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There are 8 messages totalling 744 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. Fwd: Iraq
2. Japan says arms issue won't affect Iran relations
3. Iran hit by 4.8 Richter earthquake - state radio
4. UPDATE 2-Iran slams U.S. intervention in OPEC talks
5. Bahrain, Iran to set up shipping link, ease travel
6. Former Afghan leader said to be in Iran - IRNA
7. Clinton Courting Old Foes
8. IPS: Khameneh'i linked to the failed assassination of Hajjarian
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 12:11:14 EST
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Subject: Fwd: Iraq
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STRATFOR.COM's Global Intelligence Update - 29 March 2000
By The Internet's Most Intelligent Source of International News &
Know the every move of your competitors -- even before they do.
Stratfor Intelligence Services http://www.stratfor.com/services/
WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR WORLD
Stratfor.com has added a web page which contains articles we wrote
before most news outlets knew the stories existed. Rather than tell
you what has already happened, we specialize in telling you what
will happen next.
STRATFOR.COM Global Intelligence Update
29 March 2000
Power Struggle Brewing between Sons of Saddam
Iraq recently held parliamentary elections that resulted in Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Odai, winning a seat with
99.99 percent of the vote. Since Saddam carefully controls the
elections as well as his regime, it appears that he has handed Odai
a potentially powerful position in the Iraqi government, one which
intensifies the ongoing power struggle between Odai and his younger
brother, Qusai. Pitting one's sons against each other is not
unheard of in successions. Nevertheless, the move may result in
weakening the security apparatus that protects Saddam.
Odai Hussein, eldest son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, won a
seat in the National Assembly (parliament) by a sweeping 99.99
percent of the vote. Saddam controls Iraq's parliamentary
elections, which are neither free nor fair. Every candidate is a
member of either Saddam's Baath party or one of the few parties
that exist because they have pledged loyalty to Saddam's regime.
Odai, who was once regarded as Iraq's heir apparent, now poses a
new threat to his younger brother Qusai - and ultimately his father
Odai will also likely win the position of Assembly speaker in
April. While the National Assembly is not a powerful body, the
speaker has considerable influence in the regime and attends
meetings of the Revolutionary Command Council, the all-powerful
decision making body led by Saddam.
A December 1996 assassination attempt left Odai partially
paralyzed, prompting Saddam to focus on grooming the younger Qusai
to be Iraq's next leader. If Odai becomes parliamentary speaker, it
will be his first position of governmental power since before the
attempt on his life.
Odai, 35, has always played a public role in Iraq and currently
publishes the influential Iraqi daily Babel, which often functions
as a government mouthpiece. He heads Iraq's Olympic Committee and
the Iraqi Football Federation, making him popular among Iraqis. The
younger Qusai, 33, has worked behind the scenes for years gaining
power and support in Iraq's security services. He heads the elite
Republican Guards as well as the special security agency in charge
of protecting the president. As deputy commander of the army, Qusai
also commands the northern military region, which oversees Kurdish
areas and is intended to respond to Turkish invasions. Qusai also
has significant influence and support in the Iraqi intelligence
Now, Odai will be able to use his election victory as the first big
step in a campaign to challenge his brother's pre-eminence in the
Iraqi succession struggle. In the past year, Qusai has solidified
his power base and chipped away at Odai's while he struggled to
return to the spotlight. In July, shortly after walking without
assistance for the first time since the assassination attempt, Odai
publicly made comments suggesting he was ready to return to the
state's security and political apparatus. Qusai responded by
purging the military and security apparatus of officers loyal to
Saddam has not prevented Odai's resurgence, indicating tacit
approval. If Odai wins parliamentary speaker - a likely possibility
- he may try to rally support in the powerful Revolutionary Command
Council away from his brother, who also attends the meetings. He
may also try to regain influence in the military and security
apparatus as well.
If this occurs, it will undoubtedly spark a significant response
from Qusai. Odai's mere comments in July were enough to set off
purges by his younger brother. If Odai does have ambitions of
edging out Qusai, he will have to be tactful. Qusai clearly has
more power and resources at his disposal, as well as the apparent
support of his father.
It seems clear that Saddam has chosen Qusai as his successor.
Saddam appointed Qusai to all of the high posts he now holds and
has, in the past, had to rein in Odai who has a reputation as a
short-tempered trouble-maker. In 1995, Saddam briefly jailed Odai
after he shot an uncle in the leg during an argument. In December
1999, Saddam decorated Qusai with three prestigious military
awards. Then in January, Saddam gave Odai a single medal of valor,
one of the three awards Qusai received a month earlier.
Saddam relies heavily on the highly efficient security agencies,
commanded by Qusai, to keep him alive and in power. Odai must be
careful not to undermine his brother so much that it affects
Qusai's ability to control the agencies he heads. Any attempt by
Odai to weaken Qusai or those agencies will not be taken lightly by
a ruler known to execute family members. Saddam may well have set
up the conflict to ensure that neither son is able to become too
ambitious for the presidency.
While Qusai controls the military and security apparatus, Odai
enjoys widespread popular support. If both sons play to their
strength, they exploit the already tense rift between the
government and the people. If Odai undermines his brother - at the
expense, or perceived expense, of the Iraqi regime's security - he
may also undermine his father, which could result in his own
(c) 2000, Stratfor, Inc. http://www.stratfor.com/
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Phone: 512-583-5000 Fax: 512-583-5025
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:05:05 EST
Subject: Japan says arms issue won't affect Iran relations
Japan says arms issue won't affect Iran relations
TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) - Japan said on Wednesday it did not expect any
diplomatic fallout over the alleged involvement of a senior Iranian diplomat
and OPEC official in illegal military exports from Japan.
``We are not linking this incident to our relations with Iran,'' said Ryu
Yamazaki, press secretary at Japan's Foreign Ministry. ``This incident is
being left up to the authorities who are investigating.''
Japanese police said they had sent papers implicating Hossein Kazempour
Ardebili, a former ambassador to Japan and now Iran's governor to the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and another former embassy
official to Tokyo prosecutors.
Ardebili, who is a candidate to become secretary-general of OPEC, and the
embassy employee are suspected of paying 6.1 million yen in 1994 to a
Japanese firm accused of illegally exporting parts for anti-tank rocket
launchers to Iran.
Two executives of the firm, Sun Beam KK, a small Tokyo-based trading house
that went bankrupt two years ago, were arrested last month and have pleaded
guilty to charges they illegally exported military parts to Iran in 1995.
Prosecutors have said the two -- Ichiro Takashashi, 63, and Tsuneo Ishida, 67
-- shipped the parts to Iran after receiving orders for sighting devices used
in rocket launches from state-run Iran Electronics Industries (IEI).
Analysts said filing of papers against the two Iranians appeared to be a
formality that did not involve actual charges and was a legal technicality
needed to bring charges against the Japanese company.
``This is highly unlikely to become a major diplomatic problem because the
man is not in Japan now,'' said diplomatic analyst Hideaki Kase.
Iran was unlikely to respond, for example by expelling Japanese diplomats,
for the same reason and to avoid upsetting Japan, which has offered aid, he
The Iranian embassy in Tokyo said it had no involvement.
``There is no connection between Iran and the fact that a Japanese firm broke
its own country's laws a number of years ago,'' the embassy said in a
``We hope that this matter, which could damage relations between our two
nations, is quickly resolved,'' it added.
The Foreign Ministry's Yamazaki said Japan was optimistic about its future
relations with Iran, adding there was a standing invitation for its
president, Mohammad Khatami, to visit Japan.
``The arms incident is under due process of law and is up to the relevant
authorities,'' he said, declining to comment on whether the issue could
escalate to the point that it would effect Iranian oil supplies to Japan.
Japan imported 183.3 million barrels of crude oil from Iran in calendar 1999,
its third-largest supplier after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:05:32 EST
Subject: Iran hit by 4.8 Richter earthquake - state radio
Iran hit by 4.8 Richter earthquake - state radio
TEHRAN, March 29 (Reuters) - An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale
jolted northeast Iran but no casualties were reported, state radio said on
The epicentre of the quake, which struck late on Tuesday, was 190 km (120
miles) southwest of Mashhad. It damaged villages near the towns of Kashmar
and Bardaskan the radio said.
Iran lies on a seismic fault line and is often hit by earthquakes. A quake
measuring four to five on the Richter scale is powerful enough to cause heavy
damage in a populated area.
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:06:28 EST
Subject: UPDATE 2-Iran slams U.S. intervention in OPEC talks
UPDATE 2-Iran slams U.S. intervention in OPEC talks
By Andrew Mitchell
VIENNA, March 29 (Reuters) - Iran on Wednesday blasted a U.S. diplomatic
campaign to push oil cartel OPEC for higher supplies, but said it would raise
crude output anyway.
``The U.S. intervention was beyond expectations. Never in the history of OPEC
has this been experienced before,'' Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour
Ardebili told reporters. ``There was a lot of resentment and a lot of
Iran, OPEC's second biggest producer, opted out of a deal by nine other OPEC
members to lift supplies by seven percent. Iran had argued for a smaller
increase, complaining of external political pressure to raise supplies.
U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson telephoned into OPEC ministers closed
session on Tuesday night, the second time in two days he had done so,
Kazempour told reporters.
Iran made it clear that its formal opt-out from the supply rise deal would
not mean sacrificing market share.
It plans an immediate rise in oil production in line with other OPEC members
and would consider whether to increase output further.
``We will certainly do the minimum increase that would have been allocated.
We will consider our position on increasing beyond that,'' he said.
Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh would not reveal how much Iran intended to
raise oil production although he reassured nervous markets that it would not
pump at full throttle.
``We will increase our production but how much please wait,'' said Oil
Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. ``We don't want to use our total capacity
because we don't want to destroy the market.''
Iran's output quota under the new OPEC deal would have been 3.623 million
barrels per day, a rise of 265,000 bpd. Estimates of Iran's total output
capacity vary between 3.7 million bpd and four million bpd.
The U.S. embargo on Iranian oil imports, in place since 1995, discouraged
Iran from heeding calls for increased supplies, Kazempour said.
``If there had been a different situation then there may have been a
different approach. If we are not going to sell to the U.S. why should we act
for that,'' he said.
Iran was prepared to compromise on its proposal for a five percent output
increase but was not prepared to sign up for a deal that it believed had
already been arranged in advance, Kazempour added.
``We showed the maximum amount of flexibility but because other members were
not flexible we could not reach a consensus opinion,'' Oil Minister Zanganeh
told Tehran Radio.
Kazempour played down fears that Iran's abstention from the new pact could
hurt OPEC unity and encourage increased cheating on output quotas by other
members of the group.
``We are for the causes and objectives of the organisation,'' he said. ``We
contribute all we can to cohesion and stability. We do not want to undermine
Iran agreed with other OPEC members that it should aim for a range of between
$22 and $28 a barrel for its official crude basket price, he said.
``We are for better prices for sure but we wish that prices remain in an
acceptable range,'' he said.
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:06:55 EST
Subject: Bahrain, Iran to set up shipping link, ease travel
Bahrain, Iran to set up shipping link, ease travel
MANAMA, March 29 (Reuters) - Bahrain and Iran agreed on Wednesday to set up a
sea link and ease travel between the two Gulf states, the official Bahraini
Gulf News Agency reported.
It quoted Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Mubarak al-Khalifa
as saying the agreements were reached during talks with his visiting Iranian
counterpart Kamal Kharrazi.
Sheikh Mohammad also said the talks provided an opportunity to develop
relations between the two countries.
Bilateral ties soured in 1996 after Bahrain accused Iran of training
``terrorists'' to overthrow its government, a charge denied by Tehran.
Relations have improved since Iran's moderate President Mohammad Khatami came
to office in 1997.
The report gave no details of the planned shipping link.
Iran's embassy in Manama said Kharrazi would leave on Wednesday at the end of
a two-day visit.
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:07:27 EST
Subject: Former Afghan leader said to be in Iran - IRNA
Former Afghan leader said to be in Iran - IRNA
TEHRAN, March 29 (Reuters) - Ismail Khan, a senior Afghan opposition
commander know as the ``Lion of Herat,'' is in Iran after escaping from a
Taliban militia jail, the official IRNA news agency said on Wednesday.
Khan, 65, fled on Sunday from a prison in the Taleban's main stronghold in
the southern city of Kandahar where he had been held since his capture three
Iran's foreign ministry was unable to confirm reports that Khan had entered
Iran from Pakistan.
Khan comes from the western city of Herat on the border with Iran.
His release was mentioned as a possible demand by hijackers who seized a
Boeing 727 belonging to state carrier Ariana and took it to London in early
The British media, however, said the hijackers' main motive was to try to win
political asylum in Britain.
Khan was an army captain in Herat and joined the fight against the Soviet
occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
He served as a governor there after the fall of the communist regime in 1992,
and became well-known because he was able to enforce relative security in his
controlled areas, unlike other anti-Taleban forces.
He lost Herat to the Taleban in 1995 but continued fighting against the
militia until his captur.
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:08:21 EST
Subject: Clinton Courting Old Foes
Clinton Courting Old Foes
By TOM RAUM
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - From North Korea to Iran to Libya, President Clinton is
courting former adversaries, some of them still on the State Department's
terrorism list, as he nears the end of his term and ponders his legacy.
He is attempting to rehabilitate ties with some of the same governments and
leaders long vilified by the United States.
Two decades after President Reagan warned that Libyan ``hit squads'' might
invade U.S. cities, the Clinton administration is considering easing
restrictions on American travel to the North African country and exploring
whether its oil might be made available to U.S. markets again.
The administration this month lifted a ban on U.S. imports of Iranian luxury
goods and said it would seek a legal settlement that could free Iranian
assets frozen since 1979. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright invited Iran
to enter a ``new relationship'' with the United States.
Last September, the United States lifted trade, banking and other sanctions
that had been in place against isolationist North Korea for decades. Former
Defense Secretary William Perry has visited Pyongyang seeking closer ties,
and a high-ranking North Korean official may visit the United States next
These three remain on the State Department's list of seven countries that
support or sponsor terrorism. Trade between the United States and these
countries is essentially prohibited. The others are Syria, Iraq, Cuba and
Clinton met with Syrian President Hafez Assad last weekend in Geneva in an
attempt - fruitless, as it turned out - to revive stalled Sryian-Israeli
peace talks. And there have been tentative overtures to Cuba, including an
increase in humanitarian aid and travel by Americans. The administration also
supported Cuba's position that 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez be returned to his
father in Cuba.
So what gives?
``It's not troubling that he's reaching out. But I want to see what he's
getting for reaching out,'' said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian
Administration supporters counter that the openings come as either old
authoritarian leaders, such as Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, seem to be mellowing;
or where moderates are gaining ground, as in Iran.
In many cases, Clinton's overtures are following economic opportunities, his
For instance, normalizing trade relations with China could open vast new
markets to U.S. exporters and farmers, they argue. The president and top
members of his administration are working hard to win congressional support
for giving China permanent access to U.S. markets as a prelude to Beijing's
acceptance in the World Trade Organization.
The intelligence community continues to warn that some of these nations -
namely North Korea, Iran and Iraq - pose a growing threat to the United
States. China and Russia already pose such a threat.
Over the next 15 years, U.S. cities could be within range of ballistic
missiles from ``North Korea, probably Iran and possibly Iraq,'' CIA Director
George Tenet has told congressional hearings.
One House Republican leader, Rep. Tom Delay of Texas, complained earlier this
month that Clinton was putting Taiwan at risk with his ``appeasement'' of
Beijing, which has stepped up its threats against the island of late.
But, just as Clinton reached out to political adversaries in trying to build
support for his domestic agenda, he's been reaching out to foreign leaders -
of all stripes.
``Like all key moments in human history, this one poses some hard choices,
for this era does not reward people who struggle in vain to redraw borders
with blood. It belongs to those with the vision to look beyond borders, for
partners and commerce and trade,'' Clinton said in a speech last weekend in
That controversial visit - some advisers urged him not to go - was part of an
effort by Clinton to persuade Pakistan to return to democracy.
``I think that, what is clear is that over the past year the president has
spent more time on foreign policy. I don't know if that's an attempt to
secure a place in history, of if he's just that he ignored it so long,'' said
Stephen Cohen, a former State Department official and South Asia specialist
at the Brookings Institution.
Meanwhile, Americans have no choice other than to try to engage countries
that are developing weapons of mass destruction, said Anthony Cordesman, a
foreign policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
``We must face the fact that time, politics and technology make it far more
likely that we will have to learn to live with proliferation as an
established fact of life,'' he said.
EDITOR'S NOTE - Tom Raum covers national and international affairs for The
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:29:59 -0500
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IPS: Khameneh'i linked to the failed assassination of Hajjarian
Khameneh'i linked to the failed assassination of Hajjarian
By Safa Haeri
TEHRAN 27th March (IPS) Ignoring orders by ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i to
observe a strict black out on all information concerning the assassination
attempt on the life of Mr. Sa'id Hajjarian, the Publisher of the reformist
daily "Sobhe Emrouz" (This Morning) that do not come from official
sources, politicians and journalists belonging to the Second Khordad
Movement continued denouncing the conservatives and some forces behind
them for the failed murder.
Second Khordad refers to the surprising triumph of Hojatoleslam Mohammad
Khatami in the 23 May 1997 presidential elections.
The leader's instructions were given to the authorities after it was
revealed, including by this News Service, that the men who organised the
shooting of Mr. Hajjarian belong to the Intelligence Department of the
Pasdaran, the ayatollahs Praetorian Guard.
Informed sources told Iran Press Service that Mr. Khameneh'i knew of the
involvement of the Revolutionary Guards in the assassination plot of Mr.
Hajjarian and it was for this reason that he imposed a news black out,
warning the independent press and journalists he denounced as
"mercenaries" not to "dishonour trusted forces of the regime such as the
Pasdaran or the Basij".
But his call was largely unheard, as while the officials in charge of the
case insist that the suspects had acted "on their own", without "any link
to any (conservatives-controlled) political or military organisations",
several reformist dailies rebuked them by publishing simultaneously a
picture of Mr. Sa'id Asgar, the man who shot Mr. Hajjarian at close range,
showing him carrying a poster.
Though the poster is deliberately cut out from the picture that was shot
during the day pro-Khameneh'i thugs and security services crushed the
student demonstrations of July 1999, but it leaves no doubt that it is the
portrait of Mr. Khameneh'i, pointing to the source of emulation of Mr.
Asgar and the four accomplices who assisted him in the failed physical
elimination of Mr. Hajjarian.
The 47-year-old Hajjarian, a former deputy Intelligence Minister turned
moderate and considered as one of the architects of the sweeping victories
of both Mr. Khatami in the presidential elections and the reformists in
last month's parliamentary polls had published several articles in the
run-up to the elections linking conservatives with the serial killing of
prominent dissidents and intellectuals in 1998.
He was shot outside the Tehran City Council building by a man who fled
with an accomplice on a type of motorcycle that is available only to
In a conference he gave last year, Mr. Hajjarian had denounced Ayatollah
Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, a hawkish cleric close the leader for
promoting violence and anarchy by ruling that Muslims did not need
authorisation from the government or any court to kill apostates.
At the time of the controversy, what surprised many Iranians was that not
only Mr. Khameneh'i did not condemned Mr. Mesbah-Yazdi, nicknamed as
"Temsah (Crocodile) Yazdi", but he praised him as one of the most learned
and respected teacher of Islamic Canon.
The text of the conference was published in several reformist publications
one day after his failed assassination, pointing to the hard line
The authorities said the main suspect is a Chemistry student at the
Tehran's Islamic Azaad (Open) University adding that the powerful
motorcycle used in the operation was privately owned.
But they did not explained how a jobless man could have afforded such an
expensive engine, or where Mr. Asgar had acquired his professional handgun
equipped with a silencer or how a bunch of ordinary people were able to
mount such a highly professional operation, including diversion,
protection, escaping etc.
Vice President for Women's Affairs, Mrs. Ma'soumeh Ebtekar linked the
shooting of Mr. Hajjarian, an adviser and close friend of President
Mohammad Khatami to the November-December1998 "chain murders" by
Intelligence Ministry agents and the violent crushing of students protest
movement by the Basij, the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), the Revolutionary
Guards and the Islamic vigilantes on the payroll of the leader.
"A link connects" the three events and "the connection is very serious,"
she told the pro-Second Khordad daily "Bayan" that replaced "Salam", the
newspaper of Hojatoleslam Mohammad Kho'einiha.
The closure of the leftist "Salam", the pioneer of reformist publications
very popular among students in July last year by the Judiciary acting on
orders from Ayatollah Khameneh'i triggered a six days anti-regime
demonstration by thousands of angry students in Tehran and major Iranian
The unprecedented protest that surprised both the Iranians and the world
was put down after Mr. Khameneh'i, afraid of its transformation in a
national uprising, personally directed security forces and Islamic
vigilante thugs to crush it at "any cost and by any means", resulting in
the arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of students.
The remarks by Mrs. Ebtekar echoes the concern among many Iranians that
"shadowy forces" are still at work within the conservative clerical and
military establishments to thwart reforms promised by President Mohammad
As in the case of the chain murders, the independent press took the lead
in disclosing that contrary to claims by Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesi, the
Intelligence Minister who reiterated that the alleged killers of Mr.
Hajjarian acted on their own, the suspects acted on orders from what some
investigative journalists have coined as "Grey eminencies" working the
physical elimination of dissidents from the "Darkroom of Phantoms".
Mr. Mohammad Quchani, an investigative journalist, observed that
assassination of political dissidents is a professional act needing
professional terrorists enjoying solid infrastructure and organisation, as
seen in both cases of chain murders and the attempt on the life of Mr.
He pointed out to the "co-ordinated" efforts by hard line fundamentalist
organisations like the Islamic Co-ordinating League that controls the
conservatives, the leader-controlled Voice and Visage (Radio and
Television) of the Islamic Republic and conservatives-controlled press to
present the suspects as belonging to the reformists or members of the
Iranian Islamic Participation Front (IIPF) that swept the great majority
of the seats of the next Majles (parliament).
"How come that the Intelligence Minister so quickly blame the
assassination attempt on rogue elements? How many such elements or groups
do we have in this country and how come that no one is able to control and
eradicate them?" he noted, referring to a programme aired by the
Television in which hawkish personalities explained that since Mr.
Hajjarian's name was in the list of those to be murdered by the
Intelligence Ministry, some rogue elements close to the reformists decided
to go ahead with the project concerning the elimination of Mr. Hajjarian.
Dr. Mohammad-Reza Khatami, the leader of the IIPF and younger brother of
President Khatami vehemently rejected charges that reformers were linked
to the shooting of Mr. Hajjarian.
"Several conservatives are trying to heighten political tensions in an
effort to bury the inquiry into the attack and prevent the identification
of those responsible," he said.
President Khatami warned Sunday that terrorism could destroy Iranian
society "like termites" and called for swift justice against the authors
of the assassination attempt.
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 28 Mar 2000 to 29 Mar 2000