Date: Apr 21, 2000 [ 15: 5: 14]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Apr 2000 to 21 Apr 2000 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Apr 2000 to 21 Apr 2000 - Special issue
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There are 12 messages totalling 1201 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Iranian Demonstrators, Police Clash
2. Air base remembers men killed on failed Iran hostage rescue mission
3. Armenia- Iran gas pipeline project seen as vital, but no sta
4. Iran hardliners turn up heat on reformers, but Guards deny p
5. Iranian court summons reformists for "anti-Islamic" remarks
6. Iran 's guards deny plotting coup against Khatami
7. Iran reformers fear coup
8. Iranians Negotiate Quietly With Israel
9. You can have a home free
10. Tehran, April 21, IRNA -- Deputy Ershad minister for the press affairs
11. Protestors claim IRNA has misreported incidents in Rasht
12. Ayatollah Emami Kashani calls for vigilance vis-a-vis enemies' ploys


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 16:42:11 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iranian Demonstrators, Police Clash

Iranian Demonstrators, Police Clash

.c The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Demonstrators clashed with police Friday and at least 150
people were arrested in the third day of protests after hard-liners annulled
a reformist's election victory, a local journalist said.

``The protesters hurled stones at anti-riot police and set one of the police
cars on fire,'' said the journalist from the town of Sarvestan in southern
Fars Province.

It was not immediately clear whether anyone was in the police car when it was
set on fire and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The journalist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said hundreds of
anti-riot police were patrolling the streets of Sarvestan. Police also banned
gatherings of more than three people in the town.

``The situation is very tense and the streets are littered with broken glass,
burned tires and stones,'' the journalist said. The protests began Wednesday.

The town is one of several districts where hard-liners have overturned
results from the Feb. 18 parliamentary elections, which saw an overwhelming
victory by supporters of President Mohammad Khatami's liberalization program
over conservatives in the clerical regime.

In Sarvastan, the Guardians Council disqualified the victor, pro-reform
candidate Zeinolabedin Tahmasbi, and awarded his seat the runner-up,
hard-liner Saadollah Rousta-Tasouji.

The Guardians Council, which is dominated by hard-liners and supervises the
elections, gave no reason for the disqualification.

Police have arrested five members of Tahmasbi's election campaign, the
journalist said today.

Many of the protesters wore white shrouds, a practice adopted after the 1979
Islamic revolution that signifies readiness to die for a cause.

``We have been insulted. Our votes are being wasted. We are not seeking
violence, but we are also not going to compromise and accept any other person
than the one whom we voted for,'' one of the protesters told the journalist
on condition of anonymity.

On Thursday, Sarvestan shopkeepers closed their stores and some 10,000 people
gathered in front of the governor's office to demand that the original
results be recognized. Anti-riot police were called in from the provincial
capital of Shiraz shortly afterward to control the situation.

Last week, residents from the towns of Khalkhal in northwest Iran and
Damavand in the suburbs of Tehran staged protests after the Guardians Council
canceled the election victories of reformists there.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:37:35 EDT
Subject: Air base remembers men killed on failed Iran hostage rescue mission

04/21/2000 Associated Press Newswires
Air base remembers men killed on failed Iran hostage rescue
Fri Apr 21 02:15:42 2000

Air base remembers men killed on failed Iran hostage rescue mission

04/21/2000 Associated Press Newswires
Copyright 2000. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AP) - A rose bush has been planted for each of eight
servicemen, including five Hurlburt-based airmen, who died in a failed
attempt to rescue American hostages from the U.S. embassy in Iran 20 years
ago next week.

The bushes were ceremoniously placed Thursday in the ground outside the
chapel at this Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle as mission veterans
and family members of their lost comrades looked on. A commemorative coin,
each with the name of one the deceased engraved on it, was buried with each
rose bush.

A symposium and retreat ceremony, which included a flyover by four C-130
transports in a missing man formation, preceded the planting.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, deputy commander of the United States
Special Operations Command, spoke during the ceremony of the impact the
mission had.

"It changed us forever," Schwartz said. "Never again will we be so
unprepared, so ill-equipped."

The failure prompted Congress and the military to expand, improve and better
coordinate the special operations forces of all services. The U.S. Special
Operations Command was created at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a result of the
disaster. The joint command is now at MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa.

The rosebush planting replicated a similar ceremony held outside the 8th
Special Operations Squadron's headquarters here after the mission. Those
bushes, however, were lost when the building and the rest of Hurlburt

The five airmen and three Marines died when a Marine Corps RH-53 helicopter
that was lifting off collided with a four-engine turboprop C-130 parked at
Desert One, a clandestine refueling site in Iran , on April 25, 1980.

"Be assured they did not die in vain," said Lt. Col. Ray Chapman, the 8th's
current commander. "Today, we are properly funded and trained to operate the
most sophisticated machines and equipment available anywhere in the world."

After being held 444 days, the 52 hostages were released in January 1981.

Symposium speakers included retired Col. James Kyle, the Air Force's on-scene
commander, who wrote "The Guts to Try," a book about the mission.

Kyle, now residing in Honolulu, took the name from a message on a case of
beer given to surviving airmen by British workers at an airfield in Oman,
which had been used as a staging base. It read: "To you all from us all for
having the guts to try."

The rescue mission had been scrubbed just before the crash because only five
of eight Navy and Marine helicopters had made it to Desert One in working
order after flying through a sand storm from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Kyle said there were problems both with the helicopters, which lacked
sophisticated navigation gear of Air Force MH-53 Pave Lows, and pilots who
were unused to flying with night vision goggles or in dusty desert

At the time, however, there were not enough Pave Lows to do the mission and
the Navy resisted efforts to let Air Force pilots fly the helicopters, Kyle

The humanitarian group No Greater Love will hold another memorial service
Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

The five airmen killed were Maj. Richard L. Bakke, of Long Beach, Calif.;
Maj. Harold L. Lewis Jr., of Mansfield, Conn.; Tech. Sgt. Joel C. Mayo, of
Harrisville, Mich.; Capt. Lyn D. McIntosh, of Valdosta, Ga., and Capt.
Charles T. McMillan, of Corryton, Tenn.

The Marines were Sgt. John D. Harvey, of Richmond, Va.; Cpl. George N. Holmes
Jr., of Pine Bluff, Ark., and Staff Sgt. Dewey L. Johnson, of Dublin, Ga.

"Special Operations success in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, and
contingencies yet attempted," Chapman said, "are because they, the men we
honor today, had the guts to try."


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:38:33 EDT
Subject: Armenia- Iran gas pipeline project seen as vital, but no sta

04/20/2000 BBC Monitoring
Armenia- Iran gas pipeline project seen as vital, but no sta
Fri Apr 21 02:10:06 2000

Armenia- Iran gas pipeline project seen as vital, but no start date yet

04/20/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: Snark news agency, Yerevan, in Russian 0830 gmt 20 Apr 00/BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of report by Armenian news agency Snark

Yerevan, 20th April: It will not be possible to discuss the beginning of the
construction of the Iran -Armenia gas pipeline until September. This is what
Armenian Energy Minister David Zadoyan told journalists.

He said that he would not accept pressure from outside and prefers to work
towards economic expediency. Interest in the construction, to be implemented
on a private basis, has been shown by the Russian joint-stock company
Gazprom, and a number of large Chinese companies. Talks have recently been
held with one of them, the Chinese firm Lambau. The minister noted that the
cost of the project would be 120m dollars, the length of the pipeline would
be 140 km.

The need for the gas pipeline is conditioned by Armenia's power requirements
and the need to provide diversification in delivering energy resources to the
republic's domestic market.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:40:23 EDT
Subject: Iran hardliners turn up heat on reformers, but Guards deny p

04/20/2000 Mideast Mirror
Iran hardliners turn up heat on reformers, but Guards deny p
Fri Apr 21 02:09:14 2000

Iran hardliners turn up heat on reformers, but Guards deny plotting "coup"

04/20/2000 Mideast Mirror
(Copyright 2000)

Iranian conservatives have orchestrated a strike in Tehran's influential
bazaar today, Thursday, in a show of force widely seen as intended to pile
the pressure on the reformist camp which scored a resounding victory in last
February's parliamentary elections.

The conservative-controlled Guardian Council is meanwhile dragging its feet
in organizing run-offs expected to complete the reformists' electoral
triumph. But the hardline Revolutionary Guards have denied, through the
commander of their Baseej militia, that they are plotting to stage a coup
against the government of reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

BAZAAR STRIKE: In a rare move, the "Tehran Bazaar's Islamic Association" has
called for Thursday's strike under the theme of backing supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his opposition to "American-style reform," as he
put it in a prayer sermon last Friday.

"Businessmen and traders of the Islamic bazaar strongly condemn recent
actions against national security and the country's unity, and fully support
the recent remarks of the people's guide," the association said in a
statement Wednesday. It was apparently referring to riots that have erupted
in a number of towns where the Guardian Council nullified the election
victory of reformist candidates and a clash between youth and Baseej
militants in the northern town of Rasht.

The Tehran bazaar is a powerful economic and political force which played an
important role in the 1979 Islamic revolution, but many merchants broke ranks
with its conservative-controlled association to vote for reformist candidates
last February. And press reports from the Iranian capital suggest that many
merchants will comply with Thursday's strike call only because they believe
they have no other choice.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE: Reformists have meanwhile accused conservatives of
waging "psychological warfare" by using their control of state television to
broadcast scenes of a conference on Iran recently held in Berlin, with the
participation of a number of reformist figures, that were clearly designed to
embarrass and discredit the reformist camp.

The television presenter apologized for what he called "totally un- Islamic
scenes," which showed a young woman dancing as a way of protesting at the
presence of speakers from Iran and exiled Iranian dissidents attacking both
Khatami and the participants who came from Iran .

Members of the conservative-dominated outgoing parliament were quick to
demand, in a petition signed by 140 of them, the prosecution of participants
in the conference, who included a reformist cleric and reformist journalist
Akbar Ganji. Conservative cleric Abolqasem Khazali was quoted as saying that
while reformists who had attended the conference had "insulted Islamic
sanctities" and should be killed, "we are not doing so because the guide
[Khamenei] has called for preserving unity."

But the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), the leading reformist group
headed by Khatami's brother Mohammadreza, denounced the management of state
television for airing the offensive scenes, accusing it of seeking to
undermine the government's reform drive, block the convening of the new
parliament, and fuel disputes between various political factions. Khatami's
representative in the state broadcasting network, Deputy Foreign Minister
Mohsen Aminzadeh, said the carefully selected scenes from the conference had
"provoked the people" and were aired as part of the "psychological warfare"
being waged "against the country's unity and national security."

RUN-OFFS: Conservatives and reformists are also sparring over the
disqualification of several reformist winners by the Guardian Council and the
latter's failure to set a date for run-offs that will decide some 65 seats in
the 290-member Majlis.

The state news agency IRNA said on Wednesday that the council, which oversees
elections in Iran , had turned down a proposal by the interior ministry to
hold the run-offs on April 28 without setting an alternative date.

It quoted Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, a reformist, as
complaining that while more than two months have passed since the February 18
legislative elections and the new Majlis is supposed to convene on May 28,
the council has yet to set a date for the run- offs. The council had
initially postponed the run-offs from April 21 to April 28, and such behavior
was "unjustified," he said.

Tajzadeh said the council had cited the need to recount votes for the
candidates who came in the 29th, 30th and 31st places in Tehran, which IRNA
said began on Wednesday. According to the results that were released earlier,
reformists won 29 of the 30 seats allotted to Tehran, with former president
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who headed the conservative ticket in the capital,
barely clinching the last seat.

NO COUP: The Revolutionary Guards warned over the weekend that they would
deal "blows in the skull" of reformist leaders and writers trying to promote
"American-style reform" in Iran , but they have now denied press reports and
accusations by local groups that they are plotting with other hardliners to
oust Khatami's reformist government.

The latest such claim came from the pro-reform "Organization of the Islamic
Revolution's Mujahideen," which, referring to the Guards' latest warning,
urged them in an open letter not to "stoop to the level of Third World
armies" and stage a military coup.

The commander of the Guards' volunteer militia known as the Baseej said
neither his forces nor the Revolutionary Guards had any intention of staging
a coup.

Coups are staged by those who oppose the ruling regime in their country, Gen.
Mohammad Hejazi said. While the Guards and the Baseej would not remain
indifferent to attempts to destabilize the country or undermine Islamic
values and the achievements of the 1979 Islamic revolution, they would do so
within the framework of the law and would never violate the laws and customs
of the Islamic Republic, he added.

MANEUVER: Supreme leader Khamenei was reported earlier this week to have
warned the Revolutionary Guards that their meddling in politics would trigger
civil war and vowed to "confront" any attempt to depose Khatami's government.

But the leader writer of the Saudi pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat sees
Khamenei's speech last Friday as a sign that the supreme leader is siding
with the hardliners.

Having failed to win last February's general election, the anti- reform camp
in Iran seems to be taking the fight outside the law and institutions, the
paper comments Thursday. In a potentially dangerous ploy, it has called on
the Tehran bazaar to close down today in protest against "American-style

The initial move came from supreme leader Khamenei, who had hitherto tried
not to take sides, Asharq al-Awsat says. In his speech last Friday, Khamenei
appeared to have decided to side with the hardliners opposed to Khatami's
promised reforms.

Some 140 hardline members of the outgoing Majlis who have signed a petition
opposing "American-style reform" cited Khamenei's speech. So did the Tehran
Bazaar's Islamic Association, which is controlled by the hardliners, in
announcing today's symbolic closure.

The maneuver is a warning to Khatami's supporters that their victory at the
ballot box does not give them carte blanche in changing Iran 's political
course, according to Asharq al-Awsat.

Will the maneuver work? It is hard to say. The closing of bazaars has always
been a political weapon in Iran , starting with the famous movement to
boycott tobacco in the 19th century. Later, the bazaars played a crucial role
in the victory of the constitutional revolution of 1906. In 1979, the bazaars
sided with the late Ayatollah Khomeiny against the Shah and helped bring down
the monarchy.

But we are now in the 21st century -- the world has changed, and so have Iran
and its bazaars, the paper writes.

The Tehran bazaar still employs an estimated 300,000 people, each day some
700,000 people visit it on business, and its annual turnover is estimated at
$10 billion.

Yet, the traditional bazaars no longer have the influence and the economic
clout they once had. The Tehran bazaar, for example, accounts for less than
10 percent of all jobs in the capital.

More importantly, the Tehran bazaar voted overwhelmingly for pro- reform
candidates last February. If the bazaar closes today, it may be more a result
of intimidation than political conviction.

Iran 's overwhelmingly young society is eager to introduce reform and open up
to the world. There is no reason why the bazaar, whose raison d'etre is trade
with other nations, might be opposed to Khatami's policy of domestic reform
and normalization with the United States, Asharq al-Awsat says.

NARROW FIELD: "Where are the missing boxes?"

This is the question that many have been asking in Tehran, only half in jest,
Iranian commentator Amir Taheri writes Thursday in Asharq al-Awsat.

The boxes in question, some 500 of them, contain an estimated 300,000 of the
votes that the Tehranis cast in last February's general election, he

Shortly after the votes were counted and the results officially announced by
the interior ministry, the boxes were impounded by the Guardian Council for a
recount. The clear intention was to make sure that former president
Rafsanjani, who had failed to win one of the 30 seats allocated to Tehran,
will end up with one nonetheless.

The interior ministry, controlled by pro-reform elements, tried a compromise
by putting Rafsanjani on the list of winners in the 30th and last place. But
this was such an obviously fraudulent move that it provoked angry reactions
within the pro-reform camp. Mohammad Rahmani, the pro-reform candidate who
had won the 30th seat, was the first to lash out against the decision to
alter the results in favor of Rafsanjani. He decided to file a formal
complaint, triggering a process which may quickly run out of control.

The pro-reform camp's decision to placate Rafsanjani by giving him a seat
that he had not won may well have been taken with a nod from Khatami, says
Taheri. Khatami does not want to fight on several fronts and may have thought
that letting Rafsanjani in would distance his group from the more hardline
Khomeinists who are determined to stop the reform movement.

The pro-reform camp, however, is increasingly dominated by elements more
radical than Khatami and less prepared for the kind of compromises he has
been making for the past three years.

"Either we believe in free and fair elections or we don't," Taheri quotes
Rahmani as saying. "We cannot tell the people to come out and choose their
representatives and then tamper with the results."

Other candidates who demanded a recount quickly followed Rahmani. This gave
the Guardian Council an excuse to intervene.

At first, the council appeared satisfied with a formal recount of a few dozen
ballot boxes in the presence of interior ministry officials. Once that
recount had been completed it went further and asked for the handover by the
ministry of some 500 ballot boxes. These boxes, meanwhile, had been put under
the joint control of the Tehran governor-general and the election supervision
committee. Both refused to hand over the boxes to the council.

This led to demands by some members of the council for a total recount of all
the estimated 3.5 million votes cast in Tehran, says Taheri, who apparently
penned his article before reports came in that the council had started the
recount for three positions in the capital with the participation of the
interior ministry.

A few hardline mullahs have even called for the cancellation of the Tehran
results and the holding of fresh elections at some unspecified date, Taheri
continues. The council has already reversed the results of the election in 11
constituencies, nullifying the victories of pro-reform candidates and giving
the seats to the defeated hardliners.

While Khatami is anxious to see the new Majlis convene as soon as possible,
the anti-reform factions are equally determined to delay it for as long as
they can. Some hardliners are even suggesting that the entire election result
be cancelled and the tenure of the outgoing assembly extended until fresh
elections are held some time in the future.

Some figures on both sides of the present political divide within the
establishment now appear convinced that elections alone would not decide the
outcome of the grand duel between the reformists and the hardliners.

"We must not turn elections into a new religion," says Mohammadreza Tarraqi,
a cleric and a member of the outgoing Majlis. "Islam envisages consultation
with the community. But this need not be conducted in the form of elections
and through voting. If elections help strengthen Islam they are good. If
elections weaken Islam they are evil."

Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, secretary-general of the Guardian Council, makes a
similar argument.

"In an Islamic system elections are no more than a means of assessing public
opinion," he said in a recent sermon. "The results of all elections must be
certified by the Guardian Council without whose assent all elections are null
and void. Even then the Majlis cannot take decisions without the approval of
the council. And in all circumstances the final say on all matters is with
the supreme leader. No one should believe that a Western-style parliamentary
democracy could be created side by side with the sacred system of velayat-e
faqih [rule by Islamic jurisprudent]."

Such arguments have provoked a sharp reaction from the more radical
pro-reform leaders. Abdollah Nouri, the imprisoned reformist leader, has told
his close aides that the reform camp may find itself forced to take the fight
to the streets.

"If the hardline faction does not abide by the law and takes the fight
outside the institutions, we shall have no choice but to call on the masses
to intervene directly," Nouri is reported to have told friends who visited
him in Evin Prison.

Some direct mass action is already taking place. Angry crowds have cut off
some of the main roads in the southern province of Fars to protest against
the cancellation of election results. Several other cities, notably Ahvaz,
Shush and Kermanshah, have witnessed mass riots in support of pro-reform
candidates whose victories have been cancelled by the council.

If the fight is taken to the streets, the hardline camp will have little
chance of winning. A demonstration organized by hardliners in Tehran this
week attracted just over 800 people. The defeated hardline candidates in Fars
had to call off a demonstration after it became clear that the pro-reformers
would retaliate with far bigger crowds.

Some analysts believe that if Iranian politics is taken into the streets both
factions within the establishment may end up as losers. A few hardline
politicians are openly calling for a coup by the Revolutionary Guards.

"The Revolutionary Guards were created by the late Imam [Khomeiny] to protect
Islam," Tarraqi says. "When Islam is in danger the Guards have a sacred duty
to intervene."

The Guards' commander, Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, appears to have been tempted
into taking a higher profile. His office has been issuing threatening
statements against the reformists while he himself has made a number of
unguarded remarks to the same effect.

But here, too, things are not as simple as they might appear. For one thing
it is possible that a majority of the Revolutionary Guards officers are
sympathetic to the reform agenda. For another, it is not at all certain that
if the Guards intervene in politics they would do so in favor not of
themselves but of a group of discredited mullahs now led by Rafsanjani.

Caught between the street and the barracks, the rival factions in Tehran are
fighting in an increasingly narrower field, Taheri concludes.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:40:54 EDT
Subject: Iranian court summons reformists for "anti-Islamic" remarks

04/20/2000 Agence France-Presse
Iranian court summons reformists for "anti-Islamic" remarks
Fri Apr 21 02:08:28 2000

Iranian court summons reformists for "anti-Islamic" remarks

04/20/2000 Agence France-Presse
(Copyright 2000)

TEHRAN, April 20 (AFP) - Tehran's revolutionary court has accused Iranian
reformists of making anti-Islamic remarks at a recent conference in Berlin,
and summoned them to appear before it, state radio reported Thursday.

"In light of statements made by participants at the Berlin conference against
the Islamic Republic, the tenets of Islam, and their erroneous depictions of
the Iranian people's beliefs, the case has been referred to the revolutionary
Islamic court and the participants have been summoned," the radio said,
quoting a judiciary statement.

The statement gave no date for the reformists to appear.

The Heinrich Boell Foundation had invited many close allies and supporters of
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, including reformist cleric Yussefi
Eshkevari and investigative journalist Akbar Ganji, to the April 7 and 8
conference on " Iran after the elections".

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

Iran 's conservative-run television Tuesday screened pictures of participants
attacking the Islamic regime, including press censorship and political
repression in Iran .

It also showed, following an apology from a commentator for the
"anti-Islamic" scene, a woman with bare arms dancing, and a disruption by
members of the exiled opposition 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.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:42:14 EDT
Subject: Iran 's guards deny plotting coup against Khatami

04/19/2000 Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Iran 's guards deny plotting coup against Khatami
Fri Apr 21 02:02:34 2000

Iran 's guards deny plotting coup against Khatami

04/19/2000 Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Copyright (c) 2000, dpa

Teheran (dpa) - Iran 's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have categorically denied
speculation that they are plotting a coup against reformist President
Mohammad Khatami, the governmental daily Iran reported Wednesday.

``The IRGC will never ever mount a military coup ... A military coup is made
by those who are against the ruling system of their country,'' General
Mohammad Hejazi, one of the IRGC commanders, told the daily.

The IRGC is a para-military corps which is regarded as close to the
conservative opposition. It is critical of the ongoing reform trend initiated
by President Khatami.

In a statement Sunday, the IRGC had warned reformists that they will get ``a
blow on their head'' in due time from those who are devoted to the Islamic

The statement led to widespread protests and renewed speculation there might
be a coup d'etat. Reformist students close to Khatami even wrote a protest
letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to whom the IRGC is loyal.

``Whenever the values of Islam and revolution are jeopardised, the IRGC will
not remain indifferent but its interference will always be within legal
frameworks,'' the general said.

Khatami was warned by 24 top IRGC commanders during last July's student
unrest not to ``sacrifice the Islamic system'' for the sake of democracy. But
following the warning, the IRGC declared its solidarity with the president.

The reformists are accused by the conservative opposition and the IRGC of
being against Islamic values and aiming for an American-style democracy and
eventually secularism.

Ayatollah Khamenei Friday said American-style democracy with its ``social
immoralities'' would never be implemented in Islamic Iran . Conservatives
welcomed the statement. They were severely defeated by reformists in
February's parliamentary elections.

The regular army in Iran and the intelligence service are said to favour of
Khatami but the IRGC, together with popular forces known as Basij
(mobilization) see themselves as guardians of the fundamentalist aims of the
1979 Islamic revolution.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:52:20 EDT
Subject: Iran reformers fear coup

Iran reformers fear coup
By Guy Dinmore in Tehran
Published: April 19 2000 17:13GMT | Last Updated: April 21 2000 02:48GMT

Iran's political crisis deepened on Wednesday when a reformist party allied
to President Mohammad Khatami accused hardliners of plotting a military coup
or other ways of preventing the newly elected and reformist-dominated
parliament from convening next month.

The reformist Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organisation was responding to a
statement by the powerful Revolutionary Guards which said that "when the time
comes, small and big enemies will feel the revolutionary hammer on their

The unusual warning, broadcast by state media on Sunday, was widely seen as a
threat to prominent reformists. Conservatives lost their parliamentary
majority in elections held two months ago, winning only some 50 of the 290
Majlis seats, as reformists repeated Mr Khatami's own landslide victory in
presidential polls in 1997.

But the hardliner-dominated Council of Guardians, which has supervisory
powers, has not yet ratified the results of 32 seats, nor confirmed a date
for a second round of voting for 65 seats where no candidate passed the
required threshold.

In the last two weeks the Council, alleging malpractice, has also annulled or
changed the results of 10 seats won by reformists, triggering unrest in two

The outgoing assembly is still in session and this week passed amendments to
the press law that could muzzle Iran's largely pro-reform newspapers, by
preventing them from reopening under a new title if closed down, as has
repeatedly happened, and barring certain journalists from working.

Last week, the Expediency Council, a powerful body also dominated by
conservatives, ruled that parliament had no right to investigate institutions
under the control of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, such as the
Revolutionary Guards, the broadcast media and the Bonyads, charitable
foundations that have grown into business empires.

The violent rhetoric of some hardline Shia Muslim clerics has created a
feeling of insecurity. The attempted murder last month of Saeed Hajjarian, an
editor and adviser to the president, still haunts Tehran.

A rally organised by the Basij Islamic militia on Tuesday chanted: "Death to
the mercenary writers." Their target was Akbar Ganji, a journalist who
alleges that prominent figures within the system were behind a series of
unresolved political killings.

Some analysts believe the hardliners are hoping to intimidate the new
parliament before it meets. Others fear the aim is to create such a crisis
that Ayatollah Khamenei would come under pressure to deploy the Revolutionary

In its open letter, the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organisation warned
unnamed hardliners, whom they described as the "Mafia of power", that a coup
was a "childish dream", as the bulk of the armed forces supported Mr Khatami
and the reformists.

Foreign oil and gas companies bidding for contracts in Iran are watching the
situation closely. One representative, expressing a view also held by some
western diplomats, said he believed the reformist trend was so strong that Mr
Khatami would ride out the crisis but might have to make compromises along
the way.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:54:47 EDT
Subject: Iranians Negotiate Quietly With Israel

Seeking U.S. Funds for Third World Woes
By Nora Boustany

Friday, April 21, 2000; Page A20

Easy-come easy-go wealth is out. Poverty is in. Sort of. At least, poverty
and the killer diseases that come with it are very much on people's minds.

Mark Malloch Brown, who has been the administrator of the U.N. Development
Program since Secretary General Kofi Annan plucked him from the World Bank a
year ago, was back in Washington this week to nudge Congress on U.S.
contributions, which he said are diminishing compared with those of the rest
of the world.

The U.N. program's core budget has shrunk from $1.2 billion to $700 million
in the past few years. Trust funds and special projects coming from outside
programs, such as Iraq's oil-for-food program, bring its operating budget to
$2.5 billion. The United States' status as main contributor has been ceded to
Japan, which increased its share by 25 percent, from $80 million to $100
million, Malloch Brown told Washington Post editors and reporters over lunch
Wednesday. France, Italy and Ireland increased their donations last year by
more than 20 percent each, he added.

Malloch Brown, whose skills as a publicist and administrator have stood him
in good stead, is remolding the program's priorities and strategies to
embrace long-term goals of good governance and human rights work. Donor
fatigue notwithstanding, Malloch Brown envisions an elaborate consulting role
by helping countries with national development reports and plans for poverty

"We do have the money to be a highly effective consulting organization," he
said. "We don't have the money to lift countries out of poverty on the back
of our projects, but we can goad change by helping countries analyze their
poverty and make the right decisions and policies for good governance. We
want to develop the software to address poverty, where in the past we would
have provided the hardware, the bridges, the agricultural projects, the dams."

The program's "Poverty Report 2000," released this month, pointed out the
failures of previous poverty eradication efforts, which were "in large part
the result of weak or poorly functioning institutions at both the national
and local level."

He and World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn agree on the details and the
goals, he noted. "I am Jim Wolfensohn in a U.N. tiara," Malloch Brown said.
The laurel wreath model, we hope.

Malnutrition's Role in U.N. Spending

In an impassioned conversation with South African President Thabo Mbeki at
the Group of 77 summit of Third World leaders in Havana last week, the U.N.
Development Program administrator urged that the world not get distracted
from the fight against AIDS and poverty by debates about science. Mbeki has
considered some unorthodox theories about the cause of the disease and shown
irritation with the West's assumption that it has all the answers. The real
problem, Malloch Brown said, is that the prevalence of poverty and
malnutrition weakens people in a continent such as Africa, where spending on
general health is $10 per capita each year, while treatment of the illness
can cost up to $10,000 per capita annually. The program's budget for Africa
is $300 million for 48 countries.

Iranians Negotiate Quietly With Israel

Sources in the Iranian clerical establishment and government, tipped off by
rival factions within the Revolutionary Guard, disclosed that intelligence
officials from the Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian government's principal
security service, have had direct contacts with Israeli government
representatives in Switzerland and other locations in recent months. Their
agenda has included Iranian assets frozen in Israel, the fate of 13 Iranian
Jews held on espionage charges, and recent maneuverings affecting prisoners
and hostages in Israel and Lebanon, the sources said.

Israeli officials in Geneva recently acknowledged to Israeli journalists that
Israel owes Iran $4.8 billion in frozen assets, a figure that includes money
owed for oil purchases, plus interest, and items paid for in advance by the
late shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi that were never delivered. The Iranian
sources said Israeli interlocutors tried to keep the figure as low as $600
million in the discussions, but the Iranians were adamant that they get the
whole amount.

"Things got very complicated recently because of Israel's insistence on
guarantees that Hezbollah [a Lebanese Shiite Muslim group with links to Iran]
not attack Israel during or after its planned withdrawal from South Lebanon,"
the Iranian government source said.

Last week, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch welcomed the decision
of Iranian judge Sadeq Nourani to grant defense lawyers' request to postpone
the espionage trial of 13 Iranian Jews until May 1. It also backed the
defense's request that the 10 defendants still in custody be released on bail
for Passover.

On Wednesday, Israel released 13 of 15 Hezbollah fighters captured in
Lebanon, while the Israeli government said it would draft legislation to
circumvent a recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling that the men have been held
illegally. Israel was holding them as hostages as part of its campaign to win
the return of Ron Arad, a pilot missing in action in Lebanon since the 1980s,
or at least to learn of his fate.

Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:59:28 EDT
Subject: You can have a home free

Published Thursday, April 20, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News

You can have a home free
Mercury News Staff Writer
It's tough to buy a house in Silicon Valley. But it's even tougher to give
one away.

For six months, Ali Moghaddam has done just about everything he can think of
to give away his ranch-style Los Gatos home to charity. He's scoured the Web
for possible recipients and contacted more than 70 non-profits by phone and
e-mail. The high-tech entrepreneur even sweetened the deal, throwing in an
Italian-designed dining-room set, leather couches, a 1990 Honda Accord and
$10,000 cash.

Still, no takers.

Here's the rub: The 40-year-old, 2,200-square-foot home has two bedrooms and
a den but doesn't come with any land -- and charities can't afford the
astronomical price of Silicon Valley dirt. If Moghaddam doesn't find someone
to accept the home soon, he'll have to demolish the place, which was
appraised at $500,000 two years ago and sports beautiful hardwood floors and
a giant stone fountain in the back yard.

It's not uncommon these days for Bay Area charities to get offers of free
houses -- without the land. This brick-and-mortar philanthropy comes from the
convergence of disparate Silicon Valley social forces: Wildly successful
residents knocking down otherwise good homes to make room for roomier abodes
at a time when thousands of families are priced out of the housing market.

For donors, it's a way to save demolition costs, get a hefty tax break -- and
feel good, too.

``There's this trend of people who want to get rid of their houses so they
can dispense with their demolition costs (and then) build their monster
houses,'' says Ann Schneider, a Mountain View resident and secretary of the
California Resource Recovery Association, an organization that promotes

Paul Gardner, owner of an East Palo Alto company that specializes in tearing
down houses, says the Bay Area demolition market is much stronger than the
rest of the country, spurring the attempted giveaways.

``I come from Massachusetts, and houses there still look the same as they did
when I left 25 years ago,'' says Gardner, of Whole House Building Supply and
Salvage. Now he lives in Palo Alto, where ``every week it looks different
because they've wiped out another house. People have more money here.''

Yet no matter how desperate agencies are to find homes for clients, four
walls and a roof are of no use without a plot of ground underneath.

``Where do you put this home?'' asks Bob Campbell, executive director of
Project Match Inc. The San Jose-based non-profit organization, which provides
housing for low-income seniors, was seriously tempted by Moghaddam's house
offer but has no land to put it on.

A rare problem

Getting house donations is a problem charities in other parts of the country
wish they had. ``You are very fortunate there,'' says Ron Medeiros, executive
director of Habitat for Humanity in Hartford, Conn., also a wealthy area. ``I
don't know where else you'd find a market like that.''

Moghaddam, who lives with his wife and 14-month-old son, says time is running
out. It will take 18 months to build his new home, and the contractor is
itching to start. Moghaddam is even willing to kick in $15,000 to help haul
the house away, a complex procedure that often requires removing power lines
and trees and transporting the house in the dead of night.

The airy single-story house, purchased nearly two years ago for about $1.5
million (including the one-acre lot), would fulfill the dreams of many house
hunters. It has a wood-paneled office with redwood beams, glass cabinets, two
fireplaces equipped with wood-burning stoves and more closets than you could
ever fill.

Replacement house

The family plans to replace the house with a five-bedroom, two-story
contemporary French-Mediterranean structure that will overlook the valley
from the oak-studded Los Gatos hills.

Moghaddam, the 44-year-old owner of Compuwise, a Mountain View computer
consulting company, concedes that tax benefits are a motivation. In May 1998,
Moghaddam's house was appraised at just under a half-million dollars. If he
finds a charity to take it, he could write off the current market value of
the house, although he might have to spread it out over several years.

``That tax benefit is there. I do not deny that,'' says Moghaddam. ``But the
amount of time I've spent on this diminishes that tax benefit.''

It is equally a matter of the heart. Growing up poor in Iran, Moghaddam knows
the desire to have a house of one's own. He was reared by his aunt. She
nurtured him and paid for his college education. But her home was never his

``When I was in college, I had one pair of pants, one shirt -- that's it,''
he says.

His dream is to find someone who will turn his current house into a home for
homeless children. ``That's my wish: that all children have a place that is
their own.''

Ellen Leanse, a Peninsula resident, also tried to give her home to charity.
In the end, she and her husband, who share a cramped structure with three
children, hope to donate it to an individual before building a bigger home
for themselves.

``You drive around the freeway, and you see signs, `Donate your car.' Why
can't you donate your house?'' says Leanse, who works in marketing and says
that even ordinary people tear down houses. (``I am not a dot-com
millionaire,'' she insists.) ``Even if it didn't save us anything on
demolition costs, I'd still do it.''

Elizabeth and Dave Ferrari, who live in Monte Sereno, plan to open up their
home to a charitable organization and let it take windows, cabinets, doors --
whatever -- before their 90-year-old home is destroyed this year. ``We're in
the age of recycling,'' she says.

Not much help

A donated home alone, though, isn't much help to most non-profit groups,
which struggle daily to find permanent addresses for thousands of people
barely making it in the high-cost Silicon Valley economy.

In addition to the problem of finding land, there are pricey permits to
obtain and the high cost of bringing an older home up to code, observes
Deanne Everton, a board member of Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity, which
is flooded with requests for housing help. ``People think it's this great
gift. But that's usually not the case.''

Still, it's hard to see beautiful bungalows brought down in heaps and the
scraps trucked off to a landfill.

Even the San Jose Redevelopment Agency is working hard to avoid that fate as
it offers up more than 30 older homes that need to be moved or demolished to
make way for new development downtown. The agency is in the process of
accepting offers.

``A lot of people are priced out of affordable housing,'' says Debbie Parker,
business manager for San Jose's Housing for Independent People Inc., which
assists the elderly and people with disabilities. ``I've had a couple of
occasions when I've had to refer people to the suicide hotline.''

But with no land, Parker's agency had to pass on Moghaddam's offer. ``I wish
we could take advantage of it,'' she says.

Despite the difficulties, two groups are seriously pursuing Moghaddam's offer.

``I told everybody, `First come, first serve,''' he says. ```As soon as you
sign the papers, it's yours. Come and take it.'''

To contact Ali Moghaddam about his house, call him at Compuwise at (408)
437-0304. To contact the San Jose Redevelopment Agency about its homes, call
(408) 277-4744.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 18:00:56 EDT
Subject: Tehran, April 21, IRNA -- Deputy Ershad minister for the press affairs

Tehran, April 21, IRNA -- Deputy Ershad minister for the press affairs

said the ministry of Islamic culture and guidance (Ershad) is to discuss with
managing directors of the newspapers Saturday the different aspects of the
directives of the supreme leader ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei expressed in
the youth meeting on Thursday.
In an interview with IRNA Friday, Shahidi pointed out that following the
meeting between the leader and the youth in which the supreme leader
expressed remarks on the performance of the press, a lengthy session attended
by the Ershad minister Ataollah Mohajerani was convened to review the
leader's statements.

The participants in the meeting have decided to hold a meeting with the
managing directors of the newspapers in the ministry on Saturday to explore
ways of addressing the concerns expressed by the leader for the performance
of the press.

Asked on the possible measures to be adopted by the ministry to remove the
concerns of the leader in this regard, he said: we have always tried to
remove these concerns through informing the managing directors.

In previous meeting with the press officials, minister Mohajerani has
regularly stressed effective implementation of the press laws, observing the
lofty Islamic values, opting for proper ways of information dissemination and
making efforts to guarantee the solidarity among the masses.

For instance, he continued, to inform the people of the realities of the case
of the assassination bid on Tehran city council member Saeed Hajjarian the
ministry had organized many meeting with the press officials calling them to
avoid any prejudgments and to try to publish the realities of the case.

"I am sure that the press officials would try to remove the concerns felt by
the supreme leader as it is the case also with the Ershad ministry
officials," Shahidi maintained.

He expressed the hope that through the free atmosphere created for the press,
that the leader called for, the press could carry out their Islamic and
revolutionary duties.

He called upon the press officials to observe the Islamic values, to respect
the laws and expediencies of the system and to observe the professional press
codes of conduct so that the mission of the dissemination of information be
carried out properly.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 18:03:04 EDT
Subject: Protestors claim IRNA has misreported incidents in Rasht

Protestors claim IRNA has misreported incidents in Rasht

Rasht, Gilan prov., April 20, IRNA -- About 300 people assembled in front of
the local bureau of IRNA at 11:00 hours here Thursday and protested the
agency's reporting of an incident here on the mourning day of ashura (April
15) at which yet unidentified youth reportedly attacked a procession of
wailing mourners in the city that is a traditional ceremony on the 10th. Day
of the lunar hegira month of Moharram. Attacks on any ground against
processions of religious mourners on the day has been totally unheard of in
In the lunar Hegira calendar which is the official calendar for religious
events in Iran the anniversary of the martyrdom of imam Hossein (as) is on
the 15th. Day of Moharram which falls on different days of the solar Hegira
calendar each year, this year falling on April 15.

For several centuries in Iran, ashura has been marked by national mourning
and assemblies at mosques and elsewhere in a religious homage to imam Hossein
(as), the third imam of shi'ite muslims, who was martyred along with his
small army of about 72 in a crucial religious battle with yezid in kerbela
who had usurped power and who demanded recognition by imam Hossein (as) of
his official status, as well as his political allegiance to and support for

Annual mourning for imam Hossein (as) on the ninth and tenth of mohaarram is
marked by beating of chests, beating on the backs by cat-o-nine-tails of fine
chains, and recitations in mosques of the episodes of imam Hossein's symbolic
and heroic struggle with yezid and his rule, often with loud wailing.

Ashura has both religious and political interpretations and is considered as
a token of the unconditional responsibility of every muslim as an individual
to resist submission to oppressive unislamic rules even though death and
martyrdom is certain to be the only result of resistance of that kind.

Demonstrators who carried portraits of imam Khomeini, and the eader of the
Islamic revolution, Seyed-Ali Khamenei, also held placards with slogans and
inscriptions on them, some of them against the Islamic Republic news agency
for the language and wording of the report.

They said in its reporting of the incident on that day IRNA had referred to
the attackers as young members of the local hezbollah which, they insisted
was untrue.

The group said the attack against the procession of mourners here on March 15
had been designed and organized by poeple who were not local city people, and
who had done so with the idea of disreputing the (government of the) Islamic
Republic nationally and internationally.

They read a resolution at which they appreciated the manner and tone of the
reporting of the same incident by the Iranian radio and television networks,
and also acknowledged the involvement of the local law enforcement officers
to end breach of peace by yet unknown people.

About half of the group of the 300 were women in various ages, many of them
garbed in burial shroud as a token of their readiness for martyrdom.

Many also had cameras and handicams who filmed IRNA's local bureau and its

None of the demonstrators were ready for an interview with IRNA, and some
even threatened violent action when posed with questions by the agency's
local reporters.

One local reporter of IRNA was threatened by a number of the group o shut up
or he would be "captured with his tape recorder."

Demonstrators also demanded the ouster of deputy governor general of Gilan
province of Iran for political affairs, apparently for the same incident.

The assembly in front of IRNA was also filmed and reported by the Iranian
radio and television network.


Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 18:04:38 EDT
Subject: Ayatollah Emami Kashani calls for vigilance vis-a-vis enemies' ploys

Ayatollah Emami Kashani calls for vigilance vis-a-vis enemies' ploys

]Tehran, April 21, IRNA -- Substitute leader of Tehran Friday prayers
ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani in the first sermon of today's prayers drew
attention of the Iranian nation to the conspiracies hatched by the global
arrogance and called on the muslim ummah to be constantly vigilant.
Addressing thousands of worshippers gathered at Tehran university campus in
Tehran downtown, he referred to the recent remarks of the supreme leader
ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and said the enemy has managed to infiltrate
into the Islamic Iran and pursue its goals through bases it had set up inside
the country.

Stressing the important role the youth play in the scene of the Islamic
revolution, the ayatollah elaborated on the villain schemes designed by the
enemies to counter the Islamic revolution saying: "we should be aware of the
ways and means the enemy tries to use in order to materialize its inhumane
goals in our country."

Ayatollah Kashani further said the founder of the Islamic Republic had
disappointed the enemies who struggled to realize their ill intentions thanks
to his high vigilance and strong faith and the sacrifice of the youth,
forcing the enemies to continue their opposition from outside.

Pointing to the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States,
eight years of sacred defense, the inflation and the economic hardships
created by foreigners, he said the enemy has come to believe that it can make
use of the economic problems to trasfer the opposition against the Islamic
revolution into the country.

The ayatollah further said this ploy is doomed to failure as the previous
conspiracies designed by the global arrogance and enemies of the Islamic

In the second sermon of this week's Friday prayers, ayatollah Emami Kashani
further warned people about the ploys set by enemies of the revolution,
saying that interpreting religion in the form of a school of thought is a
great calamity for the global arrogance.

He remarked that this idea is still spreading in the muslim world and it is
in fact the real meaning of the export of the revolution.

"Their second plan was to tamper with the religion; that is the reason why
they replaced the word 'freedom' with the word 'reform' " he said, adding
that the reform they are looking for is an American one.

Ayatollah kashani went on to say in the second sermon that even the notion of
the Islamic supreme jurisprudence has been distorted by the enemies who
unjustly label it as despotism.

"The heavy duty shouldered by the leader through 98.2 per cent of people's
votes for the Islamic Republic's constitution does not let him feel
indifferent to such issues as surrendering to an ignoble peace with the U.S.
" he said.

While putting the blame on certain newspapers, Kashani attacked those who
show disrespect to the revolutionary values and tend to bring about
insecurity, social commotion, distrust and disappointment.

Ayatollah kashani later called on people to exercise vigilance at the present
circumstances, stressing that the Iranian people have always stood up for
unity and national security at the time of danger.

Calling solidarity the key to safeguarding the country's security, Kashani
appreciated the judiciary, the executive and the legislature bodies for their
perseverance in carrying out their duties in unison.

Kashani, who is also a member of the Expediency Council, later in his address
condemned a recent conference held in Berlin on Iran and said attending such
meetings is religiously prohibited .

The substitute leader of Tehran Friday prayers wrapped up his speech by
stressing the need for observance of Islamic hijab (Islamic code of dress) by
the Iranian women. He further said that hazrat Zahra (as), prophet Mohammad's
(pbuh) daughter, is the perfect model for the muslim women. "indifference
towards a correct Islamic code of clothing will end up in weakening the
family life in the society; while Islam seeks to consolidate it as a firm
foundation of the Islamic society," said he.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 20 Apr 2000 to 21 Apr 2000 - Special issue