Date: Nov 2, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 31 Oct 1998 to 1 Nov 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 31 Oct 1998 to 1 Nov 1998
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There are 11 messages totalling 543 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iranian commerce minister in Iraq for trade fair
2. Tehran, Bonn in contact over prisoners: MP
3. US-funded radio launches controversial broadcasts to Iran, Iraq
4. Washington rejects Iranian criticism of Wye River accord
5. Iran gives illegal Afghan refugees three weeks to leave
6. Iranian army to launch war games near Afghan border
7. Khatami slams "dangerous" Taliban, seeks broad-based Afghan government
8. Khatami blasts Taliban as dangerous eve of war games near Afghan border
9. German secret service hired hacker to decode Iran database
10. FWD: Latest news about Gothenburg fire
11. =?iso-8859-1?Q?fwd:_Amir-Entezam=92s_Response_to_the_?=
=?iso-8859-1?Q?Court=92s?= Summons

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:39:06 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian commerce minister in Iraq for trade fair

BAGHDAD, Oct 29 (AFP) - Iranian Commerce Minister Mohammad
Shariatmadari arrived in Iraq on Thursday to visit Baghdad's trade
fair which opens Sunday, the official INA news agency said.
During the minister's four-day visit he is expected to meet his
Iraqi counterpart Mohammad Mehdi Saleh for talks on "trade
development" under the UN oil-for-food programme, INA said.
The programme allows Iraq, currently under UN sanctions for its
1990 invasion of Kuwait, to sell limited quantities of crude to pay
for humanitarian imports.
Iran participated in last year's Baghdad trade fair, but its
presence this year is larger and follows Iraq's participation in the
Tehran trade fair in September.
Relations between the two countries have eased since the end of
the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war that left hundreds of thousands dead.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:38:58 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Tehran, Bonn in contact over prisoners: MP

TEHRAN, Oct 29 (AFP) - Tehran and Bonn are in contact over the
fates of a German condemned to death here and an Iranian jailed in
Germany, an Iranian MP said Thursday.
"The two countries are having contacts over the these issues. It
is natural for each country to be interested in the problems of its
citizens, although we must not forget that Hofer's case is not
political," said Mohammad Alavi, a member of the parliament's
foreign policy commission.
German businessman Helmut Hofer was sentenced to death for
having an affair with a Moslem woman and is awaiting a final verdict
on his appeal from Iran's supreme court, which first issued the
death sentence here in January, a ruling that was upheld by a second
court earlier this month.
The death sentence, which once again tainted relations between
Tehran and Bonn, came just as the two governments were recovering
from the German verdict in the case of Iranian Kazem Darabi.
Darabi was sentenced to life in prison by a Berlin court in
April 1997 for the 1992 murder of four Kurd dissidents. During the
trial the Iranian regime was implicated in the assassinations.
Alavi said the new German government should "distance themselves
from the insulting verdict issued by the Berlin court," quoted in
the English-language Iran News.
"As long as German justice adheres to this verdict and does not
make up for the insult, it is natural that Iran will not forget the
insult," Alavi said, adding that the commission on Wednesday
discussed "future relations" with Germany.
"Future ties depend on how far the German government distances
itself from the verdict," he said.
Alavi is the first Iranian official to link the fates of Darabi
and Hofer, although some newspapers have done so.
"We believe the new German rulers will not act against their
country's national interests and risk losing a good trading partner
like the Islamic republic. I believe they will adopt a more normal
policy towards Iran," he said.
He added that the new government in Bonn "will have a different
attitude towards Iran once in power, despite their harsh stance
while in the opposition."
"Iran has always said it pursues a policy of detente," Alavi
said, adding that it "should not be forgotten that Germany was once
Iran's best trading partner."
Earlier this month the Iran News warned that Iran does not feel
obliged to intervene to secure Hofer's release because Bonn refused
to help when the Tehran regime was in the dock in Germany last
year.
The paper had earlier called on new German chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder to help free Darabi to pave the way for better relations
between the two countries.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:39:18 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US-funded radio launches controversial broadcasts to Iran, Iraq

NICOSIA, Oct 30 (AFP) - Two controversial US-funded radio
services to Iran and Iraq began broadcasts Friday, the website of
the programmes' Prague-based producer Radio Free Europe-Radio
Liberty (RFE/RL) said.
"This is a double first for RFE/RL -- our first transmissions in
the Arabic language to Iraq and in the Farsi (Persian) language to
Iran," the radio's president, Thomas Dine said in a statement from
Washington carried on the website.
He stressed that the new service to Iran will "reflect the
broadest range of responsible opinions of interest to the Iranian
people and will never become the mouthpiece for any particular group
in that country or abroad."
The head of the radio's new service in Arabic, known as Radio
Free Iraq, said that in addition to local news about Iraq, the
programmes would focus on democracy, free speech and human rights.
"Under the dictatorship of President Saddam Hussein, people in
Iraq never have a chance to hear about these issues," said David
Newton, a former US ambassador to Iraq.
The first broadcasts Friday lasted half an hour to both Iraq and
Iran, but managers said they soon planned to expand the broadcasts
to an hour a day and eventually to six hours daily.
Both Baghdad and Tehran have slammed the new radio service as
interference in their internal affairs and warned Prague that they
may harm relations.
"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.
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.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:39:28 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Washington rejects Iranian criticism of Wye River accord

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (AFP) - A senior US official on Friday
rejected harsh Iranian criticism of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
for signing a Mideast peace accord saying Arafat was a better judge
of the situation than Tehran.
"Arafat is the best judge of the interests of the Palestinian
people," national security adviser Sandy Berger told reporters,
referring to a stinging verbal attack on Arafat by Iran's supreme
leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Earlier Friday, Khamenei lashed out at the Palestinian leader
for signing the Wye River accord with Israel, calling him a "traitor
and a lackey of the Zionists."
"We disagree and find it unhelpful" to the cause of peace in the
Middle East, Berger said of the remarks by Khamenei.
He added that he though the rebuke contradicted other "more
favorable" comments from other Iranian officials.
Asked about Thursday's attack in the Gaza Strip by a Palestinian
suicide bomber, Berger noted that Arafat had already "condemned it
very strongly" and lauded the Palestinian promise in Wye to take
"strong action against extremists."
Berger also reiterated the Clinton administration's wish for the
pact to be supported by the rest of the Arab world.
"It is important for moderate Arab countries now to support this
process," he said, specifically mentioning Egypt.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:39:37 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran gives illegal Afghan refugees three weeks to leave

TEHRAN, Oct 31 (AFP) - Iran said Saturday it had given hundreds
of thousands of illegal Afghan refugees three weeks to leave the
country.
Interior ministry official Hassan-Ali Ebrahimi said the Afghans
must report to the ministry by November 21 and the government will
then issue exit permits in Mashhad in Khorasan province which
borders Afghanistan.
Returning refugees will each be given 40 dollars, a blanket and
50 kilos (120 pounds) of wheat for their journey home and as an
incentive to return.
Iran has sheltered around two million Afghan refugees who fled
the 1980 Soviet invasion and ensuing civil war and more recently,
the rise of the extremist Sunni Moslem Taliban militia.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans are believed to have entered
and live in Iran illegally. They are scattered across the country,
many working menial and low-paid jobs in big cities, particularly
Tehran.
After the collapse of the communist regime in Kabul in 1992,
Iranian authorities, battling chronic unemployment, tried to
repatriate over one million Afghans.
But their efforts were hamped by the rise of Taliban, a hardline
movement of Peshtun Afghans hostile to other ethnic groups in
Afghanistan, mainly Hazara Shiites and Tajiks which have close
cultural and religious affinities with Shiite Iran.
Iran recently sealed its border with Afghanistan in an effort to
curb the flow of more refugees and in recent weeks, police have
rounded up Afghans without valid residency papers in Tehran and
Mashhad.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:39:50 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian army to launch war games near Afghan border

TEHRAN, Oct 31 (AFP) - The Iranian army is to launch the main
part of large-scale military exercises involving 200,000 troops near
the Afghan border on Saturday night, despite an easing of tension
with the Taliban militia.
The Iranian forces will launch a series of nocturnal assaults on
mock enemy targets in the Zabol region in the southeastern province
of Sistan-Baluchestan, army spokesman Brigadier-General Hassan
Barati said, state radio reported.
Up to 200,000 men, dozens of jetfighters and hundreds of tanks
are expected to be deployed in the widely-publicized Zolfaqar-2
exercises over an area of 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square
miles) which includes Lake Hamoun on the Afghan border.
On Sunday, the army's airforce unit will demonstrate their power
in a series of air shows, the general said, adding that the main
operations will start on Monday.
"The rapid deployment and movement of the troops and their high
morale is reminiscent of the eight-year war against Iraq," the army
said in a statement.
The army began preparations for the maneuvers two months ago in
the wake of tension with the Taliban over the murder in neighbouring
Afghanistan of nine Iranian diplomats and a journalist in August.
The Iranians were killed by a gang of militiamen after a raid on
Iran's consulate in the northern Afghan town of Mazar-i-Sharif
during its capture by the Taliban.
The maneuvers will take pace on a long border stretch from Zabol
to the northeastern province of Khorasan.
In addition to army troops, tens of thousands of elite troops of
the Revolutionary Guards are stationed at the border.
The principal stage of the maneuvers was initially due to be
held in early October to mark the anniversary of the start of the
1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
But the authorities repeatedly posponed the exercises as Tehran
awaited the outcome of a mediation in the row between Iran and the
Taliban by UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
Tensions between Shiite Moslem Iran and the Sunni Moslem Taliban
have eased somewhat after the militia freed dozens of Iranian
prisoners in mid-October following a visit by Brahimi, who toured
the region earlier this month.
But the release of the Iranians only meets part of Tehran's
conditions for entering talks with the Taliban.
"We have some demands which have been made known explicitly,"
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said Saturday, citing in particular
the speedy identification and punishment of the murderers of the
Iranian diplomats.
Iran also wants the Taliban to abide by UN resolutions and a
declaration by the group of "Six-plus-Two" for a broad-based
government in Afghanistan.
The group, consisting of the United States, Russia and six
neighbors of Afghanistan, including Iran, made the declaration after
a meeting in New York in late September.
"We recommend the Taliban to immediately meet the demands of the
international community," Kharazi told the official news agency
IRNA.
Referring to a week-long truce declared between the Taliban and
the opposition on Monday, Kharazi said Iran had always supported a
peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.
But he said this required a real and permanent cease-fire and
comprehensive talks.
Tehran, which still supports the ousted government of
Burhanuddin Rabbani, has been lobbying against international
recognition of the Taliban, which controls around 90 percent of the
war-torn country.
Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
recognize the militia as Afghanistan's legitimate government.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:40:21 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Khatami slams "dangerous" Taliban, seeks broad-based Afghan government

TEHRAN, Nov 1 (AFP) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
described the Taliban's interpretation of Islam as "dangerous" on
Sunday and called for a broad-based government in war-torn
neighboring Afghanistan.
"What happens in Afghanistan nowadays is not just the problem of
countries which border Afghanistan, but that of the whole region,"
Khatami said in talks here with visiting Tajik Foreign Minister
Talbek Nazarov.
"What the Taliban movement does in the name of Islam is
dangerous for the entire region," the president added, quoted by the
official Iranian news agency IRNA.
He voiced concern over the "continuation of war and
blood-letting in Afghanistan," and called for a "stable and
broad-based government" there as the "only solution to the crisis."
Shiite Moslem Iran is vehemently opposed to the extremist Sunni
Moslem Taliban and supports opposition groups fighting the militia
in Afghanistan.
Relations hit an alltime low in August when Taliban militiamen
raided Iran's consulate in the northern Afghan city of
Mazar-i-Sahrif and killed nine Iranian diplomats and a journalist.
Iran has dispatched tens of thousands of troops to its border
with Afghanistan for unprecedented maneuvers involving 200,000
troops, the main part of which will start on Monday.
However, tensions have eased somewhat after the Taliban freed
dozens of Iranian prisoners last month. But their release only meets
part of Tehran's conditions for entering into talks with the
Taliban.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi demanded Saturday a
speedy identification and punishment of the murderers of the Iranian
diplomats.
Iran also wants the Taliban to abide by UN resolutions and a
declaration by the "Six-plus-Two" group for a broad-based government
in Afghanistan.
The group, consisting of the United States, Russia and six
neighbors of Afghanistan, including Iran, made the declaration after
a meeting in New York in late September.
"We recommend the Taliban immediately meet the demands of the
international community," Kharazi said.
Referring to a week-long truce declared between the Taliban and
the opposition on Monday, Kharazi said Iran had always supported a
peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.
But he said this required a real and permanent ceasefire and
comprehensive talks.
Tehran, which still supports the ousted government of
Burhanuddin Rabbani, has been lobbying against international
recognition of the Taliban, which controls around 90 percent of the
war-ravaged country.
Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
recognize the militia as Afghanistan's legitimate government.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:40:32 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Khatami blasts Taliban as dangerous eve of war games near Afghan border


TEHRAN, Nov 1 (AFP) - President Mohammad Khatami attacked the
Taliban regime in Afghanistan as "dangerous" on Sunday as Iranian
forces staged a military parade near the Afghan border on the eve of
massive war games.
"What happens in Afghanistan nowadays is not just the problem of
countries which border Afghanistan, but that of the whole region,"
Khatami said in talks with visiting Tajik Foreign Minister Talbek
Nazarov.
"What the Taliban movement does in the name of Islam is
dangerous for the entire region," he said.
He voiced concern over the "continuation of war and
blood-letting in Afghanistan" and called for a stable and
broad-based government as the "only solution to the crisis."
Shiite Moslem Iran is vehemently opposed to the extremist Sunni
Moslem Taliban and supports opposition groups fighting the militia.
Relations hit an all-time low in August when Taliban militiamen
raided Iran's consulate in the northern Afghan city of
Mazar-i-Sahrif and killed nine Iranian diplomats and a journalist.
Iran has dispatched 200,000 troops to its border with
Afghanistan for unprecedented Zolfaqar-2 maneuvers, the main part of
which will start on Monday over an area of 50,000 square kilometers
(20,000 square miles).
Dozens of air force jetfighters and combat helicopters conducted
sorties in the parade in Zabol, the southernmost tip of the maneuver
area in Sistan-Baluchestan province.
State television showed hundreds of tanks, mortars and other
weaponry paraded in front of army commander General Ali Shahbazi
over a nine-kilometer (six-mile) stretch in the rough terrain.
Units from seven army divisions and two brigades taking part in
the maneuvers as well as logistic, transport and communication units
and naval and air force marines also joined the parade.
Shahbazi described the exercises as "part of the army's mission
to check the flow of drugs and smuggling of consumer goods and to
prevent border aggression."
The general vowed in a speech that his forces will "nip any
enemy plot in the bud," adding that "we will by no means allow the
enemies to dare to commit aggression against our land."
"We are ready for orders from the commander-in-chief to carry
out any missions to protect our Islamic homeland," Shahbazi said,
referring to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
He said the army will continue to "guarantee the security" of
the border even after the end of the maneuvers.
The Iranian air force launched a series of nocturnal assaults on
mock enemy targets in the Zabol area on Saturday as an opening shot
for the war games.
Air force commander General Hassan Baqaii, in the region to
review his units participating in the exercises, also vowed to
"quickly detect and counter any mischievous acts along our eastern
border."
"The armed forces, particularly the air force, are fully ready
to crush any possible mischievous move by the enemy," he said,
quoted by IRNA.
In addition to army troops, tens of thousands of elite members
of the Revolutionary Guards are at the border.
The army began preparations for the maneuvers two months ago
following the diplomats' murders.
But the authorities repeatedly posponed the main part of the
exercises to await the outcome of mediation by UN special envoy
Lakhdar Brahimi and tensions eased somewhat after the Taliban freed
dozens of Iranian prisoners last month.
But Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi demanded more concessions
from the Taliban on Saturday, including speedy identification and
punishment of the diplomats' killers.
Tehran, which still supports the ousted government of
Burhanuddin Rabbani, has been lobbying against international
recognition of the Taliban, which controls around 90 percent of the
war-ravaged country.

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

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:41:19 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: German secret service hired hacker to decode Iran database

BONN, Oct 31 (AFP) - Germany's secret service tried to woo a
computer hacker to break into Iran's state database and steal
information about arms programs, Der Spiegel magazine reported in an
article to run Monday.
A man posing as a consultant hired a Berlin student and
part-time computer hacker to gather information on Iranian computer
systems early this year, the magazine said.
Once the student had finished the contract, the supposed
businessman told him the secret service would like him to break into
Iran's network and gather information about any secret arms
programs.
The student rejected the offer, Der Spiegel said.

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

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 01:22:18 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: FWD: Latest news about Gothenburg fire

Hi,
You can find the final list of all the 60 (final number) of those young
kids who died (and among them 10 Iranians) on:
http://www.goteborg.se/wwwdb/gbgwww.nsf/680dbe001297b972412565cf00560a1f/0cc
7b89a232b2dd8412566af006a30f7?OpenDocument
(Swedish text)

Some information about the incident, and the name of the 37 of them in
Farsi on Kelk's homepage:

>N E W S . N E W S . N E W S . N E W S . N E W S . N E W S . N E W S ..
>-----------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Dear reader,
>
>The latest news about thursday night`s tragic dance hall fire in
Gothenburg-Sweden are accessible on internet in persian alongwith related
pictures.
>For reading and printing, you can receive file PDF from following address:
>Address: http//i.am/kelk
>Adress: http://home.swipnet.se/~w-45207/Gothenburg.html
>
>Best regards
>Mehr Magazine
>
>Hadi Fahimifar
>-------------------

Regards,
Farhad A.

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

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 01:27:36 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: =?iso-8859-1?Q?fwd:_Amir-Entezam=92s_Response_to_the_?=
=?iso-8859-1?Q?Court=92s?= Summons

Two days prior to his court appearance, Mr. Amir-Entezam
had replied in writing to the courtís summons and to the charges. Enclosed
is a translated copy of his response.

This is a copy of Mr. Abbas Amir-Entezamís Response to the Courtís Summons] :

**********************************
September 6, 1998

The Honorable Presiding Judge of Tehranís Public Court, Branch #11

Respectfully,
Summons papers dated September 6, 1998, related to the classified file #
996/511/77, on the charges of libel and defamation, were received. Regarding
the charges of libel and defamation, I would like to state [the following]:

Given that the charges against me have apparently resulted from my recent
interviews and are about my politics and beliefs, I nevertheless declare my
readiness to be present in the respected court; however, I would also like to
remind [the court] that according to the 20th amendment of the constitution
of the Islamic Republic, "All people, women and men alike, are equally
protected by law and are entitled to all human, political, economic, social
and cultural rights subject to the consideration of Islamic principles."
Also, according to the 23rd amendment of the constitution, "Interrogation
of beliefs is forbidden and no one can be subjected to interrogation and
harassment for his or her views." And furthermore, according to the 167th
amendment of the constitution, "Courts deliberating political and press
crimes are open to the public and are jury trials. Based on the Islamic
criteria, the law defines what constitutes political crime and determines
the selection criteria of the jury and its authority."

Hereby, I explicitly declare that the statements I made during my Interview
ere factual, and I am ready to prove the authenticity of every one of my
statements in the very first open and fair political tribunal and in the
presence of the jury. I formally declare that I do not have personal
rancor against anyone, including the officials and authorities of the
Islamic Republic and others, and I declare that my statements and
interviews are all according to my political and social activism, which [in
the near past] has resulted in 17 years of imprisonment based on false
accusations. While I have [persistently] asked for retrial in a legal,
open and fair court, there has been no response to my legal request. My
statements are based on my legal rights and are also in defense of the
rights of other citizens whose rights have been curtailed.

According to the summons papers received, along with my attorney, I will be
present in that honorable court at 9:00 a.m. sharp, on Tuesday, September
8th, 1998.

Respectfully,

Abbas Amir-Entezam

cc: the Honorable [Islamic] President [Seyed Mohammad Khatami]
the Honorable Head of [Islamic] Judiciary [Mohammad Yazdi]
the Islamic Commission on Human Rights Media
the United Nations

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 31 Oct 1998 to 1 Nov 1998
**************************************************