Date: Apr 17, 2000 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Apr 2000 to 16 Apr 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Apr 2000 to 16 Apr 2000
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There are 9 messages totalling 432 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iranian Guards Threaten Reformers
2. Iran guards threaten to crush liberal challenge
3. Iran fencers leave U.S. in fingerprint row
4. Reformist Iran editor back before hardline court
5. Iran says Iraq still holding 3,000 prisoners
6. Iran spurns latest U.S. sanctions
7. Check out http://www.tisfoon.com/iran/governor.gif
8. Iranian Fencing Team Returns in Protest
9. Iran Wins Taekwondo World Cup

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Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:37:13 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iranian Guards Threaten Reformers

Iranian Guards Threaten Reformers

.c The Associated Press


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An elite military wing in Iran warned pro-reform leaders
and writers Sunday that any attempt to undermine the country's Islamic
ideology would be met with ``Islamic violence.''

The strongly worded statement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
conforms to the increasingly strident tone taken by hard-liners against
reformists who swept parliamentary elections in February.

``We hope the time doesn't come for this, but if it does, Islamic violence
will be employed without any hesitation to defend truth and justice. Then, it
will be too late for them to learn lessons,'' the statement said, according
to the official Tehran radio.

The IRGC is an elite military force separate from the regular army. It has
hundreds of thousands of men in arms and its own air force and weapons
industry. Like the rest of the armed forces, it is controlled by hard-liners.

The hard-liners, who also control the broadcast network and the judiciary,
have found themselves struggling for survival against the reformist movement,
which became a significant force after President Mohammad Khatami's 1997
election.

Khatami and his allies want to loosen the strict Islamic laws and social
restrictions that have been in place since the 1979 Islamic revolution
brought the Shiite clergy's rule.

The most visible sign of Khatami's reform program has been the emergence of
an outspoken press that has questioned the actions of the hard-liners.

Khatami, however, has no control over the broadcast network, whose chief is
appointed by the hard-line supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The
state-run television and radio gave prominent coverage to the Guards'
statement.

Also Sunday, newspapers reported that a colleague of a leading Iranian
reformist who was shot in March has been jailed on the orders of the
hard-line judge investigating the shooting.

Ahmad Hakimipour, a city councilman, was arrested Friday while visiting his
family in his native town of Zanjan, west of the capital Tehran, Hakimipour's
brother, Mahmoud, told the daily Asr-e-Azadegan.

He said Hakimipour was a close of friend of Saeed Hajjarian, who was shot
March 12. Hakimipour was with Hajjarian during the attack and was the one who
rushed him to the hospital, according to the paper.

The paper did not say why Hakimipour was arrested.

Hajjarian, a city councilman and confidant of reformist President Mohammad
Khatami, was gravely injured in the attack and remains in intensive care at a
Tehran hospital.

The Tehran City Council will hold a meeting Sunday to decide on a reaction to
Hakimipour's arrest, Asr-e-Azadegan quoted council member Morteza Lotfi as
saying.

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:37:49 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran guards threaten to crush liberal challenge

Iran guards threaten to crush liberal challenge


TEHRAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards threatened on Sunday
to crush growing liberal challenges to the Islamic system, amid rising
factional tensions.

The warning came two days after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
endorsed ``lawful'' violence to protect Islamic institutions against calls
for unbridled democratic reforms.

Some conservative officials have accused the liberal press of threatening
national security.

``We will first try to be tolerant with duped elements and criminals. But,
when there is a need, we will descend upon them like lightning, without
hesitation or discrimination,'' the hardline Guards said in a statement
broadcast on state radio.

``The Islamic revolution is a revolution of reason and compassion. But, if
necessary, the enemies will so feel the (pain) of its blows in their skull,
that they will forever be stopped from hatching plots and committing
crimes,'' it said.

The statement did not mention the ``enemy'' by name, but referred to
``political sideliners,'' in a reference to followers of top dissident cleric
Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who is under house arrest.

The Guards, set up after the 1979 Islamic revolution to protect clerical rule
in Iran, also raged against ``certain members of the press which speak of
unbridled and ill-defined reforms.''

Reformist newspapers, which are spearheading a campaign for greater
democracy, have accused hardliners in the Revolutionary Guards of plotting to
undermine Khatami's liberal reforms.

The Guards and its Basij volunteer militia have recently been the subject of
a press scrutiny in connection with a wave of political violence against
Khatami's allies.

The Guards deny the charges, accusing reformers of seeking to discredit
revolutionary institutions.

``Traitors and reactionaries have re-emerged like a malignant tumour and
speak of an end to the revolution and elimination of Islam,'' the Guards
said.

``But (Islamic loyalists) are present in every home and alley...and still
amount to a great deal,'' they said.

Western military analysts say the Revolutionary Guards make up around a third
of the half million Iranian men under arms, or about 150,000.

The Guards pack considerable firepower and are often seen as a counterweight
and active rival to the apolitical armed forces. Like all security and armed
forces, the Guards report to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is
commander-in-chief.

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:39:24 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran fencers leave U.S. in fingerprint row

Iran fencers leave U.S. in fingerprint row


TEHRAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Iran's junior fencing team pulled out of the
world championships in the United States and were on their way home after
immigration officials sought to fingerprint all team members, the official
IRNA news agency said on Sunday.

``The public relations department at the physical education organisation said
Iran's youth and junior fencing team refused to take part...to protest a move
by Chicago airport officials to have them fingerprinted,'' IRNA said.

It said the 12-member team then left for Turkey, en route back to Iran. They
were expected to arrive home on Monday.

Iran has bristled at enforcement against sports teams, scholars and clerical
delegations of an FBI policy to fingerprint arriving nationals from Iran,
Sudan and other countries accused by Washington of links to terrorism --
charges Iran denies.

Last January's soccer rematch between Iran and the United States only went
forward after U.S. officials agreed to waive the fingerprinting.

The match, which followed Iran's 1998 win over the United States in the World
Cup in France, marked the first time America had hosted Iran since the 1979
Islamic revolution.

The politically-charged World Cup match, for which both teams were later
given the FIFA Fair Play Award, was the first top-level sporting contact
between the countries since they broke diplomatic ties after the revolution
which toppled the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:40:04 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Reformist Iran editor back before hardline court

Reformist Iran editor back before hardline court

By Ali Raiss-Tousi


TEHRAN, April 16 (Reuters) - A leading pro-reform newspaper editor was
summoned to Iran's hardline press court on Sunday for the second time in less
than a week, fellow journalists said.

Emadeddin Baqi was indicted on Tuesday on charges including acting against
state security and insulting religious values, colleagues at Fath newspaper
told Reuters.

The charges, they said, stemmed from articles Baqi wrote alleging an
establishment role in the murders of dissidents and on Iran's use of Islamic
punishments.

``They are really out to get Baqi. The dossier shows that they are taking no
chances,'' one pro-reform journalist told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Among the 11 plaintiffs are Tehran's conservative justice chief, the
intelligence ministry, the Revolutionary Guards and the state broadcasting
organisation, dominated by hardliners.

The case against Baqi is the latest in a series of prosecutions of pro-reform
journalists, who have flourished under the liberal rule of President Mohammad
Khatami.

COLLEAGUE BRANDED ``APOSTATE''

Also in the firing line is Akbar Ganji, an author and newspaper editor, who
has been branded an apostate by hardline clerics after speaking in Berlin at
a recent seminar on Iran's reforms. If the accusations are proved, he could
face death.

Last week a liberal editor, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, began a 30-month
sentence for ``insulting religious values,'' the most common charge brought
by hardliners against the reformers.

Shamsolvaezin had paved the way for much of Iran's press revolution with a
series of maverick dailies, all but one of which has since been banned.

The intelligence ministry is foremost among the accusers with 27 lawsuits
against Baqi, including one based on a speech he made to students five years
ago.

Another complaint referred to an article in which Baqi had protested against
the imprisonment or house arrest of 12 Shi'ite Moslem religious leaders,
including Iran's senior dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

Reformers have protested the summoning of individual journalists by the
special press court, to no avail. Under Iranian law, a newspaper's publisher
-- not the writer or editor -- is legally responsible for all published
material.

Iran's courts have already closed a number of pro-reform publications and
banned some of their publishers from press activities. Special clerical
courts have silenced members of the clergy who managed newspapers.

Most notable among the silenced clerics is former Vice- President Abdollah
Nouri, jailed in 1999 for five years on charges of religious and political
dissent.

But reformist journalists have often re-opened their publications under new
names, using more liberal licensing rules introduced by President Khatami,
who was elected on a reform platform in 1997.

The press court will continue interrogating Baqi on Tuesday, his colleagues
at Fath newspaper said. A prominent figure among Moslem intellectual
activists, Baqi is free on 300 million rials bail ($37,000).

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:40:33 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran says Iraq still holding 3,000 prisoners

Iran says Iraq still holding 3,000 prisoners


TEHRAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Iran said on Sunday that Iraq was still holding
around 3,000 Iranian prisoners from the 1980-88 war between the two
countries.

``Iranian prisoners still remaining in Iraq are around 3,000,'' General
Abdollah Najafi, chairman of Iran's prisoners of war committee, told
reporters.

Najafi strongly denied recent charges by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that
Iran was mistreating Iraqi prisoners.

``In our dealings with (Iraqi) POWs, Islamic and humanitarian principles were
observed over and above the Geneva Conventions,'' he said.

He said some 9,000 Iraqi PoWs had refused to return to Iraq and had settled
in different parts of Iran.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said last week that more
than 4,600 Iraqis captured by Iran during the war were unwilling to return
home.

Beat Schweizer, the ICRC representative in Iraq, told Reuters some Iraqi PoWs
had managed to travel outside Iran but had not returned to Iraq.

Iran completed the repatriation of 1,999 Iraqi prisoners on Tuesday under
ICRC supervision. Baghdad says Iran still holds 9,000 of its soldiers
registered by the ICRC.

The fate of the PoWs remains an irritant to relations between Iran and Iraq
nearly 12 years after the end of the war which cost a million lives.

Najafi said Iran had released 57,712 Iraqi prisoners since 1981, in return
for 39,417 Iranians released by Iraq.

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:42:22 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran spurns latest U.S. sanctions

Iran spurns latest U.S. sanctions


TEHRAN, April 16 (Reuters) - Iran said on Sunday that it would not be
affected by new U.S. sanctions on its defence and aerospace industries and
denied U.S. allegations of missile proliferation.

``What Mr. (U.S. State Department spokesman James) Rubin said is immaterial
to Iran because Iranian defence industry has no cooperation with American
companies,'' foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

``We think such statements are meant to mislead public opinion from the main
threat in the region - which is Israel,'' he told Iran's state radio.

Rubin had said on Friday that the United States had imposed sanctions on five
``entities'' in North Korea and Iran for alleged missile proliferation.

The Iranian entities affected were the defence ministry, aerospace industries
organisation and two industrial groups.

Rubin said that Washington would deny import licenses to the sanctioned
entities for at least two years.

Asefi denied that Iran was engaged in missile technology transfers, or had
any hostile intentions:

``Iran's missile programme is merely a deterrent (force). Iran develops its
technology from internal resources within the framework of national
interests,'' he said.

The sanctions are largely symbolic given limited economic ties between Iran
and the United States.

They also are not expected to directly affect the recent U.S. decision to
allow Iranian exports of carpets, pistachios and caviar.

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 22:20:16 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Check out http://www.tisfoon.com/iran/governor.gif

<A HREF="Click">http://www.tisfoon.com/iran/governor.gif">Click here:
http://www.tisfoon.com/iran/governor.gif</A>

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 22:21:19 -0700
From: M Ruhany <mymr@HOME.COM>
Subject: Iranian Fencing Team Returns in Protest

Iranian Fencing Team Returns in Protest

In a show of protest to the actions of US Immigration Officers at Chicago
airport, the Iranian Fencing Team withdrew from the US International Fencing
Championships and returned back to Iran.

Upon arrival in Chicago, the Iranian team and coaches were required by US
Immigration Officials to be fingerprinted and photographed for so called
"security reasons". The Iranian team and coaches refused to go through the
humiliation of being fingerprinted and requested that they return back to
Iran. The Iranian team is expected to be received by Iranian Olympic Council
(IOC) officials on Monday upon arrival in Tehran.

The US Government had assured the Iranian team weeks prior that they would
not be fingerprinted upon arrival in the US. However, to the dismay of the
team the US Immigration officials decided to apply "routine immigration"
procedures, which are only enforced on nationals of countries that
are"unfriendly" to the US.

Despite the political tension between the two countries, US sports teams in
recent years have visited Iran without any difficulties.

Copyright 1999-2000 Iran Sports Press.

http://www.iransportspress.com/

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

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 22:23:46 -0700
From: M Ruhany <mymr@HOME.COM>
Subject: Iran Wins Taekwondo World Cup

Iran Wins Taekwondo World Cup
Lyon, France


Iran won the 9th Taekwondo World Cup in Lyon France on Sunday after winning
two gold and two silver medals. Iran's gold medals were won by Hadi Saei
Bonehkohal and Mehdi Bibak, while Majid Aflaki and Khajeh Aslani won silver
medals.

In men's -72kg second round bout, Hadi Saei Bonehkohal defeated his French
counterpart to win gold. In under-67kg, Mehdi Bibak defeated USA's Jason Han
to win gold medal. The scoreboard was not working during the match,
confusing spectators and officials alike. In -84kg, Majid Aflaki, whose
brilliant come back against Korea's Lee Jae-Sung in the semi-final amazed
observers, was forced to settle for a silver medal after being defeated by
Cuba's Angel Matos in the final. In under-78kg, Khajeh Aslani was defeated
by Korea's Yang Soon Ho and settled for silver medal.

Iran win the Championship which has historically been dominated and won by
South Korea. Iran's victory is historic for the country, which in recent
years has made great strides in martial arts sports. In 1999 Iran achieved
second place at the Taekwondo World Cup while Korea took first.

Copyright 1999-2000 Iran Sports Press.

http://www.iransportspress.com/

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Apr 2000 to 16 Apr 2000
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