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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Nov 1998 to 26 Nov 1998
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There are 14 messages totalling 707 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iranian police announce arrests over slaying of opposition leader
2. Thousands attend funeral of murdered Iranian dissident (2)
3. Further news about murder of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar
4. Iran arrests suspects over dissident murders
5. Iran says will punish killers of opposition veteran
6. Khatami condemns attack on visiting Americans
7. Iraqi people should topple Saddam without external help: dissident
8. Russia May Build Reactors in Iran
9. Iranian vice president hopes Egypt visit will help improve ties
10. Khatami defends Iranian papers' "right to criticise"
11. Taliban release last Iranian prisoner
12. Iran, Saudi Arabia call for parliament
13. Israel Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation deal

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 13:29:08 +0100
From: Jamshid Naghizadeh <janakgf1@W200ZRZ.ZRZ.TU-BERLIN.DE>
Subject: Iranian police announce arrests over slaying of opposition leader

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<p align="left"><font color="#000080" size="4"><strong>Iran</strong></font></p>


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<td valign="top" width="40%" bgcolor="#CDC192"><!?><p align="justify"><!?><font size="3"
face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b> Iranian police announce arrests over slaying of opposition leader</b></font>
<br><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">18:42 GMT, 25 November 1998</font></td>
<td width="60%"><!?><font size="2"
face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><p align="justify"><strong>TEHRAN, Nov 25 (AFP) -</strong>Iranian police have made a number of arrests in connection with the killing here earlier this week of prominent opposition leader Dariush Foruhar, a spokesman announced here Wednesday.<p align="justify">A "number of suspects" are in police custody, Tehran police spokesman Colonel Ali Moghaddam told the official news agency IRNA without elaborating.<p align="justify">Moghaddam said a group of forensic experts were examining the bodies of Foruhar and his wife, Parvaneh, who were stabbed to death in their Tehran flat on Sunday.<p align="justify">Iranian President Mohammad Khatami ordered an official inquiry Tuesday into what he branded the "repulsive" slaying of the couple.<p align="justify"></td>
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------------------------------

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 12:37:45 GMT
From: Jamshid Naghizadeh <janakgf1@W200ZRZ.ZRZ.TU-BERLIN.DE>
Subject: Thousands attend funeral of murdered Iranian dissident

TEHRAN, Nov 26 (AFP) -Chanting "Down with despotism," thousands
of democracy sympathisers attended the funeral here Thursday of
murdered nationalist dissident Dariush Foruhar and his wife, Parvaneh.

The 6,000-7,000 mourners included members of secular and Islamic
opposition groups which are banned but grudgingly tolerated by the
Islamic regime, as well as Foruhar's son and daughter who returned to
Iran from Germany on Tuesday.

Mourners shouted "Down with despotism" and chanted slogans in
favour of Mohammad Mossadeq, Iran's late nationalist premier who was
toppled by an army coup in 1953 and has become a symbol of the
liberal-nationalist movement.

Foruhar, known in Iran for his strongly-held secular and nationalist
views, had been a close associate of Mossadeq and a long-time
opponent of the Shah.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 12:52:16 GMT
From: Jamshid Naghizadeh <janakgf1@W200ZRZ.ZRZ.TU-BERLIN.DE>
Subject: Further news about murder of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar

There is report and some speculation on the murder of Parvaneh and Dariush
Forouhar by a splinter group of former Tudeh Pary. This group
whose views are close to Jebhe Melli publishes a monthly newspaper
"RAHE-E TUDEH".

Details may be found in the internet at

http://www.rahetudeh.de

Please read "fogh4" and "fogh5".

Discalimer: I am not associated with tudeh party or rahe-tudeh.

--jamshid

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 14:32:37 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran arrests suspects over dissident murders

FOCUS-Iran arrests suspects over dissident murders 03:18 p.m Nov 25,
1998 Eastern

TEHRAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Iran's police said on Wednesday it had
arrested a number of suspects in the killing of a veteran opposition
leader and his wife, as supporters of the dissidents called for a mass
funeral.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted police spokesman Colonel
Ali Moqaddam as saying ``a number of suspects have been arrested in
connection with the slaying'' of Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh.

The police would announce the exact time of death after forensic
investigations, INRA said. The couple was found stabbed to death at
their home in Tehran on Sunday.

Newspapers said Forouhar's backers issued leaflets calling for a mass
funeral on Thursday in Tehran for the two dissidents, who were outspoken
critics of the Islamic government.

IRNA earlier quoted Intelligence Minister Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi as
saying on Tuesday: ``The sovereign Islamic Republic of Iran cannot and
will not tolerate such acts of criminality. Any criminal involved in
this horrendous and heinous crime will ultimately be brought to justice.

``It cannot be ruled out that the enemies of Iran and
counter-revolutionists, the Munafeqin (Mujahideen Khalq), may be
involved in this horrific crime to tarnish the image of the Islamic
Republic of Iran and drive a gap to create internal differences,'' the
minister added. He did not elaborate.

The Iraq-based Mujahideen Khalq, Iran's main exiled opposition group,
has denied involvement in the killings for which it blamed the Iranian
authorities.

President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday condemned the killings as
``heinous'' and ordered urgent investigations.

Forouhar served as labour minister in Iran's first government after the
1979 Islamic revolution. His small nationalist Iran Nation Party is
illegal but tolerated.

The group publishes a newsletter which often carries exclusive reports
of alleged rights violations.

Newspapers and officials have speculated about the death of the couple,
who often attacked the government in interviews with Persian-language
programmes beamed to Iran by Western radio stations.

Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guards chief who is now secretary
of a leading state body, blamed ``pressure groups linked to the
Zionists'' for the murders.

Iran often accuses arch-foe Israel of trying to destabilise the Islamic
republic.

Others suggested the killing could be linked to a diplomatic row over
Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

A newspaper on Tuesday quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying
Forouhar was organising a rally in support of Ocalan. Turkey has been
pressing for Ocalan's extradition from Turkey. Another daily quoted a
family friend as saying Forouhar expected to meet a number of fellow
Kurds to discuss Ocalan's case the day he and his wife were killed.

Iranian police said on Monday an elite task force had been set up to
investigate the murders of Forouhar and his wife.

((Tehran newsroom +9821 229 4856))

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 14:33:28 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran says will punish killers of opposition veteran

Iran says will punish killers of opposition veteran 02:52 a.m. Nov 25,
1998 Eastern

TEHRAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Iran has said it will find and punish the
killers of a veteran opposition leader and his wife, the official
Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

IRNA quoted Intelligence Minister Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi as saying
on Tuesday that security forces and the judiciary were investigating the
weekend stabbings of Dariush Forouhar, leader of the small opposition
Iran Nation Party, and his wife Parvaneh.

``The sovereign Islamic Republic of Iran cannot and will not tolerate
such acts of criminality. Any criminal involved in this horrendous and
heinous crime will ultimately be brought to justice,'' Najafabadi said.

``It cannot be ruled out that the enemies of Iran and
counter-revolutionists, the munafeqin, may be involved in this horrific
crime to tarnish the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran and wedge a
gap to create internal differences,'' the minister added. He did not
elaborate.

President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday ordered urgent investigations into
the killings.

Forouhar served as labour minister in Iran's first government after the
1979 Islamic revolution. His party is illegal but tolerated, and
publishes a newsletter which often carries exclusive reports of alleged
rights violations.

Newspapers and officials have speculated widely over the death of the
couple, who were outspoken government critics.

Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guards chief who is now secretary
of a leading state body, blamed ``pressure groups linked to the
Zionists'' for the murders.

Iran often accuses arch-foe Israel of trying to destabilise the Islamic
republic.

Others suggested the death of the two dissidents, found stabbed to death
at their home in Tehran, could be linked to the diplomatic row over
Kurdish separatist guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The daily Tehran Times quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying
Forouhar was organising a rally in support of Ocalan. The Salam daily
quoted a family friend as saying Forouhar expected to meet a number of
fellow Kurds to discuss Ocalan's case the day he and his wife were
killed.

Italy arrested Ocalan on November 12 but it has rejected a Turkish
extradition bid on the grounds that Italian law does not allow suspects
to be extradited to countries that have the death penalty.

Turkish authorities hold Ocalan responsible for the deaths of more than
29,000 people in an armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern
Turkey and want him to be tried on charges of treason.

Iranian police said on Monday an elite task force had been set up to
investigate the murders of Forouhar and his wife.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:49:38 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Khatami condemns attack on visiting Americans

TEHRAN, Nov 26 (AFP) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on
Thursday condemned last week's attack by Islamic militants on a
group of visiting Americans in Tehran, describing it as
"unacceptable."
Speaking to intelligence ministry officials, the Iranian
president said Saturday's attack on a bus carrying the American
visitors was "unacceptable, intolerable and not worthy" of the
Islamic republic.
He reiterated that he would continue to follow his policy of
"detente" in Iran's foreign relations.
"Our policy is clear. It consists of easing relations with the
outside world and we will not allow law-breakers or wrongdoers to
harm the interests of the regime," Khatami said.
Khatami, whose remarks were quoted by state radio, said the
group of 13 Americans had entered the country with "valid visas."
Denouncing the visiting Americans as "spies," a group of Islamic
hardliners attacked their bus with iron bars and stones on Saturday,
breaking windows and slightly injuring several passengers with
flying glass.
The group of Americans left the country the following day.
Information Minister Ghorbanali Dorri Najafabadi said Tuesday
that those who carried out the "ugly" attack on the Americans would
be dealt with.
"Any foreigner who enters the Islamic Republic of Iran with a
valid visa must be respected and honored," Najafabadi said, adding
that "those involved in the incident will be dealt with
decisively."
"We shall decisively counter such an ugly and disdainful act and
follow it up legally," he said.
A group calling itself "Fedayeen of Islam" claimed
responsibility for the attack, which it said was a warning to
Iranian authorities and "CIA spies" visiting Iran in the guise of
tourists.
Washington on Monday rejected claims that the Americans were US
government officials or CIA agents and said it continued to support
people-to-people exchanges as advocated by Khatami, a moderate
cleric.
The visit by the Americans triggered criticism from conservative
Iranian newspapers and MPs, who claimed it had been organized by the
foreign ministry despite injunctions by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei against any official dialogue with the United States.
On Monday Khamenei described the United States, which broke off
ties with Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution, as the country's
"number one enemy."

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:49:48 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iraqi people should topple Saddam without external help: dissident

TEHRAN, Nov 26 (AFP) - The Iraqi people should work to topple
President Saddam Hussein but do it without the "inappropriate"
involvement of the United States, an Iraqi opposition leader said in
an interview published here Thursday.
"Changing the Iraqi government must be done from inside Iraq and
the Iraqi people must be helped to do it," said Mohammad Baqer
Hakim, head of the Iran-based Supreme Assembly of the Islamic
Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI).
That help could take the form of "international intervention to
prevent the government from deploying heavy weaponry against the
people of Iraq," he told the English-language paper Iran news.
"We do not consider cooperation with the United States to be
appropriate," he said, adding that Baghdad's neighbours should "join
hands to urge the United Nations to issue more resolutions against
the current Iraqi regime."

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:49:59 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Russia May Build Reactors in Iran

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia is studying the possibility of building
three more nuclear reactors at a controversial power plant in Iran.
The United States and Israel object to Russia's current efforts
to help with the construction of a nuclear reactor in Iran, and
almost certainly would oppose the additional reactors.
``We have a proposal to prepare a technical and economic plan to
build three more nuclear reactors in Iran,'' Yevgeny Adamov,
Russia's nuclear power minister, said Wednesday.
Adamov just returned from a trip to Tehran where he signed an
agreement with Mohammed Aghazadeh, head of Iran's Atomic Energy
Organization. The deal calls for Russia to complete its work on an
$800 million contract to help build the Bushehr nuclear power plant
and conduct a feasibility study for building the additional
reactors at the same plant.
The United States and Israel fear that building the
1,000-megawatt light-water reactor in Bushehr might help Iran get
access to technology needed to develop nuclear weapons.
Tehran denies any such plans and says the plant will be used
only to generate power.
Moscow insists the reactor could only be used for peaceful
purposes, and says it is going ahead with the project because it
needs the money.
Adamov said the spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr reactor will
be sent to Russia for reprocessing and then returned to Iran for
re-use at the plant.
He said the construction work in Bushehr, which has moved slowly
since 1995, has speeded up in recent months. About 1,000 people,
most of them Iranians, are working on the site, he said.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:50:05 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Thousands attend funeral of murdered Iranian dissident

TEHRAN, Nov 26 (AFP) - Mourners chanted slogans against
"despotism" as thousands of Iranians attended the funeral here
Thursday of murdered nationalist dissident Dariush Foruhar and his
wife, Parvaneh.
The 6,000-7,000 mourners included members of secular and Islamic
opposition groups which are banned but grudgingly tolerated by the
Islamic regime, as well as Foruhar's daughter who returned to Iran
from Germany on Tuesday.
Mourners chanted slogans against "despotism" and in favour of
Iran's late nationalist premier Mohammad Mossadeq, toppled by an
army coup in 1953, who is the symbol of Iran's liberal-nationalist
movement.
Foruhar, who was stabbed to death in his home along with his
wife over the weekend, was a close associate of Mossadeq, and a
long-time opponent of the Shah.
He briefly served as labour minister in the provisional
government that followed the 1979 Islamic revolution, resigning to
head his own nationalist Iranian Nation's Party and went on to
become one of the Islamic Republic's harshest critics.
The victims' coffins were carried from a mosque near their
central Tehran home to Baharestan Square where Iran's first
parliament met in 1906. The square is full of symbolism for Iran's
liberals and nationalists.
One of Foruhar's associates, former oil minister Ali Akbar
Moinfar, told the crowd they were mourning "for the whole nation"
and vowed that the struggle against oppression would go on.
The coffins were draped in the Iranian flag though without the
Islamic symbol of Allah which has characterised Iran's banner since
the Islamic revolution.
They were taken from the square to the vast public cemetery of
Behesht-e-Zahra south of Tehran for burial.
The outlawed but tolerated Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI),
condemned Wednesday this "abominable crime" and called on people to
"resist those who want to spread terror to hamper the country's
political progress."
President Mohammad Khatami called it a "repulsive crime" and
ordered the interior and intelligence ministries to work to identify
those responsible.
Police announced Wednesday they had arrested a number of
suspects in connection with the murder, without giving details.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:50:15 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian vice president hopes Egypt visit will help improve ties

CAIRO, Nov 25 (AFP) - Iranian Vice President Massumeh Ebtekar on
Wednesday voiced confidence that her brief visit to Egypt would help
improve relations between the two countries, which broke down 20
years ago.
"I came here to attend an international conference on the
environment ... but I also believe that this visit could contribute
to improving ties," Ebtekar told a press conference before leaving
Egypt.
She arrived overnight Monday, becoming the highest-ranking
Iranian official to visit Egypt since diplomatic ties were severed
in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution which toppled the
shah, a key ally of Egypt.
Relations warmed up after the election in May 1997 of Mohammad
Khatami, a moderate, as president of Iran, with low-level official
visits exchanged. Both countries maintain interest sections in each
other's capital.
Ebtekar, Iran's first woman vice president, said the two
countries had made great strides in boosting economic, cultural and
even political ties, including common efforts by Cairo and Tehran to
contain a crisis between Syria and Turkey.
During her brief visit to Cairo she met Egyptian Environment
Minister Nadia Makram Obeid on the sidelines of the 10th ministerial
conference of the Montreal Protocol -- an international pact to
protect the ozone layer.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said on Monday that Egypt
should distance itself from Israel, with which it signed a peace
treaty in 1979, to help achieve "normalisation" with Tehran.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:50:39 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Khatami defends Iranian papers' "right to criticise"

TEHRAN, Nov 25 (AFP) - Iran's moderate President Mohammad
Khatami defended Wednesday the freedom of the press, saying
journalistic criticism helped keep the government honest.
"Papers must be able to criticise the regime without any
worries," he told hundreds of journalists gathered in Tehran to
discuss their problems, adding press law violations must be dealt
with legally, by public tribunals with a jury.
"Without the right to criticise, power can become corrupt," he
said, insisting press criticism can only strengthen the regime.
Khatami drew a direct link between the press and freedom, but
asked journalists to work within the framework of the constitution
and respect the "sensitivities of a society a majority of whose
members believe in Islamic values."
Iran's newspapers have come under increasing pressure from the
conservative-dominated judiciary after a period of relative openness
following Khatami's election to the presidency in May 1997.
Moderate and left-wing papers have born the brunt of the
pressure, ranging from prosecution and fines, to having their
offices ransacked by armed intruders.
A number of papers have been closed down, most notably Tous, an
outspoken and often humorous paper that briefly became one of the
country's most popular publications.
The paper was shut in September on charges of "endangering
national security," and its senior editors and writers detained for
several weeks.
Khatami was in turn criticised for his seeming inactivity in
defending press freedoms, with a leading journalist from Tous,
released in October, challenging "officials" to prove that their
pledges to create a civil society were not "a joke."
An editor from a provincial paper told Khatami at the gathering
that local journalists were so restricted they could not even
criticise "a mere prayer leader in a small town."

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:50:45 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Taliban release last Iranian prisoner

TEHRAN, Nov 25 (AFP) - The Taliban released an Iranian lorry
driver on Wednesday, the last of a number of Iranians held by the
extremist militia in Afghanistan, the official news agency IRNA
reported.
The driver, Manouchehr Amiri, was handed over to an Iranian
foreign ministry representative in the western Afghan city of Herat
on Wednesday morning and is reported to have returned to Iran.
Other Iranians had already been released in batches in September
and October, following United Nations mediation which managed to
reduce extreme tensions between the neighbours.
The Taliban militia killed nine Iranian diplomats and a
journalist and detained a number of Iranians in August following
their capture of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif from
Iranian-backed opposition forces.
Returning detainees, most of them lorry drivers, have complained
that they were kept in apalling conditions, and have lobbied Iranian
authorities to help them recover their lorries still held by the
Taliban.
The release of the last driver has met one of Iran's several
conditions for opening a dialogue with the Taliban, which include
punishment of the diplomats' murderers and an official apology.
Like most of the rest of the international community, Iran does
not recognize the Taliban administration and supports the government
of ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Tehran recently strongly denied reports that an Iranian mission
currently in neighbouring Afghanistan was there to pave the way for
talks with the Taliban militia, insisting it was merely a technical
mission.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:50:56 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran, Saudi Arabia call for parliament

TEHRAN, Iran, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Iran and Saudi Arabia have called for
the formation of a union of parliaments and national councils of Islamic
countries.
The call came in a final communique released the end of an official
visit to Iran by a delegation of the Saudi Shoura (Consultative)
Council.
The communique said representatives from the two nations discussed
efforts by a Tehran-based cooordination committee to push forward the
proposed Union of Islamic parliaments.
They also expressed satisfaction over the ``good ties'' between Saudi
Arabia and Iran and pledged to maintain contacts between the Shoura
Councils of the two countries to exchange information and expertise as
well as to expand consultations over bilateral, regional and
international issues.

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Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:51:20 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Israel Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation deal

JERUSALEM, Nov 24 (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu condemned a Iranian-Russian nuclear cooperation accord
concluded Tuesday as a threat to the entire region.
"The building of a nuclear reactor in Iran only makes it
likelier that Iran will equip its ballistic missiles with nuclear
warheads," Netanyahu told Israeli public radio.
"Such a development threatens peace, the whole region and in the
end, the Russians themselves," Netanyahu said.
"I hope that Russia will reconsider this initiative, which flies
in the face of attempts to reach peace and stability in the region,"
he added.
Iran and Russia signed an accord Tuesday to speed up completion
of a controversial nuclear reactor and study development of other
nuclear plants in Iran.
The memorandum of understanding calls for the creation of joint
research groups to study the addition of a second unit to the plant,
located at the Gulf port of Bushehr, "as well as to build
new-generation nuclear power plants in Iran," the official news
agency IRNA reported.
Both Moscow and Tehran insist the plant is for non-military use
and say its activities will be subject to scrutiny by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors nuclear
programs around the world.
"In our relations with other countries, we will not be
influenced by interference from third parties," Russian Atomic
Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov said, apparently referring to the
United States as well as Israel.
Both countries, regarded as Iran's greatest enemies, have
opposed Russian cooperation with Iran on nuclear and military
matters and fear the Islamic Republic may acquire the technological
know-how to build nuclear weapons.
Israeli military chief of staff Shaul Mofaz raised the
possibility in late September of a preemptive strike against Iran
because of the threat posed by Iranian missiles.
Iran's Shahab-3 missile is supposed to be capable of striking
Israel.
To deal with the threat of ballistic missile attack, Israel has
been developing in cooperation with the United States the Arrow, or
Hetz, anti-missile missile, expected to be operational in 2000.
Israel's F15-I warplanes, delivered by the United States earlier
this year, are capable of striking Iran or Iraq, carrying a payload
of 11 tonnes of bombs and missiles.
Israel and Iran were allies when the Shah ruled in Tehran but
have been enemies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew
the Iranian leader.
Israel has a nuclear reactor, as well as a reputed arsenal of
between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons.
It has never acknowledged being a nuclear power, and is the only
Middle East state that is not a signatory of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Nov 1998 to 26 Nov 1998
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