Date: Dec 11, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 9 Dec 1998 to 10 Dec 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 9 Dec 1998 to 10 Dec 1998
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There are 13 messages totalling 578 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iranian newspapers confirmed human right activist dead
2. Iran allocats some 38 million U.S. dollars to campaign against AIDS
3. Mohammad Pooyandeh/ The Killing Field of Writers and Critics of the
Islamic ...
4. US "spies" warned to stay out of Iran
5. Iran denies using Russian scientists to develop biological weapons
6. Another Iranian writer reported missing by NGO
7. Iranian opposition group says Tehran killed pro-rights writer
8. German court confirms verdict in bombing case
9. Dissident Iranian author is missing
10. Iranian pilgrims return to Iraq
11. Iranian leader urged to restrain anti-Khatami hardliners
12. Syrian VP opposes foreign intervention against Saddam
13. Azerbaijan raises protest over Iranian oil field exploration

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 16:44:27 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iranian newspapers confirmed human right activist dead

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (AFP) - Iranian newspapers confirmed on Thursday
that a writer and human right activist missing since last week had
been found dead outside the capital.
They said relatives of 57-year-old Mohammad Mokhtari had been
called to identify his body on Wednesday, a week after they had
notified officials of his disappearance.
Hamshahri newspaper said the body had been found outside
Shahr-e-Rey district south of Tehran, adding that Mokhtari had
previously been abducted by unidentified kidnappers a month ago and
released after 24 hours.
Mokhtari's son Siavash told Zan newspaper that the body "was not
in a natural state and there were injuries to the neck."
The coroner's office has not yet determined the cause of the
death.
On Wednesday, Radio France Internationale reported that police
had found Mokhtari's body on Friday but had waited for several days
before handing it over to the family.
US rights group Human Rights Watch urged the Iranian government
to investigate Mokhtari's death.
Mokhtari was a former national secretary of the Association of
Iranian Writers which has campaigned in defence of freedom of
expression and of the press for 20 years.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 16:50:26 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Iran allocats some 38 million U.S. dollars to campaign against AIDS

12/08/98
Xinhua English Newswire
(Copyright 1998)


Iran has allocated some 38 million U.S. dollars to campaign against AIDS in
the current Iranian calendar year to end March 20, 1999, an Iranian
official announced on Tuesday.


Secretary of Iran 's Anti-AIDS Campaign Committee Nasser Yeganeh said in
Semnan, east of Tehran , that Iran has also received an equivalent of 300
million rials (about 100,000 dollars) from international organizations for
the purpose.


Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on the sidelines of the
gathering "Mobilization of the Youth against the Disease AIDS," Yeganeh
said the first case of AIDS was identified in Iran in 1987.


There have been 1,443 HIV positive cases identified in Iran up to last
October, of which 206 have progressed to full blown AIDS. Among those with
full blown AIDS, 176 people have already died.


Yeganeh termed educational and counseling services as the most important
programs of his committee. He said the current educational programs cover
43 percent of the population in each province while counseling services
will be extended to 17 percent of the population.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:48:59 EST
From: KPGBT@AOL.COM
Subject: Mohammad Pooyandeh/ The Killing Field of Writers and Critics of the
Islamic ...

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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In a message dated 12/10/98 9:32:58 AM Eastern Standard Time, About Iran
writes:

<< Forwarded Message:
Subj: Update on Iran: The Killing Field of Writers and Critics of the Islamic
Republic
Date: 12/10/98 9:31:22 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: About Iran
To: About Iran

About Iran has just learned that another Iranian writer/translator, Mr.
Mohammad Pooyandeh, and one of the 7 writers calling for an independent
writers' association in Iran has been missing since last night. We already
know that Mr. Mohammad Mokhtari, who was also a co-signer of the call, was
found strangulated yesterday, following his abduction last Thursday!

The situation in Iran is serious, Please HELP!


For More Information, Please Contact:

About Iran...
P.O. Box 768
Morton Grove, IL 60053
Telephone: (847) 729-5925
Fax: (847) 729-5926 >>


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From: AboutIran@aol.com
Return-path: <AboutIran@aol.com>
To: kamaliyr@calumet.purdue.edu, behdad@cc.denison.edu, hmirmobiny@jps.net,
KPGBT@aol.com, kaveh.khoshnood@yale.edu, camirmokri@earthlink.com,
noonoosh@yahoo.com, hmoghissi@yorku.ca, mdehghani@msn.com,
HBirja@aol.com, atakhsh@zedat.fu.berlinde, raminahmadi@juno.com
Subject: Fwd: Update on Iran: The Killing Field of Writers and Critics of the Islamic ...
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 09:32:58 EST
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From: AboutIran@aol.com
Return-path: <AboutIran@aol.com>
To: AboutIran@aol.com
Subject: Update on Iran: The Killing Field of Writers and Critics of the Islamic Republic
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 09:31:22 EST
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit

About Iran has just learned that another Iranian writer/translator, Mr.
Mohammad Pooyandeh, and one of the 7 writers calling for an independent
writers' association in Iran has been missing since last night. We already
know that Mr. Mohammad Mokhtari, who was also a co-signer of the call, was
found strangulated yesterday, following his abduction last Thursday!

The situation in Iran is serious, Please HELP!


For More Information, Please Contact:

About Iran...
P.O. Box 768
Morton Grove, IL 60053
Telephone: (847) 729-5925
Fax: (847) 729-5926

--part1_913308539_boundary--

--part0_913308539_boundary--

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:36:12 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US "spies" warned to stay out of Iran

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (AFP) - A fundamentalist Iranian group threatened
on Thursday to teach the United States a "lesson" if US officials
dare to visit Iran.
"Relying on the infinite powers of God and undefeatable
Hezbollah, we are ready to counter the Great Satan's new political
offensive and (to) yank the mask of deception off the face of
(Iranian) traitors," said Ansar-e-Hezbollah in a statement published
in Toseeh newspaper.
"We warn explicitly that if American criminals and spies dare
again to enter the land of sacrifice and martyrdom, we will teach US
leaders a lesson that will turn their dream of renewed hegemony on
Iran into a horrible nightmare," it added.
"Next time (American) mercenaries will not even have a chance
for a shameful getaway, warned Ansar-e-Hezbollah, which launched a
campaign several years ago to defend what it calls "Islamic and
revolutionary values" against perceived Western threats.
Last month, Islamic extremists attacked a group of Americans
visiting Iran after accusing them of working for the US government
and being "CIA spies."
Using clubs and iron bars, they broke the windows of a bus
carrying them to their hotel here and slightly injured some
occupants.
The Americans left the country the following day, as the foreign
ministry faced a barrage of attacks from conservative hardliners.
President Mohammad Khatami and other moderate officials
condemned the attack as illegal and the interior ministry said it
was under investigation.
But the extremist group accused the government of trying to
"pave the way for the return to Iran of the most violent and
arrogant power."
"In the guise of such demands as 'respect for the rule of law'
and 'abhorrence of violence,' they repudiate brave men who are loyal
to the ideals of the late Imam (Ayatollah Khomeini) while condoning
the return of the most violent arrogant power," it charged.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:36:20 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran denies using Russian scientists to develop biological weapons

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (AFP) - Iran on Thursday rejected as a publicity
stunt US reports that it is developing biological weapons with the
help of Russian scientists.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said claims made by
the the US State Department and the New York Times were a "publicity
stunt against technological progress in Iran, especially in
microbiology."
He said Iran's scientific collaboration with Russia was
"entirely transparent and had peaceful aims."
The US State Department expressed concern on Tuesday about
reports in the New York Times that Iran is hiring cash-starved
Russian scientists who worked in germ warfare programs and may be
developing a biological arsenal.
Iran's UN mission has already categorically rejected the
reports, saying "We do not believe having such weapons increases our
security."
The United States has accused Iran a number of times of pursuing
secret nuclear and mass destruction weapons programmes, charges Iran
has repeatedly denied.
The two countries severed relations in 1980 after students took
US embassy staff hostage for over a year in Tehran following the
1979 Islamic Revolution.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:36:06 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Another Iranian writer reported missing by NGO

PARIS, Dec 10 (AFP) - Iranian writer and human rights activist
Mohammad Pouyandeh, went missing on Wednesday, an Iranian human
rights group said in a statement Thursday.
Pouyandeh, an art critic and translator who belongs to the
Association of Iranian Writers and who recently translated a book on
human rights, "was reported missing Wednesday", said the Paris-based
Iranian Committee against Repression and State terrorism.
"This new disappearance took place the same day the body of
Mohammad Mokhtari was discovered tortured and strangled near
Tehran," after going missing six days earlier, the group said.
Mokhtari, 57, a writer and human rights activist who also
belonged to the Association of Iranian Writers, was confirmed dead
earlier Thursday by newspapers in Tehran.
Mokhtari's son Siavash told Zan newspaper that the body "was not
in a natural state and there were injuries to the neck."
Pouyandeh had studied the sociology of literature in France and
worked with independent non-religious publications in Iran, the
Committee said.
He was also part of a group involved in organising a general
assembly of the Association of Iranian Writers "to revive its public
activity", the Committee statement said.
It said that on September 9, Pouyandeh, along with Mokhtari, Ali
Ashraf Darvishyan, Kazem Kardavani, Mansour Koushan, Houshang
Golshiri and Mahmoud Dolatabadi, had written a statement calling for
freedom of thought and expression, the end of censorship and the
respect of the dignity of individuals.
"Because of this he was called in for questioning by Iranian
secret services," the Committee said.
"Mohammad Pouyandeh's life is in great danger. The same fate
undoubtedly awaits other opponents and intellectuals in Iran," it
added.
Mokhtari was a former national secretary of the Association of
Iranian Writers, which has campaigned in defence of freedom of
expression and of the press for 20 years.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:36:34 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian opposition group says Tehran killed pro-rights writer

PARIS, Dec 10 (AFP) - An Iranian opposition group based in
Paris, accused the Iranian regime Wednesday night of being behind
the murder of a writer and opposite activist, found dead Wednesday,
six days after being reported missing.
The Iranian Committee against Repression and State Terrorism,
said Mohammad Mokhtari, a writer, poet who was an active member of
the banned "Association of Iranian Writers", had been "found dead on
Wednesday in the Varamin desert a few kilometres (miles) from
Tehran".
"According to our information, Mokhtari had been strangled and
his body bore traces of blows and wounds," the group said in a
communique.
Mokhtari was reported missing on Thursday December 3, the group
said, adding that "when his relatives told the Iranian authorities
about his disappearance, they said they had no information about
him."
In the wake of the double murder in their home of opposition
activists Daryush and Parvaneh Foruhar on November 21 in Tehran and
the "suspicious" death of Majid Sharif, a sociologist on November
25, "the murder of Mohammed Mokhtari now constitutes the fourth
disappearance in the ranks of opposition activists and intellectuals
in Iran in the past few days," the group said.
"What is striking is the ostentatious nature of these
assassinations which come one after the other in the Islamic
Republic. The Iranian regime scarcely bothers to camouflage its
responsibilities," the communique, said, adding: "Far from being
isolated acts, everything indicates that these murders are part of a
plan masterminded from the very top of the Iranian state, to
eliminate opposition personalities".
The group said opposition militants, intellectuals, journalists
and writers were in "grave danger" in Iran.
On Wednesday evening, Radio France Internationale reported that
police had found Mokhtari's body on Friday but had waited for
several days before handed it over to the family.
In another development the human rights group Human Rights Watch
based in New York urged the Iranian governemnt to investigate the
death of Mokhtari whose body it said had been found at the "morgue"
in Tehran on Wednesday.
Mokhtari was a former national secretary of the Association of
Iranian Writers which has campaigned in defence of freedom of
expression and of the press for 20 years.
Mokhtari was arrested by the regime in 1982 and spent several
years in prison. In 1994, Mokhtari signed a text called the
"Manifesto of 134" urging the formation of an independent writers'
association in Iran.
He was briefly arrested in October with other writers who
supported the demand.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:37:25 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: German court confirms verdict in bombing case

BERLIN, Dec 9 (AFP) - The German supreme court confirmed
Wednesday a 1997 verdict in a bombing case that had implicated
senior Iranian officials in the attack.
It rejected appeals by three of the four people sentenced. The
fourth has abandoned his appeal.
The attack against Iranian Kurdish dissidents in September 1992
led to the judgement of April 1997 against Iranian Kazem Darabi and
Lebanese Abbas Rhayel to life sentences and two Lebanese as
accessories to prison sentences of 11 years and five years and three
months.
The court said the attack was ordered by Iranian leaders,
including the president, the foreign minister and religious
leaders.
EU states recalled their ambassadors from Tehran after the
judgement in a diplomatic crisis that lasted for seven months.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 20:33:50 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Dissident Iranian author is missing

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - An Iranian dissident author has gone missing in
the latest disappearance of secular opposition intellectuals, his relatives
said on Thursday.

They said Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, a 45-year-old translator and author, had
gone missing after he left his Tehran office on Wednesday afternoon.

``We have contacted all relevant authorities, including police, hospitals,
and the morgue, with no trace of him to be found,'' a relative told Reuters.

Pouyandeh is the third author who has disappeared in the past month amid
complaints by moderates about a lack of security for reformists and
dissidents in the wake of the slaying last month of Dariush Forouhar, a
veteran opposition figure, and his wife Parvaneh.

Pouyandeh was reported missing on the day the body of dissident poet Mohammad
Mokhtari was found after he had disappeared in Tehran last week.

The cause of Mokhtari's death was unknown, but a newspaper quoted a relative
saying his body bore bruises around the neck.

Pouyandeh, like Mokhtari, was among six prominent writers and secular
intellectuals questioned in October by an Islamic revolutionary court for
their activities. The authors were trying to re-launch a banned association
of writers.

Javad Sharif, a former exiled dissident who had returned to Iran a few years
ago, was found dead after disappearing last month. Iranian officials said he
had died of a heart attack but dissidents said his death was suspicious.

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch called on the Tehran government to probe
Mokhtari's death.

The group quoted Hanny Megally, executive director of its Middle East and
North Africa division, as saying: ``These killings are part of an
increasingly sinister pattern of harassment and persecution of government
critics in Iran.''


Opposition groups and the Paris-based press watchdog Reporters Sans
Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) earlier expressed concern over the
fate of Pirouz Davani, a dissident who has been missing since August.

Supporters of moderate President Mohammad Khatami have accused conservative
opponents of trying to block his liberal reforms through strongarm tactics.

They have denounced what they say is increased physical violence and
intimidation against moderate forces, with some reformist newspapers closed
amid demands from traditionalist clerics for limits on press freedom.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:37:47 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian pilgrims return to Iraq

BAGHDAD, Dec 9 (AFP) - Iranian pilgrims have returned to Iraq
following a one month interruption over fears of a US attack on
Baghdad for its refusal to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors.
Just over 2,000 Iranian pilgrims have crossed the border since
Sunday to visit Shiite Moslem holy sites, Iraqi newspapers said
Wednesday.
Tehran lifted its ban on pilgrimages on November 20, a week
after Baghdad narrowly averted threatened US and British military
strikes by its last minute decision to resume cooperation with UN
weapons inspectors.
Iraq lifted a 17-year ban on Iranians making pilgrimages to its
holy sites in September 1997, but it was not until April that Iran
agreed to allow direct travel to resume.
Iraq is home to five so-called golden mosques which house the
tombs of Shiite imams and draw pilgrims from around the world.
Iran and Iraq were at war between 1980 and 1988.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 21:35:08 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian leader urged to restrain anti-Khatami hardliners

TEHRAN, Dec 10 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei was urged on Thursday to help rein in Islamic hardliners
who have waged a campaign to counter President Mohammad Khatami's
reform program.
"How could a minority of pressure groups prevent a president
with a solid popular backing from carrying out his program?" asked
former interior minister Abdollah Nuri in an editorial in Khordad
newspaper.
"Who in the world with such strong popular backing lacks the
levers to exercise his power and faces various problems in pushing
through his agenda?" he asked.
Nuri, a liberal cleric who directs Khordad, lamented that the
president, who was elected in a landslide in May 1997, does not
control the security forces to back up his reform program.
He said Khatami does not enjoy "appropriate powers to meet
popular expectations of establishing security and guaranteeing
constitutional rights and freedom."
"Khatami says he will not let people's rights and freedom to be
violated, says he wants to enforce the rule of law. But how is this
possible? Does he control the security and intelligence forces. Does
the judiciary act in harmony with him?," he asked.
Nuri, who was impeached by parliament in June for his liberal
policies, urged the leader "as the captain of the ship to think up a
solution to end the regrettable and dangerous (political) dispute"
in Iran "which has caused serious worries."
Khatami on Monday accused "conservative and traditionalist
forces" on Monday of blocking reforms in the Islamic Republic.
"We are facing the three currents of counterrevolution,
traditionalists hostile to progressive religion and revisionists,"
he said, vowing that his government was determined to "re-establish
respect for the law" and defend public liberties.
Iran's conservative hardliners have sought to counter Khatami's
reform agenda, fearing that it paves the way for Western cultural
influences and undermines traditional values.
Islamic militants have waged a violent campaign against
pro-Khatami students, intellectuals and newspapers, whom they call
"anti-islamic" elements.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 21:35:29 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Syrian VP opposes foreign intervention against Saddam

DAMASCUS, Dec 10 (AFP) - Syria said Thursday it opposed foreign
intervention to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, saying no
country had the right to interfere in another's internal affairs.
"It's a dangerous matter, because if it were implemented,
security and peace would be threatened throughout the world," Syrian
Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam told reporters.
"No country has the right to intervene in the internal affairs
of another. The people must carry out any change," he said as he
greeted his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Habibi.
Syria has been Iran's closest ally in the Arab world, but ties
between Damascus and Baghdad have been improving since 1997.
Habibi later met with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad in the
presence of Khaddam, Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara and
Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharazi, the president's spokesman
said.
The Syrian and Iranian vice presidents also chaired a meeting of
their countries' high-level economic committee which alternates its
sessions between Tehran and Damascus.
When he arrived in Damascus Thursday, Habibi said he would
discuss with Syrian leaders "Palestinian and Iraqi issues, so as to
better coordinate positions."
Habibi, who was here on a two-day visit, was expected to meet
Thursday night with Palestinian opposition leaders in Damascus,
Palestinian officials said.

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

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 21:35:41 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Azerbaijan raises protest over Iranian oil field exploration

BAKU, Dec 10 (AFP) - Azerbaijan's foreign ministry on Thursday
protested Iran's intention to conduct oil field exploration with
foreign oil companies in waters Baku considers within its
territory.
According to a ministry statement, Tehran is planning to sign on
Monday an agreement for seismic surveying in the Caspian with Dutch
multinational Royal Dutch/Shell and British oil company Lazmo.
"Azerbaijan considers impermissable an agreement between Iran
and oil companies Shell and Lazmo for geological-geographical
exploration in a portion of the Caspian sea which includes part of
Azerbaijan's sector," the statement said.
The five Caspian littoral states -- Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia,
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan -- have been locked in a dispute on how
to divide the sea's riches, including billions in estimated oil
reserves.
Baku wants a rough division according to a "middle line,"
whereas Tehran insists on equal shares or no division at all.
"Azerbaijan... believes that the unilateral, unjustified act by
Iran undermines positive tendencies noted in talks over the
Caspian's status, and could negatively affect the spirit of
cooperation in the region," the press release said.
Azerbaijan is likewise in negotiations with Turkmenistan over
the position of a middle line which could influence the ownership of
three centrally located oil fields.
Russia, which supports the division of the sea's floor but not
the waters, signed a protocol earlier this year with Iran calling
for the sea's joint ownership.
Russia, however, also sealed an agreement with Kazakhstan in
July, delineating their two sectors of the Caspian. s

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 9 Dec 1998 to 10 Dec 1998
**************************************************