Date: Dec 7, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Dec 1998 to 6 Dec 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Dec 1998 to 6 Dec 1998
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There are 8 messages totalling 315 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. A letter from Dr Soroush to Khatami
2. Iran moderates start party to oppose conservatives
3. Leading Iranian liberal journalist banned for one year
4. Iran seeks oil price talks with Saudi Arabia
5. Iran to create new ministry to promote tourism
6. Iranian newspaper calls execution by stoning un-Islamic
7. Khatami's supporters launch political party in Iran
8. Mohsen SaeidZadeh is back in the big prison of Iran as a humans

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Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 16:02:28 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: A letter from Dr Soroush to Khatami

Please read the famous letter pf Dr Soroush to president Khatami
regarding press and human rights under Khatami era at the following
address.

Regards,

Asghar

http://www.btinternet.com/~a.abdi/soroush1.pdf

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Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 22:25:19 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran moderates start party to oppose conservatives

Iran moderates start party to oppose conservatives
December 6, 1998
Web posted at: 5:22 a.m. EDT (0522 GMT)
TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- A new reformist political party has been
established in Iran by more than 100 political and cultural figures who
support moderate President Mohammad Khatami, newspapers reported on Sunday.

Founders of the new party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, said they
were seeking "freedom of thought, logic in dialogue and rule of law in social
behaviour," the daily newspaper Zan said.

Founding member Najafqoli Habibi said that the new party's constitution was
essentially formed around Khatami's reformist agenda.

"Civil participation, social justice, materialising freedoms stipulated in
the constitution and the rule of law are among the objectives of the
party," Habibi said.

Members of the Front include, among others, one vice-president, four
ministers, seven deputy ministers, a parliamentary deputy, nine
journalists, a poet, a film maker and two leaders of Iran's largest student
movement.

Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar, the only female member of Khatami's cabinet,
and Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, an ardent advocate of
pluralism and decentralization, are among the founders.

Others are Maysam Saeedi and Serajoddin Mirdamadi, outspoken reformists from
the student union Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat which boasts 50,000 members
throughout Iran.

"The party will definitely take an active part in the upcoming city and
village elections (in February 1999) as well as the Majlis elections (in
March 2000),"said Abbas Abdi, another founder and editor of the pro-Khatami
daily Salam.

The formation of the new party is aimed at organising millions of Khatami
supporters who so far have not had a practical political vehicle, analysts
say.


Iran's conservatives, who still control key levers of power despite Khatami's
landslide election victory in 1997 on a platform of political and social
reform, have been trying to undermine the president's drive to establish a
"civil society."

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 21:29:25 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Leading Iranian liberal journalist banned for one year

TEHRAN, Dec 6 (AFP) - One of Iran's leading liberal journalists
was slapped with a one-year ban on all press activities, his
magazine said Sunday, as the country's press finds itself under
increasing pressure from hardline conservatives in the Islamic
republic.
Iran's press court found Ezzatollah Sahabi, a prominent liberal
and director of the monthly political and economic review
Iran-e-Farda (Tomorrow's Iran), guilty of publishing "slanderous"
material against the armed forces and banned him from writing
activities for a year.
But his brother told AFP that the magazine, which supports
moderate President Mohammad Khatami but has been very critical of
the Islamic leadership, has been allowed to continue publishing.
Sahabi, who headed the state budget planning organisation under
the fragile provisional government following the 1979 Islamic
Revolution, was also ordered to pay a fine of 6 million rials (1,000
dollars).
"He has 20 days to lodge an appeal", his brother said.
Sahabi's ban is another sign of increasing pressure from Iranian
conservatives on the country's liberal papers.
Conservative officials have been increasingly angered by the new
boldness in the press following last year's election of Khatami, who
has eased censhorship rules.
One of the country's most popular and outspoken newspapers,
Tous, was closed down in September as a "danger to state security."

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

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 21:29:39 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran seeks oil price talks with Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Dec 6 (AFP) - OPEC heavyweights Iran and Saudi Arabia
are pursuing talks on plummetting oil prices despite strong
accusations from Tehran's press, an Iranian diplomat said.
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami has written to Saudi Crown
Prince Abdallah ibn Abdel Aziz for the second time in month, "on
relations between the two countries' leaderships," the diplomat told
AFP late Saturday.
He added the two OPEC members were also continuing talks on the
fall in crude oil prices.
A hardline Iranian newspaper accused Saudi Arabia on Monday of
"betraying" OPEC interests by not doing enough to prevent the
downward slide in oil prices.
"This sabotage seems to be dictated by the Americans. It is
against the spirit of detente" currently governing Saudi-Iranian
relations, the Jomhuri Islami newspaper said.
But Iran's ambassador to Riyadh on Tuesday denied Saudi Arabia
was responsible for the slump in world oil prices and said claims to
that effect by a fundamentalist Tehran newspaper did not reflect the
government's position.
"The Iranian government does not hold Riyadh responsible for the
price decline," Mohammad Reza Nuri said, cited by the official news
agency SPA.
He stressed "the oil coordination between Iran and Saudi Arabia,
which confirms the solid ties between the two countries."
Crude prices have plummeted to their lowest level in a decade,
leaving Iran with a 40 percent decline in oil revenues and a budget
shortfall of some 6.3 billion dollars.
OPEC countries failed to agree on new production cuts when they
met in Vienna late last month in an attempt to raise rock bottom
prices.
Saudi-Iranian relations have markedly improved since last year's
election of Khatami, a relative moderate, following years of
hostility after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

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

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 21:29:49 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran to create new ministry to promote tourism

TEHRAN, Dec 5 (AFP) - The Iranian government has decided to
create a new ministry in a bid to revive its stagnant tourism sector
and establish an alternative source of hard currency to oil, the
official IRNA news agency reported Saturday.
The decision by President Mohammad Khatami's cabinet to create
the ministry of tourism and cultural heritage is to go to parliament
for approval, it said, citing Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani.
Mohajerani, whose ministry now oversees tourism affairs, said
all tourism-related departments will be moved under the new
ministry.
He said the government was alarmed by the fall in the price of
oil, which Iran relies on for 80 percent of its hard currency
earnings.
"To make up for the fall, we have to reactivate the tourism
industry," the minister said, calling for efforts to attract more
foreign tourists.
Iran is facing a severe economic crisis caused by the plummeting
crude prices, which have resulted in budget shortfalls of around six
billion dollars this year.
The government presented to parliament last week an austerity
budget for the next fiscal year, which will begin on March 21.
Despite its natural riches and historical sites, Iran's tourism
sector is far from developed, and was badly hit by the 1979 Islamic
revolution and the ensuing 1980-1988 war against Iraq.
Around 700,000 foreign tourists, mainly from regional Moslem
countries, visited Iran last year, bringing around 300 million
dollars in hard currency, according to official estimates.
Strict Islamic laws, including a ban on consumption of alcohol,
and the Islamic dress code for women, are one of the main reasons
keeping foreigners out of Iran.

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

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 21:30:01 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian newspaper calls execution by stoning un-Islamic

TEHRAN, Nov 30 (AFP) - Execution by stoning is a practice at
odds with the tenets of Islam and should be suspended immediately, a
moderate Iranian newspaper charged on Monday.
"This practice does not conform to the tradition of the Prophet
(Mohammad) and is not mentioned in the holy Koran," said the
moderate women's newspaper Zan, run by Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of
former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"This practice is no longer in keeping with our times and must
be replaced by something else," it declared, asking: "Is stoning
really necessary, especially at a time when the world is
scrutinising us to find the slightest excuse for criticising us?"
Stoning as punishment for adultery has been carried out in Iran
since the 1979 Islamic revolution and is also the law in other
Islamic nations.
Iranian authorities say the punishment is decreed in the Koran
and conforms to sharia or Islamic law.
According to sharia, men convicted of adultery are buried to
their waist and women buried to their armpits, before they are
showered with stones thrown by a crowd.
The stones must not be large enough to kill the person
immediately nor too small to be "effective."
The condemned are acquitted if they are able to break free while
the sentence is being carried out.
A man in northern Iran was acquitted in November after managing
to unearth himself while being stoned for adultery.

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

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 21:29:32 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Khatami's supporters launch political party in Iran

TEHRAN, Dec 5 (AFP) - About 100 politicians and academics close
to President Mohammad Khatami announced Sunday the formation of a
party to push through his reformist policies in the face of
resistance from conservative hardliners.
The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) groups leftist and
centrist political personalities from former ministers and senior
government officials to clerics and academics.
The party said in a statement published in Iranian newspapers it
will pursue a "democratic and pluralist" agenda and seeks to "defend
civil liberties ... and help economic, social and cultural
development" in Iran.
"We favor greater power to the people and their participation in
the democratic process," it said.
"We hope this new party can contribute to the three fundamental
principles of the regime: freedom of expression, the use of logic in
political dialogue and respect of the rule of law."
Among its members are two of Khatami's brothers as well as
Iran's vice president on environmental affairs Masumeh Ebtekar and
Abbas Abdi, a journalist and former leader of radical students who
seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.
Religious leftwingers wielded enormous clout during the 1980s,
but they were sidelined by the conservatives in the early 1990s.
They made a triumphant comeback with Khatami's election in May
1997, when they joined forces with Islamic moderates to defeat the
conservative-backed candidate.
Khatami's government has pressed for the formation of political
parties to pave the way for a more democratic society.
But his efforts have often run counter to opposition from
hardline conservatives who fear a fast pace of reform may undermine
the fundamental principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The new party comes amid signs of fractures in the
moderate-leftist coalition under mounting conservative pressure.
Some moderates are reportedly seeking to distance themselves from
the leftists, who sometimes demand more radical changes than Khatami
may be ready to embark on.
Iran's constitution allows in principle the formation of
political parties, provided they respect the Islamic regime and
believe in the constitution.
Despite the virtual absence of parties in Iran up until now,
many political and religious organisations loyal to the regime have
been active as pressure groups, lobbying the interests of various
tendencies within the clergy rule.
Among the more influential is the Association of Combatant
Clergy, a grouping of powerful conservative clerics linked to
religious centers and wealthy traditional merchants.

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

Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 00:55:15 +0000
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Mohsen SaeidZadeh is back in the big prison of Iran as a humans

The special Court for Clergy (Iran) rewarded Mohsen Saeid Zadeh with a
suit for distancing himself from the teachings of the clerics.
Ex-cleric Mr. Saeid Zadeh lost his job as a judge and turbaned preacher
due to his leniency with the accused defendants. Later, he decided to
write in women's magazines as well as the liberal press. His views were
being echoed by the free media worldwide, and he was invited to the
territory of the Great Satan to visit more women, those with veils and
those with miniskirts. He happened to be welcomed by both. The veiled
ones wanted miniskirts, and those with miniskirts needed turbaned
feminists. Mo Salemy was the one who objected to the unholy alliance of
veils and miniskirts. He preferred shorts with bipolar slits.

The Satanised cleric returned to Iran to be arrested. It made him more
famous. Many women inside and outside iran campaigned for his freedom.
The Jomhuri Islami newspaper sought a dirty plot and aired his family
situation to reduce his popularity among women. Women did not fall into
the trap, and only Mo Salemy showed sympathy for the publishers of
Jumhuri Islami (Khamneyi's press).

Regards

Asghar

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Dec 1998 to 6 Dec 1998
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