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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Apr 2000 to 1 May 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Apr 2000 to 1 May 2000
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There are 10 messages totalling 665 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran Hard-Liners Keep Up Pressure
2. Parents Kill Iranian Girl for Grades
3. Iran courts hear cases against reformists
4. Court Won't Change Terrorism List
5. Iran's foreign minister visits Qatar
6. Six said hurt in mortar attack on Tehran
7. Reform in retreat
8. IPS: LAWYER MEHRANGUIZ KAAR AND PUBLISHER SHAHLA LAHIJI JAILED
9. AFP: Iran spy suspect admits to training in Israel under Mossad: court
10. AP: Court leaves Iranian group classified as terrorist organization

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 17:44:16 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran Hard-Liners Keep Up Pressure

Iran Hard-Liners Keep Up Pressure

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
.c The Associated Press


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An outspoken journalist was questioned today by a
hard-line court in Iran in a crackdown by Islamic radicals who have closed
down 16 pro-democracy publications and arrested six reformist activists.

Emadeddin Baqi was questioned today and told to return the next day to the
hard-line Press Court in Tehran, which has issued arrest warrants for six
other journalists in less than two weeks and ordered four of them jailed.

Baqi was called in connection with an article he wrote last year in the daily
Neshat that questioned aspects of Islamic law. He also has accused senior
hard-line officials like former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahiyan and
former President Hashemi Rafsanjani of involvement in the 1998 murders of
five dissidents.

Intelligence Ministry agents, who are believed to have been sympathetic to
the hard-liners, were found to be involved in the murders by the ministry's
own admission.

Fallahiyan was in the court today as one of the plaintiffs in Baqi's case.

Hard-line Judge Saeed Mortazavi ordered Mohammad Ghoochani, a colleague of
Baqi, detained for contempt after he objected to the trial being held behind
closed doors.

``This court does not have the authority to try a journalist because the
press laws of the country specifically stated that press violations must be
tried in the presence of a jury,'' Baqi said after leaving court today.

Less than two weeks ago, Akbar Ganji, Iran's top investigative reporter who
also had accused hard-liners in the dissidents' murders, was arrested and
sent to Evin prison. His lawyer had said a judge cited Ganji's articles and
his attendance at a conference on Iran recently held in Berlin.

On Saturday and Sunday, the court issued five arrest warrants for journalists
and activists who had attended the Berlin conference at which slogans against
Iran's Islamic government were chanted. Two were allowed to go free on jail
while the other three - including Ali Afshari, head of the Office for
Fostering Unity, Iran's largest student group - were refused bail and
detained.

All five were charged with ``engaging in direct and scandalous propaganda
against the political system in Iran and its Islamic element,'' the
defendants said.

The hard-liners are fighting back against an increasingly strong
pro-democracy movement led by President Mohammad Khatami. The hard-liners
control the judiciary, military and the broadcast network.

Newspapers reported Sunday that the departing parliament, which is controlled
by hard-liners, is preparing impeachment proceedings against Culture Minister
Ataollah Mohajerani and Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari, both
leading supporters of reform. It was unclear when the proceedings would
begin. A new parliament expected to be dominated by reformists was to convene
May 27.

The hard-liners' actions are seen as an assault of some of the main bases of
support for Khatami, who has worked to loosen the strict Islamic limitations
on political and social life. Khatami allies wrested control of the
parliament from hard-liners with an overwhelming victory in February
elections.

On Saturday, in his strongest reaction yet to the hard-liners, Khatami
insisted that his reforms were unstoppable. Khatami also rejected charges
that the reformists were anti-Islamic and foreign-inspired.

Reformers fear that the conservative clergy is trying to instigate violence
as a pretext for bringing troops into the streets and declaring a state of
emergency to delay the opening of the new parliament.

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 17:45:59 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Parents Kill Iranian Girl for Grades

Parents Kill Iranian Girl for Grades

.c The Associated Press


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A couple in northern Iran forced their 8-year old girl to
drink poisonous weed killer, killing her for getting bad grades,the official
Islamic Republic News Agency reported Monday.

Abbas Rajabalizadeh and his wife Seyedeh Tahereh Mousavi were arrested
Saturday in the northeastern province of Gilan, where they lived, said the
agency, quoting a police officer.

They confessed to forcing their daughter Maedeh to drink the glass of poison
two months ago because she was getting bad grades and they wanted to save her
from becoming a burden on society, said the agency. They said they killed her
when she came home from school.

The parents then wrapped the body in a blanket and buried it in the yard of
an abandoned house in their neighborhood in the city of Lengaroud, the agency
said.

It quoted police officer Khodadad Qanbarzadeh as saying that the parents were
drug addicts and that the investigation was still ongoing. It gave no further
details.

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 17:46:38 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran courts hear cases against reformists

Iran courts hear cases against reformists


TEHRAN, May 1 (Reuters) - Three prominent Iranian reformers, including two
journalists, went on trial on Monday before hardline courts on charges of
acting against state security and violating religious values.

Emadeddin Baqi was the latest in a string of journalists to appear before the
special press court. He has angered the conservative establishment with
allegations that officials of the security services were behind serial
murders of dissidents.

Journalist Alireza Alavitabar and Jamileh Kadivar, an MP-elect who is married
to Iran's liberal culture minister, faced a revolutionary court on charges
stemming from a controversial Berlin conference earlier this month.

The court released Alavitabar on a bail of about $12,000 and ordered Kadivar
to reappear on Wednesday, the official news agency IRNA said.

The court had earlier brought security charges against six other prominent
reformers for criticising the conservative establishment and some of Iran's
Islamic laws at the conference in Germany. Four of them remain in jail.

Baqi faces charges brought by 11 plaintiffs, including the intelligence
ministry, the Revolutionary Guards and the conservative-run state
broadcasting organisation.

The judiciary last week banned 16 pro-reform newspapers and journals in the
single biggest crackdown on nascent press freedoms fostered by President
Mohammad Khatami.

Reformers say the bans were part of a larger offensive against their
movement, which defeated the conservatives in the first round of
parliamentary polls in February.

They say some hardline extremists in the security forces are even
contemplating a putsch against the elected government, should the press ban
and prosecution of leading reformers fail to halt the movement for social and
political change.

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 17:47:06 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Court Won't Change Terrorism List

Court Won't Change Terrorism List

By LAURIE ASSEO
.c The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court today refused to disturb the State
Department's designation of an Iranian dissident group as a terrorist
organization.

The justices, without comment, turned away arguments that the People's
Mojahedin Organization of Iran has enough U.S. ties to qualify for
constitutional protection of its due-process rights.

Formed during the 1960s, the dissident group seeks the overthrow of the
current Iranian government. It says it has a volunteer army ``to defend
Iranian citizens against domestic political suppression and acts of terrorism
by the government.''

The Justice Department says the group participated in the 1979 takeover of
the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and was responsible for killing several U.S.
citizens before the takeover.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Justice Department lawyers said, the group
has coordinated attacks on Iranian embassies and consulates around the world,
and its members killed a Turkish diplomat in Iraq in 1993.

The 1996 federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act authorizes the
secretary of state to designate as terrorist organizations any foreign group
engaging in terrorist activity that threatens U.S. national security or the
security of U.S. citizens.

The law requires U.S. banks to freeze the assets of such organizations, and
it is a crime for Americans to provide aid to them.

In 1997, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright designated the People's
Mojahedin group as a foreign terrorist organization. The group went to
federal court, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia upheld the designation, saying the group could not assert
constitutional rights because it lacked ``property or presence'' in this
country.

In the appeal acted on today, the dissident group's lawyers said the appeals
court had been too deferential to the State Department's decision. The group
has a press office any many other activities in this country, its lawyers
said.

Justice Department lawyers said courts are supposed to be ``highly
deferential'' to government decisions on foreign affairs.

The case is People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran vs. Department of State,
99-1070.

On the Net: For the appeals court ruling: http://www.uscourts.gov./links.html
and click on District of Columbia Circuit.

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 17:47:33 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran's foreign minister visits Qatar

Iran's foreign minister visits Qatar


DOHA, May 1 (Reuters) - Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday
delivered an invitation to Qatar's emir from President Mohammad Khatami to
visit Iran.

The official Qatari News Agency (QNA) said Kharrazi, in Doha for a one day
visit, met Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Foreign Minister Sheikh
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani.

Kharrazi told a joint news conference in Doha with his Qatari counterpart
that he had delivered an invitation to the emir from the Iranian president to
visit Iran and said Tehran was looking forward to enhanced relations with
Qatar.

``Relations between our two countries are very good and it is time to enhance
and strengthen them more, especially in economic fields that would benefit
the whole region,'' QNA quoted Kharrazi as saying before departing Doha.

Iranian embassy officials earlier said Kharrazi's visit was part of regular
contacts between Qatar and Iran, and was intended to discuss preparations for
the Qatari emir's visit to Iran expected in May.

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 17:48:11 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Six said hurt in mortar attack on Tehran

Six said hurt in mortar attack on Tehran


TEHRAN, May 1 (Reuters) - Five mortar bombs slammed into northwest Tehran on
Monday near the city's main police headquarters and state television said six
people were injured, one critically.

A Reuters correspondent at the scene said police prevented onlookers from
gathering near the site. But he said activity in and around the nearby
military hospital was hectic after the blasts around 8:15 p.m. (1545 GMT).

The Iraq-based Mujahideen Khalq armed opposition group claimed responsibility
for the attack, saying it had targeted headquarters for state security forces
and police.

``Several military units of the Mujahideen pounded with mortars the
headquarters of state security forces, the police forces, and the command
headquarters of General Hedayat Lotfian, the chief commander of the state
security forces,'' a Mujahideen spokesman told Reuters in Dubai by telephone.

Iranian state television earlier said three mortar bombs hit a building
housing cultural and sports facilities in northern Tehran, near Vanak square.

Witnesses said the blasts appeared centred on Tehran's main police
headquarters, adjacent to a sports and cultural complex run by Iran's
minority Armenian community.

A mortar attack in March, which landed near a Revolutionary Guards base near
the complex and the police headquarters, killed one person and injured
several other people.

That attack was also claimed by the Mujahideen Khalq.

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

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 23:39:20 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Reform in retreat

http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2000/April/Retreat/index.html

Reform in retreat
The movement for change has suffered a set back. But...

By Rasool Nafisi
April 27, 2000
The Iranian

The reform movement in Iran has had ebb and flows, but this time it seems to
have hit a major obstacle. Mohammnad Khatami is still the president and the
sixth Majlis will open soon, but the main vehicle of reform, i.e. the
independent reformist newspapers, have nearly all been banned and many well
known journalists have been imprisoned. The main architect of the reform
movement is still struggling for his life with a bullet lodged near his
spine, and the Vali-e Faqih has unabashedly lashed out against the press.
What can the reform movement expect in the future?

The number one issue that has come to surface is the movement's fragility.
Pro-reform newspapers were beneficial as a means of propaganda and mass
mobilization. But the reform movement has had little institutional support
within the system. The reformists do not control military and security
organizations which are the traditional sources of political power in Iran.
The president has no control over the state radio and TV, or the infamous
foundations that control a major portion of the national wealth. In fact,
these organizations and all others controlled by the office of the Leader are
not accountable to the Majlis.

The reformits' achievements in the last three years are mostly due to general
disillusionment with the revolution and political violence, popular demands
for change, as well as Khatami's personal integrity and effective tactics.
However, a lack of institutional support will bring the reform movement to a
halt at the governmental level. Can the movement now deepen its roots and
bring about substantial changes?

So far, reformists have tallied three major victories: capturing the
presidency, and winning a majority in the municipal as well as the
parliamentary elections. The reformists have pledged that their top priority
in the new Majlis will be to liberalize press laws, eliminate the Special
Court of Clergy, and end the approbatory powers of the Council of Guardians
to vet Majlis candidates. To achieve these goals, the reformists need to make
sure that the new Majlis convenes on schedule. Thus they are continuously
warning the public against violent anti-conservative demonstrations that may
interrupt the opening of the new Majlis.

On the other hand, the so-called "right wing," fearing for its future, has
clamped down on the free press to silence the populace, while revoking a
sizable number of election results. So far elections in 11 constituencies --
all won by reformists -- have been voided. However, it seems that even a
weakened Majlis will be acceptable to the reformists.

Based on current events, leaders and supporters of the reform movement should
take the following into consideration:

1. The road to reform is a long and arduous one. The Islamic Republic has
taken away many elementary rights, and to regain them through legal,
peaceful, means may take decades.

2. Although the alternative, meaning violent political action, may seem
attractive, the historical experience of Iranians and their neighbors bear
witness to the futility of revolutions and civil wars. Any reform, no matter
how slow and insignificant, may prove to be preferable to a full-fledged
revolution.

3. The reform movement should have no illusions about the scope and expanse
of reforms. Many constitutional institutions, such as the Council of
Guardians, the Expediency Council, the office of the Leader, and last but not
least the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, are well entrenched. They are
determined to perpetuate clerical rule in Iran. Only an enduring reform
movement may be able to erode aspects of the semi-totalitarian regime and
increase the scope of democracy.

4. The reform movement doesn't have many tools at its disposal. The print
media has been its main instrument of political action thus far. One may
suggest that at this juncture civil disobedience without adhering to violence
can be called forth. The bazaar merchants did not respond to a call by the
conservatives to close shop. In fact, in time, the bazaaris may respond in
favor of the reformists.

5. The city councils led by the reformists can function as the main channel
of approaching citizenry. Reformists need to look at this particular civic
organ to hold public meetings and inseminate ideas. City councils may publish
newsletters to make up, to some extent, for the closure of the reformist
daily papers.

6. The reformists should use the Internet, to convey their messages. Although
Internet users in Iran are small in number, they can become the opinion
makers of the country. Making accurate information and bias-free analysis
available through this channel will help the movement grow. Also, Iranians
rely heavily on international radio stations for information. Reformists must
not shy away from the foreign news organizations but should in fact use them
to spread their views, just as the Shah's opposition did in 1978.

7. On the psychological front, the movement needs to create an air of hope
and optimism. Iranians have suffered long from a national malaise under
dictatorships and tend to get easily frustrated by political upheavals.
People need to be reminded of the long road to democracy, but also the
possibility of attaining it through concerted political action.

It is of vital importance to make clear to Iranians that only they can shape
their destiny. Great Britain or the U.S. have little to do with what is
happening in Iran. Those within the regime with entrenched interests, will
try their best to make the people frustrated, frightened, and indifferent.
The reformists should prevent it by keeping their cool and slowly but surely
march forward.

Author

Rasool Nafisi, Ph.D., is the Discipline Advisor of General Studies at Strayer
University in Northern Virginia. He is currently working on a book on
resecularization of the state in Iran.

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

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 00:08:29 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: IPS: LAWYER MEHRANGUIZ KAAR AND PUBLISHER SHAHLA LAHIJI JAILED

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles/kaar_lahiji_detained_30400.htm

LAWYER MEHRANGUIZ KAAR AND PUBLISHER SHAHLA LAHIJI JAILED

By Safa Haeri

PARIS 30TH Apr. (IPS) Prominent Iranian secularist lawyer, Mrs.
Mehranguis Kaar and independent Publisher Shahla Lahiji were detained
Saturday by the Islamic Revolution Court, her husband, Mr. Siamak
Pourzand, confirmed.

Speaking to the Iran Press Service that contacted him from Paris by
telephone, Mr. Siamak Pourzand said his wife went to the Court at eight
in the morning alongside Mrs. Lajiji after being summoned by the
Revolutionary tribunal, but then they went sent to prison at the end of
an interrogation behind closed doors that last until four in afternoon.

"They were at the court until four, then I received a short call from
Mehranguiz informing me that she was sentenced to prison", Mr. Pourzand
said in a choked and tired voice.

Both women were among the 17-member delegation of pro-reform Iranian
journalists, scholars, intellectuals, political analysts and a cleric
who attended a conference organised early this month in Berlin by the
Henirich-Boll Cultural Institute to debate the aftermath of last
February parliamentary elections in Iran.

The conference was largely disrupted by leftist demonstrators who
prevented the guests to speak with continued and loud shouts of "death
to Islamic Republic" and insults against the participants. Demonstrators
also created attraction with an Iranian actress who took off her clothes
except her slip, bra and a black scarf, a man who climbed over the
chairs completely nude and another women performing a sexy Iranian
dance.

All the seventeen participants were summoned by the Islamic Revolution
Court after the Television that is directly controlled by the leader of
the regime, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, in a deliberate and pre-planned
move, screened scenes of the exhibition and dancing, anti-regime slogans
as well as passage of some of the speakers critical to the present
theocratic system.

All senior radical clerical personalities, led by the leader himself,
denounced the Berlin meeting as a "US-led plot" against the Islamic
Republic and Islam and accused the participants of "collaboration with
counter-revolutionaries, activity and propaganda against the security of
the Islamic State.

In her remarks to the Berlin Conference, Mrs. Kaar expressed pessimism
concerning the situation of Iranian women under present theocratic
regime and regretted that though women voted massively for Mr. Khatami,
yet he failed to present the Majles "one single law" in their favour.

As for Mrs. Lahiji, she noted that censorship continues "unabated". "No
matter than one cut one centimetre and another two metres, censorship is
censorship", she observed.

Mr. Akbar Ganji, the leading investigative journalist and scholar and
Islamic reformer and philosopher Hojatoleslam Hasan Yusefi-Eshkevari
where the ones the conservatives singled out most loudly, some of them
going as far as calling to defrocking the dissident cleric.

Editor Hamid Reza Jala'ipour, whose newspaper was one of the 16 dailies
and publications that the Islamic Judiciary closed on orders from Mr.
Khameneh'i, student leader Ali Afshari, Ezzatollah Sahhabi, Editor of
Iran Farda, also closed, and Mrs. Jamileh Kadivar, an MP-elect from
Tehran and the wife of the embattled Islamic Guidance Minister arrived
at the court for closed-door interrogation.

Sources from Tehran said Mr. Sahhabi and Mr. Jala'ipour were latter
released on bail but Mr. Afshari, a students leader with the Office of
Consolidating Unity was jailed and there was no news about Mrs. Kadivar.

Though reformists, including the President, have called for the full
screening of the Berlin, but informed sources said the Iranian TV has
filmed only the most provocative scenes of the event.

Despite the anger the recent anti-reformists measures has created among
the public, particularly the students, but calls by the President,
editors and students leaders to preserve calm and order has been largely
heard.

Analysts strongly believe that the aim of the conservatives,
particularly the leader and his mentor, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani by shutting down the reformist press and jailing outspoken
journalists is to prevent the next Majles that is dominated by
pro-presidential candidates from taking office by creating disturbances
in order to proclaim a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, the Judiciary announced Sunday that it had reduced from
execution to 15 years imprisonment the sentences of four students
arrested during last July's student's unrest.

The communiqué named Mehrdad Sohrabi, Ahmad Batebi (the students who's
picture holding a bloody T-shirt of a wounded friend made front page of
international press) Abbas Deldar and Akbar Mohammad, the brother of
Manouchehr Mohammadi, the imprisoned leader of the Association of
Nationalist Iranian Students. ENDS KAAR DETAINED 30400

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

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 00:10:16 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AFP: Iran spy suspect admits to training in Israel under Mossad: court

Iran spy suspect admits to training in Israel under Mossad: court

SHIRAZ, Iran, May 1 (AFP) - The closed-door trial of 13 Iranian Jews
accused of spying for Israel took a grim turn on its second day Monday
when a court spokesman said chief suspect Hamid Tefilin had confessed to
training under the Mossad intelligence agency. But Tefilin's lawyer
Ismail Nasseri told AFP that his client had not been involved in spying,
although he confirmed that he had twice visited Israel. Court spokesman
Hossein Ali Amiri told reporters that Tefilin had admitted giving the
Jewish state classified and confidential documents, about which Amiri
declined to give further details. Tefilin also admitted that he had been
supplied information by eight Iranian Muslims who have also been
arrested in the affair but are to be tried separately, Amiri said. But
he said Tefilin denied recruiting members for two alleged spy networks
he was supposedly connected with, one said to be based in Tehran and the
other in the southern city of Shiraz, where the trial is being held.
Ismail told AFP, "Under Iranian law, travelling to Israel, receiving
training there and even exchanging information with foreigners are not
regarded as espionage." He said it was not clear what confidential
information Tefilin was accused of revealing, and whether what he had
told the Israelis was not information available to anyone. Tefilin told
the court that he received 500 dollars a month during his stay, but
Nasseri said the nature of his contacts in Israel was not clear, and the
"mere fact of having links with abroad, even Israel, and even having
contacts with a foreign espionage ring are not considered spying under
Iranian law." The trial was adjourned until Wednesday after the
questioning of three defendants, including Tefilin, Nasseri said. He
said Judge Sadeq Nurani accepted a defence plea that the next defendant
due to be questioned, Ramin Neematizadeh, was not ready to be heard.
Tefilin appeared with nine other accused at the Shiraz court Monday on
the second day of the trial. Three more defendants, free on bail, were
not required to be in court but waited outside. The trial of the Jews
opened April 13, but was almost immediately adjourned at the request of
defence lawyers who said they had been given no time to examine the
evidence. Amiri said before the hearing opened that the judge would
question each defendant and possibly listen to pleadings from their
lawyers. The spokesman also told reporters the trial was unlikely to
exceed six hearings and that the sessions may be held at a rate of two
per week in order to speed up the process. "We're in favor of a fair and
impartial trial, and that's why we don't want it to last a long time,"
he said. The 13 Jews were arrested more than a year ago at Shiraz,
Isfahan and Tehran on charges of spying for Israel, which is not
recognized by Iran. The affair has raised concern among the 35,000 Jews
in Iran and internationally. On Monday, representatives from the
embassies of Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, as well as the
US-based Human Rights Watch were on hand to follow the case. Elaheh
Sharifipur-Hicks of Human Rights Watch was allowed to enter the
courtroom briefly. The defendants' families waiting in front of the
court repeated that their relatives were innocent. Maurice Motaned, a
representative of Iran's Jewish community who was elected to parliament
in February, told AFP, "There's no reason not to believe the promises of
leniency that have been made by the judicial authorities, and we hope
that the trial will have a happy ending." The head of the Jewish
Association of Iran, Harun Yashayaie, meanwhile hit out at the
"interference" of foreigners in the case, the official news agency IRNA
reported. He told IRNA that the trial "needs no follow-up or
international sympathy," saying that the accused had not been arrested
because of their religion. "The foreign mass media have magnified the
trial in order to use the case for political purposes," IRNA quoted
Yashayaie as saying.

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

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 00:09:22 -0400
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@PANJERE.NET>
Subject: AP: Court leaves Iranian group classified as terrorist organization

Court leaves Iranian group classified as terrorist organization

By LAURIE ASSEO, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (May 1, 2000 11:31 a.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - The
Supreme Court on Monday refused to change the State Department's
designation of an Iranian dissident group as a terrorist organization.

The justices, without comment, turned away arguments that the People's
Mojahedin Organization of Iran has enough U.S. ties to qualify for
constitutional protection of its due-process rights.

Formed during the 1960s, the dissident group seeks the overthrow of the
current Iranian government. It says it has a volunteer army "to defend
Iranian citizens against domestic political suppression and acts of
terrorism by the government."

The Justice Department says the group participated in the 1979 takeover
of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and was responsible for killing several
U.S. citizens before the takeover.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Justice Department lawyers said, the
group has coordinated attacks on Iranian embassies and consulates around
the world, and its members killed a Turkish diplomat in Iraq in 1993.

The 1996 federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
authorizes the secretary of state to designate as terrorist
organizations any foreign group engaging in terrorist activity that
threatens U.S. national security or the security of U.S. citizens.

The law requires U.S. banks to freeze the assets of such organizations,
and it is a crime for Americans to provide aid to them.

In 1997, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright designated the People's
Mojahedin group as a foreign terrorist organization. The group went to
federal court, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia upheld the designation, saying the group could not assert
constitutional rights because it lacked "property or presence" in this
country.

In the appeal acted on Monday, the dissident group's lawyers said the
appeals court had been too deferential to the State Department's
decision. The group has a press office any many other activities in this
country, its lawyers said.

Justice Department lawyers said courts are supposed to be "highly
deferential" to government decisions on foreign affairs.

The case is People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran vs. Department of
State, 99-1070.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 30 Apr 2000 to 1 May 2000
**************************************************