Date: Feb 27, 1998 [ 0: 0: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Feb 1998 to 26 Feb 1998

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There are 5 messages totalling 401 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. 3/2/98 - DEMONSTRATION TO DEFEND WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN IRAN
2. US lawmakers condemn Iran stoning as "savagery"
3. Journalist insists Ansar-e-Hezbollah are fascists
4. The cost of roaming around the Persian Gulf
5. Encouragement !

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Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:33:19 EST
From: CHAIRNGO <CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM>
Subject: 3/2/98 - DEMONSTRATION TO DEFEND WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN IRAN

Press Release
For Release on February 26, 1998

Contact: Maryam Namazie, Tel: 212-747-1046; Fax: 212-425-7240; E-Mail:
chairngo@aol.com

CONDEMN IRANIAN REGIME'S SYSTEM OF GENDER-APARTHEID AND ITS PARTICIPATION IN
THE U.N. COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

The Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR), the
International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) and the International
Campaign in Defense of Women's Rights in Iran - U.S. Committee are organizing
a demonstration defending the human rights of Iranian women and girls and
condemning the Islamic regime of Iran for its brutal system of gender-
apartheid. The demonstration will be held on March 2, 1998, the first day of
a two-week meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), during
12:00p.m. - 5:00p.m. at the United Nations, Ralph Bunch Park, (1st Avenue
Between 41st and 42nd Streets). The main event is during 12:30 - 1:30p.m.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime which has gained global notoriety for
its systematic persecution of women and gross violations of women's human
rights, is a member of the CSW. The CSW is meeting during March 2-13,1998 to
monitor the implementation of Beijing Platform of Action adopted at the Fourth
World Conference on Women. The four areas of concern being monitored are
violence against women, women's human rights, the status of girls, and women
and armed conflict. The Islamic Republic's membership in the CSW, a body set
up to promote the rights of women, is an outright affront to women's dignity
and equality. Rather than monitor the situation of women, the regime must be
tried for its crimes against humanity.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran:

- Women are stoned to death for engaging in voluntary sexual relations. In the
punishment of stoning to death, the stones should not be too large so that the
person dies on being hit by one or two of them; they should not be so small
either that they could not be defined as stones.
- Women do not have the right to choose their clothing. "Hejab", is mandatory
in all public places for all women, regardless of citizenship, religion or
choice. Those in contravention of the dress code are subject to punishment
including lashes.
- Women are segregated from men in every aspect of public life.
- Women are barred from taking employment in a large number of occupations
simply because these jobs would compromise their chastity. A married woman can
only be employed if she has the consent of her husband.
- Women are not free to choose their own academic or vocational field of
study. In all, 169 fields of study are prohibited to women.
- The legal age of marriage for girls is 9 years old.
- Women do not have equal rights to divorce. Only under extreme conditions,
such as insanity of their spouse, can they file for divorce. In the event of
divorce, the father has legal custody of boys after the age of two and girls
after the age of seven. The mother loses this minimum right as soon as she
remarries.
- Execution is the punishment for lesbianism.
- Women do not have the right to acquire a passport and travel without the
written permission of their husbands/fathers.
- Women prisoners are often raped before execution as in Islam virgins are
believed to go to heaven.

Anything short of condemnation of the Iranian regime's persecution of women
amounts to condoning a state-sponsored system in which severe gender-based
discrimination is legalized, institutionalized and brutally enforced.

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

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 18:08:50 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: US lawmakers condemn Iran stoning as "savagery"

U.S. Legislators Decry Stoning Executions in Iran

Reuters 26-FEB-98

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday
called for international pressure on Iran to halt its
practice of execution by stoning, a practice they said
continues under the government of President Mohammad
Khatami.

Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, and Gary
Ackerman, a New York Democrat, hosted the showing for
lawmakers, journalists and the international diplomatic
corps of a graphic videotaped execution by stoning of four
prisoners in Iran in 1992.

Ros-Lehtinen said seven people, four women and three men,
had been stoned to death in public during the tenure of the
new Iranian president.

``This clearly shows that nothing has changed under
Khatami's rule,'' she said.

The legislators did not clarify whether they were against
Iran's death penalty per se or against only its method of
carrying it out, by stoning.

Ackerman condemned as ``savagery'' the Iranian practice of
execution by stoning and urged the Clinton administration
to bear this in mind as it deals with Khatami.

``U.S. policy should be focused on such domestic deeds and
their promotion of international terrorism, as well as
their opposition to the Middle East peace process, rather
than adhering to the vague words of reform coming from
Khatami,'' he said.

The tape shows prisoners bound in sheets, buried to their
waists and then stoned by a chanting crowd that the
National Council of Resistance of Iran described as the
Islamic government's Republican Guard. It said the person
who read the verdicts and threw the first stone was Ali
Razini, a senior clergyman at the time who now heads the
Justice Department.

The exiled opposition group said the smuggled tape appeared
to have been filmed by a government official since there
was no attempt to stop the filming. In it, the prisoners
are shown bloody and mutilated as they make futile attempts
to free themselves from the semi-grave.

The group has been showing the tape around the world to
highlight its concerns about the continued lack of human
rights in Iran despite the stated commitment to reform of
Khatami.

In a recent case, western human rights groups appealed to
Tehran on the death sentence handed down recently to the
prominent former editor of the English-language daily Iran
News, Morteza Firoozi. He was sentenced to death by
stoning.

A German businessman Helmut Hofer was sentenced last month
to death by stoning for having sexual relations out of
wedlock with a Muslim woman.

The State Department's annual human rights report issued in
late January noted that Iran's human rights record remains
poor despite Khatami's election. It charged that the
Iranian government had engaged in summary executions,
extrajudicial killings, disappearances and widespread use
of torture.

At the same time, the European Union recently ended its
freeze on high-level contacts with the Islamic republic and
announced that Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini will
visit Iran next week.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.


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

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 18:12:20 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Journalist insists Ansar-e-Hezbollah are fascists

Tuesday, February 24, 1998 Published at 15:50 GMT

BBC

Despatches

Journalist on trial in Iran

Insulting Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, can
carry a two year prison sentence

The trial of a prominent Iranian journalist, Akbar Ganji,
on charges of insulting the supreme leader, Ayatollah
Khamenei, is likely to be an important test for President
Khatami. Here is the BBC's Iranian affairs reporter, Sadeq
Saba:

Mr Ganji has been in detention since last December after he
accused a militant Islamic group, Ansar-e-Hezbollah
(Supporters of the Party of God) of being fascists.

Last month a group of Iranian opposition activists
protested against Mr Ganji's continued detention without
trial and his wife wrote to President Khatami asking for
help.

Conservative newspapers have accused Mr Ganji of rejecting
the concept of Velayat-e-Faqih, (Rule by the Supreme
Jurist), which finds its expression in the supreme leader,
currently Ayatollah Khamenei.

Mr Ganji has denied the charges, which if proved can carry
a prison sentence of up to two years.

The trial is an important test for President Khatami, who
has promised more freedom of speech since coming to power
last August.

In a letter to the head of the Iranian judiciary, Mr Ganji
said that he was a political prisoner and he was detained
only for expressing his views.

In his defence statement prepared for the trial, Mr Ganji
stands by his original view, saying that Ansar-e-Hezbollah
is a fascist organisation which regularly takes the law
into its own hands and attacks meetings which it deems to
be against the interests of the Islamic republic.

The trial was due to be held behind closed doors, but some
opposition activists have urged President Khatami to ensure
there is a trial by jury as required by the constitution in
cases involving the press.

Before his detention, Mr Ganji edited a monthly magazine,
Rah-e-No (New Way) reflecting the views of Islamic
reformists.


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

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 18:14:11 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: The cost of roaming around the Persian Gulf

Iraq Deployment Costs Top $600 Million

By JOHN DIAMOND Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Costs for supporting the massive U.S.
military force on alert in the Persian Gulf are rising
rapidly, exceeding $600 million, according to the
Pentagon's estimate.

Congressional officials say the costs are far beyond that.

Money for increased fuel consumption, special deployment
pay, shipment of supplies, transport of soldiers and
increased flying time adds up quickly as the U.S. presence
around Iraq reaches a post-Gulf War high. In contrast to
the 1991 conflict, no large coalition of other countries is
giving money to support the U.S. deployment.

And with the Clinton administration suspicious of Iraqi
intentions, the troops aren't going home any time soon.

Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre told reporters
Wednesday that the cost of managing military operations in
the Persian Gulf since the crisis with Iraq erupted last
fall has been "well over $600 million."

Hamre, the Pentagon's No. 2 official, said that figure
represents spending "above ordinary operating costs." An
aircraft carrier, for example, is already fully budgeted
for a six-month cruise whether it steams in the Persian
Gulf or elsewhere.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., a senior member of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, said that based on briefings he
has received, the total is already closer to $750 million.

And two congressional staffers who spoke on condition of
anonymity put the total cost since November at more than $1
billion, based on information provided by military
commanders.

The Pentagon says it is still calculating the total, but
based on Hamre's and Warner's estimates, the military has
equaled or exceeded the entire sum it was allotted by
Congress for the Persian Gulf region, with more than half
the fiscal year still to go.

Congress budgeted $700 million for Gulf operations for the
fiscal year that began Oct. 1. That amount would sustain
the basic force of 15,000 to 20,000 troops along with
perhaps 120 planes and one aircraft carrier battle group.
With the U.S. force in the Gulf nearly doubled and
operations stepped up, Hamre's $600 million estimate brings
the new minimum total for the year to $1.3 billion.

Hamre said Saudi Arabia paid the United States about $300
million to support military operations last year. He said
he did not know whether the Saudis or Kuwait or Bahrain
would contribute to the most recent deployments.

To be sure, the Pentagon, with more than 30,000 troops in
the region, is spending nowhere near what it cost to field
a force of more than half a million to eject Iraq from
Kuwait in 1991.

But neither is the international support for today's
mission anywhere near what it was seven years ago. The Gulf
War cost $61.1 billion, according to a 1992 Pentagon
estimate. But international contributions pared the cost to
U.S. taxpayers to $7.4 billion.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., says the cost of the Gulf
mission should come out of the Pentagon's hide.

"We have a military on a contingency basis. Whenever
they're actually going to do anything, they're going to
charge us extra," Frank said.

Interviews with defense experts and testimony from senior
officers pointed to some of the ingredients of the cost of
deploying forces:

Deployed Navy ships typically steam 50 days out of three
months; in the Gulf, the deployed ships are steaming 70
days per quarter, according to Ron O'Rourke, a Navy analyst
with the Congressional Research Service. Carriers in the
Gulf are launching 100 sorties per day as opposed to 40 to
60 during routine deployments.

The Air Force spends $30 million a month to deploy a
30-aircraft expeditionary force. The Air Force had 125
planes in the region before the crisis broke out, compared
with 210 planes today. An individual fighter sortie can
cost between $5,000 and $15,000, said Steve Kosiak of the
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Most of the service members in the Gulf receive "imminent
danger pay" of $150 a month, as well as a family separation
allowance of $100 a month. Army enlistees, in addition to
those benefits, get foreign duty pay of between $8 and $22
per month. Army troops up to certain pay levels will not
have to pay federal income taxes for the time they are in
Kuwait.

The Army spent $34 million in 1996 sending 3,500 troops to
and from the Gulf during that year's crisis with Iraq.
"What costs the most is moving them there and moving them
back," said a congressional staffer familiar with
contingency budgeting. This time, the Army is dispatching
some 6,000 soldiers to Kuwait.

Adm. Donald L. Pilling, the vice chief of naval operations,
said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday
that keeping two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf full
time costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year. At a
separate hearing, Adm. Jay Johnson, the chief of naval
operations, put the total extra cost of Gulf operations for
the Navy at $130 million going back to last fall.

Gen. Ralph Eberhart, the Air Force vice chief of staff,
told the committee the service is spending about $80
million a month in the Gulf.

(26 Feb 1998 04:02 EST)

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

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 20:08:01 -0700
From: Faraaz Alborz <alborz@MAILEXCITE.COM>
Subject: Encouragement !

U.S. Encourages Americans To Visit Iran

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The United States Wednesday encouraged Americans to
visit Iran and said it would facilitate visas for Iranians who want to come to America.


The comments by State Department spokesman James Rubin were the latest step by the
United States to respond positively to the election last year of a moderate, Mohammad
Khatami, as president of the Islamic republic.

Rubin said the United States would prefer a government-to-government dialogue with
Iran but Tehran was not ready for this.

``People-to-people exchanges, however, which appear to be starting up, are valuable
and can help prepare the ground for government - to - government talks,'' he said.


``We encourage those who wish to participate in such contacts to do so. When Iranians
wish to come to the U.S., we will work to facilitate visa issuances on a case-by-case
basis,'' he added.

The comments reflected improving ties with Iran, which the United States for nearly
20 years had accused of sponsoring terrorism, trying to acquire nuclear weapons,
and undermining the Middle East peace process.



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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 25 Feb 1998 to 26 Feb 1998
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