Date: Apr 24, 2000 [ 21: 4: 4]
Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Apr 2000 - Special issue
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Apr 2000 - Special issue
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There are 14 messages totalling 1232 lines in this issue.
Topics in this special issue:
1. Revolution Guard issues statement on failed 1980 US rescue m
2. COST OF IRAN -PAKISTAN REFINERY PROJECT MAY DROP US$350 MLN
3. Khatami Calls for National Unity & Says Leader Supports Freedom &
4. Representatives of Khordad 2 Front Request a Meeting With Leader
5. Khatami Has Lengthy Discussion With Shahrudi at Lunch
6. Iran's Press Assembly Regrets Ganji's Detention
7. Quake Hits Sisakht, Southwestern Iran: Local Source
8. Zafarqandi Says Hajjarian Has Suffered No Cerebral Injury Brain
9. Help the ignorant
10. In the Holy Name of Glorious IRAN
11. Yesterday's ban on 12 newspapers will only harden resolve for reforms,
12. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2
13. RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2
14. Fwd: Saudi Arabia/Iran/Yemen
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:24:42 EDT
Subject: Revolution Guard issues statement on failed 1980 US rescue m
04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Revolution Guard issues statement on failed 1980 US rescue m
Sun Apr 23 19:53:52 2000
Revolution Guard issues statement on failed 1980 US rescue mission
04/23/2000 BBC Monitoring
Source: Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1, Tehran, in Persian
1630 gmt 23 Apr 00/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC
Text of report by Iranian TV on 23rd April
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has issued a statement to commemorate the
anniversary of the disgraceful defeat which American military forces suffered
on 5th Ordibehesht [24th April] in the Tabas desert. The statement says: On
5th Ordibehesht every year, we remember the bitter and disgraceful defeat of
America's conspiracy against Iran 's Islamic revolution. Undoubtedly,
America's defeat in Tabas was one of the miracles of this century. That
defeat shows the righteousness of the Iranian people, and it has proved to
everyone that if God wants to do something, then powers that are like paper
tigers cannot do anything. Thus, next to divine providence, even the most
advanced forms of technology are nothing but scraps of iron.
The statement issued by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps stresses:
Unfortunately, a bunch of notorious corrupt individuals have been trying for
quite some time now to destroy the strong rampart created as a result of the
Iranian nation's struggle against America. They want to sit at the
negotiating table with criminals of the century. However, those who have been
metamorphosed by the American culture do not know that the intelligent Muslim
people of Iran will never forget the innumerable crimes committed by America.
They are imbued with the instructions issued by the exalted Imam [Khomeyni],
may God be satisfied with him, as well as those issued by the supreme leader
[Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i], and they still consider criminal America to be
their chief enemy
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:25:22 EDT
Subject: COST OF IRAN -PAKISTAN REFINERY PROJECT MAY DROP US$350 MLN
04/24/2000 Asia Pulse
COST OF IRAN -PAKISTAN REFINERY PROJECT MAY DROP US$350 MLN
Mon Apr 24 02:30:20 2000
COST OF IRAN -PAKISTAN REFINERY PROJECT MAY DROP US$350 MLN
04/24/2000 Asia Pulse
(c) Copyright 2000 Asia Pulse PTE Ltd.
KARACHI, April 24 Asia Pulse - The estimated cost of the proposed Iran
-Pakistan refinery may come down by US$350 million to around US$800 million
from the earlier protection of US$1.15 billion.
Sources said that since the conception of the project in early 90s, major
changes, including technological advancement and recession, had taken place
in refinery business all over the world.
The depressed demand for refinery equipment brought a modern refinery unit
cost to far below what it was in early 90s, they said.
Sources said that the project economy was being reviewed in consideration of
petroleum demand estimates of the country.
They went on to say that Perac had sought a budgetary allocation of 500
million rupees for the project for the year ending June 2001. For the past
several years, the federal government of Pakistan has not provided its share
of the funds for the project.
This non-provision has in turn prevented Perac, the Pakistani sponsor of the
project, from subscribing its equity share, although the national Iranian oil
company (NIOC) had fulfilled its initial equity obligation, the sources said.
Pakistan's petroleum demand is increasing at the rate of 6-7 percent a year.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:31:02 EDT
Subject: Khatami Calls for National Unity & Says Leader Supports Freedom &
Khatami Calls for National Unity & Says Leader Supports Freedom & Pluralism
TEHRAN TIMES POLITICAL DESK
TEHRAN President Mohammad Khatami here Monday stressed that under the present
conditions the country is in need of national unity and security for the
realization of its goals.
The President made the remark while addressing a large gathering at Tehran's
Azadi Square to mark the Army Day. He said with the approach of the closing
days of the Fifth Majlis (Parliament) all are getting prepared to march
towards a brighter future through the establishment of a popular, faithful
and benevolent Majlis and with closer convergence and cooperation between the
Parliament and the government, armed forces and people and among all segments
of the system.
The President who is also head of the Supreme National Security Council,
stressed that security, calm and convergence are the prerequisites for such
an approach, adding that all are responsible for realization of such a goal.
He said the magnificent presence of people in all scenes, especially in the
February parliamentary elections, demonstrated dynamism of the nation which
is an asset to the system.
Elsewhere in his remarks the President said the military power of countries
is based on the three factors of faith and morality',command and leadership'
and knowledge, management and expertise', adding that the Armed Forces of the
Islamic Republic are highly equipped with these factors.
Stressing that the Armed Forces today are relying on the support of the
nation and are themselves supporters of the nation, President Khatami said
the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not against the nation
but are for the suppression of the enemies of the nation.
According to another report of IRNA Khatami on Sunday termed election as a
scene for demonstration of people's presence and symbol of popularity of the
system, adding that its proper management will further strengthen pillars of
the Islamic Republic system.
Presiding over a joint session of the cabinet ministers and governors
general, Khatami said improvement of the situation, march towards realization
of goals of the Islamic Revolution and preservation of national interests are
mechanisms for guaranteeing stability in the society.
President Khatami who is also head of the Supreme National Security Council
underlined government's pivotal role in creation of unity and security within
The chief of the executive said that punishment and enforcement of law is
different from violence which is practiced through imposition of force and
irrational illegal means.
Pointing to the concern that the Leader has expressed over the current status
of the print media, the president stressed that the Leader of the revolution
is a supporter of peace and an advocate of freedom, diversity and pluralism.
He stressed that freedom, exchange of views, debate, diversity and pluralism
should exist, adding that confrontation with the press and with others should
take place through legal channels.
He said although some articles and remarks suggest that the situation is
aggravated, however, the status quo is different, adding that the society is
good in terms of religious tendency and political vigilance as well as the
unity between the government and the nation.
The president stressed that creation of an aggravated situation wherein a
feeling is developed that everything is out of order is not critique, adding
that the government, officials of cultural institutions and organization
should strive to march towards a more healthy atmosphere by making sound
planning and adopting strategic mechanisms.
However, he added, in a year named after Imam Ali (AS), the first Imam of the
household of Prophet Mohammad (S), Imam Ali's profound personality will set a
pattern for all to make the year a time for progress, convergence, unity and
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:32:02 EDT
Subject: Representatives of Khordad 2 Front Request a Meeting With Leader
Representatives of Khordad 2 Front Request a Meeting With Leader
TEHRAN TIMES POLITICAL DESK
TEHRAN The representatives of the 18-faction alliance Khordad 2 Front have
requested a meeting with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed
The front was formed following the election of President Mohammad Khatami on
May 23, 1997.
One of the major factions of the alliance is Majma-e Ruhaniyoun-e Mobarez
(MRM), led by former Majlis speaker Mehdi Karrubi.
A senior member of the MRM, talking to the TEHRAN TIMES, confirmed that the
representatives have requested a meeting with the Leader.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:33:13 EDT
Subject: Khatami Has Lengthy Discussion With Shahrudi at Lunch
Khatami Has Lengthy Discussion With Shahrudi at Lunch
TEHRAN TIMES CITY DESK
TEHRAN President Seyed Mohammad Khatami yesterday had lunch with Head of the
Judiciary Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi and discussed some important domestic
issues with him, an informed source told the TEHRAN TIMES.
Meanwhile, according to another source, the Head of the State Inspectorate
Organization, Seyed Ali Raisi, recently met with President Seyed Mohammad
Khatami and briefed him on the grants given to the print media by the
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
The source added, "Mr. Raisi presented a detailed account of the money
granted by the ministry to the print media in the country." "The Ministry of
Culture and I Some publications get huge amounts of money in the form of both
national and foreign currency, while others are paid nothing," the source
said, referring to Raisi's report to Khatami.
Raisi also gave the president a detailed account of the activities of
Mohajerani's deputy in charge of the press.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:34:24 EDT
Subject: Iran's Press Assembly Regrets Ganji's Detention
Iran's Press Assembly Regrets Ganji's Detention
TEHRAN In a statement Sunday Iran's Press Assembly expressed regret for the
arrest of member of Fat'h daily chief editors Akbar Ganji.
Describing this so-often recurring move as lacking a legal basis, the
statement declared that this trend has hightened the concern of Iranian
The statement stressed observance of law by institutes responsible for press
offenses while terming expanding the atmosphere of insecurity as not becoming
Further in this statement, the judiciary officials have been asked not to let
their system be swayed by the current political anxieties and prevent the
Judiciary branches from behaving in such a way as to question the reforms
proposed by the Judiciary chief.
In conclusion, the statement asks for cancellation of the heavy bail set for
Ganji and protection of his legal rights, as the least expectation of Iran's
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:35:10 EDT
Subject: Quake Hits Sisakht, Southwestern Iran: Local Source
Quake Hits Sisakht, Southwestern Iran: Local Source
YASOUJ, Kohkilouyeh-Boyerahmad Province A relatively strong earthquake hit
the city of Sisakht, in this southwestern province at 07:35 hours local time
(03:05 GMT) Monday, a provincial informed source said here Monday.
The source told IRNA that there is no exact information about the possible
damage inflicted by the quake.
Meanwhile, the seismological base of Geophysics Institute of Tehran
University announced that it had registered no earthquake in that region.
The city of Sisakht is located some 35 km north of the provincial capital
city of Yasouj.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:35:41 EDT
Subject: Zafarqandi Says Hajjarian Has Suffered No Cerebral Injury Brain
Zafarqandi Says Hajjarian Has Suffered No Cerebral Injury Brain
TEHRAN Dr. Mohammadreza Zafarqandi, head of the medical team treating
Hajjarian, a leading reformist figure who fell victim to an assassination bid
more than one month ago and now is hospitalized in Tehran's Sina Hospital,
said Hajjarian now speaks with full consciousness which, he said, means that
he has not suffered any injury to his brain.
In an interview with IRNA correspondent Sunday, Dr. Zafarqandi said the
patient was breathing very well ever since a tube introduced into Hajjarian's
throat by tracheostomy in aid of his breathing had been removed. He said he
is now being fed orally without the aid of feeding tube.
He further said Hajjarian is recovering satisfactorily but that there are
limitations in the motor activity of his left limbs.
Asked when the operation would be performed to get out the bullet lodged in
the top of the patient spine, Dr. Zafarqandi said such operation is medically
very simple and can be done in half an hour and as soon as he is ready for an
operation of that kind.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 04:18:37 -0400
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Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 17:16:45 EDT
Subject: In the Holy Name of Glorious IRAN
In the Holy Name of Glorious IRAN
Major Keyvan Nourhaghighi
Iranian Senior Fighter Pilot presents
Iranians Air Force and Army
Razm-e Havaee (Air Combat)
Table in Brief
TABLE IN DETAILS
THE INTRODUCTION OF THE WRITER
20 years past from the time that the dirty western
British, German, France- with bad faith and in accordance to a plan of
conspiracy, have destroyed all our resources and plans for Iran, as the most
advance soceity, by attacking to the Shah Regime.
There is no doubt that the Shah Regime did not had any lawful defence when it
fired to the face of people, same as the Khomeini Regime. But, the point is
that we as people had right to act against the Shah Regime in accordance to
our Constitutional Law; not the western governments maliciously interfered
with our interest and plans.
Living 10 years in western society I have seen the most outregous act from
the western governments that I am satisfy their fraudulent allegations of
supporting the Human Rights Issues was malicious act at all material times.
The western governments have destroyed the great civilization that we people
of the East have presented to the Human Society. The western governments are
just crazy of $$$$$$$$$$ and for that are ready to sell their themselves and
their own families therefore they made hundreds of thousands billions dollars
benefits of the said conspiracy, by destroying several countries in middle
east in last 20 years; that if Shah Regime was ruling it would never
happened; and if there was proper mediation, with good faith between Shah and
Khomeini, again the disaster of year 1979, never would happened. But the
point is that western government did not allowed that proper mediation
There is no doubt that our losses are great; but, Iranians during
long history, have learned to get a good result from bad accidents.
Today, we do not have our historical Kingdom in Iran, but, in last 20 years,
our nation has develop much better protection, than before; as our nation was
in a serious danger by the Americans Culture, during the Shah
Regime[Americans have desteoyed mant cultures, including the Canadians
But, it is very unfortunate that the present government of Iran is
making the same mistake that the Americans have force the Shah Regime to
make. We shall not waste the nation natural resources to develop ARMYagain!
I always feel guilty that millions dollars of our nation wealth have been
spent to train me as a fighter pilot; when still many people in Iran do not
have basic things for living; and my skill was never used for the benfit of
The Iranians Politicians must understand that all our neighbours in Iran are
Moslem, and it is a great crime to enter to a war with a moslem country. The
Khomeini Regime, will remain shameful in front of history, for continuing war
against Iraq for eight years and destroying wealth of two moslems nations and
bringing them down to the lowest level of the poverty; when both Iran and
Iraq Nations are entitled to be the rich and respectful nations of the world.
The following notes about Iranian Air Force, shall not encourage any one to
have positive attitude toward Arm Forces; while, have have intentionally have
brought all weak points of the Arm Force to the attention of the world, that
hopefully, some day in future we do not see any kind of uniform in the Human
Society. The people demanding the peace, and we are responsible to provide
the peace for them; and not let the Phantom flying over their homes.
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 21:36:55 EDT
From: Iran Man <IRANEHMAN@AOL.COM>
Subject: Yesterday's ban on 12 newspapers will only harden resolve for reforms,
TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2000
Iran's right strikes at liberal press
Yesterday's ban on 12 newspapers will only harden resolve for reforms,
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The newsroom of the English-language Iran News suddenly fell ominously silent
as a reporter rushed in and shouted the latest: Four more reformist
newspapers were being shut down immediately.
That was quickly followed by news yesterday that another eight pro-reform
newspapers and magazines had been suspended, leaving just four reformist
publications on sale at newsstands.
The closures are the biggest single blow yet to Iran's vociferous liberal
press, which is widely seen as the voice for the popular reform agenda of
President Mohammad Khatami.
Iran's hard-line conservatives - the self-declared guardians of Iran's 1979
Islamic Revolution - are attacking the media in the wake of February's
parliamentary elections that were swept by reformist candidates. This is not
the first media crackdown. But it is by far the most sweeping and potentially
explosive to date.
In recent days and weeks, a string of well-known reform-minded editors and
writers have been imprisoned. One even survived an assassination attempt,
causing political analysts to talk of a "dangerous time" in Iran.
"This is the most concerted effort by the conservatives so far, because they
understand that three-quarters of the population is not following them, and
that they are on the verge of losing their privileges," says an Iranian
political scientist who asked not to be named.
"The conservatives believe they must remove Khatami to achieve their aims,
but Khamenei won't let them do that," he adds. "So these steps are to make
the political scene more tough, more violent."
Reform leaders called for calm, recalling how the closure of a reform
newspaper - followed by student protests - last July led to six days of
violence in Tehran. "People seem to have learned that clashes are not the way
to advance the cause of reform. Taking to the streets and breaking windows
may feel good, but there won't be a bloody result this time," says another
"The right is thinking: 'If we are going to go down, we will go down
fighting,' " says Shirzad Bozorgmehr, deputy editor of the English-language
Iran News, whose newsroom has been silenced. "But at this stage, they can't
prevent it, only delay it."
"The big question is: What are [the hard-liners] after?" asks an analyst, who
also requested anonymity. "Maybe they can stop a few newspapers, but so what?
There will be more newspapers, and more people willing to stick their necks
"The election showed that they are not in favor at all, so what is the
purpose of all this? Maybe they can sleep better tonight, because there are
three less newspapers, but it doesn't solve their problem."
Mr. Khatami's landslide victory in the 1997 presidential elections shocked
the conservatives, because of his message for a kinder, gentler Islamic
society based on the rule of law and less-strict social and press rules.
Hard-liners have fought back, against what many here consider to be Iran's
second popular "revolution." The conservative-led Council of Guardians has
overturned the election of several reform candidates across the country,
sparking protests and riots in several cities.
Right-wing ayatollahs have charged that journalists in all media "are working
against Islam," and one urged his followers to "kill" [reformers]. Iran's
budding democracy has been just as unsettling for stale, authoritarian
The clampdown is in line with a tough new press law passed by the outgoing
parliament a week ago. It enables easier prosecution of journalists, forbids
publishing the same newspaper under a different name - a regular pro-reform
•Teens in paradise
•Traveling with a museum group
•Pack it small to pack it all
While professing continued support for Khatami, Iran's supreme religious
leader Sayed Ali Khamenei - whose power far exceeds that of the president -
weighed in last week, with an apparent nod for tough measures against the
"Unfortunately, some of the newspapers have become bases of the enemy," the
ayatollah told tens of thousands on Thursday. He accused 10 to 15 Iranian
newspapers of "insulting" state bodies and undermining the Islamic revolution.
At Friday prayers a week earlier, Khamenei decried "US style" reforms. Two
days later, amid rumors that a military coup to oust Khatami was imminent,
the Khamenei-controlled Revolutionary Guards struck at the press.
"When the time comes, these people will feel a blow to the head delivered by
the revolution," the guards warned in a statement. Senior commanders later
denied that could "ever" make a military coup.
Calling for dialogue and "logic," Khatami tried to calm tensions on Saturday.
"We should all respect the boundaries of our social sanctities and refrain
from tensions," he said. "But refraining from tensions does not mean keeping
On Saturday Akbar Ganji, one of Iran's top investigative journalists, was
arrested and immediately imprisoned. Soon, two other high-profile editors
"Taking dozens of people to jail or assassinating them will solve no
problem," Mr. Ganji was quoted as saying by the Iran News Agency. "Reforms
will succeed, and the future is bright."
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 07:03:00 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 1/2
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL IRAN REPORT
Vol. 3, No. 16, 24 April 2000
A Review of Developments in Iran Prepared by the Regional
Specialists of RFE/RL's Newsline Team.
*JANGALI MOVEMENT REVIVED
*TEHRAN RECOUNT TO RESUME
*UNREST IN NORTHWEST
*IS VIOLENCE NATURAL?
*ANOTHER ARREST IN HAJJARIAN CASE
*JUDICIARY CHANGES CONTINUE
*TEHRAN CONSIDERS PRO-CHECHNYA MARCH
JANGALI MOVEMENT REVIVED.
Just as Mirza Kuchek Khan and his followers in Gilan
fought against government repression and injustice during the
Jangali movement of 1914-1921, citizens of that northern
province are fighting back again. Rasht residents showed,
during three days of demonstrations in mid-April, that they
will not tolerate the interpretation of acceptable social
interaction that Iran's hardliners advocate and attempt to
impose, and they are tired of waiting for the civil society
and rule of law they have heard so much about since 1997.
On 14 April, clashes between young Rasht citizens and
local Basijis erupted after the Basijis stopped a young
woman, who was with a man, for inappropriate attire. An
eyewitness added that "Several baton-wielding Basiji arrived
on motorcycles. They began to beat up young men whom they
accused of trying to pick up girls," AFP reported on 17
April. Angry citizens attacked banks and other buildings, and
burning tires were used to block city streets. The clashes
ended after Law Enforcement Forces intervened and arrested
about ten people.
The violence continued the next day. As residents of
Rasht tried to commemorate the Sham-i Qariban religious
ceremony, they were set upon by hardline pressure groups
under the pretext of "promoting virtue and prohibiting vice,"
"Asr-i Azadegan" reported on 17 April. In the resulting
clashes, deputy provincial security chief Ali Baqeri told the
18 April "Khorasan," more buildings were attacked and
dama"Khorasan," more buildings were attacked and
dama"Khorasan," more buildings were attacked and
damaged. This lasted about two hours, until the LEF
intervened. State television reported that the "ring-leaders"
were arrested by the LEF "with the people's assistance."
At what is presumably a state-organized demonstration on
16 April, according to state radio, people "marched in the
main city roads where they expressed their disgust and
dislike towards those who have been responsible for the
unrest." As they marched they chanted, according to
"Khorasan," "If Khamenei gives the order for jihad, the
world's armies can't stop me; Khamenei is another Khomeini
and his leadership is successful leadership." According to
state radio, "the demonstrators called on the relevant
officials to deal firmly with those who are responsible for
the recent riot."
That seems very unlikely, as the incidents have resulted
in a disagreement between deputy provincial security chief
Baqeri and Supreme Leader's representative Hojatoleslam Sadeq
Ehsan-Bakhsh, according to AFP. Baqeri claimed the Basij is
responsible, while Ehsan-Bakhsh claimed that "Bagheri
programmed the whole thing." Just a week earlier, Rajabali
Mazrui of the pro-Khatami Islamic Iran Participation Party
was attacked when he was in Rasht, according to "Khorasan."
TEHRAN RECOUNT TO RESUME.
The Guardians Council, which is charged with supervision
of Iranian elections, informed the Interior Ministry on 16
April that it will resume the recount of votes in Tehran.
Previously, the Guardians Council and the Interior Ministry
stopped the recount and said that after checking results in
about 500 ballot boxes, the changes were inconsequential (see
"RFE/RL Iran Report," 13 March 2000).
In an interview published by IRNA on 18 April, however,
Guardians Council secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati referred
to "the holidays and preparing the grounds" when he explained
the delays in announcing the final Tehran results. He did not
say when the recount would be concluded.
Jannati said the 28th to 33rd places were being
reconsidered, rather than just the 29th through 31st, because
five people had filed complaints. He explained, furthermore,
that "the Guardians Council had two reasons for repeating the
process; firstly, from our point of view, after the first
recounting in which 528 ballots were counted, the ambiguities
still remained and the possibility of any change in the
results existed, and secondly, because of the false
interpretations of the early results of the first recounting
process. Therefore, to remove these charges we decided to
continue the process."
When asked about the cancellation of election results in
Khalkhal -- which resulted in riots -- Jannati said the
Guardians Council is not obliged to give a reason but it will
do so when "it seems fit." If the Guardians Council makes any
mistakes, Jannati said, "it is only the Supreme Leader who is
entitled to warn the council thanks to his absolute
jurisprudence." (In October 1998, Jannati said that "We are
only responsible to the authority that appointed and
installed us," i.e., the Supreme Leader).
This second recount may not go so smoothly. Tehran's
governor, Ayatollah (his name, not his rank) Azarmi, told the
17 April "Aftab-i Imruz" that the Guardians Council's request
to open the ballot boxes is illegal. This is especially so
because the hardline Guardians Council does not want the
generally reformist Interior Ministry to be present during
the recount. The Interior Ministry, "Tehran Times" reported
on 18 April, will not comply with what it sees as an
Meanwhile, protests over the cancellation of election
results in the South have resumed. People from Saravan Kovar
and Kharameh constituency in Fars Province blocked the main
road between Shiraz and Bandar Abbas, IRNA reported on 18
April. The protesters also rallied in front of the district
governor's office and damaged some public buildings and
facilities in Sarvestan, which is south of Shiraz.
Despite the cancellations, the Islamic Iran
Participation Party is confident of maintaining a reformist
majority in parliament. The party believes that it will
control a minimum of 175 seats in the new parliament, IRNA
reported on 19 April. Its top candidate for the post of
parliamentary speaker is Hojatoleslam Mehdi Mahdavi-Karrubi,
secretary of the Militant Clerics Association (Majma-yi
Ruhaniyun-i Mobarez), and the candidates for deputy speaker
are Mohammad Reza Khatami and Hojatoleslam Majid Ansari.
UNREST IN NORTHWEST. Not all the recent civil disturbances
are directly related to political or social issues. Locals
attacked the municipality building in the northwestern
settlement of Alamdar, and after security forces were called
in to restore order, there were reports of injuries. In this
case, locals were objecting to the government's effort to
relocate the local market, Baku's "Reyting" reported on 19
April. (Bill Samii)
IS VIOLENCE NATURAL?
On the heels of the March attempt on the life of Tehran
city council member Said Hajjarian, a Tehran daily speculated
that violence may be embedded in Iranian society. If the
assassination attempt was the work of foreign intelligence
services, "Kar va Kargar" suggested on 18 March, they must
believe that some Iranians think that "the physical
elimination of rivals, and the articulators of opposition to
them, can be a basis for terrorist operations." Supporting
the theory that the incident can be traced to "members of a
stubborn clique," on the other hand, are the "ideological
discords and differences within the family of the revolution
[which] have become so deep and widespread that some people
can easily be incited to spill the blood of others."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's sermon on 14
April, in which he advocated the use of force, supports the
view that violence is an inherent Iranian feature. His
comments, however, should be viewed within a theological and
historical context. And although other officials and
commentators supported Khamenei's comments, there has been as
much, if not more, commentary condemning violence and
suggesting that most people would prefer to settle their
differences in a civilized manner.
A debate on violence has been conducted in the Iranian
print media over the last few months, Khamenei pointed out,
but he wondered if there was more to this than met the eye.
He said that there is legitimate violence that is prescribed
by the law -- punishment, for example. There is also
illegitimate violence, when one person attacks another. "When
the Islamic state has to deal with bullying, aggression,
riots, and instances of law-breaking, it must be tough and
decisive. It must deal with matter violently. It must not be
frightened of the word violence."
Khamenei said that the "enemies" have other motives when
they reject all violence, rather than differentiating between
legitimate and illegitimate violence. He warned that "We must
not allow ourselves to be deceived by what the enemy puts out
on the airwaves." "Legal violence is good. It is necessary.
Unlawful violence is bad. It is ugly and it is a crime."
ts -- legal is good, illegal is bad --
seem fairly straight-forward. Other parts of the sermon,
however, appeared to identify who is a legitimate target of
violence. In this sermon, as well as the 20 March No Ruz
sermon, Khamenei emphasized national unity as a key part of
national security. Khamenei stated that reform is always
desirable, because in generic terms, it means improving the
system. But some people are promoting "Americanized reforms"
that are opposed by "all our country's officials, all our
devoted people, and all the vigilant organs of state."
Khamenei did not say what these Americanized reforms are, nor
did he identify their advocates. But they are not
contributing to unity and are therefore threatening national
security. Presumably, they will be identified by individual
actors and vigilante groups and dealt with accordingly.
Khamenei's comments struck a chord, for they seemed to
give carte blanche to those who oppose reform and who are
willing to impose their views violently. One of the most
dramatic statements came from the Islamic Revolution Guard
Corps (IRGC), and it was broadcast on 16 April. It said that
"if necessary, our enemies, be they small or large, will feel
the reverberating impact of the hammer of the Islamic
revolution on their skulls and the impact will be so strong
that they will never be able to engage in hatching plots or
The "enemies" and their "overt and covert agents" were
identified as those who oppose God and who after suffering
setbacks in the early days of the revolution have returned to
the political arena. The IRGC statement complained about
certain unnamed newspapers that advocated separation of
church and state, according to IRNA. It also said that some
"insiders" now deny that the Islamic Revolution has enemies,
and some journalists say that the Father of the Revolution
Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi-Khomeini's ideas are out-dated.
Such views are propounded by the revolution's enemies abroad,
and they will be defeated through unity. "When necessary, we
shall swoop on them like lightning and we shall legally deal
with them and we shall not hesitate to do so
The timing of Khamenei' sermon was not a coincidence. He
was trying to end the media debate about violence, and he
also was defending actions of the Basij and Law Enforcement
Forces when they enforce rules of social conduct. Also, the
sermon came right before the week of "Promoting Virtue and
Prohibiting Vice " started. In a theological context,
furthermore, it should be noted that the sermon preceded
Ashura, the day commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein
at Karbala. Imam Hussein and his followers preferred to
fight, rather than submit.
Taqi Rahmani, speaking in Rudsar, Gilan Province, warned
that "Violence-seekers are familiar with latest methods,
measures, and even modern theories of violence and use them
under the guise of religion," Akhbar-i Eqtesad" reported on 2
April. Islamic intellectual Abdulkarim Sorush condemned
promotion of violence in the name of Imam Hussein. He went on
to say that Muslims have learned the lessons of courage,
forbearance, and martyrdom from historical events, but "Imam
Hussein always kept the path of dialog open with both his
friends and his enemies." Sorush pointed out that "Honor is
not tantamount to bullying or coercion," IRNA reported on 14
Religious Iranians do not act without explicit or
implicit instructions, Mohammad Qaragozlu editorialized in
the 12 April "Fath." "Schoolchildren are taught that the
smallest religious issues require reference to the writs of
theologians," so the assassinations and violence conducted by
so-called "rogue elements" and "extremists" must be
investigated thoroughly enough to reveal their "hidden
layers." But before doing so, Qaragozlu writes, "we suggest
the closure of all platforms and venues used to propagate and
encourage violence and that religious leaders (Friday prayer
leaders) as well as cultural and political leaders and mass
media consider the condemnation of violence part of the
religious duty to prevent vice."
Brigadier General Aminian, commander of the ground
forces' 77th Division, said that breaking down issues in
terms of insiders and outsiders violates the spirit of the
constitution, "Arya" reported on 18 April. Aminian warned
that "The foremost threat to the country's unity and national
security is violence and violence-prone individuals." (Bill
A number of factors, not least the Supreme Leader's
recent sermon about violence, have led to rising tensions in
Iran. The assassination of an IRGC officer and recent reports
about a possible IRGC coup against President Mohammad Khatami
sparked accusations, denials, and warnings. The 18 April
showing of a videotape of a Berlin conference, at which
reformist figures (such as journalist Akbar Ganji) ridiculed
current issues, caused further tension. And finally, the
parliament approved a restrictive new press law.
Having disappeared on 29 March, IRGC Colonel Hussein
Burbur was found dead with signs of torture on his body on 4
March. The reformist press reported that Burbur's death was
related to his involvement in smuggling with a criminal named
Houshang Riazi (a.k.a. Esfandiar Rashidi). Deputy Law
Enforcement Forces commander Mohsen Ansari discussed the
case, "Fath" reported on 19 April, but did not shed much
light on it. Ansari said the murderers were Riazi, Khoshyar
Eskandarzadeh, and Mortazi Askar-Najafi, but he was not sure
how they lured Burbur to the killing ground.
<< Continued to next message >>>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 07:03:50 EDT
From: Bobby Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: RADIO FREE EUROPE-IRAN WEEKLY REPORT-PART 2/2
<< This message is part 2 of a previous message >>>
The 17 April "Asr-i Azadegan" accused the hardline
publications of manipulating this issue. They called Burbur a
"martyr," although his death was under suspicious
circumstances, just because he was linked with the IRGC. The
reformist daily said that "the e one
conservatives long to see one
of its supporters killed by one of the reformists so that
they can use the incident as a pretext to confront the
[reformists] in a violent manner."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was approached by
several IRGC commanders who expressed their concern about the
system's future after the recent reformist success in the
parliamentary elections, "Asharq al-Awsat" reported on 18
April. They threatened to act against the reformists.
Khamenei received similar messages of concern from "some
conservative religious scholars and some members of the
Assembly of Experts." They urged Khamenei to cancel the
election results and extend the current term of parliament by
another year. Khamenei rejected all these suggestions and
warned of a civil war if the IRGC acted, according to "Asharq
Fueling the belief that the IRGC is planning a coup was
its aggressive 16 April statement (see above). In Tehran,
this is being called Statement Number 0, in the belief that
Statement Number 1 will be the announcement of a coup. The
Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization responded to
the IRGC in a statement published by "Iran" on 19 April. The
MIRO warned that the hardline "Power Mafia" is trying to
manipulate the IRGC to achieve its own ends: "the Power Mafia
intends to turn this popular force into a suppressive entity
to confront the nation." After its proud history in the war
with Iraq, the IRGC may be reduced to the level of "jack-
booted soldiers of the third world who seek to increase their
power through suppression of writers, by banning newspapers
and through fear and intimidation."
The Berlin conference video sparked strong reactions,
too. Former Guardians Council member Ayatollah Abolqasem
Khazali was quite explicit. "Kill them [reformists] wherever
you find them," "Sobh-i Imruz" quoted him as saying on 19
April. "If the enemy does not attack you, you should attack
them." Only the day before, Ayatollah Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi
warned that "those who go on about reformism are, in fact,
trying to revive the traditions of apostates of 2500 years
ago in Iran's Islamic society," "Fath" reported. (The penalty
for apostasy is death.)
Tehran University's Student Basij held a rally on 18
April to protest against the Berlin conference and reform,
according to state television. "Thousands" gathered,
condemned the conference attendees as "the standard bearers
of the 2nd Khordad," and carried placards saying "we support
Islamic-revolutionary reforms but American-style reforms,
never." The next day, bazaar merchants closed their shops as
a sign of their opposition to the Berlin conference and their
support for the Supreme Leader.
There also is unhappiness in the media about a new press
law that the parliament passed on 18 April. The Guardians
Council has ten days to approve it. The new law permits
Revolutionary Courts to prosecute press cases and prohibits
the reappearance of banned publications under a new name. The
new law prohibits criticism of the constitution, and it makes
journalists, as well as publications' directors, liable for
what appears in the press. This new law is similar to the
plan recommended by the now-deceased Ministry of Intelligence
and Security official Said Emami (see "RFE/RL Iran Report,"
12 July 2000). The passage of the first draft of this law in
July 2000 was one of the sparks that ignited massive
disturbances. Afterwards, parliament postponed acting on the
bill, leading to speculation that the new parliament could
The press had a difficult time over the last year (March
1999-2000), "Fath" reported on 3 April. 78 Tehran and 57
provincial publications lost their licenses. Iran's
journalists and media figures are facing difficulties this
year, too. IRNA director Fereidun Verdinejad was summoned by
the Press Court on the basis of a complaint from the Law
Enforcement Forces, the Basij, the Antisacreligious Acts
Office (Amr be Maruf va Nahi az Monker), Bojnurd Friday
Prayer leader Hojatoleslam Mehman, parliamentarian Ahmad
Rasuli-Nejad and the director of the banned "Panjshanbeh-ha."
"Hayat-i No" publisher Hojatoleslam Hadi Khamenei was
summoned by the Special Court for the Clergy, "Fath" reported
on 10 April. "Bayan" publisher Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar
Mohtashemi-Pur was summoned by the Special Court for the
Clergy on the basis of articles that appeared in his daily.
The same day, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, editor of "Asr-i
Azadegan" and the banned "Neshat," received a 30 month jail
sentence. Journalist Akbar Ganji received another death
threat, "Fath" reported on 16 April. Two days later, Ganji
was summoned by the press court on the basis of complaints
from former MOIS chief Ali Akbar Fallahian, his deputy, and
the LEF, "Iran" reported.
And on 23 April it was reported that "Asr-i Azadegan,"
"Fath," the biweekly "Iran-i Farda," the weekly "Aban," and
the pro-reform dailies "Arya" and "Aftab-i Emrouz" were among
a dozen reformist publications that were banned by the
Judiciary. It also was reported that investigative journalist
Akbar Ganji was arrested. Indeed, it seems that the "dogs of
war" have been released. (Bill Samii)
ANOTHER ARREST IN HAJJARIAN CASE.
Tehran municipal council member Ahmad Hakimipur was
arrested on 14 April in connection with the 12 March attempt
on Said Hajjarian's life. Judiciary officials claim that one
of the gunman's accomplices distracted Hajjarian with a
letter of introduction written by Hakimipur.
The Tehran municipal council issued a statement that
Hakimipur's arrest was just an attempt to divert the
investigation, while the real culprits, who are known to
everybody, go free. Several members of the Islamic Iran
Participation Party said Hakimipur's arrest was a mistake,
"Abrar" reported on 17 April.
Deputy Judiciary head Ayatollah Hadi Marvi said on 18
April that the shooter, Said Asqar, had confessed
"explicitly." A report that appeared in "Iran" on the same
day, however, claimed that a leading suspect named Qassemi
had fled to Pakistan by air.
Hajjarian continues to recover and has regained the
ability to speak. (Bill Samii)
JUDICIARY CHANGES CONTINUE.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said during the
Friday Prayer sermon of 14 February that "We need judicial
reforms" and "We need reform in the field of laws and
regulations." As part of efforts to implement judicial
reforms, hardline officials, particularly graduates of the
Haqqani seminary, are being replaced (see "RFE/RL Iran
Report," 3 April 2000). The most recent Haqqani alumni to
lose his position is Revolutionary Court Judge Gholamhussein
Rahbarpur, IRNA reported on 17 April. Hojatoleslam Ali
Mobasheri, former judge of Tehran Province appeals court,
replaced Rahbarpour. Rahbarpour has been assigned as deputy
chief of the administrative court that examines complaints
against government institutions.
Deputy Judiciary head Ayatollah Hadi Marvi said that the
judiciary's financial independence is being increased with
the government's cooperation. Marvi added that judiciary
chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi hopes to decrease the
number of prisoners, rather than increasing prison capacity.
TEHRAN CONSIDERS PRO-CHECHNYA MARCH.
Said Emin Ibrahimov, chairman of the international
committee to protect human rights in the Chechen Republic,
told a 12 April press conference that the Iranian Foreign
Ministry has been asked for permission to stage a march in
Iran. Ibrahimov explained, Baku's "Zerkalo" weekly reported
on 13 April, that "The main purpose of the 'peace and human
rights' march is to draw the attention of the world community
and international organizations to the genocide of the
Chechen people being carried out by the Russian government
and to its consequences."
At the Group of 77 meeting in Havana, Iran's (non-
existent) role in settling the Chechnya crisis (as well as
those in Kosova and Afghanistan) received praise, IRNA
reported on 12 April., But given Iran's actual record of
indifference on the Chechnya issue, it seems unlikely that
permission for any protest marches will be granted.
The UK's "Al-Muhajiroun" organization issued a statement
on 17 April that a fatwa has decreed that Russian President-
elect Vladimir Putin should be "put on trial in an Islamic
court for his crimes and for capital punishment to be
applied." Earlier this year, "Al-Muhajiroun" condemned the
Iranian government for its failure to support Muslims in
Chechnya (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 17 January 20000). Groups
of Naqshbandi Sufis and Kaderia Sufis from Iran, on the other
hand, are accused of supporting the Chechens against Russian
forces, "Moskovskie Novosti" reported in late March. (Bill
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 00:03:27 EDT
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Subject: Fwd: Saudi Arabia/Iran/Yemen
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STRATFOR.COM's Global Intelligence Update - 25 April 2000
By The Internet's Most Intelligent Source of International News &
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STRATFOR.COM Global Intelligence Update
25 April 2000
Saudi Government Moves toward Unstable Ground with Crackdown
Saudi Arabia is cracking down on a minority religious sect. The
immediate reason for this is rooted in the Saudi-Yemen border
dispute. However, the crackdown and simmering war has potential
broader international implications. Iran has recently upgraded
relations with both Saudi Arabia and Yemen and can use this
opportunity to establish itself as peace broker. But the repression
has more ominous implications. Saudi Arabia is seeing population
growth at both extremes of its economic spectrum. Riyadh may have
succeeded in isolating this crackdown of an outcast sect, but any
future resort to strong-arm measures risks fueling popular
Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry announced April 24 that a security
officer was killed and four others injured in unrest stemming from
conflicts with religious minorities. The Interior Ministry reported
that a member of the Ismaili Shia community was arrested for
"practicing sorcery," which Saudi Arabian law bans. During the
arrest in the southwestern border town Najran, 50 to 60 supporters
gathered around the residence, set cars ablaze and opened fire,
killing a member of the security services. In another incident, the
Saudi Arabian religious police reportedly raided an Ismaili mosque,
closed it down and confiscated its books.
Following this incident, hundreds of Ismailis protested in front of
the residence of the Najran provincial governor, Prince Meshaal.
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), security forces and
religious police were deployed in force at Najran's main
intersections overnight amid warnings by the Interior Ministry that
suspected culprits would be "arrested, questioned and put on trial
in keeping with Islamic law." The crackdown - which has
international and domestic implications - was most likely in
anticipation of an intensifying border conflict.
The Ismaili sect is an offshoot of Shia Islam, the split having
occurred hundreds of years ago over recognition of the Seventh
Imam. Today, the Ismaili sect is relatively small and is not
supported by the larger Shiite community. Sunni Muslims are the
majority in Saudi Arabia; Shiites make up only 7 percent to 10
percent. There is no official number of Ismailis in Saudi Arabia,
but Saudi diplomats say there are tens of thousands of Ismailis,
mostly living in the mountainous regions of the southwest,
according to AFP.
International human rights organizations regularly accuse Saudi
Arabia of politically and economically discriminating against
religious minorities. However, the recent action against Ismailis
is unusually excessive.
The Saudi security services may have cracked down on the Ismailis
in anticipation of Yemen-backed infiltrators in the Saudi-Yemen
border dispute. Saudi Arabian military forces in late January
reportedly occupied the strategic Jahfan Mountain along the border
with Yemen according to London-based paper Al-Quds al-Arabi. Saudi
Arabia's occupation of this mountain has further soured relations
between Riyadh and Sanaa. Yemen has a significant Shiite
population, many of whom belong to the Ismaili sect, located across
and along the border with Saudi Arabia. The incidents in Najran
indicate that the border dispute between Saudi Arabia and Yemen is
If in fact the border dispute is growing more heated, Iran may have
a key opportunity to accomplish one of its major goals - to play a
greater role in the region. Iran and Yemen on April 19 signed
cooperation agreements in several fields. Also, Iran and Saudi
Arabia are moving closer to signing a security agreement. Saudi
Arabia's interior minister has been authorized to sign such an
agreement, and Iran's defense minister is in Saudi Arabia to meet
with King Fahd. Iran could feasibly step in and take an important
mediation role. This would greatly improve its standing not only in
the immediate region, but also worldwide.
Domestically, the Ismaili crackdown indicates a potentially
destabilizing aspect within Saudi Arabia. The regime is losing its
ability to placate the masses. The more it loses the means to keep
them happy, the more it has to resort to rule through force. Little
domestic backlash will come from persecuting the Ismailis, an
alienated sect of the minority Shiites.
However, at some point, the Saudi regime is likely to crack down on
a group that will not capitulate quietly. When they lash out at a
more prominent group, possibly in a larger city like Riyadh or
Jeddah, a specific protest of the action could snowball into a more
general protest against the regime. If protests begin in a larger
city, for whatever reason, anyone with a beef against the regime
could quickly join in - even without sympathizing with the
initially wronged party. .
If and when a low-level popular demonstration occurs, the potential
snowball effect could be disastrous. Conflicting trends that breed
instability are emerging in Saudi Arabia's economy and
demographics. Saudi Arabia's two fastest growing masses are the
royal family and the poor. As the royal family grows, more money is
needed to feed their generous annual allowances. Those funds come
directly out of the Saudi economy, rather than trickling down to
the impoverished masses. Meanwhile, the Saudi government has been
largely unsuccessful in its efforts to diversify and stabilize the
enormously oil-dependent economy.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer while the numbers and
claims on the unstable revenues increase - creating a vastly
divided population. As Saudi Arabia's royal family continues to
discriminate and rule by strict Islamic law, while draining the
economy, those who are poor and persecuted will become more
(c) 2000 WNI, Inc. http://www.stratfor.com/
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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Apr 2000 - Special issue