurds weave special carpets laid under prayer cloth as well as
reclining and square carpets. Among present carpets those woven in Bijar,
Sanandaj and Afshar enjoy better fame within and outside the country. The
high quality, fine knots, harmony of color, suitable designs and variety of
dyes and raw material, are the special features of Kurdestani carpets. Such
carpets are distinguished from those woven in other provinces from their dye
and almond-shaped design.
Of other handicraft one must refer to elaborate wood works and wood carving.
Sanandaji wood carvers are the best artists in the country and are very much
skilled in the fabrication of various wooden ware.
Giveh Bafi (weaving cotton summer shoe) which is known as Kalash is a special
handicraft of Oraman and is woven in Sanandaj as well. Meanwhile in parts of
Kurdestan such as Oraman and Baneh the residents weave special fabrics from
goat's wool, known as Mar'az (Markhaz), in traditional looms. The fabric from
Mar'az is called Shamel and the garment woven from it is called Chookheh and
Ranak and is the native dress of the Kurds.
Saqez is located northwest of Sanandaj. Its root meaning is Sakez which is
said to have been built by Sakkis in ancient times. Sakez is believed to be
the capital of the Sakki tribe but the city has undergone much change in the
past due to repeated attacks. It is said that a big district at the Baneh
road had been part of Saqez in the past. During the history Saqez has been
repeatedly attacked by the Assyrians and Romans and after that it did not
escape the Mongol and Ottoman invasion.
Handicraft in Saqez include carpet, Gelim and Jajim weaving, prayer cloth and
woodwork which are very interesting for travelers and tourists.
Tappeh Zivieh which was originally a castle and was built during the Sakki or
Manaha period, is located 42 km northeast of Saqez and was accidentally
discovered in 1946. The relics discovered from Tappeh Zivieh have been
displayed in big exhibitions. Among them a golden necklace bears the image of
animals and fabulous creatures. Experts at the Iran Museum of Ancient History
believe these relics belong to the ninth century A.D.
This city was formerly called Mar (snake) Aeyvan because of abundance of
snakes but was gradually changed to Marivan. It is a very beautiful tourist
resort west of Iran.
Zarivar Lake, Oraman and natural landscapes in Marivan have rendered special
beauty to the city. Besides its green jungles and natural beauties, Zarivan
Lake is a rare tourism resort in Marivan. In Pahlavi language the term
"Zarivar" means resembling the sea. Its water gushes from springs beneath the
lake. The lake covers 8.5 km area and is surrounded by a green foliage and
jungle mountains. During winters the surface of the lake is frozen into ice
and the people walk over the lake until spring. Thus it is quite suitable to
be converted into a ski resort.
ORAMAN TAKHT (ORAMAN) AND ZHAVRUD
This is a mountainous and rocky region with dry climate and many springs and
rivers which have created very beautiful landscapes that charm visitors when
spring blossoms. Oraman takht (Oraman) and Zhavrud are considered as
attractive regions in Kurdestan Province.
The language, culture and the customs of Oraman point to its ancient history
because this region was a center for instruction of Zoroastrian religion
before Islam and the natives still use Pahlavi and Sassanid words. The tomb
of Pire Shalyar, said to be a Zoroastrian priest, is located in Oraman.
Kamiaran is located 74 km south of Sanandaj and covers an area of 1897 sq.
km. Its elevation from the sea level is 1464 meters and has a population of
101237. This is a fertile region in Kurdestan Province, possesses green and
well built villages, and enjoys special rank in pastures and fruit
production. Kamiaran is rich with history and possesses many ancient hills.
Baneh is located 60 km west of Saqez, 260 km from Sanandaj, and 21 km from
Iraq. It is placed at the Zagros mountainous range and its elevation from the
sea level is 1054 m. Baneh is surrounded with Dozin, Babuz, Ariaba and
Reshteqala or Siahgaleh mountains. This town which is very rich in natural
resources, is located between Marivan and Saqez and is a mountainous region.
Thanks to its rich pastures, animal breeding is remarkable in Baneh and the
majority of peasants take their flocks to the surrounding mountains for
grazing during springs and summers.
Bijar has been built over a very high mountainous region. Its elevation from
the sea level is 1870 m and is called the roof of the country.
The majority of the inhabitants in Bijar are farmers and they produce nearly
100000 tons wheat a year. For this reason Bijar is named a warehouse of
wheat. Animal husbandry is also quite flourishing in Bijar and women are also
engaged in farming besides homework. The skillful women in Garus create
beautiful designs on carpets and produce fine and lasting carpets and Gelims.
From the point of view of knots and dye the Gelims woven in Bijar are
distinguished from other regions.
Garus region enjoys ancient civilization and the tablets discovered in
hieroglyphic script proves that before the emergence of Assyrian Empire in
3000 B.C. other civilizations existed in that region. Ancient relics such as
Qaleh Qomchaqa or the Valley of Kings, Qezelqaleh Castle and Salavatabad
Bridge in Garus, point to such ancient history. The tomb of Imamzadeh Aqil is
also located in Bijar.
Divandareh is located 97 km north of Sanandaj, covers an area of 4203 sq. km
and possesses 85367 population. Due to existence of vast Ubata and Saral
valleys Divandareh is an important wheat producer and animal breeder.
Divandareh is a cold and snowy region in the country.
Karaftu Cave, located at a high elevation in Divandareh 76 km east of Saqez,
belongs to the Median period and is so large that it takes 12 hours for a man
to cross it. The cave contains tablets in cuneiform script and several tombs
in the form of busts. The remains of two buildings in Karfatu Cave is
attributed to Parthian period (about 300 A.D.). Some archaeologists believe
that the image of a horse rider on a wall in the cave displays the victories
of King Goodarz, a Parthian king.
The Cave is divided into several stories and the upper story is equipped with
an amphitheater which is supposed to be a lecturing hall. The image of two
horses has been carved in one of the chambers in that Cave.
Three things in Kurdestan are said to be important for a man: his horse, his
gun and his wife.
Qorveh is a new town which was used to be a village but was gradually
expanded into a town and is only 100 years old.
Located 87 km east of Sanandaj, Qorveh is populated by Kurdish and Turkish
speaking people and this mixture of language has changed the geographical and
anthropological features of the town. The eastern and northeastern residents
are speaking Turkish and the citizens living in the western bank of Shur
river speak Kurdish. Its closeness to West Azarbaijan and the establishment
of administrative buildings by Kurdestan governorate has given a mixture of
Kurdish and Turkish cultures to Qorveh. Qorveh is quite fertile for
agriculture and most of the residents' income there is from farming and to
some extent from animal breeding. The fertile farms surrounding Qorveh have
attracted the population into villages. Qareh Yarkeh and Badr are famous
mountains in Qorveh which are capped by snow most of the year. Ajichay, Uzon
and Tahmasbqoli are famous rivers in Qorveh which pour into Qezelozun river.
The city possesses rich stone mines which supplies stone for building in the
PRODUCTS AND FEATURES
a. Rangeland products: Rangeland products in Kurdestan Province include gum
and pharmaceutical and dying plants which are exported to other provinces in
b. Jungle products: Jungle products include oak, gum tree, gallnut, tamarisk,
and several other species. Part of such products including gum and manna of
the tamarisk was exported to other provinces in the past and part was used in
c. Animal by-products: Animal by-products include oil, wool, guts, dried whey
and other dairy products. Agricultural products include wheat and barley the
surplus of which is exported to other provinces due to small storage capacity
in Kurdestan Province.
Of other products in Kurdestan Province one can refer to cereals.
d. Domestic animals: Domestic animals include sheep, cow and goat which due
to the region's special climate are hardy and resistant against disease.
e. Quadrupeds: In the past Kurdish horses enjoyed a good reputation and due
to the mountainous nature of the region horses were raised in towns and
villages before the invention of cars.
Of other beasts which carry burden, one may refer to jades which are very
suitable to transport loads at rocky Oraman region.
f. Domestic fowls: Domestic fowls in Kurdestan Province include Kurdish cock
and hen which are small in size and bear beautiful colors and are resistant
against disease. Turkey, goose and duck are other domestic fowls which are
preserved in some regions near the rivers.
h. Wildlife: Wildlife in Kurdestan includes mountain goat, bear, sable,
leopard, beaver, wolf, mountain cat, and many other beasts which posses very
precious skins. However, in order to prevent excessive animal hunting which
is endangering such species, the wildlife are under state protection in
Wild birds: Two types of partridges, cuckoo, yellow partridge, starling,
water fowl, crane, ringdove and hawks, are wild birds in Kurdestan.
Fruits and orchards: Quince, apricot, apple, pears, walnut, strawberry,
almond and wild plum are the fruits produced in Kurdestan.
Population and city area in Kurdestan Province according to 1375 census
(March 21, 1996 - March 20, 1997):
City Population Area (sq. m.)
Sanandaj 359990 8246
Saqez 194998 4370
Baneh 105606 1452
Marivan 185116 3992
Qorveh 199834 4339
Bijar 114235 5805
Kamiaran 101237 5805
Divandareh 85367 4202
Total 1346383 28203
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:38:29 EST
Subject: The Conservatives, The Reformists and The Future
The Conservatives, The Reformists and The Future
(Which one of Feb. 18th, 2000 Event Should not be Neglected?)
Asre Azadegan (Morning Daily)
Feb. 24, 2000, No. 115
Pages: 1 & 19
By: Hamid Reza Jalaiepour
Word Count: 2451
Summary: In an analysis of the May 23 presidential and Feb. 18 parliamentary
elections, the writer discusses the reasons for the victory of the Reformists
and bitter defeats of the Conservatives in both events and warns that lack of
attention to the reform movement by both groups would be a kind of political
suicide. He further argues that without the pursuit of the objectives and
demands of the reform movement, even economic development, that is improving
the people's lot, would not take place.
Text: In interpretation of the Feb. 18, 2000 event (the day the Sixth Majlis
election was held) different headlines are used, such as: `The day for
victory of people and the regime,' `The day of victory for the Reformists,'
`The day for defeat of the Conservatives,' `The day for defeat of
Patriarchy,' `The day of climb-down for anti-democratic forces.'
The objectives of this article are not to verify or negate one or all of
those headlines and interpretations. The objective, however, is a separation
in whose light the 18th February, 2000 can be interpreted more correctly and
lessons be learned. According to this separation, the event can be looked at
from two different viewpoints. One is the civil society viewpoint and the
other is the civil movement and reforms. According to the first viewpoint the
event tells of unsettled issues in the Iranian political society and the
second viewpoint talks of a dynamic and social force and says that one of its
purposes is to put an end to this unsettledness in the political society.
The purpose of this writing is that under the auspices of this separation,
the element of the reform movement in the society as a factor contributing to
the failure of the Conservatives, the Executives of Construction and (former
president Ali Akbar) Hashemi Rafsanjani in Tehran on Feb. 18 is better
understood and again under the light of this element one can evaluate the
performances of the Reformists as well as the Conservatives in future. Why is
it that the Iranians' behavior during the election of Feb. 18, 2000 speaks of
unsettledness in the political society from the civil society viewpoint? The
political society that is within a society, and is civil, is a part of the
society which contains the governmental jurisdiction and political parties.
In this society the foundation of the government, from a foundation point of
view and not from the viewpoint as to what sort of people are governing, is
significant, but in this society the presence of competing, well settled
political parties is the prerequisite of governing correctly from a
foundation point of view. The political section of the civil society (or the
same political society) is not made up of the strict government foundation,
the political parties are the media that connect the government and the civil
foundations (these foundations in reality are the organized representatives
of social strata of people and citizens). That is to say that parties try to
put forward the viewpoints and tastes of different social strata in the
framework of their programs, priorities and those of their candidates for the
people to see.
On the other hand the government foundation is ready to deliver the political
positions to the winning political parties through periodical elections. So
the formation of impersonal government foundation would be difficult in the
absence of political parties in the civil society. The period in which the
elections are held is one of the occasions which can reveal the existence of
such a political society in the civil society. In such a society, since
political parties are well settled, their programs and candidates are well
known to everybody for one year prior to the beginning of the election. So
there is an opportunity of one-year period for these parties to solicit the
votes of the people and promote their candidates. This opportunity would
allow them to carry out opinion polls and predict people's election prompted
behaviors. Now if we look at Feb. 18th event from the same point of view, we
will notice that this event indicates that the political society has not
taken its proper shape in Iran yet, since it was not clear, even to the last
days of the election, whether or not the candidates of political parties and
groups would come out unscathed from under the sharp edge of the approbatory
supervision (of the Guardian Council).
According to the opinion polls, up to one week before the election, it was
not clear whether 50 percent of the qualified electorates would take part in
the election or not. Although everybody was sure of the Conservative
candidates' receiving a heavy beating, no one however was sure of Hashemi's
status and the way he fared. So the unpredictable results of the Sixth Majlis
election clearly showed that the trend of political parties taking shape in
the political society is highly defective and from the viewpoint of the civil
society, the most transparent part of politics, meaning the people's behavior
during the elections, is absolutely unpredictable. Aside from civil society's
viewpoint, if we look at Feb. 18th from a movement point of view, the day
speak of a serious civil and reform movement in the Iranian society. The
civil and reform movement is a phrase referring to a collective movement in
different sectors of the society which a large number of people and groups
created through their solidarity and like-mindedness and begin their movement
in pursuit of a special objective or objectives. (The difference between
reform movement and revolutionary movement is the fact that in revolutionary
movements those people who become active are not committed to peaceful,
lawful and calm means. This is in total contrast to reform movements. The
revolutionary movements recommend violent approaches to get what they are
after too. The fact that a social movement becomes active or why a movement
takes the form of a reform movement or a revolutionary one is beside the
Now we can speak of a reform movement taking shape after the war in Iran.
This movement has taken its roots in the influential stratum of the society.
One of its objectives is to reinforce the democratic mechanisms in the
government and political parties. They try to make all the government sectors
and political parties answerable through these mechanisms and change people
in different positions in every election period. Two historic days are like
two windows through which we can look at such reform movements in the
society. One was May 23rd, 1997, in which (President Mohammad) Khatami,
contrary to everybody's expectations, came to power with 20 million votes in
his favor. The other is Feb. 18, 2000 during which and contrary to most
predictions, Hashemi Rafsanjani failed to win the first place in the ballots
and plunged down to rank last in the list. During both of these two events,
the Conservatives had employed all their means among the social layers, while
being assisted by the religious foundations and the pillars of the power, in
particular, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (in the second event
the Executives of Construction were also helping them) to prevent the success
of their rivals. What, however, gave rise to these unpredictable results was
not the activity of the existing political parties in the society. The main
agent was the forward moving reform movement and the objective of reinforcing
democracy. This affected the ballots of the people immensely on the election
day. The real force of this reform movement, which depended on the 5 million
educated and learned individuals, managed to mobilize that sector of people
who had not yet decided to vote and bring them into the election scene.
We do not intend to ignore party rivalry and the existing political
tendencies (such as the competition between the Conservatives and the
Reformists) and the part the press played in the Feb. 18th event. The fact is
that these factors must also be analyzed in the context of the dynamic reform
movement in the Iranian society. So it is perfectly correct that from the
civil society's viewpoint of Feb. 18th election, our society has not yet
attained the civil particulars and has long way ahead to reach the
destination. However, from the second viewpoint, Feb. 18th demonstrated the
presence of a reform movement with extended social backing. It is a movement
with reinforcement of democracy or reinforcement of political society in a
civil society as its objectives. The following two highlights give credence
to this appraisal:
The explanation of the Conservatives' failure is not too difficult in light
of the aforementioned separation. When the May 23rd event took place, they
failed to see that there was a strong reform movement in the society. This
strong movement was responsible to bring Khatami out of the National Library
and put him in the Presidential Palace by way of his election. Khatami had
nothing to do with this reform movement. Contrary to this analysis, the
Conservatives thought that the May 23rd event was basically the result of a
miscalculation, meaning that if Khatami was disqualified during the screening
procedures and if a worthy rival was up against him and if people such as
Karbaschi with his publicity power had not stepped into the election process,
nothing of the kind would have happened. So the Conservatives in their
reaction to the May 23rd event said nothing has changed and resisted the
reform programs of Khatami as much as they could. It was under these
circumstances that the radical extremists committed every criminal act that
they could imagine and the Conservatives kept their silence and did not
condemn the criminal acts perpetrated by these radicals until the whole thing
began to emanate a terrible stink (such as the chain murders and the attack
on the university dormitories). The sit-in in Qom speaks of continuation of
this negligence on the part of the Conservatives towards the reform movement
all the way till the days before the elections. Of course one of the wisest
things that the Conservatives did, since they were beginning to take the
probability of defeat in the election very seriously, was their efforts to
send Hashemi as their first candidate into the election arena on Feb. 18th.
In this manner they intended to break up the lines of Reformists, but the
explanation for Hashemi's debacle and the defeat of the Executives of
Construction Party (ECP) is a different story. The ECP acted very feebly in
Feb. 18th election in comparison with what they managed to pull in the May
23rd election. They acted very much reactively towards Hashemi's decision to
take part in the Feb. 18th election. Their reactive measures caused them to
ignore the demands of the reform movement and they put all their eggs in
Hashemi's basket. Mr. Hashemi also failed to recognize the reform movement
and in his interview with Hamshahri daily referred to this movement as some
sort of extremism and inexperience on the part of the young people of the
revolution. So Hashemi failed to coordinate himself with the rhetorics of the
reform movement (such as placing importance on the serial killings). This was
what Abdullah Nouri had done and had paid the price for. He entered the
election well assured that he would come out a big winner. On the election
day, the infantry of this reform movement encouraged by common people sailed
into the ballot boxes in a manner that even the Reformist groups did not
expect it either. The future of the Reformists and the Conservatives rests in
this reform movement since this movement has a rich prospect (paying
attention to democracy) and is being backed by the educated and would not
rest until its demands are met and its objectives are institutionalized.
So the future of this reform movement depends on two issues. One is the
Conservatives' reaction to the Feb. 18th event. Will they attribute their
defeat to another miscalculation just like what they did on May 23rd? Will
they think it was all a conspiracy on the part of the press and decide to put
up a stiff resistance against this reform movement? Or, will they accept the
reality of the reform movement and try to assist the democratic mechanisms
and make all parts of the government answerable as well as making political
parties active. This will entail the benefit of everybody. If they decide to
opt for the first choice the immediate results would be more solidarity among
the Reformist groups in their quest to further the objectives of the reform
movement. The Conservatives' popularity would suffer ever more just like what
has been taking place in the last few years and they would lose their
creditability among the masses. However, if they decide not to resist, they
will definitely change into a force to be reckoned with in future in the next
election. It also has a lot to do with the performance of the Reformists as
well. If they look at the reform movement objectives seriously and try to
accommodate these objectives both in the Majlis and outside of the Majlis,
they will take the appearance of forward moving force of the reform movement
and backers of the civil society in people's eyes. This will give rise to
better circumstances for economic well being in the country as well. However,
if they decide to ignore the objectives of the reform movement and give way
to a compromise in it, they will receive the same sort of blows that Hashemi
and ECP had to endure. The important point is that unreasonable expectations
may have been created among the people after the victory of the Reformists in
the election. However, it must be mentioned that the promotion of economic
programs in the country without taking the performance of the governing
foundation into consideration is impossible. If all parts of the government
are not answerable (meaning the objective of the reform movement has not been
realized), how can this government execute long term economic programs. If we
neglect this fact we will witness the recurrence of what took place in 1970's
and 1990's. The first one was related to a revolution and the second one
brought about May 23rd and Feb. 18th events. In a nutshell inattention to
reform movement by either the Reformists or the Conservatives is a form of
political suicide and even economic development (improving people's lot)
would not take place without the pursuit of the objectives and demands of
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Mar 2000 - Special issue