DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Apr 1998 to 13 Apr 1998 - Special issue

There are 5 messages totalling 3751 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Iranian Students Cancel Protest
2. Iran rial recovers as currency traders arrested
3. MKO, Taliban and Nateq Nuri (2)
4. News on Karbaschi from Irannet

Iranian Students Cancel Protest


Iranian Students Cancel Protest

By Afshin Valinejad Associated Press Writer Monday, April 13, 1998;
10:15 a.m. EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Students at Tehran University today called off a
protest in support of the city's jailed reformist mayor, heading off a
confrontation between feuding moderate and hard-line clerics.

The cancellation came amid reports that Mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi,
who was arrested April 4 on corruption charges, may be released soon.

Students had planned the protest for Tuesday as a sign of solidarity for
Karbaschi, a symbol of Iran's reformers and ally of moderate President
Mohammad Khatami. Clerics had warned that a demonstration could worsen
the already-tense atmosphere in the capital of 8 million.

Khatami's Cabinet on Sunday urged students to cancel the demonstration
to ``safeguard social tranquility,'' Iranian television reported. The
government did not ban the protest.

Reza Burbur, a spokesman for the students, said today the protest was
called off ``to honor the request of the government as well as the
president.''

Karbaschi awaits a trial that may begin later this month. The hard-line
judiciary has promised it will be fair and open.

Moderates consider Karbaschi's arrest part of an effort by the judiciary
to undermine the rule of Khatami, who defeated a hard-line rival by a
landslide in last May's presidential elections.

The mayor's lawyer, Bahman Keshavar, said Sunday that he had not been
allowed to see his client since his arrest, Iran's official Islamic
Republic News Agency reported.

Meanwhile, another student group called a pro-government protest Tuesday
at a university in the southern city of Shiraz, IRNA reported.

Since taking power, the popular Khatami has set out to relax rigid
social restrictions in Iran as well as improve relations with Iran's
neighbors and the United States.

Government leaders from both factions have met twice since the arrest to
try to resolve the dispute. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the hard-line
supreme leader who has the final say on all things in Iran, presided at
one of the meetings.

As Tehran's mayor since 1989, Karbaschi has improved public services and
the appearance of the once-dreary capital. But his management style,
which some see as high-handed, has earned him many critics.

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

Iran rial recovers as currency traders arrested


Iran rial recovers as currency traders arrested 09:58 a.m. Apr 13, 1998
Eastern

TEHRAN, April 13 (Reuters) - The Iranian rial recovered slightly on
Monday after police arrested illegal currency traders in Tehran
following a 17 percent fall in the past few days.

The fall of the currency from 5,250 rials to the dollar on Saturday to a
low of 6,300 rials late on Sunday followed a government decision last
week to raise the exchange rate at which state banks sell dollars to
travellers going abroad.

Tehran's illegal but active black market is widely used by Iranians
ranging from private individuals to industries needing hard currency to
import spare parts and raw materials.

Tehran's Jomhuri street, normally packed with currency traders, was
quiet late on Monday except for a few daring traders who quietly
approached potential customers, offering a rate of 5,700 rials to the
dollar.

Earlier in the day, police arrested dozens of traders who were taken
away in several mini-buses, witnesses said. Traders were asking for
6,120 rials to the dollar until the arrests began.

The rial has also come under pressure from weak oil prices, which are
some $4 below Iran's budgeted price for oil. The oil price decline
threatens to undermine Iran's economy which relies on petroleum exports
for more than 80 percent of its hard currency earnings.

Before last week's decision, widely seen by economists as a result of
falling oil revenues, travellers could buy up to $1,000 at an official
rate of about 3,000 rials to the dollar.

Under the new directive, the rate would be the equivalent of a floating
exchange rate quoted on the Tehran stock exchange which stands at about
4,800 rials to the dollar.

Iran in 1995 banned free market currency exchanges, imposing the rate of
3,000 rials to the dollar to stop a free-fall in the rial after the
United States announced sanctions against Iran. The rial had fallen to
as low as 7,000 to the dollar.

The move led to relative stability in the rial's exchange rate. But it
was a setback to government efforts, along with other market reforms, to
unify Iran's multiple exchange rates.

Deputy Economy Minister Morteza Qarebaghian, quoted by the daily Salam,
said: ``The recent hike in the black market rate is a temporary and
psychological phenomenon which will subside in the coming days and we
will seriously deal with people who disrupt the currency market.''

The 1995 controls also required exporters to exchange their hard
currency earnings at the official rate in state banks, causing a sharp
drop in non-oil exports.

Tehran lifted these restrictions early this year and now exporters are
allowed to sell their hard cash on the stock exchange at rates closer to
the street market rate.

($1-5,700 rials at the black market rate) ($1-1,750 rials at the
official rate used for essential state budget accounts) ($1-3,000 rials
at the rate used in other cases) ((Gulf newsroom, +971 4 607 1222, fax
+971 4 626982, dubai.newsroom+reuters.com))

MKO, Taliban and Nateq Nuri


> THIS MESSAGE IS IN MIME FORMAT. Since your mail reader does not understand
this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

According to TNN, Nateq Nuri is preparing the ground for the MKO female
militia to attack Imam Reza's Shrine with the help of the Taliban male
militia. There have been rumours that Ayatullah Muhammad Yazdi has read a
temporary contract of marriage between each Taliban male and MKO female
Mojahed under the supervision of King Fahad and Uncle Sam. Inshallah Mobarak
Bada! Yar Mobarak Bada!
The offspring are expected to be some sort of "Visitors". Soon we are going
to have "V" signs on the walls of Tehran City Hall in the absence of
Karbaschi.
Kar-o-Kargar wrote that the Mujahedeen Khalq Organization, (MKO) by getting
closer to the Taliban militia, is trying to use cities in Afghanistan as a
safe haven and base for conducting terrorist activities. It went on to say
that according to informed sources the MKO is propagating its ideology
throughout Afghanistan by publishing 2000 pamphlets containing its
doctrines. Taliban has also published 25,000 pamphlets propagating its own
beliefs. Since Tehran and Baghdad are trying to improve relations, it seems
that MKO is seeking a new base in order to continue its efforts to
desta-bilize the Islamic Republic, concluded the paper.



The ruling Taliban militia is considering giving assistance to armed Iranian
opposition forces to launch attacks against the Islamic Republic from
western Afghanistan's borders. An Afghan source, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity, said, "A four-member Iranian opposition squad visited western
Afghanistan two weeks ago accompanied by three Afghan guides." The source
noted that Taliban have decided to let Iranian opposition groups be
stationed in the areas under their control. The Taliban Justice Chief Mulla
Torabi had earlier warned Iran that the militia would let armed Iranian
opposition forces establish bases in the border region. Torabi condemned
Iran for what it called Tehran's support to the northern-based anti-Taliban
resistance, which favors the ousted President Burhanuddin Rabbani. In line
with incoming reports, the official Taliban Radio in Kabul has been calling
for its militia to support the Iranian oppo-sition while denouncing Tehran's
alleged support for forces loyal to President Rabbani.


Tehran - The open session of the Majlis chaired by the Speaker Ali Akbar
Nateq-Nouri Sunday ratified the general outlines of a one-clause addendum to
the 6th article of the 4th chapter of the press laws.
In case the bill is approved in the second hearing, the "use of women as a
tool" either in the form of
picture or content, humiliation or insult of women, encouragement of
luxurious lifestyles, discrimina-tion
between man and woman by defending women's rights outside the framework of
religious
legal bottleneck will be added to the difficulties fac-ing the press. For
example the term "use of women
as a tool" does not have a clear-cut definition in law and its limitations
have not been specified.
Minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Ata'ollah Mohajerani also spoke of
the reasons for
opposing the proposals and said the current Press Laws already encompass the
essence of the bill and
argued that it is not necessary to ratify this bill. On the other hand, the
limit of the term "use of women


MKO, Taliban and Nateq Nuri


> THIS MESSAGE IS IN MIME FORMAT. Since your mail reader does not understand
this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

According to the TNN, Nateq Nuri is preparing the ground for the MKO female
militia to attack Imam Reza's Shrine with the help of the Taliban male
militia. There have been rumours that Ayatullah Muhammad Yazdi has read a
temporary contract of marriage between each Taliban male and MKO female
Mojahed under the supervision of King Fahad and Uncle Sam. Inshallah Mobarak
Bada! Yar Mobarak Bada!
The offspring are expected to be some sort of "Visitors". Soon we are going
to have "V" signs on the walls of Tehran City Hall in the absence of
Karbaschi.
Kar-o-Kargar wrote that the Mujahedeen Khalq Organization, (MKO) by getting
closer to the Taliban militia, is trying to use cities in Afghanistan as a
safe haven and base for conducting terrorist activities. It went on to say
that according to informed sources the MKO is propagating its ideology
throughout Afghanistan by publishing 2000 pamphlets containing its
doctrines. Taliban has also published 25,000 pamphlets propagating its own
beliefs. Since Tehran and Baghdad are trying to improve relations, it seems
that MKO is seeking a new base in order to continue its efforts to
desta-bilize the Islamic Republic, concluded the paper.
The ruling Taliban militia is considering giving assistance to armed Iranian
opposition forces to launch attacks against the Islamic Republic from
western Afghanistan's borders. An Afghan source, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity, said, "A four-member Iranian opposition squad visited western
Afghanistan two weeks ago accompanied by three Afghan guides." The source
noted that Taliban have decided to let Iranian opposition groups be
stationed in the areas under their control. The Taliban Justice Chief Mulla
Torabi had earlier warned Iran that the militia would let armed Iranian
opposition forces establish bases in the border region. Torabi condemned
Iran for what it called Tehran's support to the northern-based anti-Taliban
resistance, which favors the ousted President Burhanuddin Rabbani. In line
with incoming reports, the official Taliban Radio in Kabul has been calling
for its militia to support the Iranian oppo-sition while denouncing Tehran's
alleged support for forces loyal to President Rabbani.

Tehran - The open session of the Majlis chaired by the Speaker Ali Akbar
Nateq-Nouri Sunday ratified the general outlines of a one-clause addendum to
the 6th article of the 4th chapter of the press laws.
In case the bill is approved in the second hearing, the "use of women as a
tool" either in the form of
picture or content, humiliation or insult of women, encouragement of
luxurious lifestyles, discrimina-tion
between man and woman by defending women's rights outside the framework of
religious
legal bottleneck will be added to the difficulties fac-ing the press. For
example the term "use of women
as a tool" does not have a clear-cut definition in law and its limitations
have not been specified.
Minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Ata'ollah Mohajerani also spoke of
the reasons for
opposing the proposals and said the current Press Laws already encompass the
essence of the bill and
argued that it is not necessary to ratify this bill. On the other hand, the
limit of the term "use of women

News on Karbaschi from Irannet


Hamshahri (April 7)
Mismanagement (DAY'S NOTES)

One of the charges against Gholam Hussein Karbaschi, the Mayor of Tehran,
has been "mismanagement". The very point that there is no such offense in
any of the Iranian laws clearly shows the true nature of the charges against
the mayor.

If one person should top the list of the champions and soldiers of the
brilliant chapter of construction undoubtedly he will be Gholam Hussein
Karbaschi. This is not for flattering the director-in-charge of the daily
Hamshahri and undoubtedly Karbaschi, like any other human being, has his
strong and weak points. But if there is one positive feature of Karbaschi
over which all those for and against and even those hostile to the system
agree it is his brilliant management.

It is enough to tell those who in the words of the departed Imam were unable
to properly manage a bakery that without any reliance on the oil revenues
(and this has happened for the first time in the Iranian history) and even
while assisting all the other government institutes directly or indirectly
he changed the polluted living places of 10 million citizens of the Islamic
Republic into a model city at least in this part of the world.

And was his role little in bringing 30 million Iranians, mainly the youth,
to the polling stations - instead of the previous figures of 15 million or
16 million - and apart from the outcome of the election?

Karbaschi with his innovative and courageous methods became a model for
other managers of the system and especially the managers of the cities in
Iran. With their development work they demonstrated to the world that
safeguarding the sacred, religious and Islamic values creates advancement.
In this way the black and bitter experience of the Middle Ages in Europe and
the rule of the Church lost its place in the 5-century old scientific
hypothesis that religion - every religion- is reactionary. Has this been a
little achievement?

Don't those who declare the charge against Karbaschi to be "mismanagement"
fear the judgment of the Iranian nation and history?

Mustn't a day come for our lauding - or at least no imprisoning and accusing
and suppressing - the Harpags, Bozorgmehrs, Khajeh Nezamolmolks,
Qa'em-Maqams, Amir Karbirs (respected victimized statesmen), Hashemis and
finally Karbaschis instead of mourning for them and building shrines for
their ashes? When is this ominous tradition in the Iranian history going to
leave the cultural, social and political structure?

***********
About the roots of the confrontation with Gholam Hussein Karbaschi and in
general the executive management of the country references are made to
various factors including the two recent elections.

But since these conflicts and developments have continued in the past 15
years in various shapes such as disputes among the political factions,
differences between the executive and legislative powers,... considering the
case to be limited to Gholam Hussein Karbaschi and the Tehran Municipality
is a bit naive.

Pure and simple, the present dispute in Iran is a battle between the
unhealthy and destructive but 3,000-year-old "trade" and the newly
established "production" system which is mainly industrial.

UP

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

Hamshahri (April 7)
Embezzlement
by: Saeed Leilaz

Gholam Hussein Karbaschi is now in detention on the two charges of
embezzlement and mismanagement. According to the afternoon dailies opposed
to him the amount of embezzlement by him or his deputies has been about Rls.
1,300 bn. And according to the chief of the team interrogating the Tehran
Municipality mayors so far Rls. 300 bn of the amount has been returned to
the public purse by the interrogators and the court. "And if it is permitted
the rest will also be returned."

About the figure of Rls. 1,300 bn, which is slightly more than the figure of
Rls. 1,230m, the embezzlement by some of the friends close to (some)
officials, more explanations are necessary.

On the basis of the charges and allegations and in the conditions that the
accused were deprived of some of the basic rights some of the courts
sentenced the detained municipality managers to fines of tens of billions of
rials. But those sentences do not mean that even a fraction of those figures
is possessed by any of the accused. Secondly only after judgments of the
appeal courts and then the Supreme Court and eventually the payment of those
imaginary funds one can have interviews and write articles to talk about
victory in retrieving the rights of the nation.

The only embezzlement charge against Karbaschi, according to his lawyer, is
his giving a few Azadi gold coins to the former interior minister (Mr
Abdullah Nouri when he left the position of interior minister in Mr Hashemi
Rafsanjani's cabinet) at his farewell ceremony. But using his legal power
the amount was first given to the deputy mayors. It was then presented by
them and was eventually spent (donated by Mr. Abdullah Nouri) for support of
the students at the Qom Seminary.

Should one month detention be the writ for such a charge, even if it can
truly be raised at a court, in a country in which in some instances
murderers are freed on a bail as low as Rls. 100 m, that is the blood money
of a person?

Isn't a questionable thing the simultaneity of these events with the speech
by an MP for Tehran in which he gave vent to his complexes about the
President's interview with an American medium four months ago and the
leading article of an afternoon
daily denouncing dialog between civilizations under the pretext of the
Munafeqin's (Mujahedin Khalq Organization) attack on the culture and Islamic
guidance minister?

Do these political groups and their media representatives attach any value
to the remark by the judiciary chief that the charges against the Tehran
mayor were not of the embezzlement type and were in connection with
administrative violations? Does the circular by the judiciary chief, that a
person's prestige cannot be endangered before the approval of his committing
an offense, has any value for the groups which are ostensibly supporting
him?

Regrettably the conduct of the rival political groups of Hojj. Khatami, the
honorable President, especially in connection with the detention of the
Tehran mayor, shows that they have accepted the place of "a big loser" in
the social developments in Iran and are acting accordingly.

According to that viewpoint the outcome of the presidential election has
been a strategic loss and not a tactical defeat in an ordinary election.

It will not be surprising if those who accept that theory act as if they had
no concern about the destiny of the entire system. Is this conduct not going
to have the same result that for instance made the Munafeqin (MKO) to attack
the speech by the culture and Islamic Guidance Minister in Stockholm?

All these events show that in the whole world only two groups have not
realized the meaning and the direction of the current social developments in
Iran: A group outside the country and a group inside the country. In this
way with completely different slogans, intentions and performance the
practical results of the performance of those two groups are becoming almost
similar? Isn't this instructive?

UP

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

Hamshahri (April 7)
Reason for Taking Revenge on Tehran Mayor
by: Ahmad

There are two main reasons for the right faction's starting its
confrontation with the Khatami government form the Tehran Municipality.

1. The broker stratum in particular was considering payment of money to the
municipality against its interests. This stratum raised its protest further
especially when it faced the demolition of the Shoush fruit and vegetable
market and the transfer of the wholesalers to outside the city and when it
heard reports about the probability of dismantling of the traditional
bazaar.

Accordingly, the political representatives of that strata (the outstanding
figures of the right faction) put elimination of Karbaschi on their agenda.

After Mr. Khatami's victory in the presidential election the right faction
stepped up the confrontation with the municipality managers with the
analysis that: "Confronting the municipality will be easier because of the
dissatisfaction of some strata of society, and if the mayor is removed it
means the strong and efficient arm of Mr. Khatami's government has been put
out of action," so that it would pave the way for open confrontation with
the head of the government.

2. The second reason has been the extensive cultural role of the
municipality in the past nine years.

By building cultural centers especially in south Tehran and establishing
classes the municipality has greatly contributed to awareness of the young
generation. This generation actively took part in the election and put
Khatami in the presidential seat. Accordingly, the right faction considers
the cultural activities of the municipality for training of the youth with
new cultural expectations (expectations that the right faction can never
meet) to be one of the main reasons for victory of Khatami. As a result it
is after taking revenge.

UP

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

Farda (April 7)
On the Fringe of Detention of Gholam Hussein Karbaschi

* Gholam Hussein Karbaschi who is wearing the prison uniform is in one of
the public wards of the Evin Prison.

* The justice minister himself did not intend to visit Karbaschi. He had
asked for a visit for Abtahi, office director of the president. Razini, the
Tehran Province Justice Department Director opposed the meeting on the
ground that Abtahi was neither a relative of Karbaschi nor his lawyer.

* Some relatives of Karbaschi have spoken to him on the phone.

* The Majlis Hizbollah MPs are scheduled to discuss the events relating to
the Tehran mayor and the government stands in a meeting next week.

* The IRIB policy Making Council decided at a meeting to broadcast a report
from the judiciary for every report it would broadcast from the government
on the Tehran Municipality case in order to maintain neutrality.

* The culture and Islamic guidance minister announced several times in his
press conference yesterday that he was not prepared to answer questions on
detention of the Tehran mayor. Some of the reporters were dissatisfied with
that response.

UP

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

Jameah (April 7)
Private Reporter

* President Khatami met Ayatollah Khamenei yesterday afternoon. It is said
the detention of Karbaschi was at the top of the issues which were
discussed.

* It is said a group of people with bunches of flowers went to the office of
the Tehran mayor during the past two days to express their thanks and
sympathy for the mayor.

* A citizen went to the house of the mayor and said he was ready to solve
any possible problem of his family.

* Since the detention of the mayor many people have called the daily
Hamshahri to express their sympathy with Karbaschi

* It is said it is probable that the Executives of Construction will call on
people to take part in an assembly to protest the detention of the mayor.

UP

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

Farda (April 7)
Continuation of Tehran Mayor's Administrative Operations Within Prison Is a
New Phenomenon

In an interview with the Farda correspondent, an informed official expressed
doubt regarding practicality of the government spokesman's statement that
Karbaschi would be provided with the documents requiring his signature if
necessary.

The official who is a jurist pursuing the case, said: "That is a new
phenomenon and a similar case has not been seen before. On the other hand,
the prison rules have not provided for such a case."

Questioned if it was possible to revoke a temporary detention order, he
replied: "Paragraph 2 to Article 18 of the General Courts Law emphasizes
that if another judge found fault with the first judge's ruling - and the
latter was convinced too - then the judge may revoke the ruling."

On the legal provisions for refusal to accept the justice minister's request
to meet Karbaschi, he said: "The prisons rules emphasize that specific
persons may meet a prisoner. Other people cannot meet a prisoner just for
the sake of their positions."

UP

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

Salaam (April 7)
Beginning of a Course (POLITICAL NOTES)
by: M. Jaafari

The first working day of the new year began with an "occurrence". That
occurrence, i.e., the Tehran mayor's detention, would have consequences
which may influence the general interests of the society, if they are not
worked out.

The negative repercussion of investigation into offenses of municipalities,
indeed, arise from ambiguities and occasionally clear pieces of evidence
that shed doubt on the criteria of the judiciary.

The consequences of that occurrence are as follows briefly: The harm to the
new administrative management while the new year is forecast to be a
difficult year economically will not hurt just one political faction.
Everybody including the rival political groups, have a duty to stretch hands
of help to the government. The evens should not point out that some people
are trying to create a crisis and cause the government's defeat.

Unfortunately, the latest event is not aloof from that impression. The
executives and political groups supporting Mr. Khatami's government know
well that the recent events are the natural consequences of defeats of the
monopolist faction. They should deal with them properly.

UP

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

Jameah (April 7)
Detention of Mayor and Historical Weakness of the Middle Class (NOTE)
by: Massoud Jafari Jazi

When the middle class expands and becomes strong it will bring all the
necessities of life in the new age such as freedom of press and expression,
political parties and facilities for urban life.

The important point is that for various historical reasons the middle class
in Iran has not been able to secure the necessary power for its expansion
and this has been the main cause of the instances of backwardness in our
society.

The middle class has not been able to remove the key economic areas from the
hands of the traditional and quasi modern upper class and has been heavily
dependent on the government resources.

Here reference should also be made to one more important factor, i.e., the
influence of the Stalinist and Tudeh Party leftist ideas. Without
considering the conditions of our third world society they were repeating
what the Marxists were saying about
Bourgeoisie. They were complaining about a thing (bourgeois) which in
principle did not exist.

Another important point is that the upper class uses various means to
maintain its superiority. The upper class uses various means and even goes
about exploitation and stupefying of the lower class in order to maintain
its domination. And it is usually using forces from the lower class for
attacking the middle class. This class has even succeeded in making some
sections of the official custodians of Sharia join its company.

For more than one hundred years the Iranian middle class has been sending
its champions to the scene of battle and has been deserting them at the
decisive moment.

Regardless of the legal and political aspects of the Tehran Municipality
case, Gholam Hussein Karbaschi has undoubtedly been one of such champions.
We hope that he will be the last of such champions and that with the
positive developments under way in our society the middle class will be able
to secure its true place gradually.

UP

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

Salaam (April 7)
Islamic Human Rights Commission on Karbaschi's Case

Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission Mohammad Hassan Ziaie-far
said on yesterday (April 6) that the arrest warrant issued by the judge
against Tehran's Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi can be neither ratified nor
rejected unless the
lawsuit's documentation are seen.

Speaking to IRNA, Ziaei-far said if someone says the judge's ruling is not
correct without seeing into the lawsuit, no foundation would remain in
place.

He said no one except the judge can see into the lawsuit and only the judge
is aware of the documentation of the lawsuit.

He said in the meantime if a defendant had complain about the proceeding of
the lawsuit or the ruling of a judge, he would lodge complaint with the
disciplinary court of judges.

Asked about what action the Islamic Human Rights Commission has taken
concerning the arrest of the Tehran mayor, Ziaei-far said the commission has
asked some questions from the judiciary officials about the complaints on
some possible violations in the legal proceeding of the mayor's case.

UP

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

Iran (April 7)
Karbaschi Interrogated for 6 Hours at Evin Prison

According to reliable sources, the mayor of Tehran Gholam Hussein Karbaschi
was interrogated at Evin prison, in northern Tehran, for six hours yesterday
(April 6) by Numeiri, the judge of branch 26 of the special judicial complex
who is in charge of investigating violations of government employees.

A number of staff of the intelligence ministry were also present during the
interrogation, the source further said.

Hojjatoleslam Mohseni Ejeie, the new head of the special judicial complex,
will supervise over the investigations concerning the accusations leveled
against the Tehran Municipality.

Hojj. Ejeie has been previously in charge of one of the branches of the
Islamic revolutionary tribunal of Tehran and was head of branch 40 of Tehran
public court.

He has already reviewed major embezzlement cases including the 1230 billion
rial embezzlement at Tehran's Bank Saderat. He was appointed to the new post
on March 30 this year and investigation over the embezzlement case in Tehran
Municipality is the first since his appointment.

Karbaschi has telephoned his wife and son from Evin prison, informing them
of his condition and the charges against him. Karbaschi was detained on
Saturday on fraud charges and was taken to prison.

A judiciary official said it was decided that from now on the judge of the
court in charge of the municipality file will personally question Karbaschi
at the Evin prison.

UP

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

Salaam (April 7)
MRM Stunned Over Mayor's Arrest

Majma-e Rohanioun-e Mobarez (the Militant Clerics League) last night (April
6) expressed regret over the decision of the judiciary to arrest Tehran
Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi.

The political committee of the MRM met last night to review the political
developments in the country including the detention of Karbaschi.

According to the MRM's public relations office, the participants at the
meeting were unanimous that the Tehran mayor is a valuable asset of the
Islamic Revolution, a capable manager and an honest servant of the Islamic
Republic, who always enjoyed the backing of the Founder of the Islamic
Republic, the late Imam Khomeini.

They added that in the light of the economic problems which compel the
executive managers to mobilize all their efforts to come up with solutions,
the judiciary's action will deal a blow on the morale of all managers.

The political committee of the MRM termed the act as "a hasty and stunning
move which is against to the country's interests.''

The Tehran Municipality, whose performance was all along approved by the
former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is now becoming a problem for the
new administration, it added.

The committee expressed the hope that the "successful" mayor of Tehran will
soon return to his work so that the nation and the society will continue to
benefit from his valuable services.

UP

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

Akhbar (April 7)
Interior Minister Voices Concern Over Mayor's Arrest

Interior Minister Abdullah Nouri, currently in Saudi Arabia for the annual
Hajj pilgrimage, Monday night expressed grave concern over the detention of
Tehran Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi on charges of fraud and embezzlement.

According to an announcement by the public relations office of the interior
ministry, Nouri praised the services of the Tehran mayor and said that the
people were well aware of his remarkable services in the cabinets of (former
prime minister) Hussein Musavi, (the former president) Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani and the present administration.

"Damaging the prestige of a personality such as Karbaschi will entail
consequences, the responsibility of which will lie with those behind it -
whether they want it or not. Depriving the country from a competent manager
such as Karbaschi will weaken the municipality managers in particular and
the state managers in general. Further aggravating the difficulties of an
administration which is faced with enormous problems at the outset of its
work, denigrating services of the `construction administration'
(Rafsanjani's administration) are but few of the consequence of such as
attitude towards Karbaschi," said the announcement.

The minister further added that the consequences of the judiciary's move
will not only be limited to the executive branch of the government but will
also reach the judiciary giving weight to assumptions on political
motivations behind the municipality files, disrespecting the laws, depriving
the offenders of their basic rights, and continuing the unpleasant behavior
of the May 23rd presidential elections.

The minister said the treatment given to the Tehran mayor, his arrest
without prior knowledge of the interior minister and the President, campaign
to discredit him and his aides by certain media, preventing visits in
prison, will make an ordinary citizen to question the extent to which he is
protected by law.

"Out of respect for the President, I have personally kept silent over the
issue and think that the present conditions of the country require
tranquillity more than anything else. However, I cannot conceal my concern
over the process of the judicial investigation of the municipality case and
refrain from expressing my doubts over the competency of those who are in
charge of the case," he pointed out.

Nouri concluded by saying that investigating the case of an institution with
immense responsibility, demands competency and a qualification that not very
many possess.

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Hamshahri (April 7)
One Minute with President

(What would you tell the President if you had been given one minute to spend
with him?)

* The stand adopted by the cabinet on the arrest of Karbaschi was very weak.
Do you want to defend you competent manager like this?

* What would you expect from your popular, lawful and wise President if you
were in place of the Tehran mayor?

* Apparently you are not a man for friendship. Because if Karbaschi had a
friend his fate would not be like this.

* We voted for you. Support Karbaschi and call on the judiciary to observe
justice.

* Ask Mr. Yazdi why...

* If you still want support tell us and we shall demonstrate it, but you
should do something.

* Why are only your supporters the targets of the attacks? Why are they not
permitting us to have political discussions at high schools?

* If you are with the people act in the way the people want, otherwise you
may go your way and we shall go our way.

* With your behavior you made me sincerely like the head of my country for
the first time in my 42-year life.

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Qods (April 7)
Equality before Law? (LEADING ARTICLE)

The remarks by the government spokesman posed the question for the public
opinion whether members of the society have different rights before the law!

Have the spokesman's describing as surprising a judiciary official's using a
legal article as the basis and making the atmosphere in society more
turbulent by using some emotional and biased remarks been in the direction
of the lawful policy of Mr. Khatami's government?

Where should one search for windows of hope when the slogans of law and rule
of law are used as pretexts for safeguarding the position of individuals in
one's own faction even if they are accused and even the slogan of turning to
the youth is held to ridicule by referring to the youthfulness of the judge
of a case?

Of course we agree with the honorable spokesman that the managers of the
country must be able to make decision creatively and courageously. But if
such a management is going to be combined with misappropriation of public
fund and violation of the
public rights and to lead to increased class gap, we consider it to be
fitting that very civil society, which is the present of the West and the
Westoxicated.

No one can deny the services rendered by Karbaschi for development of
Tehran, but if a civil servant is facing charges of misappropriation can the
investigation into the charges be undermined by reference to his services?

In these sensitive conditions the honorable government - while regrettably a
section of it has considered itself duty-bound to support fully Karbaschi
because of its political attachment to the Executives faction - and
political groups and factions with the same orientation should consider
themselves committed to the slogan of rule of law and equality of
individuals before the law.

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Kayhan (April 7)
Why Exception? (TODAY'S NOTE)
by: Alireza Malekian

It was quite natural that the Judiciary would obtain more and undeniable
documents and evidence during investigation of financial offenses of a
number of regional municipalities. The express confessions of certain mayors
and deputies and advisors of Karbaschi and their statement that many of the
violations had been committed at the oral or written instruction of the
mayor prompted creation of (false) atmosphere by certain persons and
tendencies - some of whom had benefitted from the municipality's handouts -
to reach its peak.

The critics of investigation into the charges of the Tehran mayor and other
respondents emphasize two points: First, the arrests are political and if
the Tehran mayor were not a member of some group or if he had supported
another group the cases would not have come up on this level. Second, the
investigation would weaken the executive management and disappoint the
managers.

The natural consequence of this outlook is that members of all groups as
well as officials should enjoy judicial immunity! Is that the meaning of law
abiding in the civil society? Is that the meaning of social justice?

Mohajerani (the culture and Islamic guidance minister and the government
spokesman) said: "Members of the government were concerned with and
sensitive toward the detention." Would they not better express that
sensitivity and concern for enforcement of the law and social justice and
would allow the judiciary to perform its duty as stipulated by the
Constitution?

Are the court statements about Karbaschi not charges which would all be
examined in an open court; which all the people would be informed about
through the mass media?

It is not deniable that some of the persons who are eying their sectarian
interests in this issue, would deem the detention as a triumph for
themselves. Those who think of the system's interests, however surely wish
that only justice would win at the end.

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Kayhan (April 7)
Majlis Report on Tehran Mayor's Arrest

MP for Tehran, Faezeh Hashemi (daughter of former president Hashemi
Rafsanjani), said: "If Karbaschi and his colleagues have committed offenses,
we expect them to be investigated in the judicial course. If we protest, it
is not to ask his offenses not to be investigated just because he is the
mayor. It is to ask him to be judged like other people."

She said: "It will be a worse pest than the original pest if the judicial
trend left its course where it should promote justice. We have the judiciary
to investigate the offenses of everybody. Who would investigate if the
judiciary were to be derailed and fail to provide security?"

She stated: "The point is that the case has been assigned to the
Intelligence Division of the Police Force. We have different courts. If the
offenses of the Tehran Municipality are to be investigated, they should be
assigned to the Administrative Offenses Court."

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Resalat (April 7)
Interior Minister Must Suspend Karbaschi from Service! The Government
Spokesman Does not Know the Law! - Legal Experts

According to the law the interior minister should suspend Karbaschi, the
Tehran mayor, from service, said a legal expert. He said: "According to
Article 7 of the law on Intensification of Punishment of Those Committing
Bribery, Embezzlement and
Fraud" Karbaschi must be suspended from his position from April 4."

Another legal expert expressed astonishment about the announcement by
(government spokesman) Mohajerani that "Karbaschi remains the mayor of
Tehran," and said: "It is astonishing how the government spokesman, who
served as vice president for legal affairs for a long time, does not know
the law and has said something which is contrary to the law.

"Perhaps he has said that as a result of his special sensitivity and
excitement because of the detention of Karbaschi and in his capacity as the
government spokesman.

"He has also said the President can directly refer the complaints to a court
so that violations in the judiciary in connection with the case would be
attended to.

"Mohajerani ought to know that on the basis of the division of the powers
and the point that the President has no position in the judiciary he does
not have the right to refer any case to any court on his own. He can refer
to a court like an ordinary citizen and make complaints against a person or
organization.

"It is not clear from where he has obtained the legal ground for the
President's right to refer a case to a court."

He also said: "It is not clear why the court has not taken the necessary
step for suspension of the (appointment) decree of Karbaschi."

Article 7: "As regards the misdemeanors herein contained for which
imprisonment penalty has been stipulated, if the offender is one of the
officers mentioned in this law he shall be suspended from his job from the
date of the issuance of the bill of indictment and the Justice Office is
required to report the issuance of the bill of indictment to the office or
organization concerned.

"If the accused is acquitted on the basis of a final judgment the suspension
period shall be calculated towards the period of his service and he shall
receive the salary and fringe benefits not received because of his
suspension."

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Ettela'at (April 7)
Detention of Tehran Mayor Should not Disturb Society's Calm

Hojj. Dorri Najafabadi, the intelligence minister, in an interview with
reporters in Qom about the detention of the Tehran mayor said: "Nothing
should be done which would disturb the calm of the society and discourage
the efficient managers."

Referring to the 5-hour meeting of the cabinet, he said: "At the meeting I
stressed that the calm of the society and the great people should not be
disturbed because of those confrontations and the authority of the
government and the judiciary should not be called into question and
efficient and caring managers should not be discouraged.

"At the cabinet meeting it was provided that the case will be reviewed from
the judicial viewpoint so that if there has been any violation action will
to be taken according to the law and if there has been no violation that
would be stated and that jurists will study whether the judge's using the
law referred to has been correct or not so that, heaven forbid, the
government or the judiciary would not weaken each other with the enemy
exploiting that. "In fact the judiciary and the executive powers are both
parts of the Islamic government and they should serve Islam and the people."

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Hamshahri (April 7)
On the Same Subject

The intelligence minister rejected the involvement of his ministry in the
investigation of the Tehran Municipality case and said: "This is not the
duty of the intelligence ministry and we were not involved. The case has
been followed by the Security Intelligence of the Police and it is the duty
of that agency. This is while in some instances because of the interests of
the society some cases of misuses and embezzlement have been referred to the
intelligence ministry."

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Jomhuri Eslami (April 7)
On the Same Subject

Asked why the initial investigation into the case of the Tehran Municipality
was given to the Security Intelligence of the Police whereas investigation
into the cases of embezzlement and bribery in the government agencies is
among the duties of the intelligence ministry, he said: "Investigation into
bribery and embezzlement in the government agencies is not exclusively among
the duties of the intelligence ministry and the job has been given to the
ministry in specific conditions.

"The intelligence ministry was asked to intervene in this connection, but
since the issue has been investigated by other agencies from the beginning,
the ministry has not intervened."

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Ettela'at (April 7)
Tehran Mayor's Case Dominates Majlis Debates

The issue of the detention of Tehran mayor, Gholam Hussein Karbaschi,
dominated the debates in the open session of the parliament (Majlis) on
Tuesday (April 7).

The MP from Tehran, Faezeh Hashemi, a staunch supporter of Karbaschi,
expressed dismay at the handling of the municipality case by the judiciary,
calling it "a clear case of deviation from judicial norms."

To support her statement, Ms. Hashemi referred the involvement of the
security and intelligence department of the law enforcement agency from the
very beginning of the moves against the municipality officials.

The daughter of the former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also
criticized the solitary confinement of the accused in the highly publicized
municipality case.

Another legislator from Tehran, Ali Akbar Husseini, spoke in defense of the
move by the judiciary to prosecute the top municipality officials on charges
of misappropriation of public funds.

Stressing the importance of obeying the rule of law, Husseini said: "In my
opinion, commitment to the law dictates that we await the trial and hear the
whole case including the charges as well as the defenses and subsequently
accept the court's verdict."

He dismissed the allegation by some that the move against Karbaschi would
weaken the government and the President adding "if the mayor is exonerated
from the charges, he would continue at his post even more strenuously than
before."

"However, if he is found guilty of the embezzlement charges, is it not
better that a person who has lost his credibility be left out of an ensemble
of true and trustworthy servants?'' Husseini asked.


Iran (April 9)
Where Do You Aim At? (LEADING ARTICLE)

Nowadays, the country and the noble nation are caught up in a stream of
events taking shape where the most possible optimistic interpretations would
speak of imprudence and unwiseness.

Regardless of the way the political currents and factional press indulge in
slogans and deception, there are traces of inter-factional analyses by the
"monopolist factions". This is more so particularly after the temporary
detention of the Tehran mayor and its possible injurious aftermath, the well
known representatives of the different factions and groups who lost their
face in the recent presidential election, have now opened a new front of
attack on the popular government of President Khatami. Some of them having
made an about-turn in their stance, have now become jittery, and drawn their
arrows from the scythe aiming at the popular legitimate votes of the people.

Although experience has proved that "distancing from the majority," and
delegation of power is not that simple, however, political logic rules that
the various factions must become aware that the `about-turn stance' and
"challenging the government" must follow popular methods and that "disgraced
traditional methods" would reach nowhere.

The Iranian people are too alert and very well know who were so fond of
dialogue with the Americans. And at times the situation went out of control
to the extent that the late Imam (Khomeini), had to cry out against
`American Islam' at the most sensitive juncture of the history of the
Islamic Revolution.

Now it would be unfair and beyond expectation to observe "the defendants of
yesterday" seating at the bench of "judgment" and accuse the winner of May
23 presidential election of trying to normalize relations with the United
States.

The noble Iranian nation is fully aware of President Khatami's viewpoints
and stance, fully grasp the basic political principles left by the late Imam
and the outlooks of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and Supreme Leader
of the Revolution (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei).

Therefore, It is highly improbable that by singing the elegy of "political
tortures", and issuance of circulars of "group despairs" would guarantee a
"return to power" and rejoining the "majority of the nation".

The people have elected Khatami, support his government and they will not
leave the scene. This people have paid the price for their freedom and
independence during the years of the revolution and know that the
"bloodletting hoarders", and the "veteran merchants" have tightened their
grips to make the government feel the economic pinch.

They are following the same line of policy which they followed during the
war (with Iraq) which only resulted in their disgrace and remorse. And today
too the show of their supercilious exaggerated care (about the nation), will
lead them nowhere.

This claim will ultimately be proved in the future political scenes and
events to take shape.

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Hamshahri (April 9)
Heads of the Three Powers Meet Leader

The office of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali
Khamenei issued a statement saying that the Leader invited the heads of the
three branches of the government, the executive, the legislative and the
judiciary to exchange views on the case of the Tehran Municipality.

(The statement did not directly mention the case of Tehran Mayor Gholam
Hussein Karbaschi who is under detention on embezzlement charges since April
4).

Also present at the meeting was the head of Expediency Discernment Council,
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. At the meeting, the issue was discussed
from various dimensions and the Supreme Leader asked the heads of the
executive and judiciary branches to coordinate fully in matters related to
the file and with regards to the unanimity of views by the gentlemen
concerning observation of the law and justice, submit a full report to him
as soon as possible.

The head of the three branches are expected to meet in the coming days to
comply with the instructions of the Leader.

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Salaam (April 9)
SDVIR Regrets Performance of the Judiciary Concerning the Municipality Case

The Society for Defense of the Values of the Islamic Revolution (SDVIR) on
Tuesday (April 8) published a statement in which it criticized the manner
the Tehran Municipality case has been handled by the judiciary. The approach
of the judiciary, it said, has given rise to the impression on part of some
that the whole affair is politically motivated.

The SDVIR however defended the judiciary's move to look into the
embezzlement charges against the municipality officials.

"The judiciary, in order to preserve its good standing with the public,
should refrain from any moves which casts doubts on its fairness in dealing
with the issue."

This requires that the judiciary officials clarify any ambiguities which
might give rise to impressions of a political bias in the case, added the
statement.

Highlighting the importance of national unity in the country, the statement
called for vigilance on part of all the political factions, government
officials and the press in regard to the forces promoting discord in the
country.

(SDVIR is led by Hojj. Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri, a candidate of the May
23 presidential elections).

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Salaam (April 9)
IRMO Issues Statement on Tehran Mayor's Arrest

The Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization (IRMO) issued a statement on
the arrest and detention of the Tehran Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi.

The statement reads in part:

"Today every one, including the ordinary people in the street, has realized
that the main issue is not to investigate the violations of the Tehran
Municipality but to undermine the government and the people's elected
president.

"We have no intention to defend a particular person and have stated
repeatedly that the violations of all individuals, in any position they may
be, must be firmly and impartially investigated. The Tehran Municipality is
no exception.

"An authority can investigate the violations of the individuals affiliated
to different factions, who himself is free from political bias. But
regrettably some sections of the judiciary lack this characteristic due to
the influence in it of right wing elements.

"The political forces supporting the government's programs, must not keep
silent on the grounds that protest to the arrest of the Tehran mayor might
imply their support for the performance of the municipality and its possible
violations. Instead, the adoption of a firm, explicit and transparent stance
in this regard would not only solve the present dilemma but prevent the
government's rival faction from taking their next planned actions."

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Hamshahri (April 11)
Letter by a Number of Political Personalities to the Esteemed Leader

The judiciary arrested and tried a number of district mayors in Tehran last
year. After a while a group of political personalities, including a number
of MPs, in a letter addressed to His Eminence Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei,
the esteemed Leader of the Revolution, called for a step by His Eminence to
prevent the continuation of the weakening of Mr. Khatami's government which
they specified was the main objective of the architects of the municipality
affair and the issue of the windfall wealth.

Excerpts of the open letter:

1. After His Eminence's guidelines about the necessity of fight against
windfall wealth some individuals (of certain) political factions misused or
misunderstood them and limited your remarks to discovery of the windfall
wealth in a part of the offices and organizations covered by the government
to overshadow the main slogans of the President, ie the rule of law,
freedom, security, political development and social justice and on the other
hand portray the executive and management of the country as being
inefficient and unhealthy.

Misuses of His Eminence's warnings about liberalism, emphasis on observing
the Islamic values and... have been among the other instances.

What is more regrettable is that these unreasonable conducts are taking
place in the name of support for the `guardianship of the faqih'.

2. Fight against windfall wealth resulting from the economic rents is among
the necessities of the system. But the confrontations with the Tehran
Municipality managers is such as if the main axis of the fight with the
windfall wealth was the Tehran Municipality.

This and other evidences strongly indicate that such approaches are
politically-motivated and in the direction of specific fictional intentions.

This is while the cases of financial misuses in some of the agencies,
institutions and foundations have never been reviewed seriously.

No effective judicial step has been taken about the election violations such
as the fabricated film of Shahrake Gharb for use against Mr. Khatami,
bringing the hypocrite Farasati to Iran and making him express support for
(Mr. Khatami) in order to damage his image, and extensive election
violations by some of the governors general. And investigation into those
cases have even been prevented by various means.

3. It seems one of the objectives of those who have been staging the recent
affairs is making the honorable President and other high-ranking officials
of the country react to the municipality case.

Fortunately Mr. Khatami and other officials have stood against that ploy.
But people are asking the President and high ranking officials why the
municipality officials have been endorsed until now if they have truly
committed such violations and if the issues raised are lies why the
honorable officials are not openly rejecting the charges.

His Eminence is aware that the honorable President and the former president
are not endorsing the steps taken against the Tehran Municipality and if
they see the climate to be such that they must announce a stand the prestige
of the judiciary will be called into question. And if they continue their
silence they have in practice endorsed those incorrect methods.

The political groups supporting Mr. Khatami see it inevitable for themselves
to adopt an explicit stand.

4. The steps against the municipality have gradually made the economy face
added difficulties. Many executives have lost the courage to make important
decisions and those who have the capital feel insecure about their existing
investment and are avoiding making new investments.

Official figures indicate a severe economic recession especially in the
housing and construction sector and flight of the capital.

5. The continuation of the present situation will make the government and
even the system and the country face serious crisis.

(Signed by) Mehdi Karrubi, Assadollah Bayat, Seyed Mehdi Jamarani, Mohammed
Hashemi, Seyed Sarajeddin Mussavi, Mohsen Noorbakhsh, Seyed Mussavi
Jamarani, Zahra Shojaei, Ali Akbar Mohtashami, Ali Akbar Ashtiain,
Habibollah Bitaraf, Eshaq Jahangiri, Mahmood Hojati, Mohammed Ali Najafi,
Mohammed Farhadi, Assadollah Kianersi, Seyed Adolvahed Mussavi Lari, Behzad
Nabavi, Majid Ansari, Morteza Alviri, Seyed Hussein Marashi, Mohammed
Salamati, Fatemeh Ramezanzadeh, Mohammed Baqer Zakeri, Naser Khaleqi, Faezeh
Hashemi, Mostafa Moin, Kazem Mussavi Bojnoordi, Seyed Mostafa Hshemi (Taba),

Mohammed Mussavi Bojnoordi, Soheila Jelodarzadeh, Abolqassem Sarhadizadeh
and Massomeh Ebtekar.

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Salaam (April 11)
Ayatollah Taheri Strongly Criticizes Police and Intelligence Forces for Not
Confronting Troublemakers at Service

At the Friday prayer service in Isfahan here yesterday Ayatollah Seyed
Jalaeddin Taheri, the representative of the Vali Faqih and Friday prayer
leader of Isfahan, said (Tehran Mayor) Mr. (Gholam Hussein) Karbaschi is a
model of capable and revolutionary managers who believe in the Islamic
Republic.

Describing as incorrect the way the Tehran mayor has been confronted, he
said: "While we respect the independence of the judiciary if there are
incorrect approaches by that agency we must give reminders even if we will
be arrested.

"(Judiciary Chief) Mr. Yazdi said in the past that Mr. Karbaschi had no case
of embezzlement, but we witnessed that they added embezzlement and bribery
to his case."

Thanking the esteemed Leader who received the heads of the three branches
and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, he expressed hope that Mr. Karbaschi may be
released until next week.

At the conclusion of his sermons, Ayatollah Taheri strongly criticized the
police and intelligence forces for their not dealing with the troublemakers
at the service. "If the police and intelligence forces cannot stop a handful
of vulgar individuals I myself shall do it."

A group of 40-50 individuals who had gathered in the middle of the Imam
Square by their slogans against Mr. Karbaschi disturbed the Friday prayer
service yesterday.

The said group continued chanting its slogans for about 10 minutes despite
the requests by the Friday prayers leader to maintain the calm. One of the
members of the group addressing Ayatollah Taheri asked: "Why are your
raising political issues?"

Ayatollah Taheri said: "Friday prayer sermons are the place for explaining
political issues."

Those present by chanting "Allah is the greatest," declared their support
for the Friday prayers leader and disgust with the small group.

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Salaam (April 11)
We Have Fastened Our Bets Firmly for God's Satisfaction and for Serving the
People and We shall not Back off a Bit - Interior Minister

Returning from Hajj pilgrimage and together with his deputies, Abdullah
Nouri, the interior minister, went to the house of Gholam Hussein Karbaschi,
the detained mayor of Tehran, and made a speech at a meeting with a group of
municipality managers, Karbaschi's family members and a group of people.

He said: "On my part I would like to thank all those who have been
expressing sympathy in connection with Mr. Karbaschi's case these day. I
must say praise be to God we have a people who are grateful and
understanding. When they consider a manager to be competent they do not
become influenced by anything.

"I was informed about Mr. Karbaschi's case in Mecca. I became very upset and
it was very bitter and distasteful for me. But after some reflections I was
very calm on the following day. In the Quran it is said sometimes one is
upset about something he does not like whereas one's good is in that.

"I though whether our people would have come to know about Mr. Karbaschi's
services and work if he had not been detained?

"Certain things must be said at a certain time but there is no opportunity
for that. And Mr. Karbaschi does not like anything to be said [in his
praise]. Awarding Mr. Karbaschi with Badge of Construction was approved, but
it was not considered advisable to award him the badge, whereas this was
among his legal rights.

"We should not think that Mr. Karbaschi will be harmed in any slightest way
with his arrest.

"The first headlines of some of the newspapers in Mecca and Medina were
about Mr. Karbaschi. Others wanted his introduction like that and we are
thankful to God for that."

He said: "I am pleased that those people are cooperating with Mr. Khatami's
government who are like Mr. Karbaschi and have had a role in the
construction of the country."

Hojj. Nouri said: "We have fastened our belts firmly for God's satisfaction
and for serving the people and we shall not back off a bit from our goals.
We shall not retreat from any stand. What we have in mind is movement to win
God's satisfaction and we are pursuing people's victory and sovereignty.
They (the right faction) should forget about making accusations every day
and thinking that with such accusations others will be sacred."

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Hamshahri (April 11)
The interior minister went to Karbaschi's home upon his return from
pilgrimage yesterday morning

He said: "A piece of the Kaaba drapery which belongs to five years ago was
given to me as present by the high-ranking Arabian officials. I think this
is the best present I can give to Mr. Karbaschi for his services.

"He was a theology student when he was about eleven years and was considered
among the most talented students at the Qom Seminary. He joined the
militants when he was a teenager by distributing leaflets and cassettes.
Later he went to the university while studying at the seminary. He was
imprisoned for a long time and those who witnessed his undergoing torture
are present.

"He was grown up in the household of a personality such as Ayatollah
Mohammed Sadeq Tehrani. When His Eminence the Imam was sent into exile his
agent was the last Ayatollah Pasandideh, his brother. After the late
Ayatollah Pasandideh, Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq Tehrani - Mr. Karbaschi's
father - was the agent.

"Mr. Karbaschi was the Imam's representative to the Gendarmerie. He became
the governor general of Isfahan province upon the Imam's instruction
although the Imam was not usually intervening and commenting on appointment
of the governors general.

"Perhaps there was no operation on the fronts without Mr. Karbaschi's
presence at the forefront headquarters. He would go there to boost the
morale and to provide support and help from Isfahan and other places.

"The attitude of Mr. Karbaschi to service has been the envy of many.

"He has been working for God's satisfaction and for serving the people. And
after all can we refuse serving the people today because we may be detained
tomorrow? We have a duty to serve the people.

"I do not want to talk about the nature of the debates between the judiciary
and the Tehran Municipality and only want to say what has happened. I am
sorry that the business of our judiciary has reached a point that when it is
detaining someone the judiciary itself is called into question. This is not
tasteful for us and we consider it to the disadvantage of the system.

"The question on the minds today is about the thing which has been put on
trial. I pray that he is being tried for his charges and that merits,
virtues and courage have not been put on trial. Otherwise what would be the
problem? It is possible that I too have committed some violations somewhere
and they must be attended to.

"Does this mean our prudence if we say we have the prison and we can arrest
someone? We have possibilities to that extent. The people's hearts are not
in our hands. They are in the hands of God."

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Iran (April 11)
Charges Against Mayor Cost Municipality 100b Rials

The atmosphere created at Tehran's district municipalities following the
detention last week of the Tehran Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi, has
delayed the urban and development projects Of Tehran for many years, the
mayor of district 20 of Tehran Ahmadi Khomeini said.

He said that the prevailing insecurity and problems concerning the
management in district municipalities have cost the Tehran Municipality 100
billion rials in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).

Ahmadi Khomeini added: "Although we do not deny the mistakes made on part of
some of the managers but, they are insignificant when weighed against the
services rendered by the municipality."

"The Tehran Municipality has had about 10,000 billion rials in revenues from
development and urban related projects which assuming a reasonable waste
coefficient of five percent, the total waste can amount to some 50 billion
rials," he added.

He further said, with the management capability displayed by the Tehran
mayor, the wastage is not even that much.

Expressing surprise at the detention of the Tehran mayor, he said knowing
Karbaschi, he would not have escaped even if he had not been detained.

Stressing that move against the municipality is a "carefully calculated
political measure," he added: "If this trend continues it could ultimately
be dangerous to both factions, because, the winning faction in the last
presidential elections could, in retaliation, reveal issues that will have
negative impact for the people of the country and the Islamic Republic."

He concluded by saying that if Karbaschi is an incapable manager, then a
competent one should be introduced for the post to serve as a model for
other managers.

UP

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Iran (April 11)
Travelers Forced to Pay More for Exchange Quota

The rate in rial of the foreign exchange allocated to travelers rose as of
Thursday April 9, an official at Iran's Melli Bank said. Each dollar was
sold at 4,795 rials to travelers instead of its former rate of 3,015 rials
(the official rate since May 1995).

The official stated that: "The increase in rate for currency allocated to
travelers is based on a new directive issued by the Central Bank of Iran
(CBI)."

He further added that the rise in the traveler's currency is based on the
floating rate at the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE), which stands at 1,780
rials to the dollar, plus the traveling currency value, which was 3,015
rials.

Economic analysts also believe that the price of the dollar on the open
market will rise within the next few days.

Iran's banks, all of which are nationalized, currently are permitted to sell
between 300 and 1,000 dollars to private individuals traveling outside Iran
according to the destination.

UP

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Salaam (April 11)
UCO to Hold Large Student Assembly

Following the arrest of Tehran Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi, the Unity
Consolidation Office reported that it will hold a huge gathering to be
attended by students and other people in support of President Seyed Mohammed
Khatami's government. It said the gathering will be held at the Tehran
University on Tuesday.

UP

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Hamshahri (April 11)
Ayat. Emami Kashani Says Row over Mayor Benefits Enemies

The substitute Friday Prayers leader of Tehran warned that a top-level row
over the arrest of Tehran's mayor would only benefit Iran's enemies.

"Political tension in the country is detrimental to the Iranian nation and
all those interested in the revolution. The only one who benefits from these
tensions is the enemy," he said in a sermon.

"Tension and disorder is like a barrel of gas oil we have given to the enemy
so that he could set a match to it," said Emami Kashani, spokesman of the
powerful Council of Guardian.

UP

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Jameah (April 11)
Public Opinion and People's Power in Factional Equations

The Leader at a meeting attended by the heads of the three branches of power
and the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council called on the heads
of the executive and judiciary powers to have coordination for attending to
the case of Gholam Hussein Karbaschi, the mayor of Tehran.

At the same time a student political group (Unity Consolidation Office) has
called on the people and students to attend a political meeting on Tuesday.

It is said the test of strength between Seyed Mohammad Khatami's coalition
government on the one side and the Majlis majority faction and the judiciary
on the other side has not covered even half of its course.

The comments and reports about the beginning of the challenge mostly consist
of the reaction of the factions which form the Khatami government and the
factions on the other side.

The missing question is where the people are in this affair? In particular
it is probable that some events will take place parallel to the recent
crisis in other sectors which will not be paid attention to by the public
opinion.

Some political analysts believe the current engagement had the positive
point of breaking the sanctity of power in the mind of the masses and in
this way further opened the way for serious criticism of the structure of
power in Iran.

Many are asking: "If such big cases have been concealed for the past several
years, what has happened to the people?"

In people's view the affair is more important than financial misuses, and
this shows itself in unveiling the misuses of the political power.

Although the open division in the traditional fabric of power is gradually
driving the area of authority towards its break there is a likelihood near
certainty that the faction known as the authoritative faction, which is now
in the minority position, will adopt measures to prevent bigger split in
that fabric. These measures bring to mind several scenarios.

The remarks by Ataollah Mohajerani, the guidance minister, about the missing
of more than ten billion rials added to doubts that there are bigger cases
behind the present affairs, cases which could never come out because of the
settlement inside the power structure.

The experience of the previous years shows that the exposure of the
financial misuses and violations has usually been used as the last weapon by
the rival factions in the system.

Using this weapon indicates the conflicts are serious and aim at the
legitimacy of the factions engaged.

On the other hand bringing to public the violations shows that the public
opinion's judgment is seriously accepted as an effective factor in this
political conflict.

Accordingly, the present power struggle has manifested itself in the scene
of propaganda and information more than any other scene. And the experience
of May 23 shows that the faction supporting Seyed Mohammad Khatami is by far
more skillful to use this instrument.

The undeniable fact is that the masses in the presidential election
demonstrated their great power to some extent. This has put Seyed Mohammad
Khatami in a difficult position.

The political opponents of the President know that political calm will
result in advancement of Khatami's programs. Accordingly, the extremist
group in the opposite faction -- contrary to the group which is more
farsighted, is trying to drive the political climate towards confrontation.

Therefore, some of those favoring the President are saying that Khatami must
not make himself involved in this dispute and should manage the crisis from
a higher position.

This group at the same time do not overlook the point that the arrest of the
Tehran mayor has actually been a leap for targeting the Interior Ministry in
the coming days.

Some analysts are asking whether it will not be better if Khatami begins the
rule of law from himself and his coalition so that eventually for a big leap
he would make the people the final judge. The group argue breaking the
factional ties and addressing the people will link Khatami to a power far
superior to the power of the existing factions: The power of the masses.

UP

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

Jameah (April 11)
Private Reporter

* The Evin Prison officials prevented Bahman Keshavarz, the lawyer of Gholam
Hussein Karbaschi, from entering the prison on Tuesday. Keshavarz said he
had received a letter for meeting from the Prison's Observer Judge, but
officials of the prison were not considering the letter to be valid. They
said only a letter by the judge of the special court would be valid.

The letter was confiscated by the officials of the prison.

* It is said that after the speech by Rajab Rahmani, the MP for Takestan, at
the Majlis which contained strong protests against the Khatami government,
various groups of people of the constituency by sending letters to officials
of the country, especially the President, criticized the speech.

* During (Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council) Hashemi
Rafsanjani's trip to Saudi Arabia the delegation accompanying him were
greatly impressed by the economic and development progress of the country. A
few members of the
delegation jokingly told the former president: "King Fahd and not you should
be called the construction champion."

* According to the information received Mr. (Mohammad) Mohammadi Reyshahri,
the secretary general of the Society for Defense of Values of the Islamic
Revolution (SDVIR) intends to resign his position as head of the Special
Clergy Court upon his return from the Hajj pilgrimage.

* (Majlis Speaker) Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri has been opposed to the arrest of
Gholam Hussein Karbaschi and has not liked the policy of the judiciary in
this connection. It is said this has been the main cause of his silence.

* Mahmood Kheyrollahi who went to Qom from Isfahan last winter to visit
Ayatollah Montazeri but could not have a meeting because of the restrictions
on him, has been in detention together with a few other people since his
return to Isfahan. He has been in detention for about four months.

Kheyrollahi was imprisoned for five years in Isfahan and Tehran between 1990
and 1996.

He was wounded in the war. He is the member of a family which has presented
eleven martyrs.

UP

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

Kayhan (April 11)
Revolution Leader's Solution and Instruction Is Most Important Factor of
Calm

Hojjatoleslam (Ali Akbar) Nateq-Nouri, at a meeting with the Islamic Majlis
employees, pointed to the issue at stake between the Executive and the
Judiciary last week and said the remedy and instruction of the Supreme
Leader was the most important factor of establishing calm among the people.

Mr. Nateq-Nouri said the Velayate Faqih was the most important factor for
the people's unity.

UP

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

Kayhan (April 11)
Majlis to Examine Questions of MPs to Interior Minister

The Islamic Majlis would be examining questions of several MPs to
Hojjatolestalm Abdullah Nouri in the current week.

The Majlis would be discussing questions of Messrs Rassulinejad, Mir Khalili
and Ali Zadsar, MPs for Damavand, Minab and Jiroft respectively.

UP

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

Jameah (April 11)

Tehran Mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi's wife has been allowed to visit her
husband in Evin Prison in the north of the capital, the moderate daily
reported without giving any details of when the visit took place.

Karbaschi was held "in a cell with another prisoner" and "had the right to
half an hour a day outside," it said.

UP

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

IRNA (April 11)
"Defense Committee" in Support of Tehran Mayor

The interior ministry is to set up a "defense committee" for the embattled
mayor, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Interior Minister Abdullah Nouri said the committee would be up and running
by Sunday and would provide the Iranian people with a list of the mayor's
achievements.

In a speech to mayors of the capital's 20 boroughs today Nouri again
denounced Karbaschi's arrest as "arbitrary."

"It is astonishing for a government official to be arrested by a judge and
held like a common law prisoner dressed in a prison uniform," Nouri told the
mayors.

Participants in the meeting, who included Karbaschi's wife, called for the
Tehran mayor's "immediate release," IRNA reported.

UP

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

Resalat (April 11)
(LEADING ARTICLE)
Why Threat and Intimidation!
By: BIJAN MOQADDAM

1. The evidence, including the letter by a group of the members of the
Militant Clerics League (Majmae Rouhaniune Mobarez), the Executives and a
few MPs addressed to the esteemed Leader, shows that the supporters of the
Tehran mayor are not prepared to submit to ``law and justice.''

The government spokesman has said the text of the discussions of the cabinet
will be sent for the esteemed Leader.

His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei invited the heads of the three branches of
power and called on the honorable heads of the executive and judiciary
powers to have the necessary coordination for judiciary investigation of the
case.

On that basis sending an open letter (!?) to the esteemed Leader and making
request from His Eminence are two questionable things.

2. Some reports heard indicate the President has been displeased with the
government spokesman's interview and presentation of the summary of the
cabinet meeting on the detention of the Tehran mayor.

It is not clear whether the displeasure has been with the content of Mr.
Mohajerani's remarks or the manner of expression and report. The final
judgment should be left for near future when the President may personally
speak in this connection. Of course there is another way and that is the
publication of the text of the discussions of the cabinet. In this way the
people will be able to become more familiar with the views of the President
they have elected on administration of justice and confrontation with
offenders.

3. Extensive efforts are being made to disrupt the investigation into the
charges against the mayor.

The same current which staged the university disturbance to confront the
decision of a legal institution such as the Council of Guardians and
arranged some slogans against the system is today trying to have illegal and
provocative meetings against the judiciary.

These steps are not pursuing anything other than intimidation and threat of
the judge and exerting pressure on the judiciary.

We hope with the decision of the heads of the three branches of power
necessary warning will be given to those who have such plans in their mind.

4. Many people and observers are asking how there can be so much support
following the arrest of an accused.

The support should be either attributed to faith in the innocence of the
mayor or concern about exposure of many violations which may implicate
``others'' too.

5. Some print media and political groups are trying to attribute a major
part of the construction current in the country to the Tehran mayor and to
present Mr. Khatami's victory in the election as being indebted to his
cultural and political efforts.

We believe the construction is indebted to millions of Iranians and
thousands of competent managers whose names are never mentioned because they
have not put their hands on the public fund and they do not have the support
of the political currents.

If the finished cost of some of the projects in Tehran are compared with
real prices the extent of the success of the management exercised will
become clear.

6. The statement by Society for Defense of Values of the Islamic Revolution
(SDVIR) under the pretext of defense of the Tehran mayor was a cause of
regret for the friends of the revolution. The regret is not because of the
stand of a political current since many other groups have come forward by
risking their prestige, but because this association came to the scene of
political activities by rejecting the two existing currents and with the
motive of safeguarding the values of the revolution. What value is superior
to the administration of justice and law? The long-standing attacks of the
SDVIR against the judiciary brings to mind doubts about its making efforts
to secure power in that brand of power. Why is the SDVIR not going about
reviewing the cultural and economic steps by the Tehran mayor to see what
values have been sacrificed?

7. The thing that some violations may have taken place in other institutions
and organizations is not reason for stopping the investigation into the
charges against the mayor.

In the past Resaalat admired the move by the Majlis for probes into the
performance of the mayor [Tehran Municipality?], the Mostazafan Foundation
and..., but it considered the move something unfinished because the
committee concerned should have referred [the related cases] to the
judiciary for investigation.

We believe the investigation is neither a quasi coup nor attack on the heart
of the construction.

How come some consider the arrest of the mayor according to the law to be
damage to the prestige of the country and the national interests but do not
consider accusing the judiciary of exercising torture -- which has become a
pretext for the enemies of the revolution and Islam -- to be contrary to the
good of the county?

Today there is no interest higher than just and legal investigation into the
charges and avoidance of the executive power from interference in other
branches of power.

UP
Previous Next

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


Shalamcheh (#28; March 21 - April 22)
With Trial of Karbaschi Those Who Feel Obliged, Octopus with a Thousand
Tentacles Will be Exposed

* The President goes to work by bus, but Karbaschi is riding a modern white
Toyota car!

* The President has a humble house, but Karbaschi has a certain kind of
house in Jamshidiyeh [north Tehran].

* The President is eliminating the ceremonial things, but Karbaschi is
adding to them!

* The President gives presents to winner of contests and the elite, but
Karbaschi gives a pride to the son of his colleague and Azadi gold coins to
his bosses. This shows who are the ones who have become obliged by the money
spent from the public fund and are now sitting in red chairs [of the Majlis]
and are dying for him.

* If Karbaschi is put on trial the octopus with a thousand tentacles which
is dominating [everything from] car manufacturing to motorway construction,
selling oil, imports, exports, culture, politics and... will be exposed.

* Fazel Khodadad with Rls. 1,230b embezzlement was sent to the gallows. Will
the "municipality-guys" with Rls. 1,300 b embezzlement be sent to the
gallows?

* If Karbaschi is put on trial people will believe that the law is not just
for those who steal eggs but also for those who steal oxen...

How nice it will be if that happens, but it is a pity that...

*****

* Now that the cabinet considers Karbaschi to be the mayor as before,
because there is no one else to pave the rough roads with embezzlement
and..., how good will it be if the meetings of the municipality are held
near him [in his presence] at the Evin Prison.

* The Unity Consolidation Office and the sweepers of the municipality with
the support of the Organization for Defense of Human Rights formed the
"Association for Defense of Embezzlers and Thieves of Public Funds" in
support of Karbaschi.

* Morteza Rafiqdoost cannot stand Karbaschi and the Muslim nation cannot
stand either of them.

* When arriving at prison there was only a Rls. 1,000-bank note in
Karbaschi's pockets, because he had left all his credit cards, travelers'
cheques, etc., with those accompanying him.

* On the anniversary of Operation Karbala 8 in Shalamcheh the ring-leader of
embezzlers and traitors to the public fund and blood of martyrs went to
prison.

* To declare solidarity with the Tehran mayor sweepers carried [collected]
the garbage to the Evin Prison.

* The "Guidance Without Islamic Culture Ministry" after the detention of
Karbaschi called on Hollywood producers to produce a film for expression of
sympathy with him with the name "A Man for All Cells."

* Karbaschi has threatened the prison officials that he would collect [fine
them] several times the amount of due Renovation Rate because the floor of
his cell is not surfaced with asphalt.

* Karbaschi has asked the prison officials to bring his horse, which is
worth tens of millions of rials, to the Evin so that he would not be alone.

* Karbaschi has organized a post-specialist class on embezzlement and
bribery for inmates.

* With Karbaschi's going to prison the mayor's cabinet in the Evin has been
completed.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 12)
Not About the Letter by a Number of Important Political Personalities

In the letter published by the daily yesterday, the date of the letter
namely Nov. 10, 1997, and the following paragraphs was missing:

"The continuation of the present condition, especially on the eve of the
Islamic summit in Tehran, will make the government and even the system and
the country face serious crisis.

"Regrettably those staging the scene, despite the point that ineffectiveness
of their dangerous methods was proved in the May 23 election, continue to
insist on their methods."

As the names of a number of those who had signed the letter was missing
yesterday the full list was published again: [Compared with the list
published yesterday the new list has in addition the names of Messrs
Abdullah Nouri, Ataollah Mohajerani and Hussein Hashemian.]
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 12)
Those Opposed to Karbaschi Are the Very Ones Who Are Opposed to Mr. Khatami

A prominent member of the Executives of Construction group in an interview
with our reporter said: "Those opposed to Karbaschi are the very ones who
are opposed to Mr. Khatami...

"It seems the election result has made the gentlemen think to use other
means to confront the executive branch.

"Another considerable point has been the employment of the Security
Intelligence personnel of the police for interrogation of the detained
managers.

"The director of the Tehran Justice Administration has said those people
have been used because no other reliable forces were available.

"The move has been contrary to the law and has been an insult to some of the
hard-working judges too."

On the effect of the statement by the esteemed Leader, he said: "What is
certain is that the case of Mr. Karbaschi and the Tehran Municipality is not
a simple one and even the judiciary chief has described it as a national
one. The case has found very extensive political dimensions at home and even
abroad because of the arrest of Mr. Karbaschi.

"In these conditions the esteemed Leader's intervention was natural. I think
His Eminence's intervention and the measure he has considered are a correct
course. Certainly the continuation of that can contribute to the calm and
can normalize the situation."

About the President's stand at the meeting which was to be held last night
with the judiciary chief, he said: "At any rate this stand will be stated by
he himself. But the government believes there have been some instances of
lawlessness in the case and the government is making efforts so that the
continuation of the lawlessness will be prevented. It is as if there were
efforts to find cases of offenses instead of explaining the charges."

On the role of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, he said: "Naturally he could not be
indifferent. Of course I do not mean that he must definitely have sided with
the mayor. I mean he should make sure that the approach is proper."

He also said: " Karbaschi has been a very successful manager. In the
cultural area he has launched a newspaper which has the largest circulation.
The buying of the newspaper by the people is in fact a kind of vote for his
performance."

On the outcome, he said: "We think the esteemed Leader's prudence and the
intervention of the heads of the three branches and Mr. Rafsanjani in this
affair can be a desirable solution for the problem."

On the talks about "power struggle" by some groups, he said: "No. If it is a
question of power we give all of it to the gentlemen. From our point of view
it is the question of service. If we are saying Karbaschi must continue his
work it is because we believe he has been successful in it."

On power struggle by the faction defeated in the election and whether he
accepts in that way they want to make their presence felt, he said: "If this
is the case they are making a mistake. Because eventually the criterion is
the people's vote."

On whether he accepts the faction defeated in the May 23 election has put
the government under pressure through the institutes it has at its disposal
and a manifestation of this can be found in the superficial articles in the
demagogic newspapers of the defeated faction, he said: "Until before Nou Ruz
(new year) we had regular meetings and we were reviewing the problem of
budget deficit and the way we could deal with the drop in the oil price.
With the problems imposed on the managers there have been some disruptions
in the work.

"Some are criticizing why the time spent by the cabinet on Karbaschi was not
spent on the economic problems faced by the people.

"The answer is managers are the means for attending to people's problems. If
they do not feel they are secure how can they attend to people's problems?"

On whether there were any differences of views among the cabinet members at
the meeting on the Tehran mayor, he said: "No. In fact there was unanimity.
If the government considers it advisable the text of the talks can be
published."
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 12)
Interior Ministry Agrees to Application by Islamic Association of Academics
for March

Yesterday the Islamic Association of Academics applied for permission for a
march in support of the judiciary. The ministry agreed to the march.

According to the information received the group changed mind about staging a
march after later consultations with their friends. UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 12)
Three Questions from Interior Minister Will be Debated at Majlis This Week

One of the items on the agenda for the public sessions of the Majlis this
week is debate on three questions by the MPs from the interior minister
about his resolute support for Mr. Karbaschi despite the confessions by the
deputy mayors, advisors and the directors of the municipality, the
appointment of Panjeh Fouladgaran as deputy interior minister for
development affairs and the issuance of permission for the assembly of the
Unity Consolidation Office outside Tehran University.

At the last session of the Majlis before Nou Ruz (new year) after Hojj.
Abdullah Mouri's answering a question by the MP for Minab, the MP for
Behshahr, Mr. Jamshidi slapped the MP for Kangavar on the face and caused
tension in the Majlis.

Hojj. Nouri has said that he is going to answer questions by the MPs without
attending the committees concerned and at the Majlis sessions.
UP
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Farda (April 12)
Ali Hashemi Summoned

Yesterday, in the course of completion of the preliminary stages of the
Tehran mayor's case, Ali Hashemi, deputy petroleum minister and the
minister's locum tenes in the NIOC (National Iranian Oil Company) was
summoned to Bench 26.

Deputy Tehran mayor in charge of administration and finance, Gholamreza
Qobeh, had confessed in court on 14 January that he had paid the amount of
2,6000 million rials in one of the fifth election campaign headquarters to
Ali Hashemi, at the order of the Tehran mayor.

Questioned by the court president, Qobeh said he did not know the reason for
the payment.
UP
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Farda (April 12)
My Appointment as Mayor Is a Rumor - Marashi

The Executives of Construction would call on the people to take part in a
demonstration if Karbaschi's detention went on.

Hussein Marashi, MP for Kerman and a member of the Executives of
Construction emphasized in a talk with Farda: If Karbaschi's detention went
on after the Unity Consolidation Office's rally outside the Tehran
University the Executives and other groups, eg the Coalition of the Imam's
Line, would call for a rally. Referring to a report in one of the dailies
that he might be appointed mayor, he
said: "That is a rumor. Karbaschi is the Tehran mayor and would remain so."
UP
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Jomhuri Islami (April 12)
Again a Word with Honorable Interior Minister

The examination of the Tehran mayor's case by the President and head of the
judiciary with the help of the Expediency Discernment Council's chairperson
and the Majlis speaker would require an atmosphere of calm in creation of
which officials and factions can play an effective role.

Unfortunately, the Interior Ministry that should assume a greater role in
this regard has taken actions to the contrary. The statements of the
interior minister in Arabia, his direct move from the airport to Mr.
Karbaschi's house, the announcement about forming a Karbaschi support
headquarters in the Interior Ministry and issuing a permit for the students
to support the President in appearance, but to stir up the mayor's case in
reality, are all measures that would increase the tension.

It is surprising that the interior minister went directly from the airport
to the mayor's house, before going to his office and collecting
comprehensive information on the developments and announced that he would
not back down! It is still surprising that despite the involvement of the
Leader and heads of the state powers in the issue, a support HQ. is formed
in the Interior Ministry and permit is issued for a student rally! In the
opinion of fair people, those measures mean that Mr. Nouri is operating in
the role of a political faction's leader rather than the interior minister,
and has turned the Interior Ministry to a HQ for creating tension in the
society rather than a place for creating security and calm!

Does the interior minister know that his actions are indeed efforts to
neutralize the remedy taken at the highest level to resolve the issue? The
interior minister had been expected to act more maturely in his second term
in office. The Interior Ministry had been expected not to use the honest
students as a "pressure group" for political goals of a specific group.
There is no doubt that those actions are not compatible with the highest
interests of the system and would pit the Interior Ministry against the
system. Whatever is going on in the Interior Ministry, is not a clear issue!
We state with good faith that the Interior Ministry would better use all its
efforts to help the needs of state powers.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jomhuri Islami (April 12)
EDITORIAL
Stop Political Expedition!

Heads of the three powers discussed the procedure for examining the Tehran
Municipality case last night. There are a few basic points in this regard.
The involvement of the Leader in the issue indicates the Leader's
sensitivity towards issues that could effect the stability of the society.
The fact that he got involved and issued clear instructions indicated that
the Leader did not like the attitude taken.

The other point is that the people, officials, the press and political
groups have specific responsibilities. Fortunately, the people are pursuing
the issues with their specific patience. Unfortunately, some of the
officials, some of the newspapers and political groups have operated very
badly.

Some of the political groups and student movements felt the need to call for
a demonstration, before the Leader's involvement. Now there is no need.

Today, the government and every executive, especially in the Interior
Ministry, must approach the issue with tolerance. The judicial authorities
muse also realize the interests of the society. The press and the political
groups must not add grist to the enemy's mill. Any call for expedition,
rally and taking stands on the issue would indicate some kind of unblended
discord and conflict.

It goes without saying that nobody is asking for offenses of any officials
to be neglected.

Logic and reason require us to prefer the national interests over sectarian
interests.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Omid Javan (# 60, April 12)
I Am Performing My Duty and My Consideration is Satisfaction of God and Not
of Individuals

Who is this daring judge who has created an uproar in Iran these days? Who
is the person who has been able to finally smash the fabulous idol of
"powerful mayor of Tehran" and deal with him like other accused for
enforcement of the law? These are questions heard everywhere these days
especially as so many newspapers and publications and domestic and foreign
media have been supporting the mayor directly or indirectly and described
the judge as "young" and "with little experience".

Hussein Numiri, the judge of the Tehran Justice Administration, is 36. With
a record of 10 years service, he is among the well-known, informed and
revolutionary judges.

He studied at the Qom Seminary for 17 years. He has also studied advanced
canon for more than six years. He was present on the war fronts for several
months. His hand and his waist were injured twice and he is now a selfless
disabled with 35% disability.

This Basiji judge is avoiding political matters.

He does not accept to give interviews at all. He says: "I do my job and my
consideration is performance of my duty in the direction of satisfaction of
God and not individuals'."

We ask him to explain about the case. He says: "I am excused from giving
interviews."

When we insisted, he only complained about some of the false things
published in the press.

He said: "Mr. Karbaschi's case is not an exceptional and new thing for me,
the special judge for violations by civil servants. I issued the warrant for
one month detention according to the regulations and the law after several
sessions of inquiry from him."

Judge Numiri has had inquiries from Mr. Karbaschi at the Evin Prison every
day except one day since his detention. "He is treated according to the
prison laws and executive procedures."

We heard from reliable sources that every day a copy of the daily Jomhuri
Islami is taken to Mr. Karbaschi and he is provided with a television set
when news is broadcast.

He is together with a few others in a ward under the supervision of Mr.
Mohseni, the head of the Special Complex.

Without specifying any date for trial of Mr. Karbaschi, Judge Numiri
expressed hope that his investigation would end before the end of the
one-month detention and that the trial would begin.

It is heard that the judiciary intends to hold the trial of Gholam Hussein
Karbaschi publicly.

* Omid Javan is a cultural, social, sport and cinema weekly newspaper. Its
licensee is Mr. Siavash Pourqasemi and its director in charge if Mr.
Shahryar Pourqasemi.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Qods (April 12)
Cancelation of Interview by Mayor's Wife

Gholam Hussein Karbaschi at a one-hour meeting with his wife on Thursday
said: "I will be content if I stay here for ever but the system is
safeguarded. If the friends ask about me, tell them: "We did not see but
beauty."

The wife said the above at a meeting with the reporters of Salaam,
Hamshahri, Resalat, Iran News, Qods, Karo Kargar, Jameah and the BBC.

But on the basis of the advice of Mr. Karbaschi, which she was informed of a
few minutes before her giving an interview, she refused to say anything
more.

The editor of Hamshahri at the meeting said certain points to the reporters.
He said he did not know and was surprised about the manner of the
coordination for the interview and the presence of the reporters at the
mayor's home. He said the time of the interview had been arranged in
connection with the reporter of Jameah. The reporter of Jameah said he was
informed of the interview by the reporter of Salaam!

***

This term or that term?

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

Transfer interrupted!

inister has talked about some violation during the previous term at the
ministry, but reliable sources deny the claim and stress there were some
violations during the term before Mr. Larijani's management.

The detention of Mr. Fakhreddin Anvar and his release on a bail of Rls 120m
in connection with some property now seized at a storehouse by the judiciary
has been in connection with the violations related to that term. The amount
of the violation has been more than Rls 5 bn.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 12)
The Rise in the Dollar Rate on Black Market Is Temporary

The shock to the exchange market is temporary and it is predicted the
present fluctuating rates will moderate to some extent.

An informed source at the Central Bank told our reporter: "Some increase in
the dollar rate on the black market because of the drop in the price of oil
and the government's decision to raise the rate of the exchange sold to
travelers was predictable. But the scope of the fluctuation and the amount
of the increase has been more than the expectations. Very probably the rate
will moderate to some extent in the coming days."

On the black market yesterday all were buyers. Ferdowsi Ave. Was packed with
dealers who according to the law must be arrested by the police.

Dealers were openly trading exchange until the afternoon. It was heard from
pedestrians that the police rounded up the traders at the sunset.

Farda: The dollar was traded at as high as Rls 6,300 yesterday. The mark and
pound rose to Rls 3,100 and Rls 9,000.

Kayhan: Azai gold coin: 475000 rials
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran Daily (April 12)
PERSPECTIVE
Timely Intervention
by: Ammar Ibrahimi

The meeting convened to discuss the case of Tehran's mayor which was called
by the Leader of the Revolution and attended by the three heads of the
government branches and the chairman of the Expediency Council, was
certainly appropriate.

The case of the Tehran municipality which was threatening to become a
national political crisis, will now proceed in a more rational manner
consequent to the Leader's intervention.

The management style of Tehran's mayor represents the most successful
example of fostering effective development in our society. Hence the manner
in which his efforts have been called into question has raised many doubts.

In the first instance, the issue of the mayor's detention being politically
motivated is raised and not without justification. After all, he is widely
considered as the architect of the Khatami campaigns' stunning electoral
victory of last May. That would make him a political target. When one
considers how the case of the municipality leap frogged its way up the
judiciary's agenda of pending investigations, it naturally rises eyebrows
and suspicions.

Then two, the detention of such a high-profile figure, who is perhaps the
nation's most successful large-scale administrator, in a country conspicuous
for its lack of such successes, could be interpreted as an attack on the man
who appointed him, i.e. former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. The timing of
the arrest seemed aimed squarely at the Khatami administration.

Unfortunately, the entire affair sends the wrong message to those closely
involved with the administration and development of the country. The
implication is to beware of progress and obvious success in public affairs.
It could get you investigated.

Defusing the dangers inherent in this situation and devising a set of
effective measures to resolve the issue are crucial tasks for our political
leaders. The intervention of the Leader and his continued monitoring of the
situation is a good omen.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Salaam (April 12)
Students to Hold Gathering Outside Tehran University

The Unity Consolidation Office in a statement announced that a gathering of
students will be held outside Tehran University tomorrow (Tuesday), April
14.

The announcement added that an official permission has been granted by the
Interior Ministry for holding the gathering, entitled ``popular
unity-strength of Khatami.''

It added that the gathering will discuss axis of support for President
Khatami's administration, obstacles hindering materialization of nation's
aspirations, protesting performance of the judiciary in dealing with
judicial cases and the root causes for economic problems.

It further stressed that the recent reactions and moves by the trend
opposing the government is a testimony to determination of this particular
faction to weaken President Khatami's administration and create obstacles on
the way of materialization of aspirations of the nation.

Therefore, now more than ever before President Khatami needs people's
support and their presence in the scene in order to realize his programs
which are demanded and endorsed by the noble Iranian nation, it said.

The unpleasant international situation and the ailing domestic economy
together with sharp fall in oil prices at world market have put the society
in an economic crisis, stressed the announcement.

The ``faction of monopoly'', by taking advantage of the condition and
resorting to demagogic means, is trying to damage the administration, said
the announcement, adding that present economic bottlenecks have their roots
in previous disorders and those opposing now are those who supported those
policies and were its theoreticians.

It further reiterated that solving the economic problems requires political
solutions and convergence of the Majlis and the government and national
will.

In conclusion the UCO invited Tehran residents as well as truth-seeking
students to attend the gathering which it described as a great stride
towards strengthening the government.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran (April 12)
Interior Minister Wants Referendum on Mayor

Interior Minister Abdullah Nouri called for a referendum to resolve a row
over Tehran's jailed mayor Gholam Hussein Karbaschi and announced the
creation of a center for his defense.

"If the case of the mayor and the municipality is a national issue, why is a
poll not conducted to learn of the peoples' views? A referendum must be
held," Nouri said,
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

IRIB (April 12)
Judiciary Announce "Public Trial" for Tehran Mayor

Iran's judiciary Saturday announced a "public trial" for Tehran Mayor,
Gholam Hussein Karbaschi.

Karbaschi will go on trial at a date yet to be fixed, the official in charge
of his case, Hojjatoleslam Mohseni Ejei said.

There is no chance he would be released on bail "as long as the inquiry is
in progress," Ejei said.

(Ejei is in charge of all cases connected with a corruption scandal in the
city government for which a dozen of Karbaschi's aides have already been
convicted and jailed).

Ejei denied that Karbaschi's case had a "political dimension" and insisted
it would be pursued through the courts with "the necessary attention and
sensitivity."

The trial date would be set by the investigating magistrate after the
completion of the preliminary inquiries, he said.

He insisted there was no ban on visits to the mayor -- Karbaschi's family
had seen him in jail following a ruling by the investigating magistrate, he
said.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kayhan (April 12)
TODAY'S NOTE
Three Spectra
by: Hussein Shariatmadari

It was a calculated and praiseworthy action that the supreme Leader took by
calling the heads of three state powers. After that sagacious measure, it is
naturally and reasonably expected that everybody should wait for the outcome
and avoid any action to create tension. Three spectra may be deemed as
beneficiaries in the recent events. The examination of the case by heads of
the state powers would fulfill the wishes of all three spectra.

The first spectrum includes the groups allied to Tehran mayor and the
Executives of Construction. They claim the abuse and embezzlement in Tehran
Municipality is a baseless charge that the rival group has concocted to
compensate for its defeat in the presidential election.

The second spectrum includes groups and tendencies who are the political
rivals of the first spectrum. They claim that they are only concerned with
the interests of people and do not take notice of their own sectarian and
fictional interests!

The third spectrum are the masses of the people who demand their rights and
the return of their plundered assets. Considering the undeniable evidence
regarding the macro abuses in the Tehran Municipality they demand to take
back their plundered assets and punishment of offenders. It makes no
difference for the people which political faction the abusers were
affiliated to.

The examination and investigation of the issue in the presence of three
heads of powers would fulfill the legitimate demands of all three spectra.
The spectrum claiming to defend the judiciary cannot reject the outcome. The
spectrum claiming to support the Executive cannot claim that its view was
ignored. The people would find out the truth through the investigation of
heads of three powers and endorsement of the supreme revolution Leader.

It is in the interest of everybody to avoid stirring tension. Officials and
centers such as the Interior Ministry have a greater responsibility.
Therefore, the recent action of the interior minister after his return from
the Hajj visit, the permit to students (to hold a rally)... cannot be
compatible with the wishes and interests of the people and the system.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Farda (April 12)
FREE ARTICLE
The Following is a Review of the Analyses in Society About the Detention of
the Tehran Mayor
by: Hussein Amanian

1. Some view it according to the conspiracy theory. They believe in view of
the drop in the price of oil and the rise in prices of basic commodities the
supporters of the government by controversy over the detention intend to
divert the attention of the people from economic pressures.

2. Some refer to the activates of the Executives of Construction in the
economic, political and cultural areas. They say the Executives with their
cultural and political measures put themselves against a group of the clergy
and by their economic measures stood against the bazaar, ie the dominant
class in society. In this analysis the names of Karbaschi and Mohajerani are
heard more. The analysis says the detention of Karbarschi and his gradual
elimination is revenge on the Executive sand that if it succeeds it will
extend to their supporters.

3. Some say there have been rumors about (intention) to remove the Judiciary
Chief Yazdi and it was probable that he would be dismissed by the
leadership.

To counter that he has made a political move and by launching the Tehran
mayor case and fighting instances of embezzlement and fraud he wants to
gradually present himself as the champion of fight against administrative
and social corruption. In this way he wants to cause delay in this removal.
On the other hand if he is removed people will argue he was removed because
he wanted to expose some of the gentlemen. These people consider the delay
in the
investigation in the Tehran Municipality case during the term of
Rafsanjani's government to be the best evidence for their argument.

4. Some others believe this is the climax of the factional clashes. In this
analysis the person of Karbaschi is not important and the point is the fight
between two rival ways of thinking which have their own levers (the
executive and the judicial power).

The group supporting the government believe losing Karbaschi will be the
first retreat and that this may gradually include other members such as
Abdullah Nouri and Mohajerani.

These people believe the main tension is (between) the executive and the
judicial powers and that other institutions, ie the Leadership, the
Expediency Discernment Council and the Majlis, will play a balancing role
and that eventually these balancing factors, especially the Leadership as
the symbol of national unity, will solve the problem in a way so that the
integrity of the system will not be harmed.

5. Some independent and moderate groups have shown a fair stand. They
believe that confronting offenders and criminals must be pursued free from
political hue and cry and factionalism. They believe the performance of the
two rival groups - ie the approach of the judiciary which has at times been
vague and political - and the approach by the government and his supporters
- which at times has been supportive and political - has tarnished the
principle of transfactional investigation of the violations.

These people are for moderation and justice. They want investigation into
all the financial and administrative violations whether they have taken
place in the Mostazafan Foundation, the Tehran Municipality and ...
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jameah (April 12)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: A Word with Khatami and a Flower for Karbaschi

Mr. President!

Twenty million people of Iran voted for you on May 23 so that you would take
part in the government as their legal representative and they would refer to
your view and opinion and know their duty at times of crisis.

Now in connection with the imprisonment of Mr. Karbaschi Iran is moving in
the direction of a crisis and those 20 million Iranians are waiting for your
opinion. But despite this national expectation you have adopted silence.
What should be our interpretation of your profound silence?

1. That your silence signals consent and you are in favor of the arrest of
Mr. Karbaschi [?]!! The statement by the Cabinet in support of Mr. Karbaschi
refutes that, unless we go a long way and imagine that the Cabinet is not
going your course or imagine freedom has overtaken you.

2. The second interpretation is that you are worried about probable violence
resulting from (announcement of) your opinion.

I myself have this interpretation and consider your silence to be a move in
Gandhi's style and in the direction of "non-violence" which is the dream of
the civil society.

On one hand I want to protest against this political step which has given a
bad name to justice and judgment in Iranian society. I know your prefer no
move to take place to make society go in the course of agitation instead of
reason. Because in the words of today's benevolent of the world the means is
the very end and to achieve the end of civil society one cannot go through
the course of violence and agitation.

This is why to protest what has hurt the hearts of aware Iranians today I
adopt silence like your meaningful silence and I shall not produce any film
until the freedom of Mr. Karbaschi and to express my appreciation to him I
present a flower to him in this very column.

Although I know that some of the actions of the municipality have hurt many
of the citizens, I know it more that behind this political episode this is
not Karbaschi who is imprisoned but these are color, vivaciousness and
civility which are in jeopardy.

Therefore I call on all those who agree with me to present a white flower,
as a sign of wishing peace and civility, to the municipality of their city.
I emphatically call on the people if they take part in any gathering they
should remain silent, like you, instead of chanting any slogan and like
Gandhi create a silent presence even if they are attacked and become targets
of violence.

I personally shall switch on the lights of my car as sign of happiness of
Tehran and the homeland on the day of freedom of Karbaschi. May peace follow
your silence.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jameah (April 12)
FIFTH COLUMN
Karbaschi and Four Basic Theories
by: Seyed Ebrahim Nabavi

There are four basic theories about the detention of Karbaschi:

1. The officials know what they are saying and people understand what they
are hearing: As it appears the case of embezzlements must be attended to and
the case of the Tehran mayor is a political one.

2. The officials know what they are saying, but people do not understand
what they are hearing: As it appears there must be a ban on visiting the
Tehran mayor.

3. The officials do not understand what they are saying, but people
understand what they are hearing: As it appears the mayor assisted Khatami
in the election and the assistance must be considered embezzlement.

4. The officials do not understand what they are saying and people do not
understand what they are hearing: As it appears the second and the third
persons of the country have adopted neutral silence on the case of the
mayor.

Moral: Mutual understanding is a good thing

Moral including political moral: The problem of many governments in the
Third World countries is that the intelligence quotient of the people in
those countries is higher than the intelligence quotient of their political
managers.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In brief (April 12):

- On its front page today Resalat has printed the picture of a street sign
in Tehran which reads: ``Shahrdar [Mayor] Dd. End'' - Resalat

- Hard-working mayor of Tehran, south Tehran's face has changed thanks to
your efforts. We appreciate your hard work and we do not believe the
accusations against you. [Signed] A group of residents of District 15 of
Tehran. - Jameah

- We are thankful. Mr. Gholam Hussein Karbaschi built Shar-e Ketab [book
city], cultural centers and book gardens in various districts of Tehran and
he launched the daily Hamshahri. Because those things are related to our
business, we express our thanks. [Signed by 30 book publishing companies] -
Jameah

- [A cartoon in Jameah shows the mayor painting trees on the walls of his
cell. In some parts of Tehran exposed walls of buildings have been painted
with greenery and flowers.]. - Jameah

- The dollar was fluctuating between Rls 5,700 and Rls 6,000 this morning.
The buying rates of 100 Japanese yen, mark and pound were Rls 3,800, Rls
2,850 and Rls 8,650. The selling rates were Rls 3,900-3,950, Rls 2,900-2,950
and Rls 8,700-8,800 - Resalat.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Resalat (April 12)
People's message

* I heard that at the 5-our cabinet meeting there were attacks against Mr.
Ali Larijani [head of the Radio and Television] asking him why he gave the
report of the arrest of Mr. Karbaschi.

I have also heard that the President's summation is very distant from what
Mr. Mohajerani said about Mr. Karbaschi.

Resalat (April 12): We have also heard those things. We do not know how
correct they are. If the tape of the meeting is aired by the Radio and
Television or the text of the discussions is published by the press
incorrect rumors and news will be prevented.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kayhan (April 12)
Report on Gold Coin, Exchange Market

The Azadi gold coin was Rls 455,000 at 10 am today. At 11 am it was Rls
475,000.

The rates of exchange and the price of gold coin are rising every minute and
dealers say if the Central Bank does not adopt the necessary measures the
upward trend shall continue.

An economic insider said the sudden increase was the outcome of the
performance of the Central Bank, and called for revision of the exchange
policies.

"The prediction was that the Central Bank would raise the rate of the
exchange sold to travelers by 15-20%. The increase of 60% came as a shock
for the market."

A coin trader said the increase in the international price of gold should
not be overlooked either.

The police were strongly confronting dealers today. The pavements of
Ferdowsi Ave and Istanbul Crossroads were deserted, but this was not
deterring the dealers.

At 11:30 am the dollar, mark and pound were Rls 6,000, Rls 3,150 and Rls
9,000. Azadi gold coin; was Rls 475,000.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kayhan (April 12)
ECONOMIC NOTE
Anatomy of a Decision
by: Majid Razzazi

The official rate of exchange for the dollar is now about 4,800 rials. That
change of the rate may be the origin to two groups of economic reactions.
The first would be a negative reaction. That is the rise in the inflation
rate. Two points would intensify the rise. One is the big size of the
increase, ie about 60% and the other is the specific economic conditions
after the new year. In the last few years, the rise in prices spearheaded by
the government prices has become an unpleasant tradition.

The second reaction could be a totally positive one. The rise is the best
opportunity for exporters to compete in export markets.

Now, let's see how those two reactions would take place in our country. The
path for the first is quite smooth. Since yesterday when the rise was
announced, the free market rate of the dollar went up about 800 rials and
the gold price about 60,000 rials.

It is clear that holders of liquidity would prefer to make big profits by
fast transactions of exchange and gold. The officials are expected to show a
sudden reaction to check the crisis, but the trend of exports is a
time-consuming one. Therefore, hardly any opportunity would remain for our
economy to benefit from the conditions created by the rise in the exchange
rate. Those are experiences that our economy gained at the cost of the hefty
rise of inflation by 54% in the year ended 19 March 1996. It is not proper
to repeat those experiences.

Furthermore, rise in exports would be achieved by a rise in production. The
latter would need more liquidity to obtain exchange at a higher rate. But
the current budget is a contractive one. Thus, it surely cannot provide the
needed liquidity. Hence, rise in exports would cause a reduction of goods at
home and a further increase of the inflations rate.

Let's not forget that the exchange crisis would provide good conditions for
economic conspiracies with political goals. Let's not forget that one
departure point of the recent deep crisis in east Asian economies was the
big purchase of dollars by an American Zionist capitalist on the Thailand
exchange market.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran (April 12)
Refrain from Politicizing Judicial Cases

A prominent lawyer and academician Mostafa Mohaqqeq Damad said that full
impartiality and justice should be observed in investigation of judicial
cases, adding that politicization of judicial issues should be strictly
avoided.

He pointed to the case of Tehran Municipality, adding that the issue has
been turned into an ``dilemma of the system'', whereas it can be easily
resolved if the two sides adhere to the law.

Mohaqqeq Damad who for a decade served as head of the General Inspectorate
Organization, told the daily that raising the issue at Friday congregational
prayers has further induced the idea that the case was semi-political.

He said that both the lawyer of Tehran mayor or Karbaschi himself, from the
very beginning of the arrest, could have protested against the temporary
detention, adding that the protest could have been pursued at an appeal
court.

He said that even at the preliminary investigation stage, the accused is
entitled to the presence of his lawyer so that the lawyer, without
intervening in investigation process, will notify the investigator of any
cases of violation of law.

He rejected the idea of Tehran mayor's detention being of political nature,
adding embezzlement is considered a general crime and is far different from
a political violation.

Mohaqqeq Damad stressed that the Judiciary is a symbol of national
independence, adding that a bad performance by the officials, either
Judiciary or Executive, which harms the good status of the Judiciary would
be catastrophic for the country.

He remarked that if a mistake has been made in the process of investigation
of Tehran Municipality case, it should be looked into free from any
political consideration or propaganda because, he stressed, weakening the
judiciary contradicts the sublime interests of the Islamic Republic system.

However, if senior managers are treated inappropriately, this will halt the
trend of construction, said Mohaqqeq Damad, adding that the country's
managers should not feel that disgrace is the bonus for their services.
UP
Previous Next
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Iran (April 13)
Government Calls for Cancellation of Tuesday's March

The Cabinet held a session last night and heard a report by President Seyed
Mohammed Khatami on Saturday's meeting of heads of the three powers about
the detention of the Tehran Mayor Gholam hussein Karbaschi.

(The meeting of the three branches of the government was held after the
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei personally intervened in the
case of the Tehran Municipality.

(President Mohammed Khatami, Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and the heads of Iran's Judiciary and Legislature
held private talks late Saturday.

(The meeting, according to informed sources, took place at the office of
parliamentary Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri).

The Cabinet ministers in their meeting last night urged all groups,
associations and people who intend to hold rallies in support of the
government, to refrain from doing so.

The government regretted that "the approach adopted by the Supreme Leader to
solve the problem of the Tehran Municipality case, had not been handled
appropriately." But it expressed hope that by taking into account all the
aspects of the issue and the interests and sensitivities of the society, as
well as the executive problems of the country and the condition of the
people, there would be a logical and legal solution to the problem.

The government stressed that today the society needed calm more than any
other time. Therefore, thanking all the groups and associations who intended
to hold rallies and demonstrations, it urged them to refrain from doing so
and try to work for the tranquillity of the society.

The Unity Consolidation Office had announced that it would hold a march in
support of President Khatami's government and in protest to the detention of
Tehran mayor by the Judiciary at the Tehran University tomorrow.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran (April 13)
Who Is Paying for Mistake?

The Iranian society has had many ups and downs in the past two decades, but
the recent incident [the detention of the mayor] has for the first time made
our "united society" move toward unnecessary alignments.

Perhaps it will not be that fair if it is expected one of the sides must pay
all the cost because it has not chosen the best policy. For in today's world
and in the conditions of our country every side which pays all the expenses
of the mistake is going to borrow from other sides. And people do not see
"two sides" in this affair, and view the entire system together. And perhaps
eventually these are the people who will pay for the mistake.

In the heat of the incident various political factions, even the helpless
groups, are coming to the scene and insulting the system itself when
opposing or supporting the Tehran mayor.

Timely supply of information in this situation will be very effective and
constructive.

Therefore, all parties are supposed to bring sectarian prejudice and
political tension under control and provide timely information so that the
public opinion will have proper clam. In particular the people should know
what has been the summation by the meeting of the heads of the three
branches of power and where and when this tension is going to end.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Salaam (April 13)
READERS PHONE CALLS
Hello Salaam

* "I am a Basiji in the Corps East Zone. We do not agree with the MP for
Ahvaz who says (Tehran Mayor) Karbaschi has been a basiji. A basiji is a
person who has devoted himself to the revolution and not Karbaschi who has
studied in the he U.S. and is American.

Salaam: On the eve of the Fourth Majlis elections in order to damage the
revolutionary image of Hojj. (Mahdi) Karrubi rumors were made that at the
wedding of his daughter he had given one Azadi gold coin to every guest.

The esteemed Leader told a friend of his: "A person met me and told me that
Mr. Karrubi had distributed gold coins at the wedding of his daughter. I
told him Mr. Karrubi has no daughter."

At any rate in the world of politics some become fathers of daughters they
do not have and some lose their religion. Now it is the turn of Karbaschi.
He has studied at the Qom Seminary but the place of his education becomes
the U.S.! And the son of a clergy becomes an American!

Perhaps Mr. Karbaschi has committed something contrary to the law in the
same way that those investigating the case have definitely committed some
instances contrary to the law during the years of their judiciary work and
in the same way that everyone who works inevitably has such instances but he
is definitely not American.

* The story of the judiciary is worth listening to! On the one hand contrary
to the explicit words of the law they released someone who had been accused
of murder but on the other hand in connection with the dentition of
Karbaschi they are sticking to the law as if they are Siamese twins with it!

* To renew pledge to Mr. Khatami it will be good if we have a march on May
23 (the day he was elected in 1997) of this year.

* About the case of the Tehran mayor, attention has not been paid to the
shortcomings of the law used by the municipalities. It forces the mayor to
resort to methods which legally are considered violations.

* I want to tell Mr. Khatami and all the political factions supporting him,
especially the students if they show any hesitation and fear the situation
will become worse than in the past.

Salaam: We think [even] if the political groups become hesitant the people
shall not give up May 23 -- and they should not do that.

Today some are making propaganda that people are regretting their election
of Khatami. We think there should be preparations so that people can
demonstrate on May 23 that they are sticking to their vote for Khatami.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran (April 14)
Readable from Nation's House

* It was heard that with the coordination of the heads of the three branches
of power and the talks of the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council
with His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, the sage Leader of the Islamic
Revolution, Gholam Hussein Karbaschi, the Tehran mayor, is going to be freed
today until the time of his trial.

* The generalities of the motion on exploiting women [in pictures and in
text] in the press were approved with difficulty [narrowly]. Those opposed
to the motion, mostly the members of the Majlis Hizbollah League (the
coalition of the Executives, the Militant Clerics League and the groups
following the Imam's Line), believed the present press law provides for the
purpose of the motion and that only supervision over the enforcement of the
law must be strengthened.

Those in favor of the motion were considering the approval of it to be
emphasis on the materialization of the Islamic values in society.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arzesh-ha (April 13)
NOTE
Daily Resalat & An Analogy with Itself!

The daily Resalat published a Note in one its recent issues headlined "Why
threaten and frighten!" in which it repeated the well-known stands of its
faction and condemned allotments and critical stands regarding the detention
of the Tehran mayor.

Whereas a part of the Note concerned expressly the recent statement of the
Association (for Defense of the Values of the Islamic Revolution - SDVIR) in
which the daily that has always tried to offer a holy image about itself has
accused the SDVIR of "Power - mongering" we have to state a few points.

The daily stated: "The enduring attack of the SDVIR on the Judiciary gives
the impression of (the SDVIR) trying to gain power in the Judiciary."

The Resalat friends are gradually having to state their main internal
concern. Apparently, they are not concerned with the so-called plunder of
public assets. They are more frightened of the disrepute caused by actions
that may prompt the loss of one more of their power bastions!

We assure the daily that the Judiciary is a body under the blessed
supervision of the Leader and this accusation is not one to stick. We say
let the Judiciary as well as many other important positions including the
IRIB and the Mostazafan Foundation and some other economic institutions be
theirs.

Have the gentlemen really not seen our stands on the Tehran Municipality? We
do not think so. Apparently, they assess everything with the eyes of the
bazaar wholesale dealers and the economy of the Qajar era (bazaar) chambers.
One "penny" is more valuable to them than justice, respect for management,
honor of the faithful and the general interests of the Islamic system. It
should be so, because it is possible to campaign in election with money, but
justice would scare many away people.

One last word is if they really support the Judiciary's actions in regard to
Tehran Municipality because of abuse, embezzlement and illegitimate use of
assets for election campaign, why have they not stated any word regarding
the prejudiced and round-the-clock use of the IRIB since about a year before
the elections?!

You are people of accounting and would not ignore even one rial! Do ask your
friends in that organizations how much advertising on radio and TV costs per
second. You would probably say: "That is a different issue, it is not
embezzlement, let it be deferred!" Ok, but you would better know that the
invoices you have deferred are too many.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jomhuri Islami (April 13)
A Word with People of Judgment

Efforts to create calm in the society is not a task of one political faction
or one government agency alone. Yesterday, we reminded the interior minister
not to forget his task and we deem it necessary to remind it to the judicial
authorities today. The great sensitivity created by the Tehran Municipality
case is not a fact to be denied.

The main cause was the incorrect attitude of the judicial agency. The
disregard for national interests and the mistake in that attitude is not
open to doubt.

The other factor that has added to sensitivity is the involvement of the
Leader and top officials. After that, the judicial authorities should have
avoided making comments incompatible with the remedy that the Leader worked
out. The raison d'etre of the Judiciary is to counter tension and
adventurism. Naturally, any action and comment failing to help that goal
would be in conflict with its raison d'etre.

The recent comments of the honorable president of the Special Judicial
Complex on Mr. Karbaschi's case was proper as far as he explained the
facilities for his family to meet him and the legal provisions for the
detention. But, to state that the mayor would remain in detention until the
end of the period stipulated by law and then the judge would decide, is not
compatible with the Leader's
involvement in the issue. What the public opinion perceived from the
interview was that the Judiciary would take its own measures despite the
involvement of top officials of the system and would not take any notice of
the investigation of heads of state powers for notification of the Leader!

Surely the judicial authorities must submit to any decision that heads of
state powers would be taking with the endorsement of the Leader and not take
any action or say anything in conflict with it. The truth is that the
society cannot bear another mistake by the judicial authorities. The people
of judgment must now try to solve the problem not to add to existing
problems.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kar va Kargar (April 13)
Read This Column

The heads of the three branches of power met at the Islamic Majlis on
Saturday night to find a solution about the detention of the Tehran mayor
and revoking the detention warrant.

At the 3-hour meeting, Messrs Mohammadi Golpayegani, the head of the office
of the esteemed Leader, and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chairman of the
Expediency Discernment Council, were also present.

It is said at the meeting it was decided that Ayatollah Yazdi, the judiciary
chief, and the legislative power would find the legal way for revoking the
warrant and report the result.

An informed source at the Majlis told our correspondent that Mr. Hashemi
Rafsanjani met the esteemed Leader yesterday to brief His Eminence on the
outcome of the meeting.

What is heard indicate the studies at the Judiciary will probably get
nowhere and no positive solution will be presented.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 13)
Behind Tribune

According to what was said at the corridors of the Majlis (at the meeting of
the heads of the three branches of power and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani) it was
decided that Ayatollah Yazdi should review the legal ways for revoking the
detention warrant of Mr. Karbaschi.

During the last working hours of the Majlis yesterday it was said that Mr.
Karbaschi would be released soon.

An MP about the interview by Mohseni Ejeie, the head of the Special Judicial
Complex, said the interview was before the instruction by the esteemed
Leader for resolution of the affairs by the heads of the three branches of
power.

The first item on the agenda of the Majlis on Wednesday is the question by
the MP for Damavand from the interior minister about his resolute support
for Mr. Karbaschi, the Tehran mayor.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Farda (April 13)
Mr. President, Your Main Promise to People Was Defense of the Rule of Law
by: Ahmad Tavakoli

Article 113 of the Constitution considers you to be responsible for
enforcement of the Constitution and to be the head of the executive power.

About the detention of Mr. Karbaschi:

1. Mr. Mohajerani, as the government spokesman, when announcing the view of
the cabinet last week adopted stands which were contrary to the logic or
content of Articles 156, 20, 107, 164 and 34 of the Constitution. The main
theme of his remarks was exempting the detained accused and investigation
into the violations and offenses at the Tehran Municipality from the normal
course of the law.

2. According to the law Mr. Abdullah Nouri, the honorable interior minister,
is responsible for safeguarding the law and order. (But) he is taking steps
which if not tension-creating at least cannot be considered to be in the
direction of order and calm.

The most strange thing is the horrible minister's disclaiming responsibility
about the Tehran Municipality whereas according to the law in the absence of
the city councils he is responsible for all the municipalities.

The move by Mr. Nouri is incompatible with all the Articles mentioned.

3. Your Excellency and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president,
requested from the Leader to intervene in the matter.

As a result ``the esteemed Leader called on the honorable heads of the
executive and judiciary branches to carry out all the necessary coordination
for judiciary investigation of the case.''

Carrying out the above is necessary according to Paragraph 7 of Article 110
and Article 57 of the Constitution.

4. The Unity Consolidation Office has announced it is going to have a
meeting tomorrow to protest against the performance of the judiciary in the
name of ``support for Khatami's government.''

The rule of law means it was necessary for them to complain to the Majlis
about the performance of the judiciary -- according to Article 90 of the
Constitution -- in the first place. If that had proved ineffective they
could have used their right to have an assembly.

5. The stands adopted by the ministers under Your Excellency's order and the
statement by the brothers of the Unity Consolidation Office and others who
have become active in this affair in the name of support for you indicate
they are displeased with the investigation of the charges and are insisting
for illegal advantages for Mr. Karbaschi.

In view of the stand of the cabinet announced last night, the call for calm
and elimination of tension, it is necessary that the specific members of the
cabinet, especially the honorable interior minister, follow the stand of the
government as a whole. And the said groups demonstrate their coordination
with the government.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Farda (April 13)
Those Involved in Detention of the Mayor Will Regret Their Deed

Jalaleddin Taheri, the Isfahan Friday prayers leader, declaring support for
Karbaschi said those involved in his detention will regret their move.

In an interview with al Sharq al Awsat, he said: ``The detention was a
political move. We are now facing a crossroad: either to have a system based
on law or a system based on whims and narrow-minded interests.

``The issue is not the freedom of Karbaschi. The policies and steps which
have dealt blows at the real face of our revolution must be ended.''

Defending Montazeri, he said: ``We had warned that trial of Ayatollah
Montazeri might lead to violent reaction throughout the country and
especially in Isfahan.''

He added: ``Those who made that childish threat (trial of Montazeri)
retreated from their position, but the threats are remaining. We shall
respond to any attempt to insult the esteemed religious authorities with our
participation.''
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arzesh-ha (No. 64, 13 April)
Reasons for imposing restrictions on Ayatollah Montazeri

Following actions by some persons and tendencies to have the restrictions on
Ayatollah Montazeri lifted, one member of the Supreme National Security
Council (SNSC) explained the reasons of the Council for imposing
restrictions on Mr. Montazeri.

The council member who wished to remain anonymous, referred to the last
speech of Mr. Montazeri, saying:

"Mr. Montazeri discussed issues in his speech that were in clear
contravention of the Constitution. Because our laws have stipulated that
insulting the Leader is a crime and has a specific punishment. His speech
was combined with creation of doubts in public opinion, too. There would
have been no problem, if he had criticized the Leadership with good faith.
But his orientation and the topics he raised were directed at repudiating
the system.

"Considering his revolutionary background and the role he played in the
revolution, it was decided not to take a judicial approach to him. It should
also be considered that his critics took acute and worrying actions against
him that made a remedial attitude all the more necessary.

"It is clear that he is not a critic without opponents. He has ardent
opponents and we really feared for his life. He has opponents who became his
opponent when the Imam issued his statement. You noticed that after his last
speech a large number of his opponents attacked his house. We did not
endorse that attack but it was the people's right to hold demonstration and
protest his speech. That caused us not be able to view him as an ordinary
critic. It was then decided that he should be maintained in his present
conditions and if his attitudes were corrected and he stopped doing things
to cause social tension, his condition should be returned to normal. But if
he were to add to tension, the restrictions on him would be stepped up."

On the reasons for the stirring of the issues by some persons, the SNSC
member believed: "There are several groups. First, there is a group who
regard him to be a good ploy for undermining the Velayat Faqih. They are not
in favor of Mr. Montazeri and they were basically opposed to the clergy and
the Imam, too.

"The second group is his supporter. They think they can achieve their
objectives by publicizing him again. They think the system has adopted a
policy of silence toward Mr. Montazeri to have him forgotten. Thus, they are
planning to create tension so that he would not be forgotten.

The third are those who wish to create tension and to strike at the
government somehow, i.e. they wish to link some of the tendencies within the
government to the issue and they aim to undermine the government."
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Salaam (April 13)
Government Shall Strongly Confront Those Disrupting Exchange System

Morteza Qarehbaghian, the deputy economic affairs and finance minister for
banking and insurance, told our reporter yesterday: "The government shall
strongly confront those misusing and disrupting the exchange system."

About the rise in the dollar rate, he said: "The government has announced
the new rate of exchange for travelers at Rls 4,830.

"Offering dollars and other exchanges at the rates above the ones which have
been announced by the government is an offense and offenders shall be
confronted strongly.

"The amount sold to travelers to the Persian Gulf (and other neighboring)
and the European countries is $300 and $1,000 respectively.

"If travelers carry exchange more than the amount announced by the
government and the Central Bank it is treated smuggling."

He said the rise in the exchange rate in the past few days has been
artificial and temporary. "The artificial rate will subside after a few
days."

With the announcement of Rls 4,800 as the new rate of exchange for dollars
sold to travelers the rat of the dollar on the open market rose to Rls
6,300.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Salaam (April 13)
Fluctuation in Exchange and Coin Markets Continue

On the unofficial exchange market in Tehran yesterday the dollar rose to as
high as Rls 6,300 at the start of the day but in the afternoon it settle at
about Rls 6,000.

The presence of dealers at Ferdowsi Avenue was considerable yesterday. The
police had very little presence. There were only three or four policeman in
the area.

Apparently a number of dealers were arrested on Saturday afternoon.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran Daily (April 13)
PERSPECTIVE
The Mayor
by: Amin Sabooni

When Gholam Hussein Karbaschi accepted one of Iran's most unthankful jobs in
1989, he was aware what was in the wings. The man of robust will,
determination, courage and plenty of managerial skills set out to do a job
many heavy weights had earlier shied away from.

Mr. Karbaschi's appointment coincided with the early days of the Rafsanjani
administration. At that time there was serious talk about shifting the
capital due to Tehran's monstrous growth, unorganized expansion, growing
population, chaotic traffic, pollution, the unending problem of rural
immigrants... The new mayor then informed the government that Tehran can be
transformed into a tolerable if not lovely place.

Nine years and a gargantuan task later Tehran can fairly be proclaimed as
one of the best managed cities in the world. All things considered, the
mayor and his staff have done a unique job. Today's Tehran is the envy of
urban planners, experts and municipal authorities in far away places. And
the most important thing is that the municipality has managed to give Tehran
the unprecedented facelift without state budgeting. It started generating
its own funds since the early 1990s through taxes and tariffs.

This column is not designed to praise/support the municipality or its boss.
Neither is it an exercise to prop up the jailed mayor's credentials. It is
intended to put some light on factual assessments and caution the judiciary
that its recklessness is harming the nation's political and social fabric.

Only those impartial souls who witnessed Tehran before 1990 can appreciate
the transformations wrought by Mayor Karbaschi. Recording the length and
breadth of the city's development under the administration of the former
revolutionary is beyond the range and scope of this editorial.

A three-hour tour of Tehran, especially its poorer districts speaks for
itself. The magnitude of what has been accomplished in less than a decade is
so conspicuous that it prompted one western observer to say: Iran has not
had a manager of Karbaschi's caliber in the past 200 years.

On the same wavelength and rightly so, Interior Minister Abdullah Nouri on
Saturday put his full weight behind the mayor. He recalled one of the
decrees by the late Imam Khomeini (who was well-known for his no nonsense
attitude) in which he portrayed Mr. Karbaschi as an "intellectual of the
revolution."

Today the mayor is in jail because his political opponents who hold high
office wrongly believe the man can be disgraced under allegations of
mismanagement, misappropriations, fraud, etc. His adversaries, not
surprisingly, are also the known opponents of the Khatami administration.

The judiciary's "case" against the municipality and the mayor will be
resolved sooner rather than later, not out of convenience. Necessity and the
interest of the ruling establishment will take care of that. What will be
the end result of this crisis and how naturally it will impact the senior
judicial figures is an issue worthy of being raised. At this point the
nation demands the creation of a mechanism in which officials in all high
places are held responsible for the
consequences of their decisions. Those in power know better that a lot will
be lost if that does not happen.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

IRAN (April 13)
Attorney Says Mayor Has Been Denied Council

Bahman Keshavarz, lawyer of Tehran's Mayor Karbaschi said here Sunday that
the mayor has been denied right of council. He said Karbaschi retained him
as his defense attorney, but that to date he has been denied meeting with
his client.

Keshavarz said any warrant having been issued for the arrest of any person
can be revoked if in the subsequent judgment of the same judge who issued
the warrant it is found to be falsely issued. He added any other judge
confident of the falsehood of any such warrant can remind the issuing judge
of the falsehood of the warrant which, he said, seems to be sufficient cause
for revoking the warrant.

The attorney of Tehran mayor said misappropriation and embezzlement have
well defined meanings in the relevant statutes, but that presenting a gift
to an outgoing official which, he said is reportedly the accusation against
Karbaschi, is not legally the same as either of the two offenses.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kar va Kargar (April 13)
MP Calls for Calm in Dealing with Karbaschi's Affair

Tehran Majlis Deputy Morteza Nabavi here on Sunday called for restraint on
part of various political factions in dealing with Tehran Mayor Gholam
Hussein Karbaschi's detention on charges of misappropriation of public
funds.

Talking to IRNA's Majlis correspondent, Nabavi added "instead of labeling
and dishing out accusations, we'd better create an atmosphere for dialog and
healthy criticism."

The member of the Majlis majority wing, also the director of the daily
`Resalat', criticized the Unity Consolidation Office for calling a rally to
protest the detention of Tehran mayor.

Nabavi, who supported the candidacy of Majlis Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri
in last year's presidential elections, called the planned rally a tension
creating measure aimed to influence the judiciary in its handling of
Karbaschi' case.

On the subject of intervention by the Expediency Council in the mayor's
affair, Nabavi said such an intervention is outside of the council's
jurisdiction.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hamshahri (April 13)
Story of the Judge in Balkh...!

Sayed Ali Akbar Hosseini, MP for Tehran, said: "Either the Tehran mayor will
be acquitted or his charges will be proved. In the first case he will
continue his work. If the charges are proved it will be better if he is
separated from the government." (Press report, April 9).

Of course if he is acquitted the only things remaining unaccounted would be
the time wasted in the prison and the prestige of the (mayor). And probably
in Mr. Hosseini's view those things are not that important!.

Reminder: The late judge of Balkh (ancient city) when issuing death
sentences without trial used to say: "What difference does it make? He is
either innocent or guilty. If he is guilty the death sentence serves him
right. And if he is innocent let him enjoy his going to Heaven freely...!"

Moral: All are accused unless the contrary is proved!
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hamshahri (April 13)
It Is Said

The BBC Radio reports a number of clerics in Qom at meetings with 20
district mayors of Tehran declare their support for the Tehran mayor.

Ayatollah Mussavi Ardebili, who served as the head of the Supreme Court in
the past, criticized the manner of the judicial approach to the case. He
said: "If I were the judiciary chief I would not make such a harmful
decision."

It is said the Central Bank experts and officials are working hard to review
the state of the black market for foreign exchange to find a solution to
reduce the sharp fluctuations which have begun since a few days ago.

A few years ago the Central Bank intervened when the dollar rate rose to
about Rls 7,000 and prevented the fluctuations to a large extent.

Some high-ranking officials of the Central Bank believe the increase in the
dollar rate on the black market is partly because of he activities of the
dealers and predict the rate will moderate in the near future.

* It is said Master Mohammad Reza Shajarian (vocalist) had some performances
in Isfahan during Nou Ruz without any advanced announcement.

Shajarian had not succeeded in giving any concert inside the country since
the spring of 19996 when his concert was cancelled!

His efforts to give a concert at 12,000-seat hall at the Azadi Stadium for
benefit of quake victims in Khorassan province faced the silence of the
officials concerned (even) after one year.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kayhan (April 13)
TODAY'S NOTE
First Step
by: Hossein Shariatmadari

The judicial case of the Tehran Municipality managers is one of the issues
for a final analysis of which, a preliminary study is needed and heads of
the two powers, the Executive and the Judiciary, who have the task of
establishing coordination are expected to make that study.

In regard to facts, two occurrences should be referred to. First, the big
abuses and embezzlements that have taken place in the Tehran Municipality.
That fact is coupled with indubitable evidence and documents and clear
confessions of respondents. The only solution that is perceivable for it, is
to take back the abused assets and to punish the culprits. That part of the
dossier does not have anything to do with this or that group and faction.

The detention of Tehran mayor is also a fact. In this regard some friends
believe that it was possible to pursue the case without detaining the
honorable mayor of Tehran who has rendered valuable services during his
term. They should, like the judge, offer legal provisions. Nobody is pleased
with his detention. Surely, the honorable judge would take a different
course if there is one.

The second part of the issue is an ambiguity created around the case. Some
friends claim that the Judiciary or its bailiffs have committed violations
during the investigations and state that the pursuit of the case is a
political action not a judicial one.

This part may be examined easily. Especially the two heads of powers who are
trusted by the people and the leadership can assess the reasons and the
possible documents and report the outcome to the public.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Resalat (April 13)
Tomorrow We Shall Only Watch the Funeral of Law Outside Tehran University

Hossein Allakharam in an interview with Resalat said: "Tomorrow we shall
only be watching sadly the funeral of law outside Tehran University."

Asked about his stand on the meeting of the Unity Consolidation Office
tomorrow, he said: "Our friends shall not show any reaction, because to
expose an anarchist current opposed to the law nothing but silence (is the
right) reaction...

"I would like to offer condolences to the President, as the guard of the
Constitution, of the death of the law. Where in the world there are violent
and fascist approaches to judges and the law?..."
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jameah (April 13)
Private Reporter

It is said the mayors of the 20 districts in Tehran and some other officials
of Tehran Municipality are to meet Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday
afternoon.

The directors-in-charge of various newspapers and publications are writing a
letter in defense of Gholam Hussein Karbaschi, the director-in-charge of
Hamshahri.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In brief:

In a letter to the President a group of directors in charge called for
publication of the report prepared by Esmaeil Shoushtari, the justice
minister, and Marvi, the head of the Judges Disciplinary Court, on the
Tehran Municipality case so the people will know the details of the affair.
The directors-in-charge of Kian, Zanan, Iran Farda, Adineh and Jostejoo
magazines and the daily Jameah are among those who have signed the letter.
UP
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Resalat (April 13)
LEADING ARTICLE
Dissemination of Lies, Disturbing Public Opinion!
by: Mohammad Kazem Anbarlui

One of the pubic opinion survey centers whose past reports have been
considered reliable by the gentlemen [the Executives of Construction?] and
was predicting the success of the gentlemen in the presidential election has
reported recently that only 4.5% of the people believe the [Tehran mayor)
case is political and only 1.5% believe it is related to the President, but
66% believe Karbaschi must be put on trial.

1. One political current wants to intimidate the judge of the case. And it
has named the move "Popular meeting for support of Khatami"(1).

This is a gross injustice to the President. We hope the new stand of the
government will bring them to their sense and they will change their mind
about tomorrow's meeting.

2. The accused of the case in the opportunity he had sent one message by his
wife. It has no more than two sentences, but he has designed a world of
violence and insult in it.

On the one hand he implicitly presents the system to be a Yazidi system (2).
On the other hand he says: "If the system is safeguarded with my being in
prison I am content to remain in prison for ever." If the system is Yazidi,
what is the need for your selflessness. If it is not, what is that insult?

3. A legal expert in an interview with Hamshahri comments: "Common offenses
of politicians should also be considered political."

If a politician commits adultery, theft, embezzlement, usury, et, are those
offenses political?

4. Writers, satirists and cartoonists in their messages have suggested as if
the Tehran mayor was imprisoned for building parks, cultural centers, motor
ways, etc.

5. The Interior minister addressing the judiciary asks: "Is the recompense
for favor anything but favor?"

Is embezzlement and violation of the rights of the public wealth favored?
Whom has he favored? Does this mean the very gift of 60 gold coins (given to
Mr. Abdullah Nouri when leaving the position of interior minister a few
years ago?)

He then says they will not retreat, and forms a committee for support of
Karbaschi.

Why are you disturbing the public opinion and causing tension in society?

What is the solution?

There remains but on way: Now that everyone has made his judgment let the
judge of the case state his judgment after the public session of the court.

References

1. The statement by Unity Consolidation Office in Hamshahri. Of course the
arrangement was to get permission for a march by the Executives, but they
changed their decision later.

2. (By the order of Yazid the Third Imam of the Shi'ites was martyred.
Gholam Hussein Karbaschi at a one-hour meeting with hid wife on Thursday
said: "I will be content if I stay here for ever but the system is
safeguarded. If the friends ask about me, tell them: "We did not see but
beauty." (Yesterday's Take 7)

The remark: "We did not see but beauty" was the response by Hazrat Zeinab at
Yazid's court when Yazid insulted the members of the household of the
Prophet. (The remark meant even martyrdom of the Third Imam and his
companions was a beauty and triumph).
UP
Previous
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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 12 Apr 1998 to 13 Apr 1998 - Special issue
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