Date: Apr 13, 2000 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Apr 2000 to 12 Apr 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Apr 2000 to 12 Apr 2000
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There are 4 messages totalling 173 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran reformist leader injured in car crash
2. Iran repatriates nearly 2,000 Iraqi PoWs
3. UPDATE 1-Lawyers in Iran's Jewish spy case seek delay
4. Check out THE IRANIAN: Majid Tehranian, Persian Gulf diplomacy

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Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 08:59:55 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran reformist leader injured in car crash

Iran reformist leader injured in car crash


TEHRAN, April 12 (Reuters) - Ali Mazrouei, an Iranian reformist leader and
close ally of President Mohammad Khatami, was injured in a car crash on
Wednesday, his family reported.

The family said that Mazrouei had been hospitalised with a broken rib. The
accident occurred on a road from the northern city of Rasht to the capital
Tehran.

Mazrouei, a former economic adviser to Khatami, has been elected to the next
parliament from the central city of Isfahan. The assembly will convene on May
28.

He is also a leading member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the main
reformist movement headed by a brother of Khatami.

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Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 09:01:27 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran repatriates nearly 2,000 Iraqi PoWs

Iran repatriates nearly 2,000 Iraqi PoWs

By Hassan Hafidh


BAGHDAD, April 12 (Reuters) - Iran has completed the repatriation of 1,999
prisoners captured during the 1980-88 war with Iraq, Red Cross and Iraqi
officials said on Wednesday.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which supervised the
releases over the past few days said it was the biggest repatriation of Iraqi
PoWs since 1998 when more than 5,000 were freed.

``Between 8 and 11 April, some 1,999 Iraqi prisoners were released,'' Beat
Schweitzer, the ICRC representative in Iraq, told Reuters.

``The ICRC believes that this important event by Iran would speed up the
process of finding answers for other open questions (on others missing in
action),'' Schweitzer said.

Iran has said the releases are a ``humanitarian gesture.'' It says many other
captured Iraqis do not want to go home and Iraq is holding more than 5,000
Iranians.

The handover took place at al-Munthiriya border crossing near the Iranian
town of Khosravi northeast of Baghdad.

The official Iraqi News Agency (INA) said 499 freed Iraqis crossed late on
Tuesday. Thousands of Iraqis lined the road to greet them, chanting,
ululating and showering the returning prisoners with roses.

For most it was a tearful encounter with loved ones they had not seen for
years and with sons and daughters that some had never seen.

Relatives often had difficulty recognising the freed prisoners who spent up
to 18 years captive in Iran. Some who went to war as young men returned with
grey hair.

Schweitzer said the process of freeing more prisoners was continuing since
Tehran last year allowed in an ICRC team for the first time since 1986 to
visit detention camps and prisoners registered by the Red Cross.

Baghdad says Iran is still holding 9,000 of its soldiers.

``Yes, the 9,000 figure is correct but not all of them are still detained in
Iran as some of them have even managed to travel outside Iran,'' Schweizer
said.

The ICRC wanted to tell ``families (in Iraq) about the real fate of their
sons'' who are still regarded as missing in action, he said.

INA quoted Fahmi al-Qaysi, the head of the Iraqi PoWs committee at the
Foreign Ministry as saying the committee would ``continue its work and
efforts to resolve all the issues relating to Iraqi prisoners in Iran.''

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

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 09:02:16 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: UPDATE 1-Lawyers in Iran's Jewish spy case seek delay

UPDATE 1-Lawyers in Iran's Jewish spy case seek delay

By Jonathan Lyons


SHIRAZ, Iran, April 12 (Reuters) - Lawyers in Iran's Jewish spy case were
preparing a motion for postponement on Wednesday, arguing they needed more
time to prepare an adequate defence.

Counsel for eight of the 13 defendants were named just days before the
scheduled start of legal proceedings, on April 13.

The court earlier appointed lawyers for two of the suspects. Three others,
freed on bail amid indications their charges were being reduced, have
apparently declined representation.

``We need time to prepare our defence statement. We only started studying
files on (Tuesday) and will continue doing so,'' attorney Esmail Naseri told
Reuters.

``We will then file for a postponement,'' he said, adding preliminary
indications from the judge suggested the request would be granted.

The case of the 13 Jews, detained a year ago along with eight Moslems on
charges of spying for Israel, has galvanised overseas Jewish groups and
Western capitals -- fearful the 13 may be denied a fair hearing in the
Islamic republic.

It has also left the Iranian authorities in a bind: releasing the suspects
would look like a concession to Western pressure, while conviction and
execution would likely derail President Mohammad Khatami's detente policies.

U.S. President Bill Clinton, keen to explore an opening to Iran after two
decades of estrangement, has called the case an irritant.

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin last year said the espionage charges,
which carry a possible death sentence, were ``totally fabricated.''

Complicating the picture, Iran's Revolutionary Court has refused to make
public details of the alleged espionage, although press reports suggest the
suspects communicated illegally with Israel through third countries such as
Turkey.

A number of foreign embassies in Tehran have said they were sending diplomats
to observe the trial, and representatives of international human rights
groups were also on hand.

Members of the Jewish community in Shiraz and judicial officials said Judge
Sadeq Nourani of the Shiraz Revolutionary Court would hold the hearing behind
closed doors.

International human rights observers said they were told this was for
security reasons.

Iran, home to the biggest Jewish community in the Moslem Middle East, is
proud of its record on safeguarding official religious minorities.

Jewish residents of Shiraz say they feel free to practise their faith and
report no sign that emigration has picked up pace in light of the espionage
case.

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

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 19:01:16 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Check out THE IRANIAN: Majid Tehranian, Persian Gulf diplomacy

<A HREF="Clic">http://www.iranian.com/MajidTehranian/2000/April/PG/index.html">Clic
k here: THE IRANIAN: Majid Tehranian, Persian Gulf diplomacy</A>

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Apr 2000 to 12 Apr 2000
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