Date: Apr 8, 2000 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 4 Apr 2000 to 7 Apr 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 4 Apr 2000 to 7 Apr 2000
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There are 7 messages totalling 375 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Boston Globe: 'The Color of Paradise' is vision of loveliness
2. Payvand: Ershad reduces supervision, Book Fair flourishes
3. IRNA: Iran's striker Ali Daee selected as Asia's best player of the Year
4. IRNA --Hajjarian's brothers meet head of Judiciary
5. BBC:Row over reformist's shooting
6. (AFP)Sixth reformist has election cancelled by conservative council
7. (IPS)Rev. Guards warns against pushing investigations on Hajjarian

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Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:01:17 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Boston Globe: 'The Color of Paradise' is vision of loveliness

'The Color of Paradise' is vision of loveliness

By Jay Carr, Globe Staff, 4/7/2000

Majid Majidi's ''Children of Heaven'' made it clear that he is one of the
pillars of Iran's vital new cinema. ''The Color of Paradise,'' his new
film, confirms it. It may, however, be misleading to speak of these
stunning, affecting films in terms suggesting the grandiose, for their
charm lies in their intimacy of scale, their purity, and their
spirituality - qualities virtually unknown, it hardly needs stressing,
in the cinema of contemporary Western culture. ''The Color of
Paradise,'' on its simplest level, is a parable about an 8-year-old
blind boy and his literally but by no means figuratively sighted father.

The latter is a hard-working charcoal maker who tends to whine a lot and
feel sorry for himself. His blind son, whom we first see waiting for him
outside a school for the blind in Tehran that's about to close down for
the summer, is content to immerse himself in the small patches of nature
at his feet. With his keenly developed sense of touch and hearing, he
finds a baby bird that has fallen from its nest, gently picks it up,
climbs the tree, and places it in the nest, zeroing in on it by
listening to the mother bird's squawking.

The only thing troubling the boy, Mohammad, is the fear that his father
doesn't love him because he's blind. He's not too far off. His father is
not a malicious man, but he feels more burdened than he is by having to
care for his son. He tries to leave him at the school for the summer but
is turned down by the staff. Once he gets Mohammad home to their farm in
the rural north, he tries to get the boy apprenticed to a blind
carpenter to free himself up for a new life with a new wife.

As long as he feels he's wanted, Mohammad is happy. The scene in which
he sticks his palm outside the window of the bus taking them home and
enjoys feeling the breeze on his skin is one of the year's most purely
sensual. Mohammad's two sisters are glad to see him. So is his paternal
grandmother. When she tells her grown son she's worried, and he replies
by citing his own worries connected to Mohammad, she fiercely corrects
him. ''It's you I'm worried about,'' she says.

Mohammad's father and the latter's aged mother arrive at an impasse over
the father's treatment of Mohammad. In her view, he isn't doing right by
the boy. Given her belief that Mohammad, with his exquisite attunement
to the natural world, is a gift from God, and his father's feeling that
the boy is a burden, something has got to give, and does. One needn't be
a seer to realize that we are watching a parable about literal and
spiritual blindness. But that isn't what's so moving about ''The Color
of Paradise.''

For all the film's intense focus on the details of the landscape, its
real arena is the human heart. Either way, the story is spun forth
ravishingly, tenderly, and urgently, with a captivating mix of beauty,
spare sophistication, and profound humanity. The ending is a bit forced,
but it's the only thing in the film that is. The acting is effortless.
Why can't kids in American films smile as naturally, spontaneously, and
gently as the girls playing Mohammad's sisters? Probably because they're
trained to sell the characters, whereas Iranian kids seem to just be the
characters. Mohsen Ramezani's Mohammad ranges from joyousness to
heartbreak. He's amazing. There has been no more phenomenal screenful of
children's performances than those from Iran over the last few years,
and Ramezani's is one of them.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:06:43 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Payvand: Ershad reduces supervision, Book Fair flourishes

Ershad reduces supervision, Book Fair flourishes

Arts page, Asr-e Azadegan daily 6 April 2000

With the approach of the 13th Tehran International Book Fair, organizers
and participating publishers have accelerated their activities.

In this year's fair, Ershad (culture ministry) has handed over a great
deal of supervisory and executive affairs to publishers. In the foreign
publishers sections, publishers from Germany, Canada and Sweden are
expected to take part.

On the other hand, Arab nations will have an active participation,
exhibiting works of poetry, novels, literary reviews, etc.

This year a special hall has been dedicated to selected works of Persian
literature to be translated to other languages. Meanwhile, Iranian
publishers are trying to reach their new titles to the Book Fair.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:00:08 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA: Iran's striker Ali Daee selected as Asia's best player of the
Year

Beirut, April 6, IRNA -- Asian Football Federation selected on Thursday
Iran's top striker Ali Daee as the best player of the year.

Speaking to IRNA in Beirut, Daee awarded the title to the people of Iran
and said as an Iranian, he took pride to make the Islamic Republic a
worldwide recognition in his capacity as a footballer.

Comparing the football in Asia and Europe he said the gap between the
two continents has been reduced due to efforts of the Asian Football
Federation.

Ali daee, the Hertha Berlin's striker, was selected on Thursday by the
Asian Football Federation as the best player of the year 1999. the Asian
federation said in the statement that the selection of the Iranian top
striker as the best player of the ancient continent was due his great
performance at European championships and for the goals he scored in the
contests.

The Asian football federation is to hold a ceremony on Thursday night in
Beirut to announce his winning of the award.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:07:14 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA --Hajjarian's brothers meet head of Judiciary

Hajjarian's brothers meet head of Judiciary

Tehran, April 6, IRNA -- Two of Saeed Hajjarian's brothers met with
Judiciary head ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi on Wednesday.

Following the meeting, Massoud and Ahmad Hajjarian told IRNA they had
been given good opportunities during past two weeks to meet ranking
officials and to follow up the case of assassination attempt against
their brother.

Thanking the supreme leader ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and president
Khatami for their issuing of orders to hunt down the agents behind the
attempt on Hajjarian's life, the victim's brothers also appreciated the
Judiciary head for his handling the case.

They also thanked the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and the
Information Ministry for their vast efforts to arrest those behind the
crime.

"In our meeting with the Judiciary head, we called upon him to leave the
case open to further investigation so that other social, security and
cultural aspects of the issue be clarified," Massoud Hajjarian said.

"We understood that our requests had been considered by the judicial
authorities," he added. He said the Judiciary head informed them of the
feasibility of further cooperation between the Judiciary and the
Information Ministry to shed more light on the case and mere
transferring the suspects was of no importance.

Referring to the views of the Judiciary head regarding the case, Ahmad
Hajjarian also expressed hope that the national unity would be
strengthened through the bitter event of the assassination attempt.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:05:20 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: BBC:Row over reformist's shooting

Row over reformist's shooting

Mr Hajjarian is conscious but paralysed and unable to speak By Jim Muir
in Tehran

A public disagreement has broken out in Iran between the Intelligence
Ministry and the judiciary over the handling of the assassination
attempt on a leading reformist figure last month.

Saeed Hajjarian was shot and severely wounded in a Tehran street by a
would-be assassin who is reported to be among a number of people
arrested.

Mr Hajjarian is lying in his hospital bed, conscious but paralysed and
unable to speak after being shot through the cheek. A single bullet is
still lodged in his neck.

At least half a dozen people have been arrested, including the alleged
assailant and the man who drove the motorcycle on which he escaped.

Political ramifications

The original arrests were made by the Revolutionary Guards' intelligence
unit.

However, the suspects ended up being held and interrogated by the
Intelligence Ministry.

But the judiciary, which had appointed a special judge to investigate
the case, asked for the men to be handed over to it, hinting that they
might have been subjected to physical pressure by the ministry.

They have now been handed over but not without protest. The Intelligence
Minister, Ali Younesi, wrote publicly to President Mohammad Khatami,
asking him to set up a commission to examine the insinuations made
against his ministry.

It is partly a legal dispute but not without political ramifications.

The reformist party, Musharekat, in which Mr Hajjarian was a leading
light, has sided clearly with the Intelligence Ministry.

It issued a statement accusing the judiciary of trying to speed up the
case to head off a deeper inquiry which might uncover the masterminds
behind the operation, who the reformists believe are connected to the
right wing.

But conservative circles have blamed the assassination attempt on splits
within the reformist movement.

They now accuse the reformists of trying to spin out the investigation
so they can continue spreading tendentious rumours.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:04:23 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: (AFP)Sixth reformist has election cancelled by conservative council

Sixth reformist has election cancelled by conservative council

Iran - Friday, 07 April 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, April 7 (AFP) - A conservative-led Iranian council has
overturned the election of another pro-reform MP, state radio said
Friday, the sixth reformist to have his victory cancelled since
February's vote.

The Council of Guardians cited "irregularities" in cancelling the
results of a district in Tehran province where a reformist backer of
President Mohammad Khatami had ousted the conservative incumbent.

MP Ahmad Rassouli-Nejad had demanded a recount of the results in
Damavand and Firouzkouh, where he was beaten by Mostafa Khanzadi in the
February 18 election, which finally gave Khatami a long-sought
pro-reform majority.

Khanzadi becomes the sixth pro-Khatami victor to have his win erased by
the watchdog body, which also overturned results in three districts last
month, costing reformists five other seats in the legislature.

Reformers trounced conservatives at the polls, winning 226 of 290 seats
outright and ending the longstanding right-wing majority that had
stymied many of Khatami's social and political reforms.

The six cancellations are expected to be contested along with the other
64 in a second round run-off later this month for those seats where no
candidate captured at least 25 percent of the popular vote.

In the run-up to the voting the council, a bastion of conservatives,
barred many candidates from standing in the polls on the grounds that
they did not adhere strongly enough to the values of the Islamic
republic.

The new parliament is due to take office until May.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 13:09:03 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: (IPS)Rev. Guards warns against pushing investigations on Hajjarian

Rev. Guards warns against pushing investigations on Hajjarian

By Safa Haeri

PARIS 5TH Apr. (IPS) The Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) officially
rejected Tuesday any involvement in the attempted assassination of Mr.
Sa'id Hajjarian, the Publisher of the reformist daily "Sobhe Emrouz" (This
Morning) and warned against doing with the Guards what one did with the
Intelligence Ministry, a reference to the revelation about the secret
services active participation in the elimination of Iranian dissidents.

The statement by the Pasdaran was issued as the Intelligence Ministry was
at loggerhead with the Judiciary over the handling of the terror case and
was interpreted by observers to be a reaction to accusations in reformist
camp concerning the participation of the Guards in the operation.

A close friend and adviser to President Mohammad Khatami, Mr. Hajjarian
was shot at very close range on 12th March in front of the Tehran City
Council by a lone gunman who fled in the back of a powerful motorcycle.

The authorities have announced the arrest of ten men, including the main
suspect, the driver of the motorcycle and two others who stopped Mr.
Hajjarian presenting him with a request.
Though the authorities insist that the suspects are young zealots who
acted on their own, investigations carried out by the reformist press and
organisations shows that at lest 3 of the suspects belong to the
Revolutionary Guards.

Reminding that it was the Pasdaran that arrested the suspects, the
statement called on the authorities to organise a public trial for the
terrorists, demanding at the same time that all those who unjustly
incriminate the Guards be also brought to justice.

Created by Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Army of the Guardians of
the Islamic Revolution, known commonly as Pasdaran, has some 150.000
personnel and possess it's own Air, Land and Marine forces separated from
the regular army, plus a large intelligence unit that run parallel to
other intelligence and security forces inside and outside Iran.
Though, according to the Constitution, the armed forces, including the
Guards, have not the right to intervene in political affairs or take side
in the political inter-fight, but it is used by the conservatives, mostly
by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic who is
also the supreme Commander of all Iranian Armed Forces, as a lever against
the reformists.

Hence, the Guards public opposition to the reforms undertaken by President
Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami as stated by General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, the
Pasdaran's Commander who, days prior to the last legislative elections,
had warned against a "parliamentarian coup" by the "liberals", meaning
reformists.

Contrary to the conservatives who regards and use the Pasdaran as their
Praetorian Guard and are against any reform in this force, the reformist
have not good relations with the Revolutionary Guards.

To save the honor of the Guards and prevent the press from digging further
in the role played in this shooting by the Pasdaran, Ayatollah Khameneh'i
ordered a news black out in order to stop repetition of the scandal that
stained the Intelligence Ministry in 1998 after the independent press
revealed that senior agents of that ministry had personally assassinated
five prominent politician and intellectual dissidents.

Hours after the leader urged the President to spare no efforts in finding
the men who shot Mr. Hajjarian, the Pasdaran announced the arrest of the
terrorists, without explaining how it happened that they and not the
Intelligence machine or the Police arrested the culprits.

Less than 24 hours, the press, disregarding the leader's imposed news
black out, revealed that not only the men were in the custody of the
Guards in a garrison in Shahre Rey, near Tehran, but also that it refuse
to hand them over the to government.

In it's statement published after some senior commanders, including
General Rahim-Safavi met with the President, the Guards indirectly warned
that they would not allow the same dishonor that stained the Intelligence
Ministry be repeated in their case, calling on the government stop further
investigations.

It was for this reason, analysts say, that the case was abruptly taken
from the Intelligence Ministry and handed to the Islamic Revolution Court.

In a letter to the President, Hojatoleslam Ali Yunesi refutes accusations
that some of the detainees were ill treated and wounded under torture, as
reported by the Judiciary.
Mr. Yunesi informed the President that investigations are not completed
and urged him to designate an investigation committee to look into
accusations of torture and ill treatment of the suspects.

Analysts and observers says the reason the suspects were handed over to a
specially formed special tribunal at the Islamic Revolution Court is to
close the case the soonest possible before it gets out of control, as the
public is pressing the government to identify all the "grey and red
eminencies" behind the failed elimination of Mr. Hajjarian.

------------------------------

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 4 Apr 2000 to 7 Apr 2000
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