USIA 26 June 1998
TEXT: UNITED NATIONS DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE
(June 26 was first observance) (970)
Geneva -- For the first time the international community will observe United Nations Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26.
The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed this day in an attempt to eliminate torture and ensure the application of the Convention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force on June 26, 1987.
"This is a day in which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable," stated Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a June 24 UN press release.
The commemoration coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that, "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Following is the UN Press Release:
UN Information Service 24 June 1998
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO MARK FIRST UNITED NATIONS DAY IN SUPPORT OF TORTURE VICTIMS ON 26 JUNE
GENEVA, 24 June (UN Information Service) -- The international community will mark for the first time on 26 June United Nations Day in Support of Victims of Torture, a commemoration Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls "an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable".
"Today the United Nations appeals to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere", says the Secretary-General. "This is a day in which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable", he adds.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Day last December with the aim of totally eliminating torture and ensuring the application of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force on 26 June 1987.
Underlining United Nations efforts to combat torture, the four main bodies of the Organization working on this issue last month adopted a joint declaration urging all States to ratify the Convention against Torture without reservation, if they had not yet done so. In the declaration, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Committee against Torture, the Special Rapporteur on torture, and the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture also urged all States parties to the Convention which had not yet accepted the treaty's optional provisions to do so as soon as possible, and they called on all States to ensure that torture was a crime in their domestic law and to rigorously pursue perpetrators.
In addition, all States were urged to provide for compensation and rehabilitation of victims of torture in their domestic law and to contribute to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture as fully and as often as they could. The declaration added that all States should cooperate with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture on fulfilling his mandate when requested to do so.
The commemoration this year coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which in its article 5 proclaims that, "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." In addition, delegates now meeting in Rome to establish the first permanent international criminal court are studying proposals concerning a mandate to cover torture.
Since its creation, the United Nations has worked to eradicate torture. In 1984, the General Assembly adopted the Convention against Torture, which obliges States parties to make torture a crime and to prosecute and punish those guilty of it. It notes explicitly that neither higher orders nor exceptional circumstances can justify torture.
As of June 1998, the Convention has been ratified by 105 States. These States parties are required to report to the Committee against Torture, a human rights treaty body set up in 1987 to monitor compliance with the Convention and to assist States parties in implementing its provisions. The Committee is composed of 10 independent experts who serve in their personal capacity and are elected by States parties.
The Special Rapporteur on torture also plays a key role in the international fight against torture by responding to complaints from individuals and groups and reporting to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. In 1997, Nigel Rodley (United Kingdom) transmitted 119 urgent appeals to 45 countries on behalf of torture victims and those fearing torture.
Treatment of Torture Survivors
Torture is one of the most profound human rights abuses, taking a terrible toll on millions of individuals and their families. Rape, blows to the soles of the feet, suffocation in water, burns, electric shocks, sleep deprivation, shaking and beating are commonly used by torturers to break down an individual's personality. As terrible as the physical wounds are, the psychological and emotional scars are usually the most devastating and the most difficult to repair. Many torture survivors suffer recurring nightmares and flashbacks. They withdraw from family, school and work and feel a loss of trust.
Thirty years ago, there were no treatment centers or services to treat torture survivors. Today, there are some 200 centers or programs all over the world. There is now profound knowledge of torture methods, the effects of torture, and how to diagnose and rehabilitate torture victims.
Over 100 programs treating torture victims in more than 50 countries -- from the United States to Nepal -- receive funding from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, which was established in 1981. From 1983 to July 1998, the Fund financed 300 projects, giving priority to those providing direct medical or psychological assistance to torture victims. In 1988, the Fund received applications for financial support totaling $6.8 million, but only $4 million was granted due to insufficient donations.
TEHRAN, June 29 (AFP) - More than 200 journalists have sent a petition to Iran's President Mohammad Khatami calling on him to intervene against a court order for the closure of the moderate daily Jameeh. In an open letter published in several newspapers on Monday, the 222 journalists voiced their "worries" over the closure ordered by a Tehran press court on June 10. They called on Khatami, who has promised more freedom of expression in the Islamic republic, "to do everything in his power to have this decision reviewed." Although its licence has been revoked and the managing director suspended, Jameeh continues to appear on the newsstands pending an appeal. It was taken to court over the publication of "defamatory and untruthful articles" aimed at several regime leaders and that were deemed "contrary to public moral order." Culture Minister Ataollah Mohajerani also criticized Jameeh for publishing a photograph in which a drawing of ousted former president Abolhasssan Bani Sadr appeared. Jameeh (Society) first rolled off the presses in February. It has been one of the most visible symbols of change in Iran's print media, which have become more diversified and critical since moderate cleric Khatami took over as president last year. But it has been the target of criticism from Islamic fundamentalists and conservatives, which accuse Jameeh of publishing tendentious and sometimes anti-Islamic articles. The paper was launched to support Khatami's reformist agenda and achieved rapid success, gaining popularity among Iran's youth and intellectual circles with sales of 150,000 copies a day.
TEHRAN, June 29 (AFP) - Iran's former interior minister, ousted after a censure motion last week, launched a scathing attack on the regime's powerful conservative faction on Monday, accusing it of trying to limit the powers of President Mohammad Khatami. "They (the conservatives) organised themselves after Khatami's election. They want to limit his powers and fight his programme with ever more strength and determination," Abdollah Nuri said during a farewell ceremony at his former ministry. Nuri, one of Khatami's key supporters, said he was concerned about the future of the relatively moderate president, warning that the conservatives wanted to "throw a spoke into the wheels of the executive." "Even though President Khatami was elected by 20 million votes, he does not have prerogatives that conform to his responsibilities," the 49-year-old Nuri said. "Khatami is a victim of injustice and so the people must be vigilant," he said, adding that he was "determined to continue the fight for public freedom." Nuri was dismissed after a censure motion in the conservative-dominated parliament on June 21, dealing the most serious blow to Khatami's government since its formation in August 1997. "I knew from the start that I would fall only a few months after my appointment," said Nuri, who had previously served as interior minister under former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1992. His departure risks putting the brakes on reforms introduced by Khatami and weakens the government as it tries to grapple with Washington's groundbreaking offer to open talks on restoring ties after almost two decades of hostility. Iran's leadership has been wracked by a power struggle over the past few months between moderate and conservative tendencies. During the debate on the censure motion eight days ago, conservative MPs accused Nuri of allowing "insecurity" to develop and described him as a "source of tension" for the Islamic regime. In particular, he was hauled over the coals for his support of Tehran's reformist mayor Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, who is currently on trial for corruption. Karbaschi attended Nuri's farewell ceremony Monday. Nuri was also accused of "laxism" for allowing demonstrations and strikes by supporters of a dissident cleric. Iran's First Vice President Hassan Habibi said during the farewell ceremony for Nuri that the censure motion was "a democratic right that he must accept." "Political progress is not the only path, and the country must also accept the need for cultural and economic development," he said, recognising the economic crisis confronting the government. "With such internal political conflicts the government is not able to deal with fundamental questions because we have to respond every time we are pricked," he said. Habibi described Nuri's departure as a "loss" for the ministry, but said "nothing will change after he goes." A defiant Khatami had also insisted after Nuri's departure that he would not change his policies. "Whoever the person at the helm of the interior ministry, the path set out will be continued to safeguard the security and political development of the country," he said. Khatami expressed "regret for the way things turned out" and insisted Nuri had been "extremely good for the government and for the interior ministry." The president has named Nuri as vice-president in charge of development and social affairs, an appointment which requires no endorsement by a hostile parliament and does not carry as much weight as a ministerial post. He named Nuri's deputy, Mostafa Tadj-Zadeh, as acting interior minister, and government newspaper Iran said the name of the new minister was expected to be known in mid-July.
TEHRAN, June 29 (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for more investigations into corruption during the administration of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, newspapers reported Monday. Khamenei, speaking to a meeting of Iran's senior judiciary, referred to the "reconstruction" years, the period when Rafsanjani pursued a policy of economic liberalisation after the 1980-88 war against Iraq. While this period was "one of the best" in recent Iranian history, he said, "some profitted illegally from the reconstruction, at the expense of society's weakest members." The ayatollah called on the judiciary to "deal with those who enriched themselves with this money that 'fell out of the sky.'" The fight against those who made money illegally during Rafsanjani's presidency is a common theme of the regime's conservative wing, which is closely associated with the judiciary. The attack was aimed at the Islamic republic's reformist bloc, which is allied with the former president and his successor, Mohammad Khatami. The spiritual leader's call came at a time when Tehran mayor Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, a key backer of the moderate president, is facing charges of corruption, embezzlement and diversion of public funds. The case, which began earlier this month, is due for a fourth public hearing on Tuesday. Karbaschi has maintained his innocence throughout, accusing the judiciary of fabricating a politically-motivated trial.
JERUSALEM, June 28 (AFP) - An Israeli company was helping Iran build a "nuclear city" of 100,000 residents to support a reactor in 1978, before the fall of the Shah, the Haaretz newspaper revealed Sunday. The city near Isfahan was to be designed by an Israeli engineering staff led by architect Moshe Safdie, the daily said, quoting members of the Israeli team. Iran's Queen Farah had commissioned the work after seeing Safdie's designs in Montreal, Haaretz said. To build the city, Safdie brought in Israeli company Engineering Services, which had already built three ports for the Iranian navy. As the greatest producer of petroleum in the world at the time, Iran sought to equip its military with nuclear capabilities through the construction of the city to maintain a reactor, Haaretz said. It said the contract for the modern nuclear city totalled millions of dollars and contained plans for solar energy, water recycling and ecologically-friendly services. "I signed without hesitation," said Avraham Assaf, who worked with Engineering Services at the time of the deal. "This was a contract for millions of dollars. "It was a planning contract of proportions that no Israeli company had ever received before," Assaf told Haaretz. But the deal disintegrated with the fall of the Shah in the 1979 Islamic revolution when the Jewish state became the Iranian regime's arch-enemy. Since then, Israel has repeatedly warned of Iran's nuclear aspirations and attempts to obtain long-range ballistic missiles.
Credit : Ibn Warraq
[Buy the book at : http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879759844/002-0683720-4527649]
"Islam began as an Arab religion; it spread as an Arab empire. In Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia Indonesia¶ (the countries of my itinerary) ¶I was traveling, therefore, among people who had been converted to what was an alien faith. I was traveling among people who had to make a double adjustment to the European empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and an earlier adjustment to the Arab faith. You might almost say that I was among people who had been doubly colonized, doubly removed from themselves."
V. S. Naipaul, New York Review of Books (January 31, 1991)
Open any modern introductory book on Islam and the chances are you will find that it begins by singing the praises of a people who ravaged, in an incredibly short period, half the civilized world¶ a people who established an empire that stretched from the banks of the Indus in the east to the shores Morocco in the west.
The volume will recount in positively glowing terms a time when Muslims ruled over a vast population of diverse peoples and cultures. One can hardly imagine a contemporary British historian being able to get away with similar eulogies on the British Empire.
While European colonialism and imperialism (both being general terms of abuse by now) are blamed for every ill on earth, and something of which all Europeans are made to feel ashamed of, Arab imperialism is held up as something of which Muslims can be proud, something to be lauded and admired.
Although Europeans are constantly castigated for having imposed their "insidious" and "decadent" values, culture, and language on the Third World, no one cares to point out that Islam colonized lands that were the homes of advanced and ancient civilizations, and that in doing so, Islamic colonialism trampled under foot and permanently destroyed many cultures.
"The Arab conquests rapidly destroyed one empire,and permanently detached large territories of another. This was, for the states in question, an appalling catastrophe-" or as Cook and Crone put it, the conquests were achieved at "extraordinary cultural costs". [ the lives it cost , the blood shed is recounted later]
Speros Vryonis in his "The Decline Of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century" describes how the essentially Hellenic and Christian way of life, with its bishoprics and magnificent monasteries, were destroyed by the Turkish invasions of the 1060s and 1070s - ¶many people fled, were captured, massacred, or enslaved [ since Islam sanctions, regulates and to this day perpetuates slavery as is evidanced by slave trade in Islamic Sudan]. Vryonis describes a similar decline in the subsequent centuries with the eventual destruction of the Byzantine Empire.
It is sad and ironic that in Algeria, for instance, all teaching in the French language was discontinued because the French language was considered a symbol of French colonialism, and "illegitimate" imperial presence. It is sad since it cuts a whole generation off from the rich cultural heritage of a modern, rational and progressive civilization, but also ironic since Arabic is itself an imposed language. Arab imperialism not only imposed a new language on a people whose mother tongue was Berber (NOT Arabic) but even convinced the same people that they were ethnically Arabs¶ -which they were not¶ and brainwashed them into accepting a religion that was alien to their own religious traditions. Bowing toward Arabia five times a day might be amongst the ultimate symbol of this cultural imperialism.
NEWS CLIP : Sunday June 28 9:59 AM EDT
TAOURIRT MOUSSA, Algeria (Reuters) : [...] Matoub was a staunch anti-Islamist, vocal supporter of the Berber cause and outspoken democrat whose songs frequently criticised Islamic radicals.
Matoub was widely respected as a "rebel poet and singer" opposed to both the government and its radical Islamist foes. "The Pan-Arab and Pan-Islamic path is a dead-end one," read a placard hoisted by several protesters at the mourning gathering, summing up Berber feelings about the government's Arabisation policy.
Under a new law, the use of Arabic will become compulsory in business and the education system from July 5.
Berber-speaking activists struggled unsuccessfully for decades to try to get the government to recognise Tamazigh as an official language alongside Arabic. In the riots on Friday and Saturday, protesters tore down many Arabic-language signs on official buildings.
The singer was kidnapped by Moslem rebels in 1994 and held for two weeks before being released after his supporters threatened to stage "all-out war" against Islamic fundamentalists. "
Muslims despise co-religionists who accept what they see as alien Western values, and yet fail to see that they themselves could justifiably be seen as "traitors" to the culture of their ancestors.
In India, for exemple, present-day Muslims are the descendants of Hindu converts, in Iran, of Zoroastrians, in Syria, of Christians. A vast number of Muslims throughout the world have been persuaded to accept a religion that originated thousands of miles away, to read a book in a language that they do not understand, which they learn to read and write before they know their own mother tongue or the national language.
These Muslims learn more of the history of a people remote from them geographically and ethnically than the past of their own countries (before the advent of Islam).
Another one of the unfortunate consequences of the triumph of Islam is that it has cut millions of people off from their own ricin, non-Muslim heritage.
As V. S. Naipaul reflected during his travels in Pakistan :
"The time before Islam is a time of blackness: that is part of Muslim theology.
History has to serve theology. The excavated city of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley overrun by the Aryans in 1500 b.c.¶ is one of the archaelogical glories of Pakistan and the world. The excavations are now being damaged by waterlogging and salinity, and appeals for money have been made to world organizations.
A featured letter in Dawn [a daily Pakistani newspaper] offered its own ideas for the site. The letter suggested that verses from the Koran, the writer said, should be engraved and set up in Mohenjodaro in "appropriate places-: "Say (unto them, O Mohammed): Travel in the land and see the nature of the sequel for the guilty.... Say (O Mohammad, to the disbelievers): Travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who were before you. Most of them were idolaters." [ the verse suggests divine wrath for idolaters and those who disbelieve - Islam preaches that Allah (god) justly destroyed many ancient civilizations as a punishment for their sins]
Naipaul goes onto quote Sir Mohammed Iqbal(1875-1938), the Indian Muslim poet who is often considered the spiritual founder of Pakistan, and a kind of posthumous "national poet." Naipaul writes:
It was the poet Iqbal's hope that an Indian Muslim state might rid Islam of "the stamp that Arab imperialism was forced to give it."
It turns out now that the Arabs were the most successful imperialists of all time; since to be conquered by them (and then to be like them) is still, in the minds of the faithful believers, to be saved.
History, in the Pakistan school books I looked at, begins with Arabia and Islam. In the simpler texts, surveys of the Prophet and the first four caliphs and perhaps the Prophet's daughter are followed, with hardly a break, by lives of the poet Iqbal, Mr Jinnah, the political founder of Pakistan, and two or three "martyrs," soldiers or airmen who died in the holy wars against India in 1965 and 1971.
This contempt for the pagan past remains to limit the historical imaginations of most Muslims, to narrow the intellectual horizonsn [of the mindless masses]. Certainly at the beginning the sciences of Egyptology, Assyriology, and Iranology were the exclusive concerns of European and American scholars. It was left to the dedicated Western archaeologists to recover and give back to mankind a part of its glorious past.
NEXT : Resistance to Arab Imperialism and the cult like brainwashing of Islam ; Arab racism [ Arab vs. Arab ; Arab vs. Non Arab]; Slavery; Anti Black Prejudice ; European Imperialism compared with Arab Imperialism; Berber Nationalism ; Anti West hatred serving the purposes of the Islamic Clergy; Modern Berber rejection of Arab Imperialism ; Arab Conquests and position of Non Muslim subjects in Islam; The methods of Islamic Conquests / Jihad ; The colonized countries etc....
TEHRAN (June 28) XINHUA - President Mohammad Khatami will introduce his new interior minister to the Majlis (Parliament) for approval by end of the current Iranian month (to end July 22), the pro-moderate newspaper Iran reported on Sunday.
An informed source with the Interior Ministry was quoted as saying that this should be done soon in order to prepare the election of the Experts Assembly, which is empowered to determine the country's supreme leader, on October 23.
The conservative-dominated Majlis on June 21 impeached former Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri on charges of instigation and mismanagement. Khatami responded by appointing Nouri as vice president for development and social affairs and named Nouri's deputy, Mostafa Tajzadeh, as acting interior minister.
The ministry will start to register candidates in August, the source said. According to relevant laws, the acting minister can not take charge of important elections.
The newspaper named three prominent leftist figures - Vice President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mosavi Lari, Managing Director of the Salam daily Mosavi Khoiniha and former Heavy Industries Minister Behzad Nabavi - as possible nominees for Nouri's successor.
Political analysts believed that Lari is likely the choice, because it would be very difficult for Khatami to convince the conservative-led Majlis to accept Khoiniha or Nabavi, two well-known leftist hardliners.
FOCUS-Israel uneasy about technology leaks to Iran 11:46 a.m. Jun 29, 1998 Eastern
By Dmitry Solovyov
ALMATY, June 29 (Reuters) - Israel said on Monday that Moscow should do more to stop transfers of Russian missile technology to Iran, declaring that radical Islam armed with nuclear weapons was the greatest threat to the ``free world.''
``The issue of leakage of Russian missile technologies to Iran concerns not only us but the United States and Russia itself,'' Israeli Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky told reporters in Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty.
``We hope this will be stopped...because weapons of mass destruction are terrible weapons in Iran's hands,'' he added.
Sharansky, whose brief includes monitoring transfers of missile technology to Iran, said ``there was absolutely no evidence'' that the Russian government was behind transfers of military technology to Iran, but some Russian scientists and laboratories were working for Iran.
``The talk is not about deliveries of ready-made missiles, but about some scientists sharing their knowledge, about a number of scientific laboratories conducting experiments for them (Iran) and about a number of other institutions trying to conduct relevant experiments in Iran,'' he said.
Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident released from a Soviet prison in a 1986 East-West prisoner swap, lauded Russia's current degree of openness and freedom, but added: ``Today's Russia cannot control every scientist.''
He said the information on leakages of Russian missile technologies was confirmed not only by the Israeli and U.S. secret services but by other intelligence agencies as well.
He told reporters later that Iran was trying to create two modifications of long-range missiles able to hit targets at distances of 1,500 to 2,000 km (950-1,250 miles).
``These missiles can carry nuclear, chemical and biological warheads,'' said Sharansky, who spoke mostly in Russian.
Stressing again that Israel had no evidence that Russia was officially helping Iran to create its own nuclear potential, Sharansky criticised Russia's assistance in constructing a peaceful nuclear reactor in Iran.
``We have very big doubts regarding the expediency of this step,'' he said.
Russia has refused to abandon an $800 million contract to construct Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant despite claims by the United States and Israel that the station could help Tehran to develop nuclear arms technology.
Iran says its programme at Bushehr is strictly civil and under the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations body.
Sharansky said Islamic fundamentalist states like Iran were a threat to ``the free world.''
``I think now it is self-evident to everyone that the main enemy of the free world after the fall of communism is namely Islamist fundamentalism, which supports terrorism, disrupts the normal rhythm of international life and is longing to possess weapons of mass destruction,'' he said.
``It (fundamentalism) is the common enemy for different types of countries -- of Western democracy, for newly democratic states and even for many Moslem states,'' he said.
Kazakhstan, a sprawling former Soviet republic of 16 million, has a large Moslem population but is a secular state.
Full story Iran oil seminar sparks investment stampede 06:15 a.m. Jun 29, 1998 Eastern
By William Maclean
LONDON (Reuters) - A global race to break into Iran's strategic energy industry accelerates this week with the unveiling of a tempting array of oil and gas projects worth $5 billion.
Petroleum multinationals will flock to a seminar launching some 20 projects to develop an industry boasting the world's second largest gas and fifth largest oil reserves.
Although shackled by heavy sanctions, U.S. firms will be presented with opportunities on equal terms with other foreign companies at the three-day gathering starting Wednesday, Iranian officials have said.
European and Asian companies will be especially eager to exploit last month's U.S. decision to waive the threat of sanctions over a $2 billion gas project in Iran led by France's Total.
Washington has promised more such waivers for European Union companies doing business with Tehran so long as the EU cooperates with Washington on its policy towards Iran.
Iran is luring foreign investment to procure Western technology to help in development, exploration and enhanced oil recovery projects to stem a slide in production from aging fields.
An added attraction is the inclusion of the first onshore offerings in Iran's upstream sector since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
``It's a very important conference because it includes exploration tracts for the first time and follows the U.S. move on sanctions against European companies,'' said Manouchehr Takin of the Centre for Global Energy Studies.
``European companies now have carte blanche on Iran after the decision by the United States. Those who were frightened have developed more courage.''
Iran says the projects to be presented by Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Mehdi Hussini hold the promise of discovering billions of barrels of additional oil reserves.
An initial tender in 1995 had little success, partly because the terms Iran offered were too strict and partly because of the limited size of some projects and fears of U.S. sanctions.
``Companies tell me that the rate of return on investment was not that attractive,'' said Takin.
``But now that the Iranians have had discussions with many companies since the first round, it seems they have become more realistic. Possibly now the terms are softer, according to these companies.''
The first tender drew only two foreign groups to new projects -- Total at South Pars, and Canada's Bow Valley at the Balal field. Two of Bow Valley's planned partners have already pulled out, jeopardizing its project.
Analysts say U.S. companies have been showing greater interest in Iran over the past six months despite being subject to a 1995 ban on trade and investment in Iran.
Spurred by growing signs of detente between the two countries, U.S. firms are expected to be ever bolder in attending conferences and buying tender information packages.
Interest in the tender has soared since President Clinton in May said Total, Gazprom and Petronas of Malaysia would not be penalized for a contract to develop stages two and three of South Pars.
Many believe the decision in effect shelved the 1996 U.S. Iran and Libya Sanctions Act which appeared aimed in part at strangling Iran's ``buy-back'' energy projects.
So-called buy-back contracts, the basis on which this week's tenders will be offered, allow firms to finance projects for repayment in production.
The arrangement permits Iran to get around constitutional opposition to the entry of foreign firms into its energy projects.
Iranian officials have said the onshore giant Darkhovin field will be among the offerings. Italy's ENI has already carried out appraisal work at Darkhovin and is the leading contender there.
Projects at the large North Pars and South Pars gas fields will be on offer too, targets of a strong contingent expected from Royal Dutch Shell Group.
The Anglo-Dutch giant is moving to revive plans to develop North Pars and is also pursuing a stake in a consortium seeking to work on later stages of South Pars for pipeline exports of gas to Pakistan.
A competitor for the South Pars work is Australia's Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd, which has recently announced plans to open a Tehran office.
France's Elf Aquitaine has studied a $600 million project to develop the Doroud gas field. Russia's Gazprom is committed as a partner in Total's South Pars business and has said it is interested in other Iranian projects.
Iran's Caspian oil line success buoys tender hopes 11:41 a.m. Jun 29, 1998 Eastern
LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - Iran has lured a rush of foreign interest to its plans for a new oil pipeline from the Caspian, as a big week starts for Iran's energy development.
Iranian officials say that over 40 firms have bought tender documents for the pipeline plan, the first in a succession of Iranian energy openings after the U.S. decision to shy away from its sanctions threat against a Total (TOTF.PA)-led gas project.
The 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) line from the Caspian port of Neka to Iran's northern refineries was launched in a packed presentation earlier this month at the London offices of state National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
And the strong interest provides encouragement for NIOC's landmark tender this week inviting foreign participation in a mouth-watering array of some 20 to 30 more oil and gas projects, together worth a combined $5 billion.
The sold-out conference is enriched by the inclusion of Iran's first onshore upstream offerings since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Conference sources say there will be a strong showing from oil multinationals, including U.S. majors, among the 450-strong attendance.
The 390 km new Caspian line is estimated to cost $400 million, with the two-year construction period due to start in October.
The tender will close on September 6, with a letter of intent due three weeks later.
But some doubts remain as Washington has emphasised that its sanctions threat still stands against Caspian pipeline projects.
NIOC officials added that Iranian firms also splashed out for tender documents ahead of the June 18 deadline.
The line is the first part of Iran's three-stage vision which would ultimately see it transport some 1.6 million bpd of landlocked Caspian crude to world markets early next century.
Sharansky, whose brief includes monitoring transfers of missile technology to Iran, said ``there was absolutely no evidence'' the Russian government was behind transfers of military technology to Iran, but some Russian scientists and laboratories were working for Iran.
``The talk is not about deliveries of ready-made missiles, but about some scientists sharing their knowledge, about a number of scientific laboratories conducting experiments for them (Iran) and about a number of other institutions trying to conduct relevant experiments in Iran,'' he said.
Sharansky said this information was confirmed not only by the Israeli and U.S. secret services but by other intelligence services as well.
He told reporters after the news conference that Iran was trying to create two modifications of long-range missiles able to hit targets at distances of 1,500 to 2,000 km (940-1,250 miles). ``These missiles can carry nuclear, chemical and biological warheads,'' he said.
By The Associated Press Sunday, June 28, 1998; 3:16 p.m. EDT
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Blowing trumpets and waving flags, thousands of jubilant Iranians welcomed the World Cup team Sunday, a homecoming that mixed disappointment at the team's elimination with joy over its win against the United States.
Some fans waited for hours outside Mehrabad Airport, where the team arrived a little before dawn. Fans waved the red-white-and-green Iranian flag and wore the team's jersey or T-shirts with the picture of Ali Daei, it's star player.
Others blew plastic trumpets in a noisy reception.
``Our boys played very well,'' coach Jalal Talebi said. ``We are pleased to see our people receiving the team so warmly.''
Iran lost 2-0 Thursday to a powerful German team, knocking it out of the World Cup in the first round. But the defeat came just four days after Iran's 2-1 win over the United States, a game charged with political significance born of the hostility between Washington and Tehran since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
``Our performance was good, especially beating the United States. That was great. Thank God for that,'' defender Mehdi Pashazadeh said at the airport.
The players greeted fans from a platform set up in the parking lot. They then boarded a bus, which moved slowly through a crowd of hundreds waving and shouting at the team.
ENGLISH COMPLAINTS BRING NO MORE TICKETS:@ Soccer's world governing body brushed off political pressure Sunday and refused to increase England's ticket share for the second-round World Cup match against Argentina.
British Sports Minister Tony Banks said the government would support the English Football Association's bid to get FIFA to increase the ticket allocation for Tuesday's match.
England received 2,049 tickets for the Saint-Etienne match, its smallest allocation so far. But Banks said England and Argentina should each have received 10,000 tickets.
FIFA communications director Keith Cooper said the ticket policy was set in 1995 and exceptions would not be made.
``Anyone who had taken the trouble would have been able to read how this system worked ... three years ago,'' he said.
Cooper said it was impossible to predetermine which teams would be playing where in the second round of the World Cup or calculate demand for tickets at each of the venues.
``While there may be a huge demand from England, had it been Romania playing in that particular match there would not have been a huge demand,'' he said. ``The only way to do this is the way it has been done.''
Hi, From tonight, all message sent to this list will contain a "reply" address to "email@example.com" which is our discussion list.
Since I am subscribing to this list in digest mode, can not test this function properly, but I think it works :-|
This will make the list free from replies and hopefull it will be a pure news list as we want it to be.
With regards, Farhad A. DNI list admin
mohajerani: judiciary determines punishment for press violations
nowshahr, june 29, irna -- the minister of culture and islamic guidance, ataollah mohajerani, in chaloos on sunday said that while the board of jurists on press determines the scope of press violations, the judiciary has the task of deciding on the actual punishments. the board of jurists is selected from the press corps, lawyers as well as representatives from other segments of the society. the selections are approved by the head of tehran judicial department, the minister of culture and islamic guidance and the city council, mohjerani added. ''while helping to have uninterrupted publication of the press, we support court rulings dealing with publications violating their legal boundaries,'' mohajerani said. the daily 'gozaresh-e rooz' was specially singled out by the islamic guidance minister as a publication which has repeatedly violated press laws. in conclusion, mohajerani expressed the hope that a boost in domestic production of paper this year would alleviate any paper shortages experienced by the press corps. mr/jh end ::irna 29/06/98 14:00
president: a judge must be impartial
tehran, june 27, irna -- president mohammad khatami here saturday said judges must be impartial in all ways and must not side with any specific trend, group and tendency. addressing a gathering of the judiciary officials, the president stated that a judge is not subordinate to the commands of any individual, adding that no superior official can tell him what to do and what not to do. the criterion in islamic judicial system is restoration of rights and nothing should prevent such a grave task, khatami stressed. the chief executive further added that islam does not favor scrutinizing in order to find faults. rather, the most important principle in islam is the principle of acquital, he said adding that this is clearly stated in the constitution. any violation of this principle, will be dealt with severely, he pointed out. the president further emphasized that no power is authorized to force a judge to issue a certain verdict. judges should function in total freedom. underling the need to avoid forced extraction of confession and the unpleasant methods common in certain countries, president khatami said in such circumstances the case is void of validty. he said any citizen of the islamic republic of iran is entitled to certain rights and that the islamic system is responsible to guarantee those rights. khatami remarked that in a progressive society, ''government'' should take its power from laws, otherwise the society will experience anarchy. he, however, stressed that laws are not enough to establish order in the soceity, rather the government is a guarantor of enforcement of laws in the society. khatami further added that the president is responsible for the execution of the constitution and that all should coordinate their actions within this framework. stressing that performance of the judiciary is based on law, the president said that in the light of this performance security is established in the society. he said the judiciary is authorized to equally treat all individuals and classes in the society, adding that prestige and reputation of a committed person is being considered as his blood and life, therefore, any aggression on it is aggression on all humanity. stressing that performance of such a grave responsibility by the judiciary necessitated its independence, the chief executive said measures should be taken to further strengthen the judiciary as strengthening of the judiciary is strengthening of the system and preservation of the rights and freedom of the people. he also emphasised the elimination of all grounds that may mislead judges and called for strengthening of all positive grounds among them. elsewhere in his speech, president khatami pointed to an atmosphere of ''understanding and cooperation'' among the executive, judiciary and the legislative branches and said the government views cooperation with the judiciary as one of its important tasks. saying that such cooperation can produce more effective results through further contacts, the president hoped that this cooperation will further expand in future. the president termed the judiciary as the great heritage of the islamic revolution and said one of the most important tasks of the judiciary is to prevent offenses and find out loopholes in the judicial system. he said that establishment of consultative center to further familiarize people with their rights is a significant step toward preventing offenses in the society. president khatami termed chief of the judiciary ayatollah mohammad yazdi as a scientific, revolurtionary and prominent personality. honoring the memory of the 7th of tir (june 28) martyrs, especially martyr ayatollah mohammad beheshti, khatami said that presence of martyr beheshti in all scenes of the revolution was effective. he said that 7th of tir martys were the most competent forces of the late imam khomeini and that martyr beheshati played a key role in organizing the revolution, compiling the constitution and giving shape to the judiciary. prior to the president's speech justice minister esmaeel shushtari reported on the performance of the judicial system. the seminar will conclude work tomorrow. ns/rr end ::irna 27/06/98 15:35
ayat. khamenei: weakening of judiciary power, an irresponsible act
tehran, june 28, irna -- "the judiciary branch is one of the efficient organs of the government, the basis of national order and discipline, guaranteer of security and justice and the enforcer of law," the leader of the islamic revolution and supreme religious jurisprudent, grand ayatollah seyyed ali khamenei said here sunday. the leader further stressed, "consequently, it is not permitted to weaken the judiciary branch as the responsibility assigned to that power is vital and sensitive in nature." "as decisions made by the judicial power leave subsequent effects in the rest of the government institutions, it is necessary that those who have responsibilities in the judiciary system, act in accordance to the norms of sincerity, trustworthiness, chasteness, preciseness judiciousness and dispense their judgement in firmness," ayatollah khamenei stated. warning the political factions and the press, the supreme religious jurisprudent stressed, "one of the ways to create mistrust and suspicion in the hearts of people against the judiciary system is to spread rumours and to issue baseless irresponsible statements against that sovereign legal institution." "justice and fair handedness are the two most important criteria in the islamic community and that the social order is based on justice," the leader of the islamic revolution elucidated. the grand ayatollah further pointed out, "injustice breeds swindlers, embezzlers and profiteers." "consequently, the judiciary branch with the help of the executive branch are instructed to look for those who have accumulated wealth illegitimately," the leader recommanded. ayatollah khamenei then advised the judiciary branch to stand firm against the criminals as the honor, dignity and respect of the that system is based on dispensation of precise justice in the community. the leader of the islamic revolution was speaking to the top judiciary officials and the families of the martyrs of the seventh of tir when seventy two of the best and the brightest iranian officials attained martyrdom in an explosion at the islamic republic party headquarters on june 28, 1981 dh/dh end ::irna 29/06/98 14:00
give aliens no excuse to distort facts on iran, suggests daily
tehran, june 29, irna -- the english daily 'tehran times' monday wrote that president mohamammad khatami's remarks at the gathering of judiciary officials were greatly misinterpreted by several western media and suggested that the only way to avoid this is not to give an excuse to those who are ever ready to distort facts on iran. the daily was referring to the misinterperetation of khatami's remarks by foreign media who said ''the president's comments aimed squarely at his conservative critics, in particular those in the judiciary, who have targeted a key khatami ally in a high-profile corruption probe....'' on the same subject, a western news agency said, ''supporters of the president have denounced the case against tehran mayor ghulamhussein karbaschi as a show trial put on by a vindictive judiciary bent on bringing him down and undermining the moderate khatami.'' interpretation or misinterpretation is not the first time aired by foreign media that still has to understand the realities on iran, criticized the article. ''we are passing through a very crucial period of history,'' noted the dialy, adding that ''our economy, as khatami himself admitted is sick.'' therefore, any society or government that is not based on a healthy economy and rationality becomes vulnerable, highlighted the article. stating that the judiciary, legislative and executive are independent parts and parcels of the system, the paper stressed that responsible officials of these branches of government must therefore respect each other and work for a healthy government. the officials must therefore bear in mind to always think twice before talking and not spare room for misinterpretation by the foreign media, while referring to the colleagues in other branches of the government, suggested the paper in conclusion. fh/jh end ::irna 29/06/98 14:00
Iran Daily (Journal of Islamic Republic News Agency) June 30, 1998
Salam in response to a question asked by a reader, 'Whether every-one favoring Iran's resumption of diplomatic ties with the US is necessarily a spy?' wrote that we strongly defy resumption of ties with the US, but do not dare to call those favoring ties with a foreign country spies either.
Iran Daily (Journal of Islamic Republic News Agency) June 30, 1998
Jomhouri-e Eslami published the reaction of the coordination council of Hizbollah groups towards the position adopted by the Reporters Without Frontiers (RWF) with regard to the Persian-language daily Jameah. This council in a letter to President Mohammad Khatami, protested to what they called the interference of a western press institute against the national interests of the country. The Hizbollah students went on to assert that everyone is aware that the organizations having such titles 'as without frontiers', are affiliated to the Freemasonry movements of the West and are controlled by them. Referring to the support of RWF for Jameah, the council noted that these attempts by the RWF are indica-tive of the affiliation of the Jameah daily to western powers who propa-gate against the Islamic system of Iran. Salam in response to a question asked by a reader, 'Whether every-one favoring Iran's resumption of diplomatic ties with the US is necessarily a spy?' wrote that we strongly defy resumption of ties with the US, but do not dare to call those favoring ties with a foreign country spies either.