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There are 13 messages totalling 672 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. IRANIAN ASYLUM SEEKER IN CANADA FACES DEPORTATION
2. Iran's economy hit by slumping oil prices
3. Oil, religion and security draw Saudi and Iran closer
4. Iraq-UN accord to boost Arab position against Israel: Iran
5. From crisis to ministerial relations in EU-Iran ties
6. Iran still waiting for action from US: FM
7. Iran wants action not words from United States
8. Iranian ex-president hails healthy ties with Saudia Arabia
9. Kazakh police arrest alleged Iranian spies
10. Iran-e-Farda's managing editor released
11. Court dismisses verdict issued aginst Iran Farda
12. Panel member criticizes censorship at film festival
13. May God kill the word 'democratic' in the hearts of its supporters

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 09:36:36 EST
From: CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM
Subject: IRANIAN ASYLUM SEEKER IN CANADA FACES DEPORTATION

IRANIAN REFUGEE'S FATE LIES IN MINISTER'S HANDS

MICHELE LANDSBERG TORONTO STAR SUNDAY JANUARY 11

It's the eleventh hour for Fateneh Fazelinasab, a 31 year old refugee
claimant in Canada. As the clock ticks inexorably toward the midnight of her
deportation to Iran, hundreds of Canadians have responded to her agonizing
plight by bombarding the government with letters and faxes, begging for her
last-minute reprieve. Officials of the United Nations High Commission on
Refugees have arranged to interview her; lawyer Tony Schweitzer is preparing
her last-ditch plea without charge.<
Fateneh's hope for safety and life now lies in the hands of Lucienne
Robillard, the Minister of Immigration, who alone can grant Fateneh the
right to stay in Canada on "humanitarian and compassionate grounds".<
Since I wrote about her case just before New Year, I've been moved, shaken
and disturbed --- moved by the tremendous response of ordinary citizens,
shaken by the peril of Fateneh's situation, and disturbed by recurring
thoughts of so many refugees in our midst, walking our streets, living with
uncertainty and fear. Their safety is so fragile and depends so tremulously
on whether we believe them.<
But it is the very situation in which they are caught that is so
incomprehensible to many Canadian ears: the confusion in their home
countries, the complete censorship of information, the pervasive fear as
secret police conduct their deadly business, the corruption of officials,
the irrationality with which an authoritarian state pounces on some victims,
or plays cat and mouse with others.<
Fateneh Fazelinasab was 25, a University of Tehran student, when she was
arrested and imprisoned. Her cousin, who had mentored her in beliefs in
democracy and encouraged her to support the Mujaheddin ---the opposition to
Ayatollah Khomeini ---had already been seized and murdered by the regime. So
had her fiance. In a chaotic, terrifying prison, caged up in a tiny cell
with five other women, Fateneh suffered every debasement and cruelty that a
terrorist regime can impose. She was sexually tortured with electrodes,
endlessly interrogated, beaten on the soles of her feet; threatened with
gang rape, taunted and menaced as she sat bound and blindfolded before her
torturers.<
Here in Toronto, Fateneh's dedicated teachers at the City Adult Learning
Centre, where Fateneh learns English and women's studies, called me in
desperation when they learned all appeals had failed and she would be
deported. The interview I conducted there was one of the most difficult I've
ever done. Taut, intelligent, fighting for composure, this young woman
struggled to overcome her humiliation to tell me what she had endured.
Listening was agony.<
After Fateneh fled to Canada in January of 1996, she faced a hearing that
would determine her entire fate. Perhaps the roll of the dice went against
Fateneh the moment she walked into the hearing room and saw that the Refugee
Board member who questioned her had a beard identical to the one worn by
Moslem fundamentalists in Tehran. She simply froze in terror.<
At the very brief hearing, questioning focused strictly on the
plausibility of Fateneh's escape and whether she had a genuine fear of
future persecution. Although the Board had read Fateneh's written statement
of her history --- identical in so many ways to thousands of other case
histories they must read --- they did not hear her story from her own lips.
She was not asked about her torture, her years of fear, her murdered
family members.<
Ali Gholipour, volunteer director of Vigil in Toronto, is familiar with
Fateneh's case. "Vigil feels that there are many fine, knowledgeable,
understanding people on the Immigration and Refugee Board," Gholipour
stressed, "but sometimes there are mistakes."<
Greg Beckman, a student priest who volunteers at the Canadian Centre for
Victims of Torture, told me that "I've developed a sense of when people are
manipulating their stories. I was stunned by Fateneh's degree of honesty.
And she simply could not invent the kind of detail she told me about her
imprisonment."<
The Refugee Board's written decision, however, found Fateneh "not
credible"; it argued that Iran executes Mujahedeen supporters or keeps
them in prison; therefore, her claim that she was released "we find too
implausible to be believed". In other words: if you get out alive, you
aren't a refugee.<
I don't envy the Board's overwhelming task in sifting truth from falsity in
the deluge of those who ask for our mercy. A genuine refugee's life depends
on how believable she can be, often in intimidating and alien surroundings,
in languages not her own, and a culture light-years away from the one she is
fleeing. But I can say this with deepest conviction: No-one who has spent
time with Fateneh doubts a word of her story.<
When Fateneh appealed to the Federal Court to review her case, she was
turned down. The Court agrees to review a scant 3 per cent of refugee
decisions, and then only on grounds of legal error.<
Fateneh fled first to Turkey. Should she have tried to stay there? The
situation in Turkey is complex, but at the time of Fateneh's arrival, Turkey
was insisting that all refugees register immediately with the Security
Police. According to a report in the World Refugee Study, "non-European
refugees and asylum seekers found themselves in an increasingly hostile and
precarious situation" and a number of Iranians who had been accepted as
U.N. refugees were nevertheless returned to Iran by Turkish police.<
In the confusion, secrecy and swirling rumours rampant in a makeshift
community of stateless refugees in Ankara, is it reasonable that Fateneh
would have thrown herself on the mercy of the Turkish Security Police?<
But the question is moot. Fateneh is here now --- one thin, intense,
frightened woman, struggling to overcome her emotional wounds, alone in
Canada and facing deportation to the regime that will surely be waiting for
her.<
And we are not Turkey.<
We are the country reputed to be the most compassionate in the world.<
Ali Gholipour told me that, in his 15 years' experience, no rejected
refugee who has been deported back to Iran has ever been heard from again.<
If Canada, which at this moment is preparing a new refugee system,
demonstrates its compassion by throwing this woman back to her Iranian fate,
the silence that follows Fateneh into oblivion will speak to me forever.<
-----------
You may send letters of support to lawyer Tony Schweitzer's office (as soon
as possible) at 281 Eglinton Ave. E, Toronto M4P 1L3.<

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:33:05 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran's economy hit by slumping oil prices

TEHRAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Slumping world oil prices, and
resulting slower economic growth, have forced the Iranian
government to again review its petrodollar-dominated budget.
Iran's central bank governor Mohsen Nourbakhsh told a Tehran
news conference on Monday weak oil prices had led the government
to set up a body to review the budget for the next Iranian year
which starts on March 21.
If the group -- made up of officials from the Central Bank,
the Economy and Finance Ministry and the state Plan and Budget
Organisation -- recommended a change in the budget, it would be
the second time in just over a month Iran has had to alter its
economic plans.
Iran's parliament finally passed a revised budget for
1998/99 in late January based on oil revenues of $16.2 billion
using an average oil price of $16 a barrel. The government had
earlier counted on $17.50 a barrel.
"If current (oil) prices continue we will have to re-examine
the budget or find appropriate means to finance it," Nourbakhsh
said in response to a Reuters' question.
"A special commission has been set up by the government...in
case the current downward trend of oil prices continues."
Iran's main export grade crude oil, Iran Heavy, was trading
in Europe on Monday at $11.35 a barrel, in line with world
prices which sunk to their lowest level in 46 months because of
perceived supply glut and news of a United Nations-brokered deal
with Iraq over arms inspectors.
Oil accounts for more than 80 percent Iran's hard currency
export earnings. Iran is the world's third largest petroleum
exporter after Saudi Arabia and Norway.
Revenue from oil sales in the first eleven months of the
current Iranian year reached $14.335 billion on an average oil
price of $16.86, Nourbakhsh said. This year's budget envisaged
$17.7 billion in oil earnings.
Nourbakhsh said Iran's growth rate in the current and next
Iranian year would hit 3.2 percent, down from 4.2 percent in
1996/97.
He stressed Tehran would meet its foreign debt obligations
-- $14.1 billion mainly to German, Italian, Japanese and French
creditors and a total debt balance of $26.4 billion -- despite
falling oil income.
"Whatever we have (in revenue), we are definitely going to
pay on time. There is going to be no delay on it."
Nourbakhsh, detailing Iran's economic performance, said the
trade balance surplus was $2.1 billion in the first six months
of the Iranian year, based on exports of $9.86 billion and
imports of $7.75 billion.
"We have adjusted the trade balance for next year on the
basis of the minimum possible oil prices," he said.
Non-oil exports in the first ten months were $2.615 billion
and the government aimed for this to hit $3.5-4.0 billion in the
next Iranian year.
Growth in liquidity was 5.1 percent during first eight
months, compared to 12.8 percent in the same period last year.
Imports of general goods and foodstuffs in the first nine
months had increased to 18.943 million tonnes, two million
tonnes higher than the previous year.
The central bank's latest estimate of annualised inflation
for the first ten months of the year was 16.9 percent, down from
23.2 percent in the 12 months ending March 20, 1997.
((Gulf newsroom, +971 4 607 1222, fax +971 4 626982,
dubai.newsroom@reuters.com))

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:33:30 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Oil, religion and security draw Saudi and Iran closer

DUBAI, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Oil, religion and security in a
notoriously trouble-prone region have drawn Saudi Arabia and
Iran, the two heavyweights of the Gulf, together in an act of
power-play diplomacy.
On the face of it, Saudi King Fahd and Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani, former president of Iran, have little in common.
But on the first visit to the kingdom by an Iranian leader
since the 1979 revolution ousted the pro-Western shah and
installed an Islamic republic, they have had much to discuss.
The price and politics of oil in a weak market, regional
security and Moslem world troublespots including Iraq were
billboarded in advance of a 10-day visit described in both
countries as a landmark.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are the largest producers in the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), now
wrestling with a world glut and a four-year low in oil prices.
King Fahd is sovereign of the world's largest oil producer
and exporter, guardian of the two shrines held most sacred by
the world's one billion Moslems, and a key strategic ally of the
United States in a region searching for stability.
Rafsanjani, a confidant of the anti-monarchist revolution's
leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and one of its most durable
veterans, continues to exercise influence in a country
accustomed to being vilified by the United States.
Iran, the world's third largest oil exporter, two months ago
assumed leadership of Islam's main body, the Saudi-based
Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Estranged for years by ideological differences, relations
between Riyadh and Tehran have warmed considerably.
Saudi Arabia and other conservative Gulf Arab states have
criticised the Middle East peace process because of Israeli
intransigence in refusing to recognise Palestinian rights.
This has moved the Arab states closer to Iran's position
which condemns any compromise with the Jewish state.
At the same time, Iranian media have softened their tone and
praised Saudi leaders for declining to implicate Iran in two
bombings against Americans in the kingdom.
The first high point of the rapprochement was a visit to
Tehran in December by the Saudi heir apparent, Crown Prince
Abdullah, for an Islamic summit that marked Iran's breakout from
diplomatic isolation.
Saudi Arabia and Iran lead opposite sides of Islam's
1,400-year-old Sunni-Shi'ite schism but share a mutual interest
in securing regional stability.
``The two countries are among the world's biggest oil and
gas producers. They are regional and Islamic pillars of power.
Based on this reality, all excuses impeding understanding and
cooperation should collapse,'' said the Saudi daily al-Riyadh.
Tehran radio said: ``The relations between the two countries
are entering a new stage in which mutual cooperation will
increase dramatically...
``Their cooperation in OPEC can lead to a decrease in the
negative effect of fluctuations (in oil prices) and pave the way
for optimum use of strategic oil resources.''
Rafsanjani, a pragmatist and conciliator who in 1996
introduced a regionalist approach to Iranian foreign policy,
would do anything to guarantee the further consolidation of the
Islamic republic as a respected member of the international
community, said Iranian analyst Amirali Nourbakhsh.
Bijan Khajehpour, editor of Iran Focus newsletter, said he
expected an effective rapprochement in terms of oil cooperation,
a more conciliatory tone towards Iran from Saudi Arabia's
partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and more trade and
investment with Saudi business people investing in Iran.
Rafsanjani, interviewed by the Jeddah-based newspapers Okaz
and Saudi Gazette, said cooperation between Saudi Arabia and
Iran would have a major impact in the Islamic world.
``The instability of the oil market is also important to us,
to the kingdom and to all OPEC member countries,'' he said.
``I see in Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a large
market for industrial and non-industrial goods now being
imported from other countries.''
Rafsanjani, who now heads Iran's powerful Expediency
Council, envisaged cooperation in many fields.
``The kingdom has useful industries, and Iran could become
its biggest market. Besides, Iran's geographical location
constitutes a bridge to Central Asian countries and we can play
a significant role in sending Saudi products there.''
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said after
talks with Rafsanjani he believed the visit would ``lead to big
developments not only in bilateral relations but also in
economic and political cooperation on all regional and
international levels.''
Asked whether a new era in relations was about to start, he
said: ``I think it has in fact started.''


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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:33:55 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iraq-UN accord to boost Arab position against Israel: Iran

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi on
Tuesday welcomed the agreement between Iraq and the United Nations
on UN weapons inspection, saying it would boost the Arab position
against Israel.
"The peaceful settlement of the crisis in Iraq will reinforce
the position of Arab countries and the Palestinians against Israel"
in the peace process, Kharazi told a press conference, without
elaborating.
Iran's state radio called the agreement signed Monday by UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan and Iraq on UN arms inspections a
"precious diplomatic victory and a turning point in the 50-year
history of the United Nations."
"The agreement shows that humanity favors peaceful solutions to
crises and the political role of the United Nations, contrary to
what powerful countries might think," it said.
The United States had threatened to attack Iraq should diplomacy
fail to get Baghdad to give UN arms inspectors unconditional access
to suspected weapons sites.

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:34:35 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: From crisis to ministerial relations in EU-Iran ties

BRUSSELS, Feb 23 (AFP) - Diplomatic relations between Iran and
the EU took one step towards getting on positive terms Monday with
the re-establishment of ministerial relations after a crisis in
relations which began last April.

April 1997
- 10: The 15 EU member states recall their ambassadors from
Tehran following a German court ruling that senior Iranian officials
had been involved in the organisation of the 1992 assassination of
four Kurdish dissidents in a Berlin restaurant.
The European Union suspends its "critical dialogue" with Iran
established in 1992 following the confirmation of a "fatwa" against
British writer Salmon Rushdie by the Ayatollah Khomeiny.
Iran recalls its ambassador from Germany and both countries
recall four of their diplomats.
- 14: Iran recalls its ambassador to Denmark.
- 29: EU members decide to limit relations with Iran and to stop
the "critical dialogue" but send their ambassadors back to Iran.
- 30: Tehran announces that it does not wish to receive the
German or Danish ambassadors. All EU ambassadors return home.

May
- 15: German prosecutors decide in the "greater public interest"
not to take legal action against the Iranian leaders judged to have
been implicated in the assassination in 1992.
- 23: The moderate Mohammad Khatami, who favours improved
relations with the international community is elected president in
Iran.

August
- 2: Iran agrees to a collective return of EU ambassadors
excluding Germany. The EU rejects the proposal.

September
- 9: The European Union suspends pistachio imports from Iran
following the discovery of a carcinogenic substance. Iran accuses
the European Union of using nuts as a pretext for political
pressure.
- 29: The French oil company Total challenges the United States
by investing two billion dollars in a gas field in Iran, with EU
support.

November
- 13: A compromise is reached between Brussels and Tehran which
provides for the return of EU ambassadors in two separate groups.
Tehran implies that the Total deal played a large part in their
decision.
- 19: The first return of EU ambassadors to Iran.
- 22: The remaining EU ambassadors from Germany and France
return to Tehran.

February 1998
- 14: The European Union asks Iran to withdraw the "fatwa"
issued against Salmon Rushdie. Tehran refuses.
- 23: The European Union decides to resume ministerial contacts
with Iran.
-=-=-

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:36:07 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran still waiting for action from US: FM

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi on
Tuesday spoke of a "better atmosphere" in relations with the United
States, but said Tehran was still waiting for action from
Washington.
"There is presently a better atmosphere but we are waiting for
action rather than just words," Kharazi told a press conference.
A team of American wrestlers visited Iran last week, the first
time US athletes have taken part in a competition in the Islamic
Republic since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The visit came after Iran's new moderate President Mohammad
Khatami called for cultural exchanges to "crack the bulky wall of
mistrust" between the two arch foes.
Tehran and Washington broke ties in 1980 after Iranian
revolutionaries seized American embassy staff hostage, and they have
been deeply hostile to each other ever since.
Washington has imposed bilateral sanctions to isolate the
Islamic republic and been pressuring other countries to do the
same.
Kharazi has repeatedly urged the United States to end its
hostile attitude.

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:36:31 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iran wants action not words from United States

TEHRAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi said on Tuesday he was encouraged by recent statements
on Iran by U.S. President Bill Clinton but said Washington had
to act first to show it wanted ties with the Islamic republic.
``I hear some good words from the American side...(but)
words are not enough,'' Kharrazi told Reuters on the sidelines
of a foreign policy seminar in Tehran.
Clinton last month said he hoped the two countries would
soon be able to enjoy ``good relations'' once again and said
that although real policy differences remained between the two
states these were ``not insurmountable.''
Long-standing U.S. policy is that any improvement in ties,
severed during the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis, must include a
dialogue on Iran's alleged support for terrorism, opposition to
the Middle East peace process and pursuit of weapons of mass
destruction.
Tehran has insisted that Washington demonstrate its goodwill
towards Iran by meeting grievances such as releasing Iranian
assets frozen in the U.S. immediately after the 1979 Islamic
revolution.
``It is up to others how to seize the opportunity to
establish better relations,'' Kharrazi, who was appointed by
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate Shi'ite Moslem
cleric, in August.
Kharazzi declined to say which specific actions Washington
had to carry out to show its good intentions.
Clinton's comments came shortly after Khatami urged in a
historic interview on American television for increased dialogue
to bring about ``a crack in the wall of mistrust'' between the
two countries.
The successful visit last week of an American sports team to
Iran -- the first since 1979 -- has been compared to
Washington's ground breaking ``ping-pong diplomacy'' with China
in the 1970s.
At least five American foreign policy experts and academics
are attending the conference on ``regional approaches in the
Persian Gulf'' on a rare such visit to the Iranian capital.
Kharazzi said in his speech to the conference that U.S. and
other foreign forces in the Gulf only increased tension in the
region and turned the Gulf into a ``military barracks...with
huge arsenals of weapons.''
The U.S. has an armada of warships and warplanes stationed
in the region to impose sanctions against Iraq and to ensure the
free flow of oil from the strategic waterway.
Kharrazi said it was the responsibility of regional powers
to ensure their own security rather than rely on foreign powers
which destabilised the region, increased the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction and slowed down social and economic
development because of the cost of such weapons.
``Security cannot be imported...Collective actions are
required,'' he told the conference.
The United Nations-brokered accord with Iraq over the issue
of arms inspectors showed that the U.S. could not rely on the
support of countries in the region to act unilaterally, he said.
Gulf Arab states did not give their support to a U.S.
military strike against Iraq over the current crisis over
weapons inspections. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
on Monday signed a deal with Iraq to end the crisis and defuse
tension in the region.

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 23:11:55 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iranian ex-president hails healthy ties with Saudia Arabia

RIYADH, Feb 24 (AFP) - Former Iranian President Ali Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani hailed Tuesday the strength of Saudi-Iranian
ties, saying the two states had similar views on a variety of
issues.
"Saudi-Iranian relations are good and our views are similar on
the issues raised" with Saudi leaders, Rafsanjani said during a news
conference in Riyadh.
The former president, the highest-level Iranian official to
visit Saudi Arabia since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, arrived
here Saturday for a 10-day visit.
Rafsanjani, who remains an influential figure in predominantly
Shiite Moslem Iran as a top advisor to spiritual leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, met King Fahd, Crown Prince Abdallah ibn Abdel Aziz
and other senior Saudi officials.
He and the Saudi leadership discussed the Iraqi crisis, security
in the Gulf, the Middle East peace process and bilateral relations.
Ties between Riyadh and Tehran, long tense, have warmed
considerably in the past two years.
Rafsanjani said "stability and security in the Gulf is an
essential condition for the regional development and the prosperity
of its people."
He stressed that "Iran wants to improve relations with its
(Arab) neighbors."
Asked about the anti-US attack in Dahran, Saudi Arabia, in which
19 American soldiers were killed in June 1996, he said, "This affair
concerns Saudi Arabia and the United States" and "Iran doesn't want
to interfere in a matter that doesn't concern it."
Rafsanjani also denied that there has been "any Saudi mediation"
to normalize relations between Tehran and Washington.
"There is no change in (Iranian-US) relations," he said.
On the UN arms inspection agreement signed by the United Nations
and Iraq Monday, he said, "If Iraq had agreed (to the inspection of
its presidential sites) two months ago, the United States would not
have had an excuse for threatening to intervene militarily."
He also said that Iran's differences with the United Arab
Emirates over ownership of the strategic Gulf islands of Abu Mussa
and Greater and Lesser Tunb should be resolved in bilateral
negotiations.
"We took the initiative to send (former foreign minister) Ali
Akbar Velayati to the Emirates. It's up to the Emirates to send a
representative to Tehran for a second round" of talks, he said.
Rafsanjani stressed "the need to resolve all border conflicts
... in the area within the framework of the Organization of the
Islamic Conference," which Tehran currently chairs.
He also said he discussed with Saudi officials the drop in the
price of crude oil on the world market.
"This issue occupied an important place in our discussions," he
said, adding that there is "complete coordination" between Tehran
and Riyadh "to deploy the maximum effort to guarantee stability in
the prices set by OPEC," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries.
King Fahd called Monday for all oil producers, regardless of
whether they are OPEC members, to work together to halt falling
prices.

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 23:11:27 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Kazakh police arrest alleged Iranian spies

MOSCOW, Feb 24 (AFP) - Police in Kazakhstan Tuesday arrested
several Iranian intelligence agents in Almaty as they were
collecting documents from a Kazakh informer, Interfax said, citing a
report on local state television.
Rakhat Tilebaldinov, deputy head of the Kazakh security service,
told Khabar television that the Iranian agents had been under
surveillance for a long time, and were collecting "social and
economic" intelligence.
Tilebaldinov did not say how many were arrested, nor did he give
further details about the information they were gathering. They were
arrested near a central department store in the city.
The Iranians' activities will be investigated by Kazakh law
enforcement bodies, since they do not have diplomatic immunity,
Interfax reported.

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:22:47 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Iran-e-Farda's managing editor released

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 25, 1998

Press Watch

Resalat in an editorial commented on the release of
Iran-e-Farda's managing editor, Ezat'ollah Sahabi, and
wrote that because of the false allegations made by Sahabi
in his maga-zine, the judge was mistaken in issuing a
verdict to free him. "Rendering such an erroneous judgment
in the release of Sahabi will encourage others with the
same attitudes as to continue their wrong-doings," the
daily concluded.

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

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:24:29 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Court dismisses verdict issued aginst Iran Farda

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 25, 1998


Court dismisses verdict issued aginst Iran Farda

Tehran - Division 34 of Tehran's general court considered
the verdict issued by the jury of the press court against
Iran Farda's managing direc-tor as inadmissible.

The public relations department of the Tehran court system
issued the following announcement on Tuesday: "Article 26
of the press bill states that a court will form a quorum
with seven of its members present and the criteria is that
the majority should participate in voting. Since six main
members and five substitute members were present in the
voting session, while the law permits the participation of
only one substitute member in the voting process, the
verdict issued by the jury is invalid." The announcement,
asked the jury to take necessary measures to recti-fy the
issue in the next court session and make their decision
known to the court.

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:27:39 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Panel member criticizes censorship at film festival

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 25, 1998

What's Up?

A Swiss panel member at the Fajr International Film
Festival said that he and other panel members had not been
pleased by the shortening of some movies screened for the
public during the event. In an interview with the VOA
Sunday, Malcum Miller said that a communique issued at the
closing of the festival by the panel had voiced anxiety
over the censuring of films and whether there had been
other movies which had been excluded from the event due to
the existing limitations. But Miller, who is the director
of the Lokarno International Film Festival in Switzerland,
added that the panel had nevertheless been pleased by the
expansion of the festival to become an international event.
According to the radio those participating in the festival
had also expressed hope that there would no longer be
censuring of films and that both journalists and the public
could watch the uncut version of movies admitted to the
event.

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Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 20:29:09 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: May God kill the word 'democratic' in the hearts of its supporters

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 25, 1998

What's Up?


A senior Iranian cleric was said to have denounced the use
of the word 'democratic' with its Western connotation among
domes-tic circles. May God kill the word 'democratic' in
the hearts of its supporters, said Ayatollah Abolqasem
Khazali Sunday during a ceremony in the city of Isfahan.
Ayatollah Khazali, who is a member of the nation's Guardian
Council, akin to a senate or upper house of parliament,
also criticized the domestic media who often make
refer-ence to ideals such as " democratic principles". If
we enter into a compromise with the US government, the
agony and distress which swept through Bosnia will be
repeated in Iran, Ayatollah Khazali warned in response to
remarks made by some Majlis (Parliament) deputies on the
resumption of ties with Washington.



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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Feb 1998 to 24 Feb 1998
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