DNI-NEWS Digest - 29 Oct 1998 to 31 Oct 1998

1. Iran releases most Baha'i teachers, U.S. says
2. U.S. Condemns Arrests in Iran .c The Associated Press
3. Turkmenistan's Iran Pipeline Decision May Hinge on Enron Study
4. Kyrgyz to return intercepted arms cargo to Iran
5. Sweden mourns after Halloween disco fire kills 60
6. Tehran to celebrate 1,000th Friday prayers since revolution
7. US-funded radio broadcasts to Iran, Iraq set to start Friday
8. Iran blasts Arafat for signing accord with Israel
9. Death Toll Up To 65 In Swedish Halloween Disco Fire
10. Nine Still Critical After Sweden Disco Fire
11. Iranian Students To Burn U.S. Puppet Instead Of Flag
12. 9 Iranian youngsters among the victims of Gotenburg fire

Subject: Iran releases most Baha'i teachers, U.S. says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran has set free all but four out of more than
30 Baha'is arrested last month in a crackdown on a university
established by members of the 19th-century religion, the U.S. State
Department said Thursday.

The four join nine other Baha'is in jail in Iran and six of those 13 are
on death row, spokesman James Foley said.

The people arrested were members of the Baha'i Institute of Higher
Education, a self-help university founded in 1987 after Iran made it
harder for Baha'is to attend public universities.

Baha'is in France said earlier this month the Iranians had cracked down
on the institute in 14 cities, arresting 32 people and breaking into and
looting many homes.

Foley said the Iranians had initially arrested at least 36 people in
raids on more than 500 homes and office buildings owned or rented by
Iranian Baha'is.

They confiscated materials that had no political or religious content,
such as dentistry and accountancy textbooks, as well as some laboratory
equipment, he added.

``We urge the government of Iran to eliminate restrictions on the
practice of religion and to recognize and uphold the fundamental human
right to freedom of conscience and belief,'' he said. He also urged Iran
not to carry out the executions.

The Baha'i religion, an offshoot of Islam, originated in Iran 150 years
ago. It says it has 6 million members, including 350,000 in Iran, where
it is officially considered ``a misleading and wayward sect.''

16:48 10-29-98


Subject: U.S. Condemns Arrests in Iran .c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department accused Iran of persecuting
members of the Baha'i faith and urged that death sentences against six
Baha'i prisoners be set aside.

More than 500 homes and office buildings owned or rented by Iranian
Baha'is have been raided and at least 36 faculty members from a Baha'i
institute arrested, deputy spokesman James Foley said Thursday.

Textbooks on such subjects as dentistry and accounting were confiscated,
the U.S. spokesman said. None of the material seized dealt with
religious or political subjects, Foley said.

Four of the 36 teachers were kept in prison, joining 13 other Baha'is,
six of whom are facing execution.

Three weeks ago, the State Department condemned the execution of a
Baha'i, Ruhollah Rowhani. The department said it had seen no evidence
Rowhani was accorded due process of law.

The White House also issued a statement, conveying President Clinton's
condolences to Rowhani's family. It said Clinton urged Iranian President
Mohammad Khatami ``to take the necessary steps to ensure that others are
not victimized for the peaceful expression of their faith.''

On Thursday, the State Department's Foley said the buildings raided in
recent days were used by the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education, a
university founded in 1987 after Baha'is were virtually banned from
Iran's public universities.

``We have publicly called on the government of Iran to protect the lives
of all Baha'is,'' Foley said. ``We continue to urge the government of
Iran to eliminate restrictions on the practice of religion and to
recognize and uphold the fundamental human right to freedom of
conscience and belief.''

The U.S. official urged the Iranian government ``to exercise restraint
and not carry out'' death sentences against imprisoned Baha'is.

The Baha'is draw their religious principles from the Muslim, Christian
and Jewish faiths. They are considered heretics by Iran's Islamic
fundamentalist government.

For months, the Clinton administration has pursued diplomatic and other
contacts with Iran on the basis of a judgment that President Khatami was
inclined to moderation.

Hard-liners in the Iranian government have rebuffed the overtures.

AP-NY-10-29-98 1813EST


Subject: Turkmenistan's Iran Pipeline Decision May Hinge on Enron Study

Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan, Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Turkmenistan said it
won't decide whether to sponsor a major natural gas pipeline through
Iran until it sees more details of a proposal from the Royal Dutch/Shell
Group and reviews a competing study from Enron Corp.

Shell, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, said earlier
this week it completed a study of possible routes for gas export
pipelines from Turkmenistan, including one through Iran. Enron, a
Houston-based gas company, also is studying the feasibility of building
a pipeline underneath the Caspian Sea to take Turkmenistan's gas to
Western European markets.

The studies are being closely watched by U.S. regulators and other oil
companies interested in working in Iran, which would conflict with U.S.
economic sanctions. Neither Shell nor the Turkmen official would say
whether the route through Iran or the one that bypasses the nation
appears most attractive.

``We are still expecting some materials from Shell within one month,''
said Chary Bikiev, head of the department for negotiations at the
Competent Body for the Exploration of Hydrocarbon Resources under the
President of Turkmenistan. ``That's why it is difficult to say exactly
whether this route would be economically advisable.''

The government will make a final decision only after both studies have
been analyzed by Turkmen specialists. Bikiev said he expected more
details from Shell by the end of this month.

Currently, Turkmenistan's only export pipeline is controlled by Russia's
OAO Gazprom and Turkmen officials are anxious to end the country's
dependence on exports through Russia following a dispute over payment
for its gas that left its pipeline shut off.

The U.S. government financed Enron's $750,000 pipeline study, which
would transport gas underneath the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and
eventually to Western Europe, as an alternative to a route through Iran.
The U.S. has sought to politically and economically isolate Iran since
1979, accusing the nation of seeking nuclear weapons, disrupting the
peace process with Israel and sponsoring terrorism.

Bikiev said Enron's study is due to be delivered to the government on
Nov. 15.

07:53:50 10/29/1998


Subject: Kyrgyz to return intercepted arms cargo to Iran

BISHKEK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan, which intercepted an Iranian train with ammunition bound for Afghanistan's anti-Taleban opposition earlier this month, will send the lethal cargo back to Iran soon, Kyrgyz
officials said on Thursday.

``A political decision to send the train back has been taken,'' Askar Aitmatov, a foreign policy department chief in the presidential administration, told Reuters. ``Relevant ministries are now preparing the train for the departure.'' The train with hand grenades, anti-tank mines, cartridges, cannon shells and mortar bombs was intercepted on the night of October 10 in the town of Osh in the former Soviet state's south.

Kyrgyzstan's secret police has said that about 700 tonnes of ammunition had been found among a humanitarian cargo with flour and was bound for opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood who fights the purist Islamic Taleban movement in northern Afghanistan.

After news of the interception emerged, the Taleban militia urged the United Nations to stop alleged Iranian interference in Afghan affairs.

Aitmatov said that Kyrgyzstan wanted to avoid possible diplomatic complications with Iran.

He called the interception of the Iranian train a ``misunderstanding.''

``Both we and Iran have fallen into an awkward situation against our will,'' he said.


Subject: Sweden mourns after Halloween disco fire kills 60

Sweden mourns after Halloween disco fire kills 60
Most of the revellers were from Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Somalia or Iran.
Sweden has traditionally welcomed immigrants and about one in eight of its
population has a foreign background.

By Paul de Bendern

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Sweden was plunged into shock by the
deaths of 60 young people in a fire which roared through a packed Halloween
disco.

Doctors said on Friday the death toll could rise because about one third of
the 170 injured were critically ill from smoke inhalation, burns or bones
broken when they scrambled for exits or leapt for their lives from windows.

An electrical spark probably started the fire just before midnight on
Thursday at a Gothenburg disco where up to 400 youngsters aged 13 to 20,
mostly immigrants, were dancing at the Macedonian cultural centre.

``It looked like it started at the ceiling and the lamps and speakers fell to
the floor. It was chaos. Everyone tried to get out. People were trampling
each other to get to the door,'' said 15-year-old Jamal Fawz.

Swedish television showed rescue workers hauling out bodies wrapped in
blankets and told harrowing tales about how the young people struggled to
escape through a single exit.

Rescuers said bodies tumbled from windows and told of a small room in which
they had found 20 to 30 tangled, crushed bodies, probably killed by toxic
fumes.

``It looked like a gas chamber in Auschwitz must have done, counting the dead
was impossible,'' Lennart Olin, who led the rescue operation, told Swedish
radio.

Poisonous smoke killed most of the victims within minutes. Others kicked out
windows of the two-storey red-brick building and threw themselves out, some
breaking legs or necks on impact.

Most of the revellers were from Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Somalia or Iran.
Sweden has traditionally welcomed immigrants and about one in eight of its
population has a foreign background.

Prime Minister Goran Persson flew to Sweden's second city for a memorial
service in the Domkyrkan cathedral with 1,500 weeping mourners, half of them
teenagers. He was visibly shocked by evidence of their fight to escape the
inferno.

``It was all burned out, with only a skeleton left. On the floor there were
shoes and boots -- boots just like our own children have. It was only then
that you could really understand what happened,'' Persson said, fighting
back tears.


``Our thoughts are with those parents whose children never came home,''
Persson said, adding state cash would be available to help victims.

Hundreds paid tribute to the young victims, lighting candles and laying
flowers at the site in Gothenburg's docklands area. Officials have not been
able to identify most of the bodies so far because they were so badly
charred.

Officials said the disco was licensed to hold only 150 people. Only one of
the two fire exits was in working order and fire extinguishers present were
not used.

Police said they had not ruled out arson, noting the speed with which the
fire consumed the low-ceilinged room.

``First we have to find out what really happened there and if there are any
possible criminal cases against anybody. A charge could involve
manslaughter,''Chief Prosecutor Ulf Noren said.

Authorities said young people organised the party and rented the premises
themselves. Police said, however, they may have lacked the required permits
to hold a party of that size.

``We never thought something like this could happen in Sweden. This is
probably the largest fire catastrophe we have ever had in Sweden,'' Olin
said.

Private cars, taxis and buses took injured youngsters to local hospitals,
which set up hotlines and crisis groups for relatives and friends of victims.

Military helicopters flew some of the injured to specialist burn clinics
around Scandinavia.

Pope John Paul sent a telegram of condolence.

Three senior Macedonian Orthodox clerics and a Somalian imam were in
Gothenburg, which is on Sweden's west coast about 480 km (300 miles) from
Stockholm, to comfort victims' families.

18:22 10-30-98


Subject: Tehran to celebrate 1,000th Friday prayers since revolution

TEHRAN, Oct 29 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei will personally lead weekly mass prayers in Tehran on
Friday to mark the thousandth such ceremonies here since the 1979
Islamic revolution, the news media announced Thursday.
Communal prayers have been held every Friday throughout Iran
since the revolution, led by clerics representing Khamenei, who is
the top political and religious authority in Iran.
Khamenei, himself the permanent prayer leader, has appointed
four senior clerics, including former president Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani, to alternately lead prayers at Tehran University each
week, which are preceded by a political and religious sermon.
The other prayer leaders of Tehran are Mohammad Yazdi, head of
the judiciary as well as members of the powerful Guardians Council,
Ahmad Jannati and Mohammad Emami-Kashani -- all of whom are renowned
conservatives.
But the leader turns out in person from time to time to mark
major events, drawing a larger crowd than usual.
The prayer leaders use the opportunity to inform the public, and
foreign observers, of Iran's current and future policies.
The audience appearing for the prayers in Tehran generally
includes senior officials of the regime who are seated on the floor
in the front row of the congregation.
The prayers are divided into two sermons, the first of which
deals with theological questions and the second with social and
political affairs. The event is regularly seized upon to
launch tirades against the United States and Israel, countries whose
"aggression" and "arrogance" Iran habitually condemns.
The fiery speeches are accompanied by shouts of "death to
America"and "death to Israel" and slogans in support of the Islamic
regime.
Ayatollah Khamenei's address at next Friday's anniversary
prayers will be his first public appearance since last week's
Assembly of Experts elections, where conservative clerics won a
majority of seats on the key body charged with hiring and firing
Iran's supreme political and religious leader.


Subject: US-funded radio broadcasts to Iran, Iraq set to start Friday

NICOSIA, Oct 30 (AFP) - Two controversial US-funded radio
services to Iran and Iraq were set to begin broadcasts Friday, the
website of the programmes' Prague-based producer Radio Free
Europe-Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) said.
Both Baghdad and Tehran have slammed the planned broadcasts as
interference in their internal affairs and warned Prague that they
may harm relations.
Two hours of programmes a day will be broadcast in Persian and
an hour in Arabic, according to a schedule carried on the RFE/RL
website (www.rferl.org).
The service to Iran, known as the Farsi Language Service, will
broadcast from 0430 to 0530 GMT and 1600 to 1700 GMT, it said.
The other service, known as Radio Free Iraq, will broadcast from
0300 to 0330 GMT and again from 1600 to 1630 GMT.
The website advised listeners they could also tune in to the
service live through the Internet during the advertised broadcast
times via a "free real audio player."
"The content of what is broadcast by the radio is not consistent
with the traditionally friendly relations between Iran and the Czech
Republic," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mahmud Mohammadi
warned on Saturday, presumably in reference to trial broadcasts
monitored by Tehran.
The radio is "part of the 20-million-dollar appropriations of
the United States for launching a propaganda war against Iran, which
amounts to interference in the internal affairs of Iran," he said.
"The project would not be in the best interests of the Czech
Republic," he warned.
Earlier this year, there was some question about whether the
Czech Republic's new government, which took office after June
elections, would continue to back the broadcasts.
They were originally approved by the previous conservative Czech
government, but the new government has been less happy about the
project expressing concern that the production studios may become a
focus of terrorist attack.
RFE/RL was launched during the Cold War and was aimed at the
Soviet bloc in particular. It moved its headquarters from Munich to
Prague in 1995.


Subject: Iran blasts Arafat for signing accord with Israel

TEHRAN, Oct 30 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei launched a scathing personal attack on Friday against
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for signing the Wye River accord
with Israel, calling him a "traitor and a lackey of the Zionists."
"This wretched man and traitor who deems himself the
representative of the Palestinian people does not even deserve to be
a member of the Palestinian movement," Khameini told a crowd of
thousands at Tehran University before weekly Moslem Friday prayers.
It was the Iranian leader's first response to the Wye River
land-for-peace accord signed in Washington a week ago by Arafat and
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Iran vehemently opposes the Middle East peace process and
supports militant Palestinian and Lebanese groups fighting the
Jewish state.
Khamenei was making a rare appearance at Friday's mass prayers
to mark the 1,000th such ceremony here since the 1979 Islamic
revolution and the event was also attended by a host of political
and military officials, including President Mohammad Khatami,
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi and the commander of the
Revolutionary Guards General Rahim Safavi.
He said the "disgraceful agreement means that Palestinians can
continue to live only as slaves to Israel ... It allows treacherous
Palestinians to ensure security, something the Zionists themselves
have not been able to achieve."
"Indeed, Arafat took on from Israel the responsibility of
tracking down the Palestinians and made the job easier for the
enemy, and more difficult for the revolutionaries," said the Iranian
leader.
"Now he has to routinely answer to America. Israel will provide
the list, America acts as a judge and Arafat as executioner," he
said.
Khamenei warned that the accord, which provides for Israel to
withdraw from 13 percent more of the West Bank in return for a
Palestinian crackdown on anti-Israel militants, was doomed to fail.
"The Palestinian people will continue to be enemies of the
Zionists and their lackeys, even if one of them happens to be
Arafat," Khamenei added.
His comments came the day after a suicide bombing in the Gaza
Strip claimed by the HAMAS movement killed one Israeli soldier and
injured six other Israelis.
It was the harshest attack on Arafat by an Iranian official in
over a year.
In March last year former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani met Arafat at an extraordinary Islamic summit in
Islamabad launching a slow rapprochement with the Palestinian
leadership after years of difficult relations.
Arafat was among dozens of Islamic leaders who came to Tehran
last December to attend a summit of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference and held talks here with Khatami, although not with
Khamenei.
Khatami's government has taken a more conciliatory attitude
towards the Palestinian leadership, and the foreign ministry
reaction to the Wye River accord was extremely low-key, describing
it only as a "cause for much concern."
Khatami himself was relatively harsher when he criticized the
agreement in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara,
who visited Tehran early this week.
A keen supporter of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Arafat was
given a warm welcome in Tehran by Iran's then leader Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini just days after the former shah was toppled, but
relations deteriorated rapidly after the PLO sided with Iraq in its
1980-1988 war with Iran.


Subject: Death Toll Up To 65 In Swedish Halloween Disco Fire

Death Toll Up To 65 In Swedish Halloween Disco Fire

By Paul de Bendern

GOTHENBURG, Sweden (Reuters) - At least sixty-five teenagers died and
162 were injured when fire swept through a Halloween party at an
overcrowded Gothenburg disco sending panicked youngsters leaping from
second-story windows.

``I was outside the disco and heard bangs... people shouted and I saw
them burning in the windows, some jumped out of the windows and broke
their legs,'' Heresh Daneshvar told Reuters.

Most bodies could still not be identified because they were so badly
burned, Swedish officials said Friday.

Police said the death toll could rise further as 57 of the injured were
in intensive care.

They said an electrical spark probably started the fire late Thursday
night in the disco where 300 to 400 young people aged 13 to 20 were
dancing and celebrating Halloween at the Macedonian cultural center in
Gothenburg's docklands.

``The death toll has now risen to 65. Thirteen of those have been
identified,'' police spokesman Bengt Staaf told reporters.

Sweden's TT news agency said the death toll rose to 67 but police would
not confirm this.

Most of the revelers were from Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Somalia and Iran,
but there were also Latin Americans at the disco party on the second
floor of the cultural center when the fire broke out.

Police said 59 people burned to death or died from smoke inhalation as
flames raced through the 40 meter (yard) long building. Others died in
hospital.

``It looked like a gas chamber in Auschwitz must have done, counting the
dead was impossible,'' Lennart Olin, who led the rescue operation, told
Swedish radio.

Officials said the disco was licensed to hold only 150 people. Only one
of the two fire exits seemed to have been in working order and the
building was not equipped with sprinklers. Fire extinguishers were not
used.

Military helicopters flew some of the injured to specialist burn clinics
around Scandinavia.

``People were screaming: 'Our friends are in there! Our friends are in
there!' Some tried to go in again after their friends and not all of
them made it back,'' survivor Dlaco Salwati told Swedish television.

Officials said desperate young people searching for their friends among
the survivors had impeded rescue efforts.

Teenagers who went back into the building managed to save about 40 of
their friends, one witness said.

Private cars, taxis and buses took injured youngsters to local
hospitals, which set up hotlines and crisis groups for relatives and
friends of victims.

``We never thought something like this could happen in Sweden. This is
probably the largest fire catastrophe we have ever had in Sweden,'' Olin
said.

Gothenburg is on Sweden's west coast and about 480 km (300 miles) from
Stockholm.

Prime Minister Goran Persson laid flowers in the burnt-out hall and
talked to rescue workers.

Pope John Paul sent a telegram of condolence.

Three senior Macedonian Orthodox clerics, on their way to Sweden to
consecrate a church, were due to come to Gothenburg to take part in
memorial services and comfort victims' families. Among the worst of
similar tragedies were a dance hall fire in Grenoble, France in November
1970 in which 146 died and a November 1942 blaze at a nightclub in
Boston, U.S.A., in which the death toll was 490.


Subject: Nine Still Critical After Sweden Disco Fire

Nine Still Critical After Sweden Disco Fire

By Paul de Bendern

GOTHENBURG, Sweden (Reuters) - Nine young people were still fighting for
their lives in Sweden Saturday after a Halloween disco inferno that
killed 60 and injured 170.

The nine were in critical condition in special hospital burns units.
Many more had serious injuries from Thursday night's fire and the
panicked scramble to escape the flames, some by breaking windows and
leaping out into the darkness.

Survivors and rescuers told newspapers how up to 400 terrified youths
had tried to squeeze through a single exit and how bodies tumbled out of
second story windows of the building in Sweden's second city Gothenburg.

``A 15-year-old died while I held him in my arms. A young girl that I
had pulled out died without anyone being able to do anything about it,''
rescuer Abbas Kazim told daily Expressen.

In one small room, rescuers found 20 to 30 bodies crushed and tangled
together. They had probably been killed by the fire's toxic fumes.

``I was the only one out of those around me who got up when the door
opened,'' 14-year-old survivor, Jenny Pettersson, told GT newspaper.

The fire started just before midnight Thursday at the disco where up to
400 youngsters, mostly immigrants aged 13 to 20, were dancing at the
Macedonian cultural center.

Only about 18 victims have so far been identified because they were so
badly burnt. Police said they were trying to identify the dead without
having to put grieving parents through the grim task of looking at the
mutilated bodies.

``At the hospital they said our girl was probably among those at the
morgue,'' Hussein Mjotahed told Expressen. ``We're devastated. Where are
our children? We want to know.''

Police said a special 100-strong task force was questioning witnesses,
answering phones on a hotline for relatives of the victims, or taking
part in a technical investigation which may lead to criminal charges.

Reports suggest an electrical spark may have set off the inferno, but
police could not confirm this.

``The technicians started working again this morning. We won't say
anything until we know the cause or know that we don't know,'' police
spokesman Mats Glansberg told Reuters.

Most of the revelers were from Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Somalia or Iran.
Sweden has traditionally welcomed immigrants and about one in eight of
its population has a foreign background.

Flowers and candles mounted up at an altar at the site in Gothenburg's
docklands. October 31, All Saints' Day, is a holiday in Sweden when
people place candles on their deceased relatives' graves.

Prime Minister Goran Persson flew to Sweden's second city Friday for a
memorial service in the Domkyrkan cathedral with 1,500 weeping mourners,
half of them teenagers. He was visibly shocked.

``It was all burned out, with only a skeleton left. On the floor there
were shoes and boots -- boots just like our own children have. It was
only then that you could really understand what happened,'' Persson
said, fighting back tears.


Subject: Iranian Students To Burn U.S. Puppet Instead Of Flag

Full story Iranian Students To Burn U.S. Puppet Instead Of Flag 07:44
a.m. Oct 31, 1998 Eastern

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian students are to burn an Uncle Sam puppet
instead of the U.S. flag in annual rituals marking the seizure in 1979
of the American embassy in Tehran Monday, a student leader said
Saturday.

Students said burning a puppet instead was less provocative than the
flag-burning featured in previous anniversary rituals, and that they
were making the switch to stay in line with President Mohammad Khatami's
policy toward the United States.

``Since Mr Khatami has put forth the notion of 'dialogue between
civilizations'...and since the flag is a symbol for American people,
this year we will burn a puppet representing world arrogance and
Zionism,'' said Maysam Saeedi, a leader of Iran's biggest student group
Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat.

``World arrogance'' has been the usual name for the United States and
other big Western powers in Iranian political discourse since the 1979
Islamic revolution.

The student group has called on Tehran residents to join a rally Monday
to commemorate November 4, 1979 -- the day militant students stormed the
U.S. embassy in Tehran. Fifty-two Americans seized at the embassy were
held hostage for 444 days in a crisis that has marred Iran-U.S. ties
ever since.

The theme of this year's rally, however, will be noticeably different
from past events.

A poster for Monday's rally read: ``How to bring down the wall of
mistrust?'' -- echoing Khatami's words in a January television interview
in which he called for dialogue between Iranian and American peoples.

``We have no problems in having relations with any country save Israel
which we do not recognize...We will not have any problem with America if
it releases our frozen assets, observes respect for our nation and does
not apply double standards,'' Saeedi told a news conference.

``The seizure of the embassy was a demand of our people. If we are to
resume ties with America, it should be based on the people's demand.''

Saeedi asked American students and academics to try to ''reform their
statesmen'' by encouraging them to release themselves from the
``Zionists' influence.''

The United States welcomed Khatami's new tone in his January interview
with Cable News Network although he stopped short of the
government-to-government contacts that Washington has demanded.

Khatami's conservative rivals, who control key levers of power despite
his landslide presidential election in May 1997, have repeatedly warned
against any attempt at re-establishing ties with the United States.

Saeedi criticised the U.S. opposition to passing pipelines through Iran
to transfer Caspian oil and gas.

``This move by America will add to the mass of the wall of mistrust when
our economy has been hit hard by world oil prices,'' he said.

Washington broke relations with Tehran in 1980 during the embassy
hostage crisis and imposed economic sanctions on it in 1995.


Subject: 9 Iranian youngsters among the victims of Gotenburg fire

More than 67 young people died at a disco in Gothenburg
because of fire in the building.

The youngest victim was an 11 years old girl who died with her 17 years old
syster.

Those killed are from 19 nationalities Iran, Somalia,
Ethiopia, Turkey, Serbo-Croatian, Kurdistan, Makedonia...

These are the names publicly anounced by the Gotenburg police department,
Identification continues by police. 15 more victims has been identified,
but since their family has not been informed, their names where not among
these.

According to the police investigation officer, there is a 50% risk that the
fire was not an accident, and the fact that all the emergency escape doors
where blocked, and that some of the eye withnesses said that the fire
started from the basement has made many people suspicious that it was not
an accident.


Date of birth, Name, Hometown
-83 Abdalla, Haval, Angered-Goteborg
-81 Abedi, Ali-Reza, Kortedala- Goteborg
-81 Akyianu, Amanda, Angered- Goteborg
-82 Andersson, Jane Lise-Lott Rosita, Härlanda-Goteborg
-81 Bouras, Paraskevi Voula, Kortedala-Goteborg
-80 Carvajal Galvez, Gustavo, Annedal-Goteborg
-81 Celik, Sehmuz, V. Frolunda-Goteborg
-78 Celik, Mohammed Sadik, Angered-Goteborg
-81 Farahavsmi, Farzad, Hisingsbacka-Goteborg
-80 Garamyari, Naser, Bergsjon-Goteborg
-81 Graaf, Tor Ragnar, V. Frolunda-Goteborg
-83 Hashemi, Babak, Kortedala-Goteborg
-81 Hashi, Mogamud Shino, Angered-Goteborg
-79 Hassan, Ahmed Mohamud, Angered-Goteborg
-81 Hussein, Ahmed Abdillahi, Angered-Goteborg
-83 Javaheri, Gilzad, V. Frolunda-Goteborg
-79 Jerez Reyes, Alvaro Alonso, Orgryte-Goteborg
-83 Jourba, Svetlana, Centrum-Goteborg
-81 Jovanovic, Mirko, Angered-Goteborg
-82 Kalyun, Ninva, Bergsjon-Goteborg
-79 Karlsten, Robert, Harlanda-Goteborg
-81 Kurtesi, Fehmi, Angered-Goteborg
-83 Lifsjits, Elizavjeta, Centrum-Goteborg
-83 Lindbäck, Maria-Goretti, Linnéstaden-Goteborg
-80 Nami, Amir Hassan, Kortedala-Goteborg
-82 Ogbamichael, Rahil, Biskopsgarden-Goteborg
-82 Papini, Moa Hillevi, Linnéstaden-Goteborg
-83 Petralia-Rodriguez, Regina, Centrum-Goteborg
-80 Räfling, Kristian, Hisingsbacka-Goteborg
-86 Shaker, Jasmin, Centrum-Goteborg
-81 Shaker, Meriam, Centrum-Goteborg
-84 Skog, Linda Angelica, Centrum-Goteborg
-80 Stevanovic, Zoran, Kortedala-Goteborg
-84 Svensson, Therese, Kortedala-Goteborg
-84 Tabatabai, Sanaz, Gunnared-Goteborg
-83 Uflaz, Idris, Angered-Goteborg
-84 Wiberg Pilnäs, Emelie Birgitta, Torslanda-Goteborg

My condolences to the family of those who lost their loved ones, specially
the Shaker family.

Farhad A.
Stockholm