Date: Apr 23, 2000 [ 18: 23: 19]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Apr 2000 to 23 Apr 2000 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Apr 2000 to 23 Apr 2000 - Special issue
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There are 20 messages totalling 1249 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Baghdad fears new "axis" of US-Saudi-Iran
2. Iran to partially privatise oil sector
3. Iran gas blast kills one, injures six - agency
4. Indian fishermen home after prison odyssey
5. Five hurt in grenade blast in Iran's holy city
6. Iran mulling to pay farmers world prices for wheat
7. Saudi reassures UAE on Iran relations -officials
8. Blundering Through History With the C.I.A.
9. UAE heir apparent comments on relations with Iran
10. Damavand residents send letter to Khamene'i on election annulment
11. Iranian official says Iraq still holding more than 3,000 POWs
12. Iraq receives UAE request to boost ties: INA
13. Iran Seeks $10 Billion Foreign Oil Invest In Next 5 Yrs -Oil Min
14. Iran says kills four rebels on Iraq border.
15. Assembly of Experts asks judiciary to act against "anarchist newspapers"
16. Director of banned daily `Neshat' sent to prison
18. Americans of two minds on sanctions, poll finds
19. Fwd: the banned newspapers and journals
20. - Iran's special press court on Sunday closed at least


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 10:57:45 EDT
Subject: Baghdad fears new "axis" of US-Saudi-Iran

Baghdad fears new "axis" of US-Saudi-Iran

Iraqi Babel paper highlighted the increased contacts and coordination the
United States and Iran have enjoyed during the past year.

April 23, 2000, 09:32 AM
BAGHDAD (AFP English) - Iranian Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani's visit to
Saudi Arabia could signal a new US-Iranian-Saudi axis that would leave
Baghdad out in the cold, an official Iraqi newspaper warned Sunday.
"Several questions can be raised on the subject of this visit and the
security accord Iran and Saudi Arabia intend to sign," said Babel, run by the
eldest son of the Iraqi president, Uday Saddam Hussein.

"Firstly, could Saudi Arabia sign such an accord without the encouragement
and approval of the United States?" Babel asked.

"The obvious answer is 'No', and that leads us to ask: what terrorism do
Saudi and Iran want to fight under the aegis of the United States? And what
is the relation between the fight against terrorism and the visit by the
Iranian minister to Saudi military bases?" Babel highlighted the increased
contacts and coordination the United States and Iran have enjoyed during the
past year.

"There have been the theatrical excuses of Madeleine Albright, the lifting of
the embargo on pistachios and caviar, the fact that the United States
considered the Mujahadeen as a terrorist organisation, and Iran's
intensification of its fight against the so-called smuggling of contraband
Iraqi oil" in the Gulf, Babel said.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:39:51 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran to partially privatise oil sector

Iran to partially privatise oil sector

By Mehrdad Balali

TEHRAN, April 23 (Reuters) - Iran plans to privatise major segments of its
oil and petrochemical sectors as part of a drive to modernise the ageing
industries, Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Sunday.

``Our goal is to bring the energy industry up to date and increase
productivity,'' Zangeneh said in a speech inaugurating an international
exhibition of oil, gas and petrochemical technologies.

``The industry has historically been facing backwardness, and we should
quickly make up for it and have a modern industry,'' he said of Iran's 90
year old oil industry, the main component of the Iranian economy.

Zangeneh said the government planned to invest $10 billion over the next five
years to streamline its energy industry, including $4 billion for the
petrochemical sector.

``We plan to change the structure of the energy industry and improve
efficiency,'' he said.

The minister said low-technology industries in the oil sector would be
transferred to the private sector, including those producing petroleum

Privatisation would be more extensive in the petrochemical sector, covering
all the refineries, he said.

``We will actively support privatisation as far as the constitution allows
us,'' Zangeneh said.

Iran's constitution, drafted after the 1979 Islamic revolution, places key
economic sectors in state hands.

But the government of President Mohammad Khatami has managed to circumvent
legal hurdles and secure legislative approval for privatisation of big
industries, including oil and petrochemicals.

Khatami launched his five-year plan for economic recovery last month with
promises to end the state's monopoly on the economy and trim government

Iran has heavily invested in petrochemicals in search of greater profits from
exports of derivatives. But crude exports are still the main source of hard

Petrochemical exports account for nearly a sixth of Iran's non-crude exports.

Officials say petrochemical output has seen a five-fold increase since the
revolution, reaching 13 million tonnes a year now. The industry plans to
raise production to 35 million tonnes in five years.

Zangeneh said $2 billion worth of petrochemical contracts had been signed
with foreign companies in the year to March, and another $2 billion will be
signed this year.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:40:27 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran gas blast kills one, injures six - agency

Iran gas blast kills one, injures six - agency

TEHRAN, April 23 (Reuters) - A liquefied gas canister exploded in central
Tehran, killing one person and injuring six more, the official IRNA news
agency reported on Sunday.

The explosion in a busy shopping district late on Saturday damaged property
worth more than one billion rials ($122,500), IRNA said.

Two three-storey shopping centres were partially damaged by the blast.

($1- 8,170 rials)


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:41:45 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Indian fishermen home after prison odyssey

Indian fishermen home after prison odyssey

MADRAS, India, April 23 (Reuters) - Nineteen Indian fishermen, who had been
imprisoned in Iran and Pakistan for over a year, returned to Madras on
Sunday, a police official said.

``All of them are in good health and they will be taking a train to their
hometown later this evening,'' the police official, who did not wish to be
identified, told Reuters.

The men, from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, were jailed by Iran in
February, 1999, after they inadvertently entered Iranian waters. Four months
later, they were released at the border with Pakistan -- only to be
imprisoned again there.

The fishermen were freed by Pakistan on Saturday and arrived in Bombay on an
Indian Airlines flight.

``We were not very well looked after in Iran. We had tremendous difficulty
with food and water. But the authorities in Pakistan treated us well,''
Mohammed Maitheen, one of the freed fishermen, told Reuters.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:42:17 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Five hurt in grenade blast in Iran's holy city

Five hurt in grenade blast in Iran's holy city

TEHRAN, April 23 (Reuters) - Five children were injured, one critically, in
Iran's holy Shi'ite city of Qom after three teenagers tossed a grenade at the
youngsters as they played in a city street, the official IRNA news agency
said on Sunday.

It said the attack too place on Saturday in the district of Shahrak-e Qaem.
The attackers, described as around 18 years old, all escaped, IRNA said.

No other details of the attack were immediately available.

Qom is home to many of Iran's senior Shi'ite clerics, as well as its leading
seminaries. Local residents say the district, on the outskirts of Qom, is
home to many migrant Afghans, mostly refuges.

The city has been the scene of rising factional tensions between reformers
and conservatives, but there was no indication the grenade attack was linked
to recent protests against cultural liberalisation or other political events.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:43:03 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran mulling to pay farmers world prices for wheat

Iran mulling to pay farmers world prices for wheat

By Mehrdad Balali

TEHRAN, April 23 (Reuters) - The Iranian government is considering buying
wheat from local farmers at international prices as part of efforts to
stimulate domestic production and lessen reliance on imports, an official

``We have drafted a proposal on purchasing wheat at world rates and submitted
it to the President,'' Mohammad Khatami, newspapers on Sunday quoted
Agriculture Minister Issa Kalantari as saying.

He said Khatami had commissioned Iran's Plan and Budget Organisation to
review the proposal.

``Farmers are reluctant to grow this strategic item because of cheap prices
for local wheat,'' he said.

Wheat production has fallen in Iran due to years of drought and because of
relatively low prices the government pays for local wheat.

The agriculture ministry guarantees to buy wheat and other grains from local
producers at fixed prices.

State bodies then sell flour to bakeries at heavily subsidised prices under a
system aiming to protect the poor.

Last September, the ministry raised the rate it pays for local wheat by 30
percent, to 875 rials (11 U.S. cents) per kg, from 672 rials before.

But much of that increase has been offset by inflation, officially estimated
at 20 percent but put much higher by economist.

Kalantari said Iran faced a worst drought this year than the previous ones,
estimating damage at 12.6 trillion rials ($1.5 billion).

He called for government financial support to make up for the losses.

``For 13 of the past 22 years we have faced drought. This shows the need for
a strategy to deal with the bitter reality of drought our country,'' the
minister said.

Iran imported a record six million tonnes of wheat in the year to March,
despite efforts to to become self sufficient in food. Local consumption are
estimated at 9-10 million tonnes.

But Kalantari said in a recent interview that it was not economical for Iran
to produce large amounts of wheat.

``If you ask if we can become self sifficient in wheat production from a
practical sense, I would say no,'' he told the daily Iran. ``But politically
speaking, yes, we can. But then the government has to pay for the costs.''

The minister said Iran had the means to produce 17 million tonnes of wheat a
year, but that only 10 million of that was cost-effective.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:44:27 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Saudi reassures UAE on Iran relations -officials

Saudi reassures UAE on Iran relations -officials

DUBAI, April 23 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia reassured the United Arab Emirates
that it would not pursue closer ties with Iran at the expense of its
relations with its Gulf Arab ally, Gulf officials said on Sunday.

The officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Saudi Arabia's
Crown Prince Abdullah and other top officials said that the UAE's dispute
with Iran over the control of three Gulf islands remained a stumbling block
to closer ties between non-Arab Iran and the rest of the Gulf.

The assurances were made on Saturday and Sunday during a visit to the kingdom
by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Khalifa bin Zaid al-Nahayan and other senior
UAE officials.

``The Saudis made it quite clear that relations with the UAE remained a
priority to them. They agreed that the islands' issue is a stumbling block to
closer relations with the Gulf Arab states,'' one official said.

Iranian Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani will on Monday become the first
Iranian defence minister to visit Saudi Arabia since Iran's 1979 Islamic
revolution. Saudi Defence Minister Prince Sultan made a similar visit to Iran
in 1999.

Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbours have been pursuing a rapprochement after
years of mutual suspicion. Regional tensions have eased since Iran's
reformist President Mohammed Khatami took office in 1997. Khatami made a
landmark visit to Saudi Arabia in 1999.

But the two sides remain divided over the military presence of the United
States in the Gulf and over the UAE's territorial dispute with Iran
concerning Abu Musa, Lesser and Greater Tunbs -- small but strategic Gulf
islands controlled by Tehran but also claimed by the UAE.

Iran opposes the deployment of U.S. and Western forces in the Gulf and is
keen to sign joint defence pacts with its neighbours. But Gulf Arab nations,
which look to the West for military support, have declined Iran's offer.

In 1999, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were locked in an unprecedented public spat
after the UAE accused Saudi Arabia of pursuing closer ties with Iran while
ignoring its long-standing islands' dispute.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council empowered Saudi Arabia, Oman and
Qatar to encourage Iran to agree to direct talks with the UAE to resolve the

The UAE said Iran continues to resist its request to hold talks with a set
timetable and agenda. Without agreement to such talks, the UAE argues, the
dispute should be decided by the International Court of Justice.

``Saudi Arabia and the UAE have agreed that the committee is doing its best
but we had expected a better response from Iran,'' a Gulf official said.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:50:13 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Blundering Through History With the C.I.A.

04/23/2000 The New York Times
Blundering Through History With the C.I.A.
Sun Apr 23 08:35:29 2000

Editorial Desk; Section 4
Blundering Through History With the C.I.A.
By Reuel Marc Gerecht

04/23/2000 The New York Times
Page 11, Column 2
c. 2000 New York Times Company

Secret Central Intelligence Agency histories can shed light on the past, but
if misinterpreted, they can also cloud our contemporary relations with the
countries involved. The insider history of the 1953 coup d'etat in Iran ,
revealed last week in The New York Times, is a perfect example. Though it may
be painful for some to accept, the C.I.A. hasn't been nearly as nefarious as
many people think. And it has been far less competent than many people want
to believe. This truth is as depressing to right-wing patriots, who want the
C.I.A. to be awe-inspiring, as it is for left-wing patriots, who have fed
guiltily for years on dark-force myths about clandestine operations.

In dealing with Iran today, it is important that we not feel too guilty about
the American role in the 1953 coup. Yes, the newly released C.I.A.
information (which I first read in 1985, when I arrived on the Iran desk in
the directorate of operations) confirms the conventional wisdom that the
agency was deeply involved in planning the coup.

But contrary to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's statement that the
coup was a setback for Iran 's political development and that ''it is easy to
see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in
their internal affairs,'' the events of 1953 have not scarred the
consciousness of three generations of Iranians. Nor is the coup a major
factor hampering the restoration of normal relations between Iran and the
United States.

As the C.I.A. report itself makes clear, one has to be generous to give
American operatives in Iran much credit for restoring the shah. Virtually
every detail of their plan went awry. The principal American operatives at
our embassy didn't speak Persian. When Tehran started to boil and it was
impossible to make contact with the usual English- and French-speaking
Iranian sources, the C.I.A. station went blind.

The coup succeeded only because Iranians who were neither on the American or
British payrolls nor under foreign control or guidance seized the initiative
to topple Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. In particular, Ayatollahs Abo'l
Qasem Kashani and Sayyed Mohammed Behbehani -- clerics beholden to no
foreigner -- made the coup a reality on the streets of Tehran.

The events of 1953 have never been a major part of the Islamic revolution's
symbolism. The leader of the 1979 revolt, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had
always loathed Prime Minister Mossadegh, who represented Western secularism.
More ''progressive'' clerics now regard the Mossadegh government approvingly,
but they didn't do so for most of the past 20 revolutionary years.

Dr. Mossadegh has reemerged into the revolutionary pantheon largely because
today's Iranian left, which includes President Mohammad Khatami, is
desperately searching for a nationalist icon who isn't royal and has both
anti-American and democratic credentials.

Iran needs new heroes because the Islamic revolution, as a rallying point for
most Iranians, has simply run out of gas. The majority of Iranians,
especially the people in President Khatami's inner circles, realize that
their revolution has turned out dismally. The blame game is a national
pastime, and blaming the United States is the easy way out for a proud people
who can't believe how low their glorious country has fallen.

Thus the Clinton administration's foreign policy-as-apologia-approach toward
Iran is exactly the wrong one. Iranian clerics, who are experts at
realpolitik, don't need kind words and apologies to recognize and advance
their own national and religious interests. Incompatible ideas -- not
emotions and mistrust -- separate secular America from the Islamic republic.
Speaking strongly on human rights and democratic reforms -- not fretting
about a complex history -- will further American interests.

None of this means we should ignore the C.I.A.'s actions -- we need to review
and debate the agency's effective role in covert operations and espionage in
Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Panama, Greece, Vietnam and elsewhere during
the cold war, as well as its espionage worldwide today. But as we go through
that history, the truths of Tehran 1953 -- the first ''successful'' coup of
the C.I.A.'s ''Golden Age'' -- will probably apply.

American operatives, usually much more comfortable in diplomatic cocktail
parties than in dark alleys, generally have had a hard time staying afloat,
let alone being on the cutting edge of history. For example, I met ''street
case officers,'' the operatives who usually handle foreign agents, who served
in Chile in 1973. It beggars the imagination to believe that General Augusto
Pinochet needed, let alone wanted, these well-mannered, striped-tie-wearing
Yankees with so-so Spanish getting involved in his business.

That the C.I.A. has been so unwilling to release more information about its
cold war activities is shameful. History and the agency's own would be better
for the effort. As the records trickle out, Americans and foreigners stand to
learn a good deal more about each other and themselves. The truth won't be
pretty -- but it is better than believing in myths, or shaping foreign policy
around them.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:53:19 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: UAE heir apparent comments on relations with Iran

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
UAE heir apparent comments on relations with Iran
Sun Apr 23 08:29:23 2000

UAE heir apparent comments on relations with Iran

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: IRNA news agency, Tehran, in English 0647 gmt 23 Apr 00/BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA

Abu Dhabi, 23rd April: Shaykh Khalifah Bin-Zayid al-Nuhayyan, crown prince of
Abu Dhabi and deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United
Arab Emirates, said the UAE's policy vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran
is based on mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs
and good-neighbourly relations.

Taking part in a press conference before leaving for Saudi Arabia on Saturday
[22nd April], Shaykh Sultan Al-Nuhayyan said the only problem in the way of
expanding relations with Iran is the issue of the three Persian Gulf islands
which remains unresolved.

As for the signing of a security pact for the region, he stressed that any
kind of security agreement should be inked with due respect to the principles
of mutual respect, national sovereignty of regional states and
non-intervention in each other's domestic affairs.

The crown prince left here yesterday for Saudi Arabia on a three-day official

He is due to discuss with Saudi officials bilateral ties between the two
countries as well as regional and international issues, in particular,
cooperation between the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) members and
the Islamic Republic of Iran .


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:53:53 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Damavand residents send letter to Khamene'i on election annulment

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Damavand residents send letter to Khamene'i on election ann
Sun Apr 23 08:28:15 2000

Damavand residents send letter to Khamene'i on election annulment

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: IRNA news agency, Tehran, in English 0750 gmt 23 Apr 00/BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA

Damavand, Tehran Province, 23rd April: Thousands of residents of Damavand and
Firuzkuh have sent a letter to supreme leader of the Islamic revolution
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamene'i urging a change in the decision taken by the
Guardian Council (GC) to annul the results of parliamentary elections in the
constituency, it was announced here Saturday night [22nd April].

The residents, in their letter, said that the inspectors sent by the Guardian
Council to look into the veracity of the elections held in the constituency
of Damavand and Firuzkuh on 18th February were not impartial and free of
factional loyalties.

Meanwhile, Governor of Damavand Mohsen Safari has said that the Guardian
Council has not yet informed the Interior Ministry of the reasons behind the
annulment of the Majlis elections held in the constituency.

He has also welcomed the dispatch of impartial inspectors by the Guardian
Council to determine the veracity of the elections held in the cities of
Damavand and Firuzkuh.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:54:28 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iranian official says Iraq still holding more than 3,000 POWs

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Iranian official says Iraq still holding more than 3,000 POW
Sun Apr 23 08:27:28 2000

Iranian official says Iraq still holding more than 3,000 POWs

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: IRNA news agency, Tehran, in English 0939 gmt 23 Apr 00/BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA

Zanjan, Zanjan Province, 23rd April: Brig-Gen Abdollah Najafi, head of the
Committee in Charge of Iranian Prisoners of War (POWs) and soldiers
missing-in-action (MIAs), said here Saturday [22nd April] that, on the basis
of latest figures Iraq still holds 3,206 Iranian POWs in its territory.

Gen Najafi further said that the names of these POWs have been handed over to
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as Iraqi
officials, and the ICRC has given assurances it will follow up the issue.

Since the start of POW exchanges by the two countries, Iran has released
57,712 Iraqi POWs while 39,417 Iranian POWs have so far been set free, the
general pointed out.

He said that more than 9,000 Iraqi POWs have sought asylum in Iran since the
start of the Iraqi-imposed war (1980-1988). Of this number over 4,600 have
been individually interviewed by representatives of the ICRC and their
requests officially submitted.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:55:27 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iraq receives UAE request to boost ties: INA

04/23/2000 Agence France-Presse
Iraq receives UAE request to boost ties: INA
Sun Apr 23 08:26:47 2000

Iraq receives UAE request to boost ties: INA

04/23/2000 Agence France-Presse
(Copyright 2000)

BAGHDAD, April 23 (AFP) - Iraq's foreign minister has received a message from
the United Arab Emirates on boosting bilateral relations after Abu Dhabi
reopened its embassy here, the official INA news agency reported Sunday.

It said Foreign Minister Mohammad Said as-Sahhaf received a message on
"brotherly relations between the two countries and ways of developing them in
the interest of the two peoples and the Arab world."

The message from UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed was delivered
by the UAE's charge d'affaires in Baghdad, Sheikh Ahmad bin Abdullah.

The Emirates reopened their Baghdad embassy, which had been closed since the
Gulf crisis in 1990, on Thursday.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, in an interview in Saturday's edition of
the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, said the reopening of the embassy
did not signal a new policy.

"The reopening is not a change in any way of our position calling for the
need for Iraq to implement international resolutions to put an end to the
suffering of the Iraqi people," he said.

"Relations between our two peoples have never been cut and the embassy's
reopening is a way of ensuring the needs of citizens from both countries and
easing the transfer of humanitarian aid and commercial relations."

The UAE becomes the fourth country from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) -- after Bahrain, Oman and Qatar -- to renew diplomatic
representation in Iraq.

Kuwait, which was invaded and occupied by Iraq, and Saudi Arabia have not
re-established ties with Baghdad since the Gulf War.

In an editorial on Sunday, Asharq al-Awsat blasted the different attitudes of
the Gulf nations regarding both Iraq and Iran , which has a territorial
dispute with the UAE.

It did not name any countries specifically, but said that normalising
relations with Baghdad would encourage it to "strengthen its refusal to apply
international resolutions."

Iraq has been under international sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait
that sparked the Gulf war and has rejected a UN resolution offering a
renewable suspension of sanctions in exchange for cooperation with a new UN
arms inspection body.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:55:55 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran Seeks $10 Billion Foreign Oil Invest In Next 5 Yrs -Oil Min

04/23/2000 Dow Jones International News
Iran Seeks $10 Billion Foreign Oil Invest In Next 5 Yrs -Oil
Sun Apr 23 08:25:35 2000

Iran Seeks $10 Billion Foreign Oil Invest In Next 5 Yrs -Oil Min

04/23/2000 Dow Jones International News
(Copyright (c) 2000, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

TEHRAN -(Dow Jones)- Iran hopes to attract about $10 billion of foreign
investment to its oil industry during the current 5-year economic development
plan (March 2000-2005), oil minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said Sunday.

Zangeneh said the National Iranian Oil Co. has signed more than $1 billion
worth of contracts with local companies so far to develop projects in the
Persian Gulf South Pars gasfield and it's expected this number will double
during the current Iranian year.

He also urged local companies to form partnerships with foreign oil companies
and to participate in downstream industries.

Iranian oil companies "can make a footstep in the export market through their
joint ventures with international companies," Zanganeh said.

Zanganeh said Iran needs to lessen its reliance on gasoline imports which it
is estimated will cost the country about $3.5-$4 billion over the next five

He also said Iran 's oil industry needs at least $190 million worth of oil
equipment per year which can be met by domestic companies.

Zanganeh was speaking at a four-day international oil, gas and petrochemicals
fair which opened here Sunday.

Also speaking at the conference, managing-director of the trade fair, Hossein
Qassemi, said petrochemical production, which reached 13 million tons last
year, is expected to hit a rate of 35 million tons per year by 2005.

He said that in the past five years, petrochemical exports have generated
$2.3 billion, constituting 16% of the country's non-oil export revenue.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:56:25 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran says kills four rebels on Iraq border.

04/23/2000 Reuters English News Service
Iran says kills four rebels on Iraq border
Sun Apr 23 08:23:58 2000

Iran says kills four rebels on Iraq border.

04/23/2000 Reuters English News Service
(C) Reuters Limited 2000.

TEHRAN, April 23 (Reuters) - The Iranian army killed four members of the
Iraq-based rebel Mujahideen Khalq organisation as they attempted to cross the
border on Sunday, state radio said in a report which was denied by the rebels.

The radio quoted an army commander, Brigadier-General Ashtiani, as saying a
mortar launcher, handguns, grenades, cyanide capsules and a satellite phone
were seized from the rebels. No Iranian soldiers were killed or injured, he

But in a statement sent to Reuters in Dubai, the Mujahideen said the radio
report was "totally fictitious".

The Mujahideen often launch cross-border attacks from their bases in Iraq.

Iran regularly slams Iraq for harbouring the Mujahideen, while Baghdad
charges Tehran with backing its Shi'ite Moslems.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:57:00 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Assembly of Experts asks judiciary to act against "anarchist

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Assembly of Experts asks judiciary to act against "anarchist
Sun Apr 23 08:23:20 2000

Assembly of Experts asks judiciary to act against "anarchist newspapers"

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: IRNA news agency, Tehran, in English 1222 gmt 23 Apr 00/BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA

Qom, 23rd April: The 86-member Assembly of Experts on Sunday [23rd April]
called for stopping the disrespect for the constitution and the legal
institutions of the Islamic republic and the Islamic values.

The Experts Assembly said in a communique that some sections of the press
have embarked on intolerable acts including desecration of the Islamic
sanctities and sabotage against the revolutionary figures.

The Experts Assembly said the supreme leader of the Islamic revolution has
disclosed the conspiracy and draw attention to the political trickery
resorted to by the USA.

The assembly said the US explicitly backs the anarchist newspapers which
clarifies the origin of the conspiracy and called on the judicial officials
to take legal action against those who violate the sanctities of the Islamic

The communique also condemned the Berlin conference titled " Iran after the
February Election" held on 7th-8th April as symbol of a conspiracy hatched by
the foreign enemies and their lackeys inside Iran .


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:57:37 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Director of banned daily `Neshat' sent to prison

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Director of banned daily `Neshat' sent to prison
Sun Apr 23 08:22:29 2000

Director of banned daily `Neshat' sent to prison

04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: IRNA news agency, Tehran, in English 1205 gmt 23 Apr 00/BBC
Monitoring/(c) BBC

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA

Tehran, 23rd April: Managing editor of banned daily 'Neshat' Latif Safari was
sent to jail on Sunday [23rd April] per a ruling issued by Branch 1410 of
Tehran's public court.

Safari is charged with insulting the sanctities and foundations of Islam,
vilifying commanders of the Law Enforcement Forces and Majlis deputies and
inciting people and students to unrest and strike.

Safari was tried at Branch 1410 of Tehran's public court last September on 73
counts of complaints raised against him and was sentenced to 30 months in

The verdict was then upheld by 27th branch of Tehran Province's appeals court
and referred back to the government employees' judicial complex for


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 13:01:36 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM

04/23/2000 New York Times News Service
Iran, making history, is too busy to read it.
Sun Apr 23 02:59:15 2000


04/23/2000 New York Times News Service
c. 2000 New York Times Company

(The Week in Review) (NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS: For international
clients' use by special arrangement only. Asian and European points: contact
Karl Horwitz in Paris for details and prices (Phone: 47 42 17 11; FAX:
47-42-80-44). Latin American points: contact the Los Angeles office (Phone:
310-996-0075 - FAX: 310-996-0089)

WASHINGTON - At the top of Iran 's list of historical grievances against the
United States is the coup engineered by the CIA in 1953 to oust Prime
Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and reinstate Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.

During the revolution in 1979 and the seizure of the U.S. Embassy that soon
followed, militant Iranians often cited the coup as proof of the United
States' evil designs in Iran . Over the years, the coup has fueled a
conspiracy-theory view, widely held among ordinary Iranians, that external
powers, particularly the United States, are behind every misfortune to befall
Iran .

So one might have expected that the surfacing of a secret official CIA report
that lays out the U.S. plot in all its detail would have been the talk of
Iranian political and journalistic circles last week.

Not so.

This is not a moment for historical reflection in Iran . Iranians are too
busy fighting a brutal, open-ended political war in real time to worry much
about a short, if equally brutal, war 47 years ago.

Today's war is waged on several fronts - the courts, the press, television,
the Parliament, the pulpit, the bazaar, the streets. And last week the
fighting was particularly intense, having heated up after reformist
candidates swept to victory in the first round of Parliamentary elections in
February. The stakes are high - the nature of the Islamic Republic itself -
and the outcome is uncertain.

The story mesmerizing the Iranian media last week was not out of Washington
but out of Berlin; its subject was the disruption by opponents of the Islamic
Republic of a conference there on Iranian politics. The protesters heckled
the speakers, all of them reformers. One woman protested with a hip-rotating
dance. Another stripped to her bra and panties.

The speakers expressed embarrassment and disgust. But the protest was
videotaped and much of the footage was aired on Iran 's state-controlled
television, in an effort to discredit the reform movement.

By the end of the week, 140 members of the outgoing Parliament had signed a
letter to the nation's leading conservative cleric, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
branding the conference participants "traitors" and calling on the judiciary
(which Khamenei controls as Iran 's Supreme Leader) to punish them. Ayatollah
Abolghasem Khazali, who is never unrestrained in his language, said the
participants deserved to die. "They insult Islamic sanctities," he was quoted
in the reformist daily Sobh-e Emrouz as saying. "They attend a conference to
say nonsense. Kill them wherever you find them. This is God's unchangeable

The Berlin incident was not the only example of a political bloodletting
since the parliamentary elections. Recently the Expediency Council, an
oversight body headed by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, ruled
that the new Parliament will have no authority to investigate any
institutions controlled by Khamenei. That would deprive Parliament of the
power to look into abuses in the judiciary, radio and television, the
intelligence and security apparatus and the giant state-supported foundations
that control huge swaths of the economy.

Nine days ago, Khamenei delivered an extraordinary sermon in which he
acknowledged a need for reform in all of Iran 's major institutions. But he
also denounced the promotion of "U.S.-style reform" as inauthentic and
un-Islamic, further emboldening conservatives who often act in his name. The
Merchants' Association of the Tehran bazaar, for example, called for the
bazaar to close last Thursday as a show of support. But Thursday is the best
shopping day of the week. In bold defiance - and a sign of how fluid and
unpredictable politics have become in Iran - merchants opened their doors

There is even talk of a coup, but it has nothing to do with 1953. Last
Sunday, the Revolutionary Guards issued an official threat against the
reformists. "If necessary, our enemies, be they small or large, will feel the
reverberating impact of the hammer of the Islamic revolution on their
skulls," the communique said.

While all this has been going on, a council responsible for vetting
candidates and overseeing elections has invalidated the first-round election
victories of a number of reformist candidates and a run-off election has been

To silence an increasingly emboldened press, the outgoing conservative
Parliament also passed a law last week that severely restricts the activities
of the press. And a high-profile, high-stakes trial of 13 Jews and several
Muslims on charges of spying for Israel remains in the background, having
been put off until next month.

Still, the remarkable thing about this moment is that all of this evidence of
a conservative backlash has failed to quiet the reformists. One pro-reform
group, the Islamic Revolution Mujaheddini Organization, responded to the
Revolutionary Guards communique by calling its goal "a childish dream." In a
letter released to the newspapers, the group said that "The power mafia is
seeking to justify an anti-reform coup with the goal of imposing dictatorship
under the cover of religion."

Criticism is even coming from the far provinces. After the state-run
television announced the invalidation of the election of the candidate from
the town of Oshnaviyeh in West Azerbaijan province, the local governor, Ali
Mostafavi, called the move unjust and unbelievable.

There is a lesson for the United States in all this. U.S. policy-makers have
clearly been hoping for months now that modest concessions to Iran , like a
lightening of sanctions, may encourage a dialogue - and that a change in the
U.S. attitude toward Iran 's history can only help. Last month, when
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced the easing of sanctions on
non-oil exports from Iran , she called the "democratic winds" in Iran "so
refreshing" and acknowledged U.S. errors in past dealings with Iran ,
including the CIA-led coup in 1953.

But she is still waiting for the Iranians to respond to that speech with
concrete gestures. The problem is that the political winds now blowing in
Iran are more like a hurricane. And until they subside, there is little
chance of meaningful movement toward the United States.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will arrive in New York for United
Nations-related business this week, but he has been turning down invitations
to speak. In such a wild and uncertain atmosphere, what could he possibly


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 13:03:28 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Americans of two minds on sanctions, poll finds

04/23/2000 New York Times News Service
Americans of two minds on sanctions, poll finds
Sun Apr 23 02:58:15 2000


04/23/2000 New York Times News Service
c. 2000 New York Times Company

The more Americans know about the world, the more likely they are to favor
diplomacy over punitive sanctions in dealing with troublesome foreign
countries, a poll has found. Embargoes, they say, not only isolate the
nations at which they are aimed but also hurt American business.

When Americans lack information about a country, or when their leaders do not
adequately publicize and explain their policy thinking, many fall back on
long-established stereotypes of "bad" and "good" nations, the poll found.
Judgments about how to deal with those nations are then made on those images.

The survey - by First International Resources, a business consulting group,
and the polling organization Penn, Schoen & Berland - was done in two parts
for the sake of comparison. A national sample of 995 average voters was made
first, and then 176 knowledgeable "elites" working in government, academic
life and research institutes were surveyed.

The full poll results are expected to be made public next week. The survey,
based on interviews from Feb. 28 to March 21, focused primarily on attitudes
toward economic sanctions on Iran , but when respondents were asked to name
"good" and "bad" countries, the findings suggest that the attitudes apply to
sanctions policy toward other nations.

Respondents in the general public knew very little about Iran and were often
almost completely unaware of the recent political changes there, including
gains by moderates in parliamentary elections. Only 15 percent of them had
heard about advances by Iranians who advocate reform; only 2 percent knew of
the 1997 election of a more moderate Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami.
Among more knowledgeable people, 58 percent had heard about the shifts toward

Both groups, however, were still instinctively unfavorable to Iran , based on
its reputation for support of terrorism and Islamic militancy. Only Iraq
outranked it on the enemies' list among the general population. But the elite
respondents were far more likely to say that Iran had changed - they ranked
Serbia, Libya and Iraq as worse cases - and that Iranian moderates should be
helped. These more knowledgeable people also said that sanctions got in the
way of dialogue with Iran .

"Both the general public and the elites believe it is extremely important to
keep channels of communication open with countries like Iran ," the poll
concluded, "and that penalizing or isolating rogue countries is not the way
to get them to change."

Sanctions have been a major policy tool of the Clinton administration,
whether imposed by the United States alone or through the United Nations.
Other nations, including U.S. allies in Europe, have been critical of
long-running embargoes and other sanctions, saying that they rarely hurt
dictators but can harm ordinary people. They also get in the way of
international business, or create tensions when the United States tries to
force other nations to adhere to its own trade and investment restrictions.

Recently, a U.S. embargo on Iran was eased to allow for importing certain
goods like caviar, pistachios and Persian carpets - a move of which six of 10
poll respondents in the general public were unaware. Sports exchanges that
have taken place drew universal support in the poll, and 77 percent of
average voters and 90 percent of the elite respondents said sanctions should
be lifted if Iran responded favorably to an initial easing of the embargo.

In Congress, a small but widening movement is questioning the long-term value
of inflexible embargoes. There are concerns that in Iraq, for example, a
decade of sanctions may be strengthening the hand of Saddam Hussein while
causing unacceptable hardships to the Iraqi people.

Rep. Tony P. Hall, D-Ohio, was in Iraq last week to assess the cumulative
effects of the comprehensive sanctions imposed in 1990 after Iraq's invasion
of Kuwait. He is expected to announce the results of his trip at a news
conference Sunday.

The new poll found that while Americans continued to think that sanctions
should remain a tool of foreign policy and that big business would from time
to time have to make sacrifices because of embargoes, respondents in both
groups preferred sanctions to be imposed through international organizations.

They also expressed concern about the use of sanctions if American jobs were
at risk, and when presented with facts about American losses, were more
likely to want sanctions lifted, or at least eased.


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 17:34:47 EDT
Subject: Fwd: the banned newspapers and journals

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Subject: the banned newspapers and journals
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1-gozaresh ruz
2.bamedad now
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4.payam azadi
7.asr azadegan


1.payam hajar
4.iran farda



Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 21:12:38 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: - Iran's special press court on Sunday closed at least

By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, April 23 (Reuters) - Iran's special press court on Sunday closed at
least three pro-reform newspapers without warning, in the biggest blow yet to
the nascent independent press fostered by President Mohammad Khatami.

Editors immediately denounced the order as unlawful but said they had no
choice but to comply.

Executives at the mass-circulation dailies Asr-e Azadegan and Fath told
Reuters they had received letters from the court ordering them to cease
publication at once.

They said the bi-weekly Iran-e Farda was also banned.

There were reports that a third pro-reform daily, Arya, had been suspended as
well, but there was no immediate confirmation.

``Under the law, they have no such legal right to ask for suspension of
publication...'' said one editor, who asked not to be named.

``We are trying to contact judicial authorities on this case, but because of
the letter we believe that we may not be able to publish tomorrow,'' he said,
adding the order had been sent to the publisher, the printers and the deputy
minister for the press.


President Khatami, himself a former newspaperman, has encouraged an
independent press as a key part of his campaign for a civil society within
Iran's Islamic system. On Saturday he reaffirmed his support for reform.

But the clerical establishment, which controls the judiciary and most other
levers of power, has fought him at every turn.

Last week, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said elements of the press
had been turned into ``bases of the enemy,'' remarks widely seen here as
signalling a fresh campaign against press freedoms.

One pro-reform analyst said the crackdown on the press was likely to be
accompanied by other tough measures, including tightened security on the
streets and stricter enforcement of Iran's social code and segregation of the

Checkpoints were active along some major intersections on Sunday evening, but
there was no sign of the angry protests that greeted the sudden closing last
summer of Salam, at the time the leading reformist voice.

That unleashed six days of mounting unrest, in the worst street violence
since the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution.

Another commentator, Saeed Leylaz, said the newspapers chosen for closure
were those closest to the so-called religious-nationalists, tolerated but
deeply mistrusted by the establishment.

``I am not optimistic that these suspensions will be lifted anytime soon,''
said Leylaz, until recently editor of the reformist daily Azad.


Analysts said that in the days leading up to the bans there were plenty of
signs that trouble was brewing.

Since the leader's speech, the pace of press prosecutions has accelerated.

The publisher of a banned newspaper was jailed on Sunday when Iran's Supreme
Court rejected his final appeal. Latif Safari had been sentenced to 30 months
imprisonment by the press court for offences including insulting religious

The same court had closed his popular Neshat newspaper and jailed
chief-editor Mashallah Shamsolvaezin on similar charges.

Safari's imprisonment came one day after the detention of another top
pro-reformist journalist, Akbar Ganji.

A number of reformist politicians and journalists, meanwhile, have been
summoned to the Revolutionary Court for interrogation after a seminar they
attended in Berlin was accused of insulting revolutionary and Islamic values.

In addition to Khatami's spirited defence of reform at the weekend, his
minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Ataollah Mohajerani, swore he would
not stand by as newspapers were closed.

``If the Ministry of Islamic Guidance becomes a tool for closing newspapers,
I will not stay in this job,'' he told a news conference late on Saturday.

Such fighting words, said one analyst, suggested that Khatami and the culture
minister, the most important appointment in his cabinet, knew a full-out
assault was in the works.

``When Khatami and Mohajerani got angry and spoke so severely, we were
certain the trend to close newspapers and to take other actions against
public freedoms would commence,'' the analyst said.


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Apr 2000 to 23 Apr 2000 - Special issue