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There are 12 messages totalling 924 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Students across Iran protest press bans
2. Iran's press court warns president's brother
3. IHRWG CONDEMNS THE CLOSING DOWN OF NEWSPAPERS AND THE CLAMPDOWN ON FREEDOM
OF SPEECH
4. Four immigrant men charged with Sweden disco arson
5. UPDATE 1-Students across Iran protest press bans
6. UPDATE 2-Iran press court warns president's brother
7. Iran to hold parliamentary run-offs May 5 - radio
8. Reformers say Iran's hardliners plan revolt
9. Leader voices support for government
10. fwd: Support for dialogue
11. Fwd: "If our eminence nods, we will behead you all!"
12. Iran leader backs Khatami, urges end to press row

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 05:20:50 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Students across Iran protest press bans

Students across Iran protest press bans


TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - Students in five cities across Iran, from
southern Hormuzgan province to Hamedan in the west, held protests against the
closure of 13 pro-reform publications, the official IRNA news agency said on
Wednesday.

The protests on Tuesday, like similar gatherings in the capital Tehran, all
passed off without incident, IRNA said.

``Should the ban on the dailies continue, gossip-mongering and underground
publications will appear,'' a university lecturer told students in Bandar
Abbas, the administrative centre of Hormuzgan province and Iran's biggest
port.

Students at the rallies chanted slogans backing freedom of the press and
denounced the state broadcast service, which is controlled by hardliners, for
what they said was political bias.

In the central town of Kashan, protesters criticised the out-going
parliament's recent move to tighten further existing press restrictions.

Iran's hardline judiciary banned without trial nine dailies and four journals
for having ``disparaged Islam and the religious elements of the Islamic
revolution.''

The move, which aimed at the heart of the reform programme under moderate
President Mohammad Khatami, has so far failed to elicit the impassioned
response that greeted the sudden closure last July of the reformist daily
Salam.

Then,a pro-democracy rally was set upon by the security forces and hardline
vigilantes, touching off the worst unrest since the aftermath of the 1979
Islamic revolution.

Reformist forces, mindful of last summer's violence, have appealed repeatedly
for calm.

Besides protests in Hamedan, Bandar Abbas, Kashan and Tehran, thousands of
students rallied for press freedom in the central city of Yazd and in Shiraz,
in the south.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 05:24:37 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran's press court warns president's brother

Iran's press court warns president's brother

By Jonathan Lyons


TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - The hardline judge of Tehran's press court has
warned President Mohammad Khatami's brother to curb his pro-reform newspaper,
a new escalation in Iran's ``press war'' that has already seen 13 national
publications banned.

State radio said on Wednesday Judge Saeed Mortazavi had issued a formal
warning to Mohammad Reza Khatami, publisher of the daily Mosharekat and a
close confidant of the president, over the content and format of his
newspaper.

At issue, said the radio, were changes in the lay-out and content of extra
editions, brought out by the newspaper to help plug the gap left by an
earlier ban against nine other liberal dailies and four journals.

``In his letter to Reza Khatami, Mortazavi said that if his legal warning
were not heeded, the court would take necessary actions,'' radio said.

Mosharekat and Sobh-e Emrouz are the last of the leading reformist dailies
still publishing after the hardline judiciary intervened against publications
it said had ``disparaged Islam and the religious elements of the Islamic
Revolution.''

The move aimed at the heart of the reform programme under President Khatami,
who has encouraged a free 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 newspaper clampdown has so far failed to elicit the impassioned
protests that greeted the sudden closure last July of the reformist daily
Salam.

MORE CLOSURES TO COME?

Then, a pro-democracy rally was set upon by the security forces and hardline
vigilantes, touching off the worst unrest since the aftermath of the 1979
Islamic revolution.

Reformist forces, mindful of last summer's violence, have appealed repeatedly
for calm.

The nature of the alleged infringements by Mosharekat were not clear, but
reformist journalists said the court was searching for a pretext to close the
newspaper.

Likewise, they said, they expect the authorities to try again to ban the
outspoken Sobh-e Emrouz, which was ordered closed on Monday, only to be
reinstated hours later.

Analysts say the attempted assassination of the daily's publisher, Saeed
Hajjarian, had complicated the judiciary's efforts to close the newspaper
without warning.

Hajjarian's alleged attackers went on trial in Revolutionary Court on
Tuesday, when the triggerman admitted to shooting his victim in the head but
said he did not mean to kill him. Hajjarian survived the attack and is
recovering in hospital.

Students in five cities across Iran, from southern Hormuzgan province to
Hamedan in the west, held protests on Tuesday against the closure of the 13
pro-reform publications.

The official IRNA news agency said the protests, like similar gatherings in
the capital Tehran, all passed off without incident. More rallies were set
for Tehran later on Wednesday.

``Should the ban on the dailies continue, gossip-mongering and underground
publications will appear,'' a university lecturer told students in Bandar
Abbas, the administrative centre of Hormuzgan province and Iran's biggest
port.

Students at the rallies chanted slogans backing freedom of the press and
denounced the state broadcast service, which is controlled by hardliners, for
what they said was political bias.

In the central town of Kashan, protesters criticised the out-going
parliament's recent move to tighten further existing press restrictions.

Besides protests in Hamedan, Bandar Abbas, Kashan and Tehran, thousands of
students rallied for press freedom in the central city of Yazd and in Shiraz,
in the south.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 05:38:51 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IHRWG CONDEMNS THE CLOSING DOWN OF NEWSPAPERS AND THE CLAMPDOWN ON
FREEDOM OF SPEECH

IHRWG CONDEMNS THE CLOSING DOWN OF NEWSPAPERS AND THE CLAMPDOWN ON FREEDOM OF
SPEECH


24th April 2000
In the last few hours of Sunday 23rd April 2000 it was announced that the
Iranian government had shut down eight daily newspapers and four journals.
These twelve publications were amongst the most widely circulated and
independent publications in Iran, the majority of which had been set up within
the past two to three years. In addition, following the jailing of Mashallah
Shamsolvaezin, the chief editor of the banned publication Neshat two weeks
ago,
a wave of arrests of journalists has started which includes the jailing of
Akbar Ganji a well-known investigative journalist and Latif Safari the
publisher of Neshat, both imprisoned within the last two days.

This widespread attack on freedom of speech comes after recent statements by
the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, made within the last few
days, in which he took a direct stand against the independent press.
Furthermore armed organisations under the control of the Supreme Leader
such as
the Revolutionary Guards have, by issuing aggressive statements, threatened a
violent clampdown on opponents of the Supreme Leader and independent writers.

The simultaneous shutdown of such a large number of publications, which is
unprecedented in the history of the Iranian press, is not only an open and
thorough attack on freedom of speech and of the press but could also be a
prerequisite for a widespread clampdown on political opponents and dissidents.
Other steps taken within the past few weeks, such as the attempted
assassination of the journalist Saeed Hajjarian and the manipulation by the
Guardian Council of election results of the sixth session of parliament, which
have lead to rebellion in different parts of the country, also point to a
coordinated attempt to clampdown on the reform movement.

In addition to condemning the shutdown of these publications and the
arrests of
journalists, we call upon the Iranian authorities to immediately lift the ban
on these publications and to order the release of the arrested journalists.
Furthermore, since a clampdown on freedom of speech and the press is usually a
prerequisite for the suppression of other rights and political freedoms, we
call on all Iranians to observe the ongoing developments in Iran closely, and
to oppose the conspiracy of silence desired by the Iranian government by
communicating the news as widely as possible and to let the voice of the
Iranian people be heard around the world. Similarly we call on international
human rights organisations and press unions across the world to unite with us
in our quest to lift the ban on these publications and to gain the release of
the imprisoned journalists, so that we can halt this attack on freedom of
speech and the press in Iran.

Iranian Human Rights Working Group
24th April 2000
www.ihrwg.org

Note: After the relase of this statement two more dailies were closed today,
Monday 24th April 2000.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 08:37:33 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Four immigrant men charged with Sweden disco arson

Four immigrant men charged with Sweden disco arson


STOCKHOLM, April 26 (Reuters) - Four young immigrants to Sweden from Iran
were charged with arson on Wednesday in connection with a Gothenburg
discotheque fire in which 63 youngsters died and 250 were injured, some
seriously.

If arson is proved, the fire on October 29, 1998, in the western port city
would be the worst such case in modern Swedish history.

Three men aged 19 and one 21-year-old will go on trial on May 3 in an
exhibition centre in Gothenburg big enough to accommodate some 500 relatives
of the victims and survivors. In line with Swedish court procedure the
defendants were not named.

The prosecution filed the charges of gross arson against the four men at the
same time as it published its 3,000-page preliminary investigation. The four
have denied the charges.

The fire started in the stairwell of a Macedonian cultural centre in the
Gothenburg docklands suburb of Hisingen, where around 400 young people aged
between 12 and 20 were packed into an area licensed for 150.

The prosecution said the four men, who all arrived in Sweden with their
families from Iran in the early 1990s, were in the stairwell before the fire
started.

They spilled combustible liquid over stacked chairs, stuffed paper around the
chairs and at least one of the four set them alight.

According to earlier official reports, the fire started shortly before
midnight and swept through the disco, blocking one of two emergency exits.

Windows were too far off the ground for most of the victims to reach, and
those who did reach them had to jump two floors to the ground outside.

In one small room rescuers found the bodies of 20 to 30 people who had been
overcome by smoke.

Most of the victims were immigrant teenagers.

Police posted a reward of three million crowns in 1999 for information
leading to any arrests.

Those who survived the blaze and the families of dead victims number about
500 and are deemed to be parties to the case, which means they are entitled
to compensation and can also question witnesses.

Gothenburg district court, for the first time in Swedish legal history, has
organised the trial in a city exhibition hall in order to accommodate the
relatives, interpreters, court officials and journalists covering the 16-day
trial.

The proceedings will be held in one hall and televised live into a second
hall containing relatives and a third hall for the press.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 08:39:49 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: UPDATE 1-Students across Iran protest press bans

UPDATE 1-Students across Iran protest press bans


TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - Students at Tehran's technical university said
on Wednesday they had suspended classes for the day, as peaceful protests
spread against the banning of 13 pro-reform publications spread across the
country.

Hundreds of students at the University of Science and Technology rallied
inside the enclosed campus, chanting slogans, clapping and stamping their
feet in unison.

They vowed to support a free press, a central element of President Mohammad
Khatami's reform movement, and said they were boycotting their classes for
now.

``Oh supreme commander of the armed forces, we want freedom,'' they yelled,
in an appeal to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose attack on
elements of the press as foreign ``enemies'' was seen as giving the green
light to the bans.

``The university is the barricade for Khatami,'' the students said.

``We will start with small-scale protests like this. If we don't get positive
answers, we will hold larger protests and...close down classes for longer
periods,'' said a student leader.

The rally, like others in Tehran and in a number of universities across Iran,
remained confined to the campus and passed peacefully.

The official IRNA news agency said rallies were held on Tuesday in five
cities, from southern Hormuzgan province to Hamedan in the west.

The students at the rallies chanted slogans backing freedom of the press and
denounced the state broadcast service, which is controlled by hardliners, for
what they said was political bias.

In the central town of Kashan, protesters criticised the outgoing
parliament's recent move to tighten further existing press restrictions.

Iran's hardline judiciary banned nine dailies and four journals for having
``disparaged Islam and the religious elements of the Islamic revolution.''

Besides protests in Hamedan, Bandar Abbas, Kashan and Tehran, students
rallied for press freedom in the central city of Yazd and in Shiraz, in the
south.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 08:40:56 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: UPDATE 2-Iran press court warns president's brother

UPDATE 2-Iran press court warns president's brother


By Jonathan Lyons

TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - The hardline judge of Tehran's press court has
warned President Mohammad Khatami's brother to curb his pro-reform newspaper,
a new escalation in Iran's ``press war'' that has already seen 13
publications banned.

State radio said on Wednesday Judge Saeed Mortazavi had issued a formal
warning to Mohammad Reza Khatami, publisher of the daily Mosharekat and a
close confidant of the president, over the content and format of his
newspaper.

``In his letter to Reza Khatami, Mortazavi said that if his legal warning
were not heeded, the court would take necessary actions,'' radio said.

The warning came as students at Tehran's technical university said they had
suspended classes for the day, following peaceful protests against the
banning of the 13 pro-reform publications across the country.

The radio said at issue were changes in the lay-out and content of extra
editions, brought out by the newspaper to help plug the gap left by an
earlier ban against nine other liberal dailies and four journals.

Mosharekat and Sobh-e Emrouz are the last of the leading reformist dailies
still publishing after the hardline judiciary intervened against publications
it said had ``disparaged Islam and the religious elements of the Islamic
Revolution.''

Pro-reform editors told Reuters the two dailies had pumped up their combined
circulation to about two million copies a day, to compensate for the banned
titles. This, they said, was the reason for Mortazavi's warning.

EDITORS SAY MOVEMENT UNBOWED

The bans aimed at the heart of the reform programme under President Khatami,
who has encouraged a free 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.

Reformist editors predicted the clampdown would fail to silence the movement
or to divide the people from its leaders. And they said they had two reserve
newspaper licenses and could quickly open new dailies if necessary.

``The oral tradition among the people is strong, and even if all newspapers
are closed the people will still remain informed,'' Essa Saharkhiz, editor of
the banned Akhbar-e Eqtesad, told Reuters.

He said already students were producing leaflets and so-called ``night
letters'' to report developments.

Leading reformers, mindful of the violence that greeted the sudden closure of
the liberal daily Salam last July, have appealed repeatedly for calm.

Then, a pro-democracy rally was set upon by security forces and vigilantes,
touching off the worst unrest since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic
revolution.

The nature of the alleged infringements by Mosharekat were not clear, but
reformist journalists said the court was searching for a pretext to close the
newspaper.

Likewise, they expected the authorities to try again to ban the outspoken
Sobh-e Emrouz, which was ordered closed on Monday, only to be reinstated
hours later.

PROTESTS ACROSS IRAN

Analysts say the attempted assassination of that daily's publisher, Saeed
Hajjarian, had complicated the judiciary's efforts to close the newspaper
without warning. Hajjarian, whose alleged attackers went on trial in
Revolutionary Court on Tuesday, survived the attack and is recovering in
hospital.

Hundreds of students at Tehran's University of Science and Technology rallied
on Wednesday inside the enclosed campus, chanting slogans, clapping and
stamping their feet in unison.

They vowed to support a free press and said they were boycotting their
classes for now.

``We will start with small-scale protests like this. If we don't get positive
answers, we will hold larger protests and...close down classes for longer
periods,'' said a student leader.

The rally, like others in Tehran and in a number of universities across Iran,
remained confined to the campus and passed peacefully.

Students in five cities across Iran, from southern Hormuzgan province to
Hamedan in the west, held protests on Tuesday against the closure of the 13
pro-reform publications.

The official IRNA news agency said the protests, like similar gatherings in
Tehran, passed off without incident. More peaceful protests were held in the
capital on Wednesday.

Students at the rallies chanted slogans backing freedom of the press and
denounced the state broadcast service, which is controlled by hardliners, for
what they said was political bias.

In the central town of Kashan, protesters criticised the out-going
parliament's recent move to tighten further existing press restrictions.
Besides protests in Hamedan, Bandar Abbas, Kashan and Tehran, thousands of
students rallied for press freedom in the central city of Yazd and in Shiraz,
in the south.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 16:26:35 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran to hold parliamentary run-offs May 5 - radio

Iran to hold parliamentary run-offs May 5 - radio


TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - Iran is to hold parliamentary run-off elections
on May 5, after widespread gains by reformist candidates in a first round of
polls in February, state radio reported on Wednesday.

It said the Guardian Council, a powerful body which oversees elections, set
May 5 as the date for the second round of elections to determine the fate of
more than 60 seats in the 290-member expanded parliament.

The interior ministry, which runs the polls, said the one-week campaigning
period would begin on Thursday. The run-offs are held in districts where
candidates failed to receive 25 percent of the votes cast in the first round.

The conservative-led Guardian Council has overturned election results in 11
constituencies. The council's decisions, seen by many as heavy-handed
partisanship towards the conservatives, have sparked violence in several
towns.

Results from February's polls have now been finalised in all constituencies
except the capital Tehran, where reformists close to President Mohammad
Khatami appeared to have won 29 of the 30 seats up for grabs.

Iran's reform movement has been forced onto the defensive in recent weeks,
with the closure of a string of liberal publications and the prosecution of
several prominent pro-reform journalists on charges of offending Islamic
sanctities.

The new parliament is scheduled to convene on May 28.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 16:27:09 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Reformers say Iran's hardliners plan revolt

Reformers say Iran's hardliners plan revolt

By Jonathan Lyons


TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - Iran's reformers say they have learned of a
``master plan'' by hardliners in the security forces and their allies to
crush the movement for change and even topple the government of moderate
President Mohammad Khatami.

They say some elements of the elite Revolutionary Guards, the police and the
state broadcast monopoly have formed a ``crisis committee'' to fan social,
political and religious tensions and pave the way for a possible coup d'etat.

``The Crisis Committee, or creating crises?'' asked an editorial earlier this
week in Sobh-e Emrouz, a reformist daily with good sources in the
intelligence service.

The newspapers have not named the figures in question and the conservative
newspaper Resalat on Wednesday dismissed such charges as fantasy.

``Where is the Crisis Headquarters?'' it asked in a front-page headline.
``Why don't the gentlemen answer?'' Last week, a statement from the Guards
denied a coup was in the works, saying ``coup d'etat is a meaningless, alien
and irrelevant word.''

But a leading reformist said he had been given notes from a tape made at a
recent meeting of the committee, detailing a three-stage programme to weaken
the reformers, halt their advance and then eliminate them. A copy was made
available to Reuters by the reformist figure, who asked not to be identified.

``The revolution, Islam and the blood of the martyrs are endangered,'' the
notes quote a senior Guards commander as saying.

``One option is to sit and watch, the other is create a strong executive
headquarters. In the first phase, we weaken the other side. In the second, we
stop them from advancing and in the third phase we remove them from the
scene.''

STEPS OUTLINED

Specific steps said to have been outlined at the meeting included:

Arrest and prosecution of leading reformers, who would be branded ``foreign
agents or spies.''

Closing 18 reformist publications to interrupt the flow of information to the
people.

Bullying intellectuals into remaining silent.

Convincing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of the dangers to the
Islamic system posed by the reform movement.

Disruption of the Tehran bazaar and the religious seminaries to provoke
senior clerics.

Deploying terror to force many Khatami supporters to ``stay silent or pull
aside.''

According to the notes, the meeting concluded with a debate on the timing and
wisdom of an anti-Khatami putsch.

When objections are raised that the majority of the army and the
Revolutionary Guards supports the president, one commander counters that the
``adventurous atmosphere'' of a coup would win over the younger recruits.

``A coup d'etat on what pretext?'' presses his interlocutor.

``The grounds could be that some of these (reformers) are foreign agents or
spies,'' comes the reply.

In the 10 days since the meeting recorded in the transcript, the judiciary
has banned 13 reformist publications. The ban followed a speech by Ayatollah
Khamenei in which he said the reformist press had become ``bases of the
enemy.''

Several reformist journalists have been detained for trial or sent to prison,
while the Revolutionary Court has summoned for interrogation reformists who
took part in a seminar in Berlin, which conservatives have branded
counter-revolutionary.

INTERIOR MINISTER SOUNDS ALARM

A strike was called in the Tehran bazaar last Thursday and in the seminaries
in the holy Shi'ite Moslem city of Qom on Monday to protest foreign meddling,
and fresh graffiti around Tehran have accused the press of housing
anti-Islamic elements.

Pro-reform newspapers and government officials first began warning of a
``crisis committee'' earlier this week, but there has been no confirmation
that such a body is at work behind the scenes.

``Has this committee been created in coordination with security officials and
the Supreme National Security Council, or does it intend to create crises
instead of preventing them?'' Fath daily on Monday quoted reformist Interior
Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari as saying.

``The sudden closure of...newspapers and publications must be seen in line
with the acts of the crisis-creating committees,'' said Sobh-e Emrouz.
``(Recent events) show the target of these crises is the reformist front and
the pious forces supporting reform.''

But the conservative Resalat said the reformers were unable to substantiate
their claims. ``The gentlemen who claim a crisis headquarters and power mafia
exist do not say where this committee is and who its members are,'' it said.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 16:31:02 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Leader voices support for government

Payvand's Iran News ...


04/26/2000
Leader voices support for government


Tehran, April 26, IRNA -- Supreme leader of Islamic revolution ayatollah Ali
Khamenei here on Wednesday called on groups loyal to the revolution and
Islamic system to help the government overcome the problems of the people
while maintaining principles and fundamentals.

Ayatollah Khamenei said various issues should be analayzed beyond political
and factional frameworks. Various events and periods are transitory and pass
along time and the only thing remaining steadfast is the responsibility
before God and being answerable to the almighty. therefore, all should fulfil
their duties and responsibilities with respect to the reality, said the
paramount leader.

The leader stressed the need for remaining loyal to slogans and principled
stances of the revolution. "all of you believe in Islam, revolution and imam
but inside the country there are some who, like the U.S., are against such
principles; and it is important to take clear and transparent position
against such oppositions and enmities. However, the stance of some friends
and political groups on the issues are so intangible that anyone who believes
in them would feel that he can even be attached to the
counter-revolutionaries," said the leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that he did not oppose viewpoints of the opposition
or publication of their analyses within framework of the law as was the case
since the beginning of the revolution but one should not use such pretexts to
entrust the affairs of the nation to the counter-revolutionaries and exert
pressure on the revolutionaries.

Hence, all personalities, groups and wings loyal to Islam and the revolution
should adopt concrete positions against those inside and outside the country
who counter the revolution, path of the late imam Khomeini, 'velayat-e faqih'
(guardianship of supreme jurisprudence) and constitution under the guise of
reforms, added the leader.

The paramount leader strongly criticized the position of a section of the
press and the presence of counter-revolutionary and opponent elements (on the
scene). "the revolutionary tendencies should not keep silent in the face of
such realities because a deviationary trend in the press with an aim to
mislead public opinion against Islam, revolution and the Islamic system,
raises concern among and distorts public opinion every day, prevents dealing
with people's major problems and launches ballyhoo on minor issues instead,"
said ayatollah Khamenei.

The method some friends have adopted against such deviationary trend is
'wrong and inefficient' and practically, provides opponents of the system
with the chance to abuse the press, the leader added.

Therefore, the method should be rectified, added the grand ayatollah.

The leader criticized certain tendencies and people for interpreting and
presenting warnings of some benevolent people as opposition to president
Mohammad Khatami.

"The attitude is not correct because the president is himself defender of the
system and the revolution; moreover, I strongly support the president based
on principles and foundations.," said the leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei described the Berlin conference as an 'ugly' move and a
conspiracy to bring the system and revolution under question. The foundations
organizing such conferences are usually supported by enemies' security,
political and intelligence organs.

The leader stated, the Berlin conference was held after several months of
planning and careful selection of the guests purporting that the people are
representatives of various strata of Iranian nation.

"The organizers of the conference had, through such planning and by inviting
all the groups abroad opposed to the system had, in fact, tried to turn the
conference into a session to put the revolution and Islamic system on trial.
They also wanted to publicize on behalf of the counter-revolutionaries that
fundamental reforms are possible only through elimination of Islam and
velayat-e faqih from the constitution or by changing the constitutional law.
But God thwarted the conspiracy and the disgrace of the Berlin conference
remained on German statesmen."

"I have nothing to do with German government but it is for the umpteenth time
that German policy makers reveal their lack of talent and their foolishness
and are once again deceived," the leader observed.

Elsewhere the leader addressed himself to political personalities present at
the meeting and said, "I have nothing to do with your or your rivals'
political line or tendency or your differences but stress that you should
compete with each other and hold debates while sticking to the principles and
fundamentals."

The leader referred to people's expectation for removal of their economic
problems and said hot debates and political clamors are obstacles in the way
of economic reforms.

"Such topics as the priority of political or economic development have for
long taken up the time of various media but executors and statesmen should be
after improving people's economic status irrespective of such issues because
if people are satisfied with economic and living conditions, nothing will
encourage them to raise conflicts. However if people have many economic
problems, even if there is freedom, they will turn back to the government."

The leader said that all were hopeful that economic rehabilitation plan
proposed by the president would serve as a step towards removal of public
problems but unfortunately, certain officials had shortfalls in implementing
the plan. "is this a help to government and president?" questioned the
leader.

The leader told the political personalities present, "your main position is
the context of the revolution and protection of its principles; you have
grown up with the revolution and today too when the enemies have targeted the
principles of the revolution you should stand firmly in your true position
and by assuming the initiative join other friends with whom you are in
agreement in terms of the principles of revolution and the system."

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 16:28:40 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: fwd: Support for dialogue

Dear friends,
The below petition will be sent to all newspapers, government institutions
and media in Iran. It pledges support for dialogue and freedom of press in
Iran.
Please sign the petition and show your dedication to dialogue and stand up
for the Iranian journalists that have been arrested in the past week.

Please note that this petition has been developed through cooperation
between several Iranian groups, organizations and individuals. It will be
sent to Iran in no organization's name.

Please also note that sufficient time has not existed to improve the
language and flow of the petition.
At IIC, we felt that this was a price worth paying in order to be able to
send it to Iran as soon as possible.

You can sign the petition by visiting the following webpage: www.iic.org
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter in support of dialogue and a free press in Iran

We, the undersigned, deplore the censorship and the distortion of
facts regarding the conference "Iran after the elections" in Berlin.

The conference was on the one hand derailed by monopolistic,
anti-democratic exiled forces, and on the other hand the conflicts
caused at the conference became an excuse for violent, anti-democratic
forces in Iran to attack the reformprocess.

We demand that:

1. That all journalists attending the conference are released from
jail and that threats against participants of the conference cease.

2. That the peaceful democratic dialogue is pursued in order to
materialize the slogan "Iran for all Iranians". This was the intention
of the Berlin conference, and more than 1,500 peaceful participants and
thousands of Iranians who followed the dialogue through media,
supported this idea.

At the dawn of the third millennium, it is absolutely imperative that
Iranians from all social, political and religious backgrounds be able
to, though peaceful dialogue, pave the way for a non-violent political
future for Iran. Through the Berlin conference, many bridges were
built, many friendships were created, and most importantly, many more
were convinced that without dialogue and non-violence, Iran has no
future.
***********************
Please visit http://www.iic.org/ and sign the petition.

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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 17:02:31 EDT
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Fwd: "If our eminence nods, we will behead you all!"

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Return-path: <AboutIran@aol.com>
From: AboutIran@aol.com
Full-name: About Iran
Message-ID: <84.46d4912.26387d17@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 13:10:47 EDT
Subject: "If our eminence nods, we will behead you all!"
CC: AboutIran@aol.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Mailer: AOL 3.0 16-bit for Windows sub 38

"If our eminence nods, we will behead you all!"

About Iran… has translated the following text of a threat against Mr. Ganji’s
life, on March 26, 2000, left on the voice mail of the now banned reformist
newspaper Fath. This threat is reported verbatim in an article written by
Mr. Ganji on March 28 for Fath. About Iran… has taken this text from the
reprint of the article published in the March issue of the Paris-based
monthly journal, Rouzegar-e-Now. Please note that obscene insults are
deleted and marked by (…) by Mr. Ganji himself. Please distribute this text
as widely as possible.

For more Information or to subscribe to Farsi publications of About Iran…,
please contact:
About Iran…
PO Box 768
Morton Grove, IL 60053, USA
Telephone: (847) 729-5925
Fax: (847) 729-5926
E-Mail: AboutIran@Aol.Com

"Hello, first of all, you should know that this [Fath] is not our newspaper.
It’s an abject and bastard May 23rd [referring to the election day of Mr.
Khatami as the Islamic President] type paper that has a bunch of bastards and
misbegottens working for it. This is a (…)."

"Second, this [belittled] child, Akbar Ganji (…), in his article, has
attributed the assassination attempt on the damned Hajjarian [who is
presently hospitalized] to the military wing kids. Anyone who reads this
article will understand that by military wing he means Hezobollahis [zealot
members of the Party of God]. Tell this mother (…) that Hezbollahis do not
commit such acts. They wouldn’t cut short the Velayat [Mr. Ali Khamenei, the
supreme leader] and wouldn’t commit terrorism, unless you [the reformists]
ask for it, and then, upon the nod of Agha [the supreme leader], we will
separate your heads from your bodies. But, we wouldn’t undermine the Velayat
[‘s authority]; we follow his lead; we carry out whatever he wishes. You are
kind [a sarcastic remark]. We don’t commit terrorism and we don’t drag the
country into turmoil, because, creating turmoil is your job, you who are
abject and dirty, who deceive the youth to engage in riots. Those who
disobey the leader [and commit terrorism] are not one of us, Hezbollahis.
Also, tell this Akbar Ganji (…) that whenever the Velayat nods, we will
behead him and his big shot [meaning Mr. Mohammad Khatami], who you know,
and, when we do it, we will stand for it and will not flee because we do it
for our beliefs. We stand for our beliefs, like when we fought [against
Iraq] at the fronts by volunteering to go over the mine fields because of our
own beliefs. Now [too], if our eminence nods, we will behead you all and we
will stand for it and will not be afraid of anything. At worst, there is
martyrdom for us, and for you, humiliation, abomination and hell. Take this
[for now]."




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

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 20:49:53 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran leader backs Khatami, urges end to press row

Iran leader backs Khatami, urges end to press row


TEHRAN, April 26 (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader urged liberal and
conservative factions on Wednesday to end a public row over the banning of
pro-reform newspapers and simultaneously voiced support for moderate
President Mohammad Khatami.

``The president is among the backers of the system and the revolution and I
support him resolutely,'' state televison quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as
telling a meeting of top leaders of the reformist camp.

``All factions loyal to the revolution and the Islamic system should help the
government carry out its work and resolve the problems of the nation, while
remaining faithful to their principles,'' Khamenei said.

The television said Khamenei criticised ``some tendencies and persons'' who
had interpreted his warnings about the reformist press as a sign that he
opposed the president.

Khamenei, who has the last word on all matters of state, was speaking days
after his strong criticism of pro-reform newspapers led to a decision by the
judiciary to close nine reformist newspapers and four weeklies.

Reformists denounced the closures and remaining pro-reform newspapers
suggested that hardliners were planning to crush the movement for change and
even topple Khatami's government. Reformist students held protests across
Iran.

``Your line and political tendency and those of your rivals and your
differences have nothing to do with me, but I insist you should respect
principles while competing and debating,'' Khamenei said in the rare meeting
with the reformist leaders.

Mehdi Karrubi, a top clerical ally of Khatami, and Mohammad Reza Khatami, a
brother of the president who heads the main pro-Khatami faction, were among
those attending the meeting.

Khamenei is widely seen to be close to conservatives who oppose Khatami's
programme of liberal social and political reforms within Iran's Islamic
system. But the supreme leader often tries to remain above factional feuds.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Apr 2000 to 26 Apr 2000
***************************************************