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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 18 Apr 2000 to 19 Apr 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 18 Apr 2000 to 19 Apr 2000
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There are 16 messages totalling 1022 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. AFP-Angry protestors block highway over election cancellation
2. IRNA --IIPF denounces IRIB for broadcasting selective parts of Berlin
conference
3. AFP-Iranian television shows embarrassing images for reformists
4. AFP - Conservatives step up pressure on reformists in Iran
5. AFP-Tehran merchants stage closure in backing for Ayatollah Khamenei
6. AFPHard-liners protest against Khatami's reform policy
7. The National Post: The sexual revolution
8. Clashes in Rasht
9. Iran unrest flares over vote cancellations-papers
10. Iran's Khatami repeats call for talks with UAE
11. Iran Cleric Urges Reformers' Deaths (2)
12. Tehran merchants stage closure in backing for Ayatollah Khamenei
13. Internet to be freed up in Iran
14. Azizi Fined and Suspended
15. FWD-Ha'aretz: Op-Ed: Good morning, High Court

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:34:47 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP-Angry protestors block highway over election cancellation

Angry protestors block highway over election cancellation
Iran - Tuesday, 18 April 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, April 18 (AFP) - Protestors unhappy at the overturning of
election results blocked traffic on a major highway in southern Iran's
Fars province Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"Traffic has been completely blocked on the Shiraz-Bandar Abbas highway
making travel to the southern regions of Fars province impossible," said
Hadi Pajuhesh, deputy provincial governor in charge of security affairs,
cited by IRNA.

Protestors also caused unspecified damage to public buildings in the
city of Sarvestan, 100 kilometers (65 miles) south of Shiraz, IRNA said.

They gathered in front of the governor's office to denounce the decision
of the conservative election watchdog, the Council of Guardians, to
award their local parliamentary seat to a conservative instead of a
reformist.

"The highway is completely closed for the foreseeable future," a highway
patrol official from Fars province told AFP.

It was the fourth time that angry protestors had taken to the streets to
demonstrate against the nullification of results from the February
election which saw a landslide victory for reformists.

Several hundred demonstrators travelled to Tehran April 12 to protest
outside the interior ministry after the victory of reformist candidates
in their areas was overturned.

The previous week there were riots in the northwestern town of Khalkhal,
forcing the authorities to call in army and law enforcement units after
residents ransacked government offices and set vehicles alight. Around
40 people were arrested.

There was further unrest in Damavand, north-east of Tehran, where the
election of Mostafa Khanzadi was overturned after his outgoing
conservative rival Ahmad Rassouli-Nejad called for a recount.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:40:34 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IRNA --IIPF denounces IRIB for broadcasting selective parts of Berlin
conference

IIPF denounces IRIB for broadcasting selective parts of Berlin
conference

Tehran, April 19, IRNA -- The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) on
Wednesday denounced the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for
screening a video-tape from Berlin conference in a selective manner
hostile to the reform program of government of president Mohammad
Khatami.

In a statement a copy of which was faxed to IRNA, the IIPF said
broadcasting the selective parts of the conference on the national
television is a provocative act serving only the factional interests.

"At a time when the supreme leader of the Islamic revolution has called
for national unity and the resolve of political parties to neutralize
enemy plots and to reinforce national solidarity, the IRIB's latest act
(broadcast of selective footages of Berlin conference) which sought the
same goals of its other films - Ashura Afternoon and Cheragh - requires
more contemplation," IIPF said.

The IIPF accused the IRIB of working to stop formation of the sixth
Majlis and pitting political parties against one another and undermining
the reform program of president Mohammad Khatami.

The IIPF said those who took part in the Berlin conference titled "Iran
after the February election" did so for personal reasons and naturally
they themselves are responsible for it."

Aminzadeh criticizes IRIB screening of film on Berlin confab

Tehran, April 19, IRNA -- Representative of the executive branch to the
supervisory council of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB),
Mohsen Aminzadeh, said that the broadcasting of portions of a video film
on the recent `post-elections Iran' conference in Berlin by the IRIB
last night was "an insult to Islamic sanctities as it depicted
promiscuous behavior."

In an interview with IRNA on Tuesday midnight following the screening of
the film, he expressed regret over the "indecency of broadcasting the
film by IRIB especially during the holy mourning month of Moharram."

He said the film was screened at a time when the Iranian society was
mourning the martyrdom of the third imam of the household of the holy
prophet Mohammad (pbuh), adding that the film provoked the religious
feelings of the Iranian nation.

A group of people on their own initiative decided to take part in the
conference in Berlin, Aminzadeh said, stressing that these people had
their own personal motives for participating and, were therefore there
to discuss topics or issues they themselves had an interest in
resolving.

``What is important for us is the selective screening of the film by the
IRIB," he noted.

"I, as representative of the executive branch in IRIB's supervisory
council, call on the IRIB chief to explain this move. The responsibility
for the consequences of the film's screening will be shouldered by
IRIB," he said. ::IRNA 19/04/2000 12:32

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:36:50 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP-Iranian television shows embarrassing images for reformists

Iranian television shows embarrassing images for reformists

Iran - Wednesday, 19 April 2000 - Agence France Presse
TEHRAN, April 19 (AFP) - Iran's conservative-run television dealt a blow
to the country's reformists late Tuesday by showing aides of President
Mohammad Khatami attacking the Islamic regime at a Berlin conference.

A commentator apologised to viewers for showing "anti-Islamic" scenes,
including a woman dancing with bare arms, and shots of members of the
banned armed opposition group the People's Mujahadeen.

Conference organisers the Heinrich Boell Foundation had invited many
close allies and supporters of Khatami, including reformist cleric
Yussefi Eshkevari and investigative journalist Akbar Ganji.

Also present was Ezzatollah Sahabi of the banned but tolerated secular
party, the Iran Freedom Movement.

The television showed a disruption by members of the People's Mujahadeen
alleging the Khatami government was just as responsible as its
predecessors for the "crimes and human rights violations" in Iran since
the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Participants expressed support for Khatami's reforms and condemned press
censorship and political repression in Iran.

Speakers expressed indignation when the woman got up and began to dance,
but most of the audience applauded, and the mere fact of being present
was enough to damn the reformists in the eyes of conservatives who have
been sounding off about the conference for several days.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:39:45 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP - Conservatives step up pressure on reformists in Iran

Conservatives step up pressure on reformists in Iran

TEHRAN, April 18 (AFP) -

Iran's conservatives stepped up the pressure Tuesday against their
reformist rivals in Iran, adopting harsh new measures against the press
and staging a demonstration against the policies of President Mohammad
Khatami.

The outgoing conservative-dominated parliament approved a tough new law
amid a renewed crackdown on pro-reform newspapers and journalists in an
intensifying power struggle in the wake of last February's reformist
election victory.

The new measures barred suspended newspapers being published under
another name, required offences by the press to be dealt with by the
courts, and forbade opponents of the regime to hold employment in the
industry.

All newspaper licences must be approved by the intelligence ministry,
the courts and the police -- all strongholds of the regime's
conservatives.

The new law also forbids "any direct or indirect foreign aid to the
Iranian press", and reiterates that the publication of rumour, false
information and "unconstitutional" articles is banned.

Individual journalists and others involved in the publication of
material deemed offensive or illegal can be hauled before the courts,
and the state security court has power to close down any newspaper
immediately for a two-month period.

The conservative majority approved the new law in the face of reformist
protests, notably from Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah
Mohajerani, a bane of Iran's Islamic hardliners.

The new legislation still has to be approved by the conservative Council
of Guardians, which reformists hope will declare it unconstitutional.

The bill's passing this week followed a dark warning from Iran's
Revolutionary Guards, a pillar of the Islamic regime, to the
increasingly bold pro-reform press.

The Revolutionary Guards, an elite force under the direct command of
supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday accused
newspapers, editors and even politicians of defending "US-style" reforms
in Iran and hinted darkly that a backlash against the movement was on
the way.

The Guards accused papers of writing articles "along the lines of
foreign demands" and "attacking the values of the revolution."

They called on all political forces to "support the government, the
judiciary, the parliament and all of the regime's institutions in
conformity with the law and under the direction of the supreme leader".

Tuesday's parliament session also saw conservative deputy Ali
Movahedi-Savoji accuse Khatami of helping the enemies of the regime by
his "vague rhetoric."

He warned that "the forces of the revolution and its devotees are
willing to sacrifice their lives for the sacred values of the revolution
and the Islamic republic."

Later Tuesday an estimated 1,500 hard-liners gathered at the University
of Tehran to protest at Khatami's reforms.

They demanded that "the advocates of American-style reforms be brought
to justice and denounced the government's cultural agenda, saying that
"it had led to an atmosphere of violence."

The demonstrators shouted slogans against the United States, Israel and
the reformist press, brandishing copies of newspapers defaced with black
crosses.

In other developments the Council of Guardians ordered a third recount
of votes cast for the 30 seats in Tehran in the February polls,
concentrating on the performances of the last three successful
candidates.

Among them is conservative former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani,
disputes over whose election have reflected the wider power struggle.

The Council of Guardians has already reversed the election wins of
several reformists in various constituencies where they were said to
have beaten their conservative rivals, sparking public protests.

The official news agency IRNA said the latest such demonstration Tuesday
blocked traffic on a main road from the southern city of Shiraz to the
port of Bandar Abbas.

Protestors also caused an unspecified amount of damage to public
buildings in the city of Sarvestan, 100 kilometers (65 miles) south of
Shiraz, it said.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:35:38 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP-Tehran merchants stage closure in backing for Ayatollah Khamenei

Tehran merchants stage closure in backing for Ayatollah Khamenei
Iran - Wednesday, 19 April 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, April 19 (AFP) - Tehran's powerful conservative bazaar merchants
are to shut their shops Thursday in a show of support for supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who last week rejected "US-style reform" in
Iran, their association said Wednesday.

Some 140 members of the conservative majority in the outgoing parliament
signed a similar petition of support, and called for reformist
politicians who attended a recent conference in Berlin on Iran to be
tried.

"Businessmen and traders of the Islamic bazaar strongly condemn recent
actions against national security and the unity of the country, and
fully support the recent remarks of the people's guide and head of the
Moslem community," the association said.

The first reference was to public disturbances in the provinces, where
young people clashed at the weekend with Islamic volunteer militia in
the northern city of Rasht.

Demonstrations have also been staged against the annulment of the
election of several reformists in February's polls by the conservative
elections watchdog the Council of Guardians.

Khamenei warned Friday that "US-style" reforms in the Islamic republic
could destroy the principles of the Muslim faith.

"Of course we need reform at every level -- administrative, judicial,
economic -- but the United States wants a kind of reform without Islamic
principles," he told thousands at weekly prayers.

Vowing that Iran would never go back on its hard-won revolutionary
principles, he said Washington was "opposed to true reform in Iran. All
they want is US-style reform."

Khamenei did not directly finger President Mohammad Khatami, who has
pushed for a variety of social, political and economic reforms since his
1997 election, only to see his agenda frequently stymied by
conservatives.

Reformists hope that their domination of the new parliament due to take
office next month will enable Khatami's policies to be pushed through.

The bazaar, a powerful economic and political force which played an
important role in the Islamic revolution of 1979, employs 300,000 people
and is one of the pillars of the regime.

The merchants' association is controlled by the conservatives, even
though many individual traders broke ranks to vote for the victorious
reformists in the February general elections.

Tuesday saw some 1,500 hardliners demonstrate at Tehran university
against "US-style reforms, demanding that those who propagated them
should be put on trial.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:38:35 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFPHard-liners protest against Khatami's reform policy

Hard-liners protest against Khatami's reform policy

Protestors, holding placards with anti-US slogans and portraits of
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his predecessor
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (C), demonstrate in front of Tehran
University 18 April 2000 to protest the reformist policies of President
Mohammad Khatami. Some 1,500 people took part in the demonstration,
shouting slogans like: 'American-style reforms, a humiliation for us'

Iran - Tuesday, 18 April 2000 - Agence France Presse TEHRAN, April 18
(AFP) - Hundreds of hard-liners gathered on Tuesday at the University of
Tehran to protest against the reforms initiated by Iran's President
Mohammad Khatami.

The protestors, whose numbers were estimated by reporters at the scene
to be around 1,500, gathered at the entrance to the university in
central Tehran to demand that "the advocates of American-style reforms
be brought to justice."

They also denounced the government's cultural agenda, saying that "it
had led to an atmosphere of violence."

The demonstrators shouted slogans against the United States, Israel and
the reformist press, which is closely associated with Khatami's
government. They brandished reformist dailies that had been defaced with
black crosses.

They chanted "American-style reforms signify our humiliation," and
demanded "revolutionary reforms."

The gathering was called as the conservatives are stepping up their
offensive on reformists and the reformist press.

On Tuesday, a conservative deputy in the outgoing parliament accused
Khatami of helping the enemies of the regime by his "vague rhetoric."

The attack on the president followed a warning Sunday to reformers and
the reformist press backing Khatami from Iran's elite Revolutionary
Guards, the Pasdaran, a pillar of the Islamic regime under the direct
control of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It attacked "those who defend American-style reforms in Iran", referring
to people and newspapers recently coming out in favor of a renewed
dialogue with the United States.

On Friday, Khamenei defended "legal violence" as a means of keeping
order in the Islamic republic and insisted that Iran would not move away
from the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:44:31 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: The National Post: The sexual revolution

The sexual revolution

Marc Carnegie The Spectator

She wore scarlet lipstick and tight velvet trousers, and took several
minutes to carve each sentence out of the marijuana haze in her brain.

"You know," she said droopy-eyed, "sometimes I smoke like this and think
about my life here. I am Iranian voo-mon." She waved her hand vaguely,
letting the gold bracelets tumble down her pale white wrist. "I need new
things. You know?" She took another swig of lethal bootleg vodka and
shook her head sadly. "New things."

The conservative mullahs who have ruled Iran for two decades are an old
thing now. Twenty years is a long time to have to cover yourself head to
toe in public, forswear alcohol and tremble at impromptu checkpoints
while teenage Islamic "volunteers" with kalashnikovs search your car for
Western pop music and, if you are with a partner, ask to see marriage
papers. It is an even longer time for those who have never known
anything else, those too young to recall the giddy Eurotrash days of the
Shah when the girls wore skirts up to there and the movie-house was
showing Last Tango in Paris.

But Iran, so the thinking goes, cannot bear another revolution, and the
recent elections were supposed to be an exercise in carefully controlled
change, an orderly transition in a society still reeling from the
upheaval of Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution. The "reformists"
backing President Mohammad Khatami, expecting to win a slight majority
in parliament, won by a landslide. The conservatives -- who had railed
about the danger of Khatami's reforms to Iran's official Islamic values
-- were thrown out wholesale.

The conservatives were right to rail. The light many see at the end of
the freedom tunnel is not emanating from the local mosque. After years
of frustration and terror, women in particular are acting out their
rebellion in time-honoured Western fashion -- through sex, drugs and
rock'n' roll. This kind of thing horrifies the conservatives, who place
the blame on Khatami. No doubt it irks the president as well. He, too,
is a cleric, a pious and intelligent man who sings from the correct page
when it comes to the virtues of the Islamic revolution. But he also used
to live in Germany, has read his Hobbes and Locke, and can understand
that the people need breathing space. He is trying to navigate the
treacherous shoals of Iranian politics, where the dug-in "forces of
conservatism" are trying to hold their control over natives who, after
20 years of a police-enforced Islamic state, are a little restless.

Since he was first elected three years ago, Khatami has moved steadily,
if slowly, toward transforming Iran into a democracy. Indeed, Iran now
finds itself lumped with its arch-enemy Israel as the only other
democracy in the Middle East. Israel is a nation of secular hedonists
who swill gin-and-tonics by the Mediterranean in dental-floss bikinis.

In Iran, lipstick is illegal in public. The beaches are segregated and,
just in case any men should try to sneak a peek, the women still have to
wear full-body covering to preserve their Islamic modesty. As Khatami
eases the pressure on society, he is faced with the perennial question:
How much God can a democracy stand?

Under the constitution, any challenge to the authority of the supreme
religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a strict no-go. The former
interior minister, Abdollah Nuri, tried last year for spreading
"anti-Islamic" propaganda in his pro-reform newspaper, became a hero to
dissidents when he used his trial to question whether the supreme
religious leader should be vested with near absolute political power. He
was sentenced to five years in prison. Other critics of the regime have
fared less well. In late 1998 several leading dissidents and opposition
intellectuals were assassinated. Reformers say the killings were staged
to discredit Khatami. Conservatives, who control the police who carried
out the murders, say the murders show they should have still more
control. Iranian politics is a house of mirrors.

Khatami wants to change all that, or at least some of it. On the one
hand he must grapple with the hard-liners who say that his steps toward
more freedom are wearing holes in the Islamic Persian carpet. On the
other hand there are those -- mostly young people, who make up more than
half of Iran's population -- thirsting for vodka, miniskirts and all the
other forbidden trappings of freedom. They are frustrated by the glacial
pace of change.

Khatami is to some extent caught in the middle -- and in that he is like
almost every Iranian. One day while driving south out of Tehran with a
female friend I went through three consecutive checkpoints of the Basiji
militia: young boys in greasy clothes, guardians of the revolution with
wisps of moustaches, who peered into the window of our car while
clutching their submachine-guns. We were waved through without a check
each time, I barely concealing my trembling. Only later did my friend
tell me she had stashed a bottle of whisky in the boot to take to
another friend as a gift.

"I didn't want to tell you ahead of time because I didn't want you to be
too scared," she said casually in the safety of her friend's home,
unwrapping her headscarf and shaking her long, luxuriant hair.

"Thank God we didn't get searched."

It was the most pious thing I have ever heard her say.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 16:46:58 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Clashes in Rasht

Wednesday, April 18, 2000


E X T R A


Clashes in Rasht


THE IRANIAN -- Fifty young people were arrested in the northern city of
Rasht during three days of violent clashes with the Islamic militia and the
police, reports from Iran said Monday (see AFP report:
http://www.iranmania.com/news/apr00/170400g.asp). The following was
received from a person who claims to have been an eyewitness to the initial
confrontation:

dar morede havaadese akhir dar rasht harf o hadis kheili ziyaadee --
albateh hame unhaa az tarafe mas'ulin -- onvaan shodeh. taa haalaa az
mardomi ke dar unjaa haazer budan porside nashodeh ke daghighan che
ettefaaghi oftaade ...

rooze shanbe [April 15], saa'at az 1 sobh ham gozashteh bud ke dargiri
shoro shod. man faghat chizi ke khodam didam tozih midam :

saa'te 1 o khorde'ee daghighan yaadam nist, taghriban maraasem ro be tamum
shodan bud ke ye edde basiji oftaadan beyne mardom o shoro kardan be
filmbardaari kardan baa handycam. in ye khorde baa'ese tahrike mardom az
jomle khodam shod ke zire lab nasezaa migoftam!

ba'd az chand daghighe hamoonaa umadan o az mardom baa in onvaan ke
maraasem tamum shodeh khaastan ke mahal ro tark konan. mardom ham
e'tenaa'ee nakardan. unhaa ham be soraaghe chand taa javoon raftan o hamin
darkhaast ro kardan ke unhaa ham e'tenaa'ee nakardan va in baa'es barkhorde
fiziki yeki az basijihaa baa yeki az un javoonhaa shod.

dar edaame edde'ee eb tarafdaari un javoon jolo umadan ke baa zarbe haaye
mosht o lagade basijihaa ke haalaa eddashun bishtar shodeh bud movaajeh
shodan. hamin amr baa'es tahrike javoonhaa'ee shod ke dar gooshe o kenaar
budan va ye dargiri shadid beyne javoonaa va basijihaa shoro shod ke dar in
beyn police be hich vajh dekhaalat nakard, tanhaa az tarighe bolandgooye
yeki az maashinhaaye police mardom da'vat be aaraamesh shodan vali dige
faayede'ee nadaasht chon ke seyle azimi az mardome khashmgin ke montaazere
chenin lahze ha'ee baraaye khaali kardan oghde'haaye chandin saale khod
hastan be raah oftaade bud, az javoone 14-15 saale taa marde 30-35 saale
beyne in gorooh bud. man az rooye arze khiyaaboon va toole taghribi un va
taraakome mardom in edde ro beyne 1500 ta 2000 nafar takhmin mizanam.

harekat baa shekaste shodane taablo haaye matabbe pezeshkaan va sepas
shishe haaye baank va kollan har markaze dolati donbaal shod. moje
tazaahoraat be bishtare khiyaboonhaaye asli shahr resid. taa injaa fekr
mikonam edde unhaa bishtar az 3000 nafar shodeh bud chon nirooye entezaami
BE HICH UNVAN hatta jolo ham nayoomad. in harekat baa'ese takhribe
taghriban tamaami cheraagh haaye rahnamaa'ee dar khiyaboonhaa, atash zadane
parde haaye manghoosh be akse koshteh shodegaane jang va besiyaari kharaabi
haaye dige shod. mardom sho'aar haa'ee sar daade budand ke dar un be ba'zi
maghaamaate dolati tohin mishod.

shabe ba'd az un, yanee dar yekshanbe shab, nirooye police amaade va baa
nirooye besiyar dar shahr paraakande bud ke bedune hich dalili dar
ebtedaaye shab be jaane mardom oftaad o baa kotak zadan o baazdaasht
edde'ee javoon ghaa'ele khaabid mota'assefaane vasile'ee dar ekhtiyaar
nadaashtam ke az sahne haa aks yaa film begiram.

inaa ro faghat be in khaater goftam ke be harfhaaye bi paaye o asaasi ke
ba'ziyaa dar morede ho kardane daste jaat azaadari yaa mashkook shodane
police be pesar o dokhtare javaani va ... migan khaateme bedam.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 17:39:08 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran unrest flares over vote cancellations-papers

Iran unrest flares over vote cancellations-papers


TEHRAN, April 19 (Reuters) - Riots swept Sarvestan in southern Iran after a
decision by Iran's electoral watchdog body to cancel local election results,
newspapers reported on Wednesday.

The decision by the Guardian Council, dominated by hardline clerics opposed
to political and social reforms, replaced the initial winner in recent
parliamentary elections with the runner-up.

People attacked and damaged the town's local courthouse and later set car
tyres on fire, Entekhab newspaper said. Other dailies carried similar reports
of unrest.

Attempts to set a petrol station on fire was thwarted by the police, Entekhab
reported.

Rioters closed the main road between Bandar Abbas, Iran's main port, and the
nearby provincial center, Shiraz. A road bridge was heavily damaged, the
newspaper added.

It was not immediately clear how the wave of annullments by the Guardian
Council would affect the balance of power in the next parliament, which is to
convene on May 28.

Reformers allied with moderate President Mohammad Khatami made strong
showings against their rival conservatives in the February elections.

The Guardian Council's decisions, seen by many as heavy- handed partisanship
toward the conservatives, have led to violence in several towns, including
riots in the northwestern town of Khalkhal last week.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 17:41:11 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran's Khatami repeats call for talks with UAE

Iran's Khatami repeats call for talks with UAE


TEHRAN, April 19 (Reuters) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami called on the
United Arab Emirates on Wednesday to take part in bilateral talks to resolve
their long-standing territorial dispute.

``Iran is ready to talk on the issue with its Emirati brothers. We hope that
our friends in the United Arab Emirates will heed this humane request,''
Khatami told a farewell ceremony for visiting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah
Saleh.

``We believe that with goodwill, mutual respect and reason there is nothing
that cannot be resolved,'' the official IRNA news agency quoted the Iranian
president as saying.

A Yemeni official told Reuters that Saleh would brief UAE President Sheikh
Zaid bin Sultan al-Nahayan on his discussions in Iran, including his talks
about the disputed islands, during a short stopover in Abu Dhabi.

Relations between Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbours have warmed since the
reformist Khatami launched a bid to break the country's international
isolation.

But the dispute with the UAE over the islands of Abu Musa and the Lesser and
Greater Tunbs - located near key shipping lanes at the mouth of the Gulf -
has proved an irritant to further improvement in ties.

Iran, which controls the three islands, says it is ready for talks to resolve
what Khatami called a ``misunderstanding.''

The UAE wants the talks to have a clear agenda and a specific timeframe, and
suggests referring the dispute to international arbitration if direct talks
fail.

Khatami also used the send-off to reiterate Iran's demands that regional
security be left up to regional states - a direct challenge to the continued
presence in the Gulf of U.S. forces.

``We have repeatedly said that on a regional or bilateral basis we are ready
to move towards a security pact in the region, the president said.

``Regional security should be provided by the countries of the region
themselves.''

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 17:42:42 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran Cleric Urges Reformers' Deaths

Iran Cleric Urges Reformers' Deaths

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
.c The Associated Press


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A hard-line cleric urged his followers to kill pro-reform
writers and activists whom he says are undermining Iran's revolutionary
principles, a newspaper reported today.

``They (reformists) insult Islamic sanctities. They attend a conference to
say nonsense. Kill them wherever you find them. This is God's unchangeable
tradition,'' the daily Sobh-e-Emrouz quoted Ayatollah Abolqasem Khazali as
saying.

He was referring to a conference entitled ``Post-elections Iran'' held
recently in Berlin, Germany, and attended by several pro-reform writers and
activists.

``It is an obligation to launch jihad (holy war) once every year, just as it
is an obligation to fast one month a year. If the enemy does not attack you,
you should attack them,'' said Khazali, a former member of the hard-line
Guardians Council and a senior cleric at the holy city of Qom.

Khazali was not available for comment, but the editor of a reformist
newspaper told The Associated Press today that Khazali's remarks did not
reflect purist Muslim ideology.

``His comments have nothing to do with Islam or the Islamic establishment,''
Karim Arqandehpour, editor of the reformist daily Mosharekat, said. ``It was
his personal comments without any organized political support. However, his
words could be misused by emotional individuals.''

In 1998, five political dissidents were killed and the Intelligence Ministry
said ``rogue'' agents were behind the murders. The killings remain shrouded
in mystery.

Iran's state television, one of several key establishments under the control
of hard-liners, broadcast footage of the Berlin conference Tuesday night,
showing an Iranian woman dancing and others chanting slogans against Iran
during speeches by reformists.

A pro-reform group, meanwhile, denounced as a ``childish dream'' a
threatening statement issued Sunday by the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards
Corps.

``The power mafia is seeking to justify an anti-reform coup for the purpose
of imposing dictatorship under the cover of religion,'' said a letter issued
by the Islamic Revolution Mojahideen Organization, one of the top groups in
the pro-reform camp.

In their Sunday statement, the elite Revolutionary Guards - backbone of
Iran's military force - said: ``When the time comes, enemies ... paving the
way for foreign domination will feel the revolutionary hammer on their
skulls,''

Moderate President Mohammad 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.

The hard-liners, who control key institutions like the military, the
broadcast network and the judiciary, have found themselves struggling for
survival against the reformist movement, which took off after Khatami's 1997
election.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 19:52:30 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Tehran merchants stage closure in backing for Ayatollah Khamenei

Tehran merchants stage closure in backing for Ayatollah Khamenei
Iran - Wednesday, 19 April 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, April 19 (AFP) - Tehran's powerful conservative bazaar merchants are
to shut their shops Thursday in a show of support for supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who last week rejected "US-style reform" in Iran,
their association said Wednesday.

Some 140 members of the conservative majority in the outgoing parliament
signed a similar petition of support, and called for reformist politicians
who attended a recent conference in Berlin on Iran to be tried.

"Businessmen and traders of the Islamic bazaar strongly condemn recent
actions against national security and the unity of the country, and fully
support the recent remarks of the people's guide and head of the Moslem
community," the association said.

The first reference was to public disturbances in the provinces, where young
people clashed at the weekend with Islamic volunteer militia in the northern
city of Rasht.

Demonstrations have also been staged against the annulment of the election of
several reformists in February's polls by the conservative elections watchdog
the Council of Guardians.

Khamenei warned Friday that "US-style" reforms in the Islamic republic could
destroy the principles of the Muslim faith.

"Of course we need reform at every level -- administrative, judicial,
economic -- but the United States wants a kind of reform without Islamic
principles," he told thousands at weekly prayers.

Vowing that Iran would never go back on its hard-won revolutionary
principles, he said Washington was "opposed to true reform in Iran. All they
want is US-style reform."

Khamenei did not directly finger President Mohammad Khatami, who has pushed
for a variety of social, political and economic reforms since his 1997
election, only to see his agenda frequently stymied by conservatives.

Reformists hope that their domination of the new parliament due to take
office next month will enable Khatami's policies to be pushed through.

The bazaar, a powerful economic and political force which played an important
role in the Islamic revolution of 1979, employs 300,000 people and is one of
the pillars of the regime.

The merchants' association is controlled by the conservatives, even though
many individual traders broke ranks to vote for the victorious reformists in
the February general elections.

Tuesday saw some 1,500 hardliners demonstrate at Tehran university against
"US-style reforms, demanding that those who propagated them should be put on
trial.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 22:09:18 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Internet to be freed up in Iran

Internet to be freed up in Iran
Iran - Wednesday, 19 April 2000 - Agence France Presse

TEHRAN, April 19 (AFP) - Iran is preparing to open up access to the Internet
to everyone in the country, Iranian state radio reported Wednesday.

"Steps have been taken so that the entire population can use Internet
services around the country," the radio quoted a telecommunications ministry
official as saying.

Under the measures, private sector businesses can now become Internet service
providers with a price structure still to be fixed.

After years of opposition to the idea in a country where satellite television
dishes are banned, the government has moved increasingly to open up access to
the Internet, which until about two years ago had been confined to
universities, and political, religious and government cultural bodies.

Access to the web has become very popular over the last year among the
country's well-off youth, and some cyber-cafes have opened in residential
parts of the major cities.

Iran's religious leaders have so far tolerated limited use of the web, and
have encouraged the use of sites promoting propaganda for the regime and
Shiite religious thought.

The works of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, have available on the net for more than a year.

The Expediency Council, the highest court for ruling on matters of government
strategy, decided in 1999 to allow increasing use of the Internet.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 22:14:57 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Azizi Fined and Suspended

Azizi Fined and Suspended


According to the San Jose Earthquakes, Major League Soccer's Disciplinary
Committee has suspended Khodadad Azizi for three games and fined him $7,500
for major game misconduct during the Earthquakes loss at KC on April 15th.

Azizi will be back at home on May 17th vs. LA Galaxy.

Azizi was given a red card in the match between the Kansas City Wizards and
San Jose Earthquakes on April 15 after he was involved in an altercation with
Wizard's Garcia.

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

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 22:19:59 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Iran Cleric Urges Reformers' Deaths

Wednesday April 19 10:19 AM ET
Iran Cleric Urges Reformers' Deaths
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A hard-line cleric urged his followers to kill pro-reform
writers and activists whom he says are undermining Iran's revolutionary
principles, a newspaper reported today.

``They (reformists) insult Islamic sanctities. They attend a conference to
say nonsense. Kill them wherever you find them. This is God's unchangeable
tradition,'' the daily Sobh-e-Emrouz quoted Ayatollah Abolqasem Khazali as
saying.

He was referring to a conference entitled ``Post-elections Iran'' held
recently in Berlin, Germany, and attended by several pro-reform writers and
activists.

``It is an obligation to launch jihad (holy war) once every year, just as it
is an obligation to fast one month a year. If the enemy does not attack you,
you should attack them,'' said Khazali, a former member of the hard-line
Guardians Council and a senior cleric at the holy city of Qom.

Khazali was not available for comment, but the editor of a reformist
newspaper told The Associated Press today that Khazali's remarks did not
reflect purist Muslim ideology.

``His comments have nothing to do with Islam or the Islamic establishment,''
Karim Arqandehpour, editor of the reformist daily Mosharekat, said. ``It was
his personal comments without any organized political support. However, his
words could be misused by emotional individuals.''

In 1998, five political dissidents were killed and the Intelligence Ministry
said ``rogue'' agents were behind the murders. The killings remain shrouded
in mystery.

Iran's state television, one of several key establishments under the control
of hard-liners, broadcast footage of the Berlin conference Tuesday night,
showing an Iranian woman dancing and others chanting slogans against Iran
during speeches by reformists.

A pro-reform group, meanwhile, denounced as a ``childish dream'' a
threatening statement issued Sunday by the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards
Corps.

``The power mafia is seeking to justify an anti-reform coup for the purpose
of imposing dictatorship under the cover of religion,'' said a letter issued
by the Islamic Revolution Mojahideen Organization, one of the top groups in
the pro-reform camp.

In their Sunday statement, the elite Revolutionary Guards - backbone of
Iran's military force - said: ``When the time comes, enemies ... paving the
way for foreign domination will feel the revolutionary hammer on their
skulls,''

Moderate President Mohammad 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.

The hard-liners, who control key institutions like the military, the
broadcast network and the judiciary, have found themselves struggling for
survival against the reformist movement, which took off after Khatami's 1997
election.

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

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 00:52:08 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: FWD-Ha'aretz: Op-Ed: Good morning, High Court

Op-Ed: Good morning, High Court
by Gideon Levy

Ha'aretz 4/16/00

This weekend, the espionage trial began for 13 Iranian Jews who have
been imprisoned for over a year. It's hard to know whether they will
get a fair trial; perhaps they are spies and perhaps not. In any case,
Israel and the Jewish world have been moving heaven and earth to
protect them since their arrest.

Until recently, 13 others faced a harder fate. In contrast with the
Iranian Jews, most of the 13 Lebanese citizens abducted by Israel were
not granted any trial, never mind a fair one. In contrast with the
Iranian Jews, the Lebanese are not suspected of illegal acts: Israel
has freely admitted that it held them only as "bargaining cards." They
were held without charges or judicial process as hostages of the state
that abducted them - and some of them were selected for this fate by
nothing more than their family names. Those who were tried were
sentenced to short prison terms and when they were done, they were
thrown back into administrative detention, in a process that undermined
both the sentences that should not have been given and the authority of
the judiciary.

The world barely whispered - in contrast with Iran , Israel is, after
all, the only democracy in the Middle East. We heard barely a grumble
from even our most enlightened quarters: After all, this was part of
the effort to bring back our prisoners of war and missing soldiers, so
all is permitted, with the support of human rights advocates such as
Yaakov Perry, the former head of the Shin Bet security services.

Still, we might have expected at least one Israeli institution -the one
that is always seen as a beacon for justice and the law - to put an end
to this disgrace. But for years, the High Court of Justice not only
failed to oppose the imprisonment of hostages in Israel, but went so
far as to justify the wrongdoing. High Court President Justice Aharon
Barak, whom many consider the most enlightened of Israelis, wrote only
two-and-a-half years ago that releasing the "unnamed persons," as they
were (in typical manner) called, "would cause real damage to state
security." The court has been terrorized by the defense establishment,
generally through classified and secret reports heard in camera. In
cases of torture, house demolitions, deportations, detentions without
trial, expropriations of land or the early release of an old and ailing
spy, the court abnegates itself before the defense establishment,
silent in the face of caprice, trampling more than a few principles of
law, morality and justice.

A change is underway, and, much too late, a new wind is blowing through
the halls of justice. It started when the High Court put an end to Shin
Bet torture, continued with the interim decision to allow the
Palestinian cave-dwellers to return to their homes and presses forward
with the decision to release the Lebanese captives. These moves are
good news whether they originate in the new government in Israel, a
slightly more enlightened public, the effects of Justice Barak's
frequent contact with academics in the United States, or a new trend of
safeguarding international human rights that includes prosecuting
violators.

But it is difficult to absolve the High Court of responsibility for
previous events: It is not enough for Barak to write courageously in
his ruling that "we must be prepared to admit our mistake." What does
it mean for the president of a state's supreme court to admit to an
error that cost innocent people their liberty? In innumerable other
cases, the court's job is to identify responsible parties and demand
that they pay for their mistakes. So here, the court should be
confronted with its own responsibility: "You erred, so who will pay?
Who will pay reparations to the tens of thousands of people who were
tortured with your authorization before torture became illegal and thus
immoral? Who will pay reparations to the thousands of young people who
were detained without trial for the years they lost in Israeli prisons,
while the High Court approved their incarceration? And now, who will
pay the 13 Lebanese citizens, some of whom were mere youths at the time
of their arrest, for their years in jail? If indeed the High Court
president recognizes the court's mistakes, he must accept
responsibility and award compensation to the victims. The list of those
waiting for justice is still long.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 18 Apr 2000 to 19 Apr 2000
***************************************************