Date: Apr 16, 2000 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 14 Apr 2000 to 15 Apr 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 14 Apr 2000 to 15 Apr 2000
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There are 7 messages totalling 401 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Reuters- Iran leader Khamenei says reforms must have limit
2. AFP-Khamenei defends "legal violence" to maintain order
3. AP-Journalists Demonstrate in Iran
4. ips-Journalists who participated at Berlin meeting to be arrested
5. Tehran Times-Guardian Council to Announce Final Results of Tehran
Constituency on Monday
6. afp-Oman announces security deal with Iran
7. Reuters-Oman says did not sign defence pact with Iran

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Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:35:07 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Reuters- Iran leader Khamenei says reforms must have limit

TEHRAN, April 14 (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
said on Friday that there had to be a limit to reform and violence should
not be ruled out as a means of protecting Islamic institutions.
Khamenei said in some of his clearest public comments to date on
controversial liberal reforms under President Mohammad Khatami that they
were far from what Western countries had in mind.
"We are all after bureaucratic, judicial, security and legal reforms, to
do away with corruption, not what the Americans and other enemies call
reform," Khamenei told thousands of worshippers at Friday prayers in
Tehran University.

"What the enemy wants is for women to shed their veils, moral boundaries
to be broken and an end to the role of religion in our laws."

"These are American-style reforms," said Khamenei, echoing fears among
Iranian conservatives that Khatami's liberal reforms may undermine strict
religious codes imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The president says he aims at an Islamic civil society, but has not
clearly defined what that means.

Khamenei has the final say on all matters of state.

KHAMENEI DOESN'T RULE OUT VIOLENCE

Calling for an end to a heated debate on whether violence could ever be
justified, Khamenei said it could be acceptable in the defence of Islamic
institutions.

Conservative theologians have spoken favourably of the use of force to
protect the clerical establishment against liberal democratic challenges.

But reformers say such arguments, often couched inside philosophical
discourse, are meant to justify a wave of political killings and
assassination attempts waged by religious extremists to undermine
Khatami's reforms.

"Violence is both good and bad. If it is wanton, it is bad; if it is to
enforce the law and justice, it is good," he said.

"We have lawful violence and unlawful violence. Lawful violence is even
good and necessary. We must be firm and resort to violence in the face of
aggression, riots and violations."

Several reformers, dissidents and intellectuals have been the target of
violence, including Saeed Hajjarian, a close ally of Khatami, who was shot
and severely wounded last month.

Reformist newspapers are pushing to uncover the roots of the violence,
blaming hardline circles within the security forces. But their charges are
often at odd with official findings.

"Our newspapers are filled with misleading and provocative headlines on
the subject," Khamenei said. "There is no need for a debate and
controversy. The enemy is out to provoke clashes among our people."

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

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:35:34 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP-Khamenei defends "legal violence" to maintain order

TEHRAN, April 14 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on
Friday defended "legal violence" to keep order in the Islamic republic
after riots erupted following the reversal of election results.

"Legal repression is indispensable because without it there would be no
way of maintaining order and security," he told thousands of worshippers
during weekly prayers at Tehran university.

He cited as an example the religious order Iran handed down calling for
the death of British writer Salman Rushdie over his satirical portrait of
the prophet Mohammad in his novel "The Satanic Verses" which enraged
Muslims.

"Legal violence is clearly based on the law," he said, specifically
criticising protests last week after a conservative-led council overturned
the election of several reformists in February's parliamentary elections.

Some 40 people were arrested in the northwest city of Khalkhal after one
of the demonstrations turned violent, with demonstrators smashing public
buildings and setting fire to vehicles.

"One must act in accordance with the law, even if one has a complaint,"
Khamenei said.

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

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:46:10 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AP-Journalists Demonstrate in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Apr. 12 -- Journalists protested Wednesday against the
jailing of a leading liberal newspaper's editor-in-chief on charges of
insulting Islam, while some 400 people demonstrated against the annulment
of reformists' election victories in their towns by a hard-line body.

An appeals court on Monday upheld the conviction of Mahmoud Shams,
editor-in-chief of the daily Asr-e-Azadegan, but reduced his prison term
by six months to 2 1/2 years. Shams, who had been out on bail during the
appeal, immediately began serving the sentence.

Shams was a leading voice for press freedoms amid the power struggle
between reformists led by President Mohamad Khatami and hard-liners in the
ruling clergy in Iran's Islamic government.

``If the conservatives think they can solve their problems through
arresting and jailing journalists, we are ready to be taken to jail so
that their problem is resolved,'' leading reformist writer, Abbass Abdi,
said at a protest by 200 journalists in the paper's offices in Tehran.

Shams, who is also known as Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, was tried on charges
of insulting religious sanctities in articles he published last year in
the now-banned Neshat daily.

In Feburary elections, the reformists won control of the parliament from
hard-liners for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Hard-liners, however, still control important government bodies, including
the Guardians Council, which must approve all laws and has authority of
elections.

Residents from the towns of Khalkhal in northwest Iran and Damavand in the
suburbs of Tehran staged two separate protests outside the Interior
Ministry after the Guardians Council last week canceled the election
victories of Khatami allies in the towns.

Carrying placards denouncing the council, some 200 residents of Khalkhal
gathered in the morning to protest the decision to cancel the election of
reformist Keikavous Khaknejad and award the seat to Mottahar Kazemi, a
hard-liner. The council said Khaknejad won through intimidation and vote
buying.

In two earlier protests in Khalkhal itself, demonstrators hurled stones at
government buildings and public buses. At least 10 buses were damaged and
scores of windows were smashed.

Another 200 residents of Damavand gathered in front of the Interior
Ministry in the afternoon, some of them shouting, ``Guardians Council,
give back our votes.''

The council canceled the results and ordered a revote in the town without
explanation.

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

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:46:36 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: ips-Journalists who participated at Berlin meeting to be arrested

PARIS 12TH Apr. (IPS) As the Iranian conservative forces are preparing to
launch new post-election offensive against reformists, moderate newspapers
in Tehran reported Wednesday that the conservative-led authorities are
planing to arrest some of the journalists and intellectuals who attended
the recent Berlin Conference on Iran after the Elections.

Alireza Alavi-Tabar, Editor of "Sobhe Emrouz", Hamid Reza Jala'ipour, the
Executive Director of "Asre Azadegan", Akbar Ganji, the well know free
lance investigative journalist, Hojatoleslam Hasan Yusefi-Eshkevari and Dr
Changuiz Pahlavan, both scholars, were among the party of 17 Iranians who
were invited by the Heinrisch Boll Institute to speak at the venue.

The meeting held between 7 to 9 April in the German capital was marred by
noisy and violent demonstrations by Iranian opponents and ended in
semi-fiasco.

Hinting at recent articles and news about the Berlin Conference published
by "Keyhan", the mouthpiece of the Intelligence Ministry, most of them
deliberately distorted and accusing the participant of espionage, both
"Fath" and "Asre Azadegan" dailies speculated that the authorities get
ready to arrest some of the participants on their return to Tehran,
scheduled for Friday.

An official interrogator of the notorious Intelligence Ministry under
Hojatoleslam Ali Fallahian, a former Minister, Mr. Hossein Shariatmadari,
the Editor of "Keyhan" is appointed by the leader, the lame Ayatollah Ali
Khameneh'i.

Keyhan accused Mr. Ganji of telling a Berlin newspaper that the reform
process would send Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to the museum of
History.

Mr. Ganji denied Keyhan's story, explaining that the title of his
interview with the "Tagges Zeitung" was chosen by the newspaper had
nothing with his declarations.

The new offensive by the hard liners started with a decision by the
Council for Discernment of the State's Interest (CDSI) to forbid the
Majles (parliament) to investigate or debate all issues and organisations
depending from the leader, among them the Revolutionary Guards, Radio and
Television, Judiciary, Foundations, Clergymen's Special Tribunal, Security
services etc.

Reformists reject the decision for being against the Constitution and
explain that the spirit of the decision is purely political aimed at
weakening the next 290 seats Majles largely dominated by the moderates
close to President Mohammad Khatami.

The CDSI is chaired by Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former
president and number two man in the present hierarchy who was badly
humiliated at the recent poll where he was "pushed" into the Majles thanks
to massive and shameful vote rigging in his favour.

Since his astonishing defeat, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani has turned his wrath
against the reformists and sides openly with the hard liners ever since.

[Mr. Alireza Nourizadeh, a free lance Iranian journalist working in London
told the Persian service of Radio France Internationale that Mr. Hashemi
Rafsanjani had been involved with a failed military coup plot prepared by
the Revolutionary Guards and approved by him and some other hard line
clerics like Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the former howkish head of the
Islamic Judiciary.

[Quoting the London-based Saudi newspaper "Al Sharq al Awsat", Mr.
Nourizadeh said according to the plan, Tehran should have been occupied by
the Guards after the assassination of Mr. Sa'id Hajjarian, to put down
expected wide spread riots by the people, and Mr. Rafsanjani proclaimed
provisory president, replacing Mr. Khatami, who would have been deposed in
the meantime.

But since the Publisher of "Sobhe Emrouz" was not killed, the project fell
out.

A close friend and adviser of President Khatami, Mr. Hajjarian was shot on
12th March by a lone gunman point blank, but survived the attempt. He is
in hospital fighting for his live, but doctors are hoping that he could
recover.

Reformists also express concern at recent action taken by the Judiciary
against some reformist journalists like Mr. Masha'allah Shamsolva'ezin,
the Editor of Asre Azadegan sentenced to 13 months of imprisonment on
charges of insulting Islam, Dr Mohammar Reza Khatami, the younger brother
of the President who is both leader of the Islamic Iran Participation
Front (IIPF) and the owner of "Mosharekat" daily, the IIPF's official
organ, Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Mohtashami, the owner of newspaper 'Bayan"
that replaced the banned "Salam", Hojatoleslam Hadi Khameneh'i, the
younger brother of the leader (who is bitterly opposed to him), Emadeddin
Baqi, an investigative journalist and others, all summoned by the
leader-controlled Press Court.

At the same time, while the Council of Guardians, the conservative watch
dog refuse to endorse the results of elections for Tehran and 29 other
circumscriptions, the present conservative-dominated Majles is putting the
last touches to a controversial bill that aims at curtailing the already
limited freedom of the independent press.

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

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:47:23 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Tehran Times-Guardian Council to Announce Final Results of Tehran
Constituency on Monday

Guardian Council to Announce Final Results of Tehran Constituency on Monday

The Tehran Times
April 13, 2000

TEHRAN Guardian Council is due to issue final ruling on the results of the
Tehran Constituency on Monday and political pundits advise the common
people to show patience.
"Yes, the Guardian Council is really busy in reviewing the elections
results and the Tehran Constituency drew priority attention of that
watchdog body," an informed source said.

Talking to the TEHRAN TIMES he said, "Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah
Ahmad Jannati went to Mecca for Hajj pilgrims and this was the only reason
that the final results were delayed." "Now he (Ayatollah Jannati) is back
and he members is busy and pretty soon all results will be finalized," he
said. "There are people inside and outside the country who are fanning the
flames for discord in the nation," he said, adding " we all should show
patience and have trust in the system which will do justice." Guardian
Council is working on 28 constituencies as Director General of National
Elections Department Javad Qadimi-Zaker was quoted by IRNA as saying
Tuesday evening.
He said the Guardian Council had also invalidated polls counts in four
constituencies and also voided 21 polling boxes in the city of Khalkhal
thereby changing elections results in that city.

The council is yet to approve polls counts in another 16 constituencies on
or before May 26.
Wire copies report said that several hundred demonstrators came from out
of town yesterday to protest outside the Interior Ministry in Tehran after
the victory of some candidates in their areas in February's Majlis
elections was overturned.

According to an AFP dispatch the protestors in two separate groups, one
from the northwestern town of Khalkhal and the other from Damavand near
Tehran, and waved placards hostile to the council which invalidated the
results of the election.

Some of those from Khalkhal called for an enquiry "to prove there were no
irregularities" in the election of Keikavous Khaknejad, whose seat the
council subsequently awarded to his rival.

The Interior Ministry said yesterday that the second round of the polls
planned for April 21 could be put off for a week because of the restaging
of the cancelled elections.

The new date would also have to be approved by the council, which has
still not approved all the election results from the first round.

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

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:47:42 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: afp-Oman announces security deal with Iran

ABU DHABI, April 13 (AFP) - Oman sought to reassure the United Arab
Emirates Thursday about the nature of its relations with Iran, with the
Omani foreign minister saying the two countries had signed a pact on
security, not a defence agreement.

"What was published recently on the subject of this deal is wrong," said
Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah.

He was referring to an announcement earlier this week by the Iranian army
that Iran and Oman had signed a defence cooperation agreement Monday
evening during the visit to Tehran by the Omani air chief General Mohamed
bin Mahfuz al-Arezi.

Abdullah was in Abu Dhabi on a short trip to deliver a message from Oman's
Sultan Qaboos bin Said to UAE President Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, the
official WAM news agency reported.

"The Sultan wanted to let the UAE President know the nature of the
security cooperation deal between Oman and Iran,' the minister said.

Iran has good relations with Oman, unlike its relations with the UAE.
Tehran and Abu Dhabi are in dispute over three Gulf islands occupied by
Iran and claimed by the UAE.

Oman had already denied the Iranian report.

A foreign ministry spokesman said Tuesday "the Omani delegation's mission
to Tehran came purely within a technical and routine framework."

US Defence Secretary William Cohen also said Tuesday at the end of a visit
to Oman that Sultan Qaboos had denied that his country had signed a
defence deal with Iran.

He added that the United States and Oman were near agreement on renewal of
an access agreement that lets US forces use Omani air bases and ports in
times of crises.

Sultan Qaboos held talks Wednesday with Britain's Defence Minister Geoff
Hoon on joint Omani-British military cooperation, the official Omani ONA
news agency reported.

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

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:49:24 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: Reuters-Oman says did not sign defence pact with Iran

ABU DHABI, April 13 (Reuters) - Oman reassured the United Arab Emirates on
Thursday that it had not signed a defence pact with Iran.
Tehran and the UAE are embroiled in long-running territorial dispute.
The UAE's official WAM news agency said the comments were made in a letter
from Oman's Sultan Qaboos to UAE President Sheikh Zaid bin Sultan
al-Nahayan.

WAM quoted Oman's Minister for Foreign Affairs Youssef bin Alawi, who
delivered the letter during a brief visit to the UAE, as saying Oman had
signed a security cooperation deal with Iran, and not a defence pact as
reported recently.

On Monday, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported that a senior
Omani military officer had signed a bilateral defence agreement with an
Iranian counterpart during a visit to Iran. An Omani official later denied
the IRNA report.

WAM quoted Alawi as saying that in the letter "Sultan Qaboos wanted to
inform (the UAE) president about the contents of the security cooperation
agreement signed between Oman and Iran, and denied signing a joint defence
agreement with Iran."

The UAE has a long-standing dispute with Iran over three islands in the
Gulf -- Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs. The islands, located
near key shipping lanes, are controlled by Iran but claimed by both
countries.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 14 Apr 2000 to 15 Apr 2000
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