Date: Apr 2, 1998 [ 23: 18: 6]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 Apr 1998 to 2 Apr 1998 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 Apr 1998 to 2 Apr 1998 - Special issue
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There are 12 messages totalling 1366 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Nowruz and Kurds of the Turkey
2. Report from AI for Algeria
3. JamEe: emlkrd ma sbb Sd sh Gharm jameh az ma jda Svnd
4. I call on Iranians abroad to defend the rights of the IRI officials to
travel abroad safely
5. STOP DEPORTATIONS IN CANADA
6. Canadian New Immigration Proposals
7. APRIL 1 DEADLINE
8. US-Iran Relations: Remarks by Albright and FM Al Thani in Qatar
9. US-Iran relations: US issues new travel advisory in Iran
10. Mobil Chairman Commends State Department Study on Sanctions
11. US-Iran Relations: A day-long Conference at Columbia University
12. US-Iran relations: Riedel Remarks at the Baker Institute Symposium on Iran

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

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 17:12:09 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Nowruz and Kurds of the Turkey

Nowruz and Kurds of the Turkey

On Friday, March 14th, 1998 I left Brimingham toward Londn using train.
Return ticket from Birmingham to London is 28.50 pounds. The distance is 1
hours and 45 minutes. From Euston Station in London, I took underground to
go to Totenham Hale Station. From Totenham Hale, I had to get bus 336 to
get to the meeting in Lee Valley Sports Centre, Pickets Lock, Meridian Way,
London N9. In the bus waiting stand, I noticed a man looking as a Kurd. I
started talking to him (40 year old, thick mustash) in Turkish and my guess
was right. He was going to celebrate Kaveh's Newruz against a Turkish
Sultan (Dhohak). His wife has been left at home to look after kids. I
arrived in the place and found Kurds pleased to have guests from non-Kurd
nations. Women and men were entering the hall from separate doors and were
searched for security reasons. There were exhibition tables for the
publications of PKK and other left Turkish parties as well as international
groups such as, "The Revolutionary Left of Turkey", "Kurdish Community
Association in Europe", "National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns",
"Campaign Against The Arms Trade", "Revolutionary Socialists of Turkey",
"International Committee Against Disappearances-British Section",
"Spatrtacist League", Kurdish Workers Association",...

The text of "The Invitation for Celebration"

Celebrate with the Kurdish Community
Newroz
Kurdish New Year
Festival for Freedom and Resistance.
The Kurdish New Year (Newroz) has been celebrated by the Kurdish people for
thousands of years coinciding with spring solistice on the 21 March. Newroz
celebrates the passing of winter and darkness, and symbolises rebirth in
nature, light and a new life for mankind. The event derives from ancient
times.
According to the Zoroastian religion, good and evil, light and darkness are
opposing forces ever present and in conflict with the natural world. Newroz
also commemorates the Kurdish myth of Kawa, the blacksmith, who defeated the
evil tyrant Dohak and liberated people from his tyranny. To signal his
victory to the people he lit a bonfire from the hillside, which is where the
present significance of Newroz originates.
The myth has modern connotations as the Kurdish people continue to struggle
for the recognition of their unique identity and culture agaist the tyranny
of hostile governments ruling divided Kurdistan. It has therefore also come
to be a celebration of resistance and freedom.
Kurdish Community Centre 0181-880-1804 fax 0181-8029963.
Saturday, 14 March 1998 5-11 pm
Kurdish music, singing, dancing and drama
Lee Valley Sports Centre
Pickets Lock, Meridian Way
London N9 (bus from Tottenham Hale Tube).
Friday, 20 March, 6.30-8.30
Newroz bonfire and dancing with Kurdish Live Band
At Finsbury Park, London.
Notes of the meeting:
The first row was reserved for the guests.
Kurds were speaking Turkish.
The speekers were addressing the audience in Kurdish and Turkish and
occasionaly in English.
Program:
Welcome in Kurdish, Turkish, English
A poem about flower
The history of Newroz
Kurdish and Turkish music by Ozan Duan
A little boy reads poem
Traditional Kurdish dance
A speaker on behalf of PKK
Kurdish and Turkish music by Farhat Tung
2 English speakers
Messages from various marxist parties
Kurdish-Turkish music.

The Slogans were "Long live our leader APO (Abdullah Ocalan)", "Boycott
Turkish Tourism", "Long live Nerwuz", "Humanity, Freedom, Newruz"

The speaker introduction:
Newruz commemorates Kawa and provides a new hope for our people. Our people
were waiting for their freedom for thousands years in Nowruz.
Our ideals are humanist republicanism, independence and victory.

The parties and individals who sent message to the gathering:

London Branch of Turkish Communist Part (Marksist Leninist)
Marksist-Leninist Communists of Turkey

Bruce Kent, President of International Peace Bureaue
Rachel Harford, Campaign Against Arms Trade
Rudis Vis, a Labour MP and a member of Kurdish Affair group
Lord Rea, British Parliament

Participants about 4000 people

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

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 18:51:33 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Re: Report from AI for Algeria

GEORGE JOFFE, Royal Institute of International Affairs:
Two days ago 52 people were massacred in South Algeria.
There is an ongoing crisis in Algeria.
Violence is a current phenomenon there, but we do not hear about it a lot.
If two people get killed in another country, we might hear about it; but at
least a hundred civilian dead people may hardly move the western media
enough to mention the event.
Violence has been a continuous affair in that country and as a Lebanese
intellectual wrote a long time ago, "Algeria is a state born of an army".
The problems are rooted in the 1960's Independence Struggle of Algeria.
During 1988-1992, there were some signs of "the society opening up, more
freedom for the press, and more political activities by the parties other
than the ruling party. The ruling party invited the FIS and other parties
to participate in the election, but the FIS won the election and the army
organised a coup d'etat which is the real cause of the violence. People
believed that the FIS was not only an Islamic party but the child of the
FLA, and they voted for the FIS.
It is difficult to hold one party responsible for the violence, however, up
to Feb 1998, the Algerian government announced 26,000 deaths and a similar
number of wounded. Independent sources put the casualties up to 120,000.
Compared to British casualties during the WWII (500,000 out of 46 million
population), the same percentage of the population of Algeria have been
killed during the recent civil war. In other words, the responsible parties
have killed from their own people as many as the Nazi Army from Britons. In
1995, the FIS and other concerned parties suggested a deal hoping to end the
violence, but the Algerian rulers refused to talk.
Since independence, the same people have ruled in Algeria and it seems that
they are not willing to give it up. The Algerian society is the real victim
of the violence and there is no solution on the horizon without
international intervention.

During the Q&A session, the speaker added:
It seems that western governments are not interested in the case because
they are more concerned about commercial affairs with the Algerian
government. France has only recently announced the Algerian Government as
being "not capable of protecting its citizens which is the responsibilty of
every state". Spain and Italy are madly attracted to the Algerian oil and
will not take any notice of the internal affairs of the Algerian society.
The Arabs are not able to take action because Tunisian and Egyptian
governments are co-signatories of the "Anti Terrorism Campaign" against
so-called "International Terrorism" by "Muslim Militants".
America is far from the area and the EU is the only body suitable to help
the Algerian Society to end its misery, not because of its colonial role in
the past but because it is adjacent to the area.
The IRI had no significant involvement in the current violence in Algeria,
neither before nor after Khatami's election. Usually Algerian rulers point
their fingers at the IRI or Sudan and other states to cover their own
shortcomings and faults.
Human Rights Activists can do no more than highlight the suffering of
Algerians and bring it to the attention of the western public. Then, people
may ask their MPs to take further actions to stop the violence in that
society.

To be continued with the report on the other speakers
Report was prepared by Dr. Asghar Abdi, MD, PhD., Birmingham, UK,
"asghar@btinternet.com".
The speaker should not be held responsible for the accuracy of my report.

The other speakers were:
SALIMA GHEZALI, Editor of "La Nation" newspaper (banned by the Algerian
Government)
MUSTAPHA BOUCHECHI (Algerian Human Rights Lawyer)
KARIMA HAMMACHE, from "Rally for Youth Action (RAJ)"
JOE STARK, Advocacy Director-Middle East Human Rights Watch

----------
From: Algeria Watch International <awi@afn.org>
To: Asghar Abdi <asghar@btinternet.com>
Subject: Re: Report from AI for Algeria
Date: Thu, Apr 2, 1998, 1:32 am


Dear Asghar:

Thank you for your note. AWI would be very interested
if you could give us more comments on the rally. We
would gladly publish it on our site.

Thank you,
Ahmed Bouzid
President

asghar@btinternet.com
Asghar Abdi wrote:
>
> Today, I attended the rally in London. The rally attracted 700 people.
The
> organisers were not prepared for so many people to attend.
>
> During the question session, I asked George Joffe about the possible role
of
> the IRI in the Algerian violence. He replied that the IRI had no
> significanct role in the violence in Algeria either before or after the
> Khatami era. He added that the Algerian government along with the
Egyptian
> and Tunician governments blame the IRI and Sudan and others to cover their
> own fault.
>
> Asghar
>
> AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
>
> Amnesty International with the collaboration of :
> -Human Rights Watch.
> -Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.
> -United Nations Association.
> -British Refugee Council.
>
> Organise a:
> PUBLIC RALLY
>
> April 1st 1998
>
> Grand Committee Room
> House of Commons
> London, SW1 0AA
> at: 7pm
>
> Will be addressing the Rally:
> SALIMA GHEZALI
> Editor of "La Nation" newspaper(banned by the
> Algerian Government)
>
> MUSTAPHA BOUCHECHI
> Algerian Human Rights Lawyer
> KARIMA HAMMACHE
> Rally for Youth Action(RAJ)
> GEORGE JOFFE
> Royal Institute of International
Affairs
> JOE STARK
> Advocacy Director-Middle East Human Rights Watch
> MARK LATIMER
> Amnesty International UK
> DR ZAKI BADAWI
> Director, Muslim College
> NICK HARWICK
> Chief Executive of British Refugee Council
> GLENYS KINNOCK(subject to confirmation)
> MEP
> We urge you to show your support for the Algerian people. Attend the
> Rally and add your voice to the call for international action to end the
> suffering of the Algerianpeople. If you require further information
please
> do
> not hesitate to contact :
> Mr ASAD REHMAN on: + 44 171 417 6375
> or email on : arehman@amnesty.org.uk
>
>
> ALL WELCOME
>

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

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 22:55:45 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: JamEe: emlkrd ma sbb Sd sh Gharm jameh az ma jda Svnd

=begin=
pnjSnbh 82 asfnd . sal avl . Smarh 33
Aytallh mvsvy ardbyly
emlkrd ma sbb Sd sh Gharm jameh az ma jda Svnd
grvh syasy
Aytallh ebdalkrym mvsvy ardbyly dr jme elma v rvHanyan qm gft: ))agr mrdm v
jvanan sKnan ma ra npsndydnd nbayd bray Hl mSkl, Anha ra mthm knym v bgvyym
Anha qdrt drk ndarnd . blkh ma bayd bh Kvdman baz grdym v bh arzyaby Kvd
bprdazym.

Aytallh mvsvy ardbyly dr AKryn rvz az brgzary drs Karj az fqh, KTab bh elma
v rvHanyan Haxr dr jlsh v Hvzhhay elmyh aXhar daSt: ))ma bayd jvanha ra jZb
knym ta dr Ayndh bar aslam ra bh dvS gyrnd((.
vy ba aSarh bh aynkh nbayd ba brKvrdhay napsnd , mrdm ra az dyn byzar krd ,
afzvd: ))mgr Kdavnd vHStAvr ast kh mrdm ra az Kdavnd mytrsanyd, Kdavnd rHmtS
byStr ast , jhnm dard, ama bhStS bzrgtr ast((.
Aytallh mvsvy ardbyly aslam ra dyn rHmt, shvlt, aKlaq v zybayy Kvand v adamh
dad: ))ma Ghrhay KSn, nfrtangyz, trsnak, xd eql v xd elm az aslam araih
dadhaym((.
vy gft: ))ma dr zman Kvdman ba anjam brKy emlkrdha sbb Sdhaym kh byS az sh
Gharm afrad jameh az ma jda Svnd((.
Aytallh mvsvy ardbyly afzvd: ))danSjvyan v danSgahyan az ma jda Sdhand, znha
az ma jda Sdhand , jvanha az ma jda Sdhand, Gh ksy bray ma baqy mandh ast ?
Aya ayn brKvrd ma drst bvdh ast?((.
vy ba aelam ayn mTlb kh HfX mrjeyt yky az rsalthay bzrg elma dr eCr Haxr ast
gft: ))aknvn byS az hzar sal ast kh nhad mrjeyt bh dst amaman meCvm bnyan
gZary Sdh ast v elmay ma bayd mannd SyK mfyd v SyK Tvsy , HafX v pasdar An
baSnd((.
vy afzvd: ))agr ntvanym dr zman Kvd , nhad mrjeyt ra HfX knym bray ma benvan
nng bsyar bzrg cbt Kvahd Sd kh amanty hzar salh ra xaye krdym v ntvansthaym
Abrv v Hycyt Anra HfX knym((.
Aytallh mvsvy ardbyly takyd krd: ))agr myKvahyd hman ezt gZSth ra bray aslam
HfX knyd , bayd dr CHnh msail elmy nsbt bh dygran hmvarh pyStaz baSyd ya agr
pyStaz nystyd , Hdaql hm traz v hmgam ba dygran baSyd((.
=end=

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

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 21:57:24 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: I call on Iranians abroad to defend the rights of the IRI officials to
travel abroad safely

According to the news broadcast by the IRI media and echoes from the MKO
and the NCRI publications, Mr Mohajerani was attacked by some Iranian
opposition activists, during his visit to Europe. According to Jame'eh
Newspaper, Iran's National Football Team was also assaulted by some Iranians
in another European country. Dr. Abdulkarim Soroush was also attacked and
insulted by members of the Iran Communist Party in Germany recently. More
surprisingly, the Communist Party of Iran warned Dr Soroush to shut up and
not to speak and threatened him with further physical attacks. Also Abbass
Ma'rufi was attacked by opposition activists when he was entering a hall to
give a talk in a European country.
While Iranian human rights defenders and Iranian democrats have been
defending the basic rights of Iranians inside Iran, their silence about the
obvious harrassment of Islamist and secular non-communist intellectuals is
an alarming sign of double standards. Therefore, I invite those concerned
about human rights and freedom of expression to raise their voice of concern
regarding the violation of freedom of expression of intellectuals by
extremist opposition groups who represent the other side of
Ansar-e-Hezbullah fascism.

Asghar Abdi

thr 005
unesco-mayor-attack
mayor expresses regret over mko attack on mohajerani
tehran, april 2, irna -- the secretary general of the u.n.
educational, scientific and cultural organization (unesco) federico
mayor wednesday in stockholm voiced readiness to further upgrade
iran-unesco relations to materialize unesco goals including justice
and freedom.
addressing the cultural ministers of unesco member states, he
expressed regret over the violence which broke out when iranian
minister of culture and islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani was
delivering a speech at the unesco conference.
a member of the terrorist mojahedin khalq organization (mko)
attacked mohajerani while he was addressing the conference. the
iranian minister continued his speech calmly after the attack.
the unesco chief said that any kind of violence by anyone and
anywhere is condemned, particularly in such a cultural atmoshpere in
which anyone is able to speak out freely.
the colombian minister of culture who chaired the conference
also condemned the attack.
heads of participant delegations from different countries
including india, vietnam, saudi arabia, maghreb, and nigeria as
well as swedish foreign ministry director general also voiced their
regret over the incident.
fs/rr
end
::irna 02/04/98 12:27

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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 01:23:28 EST
From: CHAIRNGO <CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM>
Subject: STOP DEPORTATIONS IN CANADA

STOP DEPORTATIONS

Refugees from Iran came to Canada to escape an oppressive government which
denied them basic human rights. If they return to Iran they face torture and
death. Despite this the Canadian government wants to deport Iranian refugees
in order to strengthen business ties with the Iranian regime. The Liberal
government has also proposed new immigration laws which will amount to
potential death sentences for human beings seeking asylum in Canada. Please
join us to discuss these issues and plan a campaign to defend refugees and
stop the deportatons.

PUBLIC FORUM

Friday April 3, 1998
7:30PM
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
St. George and Bloor St.
Room 2212

SPONSORED BY:
The International Federation of Iranian Refugees
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
The New Socialist Group
The Worker-communist Party of Iran
The Worker-communist Party of Iraq
The Ontario Public Interest Research Group UofT


For more information, contact CHAIR, GPO, P. O. Box 7051, New York, NY 10116.
Tel: 212-747-1046. Fax: 212-425-7240. E-mail: chairngo@aol.com

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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 01:21:05 EST
From: CHAIRNGO <CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM>
Subject: Canadian New Immigration Proposals

For more information, contact CHAIR, GPO, P. O. Box 7051, New York, NY 10116.
Tel: 212-747-1046. Fax: 212-425-7240. E-mail: chairngo@aol.com

Refugee rights are human rights
by Hassan Varash
International Federation of Iranian Refugees
Toronto, Canada

"Not Just Numbers: A Canadian Framework For Future Immigration" (also
known as "New Proposals") is the report with which Lucienne Robillard,
federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration launched her recent cross-
country
tour of "consultation." Both its critics and proponents believe that, if
passed,
"New Proposals" will fundamentally transform the way Canada assesses refugee
and immigration cases.

Due to space limitations, this article will focus on the first part of
"New Proposals," which deals with refugee claims. I will assess the second
part,
dealing with immigration, which is no less important and dangerous than the
first, in another article.

The report's authors begin by attempting to intimidate readers: "The
report is the result of many months of consultations with people involved in
all
aspects of immigration, inside and outside all orders of government, of the
consideration of more than 500 written submissions, and of much study and
discussion."

This may be true. Nevertheless, it discriminates against people on the basis
of
sex, country of birth, race, class origin, and income. It is a class report
against the working class, including the poor and unemployed.
It assumes that asylum-seekers are a bunch of dangerous people who are
flowing into Canada to endanger it, and that Canada must protect itself
from them. That is why the proposed new act is named the "Protection Act." It
uses language like "danger to the public," "track them down," and "remove
them"
as if refugees are objects. The report claims its objective is to "address the
necessity for protecting our society from those whose entry into Canada
could result in harm or danger to others." But it does not explain what danger
asylum seekers could possibly pose. Are refugees not fleeing persecution and
in
need of support, rather than further victimization and exclusion?

There is no need to go through the report in detail to reveal how inhuman it
is. The point is that the assumptions behind it are xenophobic towards asylum
seekers. It is enough to say that the second of over 170 recommendations in
the report would, if passed, cause the refugee acceptance rate in Canada to
drop dramatically. This proposal would deny the right to request asylum to
refugees whose flights to Canada stop in countries which the Canadian state
calls a "Safe Third Country" (only Afghanistan, Burundi, Rwanda, Nigeria and
Zaire are
considered unsafe). No one from Africa or Asia would have the right to
claim refugee status because there are no non-stop flights from these
continents
to Canada. For example, a woman fleeing Iran (where women can legally be
stoned to death) could be deported. Some say that such asylum-seekers could
take refuge in European countries where their planes have landed on the way to
Canada. However, attacks on refugee rights are going on across the world. For
example, Britain is one country where many flights land en route to Canada.
For over a year the British government has been making use of an old law
(unused for a long time) according to which refugees can be convicted of
forgery for using false
passports. The attack on refugees is international, and for this reason it
is imperative to resist and fight back internationally.

The authors of "Not Just Numbers" know that if the report's proposals
are adopted many refugees will still enter Canada because living here
undocumented and without citizenship status is better than persecution or
execution back home. So the report complains that the present refugee system
is ineffective at tracking non-status refugees, and proposes ways for the
government to correct this defect.

We can imagine what would happen to those who live in Canada without status
in the hope that some day they will be permitted to stay in Canada legally.
Right now in Toronto alone there are about 100 000 people without legal
status.
Such people have no right to work, to study, to social assistance and to
health
coverage. In so far as the government is concerned these people do not
exist - they are not even "Just Numbers."

The authors of the report know too well that with the enactment of the
new act the number of people without legal status will increase. Thus they
advocate labelling them with categories that make them appear dangerous even
if they have committed no crimes, categories such as "likely to be a danger to
the
public." For example, if a person fails to appear at an Immigration Office
because
she knows that if she does she will be detained and deported, she will be
charged with a criminal offense. Without even being convicted, she will be
considered "likely to be a danger to the public" and removed from Canada.
"New Proposals" not only takes away the right of the vast majority of
refugee claimants to apply for asylum in Canada, it also recommends
measures to take away rights from the lucky minority who are accepted. How?
The person who will rule on refugee claims will be a simple government
employee whose decisions cannot be appealed. Under the current system, awful
as it is, cases are decided by the Refugee Board and refugees have the right
to legal counsel to defend them.

It is clear that the Canadian government is launching a vicious attack on
refugees. If successful, it will serve as a model for other governments to
follow suit. This is obviously an attack on humanity in general and the
working class in particular, and should be fought by the working class
internationally. There is a hard and long struggle ahead of us. Join!

Hassan Varash is active with the International Federation of Iranian
Refugees in Toronto

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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 01:18:48 EST
From: CHAIRNGO <CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM>
Subject: APRIL 1 DEADLINE

For more information, contact CHAIR, GPO, PO Box 7051, New York, NY 10116.
Tel: 212-747-1046; Fax: 212-425-7240; E-Mail: Chairngo@aol.com.

CENTER FOR IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS
ALERT - APRIL 1

The 245(i) provision of the immigration reform legislation allowed
immigrants who were in the U.S. without authorization to adjust their status
without having to leave the country by paying a $1000 penalty fee. This
penalty program ended on January 14, 1998. As a result, almost all
undocumented immigrants who did not file a petition by January 14 and who
are waiting for a "green card" to become available must return to their home
countries and wait for their papers to be processed there. The only
undocumented immigrants who will be allowed to adjust their status while
still in the U.S. are those who entered with a visa and who have an
immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen.

"Unlawful presence" is now grounds for inadmissibility. What that means is
that anyone who was present in the U.S. unlawfully for 180 days after April
1, 1997, leaves the country voluntarily, and tries to re-enter, will be
prevented from coming back in, or will be "inadmissible" for three years.
Anyone who was unlawfully present for 365 days after April 1, 1997, leaves
voluntarily, and tries to re-enter, will be barred from returning for ten
years.

Therefore, after April 1, 1998, all immigrants who return to their home
countries to process their "green cards" through their consulates, and who
were previously unlawfully present in the U.S. for a year or more, will
face a ten year bar. There may be some waivers available.

Most immigrants who have been undocumented in the U.S. since April 1, 1997
are now confronted with a difficult decision. Do I return to my home country
before April 1, 1998 and remain inadmissible for three years? Do I lave
after April 1, 1998 and remain inadmissible for ten years? Or do I give up
any hope of ever obtaining a green card but remain in the United States?

Undocumented immigrants must first ascertain if they are affected by these
provisions. Then, if they are, they need to decide whether or not to return
to their home country before April 1, 1998.

No immigrant should make any decision about this without first consulting
with an immigration attorney, specialist, or advocate.

*******************************************************************

ASYLUM DEADLINE PASSED!!

According to a provision of the immigration reform act, that went into
effect on April 1, 1997, anyone seeking asylum must apply within one year of
her arrival in the country.

ANYONE WHO ARRIVED IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE APRIL 1, 1997 HAD
TO APPLY FOR ASYLUM BY APRIL 1, 1998

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

Who is eligible to apply for asylum?
1) Anyone who came to this country because she was persecuted in her home
country because of her race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or
membership in a particular social group, or
2) who has a well-founded fear that she would suffer such persecution in her
home country, may be able to apply for political asylum.

Are there any exceptions to the April 1 deadline?

Yes. if an immigrant can prove that the situation in his home country has
changed, or if she can prove that she was unable to file by the deadline
because of "extraordinary circumstances," she may be able to apply after
April 1, 1998.

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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 00:10:22 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: US-Iran Relations: Remarks by Albright and FM Al Thani in Qatar

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release

April 1, 1998

REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT AND HIS EXCELLENCY
SHAIKH HAMAD BIN JASIM AL THANI FOREIGN MINISTER OF QATAR AFTER THEIR
MEETING

Washington, D.C.

........

Q: Madame Secretary, there seems to be more people-to-people contacts
between Iran and the United States, and the pace of them seems to be
increasing in recent weeks. Are you at any point reconsidering Iran
policy; more specifically, is the travel advisory up for reconsideration?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, let me explain something about the travel
advisory. Travel advisories generally are taken on the basis of facts on
the ground as to whether it is dangerous for Americans to travel to a
particular region; they are based on objective factors. And they are
under review all the time for all countries. So there is nothing
different in terms of what we are looking at as far as Iran is concerned.

I must say that I was very pleased in seeing how the American
wrestlers were received in Tehran. And I think that you are seeing
as President Clinton and I have said, we continue to be intrigued by the
kinds of things that President Khatemi is doing. I think that we need to
keep looking very carefully at the signals and signs that are developing,
and hope to be following up in terms of some of the people-to-people
issues. And as I said, I really am pleased with the reception that our
wrestlers received.

[...]

Q: For the Foreign Minister, is it true that you brought a message
from Iran to the United States? And what is your advice to the United
States in terms of more opening to Iran?

FOREIGN MINISTER SHAIKH HAMAD: First of all, we didn't bring any
message from Iran to the United States. And our wish, not our advice, is
that the relationship between the United States and Iran would be
improved, since we are in the area and we care that we have good
relations with Iran and the United States, as a major ally for us in the
Gulf. We wish also to see this good relationship which is between the GCC
and Iran to be reflected with the United States and Iran.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me just say I think that we have spoken about the
importance of actions as well - there have been some good words out of
Iran, and we are looking at changes in actions. It took a long time for
us to reach the judgment that the Iranians were involved in terms of
acquiring weapons of mass destruction, supporting terrorism and not
supporting the Middle East peace process. So it is only prudent and
responsible, as we look towards what they are doing and whether they are
changing their actions, for us to be studying very carefully what they
are doing.

I appreciate very much when a respected friend from the region comes and
gives his analysis of what is going on.

[...]

Q: Mr. Foreign Minister, is it your opinion that Iran has ceased its
active opposition to the peace process, in your nation's opinion?

FOREIGN MINISTER SHAIKH HAMAD: Well, I think there are some changes; we
can see some changes. I think the Iranians said that the peace process
belongs to the people of Palestine and the neighborhood with Israel, and
if they accept something, it's their own fate.

I think this is a positive answer from the Iranians, and I hope that this
will be a practical part of their policy toward the peace process.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you.

(end transcript)

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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 00:09:10 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: US-Iran relations: US issues new travel advisory in Iran

USIA
02 April 1998

TEXT: US ISSUES NEW TRAVEL ADVISORY ON IRAN

(Albright notes Khatami's call for dialogue, exchanges) (590)

Washington -- The Department of State on April 2 issued a new travel
advisory warning U.S. citizens to defer travel to Iran.

While some limited private exchanges have taken place between Iranians
and Americans as a result of Iranian President Khatami's call for a
"dialogue of civilizations," there is evidence that hostility to the
United States remains in some segments of the Iranian population and some
elements of the Iranian government, according to the travel warning.

Asked at an April 1 joint press conference with Qatari Foreign
Minister Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani about U.S. reconsideration of
the travel ban on Iran, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright responded
that "travel advisories generally are taken on the basis of facts on the
ground as to whether it is dangerous for Americans to travel to a
particular region; they are based on objective factors."

Albright added, "they are under review all the time for all countries. So
there is nothing different in terms of what we are looking at as far as
Iran is concerned."

The Secretary said she and President Clinton "continue to be intrigued by
the kinds of things that President Khatami is doing. ... I think that we
need to keep looking very carefully at the signals and signs that are
developing, and hope to be following up in terms of some of the
people-to-people issues," she said.

She also expressed pleasure at the reception the American wrestlers were
given in Iran last month.

Following is the text of the State Department Warning:

(Begin text)

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs

IRAN

April 2, 1998

The Department of State warns all U.S. citizens to defer travel to
Iran. Iranian President Khatami has called for a "dialogue of
civilizations" and an increase of private exchanges between Iranians and
Americans; some limited exchanges have taken place. There is, however,
evidence that hostility to the United States remains in some segments of
the Iranian population and some elements of the Iranian government.

The U.S. government does not currently have diplomatic or consular
relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and therefore, cannot
provide protection or routine consular services to American citizens in
Iran. The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves
as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran. The Iranian government
does not recognize dual citizenship and generally does not permit the
Swiss to provide protective services for American citizens who are also
Iranian nationals. In addition, U.S. citizens of Iranian origin who are
considered to be Iranian citizens have been detained and harassed by
Iranian authorities. Former Muslims who have converted to other
religions, as well as persons who encourage Muslims to convert, are
subject to arrest and possible execution. The Iranian government
reportedly has the names of all individuals who filed claims against Iran
at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at the Hague pursuant to the 1981
Algerian Accords. There are restrictions on both import and export of
goods between Iran and the United States. Neither U.S. passports nor
visas to the United States are issued in Tehran.

No. 98-006

This replaces the previous Travel Warning dated July 8, 1997, to
reflect President Khatami's call for dialogue and the limited private
exchanges which have taken place between Iranians and Americans.

(End text)



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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 00:11:32 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: Mobil Chairman Commends State Department Study on Sanctions

Mobil Chairman Commends State Department Study on Sanctions

March 30 1998

Offers Policy Options on Iran Sanctions

FAIRFAX, Va. (BUSINESS WIRE) - Mobil Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer Lucio A. Noto commended the U.S. State Department for its efforts
to develop rational standards for the use of sanctions by the U.S.
government.

Speaking before the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown
University today, Noto said it is time to re-evaluate how and why the
U.S. imposes sanctions and assess the impact they have.

"We applaud that effort and also support legislation in Congress to limit
the use of unilateral sanctions," he said. "Sanctions undercut the health
of the U.S. economy, they mitigate the
positive impact of U.S. companies operating overseas, they strain the
credibility of the U.S. as an international policy maker. Furthermore,
they just don't work."

Using the Caspian region as an example, Noto explained that while the
U.S. government wants to assist the Central Asian republics to grow and
prosper -- particularly in the development and production of the large
oil and gas deposits in the region -- U.S. sanctions against Iran are
creating roadblocks in areas where we want U.S. presence to grow.

Citing the changes that are occurring in Iran, Noto said that the U.S.
has, "a unique opportunity to engage with that nation now. President
Khatami was democratically elected and has signaled
a willingness for dialogue with the U.S. The U.S. should send some
positive signals of its own back to Iran."

Noto then offered three policy options for the U.S. to consider
concerning U.S. energy companies:

Grant licenses to swap Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbiajan crude oil
with Iran pending completion of pipelines out of that region.

Allow limited waivers for U.S. companies to use Iranian drilling
equipment in theCaspian region.

Develop guidelines for companies to negotiate with Iran, with actual
investment contingent on sanctions being lifted. This approach is similar
to the one the government provided in Vietnam before diplomatic
relationships were established.

"I believe these options would send a limited positive signal of
encouragement to Khatami supporters, but not compromise U.S. opposition
to any of Iran's policies," said Noto. "It would
also enable the U.S. to maintain a strategic presence and bolster its
influence in the region."

Noto reiterated why sanctions do not work in today's global environment.
"History shows that sanctions don't change the behavior of leaders and
governments," he said. "Instead they punish ordinary citizens and
prohibit us from being a part of the process of influence and change."

Citing actions from 1992 to 1996, Noto said that the U.S. government has
imposed 61 laws and regulations authorizing economic trade sanctions for
foreign policy purposes against 35
countries. Worldwide the U.S. now has sanctions of one kind or another in
place against 2.3 billion people, or 42 percent of the world's
population.

Noto stressed why companies like Mobil can and do help improve conditions
in countries if they are allowed to stay and operate, adding that Mobil
does care about human rights, the environment and security. Citing
Mobil's activities in Nigeria and Indonesia, he said that the company
employs more than 2,600 nationals in both countries, including management
positions.

Mobil transfers technology, builds and supports hospitals, schools,
libraries, provides electricity, builds roads and water systems and
sponsors cultural and athletic events that benefit
not just its employees in those countries, but ultimately U.S. national
interests as well.

"We invest in and are part of the community through employment, community
projects and economic development," he added. "This seems to be behavior
the U.S. likes to espouse."

"Look what's happening around the world," Noto concluded. "Barriers to
trade and investment are falling, countries previously closed are opening
up and we are experiencing a sharing of ideas and cultures. This is a
good thing."

For more news and information about Mobil, please see us on the World
Wide Web at www.mobil.com/news.

Contact: Mobil Corp. Dave Dickson, 703/846-2378

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

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 23:47:08 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: US-Iran Relations: A day-long Conference at Columbia University

USIA
02 April 1998

UNIVERSITY WORKSHOP EXPLORES OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S.-IRAN EXCHANGES

(Columbia program offers exchanges for individuals, organizations)
(1300)

By Judy Aita
USIA Staff Writer

New York -- Over one hundred representatives of private agencies,
research institutes, American universities, and private industry held a
day-long conference April 1 on "working in -- and with -- Iran" at
Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

The conference was designed to follow up on Iranian President
Mohammaed Khatami's call for increased exchanges of scholars, writers,
artists and journalists in the United States and Iran, even though Iran
continues to refuse to have government-to-government talks with the
United States. It was organized by Dr. Gary Sick, a senior research
scholar at the university, who was the principal White House aide for
Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the taking of American hostages at
the U.S. embassy in Teheran in 1979.

After the Iranian revolution, most academic institutions, foundations,
and non-governmental organizations either terminated or greatly reduced
their work with Iraq, Sick said. "Interest in resuming such activities
has been growing in recent years, particularly since January when
President Khatami called for the exchange of professors writers,
scholars, artists, journalists and tourists with the U.S. Khatami's
action received a more positive response from the U.S. Government. That
was "unthinkable a short time ago," he said.

U.S. State Department official Chris Stevens said "it is U.S. policy to
encourage people-to-people exchanges with Iranians" and welcomed the
recent statement. He noted that American wrestlers, scholars, and even
former U.S. policy makers have been well received in Iran recently.

The State Department has seen an increase in requests for visas for
Iranian visitors sponsored by American organizations and is
encouraging and trying to facilitate those requests, Stevens said.

As the conference was going on, the State Department was issuing a new
travel warning on Iran for Americans. The new warning urges Americans to
defer travel to Iran rather than warning against travel.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in Washington April 1 that "we
continue to be intrigued by the kind of things President Khatami is
doing. I think we need to keep looking very carefully at the signals and
signs that are developing and hope to be following up in terms of some of
the people-to-people issues."

Recently U.S. State Department Spokesman James Rubin said the United
States will review Iranian visa applications on a case-by-case basis as
expeditiously as possible. For example, Rubin pointed out that the U.S.
allowed President Khatami's women's affairs adviser to travel to the U.S.
for talks with a U.S. research institution and gave permission to Iranian
Ambassador to the U.N. to travel to Los Angeles to give a speech to a
private group. Iranian officials accredited to U.N. headquarters in New
York are limited to travel within a 25-mile
radius of the U.N.

The conference, Sick said, was intended to highlight the opportunities
for private contacts, the variety of possibilities for exchanges and how
to go about such exchanges, especially by networking among groups.

Sick is also the author and executive director of "Gulf/2000," an
international research project on political, economic and security
developments in the Persian Gulf being conducted at the university
with support from several foundations.

Participants did not discuss the political aspects of the U.S.-Iran
relationship, concentrating instead on building and expanding links with
nongovernmental issues, universities, medical facilities, health
agencies, relief agencies, and tourism.

Unofficial contacts between Americans and Iranians have greatly
increased in the past few years, conference participants said. Most,
including non-Muslim religious organizations, reported friendly and warm
receptions from their Iranian counterparts.

John Marks, president of Search for Common Ground, which recently
worked with USA Wrestling to have a U.S. team participate in an
international event in Teheran, said there now seems to be "a
significant opening for better U.S.-Iranian relations."

Both high visibility and less public non-governmental contacts (often
referred to as "Track II" exchanges) "could make a major contribution to
helping drain the poison from the relationship and moving the two
countries toward eventual reconciliation," Marks said.

The Washington-based organization hopes to work with other NGOs to
expand political, economic, cultural and sporting exchanges involving
distinguished and prominent Iranians, Americans, and Europeans who have
diverse views and professional backgrounds. For example, Marks proposed
wrestling exhibitions, environmental exchanges, and contacts on medical
issues concerning children.

The wrestling visit, which took place February 17 to 20, was the first
U.S. sporting or cultural presence in Iran since the hostage crisis and
it received wide attention in both countries. It was followed a week
later by a conference sponsored by Iran's Foreign Ministry research
institute. Several American security specialists from research and
academic institutions attended.

Ambassador Roscoe Suddarth, president of the Middle East Institute in
Washington, D.C., attended that conference and said that "even though
Iran and the United States are not talking officially, the Iranians are
certainly talking frankly to people when we go out to these conferences."

During his recent visit, his first in more than 20 years, Suddarth
said he "found firm and full dialogue on all of the major issues that
concern the United States with authoritative levels in the Foreign
Ministry and elsewhere about terrorism, about weapons of mass
destruction, and the peace process."

"So we're finding it a very interesting time to be doing analysis and
dialoguing with Iran," he said. With no official contacts between
Washington and Teheran, "the burden of trying to analyze and have contact
falls heavily on NGOs and those of us who are in the policy analysis
business."

Suddarth added that his institute has been the "victim of the Khatami
phenomena: The pace and interest in Iraq has picked up and it has been
very, very stimulating." The Middle East Institute is "engaged in a very
intensive effort this year to emphasize Iran," he said.

The institute is hoping to have high ranking Iranians participate in its
annual conference in October and is planning, in cooperation with
Georgetown University, a twentieth anniversary assessment of the Iranian
revolution in February 1999, and is looking forward to cooperation from
Iran as well.

Dr. Mahmood Sariolghalam of Teheran, who is a visiting professor at Ohio
State University, outlined the academic situation in Iran. He said that
studying in the United States "remains the number one
priority for masters students" in Iran but because of the vast
difficulties involved in traveling to the United States, most have
turned to universities in Australia, Canada, and Great Britain.

"Do not underestimate the power of exposure (to U.S. universities) for
students," Sariolghalam said.

Stanley Weiss, chairman of the Business Executives for National
Security and the former head of a mining company, said that during his
recent visit to Iran he, too, found "enormous warmth" for Americans and
"everybody was talking about dialogue.

Although U.S. laws still prohibit Americans from conducting business with
Iran, Weiss said he looks forward to the day when trade can resume.

Others who spoke during the conference were: Lisa Anderson, Dean of
Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs; Baquer Namazi of
the Cairo-based Population Council; Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi of Barnard
College; Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour of the Iranian Mission to the U.N.; Dr.
Homayoun Kazemmi of Harvard Medical School; Dr. Jane Schaller, professor
of pediatrics at Tufts Fletcher School of diplomacy; John Esposito,
director of the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian
Understanding; Dr. Ron Mathies, executive director of the Mennonite
Central Committee; Maria Dakake, of Princeton University; David Hoffman
of Internews; and Ruth Kennison of Distant Horizons.



Return to Washington File home page

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

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 00:03:53 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: US-Iran relations: Riedel Remarks at the Baker Institute Symposium on
Iran

USIA
02 April 1998

TEXT: RIEDEL REMARKS AT THE BAKER INSTITUTE SYMPOSIUM ON IRAN
(US is ready to engage with Iran on issues of mutual concern) (2540)

Houston -- The United States stands ready to engage with Iran on all of
the issues of concern to both states whenever Iran is ready, Bruce O.
Riedel, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near
East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, said April
2.

In remarks to the Baker Institute Symposium on Iran, Riedel said the U.S.
is watching with interest signs of change within Iran since the
inauguration of President Khatami.

"We have followed his words and actions closely. We watched closely his
unprecedented CNN interview and noted its many positive statements. We
followed his handling of the Islamic Summit in Tehran last December and
its generally moderate tone. And we have noted with interest his efforts
to strengthen the rule of law inside Iran," he said.

"Most of all we welcome President Khatami's decision to increase the
level of interaction at the people-to-people level between our two
countries," Riedel said, noting in particular the American wrestling team
that was well received in Tehran last month and the Iranian wrestlers who
will visit Oklahoma soon.

While acknowledging that people-to-people dialogue is useful, Riedel said
"the issues that divide Iran and America must ultimately be addressed by
their governments. ... We have no preconditions. We only insist that the
dialogue be authoritative -- that is government-to-government."

Unfortunately, he said, "there are serious issues about Iran's
behavior that still need to be addressed and need to be changed."

-- First are Iran's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and
long range ballistic missiles. Despite its signature on the NPT and CWC,
our information is crystal clear: Iran is seeking to develop an arsenal
of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver
them.

-- Second, there remains Iran's dangerous connections with terrorist
organizations around the world and particularly in the Muslim world.

-- Third, we remain particularly concerned by Iran's support for
violent opposition to the Middle East peace process.

Riedel recalled President Clinton's Id al-Fitr message to Muslims
around the world, in which he said, "Iran is an important country with a
rich and ancient cultural heritage of which Iranians are justifiably
proud. We have real differences with some Iranian policies, but these are
not insurmountable. I hope that we have more exchanges between our
peoples and that the day will soon come when we can enjoy once again good
relations with Iran."

"We are patient and prepared to wait," to engage with Iran, Riedel
said. "In the interim we will continue to do all we can to constrain and
disrupt Iran's behavior in those areas that threaten our interests and
the interests of our allies and friends."

Speaking briefly on the second side of the Dual Containment threat to the
Gulf region -- Iraq -- Riedel said, "We continue to face a very serious
challenge to the stability of the Gulf from Saddam's Iraq."

Although the crisis with Iraq over the issue of UNSCOM inspections has
been resolved for now, he said, "the track record of the Saddam
government suggests strongly that we need to remain vigilant and prepare
for additional challenges from the Iraqi regime."

Following is the text of Riedel's speech, as prepared for delivery:

(Begin text)

"U.S. POLICY TOWARD IRAN"

It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to speak to this
audience on the subject of U.S. policy toward Iran. It is a particular
pleasure to have been invited by Ed Djerejian, a friend of many years and
a colleague who taught me a great deal not just about the Middle East but
about the business of diplomacy and government. Ed, I still remember
fondly, our trip to the Gulf and our many meetings to discuss how best to
advance American interests in that important part of the world.

The Gulf region has been recognized by every American President since
Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an area of absolute vital strategic
importance for the United States. Not only is it the energy storehouse of
the world -- home to two thirds of the proven oil reserves of the globe
-- but it is also the nexus where three continents come together and the
home of three great religions. No where else in the world have U.S.
military forces been more actively engaged in the last quarter century
than here. From EARNEST WILL to DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM to
SOUTHERN WATCH, NORTHERN WATCH and DESERT STRIKE, this is where the vital
interests of the United States have been defended most vigorously in the
last two decades.

When President Clinton was elected in 1992 his first administration
recognized immediately the strategic import of the region and recognized
that there were two central threats posed to the stability and security
of the area -- Iraq and Iran. We also recognized from the beginning that
these threats could not be dealt with in isolation. Rather the United
States needed to understand that dealing with the threat posed by one
could not be done at the cost of neglecting the other. Consequently, we
needed a policy designed to handle the unique threat each posed but which
did so in a coordinated manner.

This was and remains the underlying premise of the policy known as
Dual Containment. That policy understands the unique threats posed by
these two states and seeks to deal with them both, not identically but in
a coherent manner. Early on we rejected the option of trying to play one
off against the other. That policy had been tried earlier and had
resulted in the dangerous imbalance of power in the region that created
the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

We are now five years later and much has changed in the world. But
much remains unchanged. We continue to face a very serious challenge to
the stability of the Gulf from Saddam's Iraq. We have just concluded a
prolonged confrontation with Iraq over the question of whether the UNSCOM
inspectors would have full and unrestricted access to all sites in Iraq.
That crisis has been resolved for now with a clear result -- Iraq backed
down and allowed UNSCOM to have the access it needs to do its job. UNSCOM
inspectors, including Americans, have inspected facilities previously off
limits -- like the Iraqi equivalent of the Pentagon -- in the last few
weeks. This is a significant accomplishment for American diplomacy backed
by the threat of force.

During this crisis we also successfully expanded the UN's oil-for-food
program substantially -- thus securing more help for the Iraqi people.
Saddam's ability to use the humanitarian card to undermine sanctions has
been reduced. This too is a victory for the international community.

But the track record of the Saddam government suggests strongly that we
need to remain vigilant and prepare for additional challenges from the
Iraqi regime. That will require a substantial-American military presence
in the Gulf to enforce the no-fly zones and give our diplomacy the muscle
it needs.

Today I want to focus our attention on the second threat in the Gulf
region that President Clinton inherited in 1993 -- Iran. How has
containment fared vis-a-vis Iran?

Our most important accomplishment here has been to put an
international focus on Iran's actions and behaviors. Iran's support for
terrorism, its efforts to acquire WMD and its sponsorship of violent
opposition to the Middle East Peace Process have become an increasingly
important part of the international debate since 1993.

Interestingly, virtually every significant player in the region has
concurred with our assessment of the dangers posed by Iran. From Algeria
to Central Asia, from Jordan to Pakistan, regional leaders have spoken
out against Iranian machinations more and more in the last few years.

And we have had some success in other areas. Japan suspended its aid
program for Iran, citing its support for terrorism, costing the Iranian
regime over a billion dollars. Europe last spring announced an arms
embargo. Russia has agreed to cap its arms dealings and take steps to
control technology transfers with Iran. The Ukraine, Poland and other
states have listened positively to our concerns about dangerous arms and
technology transfers. China has moved away from cooperation with Iran's
nuclear program and the sale of destabilizing conventional weapons.

Second, our effort to highlight Iran's rogue behaviors and increase
the economic cost of such actions has forced Tehran to make difficult
decisions about where to put its resources. In a country with $30
billion in foreign debt and half the population under 21, economic
decisions about arms purchases can be influenced by outsiders. We have
sought to make Iran think twice about how to spend its money. Hard
pressed for foreign hard currency Iran has had to steadily cut back on
its purchases of foreign weapons in this decade. Foreign exchange
expenditures on arms have dropped from a high of $2.5 billion in 1991
to less than one billion dollars last year. That means the Iranian
military threat to regional security and stability has been slowed and
weakened. A threat still remains but it is not what Iran hoped for
when it sought to rebuild its forces at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.

Now we have begun to see some signs of change within Iran's political
process. The election of President Khatami last spring obviously marked a
milestone in the history of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian people
voted in impressive numbers for a change in Iran's course. We appreciate
the significance of this development. President Clinton welcomed the
election of Khatami and said only a few days after the votes were counted
that he hoped it would begin a process of change that could end the
estrangement of the two countries that began almost twenty years ago.

Since President Khatami's inauguration we have followed his words and
actions closely. We watched closely his unprecedented CNN interview and
noted its many positive statements. We followed his handling of the
Islamic Summit in Tehran last December and its generally moderate tone.
And we have noted with interest his efforts to strengthen the rule of law
inside Iran. We hope this will lead to protection for all Iranians,
including religious minorities like the Bahai. We hope it will also lead
to an end to efforts to encourage Salman Rushdie's murder.

Most of all we welcome President Khatami's decision to increase the level
of interaction at the people-to-people level between our two countries.
Last month President Clinton met with the American
wrestling team which had been so well received in Tehran and heralded
their reception. We will welcome Iranian wrestlers in Oklahoma soon. And
we support the efforts of think tanks on both sides to increase greater
contacts between experts across a wide spectrum of disciplines. As the
President said in his Id al-Fitr message to Muslims around the world,
"'Iran is an important country with a rich and ancient cultural heritage
of which Iranians are justifiably proud. We have real differences with
some Iranian policies, but these are not insurmountable. I hope that we
have more exchanges between our peoples and that the day will soon come
when we can enjoy once again good relations with Iran."

We are prepared to move further. People to people dialogue is useful but
the issues that divided Iran and America must ultimately be addressed by
their governments. The United States has been open to a
government-to-government dialogue with Iran since the Bush
Administration. We remain interested in sitting down face-to-face with
the Iranian leadership to discuss all issues of concern to both states.
We have no preconditions. We only insist that the dialogue be
authoritative -- that is government-to-government.

And, unfortunately, there are serious issues about Iran's behavior
that still need to be addressed and need to be changed. Let me spend a
few moments reviewing these.

First are Iran's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and long
range ballistic missiles. Despite its signature on the NPT and CWC, our
information is crystal clear: Iran is seeking to develop an arsenal of
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver
them. As DCI Tenet has reported to the Congress, this effort is an
aggressive one in which Iran has put considerable resources.

As I noted earlier, we have an equally aggressive effort around the world
to try to discourage potential sources of technology and
equipment for these programs from selling it with Iran. Our track
record in doing so has been reasonably but not entirely successful. We
will continue to do our utmost. The President frequently raises these
issues himself at the highest levels to discourage such transfers.

Second, there remains Iran's dangerous connections with terrorist
organizations around the world and particularly in the Muslim world.
Despite promises that Iran opposes terrorism, we continue to see
significant connections between Iran and numerous organizations that
engage in terror including Islamic Jihad, Hizballah and Hamas. Iran still
provides such groups with arms, money, training and safe haven.

In Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and many other states, Iran gives aid and
assistance to groups engaged in acts of brutal violence against
civilians. That is why so many of Iran's neighbors remain so leery of
Iranian intentions despite the changes brought by President Khatami.

Third, we remain particularly concerned by Iran's support for violent
opposition to the Middle East peace process. We have noted Iran's more
moderate declaratory policy toward the Palestinian Authority and the more
flexible approach it took in the Islamic Summit. But we remain deeply
concerned about it's continued connections and support for the most
violent enemies of the process. Its words must now be matched by deeds.

So in any future dialogue with Iran we will want to discuss these
issues. And we will continue to discourage other countries from
engaging with Iran as a normal partner until we all see changes in
Iran's behavior. In this regard we will enforce the laws passed by
Congress intended to encourage other states to control technology
transfers to Iran and to exercise great care and discipline in what they
trade with Iran.

The United States and Iran have many shared interests and concerns. We
have a mutual interest in seeing the Gulf be open to the unrestricted
flow of its energy resources. We have a common interest in seeing
stability in the region so that its peoples can focus their attention on
human development, not weapons development. We have a common interest in
seeing the Saddam regime in Iraq contained and disarmed by the UN
inspectors. We have a common interest in seeing an Afghanistan at peace
with itself and its neighbors.

The United States stands ready to engage with Iran on all of these
issues and others whenever Tehran is ready. We are patient and
prepared to wait. In the interim we will continue to do all we can to
constrain and disrupt Iran's behavior in those areas that threaten our
interests and the interests of our allies and friends.

(End text)




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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 1 Apr 1998 to 2 Apr 1998 - Special issue
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