Date: Nov 8, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Nov 1998 to 7 Nov 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Nov 1998 to 7 Nov 1998
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There are 7 messages totalling 365 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. ADVISORY/Human Rights Watch Annual Celebration Dinner
2. Palestinian Authority launches fresh tirade against Khamenei
3. Iran stages Caspian energy seminar in bid to thwart US moves
4. Iranian leader says no religious restriction on organ transplants
5. Iran press gleeful over D'Amato defeat in US Senate vote
6. Iran condemns US-Israeli security memorandum
7. Taliban asks UN to stop Iran from expelling Afghan refugees: report

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Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 09:47:24 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: ADVISORY/Human Rights Watch Annual Celebration Dinner

Company Press Release

ADVISORY/Human Rights Watch Annual Celebration Dinner
Celebrity-Filled Event Honors International Monitors
--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--


WHAT: Human Rights Watch Annual Celebration Dinner

WHY: To honor International Human Rights monitors, celebrate the
50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the 20th anniversary of the founding of Human Rights
Watch.

WHO: Program Participants Include:
Michael Douglas, Actor, Master of Ceremonies
Mike Farrell, Human Rights Watch California Co-Chair
Antonio Banderas, Actor
Anthony Lewis, New York Times Columnist
John Lithgow, Actor
Michael Parks, Los Angeles Times Editor
Jane Olson, Human Rights Watch California Co-Chair
Julie Su, Asia Pacific American Legal Center

International Human Rights Monitors:
Mercedes Doretti, Argentina
Shirin Ebadi, Iran
Hendardi, Indonesia
Clement Nwankwo, Nigeria
Martin O'Brian, Northern Ireland
Marina Pisklakova, Russia

WHEN: Nov. 18
6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

WHERE: The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills

RSVP: To receive a media kit or for event passes, call Susan
Bradforth or Pam Bruns at Human Rights Watch, 213/680-9906
Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people
around the world by standing with victims and activists to bring offenders
to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to
protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

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

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 01:14:28 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Palestinian Authority launches fresh tirade against Khamenei

NICOSIA, Nov 7 (AFP) - A top Palestinian official Saturday
launched a fresh tirade against Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei as the Iranian opposition announced it had held talks in
Baghdad with a minister from the Palestinian Authority.
"An extremist faction in Iran, led by Khamenei, wants to
aggravate the situation in the Palestinian territories to spark a
civil war," the secretary general of the Palestinian Authority,
Tayeb Abdelrahim, told Radio Monte Carlo.
"The moves from Iran are aimed at transforming the Palestinian
territories into a new Afghanistan," he said.
It was the latest in a series of attacks by Palestinian
officials on Khamenei since the Iranian leader attacked Arafat as a
"traitor and a lackey of the Zionists" late last month for signing
the Wye River peace accord with Israel.
"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," Khamenei said in the fiercest
attack on Arafat by an Iranian official in well over a year.
Abdelrahim made clear that his comments were directed at
Khamenei and not at Iranian President Mohammad Khatami or former
president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"The Palestinian Authority is utterly convinced that the
hardliners in Iran have succeeded in infiltrating certain
Palestinian factions which worked with Iran and received its aid in
the past," Abdelrahim said.
"Certain elements dependent on the hardliners in Iran are
carrying out its orders by intensifying military operations to
sabotage the (latest peace) agreement" reached between Israel and
the Palestinians at Wye River last month, he said.
Following a suicide bombing in the Gaza Strip last month which
killed an Israeli soldier and prompted a Palestinian police
crackdown on Islamic militant groups, the Palestinian Authority
accused Tehran of sponsoring a hardline faction within the largest
militant group HAMAS.
It also accused Iran of being behind an unprecedented threat of
violence against the Palestinian Authority sent to news
organizations in the name of HAMAS's armed wing in the wake of the
police crackdown.
Meanwhile the main armed Iranian opposition group, the People's
Mujahedeen, announced on Saturday that a minister from the
Palestinian Authority had met its leader in Baghdad in an apparent
further snub to Tehran.
The minister for public services Azzam al-Ahmad told Massud
Rajavi that "the recent position of the Tehran regime's leaders
against the people and government of Palestine clearly show that
there has been no change in the clerical regime whatsoever," the
People's Mujahedeen said in a statement.
Ahmad said Tehran's priorities remained the "export of crisis
and meddling in the internal affairs of Arab and Moslem governments"
and described the People's Mujahedeen as "the only alternative for
Iran and a guarantee of friendship and fraternity in the region,"
the statement said.
Rajavi told Ahmad the "anti-Arafat statements and positions of
the mullahs' regime" were "a blatant affront to the people of
Palestine," the statement said.
The People's Mujahedeen maintains thousands of fighters in bases
on Iraq's border with Iran.
Iran protested to the United Nations in September over Iraq's
support for the group, after it claimed responsibility for the
August 23 assassination of former Iranian revolutionary courts
official and prison chief Asadollah Lajevardi.

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

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 01:14:35 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran stages Caspian energy seminar in bid to thwart US moves

TEHRAN, Nov 7 (AFP) - An international seminar on Caspian Sea
oil and gas opened here on Saturday as part of an Iranian bid to
thwart US efforts to exclude it from regional energy deals.
In his opening speech, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zangeneh
sharply criticized the United States for "politicizing" the
development and exports of hydrocarbon reserves from the energy rich
Caspian.
"US economic sanctions have created political routes for energy
exports in the Caspian regions without any economic justifications,"
he said. "But routes which have been promoted by politics have
failed to materialize."
"If anything, sanctions have impeded the realization of nations
real potentials and they will always remain as bitter memories in
the minds of the people of the area," the minister said.
The United States, seeking to isolate Iran, has tried to exclude
the country from international deals to develop the region's
hydro-carbon reserves and to bypass exports of oil and gas to the
world market.
Washington has also banned US companies from investing in Iran
under a unilateral economic embargo slapped on Tehran in June 1995.
Zangeneh warned at a press conference that Iran would never
forget US efforts to bypass the country as a route for Caspian oil
and gas exports.
"Our territory offers us a natural advantage for a route to
transport Caspian oil and gas. We offer the shortest and the most
natural route," he said.
"If this advantage does not bear us fruit because of US efforts,
Iranians will never forget for generations to come. The future
generations will remember that this is a blow struck against us by
the United States."
Iran shares the Caspian resources with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Russia and Turkmenistan, but they have so far failed to agree on a
legal regime to govern exploitation of reserves.
Washington has supported plans for an oil pipeline linking Baku,
Azerbaijan's capital, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan as the principal
route for the export of Caspian and Central Asian oil.
Two US oil companies -- Conoco and Unocal -- are among some 40
foreign companies with representatives at the two-day seminar,
co-sponsored by Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch-Shell.
Iran state telvision boasted that the number of companies
attending was "a sign that America is failing in its bid to isolate
Iran."
Iran has also used the environmental weapon to dissuade its
neighbors from opting for other routes.
"The rush to unilaterally exploit the Caspian's oil and gas
resources has added to the pressure on the region's ecosystem, with
Iran suffering the most," Massumeh Ebtekar, vice president and the
head of the environmental protection agency, warned in a speech.
"At present more than 30 oil companies have undertaken
commitments in this region. At the present pace, production will
reach three million barrels per day within the next 10 years," she
said, calling for a unified policy to exploit the resources.
The Islamic republic, backed by Russia, has notably opposed on
environmental grounds an idea, espoused by the United States, to lay
a seabed pipeline to transport oil to Europe via Turkey, bypassing
Iran.
Zangeneh said Iran was working on a plan to process crude
produced in Central Asia and export an equivalent amount at its Gulf
terminals.
Iran will also put out for international tender this month a
project for a 390-kilometer (240-mile) pipeline from Nekah, in
northern Mazandaran province bordering the Caspian, to Tehran.
The project, previously estimated to cost around 400 million
dollars, is hoped to be launched by April and to be operational in
early 2001.
"The scheme costs less than one-fifth of other pipelines
currently being promoted," Zangeneh said, adding that the pipeline
will be extended to refineries in central and southeastern Iran.
Zangeneh said Iran is currently able to import up to four
billion cubic meters (140 billion cubic feet) through pipelines
linked with Turkmenistan.
On a grander scale, a plan is under study to export Turkmen gas
to Europe via Iran and Turkey, he said, adding that Tehran may also
consider swapping natural gas with its northern neighbors.

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

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 01:14:50 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian leader says no religious restriction on organ transplants

TEHRAN, Nov 6 (AFP) - Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani on Friday said there was no religious restriction on
human organ transplants as Iran prepares to open its first organ
bank next week.
"There is no longer any religious restriction on this
humanitarian practice," Rafsanjani said in a sermon during weekly
Friday prayers at Tehran university.
"The religious decree of supreme leader Ayatollah (Ali) Khamenei
authorizes the humanitarian practice of organ transplants," he
said.
The opening of the organ bank "is a first in the medical history
of our country and it must be taken seriously," said Rafsanjani, who
heads the Expediency Council, the top advisory body to the supreme
leader.
Iran put a halt to organ transplants after the 1979 Islamic
revolution, but Rafsanjani pushed for a resumption of the practice.
In 1986 Iranian doctors carried out a kidney transplant.
Iranian doctors now regularly carry out kidney, liver and cornea
transplants, according to official statistics.
But according to Islam, life and death are to be decided by God
alone, and many clerics and religious families still consider the
transplants taboo.

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

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 01:14:59 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran press gleeful over D'Amato defeat in US Senate vote

TEHRAN, Nov 5 (AFP) - Iran's press gloated on Thursday over the
defeat in US congressional elections of New York senator Alfonso
D'Amato, who is reviled here as the architect of the Iran-Libya
Sanctions Act.
"Irrational and pro-Zionist Republican Senator D'Amato faced a
humiliating defeat. He unsuccessfuly tried to isolate Iran through
an infamous law," said the conservative Tehran Times.
"This law inflicted heavy blows on US prestige and on American
oil companies, but it failed in its nasty mission to hurt Iran,"
said the English-langage daily.
"All US trade measures against Iran backfired and left the
United States isolated even among its own allies."
Other newspapers published a dispatch by the official IRNA news
agency headlined: "The Architect of American Sanctions against Iran
Defeated in Congressional Race."
D'Amato, a strong supporter of Israel, Iran's arch-enemy,
sponsored the August 1996 law which threatens to penalize
non-American companies investing more than 40 million dollars a year
in Iran's or Libya's oil or gas sectors.
The law was intended to tighten a unilateral economic embargo
imposed on Iran by Washington in June 1995, aimed at punishing the
Islamic republic for its alleged support for international
terrorism.
But it provoked a dispute between the United States and Europe,
which had threatened to retaliate if its companies were subjected to
sanctions.

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

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 01:15:09 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran condemns US-Israeli security memorandum

TEHRAN, Nov 5 (AFP) - Iran on Thursday condemned a US-Israeli
security memorandum pledging Washington's help in defending Israel
against regional attacks, saying the pact was intended to provoke
confrontation with the Moslem world.
The memorandum "is ostensibly aimed at protecting the occupying
Zionist regime against regional weapons of mass destruction," said
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mahmud Mohammadi.
"But is in fact designed to confront the defensive capacities of
Moslem states and maintain this (Israeli) regime's military
superiority in the region."
Mohammadi said that rather than worrying about attacks on
Israel, the United States should address the issue of Israel's
"nuclear arsenal," which he said is the "serious threat to regional
security and stability."
Israel and the United States signed the security memorandum
Saturday, under which Washington will view "with the utmost
seriousness any threat to the security of the state of Israel from
long- or medium-range missiles."
In the event of such a threat Washington will offer Israel
"diplomatic and other support."
The memorandum comes just four months after Iran claimed to have
successfully tested its medium-range Shahab-3 missile, which is said
to have a 1,300 kilometer (800 mile) range that puts Israel within
reach.
Iran displayed some of the Shahab-3 missiles during a recent
military parade in Tehran but specialist defence publications have
cast doubts on whether they are yet operational.
Tehran insists the missile was designed and built entirely in
Iran, although US officials have said it was based on North Korean
technology.
Iran and Israel have considered each other enemies since the
1979 Islamic revolution that toppled western-backed Iranian
monarchy, which had close military and diplomatic ties with Israel.

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

Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 01:15:34 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Taliban asks UN to stop Iran from expelling Afghan refugees: report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 4 (AFP) - The Taliban on Wednesday called on the
United Nations to persuade Iran not to expel hundreds of thousands
of illegal Afghan refugees, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP)
reported.
"The UN should take immediate notice of Iran's move," the
Pakistan-based private information service quoted a Taliban
spokesman as saying.
The expulsion will lead to "tragic" results as the Afghan
government lacks the necessary resources to rehabiliate the
refugees, the spokesman, Wakil Ahmad, told AIP from Kandahar in
southern Afghanistan.
The Taliban government has taken up the issue with the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees, urging the agency to arrange food and
accomodation for the refugees in Afghanistan if the UN is unable to
convince Tehran, AIP said.
"Expelling refugees at a time when the winter season has started
is a condemnable act," the Taliban official said.
AIP quoted Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Maulvi Saeedur Rehman,
as saying that 60 Afghan refugees had been killed in Iran in recent
months.
The ambassador also accused the Iranian authorities of arresting
thousands of Afghans.
Iran said Saturday it had given hundreds of thousands of illegal
Afghan refugees three weeks to leave the country.
Iranian 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 Korasan
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 as an
incentive to return.
Iran shelters 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.
The refugees are scattered across Iran, many working in menial
and low-paid jobs in big cities, particularly Tehran.

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 Nov 1998 to 7 Nov 1998
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