Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 4 Apr 1998 to 5 Apr 1998

From: Automatic digest processor


Topics of the day:

1. karbaschi-hezbollah-kargozaran
2. Focus: Tehran's moderate mayor Karbaschi in jail (Reuters)
3. An insult to our sportsmen: Customs delay irks Iran team
4. Report on London Rally BYAsghar Abdi, Birmingham, UK,

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

Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 09:23:24 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: karbaschi-hezbollah-kargozaran

thr 009
karbaschi-kargozaran
kargozaran defend clean record of tehran mayor
tehran, april 5, irna -- members of kargozaran sazandegi (servants
of construction) in a statement saturday night described tehran mayor
gholamhussein karbaschi as an honest manager adding that charges of
embezzlement against him are unfounded.
the statement was issued following the detention on saturday
morning of karbaschi on charges of embezzlement and misappropriation
of public funds.
the statement issued by a group of kargozaran members added that
detention of karbaschi was unexpected.
karbaschi as a manager who with no trace of doubt spent a single
penny of the state for personal purposes, it added.
furthermore, karbaschi sets a role model in good management,
added the statement.
describing the case as politically-motivated, it said detention of
tehran mayro after the norouz (iranian new year) holidays, when the
executive affairs of the country started moving again is a clear
proof of this assumption.
under the present conditions of the country, all groups are
expected to join hands to solve the problems and let go of the
election competitions, said the statement adding that it is
unfortunate that the events of the recent months have taken away
creativity from competent managers.
the statement assured that if the case of tehran mayor is tried
publicly at the presence of a ''political jury'' the ''clean and
untarnished face of karbaschi and his shining and valuable services
for the great nation of iran will become further evident.''
ys/jh
end
::irna 05/04/98 10:32

thr 011
karbaschi-hezbollah
majlis hezbollah: karbaschi is a source of pride for country
tehran, april 5, irna -- the vice-president of majmae hezbollah
of majlis (the hezbollah association of the majlis), hussein marashi
has strongly dismissed the charges against tehran mayor gholamhussein
karbaschi and said that he is clear from all accusations including
embezzlement.
speaking to irna saturday evening, marashi said the move will
weaken the government and president mohammad khatami. he added that
the detention on saturday of tehran mayor came without government
knowledge.
''people must be vigilant and support their elected president
and his colleagues. karbaschi is one of the most outstanding and
competent managers of the country and a source of pride for the
islamic republic of iran. no move can obfuscate this reality.''
he added that karbaschi has done a great deal for the country
during the past and present administrations both as the mayor of
tehran to whom tehran owes its development and new face, and also as a
member of kargozaran-e sazandegi ''who paved the way for the
astonishing political developments in the country.''
now like the may 23 presidential elections the support of the
people will be the force to end the injustice against the statesmen
who have concentrated all their efforts on serving the nation, islam
and iran, he told irna.
marashi said the move by the tehran judiciary at the outset of
the new iranian year and at a time that the government is facing the
complicated economic problem caused by the plunge in oil prices, ''is
a move against general interests of the country.''
he concluded that the hezbollah association will soon disclose
facts for the public.
ys/jh
end
??
::irna 05/04/98 11:05

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

Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 10:27:11 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Focus: Tehran's moderate mayor Karbaschi in jail (Reuters)

Sunday April 5, 2:36 AM GMT

Focus: Tehran's moderate mayor Karbaschi in jail

(Updates with attorney general's office statement, government spokesman's
comments)

TEHRAN, April 4 (Reuters) - Tehran's moderate mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi
was detained on Saturday
following a court appearance on graft charges and the government said it
would review his arrest at its weekly
meeting on Sunday.

The attorney general's office said the mayor was "temporarily" detained
following accumulated evidence he was
directly responsible for the embezzlement of public funds. It said he may be
held for up to 30 days without the
right to bail.

"(The court) concluded that the instructions for displacement of the funds
was issued by the mayor of Tehran
personally," the statement, issued by the public relations department of the
attorney general's office, said.

"Due to the accumulated evidence and preliminary cross-examination of the
mayor conducted by branch 26, the
mayor of Tehran, Karbaschi has temporarily been detained," it said.

Karbaschi, a key ally of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, had been under
investigation since last year's
presidential election, in which Khatami defeated conservative candidates.

Several of Karbaschi's top aides had been sentenced to long prison terms and
flogging after they were convicted
of embezzlement.

Karbaschi's supporters say the trials and investigation are politically
motivated and led by the conservative
judiciary, seen as opposed to the moderate Iranian president. The judiciary
denied the charges.

Iran's Interior Ministry said it was not notified in advance of Karbaschi's
arrest, IRNA said. Ministry spokesman
Jahanbakhsh Khanjani "expressed dismay" at the lack of coordination between
the court and the Interior
Ministry, it said.

Government spokesman Ayatollah Mohajerani said the arrest of Karbaschi, who
sits on government meetings,
was expected to be reviewed by the cabinet on Sunday.

"Mohajerani then pointed out that the government will announce its opinion
after the full review of the matter
related to the charges brought against Tehran's mayor and his detention at
the end of the cabinet's session," IRNA
said.

Mohajerani has been an outspoken critic of the judiciary's investigation of
Karbaschi, engaging in a war of words
with judiciary head Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi last month.

Mohajerani and Karbaschi are seen as moderates who have been battling with
conservatives in Iran's contentious
political climate since the election of Khatami in May.

An official at the Tehran municipality confirmed Karbaschi's arrest, but
declined to give any details.

Iranian newspapers said Karbaschi was arrested following an appearance in
court on Saturday morning to answer
charges of embezzlement.

An Iranian newspaper said last month that an Iranian court had brought
charges against Karbaschi, but he
remained free. 0013576400|19980405FLB00083; *LBY \ TT :T :USN:FLLWH502BH
:Russian acting PM
pledges to pay off wage arrearsTN :K :BC-RUSSIA-WAGESBAS:LBY
NSR:0013576400|19980405FLB00083; *LBY \TXT: MOSCOW, April 4 (Reuters) -
Russia's acting prime
minister Sergei Kiriyenko told trade union bosses on Saturday the government
had found cash to pay wage
arrears to many Russians ahead of a day of national protest over delayed
salaries.

"We will transfer the money to the regions next week. This will ease the
situation a bit," Kiriyenko said in
televised remarks. He did not say how much the state would pay.

The pledge to pay delayed wages to the public sector workers may undermine
the stance of the opposition which,
along with trade unions, is preparing protests across Russia on April 9.

Kiriyenko, whose fate largely depends on the mood of the opposition, said he
would not rule out meeting the
protesters.

The Communist-dominated lower house of parliament, the State Duma, is due to
debate his candidature for the
post of premier on April 10.

"We are expecting all-Russian protests on April 9. The reasons why people
are taking to the streets are clear. It is
humiliating to work without getting paid," Interfax news agency quoted
Kiriyenko as saying.

Kiriyenko noted that the federal government was responsible for only a small
share of the wage debt, but said this
did not absolve it of responsibility.

He also promised to work to ensure such debts did not mount up again. "The
work will be continuous -- not just
from time to time, not from one protest to another."

President Boris Yeltsin criticised his former prime minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin over the issue when he sacked
him and all his ministers on March 23. Now he wants Kiriyenko to head the
cabinet.

Millions of workers in both the public and private sectors are owed billions
of roubles in unpaid salaries.

Official statistics show total wage arrears in all sectors of the economy
totalled 57.8 billion roubles ($9.51 billion)
as of March 1. Of that figure, the federal and regional governments owe 7.6
billion roubles ($1.2 billion).

The government declared last summer it had paid off billions of roubles to
long-suffering pensioners, and later set
a schedule to pay off debts to the military and other key groups.

An angry Yeltsin set a deadline of January 1, 1998 for all arrears to be
paid off. The government said it had
scraped together the funds, and blamed regional authorities when some
workers remained unpaid after the New
Year.

Just three months later, debts to both public and private sector employees
are piling up again.

Kiriyenko said responsibilities had to be clearly divided between the
federal and regional authorities in order to
avoid the confusion that had reigned at the start of the year.

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

Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 23:39:58 +0200
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: An insult to our sportsmen: Customs delay irks Iran team

STILLWATER, Oklahoma, April 4 (AFP) - Iranians began competition
at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling here Saturday still smarting
from being detained for two hours upon their arrival in the United
States.
US Customs officials fingerprinted and photographed the
18-member delegation when they arrived at Chicago's O'Hare Airport
on Thursday.
"We were invited to this tournament. We're guests," wrestler
Mohammad Talaie said. "It wasn't nice this behaviour."
Iran coach Amir Reza Khadem was not upset, saying: "It was a
small incident."
US wrestlers competed in Iran last month, the first American
athletes to compete there since 1979 and the taking of American
hostages. The US team will return to Iran in September for the world
championships.

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

Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 23:32:49 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <asghar@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Report on London Rally BYAsghar Abdi, Birmingham, UK,

http://members.tripod.com/~AlgeriaWatch/ReportAsghar.html

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

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 4 Apr 1998 to 5 Apr 1998
*************************************************